Thursday, June 27, 2013

Halfway There!!

**For this child I prayed, and the Lord has granted me my petition** 1 Samuel 1:27 <33

I won't bore you with all the details of the day because I'm too busy at the moment and I am also posting this on my iphone right now, which has become my new preferred method of posting btw, but in other more EXCITING news -- I'm at the HALFWAY mark with baby Bauman 2! Been feeling incredible lately and full of energy and high spirits. Partly due to the newfound 3 HOURS of 'me' time I now have every morning thanks to summer school :)
We had the big 20 week ultrasound this morning as well as echocardiogram (for those of you who don't know, Chris had a brother who passed away at 9 months of a congenital heart defect) and everything looks great. Healthy baby, strong heart, internal organs, limbs, fingers, toes, everything is exactly as it should be and we are still measuring right on mark for a due of of 11/12/13. I have been on cloud 9 all day, so unbelievably happy and relieved beyond words that baby is healthy and developing 100% where he/she should be -- I may or may not have started crying as soon as we saw him/her on the screen. And that little nugget is quite the shaker and mover! (S)he wouldn't keep still and was kicking and dancing all over the place. And would NOT give us a profile view - (s)he insisted on a full frontal and SMILED straight at us the whole time. Seriously it was so freaky and really funny, like (s)he knew it was his/her big debut. But because the full frontal pics are a little scary (baby won't start chubbing up until at least a few more weeks and still has the hollow alien/skeletal face), I have posted the one profile pic we managed to snag from him/her. 
I went into the appointment feeling deep down in my gut we have a girl but now am starting to think there might be a little baby brother in there! Cannot wait to find out with everyone at our gender reveal party on Sunday. In the meantime, I am doing everything in my power to keep busy and NOT tear open that sealed envelope from the technician with the baby's gender on it - I can't believe Chris left this with me today. And leaving you with a nice lil bump pic of me at 20 weeks in and halfway though :)

Healthy Homemade Hummus

Okay seriously never going to buy store bought hummus again and I bet after you try this that you won't either! This literally took me under a minute to whip up -- it is SO SO easy, you just combine all the ingredients in a blender and blend. And DELICIOUS. In fact I am eating it as I type right now with some pretzels and olives :P It's also a really great healthy way to get in some protein for you vegan/vegetarians out there! Enjoy!

What You'll Need:
- 2 cans of chickpeas or garbanzo beans (drained)
- 2 tablespoons of tahini (a paste found in the ethnic or middle eastern section of food store)
- 1/2 cup of water
- juice of half a lemon or lime (or more, to taste) 
- 1/4 teaspoon of salt
- 1/4 (approximate) teaspoon of ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons fresh minced garlic (or more, to taste)

1. Combine all ingredients in blender and pulse until smooth.
2. Transfer to serving bowl and drizzle some olive oil over it with some kalamata olives and fresh parsley or fresh garlic for decoration.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Landon's Third Birthday

Celebrated Landon turning the big 3 yesterday and have to say it was easily the best day of his life. We woke up bright 'n early to get ready for the first day of summer school and put him on his new school bus to his new school. Oh, no crying or separation anxiety at all for this guy! He was a happy little clam all buckled in as we waved to him in the driveway and I cried just a little. Boy oh boy does time fly fast....I packed chocolate cookies (his fave) for his class and the teacher made him a paper crown and they all sang to him at school and I'm sure he absolutely loved it and basked in his birthday glory all day.
After the half a day at preschool we took him swimming at the pool and enjoyed the beautiful 85 degree sun while watching Landon swim like a little fish and make new water baby friends. Seriously this kid is AMAZING in the water and is already swimming! If you count doing the doggie paddle with a life vest on swimming, which I do. He goes in over his head no problem, does back floats, keeps his mouth closed from all the water, blows bubbles, jumps in the deep end and dunks under water and pretty much has the absolute time of his life. (Sorry, no pictures, too busy watching him and having fun).
We had a late lunch on the patio at the pool and then afterwards we got in the car to take Landon on a real live choo choo train. Man oh man was this little boy in heaven. We took him on the cta downtown and changed lines a few times and he would jump up and down and point excitedly at all the passing trains and there was nothing that could have happened to wipe the ear to ear grin from his face. 
After the choo choo, we headed home for some presents, pizza, cake, & ice cream. The day was purposely filled with all of his favorite things in the world and it makes me so happy to see him so happy and his face lit up with so much joy. We decided not to throw him a party this year and do all his favorite things instead, and I'm so happy we did. We saved money, the day and planning the day was completely stress free, and he hands down enjoyed this better than any party we've thrown for him in the past, which was absolutely priceless.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

