Thursday, August 29, 2013

good eats//chinese chicken lettuce wraps

when i was pregnant with maddox, two things happened: i failed my gestational diabetes test and i had a love affair with sriracha.

for those of you who have never been pregnant, thank your lucky stars that you've never had to do a GDM test (gestational diabetes millitus). basically, you have to fast for so many hours and then drink some revolting orange drink. it's non-carbonated and the thickness of syrup so you know every single pregnant woman is stoked out of her mind to take this test. guess what? THIS LADY GOT TO DO IT TWICE! because i failed the first test like such a loser. the first time was totally unfair because they changed my appointment at the last minute from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. and still made me fast. so i hadn't eaten anything since 9 p.m. the night before and look out if you ever encounter a fasting pregnant lady. i think i cried three times before 10 a.m. it was ugly.

so. i failed my test and had to retake it which meant that i had to redrink that shiz and then spend three hours getting my blood drawn. and by "blood drawn" i mean they let the students practice on me and they collapsed three veins and i walked out of there looking like a heroin addict. a pregnant heroin addict.

then i went to mcdonalds because i was so distraught.

when i failed the test the first time, evan and i decided to reevaluate our eating habits. we were eating a lot of carbs and so we decided to pretty much eliminate carbs from our life (RIP carbs) for a few weeks and work on eating cleaner.

i invented the best recipe and evan and i eat this at least once a week because it's an "everything-but-the-kitchen-sink" type of recipe. those are my favorite because i never have anything on hand that i need. and i hate going to the grocery store. grocery shopping is one of my least favorite chores on this planet.

moving on.

(i call this "chinese" because i put soy sauce in it. and also water chestnuts and bamboo. there's really no other reason why this is "chinese." other than i say so. and i'm the boss.)

/head of lettuce
/veggies (i.e. mushrooms, onions, peppers, water chestnuts, zucchini, bamboo, celery. but it's whatever i have on hand basically.)
/crunchy chow mein noodles
/sliced almonds
/soy sauce
/apple cider vinegar

/cook and shred the chicken. (i prefer shredded. evan likes it in chunks. i'm telling you, shredded is better.)
/season the cooking chicken with (i like) apple cider vinegar, soy sauce, salt and pepper, garlic, whatever the heckfire you want.
/add the veggies and continue cooking until most of the liquid boils out.
/serve in bowls of lettuce and top with sriracha, crunchy chow mein noodles and almonds.
/thank me.

one time my mom made the pinterest version of this, the one that is from PF chang's or whatever. this one is much better. hers had some kind of sauce with it and i just prefer sriracha i guess. also it took zero minutes to throw this together and hers took a while. still winning. sorry, ma. and i literally threw everything that we had in a skillet and served it up in some lettuce and drenched it in sriracha. it's a) the easiest meal to use up any left over veggies that you are so sick of (zucchini anyone? my gosh. one plant and you're like drowning in baseball bat sized zucchini for 36 years). b) a great left-over meal. evan and i haven't perfected the art of making extra so there's some for tomorrow but when we do have left overs of this, it warms up so great. which is important because i have zero extra minutes in my day to spend warming up and making food.


Wednesday, August 28, 2013

more pictures please

i play profesh photog with my family a lot. it's a lot harder with a baby because someone has to hold the baby and then there's all the camera equipment and plus we brought along three blankets and those can't touch the ground and so you have to get out the camera while holding the baby and the blankets and set up the tripod while holding the baby and the blankets and the camera and inevitably someone or a whole party of someones walks by at this moment and has to stop and talk for ten minutes and you've got an armful of not-so-light things and a squirmy baby but those blankets cannot touch the ground because the squirmy baby puts everything in his mouth these days and we're going on five months of no sickness, cross your fingers, knock on wood, for that precious babe so let's keep it that way. so finally you get everything set up and then you take pictures and the baby is staring at something behind you and not at the camera and your hair looks dumb in the ones where he's finally looking at the camera and then someone's dog is photo bombing the rest of them and it's a total process to just get one or two decent family pictures.

