Saturday, March 19, 2011

My bladder is a trampoline!

Seems like the baby has figured out lately hat he has some more room to stretch and he can reach his little frog legs all the way down to my bladder! It's the strangest feeling, but it's very distinct each time he thumps my bladder. I'm glad to know he's growing, moving around, and active. I just can't wait to meet him and see his little face for the first time!
Here are some belly shots for those who have requested... I've been taking pictures every time we have an appointment with the midwife, which works out to every four weeks. It's a good reminder for us to take a picture and we always have appointments in the mornings, so we're home together getting ready, which means I have a photographer. Can you tell that my belly isn't the ONLY thing growing?!
16 weeks.... 20 weeks.... 24 weeks....
It seems like we are in crunch mode to get things ready. We have picked out our bedding (below) after much discussion and debate. It was tough! And we have picked a crib (also below), but our crib will be white. We're going to paint the room an apple green and put in wainscoting - similar look to the walls in the last picture. And, if you ask Joel, I'm doing an awful lot of "nesting" these days. Organizing closets, cleaning out drawers, donating lots of stuff, getting projects done that've been on a long-running to-do list... all along with trying to get the nursery looking just right. He's been a great sport though and allows me my time and space to nest away.

Bedding! Crib Room color

To steal Hannah's idea again, I'll list some of the "things I'm loving lately... pregnant edition."
My snoogle pillow
This pillow has revolutionized not only my nights of sleep, but Joel's as well. I'd been keeping him up with my tossing and turning. So it was an anniversary gift from Joel and, from the first night, we both noticed a difference in how well we slept and it's been heavenly ever since.
Edy's Drumstick ice cream

Ice cream filled with waffle cone pieces and chocolate covered peanuts... need I say more?

Old Navy Maternity Clothes

While I haven't actually purchased any maternity clothes from Old Navy of my own, I have worn many of Crystal's (thanks Titol!) and recently placed an order. I cannot wait for some new clothes to come in. I'm really pushing it still trying to wear my regular clothes and am in need of some items to get me through the next 3 months. The dress above is one of the things I ordered that I'm most excited about! Dresses and skirts while pregnant are so comfy!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Fun times with little man

Look what I found Mommy!

A Picture says a thousand words...

Kale loves to clean... He really enjoys vacuuming and dusting.

Here's K man "Kissing Baby"

Friday, March 11, 2011

Coke or Pepsi...Microsoft or Apple?

Ski harness and "Edgy wedgies" or au natural?

We talked to a whole bunch of people, ski instructors and just good skiers in general about starting a kid on skis. The advice ranged the gamut of not using contraptions and beginning as soon as they can walk to not even bother trying skis on your kids until they are in Kindergarten. So we did what most parents would do and that is throw all advice out the window and do what we had in mind from the beginning anyway to teach Aeneas the basics of skiing.

Day 1: With the harness on pretty much just meant that our kid skied between our legs but it provided a nice handle to pull him out of snow banks with.

Day 2: Let him out gradually on the "leash", allowing him to depend on the ropes for speed control since we couldn't get past the idea of edges. But also realizing too far ahead means that you run over your kid when he falls, smashing his face that much further into the snow and ensuring that icy cold snow gets into his gloves and down the back of his coat.

Day 3: Begins to get the idea of edges and the pizza stance but not after lots of frustration with learning right and left (on both the kid's part and his parents' part!)

Day 4: Dad gets tired of pulling kid up off the slope, says he's done and he's just gonna ski so you better keep up. Kid gets up on his own and skis the whole way down with no one touching him! And knows his left from right before entering kindergarten to boot!


A big fat smile from a good sport.

And a really proud big brother!

"I don't like Mac and Cheese anymore...

I just like popstickers all a time now!"

That's what Aeneas said after dinner tonight. I haven't made potstickers in a long time but they are so fun and delicious I thought I'd share the recipe. And they aren't that hard to make.

Make the filling ahead of time and refrigerate for an hour or so.
Fill the wonton wrappers, using water and a fork to seal.

Little precooked pockets of goodness.

The pockets get browned in oil, then steamed until the water evaporates.
Then they cook long enough to crisp up again. When you put them in the pan, flatten them down a bit so they stand upright in the pan.

Here's the recipe:

Asian Potstickers

1/2 lb ground pork (look for it in the natural foods store in the free range variety or substitute it with ground chicken or turkey, Merritt, if you like)
1/2 medium head of cabbage, finely chopped
2 green onions, finely chopped, green and white parts
4 sliced of fresh ginger root, minced
4 minced water chestnuts
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp sugar

14 oz pkg wonton wrappers
veg or olive oil to saute
3/4 cup water

Mix the above ingredients and refrigerate for an hour or overnight. Use about a tablespoon to fill each wrapper, fold over, seal with a little water and crimp with a fork. Keep them under a damp towel so they don't dry out while you are fixing the rest of them.

