Saturday, April 30, 2011

A very belated birthday post

This post is so overdue, but in my defense I've been sick for 10 days with an unrelenting sinus infection and sadly the only things I've had the energy for are sleeping, taking care of Madelyn, and eating (duh, I am pregnant).

That being said, I woke up today feeling much better, so here is my quick and dirty recap of my sweet girl's second birthday party.

  • We were super lucky to have most of mine and Matt's family present and Madelyn loved every minute of it. She was definitely not hurting for attention.

  • We inflated a small bouncy house that was obviously a huge hit with the kids. I'm pretty sure Madelyn would have slept in it if I had let her.

  • I ate copious amounts of gluten and loved every single bite.

  • Madelyn was absolutely showered with gifts- our friends and family are truly so generous and thoughtful. Here is a small sampling. There was a lot of pink that room.

  • We spent most of the party outside in our newly sodded (is that a verb?) back yard. It was the perfect day to spent outside.

  • Instead of using both hands to shovel cake into her mouth, this year she neatly ate every piece with her fork. I was so proud.

  • We used the inner layer of frosting on the cake to announce that....drumroll please....WE ARE HAVING A BOY!! More details on that later ;)

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Gluten-free goodies

For some reason I've had gluten on my mind so much lately I keep hearing Snoop singing "aint nothin but a G thang" in my head. I think it's a nice spin on the original meaning.

Anyways, it seems I am one of the lucky few pregos who develops a gluten and dairy intolerance as a result of pregnancy. It doesn't affect me in the digestive system like most people, instead it manifests itself as a red rash around my mouth. And my friends can tell you, my two favorite food groups are carbs and cheese, so the past few weeks have been quite a transition for me. In fact I spent the weekend in sheer denial that this was happening, ate whatever I wanted, and spent Monday morning layering concealer all over my inflamed face.

Since today's Tea on Tuesday at Grey Umbrella is about FOOD, what better time to share my new finds than now!

I refuse to give up my yummy carby-items so I'm learning to make them without gluten or dairy, and I've beeen shocked at how good they are! Here are two of the recipes I've adjusted slightly for happy rash-free consumption.

1. Smitten Kitchen pumpkin muffins- these came out sooooo good. All I did was replace the regular flour with brown rice flour. They are moist, flavorful, and even Madelyn can't stop eating them.

2. Bethenny's banana bread- I've made the traditional version of this several times with great results, but this time I again added brown rice flour instead of regular white or wheat and added an extra 1/2 a banana. It was just as delicious, which Kristin's hubby affirmed for me over brunch on Sunday. I find the boys are often the toughest critics when it comes to healthy food, so this was all I needed to hear.

As someone who is brand new to this way of eating (and admittedly a little bit bitter about it), I've found several great sites that make it a little bit easier to navigate this lifestyle.

Crockpot 365- if you have a crock pot, you need this site. Most of her recipes are gluten-free (but not necessarily low-sugar...don't say I didn't warn you) and use everyday ingredients. I've only made two or three and they came out well.

Elana's pantry- I haven't made any of these yet but I have quite a few on my radar. I especially love her suggestions for an Easter brunch. Oh, and maybe these.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Never assume

There is a house for sale in our neighborhood that's been on the market for two and a half years. A long time by anyone's standards. When we decided to list our house I, of course, felt the need to research this property extensively, profiling it as our competition and finding ways to out-sell it. When I looked online I instantly assumed an older couple lived there as the house hadn't seen many updates or changes in quite a few years. It was cluttered and outdated and I wondered why the people who lived there wouldn't put more time and effort into making it look nicer. We wondered why these people kept their house on the market all this time--couldn't they see it wasn't going to sell? Then yesterday Madelyn and I were out taking our nightly walk and I saw the lady who lived in that house out mowing the yard. She wasn't old, nor was she unkempt. In fact, she was quite pretty, and probably in her mid thirties. I stopped to introduce myself as I've been randomly known to do, and asked her what the activity had been like on her house since we were trying to sell as well. Turns out she bought the house with her husband, they had a sweet little boy, and her husband passed away leaving her this large yard and house, not to mention their child, to care for singlehandedly. You could practically hear my stomach drop. Here I had spent all this time making judgements about the people in this house who I didn't even know and the lady living there was the sweetest, kindest person you could imagine. And she is a single mom. A widow. All I could think to do was tell her that if she ever gets in a bind and needs something, she can always come to our house for help. And I hope her house sells. In fact I hope it sells before ours. She's facing a burden everyday she physically and emotionally can't manage and she clearly needs a break. And I clearly needed a kick in the butt. And the heart. And I got it, loud and clear.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Tissue please

