Thursday, June 30, 2011

Banana Bread

About every two weeks at the grocery store, they will have the old banana bags on sale for 99 cents.  At least at my Albertson's some of the bananas barely have brown spots on their skins.  Anyway, I usually snag me a dollar bag and bring it home to make banana bread. 

I do a modified recipe from Paula Dean and do mini-loaves instead of one big loaf, so I can give them to family and friends.  I usually do a couple of batches (yielding 10 mini loaves) and really enjoy the baking time, plus I usually have everything on hand other than the bananas so I feel like I am making a bunch of dessert/breakfast bread for a dollar!

Here's my recipe if anyone is interested (note, I don't do banana NUT b/c JB doesn't like nuts).

Banana Bread


½ cup Crisco Shortening
1 cup sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
2 eggs beaten (if my eggs are small, I add a 3rd egg)
3-4 mashed bananas (I err on the side of too much banana and don’t overmush)
1/3 cup buttermilk*
1 tablespoon vanilla
Approx. 1 teaspoon of cinnamon (I just shake in a good amt)

1. With hand mixer, cream shortening and sugar
2. Sift together flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon
3. Add dry ingredients slowly into creamed mixture (I usually just fold it in until it isn’t so “powdery)
4. Add eggs, buttermilk* and vanilla – mix well with hand mixer – it is a very “doughy” consistency
5. Pour into WELL GREASED pan (1 big loaf pan, or I use 5 mini-loaves (the dough should only be about halfway filling the tins, it rises)
6. Bake at 350 degrees for approx 40 minutes (toothpick test – overcooked makes it super dry, so watch it closely).

*I rarely have buttermilk on hand, so if I forget to get it from the grocery store, you can make your own buttermilk.  1/2 cup of whole milk and 1/2 tablespoon of white vinegar.  Let it sit for about 15 minutes and then use 1/3 cup for the recipe.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Happy 18 months, Wyatt!

Dada and I love you, our little dimple-bottomed boy!  Can't believe you are already a year and a half old!!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Fun at Nana & Grandad's

I was waiting to write this post b/c my mom has some cute pics of Wyatt that I wanted to include, but I haven't had time to 'talk her thru' how to email them to me.  So, here are the blurry pics I have from my phone.

In an attempt to avoid the remodel mess for a few days, Wyatt and I left last Friday for G'town and ended up staying until Wednesday.  JB was on a golf trip with his dad and brother to Oregon (poor guy).

It was a fantastic trip.  We loved our time with them and Wyatt was on his best behavior so I am pretty sure they enjoyed their time with us as well.


We had made Grandad homemade pickles for Father's Day, so I had the cooler out to pack them in.  Wyatt thought it was super fun to try to sit in.

Don't tell my pediatrician, but we bought Wy a new carseat and he faced forward for the first time ever on this trip.  He was SO happy to feel the air conditioning and just kept pointing and shouting CARS CARS!

It is a 2 1/2 hour drive and he did great - he napped some and read books as well.

There was a SpongeBob marathon on that weekend, so Wyatt was thrilled that Nana and Grandad's TV played his favorite cartoon nonstop.  Don't ask me why he is obsessed with "Bob Bob" but he has been since he was about 9 months old.

We went to the park to play and check out the ducks.  He was NOT afraid of the ducks and chased them everywhere.

Nana got him a train set when I was pregnant and she found out she was finally getting a grandson.  It said 3+ years on the box, but as long as we setup the track for him, Wyatt loves to watch it go around and put animals in the train cars. 

We rode the train at Lakeline Mall and we also rode the carousel.  He had fun, despite the lack of smile.

We had a baby cotton-tail waiting on the porch one morning.  We loved on him and fed him for the day and then left him out that night.  We like to think he found his mommy.

We went to the Farmer's Market and bought some great coconut cookies (http://www.sweet-texas.com/) and some more pickling cucumbers (I am determined to perfect pickle-making this summer). I am also now determined to figure out the coconut cookie recipe - it has parmesan cheese in it!

And when we got home, we saw we had pocket doors and all sorts of fun new windows (until they put up the sheetrock the next day).

