Sunday, January 22, 2012

BBQ and Meatloaf, Giada-Style

The BBQ Chicken. It would have been a little tastier had the breasts been larger.
The ones we used were numerous, but pretty small, which made them a
little dry when following the cook times in the recipe.

Except for a night or two, I have cooked a real dinner for John and me every night since my mom left in December. I don't think John's ever had so many vegetables!

On Saturday night I made Giada DeLaurentiis' Chicken with Balsamic BBQ Sauce. Since it was a whopping 20 degrees, we baked our chicken instead of grilling it, and I just used boneless and skinless chicken breasts -- I refuse to cook anything with a bone in it because it reminds me that it was an actual animal and grosses me out. The recipe was pretty good - it was the first time we had tried it - but we may make some tweaks next time we make it, such as decreasing the amount of balsamic vinegar in the sauce. The balsamic flavor really dominated the sauce, and it might have been better had there not have been so much vinegar.

Tonight I made another Giada recipe: Turkey Meatloaf with Feta and Sun-dried Tomatoes. This is the first time I have tried making this recipe, but not the first time we've eaten it. A sweet friend brought a loaf over a couple of weeks ago when she stopped by the meet Henry. We thought it was one of the most delicious things we had ever tasted, so we decided to make it ourselves. This recipe is definitely a keeper! The sun-dried tomatoes really make the recipe, which is a unique take on the classic meatloaf. The recipe as listed only makes one loaf, but you can always double or triple the recipe to have additional loaves to freeze and eat later.

I will continue to share good recipes we've tried as I cook my way through my maternity leave. We are learning that it's really easy to have a healthy meal at home. Not only are home-cooked meals so much better for you, but they are also cheaper, which definitely helps now that we have this second mortgage otherwise known as Henry's day care. Give these recipes a try - especially the meatloaf - they won't disappoint!

Sunday, January 15, 2012


Tomorrow Henry will be six weeks old! Time has really flown, or maybe it just feels that way because of the shortage of sleep. Henry turning six weeks old also means that my maternity leave is halfway over - super depressing!

Henry was recently diagnosed with acid reflux, and now that he is taking medication, he's much more pleasant to be around during the day. There were a few days of constant screaming that I thought he and I were both going to lose it. I can't think of anything worse than a baby screaming in agonizing pain, and me not being able to do anything about it, especially because he can't tell me what's wrong. Thank goodness we are past that! He's also on some super special formula for his sensitive tummy, and it makes him smell like a buttery cheesy potato instead of a sweet and powdery baby. But at least he smells like something yummy!

We had our first measurable snow this week in Chicago, which kept Henry and me inside for most of the week. In fact, the highlight of our (my and Henry's) week was going to brunch on Saturday morning with John! Henry also had his first outing to the mall this weekend. He did great, and is on the road to being an ultimate consumer, just like his dad!

Below are some recent pics of Henry and the incredibly exciting happenings around our house.

New favorite activity: laying in his crib and watching his mobile spin around.

Finally sleeping now that he feels better!

All bundled up for brunch!

Smiling for dad!

Thursday, January 5, 2012


John and I have been longtime readers of Heather Armstrong's blog, Dooce. Heather has two adorable daughters, and as both were growing up she wrote them a letter each month with updates as to what they were each doing, their likes and dislikes, etc. I always thought the letters were such a sweet tradition, so I've decided to do them for Henry. Henry is one month old today, so let the tradition begin.

Dear Henry,
I can't believe it has been one month since you made your debut and changed our lives forever. You have been such a blessing, and we have enjoyed every single minute with you, even when you are screaming in our faces. I look forward to each moment we spend together, even those in the wee hours of the morning when I feed you and we read stories together until you go back to sleep.

You are such a strong little boy - you have been holding your head up for several weeks, and you can break free of almost any swaddle, even the ones that Dad does. You are making all kinds of gurgles and little noises, as if you are trying to tell us exactly what's on your mind. You love bath time, but you absolutely hate tummy time and sleeping flat on your back, which definitely complicates things. You love to cuddle, especially after a nighttime feeding. We feel like you are growing so quickly, and while we are anxious to see what kind of little boy you will be, we want to keep you in this sweet little baby phase as long as we can.

So, here's to all of us surviving our first month together. We love you more and more each day.


1 month old! (And finally sleeping - whew!)

We love bath time!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year!

We typically do a top 10 list of the year's happenings in our New Year's post, except for last year, but 2010 was total crap for us. We aren't doing one again this year because one through ten would just be Henry, Henry, Henry!

2011 was pretty good for us - we have our health, our jobs, and our little miracle bundle. 2012 is sure to be very exciting for us as we watch Henry grow and learn - there are lots of milestones in a baby's first year, and we can't wait to see them all!

May 2012 bring everyone health and happiness! Happy New Year, y'all!