Saturday, February 26, 2011

Cline Zinfandel

Jon and I went out to a local Wine Exchange store and picked up a few bottles of wine to enjoy after Peanut was born.  This was one of the selections recommended to us.

This is Cline Zinfandel - 2008.

First off, we all know that we love a deep red Zin, so this was already right up our valley.

This wine is full of flavor!  You can smell the dark fruit and spices before you even take your first sip.  After opening the bottle, we each poured a glass and let it sit for a couple of minutes.  I love taking the time to just smell the delicious flavor before I take a taste.

The wine tastes as good as it smells.  It's rich in flavor so beware if you're not into that kinda thing.  I love the complexity of the wine, allowing you to almost taste two different flavors - the fruit when you first take a sip, and the oak when the flavor stays with you after you finish. This is definitely a great choice to have with dinner or all on its own.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Friday Five - Simple dinners

This is something anyone can benefit from - super simple, quick, easy dinners.  Especially us.  So here we go.

1.  Tasty Kitchen's Crock Pot Pulled Pork

This one's courtesy of Tasty Kitchen, which I adore.  Personally, I think anything that can be prepped in under 10 minutes and put in the slow cooker is a-ok by me!  This recipe is super simple, easy and has only 3 ingredients.  What could be better if you're a wicked busy with, say, a baby.

2.  Good Housekeeping's Chicken Romano Meatloaf

Mmm meatloaf.  And even better, chicken meatloaf.  I almost always substitute chicken or turkey for ground beef or pork because it's a healthier option.  So this is right up my alley and hopefully yours.  Delicious.  One side note - I make a dent in the middle half-way through and load it with cheese for a cheesy middle.  That probably negates the whole healthier option with choosing chicken but hey, I love cheese.

3.  Pillsbury Cheesy Sloppy Joe Pizza

Technically, unless you're making the dough (and I don't, I buy mine at Stop & Shop), any pizza is pretty easy to throw together.  But Sloppy Joe pizza?  Holy droolfest.  On a side note, I just love Pillsbury recipes.  I think it's my favorite site for delicious quick and easy meals, especially appetizers.

4. Pot Roast in a slow cooker

This one's mine, but trust me, you won't be sorry.  This is so super simple with almost no ingredients and the result is mouth watering.

5. How Sweet It Is' Bakes Mac n Cheese Cupcakes

This one's from one of my all-time favorite blogs and this is one of my favorite recipes.  You can make it your own by choosing the veggies or cheese or even pasta to add.  Either way, it's delicious.  Go crazy.

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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

My new workout

We were so excited to celebrate Peanut's 1st month of life yesterday - we celebrated her accomplishments and her growth.  And to top it off, yesterday Peanut woke up a new baby - a 1 month old baby.  She was suddenly smiling more, gurgling with me all morning, and listening attentively to anything I was saying.  She also learned another new trick- a brand new cry.  Actually, I think it is better classified as a "wail" than a "cry."  She will look right at you and wail at the top of her lungs until her face and eyes get so red that you don't know what to do.  And the best part?  Once she started wailing, she didn't stop (she comes from a family of very stubborn women so I can't blame her).

I tried everything - feeding her, holding her, putting her down, playing with toys, giving her a pacifier, swaddling her, turning on the sleep sheep, adding an extra layer of clothes, changing her.  The list goes on.  After about 3 hours of wailing, she finally tired herself out so much that she passed out for the night. I chalked it up to a day of fussiness and let it go.

Then I woke up this morning to the wailing.  I changed her, fed her, dressed her, played with her, but she kept being fussy.  So I tried another trick I heard of.

I decided to try "wearing" Peanut.  I pulled out the Baby Bjorn carrier that our neighbors generally gave to us and I stuck Peanut in.  (Actually I spent about 20 minutes trying to figure out how to put her in it while she wailed in my ear.)  And she stopped crying.  She just sat in her carrier and stared at me.  Then, within 5 minutes, she fell asleep.

I thought this was awesome and once she was in her deep sleep, I tried to put her down.  The wailing commenced all over again.  So, this is how I've been spending my day.