BUT. this was our second time out with a squirmy, impatient little one and he did so good. mostly i think because he loves being outside and also he was held the entire time which makes his day even though my arms are now made of rubber. he's very intrigued by the camera and the noise it makes. he's very into noises these days and evan makes him smile with this very particular "pew pew" noise and so that's what's going on in the first two pictures. also my hair. what in the world. if anyone needs any hair, i'll be here. sharing. please. anyone. take some.

after we left and i was uploading these, i realized that we sucked at getting an actual picture of all of us. because we have two. we are headless in one and blurry in the other. so. oops. i'm sure we'll have a do-over this weekend since weekend pictures are kind of our new thing.

Monday, August 26, 2013

five months//dear maddox

Dear Maddox,

The weeks feel like days around here. Everyday I am blown away by the speed of our little life. But mostly it's you. Your dad was just talking about how quickly this day crept up on us, and just the end of August in general and he said, "I blame Maddox." I blame you, too. You are in a hurry to grow up and I feel like I'm in a wide-open field, grasping at the moments of your life as they all dart past me in thick puffs of time. I can only hold on to so many and I feel like there are far too many moments for this short amount of time we've been given.

It's okay, though. Every new stage we enter and every new milestone we reach brings me to my knees in awe and thankfulness and wonder. I could still stare at you all day long without ever growing tired or bored. I could play with you for days and weeks and want for nothing more than to make you laugh and smile. Sometimes when you fall asleep in my arms I simply sit and hold you and cling to those fleeting seconds while you continue to grow bigger and bigger each and every second. There are things that I must do, like laundry and eat and sleep; but all that I really want to do, ever, is to be with you. The laundry and the eating and the sleeping and the cleaning and the other things can wait because you, my love, you are the most important.

Month four was a big one for us. You found your feet and your toes, you found your voice and you found out about toys. We started sign language but I'm only really good and continuous about three signs: dog, horse and cow. You love your puppy and every time she comes in the room I sign "dog" to you, and although it involves snapping your fingers, I'm sure you'll be doing that sign in no time. You have a toy horse and a toy cow that you love always playing with and so I make those signs as much as possible. I have an entire list of other signs I want to teach you, signs that will actually help us communicate and not just random words, but you are usually more concerned with getting fed than with looking at me to see the sign. I am working on it.

Right after you turned four months your daddy and I decided it was time for you to sleep in your crib at night. You're getting to be too big for your little rock 'n play and if not now, when? So, we figured out how to work the monitor and we laid you in your big boy crib and sent you off to sleep with kisses and prayers. We hardly slept ourselves by the time you woke up a few hours later, and we brought you into our room for the rest of the night. We've slowly but surely weaned you from our room. There have been nights where you are restless and in need of extra loves and we don't bother with the crib. There have been nights where you have slept so soundly for a few hours while your daddy and I end our days together, and the moment we lie down in our bed, there you are ready to hang out with us and refusing to be left alone in your room. It was a big adjustment for you, but I think even bigger for me. My mama heart broke a little bit as we gave you your first taste of independence and I realized that this is how my entire life will feel from now on.

Since we moved you to your big boy crib, I decided that a nighttime ritual was in order. Every night we give you a bath (in the kitchen sink where you splish splash the water all over us and all over the floor, but it is absolutely the cutest thing ever so we don't mind.) and then put you in your jammies and read you a book or two. You love your colorful Dr. Seuss books and I've got Fox in Socks memorized. We read you a story or two and we pray and we slip you into your crib and tip toe out and only let go of that breath we've been holding if you don't wake up with the creaks of the floor.

You're finally starting to like your crib, I think. You don't cry uncontrollably when I place you in it like you did as a brand new baby. You rolled over for the first time in your crib and each time you do, you surprise and scare yourself. Just today you rolled over onto your tummy and were so confused and angry with the predicament you were in. You screamed and I came running, of course, because I'm always afraid your leg is caught between the slats. That happens, too. That happens because you love to kick the bars of your crib. You kick them as hard as you can, which wouldn't seem like a lot for a baby but you are a mini Hercules so I am assuming this will be a one-baby crib. The first time you realized the bars were for kicking, I was in the room directly below yours and I was positive there was a man stomping through the house. Sometimes it sounds like you've kicked off the side of your crib and you've rolled out onto the floor. But it's always just you, kicking away.

