Friday, April 19, 2013

Breakfast Egg Muffins- Who's Hungry?

*If you're looking for just the recipe, scroll down... ;)
 
How has another month flown by already? We’ve been very busy in the Birdwell house! We’ve been contemplating moving for quite some time, just waiting for the right house to come to us. I thought we found it this time, but we were outbid. I have to remind myself that I am not in control, and the One who is knows what He’s doing! So, I focus on that and it calms my disappointment. In the mean time, we picked out colors for our current home- Mama needs a change from all the contractor grey walls, ceilings, carpet- it’s so dull in here! With the help of a sweet friend and designer Missy Brownlee of Defining Designs, we chose a slate of colors I’m thrilled with (and doesn’t include any grey)!

The colors- hopefully happening soon!
 
As for Mister Munchkin, he is doing soooooooo well! He continues to be 50th% for everything- even though I think he’s more like the 90th% for thighs, if they measured them separately! Seriously- you just want to sink your teeth into their chubby, chunky perfect roundness. He will be 8 months old on April 29th, and at 7 months he weighed 17 pounds, 6 ounces and was 26 ½ inches long. Did I mention he’s absolutely perfect? In his wonderful world of development, he can now successfully roll over in both directions, which means we’re all sleeping through the night again- yay! We had a period of about a month where he could roll himself onto his back but not back over to his belly, so he was stuck like a turtle on his back.  He would wake up in distress, flailing his arms like he was falling, until one of us went up and flipped him back over. So, needless to say, this has been quite the exciting development.
Hanging out on the porch
 
 In the crawling department, he’s working overtime trying to figure it out! We started going to the Gymboree Play and Learn class (thank you, Baptist Hospital Breastfeeding Support Group for the free month certificate!) where William made a new friend named Grayson who is a crawling MANIAC!  After just two classes of being around said crawler, William has been trying to figure it out ever since. At this time, I can only report that he has mastered crawling backwards. If I put an object in front of him, he pushes up on both arms and lunges himself- backwards- getting further from the object. That doesn’t sway his determination, though.  It’s all quite adorable and I’m not sure I’m ready for the vast world of baby mobility anyway! One last update on William (since this is supposed to be a food post)- the kid loves just about all foods! The only thing he’s clamped closed and refused to eat were carrots, but when I disguised them with cinnamon and a little sweet potato, he gobbled those up too!

On the move- he started on the mat!
 
Now for the topic of this post- a yummy, fast breakfast treat! As I continue down this Paleo path, my search for breakfast foods goes on. Finding ideas for a Paleo lunch and dinner (thank you, eMeals!) are a breeze, but breakfast is another beast. Being the most important meal of the day to consume and being the hardest meal of my day to find time for, I decided to do a little online searching for fast and easy breakfast ideas. If you are gluten-free, dairy-free, and mostly processed-foods-free like me, you MUST try these! If you are what my husband calls a “normal person” who eats whatever they’d like to eat, you MUST try these as well- because they are simply that good. They’re Adam-approved. J
Sorry- I should've used the actual camera, not the iPhone!
 
I found this recipe on Paleo Spirit’s blog (along with several others I’m going to try) and followed it precisely. The results were delicious! My favorite thing about it is they are AWESOME reheated- a rare find in the breakfast world! One batch makes 12 muffins, and we typically eat 2 each in a serving. Do the math- that’s 3 mornings of yummy, healthy on-the-go breakfast! So, let’s get down to it. Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients:

·         1 dozen eggs

·         1 pound of ground pork or chicken sausage (or links chopped up)- preferably organic, pasture-raised (I used sweet apple chicken sausage from Trader Joe’s last time…UH-mazing!!!)

·         Coconut oil (or whatever oil you cook with- I’m a huge coconut oil fan!)

·         Salt and pepper- season to your liking

·         Toppings of your choice- Adam likes shredded cheese in his. I prefer fresh basil and tomatoes. Ooh, and mushrooms. Spinach was really good too. And diced bell peppers. You get the point- now get creative!

Directions:

1.       Preheat oven to 350°F.

2.       Grease the muffin pan.

*Paleo Spirit reported they came out of her muffin pan easily after baking. I have yet to experience this success. I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong (I’ve tried greasing the tin before adding the mixture- no luck), but they ALWAYS stick. Now I line the muffin tin with aluminum foil muffin liners. The paper liners stick to the muffin pretty badly, so go with the aluminum ones. If you have a silicone muffin tin, you are probably good to go without lining it. Regardless of what you use, grease them with oil (even the aluminum foil liners).

