26.5.11

a walk before dinner...

These smell so delicious
Yesterday was a productive day at work. I messed up on Monday and it was straightened out yesterday (I took Tuesday off from what I was working on and worked on something different). After work I asked Sam if he wanted to go outside and play. He was so easy today. He played by himself, took two 2 hour naps and was just a happy boy. When I said, "Go outside and play". He got so excited, he knew what it meant. He was laughing, talking and smiling while I was getting things ready to go outside, and by "getting things ready" I mean getting my camera, cell phone and car keys because it was GORGEOUS out!
Sam pauses to take in the moment, or check out a passing car...
We headed to the park with the swings. Sam LOVES the swings, so I sat him in the swing and he laughed the whole time. I called my friend to come join us and she came outside. We sat on the grass near the park and then decided to take a little walk... well, it turned into a longer walk than expected, not distance, but meandering.
Laughing with Sam

 I took pictures of Sam, she took pictures of Sam, and me (which is nice b/c I'm usually behind the lens).
Happy Sam

Figuring out his balance
I had a brilliant idea of taking pictures of Sam near a rock wall. I leaned him against it and started clicking. I heard this odd grinding noise and wondered what it was. I realized it was Sam's teeth and instead of scooping him up, I took "just one more picture". Then I scooped him up to bring him inside for dinner. I guess I finally got the memo: first grass, then lilacs, concrete and he finally got my attention with rocks!
Sam trying to eat grass, lilacs, concrete and a rock wall
You know it's bad when your kids starts gnawing on rocks b/c they're hungry and then you decide to take "just one more picture". I promise, I do feed Sam on a regular basis. We came inside, Sam had water, a rice-cake, lasagna, and pieces of my chocolate chip cookie. Gourmet, I know.

Next time maybe it should be a walk AFTER dinner, especially if my camera decides is forced to join us.
PS- Recently bought a 50mm lens for my Digital SLR. Such a FUN lens! Thanks Katie for the recommendation!
Said rock wall.

25.5.11

absentia

ooh. big word.
i've been away.
not really away.
just worky work away.
i'm looking forward to finishing my work.
it's been an unproductive week.
and therefore no blogging allowed.
except to write a quick update.
to say that i'm in absentia.
did i use that correctly?
i'll leave you with this.


doesn't that look cozy?
i wish i had one to snuggle up in and read books when i was little.
heck, i'd like one right now.
they're fairly common in sweden.
maybe someday i'll (or the hubster will) build bunk beds like this for alpine & future kids
happy hump day.

ps- are you as into pinterest as i am? check it out. it's kinda cool. i used to bookmark sites i like b/c of images. now i can pin all the images in one place and then go back & find them. like above. awesomeness. in a website.

23.5.11

dinner for 3

Thursday night we had one of Caleb's our friends over for dinner (thanks for making the trip Matt). He was Caleb's best man in our wedding, so now he's technically our friend. (what's yours is mine, what's mine is yours, right?)
Matt is a great guy and he's always there for you to back you up or if you need help. He's been wanting to get together with us for a while, but as you may know, Caleb's been UBER busy. This week Caleb had a little downtime and Matt drove out here for a little dinner, dessert and a visit.
I made a broccoli cheddar soup (courtesy of my coworker Julie, thanks).
Here's the recipe and a few pictures.

Cream of Broccoli Soup

Soup
2 or 3 carrots (depending on size)
1 large onion
2 stalks of celery
3 small potatoes
2 bunches of broccoli (4 cups chopped)
3 cups water mixed with chicken stock cubes OR 24 oz chicken stock
3 tbsp butter or olive oil
salt & pepper to taste

Cheesy White Sauce
4 tbsp butter
4 tbsp flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper (more if you want)
2 cups milk
2 cups grated cheddar cheese (or mix cheese if you need to)

Soup
Wash all your veggies, chop celery & onions.
Add celery & onions to 3 tbsp butter to a large soup pot (I used a dutch oven). Cook on medium heat till the onions start to turn translucent (5 min). Stir every few minutes so they don't burn.
While onions & celery are cooking, peel & chop carrots, potatoes, and broccoli
Add them to the pot
Add chicken broth with a pinch of salt & pepper
Cover with a lid & bring to a boil. Once it is a full boil, reduce heat to simmer and cook till veggies are tender (10-15 min).

