Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Have crock pot. Will cook.

I heart my crock pot. Ok, crock pots. As in plural. I have two big ones and a tiny dip one. And I love each of them. A lot.

I often share my crock pot favorites with people in passing. I'm all like, yeah, just throw in a roast and some soup mix and whatever 'cream of' you have in the pantry. It'll be awesome. To me, that makes perfect sense. To the rest of the world, those directions could probably stand for more details so that it turns out being edible and every bit as yummy as I intended.

I heart my pot more now as a working momma. It allows me to have the homecooked family meals I insist upon, without pulling me away from my family for long cooking fests.

So, here are my faves. What are yours?

Beef tips or roast - Favorite from my childhood
  • Place beef in the crock pot before work. On low. (I even put in frozen.) These could be tips, a roast of any sort, stew meat, etc. I go with what's on sale.
  • Sprinkle in a pack of Lipton's dry onion soup mix.
  • Add in cream of mushroom soup and enough water to cover the beef. (I've used other cream of soups and they work fine. It's just to thicken up the juice a bit to skip the making gravy part of the process.)
  • Serve over white rice or mashed taters.
Chicken dumplings
  • Throw frozen chicken breasts in the crock pot in the morning. On low.
  • Pour in two cans of chicken broth.
  • Add cream of chicken soup and can of water.
  • Sprinkle in some Lipton onion soup mix (1/3 of the bag).
  • Add salt and pepper.
  • The idea is to have lots of liquid at the end of the day in which to make the dumplings.
  • Come home after work, pull out the breasts. Chop them up.
  • Break frozen Annie's Dumplings (freezer section, old school box) into thirds and drop into hot liquid remaining in the crock pot. Turn up to high.
  • Add back in the chicken. Stir.
  • Wait for dumplings to plump up and cook through. About 20 minutes or so, depending on how you prefer your dumplings.
  • Enjoy.
  • You can also make the chicken like so, and instead of adding noodles, make some rice. Mix it all together for chicken and rice. Comfort foods rock.
Salsa chicken - New favorite from a friend (simplified, though)
  • Put frozen chicken breasts in the crock pot.
  • Pour in about a cup and a half of salsa.
  • Add can of chicken broth.
  • Sprinkle cumin seasoning. About a teaspoon.
  • Cook on low all day. Serve over rice.
Ok. These are my current top three. You may notice a pattern: crazy simple. I have some awesome dip recipes for the pot, too. But, I'm currently off dairy for Asher reasons and it pains me to type those out. I love them that much. Later, I shall share. Don't let me forget!

And, I'm going to stop for now. I'm making myself hungry. Tonight we had the roast and I may have to hit up the leftovers now.

For the record

Just had this conversation with a dear friend, who's going to be a mommy any hour now. And then I relayed it to another new-mommy-dear friend. I think it says a lot. And just felt the need to post in order to somehow make me feel better.Here's how it went down:

Almost mommy friend: I have always said the mom/work balance is the hardest thing women have to deal with.
Me: Mom/wife is hard.
Me: And mom/human being is hard, too.
Other mama friend: Amen, sisters!

Bloodshot is the new black.

Didn't you know? Bloodshot is the new black.

And I wear my red eyes with pride. After all, aren't they the mark of a momma?

Gone are those blissful days of Asher sleeping through the night. (This was from about week eight to month 3.5.) They almost feel like they never existed. New restless, hungry nights enter the picture. I told myself at first that Asher was just hungry after losing weight from being sick, and was making up for lost meals. Now, three weeks later, I think this is just a new phase. A sleepless phase. Maybe a teething phase? Maybe it's because he's still getting used to the crib after sleeping in his baby hammock?

Since I'm nursing, it's just me that gets up at night. It's easy to keep him calm, feed him and put him right back down this way. And, as long as he goes back to sleep, the whole process doesn't bother me that much. It sure beats the restless, worried sick nights. Now, overnight feedings have become a nice, quiet time with my sweet boy. I cuddle with him in the dark and remind myself that he won't be this small forever. Now when the weekends roll around, I pass Asher off to Rusty in the morning and go back to bed for a few hours. That's my reward.

So, for now, I yawn while I type this. And avoid the urge to research 'sleep regression', 'sleep training', 'cry it out' and the like. In reality, I've read the information and books that we were willing to implement. I've talked to friends about their babies and how they handled similar situations. I've stressed about it and analyzed it. All babies are different, anyway. It's hard to compare, right? Every family handles it in their own way.

And in the end I have reached this conclusion: Asher's waking up hungry for whatever reason. And as his mom, I'm going to feed him and trust that this, too, shall pass. Groundbreaking notion, isn't it?

Next time the sleeping through the night phase comes around (because I'm certain it will, surely, right?), I'll appreciate it much more.

Sweet dreams, my sweet boy. Momma sure loves you.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Sitting up big-boyz style

Before you think it: Yes, I'm nearly bald. My mom is not thrilled about it. But I think she's managed to take control of that pesky cradle cap and the rate of loss seems to be improving. Or so I'm told. I don't care. I'm busy sitting up.

-- Posted via iPhone

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Asher and his 'lovie'

My Ash has taken to holding onto things while sleeping. But does he choose to love on the lovie I had made for him? No way! He'd much rather sleep with a cell phone. Later this same day, he snoozed in his stroller grasping his new toy guitar. Bless his little heart. So cute.

-- Posted via iPhone

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Rest stop photo session

On the way back from Savannah, Asher had had enough of that car seat. Poor guy couldn't get comfy and was pretty fussy. So, we made our way to the nearest rest stop to spend sometime outside of the vehicle.

I have such fond memories of rest stops from growing up. I remember road trips with my family, and I loved, loved, loved stopping at the rest area and visiting the vending machine building. My most favorite activity was visiting the welcome centers at each state and gathering stacks of brochures. I'd then play travel agent in the back seat of the mini van, arranging itineraries for my imaginary customers.

I remember picnics with Cille on the little tables under the shelters on various trips. I can see her snack bag right now. We never left home without it. Sliced apples were always on hand. (Side note: Mom brought me one of Cille's famous snack bags. I cannot wait to continue that tradition with my family.) On those trips, it seemed we stopped at each and every one of those rest stops. Someone always had to potty.

So, on our trip we sat in the sunshine. I grabbed a blanket from the car and let Asher roll around in the grass while Rusty and I laid beside him. We spent some time at a picnic table, just watching the other visitors. I hope one day Asher looks back on our trips and memories and gets a big smile on his face like I do now.

Adventures with great-grandparents

Asher's a lucky kid. He has four great-grandparents to visit! The past few weeks, we've made trips to visit three of them.

Labor Day weekend, we took our first road trip as a family to Savannah for Asher to meet his Great-Granddad. The whole family piled into his house and spent the weekend together. I love houses full of family. Those are the best of times. Like a big slumber party, family-style.

Asher also met his Aunt Linda and Uncle Dale and hung out with his Nana and Pop Pop. We cruised around his beautiful neighborhood on bikes. Asher enjoyed the ride!

This weekend, we headed to Goldsboro to spend the day with Nana and Pop Pop and have dinner with Great-Grammy and Great-Grandpop. You may remember these two as the lovely couple with which we share our wedding anniversary. Asher took a nap on the floor while we ate dinner, and then rolled around on the table top for our entertainment.

Hooray for memories! Lots of love going around!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Asher and Jax having a blast

Asher squealing with delight from Rusty on Vimeo.
Now if we can just get him this excited about his pea soup!

Asher laughing with delight from Rusty on Vimeo.
Apparently Asher likes the ball as much as Jax does.
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