Sunday, January 29, 2012

What's the Point of Pinterest?

If you don't have Pinterest, you could count yourself lucky, but secretly wonder if you are being left out of something spectacular.  Pinterest did provide me two good recipes, but also gave me a dud.  I am amazed that I was able to try three recipes in one week in addition to making a diaper cake for a baby shower on Thursday!  Maybe that's why I have limited time to sleep...

The first of the Two Thumbs Up Recipes is Flourless Fudge Chocolate Chip Cookies

Here's the link to the original recipe:

Original Ingredients:

3 cups powdered sugar
2/3 cup unsweetened Hershey’s dark chocolate cocoa powder
1/8 tsp. salt
2 to 4 large egg whites, at room temperature
1 Tbsp. pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups 60% cacao chocolate chips

Instead of using egg whites, I used whole eggs.  I am thinking that the recipe was developed for those with allergies to gluten and/or eggs.  I also decreased the salt to a pinch.  Otherwise, I followed the directions. Thus...

  • 3 cups powdered sugar

  • 2/3 cup unsweetened Hershey’s dark chocolate cocoa powder

  • Pinch of salt

  • 2 large eggs

  • 1 Tbsp. pure vanilla extract

  • 1 1/2 cups 60% cacao chocolate chips


    1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
    2. In a large bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar with cocoa powder and salt.
    3. Beat in the vanilla and eggs until the batter is moistened.
    4. Stir in the chocolate chips. (Next time, trying semi or milk chocolate)
    5. Scoop the batter by the tablespoon full onto the prepared baking sheets. Leave enough space between each cookie for them to spread.
    6. Bake for 12-14 minutes, until the tops are glossy and lightly cracked.
    7. Let the cookies cool completely on the baking sheet and store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
    8. My one addition...add vanilla frosting to the top of the cookie and enjoy!  I love sweets, so while the fudgey cookie was delicious, I needed a little more oomph of sugar.

    Chicken and Rice Slow Cooker Casserole

    Here's the link to the original recipe:

    • 4 bonless, skinless chicken breasts
    • 1 large onion, chopped
    • 10 oz yellow rice
    • 2 cup cheddar cheese
    • 1 - 10.5 ounce can cream of chicken soup (regular or fat free)
    • 1 -15 ounce bag of frozen corn, drained
    I had pulled chicken from the freezer to thaw out for this recipe, but it wasn't completely dethawed before I attempted to make this recipe, but I tried it anyway with great results.  So this recipe can have partially frozen chicken breasts and still turn out great!

    I place the chicken breasts in the bottom of the crock pot, topped with the cream of chicken, and diced the onion and threw it in the pot.  I set the crock pot on low for 8 and walked away.  I came back around dinner time, cooked the rice and corn, threw these two items in the pot, then added 2 cups of sharp cheddar cheese.  After the cheese melted, I stirred everything together and served with garlic bread.  Very good dinner and so easy.  I should add that I did use a knife to cut the chicken breasts into 8 pieces and then stirred the mixture - the chicken fell apart really well.

    I'll save the dud recipe for another day when there's more time, but I will say I was disappointed in the Buffalo Chicken Rolls, but I think it's due to the shell.  I do love blue cheese, hot sauce, and chicken, so I am going to rip open the shells and eat the mixture with cheddar cheese and whole wheat dipping chips!

    Where Has January Gone?

    So my attempt to update weekly and provide more quality posts has failed on the first week.  Oh well, such is life with active baby who needs a lot of attention and love.  So we have weeks 20 and 21 to update, though no huge development separates the two weeks, so maybe it's time for biweekly updates instead of weekly.  I seem to be able to manage an update every other week.

    After doing more research, we decided it was time to let Aidan start practicing to eat.  This did not mean put cereal in a bottle in attempt to hold him over, but to let he learn how to eat off a spoon, not thrust out his tongue, and to swallow.  Since oatmeal cereal has the benefit of iron, I bought an organic oatmeal cereal to begin the process.  I mixed the cereal with an ounce of breast milk so it had a familiar taste and provide the liquid consistency the food needed.  We gave him oatmeal once almost every day for a week to ensure no allergic reaction.  Oatmeal is least likely to cause a reaction, however, to follow the precautions suggested by AAP, we are not introducing a new food until we have tried the previous one for 4 consecutive days without reaction.

    Aidan trying avocado!