Friday, June 17, 2011

Smoothies!

My newest love - the Cuisinart Smart Stick Hand Blender!!  Wyatt has become a lover of smoothies for snacks and I got tired of cleaning the cumbersome blender everytime he just wanted a little smoothie, so I found a Bed Bath & Beyond coupon and sprung for a hand mixer.  I normally am not a big appliance person b/c I think most are useless and you have to find a place to store them all, but this little gadget is worth it!

Note: I bought the white one which was only $29.99 at BB&B

The smoothie I make most often is a strawberry banana one - 1/2 cup milk, 4oz strawberry yogurt and 1 sliced up banana.  30 seconds with the smart stick and enjoy!

Wyatt enjoying his smoothie!


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Heat

I hate Texas summers.  Especially when I have to drag my poor (still backward carseat riding, so he gets no air) toddler around in it.

106, REALLY?  I don't even want to think about what it will be like in August.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Remodel - Day 1

Well, we have started another remodel project (our prior one being the main body of the house in summer/fall of 2007).  This time around we are redoing the guest and kids' bath, as well as having some pocket doors put in the front room and having a wall of built-ins done.  Since Baby Girl (we still have no clue on a name) will be taking over our office/junk room, we decided a built-in desk, bookshelves and filing storage added to the front room would be a good idea. 

I am really looking forward to the project being completed but always hate the mess - it is going to be especially hard to keep Wyatt away from the chaos and safe from the dangerous tools. BUT it will all be worth it in the end.  My contractor, Beth, who did our kitchen/main house remodel 4 years ago is doing this one with us again and she is great as well as all her people with working with our schedule. They are trying to work 4/5 hours a day at our house (which is fine with me as we are waiting on materials and such) and an 8-noonish workday is perfect for Wyatt's nap schedule, and they are always good about completing a set project and leaving our house as clean/safe as possible.

Today was the first day of real remodel and I stupidly forgot to take before pictures - guess I'll just have to show you the "afters", as now both baths have been gutted (except for the toilet in the guest).  As a pregnant lady, I pee all the time and having the only functioning toilet be the one in our bathroom at the back of the house was going to be super inconvinient (dragging Wyatt back there with me every time I go b/c you can't trust him not to climb the bookshelves while you are gone).  So, per my request they are leaving that toilet in until the last minute.

Wyatt has thoroughly enjoyed the remodel.  The contractors have talked to him and even reciprocated the kisses he blew them when they left today - not too many construction guys will do that!  And no, I didn't tell him to blow them kisses - he just does it to everyone when they leave.  Best thing though - the paper they have taped down to protect the wood floors!  It makes a fabulous "wrinkly" sound when you run back and forth on it. :)

They were loading up the old cabinets and fixtures at the end of the workday to take to the Habitat ReStore (I love that my gc, Beth, is all about being earth-friendly), so Wyatt and I took a quick walk to not be underfoot.  It was actually not super hot yet even though it was noon and there was a nice breeze.  We "parked" at the waterfall and watched some kids fish, while we ate some cheerios and enjoyed some cold juice.


Parked at the waterfall

Beatin' the Heat

You'll notice a few paint brushes in the pool with him - he loves to paint with water on our patio.  Keeps him busy for a good while and not as wet on days when we don't have time to fill up the pool. 

Saturday, June 11, 2011

2 more?!?!?

So I was just playing with Wyatt and flipped him upside down - HE HAS 2 MOLARS ON THE TOP! 

He is sprouting teeth like crazy - that's 3 molars in one week!!  We'll be serving him steaks dinners before long!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

You know what assuming does......

Wyatt has really been a crab this week and a king of the tantrums (assumed it is him really coming into his 'toddlerism'). 

He hasn't been eating very much lately and has been super picky (see above explanation).

Wyatt has had some nasty poop diapers over the past week (assumed it is all the fruit the kid is constantly demanding).

He has been fighting us brushing his teeth for the last few days (assumed he was going thru an anti-teeth brushing phase and only wants to do it himself).

