Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day!

 Happy Valentine's Day, from our home to yours.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Snowy Day Entertainment

'Move to Atlanta,' they said.  'The winters will be milder, and the spring lasts forever.'
Well, we are on our second bout of cabin fever in as many weeks, so I'm starting to take geography and weather advice with a grain of salt.
August, JP, and I learned our lesson with the last winter storm to hit north Georgia, so we were prepared with lots of entertainment options this time around!  I thought I'd share some of the ways we're keeping our sanity while (mostly) stuck inside with snow and ice in the yard.

On Tuesday morning, August and I ventured into the world to get our wiggles out before being cooped up.  You can see above that the weather wasn't perfect, but just a smidge of slush on the road; it mostly just rained after 10am.  We were gone 9:30am-4:15pm, which is practically the entire work day!  We went to RedBox (more on that in a minute), Barnes and Noble for some new books (libraries were already closed!), met some friends for a very long lunch, picked up art supplies at Michael's, a new outfit or two from Babies R Us, and visited Abuela for a while.  It was nice to get some breathing room before Pax hit us!

I got a few new movies for JP and I; RedBox has been our lifesaver lately.  Yesterday we watched Ender's Game and Enough Said.  The latter was such a charming film!  If you're looking for a grown-up movie, I definitely recommend it.  Today I'm looking forward to Fruitvale Station, which should fill my critical discussion quota for the morning.  There are just so many good movies to catch up on!

New Toys!
Well, new to August.  He loves playing with his own little spoon during mealtime, so yesterday I pulled out our silicone measuring bowls and tiny pastry brush and spatula for him to play with while I fiddled around in the kitchen.  My mom also sent along some awesome websites with activities for infants (you can find some great ones just by googling or searching on Pinterest), which we've sprinkled in throughout the day.  If he's happy, we're all happy.

New Recipes!
With JP home to lend an extra hand to help with August, I was able to try out a couple of new recipes yesterday.  Above is the almost-end result of some amazing ice cream I'm going to share with you next week, and we also tested out a new crock-pot pulled pork taco meal for dinner.  It helped the day feel fresh, rather than just pulling out another veggie stew when it's cold out.

Photo Shoot!
To kill some time and keep August occupied, we did a little Valentine shoot with him yesterday morning.  It was really fun!  I used a paper garland Haley made for my bachelorette party (nearly 2 years ago to the day!) and a big ivory blanket for a background, and just let August be cute for 20 minutes.  What a fun way to to document his first Valentine's Day!

JP and Mia helped keep an eye on the little man.

Our  back yard currently looks like this and there are still flurries coming down, so we'll probably have another day inside.  Once it lets up a bit, though, I hope to share some pictures of August's first snowman!  I hope you're warm, safe, and having a fun Thursday.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Double Chocolate Muffins

Dear 15-year-old Abbi,
Hi.  It's me, your 12-year older counterpart.  You don't know me, but I am intimately acquainted with you.  When you're 27, you are going to do things you never thought possible.  You're going to be married to a man (with facial hair!  And chest hair!  A real manly dude!) who encourages you to learn Spanish and gets you to eat mushrooms with gusto.  You will eat out at restaurants where you willingly order braised goat and boar jowl.  You will give up bacon and brie for an entire year, subsisting on tofu, tempeh, and kale juice (among other things).
One day, you will come across a double chocolate muffin recipe that requires no butter or eggs, instead using coconut oil and beets (yes, beets), and you will think to yourself, "I want to make these for myself and my bearded husband."  You will bake these with your own baby next to you in a high chair, giggling at the pink veggies being pureed.  You'll eat 4 in one sitting while that baby blissfully naps for a few minutes next to you.
I know you're shaking your head right now, but I know this for a fact.  You will use 'vegan' and 'delicious' and 'chocolate' in the same sentence.  I promise.

Double Chocolate Muffins (with Beets!) via Minimalist Baker
2 flax eggs (2 Tbsp. flaxseed meal and 5 Tbsp water)
1 c. beet puree or applesauce (for beet puree, just toss 4-5 small roasted beets into a food processor and pulse until smooth)
1/4 c. agave syrup
1/3 c. brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 c. melted coconut oil
1/4 c. almond milk
1/2 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/3 c. flour
1/3 vegan chocolate chips (I found some great ones at Target!)

