Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Here We Go....


Life is really about to change forever.  Leah is getting close to crawling.  Baby proofing is about to commence!  I kept procrastinating, but after I saw Leah doing this I knew I better get it together.  I'm totally excited and scared at the same time!!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Mom Meals: Polenta Party!


The day of Leah's dedication, we decided to have everyone come back to our house for lunch instead finding a restaurant.  Since I don't have the luxury of laboring away in the kitchen to prepare food, I was looking for something yummy but easy to make for a large party.  I was watching one of my favorite shows, The Chew, and they were having a "Polenta Party."  I tried it out for the lunch with some modifications, and it ended up being the perfect combination of yummy, fun, and easy to make for entertaining.  Try it out the next time you have company!  

Polenta Party! original recipe by Michael Symon
Serves 6, very easy to double or triple for a party 

For the Polenta Base (this is where I modified the recipe): 
1 package Food Merchant Basil Garlic Pre-Cooked Polenta
1 can Chicken Stock
1/4 cup Mascarpone
1/4 cup Parmigiano Reggiano (grated)
Kosher Salt

1. Cut polenta into ¼ to ½ inch slices and heat in a sauce pan.  As polenta softens, break up the slices
2. Add small amounts of chicken stock and stir until desired thickness/creaminess is achieved
3. Add marscapone and parmigiano reggiano and stir
4. Add salt for taste

For Sausage Polenta:
1 pound Italian Sausage (skin removed)
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Onion (minced)
2 cloves Garlic (sliced)
1 28 ounce can San Marzano Tomatoes
1/2 cup Parsley leaves (chopped) 

1.  In a skillet over medium-high heat, add the olive oil and then add the sausage, browning and rendering the fat
2. Add the onion and garlic and cook until softened and fragrant, about 4 minutes
3. Add the san marzano tomatoes and a generous pinch of salt. Finish with parsley. Remove from heat.

For Spring Vegetable Polenta:
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Onion (minced)
2 cloves Garlic
1 pound Peas (shelled)
1 bunch Asparagus (cleaned and cut into coins)
1/2 cup Mint leaves only (torn)
2 tablespoons Parmesan
2 tablespoons Butter
1/4 cup Water

1. In a skillet over medium-high heat, add the olive oil and then add the onion, once softened, about 4 minutes, add the garlic and asparagus. Season with a pinch of salt. Once asparagus is more tender, about a minute, add the peas. Sauté another 2 minutes and then remove from heat and stir in the mint, parmesan, butter and water

To Assemble Your Polenta: Pour the polenta over a cool marble slab (or bowl) and top with the filling of your choice.  Garnish with a little parmesan and enjoy

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Movies!


The Pacific Theater at Americana at Brand has Mommy and Me movies every Monday morning, and the past two Mondays I went to watch Ice Age and The Dark Knight Returns.  It's really fun being able to go see the movies and not worry about any noise Leah might make since every baby in there makes their share of noise at one point or another.  They have a stroller parking area, but many moms also bring it into the actual theater.  About half the moms just use a carrier.  Inside the theater they even set up a diaper changing station.  Leah was super well behaved both times.  I made sure to bring some snacks, water, and toys to occupy her for awhile.  I would also nurse her in the middle during her normal feeding time.  She would watch the screen for a minute or two but then start paying attention to the other babies near her or play with her friend Lia.  DKR is almost 3 hours, and I wasn't sure if Leah would last the whole movie, but she ended up falling asleep for a hour and half!  A lot more daddies showed up to watch DKR which I found amusing.  I had a great time and it was nice to be able to finally watch a movie again!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

8 Months!


My baby girl turned 8 months today!  Everyday she does something different.  Here's what she's been up to lately:
  • Still wearing size 2 diapers but I have a feeling she'll need to move up pretty soon.
  • Starting to eat chunkier foods and some spices.  She's still a great eater and has eaten everything I've made for her.  She hasn't seemed to not like anything yet.  I've been making some combination foods such as coconut rice pudding with apricot puree, avocado with cucumber and curry powder, potato with beets.
  • Started to put her hands on the top rail of her crib so we needed to lower it a little.
  • Pulling up to her knees but not yet crawling.  She can sometimes push herself backwards and pull herself forward using her arms.
  • Getting a lot better at the pincher grasp.  She can pick up her puffs and put them in her mouth and only a couple will end up on the floor.  She actually pinches me pretty hard sometimes while she's nursing. 
  • When she says mama and dada now, we definitely know she means us!
  • She gives us kisses when we say "kiss kiss!"
  • She'll look around for me when she hears my voice but can't see me.
  • Has become a lot more attached to mommy.  She has a little bit of stranger anxiety and will whine when other people hold her whom she's not familiar with.  If she's tired and cranky she definitely wants her mama.  Not even daddy can console her at that point. 
Leah:  Mommy has been putting away more and more clothes that don't fit you anymore and it's a little bittersweet.  You are growing so fast and I wish time would slow down.  At Gymboree, you are no longer the youngest and littlest.  At the same time, it's been amazing to watch you develop a distinct personality.  You are such a happy baby and you love your mommy and daddy so much.  Every morning you are full of giggles, smiles, and kisses.  You love people and would much rather interact with adults and kids rather than play with your toys.  You are becoming so aware of your surroundings and study everything around you.  Baby girl, we love you so much and I can't wait to see what the next month will bring!  xoxo

