January 31, 2013

Walking Before 5 Months?

I remember the first time my mom stood Santi up and said, "big boy!" - I immediately heard the voice of some looney-bin magazine writer, "if you stand a baby up too early their legs will get twisted forever!" so I wasn't completely into it  - until I tried it myself. Of course, my instincts told me that was just another opinion and I came to my senses, this baby is gonna stand one of these days, and there is no harm in showing him what his legs are capable of! Shaking... wobbling... you can do it, Santi boy!

Building leg muscle in babies is fun, it is not as if we are attaching him to sticks, forcing him to stand, and not going to bed until he takes his first 10 steps. At his four month check up, his pediatrician stood him right up to check his leg strength - and voila! Standing baby, he has become. He now stands for long periods of time, while we hold his hands or lean him against our legs while we're standing. To imagine this guy standing, crawling, even sitting up on his own before he takes his first steps is --- madness! Remember when we had a newborn baby but he was only a newborn for about 4 hours and then he turned into a toddler? Remember that? I do.

That being said, he isn't walking quite yet. But I won't be surprised if I walk into his room one of these mornings and he is outside of the crib, sitting on the rocking chair, reading himself a book and drinking some coconut water. He probably does that when we're sleeping. I bet he laughs at us inside while we "pretend walk" him around the house, up the stairs and stand him on the kitchen counter. "Silly rabbits, they have no idea..." he thinks. Oh, the memories of watching baby's every thought come to life in "Look Who's Talking"  - make a version of this staring yours truly, Santiago James, potential movie star? Ohh if only I had the time!

That you may fear the Lord your God, you and your son and your son's son, by keeping all His statutes and His commandments, which I command you, all the days of your life, and that your days may be long. Deuteronomy 6:2

January 30, 2013

Bible Time While Baby Sleeps

One would think that being a part time stay at home mom includes a whole lot of free time. I mean, babies sleep quite often, I'm not working an 8-hour shift outside of this roof I'm under, and I can sleep in as long as I want to - right? Hmph. Okay, maybe I'm the only one who -used to- think that SAHM's of the world had loads of free time. We don't. I've come to realize this as a fact, and embrace its reality. Here's the thing: if you want to get something done, you have to do it before baby wakes up in the morning.

For some mommies, this isn't as simple as setting the alarm clock for 6:00am. For me, this is the case. Our Santi sleeps in 'till either 7:30am or 8:30am, always awake for the day before 9:00am. If he wakes in the early seven o' clock hour, his first nap naturally takes hold of his body around nine o' clock, and it's as if the nighttime was extended because he can be out for up to an hour and a half, while it still feels like the day hasn't fully commenced. With this almost consistent schedule, I found I needed to wake up around 6am if I wanted to get some time with Jesus in the day - at the start of the day - as well as bible time, exercise time, and blogging.

Recently, though, I have been given the responsibility of working from home on my not-going-into-the-office days. Working from home is again, something I had a very weird idea of. I picture someone sitting at their at-home desk and typing away, answering phone calls, for 8 hours in the day. Maybe their children are playing during these hours, sleeping, eating... and mom or dad is typing away, eyes glued to a computer screen. Eight hours in a day? Of course! Of course not. I average not-so-many-hours a day... adding up a morning nap (1-2 hours) an afternoon nap = cooking time, and evening visit from grandparents = adult time, hubby's arrival from work = bedtime routine time. Once Santi is sleeping "for the night" (he usually wakes 1-3 times after we put him in his crib and we hold him to sleep), his papa and I dine on nighttime smoothies with muesli and buckwheat, and shortly after, call it a night. Did you see how many hours I worked up to on the computer? A pity, I know.

Yet, God provides. He provides us with enough time in our day to -manage wisely- and give to Him. I'm able to feed Santi during the early hours of the morning, which can be anywhere from a 3am meal to a 5am meal, then walk myself to the kitchen for a banana to wake me up, time in God's great Word, and then I go from there. I really amd feeling such a closer relationship to Christ, and love being filled with His scripture each morning. I'm working on trying to memorize verses throughout the day, even if it's one specific verse that I keep referring to throughout the day. I am filled with hope when I dive into the Bible, I am motivated and inspired to fight hard to live a life for Christ and share what He has done on my walk with Him.

