Sunday, May 18, 2008

10 Months

10 months...

My sweet baby girl is 10 months old...10 months. We're rounding the corner to one and all I can think is I am so not ready for this. I don't want a toddler. Let me clarify, I'm not ready for a toddler. Can't my baby be a baby for just awhile longer? I am so blessed and saddened all at blessed to have Marlee and saddened to think that this is probably it for Dave and I.

Where do I even begin. So much has changed this past month.

This past month has been the funnest and the most trying thus far. Marlee now crawls..and crawls...and crawls. She never slows down. No longer is she satisfied being confined to the family room, oh no. She wants to explore..her bedroom, the entry with the fish tank, the dining room, outside, anywhere and everywhere. She will not sit still. The only time throughout the entire day that she will be still in my arms is before and after bed..that's it! Although she exhausts me with her business and constant motion, Marlee is extremely careful. There is a step down into my living room and family room. Once Marlee fell while crawling. Now, she knows where the steps are and is very cautious and reaches out for the step. So smart. How can she already remember this?

Marlee is also pulling herself up with the aid of furniture. Again, she is very careful and hesitant when she wants to sit back down. Gone are the days of me putting M down to do something and finding her in the same place that I left her. Let me just say she is a busy little thing! She keeps me going all. day. long.

I could sit all day and watch Marlee's little brain hard at work. She is so full of curiosity and is learning new things daily. Her favorite is looking at herself in the mirror. She will talk and giggle to herself. At what point does she realize the baby looking back at her is actually her, I wonder. She has also started waving, although sometimes I think she is signing milk.

Marlee's favorite word would have to be dada, or adadada, as she says it. She also says Mama and bubba.

As far as food goes. She pretty much eats anything we give her as long as there isn't too much texture. Yes, she's still eating mush. I can't wait until the day that I no longer have to puree her foods to mush.

Marlee is such a happy, fun baby. However, this all changes when people are around. She gets so serious and just looks around. The other day Auntie Kristy tried taking her from Dada and she gripped onto her Dada's shirt and would not let go. At times like this she always looks to Dave or myself for reassurance.

Marlee took her first real bath this month and she loved it. Bath time is another favorite around here. Anything to do with water, she loves. She also loves books, story time, seeing Dada walk through the door after being at work, the Bubba's (aka my dogs), Dada or I singing to her, playing peek a boo, exploring, being outside, crawling, playing with her tongue, pulling Mama's hair, kicking and splashing in the water..I could go on and on. My brain is going a hundred miles a minute as so much has changed in the past month. It's like Marlee has become this little person, this little life so curious and full of spunk and liveliness. Oh how I adore her.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

World's Best Dada and Husband

Can I just brag about my husband for a minute? Dave made my #1 Mother's Day oh so special. Sunday morning he got up with M, which he does on the weekends anyway. When I got up there was a card and some miscellaneous items (presents) for me on the counter. Well, inside the card my husband had written a poem. Yes, a poem for me. What made the poem even more special is that he incorporated all of the things he had gotten me into the poem. It was so, so sweet. Then he made me french toast for breakfast and dotted on me all day. This day meant so much to me and Dave made it extra special. There is one thing I realized, Dave contributes so much to this family everyday. He is thoughtful, hard-working, patient, and kind..the better half that makes us whole. It takes a lot of patience to deal with a crazy person like me, and he handles me and my craziness so well. We love you Dada!

M and I on Mother's Day

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Motherhood Means..

In honor of my first Mother's Day.
What Motherhood means to me...
learning to let go...of so many things
giving yourself endlessly
laundry, lots of laundry
stretch marks
smiles every day
appreciating the little things
caring about our world and what's to come
early mornings
constant fear
learning everyday
loving so deep, deeper than I ever thought possible

The picture above is the first time I held my little angel. My life has never been the same since.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

As Promised

As promised, below is my potato salad recipe and as an added bonus a chicken recipe. Now I must warn you, I measure nothing when making my potato salad. I have come to the realization that any recipe I call my Mom for is so vague and she measures nothing, therefore I measure nothing. My Mom gets this from her Mom. Don't we all want food that tastes like Mom's?