1. Preheat oven to 375 and line 12-muffin tin with paper liners.
2. Prepare flax eggs in a large mixing bowl and let rest for 5 minutes.
3. Add pureed beets (or applesauce), oil, agave, sugar, baking soda, salt, and whisk for 45 seconds.
4. Stir in almond milk and whisk until smooth.
5. Add cocoa powder and flours and stir with spoon until just combined.  Batter will be scoopable, not pourable.  If it's getting too thick, add more milk.
6. Stir in chocolate chips.
7. Scoop batter into tins (should make 10-12 muffins) and bake 17-22 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the centers comes out clean.  Let cool, then remove from muffin tin, and enjoy!

Friday, February 7, 2014

The Week in Photos

 August and I checked out the High Museum last Saturday together.  Can you imagine a cuter date?

The modern art wing is my favorite.

JP took me here on our first visit to Atlanta, when I met his parents; I loved this piece then, and I love it now!

August takes watching soccer with his abuelo very seriously.

'Mama, I am done with this photo shoot.  I need to put my feet in my mouth, please.'

The breastfeeding continues in earnest here, seven months in.  If you'd told me when he was 3 weeks old how much I was going to love this part of the job, I wouldn't have believed you.  I'm so glad we stuck with it.

 So handsome!

I love August's bath time; he's so happy in the water.

7 months is a really fun age with August- he's generally a pretty smiley, cheerful kid with the cutest giggles!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Snow in Atlanta! Or: The Longest Commute of My Life

You may have heard a thing or two about a snowfall here in the south.  It's so exciting!  It's so rare!  It's so...endlessly stressful.

August and I drove down to Tallahassee to visit Haley on Sunday night, realizing that there was snow predicted for Atlanta on Tuesday.  I really didn't get too concerned because not too much was expected, and it was supposed to start falling later in the day; as long as we were home by 3ish, I thought we would miss the traffic.  August and I set out with the intent of getting home before rush hour traffic started, and I told JP we'd see him for dinner.

Oh my goodness, was I ever wrong.  I'm sure you've heard the stories about people sleeping in their cars on the highways in Atlanta.  It was such a tremendous disaster on the roads, and I cannot tell you how anxious I was to be stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic with a 7-month-old in the backseat.  We were incredibly lucky to be coming back from a weekend trip and had plenty of supplies (diapers, bottles, food, etc.), but it didn't feel great to know that there was a very good chance that we wouldn't make it home that night.  To give you some perspective, JP works about 4 miles from our house, and it took him 6 hours to get home- after leaving his car on the side of the road 1/4 mile from home and walking in the ice to get home to Mia.

To make a very long story shorter, after many increasingly-frantic phone calls from family and JP, August and I were able to get off the road at 9:30pm (we'd been traveling since 10:30am, and hit traffic at about 2pm) and stay overnight with some incredibly generous friends.  Prior to that, we stopped just outside of Atlanta for a quick feeding, diaper change, and gas top-off; we also were able to pull over to a gas station for August's dinner and bedtime diaper change at about 7.  In 11.5 hours in the car, August only fussed for about 30 minutes total.  He is a total trooper.  And those friends we stayed with?  They had hot soup and a glass of wine waiting for me when we drove up.  It was heavenly.

On Wednesday, the roads were still icy and untreated until about 11am.  August and I loaded up and (very slowly and cautiously) head home and settled into our living room at 1ish.  It was a very long 27 hours of travel.

At the end of it, though, August got to experience some legit snow here in Georgia!  How adorable is that little snowsuit?

We got about 2 inches in our neighborhood, which he was totally 'meh' about.  August is not easily impressed, apparently.

By Thursday morning, the snow was on its way out.  What a way to wrap up January!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Waiting for Dogot, Part 2

JP headed out for a ski trip on early last Friday morning, and August and I got to spend a lazy morning hanging out with Miss Mia.  For a big sister who loves licking any part of him she can get to, Mia is a little hesitant about August holding her paw.  They have a weird relationship.