Saturday, August 31, 2013

Chicken Nugget - 22 Weeks

22 weeks

It has been a week! I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes on Monday (which was no surprise and I'll be writing more about that later), then my crown fell off when I bit into a piece of sweet potato, followed by Molly smearing poop on her bed sheets. Sigh! I figured after such an auspicious start to the week, it could only get better and it did.

I've been trying hard to get my 10,000 steps in everyday. One thing I did very wrong when I was pregnant with Molly was to exercise in bursts. This time I'm trying to be more consistent. The only downside to all my walking is that I have been getting some pelvic pain which feels a bit early for such shenanigans. I'm making sure to rest too.

The nugget has been super busy kicking all week. Scott was trying to feel her and just like Molly, she stopped kicking as soon as he put his hands on my stomach and started up again when he removed them. Sneaky child!

Other than the gestational diabetes, I'm feeling great! I got some new maternity clothes over the past weekend and I finally feel like I'm able to look good when I go out. And then I totally did not dress up for this week's shoot because I didn't feel like it. Typical!
Friday, August 30, 2013

Canning for Winter - Salsa Verde


The canning obsession hit me HARD this year and I think I'm going to blame some of it on nesting. I want us to have good food when Chicken Nugget is born which means prepping NOW! The best way to prep good food, months in advance, is canning.


I made this Salsa Verde a few years ago and then I also made the delicious Salsa Verde Chicken Enchiladas listed directly after the Salsa Verde recipe for dinner a few times. The taste has lingered with me. I also remember them being fairly easy to make which will be a huge bonus when there is a newborn nugget taking up all of my cooking time.


I wanted to get my tomatillos at the farmer's market because they taste better! Also I love supporting my local farmers but alas, it was not to be this time. I spotted some at Fred Meyer's and cleaned out their inventory. I may have scared the cashier with my 6 lbs of tomatillos or maybe I swayed her into canning?


I doubled this recipe to make 6 1/2 pint jars of lovely green salsa. I'm already planning out when I'll use them for delicious enchiladas. 


Salsa Verde 
adapted from Canning for a New Generation 
(Makes 3-4 pint jars of salsa)

3 1/2 pounds of tomatillos, husked and cleaned
1 medium onion, cut into one inch cubes
5 large serrano chiles
5 large garlic cloves, peeled
1 cup of roughly chopped fresh cilantro
2/3 cup lime juice (bottled)
1 tablespoon kosher salt

1. Preheat the oven to 500F. 
2. Place all the vegetables (tomatillos, onion, serrano chiles and garlic cloves) on baking sheets and place in the oven for about 30 minutes. You'll know the vegetables are doing when the tomatillos are soft and juicy. 
3. Remove the vegetables and place in a food processor with the cilantro. Carefully process until blended. 
4. Add the salsa to a non reactive pot along with the lime juice and kosher salt and bring to a boil. 
5. Ladle the salsa into pint jars, leaving a 1/2 inch headspace. Wipe the rims and place lids on the jars. Process the jars using a hot water bath canning method for 5 minutes. 
6. Store for up to a year in a cool, dark place. 

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Pinterest Thursday - Bathtub Finger Paints

We awoke to a rainy day which I'll admit, I welcomed with open arms. We've had such a beautiful but dry summer here in Seattle. My plants are gulping down the water and I'm happy to have a day at home. The rain did mean that I had to step up my toddler entertainment though. I was texting with a friend who said she was going to break out the finger paints for her kid which got me searching on Pinterest. I wanted to make something at home because I didn't want to go outside to gather supplies. 


These paints took about 5 minutes to make and that includes gathering the supplies. I used some sterile (unused) jars I had from the doctor's office to store the finished paints.


I stripped Molly down and put her in a swim diaper. I knew I'd be writing this post and no nakid bits will be shown on my blog! You could just strip your child down to their bare bottoms without any issues. 


I gave Molly an old make-up brush and the paints. She quickly got to work, yelling that she was coloring while giggling. My bathtub quickly looked like an abstract painting! No worries though, the  clean-up was easy peasy. 


She played in the tub with the paints for almost an hour. I finally told her that it was time to get out so we could have lunch which led to an epic temper tantrum. Well at least we know the finger painting was a HUGE hit! 

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The Wednesday Links from Around The Web 8.28.2013

10 min from home #fmsphotoaday

We need to stop making parenting soooo darn hard!

