Simply beautiful...

Simply beautiful...

Thursday, May 26, 2011

I Love My Family!!!

It might take a little prompting from us now... but Harper loves her family. It doesn't get old, for Jeremy and I, hearing her language develop. I love the 2 year old body language and voice fluctuations ;)

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Harper's own language!

Jeremy noticed that Harper often says a word that we have no idea what it means - "sippy" or sometimes "zippy"... She often says it when she is babbling or playing with her toys, and inserts it into regular sentences randomly. We have noticed she tends to use it when she is happy. It cracks us up to hear it now and we wish we could decode it! Here's a tiny sample of her yelling it just before eating lunch.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

My Kids and Vitamin D

Recently, I became concerned with how much Vitamin D my kids were getting. Not only because there has been an increasing buzz about the topic in the past year, but because both of my kids each qualify for in increased risk for deficiency under two categories: 1) we live in Oregon - being at a higher northern latitude, they obviously do not get enough sun exposure for their bodies to naturally produce vitamin D most of the year; and 2) Harper is lactose intolerant and Bentley just started solids not all that long ago and was previously exclusively breast-fed. I have had a few friends ask me about the topic, sharing the same concern for their kids. Here is just a bit of information to help you navigate your or your children's' risk factors.

Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin that helps the body absorb calcium and phosphorus, therefore helps in bone growth and density. It can be naturally produced by the body through sunlight exposure and can be found in a few natural food sources. Not only is Vitamin D important for bone and teeth health, but it has been recently linked to lowering the risks of illnesses such has heart disease, type 1 diabetes and certain cancers.

I found a short summary on Vitamin D on a cooking website I love, EatingWell, which includes a table on the intake recommendations for various age groups. I also love using the American Pediatric Association's website when I have any sort of concern for my kids. Here, they have a whole page list of resources regarding Vitamin D. I loved this resource - especially the simple quiz you can take to see if you are vitamin D deficient: Get Your Vitamin - A resource developed to help correct the country's D deficit. Lastly, here is an article I found on how much sunlight a child needs to synthesize Vitamin D. This article includes links to other interesting articles, including what yogurts contain Vitamin D and additional benefits of Vitamin D.

I would love to hear what you are doing to make sure you and your family are getting enough Vitamin D and any additional related resources.

My Little TV-Watcher

Yesterday, I was driving the kids home from Harper's gymnastics class and it was cutting it close to nap time. Like any desperate parent, I turned on the DVD Toy Story so that Harper would stay awake (she doesn't transfer well if she's been asleep for very long - she is the queen of the power nap!). We stopped at a light and I turned around to find this...
My little man was curious what all the "buzz" was about and wanted to watch too! He pulled his canopy down and cranked his neck just enough to get a good viewing. Oh how these second kiddos force us to be less paranoid and more flexible! I love you my little TV-Watcher!

Fun in the Sun!

The last few days have been absolutely gorgeous here. It's been in the mid 70's with not a cloud in the sky... What does this equal? A very happy sun goddess (me) and a very happy mini sun goddess (Harper)! The kids and I got our vitamin D and a little sun kissed too.
Yesterday, while Bentley was napping, Harper and I had a little fun on our deck with her water table and then filled our beverage bucket with water as a "pretend" swimming pool. She was thrilled to put on her suit and sunglasses and splash around.
While she was in the bucket, we had a cute conversation I had to record. Harper was pretending that the bucket was a car she was driving. I don't want to forget just how magical it is to see the world through a 2 year olds eyes!

Harper: I driving! Vroom!
Me: Are you going fast or slow?
Harper: I'm going fast! Like dada! (yikes, sorry J!)
Me: Where are you going?
Harper: To the castle! (i.e., Disneyland)
Me: Oh how fun! What are you going to do at the castle?
Harper: I see Mickey and Goofy; I see princesses; I see choo-choo; I dance; I go whoosh...
Me: Oh, you're going to go on some rides too?
Harper: yeah. And I eat cupcakes!
Me: What color cupcake will you have?
Harper: A pink, and a red, and a green...
Me: mmmm, that sounds yummy. What else are you going to do at the castle?
Harper: I go to Minnie's house!
Me: Oh fun!
Harper: And give BIG hugs and kisses!
I love these little conversations and never knowing where they're going to go ;) I love my girl and watching her grow up and use her imagination.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Sibling Love!

Here's a little clip of Harper making Bentley laugh on Mother's day - what a great gift to me!
Jeremy and I were commenting that it is especially wonderful to see their interactions these days, since Harper went through a period of time when she wanted nothing to do with Bentley. She is FAR past that now and is realizing that Bentley is quickly becoming more and more fun and will soon be an amazing playmate! Thank God ;)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Spinach Quiche with a Twist

One of my favorite things to make for a different dinner is a quiche. It's one of those one-pot meals whose ingredients can be fully planned or can be whatever you can find in your fridge. Using leftovers and having some quick recipes on hand is a must around our home, as not all our meals are gourmet!
A few years ago, I tried making a "crust" out of quinoa for a deviation from the normal quiche recipe. I did this for a couple of reasons: it's an easy way to include some whole grains into this dish; most pie crust recipes are far from healthy with their fat content; and I just don't like rolling out the pie dough! I know, I know... there's store-bought pie crusts out there - I use them sometimes, but I try to limit my processed purchases.

Making the crust was about the easiest thing a person could do in the kitchen. I simply made the quinoa on the stove according to the package directions and then had my 2 year old daughter help me press it firmly into our pie pan.
I then sauteed a few ingredients I had in my refrigerator, such as olive oil, garlic, onion, broccoli slaw, a package of frozen spinach, and some leftover spicy meatballs cut into small pieces. After sauteing, I melted some swiss cheese into the mixture to make it follow more classic recipes.
Here is my quinoa crust filled with the vegetable ingredients, just before adding the liquid egg mixture. I loosely followed this quiche recipe I found on, mostly paying attention to the egg/milk ratio that is poured over the vegetable filling.
Our family loves this easy meal that includes some of our leftovers. As a bonus, it gives me peace of mind that my family is consuming a meal balanced with whole grains, protein, vegetables, and healthy fats.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Blazer Basketball!

I just had to post this little conversation between Harper and Jeremy... she makes her daddy proud!