Basic White Sauce
Melt butter over medium heat
To add some flavoring, add a little spice (Mrs. Dash, oregano, all spice, etc)
Add flour to melted butter and stir. Cook for 3-4 minutes to take away the flour taste, it will have more of a nutty flavor instead of raw flour flavor
Whisk in milk, as it cooks it will thicken, add more milk to make it thinner, use less milk to make it thicker
Add grated cheese (if you don't have cheddar, you can use other varieties), stir over low/med heat till well blended

Once veggies are tender, remove from heat and add 2/3 of them to a blender. Mix till smooth and creamy, not too much or it will get starchy. Add back to 1/3 in pot (using an immersion blender will make it easier)
Add in the cheese sauce, stir over medium heat until well blended
Salt & pepper to taste

 Note: Sam is concerned because his mamma is taking pictures instead of feeding him...
 Then dessert. Dr. Oetker's Chocolate Lava Cake, Cookies n Cream ice-cream and raspberries. It was delish
 

We took some great pictures of Sam w/Uncle Matt (Caleb & Matt were best friends, practically brothers, growing up, therefore Matt is Uncle Matt). They will be posted shortly :)

20.5.11

feeding sam

Have you ever researched baby equipment? Seriously, there is A TON of stuff out there!!

Anyway, you walk into any baby store and you are inundated with "the best" baby equipment. How do you know what to purchase? How do you know if the baby gear is going to work with your life style? How do you know if your baby is going to like it?

This post is dedicated to feeding Sam... you know, what we use to feed him... aside from the boob part. I won't talk about that. That falls under TMI. Or does it?

When we found out I was pregnant, I started researching all types of baby products. One of the things I WANTED to have, HAD to HAVE was a Scandinavian style high chair. If you've read previous posts, heck if you've read the title you catch a glimpse into my life. I LOVE Sweden and I appreciate the Swedish style.

Growing up visiting Sweden I recall a few things about babies in Sweden.
1) They have hot strollers. Seriously, have you seen the Emmaljunga? Talk about stroller lust. Well, emma was a tad above our price range and I didn't find any good craigslist finds, so I chose another stroller. More on that later.
{via}

2) They have modern, awesome high chairs. Practical. Clean lines. Pretty. Ikea sells a neat one, but my high chair lust was the Tripp Trapp by Stokke.
a) It's expensive (this usually happens with things I want)
b) It's wooden (read: easy to clean)
c) It can hold a 300 lb baby (you never know, we may reproduce fat children, kidding)
I tried to sell Caleb on it because it can hold a 300 lb baby. I meant to say 300 lb person. I'll never live that down. Basically it converts into a REGULAR chair for REGULAR adults.
{via}
Anyway. I didn't want an ugly big plastic high chair. We don't have space for a high chair. I looked into the highchairs that attach to chairs. I didn't want that either. I didn't like it, plus I didn't want to use one of our chairs for Sam. I wanted him to have his own. I know, you can call me a baby gear snob. It's probably true. I like the Tripp Trapp because it pulls up to our table. So, Caleb agreed we could get it. Then these lovely people (Sam's grandparents) bought it for Sam for Christmas.



They are amazing. I know. Sam knows. So, we got the chair delivered, put it together and Sam loves it.
So do we. It fits our lifestyle. It fits Sam. It's pretty. It works. To each his own.
note: We have had a Chicco high chair on the Cape when I work there and my mom watches Sam. I liked it, but she didn't. She bought a Tripp Trapp for Sam to use when he visits. She's Swedish. She likes Swedish things. Maybe she rubbed off on me.

A few complimentary pics of Baby Sam in his high chair. (sorry, I didn't take time to edit the red eye!)
Pros
  • Brings your child to the table with you
  • Grows with your child
  • Easy to clean
  • Modern looking
  • Ergonomic for baby
  • Doesn't take up a lot of space
  • Doesn't sit on a chair so said chair can be used for an adult
  • Easy to put together 
  • It lasts longer than a standard highchair (ie no booster seat needed)

Cons
  • No tray - Sam likes to brush food off the table
  • Straps look tricky to use
  • Expensive compared to a standard highchair

19.5.11

love story part 1 (of many)

it all began on march 21 2006... well actually it didn't. maybe i should rewind even farther...

it all began may 2001. yep, that's going wayyyyy back. like mariah carey, and backstreet boys, and spice girls... well not that far back... ok back to my story.

I was going to go to UMass Amherst. I was accepted into their Isenberg School of Management (a good school). I toured UMass, felt it was a good school and I was excited about their business program. I had dreams people, dreams of touring the world, speaking many languages, becoming an ambassador, or some other important person.

For some reason I took my time sending in the deposit for school. One morning in May I woke up and told my parents, "I have to go to Gordon College." At that time I didn't know why, but I KNEW I HAD to go to Gordon. It's funny because I was so set on UMass Amherst. My parents were both shocked. My mom told me to take the morning off from school to pray about it. I told her it didn't matter, I already knew I had to go to Gordon. The deposit to hold my spot was due the next day, so my dad took charge did what any dad would do, called Gordon and told them what was up explained the situation and told them the money was in the mail.

