i cannot believe you have been gracing us with your presence for an entire year already! you are the biggest source of joy in our lives and every day your daddy and i thank God for blessing us with such a healthy, smart and loving child. this past year has truly flown by. i remember quite clearly your birth day, the way you entered our lives with powerful lungs and eyes so full of awareness. my heart was full to the point of overflowing with love, awe, and even a little fear. i was afraid that i wouldn't know how to be a good mom to you but now, after spending this past year with you, i'm confident that i am doing a good job. your pleasant personality and genuinely sweet disposition tell me so.
you have been our sweet princess from day one, relishing in the positive attention you receive everywhere you go. always quick to smile and brighten anyone's day, you love waving at people and chatting about any and everything. your favorite words are "yeah!" and "num, num" and boy do you love eating! i've never met a less picky eater than you. always up for trying new foods and interesting combinations, we constantly find ourselves trying to limit how much you actually eat instead of wishing you would eat.
you are so smart. you recognize certain noises, words and phrases. if asked, you will point out a nose, mouth, or eye. you understand us when we ask if you are hungry or sleepy. and you're a fantastic sleeper! you nap like a champ and generally sleep 10-11 hours through the night. you love bedtime rituals like a bath, a story, and a song and your favorite bedtime story is still goodnight moon. we finally broke you of the sleep sack after nearly 11 months and it was actually less painful than i thought it would be! let's hope getting rid of the pacifier goes as smoothly...
you're no longer dedicated to simply obliterating the towers of blocks we build (destructo-babe), instead showing great patience and coordination by stacking (buildo-babe!) your toys. i love watching you turn the pages of the books as we read, pick up individual cheerios or berries, and point to the birds and flowers on our walks. nothing calms you down like a good snack and being out in nature.
your teeth are FINALLY starting to make an appearance! there are two pushing through the bottom and one on the top/side. you never really picked up crawling on all fours, preferring to scoot/slide/crawl to wherever you want to be. now you cruise along furnitures and fences at top speeds and you practically run if someone is holding your hands!
we're so thankful to have shared this past year with you and are so excited for all of the times yet to come. we love you soooo much!
although she isn't walking by herself yet, the pandi has taken to cruising furniture at top speeds. she loves going to the park and walking along the fence making catcalls at the kids playing softball. and if you so much as put your hand within reach, she will grab it and take off at a baby sprint for wherever her little heart desires, dragging you along without a care for your sadly stooping back. i have a feeling she'll be walking by herself very shortly...
in case you've missed it in the news, there are groups that believe the Rapture is scheduled to happen tomorrow, 5/21/11. i'm not buying it. some of these same people predicted the end on previous dates that have come and gone and i personally find it amusing (and a little sad) that there are people who would waste time trying to figure that stuff out in the first place. the only thing that matters is that if you believe it's going to happen, you'll do what you need to in order to be saved regardless of when...
this storm front passing through means we have perfect soup-eating weather. justin is not generally a big fan of soup but when i told him that was what we were having and i offered him a chance to pick the theme, he agreed. his choice was wild rice so i made a chicken, mushroom, and wild rice soup fit for a king! we even served it in sourdough bread bowls. i didn't manage to take any pictures but i'll give you the recipe and then leave you with a few pics and links to some other soups that i've been coveting.
chicken, mushroom, and wild rice soup
1 cup wild rice
5 cups broth
1 lb chicken
1 cup mushrooms
1/2 cup carrots, chopped
1/2 cup celery, chopped
2/3 cup half and half
1/2 cup white wine
seasoning, to taste (i used sea salt, ground pepper, and trader joe's 21 seasoning salute)
to speed things up, i cooked the rice in the rice cooker. i had dried wild mushrooms (porcini, oyster, shitake, morels, brazilians, and ivory portabellas) that i reconstituted in hot water. drain the mushrooms and saute in the butter. after cooking the mushrooms for about 5 min, transfer to a bowl. add a little olive oil to the pan and season and cook the chicken. put the chicken, mushrooms, cooked rice carrots and celery in a stock pot. add the broth, half and half, and wine. i used beef broth and french onion soup. feel free to substitute veggie or chicken broth and any milk 1% or higher. i stirred together and added a little more seasoning and then let it simmer for a few minutes. it was heavenly in the bread bowls...
here are some more delicious soups, stews, and stoups (as rachel ray likes to call them).
i love deviled eggs and there are so many ways to prepare them! you can't argue that the classic recipe is a classic for a reason, but it's neat to see all the ways that people get creative with their eggs. one of my favorite ideas is "deviled eggs around the world." simple additions/substitutions like avocado, greek yogurt, cumin, capers, curry, pomegranate juice, etc can turn a classic (and perhaps boring) deviled egg into a fresh new dish and conversation piece at parties. check out some of these fun pictures and recipe links!
what a sunday! my little family spoiled me... i got to sleep in, had a delicious breakfast and presents waiting for me when i woke up, and then they took me to one of my favorite events in LA. uniqueLA is a craft fair that happens twice a year. featuring lots of fun, handmade and vintage goodies, this event is growing bigger each time they put it on. this weekend's fair had over 325 vendors, a dj spinning sick tunes, delicious food and free samples, and a fun make-and-take section. justin and saraya enjoyed it as much as i did and both scored some fun loot too. it was a great day with my favorite people!
justin said the pandi picked out this skirt just for me!
we drink a lot of wine. we're not winos and i'd never claim to be a connoisseur, but i've had a little training and know what i like (for the most part). actually, that's the point of this post. i can't recount how many times we've picked up a bottle of wine and thought "i know we've had this before because i remember the label, but i don't remember if it was one we really liked or could do without." so last night i decided to start a mini journal of sorts so that i can keep track of those sorts of things. you know, important matters...
this little slice of heaven is called the pizza ocean beach. it has portabella mushrooms, butternut squash, asparagus, roasted red peppers, mozzarella, gorgonzola, & bacon. if you aren't lucky enough to have a pizza port near you, try to make your own version of this at home. these are all toppings i love but never would have thought to put them together on my own pizza before. what would you include or replace?
this is going to be an even busier month than last month (and it was seriously busy). we've got birthdays, mother's day, family visiting from out of town, cinco de mayo, memorial day and more! this past weekend was full of visits to the carlsbad flower fields, the safari park, the scrapbook expo, the breath of hope walk (9th 5K!), and a baby shower. it makes me tired just remembering it all! lots more pictures to come but here are just a couple for now...