Monday, April 28, 2014


Remember that "Friends" episode when Joey has the audition for a soup commercial? Every time I think of soup, that scene plays in my head. 

And something about rainy weather makes me want soup. Yes, it's April and, yes, it may be 75 degrees. But rain makes me want to curl up on the couch in my Auburn sweatshirt with a warm bowl of soup. 

Let's be honest, I won't be doing that. Between the threat of severe weather and entertaining the swift-crawling baby, we will be in our "place of safety" and/or closely watching Mr. B. 

If I get the chance to make soup tonight, it will be this one - 25 minute broccoli cheddar soup. It's simple and yummy, and relatively healthy, as long as you watch your portion. Have it with a heaping pile of mixed greens topped with tomatoes and maybe some carrots or cucumber. Go light on the dressing or skip it all together and use a squeeze of lemon. Don't top your soup or salad with croutons, they are a calorie suck, have too much sodium, and are highly processed. 



  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika (I used regular)
  • 6 cup chicken broth (reduced sodium)
  • 1 cup jasmine rice (I used brown rice) 
  • (14-oz) bag broccoli florets, frozen or fresh (I added this close to last so it didn't get too mushy) 
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 Tbsp flour
  • 8-oz shredded cheddar cheese (or your favorite cheese)


  1. Heat an 8 quart pot over medium high heat. Dice chicken into bite size pieces.
  2. Add olive oil and chicken to pot. Sprinkle pepper and paprika on chicken. Stir. Cook chicken until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add chicken broth and cover. Bring to a boil.
  3. Add rice and broccoli. Replace cover. Cook until rice is almost tender (al dente), about 8-10 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, combine butter and flour in a small bowl. Mash with fork until completely combined. Add flour mixture to soup. Stir to combine. Add cheese. Stir and reduce to simmer. Let soup warm while you set the table, about 5 minutes. Soup will thicken while it sits.
**to reduce some calories use half the butter, flour and cheese to see how you like the taste and consistency. Add more if necessary! 

Thursday, April 24, 2014

The Monthly Photo Shoot

I am not good at the cutesy things in life. I am not crafty, baking is not fun for me, scrapbook-ing is my nightmare, and writing thank you notes* seems like a chore. That being said, taking monthly pictures of B is important because hopefully someone else will do something cute with them. ::Hint, hint:: Let's face it, it won't be me. 

So each month - somewhere around the 18th, we aren't exact - I begrudgingly get out a white onesie, place the appropriate sticker on his chest, and strategically put him in the same positions as the previous photo shoots. 

Last night, five days late (seriously, how much can he change in 5 days?), we had the most difficult shoot to date. He won't sit still, plus I don't know how to work our fantastic camera. Here are some gems to share. I will use the action setting next time.

"I just want to stand!"

Bright idea: He thinks Toby is hilarious...let's try that. FAIL.

"Oh, look over here at these fun things" -B

"Adam, you are too close." -Ma

Nappy Giraffe was not interesting to the humidifier cord.

Directing the imaginary band.

Goin' down!

So cute...except for the seemingly broken wrist. 

"No, the camera is the other way." - Ma

"Ugh, you people and your pictures." -B

"Lindsey, get out of the way." - Dad

One of the best!

My other favorite.

Chillin' at eight months

*NOTE: I cherish every gift I have gotten and understand the importance of a thank you note. 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Tidbit Tuesday: B is Mobile

This is less of a tidbit and more of a request for the sake of future tidbits. Baby B is on the move! He started crawling last week. Here is the video proof:

It started very slow: rolling around, sitting up, falling face first into the carpet, army crawl, limping crawl, full crawl and now pulling up on furniture. Plus trying to eat the furniture, with his forehead. Just yesterday he bumped his head twice and broke a ceramic pot. All under the seemingly watchful eye of Mom and Dad. I promise, we were there! Luckily he seems to be resilient, he wailed for a good 30 seconds then quickly recovered with the help of his favorite stuffed animals.

"Hmmm...are there cords for me to chew on?"

"I bet the edge of that table tastes yummy."

He is immensely interested in cords, plugs and shoes (ew!) so we need to do some baby proofing quickly. We have the outlet protectors and will definitely want some of the cabinet locks because he seems to like opening and shutting things.