3.       Cook the sausage until crumbled and browned.

*If you use a chicken sausage or other linked sausage, spear through the link with the end of a spatula to chop it up as you cook it. You could even dice the meat up before throwing it in the skillet.

4.       Equally divide the sausage into the bottom of the muffin tins.

*I love that this recipe allows for individual likings. I put a lot more meat in Adam’s than I do mine since he likes meat more than I do, plus I need a little more room to add in my yummy veggies!
 

5.       In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, salt, and pepper. Pour mixture over sausage.

*I whisk all 12 eggs together, pour off ½ of it for my muffins, and then mix in shredded cheese for the remaining egg batter for Adam. Then I pour his half into his tins. Whatever veggies I add to mine, I just add to the top of the mixture in the tin. Then it’s easy to tell which ones are mine and which ones are his.  I will add that if you’re putting a bunch of veggies in yours, you won’t need as many eggs. It’s pretty much a 1-egg-to-1-muffin-tin ratio if you’re just adding one extra ingredient. If you add more than that, though, you’ll overflow your tins.

 
My half was tomato & fresh basil.
 
6.       Bake for 20 minutes, then let stand in the muffin tin on the counter for 5 minutes.

7.       Use a knife or rubber spatula to loosen the muffins from the tin, or simply pull out and peel away the aluminum liners.
 


I was thrilled by the results. I make these on Saturday morning, and then on Sunday morning when we’re racing against the clock to get out the door for church, I just pop a couple for each of us into the microwave and we’re on our way with a hot, healthy breakfast! Bon app├ętit!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Six Months...And So Many Milestones!

He's so aware of his surroundings now, it's hard to capture him looking up!

My oh my, we've been busy over here in the Birdwell house! William hit a few major milestones the past two weeks that I wanted to share with you! Last Monday morning, we gave him his first experience with solid foods- rolled oats. I made them myself (with William's help, of course!) by chopping the oats in the food processor, cooking them on the stove, and mixing them with my milk.
 
Mommy's little helper!
 
In case the pic isn't cute enough, here's a video of his first few bites!

I thought he wasn't sure how to use his tongue since he kept pushing the food out with it, but it turns out that he just didn't like the oatmeal! This week, we introduced avocado to him and he LOVES it! It's so fun to feed such an eager eater!
Stop! No more oatmeal!

Then, just hours after eating his "rolled" oats, he "rolled" over!! He was supposed to be going to sleep in his crib when FLOP, he flipped right over to his back and began playing with his tootsies! Now he rolls over every time you put him on his belly!

My little Roley Poley!
We also went for his 6-month checkup this past Friday. He's now 16 pounds, 11 ounces and 26 1/8 in. long! He's in the 50th percentile for length, weight, and head circumference. He did much better with his shots this time too, with no fussing after it was over. His legs weren't as tender this time either.
We love Dr. Walters!
 
Such a big boy!
Just in case all of that wasn't enough excitement, he hit another fun milestone this Sunday- he got his first tooth! It was the bottom right central incisor. Then, yesterday afternoon, I felt in his gums to massage them with my finger when- TA DA! He got another tooth!! That explained why he was a little fussy the past few days.  I tried my best to get a shot of those toofers!
TEETH! He tried to grab the camera as I took the picture!

He still LOVES his bath time, and he's a total water baby! So, I decided that a trip to the big tub (aka the YMCA indoor pool) is in order! We're going to start swim lessons next week, so we are going to get a head start and get acquainted with the pool today. It's a four week class, so I'm sure I'll write about that experience sometime in the next month! I hear him waking from his nap- until next time, ciao!
Our chunky monkey water baby!!!
 

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Birdwells Head West

Birdwell Three at the Bellagio

Part of my Christmas present from Adam was an eight-day vacation to Las Vegas, Nevada and Park City, Utah. Taking a total of five flights and traveling into two different time zones with a five-month-old always makes for a memorable adventure! William is such a great tourist…I guess he comes by it honestly!
William enjoying a book on the flight

The World of Concrete is a huge (I mean, HUGE) convention Adam’s company attends every year. This year, the wives got to tag along! While concrete is super exciting stuff to some, sightseeing was a little more exciting to this girl! We were in Vegas from Monday night to Friday morning.
Las Vegas Ladies arriving in limo style!

