Sunday, November 3, 2013

Eggplant Caponata Sandwich

A group of my friends decided to try to use local produce one week and since I've never cooked with eggplant, I decided to use eggplant.  I really enjoyed the flavor of it and I'll definitely cook with it again!  Eggplant is definitely a substitute for meat!

The mozzarella definitely makes this this sandwich, so don't leave that out! 

I think next time I'll use another eggplant, as it was, it was a little heavy on the tomatoes.  I also heated mine up, I didn't like it cold.

Recipe adapted from theKitchn.

makes 5 cups of caponata, enough for about 10 sandwiches
1/3 cup olive oil
1 medium eggplant, peeled and cut into small cubes, about 4 cups total
1/2 green bell pepper, diced
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1 small onion, diced
4 ounces white mushrooms, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup black olives, pitted and sliced
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Baguette or ciabatta bread, to serve
Fresh mozzarella, about 2 thick slices per sandwich, to serve
Fresh basil leaves, optional, to serve

Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large Dutch oven or wide, deep sauté pan and add eggplant, bell pepper, onion, mushrooms, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for about 10 minutes, until vegetables are soft.
Add the olives, tomato paste, vinegar, sugar, and oregano. Season again with salt and pepper. Lower heat to medium-low, cover, and cook for 30 minutes. Stir a few times during cooking, and add a tablespoon or two of water (or olive brine) if the mixture is too thick and sticking to the bottom of the pan.

Allow caponata to cool. Spoon on bread, top with mozzarella and basil, and serve. Or, serve warm as a dip.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Stress Eating

I hate stress eating.  I hate that I know that I'm stress eating and I still do.  I'm still trying to pin point exactly why I'm stressed, but now I feel like I'm starting to stress about my eating, which is a vicious cycle.

I miss feeling fit and healthy.  I know I need to work out.  I need to make time to do it and stop finding excuses.

I miss feeling a part of a faith community.  I need to get my butt back in church.

I miss the longer days.  I truly feel like I have seasonal affective disorder.  I keep saying maybe I should try a light but never try it.

Those are the major things on my mind right now.

I also miss sleeping in, but that's just a whine, not a real stressor.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Race for the Cure 2013

This past Sunday was Baltimore's Race for the Cure.  I initially didn't sign up because I'm taking the pediatric boards tomorrow and thought I would be studying.  I realized I needed some time to relax and wanted to support my family, so off we went!  This is the first 5K I fully ran in probably 3-4 years.  It wasn't a great finish time, but I ran it!

Mom, Dad and Bri did the one mile family walk.  I am so happy to say that Mom is almost one year cancer free now!  She has a couple more founds of Herceptin and then she'll get her port out and be done :)

Saturday, October 5, 2013

I decided to wean

Shortly after 14 months I decided to wean and stop breastfeeding this beautiful gal.  When I went back to work just after her first birthday I decided to only breastfeed morning and night.  I was starting to feel a little violated though.  It seemed as soon as I came home from work, she was reaching for me, either lifting my shirt or putting her hand down my shirt.  I feel like she was mostly nursing for comfort, so I decided to stop.  I was fortunate enough to be able to nurse her for over 14 months; the transition has gone well.  After about two days she stopped reaching for me and now our bed time routine consists of more reading and cuddling.  My baby girl is growing up.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Opal Fire

Opal Fire (A Stacy Justice Mystery, #1)Opal Fire by Barbra Annino

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I read the comparison before, but I definitely agree, this reminds me of the Stefanie Plum series. Either way, I enjoyed it. It wasn't Earth-shattering, but a fun read.

View all my reviews

Friday, August 23, 2013

Ray of Sunshine

I had off work today so we spent some time enjoying the clouding weather out back.  She turned around just as I snapped my shutter.  She's my ray of sunshine!

