Friday, June 22, 2012

Happy 9 months, Jett!

I can't believe Jett is already 9 months old! Time goes by so fast. It feels like yesterday that we were coming home from the hospital. Our lives have changed in a way that only another parent can understand. People can tell you all day long how amazing & rewarding it is to be a parent, but until you experience it for yourself, I don't think it's possible to fully understand.  Parenting is a huge challenge & one of the hardest things I've ever experienced, but the good always outweighs the bad. And the bad is never really even that bad. I mean, getting peed on, getting poop on your sheets, & not sleeping for 3 months used to sound like my worst nightmare, but since I've become a mom, I just deal with it. It somehow becomes not only cute, but hilarious. As moms, we just learn to make it work! That's what we do :) Here's a few things I've learned along the way:

1. Listen to all advice given, but ultimately do what's best for you and your family

I can't tell you how many times I compared myself to other moms, existent or non-existent (aka, the idea of the perfect mom I had in my head). I think this is the worst thing you can do. You are a mom, therefore you are never a failure. You made a human. And birthed it. You know what's best for you & your baby more than anyone else in the world.

2. You don't have to overdo it on baby toys.

Through chatting with other moms & observing my own baby, I've learned that babies are much more interested in things like car keys, water bottles, remote controls, sunglasses & magazines. So don't stress if you don't have the latest & greatest of the baby toys. For the bigger things like Jumperoos, swings, & walkers, you can always check Craigslist too. Most of these items are easy to clean & you can get them at a fraction of the price.

3. Target diapers are good too.

At first, we ONLY used Pampers Swaddlers. Mostly because we weren't sure when Jett's diaper was wet, & theres a little line on there that changes color when they pee. But I bought Target brand once (once we figured out the wet diaper thing) & they're great! For generic, I'd suggest those & Costco brand.

4. Babies grow out of clothes really fast.

That's just a statement. There's nothing I can do to help you with that. Except maybe say buy a lot of different sizes when you're getting ready to have a baby.

5. It's OK to feel overwhelmed.

Between learning to be a mom, maintaining your relationship, maintaining your house, work, friends, family & everything in between, life can get really overwhelming. There's just no way around it. My best advice for this is to ask for help (and it's OK if you need it. I know we like to think we can do it all, but sometimes we just can't). During the first few months, know that your house will not be spic & span. My mom told me during one of those first crazy months when I was losing my mind that I was just going to have to let my house go a little & only focus on taking care of Jett. Once I figured that out, things were a lot easier. Thank God for moms!

6. Just when you think you'll never, ever, ever ,ever sleep again, the baby finally learns how to sleep.

That was the absolute hardest part about the first 3 months. I thought I was going to lose my mind! Jett was up every hour and a half to two hours, so we literally didn't have a full night's sleep for 3 solid months. Then one night, we put him to bed at 6:00 and he didn't wake up until 5:45! It was miraculous. That's when I finally started to feel like a normal human being again. 

7. Things WILL be different for you & your partner. Be patient & you'll eventually figure it out.

Jonathan & I were used to a very spontaneous, non-scheduled do-whatever-we-want type lifestyle. That doesn't quite work once there's a baby who depends on a schedule enters the picture. It's a huge adjustment, & you have to remember that it's not easy for either of you. Stay positive, choose your battles, and most importantly, communicate about how you're feeling. 

8. Enjoy every minute. It goes by so fast.

Happy 9 months, sweet Jett! 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Crazy Train of Thoughts

I was giving Jett a bottle getting him to sleep tonight when I smelled something really nice. Here's how the next few minutes in my head went:

"Oh yeah, that's my new candle burning. Oh no, I left it burning. I wonder if it was close to that grocery bag on the counter. What if the house catches on fire while I'm up here feeding Jett? I guess I would just run outside & watch my house burn. Good thing we live close to the fire station. Surely the fire wouldn't be so bad already that we couldn't get down the stairs. Could it? I would have definitely smelled smoke before now. I could just put the tiny fire out with the fire extinguisher. Do we even have a fire extinguisher? We need one. How do those things work? What if I sprayed it the wrong way & it got in my eyes then I couldn't see? That would be terrible. I would just turn it around & spray the fire blindly if that happened. Where would we even keep a fire extinguisher? We need to put a battery in that smoke detector. How long has there not been one in there? Way too long. But I think the battery is just for back up. I'll ask Jonathan when he gets home. I want to do yoga before he gets back. Then I'm going to make BLT's. I should have gotten a vegetable to go with it. OMG, I'm so hungry."

This is just a few minutes of my thought process about EVERYTHING. No wonder I'm exhausted at the end of the day! Needless to say, my house was NOT on fire. If I really believed it was, I would have definitely gotten the hell outta dodge before I wrote that ADD train of thought book in that head of mine. The BLT's were delicious. I'll post my BLT makin' process tomorrow. And I had to improvise on yoga since AT&T doesn't have an exercise channel (that I can find) anymore. Happy Tuesday, people! 

