Monday, February 17, 2014

Menu Monday #42

Reading a Cars book  #explainingthepicturescounts ;)
We spent a lot of time at home again this past week. With the threat of snow looming, schools preemptively canceled classes on Wednesday. The snow finally started falling at 1 pm, so they really could have gone to school that day for at least a 1/2 day. Sigh. Once the snow started falling, though, it just kept coming all day, and night. We ended up getting at least 7-10" total, so school was cancelled for the rest of the week. We kept busy at the house reading, watching Caillou, and playing in the snow with Daddy! Sadly, that meant the boys missed their Valentine's Day parties at school on Thursday, but Ethan will have his today, and Noah will have his tomorrow.

The snow plow actually made its way through here this time, though, and we weren't trapped in the house for days like we were last time. Regardless, we ended up staying in Friday night and cooking here, to avoid the crowds at restaurants for Valentine's Day. I made my guys some special heart-shaped grilled cheese sandwiches (yay for no crusts! haha!) and tomato soup. For dessert, chocolate-covered strawberries and marshmallows. Yum!! Josh surprised me with a dozen gorgeous red roses! Thanks, sweetie! :)

On Saturday morning, we were in a hurry to get to a birthday party, so it was a cereal day. For dinner, we tried a new restaurant, The Peerless. We started with the flaming cheese. The boys enjoyed watching as they set it ablaze table side! I had a bowl of my favorite soup, lobster bisque. It had good flavor, but lacked the nice big chunks of lobster meat that I love. For my main course, I had a filet with a baked crumb & walnut apple on the side. It was delicious and the steak was cooked perfectly. Josh had the prime rib with sautéed sherry mushrooms. He enjoyed both. It was a nice evening out with my guys.

On Sunday morning, we were up with plenty of time before church, so I made one more Valentine's Day treat for my guys. Red velvet pancakes with a cream cheese topping. Heavenly! The boys must have enjoyed them, because they each gobbled up 3 pancakes!! I used a simple Bisquick base, then added some cocoa, sugar, and Red Velvet bakery emulsion for flavor and color. For the topping, I softened some cream cheese and added powdered sugar and vanilla extract.

Sunday: Out to eat
Yong Asian House - I had chicken and steak teriyaki with steamed rice and sautéed onion and zucchini. Yum!

MondayAlmond crusted tilapia, brown rice, roasted asparagus
This is a tasty new fish dish that we tried at the beginning of the year. The crispy almond/breadcrumb mixture paired with the richness of the butter and oil is delicious, and perfect on this light, flaky fish.

TuesdayHoney mustard baked chicken tenders, smashed potatoes with parmesan gremolata, roasted broccoli
We've only had these chicken tenders once, but they had great flavor, so I'll make them again. This time I'm going to try this new recipe for smashed potatoes that sounds good! Broccoli will round out the plate.

WednesdaySeared pork chops, roasted butternut squash, toasted pine nut couscous with cranberries
Yes, my favorite pork meal again. I should probably try something new, but the boys do such a great job eating this one, and it's so easy, that it finds its way into the rotation often! ;)

Thursday: Tomato basil pasta
We all love this simple, yet flavorful, pasta dish. I may try adding some grilled chicken strips this time to get some protein.

Friday: On the road
We'll be on our way to my sister's house, so we'll be stopping to eat somewhere on the way.

Saturday: TBD
We'll be celebrating my niece's 2nd birthday! :)

What's on your menu this week?

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day {free printable}

Valentine, you make my heart glow! (singing in head, "Wild thing, you make my heart sing!") Hehe!

Isn't this adorable?!? I had discovered this super cute idea for valentines via Pinterest (of course!), on this blog. So, when I found glow sticks in the Target dollar spot (15 for $1!!), I decided this would be the perfect, fun valentine for the boys this year! With a total of 26 classmates between the two of them (I guess this number probably won't be getting any lower though!), and after spending a good chunk of change on Christmas treats for their preschool friends, it was nice to save some money with these. :)

So, I designed the tags, printed them on 120# cover, cut them out, punched holes in the sides, and threaded the glow sticks in! Quick and easy!

Now, they are all ready for the boys' Valentine's Day parties at school tomorrow...unless the snow cancels on us again! :/ The blog that inspired these valentines offers a printable, but it would need to be printed on colored paper. Since I wanted to be able to print on white cover, I made a colored printable. If you're still in need of some cute valentines for your kiddos, feel free to click the print button below to print this 8.5"x11" page! :) You will need to view the PDF from a desktop or laptop computer. It will not load on a mobile device. I have this PDF available in my Etsy shop, with editable PDF fields for typing your child's name in before printing! :)

So, that's all I've got for you this year. Nothing super exciting, like three years ago around Valentine's Day, when we announced that we would be having a second little boy...

Or like last year, when we announced that we were expecting our third baby!

But, I will leave you with all of this cuteness! ;)

Happy Valentine's Day 2014!

