Friday, December 12, 2014

good for the soul.

yesterday was my monthly cooking club's annual christmas celebration. i look forward to cooking club each month, but especially at the holidays. this year's holiday theme was "just like grandma made." when i think of my grandma holmes' cooking i think of 3 things: baked macaroni and cheese, pies (peach and pumpkin) and, most importantly, california raisin bread.

my grandparents, cecil and kathleen holmes, live in hudson, iowa. growing up, we would travel a couple times a year to stay with them and i always looked forward to grandma's raisin bread. we would arrive and i'd immediately feel comforted by their house's warm, bread-y smell. sure enough, loaves of bread were found rising on the kitchen counter, almost ready to be baked. that fresh from the oven raisin bread just smelled and tasted like love.

making homemade bread has always intimidated me. actually, anything requiring yeast has always intimidated me. but my grandma taught me how to make her raisin bread several months ago and i decided i would be brave and attempt to make it by myself for cooking club. i pulled out the recipe my grandma had just written down for me over thanksgiving and read through it. lots of steps. but the last thing she wrote on the card was "enjoy making the bread- it's good for the soul. love, gr."

thankfully my children cooperated and napped long enough for me to go through the whole process: mixing, cooling, kneading, rising, deflating, rising, kneading, rising, baking, cooling. while i *almost* forgot to mix in the raisins, i'd say my bread was a success. maybe not quite as good as grandma's, but still delicious, and definitely good for the soul.

Monday, December 8, 2014

the latest.

considering it's been a month and a half since my last post, it's safe to say that consistency isn't my strong suit (bennett would likely agree...) for the most part things have been about the same around here. the boys are doing great and i'm truly loving being home with them. some days are tough for sure, but i love it a majority of the time.

i feel like bennett is suddenly so big and grown up. like, he's practically applying to colleges (ivy league pre-med, of course). it's so sad, but fun at the same time.  he is constantly singing jingle bells, baby beluga (or baby ah-wooga, as he says), abc's, old mcdonald, and of course happy birthday to himself. he's obsessed with fire trucks/firefighters, christmas lights, daddy's snowblower, and bubble guppies (yes, still).

he would live on pancakes and popcorn alone.

he loves BSF and MOPS and i love hearing him talk about jesus. hunter is still his best friend and he is just so sweet to him.

he is just so funny and i can't get enough of the funny stuff he says.

we have unfortunately entered the "why?" stage and "because!" is typically my end response (followed by ignoring the whys that inevitably keep coming). also, bennett recently started stripping off his clothes and diaper when protesting nap or bedtime. luckily it's not a super regular occurrence, but it does happen enough to be frustrating! speaking of diapers, potty training is great. he still needs reminders and does have an occasional accident (1-2 times a week, maybe) but for the most part he's good to go (although poop is definitely a challenge- he's gone in the potty many times but would rather not. gross).

we would love for him to tell us more regularly when he needs to go potty rather than us telling him it's time to go try, but we will get there. we knew it would be a longer process since we started at such a young age and we're ok with that.

hunter is such a big boy, too. we switched to formula a few weeks ago and while it's always bittersweet, i'm happy to be done nursing. hunter didn't miss a beat and has been completely content with bottles/formula. he's sleeping really well, typically sleeping 7:30-7:30, waking up sometime around 5AM to eat. he LOVES purées and will pretty much eat anything.

still no teeth (bennett didn't get his first tooth until he was 11 months old) but loves little finger foods like diced mangoes and bananas and, of course, little puffs and yogurt melts. hunter is super smiley and easy-going. no crawling just yet, but lots of backwards scooting and spinning in circles is happening.

both boys love their time with my parents, mimi and papa! we spent thanksgiving at their house in chetek with them, my brother ryan and his wife jeanie, my grandparents, and my aunt carol. despite most of us getting the stomach flu, we had a good time together.

i'm still working on my weight loss/fitness goals and am down about 30 lbs since june. i seem to be stuck at this point and am having a hard time getting past this little plateau. i'm working on eating more protein, which is definitely a challenge, and am incorporating more strength training into my exercise regimen. i still do some running on the treadmill, but not as much as i did this summer. consistency with healthy eating is tough all the time, but especially this time of year with so many celebrations, cookie exchanges, family gatherings, etc. sometimes it's frustrating to feel like i have to work so hard at this and even then don't always see the results i'd like. but that's the way it is so i'm trying to focus on making good choices and letting it go/moving on when things don't go as planned.

joe is busy with work, and just hit a huge milestone- $1,000,000 in sales for the year! it's a huge deal for reps to hit the million dollar mark and he worked really hard to get there. i'm super proud of him! he's playing pick-up basketball on wednesday nights and likes to get to the Y to play racquetball when he can as well.

so that's the latest! we are already really enjoying this christmas season together. it's the most wonderful time of the year!