two and a half years old.

by Janetha on February 21, 2017

in fox

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dear fox,

two and a half. i have to say, life has never been more fun than it is right now. the amount you have learned and grown in the past six month seriously blows my mind. you are basically a 70 year old man in a tiny human’s body. i honestly don’t think i can even put how awesome you are into words. but i will try, for posterity sake.

the biggest thing that has happened is obvious – you became a big brother. and you are the very best big brother around. you love stella so much. you love to hold her. you love to kiss her. you are very protective of her. you say, "no, dat’s my mama’s baby!" whenever someone else is holding her. you have learned patience. you have learned to be softer. you are doing so well at sharing the spotlight.

you talk. you talk and talk and talk. from sun up to sun down. you tell us that the sun’s up. you tell us that the sun has gone to bed, and the moon is up. you tell us when you are awake, you say, "i awake now!" it is so fun to listen to you talk, because you literally say everything you are thinking. your stream of thoughts is all over the place. you will be telling us about the pancakes you ate for breakfast and the green balloon that flew away months ago and how you want to read your shape book…. all in the same breath. you are a mile a minute in your thoughts, and it’s the best to hear you put those thoughts into words.

it makes me cry happy tears as i sit here and think about all the things i want to say about you. i can’t believe you are mine, i feel like the luckiest momma to have you for a son. your smile is contagious. your laugh is hilarious. you always blow kisses, give hugs, and make sure to tell everyone – and everything – "bye bye". We leave the park.. "bye bye blue slide!".. we leave the store – "bye bye groceries, see ya soon!".. jordynn (your nanny) leaves the house.. you have to wave and blow kisses in the driveway, "bye bye jew! i yub you!" you love to say i love (yub) you. you are so great at expressing how you feel. sometimes you get overwhelmed, and you will shriek because you are frustrated.. but you are getting better and better at folding your arms and stomping your feet when you are upset. a little trick you learned from daniel tiger.

you love your shows. while tv isn’t my favorite activity for you, i feel like they have taught you lots. you are obsessed with washing your hands WITH SOAP. "MO’ SOAPY", you say. you can count to five, forwards and backwards. you recognize your name when you see it spelled out. you know all your colors and shapes. you have a passion for yeyyow (yellow). you say please and thank you. especially thank you. over and over and over. it is the best.

your very favorite thing is to make cookies with me. we literally do it multiple times a week. you know all the ingredients, you get out the ones you can reach, and you demand me to get "dat white one out wyte now!" in reference to the mixer. you pull your chair over to the counter, and we start mixing up the "cooks". every time we turn the mixer off, you hold your index finger up, look at me, and say.. "it’s time to have a taste." i think you eat more dough than cookies, and i wouldn’t have it any other way. the dough is the best part, duh.

you have become partial to showeys (showers) with your dad, rather than baths. you always get so excited to strip down and hop in the shower to wash. i think you just really like to be clean! even if you get a little something on your hands or shirt, you will ask for a towel. you also like to help with the laundry. you are actually a super good chore helper, and i hope that stays fun for you for awhile.

we haven’t dived into potty training too much. you have gone peepee in your potty several times, and you get SO excited when you do, but you still haven’t quite caught the potty training bug.. so we are waiting a bit. you will start preschool in the fall, so we do still have a little time to work on it. i think you will be just fine, you definitely grasp the idea of it. you just aren’t quite ready to fully commit.

you are in a kindermusik class and a tumbling class. you like them OK, but you sometimes don’t want to participate. i think some of that has to do with stella being there at your music class, and your dad needing to pay attention to her. it’s sometimes hard to juggle you both. that’s why jordynn takes you to tumbling now, solo, and you have liked that one on one time. the teacher said you are almost ready to move up to the next class level! you have really developed a lot of skill and coordination. you love to throw and kick balls. your hand-eye coordination is basically already better than mine.

you love to work. i already said you love chores, but working in the yard is another passion you have. you like to put on your beanie, gloves, sunglasses, and headphones and head out to mow the lawn. you live to shovel the dog poop. you like to rake the leaves. basically anything you see your daddy doing, you like to do it, too. you are very much a sponge, soaking everything you see and hear right up.

you want to do everything yourself these days. you say, "no! i do it!" all the time. whether it be putting the dishes away, getting into your carseat, brushing your teeth, or reading a book. "no, mama, i do it!" you are very independent. but, at the same time, you also don’t want to be too far from mom or dad. you are skeptical about heights and doing things that are out of your comfort zone, like jumping at kangaroo zoo or going on the big slide at the pool.

you love your naps. you love your crib. you love, love cozy cozy blankets. you get excited to cuddle up and get comfy. you prefer us to lay on the side of your crib and hold your hand through the bars until you fall asleep at night. you nap for 1-2 hours every day, still. you go to sleep around 8, and you wake up around 6 in the morning. you still sometimes wake up in the night and cry out for B (your binky). you only get B at naps and bedtime. we are working on getting rid of it…

you love to "go under". you grab a blanket and have us all get under the blanket. you like to have penny go under with you. and stella. you insist on everyone going under. we should probably build a massive blanket fort soon.. you would love that.