Everyone is in love with you, sweet boy. Everyone compliments your beautiful blue eyes and adorable little dimple. Everyone loves your smile and laugh and squeals and chunky legs. Everyone tells us how handsome you are. Even complete strangers and it blesses my soul to hear every single one of those compliments. But, the best compliment we've ever received was from one of your daddy's coworkers. She said, "You can tell that you and Larissa just smile at Maddox all day long. He is such a happy and smiley baby and it's because you two love him so much and smile at him constantly." She could not have said nicer words to us. And it's true. I do smile at you and tell you how much I love and adore you and how precious you are to me all day long. I want you to grow up and know that your daddy and I love you beyond measure. I want our love for you to encourage you, to envelop you and to give you strength. There will be moments of frustration and anger and there will be disagreements and arguments and there will be disagreements. But no matter what, no matter what, I will always love you from the very bottom of my heart to the tips of my toes, past the sun and the moon and the stars. You have been loved when you were a thought in my mind. You were loved the moment you were created, the day we found out, the first time we saw your little body on the ultrasound, the first time we heard your heart beat, the first time I felt you kick, through every single contraction and through an hour of surgery. You were loved before your first breath and you will be loved until my very last. I love you more than one thousand words can adequately proclaim.

I love you, I love you, I love you.

our weekend

there's nothing better than the weekend. i will say it until the end of time because my weekends have been so incredibly excellent lately. evan has been making it a very big priority to have one big family day during the weekend where we do us. we do whatever the heckfire we want to do, but it's just us. it has made my heart so happy and it makes it so much easier to get through the weeks where evan has a billion commitments. which is all the weeks, if you're wondering.

we just had a good weekend. maddox took a million naps on saturday and evan and i watched a million episodes of the office (we're rewatching it. i'm mourning it's ending. slash laughing slash quoting it's entirety.) and played a million games of risk and evan kicked my butt in every game. we're super competitive and things get pretty heated in our house when we're playing against each other. i don't like to lose. neither does evan. so.

i am just obsessed with his little orange body. HOW CUTE IS IT I MEAN SERIOUSLY. he's a side sleeper, just like me. i took this picture and then said to evan, "is there anything cuter than a baby who sleeps on his side?"

right after i asked evan that question, he showed me this picture. i can't even handle it. they were wrestling because maddox is all about rough housing. evan just learned that maddox is a big, big fan of being thrown in the air. my mama heart is terrified and i hold my breath while evan tosses him around. but he loves it. evan "tackles" him, too, and maddox thinks it's just hilarious. he's getting to be such a big boy. i don't know when or how that happened but kids are crazy, man.

we also took some more family photos this weekend because i really wanted some golden hour sun flares and junk. um. when your state is on fire, there is only smoke. no sun. and so those didn't happen. but what did happen are some really great family photo that i'll share later on when it isn't one a.m.

and evan and i have gotten a grand total of like 6 hours of sleep this entire weekend because we have been flashbacking to our pre-baby sleeps where we would stay up latelatelate just talking and laughing. i mean, i'm exhausted, but my heart is happy.

and honestly, i couldn't ask for anything else.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

four and a half months family photoshoot

today we took family photos because a) it's been too long since our last photoshoot and b) i felt like it. it was about a million degrees outside and i'm just ready for fall. and that's that. we were fighting a sleepy baby the whole time because he missed his early morning nap and coincidentally the only nap we can count on. sorry, kid. i also had a WAY cuter outfit picked out that he pooped through and spit up on. kids, man.

oh, do you like evan's new hair do? he got the "ursher fade." evan could probably get a haircut once a week. it's the most ridiculous thing i've ever seen. and most unfair. it took me four years to get hair this long and he could do it in a minute. ANYWAY. his mom is a hair dresser and so she cuts his hair and every time i tell him to do something ridiculous. usually it's either a bowl cut or a fade or to have his mom sketch some designs in the side of his head. he finally did the fade. i'm so proud of him. also he's a hottie.

