Friday, July 29, 2011

motherhood

I recently read this fabulous article that I thought I would share about motherhood. It was super encouraging to me!


http://www.desiringgod.org/blog/posts/motherhood-is-a-calling-and-where-your-children-rank


Being a mom can certainly be challenging {as I have learned in the last few months}, BUT I wouldn't want to be spending my days with anyone else....
Bath time tonight with his Daddy


-R

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Rebekah's kitchen: no-bake energy bites

I've been wanting to make homemade granola bars, but haven't found a recipe yet that I am thrilled with, so when I saw these energy bites, I decided to try them out!  The original recipe is posted here.  Despite the odd name {at least in my opinion}, these were SUPER easy to make, SUPER yummy and SUPER variable.  You could really use so many different ingredients- the options are endless!  If you click over to where I found the recipe, she has some good ideas for different combinations. I kept mine pretty basic because I already had everything but the dried coconut.


Here's what you need:
1/2 cup nut butter {i used peanut}
1/3 cup honey 
1 cup oats 
1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
2 teaspoons vanilla {i didn't measure- just threw a douse of it in}
1-2 teaspoons of your favorite spice {i did not know what to do here- so I just tossed in a little cinnamon and it turned out delicious!}
1/2 cup of other additive {i used chocolate chips.  i think nuts would be really good too.}


Mix the nut butter, honey and vanilla together.

Add in all the other ingredients and mix.  I added a few extra oats here since it was still a little sticky. Cover and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.

Take out and roll into balls. 

Keep in the refrigerator or freeze.  They apparently freeze indefinitely, but I doubt they will be around long enough to find out!  The recipe said they make 2 dozen and mine only made about 1 dozen.  I guess I made them bigger than I was supposed to!  


These turned out to be a great quick pick me up {especially for a nursing mama!}.


-R

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

linen closet organization & 4 month stats

Today I started working on a project while Thomas napped.  Somehow all of my nesting work while pregnant got "undone" pretty quickly when we brought a newborn into the house. So, now that life is a bit more manageable with a 4 month old and I am getting a bit more sleep, I thought I better get things back under control.  Here is what our linen closet looked like when I got started:
Before

Before
 YIKES.  Since we have no storage in our bathroom, this closet houses everything from towels to toiletries.  The organizer on the door was something I had in my closet in college- only this door is too small for it as you can see. 


So, I basically just went through one shelf at a time and took out anything we hadn't used in the last 2 years of living here {because chances are we wouldn't use it in the next 2!}.  Then I stacked up what was left neatly and used some plastic boxes that I snagged at Target for $6 for 5!  What a deal!  Even though it's not super drastic, I feel much better about it!
After

After 
I also snagged some pictures of our 4 month old bean.  He actually turned 4 months on Monday! Can you believe it?  We headed to the doctor yesterday for his checkup and another round of shots, which he actually did quite well for. Here's where Thomas stands:  
Weight: 16lbs. 15 oz. {75th percentile}
Height: 25 inches {50th percentile}
Head: 16.5 inches {80th percentile}

He jumped from the 5th  percentile in height at one month to the 50th at four months! That's a LOT of growing.  He also jumped up percentiles in weight and head circumference!  The doctor said everything was right on track and he was doing great :)  Thankfully we have two more months before we have to head back.

On to the pictures.  I pulled out the highchair {we were graciously given} today to see what Thomas thought of it.  I think he liked being higher off the ground where he could see more.  He even watched me make my lunch as I talked with him.  
Happy boy
 Then I gave him some toys to play with while I worked in the kitchen for a few minutes.
hmm...what should I do with this moose?

Eat it, of course!


Anyway, James is currently taking the National Board exam that he has been studying for for weeks!  He will be finished within the hour and we are planning to spend the next 4 days before he starts back in clinic just relaxing.  I am so proud of all of his hard work- he really deserves a break!
-R

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Rebekah's Kitchen: Triple Berry Crisp

Our friends/ neighbors invited us over for dinner tonight and I offered to bring the dessert.  I have been wanting to make crisp all summer and this was the perfect opportunity!  I used a Betty Crocker recipe and substituted the blueberries for a mix of berries.  It was delicious and everyone really enjoyed it!  It made about 6 large portions.  We left the extras with our friends for them to finish:) 


Here are the directions {in case you get the itch to make crisp this summer too}:


Preheat the oven to 375.  Grease the sides and bottom of the pan and spread out the berries {the recipe said 4 cups of blueberries, but I didn't measure. I just filled the bottom of the pan until it looked good.  I also used blackberries and raspberries with the blueberries. You can use fresh or frozen, as long as you thaw and drain them.  I used some of both.}:

Then gather the ingredients for the topping:
3/4 cup packed brown sugar, packed
1/2 flour
1/2 cup oats {old fashioned or quick cooking}
1/3 cup butter, softened
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Put them all together in a mixing bowl:

And stir until well mixed {easy, right?}

Spread the topping over the berries and pop it into the oven for about 30 minutes or until the topping is golden brown.  I found this to be right on- 30 minutes was perfect.

Then, spend time with your sweet baby son {who just woke up} and husband while it bakes!



I neglected to take a picture of the finished triple berry crisp since we left as soon as it was done to walk to our friends' apt.!  We ate it warm with vanilla ice cream! Yum.  Needless to say we are stuffed after a delicious dinner of brats on the grill with peppers and onions, grilled potatoes and corn on the cob and we had a fabulous time! 