And with each verse I read, each morning I am able to spend listening to His teachings, I am in awe of how much love He has for every person He created. In awe of how much He gives when we hardly give anything back in return. In awe of His blessings, poured out before us, in trial or in tribulation, in the good and the bad times, He is always loving us and reminding us of the never-ending source of help that He is in our lives. I thank Him for His blessings, for the gift of Santi in our lives, for placing him in our hands so that we can praise the Lord's good name and see the miracle of life that He forms in a woman - some 490,000 babies a day! He is good, He is powerful, He is everything. So even though I'm a sleepy head and don't always want to rise out of my bed before our baby boy does, it makes for a happier mama, which in turn makes for a happier almost-five-month old.

But if from there you seek the LORD your God, you will find him if you look for him with all your heart and with all your soul. Deuteronomy 4:29

January 29, 2013

Pinto Beans: It's What's For Dinner

Looking for simplicity in my lunches. Finding it, and sharing it with you.
This little bowl of goodness was actually an addition, a side kick if you will, to a pretty hefty, well-rounded meal. Remember the cauliflower pizza crust loaded with tomato sauce dressed veggies? Yeah, that huge plate of food called for a friend. And a friend was delivered indeed!

I've always had a hankering for a bowl of warm, freshly cooked beans. Rarely are they ever adorned this nicely, though. I figure, get that bean protein in some how today, no need -no time- to be fancy. This of course creates a great joy in me when a colorful bowl of pintos meets my glance. It's not often seen, it feels new, am I in a divine restaurant? Where did this gust of topping fall from?

This brings me to: a bowl of beans, and his South-of-the-Border flair. Heat up your beans, then add the following:

A sprinkle of chili powder
The juice of a small lemon
One small tomato, diced
Half a green onion, diced
A few cilantro leaves, torn up
Half an avocado, mashed or cubed
Some diced zucchini, optional
One tablespoon of salsa*
*I always use my hubby's classic: 30 Serrano chili peppers, 3 small tomatoes, 1/2 tsp salt, 1-2 tbsp water~pulse in a blender until almost puréed, leaving some pieces in there for good texture!

Oh, beans. I wonder if the peanut will love them as much as his parents do. One thing is confirmed, off the subject of food: This boy loves his grandma and grandpa! And my oh my - and I think they are pretty fantastic as well. The gift that they can see their munchkin so often is all thanks to our gracious God! Between Skyping with grandparents in Mexico City and giggling at his nightly visits with the Seattle squad (a fancy way of saying my mom and dad) - he sure is being filled with love! 

So we're training him in the walking way if life... What do you think, too early? Hahah... So much fun!

Because Your love is better than life, my lips will glorify You. (Psalm 63:3 NIV) - God's love is better than life, what a beautiful reminder! We are created to accept His love, share it with the people He places in our life, and glorify Him in all that we do. His love is better than family, His love is shown to us in our families. God's love is stronger than that of our spouse, stronger than the love we have for our children. His love for us is rich and true, never changes, always constant. He holds our hand in times of tribulation and delights in our song in times of joy. Thank You, Father, for Your love, always present!

January 28, 2013

Orange Dijon Balsamic Dressing Over Kale

He's got a thing for biting on toys with all his might, with a fierce purpose.

I've got a thing for eating strange food combinations, unintentionally so but always end up pleasing the taste buds. 

When I first discovered the basic massaged kale salad recipe I was won over. It was the commonly known and loved combination of olive oil, apple cider vinegar, sunflower seeds, raisins, and apple. The green leaves are either cut into small pieces or torn into bite-sized pieces, then massaged with a sprinkle of salt. My husband and I were instant friends of the green, and appreciated how plump the raisins turned after a day or two, while the kale wilted sweetly. Each hour it sat in the fridge the flavors mingled deeper. Each day it lived in our fridge, the anticipation of a plate of the salad beast grew. Yeah, it's that good.

