I usually try not to get too personal on my blog, but decided I must write a tribute to our beloved Aunt Alice.
Almost three years ago we moved in next door to our Great Aunt Alice. She welcomed us with such love and hospitality. My boys formed a special relationship with her and my oldest loved to visit her frequently for snacks and conversation. They would sit at her kitchen table together.
One day this Spring, he came running into the house and asked me where his library books were. I gave them to him and he ran back to Aunt Alice's with his books. He came home a while later and said that Aunt Alice read his stories with him.
When I had my ultrasound for our second child, my husband was unable to go with me. Aunt Alice went with me so I wouldn't be alone and loved every minute. It was the first time that she had watched a baby on an ultrasound. She was thrilled and I was glad to have someone to share the special moment. She treated me to lunch afterwards. She was always so generous.
We lost our dear Aunt and good friend a little over a week ago. We treasure the memories that we have of her and are blessed to have spent so much time with her. We love you dearly Aunt Alice.
My grandfather, Daddy Joe, passed away on Thursday September 16th. My heart sinks every time I think of his passing and remember that he is no longer with us. You are missed Daddy Joe. I love you dearly.
Tonight I bathed my sweet little 11 month old after dinner. I dried him in a soft towel then dressed him in his little jammies. I carried him upstairs, nursed him while I read to our 3 year old then laid him down to change his diaper. Just as I was about to put a new diaper on him, he uncurled his little fist and revealed a piece of banana. I couldn't believe this little piece of banana had survived so long. I looked at him and laughed and said "you just had a bath". Guess I better make sure to uncurl those little fingers next time.
A couple of weeks ago, I was pushing my cart through Target with my 11 month old in my baby bjorn carrier and my 3 year old in the cart. My 3 year old was really trying my my patience that day. He was riding along and yelling out whatever came into his mind and the next thing I knew, he yelled out at the top of his lungs, "I need a haircut". I was so embarrassed. Needless to say, Grandma gave him a trim within the week. I think it is hilarious now, but at the time I thought I was going to die of embarrassment.
I have discovered something that has been missing from my life-time for myself. I just started a yoga-lates class at a local recreation center. It meets two days a week for 45 minutes. There is a play room with wonderful toys and activities for my kids. It turns out one of my friends works in the play room several days a week-even better. I went both times this week (it was my first week) and I can't even begin to express how wonderful it was. I drop the boys off a few minutes before class starts and then I have a few minutes of free time before the class starts-can you imagine free time? I even went to the bathroom by myself. Its funny the little things Moms appreciate. My instructor is amazing. She is so positive and encouraging. I worked really hard both days and feel it in my abdominal muscles yet I can't wait to go back. Forty-five minutes of pure me time, uninterrupted.
If you have any great ideas to share of how you make time for yourself, please share them with me. It is so important that we parents make time for ourselves so that we can recharge and give our kids the love and attention that they need.
I just wrote about this huge sale on my homepage. It is really worth checking out. The extra 25% off for students and teachers goes til Sunday the 25th. Clearance items are an additional 50% off of the marked price. Really great sale!
Soon to come-my recipe for beef and vegetable soup. We had a huge rainstorm today and that put me in the mood for hot soup and bread. I wrote down all of the ingredients and instructions as I made it tonight so that I could add it to my recipes on the site. I even measured a few ingredients so that I could make the recipe easier to follow. This is soup is hearty and delicious, also very economical. I will add it to "What's for dinner" soon.
I just added this recipe to my site and it is so good. I found this recipe in a local organic grocery store called Strawberry Fields last summer. It was on the banana stand as part of the display. The first time I made it, I followed the directions, but the recipe did not say where to add in the 1/2 cup milk. I made the bread without milk and it was good. When I sat down and started typing the recipe, I realized that milk was listed in the ingredients but not in the directions. I decided to make the bread again with the milk before typing the whole recipe. I changed the organization of the ingredients so that they are listed in the order that you use them in the recipe. I try to make recipes as easy to follow as possible. I always did this for my students. With two kids under 3, my attention is pulled in many directions especially when I am cooking. Just like every other Mom out there, I need simplicity!
When I made the first batch of bread, I divided the batter into two loaf pans. One of my pans is a larger Wilton metal loaf pan the other is an Anchor Hocking medium glass pan. Both loaves were good, but they were not as moist as they could have been-dough spread out over two pans and I didn't put milk in this batch. If I had two medium size pans and had put the milk in this recipe, I think the results would have been as good as the second batch. The second batch was more moist and made a taller nicer looking loaf. I used milk in the second batch and put the entire bread recipe into one large loaf pan. I had to bake the loaf longer, but there was little risk of burning. The bread had a beautiful golden color to it. I tested it with a toothpick and put it back in the oven until the toothpick came out clean. I think it took about 8 minutes longer. I let the bread cool for a few minutes in the pan on a cooling rack then removed it from the pan and let it cool overnight wrapped in a tea towel on the cooling rack.
I served this bread the next morning to my son's preschool playgroup. I left the nuts out to avoid any allergy problems. The bread was a hit. One of the Moms emailed me and asked for the recipe. She had taken a piece of bread for her son to eat later as a snack and he asked for more bread after he had eaten it all. This really is a great recipe. I have made many banana breads over the years and none have stood out as great recipes like this one. This recipe is every bit worth your time and effort.
The picture posted is from the first batch. The second batch looked even better.