After returning from vacation, I realized that I had returned
with a few unwanted souvenirs in the form of extra pounds.
On top of that I had
started reading French Women Don’t Get Fat, and I was feeling like
a fat, lazy American. OK, not really, but honestly I wasn’t feeling so hot.
book talks a lot about cooking for yourself and eating fresh fruits and
vegetables. Both things that I love to do but haven’t really been focused on
since I got pregnant with Jack, nearly 2 years ago.
Before pregnancy I used to
make wonderful home cooked meals and we ate a variety of fruits and veggies.
But pregnancy destroyed my love of cooking, and for 9 months I was happy to eat
as long as I didn’t have to prepare it.
Then Jack was born and who has time to
cook with a new born. Now, I’m dealing with a 16 month old whose likes and
dislikes seem to change daily.
So I decided me to make some much needed changes in
my family's diet. I wanted to get back to cooking meals that we loved and that
were healthy. I wanted banish prepackaged and premade foods from my home. I
wanted to go back to food being a joy and not a necessity and a chore. Yeah, I had some lofty ideas but I did make 3 really delicious dishes. I turned to Pinterest because for months I had been
pinning dozens and dozens of recipes. Rather than let those recipe’s go to
waste I decided to give them a try. And I have to say that all the recipe’s
I’ve pinned have been delicious.
I started with these Quinoa and Sweet Potato cakes. I served
them with sauteed spinach with garlic. These cakes were very easy and big hit
for the whole family. I decided to freeze the leftovers and they defrost very
quickly in the microwave and still taste great. Next time I make them I’ll
probably double the batch and freeze half.
The next night I made Penne with Roasted Broccoli and
Balsamic Butter. The recipe calls for asparagus but suggests using broccoli or
other veggies if you don’t have asparagus. Since I had broccoli on hand I
decided to use that variation. I also added the toasted pine nuts as the recipe
suggests and I cut some grape tomatoes in half and added them because I had a
hard time imagining pasta without tomatoes. This dish was awesome. Jack wasn’t
a fan but, John was and we agreed that the pine nuts put this dish over the top.
On St. Patrick’s Day I decided to make Guinness Stew. Before
we were married John and I were on Grand Bahama Island for vacation and went to
an Irish pub for dinner. At this pub John had what he believed was the best
Guinness Stew ever. To this day I do not hear the end of how great this stew
was. So I decided to make my own and it was surprisingly easy. I left out the
onions because I hate onions. I added potatoes to the stew and instead of the
potato top, I used Pillsbury crescent rolls because it just seemed easier. This
came out really well and of the three I’m going to assume it was John’s
favorite. Though for me this meal, while tastey, was a little too manly for me.
I've pulled a few more recipes off Pinterest which I plan to make this week. I'll post them on my facebook page as I make them. Or follow me on Pinterest.
Cooking these new recipes has helped to renew my faith in cooking and healthy eating. It's amazing what a few good, home cooked meals can do. And I’ve lost a couple of those unwanted souvenirs along the
Linked up with Mama Kat's prompt #4 Pinterest Challenge, find something you’ve pinned, TRY it and share it. Was it worth pinning?
I haven’t had time to write lately, but I’ve had a lot to
say, probably too much to say. I’ve wanted to write about vacation, trips to
the zoo, and leaving Jack with a sitter. But since we’ve gotten home from Aruba,
I’ve barely had time.
There was unpacking, laundry and food shopping. Jack’s 15
month check up and music classes, my endoscope (all is well) and work. These 2
weeks since we’ve been home have flown by.
And when I manage to find a spare moment to write I only
make it a sentence before Jack is calling for me to get a toy from the
depths of his toy box or Bailey is whining at the door desperate to go out or
come back in. They both seem needy since we got home.
Bailey is adjusting to being back under his own roof and
Jack is adjusting to life with just mommy again. While we were away Jack had
his Daddy 24/7 and his mom-mom and pop. Now it’s just the two of us and when
John leaves for work in the am, there are always tears.
Jack’s naps have been short except on the days when I’m
working when he naps for 2 or 3 hours. Mom just can’t seem to catch a break
this week. The day I had the endoscope he woke up at 6 and napped for only an
hour. It was a long day.