you had a checkup at the doctor today  you are a big boy! you are actually already wearing some 4t clothes. you are not even three.. what is going on there? but you do love to tell us that you are a big boy. you are 37.5” tall, which is the 87th percentile for your age. you are 35 pounds, which is the 93rd percentile. you passed all the “should be” milestone markers with flying colors, and you absolutely loved getting a check up.

speaking of checkups.. you went to the dentist for the first time a couple weeks back. you absolutely LOVED it. your favorite part was the xrays, so you could see pictures of your teeth. the bad news is you’ve been drinking too much milk, and that milk has been sitting on your baby teeth, and it’s bound to deteriorate them before your big teeth come in. if the calcium buildup gets worse, they will have to sedate you and give you little, tiny fillings. yikes. so we have had to start giving you water bottles in the morning and at night, instead of warm milk. it kind of makes me sad to not give you that night time bottle of milk, because you have stopped doing the "baba dance".. which is basically the best thing in the world. you spin around in circles, naked, stomping your feet and waving your arms, while we sing you the baba dance song. then you get your jammies on. i guess water in a bottle isn’t as dance-worthy. good thing i have that baba dance filmed!

you still get milk in a cup at mealtimes. it’s actually made you start eating more food, though, so that’s good. you don’t love vegetables.. but you love all fruit, hot dogs, mac n cheese, scrambled eggs, pancakes, salami, nana’s vegetable stew, rolls, and of course cookies. you always want "dunk dunk", so whatever you are eating.. you need something to dunk it in. you are a big fan of mustard.

i get a little sad when i think of how fast you are growing. i would keep you at this age and stage forever if i could. my heart seriously aches when i think of you growing out of the chatterbox, tell it like you see it toddler stage. it’s been the greatest. YOU are the greatest.

this letter has been all over the place. i could seriously just go on and on and on about you. your quirks, your loves, your words, your habits.. every thing about you makes my heart happy. even when you are upset or being a tiny terror.. i love you during that. i know you are just trying to figure out how to live life and sort everything out as it comes to you. you really are the best, bud. like i said.. i am one lucky momma. and i love you the most.

love, your momma

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i’ve still got it.

by Janetha on February 3, 2017

in recipes

hey! wild friday night over here.. I just reconciled all my bank accounts and credit cards for the month of january, and now I am having some mother’s milk tea (supports lactation and it’s delicious.)

I have been on a ROLL this week with making dinners. I made three new meals! all of them used the rotisserie chicken breast that you can buy at costco. and if you have bought it before, you know that is a LOT of chicken.. so I had to get creative to use it up!

monday night I made chicken quesadillas with cuban black beans, tuesday was book club so I had the most delicious food there (it’s more about the food and less about the book at our book club!) and I will share more on that in another post, on wednesday fox and I made a chicken and veggie casserole (I will make it again for sure, and document it.. if you follow me on snapchat you saw it the other day haha), and last night I made this yummy pasta bake that I am sharing today! tonight I had leftovers of this, and it may even be better the next day!

I have to say, I am proud of my cooking efforts. it’s been ages since I cooked regularly, let alone made up a new recipe. truth be told, I wasn’t planning to take photos of this one along the way, but I had a feeling it would be tasty, so I did. and I really didn’t measure or think about it.. I made it up as I went! so now I need to document it, so I can make it again, ha.

so, I knew I wanted to use the chicken, and I had a half a box of penne to use up. since we’d already had mexican and a cheesy casserole, it was time for some italian food. we can’t go a whole week without italian SOMETHING.

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I pulled out all the veggies I had to use up… asparagus, onion, and mushrooms… along with some of the chicken breast. I diced it all up.

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then I checked my cabinets and fridge for anything that would go good in an italian dish. I came up with diced tomatoes in a can, minced garlic, parmesan cheese, goat cheese, and pesto.

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my #1 ingredient when cooking basically anything is this sauce.

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grandma sandino’s garlic sauce goes in EVERYTHING. we first discovered it at the farmers market, but luckily a few local grocery stores sell it. we go through it like water in our house! I checked, and you can buy it online here. you totally need to! it’s amazing!

so I had all my ammo, and I got to work. I cooked the noodles first, painted with fox while they cooked, then set them aside.

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next I sautéed the onions and garlic in some of grandma’s sauce. then I added the chicken and asparagus until it softened up. I kept adding a little grandma’s here and there, and also added salt and pepper along the way.

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momma b stopped by to say hi to us.

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then I threw the noodles back in, added more grandma’s, salt, pepper, the tomatoes with the juice, and a big spoonful of pesto. I let that simmer, but it was a little runny. I mixed up a tablespoon of corn starch with some water and poured that in to thicken things up.

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finally, I stirred in the goat cheese and I topped everything with parmesan and was about to throw it in the oven…

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…when I realized I’d skipped the mushrooms. of course. so I sautéed those in a separate pan and then mixed them in. next time I won’t be a space cadet, and will add them and sauté before the noodles go back in. once the mushrooms were safe and sound in the pot, I stuck it in the oven on 300 for about a half hour, while I did bath time and bed time for the kids.. marshall was gone, so I was on my own.

it came out looking (and smelling) so good! I am a huge fan of noodles & co. I like the penne rosa and also the pesto cavatapi. this dish was like a fusion of the two… only better!

