Monday, July 29, 2013

Blackberry Cobbler

A couple weekends ago, we went to Sunday dinner at Josh's brother and his wife's new home. Josh's whole family now lives in Georgia! Josh's parents have recently moved from Mississippi to be closer to their grandchildren (we are seriously digging this). These days, baking is few and far between but I didn't want to go empty handed. I made a delicious and bonus, super easy, blackberry cobbler.

Before I go on, let me just say that Josh and I have been eating the most favor-less and disappointing food ever lately, prepared by yours truly. I keep trying to take short cuts by purchasing already halfway prepped foods and let me say that there are NOT many good options out there. Planning and cooking a decent meal seems a tad out of reach these days but I really miss being in the kitchen. Josh said the other day I had bait and switched him, ha!

Anyway, at least the cobbler was good...especially with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top. You'll need:
  • 4-5 cups fresh blackberries 
  • 1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Zest of 1/2 a lemon
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/4 cup Crisco
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup milk
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Combine blackberries, ½ cup sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest in a mixing bowl. Stir and spread out in a pie pan sprayed with Pam.
In another bowl mix the flour, salt, baking powder and 1 tablespoon sugar. Add shortening and butter. Mix with your fingers until it starts to clump. Mix milk and egg together and then add to the flour mixture. It will start to get kind of sticky. 
Drop dough in small finger-fulls on top of the blackberries. Pat the dough down lightly. Sprinkle with 3 tablespoons of sugar. Bake about 20-30 minutes or until golden. The blackberries are so juicy and it's yummy with ice cream and the cobbler topping!
Any quick mom meal suggestions?

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

6 Months

Baisden is half a year old! We are loving this stage so much. It is definitely my favorite so far. She is so interactive, full of smiles and giggles (usually until the camera makes an appearance). Things that make her grin: "pat-a-cake", when I sing "I'm In Love With You, Honey", Buster, Baby Genius nursery rhymes, peek-a-boo, being tossed up in the air, eating yummy fruits and veggies. Her big smile just lights up the room.

She is sitting really well, better every day. She occasionally falls back but I'm really amazed at the progress she has made in the last couple of weeks. She seems so proud of herself when she can grab the toy she is aiming for while maintaining a seat. I took her to the grocery and sat her up in the cart for this first time last weekend. It was like a whole new world for both of us!

We are seeing more and more of a personality these days. Baisden is very focused and intense. I would still call her a serious baby, although we can definitely make her smile and giggle. She knows exactly what she wants and is pretty good about communicating her displeasure :) She wants to be constantly moving and it's almost like we can see the wheels in her head turning and saying, "what can I get into next?!"

Nighttime sleep continues to go well (sleeping 10-11 hours), although we did resort to crying it out this month. Breaks. My. Heart. I have a much harder time with it than I thought I would. But, I know it is better for both of us to get a full night's sleep. She is a tummy sleeper and prefers her thumb to a paci.

Baisden is really taking well to solids. In all honesty, the addition of solids is work, but it has completely changed this baby. She is so much happier. She eats apples, pears, peaches, mangoes, prunes, bananas, carrots, squash, avocados, sweet potatoes, sweet peas. I recently purchased a Baby Brezza at the recommendation of a friend to make her food and I am in love with it! It steams and blends in the same vessel. B was going through so many jars of baby food that I figured this would be more cost effective and healthier since they are fresh ingredients. She is taking milk 4 times a day and eating solids 3 times a day.

Baisden has started crying when I get home if I don't immediately come grab her. I used to be able to run upstairs, change out of my work clothes, wash my hands, etc. But now, if she sees me and I don't come speak to her right away, she looks at me and fusses. I hate to see her fuss but selfishly, it makes me feel good that she has missed me and wants my attention! It's pretty cute.

I think it's pretty typical to occasionally wonder if I'm doing the right thing by my family to be a working mom. And not just a working mom, but one who sells and operates evening events. Can I have both a successful career and be the kind of hands-on mom that I want to be? And can I do both well? It is hard. It is a constant juggle. But, I think I'm getting better at it. And I think, as a family, we are making it work. I have a supportive husband, great childcare for Baisden and wonderful in-laws close by. It takes some mad multitasking skills. The other morning, I this is multitasking at its I was pumping, holding Baisden and putting on my makeup to get ready for the workday. Sometimes by the time I get to work, I feel like I've already put in a full day!

Feeling the grass in the front yard for the first time!

Parenthood has turned me into a complete mama bear. Patience has never been my strong suit, and while I have lots of it when it comes to Baisden, the strangers that cross my path don't stand a chance. There have always been awful drivers on the road (especially in a big city), but when I have my innocent baby buckled up in the backseat and someone nearly clips my front bumper only to come to a screeching halt at the next stoplight, the claws come out. I don't want to see people texting as they navigate traffic on Peachtree Street. I've become a horn blower and have seriously considered getting an enormous "Baby On Board" sticker on my car. The other night, I was coming home late from working an event and had to swerve so that what I can only assume was an intoxicated driver didn't hit me head on. I called 911 and I pray they could respond before that irresponsible a-hole injured an innocent person that was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Also, I've learned how to shoot a pistol in the event that Josh isn't around to protect us should someone break into our home or carjack us. Not to be dramatic or controversial, but I believe wholeheartedly in my right to defend myself and my family with a weapon. Every time we walk in our neighborhood, I yell "Slow Down!" to at least one car that whizzes past me, my bright orange baby stroller and my 100 pound dog (we are clearly visible). In an effort to channel this new-found mama bear energy into a constructive outlet, I'm working on a petition to have speed bumps installed on our street. Let's hope that the new city of Brookhaven has a little more fire under their rears than DeKalb County does. I guess nothing makes you notice your environment like having to raise a child in it!

Happy 6 months, little one! Watching you grow brings us such happiness!

Monday, July 15, 2013

A Baby's Best Friend

This girl is having a love affair with Buster! She cannot get enough. The wetter the kiss, the better. He doesn't mind one bit. Buster will lick Baisden from chin to forehead. She giggles and leans in for more.

Baisden is much more amused by Buster than she is by Oliver. I'm sure things may change when she starts crawling around...I see many adventures of chasing that white fluffy tail in her near future!