Friday, July 31, 2009

Hooray!



Hooray for Jude!  He's holding his head up so well and sitting in his Bumbo!

Actually, what Finnan is really saying: Hooray for my fire truck fitting in the bed of my dump truck!  Hooray for the dump truck dumping the fire truck and sending it backwards down the hall!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Finnan's first pie



I love to bake.  With the summer heat and the arrival of Jude, Finnan and I find ourselves in the house more often than we would otherwise be, so I decided to make Finnan my baking partner.  Until today we have only attempted cookies as a baking team.  Here is the story of our first pie.  I was almost inspired to create a new blog based on our baking adventures, but could not think of a clever name and have little time to blog anyway, so I’ll write about this and any future note-worthy baking adventures here.

My friend Heather surprised us with some freshly picked Georgia peaches this week.  I love peaches and had to stare them down for a few days while I engaged myself in a debate- peach pie or fresh raw peaches.  Since Atticus has an aversion to peach fuzz, I decided to make them into a pie so that we could both enjoy the peaches.  However, I snuck a few raw peaches, so I had to find a recipe that I could supplement the pie with other fruit.  I found the following recipe in my beloved Killer Pies: Delicious Recipes from North America’s Favorite Restaurants by Stephanie Anderson.

Peach Blackberry Pie

Filling:

8 ripe peaches (blanched, skinned, and sliced)

4 cups blackberries

½ cup sugar

3 T cornstarch

½ t ground nutmeg

1 T fresh lime juice

1 t grated lime zest

Combine all ingredients, pour into pie shell.

 

Crumb topping:

½ cup light brown sugar

½ cup flour

Pinch of salt

1 stick cold butter (sliced)

Pulse in a food processor until crumbs form.  Sprinkle over pie. 

Bake at 350 for 45-50 minutes.  Cool for 1 hour.

I often alter recipes.  Sometimes my alterations are based on recommendation and sometimes they are from experience, but most often I alter recipes because I do not have all of the ingredients or I simply mess up.  I fiddled a lot with this recipe.  I only had 4 peaches and 3 cups of blackberries.  So, I added 2 cups of blueberries (and by doing so made this into what I call a “super pie” – blueberries are a super food and I have recently been on a mission to incorporate more super foods into our diets).  I did not have a lime, so I had to use limeade…not so super.  I also accidentally grabbed the 1/3 cup when scooping out the sugar (better for all, I guess). 

Finnan was a great help in this pie preparation.  He transferred the peaches from the cutting board to the bowl (measuring spoons are very helpful tool).  He also helped pulse the food processor.  One lesson learned- don’t continue pulsing because your toddler thinks its fun, the buttery crumbs will eventual become one dough-like ball.  Luckily, Finnan has recent play-doh experience and he was able to help me separate the dough into mock crumbs and place them on the pie…that is until he deciding to smash our crumbs.  Oh well, based on the fact that our play-doh is now one color instead of four, I should have seen this coming. 

The verdict: When it comes to fruit and sugar it’s hard to go wrong.  I actually think the blueberries were a great addition and in the future I might skip the blackberries in favor of blueberries.  While the play-doh like topping didn’t ruin the pie, I could definitely see the pie being improved with a proper crumb topping.  While Atticus would argue all fruit pie go better with vanilla ice cream, I often disagree.  However, in this case I think ice cream would be the perfect complement.  

Friday, July 17, 2009

Two months





I've added a few pictures to commemorate Jude reaching the two month mark.   

Some info about our 2 month old Ju-ju-bee:
Jude weighed in at 12 lbs 2 oz (60th percentile) and is 23.5 inches (75th percentile).    He continues to charm us with his smile and still has the sweet baby smell.  He likes to sit upright and look around, loves the swing and bath, requires being swaddled, and is soothed by white noise.  He does not like the car seat and has started to have trouble napping on the go.  He goes to bed between 8 and 9, typically wakes up once to nurse, and the welcomes the morning at around 7.  He takes a short morning nap, a long afternoon nap (2-3 hours), and then cat naps the rest of the day.  

Thursday, July 16, 2009

I wish I didn't throw like a girl!


I just counted 27, yes 27 squirrels in my backyard.  All 6 of the pine cone bird treats are missing.  We didn't even get to see a bird eat off of one.  They have upset their only ally... Atticus, have at 'em.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Vacation?




Why the "?"?  Remember, we have an 8 week old.  In fact, because of Jude, we almost did not go.  But, a few days a few days before our eventual departure, our desire to go to the beach started to outweigh our fear of vacationing with a newborn.  Atticus' parents' presence at the beach tipped scales in favor of us taking the drive down to Navarre Beach, Fl for 3 nights.  