3 Years.

Dearest Little Landon,

Today you turned 3 years old. It was exactly three years ago today that you came into our lives and within them you have changed and grown so much and turned more into a little boy I still can't believe I created. I honestly couldn't have dreamed up a better kid if I tried. You're truly the sweetest little kid ever, and I'm not just saying that 'cause I'm your mom ;) I love watching you explore and see new things for the first time, & I love watching your imagination and little thoughts run wild. Most of all, I love witnessing your happiness and seeing you light up with excitement over the most simple joys. You have given me a new perspective on life -- You've shown me how to slow down and how to appreciate every moment even when I’m exhausted and weary, you are there, smiling, full of joy, adventure, & excitement.

There are lots of things that I want to teach you, but every day I think you teach me much more than I could ever hope to show you. You're already experiencing something so beautiful for me to see, compassion. You have a natural response to other children when they are sad and upset, and I see the concern in your eyes and you bring them your toys and do things you think will make them happy. I know that no one taught you that, and that you are already learning to listen to God's little whispers, and I am so proud of you. When I think about what it is I want for you to learn as you grow up into a boy and into a young man, I think there's so many things I want to teach you, but I think that's partly the most important. I want you to always love God and trust in His plan for you. To pray and keep listening hard for His whispers. And to trust that feeling deep down in your heart, and to have it always direct your actions.

Today is not only your birthday, but it is the first day I'm sending you off to school. I know we're both excited, but it's a double edge sword for me. I think about Newtown and I have a crazy urge to want to protect you under my wings forever. I'm nervous about other kids being mean, exclusive, and bullying. And it breaks my heart to see other kids be mean to you for no reason, especially when your intentions are always so kind hearted. I'm worried that you don't yet know how to speak up for yourself in those situations and I can't be there to help you feel better. But I realize I can't hold onto you forever and the only way for you to grow and experience life is for me to let you.

I know sometimes I get anxious. I worry that we don’t have our own house yet, I worry that we don’t have enough money in the bank, and that I don't have any idea of what the future will bring. But I know what we do have is enough. We have each other, we have papa, and we will have a new baby brother or sister coming very soon too, and I know that there is more than enough love in this family to go around. Sometimes I still wonder how I’m going to be “enough” for you -- enough of a mother, enough of an example, enough of a care giver. I wonder how I can do this job by myself and then twice that job when baby brother or sister is born. But then I hear your little voice call out for me when you're in need, and feel your little arms wrap around my leg as if I am your safe haven, and I see the excitement in your eyes when you see me for the first time after I've been gone, and you run to me and hug me. And I realize, I’m already doing it. And I'm doing enough.

Another baby will be coming into our family in just a few short months, and we hope even another after that, but you will always be the one who changed me. The one that gave me the most important role that I have ever held in my life, the role of a mother. You will always be the person who gifted me this perspective and kindness and patience beyond anything I ever remotely had before.

I used to always yearn for adventure, no matter what I would always want more. I was never content, I wanted to have more, to see more, do more, experience more. I lived for the thrill and desired the extremes and the adrenaline rush of high highs. And I still do, and we will go and do some amazing things together and separately. But I’m no longer searching, because I realized the wild I always searched for is in you now. You are my wild. You have been, and are, my greatest adventure. I love you so much.

Your "mumma", always.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Strawberry Muffins

It finally feels like summer around here & strawberries are finally in season, so I figured nothing is more appropriate than making & baking some fresh, healthy strawberry muffins :) This recipe is super easy and only takes about 15 min prep work (plus 15-20 minutes bake time), and minus the fresh strawberries I bet you have all the other ingredients in your kitchen already.

