Friday, March 30, 2012

At our house...

Not much is going on here at our house right now.  I did rearrange our bedroom, but it's not that different or exciting.  There has been a lot of moose activity going on outside.  I have been finding fresh tracks outside by our car nearly every morning.  Two nights ago we saw the actual moose as it brushed up against our car to get to the tree nearby.

The poor moose have had a rough winter this year.  With the extra snow load, it is hard for them to walk through the snowbanks and deep snow and a lot of the shrubs that they like to eat are covered up.  Poor guys!  I'm glad they come to our neighborhood to eat from all the shrubs, bushes and trees.

Riggs has really changed a lot this past week.  He is sleeping even longer at night and we switched his to his convertible car seat this today - goodbye infant seat, I will not miss you! (it's a great seat, but since Riggs is now about 16 pounds, it's just too heavy to be carrying him around in).  Also, he has been enjoying so much more time on the floor on his tummy - he loves to roll over onto his back.  He's such an independent baby - when I'm cooking dinner, he'd much rather be on a blanket on the floor in the kitchen than in the Ergo carrier, where he squirms and fusses.

Every evening when Steve gets home he loves to sit in his chair with Riggs, and Riggs seems to like it too :)

My little tummy-time boy - such a happy guy
We thought we were headed down to Homer again this weekend but it looks like we will be doing snow removal around here instead.  Happy Friday and I hope everyone has had a happy week.

Everyday With Rachel Ray - Free!

Saw this on another blog and thought it was pretty exciting!  Use coupon code, JR44YSNE, to get a free one-year subscription to Everyday with Rachel Ray magazine.  I definitely signed up, did you?

I really like some of her recipes and often they are pretty healthy and incorporate whole foods, rather than packaged foods (one of the reasons I don't like most Pampered Chef recipes) and I'm always interested in free!  Plus, when I'm done with magazines (I print out the recipes I like onto cards and put them in my recipe box), I donate them to Value Village or Salvation Army, and then someone can get use from them there!

{this moment}

{this moment}
A Friday ritual.  A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week.  A simple, special, extraordinary moment.  A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Simple Woman's Daybook

Outside my window...

The sun is still shining and melting the snow on the roof, which is dripping down and splashing, quite spectacularly, on our living room window.

I am thinking...

About how we will {hopefully} be moving soon and I how much I will have to do first. It's exciting!  I am looking forward to going through all of our stuff in that much detail, as I'll be able to purge even more things.  Right now I'm feeling pretty good about what we have "weeded out", but I know there will be more.  I just can't wait to know what's in store for us, what house we will {hopefully} be able to buy, when we will be able to move, etc.  Keep us in your thoughts and prayers in this regard, as we are anxious to move on with our lives!

I am thankful...

That I have been able to sell some of our things we weren't really using any more on eBay.  I'm so thankful that people bought them and that they payed so much for them!  It's become a sort of addiction to find things around the house that we don't need/use and to either trade them in on or list them on eBay.  Out of 15 things, I've only had one item not sell yet.  Yay for making money with things that were just laying around the house!

In the kitchen...

I made some amazing sandwiches (thanks to my sister Kelsey) for dinner tonight.  Hoagie rolls fretted bakes at L'Aroma Bakery, completely natural salami (nitrite and nitrate free - so glad to have finally found some!), and organic cheddar cheese.  What really makes them is the sauce/glaze that goes on top - organic butter, organic worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, organic dijon mustard, and poppy seeds.  I'm already looking forward to making them again.

I am wearing...

A skirt, nursing tank and soft grey v-neck tee.

I am creating...

I'm hoping to make a pattern for a smock/apron for myself.  I also want to sew up some pants for Riggs from the pattern in this book - so cute!

I am going...

To an important meeting tomorrow that will have (hopefully) exciting results...but for now it's a secret.

I am wondering...

Why I haven't started the knitting project I've been meaning to for weeks!  I just need to break out those needles and cast on.  Not that Riggs really needs another hat, but it will be so cute and it will get me back in the knitting groove.  I want to make him some more booties and a vest or sweater for his first birthday, and though it's far away I know I'll need that much time to choose the yarn, pattern and actually knit a sweater that I can be proud of.

I am reading...

Beyond the Rainbow Bridge:  Nurturing our Children From Birth to Seven, by Barbara J. Patterson and Pamela Bradley.

I am hoping...

for secret things that can't be shared in the blog world yet.

I am looking forward to...

Snuggling with my baby tonight and making those sandwiches again {they were really that good}.

I am learning...

