Wednesday, April 15, 2015

It's really happened!

Our baby boy has turned 2!  It still seems crazy to think he is that old even a month after his birthday!  He is loving life most of the time or he is throwing himself full speed onto the ground crying!  We are having a blast and are so blessed to have him in our lives.  I wouldn't trade the last two years for anything, and we are so excited for what learning and playing and loving we have ahead of us till he turns 3.  Whoa, I cannot even to imagine him being 3.


We had a big party planned with a trip to the park up the road and then pizza and cake, but his birthday fell during two weeks of nonstop snow here in Colorado so we changed the plan a bit.  We cleared out most of the big room in our basement and threw down a few rugs and all of his toys.  We were hoping the 30 people we invited would find room somewhere and we would all just hang out and play.  It actually turned out okay, well at least Mikey and I think so.  Everyone played really well and Noah didn't seem to concerned about everyone playing with his toys.  I think he was too distracted to really notice that he was sharing!



After lunch, everyone sang to Noah, he was very excited about the Happy Birthday song, but then when it actually happened, he seemed a bit scared.  He had asked for an Elmo cake, and the grocery store did a great job for us.

Lastly, he had a bunch of presents to open, but after he found a firetruck, he was set!  He really has loved playing with all of his new toys.  He comes home from running errands or daycare, and asks us to play with him and his presents!  We are really bad at ever saying no to the cutest kid!


We did have his 2 year check up the following day, and everything looked great.  The doctor was happy that he was still growing and running around like crazy.  He was 33 inches tall and 25.6 lbs.




Other fun stories about him, he can pick out a few letters in the alphabet and tell you what they are, he can count to fifteen (he skips thirteen a lot, but we just keep on going), he really doesn't like to change out of jammies and then he doesn't like to change into jammies, he takes baby dolphin everywhere with him, he asks for tisses (kisses) all the time, he scares Papa with his dinosaur roar and then cracks up laughing, he likes to line up his bath toys, he runs around Costco like a mad man and then yells STOP at the end of each aisle, he slyly asks for fruit snacks every time you ask him what he wants to eat, when he is done chewing on his hand because he is teething he says Eww, slobby hand, and he really likes to do the Hot Dog Dance at the end of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Sledding

It didn't take long for a good snowstorm to hit after Christmas.  We pushed through Noah's tears and got him in his snow pants and coat, but we skipped the snow boots to save some crying.  After drying his tears we headed out for some snow fun, he loved his sled and did not want to get out!  He complained when he got snow on his gloves and he wouldn't hold on very well so he slid around in the sled a few times.  After we got tired of pulling him around the neighborhood, we sent him down our driveway which had just enough slope that he was on his way.   I then made him sit in the snow with me, which he did not like at all in the beginning, but after a little while he was asking for more snow!


Too fast
This stuff is awesome!

The next day we went up to my parents house to see what kind of sledding we could do there.   We pulled him around the yard and then ended up sledding down the driveway with him!   He seemed to like it and kept asking for more.   He had a slight fever and cough that day so we just went a couple more times and called it good.




Family Fun!

The next snowstorm came a few days later and he was so excited to get all his snow gear on and go play that we even got his snow boots on!  He walked all over the park and a lot of the way home!  He is getting pretty heavy.  We are looking forward to our next day of playing in the snow!


Friday, January 23, 2015

Christmas Rewind

I can't let Christmas time end just yet without a blog post sharing Noah's excitement.  He was so excited to see Christmas lights everywhere and he would point out every Christmas tree he saw.  We had a great time celebrating with our families and Noah seemed to thoroughly enjoy himself.  We seemed to get all of our traditions included in the festivities this year.  We watched our Christmas movies, ate lots of Wisconsin candy, got olives from Santa, made Christmas cookies, saw Santa, drove around town to look at lights, and had a wrapping paper fight!

We went to see Santa at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo.  They set up a ton of lights throughout the zoo, so we bundled up and went to see the animals and Santa.  Noah was very excited when we got in the room with Santa, but then when it was his turn to say hi, he was not letting go of Daddy at all.  We did get him to say HO, HO, HO for Santa and that was pretty cute.  Then Noah gave him a high five!



Christmas Eve we spent with Mikey's family and we really enjoyed having them come hang out with us at our house.  We jumped right into opening up presents.  Noah had tried to open two or three that were under the tree before Christmas, but every time he was told it wasn't time yet he put them back. He seemed a little unsure of opening presents, but it did not take him long to get it figured out!

