Baby’s Dal

Today Alex had his first taste of dal (an Indian dish) and he loved it! He has become a little bit of a choosy eater these past few weeks so it was nice to find something he liked enough to ask for more! I decided to give it a try myself and decided to add it to our menu for next week (I’m using Alex’s culinary explorations as an excuse to introduce his Dad to some new foods too…).

For those of you who might want to give it a try, here’s the recipe:

Baby’s Dal

1/3 c. red lentils
12 baby carrots
3 small red potatoes
2 c. low-sodium broth
1/4 tsp. each of curry powder, ground coriander, ground turmeric, and ground cumin

  • Pick over lentils and discard misshapen ones. Rinse and drain.
  • Finely chop carrots and potatoes.
  • In a saucepan over medium-high heat, combine all ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes. Stir every 5 minutes and check to make sure broth in not all absorbed. Add more if necessary.
  • For babies, mash with a potato masher or puree in a food processor, adding water as needed.

Alex’s favorite foods:

  1. Butternut squash
  2. Sweet Potatoes
  3. Peas
  4. Apples
  5. Chicken
  6. Lentils
  7. Avocado
  8. Potatoes

Things I don’t think he’d ask for if he could talk, but that he’ll eat if I put it in front of him:

  1. Quinoa
  2. Blueberries
  3. Rice
  4. Mango
  5. Spinach
  6. Prunes
  7. Green beans
  8. Turkey

Thankfully I don’t have a list of things he doesn’t like…yet!

Alex’s First Birthday

Alex had a very special first birthday. He had family and friends come to visit, he got to lick the beaters from the cake for the very first time with daddy, and he got some pretty great toys and gifts to learn, grow, and have fun with during this next year!

Here he is getting to know his new rocking horse that his Grandpa Johnson made for him.


With a little help from Grandpa Belcher, he stuck his fingers in his cake and took a few bites while everyone sang Happy Birthday.


It’s been called a Monkey cake, a Bear cake, a Lion cake, but it’s actually a Tiger cake!

Nothing wears you out like a first birthday and all the excitement that goes along with the party!

Happy Birthday Alex!

I wanted to blog on your birthday, but you, me and Daddy were busy spending time together and celebrating your big day, and it was far more important to me to be with you than to be on the computer blogging, so I’m a few days late now but Happy Birthday little boy!
It’s hard to imagine a whole year has gone by already, and you are no longer a little baby. It seems like just yesterday we were tucking you into your car seat for your first car ride home. Before we knew it you were awake during the day and smiling and rolling over…and then you started crawling and getting into everything and before we knew it, you were walking and life has never been the same! You are the greatest joy in our lives and we are thankful every day that God sent you to us. We love watching each little smile and kissing away each little tear. I hope this next year goes by a little slower. That’s right, slower. So I can memorize every big milestone and each little thing that you do and say so I’ll always remember how much I love this time with you.
I’ll post pictures of your birthday soon so everyone can see how much fun you had, but I wanted to wish you another happy birthday before we start a new week and get back to our routine!

The Prayer of a Homemaker

Two blogs in one day…when it rains, it pours! I read another blog today with a prayer for homemakers, and I thought what a delightful idea it was to have a prayer especially for those whose life each day is taking care of home and family. Here is my own prayer.
LORD, please guide my hands as I work today to make my house a home for my family. Give me courage to face the challenges you will place before me, and the strength to overcome them with grace and joy. Please stop me throughout the day and remind me to take a moment to enjoy the silence, the laughter, the wonder and the beauty of the world around me and the child with which you have so graciously blessed me. Help me to remember that love is always unconditional, and that those hurts we feel today will heal tomorrow. Teach me the lessons you wish me to know, and give me the heart and mind to hear you. Let my decisions be right according to your will, and let my actions speak louder than any words. Bless my day, and bless the day of those whose life I touch. AMEN.