After bringing this said salad time and time again to family gatherings, I felt the calling to branch out a tad with my kale messes. I stumbled upon a Waldorf salad recipe on Whole Foods' website, hubs and I again fell hard for the salt-free, no oil added concoction and it seemed to instantly replace its apple/sunflower seed/oil and vinegar drizzled friend. Family also enjoyed this new take on massaged kale goodness (except for my not-a-fan-of-celery brothers). Again, I made it so many times that change had to happen.

Then came this dressing... It was tangy, sweet, simple. The salad was adorned with red onion, bell pepper, mandarin oranges and walnuts. I was taken back by the loud flavor of a three-ingredient dressing, and the fact that kale alone with this citrus vinaigrette tasted fantastic. No real need to dice up a bell pepper, peel a few mandarins or cut up an onion. All you need is:

One orange, peeled
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup Dijon mustard

Then you blend them three items and toss your massaged kale with a few tablespoons of this drizzle-worthy goodness. Top with hemp hearts. Add veggies if you have a moment to. That, or serve atop a few warm slices of Brendan Brazier's buckwheat carrot pizza crust. Oh me, oh my. I had no idea this was going to taste this way. No idea this was going to be a winner. It so won. Taste buds: satisfied.

January 25, 2013

Cauliflower Pizza Crust: Loaded

You know, when you are less than a week away from leaving the house for a 12 day family vacation to Mexico City and you need to empty your fridge of every perishable food item present. You have a head of cauliflower, some carrots, some soaked buckwheat, maybe an acorn squash. Google becomes your right hand man, recipoe searching your only task at hand. The end result, after a handful of hours and a really well-behaved oven? Cauliflower pizza crust, carrot buckwheat pizza crust, raw acorn squash n' basil crust (that last one - out of the dehydrator, mind you). Today I share with you: Cauliflower pizza crust!

Once this particular day came around, I found a hinkering for not cooking much so I pulled two of these plastic-wrapped slices from the freezer. Microwaved for a few minutes (I've also re-heated them in a dry pan, with great results!) and topped with veggies. Red bell pepper and summer squash sauteed in tomato puree, italian seasoning, red pepper flakes and... pepper I believe. They were delicious and filling, served with a side of beans because I wuv my beanies.

Cauliflower Pizza Crust
makes 1 giant pizza, cut into 6 slices
inspired by Positively Vegan

1 head cauliflower
1/2 cup quinoa flour (or any flour you have on hand)
3 tbsp nutritional yeast
3 tbsp ground flaxseed + 9 tbsp water
1 tbsp italian seasoning
1 tsp garlic powder

1.) Preheat oven to 425* F, line a pizza pan with foil or parchement paper. Dust with ground flaxseed, cornmeal, wheat germ or hemp hearts - prevents sticking without oil!

2.) Wash and cut up that cauliflower of yours and, in sections, throw into food processor and grate until "rice" bits are present. Set aside in a bowl. Whisk together ground flaxeed and water, set aside. Add the flour, nutritional yeast, italian seasoning and garlic powder to your cauliflower and mix to combine evenly. Add flax gel. Bake for about 30 minutes, until crispy edges are present and the pizza crust is baked in the middle (might need to cover with foil to prevent edges from burning while you wait for the center to fully bake!

3.) Enjooooooyyyy!
Then the spouse was a rock star, beautiful, supportive man and rocked baby Santi to sleep for his afternoon nap. This is a blessing for many reasons, it prevented me from feeling lower back pain from yet another episode of "put the baby to sleep by walking up and down the stairs in not-so-great posture", I was able to get some work done on the computer, and Santi found himself very well rested later that night. Naps are gems, never take a good nap as just, "cool" but a lot more like "oh my goodness biggest blessing of this hour!" and them some.

Oh, round cheeks. Oh, concentrated eye brows. Oh, feathery hair. Love you, baby boy.

January 24, 2013

Baby Ties and Romaine Beasts

Our little man, dressed sharp for a day at home with his mama. Fluffy head of hair similar to that of a newborn chick, hopelessly unable to be tamed - and we love it! Love, though, also causes us to constantly try to tame it, with coconut oil, natural oils from his scalp and the like. Oh, son, the day your papa buys you your first little-boy friendly (does that mean edible?) hair gel. 