Noah trying to figure out wrapping paper
On a roll now!
Super excited for his Thomas Train set!  All aboard!
On Christmas morning we spent time at home and got our stockings and opened up a few presents.  He really liked his Christmas stocking on Christmas morning!  



Then it was off to my parents house for Christmas dinner.  Having Noah and his cousins enjoying their Christmas together was very fun to watch and definitely makes Christmas for me more exciting now that I get to experience it with Noah!  We really had a great time with everyone!

Noah went straight for the candy that Santa brought him
He did not want to get out of his sled!
Really into unwrapping presents now
Unsure of his new Elmo doll
But after a minute he couldn't resist
The wrapping paper fight!

Fashion Show
Reagan and Noah playing horses
Noah and Breckin playing too!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

TWD: Baking with Julia - Eastern European Rye - Guest Baker

Normally Julie is the one baking every couple of weeks, but she wasn't that excited for making rye bread, and I love rye bread.  I read an article recently that describes all of the additives and such that are put into commercial bread and that has put me onto a big kick of making homemade bread, to the point where I'm making a loaf of half white/wheat for lunches each week.  I actually bought rye flour before we knew this was the recipe because I like rye so much and the flour has the whole grain in it, mmmmm!

The recipe came out of the Baking with Julia cookbook, and Julie cooks with a group called Tuesdays with Dorie.  The link is https://tuesdayswithdorie.wordpress.com if you want to learn more.

I cut the recipe in half since I would be the only one eating the rye, I worried it would go bad.  My Mom then asked for a loaf, so I'll probably be making these again sometime.  I also have a bread machine recipe I am going to try, but this one will be hard to beat.  The crust was out of this world awesome.  Quick note, I used my cell phone camera for all of these pictures, so sorry if the quality is a bit low. 

The starting lineup
The yeast getting nice and creamy
The recipe called for finely ground caraway seeds, but our local mega-mart only had whole ones.  That was fine I thought, since I have a mortar and pestle, this will be fun.  Turns out caraway seeds are really strong and didn't take to grinding that way.  So I gave up and used the coffee/spice grinder, that was much quicker.

This is after 10 minutes of pounding and grinding, notice how whole the seeds are
Take that well-put-together seeds!
After adding the flour mixture into the wet ingredients the dough got really hard to stir.  I used the bowl with a handle (great idea) and a wooden spoon (another great idea), and I had to get the shoulders and back moving to get it combined.  But it came together nicely and went well in our largest bowl, well greased of course.  

Mmmmm, dough
Going in for the first rise
Covered with a festive towel...
It got huge!!  
Sometimes I just feel so deflated, you know? 
Rolled into the square for shaping.  
The instructions said to roll into a rectangle, roll it up, then put it on its side and push your fingers in while pushing dough in, then pull it apart and repeat until you get hospital corners or something.  I tried this and I could not get it to push in correctly, pulling it apart either ripped it or it just came apart at the seams.  I decided that kneading it a few times while shaping it into a loaf would work just as well, and it seemed to come out with the right texture and shape, so that's nice.

I didn't really understand why the bread should go into a sling for 30 minutes, but it was kind of fun, so I did it anyway!  I figured it might be to rise evenly without pressing against the counter or bowl, but it didn't seem to make much difference in the shape that I could tell.

Going into the sling
This was actually safer than it looks
Once out of the sling you cut into it, add the toppings, and bake.  I did half salt and half caraway seeds on top of the egg wash.  I liked the taste of  the salt side better, but I loved the look of the caraway seeds, so I will probably do both next time and see what that gives me.

Half salt and half caraway seeds
Crunchy, crispy, warm, smelled great
Because I started this way too late in the day, the bread didn't come out of the oven until 11-ish at night, so I let it cool a bit and then put into a cake holder so it wouldn't dry out.  The crust got a bit soggy unfortunately, but was otherwise unharmed by this.  I had my first slice the next morning with breakfast, and it was magnificent.  The flavor was great, it toasted well, and just wow.

My phone's best attempt at capturing the grain of the bread
The first meal with the bread: Runny eggs and rye
Toasted pastrami on rye
I will almost certainly be making these again.  I will compare it other recipes since this one took a lot of time, but the flavor and crust will be hard to beat with this one.