This morning he had something white in his mouth, towards the back on his left side (assumed it was bananas from breakfast he was saving for later).

After I spotted the "breakfast banana" still in his mouth a few hours later, I pried his mouth open (and yes PRIED is the correct term) and figured out - MY KID GOT A MOLAR!  And it is not just poking through but pretty much the whole way out.

He still only has the two front teeth on the bottom, so it is a bit odd he is getting molars, but I guess that means those teeth will show up soon.

Silly Mommy, you know what ASSuming does!

Friday, June 3, 2011

We're halfway there, baby girl!

How far along: 20 weeks (and 1 day) - we have hit the halfway point!

How big is baby: According to our sonogram on Wednesday she is about 13 ounces.  And yes, she is still a she!  With Wyatt, he always measured a bit small, so the calculated due date from the sonos would change to about 5/6 days further.  But with this little gal, her calculated due date was still right on at Oct. 20th

Total weight gain: 6.5 lbs  - I don't have a comparison point for Wyatt at this time. I am shooting to gain 25 lbs, like I did last time, but I bet it might be a little less, only b/c I am chasing Wyatt around in the heat of summer.  My doc doesn't worry about it.

Belly button & Stretch Marks: Belly button is kind of flatish, but this time it almost looked that way immediately - like it knows what it is in for.  No stretch marks - I didn't really get them last time and don't expect to this time either.

Last Dr's Appt: Wednesday.  Everything on the sonogram looked perfect and when my doctor came in to see me he said I was boring, had nothing to talk to me about and would see me in 4 weeks.  He said he wished all of his patient were this boring and routine.

Maternity clothes: Not really.  It is more because I can't find a decent pair of maternity shorts to fit me, so I have been wearing elastic-waist running shorts and some other stretchy stuff I have.  But I do have some maternity shirts, so I have been wearing those a lot b/c they are longer and cover-up the fact I might not have my pants buttoned.  All the maternity shorts are SUPER short and wide and I just need to find some to fit me.

How am I feeling: I am starting to feel good. Still have occasional "zophran days" (my anti-nausea medicine) but they are becoming fewer and farther between.  I think it just took my body a lot longer to find its stride this time and I am sure chasing after a toddler while trying to get my calorie intake up, wasn't helping things.

Mood Swings and Food Cravings: JB always says pregnancy mellows me out but I think motherhood also did. I am too busy with other things (Wyatt, house remodel, etc) to really let those hormones get to me! I crave fast food and nasty frozen pizzas, just like I did with Wyatt. It is awful, but I give the baby what she wants (chicken nuggets) at least a couple times a week :)  I drink a lot of root beer lately. 

Milestones: We are to the halfway point and the time has FLOWN by.  It is a big milestone for me to start feeling better. 

What I'm looking forward to: Unlike Wyatt's pregnancy where I was counting down the days and reading "what to expect" every evening before bedtime, this pregnancy I feel a little guilty that I am ignoring her in a way.  But such is the life of a second child :) Instead, I am looking forward to getting stuff done around the house so that we can eventually start on her nursery which I am going to make so girlie it will be gag-worthy.  We have decided to get our two extra baths (the kids and the guest) remodeled before she gets here....getting our house about 85% done with only a couple of projects remaining (that we will wait on for a while).  Until we have all the remodeling done, I am having to hold tight on doing anything for her room.

Current decisions being made: The top 2 questions we get - "do you know what you are having? girl" "do you know what you are going to name her? no".  We are throwing a lot of names around but nothing that really grabs us or sticks just yet...we have a running list.

We did make one decision last weekend - we picked out a double stroller. I had been doing tons of research and asking women I ran into at the zoo and mall.  We finally got a chance to go try out the one I had been eyeing and then found it over 30% off on albeebaby.com.  We purchased the City Jogger City Mini in a beautiful aggie maroon (just so happened it and the burnt orange were the two colors on sale - which do you think we'd pick?).  It does not fit a carrier well, so we'll still probably get something for when the baby is super little, but this one should last us for a while, once little girl is about 5 months old on.

***will post belly pic soon***