-R


ps- i would like to make homemade granola bars- anyone know of a good recipe for chewy ones?

Sunday, July 10, 2011

lazy day at the lake.

After church we picked up Jimmy Johns and took Thomas to the lake for the first time. He's been in the pool twice and loves the bath, so we figured he would do just fine at a lake. And he did!  He was trooper as usual.  We bought a tent thing from Target so that he would not be in the sun {it actually ended up being a TOTAL flop since it created a greenhouse effect and we were sweating like mad}.  We were able to move it to create some shade just outside the tent where he could feel the breeze and take a nice nap.  James got a little bit of studying done and I mostly just stared out at the lake and relaxed.  We also spent lots of time playing in the water.



His favorite sleeping position

semi-smiling in his sleep {he does this all the time}


James trying to study
It was a sweet day. Now I am zonked and ready to hit the pillow.  Here's hoping Thomas sleeps really well tonight:)


-R

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Rebekah's Kitchen: pumpkin dip

I know it's not fall, but i love pumpkin things year round, so I thought I would share this fabulous dip recipe.  My sister, Jen, made it for a bridal shower that she threw me and it was SO delicious that I had to steal the recipe.  It's so good on apples, but also tastes great on gingersnaps and probably an array of other things.  It's also incredibly easy to make!


Here's what you need:

one small can of pumpkin {i used 1/2 of a large can that I had in the freezer}
one block of plain cream cheese 
3 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice
a half cup of Splenda OR 2 cups of powdered sugar {in my opinion the powdered sugar provides a bit nicer texture to the dip, but I use the Splenda for caloric reasons and it tastes just as good}


Then just blend all the ingredients with a hand mixer {you can do it in the blender to make it a bit smoother, but i think this is easier and less messy}:

And, voila! I usually let it chill in the fridge for awhile because I like it better that way, but you could just dig right in! 

So, there you have it.  Super easy and super delicious!


-R

Friday, July 8, 2011

sweet sleeping baby.


We took a video of Thomas sleeping the other day {and a quick picture}- oh the noises and expressions he makes!  So very adorable and something I will cherish for years :)


-R

Thursday, July 7, 2011

project ugly shelf.

i got the sudden urge the other day to start working on some of the projects i've been putting off since little Thomas came into our lives.  i am getting a bit more sleep these days and just feeling all around a bit more adjusted to being a mom.  


This shelf that resides at the end of our hallway was just dying for a makeover.  It's not real wood. Shocker, i know.  You would think they could make artificial wood grain look a bit better.  I finally decided that I just didn't want to look at its ugly self anymore and since I already had the paint and the baby was sleeping, i got right to work.

Before {i had already removed the shelves}

New paint {which was still partially wet as you can see. oh, and sorry for the bad lighting. i took this picture at night}
So, I'm not in love with what's on it yet- still a work in progress


I think it's definitely an improvement, right? This is not a shelf that I will keep forever, but for now it works :) 


I've already started working on the next project- blackout curtains for Thomas' room. One panel done, three to go.


-R

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

thumb in mouth.




Thomas pretty much just chews on his thumb when it gets in there, but yesterday he finally sucked it just a little bit!  I am hoping that he gets this down soon because it seems to be disrupting his naps {we had to go back to swaddling for naps because he couldn't fall asleep- he would lay there for an hour trying to get his thumb in his mouth and then cry because he was SO overtired!}. We have a very determined sweet little guy :)


-R

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

unexpected. unforgettable. {the Columbus, IN motto}

This past Saturday, we drove up to Columbus, Indiana to meet up with my bff from college and her husband who were in Indy visiting family.  We had such a great time talking, laughing and having them meet Thomas {he, of course, loved them by the way}!  I love that we can go for months without seeing each other and just pick right up where we left off.  I love that distance {they live in FL} doesn't mean we can't stay friends. I love that our husbands like each other! I love that one day we are planning to be neighbors!

Anyway, we ate breakfast at a little deli in town, strolled around a farmer's market and went to a nearby park to hang out in the shade....and do a little photo shoot:











Laura and Matt, we miss you already!

-R

Monday, July 4, 2011

tummy time @ 3.5 months.

Thomas' hatred for tummy time is steadily growing.  It's about the only time that he fusses! And for some strange reason he feels the need to try to eat the blanket that he lays on rather than practice holding up his head.  This, of course, frustrates him to no end!  On the boppy he does a bit better, but I still only get faces like these:





Put him on his back though and you will most definitely get one of these:

He is seriously super smiley these days and we are loving it.  There is just nothing better than a big gummy smile!  Well, except a laugh- which I am eagerly waiting on!


We have officially dropped the swaddle {went cold turkey as of 2 days ago} and Thomas decided he liked it so much that he would sleep through the night last night!  It was wonderful not to even have to crawl out of bed once. I would really love it if he would keep that up!  We'll see.  Today, however, he had trouble napping unswaddled because he is really wanting his hand in his mouth and it frustrates him.  Since he almost never cries before nap, I walked in to check on him and found him crying with him thumb hooked in the side of his cheek.  He just can't seem to figure out how to get it into the middle of his mouth to suck on it.  I hope he learns this very soon!


Anyway, for the 4th James studied and I painted {new project pictures coming soon}- exciting and patriotic, i know.  We did grill out for lunch and we decided to skip the fireworks this year...maybe next year Thomas can actually enjoy them?


-R