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and SweetHotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this book! Living on the East Coast, I heard little about the Japanese interment camps of WW2 during my schooling. The book goes back and forth between the 1980's and the 1940's and each transition flowed. The book incorporates several emotions. You'll get a story of finding your identity, loyalty, love, and grief. I didn't find it politically overbearing and definitely recommend it!

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Thursday, August 8, 2013

Spilled Milk?

Yes!!!!  Thanks for this so true photo!!!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Sayonara Breast Pump!

Well, for the most part, I'm done pumping!  The past couple of days I realized how nice it has been not to pump at work anymore.  I'm fortunate that we're still breast feeding about twice a day, but I decided once we hit a year and I started my new job I wasn't going to pump anymore.  I feel fortunate because I feel like I was able to multitask while pumping, but it's definitely nice to eat or do work without being hooked up to the pump.  I'm also LOVING wearing dresses again!  I love dresses, but it was always so hard to pump in them so I feel like I haven't really worn a dress regularly for a year. 

I work one night a week and Joe had to put Bri down to bed that night, so I'm still pumping when I come home, but I can deal with that.

And here's a picture from this morning
"No Mommy, you are not going. I'm going to block the door and I'll go ahead and call your boss."

Monday, August 5, 2013

First Week Down!

I successfully finished my first week at my new job!  I took 4 weeks off between residency and starting my new job.  I enjoyed the time off, however I think I mostly spent it preparing for R2D2's first birthday.  The last week off we did have the opportunity to spend two nights at the beach.  Oh, my, goodness, taking a toddler to the beach is a whole new experience.  Thankfully the weather was nice because she did not like being cramped up in the hotel room.

However, I digress.  I'm loving my new job.  I feel like I'm finally doing what I have trained so long for.  That being said, I am so glad I have had all of that training, it is certainly necessary.  I'm loving meeting new families and getting to know a new set of patients.  It's also great that I have several other doctors here if I have questions.

With having a little more time on my hands, I have ventured back into the kitchen.  I hope I'll get back to posting more recipes, but we'll see.  Now with a little one, I'm spending my free time with her and not so much on the computer.

Monday, July 22, 2013

First Birthday!!

So the photos will finally reveal R2D2's name.  We chose to name her Brianna.  I love her name!  It's Irish for strong and I think it fits her perfectly!

If you haven't picked up on it yet, I love arts and crafts, often to the point of losing sleep to finish them. I knew I wanted to make Bri's birthday special, so arts and craft time it was!!  I used etsy a lot, man I love that site!

We'll start with her smash cake.  For her actual birthday, I made it into a little photo shoot. :) 

I think it's an understatement to say she enjoyed her cake.  I used the Wilton tip 2D to make the rosettes.

 Of course I needed to buy here a special birthday outfit. Ends up, I bought two for her.  I absolutely, absolutely loved her dress.  Photo courtesy of Lisa Marie Photography and dress made by OsEsterninhos.

And her shirt was made by The Sassy Squirrel Mom-mom bought her this chair for her birthday.  She loves it!!

Bib made by Julianne Originals and banner by Creative Party Banners.

I spray painted the letters, made the flowers out of felt, and then glued all onto the wreath.

I saw the frame on clearance in Michael's.  I didn't know how I was going to use it, but couldn't pass up the price.  I like the B in the middle!

 I displayed her basket pictures in our dining room.

 And her cake, labor of love!  Despite being time consuming, I found the cake decorating relaxing.  The butterflies are actually edible, and I thought they looked very realistic. I purchased them from Sugar Robot.  For the cupcake stand, I spray painted Wilton's white cardboard stand.

I think Brianna had a wonderful first birthday.  Mommy and Daddy love you very much!!

12 Months!!!

As the bottom picture shows, R2D2 is beyond excited to be finished with her basket photos!  I can't believe our baby girl is one year old now.  It's been a great year.  We survived parenthood and finishing my last year of residency.  I am so grateful to my parents, Joe's mom, friends, and all who have helped us survive this past year.