Protein in the form of pinto beans, in a mug, on the side. A head of romaine, the juice of one lime, half of an avocado cut into cubes, half a bell pepper, green, diced, a green onion, diced, a roma tomato, cubed, some summer squash, cut into bits, a tablespoon or so of salsa, fresh cilantro - lunch.

Enjoying God's blessings, one day at a time.

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might.
Ephesians 6:10

January 23, 2013

Green Sludge for Breakfast

After finishing the book, Eat to Live, and loving every word of its pages, I have been striving to eat loads and loads of green leafy goodness on a daily basis. This is easy when you throw a few handfuls in a blender with fruit and call it a snack, but I wanted to take it a step further. With a little (okay, a lot) of inspiration from Carrie over at Carrie on Vegan, I have come to this green madness that I call breakfast smoothie delight, middle of the day salad bigger than my face, and evening greens with chocolate - or something along those lines.

Also, a friend recommended the movie, Hungry for Change (on Netflix!), also very much enjoyed, and I felt motivated to add even more leafy greens into my belly. Which brings me to: cilantro and parsley! You can read all about how incredibly good for you they are on numerous websites, I just eat them 'cause they're wonderful tasting and make our bodies happy inside (and out).

My mommy-in-law in Mexico always uses parsley in her smoothies. Pineapple, apple, parsley and water - as simple as that! The great part about morning, or any time of the day, parsley drinks and seasoned foods is that the great leaf leaves your breath smelling great, and burping isn't too shabby, either. Here is the parsley smoothie I found:

1 handful of parsley, with stems (1-2 cups)
1 celery stalk
1 kiwi
1 banana
1 cup greens (I used collard greens)
8 oz water

It was extremely refreshing, filling and delicious! Definitely going to make it into the weekly round of smoothie recipes, I'm excited to share it with my hubs, too.

Cilantro, on the other hand, has always gone with tacos in my mind. So when I found a recipe for a cilantro smoothie, I was a little nervous. Even more so when it called for avocado, which I like in a savory, not sweet, way and tropical fruit (papaya, mango, or a peach) which I didn't have on hand so I was forced to improvise. Here's what went into the cilantro smoothie:

1/2 bunch of cilantro (medium-sized bunch)
2 celery stalks
1/2 avocado
2 bananas
1 apple

It was actually really, really good. My dad said, "tastes like grass", mom said, "..." but didn't hate it, hubby said, "cilantro is for tacos" and my taste buds said, "give us another taste, we're not sure yet" throughout the entire 20+ oz of smoothie. I loved the creaminess that avocado added, and the sweet banana of course, but man - I don't think I'll make it again, I am going to try to find a stellar cilantro smoothie for the future, though! I just can't get through enough cilantro on tacos alone before the bunch of pretty greens go bad, so I need a smoothie recipe to eat this herb up!

Brown green smoothie. How appetizing! A tip for keeping your green smoothies fresh for later-in-the-day consumption: self-sealing Mason jars. We grabbed a 12 pack at the grocery store and love them! They do just what their name implies: self seal, making the juice inside stay fresh and yummy tasting throughout the day. I have found, however, that overnight storage isn't that great, and makes the greens go bitter. Drinking right after blending is recommended! So fresh n' so clean clean. Happy blending!

(future consumer of green smoothies, for sure.)

January 22, 2013

(Part of) a Day in the Life: 4 Months Old

A sneak peak into part of our daily routine when I am home with our love bug! I am now working twice a week, while my mom and hubby alternate days of being  on duty as stay-at-home-papa and amazing-grandma. We feel extremely blessed, beyond what we deserve, and filled by God's grace as He heard our prayers while maternity leave was coming to a close. I love being a part time working mama and most-of-the-time at home mama, and papa Carrillo has his special father + son day once a week! Grandma P. and grandpa G. have a day with the nugget, all the while I pump away at work (must. keep up. milk supply. must. pump. every. 10. minutes. must. must.... okay, I pump 3x/day, but still. MUST!) which I had initially thought was the worse verb known to man: to pump. er. breast pump.

breast pump n(device for expressing breast milk)sacaleche nm
I extract milk with a breast pump so the nanny can feed the baby while I'm at work.
Es importante usar el sacaleche correcto.