We would greatly appreciate your comments letting us know what worked for you. I will be sure to test them and then share my thoughts!

Monday, April 21, 2014

In The Face...

Babies have zero control over what comes out of the orifices of their bodies. Whether it's tears, snot, spit-up, pee or poop. If it needs to come out, it will. At one point or another, it will end up in the face - your face, Dad's face, baby's face, anyone and everyone's face. Yesterday, while Dad was lifting B over his head Dad got drool in his mouth. When B was a newborn we both got pee in the face. Luckily, I have only gotten poop in my lap...while at a restaurant. I have heard stories about poop in the face. It scares me. I am a little poop-phobic.

How do you avoid baby bodily fluids in the face? You don't. You take it because you can't drop the precious poop machine you are holding. 

"Mmmmm...warm water."

And they think it is hysterical when Mom and Dad scream in disgust. Are we programmed as humans from birth to think that other's misfortunes are comical?! There was that whole "Jackass" TV and movie empire that capitalized on our sick sense of humor. 

"Want some drool in the face?!"

B used to pee in the bath EVERY TIME. Just as we got the water adjusted and bubbles flowing, he would see if he could arch it to hit the faucet. Bath drained, new bubbles added. 

B's first time in his sink tub. Not a fan.

Side note about bath time: it's not always fun and doesn't always fit into the day. We aim to bath B every other day. Using the 4Moms Cleanwater tub (see above) was great for us because it has temp control and fits in the sink. The truth is, babies don't need baths every day. I have articles to back me up - here from Parents and here from Fit Pregnancy

If your baby loves the bath and it helps the bedtime routine then bathe away.
Remember, whatever works

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Variety is the Spice of Life

Dad and I try to eat as healthy as possible during the week so we can splurge on the weekends. Chicken is healthy, but can get REALLY boring. When Dad gets bored with food, we end up going out to eat, spending too much money, and not being very healthy. So I try to change things up during the week with new recipes. 

I found this recipe for Spicy Honey-Brushed Chicken Thighs on Cooking Light. I LOVE this site because they have great recipes that range in difficulty and prep/cook time. This is a really simple recipe - quick, no crazy ingredients and inexpensive!

Recipe and photo courtesy of Cooking Light.
Spicy Honey-Brushed Chicken Thighs
Full recipe here.

8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (or bone-in, whatever you can find)
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper (or flakes)
6 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons cider vinegar
Cooking spray

1. Preheat broiler.
2. Combine first 6 ingredients in a large bowl. Add chicken to bowl; toss to coat. Place chicken on broiler pan coated with cooking spray. Broil chicken 5 minutes on each side.
3. Combine honey and vinegar in small bowl, stirring well. Remove chicken from oven; brush half of honey mixture on chicken. Broil 1 minute. Remove chicken from oven and turn over. Brush chicken with remaining honey mixture. Broil 1 additional minute or until chicken is done.

I can't always find 8 chicken thighs in one pack, so I just go with what I have which is usually about 6 total. These come out sweet, spicy and delicious. I try to be sure our plates are colorful so I like serving these with roasted sweet potatoes, green beans and sauteed squash and onions. 

"Taste the rainbow" should refer to a variety of fruits and vegetables, NOT skittles.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

The Mom Mobile.

I love cars; it's one of our indulgences in life. When I got pregnant I was happily driving a 2011 Acura TSX. A compact, four cylinder sedan with a zippy, responsive gas pedal and agile steering, it was the perfect combo of practicality (28 mpg) and sportiness. But I knew my sedan days were short lived. 

I began researching SUVs right away - Jeep Grand Cherokee, Ford Edge, Acura RDX, Toyota Highlander. The World Wide Web is an amazingly useful tool thanks to ad agencies like mine. Endless pictures, 360 views of interior and exterior, tech specs and reviews. 

By the time we went to test drive vehicles I already knew what I wanted - the new Ford Explorer. Dad protested until he drove it and experienced the convenience of the many features. We ended up buying the white, mom-mobile from my Uncle Butch. They found the exact trim line I wanted with my required accessories and the right color. Great experience, we will be back, maybe sooner than we thought. 

After two months, we may actually need a bigger car. Two adults, one baby, five nights = endless amounts of shit. 

