Thursday, January 22, 2015

11 months!

as of wednesday, dax is 11 months young! he is officially at a point where before i was his mom, i would have said, "just say the kid is a year old already, enough with this months-listing business." but alas, as the months go by i wait until THE 21st of each month before i say he is ____ months old. 

dax is loving ...

- sometimes running.
- pushing chairs all over the kitchen
- crawling. fast. and especially into small spaces: under tables and toys, between furniture and people, between my leg and the refrigerator as i quickly crack it open to get things out because he LOVES the refrigerator and cries when he can't play in there. (which is extremely annoying!)
- dishwasher is a close second. but i do let him play in there, so it's losing its luster.
- VACUUMING! yesterday we vacuumed the whole house, and he was thrilled when i let him help me in the last room. he stood there and pushed the vacuum oh so slowly as he walked and then would bounce-bounce-bounce and look at me and GRIN.

- smiling. scrunch-nosed smiles. showing off his teeth. (he's got six and counting.)
- laughing. being tickled.
- wrestling/rough housing with dad
- being CHASED. oh the bliss!
- playing in his tunnel
- watching it snow
- going outside. laughing when it's windy.
- trying to grab the wreath on our front door and yank it down while i am unlocking the door.
- playing with objects in public until i lose interest, then becoming interested in throwing them down a few times until mom wises up and stops giving it to me.
- PEOPLE! the more the merrier.
- playing at the gym childcare while mom works out. 
- swimming
- bouncing
- music
- chewing on his comb
- chewing on a pacifier like it's a stogie. (but NEVER using a paci as they are intended for babies.)

- yanking his socks off. sometimes chewing on them, sometimes yelling in aggravation if he can't get them off quickly enough.
- bath time. figuring out how the tub/shower/drain works.
- walks in the ergo.
- waking up as frequently as possible in the night.
- getting a serious look on his face and talking to the oven timer in the kitchen whenever it beeps.
- hiding things. this morning while i was eating breakfast i watched dax take the page of coupons hanging on the fridge, and go slide them under the oven. i said, "dax, what are you doing?" and he just smiles and laughs! sometimes toys go missing and when i watch him "find" them later, i am amazed.
- books. listening to stories. turning pages. (hungry caterpillar, hey diddle diddle, farm animals, and dr seuss's wonderful book of noises are his current faves.)

- wheels. pushing tractors.
- eating! but not feeding himself. he's been trying lots of new foods, and so far there hasn't been anything he does not like. meat is a big hit, especially the pork bbq at the farm show, and he likes cheerios A LOT.

i really love this age. now if only he would sleep. it's depressing. like last night i sobbed in the middle of the night after getting up with him for the umpteenth time and in those dark moments i think, 'well here i go to live in a psych ward any day now, i give up, i can't keep living like this ...'

and maybe i shouldn't write that on a blog on the internet because it makes me sound like a bad mom or a crazy person, but maybe i am okay with being considered a crazy person. because i know some pretty crazy people and i like them. (but i am definitely not okay with being a bad mom, but that fear reminds me i am a good one ... because i am trying my best, and if i were a bad one i wouldn't care or try, so at least there's that.)

and maybe someday when dax is an astronaut discovering new planets ... or curing cancer (or cracking conspiracies and getting those dicey pharmaceutical companies to hand over the cure already) ... or breaking olympic records for all the sports ... or creating something bigger than the internet that we wonder how we ever lived without (except it won't be all controversial like the internet, making people say, "yeah, but times were so much simpler and nicer before we had the internet ...") ... or preaching and teaching truth like billy graham, because i just think he's the coolest ... or starring in movies, being the clint eastwood of his time ... whatever it is, that dax ends up doing and being famous for, then *maybe* some sleep-deprived mom who keeps accidentally wearing her shirts inside out (i've done it too, and it is embarrassing but not enough for me to bother fixing it) who feels like she cannot go another sleepless night will hear that DAX'S MOM did not sleep for months on end, and she will breathe a sigh of relief and be able to keep going, one day at a time, knowing that the future is oh-so-bright for her adorable young rascal. 

and then sharing about going to those dark places during those sleepless nights will not have been in vain.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

apparently + now seriously

i saw this kid's news debut when it first came out, but i just caught his appearance on the ellen show and it cracked me up.