    The second food we gave Aidan was fresh avocado and breast milk.  He loved it!  He grabs the spoon from us and cries when we take too  long to give him more.  We'll try this for an entire week before moving on to a banana.  Making the avocado food for Aidan was pretty simple - cut open an avocado, scrape out the meat, blend it in a food processor (or nut chopper) until creamy, and then scoop out a serving size and dilute it with breast milk.  The rest I either refrigerated or made individual servings to freeze.  Avocado turns grey quickly, so it needs to be refrigerated or frozen for preservation.  We'll see how it goes...

    Daycare, well one person there, would prefer I give cereal in his bottle to help hold him over longer.  However, when someone else watches him, he eats 6 ounces every 3 hours, so I feel like they are giving in too soon or he is comfort feeding.  Either way, daycare makes it hard to keep up with what they are feeding.  Thank goodness for 4 day weekends every other week, otherwise, I would be pulling from the freezer stash.  I highly doubt they want to feed him solids as messy as it is right now, but if the lady brings it up again, I'll offer to let her feed him solids, not cereal in his milk.
    Aidan loves to sleep on his stomach, though he doesn't tolerate much tummy time.  This week, he took his first nap in the crib on his stomach - 2 hours!  When he woke up, he lifted his head up and began crying...guess he didn't like being on his stomach anymore!  Oh well.  He still seems to have no interest in rolling over - he gets as far as his side and then rolls to the other side.  He'll do it when he's ready, no rush.

    Saturday, January 14, 2012

    The Nineteenth Week

    So I felt like the past two posts, which cover 4 weeks, were more about quantity than quality. I am not sure how I resolve this, but I do like that I have a document of how Aidan progressed, and I know there are people near and far that read this to keep up on Aidan (and maybe AJ and I…). This blog is now Life with Aidan, so you will have to read about AJ and I and not just enjoy the cutesy photos and updates on how much he is growing. J So I am hoping to write a little something each day so at the end of the week, I have thoughts I can tie together instead trying to remember the week, which is a complete blur believe it or not! Here goes nothing…

    First, I would like to mention that I have been pumping at work for 6 entire weeks. I am slightly annoyed with having to carry my pump back and forth to work each day, but it won’t stop me from my original goal of 6 months. Recently, I decided that my new goal should be 9 months since solids are not meant to be a nutritional sustenance, just a practice how to eat.  Really, 1 year would be ideal, but I will make that decision down the road.  Right now, 8 more months seems overwhelming, but as quick as time as flown, I am sure 1 year will be here before I know it.

    On beginning solids: From all the research I have done, with a big source being the American Association of Pediatrics, I want to wait as close to 6 months as possible.  We might start practicing with oatmeal soon, but he tongue reflexes show that he is not ready. However, after our pediatric appointment last Friday, AJ would like to start ASAP because the doctor stated that cereal might get Aidan back on his sleeping through the night schedule. Ahhh, parenting disagreement. Well, so far, no cereal, and you know what Aidan did Wednesday night?! He Slept Through the Night! Guess what he did Thursday night?! He Slept Through the Night! Just breastmilk, no crazy cereal that can constipate babies…I honestly believe we have a case of Sleep Regression (Dr. Google can tell you all about it) since Aidan was sleeping through the night at 6 weeks and increased that time from 6 hours to 10 hours over the course of several weeks. That’s not to say he didn’t wake up because he wanted his pacifier and had to be soothed back to sleep, but he did not need to feed in the middle of the night like he has been for the past month.
    Aidan has his first cold, and he was so kind as to share it with me.  He despised the snot sucker, but it allowed him to breathe.  His behavior did not seem to change, and the coughing and sneezing did not seem to bother him.  The cold did ruin his sleep at night, and he threw a fit when I removed the snot from his nose in the middle of the night when he woke.  Oh well, kiddo, you have to be able to breathe!

    In other news, AJ and I took a trip out to our land to plan out our home site. We have begun to look at house plans and begin to make "to-do" lists in order to be ready to build.  We took Aidan, of course!  He looked around a lot - plenty to see, though no animals ran across our path.  We have no official timeline, though sooner rather than later is the plan.  Building a house depends on selling our current house.  Good luck in this market, right?

    So what did we learn about Aidan this week?  He loves to hang upside down!  He loves the excitement of daycare that he almost refuses to naps, which lead to me wearing him when I get home so that he will fall asleep!  He has learned how to touch the dogs, and it makes him very happy to interact with them.  He loves to sleep on his stomach - this scares me because of the SIDS risk, but if he manages to roll onto his stomach, then I feel I need to accept that he will sleep on his stomach. He can also hold his head up very well.  We also learned that if you give Aidan tummy time, even though he likes to sleep on his stomach, that eventually he will fuss and then fuss enough to flip over onto his back.  Lots of fussing to endure.  Aidan also loves to have his gums "brushed."  I am trying to get him into the habit of having something brush/clean his gums and tongue so that when the time comes, brushing teeth won't be a fight.  Hopefully.

