Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Name that tune.

My boy has a first name.

It's H-E-N-R-Y.

My boy has a second name.

It's M-E-I-G-S.

Oh, I love him more everyday, and if you ask my why, I'll say.......

He is my D-E-A-R-M-A-N.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Am I trying to be the Pioneer Woman? Never!

How to make "Laura's Black Bean Soup"
The Cast of Characters:
two cans of black beans, large sweet potatoes, jar of salsa, broth/stock/boullion, onion, garlic, olive oil

I am using my mother's old Le Creuset dutch oven that she so kindly handed down to me at my request. If I wasn't using my dutch oven, I would be using my mother's hand-me-downed heavy bottomed big stock pot. If I didn't have a heavy bottomed stock pot, I would continue in whatever big pot I had handy.
You will soon see that my cooking style is not very particular to rules.
I like it like that.

Heat up the olive oil in your pot in anticipation of the garlic and onions. How much olive oil did I use? I have no idea....I measure in splashes, dabs, and smidges. For some reason, I was concerned that I would forget to add the garlic (no squeezing the garlic in that little thing that makes your hands so smelly for this girl) so I just went ahead and stuck my 3 pieces of garlic into the cold olive oil. Remember, I'm not big on cooking rules.

Cut the onion. No, this is not my dirty countertop. Taylor made me a cutting board from a leftover piece of our new countertop. Some nights, I am really into chopping my vegetables really tiny. Some nights, I just give the veggies one good rough cut and call it done.

I went ahead and peeled and chopped the sweet potato. Since my sweet potato pile looked puny and I really do enjoy chopping vegetables, I went ahead and prepped a second sweet potato.

Once I think the olive oil is hot enough, I like to throw one piece of onion in the pot to see if it will sizzle. Tonight, I just dumped all the onion in at once and waited for the immediate sound of sizzling. There was no sizzle.

At this point, Taylor decided to come into my kitchen and start a debate about Israel so I gave him the job of browning the onions and garlic. As you can see, he did a very good job.
As Taylor tended the stove, I got my beef broth ready. I really like this jar of "Better Than Boullion" that Taylor bought at Kroger. Me? I never would have paid $6 for beef boillion but it is MSG free, which I do like. Last time I made this soup I used vegetable broth in a box. Next time, I will probably use the frozen chicken stock in my freezer. But tonight, I will demonstrate to you the wonders of "Better Than Boullion."
Yes, I know what you are thinking

7 minutes of microwaving later, we have beef boullion. So, Laura, how much stock/boullion/broth did you use? Well, I used one big bowl of water and one big spoonful of "Better Than Boullion."
Enough said.

Dump the liquid of your choice into your big pot of choice.

Rinse your two cans of black beans in a colander. Don't let any of that nasty canned bean juice into your delicious soup unless you want it to taste very unhomemade.

Add the beans.

How did I decide how much salsa to use? Well...I defininitely would have used the whole jar had Taylor not made a special run to the gas station, just this afternoon, to get us a big bag of chips to dip into our fancy organic salsa. So, I added just enough salsa in the soup so that we could still dip our chips later in the evening.

Add your sweet potato or two and give your soup a good stir.

Bring to a nice rolling boil.

Add the lid and simmer until the sweet potatoes are fork tender.en

If you like, top off your bowl of black bean soup with a dollop of sour cream, a shake of cheese, and a few green onions. I did and I liked it!

Personally, this soup is entirely too watery for my taste. Will I eat it for supper? Yes. I am extremely hungry. But personally, I prefer a nice thick stew. However, the best thing about homemade soup is that it just gets better with time. By lunchtime tomorrow, this soup will have magically become a thick stew.

Mmmmmm. Oopy goopy goodness.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Better Thoughts

After much retrospection of yesterday's doctor visit, I am feeling better about the whole experience. To be honest, the bleeding wasn't quite as bad as I described. It was just a finger prick, but it did continue to drip for a very long time and there were blood stains on his outfit. Henry's rash (which is probably exzcema, although the doctor never used that descriptor) is much better after one night of prescription cream. It now just looks more like dry skin and isn't nearly as red and splotchy. Jamie made me feel better about giving Henry the Singulair for his allergies, which I was very uncomfortable about. I hate the thought of giving Henry so many pharmaceutical products -- especially after I have been living with Taylor for so long and his many conspiracy theories! Since Henry is exclusively breastfed, I am also taking a closer look at my diet and I am drastically cutting back on wheat and gluten (no more half dozen of bagels a day for me anymore...) since wheat is such an allergen and I consume SO MUCH wheat on a daily basis.

