Monday, August 30, 2010

Baby Lump

Here's a little ditty Greg and I have been know to sing to Brody on occasion, in reference to his strawberry hemangioma. It is adapted from The Black Eyed Peas' song "My Humps".

My bump, my bump, my bump, my bump, my bump
My bump, my bump, my bump, my lovely baby lump
Check it out

Teaching him a sense of humor? Or creating psychological damage? Well, he seems to enjoy the little tune as of right now, and by the time he is a brooding teenager, the birthmark will be long gone. So, I suppose, no harm done.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

To Run

To run, or not to run. Up until this point in my life, that has not been the question. Even during times when I was quite active and frequenting the gym four days a week, I was not a runner. Give me the elliptical machines or an aerobics class, but actually hitting my heels against pavement - never.

Recently I've caught myself watching runners, with their seemingly effortless sprints through the air, with longing. They make it look so uncomplicated, so enjoyable, so freeing. And so, in May I decided it was my turn to join in on the delight that is running and began training to run a 5k.

I started running just once a week. On my day off work, I dropped the boys off at the fitness center daycare and spent the next hour thumping around the track, red-faced, sweaty and heavily-breathing, anxiously gazing at the elliptical machine each time I passed it, wondering why I was putting myself through such torture. Running was not turning out to be as joyful as everyone else made it seem. However, I stuck with it, gradually improving my frequency, pace and stamina. The work has proven slow, very slow. I do not glide in long beautiful strides. Instead, each step is awkward and labored. And I am not fast. In fact, there is a 60 year old man who runs the track every afternoon, who I can not, for the life of me, keep up with. The training has been hard on my body. My legs cramp frequently, and my feet hurt. This evening I'm pretty sure I bruised my heel. (I have heard the impact is much less severe with running shoes; I am hoping to have to funds to purchase a pair soon.) Yet, sometime during the last few months, my obligation to follow through with my goal has turned into desire. I have found that I actually enjoy running! I like taking a break from the stresses of life. I like moving my body and feeling its strength. I feel a compulsion to go for a run whenever the chance presents itself. It seems I have finally experienced what makes those runners I watched look so energized and free - a runner's high.

I still have a ways to go until I am able to reach my goal of running a 5k. I'm not entirely sure when I will get to that point. In the mean time, I plan to enjoy the journey.

So as I pull my hair back into a pony tail, tie up the laces on my shoes and pop in the ear buds of my iPod, the question comes rushing back to me. To run, or not to run? I resoundly answer, to run!

Monday, August 23, 2010

A Peak Into the Hess Home

Here is a glimpse into our home on Monday, August 23, 2010.

A clean kitchen sink. The dishes are one chore I am almost always on top of.

Clothes waiting to be folded in the backroom. Laundry is a chore I am almost never on top of.

Bibs lying out to dry. Brody is now self-feeding, and these wipe-able pocket bibs are a must. The mess he made with the other night's manicotti dinner was outright hilarious.

Toddler art displayed on the refrigerator. (I could also photograph several walls that currently bare Palmer's artistic mark.) Palmer and I spend many a mornings playing games online at PBS kids and Playhouse Disney, each session ending in him choosing a picture to print and color.

A freshly painted frontroom accent wall and an uncovered mantle. We finally took down the very, very ugly, and 70's dated cork board that was above our fireplace. We plastered and painted, and then subsequently ran out of money for the mantle.

This week's dinner menu: sloppy joes and dill pickle potato salad, chicken articoke pesto pizza, cranberry apple pork roast with mashed potatoes and green beans, chicken taco casserole with spanish rice and black beans, orange sesame pork chops with teriaki whole wheat noodles, tuna noodle casserole with peas, Belgian waffles with sausage links

This week's dessert: lemonade pie

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Ten Month Photo Shoot

Brody's ten month photo shoot was even faster than usual. It took all of about five minutes to snap these cute shots. There are a few things I especially love about this photo shoot. One, of course, is his adorable smile! Another thing I'm glad the photographer caught was Brody crossing his fingers, a little mannerism he does more often than not. And lastly, there is a photo in this mix that proves Brody is not always happy and smiling. He is a sensitive little guy (just like his big brother) and although his cry usually is not very loud, it is accompanied by the saddest pout that is sure to rip your heart out.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Fun with Dinosaurs