But now I'm sold! Being able to produce milk in general is a gift from God, entirely. So the art of expressing milk at work so our little one can drink the goods the following day - beautiful. Hooray for pumping! Let's all unite in a room and eat lunch while being connected to the milk (stealing?) robots! Woosh, woosh, woosh, woosh. Yeah, the noise the electronic pumps make is pretty odd, must say. Can't it play music or something? Inventors, work on that, would ya?

Without further adieu: some of our day in the life fun times!

Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord. Ephesians 6:4

January 21, 2013

Baby Wearing: Moby Kangaroo

We love baby wearing! Can someone give us some pointers on preventing back pain, while taking part in the joys of baby wearing? That, and the art of walking baby boy to sleep - up and down a flight of stairs, while he is wrapped in a SwaddleMe, and our lower back aches, so we tighten our abdominal core, make sure we have good posture, yet still feel discomfort? Oh, yoga, I guess we all need to hang out with you for longer than 10 minutes a day. Maybe you're trying to tell us something. Maybe we need to look into hour long lower back repairing yoga videos. Maybe we need pilates. Maybe we should teach our baby how to lie his head on a pillow, close his sweet eyes, and fall into a deep sleep for the following nine hours. Maybe, just maybe. Or we could continue to carry baby and hope we don't permanently damage any muscles!

I find this new (okay, only new to me - since I know the other billion moms in the world already have this mastered) way of carrying Santi makes him super happy, and I love "holding" him while I cook, do a load of laundry, and go for walks (ha ha - yeah, right, 'cause this mama with a weak pelvic floor gonna go and walk with a 20 lb baby attached to her, no ma'am. I'm sticking to the stroller, thank you! - but by walk I really mean walk around the house while eating a banana). He loves himself a friendly human holding him while playing or making smoothies, but losing the availability to function with both arms isn't easy, so this wrap saved me! Woohoo wrapping. I am now switching between this guy and the Bjorn carrier, also friendly for working-around-the-house-gotta-get-stuff-done moms and dads, grandmas and grandpas, uncles and aunts and the like.

For any mommies that are curious, I learned how to Moby Wrap kangaroo style from Emily over at Daily Garnish - a Seattle mom who has an adorable, curly-haired toddler and lots of awesome mommy posts! Here is her instructional video (and super super helpful indeed!) on the kangaroo. Happy baby wearing and back strengthening!

January 20, 2013

Exercising - 4 Months Postpartum

Now that I'm constantly on an (enjoyed) time crunch, I have been waking up before the babe to get my daily workouts in. I seem to be craving a good stretch n' tone as well as am hoping to re-build the muscle I slowly lost while pregnant and less keen to weight lifting. I still don't have the O.K. from my physical therapist for weight lifting (re: pelvic floor = weak) or running, elliptical, jumping, jogging, hopping, stair climbing, cross fit - zero, nada, zilch. Thus comes: the exercise bike (living happily and almost untouched in our garage) and YouTube workout videos.

Here are my favorite workouts that I am able to do in my bedroom at 7:00am while Santi sleeps like a sweet, baby sheep! That, or he is lying down on the yoga mat in front of me and watching me as I plank over his chubby belly, trying to give him a kiss as I do a push up. Hello, Tara Stiles, nice to meet you. Can I downward facing dog with you as my guide? Thank you kindly. Oh, the purelytwins! Been following those girls' blog for a couple years now, and had never ever done one of their plank workouts. They are short (under 10 minutes) and killer - I usually yell, "nooo!" to the phone at least 4 times each workout, and they're pelvic floor/abdominal repair time friendly! Check them out on YouTube, they're lovely!

Please talk to your doctor or midwife before embarking on this journey that is postpartum exercising. Don't just do what I do and then hurt yourself or your insides. I am not to blame. The internet and the art of self diagnosing are to blame!

Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

Simply love your body, even if you can't squeeze in any sort of exercise! God made your body and only asks that you take care of it - He doesn't call us to do plank, yoga, run, swim, or do Zumba.

