Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Feeling Restless

Image from http://worldwide.aceharmon.com/ace-harmon/2009/1027

I'm feeling antsy. 

I have so much I want to do. 
So much I need to do.

I have areas of me aching to stretch and grow
to hinder atrophy
 test creative muscles

Facets yet to discover
Experiences to share

I think this is the worst case of 'Itch'
I've had in years.

The summer cannot come
soon enough.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Track Meets and Swinging

Syd had a field trip yesterday. He had a glorious time going to Feet Meet - a Special Olympics sponsored track meet for little ones. Here he is with his best friends, Z & H. We call them the 
"Three Amigos" 
and they are truly attached to each other.

Here, he is showing off his blue ribbon.
He had a perfect day!

We were able to finally get his swing set up. It took a bit of finagling, but it is safe and he should be able to get hours of entertainment out of it. And best, he won't have to bide his time at the park any more w/ other kids who love the swing as much as he does. His visible concentration is because he's practicing pumping on his own so Mommy doesn't have to push. He's not quite there, but it won't take long.
Syd's first year of preschool is coming to a close. It is amazing the changes that have taken place w/ our little one. I am thankful he's more independent and able to do things on his own so I can get more accomplished. I look forward to continuing to help him grow and develop. I am excited for what changes and challenges and victories are yet to come.
But I will never forget my precious baby. 
And he will always be my precious baby.

Do not cry because it is over --
Laugh because it happened.
Dr. Seuss

Friday, April 12, 2013

Two Birds W/ One Stone - Southwestern Chicken Bake

I stumbled upon a gem for dinner a few weeks ago. Anyone who is... well... alive and doing anything at all knows how hard it sometimes is to get dinner on after getting home while also trying to prepare for the evening as well as the next morning. Throw in a child or two or more and it can truly be a struggle. I love quick dinners, especially "all in one"s that make it easier to just put the dish on the table and move on.

This is a very easy, healthy, and all-in-one that we've found acceptable by the entire family. 

Southwestern Chicken Bake (with or without the Southwestern...)
2 cans black beans (I've been using seasoned organic that I've found in my area)
1 can diced tomatoes (I use the garlic & oregano seasoned)
1 bag frozen corn
1 package chicken (I use skinless breasts, but do as you wish)
If you want this more Southwestern, add a can of chilies or other hot peppers to taste

Mix the vegetables together in your baking dish. Rinse the chicken and place on top of the vegetables, but wiggle them back and forth to get some of the liquid over the top of the chicken - it helps season them as well as preventing them from drying out. Bake - 350* for an hour.

I love the way the house smells with this dish. And the nice thing is that if you are in Virginia in the middle of July and can't stand the thought of turning on the oven, the crock pot works here, too. Prepare all the vegetables, add the chicken, and turn it on low in the morning, and by dinner time, you've got a meal that is delectable.

Add A Twist
The first night, we ate this with brown rice as a formal dinner. Two nights later, Steve and I were finishing the last of this dish and wanted a change. I shredded the remaining chicken and mixed everything together before reheating. Then, we added cheese and sour cream, and ate it as an elaborate dip with tortilla chips, which added a nice crunch factor. There are easily other 'tweaking's you could do to this. 

What I truly appreciate is that the beans offer protein and fiber, which fills us up, and it is gluten-free, for those who are limiting or eliminating wheat from their diets. It also includes a full serving of vegetables. It is such an easy way to get all that you require for dinner while still FEELING like you're cheating on whatever diet you follow. 

Two birds - you can bake it in the oven to warm up the house in the winter, or you can use a crock pot to keep the house cooler. You can eat it as a formal dinner w/ protein and sides, or you can mush it all together and make a munchie for parties or just a change of pace. This is a versatile meal that works on many levels. 

Oh, and the most important part? My husband, in the middle of mouthfuls, told me four times that he REALLY liked this and he was glad I made it again. Then, he requested this become part of our regular repertoire. THAT, my friends, is success. :-)

Tuesday, April 2, 2013




This is a... what word do I want to use? Struggle? Battle of wills? for nearly a year. I fully planned on being done with this by the time school started in August. Syd had other plans.

I will not bore you, nor gross you out, with details. But suffice it to say that this last gem pictured here helped seal the deal. 

We were shopping and Syd grabbed this off the shelf. It was more than we usually spend on a "non-occasion" gift, so we agreed that he only gets this after he's potty trained. It hung here for about a month with nothing happening other than talk. 

"That's mine when I'm potty trained!" "Yes - want to try going on the potty?" "No. Maybe later."

Finally, I took it down and hid it. It had lost its luster. It took a week before Syd realized it was missing.

This weekend, after being warned numerous times over the past month and having the Easter Bunny inexplicably take his last few remaining diapers after dropping off some candy and dinosaurs, we switched, with no looking back. And he is golden. He has done so well. I know he could have done this earlier, but we had to wait until HE decided to do it. He gets his stubborn honestly - from both sides of the family, and, as I've been learning, from both sides of both of us. 

After his first fully successful day, he asked for his Lego helicopter. It was still in hiding, which shows he hadn't lost sight of his goal. We told him he has to make it a week. 

4 days and counting!!