I don't even know what I packed for myself. But B has 4 rompers, 5 onesies, 3 pairs of shorts, 2 pairs of pants, 8 pairs of socks, 3 bathing suits, 3 pjs, 2 pairs of shoes, 6 bibs, 3 burp cloths, 3 blankets, 5 bottles, 1 spoon, 4 bowls, formula, baby food, sound machine, monitor, humidifier, nose sucker, boogie wipes, bouncy seat, lobster high chair, wagon, stroller, baby carrier...You get the point. Endless. Amounts. Of shit. 

I hope I packed shoes, but they have Target everywhere. Luckily, we have wine, liquor, and a giant caterpillar that rattles, squeaks, crinkles and twinkles, courtesy of Aunt Andi. 

Monday, April 7, 2014

On The Move: Hungry Baby

This weekend was another filled with activity for B. After a nice dinner at home Friday evening, we headed to the Funky Fish Fry on Saturday with almost the entire family!

B stole the show and a friend's hat! 
Another necessity for days out and about is the Boon Squirt baby food dispensing spoon. You can put whatever food you choose so it is perfect for my homemade concoctions. It can be hard to get the very last bite out, so I usually pack an extra spoon to be sure B gets his fill. It is easy to keep cool in the bottle cooler and is very light weight. It's also dishwasher friendly. We purchased ours for around $10 at Swaddle.

Boon Squirt, baby food to go!

I loaded up the squeeze part (shown here in blue) with a homemade mixture of yellow summer squash and zucchini, some of B's favorite. He enjoyed his veggies, while we loaded up on fried fish and beer from another new brewery, Trim Tab.

B barely made the selfie.
I enjoyed some of the cucumber saison, which was a bit heavy on the cucumber for others. I will admit it did have a faint hint of pickle juice, but nothing that lingered on the palate or was offensive in my opinion. The pale ale was the beer of choice for most, while Dad really enjoyed their version of a less aggressive IPA.

We had a great time hanging out with friends and family. During this time of the year Birmingham has fantastic, family-friendly events at unique places, like local breweries and parks!

Mom, B, Dad, Aunt Lala, Nonna, Grandpa (or G-daddy, we aren't sure yet!)
G-pa and Mom.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Routine Adapting

ADAPT: Make something suitable for a new use or purpose; modify. 

Become adjusted to new conditions.

I used to think of myself as an easy, breezy, go-with-the-flow sort of person. Working at an ad agency makes you that way; nothing about my daily work life is predictable, other than the fact that shit will hit the fan.

But in real life, with a baby in tow, I need to know when things are going to happen so I can figure out feedings, naps, diapers, quiet time, germs and the ultimate unknowns.

B learning to eat real food.
For the most part, Monday thru Friday are fairly predictable. We have a routine and it works, until someone gets sick, or needs to be at work early, daycare is delayed due to weather, spring break and daycare is closed, we oversleep, etc. etc. 
Meeting his new bathtub for the first time.

Lately there is no such thing as routine; life is hectic. I realized this week I was sort of holding my breath waiting for the routine to kick back in. Not...gonna...happen. 

So my adapted routine will be to plan what we can. Being able to adapt to our surroundings is a skill we need; it makes us better employees, spouses, friends, and parents. I hope this is something we can teach B as we get better at it ourselves. Right now he is teaching us a few lessons on adaptability because for him everything is the unknown.

Never to meet a stranger, B chats up the car salesman.

This kid can sleep anywhere, but my favorite naps are when he is in my arms.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Tidbit Tuesday: Diapers

Life as a new parent revolves around diapers - how many per day and what they contain. 

At first, changing B's diaper was a war zone; weird poop, vaseline, uncooperative diapers plus flailing legs and screaming from all parties involved. Not to mention the threat of baby urine to the face.

I will pee in your face today...
Oh Dad, this is going to be a good one.
After a few weeks diaper changes were a breeze; smiling, laughing and better bowel control.

Now it is a game just to keep him on the changing table; diapering a baby who acts like a damn spider monkey after chugging red bull should be an Olympic sport!

But little did I know how handy diapers could be. As I was driving to work one morning my travel coffee mug started leaking. In my new car without any napkins, the only thing I could find was a diaper. It quickly soaked up the coffee on my pants and in the cup holder, AND made a handy absorbent koozie. Yet another reason to keep diapers on hand at all times.

Pampers to the rescue!