Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Chicken Wild Rice Salad

This is a delicious make-ahead recipe from Lunds & Byerly's that's perfect for lunch or dinner!

  • 2/3 cup low-fat mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup skim milk
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried tarragon
  • 3 cups cooked chicken
  • 3 cups cooked wild rice
  • 1/3 cup finely sliced green onion
  • 1 can (8oz) sliced water chestnuts, drained
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup green grapes, halved
  • 1 cup salted cashews
  • blend mayo, milk, lemon juice, and tarragon in small bowl
  • in large bowl, combine chicken, wild rice, green onion, water chestnuts, salt, and pepper
  • stir in mayo mixture until blended
  • refrigerate, covered, 2-3 hours
  • just before serving, fold in grapes and cashews
  • garnish with clusters of grapes

Sunday, January 22, 2012

DIY Dog Silhouette

I've been wanting to do a gallery wall above our couch for quite sometime. While I love my hubby's artwork, our current ledge situation is in need of an upgrade! (Notice KG's favorite napping spot- how fitting that he will soon have his very own picture on the wall behind him).
Santa brought me some beautiful frames and I've been scouring pinterest for ideas. Today, I decided on a layout and the artwork for one of the six frames that will be included in the gallery. Baby steps...

I was inspired by this DIY dog silhouette on glitter guide, which was inspired by artwork from Anthropologie (my all-time favorite store). Following their guide would have made this project ridiculously simple, but I wanted the silhouette to be of our beloved KG (not some random greyhound). The project is still very quick and easy (the hardest part was finding a good picture of KG). Plus, I had all of the necessary supplies around the house. And, most importantly, you can customize the pattern and colors of the dog silhouette and background to match your decor! Here are my directions to make a silhouette of your own pet!

  • frame (I used the espresso wood gallery frame from Pottery Barn)
  • scrapbook paper
  • cream card stock
  • scissors
  • sharpie
  • pencil
  • glue stick
  • tape
  1. find (or take) a profile picture of your favorite pet
  2. edit the photo, as needed (I zoomed in on his profile so it filled the picture and printed a 4X6 size. The silhouette worked perfect for my 5X7 frame.)
  3. print silhouette (I just printed a fast draft on regular computer paper.)
  4. outline your dog's silhouette with a sharpie (it makes the next step easier)
  5. cut out silhouette
  6. trace silhouette onto card stock and cut out (as you can see, I traced the silhouette onto the back so the pencil marks wouldn't show on the front)
  7. trim a piece of scrapbook paper, in the pattern of your choosing, to fit your frame
  8. glue silhouette to the corner of the scrapbook paper
  9. insert paper into frame

Stay tuned for the completed gallery wall (don't hold your breath, though, this could take awhile)!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

10 months!

Happy New Year my love! We have had a crazy busy, but fun-filled month. (I think that just about sums up every year around the holidays, though). Either I was a bit off on your measurements last month, or you've shrunk. At your doctor appointment last week you were 20 pounds and 30 inches long. Still, right around the 50th percentile for weight and the 88th percentile for height. Your nurse predicted that you would be taller than her by your fourth birthday. We were happy to confirm that you are perfectly healthy and doing well developmentally. Woo hoo!

We did have one disappointment this month. You didn't get your helmet off, as expected... When we went to (what I thought was going to be) your last orthotist appointment, your measurements weren't quite where they want them to be. They also determined that you still have a tiny bit of growing room left in your helmet. So, six more weeks it is (well now it's only another 4 weeks). I've actually been pretty thankful for the helmet due to all your new mobility. It has definitely saved you from some bumps and bruises!

You have made some big strides this month! One day after your 9-month birthday, you started crawling-crawling (as opposed to army-crawling). Right around this time you also started to pull yourself up on EVERYTHING.
You are now practicing walking along the furniture and often try to go from one piece of furniture to the next (which usually ends in you falling). You don't let this deter you, though, and are back up and at it the next second. I don't know why, but you love to pull yourself up on something and then fall back onto your bottom. It cracks you up every time, which of course makes us laugh. You make us laugh a lot, actually! You are developing a very silly little personality.
In other development news, you are working on teeth 6, 7, and 8 (two more on top and one more on bottom). They haven't quite poked through yet, but it should happen any day now (judging from all of your drooling). Your eating and sleeping routine hasn't changed much since last month, however we have been offering you more finger foods. I even made a baby meatloaf recipe with ground turkey, apple sauce, wheat bran, and carrots. I was very proud of it! That was until you had your first taste and made this face:
It is the first thing you've ever disliked (go figure). And you didn't just dislike it, you flat out refused to eat it! I was determined to get you to like it, but to no avail. You would swat the spoon away and make the above face, accompanied by gagging sounds, when I managed to get some in your mouth. I guess I don't need to feel guilty about not making more homemade food. It seems as though you much prefer the store bought stuff...

Much to KG's delight, you have figured out how to throw his ball (albeit only a few inches)! You think this is the best game ever and giggle when KG brings the ball back to you. He has finally met his match! He actually tires of this game before you do. You constantly hold balls out for him in an offer to play. It's adorable!

The first big event of the month was your baptism. On December 11, you were baptized surrounded by your grandparents, great-grandmas, aunt Nicole (your godmother), and uncle Sam (your godfather). Even your great-aunt Nancy and Alex came. It was a very special day!
The Christmas season was just as wonderful as I'd hoped. It was such a joy to experience Christmas through your eyes, pass on family traditions, and start new traditions. We celebrated with the extended Hacker family in mid-December. On Christmas Eve, we went to church in the afternoon. We didn't bring you to the nursery and you made it through the service surprisingly well. You sang along to all the Christmas carols and made friends with a little girl in the pew in front of us! That evening we went to the Thompson's for dinner. You opened your stocking and all of the presents Santa brought you on Christmas morning and then we went to grandma Hacker's for a delicious brunch. That afternoon we went to grandma and grandpa White's for an amazing dinner. And I, of course, took hundreds of pictures along the way to document your first Christmas. Here are some of the highlights:
Being the only baby on both sides of the family, you were spoiled rotten! You have so many new toys that you can hardly decide which one to play with- you jump from one to the next and the next...

Daddy was off the week between Christmas and New Year's (so mommy got a little time off, too)! I had a list of projects (such as making a playroom to house all of your new toys) that I wanted to get done with all of the extra time I thought we'd have, but not much got accomplished. I didn't even take our tree down until today! Instead, we just kind-of bummed around and enjoyed some low-key family time, as well as your first zoo experience. We received memberships to the Minnesota Zoo and Sea Life Aquarium and were very excited to take advantage of them. You loved looking at the animals and fish! I think your favorites were the otters because they stood up and barked at you- you barked right back! I'm not sure what you were talking about... You also really liked the penguins and monkeys.

New Years Eve was, not surprisingly, extremely low-key. In fact, I am the only one who even made it up until midnight.
Looking back on the year, I am astonished by how much we've accomplished as a family. I couldn't be more proud of 2011 and am even a little sad to see it go. It was the most life altering year for me, thus far- the year that I gave birth to my beautiful, baby boy and became a mother. The year I experienced a deeper love than I knew was even possible...

Happy ten months, peanut!
Love, Mom