Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Two weeks old, and 17 months old!

Andrew is two weeks old, and Will is 17 months old!

Here's to life with two under two :)

Monday, February 20, 2012

One Week Old!

Andrew is a week old today!

So many of my mommy friends were amazing with their first born of taking a photo each month on the day, something I never quite managed with Will.

Second born, second chance! Hoping to catch Andrew with this teddy bear at the one week mark, and then each month thereafter until he's one. Perhaps it'll be a fun annual tradition from there! (17 year old forced to pose with a teddy bear on his birthday? Yeah, that sounds FUN.)

Play Dough Recipe

When we were toddlers, Mom used to make us homemade play dough all the time. I loved it when she made us a fresh batch and it was still warm when we started molding it into different shapes.

My favorite color was blue. When she brought it into pre-school for everyone, she'd make a quadruple batch of the stuff and it was always a huge hit!

Best of all, it's safe to eat should someone decide to have a little taste. It's way salty, but it came from your cupboards and not a factory, and that makes me feel better about it if a little gets tasted.

We made some for Will to play with right before Andrew was born and he loved it. Even though he was in his high chair (mess control!) he understood pretty quickly that it was play time, not food time. He didn't eat a bite of it!

It was a blast!

Here's the recipe:

Play Dough

1 cup flour
1/2 cup salt
1 cup water
A few drops of food coloring
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil

Add the food coloring to the water, then mix all ingredients in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it resembles the consistency of mashed potatoes. (There will be a distinct change, you'll know!) Cool slightly and knead (don't add any extra flour) until smooth. Store in a sealed plastic bag or pyrex so it doesn't dry out - it can last up to a week before it dries out.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Welcome, Andrew Scott!

Amusingly enough, after my last blog post it was only hours until I went into labor, and we welcomed Andrew Scott on February 13th, 2012.

Sometimes it's worth asking :)

Andrew, two days old, clinging to his father's finger.
Photo by my amazingly talented brother, Alan, who shares Andrew's middle name.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Dear "February",

I realize that your due date isn't until the 16th, and that arguably you can't even be considered late yet. But really, are you SURE you're not going to be ready to join us just a bit sooner?

I've done everything you could ask of me to prepare for the joyous occasion.

I had Dad take pictures of us together.

I organized every drawer and closet in the house.

I knit you a sweater.

I knit you a baby blanket.

I switched to knitting projects for Will so you wouldn't feel the need to wait until something else was completed for you.

I over-stocked the freezer so I can pay attention to you instead of cooking dinners.

Will and I have been taking long walks together.

Mimi finished the cutest tummy time blanket ever for you.

She even washed out the cat fur from the blocking process.

I cleaned out the guest bedroom closets, bought guest bathrobes, and purchased bins for your grandparents to put clothes in while they're here. (It was considerate of you to give me time to attend to such details.)

Aunt Elizabeth finished your elephant painting for the nursery in January.

Hospital bags are packed. Yours is even monogrammed with your name. Yesterday I unpacked and re-checked them. They're fine. I even have the baby k'tan in there so I can check with the nurses on how to safely carry a newborn in one. Of course it's prewashed. You don't think I wouldn't have prewashed it, do you?

I ordered stamps online for your baby announcements and finalized the address list in excel.

We've even cleaned the office, gotten up to date on our filing, assembled our taxes, and taken care of estate planning.

Are you SURE you're not ready to come meet your family? People are jumpy when I call them. I'm jumpy when MY phone rings. Too bad that's now how I'll find out I'm going into labor. I pocket dialed your Nana and she almost had a heart attack listening to the static. That's not healthy for anyone. Why don't you arrive so we can all act rationally again?

We can't wait to meet you... and we'd REALLY like it to be before Mimi and Grampa leave for vacation 9 days after you're due! I don't mean to rush you, really, I don't. I just want to WELCOME you. You are welcome any time. We are excited and ready for you and the diapers are washed and your clothes are all in the nursery drawers and I honestly can't find anything left to do!

Did I mention that I was born a few days before my due date?

I was.

You could do it too.



PS- pack and play is set up in the family room so you can sleep out of Will's reach. (Nemo checked.)

