Happy Halloween!

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pumpkin-farm

Be safe and have fun!

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Squirrel Crazy

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Shot with a baby on my hip.


Squirrel Crazy from sleepingKelly on Vimeo.

Four Months

Categories: Cecilia | 1 Comment


camo-baby blog

Dear Cecilia,

You turned four months old this week! This month has been full of major milestones, and it seems like you’re learning something new every week. I’ve had fun rediscovering the world through your experiences and feeling a sense of pride with every one of your accomplishments. It’s helping me be more grateful for the simple things I take for granted.

This month you developed the ability to roll from your back to your belly. I cannot express the sense of pride that welled up inside of me when I witnessed it. It’s amazing that you suddenly were able to do this without any instruction or help. Since your birth, you’ve been a very curious girl that enjoys watching the world around you. Soon you’ll be able to explore your environment and be part of the action. It also marks the beginning of my constant battle to chase you in order to protect you from all the scary things in our world.


overall-belly blog

A few weeks ago you started playing with toys. It all started when your grandmother gave you an exersaucer, and you took it from there. At first you were captivated by the colorful attachments, but you quickly started moving them, grasping them with both hands, and bringing the pieces to your mouth. Since you cannot discriminate between your toys and every day household items, this is inspiring me to be a better housekeeper. It seems that every day, I’m grabbing something from your hands that’s millimeters from your mouth. I know I need to relax and accept that nasty things will make it to your mouth; I’d just like your first solid food to be something healthy like avocados instead of dog hair.


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You’ve also started holding on while being carried by grabbing a fist full of my hair in your strong little hand. I figure this is good practice for riding city buses or subways while standing. Plus it’s a fair trade off for the moments when you hold my side or gently place your hand on the top of my breast while nursing. The other day you even looked at me and cupped my chin with your hand. I know you don’t understand the significance of that, but it was still a very sweet moment.


overall-smile blog

I’ve also noticed some big changes in myself this month. Before you were born, I was a very stoic individual. I often did not give much thought to sad and horrible events that play out on the news or happen in the lives of those around us. However, I’ve become more sensitive since becoming your momma. I see so much humanity in you. When you’re happy, sad, fearful, or excited, I feel it too. Too often in life we see other people as actors in our play and don’t take time to acknowledge that their feelings are as intense and valid as our own. Thank you, sweet girl, for teaching me to be more considerate to other people. You’ve made me a better person and a better momma.

Love,
Momma

Cozy Friday

Categories: mommyhood , Picklings | 1 Comment

It’s raining outside. A cold rain. The first one of the season, which is pretty remarkable since it’s less than a week until November. There’s a warm glow from a few accent lamps and one black currant scented candle in the living room, and soft jazz is playing on the stereo. The dog is lying by my feet, and the baby is in my lap and tucked in the corner of my arm, fluctuating between sleeping and nursing. This is what I consider a near perfect morning.

FRS - Dinner Doctor - Party Peas and Artichokes

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I had high hopes for this recipe from Anne.  I love peas, and I love artichokes.  As long as she didn’t cover them with curry like her last couple of recipes, I thought we’d probably have a winner. You guys know the drill by now.  Here’s the ingredients.  It truly is stuff that you’ll normally have in your pantry and fridge.  The herb is one of the most common herbs, and one you’ll normally buy if you buy them.

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You might be wondering why my peas are in a bag.  Obviously I’m not concerned with brand endorsements with that gigantic PROGRESSO label.  It’s actually leftovers from a bag that I opened for another recipe.  I’m often whipping up a quick vegetable soup so I save all my leftover (still frozen) veggies.  Half a cup of frozen carrots may not seem worth keeping, but a little splash of color in a soup goes a long ways. (I actually opened a second bag and dumped it in the ziplock for the picture since this recipe called for a large volume of peas.  It’s also for aesthetics.)

Here’s most of the ingredients in a pot, waiting to be stirred. We’re missing the herb. It will wilt and get icky if cooked too long.

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Here’s the herb being chopped while the rest of it cooks. (Just for reference, it’s the flat one, not the curly.)

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I spent too much time chopping, and the peas cooked a little too long and turned a dull pea green (get it, pea green) color.  Of course, I’m not sure what color they’re suppose to be.  Most of the recipes in The Dinner Doctor are pictured on the first few pages, but this one is not. Come to think of it, the only ones not picture are the ones I made.  Maybe I’m doing Anne a favor by toeing the line of copyright infringement.  Lets hope she sees it that way.

Here’s the completed dish:

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And because that doesn’t demonstrate that tasty goodness, here’s the close-up:

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Final verdict: This is my favorite recipe from The Dinner Doctor.  It’s great just the way it’s printed.  Next time, I might try sauteing the onion before combine all the ingredients, but even without tweaking, it’s one that I’d gladly serve to company.  In the recipes introduction, Anne states that this is the dish her mom always brought to potlucks, and I can see why.  There’s plenty of it, and it’s plenty good.  It might just make its way to my Thanksgiving table.

Now that we’re finally done with that cookbook, I’m ready to move onto others.  In the time it took me to find my favorite, I purchased 4 more cookbooks and received 3 more as gifts.  This will truly be a never ending quest.  I’ve decided that I’m going to skip reviewing my bread machine books.  I’ll just post pictures, most likely taken with my camera phone, in my flickr.  (You can see my most recently upload pictures in the top right corner.)  The next cookbook I’ll review will probably be a Cooking Light publication, and hopefully the recipes will be available on their site for your personal use.

To Do, Part 4

69. Habitually apply moisturizer with SPF to my face daily

It’s good for our skin and our health, and it’s so easy to do.  We all should make a habit of it.

