30 April 2009

A Celebration of Food, Shoes and Mom Time

My mom bought me this beautiful book for my first Mother's Day! It's a recipe book that celebrates the beauty and artistic value of the food given to us by God. Along with recipes are verses from Scripture that regale all things good.
"I know that nothing is better for them than to rejoice, and to do good in their lives, and also that every man should eat and drink and enjoy the good of all his labor - it is the gift of God." Ecclesiastes 3:12
Thanks mom! I love it! (I see my Teagan in the background!)

For brunch a couple of days ago, I made a yummy conglomeration that very much relfects how much Courtney has inspired me. In this bowl is organic vanilla yogurt sprinkled with homemade granola, 1 tablespoon of chocolate chips and a spoonful of almond butter. It was quite delicious, and I've had it multiple times since! The beautiful flowers are compliments of Matt's assistant, Tamma. She picked them from her garden.
Last weekend we took an unexpected trip to Keokuk, OH (or maybe it's MO...I don't know where we were), because Matt's grandfather had a stroke. Brian, Janet, and Debbie came up to our place, and then we all headed north to the hospital. We spent the day there, and drove back that night. It was quite the whirlwind, but it's always great to hang out with our family, and it was good to see Bernie (the granddad).
I couldn't help but notice Parker's new shoes. I just thought they were adorable, so I snapped some shots...Yesterday, was my "mom's group day". First, I went over to Marsha Graham's house to meet with my church mom's group. We've been meeting since Noah was born, and yesterday was our last meeting of the session. We read Grace Based Parenting, which seemed to be an excellent book; however, it wasn't applicable for me yet since Noah is so young. I think I'll reread it in a year or so.
Afterwards, I headed over to Marisa's home where I met Gina (and obviously Marisa) and all of their little ones. The picture of the kids below isn't a great one, but I didn't get too many. Not sure why! (Sidenote: Check out Marisa's toned arms are in this picture...I'm so jealous!) Marisa made some amazing food for us, and we had a good time chatting as usual.

23 April 2009

Evening Picnic

It was such a gorgeous day here in St. Louis, so this evening we picked up some Jimmy John's and headed to Forest Park. We sat in the grass in front of the Muny and ate and played with Noah. The weeks have been a little stressed recently with Matt working so much and me missing him and feeling a bit alone, so it was really nice to get out of the loft and allow Noah the opportunity to smell grass, while we spent some time together. Of course we brought Teagan, and he too enjoyed the grass!

Teag is finishing Noah's dinner!

My Son...

My son...the pest.

My son...the open-mouthed crazy.

My son...the kid whose "package" will no longer stay contained in his PJ's.


Courtney would be so proud~ I made granola for the first time yesterday! The pictures are of my second batch because I messed up my first. On the first try I didn't add enough honey, and I baked the granola at too high of a temperature, so it came out really dry and almost had a burnt flavor. Not good. Before trying again, I read through several recipes online, and then constructed my own based off of my research. I used 3 1/2 cups of rolled oats, 1 cup of slivered almonds, 1 tablespoon of cinnamon, 1/3 cup of canola oil, and 1/2 cup of orange blossom honey. I mixed it all together, then layed it out flat on a baking sheet and baked for 25 minutes at 300 degrees. I like it! Better yet, Matt likes it. He couldn't stop munching on it last night, and that's always a good sign!For breakfast this morning, I had some organic yogurt, heavily sprinkled with my granola and a spoonful of Almond Butter. The only thing missing was some fresh fruit on top. It looks a little too brown. It was super delicious though, and a great way to start my morning!

22 April 2009

Just Call Me Grace

Last night I tripped over this glass...
I kicked it so hard, it broke on our cement floors (brokenness not reenacted)...
And as I attempted to hurl myself out of its way, I practically jumped right on it, and sliced the bottom of my foot. Could there be a more inconvenient place to have a cut; especially when one has a baby to cart around? I'm so annoyed with myself!