Monday, January 12, 2015

breakfast with Anna

I'm excited that my friend Anna agreed to guest post. Her blog, Cheeky Baker, is the kind that makes you drool, because everything she makes looks phenomenal. Other things about Anna: she is one of the kindest people you could meet, incredibly beautiful, super creative, and on and on.

* * *

Happy New Year! I am so pleased and honored to be a guest blogger here at Not Your Ordinary Anything. I got to know Chelsea way back when we were in our early twenties, during our SBFM, where we stayed on the incredible island of Maui, studied our brains out, and figured out what we believed and why we believed it. Since then we have lived our own lives on opposite sides of North America, but both contributing our musings and creations to the interweb. I have been writing my blog since January 2009, and itʼs been a crazy awesome way to share with my family across the globe, as well as make new friends and share my heart via recipes full of love. 

I wanted to share a few easy, healthy breakfast recipes with you all today. 

Usually, I am a sucker for my usual of two eggs, half an apple, and a must of black coffee. Though the coffee stays, I sometimes get the hankering to branch out! But if you are like me at all, then you get over-ambitious & over-zealous, take on too much too soon, then throw your hands up because you donʼt like all the prep {I mean, Iʼm all for prepping and taking time to cook and put love into your meals, but if itʼs breakfast and you havenʼt even had your coffee yet, then letʼs make this as painless as possible, ya?}. Sound familiar? 

I have a few go-toʼs when I want to change up my routine, and they are delicious & healthy! They deliver protein, good carbs, good fats, and don’t give you a blood sugar spike, which means you won’t have a crash later in the day. Huzzah! So, without further ado . . .

serves 2-4 (depending on how hungry your crowd is)

for the tortillas:

3 eggs

1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk (the kind that comes in a can) 
2 Tbsp. coconut flour
pinch of each sea salt & pepper

for the filling:
4 eggs, lightly beaten
salsa (approximately 1/2 cup, depending on your taste) 
few sprigs of cilantro

more filling options! 

thinly sliced green apple

leftover roasted veggies
pulled pork

fridge contents that might taste good wrapped up :)

First, make the tortillas.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the tortilla ingredients until smooth.
***BONUS! This batter can be made ahead of time & stuck in the fridge overnight. If you want, you can even make a larger batch of batter, and in the morning, take out of fridge and make however many you need, then cover and place back into the fridge. Easy peasy!***
Place a large non stick skillet over medium-high heat, pour ingredients into the pan to create a pancake size tortilla. I would pour on the liquid, pick up the skillet to roll it around and flatten out the tortilla even more. Cook on both sides for just about a minute per side. When done cooking, move tortilla to a plate to keep warm.
After you have made the tortillas, lightly oil your pan and pour your 4 lightly beaten eggs in. Season lightly with salt & pepper. Cook eggs for approximately 2-3 minutes, depending on if you prefer your eggs scrambled soft or hard.
Serve the tortillas, eggs, and whatever other fillings you choose family style and let people build their own tacos.
Go crazy. 

makes 5 cups

4 cups porridge oats*
1 1/3 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1 1/2-2 cups roasted almonds
1/4 cup pecans, roughly chopped
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup water
1/3 cup maple syrup**
1/3 cup honey**
1 tsp. vanilla
1-1 1/2 cup dried apricots, roughly chopped 2/3 cup raisins 

*the porridge oats I used were a mixture of large old fashioned oats, oat brain, & flax seed. the original recipe calls for only 3 cups large oat flakes, 1 1/2 cup barley flakes, & 1 cup oat bran, so you can switch it up however you like!
**you can use 2/3 cup maple syrup or honey instead of 1/3 of each, depending on the flavor you like.

In a large bowl, combine porridge oats, coconut flakes, sea salt, roasted almonds, pecans, pumpkin seeds, & sunflower seeds. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the oil, water, maple syrup, honey, & vanilla. Combine the wet & dry mixes & stir thoroughly.
Spread the mixture out onto two baking sheets. Bake at 250F for 20-40 minutes (*the original recipe says 20-30, but I baked mine 35-40 minutes, It depends on your oven and just how crunchy you like your granola. It will be a bit soft, but crisp up a bit when cooling). Stir the mixture every 10 minutes to ensure even baking and remove from oven when golden brown. Cool & stir in the dried fruit. Seal and store for up to 1 month .
Serve with plain yogurt, milk, almond milk, or by the handful.