68. Breastfeed Cecilia for 1 year

67. Own and restore a International Harvester Scout

It’s a convertible, and it’s a truck.  It can also conquer mountains, and Chris will find me pretty dang sexy while driving it.  What’s not to love?

66. Get a retainer (or braces) to close the gap in my front teeth caused by not wearing my retainer the first go-around

65. Lose the baby weight

I’ve been working on this one for a couple months, and I’ve got six pounds that are hanging on for dear life.  Once I’ve lost the baby weight, I’m moving on to the 10lbs I gained after we got married.  I was too busy trying to prove my awesome wife cooking skills to work out.

64. Learn the different types of clouds and be able to identify them

63. Become a runner

I’ve always admired the super skinny people who run around their towns and neighborhoods in cute running clothes. I am not one of those people.  In fact, I can’t even run around the block without stopping, but there are several programs that train you to become a runner.   However, I think I’ll follow the advice of my mother-in-law and wait until I’m finished breastfeeding.  No reason to lose an eye over it.

62. Attend a taping of Oprah

I like free stuff, and she likes to give free stuff. The end.

61. Master the art of cut-out cookies

I suck at cut-out cookies.  This is pretty shocking since I’m a very good Baker.  In fact, it’s my middle last name. Every time I try to cut them out, they get stuck to the table despite how much I flour the table.  It’s really disappointing because there are lots of cute cookie cutters out there.

60. Make all the bread (including sandwich and hamburger buns)

I’ve been working on this one for a little over a month now, and it’s going deliciously.  We’ve tried a variety of recipes from my three new bread cookbooks. (I’m never going to complete #100 at this rate.) However, I haven’t tried making buns.  So far, we’ve been eating burgers on regular sliced bread, which isn’t quite the same, but I refuse to buy store bought bread.  It’s probably a safe bet that Chris is ready for me to try, but I think it involves using a biscuit cutter, which reminds me of my cookie woes.

Book Review: Churched

Categories: Picklings | 2 Comments

 

 

When I was pregnant, Chris and I attended a six-week birthing class where, I’m pretty sure, we irritated 10 couples with our constant laughing and sarcastic remarks.  There was only one other couple that seemed to mock some of shenanigans that take place around birth (and archaic birthing videos), the Turners.  When I learned that Matthew Paul Turner was an author, I knew I’d like his writings.  Then when I found out that he was penning a satirical book about being raised in a fundamentalist Baptist church, I immediately pre-ordered the book from Amazon.

Just as I suspected, Churched: One Kid’s Journey Toward God Despite a Holy Mess, is humorous and light-hearted and will evoke chortles to full gut-busting belly laughs.  It is a series of vignettes that follows Matthew from the age of four, when his family joins a Baptist church with an overzealous pastor with a slightly unctuous air, to his teen years, when he starts to discover truth about God, his church, and himself.  Even if you’re not a Christian or you weren’t raised in a fundamentalist church, you’ll still enjoy reading about the crazy antics that took place during his childhood.  For example, one Sabbath morning his Sunday school teacher nearly turned their classroom into a gas chamber by setting a Barbie doll on fire to demonstrate hell.   It will leave smile on your face and wondering, “What the hell were they thinking?”  Churched is a great book.

On a personal level, I found some hope in Turner’s book, and it wasn’t from his conclusion when he tells of finding a small, loving church in his twenties.  For me, it was reassuring that someone can successfully mix Christianity and humor, which is an idea that I’ve struggled with for some time.  I think too often Christians present themselves with a “holy than thou” air and proclaim to be higher than fart jokes and self ridicule.  I’ve personally never been drawn to living that way, and I’m a Christian.  I can only imagine what non-Christians think of people who get way too much joy from singing the hairbrush song from Veggie Tales and not enough from a rerun of Friends.  So if a satirist like Matthew Paul Turner can find a church home and comfortable place in Christianity, I think there’s hope for me.

Overall, I highly recommend Churched.  It’s written in short, undemanding chapters.  You can easily read it in one sitting or short sessions while trying to rock your baby to sleep.  It would also make a great stocking stuffer for anyone that was raised in a charismatic church, attended an overly judgmental Baptist college, or likes to regularly mock the gigantic mega church down the street.   I also have an extra copy to give away to one lucky reader.  If you’d like to win a copy of Churched (even you lurkers), please email me at sleepingKelly@sleepingKelly.com.  I’ll select a winner at random using random.org on Friday, October 24 at 6:00pm.

If you’d like to know more about Matthew Paul Turner, you can visit his website or blog, Jesus Needs New PR.

Mobility Begins

Categories: video , Cecilia | 3 Comments

Please excuse the rough video.  I was too busy being a proud momma to concern myself with steadying the camera.

Cecilia Rolls Over from sleepingKelly on Vimeo.

Organization Tip

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Every month, I receive at least nine magazine subscriptions, which have been neglectfully tossed aside since Cecilia arrived.  While trying to catch up on some of my reading this week, I stumbled on a great organization tip - using a lazy susan in your cabinets.  (Unfortunately I’ve forgotten which magazine suggested this, and it would take me at least a week to find it.) I actually had a lazy susan sitting in my closet collecting dust.  I purchased it last year for someone for Christmas, but she ended  up buying one for herself before the holidays rolled around, which is the downside of buying Christmas gifts in September.


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I decided to tackle the cabinet under my kitchen sink.  It still looks pretty messy, but now I won’t have to knock over a million things when I need the cider vinegar from the back.  Now if they only had tips on organizing millions of unread magazines…

Music Snob’s Lullabies

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Chris is changing Cecilia’s diaper while singing “Redemption Song”. He’s such a good daddy.