Expecting Better Heck, even pregnancy is rift with confusing things that make it harder than it needs to be. My second pregnancy is going along about the same as my first EXCEPT I'm not stressing out over every little thing. I'm not freaking out because I consumed a tablespoon of queso fresco at the Mexican restaurant last week. Whatever! (I, maybe, am a bit more ranty this time around.)

Craig's List Killers Fascinating read on how murders, thieves and rapist use this site. It's not just for buying used couches and be careful when you do!

Knitting + Art This site is so very awesome! I love what they've done with knitting as their medium. 

Live in the Moment I was at the park the other day, pushing Molly on the swings, when she started pointing at a different swing to swing on. I said, "Can't you just enjoy the swing you are on? Enjoy this moment." The mom next to me said, "Man, that is a lesson I'm still learning!" I agreed with her and we chatted a bit more. At the end of the conversation, I realized that how can I teach Molly to live in the moment if I can't live in the moment. Then I saw this video and things really hit home. 
Tuesday, August 27, 2013

21 months with Molly Pop

21 months

You live a big life! My friend told you this today and I agree. You do live a big life. You have so much energy bursting out of your little body and you grab it with such passion. I love that I get to share this life with you.

Post U/S donuts

This month has been full of so much adventure! We have worked hard to squeeze all the fun out of summer. We went to Jetty Island, on a hike to Lincoln Park, visited MOHAI, made jam together, rocked out at Pepsapalooza and visited Gabby at the hospital. You grew a whole bunch and I bought you a pile of new clothing. You have more opinions on them now but seem to like what I bought for you, especially the riding boots.

Room #fmsphotoaday The beach was our playroom today.

You have been exerting your independence. You want to do things all by yourself which is great but sometimes you just aren't tall enough (to swing from the monkey bars) or don't have the coordination (to climb up the twirly ladder) so that can be a disappointing for you.


You have a bundle of emotion inside you that sometimes swells up in laughter or in a temper tantrum. We've been working together on emotions and I think you are slowly getting there. It's rough work being a toddler.

21 months alt

You have been an excellent helper at my doctor's appointments and even though you tried to run away at my 20 week ultrasound, you made it through. It's hard sitting still for all of Mommy's appointments but you do a pretty good job.


We start co-op preschool next month and I really hope you enjoy it. I think it will give you the structure and learning environment that you want and need. I bet they will let you color all you want which is currently your favorite activity outside of kicking a ball.

Pro Wading Pool Swimmer

You've started yelling, "Cheese" whenever I take a photo of you and making the silliest face. You like helping me feed the cats. You bring me the bowls, I fill them and then you put them back. Afterwards, you yell, "TATO!" for Kato the cat to come and eat. I guess Mel-B is just supposed to respond to Tato too? Your language is picking up. You now have a few sentences and are very polite with your PEESE and TANK YOUs. It's adorably awesome to hear your sweet voice. 

Fast #fmsphotoaday A little girl I know likes to go fast on the merry-go-round.

I'm working to make these last few months as an only child special for you. We have been going on lots of adventures, enjoying illicit treats and having fun together. I am excited for you to have a little sister though. I think you are going to be the best big sister. Chicken Nugget is going to have the best teacher for all of her adventures. We love you more than you'll ever understand, Molly Pop!
Monday, August 26, 2013

Adventures with Molly - Jetty Island

Beach Running

This week's adventure took some time to coordinate but in the end it was well worth all the work! I read somewhere that Jetty Island up in Everett was a special place and that it was perfect for kids. It's just a short boat ride across from the Everett Marina. I think you spend more time lining up for the boat, loading the boat and launching off the dock, than you actually spend riding in the boat. Molly still found it to be an exciting adventure.

Jetty Boat

There is only one bathroom on Jetty Island and it is a rickety looking shack on the boat dock. Luckily I didn't need to use it but it is nice to know it is there if one does. After you exit the boat, you walk up a sandy path toward the ranger's station. They have a big board with departure tickets. We grabbed an earlier departure and ignored our reserved time. This later turned out to be a wonderful thing.

Jetty Island Activities

Trash Monster

We found a great place on the beach and got the kids into their beach clothing. Molly took off running right away and found some kids to play with. I had brought along her beach bag full of beach toys but she preferred to use the other kid's toys. Ugh!

Crowded Beach

We played for a few hours, ate a very sandy lunch on the beach and then packed up our gear to go home. Molly was so tired that she practically whimpered as we loaded onto the boat. She did not fight me as I got her into her car seat and was asleep before I even started the car!