i found my shirt at a garage sale for $3 and the chick did not want to part with it. she told me, "all the clothes in the back are a quarter." and then when i tried to buy it, she told me that she got it at F21 in seattle and "i guess i can take $3 for it" because it "still had tags and was never worn." sentimental people shouldn't be allowed to garage sale. i mean, $3 is nothing. i'm just mostly complaining about her attitude. oh, and it is dry clean only. which is good news because maddox promptly spit up on me and i got chocolate on it. washed it in the sink with hand soap because ain't nobody got time for that!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

august eleventh//one year

lately i've been asking evan a lot of "do you know what today is?!" really excited like and he runs through the obvious checklist. "not our anniversary...not your birthday...not my birthday...not maddox's birthday..." and that's where he pretty much gives up. he's called me leslie knope a few times (today's the first time we ate waffles together!) [oh, you don't watch parks & rec? sorry for you.]

but the first time i did it was a few weeks ago....for the time that i told evan i thought i was pregnant. i refuse to tell anyone that story because it's hilarious now but it wasn't then. and evan got madish even though he says he didn't. [evan. i would like to point out our adorable baby boy. thanks.]

but today is the one year anniversary of the time i took a million four positive pregnancy tests (i know some people take like 30 tests but fyi, those things are expensive. and i know that sometimes they're "wrong" but probably they're not.] and then went and hung out with our friends at a wedding. i took the test probably an hour before our friends came over to our house to meet up and head to the wedding and i was so stressed out. i remember every.single.thing we did that day, from shopping to lunch at salad creations where i told evan that i needed to take the test to know for.sure to getting ice cream at coldstone (one of the reason's i knew was because i kept gagging on everything and i had brownie pieces in my ice cream and i couldn't get them down. so i googled it and google was like "PREGNANT. BOOM." and so it was.)  to sneaking through target with a pregnancy test hidden behind some random junk trying to avoid seeing anyone i knew.

and then i took those tests and evan prayed for me because i was a nervous wreck. and there were those two blue lines and just like that our lives were changed forever and ever.

i could never have imagined how much my life would change in one short year. we are so blessed by this little life and i didn't understand what changes my heart and mind and soul would go through bringing this sweet boy into my life. he's the best part of me and i'm so blessed to be his mama. i know the day of officially finding out that i was pregnant pales in comparison to the day maddox was born but this day changed my life forever and ever and i'll always have a special little place in my heart for august eleventh.

Thursday, August 8, 2013


i want to remember the quiet mornings after maddox has been fed and we curl up together in our bed and sometimes evan works from home or skips the gym and stays in bed with us and we all lay together for a few extra hours. i want to remember little baby snores and sleeping smiles and the way he stretches himself out. i want to remember how he'll only go to sleep if he's hugging his blanket. i want to remember his growl and how he sometimes growls at his pacifier or the blanket. i want to remember how, at 18 weeks, he went back to only wanting to sleep on my shoulder and so we spent a lot of time in the rocking chair. i want to remember the tears i cried the first night i put him in his crib. i want to remember the first time i saw him reach for a toy in his bouncy chair. i want to remember his silky skin and his sharp toe nails. i want to remember how he lightly scratches things now, like my arm or his sheets when he's asleep. i want to remember how he rolls to one side if he's putting himself to sleep. i want to remember how long he is and how big his feet are, yet how skinny he is. i want to remember how often i cut his fingernails and the first time i did that by myself. i want to remember how he'll fall asleep sitting up if you bounce him on your leg. i want to remember how i put him on his tummy and he could hold himself up all of the sudden. i want to remember the first time he rolled over in his crib and then did it again and got his foot stuck between the bars. i want to remember the squealing laugh and the real laugh and the other laughs, too. i want to remember all the noises. i want to remember every new thing he learns, like sucking on his upper lip or making the "pppft" sound. i want to remember all the bubbles and the drool. i want to remember how he will grab my fingers and shove them in his mouth and chew. i want to remember sitting on the porch before evan comes home. i want to remember how much he loves when i sing "little bunny foo foo" and "there was an old lady who swallowed a fly." i want to remember sitting on the porch as a family in the evening. i want to remember those blue eyes. those i want to remember.

i want to remember every single waking moment. i want to store them in jars in the back of my closet so that when this one is growing up into temper tantrums and talking back and other boy things that aren't very pretty, i can pull out my memories of this sweet baby and relive them once more. i want to hold onto all of these moments and not let them sift through my hand like sand. i want one more minute, just one more second before the clock starts moving again and my baby turns another day, another month, another year older.