We were so excited when my Aunt P and cousin Stephie decided to come visit for a few days this past week. It was so fun to have them here and we enjoyed introducing A to them. Besides just hanging out with all the kids we also went to Bridgestreet and had lunch, just the girls! That is a rarity now for myself and my sister, so we had a lot of fun doing that. Here are a few pictures of my Aunt P and Stephie with A for their visit!
A has learned how to pull himself up! He has been trying for about a week and he finally figured it out. It came as quite a surprise because he decided to pull himself up in the crib at my Mom’s house. He was taking a nap and apparently decided to wake up and stand up. My Mom heard him talking on the baby monitor and went in to find him standing up and holding on to the top rail of the crib. He had not figured out how to do this until yesterday. A is tall so we are now lowering all of our cribs to the lowest setting. I tried him out in our crib when we got home to see if he could do it again and he immediately pulled himself up to standing position. He is very proud of himself! Here is a picture of him standing up in his crib.
It’s amazing how they all of the sudden catch on to these things. In just the past few days A is crawling faster, and saying the words “more” and “done”. It’s so fun to see him make all these new accomplishments!
I had to pass this tidbit of information along to other Moms who may be more savvy than me and already know this, or my have missed it like I did! When my little cupcake started eating meats mixed in with his baby food I had a really hard time finding different types. I also found that many of them had so many different mix-ins that it almost defeated the purpose of giving him meats. I was shopping at Babies R Us the other day and they carry a Gerber baby food product that has 2nd foods that are just meats. There are three types turkey, chicken, and beef, and they are just plain turkey with turkey gravy, chicken with chicken gravy, etc. They are also smaller, so you are able to introduce them and check for reactions without using up a 3.5 or 4 oz jar of baby food. Our local grocery stores do not carry these, so I would have missed them. I don’t usually think of Babies R Us for baby food as we are usually shopping there for other things, but they actually have a pretty big selection. Considering we live about 45 minutes from the nearest Babies R Us we usually don’t go there often, but I would consider it in the future for the selection.
Perhaps if I give Babies R Us enough press, they’ll just decide to build one closer, hahaha.
When I was little one of my favorite snacks was English muffin pizzas. In fact the year I turned seven I had a luau birthday party and we made English muffin pizzas with all sorts of topping choices. The other day my mom and I were looking for something for lunch and I put these together. These are a bit of a grown up version of the pizzas I used to make. Add more or less vegetable proportions depending on your taste! (Serves 2)
Two whole wheat English muffins
Five large fresh basil leaves sliced thinly or chopped
1/2 of a yellow or red pepper sliced thin
About fifteen thin strips of red onion
1 Roma tomato sliced thin
1 cup of mozzarella cheese shredded
1/4 cup of parmesan cheese shredded
salt and pepper
Heat a broiler on high heat. (I say broiler, as you may have an oven with a broiler function, or you may have a separate broiler…like on Rachael Ray’s 30 minute meals)
Split English muffins so you have four halves and toast them. Place them on a cookie sheet. In a saute pan on medium heat, cook the yellow pepper and onion in about 1 tbs of olive oil with a dash of salt and pepper, until tender. After onions and peppers are tender add in tomatoes and about 1 tbs of balsamic vinegar and cook until the tomatoes soften about 1 to 2 minutes. Divide the saute mixture among the English muffins. Top with basil leaves, then the cheese. Toast in broiler until cheese is melted and begins to brown. Serve and enjoy!
I cannot believe A is nine months old! We had his check-up today and his pediatrician said he looks great. He is in the 70th (around there) percentile for height (29 inches), weight (22 pounds), and head circumference. They said he is perfectly proportional :). He is doing great, he didn’t have to have any shots this time, they just tested him for his vision which was excellent. It took them a few tries to do the vision test, A kept waving at the nurse and try to grab the device that checks their vision. Here are a few updates on what A is up to at nine months:
– He can wave hi and bye.
-He says dada, Ma, and hiiiiii ( a long drawn out southern hi if you will)
-He loves to fake cough for attention
-He is a giggle box. He will giggle and laugh at anything and everything
-He loves to give big kisses (he grabs your face with his hands and then licks it. As his cousin says “that’s slimey”)
-He can crawl and roll, but does more rolling than crawling
-He is not sleeping through the night anymore (Much to our dismay), his seperation anxiety is the worst at night, meaning we have to get up several times
-He eats four times a day (four bottles and four containers of food)
-When he likes his food he says num num num, and tries to chew the spoon. When he doesn’t like his food he chews it as if he’s questioning what you are giving him.