So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31

January 19, 2013

Wild Rice and Cabbage

Simple. Sprouted wild rice and quinoa mix from Costco. Cooked in water with chili powder and pepper. Simple. Green and red cabbage, cut into bite sized pieces and water sauteed with italian seasoning and red pepper flakes. Add half an avocado. Eat a large plate of greens on the side. Dinner is ready!

And, without any formal introduction, I give you: How Not To Put Your Baby in a Moby Wrap. teehee - it only looks this way because yours truly wrapped hubby up in the Moby, and I'm not pro at putting other people in this wrap as much as I can wear it myself. So then this happened! Don't worry, we fixed it. But first my husband walked around the house with his peanut - all crooked and lovely-like.

And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Colossians 3:15

January 18, 2013

Tangy Kale Salad Dressing

A good friend shared a recipe for a killer salad dressing. I ripped up some kale, smushed it between my fingers for a quick "massage" and drizzled this spicy, tangy sauce all over it. My 4 month nugget was sleeping nearby, so I actually filled the blender with:

1 cup almond butter
1 cup water
2 tbsp Liquid Aminos
1 thumb-sized knob of ginger
4 pitted dates
2 limes' juice and zest
2 tsp red pepper flakes

...then I proceeded to walk upstairs with the blender, go into our bathroom, shut the door and blend the concoction 'till creamy. Santi was asleep, like a beautiful rock (hmmm... rock..) and we had dressing in less than 60 seconds. It's spicy. It's salty. It's rich and wowza. It's dressing. Meet kale, enjoy.

The mushroom - ok, fine, he's a baby, I get it - is wearing 12-18 month old shirts and looking sharp. I have a feeling he's going to be as tall as his grandmas (short? nahhh...) once he hits a year old. We scared. We need to start gluing fragile items to the floor, wall, tables, and chairs. This child going to be gigantic. Maybe we can enter him into giant baby contests. Maybe we'll make money. Maybe I'll give you some.

Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Ephesians 5:19-20

January 17, 2013

Quinoa Sushi, Smiles from Baby

The last time we had sushi.... I was pregnant, it sat in the fridge for too long, I ate it the same day I ate some -old- pesto with rice pasta, and I held my stomach in wallowing abdominal cramp style for the entire night. Oh sushi, it isn't you, it's me. Side note: it was 100% veg sushi, no raw fish. So, to answer your question, no - I wasn't poisoned by uncooked fishies. I was poisoned by your-food-too-old bacteria. This sushi, however, rocked our world. Warm quinoa, Bragg's Liquid Aminos, red pepper flakes, Braggs's kelp granules - raw zucchini, romaine, red cabbage, avocado.

Oh look what we've found! A baby that smiles back at you almost every time you say hello to his chubby cheeks and round waist line. Oh, Santiago, how you remind us of the love God has for His children, the gifts He places in the lives of His sheep, the joy we have in His presence!

For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Ephesians 5:8-10

January 16, 2013

Fruity Breakfast. Rainy Walks.

Breakfast is so much easier these days. It consists of fruit, blended up in smoothie or diced up like so. Sometimes there are hemp hearts involved, sometimes almond butter, most times 1-3 bananas. No pressure, just fruit in my belly!

Walking is much easier these days, too. Something about not carrying your babe in the Moby Wrap for a half hour seems to help with keepin' the good ol' pelvic floor strong and my back happy. Bob Stroller, you're a champion. Rain, meet your match: a snow suit from a good friend! He fell asleep within 10 minutes of this really, really exciting rainy walk. I wuv stroller.

Counting our blessings. Thanking God for each morning, although I tend to forget to do so until after I fuss (like our 4 month old babe) about waking up when it's still dark out. Must wake up early to read bible, must wake up early to do yoga, must wake up early to do 8 minute plank workout, must wake up early to shower before our child needs me. Well, showers aren't really top priority. But, no one needs to know that.

Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. Ephesians 5:1-2

January 15, 2013

Polar Bear Baby + Greens

So, I've been enjoying this peanut these past few weeks... while not blogging much.

 All the while I've been eating huge plates of things like this plant beast.... while not blogging much.

Dressing atop greens: Whole Foods' recipe for kale waldorf salad found here!

Praising my amazing God for the gifts He has been pouring out in our lives, and taking each day as it comes to us.