At Navarre, we were blessed with beautiful weather, an uncrowded beach, a warm pool, and most importantly, Paw-Paw and Honey.  Finnan adores Paw-Paw and spent much time with him digging in the sand, destroying sand castles, jumping in the waves and motor-boating in the pool.  Jude also enjoyed his time with both Paw-Paw and Honey, and found Honey to have the perfect shoulder to sleep on.  We were all spoiled by Honey, who always had sandwiches made for lunch and excellent dinners prepared for us when we returned from the beach/pool.  Finnan and Jude were both so exhausted by the end of the day that they slept willingly, letting us enjoy dinner and drinks on the balcony with Atticus' parents.  Thank you so much Paw-Paw and Honey and we can't wait until we see you again in North Carolina.

I was a little bit surprised by Finnan's fear of the ocean.  He did not even like standing by the edge of the ocean.  Luckily Paw-Paw was able to coax him out and once out he enjoyed it...or maybe he just enjoyed being held by Paw-Paw.  He was also a bit weary of the pool.  Although, on the second day he seemed to be getting the hang of it again.  We decided we definitely need to make an effort to get him to the pool this summer to increase his comfort level.  The child of two swimmers can not be afraid of the water!  However, we did discover that Jude is a water baby.  At home he bathes in the baby bath, where he can not move around.  In Florida he bathed in the regular bath (with Finnan- it was very cute :)) and he absolutely loved it!  He splashed and kicked with a smile on his face the whole time.  

In the end, the only bad part of the vacation was leaving.  That is until the drive home, which included 5 stops and Jude crying almost the entire way... The funny thing is, we had finally reached a point with Finnan where he no longer fusses in the car and if he does it can be easily remedied by a book or snack.  Now we are back to square 1, well, even further back, as Finnan never had quite as bad of a drive as this!

Brothers


I'm often asked how Finnan is taking to his baby brother.  My typical response is "the novelty has worn off."  But, after some reconsideration, I don't think that is fair to Finnan.  While he does suffer from from some episodes of jealousy, he has become very sweet to Jude and conscious of the need to be gentle.  I had let his occasional nursing-time tantrums (I want to read! No, not that book, this book!  No, how about I eat!  Drink!  Fine, you are are still nursing Jude after all of this, I want a bath!) cloud my view of what he actually thinks of Jude, instead of what he thinks of me devoting time to Jude.  

During the past couple of weeks, Finnan has learned to lie down and cuddle with Jude.  Every night he seeks out Jude to give him a night-night kiss.  He often offers Jude toys, even important ones, such as the tape measure or tractor.  He has also taken to saying Jude's name (one of Finnan's 20 or so words).

I imagine we are observing the beginnings of a very complex, ever-changing relationship.  I'm looking forward to the ride :)


Saturday, July 4, 2009

Four hot dogs...


In four days.  Yikes.  I am certainly not a nutrition guru and let Finnan indulge in hot dogs, cookie dough and milkshakes, but normally these foods aren't a staple of his diet.  The first of the four he came by innocently.  The second he waited until Jude was in the car seat and we were walking out the door before he asked for food.  The hot dog was then the first thing I saw in the refrigerator and something I knew he would eat quickly.  Then we (both Finnan and I, well Jude too) made our first trip to the Varsity, a famous hot dog place in Atlanta, at the request of Atticus' brother Loren and our sister-in-law Katherine, who were in town for the long weekend.  Well, you can not go there and not get a hot dog and and a frozen orange (orange creamsicle like slushie).  And lastly, the fourth hot dog was consumed tonight at a 4th of July BBQ.  Don't worry, we'll be starting a cleanse diet tomorrow.  That is, if you can count PB&J and chicken pot pie, Finnan's staple meals, as cleansing.  

The above picture was taken in October when Finnan was 13 months.  It documents the start of the addiction.  Believe it or not that little guy ate the whole corn dog (which I had purchased for myself) and some of Atticus'.  

Happy 4th of July!  (And happy birthday Grandma!)

Family portrait




Wow...you thought it was difficult to get out of the house with a newborn and toddler.  Try taking a family picture!  Jude turned out to be the easy subject in this shoot.  Finnan appeared to be more interested in the leaf I gave him to lure him into my lap.  I definitely admire you photographers out there.

We thank my mom for her patience in getting the shots, but more importantly for her visit last week.  Getting out of the house was made a whole lot easier and sleeping in a bit was wonderful.  Please come back soon :)  Above are a few shots from a family trip to the Botanical Gardens, one of my favorite places in Atlanta.  The gardens are obviously beautiful, but most importantly, they are incredibly kid-friendly.  There is an entire section of the gardens devoted to children, complete with a splash area, slides, mazes, houses, cow bells, dinosaurs, sand, tree house, frogs (croaking and non-croaking)...need I go on?  It has turned out to be a life-saver for me as it is one of the few places where I feel like I can nurse Jude while Finnan is reasonably contained.  And a secret about the gardens (I'm not even sure I should post this publicly)...they are open until 7, and it is pretty empty in the late afternoon.