We will get results from the lead test next week....

Thursday, February 19, 2009

6 Month Well (?) Baby Check-Up

Henry and I just got home from our most traumatic doctor's visit yet.....

a. The "yes" to the question "Was your house built before 1960?" question led to a finger prick for lead in Henry's blood stream. For this I was glad -- I've been worried about lead poisoning since before I ever got pregnant....our house was built in 1949 and once the trim paint started to peel and crack, we sent a sample and a $30 check to the chemistry department at MSU. Our lead levels are above the federally mandated level. Now we wait for the lab results. I will keep you posted.

b. The finger prick went surpisingly well. No tears.

c. The aftermath of the fingerprick is where it got traumatic....Henry was immediately intrigued with the blue bandaid wrapped around his finger. As I studied his chart, like I always do when the nurse or doctor leaves the room, he went to work sucking that bandaid. Soon, he was eerily quiet.....not only had he sucked the bandaid off his finger, he was in the process of beginning to choke on that same bandaid. I swept the bandaid out of the back of his mouth, he gasped for air, and he was just fine. Thank you very much.

d. Yet, his finger still bleeds. Bleeds. Bleeds. Still bleeding after 10 minutes of applied pressure with a piece of gauze I found in a drawer. By the time the doctor gets into the room, I have decided he can just bleed on his hand-me-downed through several children outfit. By the way, he was still bleeding when I strapped him into his carseat for the ride home.

e. I get out my list of concerns to share with the doctor. She shares my concern for his full body rash and declares that this rash/dry skin is most likely the reason he is not sleeping well at night. She breaks the news that this rash is definitely uncomfortable and itchy. I am immediately devastated. He has had this skin issue for months now and I have done nothing more than apply aquaphor and insist that it doesn't bother him. Bad mother of the month.

f. All of my concerns (rash, coughing, wheezing, hoarse voice, sneezing) share the common thread of allergies. Why would I expect anything different from my child? He gets some sort of cream for the rash and medicine for the allergies. Hopefully it helps. It would be nice to sleep again at night.

g. I was told to expect his top two teeth any day now. His gums are very puffy and swollen.

Henry weighs 16lbs 12oz (50%). His head circumference is 44.5cm (75%).
Drumroll please....he only grew half an inch in the past 2 months....he is now 24.5in long, placing him in the 5th percentile!!! Looks like he will be a little bit like his daddy!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Henry by the numbers.

6 ... months old today!
10...toes that he finally managed to get in his mouth all at once, just yesterday.
8....times that I laid Henry down in his crib last night, just to have him immediately wake up screaming.
1....daddy who had to take over because this mama was about to lose it.
2o...minutes of the "put-down." AKA as the amount of time Taylor slowly transitioned from rocking, to standing, to leaning over the crib, to laying him.
5...minutes of sitting up all by Henry's self yesterday.
3... different occasions I tried to entice Henry with rice cereal.
3...times he clenched his mouth tight and refused to even taste the rice cereal. Even after I used my finger and not a spoon....refusal.
9...nights we were away from home last week.
4...different locations Henry slept while we were away.
3...times he reached out to be held by his Grammy (no, not his Oscar...)
2...teeth! who received his first lessons in discipline (a firm "no.") after he bit his mama repeatedly while nursing. And, he learned!! No more bites in 3 days......
132,986...bumps covering Henry's very senstive skin right now.
8...aunts and uncles.
2...parents who think that their baby is the best baby in the world!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Prettiest Girl in the World

Little Baby Girl Martha is changing and growing already..........

I might not love my dawgs yet, but I promise I will..........