– Because of his Granna’s teaching this week, he tries to conduct whenever music plays. Perhaps musical greatness is in his future!
-He will pull his knees and legs all the way back to his shoulders and kick them out in full force, and believe me it hurts if you are in the path. Perhaps football or soccer greatness is in his future!
– He cries when his new baby cousin cries. You may be saying this is not unique, but it is when you know that Aidan does not cry when his older cousin cries.
– He loves his grandparents and aunt and uncle’s doggies. He takes one finger and strokes them thoughtfully when they lay next to him on the floor (and no we are not getting him a dog. We do not need a dog. We have at least four we can play with anytime).
Here is A’s rocket picture for this month. He refused to lay down next to the rocket, so this was the best I could get. He was not happy about me taking his picture with it, which is odd for A. All I could get was the half-smile you see here!
Today we visited the Space and Rocket Center to celebrate the fortieth anniversary of Apollo 11’s landing on the moon. We and about four thousand other Marshall Space Flight Center employees trekked through the Davidson Center, and the outside areas to see the different exhibits, astronauts, and more! I was quite appreciative that A is still little enough that we didn’t have to stand in line for rides. I’m sure that will come soon enough. A was happy enough to just look at all the people and the kids. A finds kids fascinating right now and he likes to wave at everyone (except on command, he will not wave on command. I suppose he is a bit stubborn in that way, not sure where he gets that!). He is still having a bit of stranger anxiety, but overall he does pretty well as long as he is in his stroller or we are holding him. Our tale of hat drama ends here, as he decided to take off his hat and throw it away when we were not looking. He got half way back to our car (which was a loooonnnngg trip) and I realized he didn’t have his hat anymore. So Brian ran all the way back to the center looking for it. Luckily someone was nice enough to place it by one of the planters so it didn’t get tromped all over. Perhaps I need to get a tie for it so he will keep it on. I have a feeling he would figure a way to take it off. We did get a picture of the three of us as a nice couple offered to take our picture outside. The woman that offered to take our picture was doing her best to get A’s attention so he would look at the camera, but he was distracted by all the other people nearby. I like the picture because it looks like we are the only ones there (we were definitely not).
Since my husband has been out of town for work this past week, A and I took a vacation (or perhaps a staycation) to my parents’ house for the week. In addition A is still not sleeping well at night, so I took the opportunity with the extra help to catch up on sleep, reading, and preparing my lectures for this fall. Which is why I haven’t updated! However, we have been quite busy with outings in the past couple of weeks that I wanted to post and put up pictures about. Last Saturday (not this Saturday, but the one before) we took A to the park here in Huntsville. We had a little picnic with him, fed the ducks, and walked around. A loved it as he loves anything that has to do with being outside. A also discovered at this visit that he does not care to wear his hat anymore. Which means now our struggle of hat not hat begins. It’s a drama that begins here and will end a few posts later, haha. It was quite funny feeding the ducks as we started out with one lone little duck (which A liked) and ended up with many more (which A started to get nervous about…or maybe it was me). Here are some pictures from our park visit.
In addition as we were packing for my husband’s business trip A helped out by seeing if he could fit in his suitcase. As you will see, A is quite a ham for the camera. In most pictures if you ask him to smile he puts on this huge grin, even if he is fussing. He has also figured out that there is a camera on my phone so when I open it up he starts smiling and reaching for it.
They are called rotelle, but I call them wagon wheels. I have started buying them because they are fun for our little sweet pea to munch on and go well with the pasta sauce I created here. You can easily add hamburger meat to this sauce to enrich it, but I like it with just the peppers and tomatoes.
1 32 oz can crushed tomatoes
1/2 can of diced tomatoes (or you can dice two fresh Roma tomatoes)
1 half of a yellow pepper (you can substitute red)
About 7 large fresh basil leaves sliced thinly (or you can tear them like lettuce)
A handful of flat leaf parsley chopped
1 small yellow onion
2 cloves of garlic
Dash of salt and pepper
1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes (or more if you like your sauce spicy)
2 cups of wagon wheels
Heat a large soup pot of water until boiling. Salt water and cook wagon wheels according to package directions.