I've learned that I can do the following while carrying Peanut:
  • Laundry
  • Change my pants
  • Brush my teeth and wash my face
  • Clean the house
  • Play with the dogs
  • Take pictures and use the computer
I've also learned that I cannot do any of this:
  • Change my shirt
  • Take a shower (yup, I'm implying exactly what you think I am implying)
  • Lean back on the couch (her head is kind of like a bobble toy)
  • Drink a coffee or eat anything that might leave crumbs on my infant
  • Actually, eat anything because I don't want to end up licking mayo or something off the top of her head
But I can get an awesome work out carrying an 8+ pound baby around all day.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Peanut - 1 Month

I can't believe I am about to type this, but Peanut is officially 1 month old today.

I need a moment.

So here's a quick summary of the 1st month:
  • Addison is generally a very content baby; she can spend an hour just laying and looking around or napping
  • Other times, she has her diva moments; those times we can usually calm her down with a pacifier
  • Addison had her first bottle from daddy at 2 weeks; we gave in with the paci the first night home
  • Not sure if it's on purpose or not, but Addison has been smiling at us and gurgling
  • She smiles and laughs in her sleep a lot; sometimes she cries too
  • At two weeks Addi rolled over from her belly to her back for the first time; we thought it was an accident so we put her back on the belly and she did it again; she's done it a couple of more times since
  • She's wearing Newborn size clothes, although the past couple of days we've started to use some of the 0-3 months outfits
  • Addi's favorite non-sleeping/pooping activities include hanging out on our chest and looking all around, chillin' in her swing, listening to us read to her (in English and Russian) and being walked around the whole house

PS- Excuse the hair, we just had a bath

Monday, February 21, 2011

Spaghetti with cream sauce and artichokes

Alternative title: Pasta-with-whatever-you-located-in-your-pantry-and-fridge.

Pioneer Woman has this amazing recipe for Spaghetti with artichoke hearts and tomatoes that you can find here.  I've made it a whole bunch of times and it's been a huge hit with the hubs and my friends. 

Then I started getting lazy.  And I didn't want to go shopping for all the perfect ingredients.  Instead, I just throw most of the stuff together into an absolutely delicious pasta dish.  I'd totally follow her recipe to start, but something about making it your own that makes it extra yummy.

Here's what I found yesterday.

Good enough, right?

Start by dicing up the onion and cooking it for a minute or two.

Then throw in some garlic, tomatoes, and drained artichokes.

Swoosh it all around for a couple of minutes, then add half-and-half (or cream or whatever).

Add salt, pepper, and, if you're like me and love all things delicious, red pepper flakes.

Cover and turn the heat down to simmer the whole thing.

Now put a pot with some water to boil.  Then, once it's boiling, add a little olive oil and salt, then throw in the pasta.

I love pasta.  I prefer whole wheat pasta, but there's no convincing Jon to eat anything that's even remotely healthy.

Check on Peanut.

Peanut is still sleeping soundly in her swing.  If you don't have a Peanut to check on, you can come check on mine.

Now pull out this stuff.

It's for the finishing touches.

After the pasta cooks, drain and throw it in with the other goodness.

Mix the whole thing together real well, then throw some cheese and scallions on top.

Grab a couple of bowls and spoon the goodies into them.

Grab a fork and dig in!

Winner winner, chicken dinner

And the winner is...

Hillary- the gift card should be coming your way in minutes!

Now, can I please tell you how much I loved reading your memorable events from the past year?  LOVED it.  Feel free to share more.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Bath time

Because I believe that every child should be publicly embarrassed on the internet, here is Peanut's first bath time.

Important note: there will be no nudity as this is a child-friendly site.

Getting the bathtub ready

By the way, this is the best stuff ever.  The Mustela shampoo and lotion smell amazing.  My bestie, Inna, recommended it and we adore it. It makes Peanut smell good enough to eat.

Another important note: no newborns were eaten during the making of this post.