The Wednesday One: Week 6

Monday, February 10, 2014

Menu Monday #41

Whew, what a week! I ended up getting sick on Thursday morning, which was not ideal. I made it home from dropping the boys off at school, but was too sick to pick them up, so fortunately Josh was able to get them and work from home that afternoon, so I could rest/recoup. Good news was that two days of not eating much of anything (MyFitnessPal actually warned me that I wasn't logging enough calories and my body was going to go into starvation mode!) helped contribute to more weight loss this week! Haha! Not exactly how I was hoping to accomplish it, but I guess I'll take it. With me out of commission on Thursday night, Josh took the boys out to eat. On Friday night, I was ready to try cooking again, so we made our tomato basil pasta that night.

On Saturday morning, I made my whole wheat pumpkin pancakes, at Noah's request. The boys inhaled nearly as many as we did. It's quite the sight! I kept busy that day doing laundry and trying to clean/pick up the house. Later that evening, I decided it was time to escape the house again, so we went out instead of cooking. We decided to hit up the mall for a little shopping, and the boys enjoyed some Chic-Fil-A while we checked out Crazy Tomato. Their calzones looked incredible, and they were! :)

On Sunday morning, Josh made our usual egg bagel sandwiches, and some cream of wheat, before church. That evening, I finally made our pork chop meal from Thursday. It was another low-key day at home. The next few weekends will be busy, so it was nice to relax!

Sunday: Seared pork chops, roasted butternut squash, toasted pine nut couscous with cranberries
I seasoned the pork chops with some of our cajun seasoning. Delicious!

Monday: Crispy shrimp pasta, roasted broccoli with parmesan
We all really love this one, and it's so easy, which makes it the perfect seafood dish for the week!

Tuesday: Brown butter chicken with crispy sage over savory quinoa
I've been repeating a lot of our new meals lately, but they are so good and we're not sick of them yet! Haha!

Wednesday: Soft tacos
My homemade flour tortillas are Ethan's absolute favorite meal (he requests it every single week!), so I'll finally be making those this week. With the added calories of those tasty tortillas, we'll forgo any sides so we can indulge in these! :) I add seasoned lean ground beef, lettuce, tomatoes and sriracha sauce (for myself and Josh) to the tortillas.

Thursday: Chicken capri over brown rice, sautéed garlic green beans
This is an oldie, but a goodie. It's actually a South Beach diet recipe. You coat thin-sliced chicken breasts in garlic powder, sear them on each side, then place them in a dish. Top with a ricotta cheese/spices mixture, some crushed tomatoes, and a slice of provolone cheese. Bake this and serve on a bed of rice. It's so good!

Friday: Out to eat
We'll go somewhere, but being Valentine's Day, we'll probably have to avoid the wait at nice restaurants! Haha! I did buy some more strawberries and dipping chocolate to make my boys a special treat for the day. :)

Saturday: Homemade pizza
We haven't made pizza in awhile, so we should do that again.

What's on your menu this week?

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Amos is Five Months Old!

Age of Baby: 5 months

Size of Baby:
  • Weight: 14 lbs 3 oz (down to the 14th percentile), +11 oz from last month
  • Length: 25.5 inches (down to the 43rd percentile), +.25 inches from last month
  • Head circumference: not measured
  • Height-to-Weight ratio: 10th percentile

Amos fits well in a size 2 diaper and is still currently wearing 3-6 month clothes. Nearly all of his 0-3 month clothes are too small/short for him to wear now.


None this month.

Doctor's Visit Summary:

No visit this month.

Picture of Baby:

Here is Amos's 5-month picture in the 12-month onesie.

And here is a comparison of all three of the boys at five months, just for fun. Ethan and Noah were still significantly bigger at this point (Ethan was 27 inches long and weighed 16 lbs and Noah was 26.5 inches long and weighed a whopping 16 lbs 6 oz). I don't think it looks like Amos is that much smaller when you look at him, but his height-to-weight ratio is still larger than what Ethan's was at this age. Amos carries his weight in that cute little double chin and single thigh rolls. ;) It looks like Noah carried his in his head! Haha!

Ethan, Noah, and Amos (each at 5 months)

Accomplishments this Month:
  • Playing with toys
  • Rolling over well from front to back
  • "Plays" with his big brothers
Ethan helps Amos play with toys on the activity mat.

Amos loves to play with toys now. He'll bat at them if they are hanging above him in the bouncer, and he'll normally get ahold of them and yank them off with his super grip! If you give him something, chances are it will end up in his mouth about 99.9% of the time. He loves "chewing" on, my fingers, his toes, etc. I think it may be time to try some cereal!

He still prefers to be a ninja and roll over when we aren't watching. We've seen him do it quite a bit now though, too. I pretty much always lay him on his tummy for naps, because he seems to sleep better in that position. Sometimes I'll lay him on his tummy at night now, too, because he can roll over to his back if he wants to at this point.

He enjoys having his big brothers "play" with him. This usually entails Ethan carrying him around the room, or putting him in his Bumbo and giving him toys to look at, or eat. ;) It doesn't always look the most comfortable, but he always has a big smile on his face if the boys are paying attention to him! :) I love it!


