Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Where I Have Been

Pretty much right here.  But I've got a good excuse for not updating! Really I do! ("No you don't."...yeah, I don't.)

So what's been happening around the Litt House lately, you're probably wondering.  A lot of cool Molly and Ben stuff. Some interesting me stuff.  Some stuff in general.  Where to start?

1. Molly turned seven AND eight months old since my last update.  I'll post letters and pictures soon.

2. Ben is 3 years, 8 months old and HI-larious!  He's just been the most fun (and challenging) little boy I've ever met.  He got his very own big boy bed back in August and after a few rough nights of not understand that he needed to stay in bed, he loves it so much.
3. Andrew is finishing his very last college class and will graduate with a BS in Computer Science this fall. I am so excited for him! He's been in school since we got married (2007).  He's carrying a perfect GPA and I couldn't be prouder of him! (I know he reads this blog, so he'll probably be a little embarrassed that I put this in here.)

4. I have a job.  I'm working part time for a really neat company and after my first week, I like it pretty well. 

That's really the whole scoop on the last couple of months.  More Molly and Ben photos and stories to come, so stay tuned!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Molly - Six Months Old

Dear Miss M,
You are nearing seven months old and I'm just getting to your six months old letter.  I'm so sorry for my tardiness, but I haven't had a moment to really sit down and write about you lately. Not since you suddenly decided you've had enough of this slugging around. You're ready to move!

I would say that at six months, you have been sitting on the precipice of just about everything; the verge of crawling, the verge of sitting up, the verge of eating solid foods, the verge of negotiating a two-state solution to the Middle East conflict (okay, well maybe not that.)

Your development, while on track, has been a little sneaky.  You were born four weeks early and you tend to do thinks exactly at the half-month point.  You rolled over at three and a half months. You rolled all the way around the living room at four and a half months. At five and a half months, you got up on all fours and rocked your socks off. Also at five and a half months, you laughed. And you laughed. And your laughed some more (you laugh the most when you're pulling the tiny hairs on the back of my neck.)

This month, all of these really neat thing sort of just pulled together into one adorable laughing, rolling, scooting, inch-worming, solids-eating, downward-facing-dog yoga baby.  You are this.close to crawling. The cats know there is no safe place for them now; you're hell bent on making them your baby snack. 

Your brother is warming up quite a bit more to you and I think, he sees the potential for mischief in you, my love.  God help your mommy.  All this to say, you're doing great kid!

I love you!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Redefining Comfort Food

I am a pasta junky.  Correction: I am a pasta AND cheese junky.  For most of my life, macaroni and cheese has been my go-to comfort food.  I like it best the way my dad made it when I was a kid. A giant bag of dried elbow macaroni, cooked al dente plus a block of melted Velveeta cheese.  Stir, sprinkle liberally with black pepper. Devour.  I love it best when it's had a chance to set up over night in the fridge. I eat cold straight out of the container. Yum! 

But as I've gotten older, I've come to notice that there are two kids of food that I'm just not able to tolerate any more (and it's more than likely I was never able to tolerate these foods.)  Both wheat and dairy make me terribly uncomfortable.  It's not unusual for me to get heartburn from eating wheat products (pasta is the biggest culprit, followed closely by bread, tortillas, and cereal bars.) 

After doing a little research on my symptoms, I'm feeling pretty confident that I have a pretty good case of wheat sensitivity (not to mention lactose intolerance, but I always knew that and chose to ignore it.) 

I'm been eating a wheat free diet for the last 10 days and the change has been very noticeable.  I feel better physically and mentally. I also find that I don't have the same kind of spikes and dips in my blood sugar.  Wheat free eating is a great thing, but it does mean that my old comfort food just isn't going to work any more. 

Enter my new favorite recipe!  Southwest Quinoa Salad!  It's gluten free, casein free, vegan, and has 4 Points Plus value per serving (in case ant WWs are reading this.)  The delicious tang of the CSA tomatoes with beans, corn, and creamy avocado just blew that ol' mac 'n cheese right out of the water. A really great recipe for summer, I hope you'll try it.