This next recipe may not be as wholesome, but by golly it’s delicious . . . ;)

makes one loaf

1 cup sweet potato puree* 2 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
* I only had one small sweet potato on hand, & the puree amount came to about 5/6 of a cup. I used mashed banana to make it a full cup, and it was delicious! You can sub banana, applesauce, squash puree, etc. Be creative! :)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour one 8.5 x 4.5 x 2.5 inch loaf pan.
Stir the dry ingredients into the butternut squash mixture. Combine just until incorporated; do not over mix. Pour into the prepared pan.
Bake the night before for a delicious breakfast, or enjoy as an afternoon snack, or a “standing over the stove because it smells too good to walk away from” kind of snack. :) ---

There you are friends! I hope that some of you feel inspired to whip up some deliciousness on these chilly mornings. Thanks again to Chelsea for allowing me to be a guest on her website so I can chat at you people for a bit. :) Be blessed! -Anna

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

marcy will not soon be forgotten

we had one last holiday lunch of sorts with my mother-in-law's extended extended family this weekend. a lot of writers have a rule not to write about their in-laws, and i keep that unspoken rule too. however lance told me i could write about this, and that he would if he had a blog.

i had never been to this annual event before, and lance hadn't been there for years so we really didn't know the people there. we were seated at a table with his grandparents, aunts and uncles, and since we were at the end with the grandparents and no one was talking to them, i took it upon myself to talk to them.

now, this should not be a big deal. and i didn't think it would be, because while there are plenty of things i am not confident about, talking to grandparents is one of my things. you know - i write, i drink milkshakes like nobody's business, i send cards, i talk to grandparents.

i love grandparents. i love old people. and the love is almost always mutual. for as long as i can remember, i have loved talking to grandparents and hearing their stories. where some people get uncomfortable or don't know what to talk about, i can usually find something.

i counted and realized i had only been around that set of lance's grandparents three times before that day (our wedding being one of those times, so that barely counts), so i started asking his grandma the basics about her siblings and where she grew up. she grew up in the same area as my grandma, and knew my grandparents. i L-O-V-E my grandparents and stories or anecdotes about them, or any of my relatives really.

me: "so you knew my grandpa then too?"
her: "oh yeah, i remember ben."
me: "what do you remember about him? what was he like?"
her: "oh i don't know, i don't remember ... why? ... don't you remember him?" (and she LAUGHED at me.)
me: (bewildered, with a side glance at lance who is in hysterical laughter at the situation.) "uh, um, yes ... yes i remember him very well actually, i just, i just like to hear stories about him. about them ..."


my gift of grandparent gab apparently has limits. as lance said: "now you see why i have no fond memories with these grandparents."

when dinner was winding down, lance's dad wanted to hold dax and walk around with him. sure.

this lady we'll call marcy came over and introduced herself and started seriously chatting. like instead of just telling us the town where she lived, she went into every last detail but the longitude and latitude. something seemed off. somewhere between finding out she still lives with her parents and when she asked us both how old we were, my hunch was confirmed. then marcy said, "i turned 60 this year, and i'll tell ya what, i don't know where the years went." 

i was so overcome with the giggles - partially because of the pained expression on lance's face - that i could *barely* excuse myself to the bathroom, leaving lance to finish talking to marcy alone.

i returned to see, mercifully, that lance was no longer talking to marcy, but there was now a distinct look of anger and panic on his face. he was walking toward his dad, who was putting dax on the floor. the dirty floor of the crowded restaurant, which i assumed accounted for the look on lance's face.

as it turned out, we'll call her bernice (lance's grandma's sister), wanted to hold dax.

bernice is in her 80s and not necessarily a healthy 80s. dax has always been big for his age, and people in their 20s have been known to not be able to hold him very long. which is whatever, they should probably work out or something, but the point is: we are unsure why lance's dad thought it would be a remotely good idea to try to hand dax to bernice, especially when she was standing.

and when he did, lance said dax just went limp and bernice immediately realized she could not hold him, but when lance's dad tried to take him back he couldn't get him positioned correctly (i don't know, i just, i don't even know) ... so he started to set him on the floor.