January 14, 2013

Lentils n' Rice with Broccoli

Simplicity. Throw the ingredients together and bake it. Top with avocado. My kind of meal.

Green Lentil Casserole
Serves 2

2/3 cup green lentils
2/3 cup grain of choice (I used  TruRoots sprouted quinoa, brown rice and wild rice mix)
2 cups broccoli
2 green onions
1/2 tsp each: dry thyme, oregano, garlic powder, rosemary, pepper
2 1/2 cups water

Preheat oven to 375* F, mix all dry ingredients together in a medium size bowl. Transfer mixture to a baking dish (I used an odd-sized 9"x5" dish, but a square one would work, too) and add broccoli. Pour water on top and gently move broccoli around so it is coated with seasoning. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes, until water is soaked up and you find the lentils and grains soft.

January 13, 2013

4 Months

He talks. He poops in the toilet. He sings. He sleeps. He smiles. He is wearing 9-12 month old clothing. None of his socks fit him, besides the 24 month old fellas. He is losing some of his hair. He has chubby thighs. He pulls our hair. He sits and stands with help. He smacks books. He isn't a fan of bottles. He loves his reflection in the mirror. He giggles at his toys more than he giggles at humans. He pees out of his Bum Genius diapers at night unless I stuff 3 thick microfiber inserts in 'em. He sleeps in a SwaddleMe. He sleeps in his own room. He's four months old, and we love it!

hand eating: it continues, and it's going on strong. He will grab my hair while eating and bring it to his mouth (mind you, while he's already eating). He will grab your fingers and put them in his mouth. He will grab toys, your straw as you slurp your smoothie, his burp rag... it all goes into his mouth and all I can say is: hooray for not being in daycare! Everything into baby's mouth + a million other babies + bacteria you cannot avoid = numerous trips to the pediatrician, with a diagnosis or 6 of ear infections and strep throat. Oh, germs, you nasty!

His stats: at his four month well child check up he weighed in at 19.10lbs, 27 inches long, (both 98% for babes his age) and 56% in head circumference! Hooray for giant babies! His doctor says she imagines him thinning out a bit once he hits 6 months, which could continue until 9 months, so we shouldn't fret if he turns into a skinny bubba out of no-where. I wuv our chunk muffin and will definitely miss his rolls! Make them stay?

Mobile Baby? So, as of right now he is happy to sit with you holding his hands as he faces you, as well as sit pretty sturdy-like in your lap, on your leg, even in his bebePOD chair. He also really enjoys going from sitting to standing, his knees wobble a little but he smiles and giggles as we go from lying down, to sitting, to "up! Biiig boyyy!" and back down again. Really he'll go on for a long while before he's bored, I'm usually keen to stop before he even asks to because I'm ready to do something different! He isn't rolling over yet, but does enjoy tummy time a lot more than he did when he was an infant. On his back, he likes to roll to his side but not for very long unless there is a lot of excitement to see on his side (light up toys, hanging toys, his papa's face). I'm going to try n' practice a bit of stretches and strength training while his hips, legs, and tummy muscles to encourage fun mobility. I'm know I'm crazy for wanting to speed things up, don't get me wrong I'm thankful for his not-yet-crawling self at this time, but there ain't nothing wrong with strengthening them muscles!

On infant potty training: also known as, Elimination Communication. I read a little about it online and was a little intimidated. Here is Andrea's way of putting it:

"The first thing you should know:
Half the babies around the world are potty trained by 12 months (Pediatrics Magazine), yet in the United States, the average age is currently 3 years old (webMD).
The second thing you should know:
Finishing with diapers does not have to take 3 years. Elimination Communication, aka Infant Potty Training or Diaper Free Babies, is the natural alternative to diaper dependence and the dreaded toddler toilet training. You can stop changing diapers today, at any age.
And…the third thing you should know:
Elimination Communication should not be difficult to begin. Learning should be clear, fun, and smooth, with an ease about the practice within a few weeks. You can expect a certain amount of day or night dryness by 6-20 months (depending on when and how you begin).
You can do EC as little or often as you like. It fits every lifestyle. And it doesn’t have to be hard (if you know precisely where and how to begin)."