17 April 2009

Lula Mae

Lula Mae arrived on Friday, April 17 somewhere between 4 and 4:15 (not sure exactly), and we were notified of her presence via a text from Jay that said, "baby is here, pray for her." All the grandparents and I had been waiting anxiously right outside of the delivery room door for the first cry, and when we got this message, we hadn't yet heard it. We all hurriedly entered panic mode, and tears were impossible to hold back. We were each praying fervently for this little baby's life, and before too long another text came from Jay that said little Lula was just fine. A sigh of relief and praise flowed over us, and we were then able to rejoice at baby's arrival. Soon after, Sarah and Jay invited us into the room where we got our first look at her. She was healthy and beautiful (and still nameless at this point), and after the initial scare, she was just a blessing to see with our own eyes. Jay and Sarah were so taken by her, and I felt so blessed that I was able to witness some of their first moments with their daughter. The next day, we all huddled around Sarah, Jay and Lula in Sarah's postpartum room at the hospital. When I arrived, Sarah was nursing Lula while drinking a latte, and I about lost it...are you kidding me, I thought!? She acted like it was no big deal. Like she'd been breastfeeding her whole life! Don't get me wrong; I'm glad she picked it up quickly, but boy do I feel like a slow learner in comparison! Geez...

That same morning, Sarah's parents, Nana and Papa Jack, walked in with full hands. Sarah had gestational diabetes the last 10 weeks of pregnancy so she had requested Andy's Frozen Custard instead of flowers...and let's just say her parents took her at her word! Along with a bunch of goodies, they also brought some adorable gifts. Throughout the day, we chatted about labor, Lula's health, Sarah's health, and many other topics as guests came and went.
Sarah's parents below... Jay's mom below... On Saturday night, Jay was hyped about putting Lula in one of her cute little sleepers. This is one of his favorites, and he and Sarah both dressed her for the first time. Lula doesn't love changing clothes, but not many babies do, and if she's anything like her mama, she will one day LOVE new outfits! After she was dressed Jay said, "she's even cuter in cute clothes."
On Sunday, the pediatrician along with Sarah's OB gave them permission to go home. Jay and Sarah were SO happy to be heading home, and so we said goodbye at the hospital. What a joy it was to be a part of Lula's entrance into this world. If Sarah's initial interactions are any indication of her mothering skills (which of course they are) then this little one is growing up with the best. I was and still am overwhelmed at Sarah's calm confidence with Lula. She's already such a good mommy, and I'm so happy that we get to raise our babies at the same time. Now if only we lived closer to one another...

14 April 2009

Swim Lesson #1

A couple of weeks ago, I signed Noah up for SKIPs class, otherwise known as water baby classes at the YMCA. I've really been looking forward to taking him, and today he dawned the swim trunks his Grams got him, and we were off to our first pool experience. Once there, I got in first, and then the instructor handed Noah to me. (I think I'll be comfortable getting in with him next time, but there isn't a very good ladder.) When his tummy hit the water, he began to cry just a little, but I held him close and showed him how to splash his hands in the water, and he quickly became acclimated. Literally, 60 seconds in, he started loving it! He splashed so much that my face and hair were quite wet, and he captured quite a bit of attention from the other moms and dads in the class. They were surprised at how active he was. The instructor even commented that he was definitely going to be a swimmer! Of course, this makes Matt and I SOOO happy! Maybe we'll try skiing this summer???? Just kidding...maybe next :)
My happy little swimmer...

He misses it already!See? He can't get enough!What a sweetie...he had such a good time.

13 April 2009

Noah Food

Apples, pears and cantaloupe were on my to do list today. Cantaloupe will be a new one for Noah...haven't given it to him yet though, so we'll see how that goes over. I added some cinnamon into his apples and pears, but he didn't really seem to notice. Guess that means he likes it? I read about making "Super Porridge" from the Super Baby Food book this morning, so tomorrow I'll shop for some organic brown rice and give that a go. I also read about making my own yogurt, which is a very specific process, so I'm going to wait until next week to tackle that project. I'm excited about trying it though.

Apple Puree


Cantaloupe Puree Noah enjoying his apples!
This was NOT for Noah! Courtney always writes about Almond Butter, so I bought some at Trader Joes today and spread it on a couple pieces of wheat toast and then sprinkled some chocolate chips on top for a mid-afternoon snack. I was seriously so full afterwards that I skipped dinner! Was it the protein that filled me up? I also drank a large glass of water with it. I like the AB. It's pretty intensely thick though, so the water is a must. The chocolate wasn't a bad touch either! :)