More about cloth diapering everyday. For anyone who is planning on using cloth diapers, make sure to try a bunch of different brands and styles before you go ahead and buy a full set of anything.  What I thought I liked at first aren't really working out for us, but luckily we found some that do work {at least for now}.   I have also found that building a diaper stash can become an obsession, one that means I'm always on the look out to add different brands and styles to my stash to help hone what works best for us.

Around the house...

I have been continuing on with my spring cleaning, and feeling the itch to rearrange some furniture.  I have resisted that urge, however, since I hope to be moving soon, and I'll have plenty of rearranging to do then.

A favorite quote for today...

"If one feels the need of something grand, something infinite, something that makes one feel aware of God, one need not go far to find it.  I think that I see something deeper, more infinite, more eternal than the ocean in the eyes of a little baby when it wakes in the morning and coos or laughs when it sees the sun shining on its cradle."
Vincent Van Gogh  

One of my favorite things...

Nursing my baby.

A few plans for the rest of the week...

Knitting, sewing, and a lot of snow removal.

A peek into my day...

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

lots of everything

The weather was somewhat gloomy today.  Gray skies and dirty snow, any traces of sun gone by early afternoon.  I went grocery shopping with Kelsey and her boys in the morning, it's always good to spend time with them.  I picked up some seeds, dill and cilantro, and some soil for planting them.  I also had some bell pepper seeds I had saved from some organize peppers we ate last week.

I also made an attempt to revive a plant that didn't get watered for about two months.  Even without being completely neglected, it is so hard for house plants to thrive in this basement.  There is only one window that lets in much light, and it just doesn't seem to be enough.

Poor little plant...I hat to cut off a lot of dead shoots and leaves, and it still looks pathetic and sad.  But I think with a little TLC there might be hope left yet, time will tell. 

Although I am happy with the baby book that I found for Riggs, I find there is still so much more that I want to record than what the book allows for.  It has room for only certain occasions and milestones and a limited amount of space for anything else.  I found a beautiful leather bound journal, handmade in the USA, that I have been filling with all the little random details I want to remember.  

Speaking of Riggs, he is such beam of sunshine in our lives.  He has been smiling and stretching, and wriggling, and rolling and learning so much!

I love my baby boy, more than he will ever know.

I made apple cake today, from a recipe that Steve's grandma gave to me.   

It has a similar texture to pineapple upside down cake, so I added some pineapple for good measure. 

I wanted to make enough so that we could keep some at home and for Steve to take to work with him - I think there will be plenty.  The batter almost overflowed the largest mixing bowl that I have!

It is so good, especially with a little hot buttered rum sauce poured overtop.  This was my first time making this recipe, but I know I will make it many more times after this.

For dinner I made Greek Stuffed Peppers.  Stuffed Peppers have become a favorite of mine, because I love bell peppers and there are so many different ways to stuff them with good, wholesome ingredients.  Tonight they were stuffed with whole wheat couscous, onions, rosemary, homemade veggie stock, lemon juice, chicken and feta cheese.  The chicken was all that I had thawed out, it is supposed to be ground lamb.  

I made the veggie stock myself, because I was out of chicken stock.  It turned out nearly just as good and with much less of a salty flavor. 

I chose my favorite peppers, orange and yellow and cut them in half and left the stems on for looks. So bright, beautiful and wholesome looking.  

They turned out wonderfully and tasted as good as they look!  At least I thought so.  Steve said they were a little dry, and I think it might be because I didn't use lamb which probably had more fat than the lean chicken breast I used in its place.  Next time I might be more prepared and actually have some ground lamb, hopefully.  

We received a special package in the mail today, so exciting! Thank you Briney, we loved it all and I can't wait to see Riggs wearing his adorable little onesies while listening to Game of Thrones.

What a day filled with productivity and joy...hope yours was as well :)

Monday, March 26, 2012


We went over to Kelsey's house for dinner tonight, it was so good!  She made taco cups, which were totally delicious.  Kelsey had the great idea of putting Riggy in the high chair, so cute!  He looked like such a big boy.

Corbin and Noah were extremely excited to see their little cousin, and loved showing him everything.  He soaked it all in from his comfy spot in the highchair.

Kelsey made him a beautiful quilt and some adorable little pillow/toys, so cute! And they match the woodland theme in his room.  He liked them, especially the stem on the acorn (because he could stuff it into his mouth).  Corbin made him some nice things too, including a little sign that said, "I love you", which he taped to Riggs' shirt.  So sweet!

He also made a "name-tag" for Riggs and stuck that on him too.  Both him and Noah were so sweet and nice to him, I can't wait to see them all playing together :) Family is the best!