I bought her online book, EC Simplified, and love how she guides us parents! She really explains it in an easy-going, stress-free way, making me feel like there is no pressure in getting Santi to stay diaper-free or clean-diaper boy before he is 7 months old. We're going at it very slowly, too. All I am doing now is sitting him on the potty (I sit behind him and hold his legs so he feels supported) and say "poopy" while grunting a little, until he poops. We do this after each nap and/or feeding, especially first thing in the morning once he has a bit of time to wake up. He has pooped many times and peed in the toilet, it's amazing! Of course, he still poops in his diaper but when he does this, instead of going nuts and ripping off his pants n' diaper and running to the toilet, I simply tell him "poopy ughh" for the sake of sound association. I'll do a full post on it some day, when he is more consistent and we're seeing progress! For now, we're having fun with it - and it's so cute seeing his poopy face as he goes on the big-boy potty!

On sleep: his sleep patterns aren't as consistent as I mentioned back in the "sleep progression" post. As long as he has 2-3 naps during the day, lasting anywhere from 1 hour to 2, he will sleep pretty well. Pretty well for him means: sleep at 8:30pm, fuss and need more soothing to sleep at 9:15pm, wake around 3:00am to eat, wake for the day around 8:30am. Santi is an uber happy baby when this is the case for him with naps and nighttime rest! It just depends on us pushing those daytime naps, and not accepting a 30 minute cat nap in the middle of the day from this guy! 1.5 hours minimum or you're going back to bed, cutie. We use white noise for the naps and nighttime sleep, it's a gem. Also, at 3 months old we moved him to his own crib in his room and he's been there since! His daytime naps take place in the living room in his swing, but all night sleeping goes down in his room like a big boy! I love it, it was a very smooth transition. I recommend the whole Pack N' Play in parents' room from birth on, then switching to nursery when you're feeling up to it. We put the same furniture "raisers" we had on two of the Pack N' Play legs under 2 of the crib legs so he's on a mini-incline, which we think made the switch to crib easier, too!

Drool: Oh me oh my. He has been drooling like madness for over a month now. We were able to feel one of his teeth coming in back around Christmas time, but no signs of it greeting us, yet. It's definitely on it's way, though - the proof is in the buckets of drool, the constant chewing, and the random fussy periods. Breaking out the bibs has commenced, and light rashes on his chin from the constant wetness is a given. Hooray teeth! Can I feed him a sandwich, now?

Other than those topics? Hmmm... we haven't started solid food yet - although the pediatricians say that you can start rice cereal as early as four months old. I offered him a carrot but he was all, "yeah, no..." and just used it as a teething toy. Choking hazard? Yesh. We're thinking of waiting until Santi shows us he needs more food besides breast milk, or once he reaches the six month mark, whichever comes first! and, well, he's growing pretty well - praise God! - so we're not currently worried about him getting enough to eat. My oh myyyy, how do babies grow so rapidly without us even realizing it? I don't even remember holding an 8lb baby back in September. All I know is Santiago's chubby, sturdy, pretty mucha toddler body! Comparison photos bring it all into perspective. Blows my mind to bits and pieces, I tell you. 

Happy four months, love bug. We think you're pretty spectacular!

The LORD is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate to those who fear him. Psalm 103:13

January 12, 2013

Chocolate Almond Balls

My spouse: do we have anything sweet to eat?
Me: I can make you something quick
Him: No, that's okay.
Me: grab the babe and I'll throw something together
Him: Okay, let me wash my hands first
Me: bam boom toss mix roll - chocolate wonders.

oh-lala, make 'em however you want - dessert balls.
  • 8-10 dates
  • 1/4 cup almond butter
  • 2 tbsp extra dark, unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup ground flaxseeds
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
Throw everything into a food processor until a ball of slightly sticky dough forms, add more ground flaxseed if mixture is too wet/sticky, or a little bit of almond milk (less than a tablespoon at a time) if mixture is too dry. Roll in coconut. Store in the freezer. Dip in coconut whip cream (one can of full-fat coconut milk, 4 dates, a hint of vanilla and a high speed blender - keeps in the fridge for 2 weeks)!

You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God. 2 Corinthians 9:11