William and I spent part of the time with the other wives, enjoying meals together at Treasure Island and perusing through the shops. One day William and I ventured over to Caesar’s Palace. He loved watching the water at the Trevi Fountain replica!

Las Vegas hotels have some of the best food around. Each was able and willing to cater to my every Paleo need.  We enjoyed the buffets at Treasure Island, Bellagio, Caesar’s Palace, and the Wynn. We also had a date night (huge thanks to Laurel for babysitting William for us!!) to a Brazilian steakhouse and Cirque de Soleil’s Love: The Beatles show. It was incredible!
Daddy and William at the Wynn
Having a blast in the hotel bed, practicing sitting up!

After a few days of fun in the Vegas sun, we flew to Salt Lake City, Utah and drove to Park City (William slept the entire flight). It was our first time there, but it probably won’t be our last! In addition to skiing and snowboarding, Park City has so many fun activities to partake in! We went to a cool museum of the 2002 winter Olympic games, took William on his first train ride through Heber Valley, and shopped till we dropped at the Tanger Outlets. (Adam was snowboarding through all of these activities!)
On to the next stop- Park City!

Munchkin loved all the snow! He was adorable all bundled up in his snow suit. One afternoon while he and Daddy had an afternoon together, I got to experience the Alpine Coaster (a really cool roller coaster that comes down the slopes at Park City Mountain Resort), zip lining, and the Gorgoza Tube Park! It was epic- Nick, Jill, and I practically had the place to ourselves! We had a blast.
My little Snow Bear!
Welcome to the Slopes!
Ready for the Alpine Coaster
William's first train ride
Aboard the Heber Valley Railroad!
The train ride lulled him to sleep.
Breathtaking view!
Panoramic shot I took with the iPhone!
Not sure how he managed to wrap my scarf around his head...cute nonetheless!

Our last day in Park City was especially enjoyable. We went on a snowmobiling tour with Lofty Peaks Adventures in Midway. Our AMAZING tour guide was Cooper. Seriously, if you ever go there, make a special request for him to be your guide! He really knows his way around a snowmobile and the area! We got to see moose on the trail, and he took us to a couple of big “playgrounds” where we got to cut loose on the snowmobiles. This is also where I did something I never imagined I would do.
 
 
 


Since William is exclusively breastfed and we were on a 6-hour tour, I knew I was going to need to pump along the way.  Lunch was included with the tour, so I assumed I would have an opportunity to pump indoors during that time. Guess what? Our lunch stop was on top of the mountain!!! This left me with no choice. In ten-degree snowing weather, I unzipped all my layers, hooked up to the pump, and nuzzled in as close to Adam as I could get for 20 painfully chilly minutes! Yep- I pumped my son’s dinner in the great outdoors. Luckily, we were in a state park, so there was a restroom shelter available. It was locked up for the winter, but I still took advantage of the slight shield the entryway provided from the wind. Unfortunately, I never got my body heat back after that, so five hours into the tour I decided to throw in my hat and call it a day. Temisha and Jill had also had their fill, and we could tell the boys really wanted some “guy time” on the snowmobiles. Cooper, being the awesome guide he is, led us all back to the base and dropped off the ladies. Then he took the guys to some serious “backwoods” for slightly more adventuresome riding. They all came back in one piece, and everyone had a blast. It was worth every penny!
Yep...that's where I pumped! It was sooooooo cold!!!
 
MOOSE!!

Our awesome guide Cooper is in the red beanie!

None of this trip would have been as smooth and easily coordinated without the help of my new friend Marcella. We found each other through a private Facebook group for moms. She helped me find babysitting in both Las Vegas and Park City through mutual friends, and she gave us great tips for where to eat and things to do in Park City. She even loaned me baby gear essentials- a car seat-adaptable stroller, activity mat, pack n play…if I needed it, she had me covered! Our last night there, she joined us for dinner and we met for the first time. It was like meeting with an old friend! We enjoyed dinner together before we had to head back to the condo to pack our things.
Ready to head home
 
On the plane, ready for takeoff!
Scout did well on the plane, too!
 

