Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Crawfish Roban Pasta

Crawfish Roban Pasta

Two weeks ago at a bridal shower I had Shrimp Roban Pasta that was a knock off of a New Orleans restaurant.  The dish was delicious, but when I got the recipe and saw all the butter, heavy cream, and alfredo sauce I knew why it tasted so good.  This is my lightened up version of the dish.  It would be great with crawfish, shrimp, or chicken, but I had a pound of crawfish tails to use from a friend's boil so I went the crawfish route.  It doesn't get much easier than this.

-4 Tbsp butter
-1 bunch green onions, chopped
-4 cloves garlic, minced
-1/2 bottle blackened redfish seasoning
-1 quart fat-free half and half

-1 lb pasta of your choice, cooked al dente
-1 lb cooked crawfish tails

Melt butter in large pot over medium heat.  Saute green onions and garlic for 1 minute.  Stir in redfish seasoning and half and half.  Simmer sauce over low heat for 10 minutes.  Toss with pasta and crawfish tails. 

30 weeks

Here is what is going on with Noah this week according to;

If your baby is like most at this age, he's showing signs of separation anxiety. Far from being a cause for concern, stranger anxiety is a sign of your baby's growing understanding of the world around him.  Earlier, when you left the room, your baby was hardly phased. Now he knows that you're gone — and he's able to picture you and miss you — and may begin to cry as soon as you're out of his sight.  Your baby's reluctance to be separated from you may delight you or just plain frustrate you at times. If you head out to do an errand and your baby's staying home, shower him with loads of hugs and kisses before you head out the door and tell him you'll be back shortly. He won't understand that you'll be returning in an hour, but the love and affection might comfort him and tide him over until he sees you again.  Also, try to have a ritual of leaving that he can rely on each time you go and leave him with someone he's familiar with. That way, if he can't have Mom or Dad, at least he'll feel happy with his temporary caretaker.  Note: Even if your baby has been sleeping soundly through the night, he may now wake up periodically if he's experiencing separation anxiety — the two seem to be connected.

Teething can start as early as 3 months or as late as 12 months, but most babies sprout their first white caps (typically the two middle teeth on the bottom) between 4 and 7 months of age. Don't be alarmed if your baby has gaps between his pearly whites. Teeth often come up through the gums at odd angles, and spaces commonly disappear by age 3, after all 20 baby teeth have broken through.  Once your baby starts teething, you can expect more drooling and experimenting with sounds as he adjusts to having these strange new things in his mouth.  To ease your baby's discomfort, give him something to chew on, such as a firm rubber teething ring or a cold washcloth. He may also get some relief from eating cold foods such as applesauce or yogurt (if he's eating solids) as the cold may temporarily numb the pain. Giving a baby a hard, unsweetened teething cracker to gnaw on is another time-honored trick. You can also try rubbing your finger over his sore gums or applying an oral pain relief gel.

This has been another big week for our little guy, who is growing up WAY too quickly.  He hasn't been crawling much this week, and now seems to be more interested in trying to climb on the couch and coffee table and use anything he can to try to pull himself up to standing.  He's able to hold on to a stationary object, pull himself up, and stand (still holding on) for a minute or so.

One of his lower teeth has started to pop it's way out of his gums also.

For the last few days in a row Noah has gone back to sleeping through the night like he used to, and I'm hoping that his waking up was just a result of his tooth coming through.  He has started to really fight naps now and it takes all but a straight jacket and a small army to hold him down until he finally stops trying to sit up and allows himself to fall asleep.

