Monthly Archives: June 2010

First Father’s Day

This guy is a GREAT father. He deserves to be celebrated. Nate is one blessed little boy.

For breakfast I went simple, and whipped up some Sister Schubert cinnamon rolls (an easy, delicious breakfast). For presents, Nate and I decided to each get him something. The little box was from me. An ESV Study Bible with his name imprinted on it. The head of the house needed some good material. 🙂 As a side note, if anyone is looking for a good study Bible, this one is the best I have ever seen. It has timelines, color maps, historical summaries before each book, tons of footnotes and cross references. Not that the Good Book needs any improvement, but it’s nice to have some extra explanations here and there to better our understanding.

Nate gave Trey something really special. An original Radio Flyer wagon. It holds sentimental value because that is what Trey’s mom gave his dad for his first Father’s Day- and that was a very cherished little wagon, as I hope ours will be too. As soon as Trey assembles it I’ll post photos of him and Nate playing with it. Should be fun. 🙂

It was a wonderful day celebrating Trey, Boyd, Billy, my dad and all the great dads out there. I’m looking forward to a couple more children (yikes!) and many more Father’s Day celebrations to come!

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Six Months!! (only ten days late. . . oops. . .)

Sorry, sorry, sorry for the lateness! Between the sleep deprivation and all of the exciting things we’ve been up to blogging just hasn’t been on the list of priorities. I’m working on it. I promise.

Nate is six months old and time is flying.  I used to think that Mama Mia! song about “slipping through my fingers” was super cheesy and I chuckled a little whenever I heard it. Now it seems a little too close to home. I feel like I’m going to turn around and  Nate will be graduating college. This used to make me sad but I’ve gained a little perspective and I’ve decided cherish every day and not waste any time wishing for time to slow down. Now who’s super cheesy? Moving on. . .

*Note: His sixth month photo was taken on his six month birthday!

At six months, Nate:

  • is in the fiftieth percentile in every category. Just right. 🙂
  • weighs seventeen pounds, ten ounces.
  • can six up totally unassisted (and has been for the past few weeks).
  • can stand holding only our fingers for balance.
  • is very close to crawling, I feel like it will be any day.
  • loves to babble.
  • loves to laugh.
  • enjoys his morning walk/run in the jogger stroller.
  • is beginning to get a little stranger anxiety.  From what I understand this just come with the territory of his age.
  • loves to be on his tummy.
  • passes objects from hand to hand.
  • gets mad if you take away a toy he is enjoying.
  • can take his pacifier out and put it back in.
  • enjoys chewing on Jacque the giraffe.
  • rolls over both ways with ease.
  • LOVES watching Grandmeggie play the piano.
  • loves all music and “dances” during praise and worship at church!
  • is getting a tooth! (I pretty sure I see the top of it coming in!)
  • still not sleeping through the night.  We’ve resorted to very drastic and painful (for me, not Nate) measures. Crying it out. Luckily, I’ve got the queen of getting your kids to sleep/good schedule stuff helping me out. Thanks, Danielle! This is night three, and it is getting better. I think it will work if I don’t cave.
  • still loves the banana song and reading.
  • had his first solids on his six month birthday and it went well! Trey was excited to get to feed him his first “real” meal.

Rice Cereal and B milk- That qualifies as real food, right?

Proud dad doing a great job!

Nate was really enthusiastic about it.

A successful first feeding!

Alright, folks, thanks for sticking with me. If Nate begins sleeping through the night you can start expecting some regular postings.  At least every week. How will you know when that happens? If you wake up and swear you can hear some idiot singing the hallelujah chorus at the crack of dawn that’s me. After almost seven months (ten if you count my last trimester of broken sleep) of not one night of uninterrupted sleep I will be so excited I won’t be able to contain it.

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ECLAIRS and such

From scratch. No premade anything. These are a work of art.

Enjoy!

*Read the whole recipe before you begin to help budget your time/kitchen utensils. 🙂

First the pastry-

I used the following recipe from www.thefreshloaf.com. It is a great site and the full eclair recipe of theirs is probably delicious as well but Trey does not like custard, or anything resembling custard, so I used what I could and moved on:

Pastry

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup milk

1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter

1/2 teaspoon salt

4 eggs

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Combine the water, milk, butter, and salt in a small saucepan. Bring it to a boil. Stir in the flour and, while mixing, cook another minute or 2 to eliminate excess moisture. Transfer to a bowl and let cool for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Beat in one egg at at time. When they have all been beaten in and the paste is smooth and shiny, set aside to cool. The paste may be use immediately or covered and refrigerated for later use.

Spoon the mixture into a large ziploc bag. Cut off the bottom corner to squeeze out eclairs.  The size is your call.  For the ones above, I cut about an inch.  Pipe the eclairs onto a non-stick cookie sheet. They become MUCH larger than the dough so make sure they have plenty of room.

Bake for 15 minutes at 400 degrees, then reduce heat to 350 and bake an additional 10 to 30 minutes.  For smaller ones as pictured above, about 12 minutes.

I used a chopstick to poke a hole through the pastry and hollow out the inside a little bit to make piping the filling easier.  I am sure there is a more efficient way to do this, I just don’t know what it is.

Whipped Buttercream Filling (taken from Organic and Chic by Sarah Magid)

2 sticks unsalted butter, softened

1 cup sugar

1 cup whole milk

1/4 cup sifted all-purpose flour

1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract

Large bowl of ice water

Cream the butter on medium speed, 3 to 5 minutes, in a standing mixer. Add the sugar and beat on high speed until light and fluffy (5 to 7 minutes).

In a small saucepan, combine 1/4 cup of the milk, the flour, and the vanilla extract and whisk vigorously until there are no lumps. Over medium heat, slowly add the remaining 3/4 cup milk, whisking constantly and cook until the mixture comes to a low boil.  Then reduce the heat to low and keep whisking for a few more minutes until it begins to thicken.

Immediately remove the pan from heat but keep stirring. Place the saucepan in the ice water (to cool the bottom so that it will stop cooking- don’t get water in the mixture!).  Once the mixture has thickened and it cools to room temperature, pour the milk mixture into the butter/sugar mixture with the mixer on low speed, and increase speed to medium when you are finished pouring in the milk mixture.  This should take about three to five minutes.

Spoon into piping bag and stick in the fridge.

When the pastry is ready (completely cooled), use the piping bag to fill up the pasty and set aside. You’re almost finished!

The Chocolate Frosting (taken from P-Dub with a tiny modification- I added some milk chocolate)

This is the VERY LAST STEP- do not do this until you’ve filled the pastries!!!!

  • ¾ cups Sweetened, Condensed Milk
  • 3 ounces, weight Semi-sweet Chocolate
  • 3 ounces milk chocolate
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter

Mix ingredients together in a small/medium saucepan. Melt ingredients over medium low heat, stirring gently. Icing is ready when all ingredients are melted and combined.

Using a regular spoon, smear the icing on the tops of the eclairs. All done!

Refrigerate (if you like cold eclairs) or eat right away. My experience with anything homemade is that the sooner you eat it the better. (Or maybe that’s just my excuse to consume baked goods as quickly as possible?) Oh well.

Lastly, I had to post this picture. Don’t tell Nate about this.  We ran out of baby towels so we wrapped him up like this the other night after his bath. Priceless.


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