Baby girl loves to play and I love watching her learn and figure things out on her own.  I think we're back to baths as her favorite activity.  This girl loves splashing water and we have to make sure Winston's water bowl is up or else she'll play away.  She doesn't like the ocean or big pools yet though.

At her one year check up she weighed 23 pounds (89%) and was 29.5" long (63%).  Well, I guess I no longer have to worry about failure to thrive in this little one.  Now that we have reached a year, I'm going to cut back on breastfeeding.  I'll see how long we want to continue morning and night feedings, but I'm going to stop pumping once I go back to work.  Fortunately she has no problem taking whole milk, and I still have some frozen breast milk we'll use.

In terms of clothes, she's hover between 12 month and 18 month sizes.  She still hates shoes and socks.

And, she's walking!!!  She's slowly started to walk more instead of crawling, but she can crawl faster than walking for now.

We're trying to figure out if she knows mama and dada specifically yet.  I think she knows hi too.  She will always say mama and dada, but sometimes she still says dada when looking at me, but other times she'll keep saying dada until Joe says hi to her.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

10 and 11 Months!!!

 Look at my little ham at 10 months old!!

Now above at 11 months old!!

I love being a momma.  Baby girl however, loves every thing I do, so I find my self only being able to get on the lap top after she's gone to bed.  By the time I'm finished checking my email, I don't have time for blogging.  That's ok, I'd much rather be with my family.

As a bonus, today was my last day of residency!!

But back to R2D2.  She loves getting into everything!  Around 10 months, her favorite toy was stacking rings.  Now a days, her favorite toy is playing with stacking cups.  She also loves anything with music.  She'll dance to anything, but she really starts rocking to music from the 60's and 70's.

Baby girl is cruising along.  I keep thinking she'll take her first steps any day now, but that's been my thought for 4 weeks now...  She gets around so quickly crawling that I don't think she's in any rush to walk.

She's finally sleeping through the night!!!  She wakes up anywhere between 5-6am, but I'm still able to get several consecutive hours, so that's great!  Perhaps we'll be able to get her bed time to 7:30-8p and then she'll sleep a little longer...we'll see.

I'm happy to say I'm going to meet my goal of breastfeeding for a year.  Other than momma's milk, she loves basically all foods!

I weighed her on our scale last week and she's about 23 pounds!  To think I was worried about her being underweight.  I'm hoping this weight gain slows down...

In terms of my weight, yeah, I'm not quite back to pre-pregnancy weight yet.  I'm about 5 pounds above pre-pregnancy weight, but I'm ok with that.  I need to get back on cutting out desserts and sugars, but I'm not going to go crazy.  Now that residency is over I'm kicking up my working out and if I lose weight with that, great, if not, as long as I start get to more toned again, I'm good with that.

R2D2's eyes are still blue, I think it's safe to say she's our blonde haired, blue-eyed babe!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Coming to an end!

I have two days if residency left!!!

Hobbies such as blogging have taken a back burner while I try to be present with the family. I'm ok with that. I've taken photos of R2D2 at 10 and 11 months. It's ok that I haven't edited them or posted. She much prefers to blow raspberry kisses and use me as her humans jungle gym. 

Sunday, May 12, 2013

My First Mother's Day

I'm so happy I was able to spend the day with baby girl and my mom!  With Mom's diagnosis of breast cancer, it's been a tough couple of months for her, yet she continues to be there for me. I hope when the day comes, I can help baby girl as much as she helps me!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Flight Behavior

Flight BehaviorFlight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and the narration was wonderful! Kingsolver explores global warming while weaving a story of love and finding one's self. When I picked up this book I didn't know one of the main characters was the monarch butterflies, but since I love anything butterflies, that was an added bonus! I'm a scientist at heart, so learning more about the monarch butterflies definitely appealed to me.

View all my reviews

Saturday, May 4, 2013

9 Months!

So if you haven't picked up by my paucity of posts, life is a little busy.  I'm reaching the end of residency, getting things set to start a new job, and trying to be a good mom and wife.  So, in an effort to try to keep myself sane and spend time with my family, blogging has been placed on the back burner.