We have now successfully added tofu, peas, homemade brown rice cereal, and egg yolks into his diet.  He nurses 6 times a day, with a solid food feeding at his second, and then third to last feedings.  For breakfast he eats 2 Tbsp of some form of grain cereal, mixed with one protein (an egg yolk, or 1 Tbsp pureed tofu alternated every other day), and 1 Tbsp of vegetable (alternating peas and carrots every other day).  Then for lunch/ afternoon he eats 1/4 c yogurt mixed with a fruit (usually 1/2 a banana, pear, or avocado).  Within the next week or two (after he turns 7 months old) I think we'll start dropping his nursings down to 5 a day, and initiate 3 solid food meals a day for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  He is starting to get the hang of drinking and sucking out of his sippy cup.  When I hold it for him he'll usually drink for a little while, but he's a little lazy about holding it for himself as of now.  I also tried some cut up banana as a finger food one day this week, when I would place a chunk in his mouth he would mash it with his gums and swallow.  After getting the hang of that I could pass him a chunk from my hand to his and he would put it in his mouth and eat it.  However he never quite got the idea or desire to pick the chunks off of his tray himself to eat them.  I think the introduction of regular solid food meals has started to bulk up our little one, he's starting to develop cute little fat rolls in places where they didn't exist previously.

I don't think that Noah is showing any signs of separation or stranger anxiety at this point.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Honey Mustard Dip

Honey Mustard Dip

I used this dip for a veggie tray, but it would also be great for chicken fingers or soft pretzels.  You could even thin it out a little more with some vinegar to turn it into a salad dressing.

-3/4 cup light mayo
-juice of 1/2 lemon
-3 Tbsp dijon mustard
-3 Tbsp honey

Whisk ingredients together, and chill until serving.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

29 weeks

Here is what is going on with Noah this week according to;

By now, you may have already told your baby that the telephone is not a toy, or that rattles are not for throwing, or that her sister's hair is not for pulling. At this age your baby may begin testing your authority by refusing to follow your simple directions. She's not really being disobedient or willful — just curious.  Keep in mind that she also simply can't remember things you tell her for more than a couple of seconds at a time. The best tactic is to use a simple "no" and then distract her.
Your baby's beginning to understand how objects relate to one another in three-dimensional space. She may be able to sort toys, grouping smaller items by size. Babies instinctively combine objects by stacking them and, as they get older, trying to fit them inside one another.  If your baby admires her reflection in a mirror and you suddenly appear behind her image, she's likely to turn and look for you instead of believing that you're in the mirror itself.  A simple game of peek-a-boo might be absolutely fascinating to your baby. That's because she's starting to understand object permanence (that an object she can't see can still exist) and loves games in which people or things appear and disappear.  Your baby can now straighten her back and twist her trunk as she sits. This ability enables her to sit for longer periods of play.

This has been a big week for our little guy.  He's a crawler now!  Saturday he started doing a couple scoots and ape walks (crawling on his hands and feet rather than knees and hands), but by Sunday he was able to get himself to something that he wanted a few yards away.  He's not proficient yet, but he's gaining speed, strength and stability with it everyday. 

We also tried several new foods this week.  We tried yogurt, which was the first food that I've seen him not like... I think it was too tart for him.  I got him eating 1/4 cup of it every day or two by combining plain yogurt with a mashed up banana, and then it went down just fine.  After a few days of that I was able to get him to eat it plain.  We also started on oatmeal cereal, which I made by grinding whole oats in the food processor and then cooking with water.  We also tried a cooked egg yolk one morning (mixed in rice cereal), but that didn't seem to go over too well... it was an off day for him and I couldn't get him to open his jaws for any solid food all day long... so I'm not sure if he hated the egg and shut down as a result, or if he just wasn't feeling well initially.  I'll probably wait a few weeks and then try again.  And finally we tried pureed pear.  This week I'm hoping to try pureed peas, tofu, and homemade cereal made from brown rice.  I've been giving Noah water in a sippy cup (because he still won't take a bottle), but he hasn't really mastered the sucking part yet.  He loves it as a toy, and chews on it some and gets some water out, but not much.  I've tried pouring a sip or two in his mouth every now and then, but it always results in him choking and the water not going down the right pipe.  I have given him several ice cubes to suck on though, and he seems to love those.  He's been drooling a ton, so I think he's getting close to teething, and I'm hoping the ice is giving his gums some relief.  Now Noah eats 2-3 solid food feedings a day, and still nurses every 3 hours.

