Archive | February, 2011

First tooth… or two.

26 Feb

So I realized last night that I have never given the real first-semester law school round up.  What was I thinking?

We’re almost to spring break now, and over 1/3 of the way through this second semester.  It’s crazy to think about.

Joel did great in his first semester.  It was definitely a time of adjustments – I mean, I was used to seeing him a lot more, and then all of a sudden he was doing school work all the time, writing papers, reading heinous amounts of material for school.  And then came Clara.  And that was a whole set of adjustments in and of itself.  But we survived.

And Joel ended up with an average of 90 over all his classes for the semester.

I could not be more proud.  Seriously.

I think Joel was proud, too.  He sent his mom and dad a picture of his report card.  And it is posted on the refrigerator.  Still.  Heehee.

So, here we are, almost halfway through the second semester, and he’s still working hard.  We’ll see what this semester-end brings.

Clara is going to be 5 months old on Monday.  Hard to believe, isn’t it?  She got her first tooth Thursday.  It came out of nowhere.  She woke up at 12:30 and then at 5:30 that morning, and I didn’t really think anything of it.  I figured she was just hungry or something, since I fed her and she went right back to sleep.  Then that night, I was feeling her gums, thinking that a different tooth might be on it’s way, but as it turns out, her bottom right center tooth has cut through her gums.  Well, that explains the 5am wakeup call.

And then.  Yep.  And then I felt the second one.  Top right center.  Most of the way through the gums.  This crazy girl cut 2 teeth the same day.  She’s a bit camera shy with them so far, but you know, one day she’ll let me snap a picture, and then you will see them too.

So, no more chewing on my finger for Clara.

Baby food making has been interesting.  Last night I made sweet potatoes, green beans, and peas.  Nothing crazy.  Clara doesn’t really like the green beans.  Could be because it’s not as smooth as everything else.  I can’t figure out how to make it all velvety and smooth like the sweet potatoes.  Any ideas?

Favorite Recipes: Corn tortilla crunchies

25 Feb

This isn’t so much a recipe, as just an idea for a little garnish.

Last week I made Pioneer Woman’s Chicken Tortilla Soup.  Let me tell you. It. Was. Good.

Just do yourself a favor and go over there and make it.  Tonight.  Just do it.  You’ll thank me later.

She recommends cutting corn tortillas in strips and putting them in the soup.  Personally, I don’t love the texture of corn tortillas.  So I decided I was going to toast them first.  I cut maybe 5 corn tortillas into strips and drizzled them with a little olive oil, then sprinkled the whole pan with salt, cumin, chili pepper, and a little garlic powder.

Put the oven on broil and slide that pan in.  Just keep an eye on them and flip them over or stir them around a few times until everything is crunchy.

Warning: these are seriously addictive, and I could eat them by themselves all day long.

But they were a perfect garnish for the soup.  I’ve also used them on top of taco salad this week, and I think they’d be lovely on top of chili, other soups, and pretty much anything else you could think of.  Yummmm

2011 Goals Update

17 Feb

Since it’s the middle of February, I thought it would be an appropriate time to give a progress report of my goals.  Things are, well, going.

– Get back in shape.
1. Start and complete the Couch to 5K program. (Tomorrow is Week 1, Day 3) – had a little bit of a slow down here, but today is Week 4 Day 3.
2. Run in a 5K race. – haven’t signed up for one yet, but either March or April, watch out!
3. Get back to Crossfit. This is my third week back.  It’s going pretty well.  Somehow I always manage to go on the days when they mix in running or rowing. it kills me to do that and the lifts.  But it’s good for me, right?  I am constantly sore, but it’s that good kind of worn-out-because-you-did-something sore.
4. Mix in weight workouts. Crossfit includes olympic lifts, so that’s filling this spot for now.

– Take time for myself. Read, create, be inspired, relax. This is hard for me to do. Especially when I’m trying to keep the pressure off of Joel so he can concentrate on school. That doesn’t leave a lot of time for me. But to keep myself sane, I have to try.  Haven’t had much time to myself besides when I work out.  But that’s a start, I guess.

– Complete my 365 Days of Clara project. Maybe continue it for a second year. I’m loving it so far, and I can’t wait to put together a book for the whole year. Still going strong.  I think this year I’ll continue on my phone.  Next year, as she’s more mobile and active, I plan on using my pro camera every day to get at least one shot of what she’s doing.  Activities, new skills, and whatnot.  Something a bit more artsy and professional looking… But as far as documenting every day life, I’m doing pretty well with the iPhone.

– Be intentional with friends. Every week (or almost every week) I have lunch with Emily and Elizabeth.  I’m hoping that when things calm down in the next week or so, there will be a crafting/sewing day with Heather and Susan.  I’m working on this.  Slowly but surely.

– Go on dates. January date, check.  February date – check.

– Get the house done.
1. Hang pictures on the walls. In Clara’s room, create more paintings for the walls. Got a few up in Clara’s room.  Hung the India pics in the living room.  Lots more to go.
2. Create a frame/art wall in the entryway. I’m hoping to get this done in the next few weeks
3. Paint our bathroom. Maybe a nice calming shade of grey/slate blue? Gotta pick a color…. dang decisions.
4. Fix up my craft room. This is a work in progress.  But I am making progress.  Most of the boxes are now empty, and my supplies are actually out where I can see them.
5. Get some area rugs. Ugh.  Our living room is really big.  I can’t find anything big enough for the room that I actually like or that is reasonably affordable.  Frustrated with this one.
6. Get bedroom furniture. Done!  And now that we’re used to having a headboard and footboard, I LOVE it!

