Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Oliver Thomas and the Curse of the Car Nap

Reading books in the car


If I were to write a memoir about the last 6 months, "Oliver Thomas and the Curse of the Car Nap" would have to be the title.

If Ollie sleeps in the car at all, even as little as 5 min, he is completely thrown off his nap schedule for the rest of the day. Since we moved from two naps to one I have found myself kicking into high gear with distractions, songs, books, anything to keep him awake while we drive.

Take today for example. Ollie and I met Alex for and early lunch, and unfortunately we were in the car driving back home at 12. Big mistake. Nap time is anywhere from 12-12:30 so I knew Ollie was tired. We sang every song we knew, talked about Elmo and all his stuffed animals, but he closed his eyes 10 min from our house and I lost him to sleep.  He woke up when we pulled into the driveway, and as quickly as I could we walked straight upstairs to his room, got in his sleep sack, and he laid down in bed. Then he proceeded to talk to himself for an hour and a half before I gave up and got him up. An HOUR AND A HALF!!! I kept telling myself, "don't get him up, he'll eventually go to sleep", but he wore me down.  Ollie never got mad, he never cried, he just gabbed to himself (and Elmo) and had a grand old time playing in his crib. After I got him up he played for an hour or so before I put him back down for a nap, and this time he went right to sleep without a peep (he must have been exhausted!).

All's well that ends well I guess, but it feels like we spent the whole afternoon trying to nap! Does anyone else battle the car nap? Or do I have a unique child on my hands =)

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Humble Brag

Question: what is the proper response when a stranger tells you your child is cute/adorable/darling/ etc?

This happens a lot to me when Ollie and I are out and about (warned you this was a humble brag), as I'm sure it happens to all parents.  I always feel awkward saying "thanks" because it's really a compliment for Ollie, not me. But since he can't talk and could care less if he's cute I just stand there and say something dumb like "well, I think so, but I'm biased".

When someone I know says Ollie is cute I have no problem agreeing and building upon their compliment, but there is something about a stranger congratulating me on my child's looks that turns me into a babbling idiot. Don't get me wrong, I love to hear it, but I have no good response.

Does anyone feel the same or am I the weirdo in these situations? Is it best just to say thanks and move on?

looking cute at greenlake


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Photo of the week: The Great Pumpkin


Ollie and Grandpa checking out Washington State's largest pumpkin winner!! What an array, what a display!

Happy almost Halloween everyone!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Home Alone

Alex and Ollie left early this morning for Texas so I'm all by my lonesome for the weekend. It's only been an hour and it's already weird not having them in the house.  Hopefully I will get over missing them and get some relaxation in soon!!

I was sad to skip out on the annual Texas trip this year, but I'm excited to be Corina's Godmother at her baptism this weekend! And I know Alex and Ollie will have a great time visiting the ranch and seeing all the cows.

Here's a picture from our Texas trip last year when Ollie was 4 months old. 

Alex & Ollie in Canadian, TX Nov. 2012

Friday, October 18, 2013

Family Dinner: Butternut Squash and Apple Soup

Welcome to soup season! One of the best things about fall is eating a bowl of steamy soup while the rain pours down outside. There are so many great soup recipes I've yet to try so I'm always on the lookout for a new fruit/veggie/meat combination.

On a recent trip to PCC Ollie and I shared a cup of the most delicious soup; butternut squash apple.  I love butternut squash, but I wasn't sure I'd love it pared with apple. I was worried it would be too sweet and fruity, but instead its just yummy! So yummy in fact that I recreated it for dinner!

PCC lists the recipe here, but I adapted it a bit to make it thicker and creamier.  I also roasted the squash before I added it to the soup base to give it a fuller flavor.

This soup is quick, easy to make, and doesn't require a ton of ingredients. I would highly recommended it!


Butternut Squash and Apple Soup (adapted from PCC)

Ingredients:
  • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1-inch squares (or two bags of pre-cut butternut squash from Trader Joes)
  • 1 large apple, diced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh ginger
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 cup apple juice
  • 1 can - 2 cans coconut milk
  • 2 teaspoons salt

Preparation: 
  1. Roast butternut squash. Drizzle 1 TBSP oil onto a baking sheet. Place cubed squash on oiled sheet and bake in oven for 20-30 min, flipping squash once of twice, at 450°.
  2. In a large stock pot saute apple and onion in remaining oil over medium heat until onions are translucent, about 5 min. 
  3. Add roasted squash, ginger and garlic and continue cooking for an additional 5 min. 
  4. Pour in apple juice and 1 & 1/2 cans coconut milk. Bring to a boil. Once boiling reduce and simmer for 30 min. stirring occasionally. Add additional coconut milk if mixture is too dry.
  5. Using an immersion blender, blender of food processor, pureĆ© soup until thick and creamy. 
My #1 soup fan!

Serve with warm crusty bread and butter! If you are feeding a young eater, especially one whose spoon skills still ramping up (ahem - Ollie), try pouring the soup over rice.  It thickens the soup even more and helps it stick to the spoon!

Enjoy!