R2D2 is now closer to 10 months old than 9 months, but oh well.  Her pictures are from 9 months at least. 

I can't believe I was once worried about baby girl's weight being too low.  At her 9 month check up, R2D2 weighed 20 pounds, 8 ounces (83%) and was 28 inches (61%) long!!  She fits in a few 9 month clothes, but she's pretty much sporting the 12 month size.
In terms of eating, I'm still breast feeding :)  I love the bond we have and I'm debating if I want to keep up morning and night feeds even after a year of age.  I plan to stop pumping when she's one, i
f not earlier pending my freezer stash.  Unfortunately, I know part of why neck and shoulders hurt is from carrying my pump around every day.  R2D2 is up to about 3 meals a day.  She prefers

to feed herself, Daddy prefers if we feed her (only because she makes a huge mess).  We're letting her try a bunch of things.  She still loves yogurt.

During her 9th month, her favorite thing was probably crawling to try to "pet" Winston or playing with her little tea set.

Sleep was going well, but not now that she's over 9 months, but I'll save that for the ten month post.  For the most part, she was sleeping through the night, even if that meant waking at 4:30 sometimes.

Baby girl still loves to talk.  She clearing saying ba ba ba and using inflections.  And I don't want to jinx anything, but I think the blue eyes are here to stay!

Friday, May 3, 2013

Burnt Out

I feel like there is so much I want to do, but I either don't have the time or the motivation to do it. Honestly, I think I just need to just catch up on sleep. I feel the bank is depleted in that department. Tomorrow is hopefully my last 24 hour shift ever!!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

9 Month Sneak Peak!

I took R2D2's 9 month pictures today.  I'm so glad I kept snapping after we finished our basket shots.  This is my new most favorite picture of her!

Sunday, March 31, 2013

8 Months!

 I'm behind, I'm exhausted, I feel bad, but I'm going to skimp on this month.  I took the pictures when she was 8 months at least.

-doing army crawl, particularly towards Winston's toys!
-LOVES, LOVES her solids and happy to say we're still breastfeeding.  Pumping is definitely getting old, but I'm still going!
-at 8 months she was comfortably fitting into 9 month clothing!
-we started letting her cry it out at bed time.  She's down to crying about 5-10 minutes before finally falling asleep.  It's progress.  Not quite consistently sleeping through the night, but more often than not now :)
-loves watching Winston run circles in the basement!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

First ED visit!

This past weekend we had our first ED visit. Baby girl rolled over funny and dislocated her elbow. She had something called a nurse maid's elbow. It usually happens in older kids, but can happen in infants. After she rolled over funny Joe heard a "pop." We kept trying to convince ourselves she was using her arm, but she wasn't. :(  We took her to the hospital where I work.  The doc offered to let me try to pop it back in place.  I've done it on other kids, but I didn't want to on my own.  After a quick rotation of her elbow, she was using her arm again!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

7 Months!

I'm getting bad with blogging.  I think the truth is I feel I have so little free time now a days that I prefer to spend it with R2D2 and Joe, catching up on sleep, or reading.

Baby girl turned 7 months last week!  She's growing and developing in leaps and bounds.  I'm not going to lie, I was a little bummed that she wasn't sitting up on her own at 6 months even though the pediatrician in me knew it was ok.  Well, I don't need to worry any longer, she's doing great sitting up.  She also is one big talker.  I can't wait to hear what she has to stay when she understands she has words and can make sentences.  I'm already fearing the calls home from her teachers that she's talking in class.

We didn't have a doctor's appointment this month, but based on weighing myself with her, I think she's about 17 pounds 13 ounces.  Gone is my 5th percentile baby.  She received a box of size two diapers as a gift, so we've been squeezing her into them.  I officially used the last one today, so I guess we have officially graduated to size 3 diapers.  Clothes wise she's straddling 6 months and 9 months.  Most of the 6 month pants are too short for her now, but some of the onesies are ok.  I predict she'll be in solely 9 month clothes by next week.