I still wish I could report that Amos was sleeping through the night again now, but he's not. :/ He's wanting to wake at least every four hours right now (it was 2 hours last night...yawn!), which usually means anywhere between 1:30 and 2:30 and 5:30 and 6:30. This past month, he is still averaging around 14 hours of sleep a day, with about 9-10 of those hours being at night. On most school days, he takes one 2-hour nap in the late morning, and one 2-3 hour nap in the late afternoon. On the weekends, he sometimes does one longer nap in the late morning/early afternoon, then a short nap in the late afternoon/early evening. He is roughly following a "2-3-4" schedule now. He wakes up and is awake for ~2 hours, then naps, then is awake for ~2-3 hours, then naps, then is awake for ~4-5 hours before bed. I've continued to nurse him every 2-4 hours during the day for 10-20 minutes.

It's crazy to think what will soon be in store for the little guy!

The Wednesday One: Week 5

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Menu Monday #40

So, we had a cheat-filled weekend with the diet, so I'm not weighing in until tomorrow. ;) Hopefully my body can recover by then and I'll have another good week!

On Friday night, we headed to our favorite local German restaurant, Freiberg's, at Ethan's request. It's delicious, but schnitzel and fried potatoes aren't exactly the lightest options on the menu. Oops! :/

On Saturday morning, I made my whole wheat banana bread pancakes, at Noah's request. That boy can eat pancakes like a champ! It is quite impressive to witness. He actually had his first one finished before I had taken a few bites of mine!! Haha! That evening, we were in the mood for burgers, so we headed to Bristol's famous Burger Bar. My favorite is their parmesan fries - amazing! We really went all out and ordered milkshakes, too. So bad for us, but they tasted oh so good!

On Sunday morning, Josh made our usual egg bagel sandwiches, and some cream of wheat. I hit up a packed grocery store later that day, then we prepared for a Super Bowl party that evening. Chocolate-covered football strawberries sounded like the perfect indulgence for the evening and we had a wonderful time socializing with other adults for a change! ;) After a weekend of crazy eating, I realized it actually left me feeling pretty crappy compared to when I eat better. No cheating for me for awhile now!

Sunday was also our sweet Daisy's 8th birthday. Wow, where does the time go? She's our first-born child, and we've had her since our first year of marriage!

Our beautiful princess!

Sunday: Super Bowl Party
Josh made a batch of our Spicy Italian Chili to take. I also tried a new recipe for a pizza pull-apart bread, and I made a batch of chocolate-covered strawberries, decorated like footballs. :)

MondayStovetop glazed salmon over brown rice, roasted asparagus
We haven't made salmon this way in awhile, but it is oh so tasty! The salmon is cooked in a sauce made with honey, lime juice and chili powder. It's the perfect combo! Daisy loves salmon skin, so that was a special birthday treat for her! :)

TuesdayMelt in your mouth baked chicken, rotini, roasted balsamic green beans & mushrooms (see recipe below)
We'll have this one again because it's easy and tasty. The boys love this meal!

Wednesday: Leftovers
We still have a good amount of chili leftover, so we'll eat that.

Thursday: Seared pork chops, roasted butternut squash, toasted pine nut couscous with cranberries
This is my go-to pork meal in the winter months. I love all of the flavors and it's a pretty simple meal to put together.

Friday: Out to eat
We'll go somewhere and try to order something that sounds as healthy as possible this time! :)

Saturday: Tomato basil pasta
There isn't any meat in this dish, but it doesn't need it! This recipe produces the perfect amount of "sauce" for the pasta. I love using fresh basil when it's available in our garden, but our dried basil is a decent substitute, too.

I found this delicious recipe on Kalyn's Kitchen. Historically, I've never liked veggies, especially green ones. All of this changed when I started roasting my veggies. I love them so much now, I could eat them like candy! This is a great recipe for fresh green beans, and the mushrooms are an added bonus.

Roasted Balsamic Green Beans & Mushrooms

  • 8 oz fresh mushrooms, sliced (I use baby bella)
  • 1 lb fresh green beans (I use a ready-to-eat pkg from the produce section)
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and pepper, freshly ground, to taste
  • 2 Tbsp grated parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Wash the mushrooms and let them drain, or pat them dry. While they are drying, trim the ends of your beans (if needed), and cut them in half to make bite-sized pieces. Put the bean and mushrooms into a gallon-sized Ziploc bag. Combine the olive oil and balsamic vinegar and pour this into the Ziploc bag. Close the bag, and squeeze everything around to coat all of the veggies well. Arrange the beans and mushrooms on a large cookie sheet, spreading them out well, so they aren't too crowded. Roast them for 20-30 minutes. Cook until the beans are tender-crisp, the mushrooms are cooked well, and all of the liquid on the pan has evaporated. Season the veggies, to taste, with the salt and pepper, then sprinkle with the parmesan cheese. Serve while hot.

What's on your menu this week?