Roll Sequence

Riggs is two and a half months old, I can't believe it!  He has accomplished quite a bit in that time, every day there is something new.  He rolled over when he was a little over a month old in his crib, but it was just a fluke and he hadn't done it since, until Saturday that is.  We were at Ben and Mercedes' house in Homer, and he was on the kitchen floor on a thin blanket enjoying some tummy time while Mercedes cooked dinner and I made brownies (yum).  He was doing some pretty impressive push ups, and we looked down at him to see what how he was doing, when he rolled right over!  He then proceeded to cry, as if he wasn't sure what had just happened and didn't like it.  I scooped him up to comfort him, excited and just a little sad.  It's hard to be a mama, so many conflicting emotions.

I feel like everyday, he needs me a little less.  It's a bittersweet feeling for me, I have to admit.  I'm excited to see him learn and grow, but so so sad to lose my little newborn!

As I mentioned, I think he has lost nearly all that newborn-ness and grown into a happy, active baby.  He sleeps so well at night, only waking once to eat and then go right back to sleep.  He loves to look all around, holding up his arms and kicking his legs furiously.

Although he took the pacifier sometimes when he was about one month old, he won't take it at all now.  He prefers to suck on his fist or arm, and so I am crossing my fingers that he does not become a thumb sucker!  It would be okay if he sucks his thumb for just a little while, but it is more likely that he will take after his mama and be attached to the thumb well into childhood.  I sucked my thumb long enough that I can easily remember doing so.  My mom and Aunt Connie tried many things to get me to stop, but every night I would hold on to my little snoopy pillow and suck my thumb until I fell asleep.  Ahhh...I sincerely hope he does not do the same :)

We had his two-month checkup with Dr. Keller over at Anchorage Pediatric Group and it went very well.  It was fun to see him smile and coo at Dr. Keller, and I was glad to see he was right on track and doing well.

Here are his stats:

Birth:  9lbs 4oz ... 21.5 inches long

1 month:  11 lbs ... 23 inches long

2 months:  15 lbs 6 oz ... 25.5 inches long

He was in the 99th percentile for both his length and his weight, and his height to weight ratio was about 50%, which means he is nearly perfectly proportionate - neither fat nor skinny :)  Dr. Keller says that based on his measurements he is the size of an average 4 month old, ha.

He holds his head up so high now and for such long periods of time, and he is just beginning to discover his hands.  He clasps them together and looks down at them for a few moments at a time and seems astonished that they are there.  Too funny!

He was rolling around in his crib today while I put his diapers away, so I took some photos and thought I'd share his "rolling-over" process.  He still cries every time he rolls over, I guess it is still a big surprise for him:

He pushes up and holds his head up as far as he can...

then he gets his hands into position...

and rolls right over, bursting into tears when he realizes what happened.
Happy Monday!

Friday, March 23, 2012

{this moment}

{this moment}
A Friday ritual.  A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week.
A simple, special, extraordinary moment.  A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.


linked up with SouleMama for {this moment} posts

Thursday, March 22, 2012

change of heart

Today I was planning on making spaghetti.  I had some ground moose meat thawed out just for that purpose, and I decided in the morning that I would make my own sauce instead of using the jarred stuff we have in our pantry.  I chopped up the onion and the last bell pepper, then heated the oil in the saucepan, adding some salt and pepper.  

By the time they were done, I had changed my mind.  I had gotten out some oats, diced tomatoes, and an egg, mixing them together with the onions and pepper.

I think my favorite part of making meatloaf is mixing it by hand.  I love to sink my hands into the mixture and gently knead it, incorporating the vegetable mixture into the meat.  As the aroma of the bubbling meatloaf fills the hows, anticipation grows steadily until I simply cannot wait until it is finally time to eat.

Classic Meatloaf

1 lb. ground beef (or bison or moose)
8 oz can diced tomatoes, drained (I used the bigger can because its the only size of organic diced tomatoes they have at Costco)
1/2 cup chopped onions (I don't usually cook them before I mix them in, I just did this time because I thought I was making spaghetti sauce!)
1/2 chopped bell pepper
1/2 cup quick cook oats (I don't use quick cook, I use old fashioned and just add about a 1/4 of a cup more)

{mix the following together for the topping}
1/3 cup Ketchup
2 TBS brown sugar
1 TBS mustard

Preheat oven to 375 degrees fahrenheit.  Mix all ingredients before adding the ground meat, then mix gently.  Add to oiled loaf pan, and top with Ketchup mixture.  Bake for approximately one hour.