What You'll Need:
- About 1 1/2 cups sliced strawberries -- I sorta just eyeballed this, sliced up almost an entire 16 oz package of strawberries. I used organic strawberries, which I think made this taste even better (& better for you!)
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose or whole wheat (or split) flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup rolled oats
- 1/4 cup ground flax seed
- 1 cup low-fat buttermilk or milk substitute. I used vanilla almond milk - delicious ;)
- 1/4 cup light olive oil or vegetable oil
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line 12-cups in muffin tins with paper liners.

2. Toss together strawberries and sugar. Using a potato masher, lightly mash berries & set aside.

3. In a large bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients: the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, rolled oats, and ground flax seed. In a glass 2-quart measuring cup or a medium bowl, combine all the wet ingredients: milk, oil, egg, and vanilla.

4. Pour in the milk mixture and the berry mixture into the dry flour mixture. Fold just until combined, be careful not to mix too thoroughly or else muffins will have a "harder" texture.

5. Using a large spoon, divide the batter among the muffin cups. Sprinkle the tops with rolled oats and/or sugar.

6. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean, about 15-20 minutes. Cool 5 minutes in the pan, then transfer muffins to a rack/plate/container to cool completely, & enjoy!

Monday, June 10, 2013

18 Weeks

18 weeks in & only 2 more away from finding out the sex! Super excited for our gender reveal barbecue on the 30th :) For a general update on how baby brother or sister is developing you can click HERE & you can also watch a 3D video on baby developing HERE. (S)he's about 5 1/2 inches long, about the size of a bell pepper and weighs about 7 ounces. Been feeling lots of movements from the little one and Chris felt him/her kick for the first time last night which was really cool to share :)
I've been feeling pretty good overall. I have some days where I'm utterly exhausted and I feel like I'm semi-comatose, but other days where I'm bursting with positive energy. My appetite is beginning to come back now, and am feeling much larger, although I've still only gained about 3 lbs (I know, it's hard for me to believe too). But that's sure to change soon as I can be expecting to gain about a half a pound every week during this trimester. Been searching for some cute maternity clothes (not sure I will ever find any) and mainly been squeezing myself into non-maternity stretchy dresses for now. 
Stay posted for our big gender reveal post in a few weeks! 

Healthy Greek Yogurt Spinach Dip

I've had my hot Spinach Artichoke Dip on my signature dish list for quite some time now and have been searching for a cold counterpart for the summer and I've finally found her. Made with plain greek yogurt instead of sour cream, this dip is much healthier than than other cold spinach dips and tastes absolutely amazing. I made this according to my own taste and preference but of course you can feel free to doctor it up a bit by adding water chestnuts or celery or other crunchy chopped vegetables and play around with what you like. This recipe makes for a huge serving, so definitely recommended for a larger group or party.

What You'll Need:
- 16 oz plain greek yogurt
- 1 cup reduced fat mayo
- 1 pack cream cheese
- 1 bag shredded swiss cheese
- 3 large green onions (chopped)
- 1 bag/box of frozen chopped spinach
- 1 vegetable soup/dip mix packet

1. Combine all ingredients and mix well.
2. Serve with fresh vegetables or pita chips & enjoy!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Father's Day footprint craft

We're on 3 years now of making a new handprint/footprint Father's Day gift for Chris and thought I'd share this year's craft with you all. You can personalize this poem however you want but ours reads:

"Walk a little slower Papa,"said Landon oh so small.
"I'm following in your footsteps and I don't want to fall.
Sometimes your steps are very fast, Sometimes they're hard to see;
So walk a little slower, Papa, For you are leading me.
Someday when I'm all grown up, You're what I want to be;
Then I will have a little child Who'll want to follow me.
And I would want to lead just right, And know that I was true;
So walk a little slower, Papa, For I must follow you."

Then just used some washable ink pad to make his little (big) footprints. Each year we put his new craft over last years in the same frame, where someday he'll have a very large collection of Landon's growing hands and little foot prints. You can look at our previous year's Father's Day crafts HERE.

Happy crafting & happy early Father's Day to all the wonderful & hard working papas out there!

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