Eating Sand


We are definitely going back next summer with Daddy and Chicken Nugget. It's the perfect place to spend a sunny, summer day! You have to get in quick though as the season is short, running from July 2nd to September 2nd. Reservations are highly recommended, especially with little kids who are not great at waiting.



Feeding Birds


Heading Home 
Sunday, August 25, 2013

Sunday Favorites

We had a busy day yesterday. Our usual breakfast out, I got a nice haircut and color and then we celebrated a one-year-old's birthday at a super fun party. Today, today we rest. I'm going to start with these photos. Looking through Flickr while sipping my coffee is a lovely way to start a day of rest.

1. Pot Pie, 2. IMG_5608, 3. Enjoying my morning coffee in my new mug c/o @greyskiesblue and planning to add the other in my next care package to Kuwait. #greyskiesblue, 4. Had fun exploring the world beneath our feet the other night, riding the tube and checking out hidden corners of the underground with @finn @danrubin @missunderground and @davidangell, 5. sunset at siltcoos, 6. background doggie, 7. YISSSS we went for the ice cream sampler., 8. another one for the new quilt, 9. Erin's pretty sweater!, 10. week two hundred & sixteen, 11. mini-muffin brownies, 12. They're the best part of my week. #hooping, 13. Untitled, 14. Day 2391, 15. black currant jam, 16. A Day at the Farm, 17. 33 :: 52, 18. DROOL. The tag that makes all the ladies swoon., 19. Another illustrated sex fact for you, illustrated by me for @bedsider., 20. Monday night booze club with @dearleila - with bonus sunset stroll along the Thames..., 21. Moment, 22. Pippa and the Woodpile, 23. A little bit of the countryside in London..., 24. Whitney Crabapples, 25. Fun times at Kristel and Paul's wedding celebration party
Saturday, August 24, 2013

Chicken Nugget - 21 Weeks

21 weeks

It's been a busy week around here. Chicken Nugget seems to be busy growing and kicking like a maniac in the womb while Molly seems to be busy growing and running around like a maniac on the outside. These kids are wearing me out! I'm getting more and more excited about having two little girls. I really hope they become good friends. 

We met with the OB this week to discuss a VBAC or another C-Section. He laid out the pros and cons of each direction before saying that I have options and choices. I kinda wanted him to just tell me what to do. He did say that I needed to take my glucose tolerance test today rather than in 4 weeks as previously planned. So I'm heading down to the lab shortly to have my blood drawn after drinking a very sugary orange beverage. 

PS My hair is in dire need of a hair cut and color which is happening this afternoon. YES! Alone time in a stylist's chair is just what this tired Mama needs. I might even fit in a pedicure if there is time. 
Friday, August 23, 2013

Figgy Jam


I'm deep in canning mode. This time of year calls out for all the fresh produce to be either eaten or preserved and I like to answer the call. I eat my fill and then preserve the rest for the dark months of winter when the only fresh produce I can find are winter squashes, kale and potatoes. Luckily I love all of the winter produce but sometimes my taste buds cry out for some summer goodness. 


This past weekend, after a night of god-awful, horrible sleep, I climbed out of bed at 6:30 a.m. and started jamming. I was fuming from the neighbor's dog barking all night (which he never does!) and needed to calm down. While the rest of the house slumbered, I made Fig Jam and breathed. 

Making jam really does bring one into the moment. You can collect your thoughts while the fruit and sugars bubble together. 


Here is the Fig and Lemon Jam recipe I used to make 4 lovely half pints of jam on Saturday morning. I felt calmer once my jam was processed and I could hear the lovely ping of the jars. 
Fig and Lemon Jam

by Rebecca Mongrain
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Keywords: Canning summer
Ingredients (2 pints)
  • 1 medium lemon
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice (commercial)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 pounds black figs, stem ends removed
1. Prepare your jars for canning, using your preferred technique.
2. Remove the tip of the lemon and quarter it. Discard any seed and cut the quarters in half. Place in your food processor with 1 cup of the sugar. Process until very fine. Add the figs and process until coarsely chopped, do not fully puree.
3. Put the contents of the food processor into a large nonreactive pot and add the remaining sugar and lemon juice. Make sure to use commercial lemon juice to achieve the proper acidity.
4. Bring the jam to a low simmer over medium heat. Stir until the temperature reaches 200°F on your thermometer. I used a candy thermometer but an instant-read one would work just fine here. It took about 30 minutes for my jam to reach 200°F but yours might take as little as 15 minutes so keep an eye on it.
5. Leaving a 1/2-inch of headspace, ladle the jam into the jars. Wipe the rims clean with a clean towel before placing on the lids.
6. Process your jars in a hot water bath, making sure the boiling water covers the tops of the jars. Boil the jars for 10 minutes. Move to a clean dishcloth and leave for 24 hours. You should hear the delightful ping of the jars as they seal. Test your jars after 24 hours to see if they have sealed. If they have not, store in the fridge and use within a month. Otherwise store the sealed jars in a cool, dark place for up to 1 year. Refrigerate after opening.
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Thursday, August 22, 2013