I then went about my business finishing my senior year, you know, Prom, Senior banquet, senior week, parties, hanging out w/my boyfriend (what?), you know, all the fun stuff... I worked during the summer and at the end of the summer had our pastor and his wife over for dinner. You may or may not know them, Guy & Tana Milller. They were new. I told them I was headed to Gordon and they kept telling me I had to check out Calvary Christian Church. Tana said I HAD to meet the cute youth pastor. Youth pastor? Heck no! My boyfriend and I had recently broken up. I was a single woman, hear me roar. I don't need no stinkin' boyfriend. I told her that too... So, I forgot what Tana said, packed up my belongings and headed to Gordon for my first year in college in the town of Wenham.

Wait, you want to know about my boyfriend? Well, we parted ways before the summer ended. It was sad, heart-breaking actually, but it's ok. Everyone experiences at least one heart-break, right? Right? No? Well, consider yourself lucky.

So, I arrive at Gordon and move into Wood (Wood Is Good!!) Seriously, OLDEST dorm on campus! I settled in and started enjoying the college life: class, reading, lectures, Singing Beach, friends, late night dance parties.

I meet a boy who says he likes me. He's cute. We talk. He has a jeep. He's fun to hang out with...
(to be continued)

18.5.11

mother's day reflections

i know i'm a little late on this, but humor me...
my first mother's day i spent in bed... sick. talk about a downer...
caleb & sam wished me happy mother's day, caleb made me breakfast, but i didn't really want any.
i insisted upon going to church b/c i wanted to. we had plans to enjoy a lunch date in the lovely city of boston and walk around. that didn't happen. instead we came home from church and i laid on our couch watching CSI & Little Fockers (funny movie if you haven't seen it), then, i went to bed early. NOT what i was expecting for mother's day, but caleb & i decided to have a "redo". hopefully next sunday :)
this time last year i was somewhat a mother. baby "alpine" or sam as he's now known was baking in the oven.
1) i've found energy i never knew i had to keep up w/my energetic little guy
2) loved in a capacity i didn't know i could, seriously, my heart practically hurts b/c i'm bursting with love for baby sam.
3) appreciate my own mother so much more, how did she raise 4 kids and stay sane?! she was amazing and still inspires me to this day.
4) sleeping-in has a whole new meaning: if sam sleeps past 6am OR if he wakes up, eats and then goes back to bed till 8am or 9am
5) down-time is not the weekend, but when sam's sleeping or quiet

this past saturday morning, sam woke up and i fed him. caleb and i were wide awake and sam drifted back to sleep. caleb & i proceeded to watch "saturday morning cartoons" in the form of CSI. how is it that SAM was sleeping and we couldn't sleep?!

happy mother's day.

16.5.11

Can I have a cookie?

So before "alpine" was born I had all kinds of "ideas" on the way he should be raised...
Key word: HAD
One of those ideas was no sugar until he turns one.
Well today on my lunch break I was feeding Sam egg yolk & asparagus (I promise he likes it) and I reached for an M&M cookie. Well, as I reached for it - so did Sam!
As if to say, "mooooommmmm! Why do you get the yummy cookie and I get veggies & eggs?" then he proceeded to stare longingly at my cookie. (note: he does eat well, he pretty much gobbles up everything I give him)
So I caved and gave him the cookie and wished him "happy eight months" and told him not to expect this as regular treatment.




Baby sam, I'm glad you are alive. You brighten my life. Your eyes are full of wonder. Today as you crawled on the porch outside just staring at the rain, I caught a glimpse of the world through your eight month old lens. Thank you for your giggles, your smiles, your conversations, your sense of adventure and for teaching me to approach life from a different point of view.
Sam eating the cookie on camera...
Ps- I took a huge bite BEFORE I gave it to him and much to Sam's dismay I took the cookie away from him after the video.

14.5.11

an adventure for sam

One of sam's favorite places is the playground.
He loves:
1) the swings
2) the slide
3) the wood chips on the ground
4) the steering wheel - as pictured below :)




Sam is such an adventurer. The moment we step out of our door he perks up as if to say: "We are going somewhere. Our adventure begins. Hooray for new explorations outside our house."

Maybe it's in his blood... His mom & dad's "first date" was snowboarding. After that our "dates" consisted of hiking, rock climbing, biking, picture dates (grabbing our cameras & going to a park to take pictures), rollerblading, walks, and eating dessert at the cheesecake factory... Maybe someday I'll type our "love story". For now we'll talk about my other love - Sam.



Ready for yet another adventure... Fishing with grandpa!