While you are bringing the water to a boil, begin making the sauce (you can also make the sauce in advance and re-heat the next day, or just let it simmer on low on the stove the same day. The longer it cooks the better it will be!). In a heavy bottomed and higher sided large sauce pan saute the onions and garlic on medium heat in olive oil for about five minutes. Add in the peppers and saute for another ten minutes. Add in the crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Cook until it begins to bubble a bit then add in the basil and parsley. Turn the heat to low and let simmer until pasta is ready. Toss pasta and sauce together and sprinkle with a bit more parsley if you like.
I feel like many (or at least a few) of my posts about A deal with sleeping. I don’t think I realized how much I enjoy sleep and miss it now until we had A. Or maybe I did. I still remember when we first moved into our house and I was about eight months pregnant, and I would peel one eye open to say good-bye to my husband as he left every morning for work. Then I would sleep until about 8:30 (that is late for me, for some of you it is not. For my husband it is not.) leisurely eat my breakfast and then do a few things around the house. Not anymore.
When A was about two months old we enjoyed the fact that he slept about 9 hours a night. He has always been an unpredicatble cat-napper (he did sleep for only about forty minutes at a time, four times a day), to which I felt like during the day most of what I did was put him down for a nap, get him up from a nap, feed, change, then start all over (many have told me that is mainly what you do with little babies, but that is neither here nor there). However, we always got a reprieve at night of about 9 hours uninterrupted sleep. Until now. Now we leave the unpredictable world of sleep. Sometimes he sleeps all night. Sometimes he wakes up five or six times. Sometimes he goes to bed at 7:30. Sometimes we can’t get him settled down until 9. Sometimes he takes an hour and a half nap. Sometimes he takes a 15 minute nap. Yes I said 15 minutes!!! That’s the nap that you say, “no wait. did I just hear him? No. I didn’t even start eating my lunch yet!” I never thought that I would crave some sort of predictability. I work really hard to keep him on a schedule. Goodness, we hardly do anything that defers from his schedule. Yet he is still totally unpredictable when it comes to sleep. Which leads me to spend much of my time sitting around. I am always afraid to start working on something because I think by the time I pull everything out to do it, he will wake-up! So I am hoping a little more predictability in his naps will come in the future. However from what I hear I was not a predictable napper either. So he must get that from me. Whenever he changes his schedule despite my best efforts I always remember the story my Mom tells of how I wanted to quit dance when I was four. Apparently I liked dance, but I didn’t like having to go the same time every week. I wasn’t sure if I would have something else to do. Like a four-year old has other plans! But obviously A has inherited my reluctance to follow a schedule. For example, I had to write this post in two parts. Yesterday he slept for an hour and a half in the morning, today exactly forty minutes. He is quite cute when he wakes up though, it’s hard to resist!
Those who know me well will find it interesting that I am posting about making banana bread for two reasons. The first is I don’t eat banana bread, and the second is I’m not the best baker. I named my blog after cupcakes because I like to eat them, not particularly because of my skill of making them. This story begins with three overripe bananas and my plan to make banana bread for some of my family. See, whenever I am making banana bread I am never making it for myself. In fact I won’t eat bananas in anything but their plain straight from the grocery store form, and only at a certain ripeness. Once they past that point I refuse to eat them, hence I end up making quite a lot of banana bread for someone who doesn’t like to eat it.
Perhaps I should give a quick story of why I don’t like banana bread or foods with banana in them. It all stems from a 1994 (95?) celebration of my great-grandmother’s 90th birthday. While it was a joyous occasion some of us unfortunately got food poisoning. Before we realized we had food poisoning I ate about six little Debbie banana breads (they were miniature. I still shutter a bit as a I write this). So without giving all the unnecessary details, I don’t like banana bread now. In fact I didn’t even eat bananas up until about five years ago, and the smell of baby banana food (I shutter again). Anyway, that is neither here nor there, but it brings me up to date on making my latest banana bread. I don’t have my own special recipe, but I do have one I recommend. It’s from Food Network’s website. It’s the Banana Walnut Bread (I leave out the walnuts) made by Food Network’s Kitchens. It’s simple and easy, it only has about six ingredients.
I have made this banana bread several times, but despite making it over and over I still run into trouble occasionally with my cooking. I ended up having half of the banana bread stick to the pan and pieced it together. This is just an example of one of my many baking debacles that I run into, however I continue to bake figuring one day my food will turn out the way I expect. Despite all this my family members that I delivered the bread to enjoyed it, with one of my favorite little food critics stating “It was yummy, it was like lovin’ in my tummy”. I’m not sure if I can give a recipe a better recommendation than that.