Sleep

Now that Alex is almost a year, I get the same question every time we visit friends or family – does Alex sleep through the night now? And I very happily respond that he sleeps well, but still nurses often during the night. My sister let the secret out about how she loves nursing William at night, and I am very much like my sister, but for perhaps slightly different reasons. I missed out on this experience with Nathan so I won’t miss out on a single moment of it with Alex. If it means I get a few less minutes of sleep each night, I don’t mind a bit!
I love Alex’s little warm body curled up next to me, sleeping so peacefully with a look of complete contentment upon his face. He looks like a sleeping angel, dreaming about things we have forgotten to dream about as we get older. He doesn’t even open his eyes or wake up, he just snuggles closer and puts one soft little hand on my cheek to make sure I don’t go anywhere. I love knowing that this contentment is something I can provide, something that grows the bond between us, so that one day when he is done nursing, he’ll feel ready to move farther out into world, knowing I am always close by. And like my sister, during those quiet moments at night, I am able to reflect on each moment without the interruptions and influences that come with the light of day. To me it’s one of the most beautiful and rewarding gifts of being a mother, and it is something I will treasure long after he has grown and moved on to other things.

Success

I believe the simplest achievements can be the greatest successes. Alex has taken a perfect nap every day this week. He has gone to bed at 7:30 p.m. and woken up happy and ready to meet a new day. He has played hard and laughed freely. He has eaten a wonderful variety of food and loved every bite. He has smiled a lot, expressed himself as he learns more and more ways to communicate, started exploring things outside his usual play space, and spent more time watching what is going on around him. They all seem like simple things, but I have learned they are not to be taken for granted and they are, indeed, successes – each one of them.

So, at the end of my first week staying home with Alex, despite all four of my little four-legged kids’ attempts to bring catastrophe upon our peaceful house, we have achieved some great successes, and for that I am thankful.

We caught Alex on camera actually feeding himself…

Here he is at Playtime…

And here is one of my favorite moments of each day…

And if those pictures aren’t enough, here he is in action…

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The Crock-pot

I know, I know! Everyone wants to hear how the rest of my first week at home went…and I promise I’ll blog all about it. But first, I must share my recent experience with the versatility of one of my favorite cooking appliances – the crock-pot. While searching out a new recipe the other day, I discovered a section on Breads, Cakes and Such, and asked Dustin if he knew you could bake a cake in the crock-pot. Curious, and finding all the ingredients for a particularly yummy sounding cake, Alex and I decided to put it to the test and make a special dessert for after dinner. I admit I was a bit skeptical, but at the end of the two hours I opened the lid, and much to my surprise, found a wonderful looking, moist cake ready for eating. For those of you who have crock-pots, give it a try!

Peanut Butter and Hot Fudge Pudding Cake

1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup almond milk (or rice milk, cow’s milk, coconut milk etc.)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup boiling water

In a bowl, combine flour, 1/4 cup sugar, and baking powder. Add milk, oil and vanilla; stir until smooth. Mix in peanut butter. Pour into Crock-pot.

In the same mixing bowl, stir together the 1/2 cup sugar and cocoa powder. Gradually stir in the boiling water. Pour mixture over batter in Crock-pot. Do not stir.

Cover and cook on High 2-3 hours or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.

Enjoy!

The Second Day

Day 1, Stay-at-home Mom: Complete and utter disaster. Okay, revision – Started out badly, continued on to disaster, and ended as one of those “could I really make this up?” kind of days. But, by the time we got into bed last night, we were all laughing about it and secretly hoping for a better second day.
The Second Day
I woke up this morning to Alex’s little hands grabbing my cheeks and little bubbles of laughter spilling out of him. It isn’t the first time he’s woken up this happy, but it was the first time on a Tuesday that we did not have to hurry out of bed. So we tickled and giggled and hid under the covers for a few minutes before he decided to climb down and start his day. Although we did not make it downstairs in time to wave good-bye to Daddy, we did send him out the door with both breakfast and lunch, so we won’t spend time today wondering if he is starving!
After breakfast and a little play time, we went shopping with Grandma Belcher to pick out new linens for her re-modeled guest bathroom and then stopped at Whole Foods to pick up some fresh fruits for the rest of week. We also tried these new roasted snap-peas – quite a tasty snack! We introduced Grandma to Sweet Leaf tea (an Austin original) and even made it home without falling asleep (a huge success!). Alex gobbled down his peas and quinoa for lunch and is now soundly sleeping, tucked into his swing with his favorite blanket and his special wooden rattle.
When he wakes up it will be time for us to put the ham in the oven and get the sweet potatoes ready for roasting. He loves to pull his spoons and spatulas out of his cupboard and “help” me in the kitchen! This afternoon we are hoping for weather nice enough that we can go out and swing in the backyard, or maybe even take a little walk. It’s a simple day, but it’s good.
I don’t have any new pictures downloaded yet, but hopefully I’ll have some to post next time.