The weeks leading up to Leo’s arrival were full of a lot of stress and anxiety for me. I spent quite a few posts complaining and waddled around the apartment twiddling my thumbs and trying different methods of bringing on labor (stopping short of castor oil). Naturally none of them worked and I am pretty sure that I got to the point where I wondered if the little guy was just going to refuse to come naturally. Despite being pretty darn natural and holistic my doctor seemed to agree and scheduled me to be induced on Tuesday, February 26th. I got pretty emotional about this but decided that since I would be over a week and a half overdue at that point, why not?
I’m a bit late to the game and not even sure I can type these babies before my actual baby wakes up but what the heck, why not give it a shot? Apologies for the rambling and incoherency!
It’s funny what goes through your mind when you’re holding a flailing, wailing baby. There’s the obvious How is it possible that someone under 30 lbs is practically overpowering me right now? or There’s no way that the piece of paper in your mouth was that delicious! But then something absurd occurred to me – I used to teach parenting classes… once a week for over a year and a half at the crisis pregnancy center I stood in front of a room full of real parents telling them what they ought to be doing (or not doing as the case may be). When I started out I was single; not yet dating my future husband and with nary a child of my own. Please feel free to laugh – I certainly did yesterday.
– 2 –
|There ain’t a button for the real thing, kid|
I’m not even going to touch on the issue of labor and delivery (YET! Leo’s birth story will venture into that special territory). For now suffice it to say that the books I read and movie(s) I watched did not quite prep me for the real thing. Shocking, I know. On the upside I am almost looking forward to going through it again at some point (if God blesses us with another little one) so that I can try and do a better job! Ben was a little horrified when I told him that and asked for us to please change topics.
So yeah, pregnancy and delivery weren’t what I expected or what I told clients to expect (wince). As a result I guess it shouldn’t have come as a shock that motherhood would be so different. It was and it is. During pregnancy I kept telling Ben that I did not want us to be like most first-time parents – I wanted us to be eclectic, relaxed, and just figure things out as they came. It turns out that you can’t not be first time parents. When your baby gets sick it’s probably gonna freak you out a
lot little. You may or may not make an unnecessary trip to Urgent Care. You may or may not clip too much of your baby’s nails and draw blood, thus convincing you that you are the worst parent in all of existence. The thing is that I don’t think you can really know what kind of a parent you are going to be until you are one. Maybe you’ll be the parent you envisioned and handle things with grace, wisdom, and sanctity. Or maybe you’ll be a little bit more like me. In a recent post Jen said
It would be awesome if your kids could have a mom who had the holiness of Mother Teresa, the energy of Mary Poppins, and the domestic skills of Martha Stewart. But if you’re not there yet, saying “I love you guys and I love Jesus and I’m doing the best I can” works too.
With his first birthday approaching I think it’s safe to say that I will spend the rest of motherhood discovering how little I know and how grateful I am for God’s grace, my incredible husband, my amazing little boy, and the wonderful life I have been blessed with!
I have had some fun adventures in the kitchen over the past several weeks and I figured why not share them and link up with Jen at the same time!
– 1 –
The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies Ever
|Idiot Proof Baking|
- 3/4 C butter
- 3/4 C brown sugar
- 1/4 C sugar
- 1 egg
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 2 C flour
- 2 tsp cornstarch
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 3/4 – 1 tsp salt (depends on your preference)
- 1 1/2 C chocolate chips
- Cream butter and sugars. Add egg and vanilla – beat well.
- Add dry ingredients; mix until just combined.
- Stir in chocolate chips
- Drop onto parchment paper or greased surface and bake 10 minutes at 350 degrees.
- Place pan on wire rack for 5 minutes before removing cookies (important!)
|Quadrupled the recipe. Surprise yield of 16 dozen cookies. Oops.|
- 16 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- 4 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 4 eggs
- 1⅓ C granulated sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ C all-purpose flour
- ½ tsp baking powder
- 1 C semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
- Put the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl and set it over a saucepan of barely simmering water, stirring occasionally, until completely melted and smooth.
- In the meantime, stir together the eggs, vanilla and sugar in a medium bowl. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, sift together the flour and baking powder.
- Add the melted chocolate mixture to the egg mixture and stir to combine well. Slowly add the dry ingredients, folding them into the batter. Once all of the flour is incorporated, stir in the chocolate chips.
- Scoop 1½ tablespoons of dough (a medium cookie scoop’s worth) onto prepared baking sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until they are firm on the outside. Like brownies, do not over-bake! Leave to cool completely on the baking sheets.
– 3 –
Apple Cheddar Scones
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/3 C cold butter
- 1 C buttermilk
- 1 C shredded cheddar (will use more in the future)
- 1 C diced peeled apple (ditto)
- In a bowl combine the first five ingredients
- Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs
- Stir in buttermilk until just moistened (I had to add several heaping tablespoons of flour after I failed to pay close enough attention to this step)
- Fold in cheese and apples
- Pat in a 9″ circle and cut into 8 wedges
- Separate wedges and place on greased baking sheet
- Bake at 450 degrees for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown
– 4 –
Cranberry Brie Bites
|Mine did not achieve this perfect golden brown color|
- 1 package (17 1/4 ounces) frozen puff pastry, thawed
- 1/2 lb Brie cheese
- 1 cup cranberry sauce (purchased or homemade)
- Thaw the frozen puff pastry, and cut with a pizza cutter. The puff pastry sheet I used was folded in thirds. I cut down those lines, then cut the sheet into quarters the other direction.
- Place each puff pastry square into a separate holder ofmini muffin tin
- Fill with brie and cranberry sauce.
- Bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes, or until the puff pastry is golden brown on the edges.
- Allow to cool for a few minutes before serving.
– 5 –
Applesauce Pork Loin
|Clearly not my picture|
- 1 boneless pork loin roast (3 lbs)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 C applesauce
- 3 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp honey
- 3 fresh rosemary sprigs
- Sprinkle roast with salt and pepper. In a large skillet, brown roast on all sides in oil. Place on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Combine the applesauce, mustard and honey; spread over roast. Top with rosemary.
- Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 1 to 1-1/4 hours or until a thermometer reads 145°. Let stand for 10 minutes before slicing. Yield: 10-12 servings.
|Not my photo either – I don’t do garnish. Ain’t nobody got time for that!|
- 1/2 C butter
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 (15.25 ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
- 1 (15 ounce) can cream-style corn, drained
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 C egg substitute (I used real eggs)
- 1 (8.5 ounce) package corn bread mix
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 2 tbsp canned green chile peppers, chopped
- 4 ounces sliced fresh mushrooms (ran out – used canned)
- 1 1/2 C reduced-fat sour cream (yeah right – used regular sour cream)
- 1/4 tsp salt, or to taste
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper, or to taste
- 8 oz package Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish.
- Melt butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Add onion and garlic; cook and stir until tender.
- Dice one or two boneless, skinless chicken breast halves and stir them into the skillet after the onions and garlic are soft. Cook and stir about 5 minutes; the chicken pieces should be cooked through, and will continue to cook as the casserole bakes. Remove from heat and set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine corn, cream-style corn, salt, and egg substitute. Beat in muffin mix. Fold in cooked onion mixture. Pour into prepared baking dish.
- In a large bowl, combine chicken, green chiles, mushrooms, sour cream, salt and pepper. Spoon over corn mixture to within 1 inch from edge. Sprinkle top with cheese.
- Bake in preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until edges are golden brown.
|While I did not take this picture this is exactly what the end result looked like|
- 2 T vegetable oil
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- salt and ground black pepper to taste
- 4 oz shredded Mexican cheese blender
- 1 C salsa
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
- Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Season one side of chicken breasts with half the cumin, half the garlic powder, salt, and black pepper; arrange chicken breasts with seasoned sides down in the hot oil. Fry until chicken is lightly browned on the bottom, 4 to 5 minutes.
- Season the top of each chicken breast with the remaining cumin, remaining garlic powder, salt, and black pepper; flip chicken and cook until other side is lightly browned, 4 to 5 minutes. If the skillet gets dry, pour in just enough juice from the salsa to keep it from burning.
- Transfer chicken breasts to a 9×9-inch baking dish; sprinkle with Mexican cheese blend. Loosen all the drippings from the skillet with a little more juice from the salsa and pour on top of chicken breasts. Spoon salsa over cheese layer.
- Bake chicken breasts until no longer pink in the center and the juices run clear, 20 to 25 minutes.
Another recipe off of All Recipes! Because I am lazy and did not want to bother with dirtying and washing another dish I used a cast iron skillet and simply put it in the oven when it was time to bake. It is really tasty and goes great with rice and refried beans. Heck, if you wanted to you could shred the chicken after it bakes and just make burritos or fajitas or tacos or, well, you get the idea 🙂
Remember that one time when I was all like “hey I am blogging again!” and then I made good on that for like, oh I dunno, two days? Yeah….. good times….
|Leo and his Papa|
|My side project|
|The Teething / Goofy Face|
|The Guilty Smile|
Adobe Photoshop Elements
|Yes, I’m stuck with the 10th edition|
I really enjoy watching TV. I’ll admit that I don’t have the best taste but every now and then I stumble across a show that I think is truly great. NBC’s “The Blacklist” is definitely that! James Spader is so much fun to watch and the female lead has surprised me with striking a good balance between being tough but vulnerable. It’s the first show I have watched in awhile that keeps my complete attention and makes me want to punch the screen when the credits start rolling and I realize I have to wait an entire week for the next episode. Will you love it? I don’t know but for my husband and me it is definitely a favorite!
Here with Me – Susie Suh & Robot Koch
Leo had a cold for a few weeks and then somewhere in the midst of that he started cutting four new teeth. Yeah, you read that right – FOUR NEW TEETH ALL AT ONCE! So life around here has been looking a lot like this —
|Leo and me|
by Anthony Esolen
|big smiles for mama|
|crazy, sweet little man|
I am getting way less sleep these days due to, well, I have no idea actually. Leo just isn’t sleeping through the night (understatement of the year). Even so I am loving this stage! He is beginning to babble in new ways (“mamamama” | “bababa” | “dadada”) and while that is super awesome, my favorite new development is definitely his ability to sit up by himself! And he loves it too, though he prefers me to sit right next to him.
Don’t forget to check out the fabulous Grace!
Yesterday marked the first successful French Braid of my life. I can hear your applause from here – thank you, thank you. Did I take any pictures? No, of course not. Was I able to replicate it for mass today when it would have been more fitting? No way! Ah well, there’s always next time…
We were treated by a yet another wonderful homily today (Ben says one of the top four he’s ever heard) and Leo fell asleep almost immediately so despite the grim weather it’s been a great day! Here’s hoping you are enjoying your Sunday too 🙂
|You can almost taste the mischief|
|Weirdest leg pose ever|
|Nana and Leo (AKA The Wiggleworm)|
|Kisses for Nana|
|My poor ‘lil teether|
Skirt : Macy’s
Shoes : Target (seriously, I need a new pair)
Shirt : Forever21
Scarf : Forever21