Potato Salad

roughly 2.5 pounds red potatoes
kosher dill pickles-about 3-4 spears (this depends on how pickly you like things)
3-5 hard boiled eggs sliced (again, depends on how eggy you like things)
regular mustard
dijon mustard
salt, pepper
dry ranch mix

place whole potatoes in pot of cold water on stove over medium heat
salt potatoes once they reach a boil
boil until fork tender (depends on size of potatoes)
drain and let cool
once cooled, peel the skins off half the potatoes (stole this idea from Levi)
cut potatoes into desired bite size pieces and place in bowl
add mayonnaise - as stated I do not measure, maybe start with 1/2 cup and go from there
add 1-2+ tbsp yellow mustard
and 1+ tbsp dijon mustard
add salt, pepper and about 1 tsp-1/2 tbsp dry ranch mix - to taste
stir everything together
lastly, add the hard boiled eggs and pickles and stir
check and adjust seasonings
refrigerate until cool and again, check and adjust seasonings
**The longer it sets, the better it gets
***Also, if you are wondering why I don't peel the potatoes until after they have boiled ask my Mom. This is how she makes potato salad with russet potatoes so I figured I would do the same with red potatoes.
****You can substitute red potatoes for russet potatoes. Just peel all the skins and dice after the potatoes have been boiled and cooled. However I must say the red potatoes with skins add color, flavor, and nutrition. Give em a try!
Easily serves 4-6

Want the perfect-every-time hard boiled egg? Do this (Rachael Ray tip):
Place eggs in pot of cold water on stove and cover. Once they reach a rolling boil, turn off heat and let sit covered for 10 minutes. Then run eggs over cold water. Perfect every time. This also works great for fresh corn on the cob, but of course don't run the corn over cold water.

I actually have a recipe for this next one. I got it off Food Network's website and adjusted it to my liking.

Yummy Chicken

Couple of tbsp olive oil
recipe calls for 6 bone-in chicken thighs, skinless
**I substituted 1 bone-in breast and 4 bone-in thighs. Use your choice of bone-in chicken pieces
salt and pepper
1 medium onion, sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup white wine (I only used about 1/3 cup - all I had)
1 14.5 ounce can crushed tomatoes in thick puree (I use San Marzano-the best!)

Heat oil in skillet over medium-high heat
Pat chicken dry and season with salt and pepper. Brown the chicken, meat side down first, and turning once, about four minutes on each side. Transfer to a plate and reserve.
Add onion and garlic to the pan and saute until tender, roughly 3 minutes. Add the stock and wine and stir, scraping any brown bits off the bottom of the pan. Turn heat to high and reduce by half, about three minutes. Pour in the crushed tomatoes and add the chicken thighs back in. Cover and cook on medium-low for 40 minutes.

Remove chicken and serve it with rice, buttered noodles, pasta, mashed potatoes, etc. Ladle sauce on top and garnish with fresh parsley, if desired.

So, there you have it. Hope you enjoy. If you try either recipe, let me know what you think.

Monday, May 5, 2008


I'm in the home stretch. One more week..I can do this!

So, I almost convinced myself to take the summer off. Almost. I had big plans for this summer, none of which included school. I want to enjoy my backyard and pool with M, organize my closets, scrapbook, bake more, start sewing, work out, take a family trip, etc. I caved and decided to take just one class. Don't fret, it's going to be a difficult class and it's of course most of the summer.

On a side note...As the animal lover that I am, I condemn horse racing. If you watched the Kentucky Derby this weekend you will know why..heartbreaking. After poor Barbaro a couple of years ago and now Eight Belles. If these horse's owners, trainers, or riders truly loved their animals they would not subject them to racing. All for a silly race.

More randomness..
Last night Dave and I made pork ribs, potato salad, and fresh corn on the cob for dinner. I also made the best apple crisp for dessert. When I get time I will post the potato salad and apple crisp recipe. Although, as usual, I didn't follow a recipe for the potato salad, so it's a little of this and that. You can blame my Mom and Grandma for this. The ribs recipe is also oh so delicious, but it's a Brad recipe, so you'll just have to bother him for it! I don't want him to sue me. =)

I know, very random post. Well, I'm off to start finals.