Since age 8 weeks Noah has been sleeping through the night, from 8 pm until about 6 am.  Within the past week he has started getting up between 11 and 2, and then again between 4 and 5.  I am really hoping this is a growth spurt or a phase and that this isn't our new "norm".  In all it's still not bad cause I've had it so easy for so long, and I still get plenty of sleep around his feedings.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Super Baby Food

Over the last week I read the book Super Baby Food and loved it so much that I had to write a mini review of it here for all who may be interested.  Out of all the baby food books and cookbooks that I've read this was by far the most informative and exhaustive on the subject.  It provides plenty of instructions for how to prepare your own baby food from vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, dairy etc.  It also includes food safety tips, cooking instructions, storing/ freezing instructions, thawing instructions and more.  My favorite part though is that it has tables outlining what individual foods are allowed to be introduced to your child at each monthly marker, as well as sample menus for a balanced daily diet, and sample feeding schedules.  This is such a well balanced, nutritious plan for feeding children, and ends up being very economical by relying on quick and easy homemade grain cereals and fruit and vegetable purees.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

28 weeks

 Here is what is going on with Noah this week according to;

Your baby now actively engages in hiding games. Place one of his favorite toys on the floor and cover it with a napkin. Pull the napkin off and say, "There it is!" Cover it again and repeat. For more fun, hide an object under something and wait for him to discover it. It's one of the easiest ways to keep your baby occupied! Your baby can remember that the jack-in-the-box pops up at the end of the song — yet he'll still laugh every time. He's also able to recognize different tones and inflections and may burst into tears if you speak harshly.

Because he likes predictability, your baby enjoys playing the same game or reading the same book over and over. In addition to patty-cake, try adding classics such as "If You're Happy and You Know It" and "This Little Piggy" to your repertoire.

Your baby may have already started feeding himself finger foods, although this can begin as late as 10 months. Once he reaches this stage, you can introduce a sippy cup. Try giving him a cup with a spout and two handles. If your baby's getting frustrated that he can't get more liquid out of the sippy cup, remove the valve in the top of the cup. If your baby's having trouble figuring out how to suck through the spout, take the lid off the sippy cup and let him first drink straight from the cup (show him how to tip it back so the drink flows into his mouth). Switching your baby to a cup sooner rather than later might make it easier for him to give up the bottle. If you're breastfeeding, you can even bypass the bottle altogether and go straight to a cup.

Noah has become quite a little busy body.  He is constantly rolling, kneeling, dragging himself around, and trying to stand on his head.  He can lay on the floor or our bed for an hour twisting and turning himself about.  He LOVES it when I sing to him, even though my singing is awful.  Since he still screams at the sight of a bottle we have started trying to give him a sippy cup and seeing if he'll take that.  So far he seems to love the cup as a toy. but doesn't have much interest in trying to drink from it.  He loves to be around other kids and to play with them.  No new foods this week, in the process of unpacking we've just been sticking to basic banana or the carrot and sweet potato cubes that I pureed and froze.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Strawberry Spinach Salad

Strawberry Spinach Salad

I've been eating salads for lunch almost every day for the last month.  There's just something refreshing about  fresh veggies and fruits on a hot day.  I found strawberries on sale for $1 a pint this week and was inspired to incorporate them into my lunch routine.  If you prefer, you could substitute pureed strawberries and sugar for the strawberry jam in the dressing, but I was running low on berries so I used the jam instead.  This dressing will serve 2, so adjust as needed for number of guests.

-toasted almonds
-granny smith apple, chopped
-strawberries, sliced

-2 Tbsp strawberry jam
-2 Tbsp olive oil
-2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
-1 tsp salt
-1/2 tsp pepper

In a blender or food processor combine strawberry jam, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper.  Toss with salad ingredients.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day

after helping a friend prime the walls of her bedroom I came home to find Jeremy and Noah had made me this Mother's Day painting.  it's a little hard to make out, but the red is Noah's foot prints and the blue is his hands.  love these two so much!!!!

Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there!

Friday, May 6, 2011

loving this

through a delay in getting our new dryer functioning correctly I was able to find out that I love the act of hanging my diapers on a line to dry.  not only does it save money and electricity, but it gives the sun a chance to naturally bleach the diapers.  as long as it's not a rainy day I think this will be my method of drying diapers going forward.  there's just something so appealing in the simplicity and domesticity of this action.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

our new place

I haven't been blogging much lately because I've been busy packing, moving, and unpacking.  On Saturday we moved from Uptown to Mid-City New Orleans.  Our move was mainly based on finances, as we went from 2 incomes to 1 income we needed to reduce our monthly expenses a bit.  And although our expenses have gone down, this place is actually way nicer than our last place, and we even happen to like the neighborhood better.  Here are a couple pics of the outside, more photos to come soon once I've finished the unpacking.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

27 weeks

Here is what is going on with Noah this week according to;

Your baby can now support some of her weight on her legs, and she loves to bounce — something that can strengthen her muscles for walking later on. Hold her under her arms and help her stand up on the floor or on your lap. You may need to help her start moving by lifting her off the ground (or your lap) but once she starts, just watch her go! Be ready for lots of giggles. Your baby's fine motor skills are coming along. By now she can probably scoop things up with one hand and transfer an object from one hand to the other fairly easily. Fine motor skills involve small, precise thumb, finger, hand, and wrist movements and are used for actions like picking up things between the thumb and finger. Gross motor skills are required for activities like crawling, which use large muscles such as those in the arm, leg, or feet or the entire body. To encourage your baby's development of these skills, place a toy just out of your baby's reach and watch her try to get it. If she cries because she can't quite reach it, give her encouragement — but not the toy. She's just venting frustration and will become more physically confident more quickly if you don't make everything easy for her. After a few tries, she'll be able to lean forward to grab the toy and then straighten herself again. Before long, she'll be rocking back and forth on her hands and knees or maybe creeping (pushing herself around on her belly) or even repeatedly rolling over to move about the room. Help her move around easily by dressing her in loose, comfortable clothes.

We moved this week, and Noah seems to be adjusting well to his new surroundings.  This week he finally mastered sitting up on his own and now that's all he wants to do.  Anytime that I try to lay him down on his belly he throws his legs under him so that I put him down in a seated position.  I've also gone in to get him up from several naps to find him sitting upright in his crib staring at me.  With sitting upright has also come numerous head bumps.  He can sit well on his own, but once he starts playing with toys sometimes he gets too distracted to concentrate on sitting up and topples over.  I'm really wishing that we had carpet and not wood floors at this point.  This week Noah got to try pureed banana and really seemed to like it.  He really seems to like everything that I give him, but I think that banana and sweet potato might be his favorites.

Your baby's also showing an interest in small parts and the details of the objects around her. Her ways of exploring are growing beyond banging and gumming, although those are still part of every toy interaction. As she explores, be sure to keep buttons, coins, safety pins, balloons, rocks, and other choking hazards out of reach. At this age, babies tend to gravitate toward stuffed animals, big and small. One might even become your baby's favorite security object. If so, it'll soon be covered in drool and accompanying you everywhere. Don't worry: A "transitional object" like this can be a sign of emerging independence as your little one learns to separate herself from you and depend on herself — slowly but surely. When adding new members to your plush family, look for soft, well-stitched toys. Other good playthings include balls, nesting cylinders, pop-up toys, and large dolls. One way to tell if your baby has a favorite plaything or two is by trying to remove it from her. You may now find her protesting loudly when you take something away. If your baby insists on sleeping with a favorite friend, make sure it's small — your baby could use a larger one as a stepping stool to climb out of her crib or it could impair her breathing if it's too close to her face.