"Fun with dinosaurs!" is what Palmer exclaimed last night as we vacated The Museum of Ancient Life at Thanksgiving Point. We had changed our family home evening this week from Monday to Tuesday in order to take advantage of the awesome deal Thanksgiving Point is running this month. Their dinosaur museum, gardens and farm country are all $2.00 on Tuesdays during the month of August. Children two years old and under are free, so we really scored in only having to pay $4.00 for a fun family activity. Palmer was in absolute heaven at the museum. His first view of the large dinosaur on the wall of the building brought a very excited, "Dinosaur! Roar!" from his lips. Each and every consequential dinosaur replica he met from then on was given the same enthusiasm. He especially loved getting wet and dirty with the erosion table. Brody liked playing in the sand quarry, so much he even tried eating it! We look forward to enjoying more Tuesday fun at Thanksgiving Point this month.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Recipe - Chinese Lemon Chicken

I made this dish for the first time when taking in a meal for my sister's family after her husband had surgery. He is allergic to gluten and it was the only meal on my bi-weekly menu that was wheat-free. I was a bit weary to take a meal I had not beforehand been able to cook and sample, but thankfully it turned out to be a keeper. Greg especially loved it and declared that it was better than Panda Express, which is a pretty big compliment in his eyes.

Chinese Lemon Chicken

5 pounds boneless chicken breasts
5 tablespoons soy sauce
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 eggs
1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon cornstarch, divided
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup Chicken broth
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt

Marinated chicken in soy sauce and salt. Combine eggs, 1/4 cup cornstarch, and baking powder to make a batter; dip chicken into batter and deep fry. In a saucepan, combine the chicken broth, sugar, lemon juice, salt, and cornstarch; cook, stirring frequently, until thickened and clear. Pour sauce over chicken and garnish with lemon slices.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Palmer Talk

Palmer announced the following at dinner the other night: "Brody is cute. Palmer is cute. Dada is cute. Mama... creep."

Palmer while pointing at a duck at Sugarhouse Park: "Donald Duck!"

Greg: "Palmer do you have ADHD?"
Palmer: "No, I have cheese."

Palmer while reaching for another handful of pull-apart monkey bread: "I want more monkey."

Lera: "Palmer, what do you want for breakfast this morning?"
Palmer: "Ummm... dinner."

Palmer while pointing to a dark spot on our hardwood floor: "Dada pooped!"

Recipe - Pizza Dough

This is a recipe my friend Jenn passed along to me. We enjoyed personal pizzas at her home on this yummy pizza dough. Since then I have put it to good use in our home and made: red pepper alfredo chicken pizza, pepperoni and pepperocini pizza and recently recreated a pizza we had ordered at Bucca di Beppo - pesto, chicken, artichoke pizza (which is pictured below). They were all fabulous, and the dough seems to come out better each time I make it.

Pizza Dough

1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup warm water
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups flour

Dissolve yeast in warm water. Stir in sugar, oil, flour and add salt on top. Beat 20 strokes. Let rise 15 minutes. Spread dough on pizza pan. Add toppings and bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Ten Months Old

Brody is now ten months old. He is so sweet and precious; I want him to stay his cute little self forever. He is doing so well in his recovery from his accident. He has regained all his motor skills and is getting through the day with very minimal pain treatment. He had x-rays this past week. They showed that he was almost completely healed. It is so amazing how quickly his little body can renew and restore itself. What a blessing! He is getting really loud, and likes to scream and yell at us to get our attention. He also really wants to get places on his own, but isn't quite able to yet. Instead of crawling, he wriggles, thrusts, flops and throws his body around to the best of his ability. It's pretty funny to watch, and just about impossible to hold on to him. Here is what is up with Brody at ten months of age.

He has learned: to wave (very, very enthusiastically), and to say "ma ma"

He likes: keys, eating with the family at dinner time and eating what we are eating, being held and cuddled, tickles, being sang to, pulling hair, baths, sippy cups with water and playing with Palmer

He dislikes: being left alone, and belly time

Things he does/about him that makes us laugh: his two handed wave, continual bouncing, his "Ricky Martin" hip and shoulder shaking moves, his faux hawk that is always sticking up, pointing and poking at everything, big toothy grins, and lots of giggles