I’m starting to think that my days of feeling well rested
are well behind me. Just like Friday nights at the bar which I don’t miss
nearly as much as I thought.
Someone told me that when you vacation with kids that, "you are not vacationing but relocating".
Which, in a sense, is true.
We packed up
all of Jack’s favorite things and flew 4 hours to Aruba. Where he ate, napped,
didn’t sleep well and in between vacationed.
But being on vacation took some getting used to. Things didn't go perfectly and it took us all a few days to find our vacation groove.
of us were sharing a room but, Jack seemed to be sleeping well. Then he started waking up earlier and earlier each day.
At first we
didn’t mind, we knew we wouldn’t be sleeping in. And it was nice to get an early start and walk to the bagel place for fresh
fruit and bagels.
That was until Jack started waking up at 5:30 and then 4:45 and
finally 3:30. And he didn’t want to go back to bed, he wanted to get up and
We tried letting him sleep with us, but he didn't want to sleep. He wanted to crawl across the bed and flip the light switch, he wanted to giggle and shout. He wanted to do anything but sleep.
Finally we decided that we when he woke up we were going to leave him in
the crib. After 2 hours of babbling to himself he fell back to sleep at 6 am.
This solved the problem with early waking and Jack slept well the rest of the trip.
We were lucky that Jack loved the beach and eventually the
baby pool. Though, it took Jack a couple of days to adjust to being on the
beach everyday, rather than being at home with his toys.
Also Jack was not used to having his Daddy around all the time. Usually John goes to work in the am and Jack spends all day with me. So Jack became inseparable from John. Every time John walked away Jack would cry. If John tried to read on his Kindle, Jack would cry.
It started to become unbearable. And I started to feel slighted because my little boy wanted nothing to do with his mama.
The shirt says it all. That day he really was "Crabby but Cute"
It wasn’t just an adjustment for Jack.
John and I had to
learn to look at vacation differently. To realize that, once again, it was not
about us. There wasn’t as much lounging on the beach as we would have liked
and we spent way more time in the baby pool than the Caribbean.
just wander the beach for hours and we had to choose between sitting on the
beach till sunset or going to dinner as a family. Most days we choose the beach
and Jack feasted on happy hour snacks.
Jack at happy hour double fisting milk, water and grouper fingers.
(yes, I took my son to happy hour, no judgement, he loved the steel drum band)
And there were moments along the way when I wondered if this trip had been a bad idea.
Especially when John and I were trying to get ready for dinner at Madame Jeanette's (the best restaurant on the island) and my Dad and Mom were hoping to take Jack to dinner.
Everyone was trying to get ready and Jack was over tired. (I knew he should just go to bed and skip the night out. But my Dad was insistent that if we kept him up he would sleep better and I was exhausted and didn't feel like arguing.)
Jack followed his Daddy from the deck to the living room and got tripped up on his own feet and hit his head on the entertainment center. Jack was screaming and I was upset and everyone was rushing around for ice.
When we finally got Jack settled and in bed my nerves were shot but my mom insisted that we stick with our dinner plans and I was really glad we did.
By the halfway point of the vacation I finally felt like we were starting to relax.
And once we relaxed there were so many great moments and these are the things I hope we remember about this trip and not the plane
ride or the crying or the sleepless nights.
Thanks to my incredible parents, John and I got a lot of time
just the two of us. We ate lots of amazing meals out together and we
went on an off-road ATV tour, which was out of my comfort zone. And I got to ride a horse, how cool is that!
Watching Jack play on the beach was wonderful. The way he
loves his Daddy, while overwhelming at times, can bring tears to my eyes.
But my favorite moment was when we took Jack to
dinner at Azzuro for Formaggio. He loved the cheese covered pasta so much and
his face was priceless. There was something wonderful about sharing my favorite
meal with him.
And in the same way that,that meal was wonderful, so was the trip. Sharing a place that John and I love with Jack was magical. It makes me excited for all the other adventures we will have as a family.
Stop by and visit me on facebook and show me some like !
A few weeks ago Jack
had his first plane ride and it went better than expected.
Granted it’s not an experience that I’m eager to repeat, but
it went well enough.
The flight to Aruba was the hardest. We got up at 3 am to
drive an hour to the airport, to catch a 7:30 flight.
I do not recommend doing this. If you can avoid a 3 am wake up do it, we couldn't.