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Fruit and Vegetable Quinoa

Quinoa. It's no longer just for Incan warriors. This South American "grain" has infiltrated Mommy pantries everywhere where it's valued for its fiber content, nutrients, and protein. (Ok, maybe it's over-represented in suburban Mass, where we like to spend playgroups talking about omega-3s, flax-seeds, and why our toddlers will only eat raisins. Wait, that last one is just me. Nevermind.)

Quinoa is one of the few vegetarian options that's considered a complete protein, meaning it has all nine essential amino acids, something that's found in very few vegetable sources of protein. So if you're eating more meatless meals for environmental, health, or picky toddler reasons, quinoa is a great choice.

For all these reasons, I've been keeping quinoa in the pantry and using it in my own recipes. (Using other people's recipes or cookbooks might require "foresight" or "planning". Hah.) I've come up with some not so good ones (don't cook tons of dried fruit directly with the quinoa, it will be a sugary disgusting mess), but the other night Will and I had a one pot quinoa dish that was a winner for both of us.

Here's the recipe:

Fruit and Vegetable Quinoa

1/2 cup dried, pre-rinsed quinoa
3/4 cup water or low sodium chicken stock
2 T butter or olive oil
2 carrots, peeled and chopped into toddler safe bites
1 zucchini, chopped into toddler safe bites
1 granny smith apple, peeled and chopped into toddler safe bites
1/2 cup prunes, chopped into toddler safe bites

Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the carrots and soften slightly, about five minutes. Add the chicken stock or water and bring to a boil. Add the quinoa, return to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cover. Set a timer for fifteen minutes. When the timer reaches 8 minutes, add the chopped zucchini, stir, and recover. When it reaches five minutes, add the chopped apple, stir and recover. When the timer is done, check the quinoa for readiness, drain excess liquid if necessary, and add the prunes. Fluff and let sit while you get your favorite toddler set up in their high chair.

Makes enough for a hungry, pregnant mother and one toddler, or a good side dish for several adults.

The ratio of quinoa to fruits and vegetables is such that you'll have a dish that has lots of fruits and veggies slightly coated in quinoa. I let Will eat it as a finger food, and he got plenty of quinoa just by picking up bits of carrots, zucchini, etc. to eat. Add a glass of whole milk, and you've got enough fat, vitamins, and protein to make it a decent toddler dinner. And I only had to wash a vegetable peeler, knife, cutting board, and one pot. Nice.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


Nesting with a k... it's what knitters do when they have a little one on the way. It's become my favorite form of nesting now that I'm heading towards week 38. All that closet rearranging, laundry, and organizing was wearing me out. What I should be doing this late in pregnancy, besides chasing my favorite little toddler-bug around, is resting.

But I can't rest. I need to get ready. There's a baby coming. A BABY! A baby. I'm going to have another baby. I need to be ready. It's going to be a lot of work. I should do some of that work now. What can I do now. I'm going to have a baby. B-A-B-Y. ("Oooh, ice cream, I love ice cream!" As Greg likes to say whenever anyone spells anything around Will.)

This is where knitting comes in, and perhaps every type A personality out there should take up knitting during their last weeks of pregnancy if they don't knit already. It's "productive" because you're working on a baby blanket or sweater or hat for the new arrival, but you do it sitting down. (Please knit sitting down. This is counter-productive advice if you try to knit while you're grocery shopping or pushing a stroller.)

I recently finished a stroller and car blanket for "February", and am now happily knitting away at a little Debbie Bliss baby cardigan in cashmerino.

(That's the other nice thing about knitting for babies, you can buy yummy, expensive yarn because you only need a few skeins for a sweater.) My Mom hinted that the baby will probably come as soon as I finish this sweater because I'll be "ready". Not sure whether to knit faster or slower...

The stroller blanket is a double knit, a striped blanket for the back and a checkered blanket knit in intarsia for the front, both with seed stitch edging that you sew together for finishing. (Debbie Bliss, Essential Baby, Stroller/Buggy blanket.) It was a fun, relaxing knit EXCEPT for my tendency to keep knitting without untangling the five balls of yarn I was using. Sometimes this worked out okay since you cut them each time you finish a block and the colors rotate, but sometimes my tendency to just pull and pull as long as I could knit even ONE more stitch created a bit of a mess.

That's when you should have your mother down to untangle your mess while you keep knitting. Or knesting, as it were.

Thanks Mom. Love you!