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I mean, I am just going to toot my own horn here and say it was amazing. marshall got home and had not one, not two, but three big servings. that is when you know it’s a hit. next time I will have to have some garlic bread to serve with it.. that was the only thing missing!

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so now I will attempt to write the recipe.. haha.. a little of this, a little of that.. let’s see how I do. oh, gosh.. it doesn’t even have a name. hmm.

spur of the moment penne bake
makes six generous servings

ingredients:

  • 8 oz penne pasta, cooked
  • 12 oz chicken breast, cooked and diced
  • plenty of grandma’s sauce.. alternately, you could use olive oil and italian seasoning
  • 1/2 an onion, diced
  • 1-2 tsp minced garlic
  • 8-10 stalks asparagus, diced
  • 6 oz mushrooms, diced
  • 1 can diced tomatoes with juice
  • 2-3 TB pesto
  • 4 oz crumbled goat cheese
  • 1/4-1/2 cup grated parmesan
  • 1 TB corn starch, dissolved in water, if needed

directions:

  1. cook pasta, set aside.
  2. sauté onion, garlic, and about 2 TB grandma’s until onions soften.
  3. add asparagus & chicken, sauté until asparagus softens.
  4. add mushrooms, sauté until mushrooms soften. add salt and pepper.
  5. add noodles, tomatoes and pesto, let simmer until everything thickens.
  6. use corn starch to thicken things up, if needed.
  7. stir in goat cheese. top with parmesan. I also stirred a little parmesan throughout.
  8. cover and bake for 20-30 minutes at 300 degrees.

enjoy!

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I am sad that all the leftovers are already gone! it hit the spot when I got home from the gym tonight. yep – I am sticking to my guns and have started working out again. but I guess that will be a post for another day.

as I was typing this, I was just laughing at my photos. I never take photos of my food anymore, let alone the whole process of a recipe. when you have a job, a toddler, a baby, and a life.. it is hard to whip out the DSLR for recipe creation. these pictures are so crappy. but, you know, who cares? they show the process, I enjoyed cooking this meal, and now I have it written down for time and all eternity. or until the internet explodes, at least.

I feel like these days, to have a successful food blog, it seems you have to know what’s up in the photography department. you need to spend time not only on creating the recipe, but also capturing images that legit look professional. gone are the days of subpar pics of all the meals from the day (oh, sometimes I miss 2009, haha.) lucky for me, I am not trying to have a pro food blog. I just want to make yummy food, share it, and enjoy it. while I do love taking the time to take pretty pictures when I can.. life doesn’t allow it right now. that DSLR of mine only gets used for monthly pics of that sweet little stella, haha! and that’s perfectly fine.

anyway.. I’m going to call it a night! not a ton planned for the weekend.. I do have to take randy pants to the vet because he can’t control his bladder or bowels (sad…) and we are going to a super bowl party. since the packers are out, it’s not as exciting, but I am sure we will eat delicious food and have fun with friends!

hope you have a good one. check ya later!

Q~

what is the last recipe you made? (not made up.. just made!)

xo. janetha g.

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four months old.

January 22, 2017
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dear stella, stop growing! this past month has zoomed on by, and you are getting too, too big. it’s just one growth spurt after the next with you. it seems to be going faster than it did with your brother. maybe that’s because we know what to expect.. but I don’t like it one bit. […]

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life, lately.

January 14, 2017
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hey! so, it’s a new year. I hope everyone had an awesome holiday season! things over here have been great. super, duper busy.. but awesome and fun. I cannot even believe that it’s been almost four months since I had my baby. it legit feels like yesterday! I am sure that is partially because the […]

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three months old.

December 22, 2016
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  dear stella, you are three months old! I told your dad that that’s a quarter of a year, which is halfway to six months, so you’ll basically be one tomorrow. time goes way too fast. and you are growing WAY, WAY too fast, my girl. I am not quite sure how much you weigh […]

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two months old.

November 22, 2016
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dear stella, you are two months old! as expected, this past month whizzed by in the blink of an eye. although it went quickly, we have had the best time watching you learn and grow. and, my, have you grown! at your two month check up, you weighed 9 pounds, 14 ounces. this was up […]

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how-o-ween 2016.

November 4, 2016
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hello, and happy friday! and not just any friday, guys. it’s the last day of my maternity leave. sad! those six weeks WHIZZED by in the blink of an eye. i can’t believe it! i thought i would celebrate the occasion by blogging, because who knows how often i will get to do this once […]

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apple berry chicken pasta salad. [+a giveaway!]

October 26, 2016
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hey! guys, i need to be on maternity leave more often.. i think this is the most i have blogged in months! and i am loving it. it’s been so great soaking up the newborn cuddles. i will have to post about that sweet little newborn again soon. but it’s nice to have a little […]

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