By the time we landed
in Aruba and got to the hotel it was about 2:00 and Jack was all over tired and
hyped up to see his grandparents that there was no chance for a nap. Add to
that, that my Dad was convinced that the later we kept him up the later he
would sleep in the am.
Dude, the kid had been up since 3 am, going to bed at 6:30
isn’t going to hurt.
I did some research about flying with a toddler before we
left. This site provided a lot of info and toy suggestions. The majority of
which was helpful.
Unfortunately Jack was too young for a lot of it. So the
colorforms, crayons and magnadoodle I brought were sort of useless.
The biggest mistake we made during this trip was not booking
a seat for Jack. When we booked this trip Jack was 6 months old and flying with
him on our lap seemed like the right idea.
It was not. I will never do it again.
During the fligh the man next to us moved seats so we could
have more room. He was an awesome guy with 7 grandchildren. So I set up the CARES
harness, for Jack to sit in but it wasn’t happening.
This lasted but a moment.
That’s because the second mistake we made was letting Jack
stand up on the plane. John let him walk around in the space of the new seat
and what would be our leg room. Once he knew he could be mobile there was no
chance of restraining him without fits of tears.
I packed 2 carry-on bags for this flight, a bag of tricks (toys, books, etc)
and a diaper bag filled with necessities and snacks. I was glad when the flight
was over because I was quickly running out of rabbits to pull out of my hat.
Besides trying to keep Jack entertained during the flight I was constantly on "poop watch". I was so afraid he would poop mid flight. I inspected the changing table in the bathroom and it was impossibly small.
Every 30 minutes or so I would say to John, "I think he pooped". Then I would check Jack and there was no poop. It took this happening at least 5 times before I realized we were sitting in front of the bathroom. It wasn't Jack I was smelling.
The third mistake I made was that I forgot to give Jack his
Benadryl before this flight. We boarded early and I got flustered and just
As the pilot said
that we were making our final descent in to Aruba and that we would be on the
ground in 7 minutes Jack grabbed his ear let out a few wails and fell asleep.
It was a glorious 5 minutes.
Thankfully the pressure did not seem to bother his ears on
take-off or landing too much. I purchased earplanes (which his ears were too
small for ), gave him Motrin (only on the flight out not the flight back), and
had him eat and drink.
And he didn't poop which I think was the best part of the flight.
Jack clinging to his blankie on his all too brief nap.
Have you flyed with your kids? How did it go? Would you do it again?
You’ve probably seen me. I’m the girl clinging to her
husband with one hand and gripping the arm rest for dear life with the other. I
don’t let go until we’ve leveled off.
Upon landing I like to pretend that my feet are the breaks,
as if pushing my heels into the floor will make the plane slow down.
Yeah, I’m a nervous flyer and it was only getting worse.
I used to be a great flyer. I flew 6 times in the year
following 9/11. I wasn’t going to let the terrorists win.
But then something weird happened, I started getting really
nervous. The moment I would take my seat on the plane I would start thinking
about the opening sequence of the TV show Lost. The plane snapping apart in
two, Evangeline Lily grabbing for her air mask, Matthew Fox saving lives while shirtless on the
And then I would panic.
Even though Lost has ended and we know that everything
happened on the island was real, I still can’t manage to fly without thinking
about the plane crash.
That is until this past week when we flew with Jack for the
first time. Sure I was nervous but mostly I was worried about how my little guy
would do. And it turned out that worrying about how he would handle taking off
and landing, erased all thoughts of epic plane crash sequences from my brain.
The plane took off and landed and the only hand I was holding was Jacks. Not
that he needed much hand holding but that is another story.
Linked up for writers workshop, topic Nerves when did you last have them and how did you deal.
Wine in Mom is now on Facebook, please "like" my page.
There is a custard stand around the corner from our house called The Custard Hut. It is open every year from Early March through Mid November. Like the post man, people flock to The Custard Hut in rain or snow or dark of night.
So when The Custard Hut hung up a banner at the beginning of the month announcing that they would open Presidents weekend, John and I knew that it was time for Jackson’s first Custard Hut.
Now of course we didn’t make him wait in the cold, because that’s what Daddies are for.
I think the jimmies (aka sprinkles) were his favorite part.