– Shoot some killer weddings! I had a great New Year’s Day wedding, and now I have 13 on the books for the rest of the year!  Excited!

Happy Valentine’s Day (slightly belated)

16 Feb

Well hello there, friends.  I hope that you had a lovely Valentine’s day.  We had a very long day yesterday.  Joel’s car was in the shop, so we were up early early early to drop him off to class.  We spent the morning running errands and making a few returns and then went up to the gym before heading back to pick him up from school.  I didn’t get a chance to get any pictures of Clara on her actual first Valentine’s Day, so we played make-up today.

We’ll just pretend it was on February 14, K? K.

I do love the smell of a clean baby, so that’s where we started out.

Clara has started doing this thing where she makes the same face when she sees or hears the camera.  So I have to take LOTS of pictures to avoid getting 500 of the same face.



This face just makes me laugh.


After bath time, Clara agreed to model my newly re-upholstered chair for me.  She is a pretty cute model, if I do say so myself.
Her latest trick is getting her feet in her mouth and trying to eat her toes.  I love the cross-eyed look as she focuses on her target.
Pure joy.
Happy Valentine’s Day, y’all.

Adventures in Making Baby Food

9 Feb

I never thought I would make my own baby food.  I always thought that was for folks a little crunchier than me.  I figured there was no way I’d ever have time for it either.

And then Clara started eating baby food.  And I went to buy our first little bit of it.  It’s pretty expensive.  Over $1 for 2 little stage one containers, and if you buy the stuff in jars, it’s even more than that.  So, I decided that I could buy produce and roast, boil, steam, or otherwise cook it and puree it in the handy-dandy magic bullet and make my own.

Seriously, it’s not hard, and it doesn’t take all that long.  Yesterday I roasted a butternut squash and an acorn squash and made 4 ice cube trays full of baby food.  I think those two squash cost me about $4 (they weren’t on sale), and I made a TON of food with it!

The butternut squash I just made plain, but I added some cinnamon and nutmeg (no sugar) to the acorn squash and it actually tasted really great.

Yes. I tried it.

My ultimate goal for Clara is for her to love all kinds of different foods.  I want her to eat what we eat, and I absolutely do not want to have to make her something different every night for dinner.  No chicken nuggets or hot dogs every night.  If we’re having Indian food, Mexican food, soup, etc., I’d like her to eat that too, or at least try it.  She might not like everything, and that’s fine.  And clearly this is a while down the road yet, but I want to start experimenting with different flavors, seasonings, spices, etc., so that she figures out that there’s a world full of different tastes to try.

Maybe I’m dreaming.  But I’m going to try my darndest.

Eventually I’d like to do something like curried sweet potatoes, black beans and rice, and the like.

For now, Clara has tried rice cereal, carrots, and peas.  I think peas were her least favorite so far.  I can’t say I blame her.  I hate peas.  So does Joel.  But she did eat them, and didn’t spit them back out at me.  She just stopped eating far sooner with those than she did with carrots.  Heehee.

I found this website the other day when I was perusing the interwebs for baby food recipes – smitten kitchen baby.  Deb has posted some really yummy sounding baby food recipes that I fully intend to try out!

The Chair

8 Feb

So, an update on the chair… A lot of the fabrics that I liked were somehow out of stock when I went to order.  So I started my search over again.  And I found this.  A stripe that has the same colors as the polka dotted fabric, and an orange that just happens to match my wall almost exactly.  Not too much of it, but just enough to pull it in.  And it has blue.  Really, I think it was meant to be that everything else sold out.  I wasn’t sure about the scale of some of those other patterns as well.

Anyway, here’s what I went with.  I think I got enough that I can make a little throw pillow after I’m done reupholstering.  Yahoo!


Pardon the Tracer machine in the shot – I’ve been trying to get a little more artwork done for Clara’s nursery in my free time.  Oh, wait.  What free time?

But back to the important stuff – what do you think of the fabric???

Favorite Recipes: Cucumber and Dill Pasta Salad

2 Feb

I’ve taken this one to several pot-luck functions and it’s always a hit.  A slightly different, lighter version of pasta salad.  Fresh tasting, and really easy.  It’s definitely better when it has some time to sit and the flavors combine before you eat it.


Cucumber and Dill Pasta Salad


2 cups macaroni
2 cups cucumber – peeled, seeded and chopped
1 cup chopped tomatoes
1 cup low-fat sour cream
1/2 cup skim milk
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill weed
1/2 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar


Cook pasta in boiling salted water until al dente. Drain, and rinse in cold water. Transfer noodles to a large bowl.

In a separate bowl, mix together sour cream, milk, dill, vinegar, and salt and pepper. Set dressing aside.

Mix cucumbers and tomatoes into the pasta. Pour in dressing, and mix thoroughly. Cover, and refrigerate at least 1 hour and preferably overnight. Stir just before serving.