Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Penn is 2!

The Pennster turned 2 years old on February 15. We celebrated his birthday on Valentine's Day with a Mickey Mouse theme. Read about that here.

The past few months he has grown so much and is talking up a storm. He can say almost any word and is now talking in phrases and sentences. He says... I don't want it, I want more milk/juice, Thank you, I love you, Come on, I'm okay, I'm coming, Water is hot/cold, I'll get it, and several more phrases in addition to LOTS of words like MaryCollis, LaLa (Lauren), TyTy (Tyler), macaroni and cheese, pancakes, spoon, Pop Tart, muffins, cereal bar, berries,  Gamma, Bubba, Doc, Sissy, Penn, Mommy, Daddy, all the Mickey characters and Dora characters... basically anything on TV... Night night, hey, bye, bath, pull-up and diaper, pants, shoes, shirt, socks, slippers, nose, eyes, mouth, toothbrush, hairbrush, purse, tee tee, poo poo, potty, hush (!), dance, play floor, book, blanket, toast, the list goes on.

LaLa came to visit a few weekends ago since she can't come to the birthday party, and she came bearing gifts (you're shocked, I know). She brought their Christmas gifts (a ball pit for Penn; a vanity with makeup for MC) and Penn's birthday gift (a tool bench). The kids have had a blast with them!

And of course she brought Mickey cupcakes for the birthday boy.

We had the best weather a few weeks ago, so I took the kids to the park. They LOVED it. In fact, they loved it so much that we just ordered them a huge play set for Gamma and Doc's backyard. They're going to FREAK. OUT.

Penn weighs 27 pounds - I have NO idea how - and is about 34 inches tall. He wears a size 6 shoe and 24-month/2T clothing. He has all of his teeth and lots of hair (I think he's had about 11 haircuts now?). He had his two year check up yesterday, and he's pretty sick. He has an upper respiratory infection, an ear infection (his left tube fell out, which we go back to the ENT about tomorrow), you know.... the usual. He has to do breathing treatments three times per day, along with antibiotics and other meds. We are probably looking at a third set of tubes, and I might insist on getting those tonsils out this go round.

Other than being a sickly little boy, he's super happy! He loves to dance, torture his sister, run outside, "drive" anything that he can get into, and eat. You don't have to wonder about what kind of kid he's going to be. He's ALL BOY. It won't be long until we are into all kinds of sports and hobbies. His daddy couldn't be more thrilled!

PS. MaryCollis turns 2. MaryCollis' 2-year checkup. MaryCollis' 2nd Birthday was a HOOT!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Meeska Mooska, Penn is Twoska

Penn turns 2 years old tomorrow, so we had a big celebration today. Friends and family gathered for his Mickey Mouse party, where we put out tons of balls, tools, and cars because.... boys.

We started the day with cinnamon rolls, then we let the kids play with the life-size blow-up Mickey that Aunt LaLa brought while I finished prepping for the party.

Guests enjoyed a Hot Diggity Dog Bar, "Club"House Sandwiches, Minnie's Macaroni, Goofy's Grapes, Donald and Daisy's Dip, Pluto's Punch,  and a fabulous Mickey cake by Jamie at Sweet Somethings.

The adults had a great time, and the kids had a BALL. They literally just ran around and terrorized all of the toys. I'm thinking future birthdays will be at Gamma's so all of the kids can play on their new play set (which they don't know about yet) or at a park where they can just run around. That's all boys want to do!

I can't believe my little boy is two. He is such a joy, and it seems like he's always been here. We love you, Penn Patrick!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Another Pinterest Weekend

I've been trying SO hard to find recipes that are healthier (that's easy), but also recipes that Chad might actually enjoy (that's not easy). This weekend I made Blueberry Power Muffins, Baked Cheesesticks, Turkey Burgers, and Turkey Chili.

Blueberry Power Muffins
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup quick oats
2/3 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
12 ounces honey nonfat greek yogurt (or 1.5 cups)
2 eggs
4 TB unsalted butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup blueberries

Preheat oven to 350. Coat muffin tin with cooking spray. Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl; combine wet ingredients in a small bowl. Fold wet ingredients into dry and stir to combine. Fold in blueberries, then spoon into muffin cups. Bake until top is golden, about 20 minutes.

SUBSTITUTIONS + VERDICT: I used 1/3 cup real sugar and 1/3 cup granulated splenda. I didn't have honey yogurt, so I used plain. These turned out really great; however, they were a bit dry. I would add 1/2 cup water or milk next time (or more).

Baked Cheesesticks
I won't even list the recipe because they were nothing like cheesesticks. Fail.

Turkey Burgers
1.25 lb. ground turkey
6 halves sun dried tomatoes, chopped
1 red onion
2 oz. frozen spinach
1/4 cup crumbled feta
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1/3 cup bread crumbs
1 egg

Thaw frozen spinach and squeeze out all moisture. Roughly chop spinach, sun dried tomatoes, and about 1/4 of the red onion. Combine turkey with spinach, sun dried tomatoes, onion, feta, garlic, oregano, egg, bread crumbs, 1/2 tsp salt and some freshly ground pepper. Mix with hands until combined. Cook on a counter-top grill or non-stick skillet. 

VARIATIONS + VERDICT: There was a yogurt sauce recipe with this, but I didn't like it so I didn't use it. We cooked ours on the grill, which gave them a wonderful char-grilled taste. Also, they only sell ground turkey in 1 lb. containers, so I only used 1 lb. It said to top them with sliced cucumbers and red onion, but I didn't try that (not because it sounds bad... I just wanted to try it plain to see how much I liked it). I served them on 100% whole wheat buns. I really liked these! I'm having the leftovers every day for lunch this week. Chad ate it, but I don't think he was impressed. The thing is... it's NOT a hamburger. It's kind of like spaghetti squash... It's delicious, but you can't go into it thinking it's spaghetti. It ain't.

Turkey Chili
1 small onion, diced
3-4 stalks celery, diced
1 lb. ground turkey
1 cup fat free chicken broth
1 can diced tomatoes (fire roasted is great)
3 cloves minced garlic
1 cup frozen corn
1 can green chilies
1 small can tomato sauce
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp salt
1-2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp paprika

Brown the meat, then put all ingredients (including turkey) in a crock pot. Let it simmer for 6-8 hours on low in the crockpot.

VERDICT: I really enjoyed this! It had a great flavor. Will definitely make it again. I might try adding beans next time.


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