At first, Peanut wasn't sure what to think of this whole wet tub ordeal.

But she came around soon enough.

Having monkeys around helps.

However, there is a part of bath time that Addi does not enjoy.

Towel time.

No amount of monkeys seems to fix that.

I guess it's just one thing that we'll have to work on.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Friday Five - Baby things I couldn't live without

Ok, I could probably live without every single one of these, but I wouldn't want to!

I've decided to bring the Friday Five back.  I will also post a link up at the bottom so if you care to join me in the Friday Five, link up!  I love reading your posts!

Back to the matter at hand.

PS- I really need to redo my buttons, logos, and header.  So many things, so little time.

Apparently I get distracted easily.

Back to the Friday Five - Baby things I couldn't live without.

It will be 4 weeks tomorrow since our little Peepee was born and these 5 things have made our lives so easy!

1. The Bob Revolution Stroller

Jon and I spent endless days and nights trying to decide on a stroller and after all the research and changing our minds at least 5,000 times, we settled on the Bob Revolution Stroller.  I am so freakin' happy with it!  It's amazing!  The Bob is a jogging stroller and I was worried that I wouldn't use it for day to day activities, but I do!  When it reaches 40 degrees here, I take the baby and our dogs out for a walk and the stroller is amazing.  It goes through snow and sand and anything else without any problem and without ruining the wheels.  Then today I ventured out to the outlets and it navigates like butter!  (does butter navigate?)  It's amazing.  Once I'm cleared to start running again (and Peanut is holding her head up great) I can't wait to go out with it!

2. The Swing

My best friend Inna let us borrow a whole bunch of baby things, including this swing.  It's the Fisher Price Cradle n Swing, My Little Lamb swing.  And It's amazing.  Not only is it super duper cute, but it's a life saver.  I can't tell you how many times Addi has been super fussy and I didn't know what to do.  We tried everything - changed her, fed her, played with her, made her warmer, made her colder, held her, rocked her.  Nothing seemed to work and then we put her in the swing.  And she stopped crying.  She just laid there, staring.  Sometimes she likes the swing on to sooth her and other times she enjoys just laying there, staring at who-knows-what.  She's still too young to appreciate all the features like the singing, moving mobile, the many soothing sounds it offers the mirror at the top; but I can already tell that it's going to come in handy.  The swing lets you buckle the baby in which means I can actually take a few steps away during the day to get food/clean up/play with the dogs without worrying that she's going to make an erratic movement and roll off on to the ground.  Another plus for us - it's too tall for the dogs to lick her face!

3. The Bouncer

This one is also borrowed from Inna (Dear Inna- where would we be without you??).  And it's another life saver.  What did our parents do without these toys?  This little guy vibrates (which almost always silences Addi mid-scream) and has an attachment bar that sings, makes soothing sounds, has flashing lights, and fun toys.  She will sit and stare at it for an hour at a time.  But the best thing about this bouncy seat is that you can bring it with you to the bathroom and take a shower when it seems like you'll never have the time or keep the baby upright after she eats while you get something done.  It's also amazing when you want to have dinner together as a family.

4. The Arm's Reach Co-sleeper

This is where Peanut sleeps.  This Arm's Reach Mini Co-sleeper Bassinet attaches to our bed (you don't have to attach it but we're paranoid safety freaks) and lets the little ones sleep in your room safely.  Since I chose to breastfeed Ms. Addison, we find having her nearby makes our life so much easier.  Plus I'm a little paranoid and want to keep an eye on her in these early weeks.  On the plus side, this will make a perfect bed away from home when she's old enough to spend a night away from home.

5.  The Sleep Sheep

Umm hello baby whisperer.  The Sleep Sheep (ours is the Travel one) has four soothing sounds (something about oceans and white noise) that put the baby to sleep almost instantly.  It reminds them of the womb.  But let's not beat around the bush here and face the facts, kids.  Jon and I can't fall asleep without it anymore.  I can't tell you how many times the timer (there are different timer options) has run out and Peanut was asleep but Jon and I turned it back on because we needed it.

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