that is when i walked in and saw the look on lance's face as he pushed through the crowd to pick up dax. not knowing any of that context until we left and lance explained it to me, i didn't think much of bernice coming up to me to say, "how much does he weigh?" i guessed 25lbs, because i don't know and he was 23lbs awhile ago. "Oh does he really? I buy cat food every week and I can lift that. I thought that was 25lbs but maybe it's not. How much is that? Well, he is heavy!" 


we sort of snuck out after that and someone said, "see you next year!"

mmm, debatable.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Recently Read for January 5, 2014

Children of the Day: 1 and 2 Thessalonians
By Beth Moore
Meaty, but I just couldn't get into it. Maybe her study of James got me so good that nothing else can compare?

Bringing Up Boys
By Dr. James Dobson
This was the first time I read a book by Dobson, but I feel like I've read more by him because of all the radio talks and magazines. It is solid, and inspired me as a mom of a son. The statistics and truth he shares are interesting. It gets a bit intense and forced me to think through things instead of taking his opinion on everything.

The Prayer That Changes Everything
By Stormie Omartian
Sometimes books you pick up at yard sales end up blowing everything else on your reading list out of the water. Excellent, encouraging read that challenged me in the best way.

The Light Between Oceans
By M.L. Stedman
This story was outside my usual realm of reading, and it was captivating. A couple finds a baby that washes up in a boat while they are living alone on an island as lighthouse caretakers. The female lead drove me crazy, and I was not a fan of the ending ... but it was nice to read something different.

By Laura Hillenbrand
EVERYONE: READ THIS BOOK. Hands down the most amazing true story I've ever read! The author is brilliant for the way she researched and put this together, and Louie Zamperini is amazing beyond my comprehension for his strong will and all that he accomplished and endured. Captivating, beautiful, and all the good words you can think of. (And all of this from a girl who never reads "war stories." But it's way more than a war story - can't judge those covers.)

Carry On, Warrior
By Glennon Doyle Melton
Hilarious compilation of wonderful essays about her life and life in general. (Ranging from alcoholism, parenting, marriage, adopting dogs, and beyond.) Not something I'd recommend to everyone, but her essays on parenthood were my personal faves. And if you're all about honesty and putting yourself out there, you'd probably like this. 

Friday, January 2, 2015

goal met

my goal was to post on my blog every day in december (minus weekends and holidays), and i met my goal! woohoo. my friend sarah suggested i try to post once a week in the new year, so i'll try to do that for january. 

thought from my day: when i get frustrated that dax always wants to be with me, near me, on me ... i need to remember that this is something to savor. very soon he will want to be with dad or other people. this is the time in my life i will be most needed and treated like a celebrity. or a celebrity assistant, but still.

and he really isn't overly clingy, he LOVES people. it's just that sometimes i want to cook dinner alone and without tripping over everything he keeps pulling out of every cupboard. he also figured out how to open the dishwasher today, so now i don't just have to be quick about putting things in there and peeling him away. i have to make sure he's not sneaking in! oy vey. (add that to the list of: things you never imagined your daily life would include.)

i like this video. use your gifts in 2015. you have them. use them.

i didn't set any resolutions, but right now i am thinking: use my gifts, and complain less.

as usual i am hoping everyone hurries up and gets over their "working out" resolution as fast as possible, because i am a terrible person dislike crowds and love space. 

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

a proposal

tonight we got to watch some of our friends get engaged! alex invited all of his and clarissa's family and friends to be waiting at the square in downtown lancaster with sparklers. 

they had been out to dinner for her birthday and were walking to the square afterward, when she saw kids (her nieces and nephews as it turned out) with sparklers and said, "those kids have sparklers, that's gotta be illegal!" then she spotted her dad in the crowd.

within seconds they were encircled by so many people who love them to pieces, as alex feigned surprise and confusion (he is hilarious, so this was cracking us up) ... then gave a little speech before getting down on one knee and asking her to MARRY HIM. and she said yes.

there are few things i love more than a good proposal. so much so that for years i used to pray whenever i took trips that i would get to see people get engaged. alex and clarissa are so much fun, and we are t-h-r-i-l-l-e-d for them. 

{This wonderful night made possible for us by Mimi!
They love each other a lot. And he loves brushing his teeth too. Also chewing on combs.}