In two batches, depending on the size of your pan, saute the pockets in oil for a min. Pour in the water, cover for 2 min and let them steam. Remove the lid and allow the water to sizzle out completely. Add a couple more tsp of oil and allow them to crisp up.

Serve with sweet chili sauce, peanut sauce and soy sauce. YUM!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

We LOVE Sushi Night!

We love love love sushi. It took until my late 20's to begin liking it AND moving to a town with a terrific sushi place that has a killer happy hour deal to really appreciate it. When we set foot in Durango 3 years ago for the first time, we walked to Sushitarian for lunch and what is now one of our favorite places in town to eat. We frequented it often over the time we've lived here, introducing the boys slowly by filling them up on edamame and then letting them taste our rolls as they asked for it. Before we knew it, they were eating so much, that it left us hungry when it was time to go. With the exception of the Nori and the actual fish, which you can find at any natural foods store and sometimes Kroger etc., Wal-Mart carries the rest of the stuff you need.

We figured out recently that it is actually really easy to make at home, relatively cheap and a fun social evening with friends. SO don't be afraid. Check out the steps below and plan your own sushi night soon! You won't be disappointed. And do yourself a favor, don't make PBJ for the kids. Get them trying it now. They are never too young.

You will need to get a bamboo sushi mat to make your rolls.

Not all sushi Nori is the same. Some of them are chewy so try some different brands to figure out what you like. Eden makes a decent one. Place a sheet onto your bamboo mat.

Sushi rice is sticky (recipe to follow) so get your hands really wet before digging into the rice.

Get a big handful of the rice.

Sprinkle the rice over the Nori, spreading and pressing it hard into a packed, even layer as you go.

We really like toasted sesame seeds on the outside of our sushi but it's optional. Just sprinkle them over and then press them into the rice.

Flip the whole thing over on your mat and then begin to line up your goodies on one end. You never need as much as you think you need. Cucumber, avocado and tuna are staples at our house but imitation crab, salmon, and Unagi (BBQ eel) is so delicious.

Using the mat to hold everything together, begin rolling your filling into the Nori.

Work the roll up the mat, squeezing a bit to tighten the roll as you go.

Get a really sharp, clean knife to cut the roll in half.

Rinsing your knife as you go, flip one side around and slice the roll into bite sized pieces.

Note: You can always make your sushi with the Nori out too. Just don't flip it and leave a little bit of the Nori exposed from the rice to allow for a seal with some water. Also, 1 lb of fish (not including anything else) is plenty for 4 adults with some left over even. Get good quality fish, in fact ask for sushi grade to be safe and despite it being a little more expensive, it ends up being reasonable because you only need a little bit.

Serve it with steamed edemame, pickled ginger, wasabe, soy sauce and Sake. Sweet chili sauce and Sriracha Hot Chili sauce is a fun addition as well. We put it inside the rolls or just dab some on top. It's fun to see what rolls your guests will come up with and it becomes a competition over who makes the best rolls.

Things you will need:
  • Bamboo sushi mat
  • Sushi Rice (Nishiki)
  • Nori
  • Toasted sesame seeds
  • Avocado, sliced into thin strips
  • Cucumber and carrots, sliced into thin strips
  • Sushi grade tuna
  • Sushi grade salmon
  • Imitation Crab
  • Soy sauce
  • Wasabe
  • Rice vinegar
  • Sake (to drink if you are really adventurous)

Sushi Rice (Nishiki)

3 1/2 cups dry rice
1/2 cup rice vinegar
6 Tbsp sugar
2 1/2 tsp salt

Rinse the rice until the water is clear and then cook according to package directions. Heat vinegar, sugar and salt over medium heat until everything dissolves. Dump your rice into a large bowl and then get some kind of room fan blowing directly over the rice. The idea is to cool it as quickly as possible. Slowly pour the vinegar over the rice while cutting through the rice with a wooden spoon, folding gently to mix. You can use the prepared rice warm or cold although room temp or a little bit warm is best.

A special thanks to my lovely husband who modeled for this post.

And a special thanks to Dad and Vicki who gifted us beautiful sushi dishes made by a local Savannah artist, 10 years ago (they are finally getting the attention they deserve) and a sushi feast sent FedEx to our door for Christmas! We are still eating it and we've managed half a dozen meals out of it although the squid salad and Unagi was the first to go! Party in a box! What could be better?