All in all, we had an incredible vacation. Adam is such a great travel planner, and every trip offers new adventures! William did so well being away from home for such an extended period, but just like Mom and Dad, he was happy to be back in his own bed when we got home (and after a week of interrupted sleep, we were happy to have him back in his bed as well)! We don’t have our next excursion on the books just yet, but we do have all of William’s passport paperwork completed and ready to turn in! I see an international destination in our near future!
Daddy of the Year- toting Scout clipped to his backpack, rolling William's car seat, and lugging my pump bag in his other hand!
 

 

Thursday, January 31, 2013

William's 5 Months Old!


Another almost entire month has gone by since my last post...and I have no idea where it went! I think about my little blog often, dreaming of all the things I'd love to pass along to my readers. We've been eating very well in the new year, Paleo style- I'd love to share some of those with you. . . in due time, I suppose! This entry will not be about food. It will be about the reason most of you are here- the Munchkin!

Well, he's more formerly known as the Munchkin and more recently known as Chunky Monkey. We still can't get over our little Butterball! I almost devour him and all his little rolls daily. He turned 5 months old this week. The fourth month of life was none too kind to him. He had a slight reaction from his immunizations (low-grade fever, very clingy and sore for a couple of days), and within days following the shots he began teething. Drool has been nonstop, which was part of what tipped us off, but the bigger indication was the death grip he started putting on our fingers with his gums! I promise you, teeth or no teeth- I thought he was going to draw blood a couple of times! At any rate, it's been a month of teething, yet no teeth are in sight. From what we've heard from other parents, he could keep this up for several months. Honestly, as long as I'm nursing, I'm OK with him not sprouting any this early! Another side effect to the teething has been snot. Lots and lots of snot. The NoseFrida has become a great friend of mine (and a foe of William's)!
4-month checkup (15 lbs. 2 oz. & 25 1/4 in. long)

Enough about his teeth. Other WONDERFUL things have been happening as well! He still hasn't rolled over, but he has found his feet! He loves to play with them while we change his diaper. He is also excellent at blowing raspberries and carrying on quite a long babbling conversation with anyone who will listen. We also went on his first trip to the zoo, even though he slept through all of it. His back muscles are developing nicely too- he sat up unsupported for a whopping 12 seconds last week! Tummy time is also more enjoyable now that he can prop himself up on his arms and see everything around him. 

One of my favorite "firsts" for William was introducing him to HOCKEY!!!! This momma was one happy camper when the NHL lockout finally ended and we got to go to the season opener! We bought William Baby Banz protective ear muffs to wear. He did really well at the game, and had good company with his buddy Ant Man in hand! If only the Preds had won that one...


Another fun first has been the high chair. It's like a whole new world to him at dinner time! He's up level with Mommy and Daddy instead of being in the floor in his rocker, and he LOVES it! He plays with his toys while we get to eat (at the same time with both hands free. . . what an enjoyable experience)! He also likes sitting in it while I cook dinner. I call him my Sous-Chef de Cuisine. :)

We had a scary incident just this morning in the high chair, though. He was playing while I waited for my hot tea from the Keurig when all of a sudden he began choking. In the time it took me to turn around, his face went from pink to red to purple and I went into Mommy Rescue mode! I jerked him out of the high chair, flung him upside down over my knee like I learned in my infant/child CPR class, and gave him several firm blows to the back. Out came the culprit- (this is gross, FYI) a dime-sized chunk of phlegm followed by a 6-inch stream of snot erupted from his throat! I turned him back upright, he cried out for about 2 seconds, and then he gave a big, open-mouthed "Thanks, Mom" grin. Let's hope that's the last time I ever have to perform the Heimlich. That being said, if you're not certified, I highly recommend you take a class or at least familiarize yourself with what to do.

Practicing with an empty sippy cup- almost ready!

To end on a happy note, we are going on a winter vacation!! William is all geared up for his second flight, and I have a decent handle on what to take and what to leave at home this time. We will be tagging along to Las Vegas for Adam's work trip (the World of Concrete Convention) for a few days, and then we're making a stop in Park City, Utah for a few days of fun in the snow. Oh, and if you happen to know of affordable babysitting options on the strip in Vegas that I'm not aware of, please comment or email me! While I'm sure the women with Dial-a-Granny are wonderful, no one is worth $55 per hour to watch an immobile 5-month-old! I'll be sure to give a full report of our vacation more promptly than I have been doing (and before his next monthly milestone comes along)!! Au revoir!