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Sleeping Beauty

Part of the fun of waking up Leah in the morning or from her naps is seeing what position she'll be in!  This girl is all over the place!  When do babies/kids learn to not move around so much in their sleep?  One would think that she would make enough noise moving that I could hear her through the monitor, but nope, she doesn't make one sound when she rolls all over the place.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Birthday Party

Leah attended her first birthday party today!  It was at Mar Vista Recreation Center and she loved it.  Alani is the daughter of Janet and Keith, former coworkers of mine.  Janet is preggo with #2!  Leah always loves seeing other kids and she had her first taste of a cupcake (made with applesauce).  We brought her to the park and let her play on the swing and took her down the slide.  She's definitely going to be an adventurous one.  The whole family had a great time.  Happy 1st birthday, Alani!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Beets

I've been making Leah's food for her ever since I started her on solids.  As a baby, my mom said I was the hardest to feed.  Apparently, it took her hours to feed me one meal.  Thankfully, Leah is a great eater and so far eats everything I give her happily.  As an adult, I have grown to love food too, however, there are still some foods I can't seem to grow fond of.  One of them is beets!  Matt hates them too.  I want Leah to decide for herself what foods she will like or not like, so for now, I bought beets just for her. 


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Picnic



Matt and I occasionally will take a walk around Silverlake Reservoir to get some exercise in and enjoy the scenery.  They have a large grassy area with no dogs allowed, so you can walk/run around without worrying about stepping in anything gross.  :)  We decided to have a picnic this evening and enjoy the great weather we've been having.  Leah had a great time even though we ran a little bit past her bedtime. 

video

Of course when I try to give her toys, she much rather play with non-toy items. 

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Missing DaDa

Matt wasn't able to see Leah at all yesterday since he had a long work day.  I sent him this video.  I can't help but watch it over and over again. 

video

Monday, July 9, 2012

Orange County

We were in Orange County this past weekend staying at the Balboa Bay Club.  Matt had his annual BGPV (Basketball, Golf, Pool, Volleyball) tournament with his buddies so we decided to stay down there.  Since the Bay Club was just bought by one of Matt's friend's company, we got an amazing rate on the room!  Woohoo!  We had an amazing view of the bay from our room. 

My parents came to visit the hotel Saturday morning and babysat Leah while I went to the spa.  Thanks mom and dad!  We ate across the street at Pizzeria Mozza for lunch and then went shopping at South Coast Plaza.  Sunday, the weather was a little cooler than I had hoped, but we were still able to take Leah to the beach for the first time.  She loved it.  She skipped her morning nap because she was too excited looking at everything and everyone.  She played with the sand and only attempted to eat it once.  The water was too cold to put her in, but maybe we'll try next time.  


Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy 4th of July!

We had a BBQ at our house today and Leah had so much fun!  First, we had a TON of food.  I think we have enough leftovers for 3 more BBQs.  We had sliders, brats, chicken skewers, carne asada, popovers, pulled pork, grilled fruit, and 3 different cakes/pies!  Unfortunately, I was so busy running around, chatting, and taking care of Leah, that I forgot to take pictures of the food spread.  I did remember to get a picture of the pies and cakes (frozen key lime pie, tres leches cake, and banana cream pie).




























Matt set up a little baby pool that was a big hit.  We had four babies in it, and they were having a blast!  Side note: that's the most babies we've ever had at the house.  Everyone was so well behaved, and it was super cute watching the babies {kind of} interact with each other.  


Monday, July 2, 2012

Lemonade!

I met up with Sharon and her baby Cameron today at Lemonade.  Lemonade is a super cute little place in Pasadena.  It's a cafeteria style restaurant that has fresh, yummy, and healthy food selections such as salads, pastas, fish, chicken, soups, and pastries.  Of course they also have a variety of fresh lemonade flavors to choose from.  I got Blood Orange - delicious!  It can get really crowded during peak meal hours, so we arrived right when it opened to make sure we could fit our strollers.  I was too hungry to take any pics besides the macaroons (that seems to be a common theme for me - oops!).  Here's the macaroons!



Cameron is 3 days younger than Leah, and this was my first time meeting him.  It's really fun meeting up with other mommies with similar aged babies.  Since we're both going through this huge stage in our lives, we have a lot to talk about.  Cameron is adorable, and as you can see from the picture, the babies loved looking at each other!





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