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Steak with Zucchini and Squash

Aaah, fresh summer veggies! Today's meal is simple & delicious. Jett & I walked to the East Nashville Farmers Market today & got some super fresh zucchini & squash. When we got home, my box of Omaha Steaks I ordered with a Groupon had arrived, so I didn't even have to think about what to cook tonight! BOOM! I love not having to think sometimes. I usually make this zucchini squash recipe, and it's delicious, but I decided to toss them on the grill tonight since I was cooking steaks. Here's all you'll need:

Steaks with Zucchini & Squash

For the Veggies:
1 zucchini
1 squash
thyme (fresh if you have it) or your favorite herb

For Steaks:
Whatever type steaks you prefer
Dales reduced sodium marinade

Pre-heat grill to medium / medium high

First, I poured enough Dale's in a baking dish to cover the bottom. Then I put the steaks in & turned them over once. I don't like them completely saturated. If you do, you should do this way before you're ready to cook. And I'm also aware that a good steak doesn't need any marinade. I respect that. But I also respect Dale's because it's delicious & I like the way it makes my steak taste. 

OK. So while the steaks are marinating, make an aluminum foil "holder" to put the zucchini & squash in, then chop the veggies however you prefer. Once they're all chopped, spray them with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste, then add fresh thyme, rosemary, or whatever herb you have on hand. I didn't have any fresh, so I just used the stuff in the jar. 

Once it's all seasoned, close the top of the aluminum foil bowl and set it on the grill. I let mine sit for about 10 minutes before I put the steaks on. 

For the steaks, I cooked for 3 minutes, then rotated them 90 degrees on the same side for another 2-3 minutes. I like the grill marks, so the extra step is important to me :) Then just flip and do the same on the other side. Once the steaks are done, put them on a plate, cover with foil & let them sit for 4-5 minutes. This makes the steak taste perfect & more juicy than if you just dug right in.

Sprinkle the veggies with a little parm, throw the steak on a plate, & you're ready to eat! Hope you enjoyed this super simple summer time meal :)

Grill marks :) 

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Caramel Sauce with Sea Salt

So I know I said I'd be posting meal recipes, but this caramel is just a fun thing to know how to make. And what if you're having ice cream one night, & you're like "This ice cream is so boring. It really needs to step it up a notch. I KNOW! I can make that caramel sauce I saw on Third Bird Mom's blog to put on there!" So you're welcome for that. And it can be used in several different ways. It's pretty simple, but you have to be kind of quick. I wouldn't cook this if there were kids running around underneath me as it gets pretty hot. 

Caramel Sauce with Sea Salt

non-stick skillet
1/2 cup of sugar
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
3 tablespoons of butter
Sea Salt to taste

1. Pre-measure ingredients & have them ready

2. Heat skillet to medium high heat. This may need to be adjusted depending on your stove. Pour the sugar in & begin stirring with a wooden spoon or whisking. The sugar should begin to liquefy. My heat was up a little high, so it got hard in places. I kept pushing the sugar to the center of the pan so it would all liquefy at the same time.

3. Once the sugar is melted, add the butter. The mixture will start to bubble. Stir until the mixture is smooth, then remove from heat and slowly stir in the heavy cream. Once the cream is mixed in, add as much or little sea salt as you'd like. I'd start with a little, then add more as you go so it won't get too salty.

4. Let it cool for a few minutes then do whatever you want with it! I put mine in this cute tiny mason jar. Then drizzled it on some apple slices. The possibilities are really endless. The caramel in jars make great gifts too!

Hope you enjoyed today's recipe! 

Monday, June 11, 2012

Turkey, Gouda Avocado Omelet

This week I'll be posting a variety of simple recipes for busy moms. Or for anyone who needs to cook a quick meal. Some will be more easy meal ideas than recipes, but I just want to share a few things I like to cook, especially when there's not a lot of time. Or if I'm completely exhausted. Which isn't the most rare thing around here.

So, without further ado, here's my first simple meal of the week

Turkey, Gouda Avocado Omelet

What you'll need:

a good non-stick skillet
olive oil or cooking spray
3-4 eggs or egg whites (I used 2 eggs, 2 egg whites)

First, spray the skillet generously with cooking spray or olive oil & turn it on medium high heat. I use this Misto olive oil mister. A smaller skillet works best as it keeps the eggs from spreading too thin.  Then, whisk the eggs in a small bowl & season with salt & pepper. Garlic salt is also delicious. 

Once the skillet seems ready, pour the egg mixture in there & just be patient. 

I let it sit until it starts bubbling & looking cooked from the top. If it looks sturdy, try to flip it over so both sides are cooked all the way. if not, just let it keep cooking.

Then layer with deli turkey & gouda on one side, then fold the other side on top with a spatula.

I topped with avocado, salsa & a little jalapeno tabasco for an extra kick. And if your omelet falls apart, you can always just scramble all the ingredients together for an equally delicious breakfast.

Hope you enjoyed!