Once R2D2 turned 6 months she had two teeth erupt!  It's neat watching them come up even more and now I'm getting used to her smile with those two bottom teeth.

R2D2 is sleeping much better now. She's more consistently only waking once a night.  My call schedule has been almost every 4th night and the night after I'm gone she wakes up more often (I think to make sure I'm still home), but nothing like she used to.
I'm proud to say I'm still breast feeding.  She's transitioned to a fair number of solids that we haven't really needed to supplement for the past couple of weeks.  I can tell she's starting to wean and it's making me a little sad.  I'm going to miss our breastfeeding sessions.

Along with talking, I think baby girl's other favorite thing to do right now is play in her exersaucer.  She jumps, and jumps, and jumps, spins herself around, and just has a grand old time.  (Funny, so I reread the previous month's post to see if I miss anything and I basically wrote this same sentence in her 6 month post!)

Oh, her eyes are still blue!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

7 months instead of 1 year

Here is my almost 7 month old (1 week shy in this photo)!

Today is a weird day of emotions for me.  Today is the one year anniversary of my due date for my first pregnancy, the one that ended in a miscarriage.  I could possibly be having a one year old running around right now.  However, if that was the case, I wouldn't have that bundle of joy above.  I love her so much.  I still love and miss her unborn sibling though.  When she gets older and sees that I'm a little sad on February 14th I never want her to think that I didn't want her.  It's just weird to think of these things.  Regardless, my love for R2D2 and her daddy is busting at the seams and I don't need a Hallmark holiday to remind me of this.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

My New 'do

When I was pregnant I decided I wanted to grow out my hair and donate it again. Well, I had had enough of my post-partum shedding and chopped it off this past weekend! I'm donating to Pantene. I'm still getting used to it, but overall I definitely like it.

Friday, February 1, 2013

6 Months!

Ok, yes, she's about 6.5 months now that I'm posting this, but I wanted to wait for her 6 month check-up!

On January 31, 2013, she weighed 17lbs 4 ounces (66%) and was 25.5 inches long (25%).  To think I was worried she was a small peanut when she was less than the 5% at 2 months old.  She's still primarily breast milk, taking about 5 ounces every 3 hours during the day.  She gets a formula bottle about once every other day.  I mentioned in her 5 month post that I was going to try to cut out pumping a little bit.  I have stopped staying up just to pump, but I'm still finding myself pumping in the car quite a lot.  I still have a not in my shoulders/neck, but it's such a good use of my time to pump and drive.

I don't want to jinx anything, but I think R2D2's eyes might stay blue.  I hope so because they are such a beautiful color of blue!

In terms of sleep, we're getting there. As most babies are, she's very attune to my schedule.  Since I'm a resident physician, I don't quite have a great, consistent schedule.  Just when we get to sleeping well, my schedule changes.  She has ranged from sleeping 6-10 consecutive hours. She sleeps in her crib at night, but man, we're going to miss the swing for her day-time naps.

R2D2 is rolling around back and forth, it's quite entertaining seeing her use rolling as her mode of transportation.  She's starting slowly to sit up on her own.

Oh man is she a talker though!  We don't have mama or dada yet, but she will sing her heart out.  I love listening to her in the mornings.  She wakes up and talks to herself for a good 5-10 minutes before crying to be picked up.

With her growth spurt, some of her 6 month clothes are getting a little snug on her.  She's not quite in 9 month clothes yet though.  We have a whole box of size 2 diapers left that we received for Christmas.  She could probably move up to size 3 but for now the size 2 is working.

Along with talking, R2D2's favorite activity is the exersaucer.  She jumps, and jumps, and jumps.  Then she spins herself around, plays with another toy, then jumps some more!
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