Pinterest Thursday - Baby Booties

I've been slowly putting together Chicken Nugget's coming home outfit. She has a hilarious onesie representing her nickname and is in need of a hat (I have a great idea for one) and some warm booties since she's arriving in the midst of Winter. I saw these sweet booties on Pinterest the other day and quickly grabbed some yarn. They are adorable!


My knitting time is limited so I've only completed one bootie for today's post so far. I am chugging along on the second one since I've seen that the Nugget does indeed have two feet on the ultrasound and therefore (luckily) will need two booties.


These booties would make a wonderful baby shower gift! They knit up rather quickly (if you have more time to devote to knitting than I do) and look rather impressive. Package with a cute onesie or a handknit hat and the expectant Mother will be delighted!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The Wednesday Links from Around The Web 8.21.2013

Someone I spoke to #fmsphotoaday Scott and I enjoyed a nice breakfast and chat before picking Molly up from my parent's house. It was very lovely.

When Motherhood is kicking your ass, go read this!

10 Things You Will Never Do Again Once You Become a Mom Hilarious and True!

When I have kids, I will NEVER... HA! HA! HA! I think I've broken all of these and more.

Parenting in the Congo

America's Postpartum Practices Why are we so hard on new Moms? I remember being left home alone with a 7 day old baby and a fresh c-section when Scott had to go back to work. He got caught up in something and didn't come home until 8 p.m. I had nothing to eat and was crying when he finally got home. He felt horrible but work duty called. This time we're making better plans but I know it will still be rough with a newborn and a toddler. 
Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Super Gabby!


In college, I was randomly assigned to live with a stranger. I was extremely lucky to have been matched with Kim. She was the perfect roommate for a persnickety person, such as myself. Kim goes with the flow, likes to make people happy and is extremely generous. We lived together for two years in the dorms and then decided to get separate apartments in the same complex. We had just spent two years living together in a tiny room and knew that we needed to have our own space or we wouldn't be friends anymore.

August 18, 2006

After college, we both moved back to Seattle. Kim got an apartment of her own and a job as a daycare teacher while I moved back in with my parents and began my journalism career. We hung out together a lot, went to so many bars and devoted ourselves to the gym. Eventually Kim met her future husband. They got married and got pregnant. She had a pretty non-eventful pregnancy and called me the morning after her daughter was born to tell me about her child. I came up to the hospital at lunch to meet her new bundle of joy. I was so excited for my friend.


As I arrived with the knit blanket, I had spent the last six months making and some flowers, I saw nurses and doctors rushing into her room. The baby had stopped breathing. I caught a glimpse of the baby as they wheeled her away to take care of her. My friend was left in the room with terror in her heart. Eventually the baby was transferred to Children's Medical Center. They still didn't know why she was having problems but wanted to have the best people they could take care of her. Children's is an amazing place and the people who work there are beyond description in their generosity and love. Gabby and her parents spent the next few months at Children's. They ran every test to figure out why this little girl was having so many issues. Years later they discovered that Gabby has a rare genetic disorder. It's so rare that only a handful of people have it.


Kim has prevailed through these rough years. She is Gabby's full time caretaker and now a single Mom (cases like this are hard on marriages). Gabby is unable to walk or talk but you can tell there is a loving soul in her. Due to Gabby's health condition, she often ends up at Children's for months at a time so Molly and I try to visit. Molly really digs Gabby. She thinks her hospital bed and wheelchair are awesome. She likes to give her kisses and poke her cheeks. I think Gabby is amused by Molly's insanity.



Gabby was recently the recipient of a Tiny Superheros Cape and it is amazing! Molly was fascinated with it when we recently visited Gabby and insisted on wearing it around her hospital room. 


These capes are amazing. They give sick little kiddos the power they need to feel strong. You can tell that Gabby feels strong when she has her cape. The founder, Robyn is a local Seattelite who is spreading joy to those who most need it through her sewing machine and capes. 


Tiny Superheros is a volunteer operation with a HUGE waiting list for Tiny Superheros Capes. You can help a Tiny Superhero by donating here.
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