Monday, September 5, 2016

Treat Tradition & Labor Day

Happy Labor Day! We enjoyed a wonderfully low-key weekend (as is becoming the norm around here, and you'll hear no complaints from this pregnant mama), and I am finally getting around to sharing some photos and happenings from recently. 

This week I will hit 34 weeks, well on our way to meeting our newest addition. Marshall still isn't super into feeling the baby kick or anything, but he'll show some interest and give a kiss if we suggest it. It's a little hard to believe he'll be a big brother in just a few short weeks, but I think he'll fill the role wonderfully.

(That photo was probably around 32 weeks)

I've had some meal planning hits and misses lately. For the most part, I'm planning away as usual, with two caveats: I'm incorporating one night out per week (order in, take out, eat out, whatever) to give us a break from dishes and cooking; and I'm mostly using meals that require very little prep. Plus, I'm enlisting the help of my little sidekick! Last weekend, Marshall sat with me while I wrote out my grocery list and "wrote" a list of his own with crayons! Then we folded up his list, put it in his pocket, and pulled it out at the store to remind me of what we needed. Two-year-olds are too fun!

Of late, we've started a new weekly tradition of going out for a treat! We've hit up various ice cream shops and last weekend chose a new-to-us donut place, Sidecar. It was incredible. We tried the cinnamon crumble, butter & salt, vanilla with chocolate, and buttermilk "drops" and loved every bite.

This weekend's treat was a trip to Beverly Hills to Bouchon Bakery, where we tried an almond croissant, a chocolate chip cookie, and a beignet. Marshall's face when I tried to steal a bite of his beignet--I will never forget it. Anger, confusion, panic. I put it back down (without taking a bite) and he instead shoved the small bite of cookie he was holding toward me. But I was already laughing so hard I told him he could keep the cookie. Such a sweet boy who loves food so much.

Then we spent some time checking out the fountain (getting super soaked) and walking around the block before heading home. These quick trips for treats are becoming my favorite part of the week, and I'm glad it's something we can easily continue once baby is here.

Random photo: Marshall helped Daddy build our new shoe rack. He hasn't stopped talking about it since.

Also last weekend, Jenn and I took a cooking class together! We have a new Sur La Table in Westwood with cooking classes, and Terry booked a class for me for my birthday. The class, Global Gourmet Burgers, was fun and unique, but I think next time I'd go with a multiple-course class to incorporate more techniques and variety. Still, we had a great time, and it was awesome to be out doing something new and different!

More in food: We recently tried out Smitten Kitchen's summer squash pizza, which was delicious and a great way to throw in vegetables, but took more time than I expected for a weeknight meal. Next time I would do some steps ahead, but it was tasty. Marshall loved helping me throw the squash into the food processor to grate it!

Last week we made nachos at home. They turned out to be more of a treat and less veggie-filled than I had planned, but still, a fun, easy meal.

Breakfast casserole has become my favorite way to throw lots of vegetables into my diet. My stomach is not handling raw veggies well lately, so leafy greens are tough to incorporate. Luckily I can easily eat a whole serving each morning with this casserole. I just throw a bunch of frozen chopped greens all over the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish, then a bunch of sauteed vegetables (onion, bell peppers, squash, etc.) and then cheese on top of all that. Then I whisk up a dozen eggs with salt and pepper and pour them over the vegetables. Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes. It lasts us three or four days of breakfasts!

Other highlights of the last week or so:

Hanging out with my favorite little guy

A photo of Marshall wearing an outfit my dad would totally wear
(Also, Marshall recently learned how to "smile for the camera," which is adorable and so sweet!)

Terry and I took M to a playground yesterday and let him do his thing. We love watching him explore his abilities and have been deliberately hanging back more to see what he'll get up to without us nearby. Yesterday he explored the entire playground set and was so proud of himself for going down both slides. It truly makes me so proud, too, to see him figuring out his limits and becoming more independent and coordinated.

This weekend also marked another attempt at watching a movie. Marshall has shown very little interest in movies and television, which of course is fine, but we also don't want him to be that weird kid who doesn't know what a movie is. So we tried again, this time with How to Train Your Dragon, and he was actually into it! But he does have a strange quirk: He fixates on small, random details within some books and, apparently, movies, where he obsesses over something really minor. In Lady and the Tramp (book version), his favorite part was the rat(? I completely forgot a rat is even in that story!). In Pinocchio, he loved the whale (a little more understandable). And now, in How to Train Your Dragon, he was absolutely fixated on...the boats??? There are approximately two scenes that feature boats, and not even prominently.

So anyway, we had to watch the movie over three different attempts, but we made it through. He was genuinely into the dragons by the end, and he kept saying, "It's funny!" so I guess he liked it well enough. I can tell movies and TV will be a rare activity around here, but at least we can say we tried!

Meanwhile, yoga is apparently much more entertaining.

Today was pretty close to a perfect day. Marshall slept in, so we all slept in until 7. We took it slow this morning, ate breakfast at home, helped our neighbors jump their car, and made a quick trip to the store. We finished the movie, hung out around the house, and had Marshall help me with making a breakfast casserole. During M's nap, I went out for a massage(!), and then this afternoon we took a family walk around the neighborhood before dinner. Nothing too big or exciting, but a truly great day with my boys. I am so grateful for my little family and am finding myself more and more eager to meet the little one on the way!

Okay, that was pretty long. I have a doctor appointment tomorrow, so maybe I'll post a pregnancy update this week, since I'm running out of time to post those!

As for meal planning this week:
- Veggie spring rolls as snacks (hoping my stomach will tolerate the raw vegetables)
- Pasta with pesto, roasted cherry tomatoes, and shrimp
- Bruschetta and broccoli melts (not sure if we'll do these all on one night or just split them between two nights)
- zucchini corn chowder (Marshall gobbled this up tonight! I like to puree the soup before adding the corn for a smoother texture)
- sweet potato fries (tossed in olive oil and salt and roasted at 425 for about 20-25 minutes) with a chipotle hummus from our farmer's market
- breakfast casserole, as mentioned above

And now we're heading into a short week! I'm already looking forward to another wonderful weekend in just a few days. Hope you had a wonderful Labor Day weekend!


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