Found this image yesterday and literally started crying. Not that crying is a rare occurance these days, but I just found this so touching and it reminded me that while being a parent is this crazy, confusing, exhausting job, it is the BEST job. And I'm a lucky mama.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Deep Thoughts w/ Jenn

Do you remember that skit from old school Saturday Night Live? So funny. This is my version of deep thoughts though I'll warn you none of them are very deep at all. In fact they're just a few quick bullets about my life right now because this is how my mind is working at the moment.

  • I think what this baby is padding to my backside is being sucked from my brain because I am quickly becoming the most forgetful person I know. I've gotten in the car three times in the past few weeks ready to drive somewhere without keys.

  • Did you hear Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake are touring together this summer? If you're anything like me there is a 16-year-old inside you dying to stalk ticketmaster for these tickets and start mentally planning your outfit for the big reunion. I'm a slave for you Britney. I am.

  • I have ezcema. I thought it was a random rash but it's not. And the only place it appears is my face. Given that I'm knocked up I can't exactly use the super-strong dermatologist-issued cream (which could not only possibly harm the baby but completely undue all of the goodness that comes from my using all-natural body products), so per Kristin's advice I went an alternate route and gave up gluten and dairy for a week. And wouldn't you know the darn rash went away almost immediately. Much to my dismay, because these were two food groups I did not want to give up. But, I'm only eating this way 80% of the time and still my face has remained clear. Oh and I should note, I don't care how much gluten or dairy are in white chocolate dove promises because I'm going to eat one every day no matter what.

  • This week we're eating these and these, in case you're interested. I can attest that both are very very yummy. I'm also challenging myself to completely clear out the fridge, freezer, and pantry before we do any major grocery shopping again. This may make for some interesting meals. Oh, and I don't really have a pantry but it is on my must have wish list for our next house. Whenever this supposed house may come along.

  • We found out today what the sex of our sweet baby is. But I can't tell you yet, because we're announcing it at Madelyn's birthday party next Saturday. I will say baby 2 was very busy moving their mouth, arms, and legs and it was truly awe-inspiring.

  • We're laying sod in our backyard this week. And by "we" I mean "Matt and his friends" which I will gladly thank with pizza and cold beer. I can't wait for Madelyn to have a real backyard to play in instead of a mess of leaves and weeds!

  • I think I may be addicted to chocolate.

See...I told you they weren't deep...

Monday, April 4, 2011

Things your kids do to embarrass you

I happened to catch a clip of Katie Holmes on the Ellen show last week talking about a recent incident with Suri and a box of x-rated gummies. You may have heard about it as somehow this little story captured widespread media attention with headlines like "Wildly Funny or Wildly Inappropriate?" and quickly attacked Katie for her lack of judgement.

Katie and Suri were at Serendipity in New York City getting ice cream (a family establishment mind you) and Suri grabbed a box of x-rated man gummies, to which Katie said "no honey, those aren't Swedish fish" and quickly put them back. But not fast enough for the swarm of paparazzi to snap pictures of Suri red handed.

How could anyone seriously call this inappropriate? Do you really think Katie would hand her child a box of phallic-shaped gummies with a money-hungry flash mob just steps away? I would bet a copious sum of money that the person ridiculing Katie Holmes for this lack of parental judgement doesn't have children. Because if they did they would know that you cannot control every single thing your children do, nor should you want to. And everyone has been embarrassed by their children at one point or another. It's not like she was carrying her around the Scores gift shop for crying out loud.

Good for Katie for laughing it off. Though the real laugh will probably be had by Suri in about 15 years.
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