Southwest Quinoa Salad (GF, CF, Vegan, 4 PP+)
Servings: 6
1/2 cup quinoa, uncooked
15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
1/3 cup red onion, finely chopped
2 small tomatoes, diced
1 small avocado, diced
Juice of a small lime
Salt to taste

1) Cook quinoa according to package directions. Allow to cool.
2) Prepare beans, corn, onion, tomatoes, lime juice, and salt. Combine in a bowl.
3) Add cooled quinoa.
4) Allow to chill for a couple of hours as flavors meld.
5) Add diced avocado just before serving.

The Fruits (and Veggies) of our (I mean JBG's) Labor

I picked up our first CSA share this past Saturday.  What a treat!  I've been wanting to do this for some time, but I wasn't sure if I would be able to really use all the veggies that we would get.  I've recently become more adventurous in my cooking (which I hope to post about soon) and broadening my veggie horizons.  The share is still a bit more than we can use in two weeks, so we're splitting our box with my sister and her husband (she purchased the share for the weeks we don't get a box, and we split that haul too.  The math works. Trust me.)

Because I wanted to show off the beauty that is locally, sustainably, and organically grown produce, I took a photo.  See!?   The tomatoes are heavenly.  I'm making chili oil with the tiny fiery red peppers.  I've used half the eggplants for a noodle-less lasagna.  The parsley went into quinoa tabbouleh, and the squash and zucchini is sitting in a casserole dish in the freezer for Sunday's Squash Casserole dinner.  Next summer: growing my OWN veggies (Ha!)

Monday, June 13, 2011

Our Morning in Photos

It gets so terribly hot here pretty early in the day.  Ben loves all things water, but I'm having a hard time figuring out how to take him and Molly to the pool by myself.  Until, I can work those kinks out, I figured playing in the sprinkler was the next best thing!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Molly - Five Months Old

Dear Noodle,
You turned five months old on Tuesday.  Hip hip hooray! What a day!  This month was extremely short, it seems. I thought I had just written your four-month letter and here we are at already five months old.

It's been a great month for you little one. You are a right roly-poly.  You had experimented with front-to-back and back-to-front rolls right after you turned four months old.  Now you're a champ at them!  When I put you on your play quilts, I often find that you've rolled completely off of them. I'm sure I'll find you under something, like my desk or your brother's play table before long.  You really do enjoy being on your tummy.

You're also quite the grabber.  Anything brightly colored, bumpy or squishy, furry, or looks like a pony tail, you have your fist on it.  And then it's in your mouth.  Everything is in your mouth. I kind of forgot about this stage from your brother.  You're a constant drool machine.  Your daddy likes to call your Droolia Child! 

Yesterday was a big day for you.  You started your first day of mother's-day-out with your brother.  I was so nervous. I cried the whole night before.  You?  You did find at the hand off.  You were all smiles for Miss C.  She's a lovely young lady who adores you and your only little classmate. When I came to pick you up, I just couldn't wait to get you into my arms.  Of course, the day was a little rougher than expected.  You were in a new place. You had to check it out. Sleep be damned!  However, no sleep for you turns you into a very cranky monkey.  The bonus?  You sleep long and hard all night through.  Anyway, tomorrow is Day 2 and I expect you'll do just fine (and maybe even take a nap!)

My little one, how I love you.  I think about you and your future. Who you'll be and where you'll go.  I feel like I was just finding out that we were going to have you and now you're five months old.  Slow down again, OK?  I need just a little more time with you right as you are, right now.

I love so!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Conversations with Ben - Memorial Day Edition

This conversation took place at the dinner table on Memorial Day. We were having an indoor hotdog "cook out."  It's just too flipping hot out by the end of May to grill outside in central Texas.  Ben is not one for any kind of animal product but certainly found *these* hot dogs to be tasty.  Then the corn-on-the-cob was brought out.

Ben:  Mommy, I want some corn.
Me: You have to finish your hot dog first.
Ben: I don't want anymore hot dog. I want corn.
Me: Finish half your hot dog and then we'll talk about corn.
*A good 15 minutes passes and Ben is slowly but surely finishing the agreed upon half of hot dog.*
Ben: I'm done with my hot dog. Can we talk about corn now, Mommy?

Hilarity ensues!