    Sunday, January 8, 2012

    Happy New Year

    Happy New Year...and no, I didn't make a resolution to be more timely with my blog posts.  I don't want to make promises I can't keep, though I always have good intentions on completely the blog on Saturday night.  Though, for some reason or another, it never happens.

    Eighteenth Week

    This was the first week of daycare, and while it was only 3 days, it completes our transition.  The ladies at daycare LOVE Aidan already, and everyone who works there wants to change his diapers because they think his cloth diapers are really cool.  On the first day, he had 8 dirty diapers, but he was only there for 8 hours.  I can't complain if Aidan is kept dry, even if they change him more than needed...The ladies were disappointed to learn that I had a four day weekend and wouldn't be seeing Aidan.  It's good to see them connected to Aidan and missing him.

    On Friday, Aidan had his 4 month vaccinations.  He only had to have two shots this time, and while he did cry, he didn't stay upset for long.  I also nursed him immediately afterward, and it seems to help.  I gave him Tylenol hours afterwards in case of a fever, and we continued for 3 more times.  I'm not big on giving him medicine he doesn't need, but we didn't want a fever to occur because of the shots.  The wellness part of the check up went well - Aidan continues to grow at practically the same rate.  He was 26" long (90th percentile) and was 16.3 lbs (75-90th percentile).  The pediatrician did say that Aidan needed more tummy time since he wasn't rolling over, but we figured Aidan will do it when he wants to.  We're in no hurry, and we do give him tummy time.  In fact, he seems to enjoy it, and he can pick up and hold his head quite far.

    Aidan and I (AJ had to work :( ) along with my parents, grandparents, and sister with her husband visited my brother and his wife for my brother's 27th birthday.  Aidan did very well, especially considering he had shots the previous day.  My brother cooked some delicious food, and we had the choice of cookie cake, pecan pie (I made) or pound cake (memaw made).  Mmm, good food was had by all.

    This is my fifth week drinking tea that is suppose to increase the BM output, and from some research, I should do six weeks on, two weeks off.  Not sure I want to see if my supply dips, but maybe I should try the two weeks off.  So far, I haven't had an issue of not being able to pump enough for Aidan, however, if this week would have been a 4 day work week, I would have been pulling frozen milk for Aidan to have on Friday.  So I decided to make sure I wake up (even though I don't want to) around Aidan's early morning feeding to pump so I can have spare, fresh pumped milk.  We'll see how it a few short months, I hope to introduce solids.

    Seventeenth Week

    Since I waited so long to write this update, I am sure it's going to be brief.  I have to go by the pictures to know what actually occurred during the week.  Pictures are less frequent now that I am back at work, though I try to make up for it on the weekends.  On Monday, I had the day off, so my brother, his wife, and my parents came over to visit.  I love seeing my brother spend time with his nephew - I am sure he's going to teach him something car/mechanical related when Aidan is older. 

    On Tuesday, my mom watched Aidan.  Not sure what mischievous things those two got into, but I did receive pictures while I was at work.  The pictures make my day a better and brighter. 

    On Wednesday, my mom took Aidan to visit Memaw and Pepaw.  He apparently did really well on the car ride.  He also convinced M&P that no pants are needed when he's down at the beach, even when it is winter time.  Almost every picture I received had Aidan with a cloth diaper and a shirt on...though the weather was quite warm for this time of year.

    Thursday and Friday, AJ's mom came in town to watch Aidan while AJ and I worked.  I think this was the first time that Pam had the opportunity to give Aidan a bath, and who wouldn't want to give him one!  He loves it, though now he splashes a lot more, so you have to be prepared to get soaked.

    On Saturday, I went over to my parents with Aidan while AJ worked.  My parents bought an XBOX 360, a kinnect, and several games.  We played the XBOX for many hours.  Aidan watched me dance - it's a good thing he won't remember when he gets older.  Aidan went down before midnight, and I stayed up - barely!  We all celebrated with champagne, but went to bed shortly after.

    Aidan seems to continue the sleep regression.  He wakes up around 11PM or midnight to feed.  He would normally sleep from 8:30 PM to 4AM give or take an hour before eating.  Sure, he would need to have his pacifier replaced or soothed back to sleep periodically, but not to eat.  It's a good thing we decided to co sleep right now because I feed him practically in my sleep, then he goes right back to sleep.