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

babies, babies, babies

Martha is still precious. The new family of three came home from the hospital yesterday and the sweet baby girl was pooped....she slept in her crib for hours. She has a super girly squeal to show her displeasure at life on the outside. And, she is so tiny -- but, Henry was apparently even tinier because her 0-3 outfits already fit and Henry was still sporting his one preemie outfit to his two week check-up. I love her and will post more pictures soon!_________________________________________
I decided Martha needed to rest without Henry's incessant fussing for his mama whenever my back is turned occasional peeps, so I packed him up in Martha's cute new stroller and we walked to Lizbeth's neighborhood park. I love Tallahassee.....the entire city is filled with trees, walking trails, parks, and green spaces. Quite the departure from Mississippi.

This is the walking trail/playground/tennis court/ballfield/green space less than 5 minutes walking distance from Lizbeth's house. I tried go 'off road' to walk amongst the trees but Henry did not like all the bouncing and made his opinion known loud and clear, so I stayed on the sidewalk.
This boy loves strolling outside. and me. and all the attention I give him. and smiling at the camera. and exploring the straps on this new stroller. and this super cute outfit his Grandmama bought him.

Notice Henry's rapt attention to the left. A daddy was pushing his toddler in that swing. Not only was this man pushing his son's swing, he was also making a very loud business call on his bluetooth, totally ignoring the other other son sleeping in the stroller on the other side of the playground, and POOTING very loudly with absolutely no shame.........

By the time Mr. Pooter and family left the swings, I finally realized that Henry needed to lean forwards, not backwards, and he really started to enjoy himself.
Taylor: I bet Henry would love to have his new swing installed by the time we get back home this weekend. He is growing up fast!!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

A New Mama is Made.

Martha has officially newest niece was born this morning at 7:30(ish) am, weighing 7lbs and 8oz and is 20 1/4 inches long. She is extremely cute with blond hair and blond eyelashes and very rosy pink skin. Lizbeth is doing great after 28(ish) hours of contractions! I took some great pictures of Mama and Baby but I promised that I wouldn't post those pictures. :(
David is a proud papa--taking control of diaper duty.

Henry is clapping for his newest cousin! Really, he is trying to clap....I am too tired to explain, but get ready to read all about Henry's first "baby trick" in a future post!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Martha, Martha, Martha

Little Martha is working on making her arrival.....Lizbeth is at home ith contractions between 5 and 10 minutes apart. My mother and I are getting ourselves (and Henry) ready for our 4 hour drive. I will update once we arrive in Tallahassee and know more details!!

Thursday, February 5, 2009


So, I still tend to think that my baby is so teeny tiny....his shirt fit perfectly! I couldn't believe it....for sure, it was going to be too big. This picture was taken early in the morning...the ensemble was perfected by the end of the day with a brown/white striped onesie and camo pants. Too bad I didn't take a picture of Henry's sad sad face while I changed his outfit every couple of hours.

This picture is extremely current, i.e. about 30 minutes ago....we are spending the night at my aunt and uncle's house in Tupelo. To be honest, he wasn't this thrilled about his sink bath the entire time. But, it couldn't have been too bad if he could get this excited with me hidden behind my camera and just clicking my lips at him.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Henry Tells All.....

DID YOU KNOW...............?

...I love playing with my stuffed monkey from Aunt Lizbeth...

...I am named after my grandfather and my great-great grandfather...
...I am cutting my first tooth at this very moment...although there is no visual indication of this tooth, my mama and daddy have felt it's sharpness on their fingers.....
...I went to my first birthday party and slept in the arms of a stranger for over an hour...
I have a cute picture depicting the scene, but blogger isn't cooperating.
_________________________________________________ cousin, Martha, is due in 2 weeks... ____________________________________________________ mama bought me a cute new shirt from Make Mine Monogrammed....I would model it for all my adoring fans but it's still too big!
...our dog, Maggie, has a new home thanks to CARA and
________________________________________________ mama and I are going to visit Grandmother and Granddaddy in Foley next weekend..,....even though I won't partake of the items in the picture below, my mama sure is excited about a shrimp po boy. She thinks the Stella Artois doesn't look so bad, either..... ____________________________________________________
...I now sleep unswaddled, wiggle and scoot all over my crib at night and prefer to sleep on my side...

___________________________________________________ daddy let me put up the star on top of the Christmas tree...

My mama has been a bad blogger of late, but she promises to do better...............