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[Comments] (1) : This weekend, with Maggie 3 weeks old, we managed to successfully introduce the bottle, clip her fingernails, and take her for a walk at the Woodbridge lake. John likes participating more in her feedings, even though it means he gets a turn at night (at least since he took today off work). I thought bottle-feeding when not necessary (ie. I'm at work) would be a waste of time, besides that John likes doing it. But I can pump enough for her feeding in 7 minutes, so that's not so bad.

John also washed some of her 0-3 month clothes so they would shrink enough she could start wearing them. So many clothes, so little time.

[Comments] (1) : Susie: She's looking at me like I'm nuts. John: Babies can be very perceptive.

Yesterday we got a giant package from John's work. They sent a gift basket of baby paraphanelia with the company logo on it, including, as John predicted, and EY onesie. It's actually kind of cute.

The other day Rachel and I were arguing over the pronunciation of a word. Susie: We have a dictionary. We could look it up. Except I don't know how to read those pronunciation marks.
Rachel: Me neither.
Susie: English teacher's daughters' shame.
Turns out it wasn't even a word - Rachel said "Meg Cabot" (an author) and I thought she said "my cabot" (meaning (I thought) her guilty pleasure).

: One of the things I did while waiting for Maggie to arrive was sew little plastic rings onto Mom's duvet and ribbons onto the cover we bought, so the comforter would stay in place. Now I see that Mom had sewn suspender clips onto her cover. I thought maybe the cover came like that. Brilliant. Oh well, my idea works ok.

[Comments] (1) : I've started going for walks with another new mommy in the ward. We went to the Back Bay on Friday and she complained about how little her husband helps with the baby (he doesn't know she feels this way, she says; he thinks he is helpful). She said he will hardly get up with the baby even when she begs, even during the two weeks he took off work. I am so lucky!

John gets up every night for Maggie's second feeding, even though he has to go to work. Half the time he ends up sleeping with her on the couch. Today she didn't wake up until 6:30 and he stayed up with her. I got to sleep until 10:00, when she was hungry again anyway. Also, when I fed her before going to bed and at 2:30, I got her fed and put down in just 1/2 hour. I can handle 1/2 hour.

I love having John home on the weekends. We get to take Maggie for walks together, and I feel like I actually get some things done. Yesterday we even cleaned the house while she slept. Friday was the first day of parenthood that the bed didn't get made - we made it four weeks!

Speaking of what an awesome husband I have, he made a fun Easter hunt for me while I was at Target yesterday. I had fun finding the presents he bought for both of us, and lots of candy. John is good at hiding things - and at picking out fun presents.

[Comments] (2) Clueless: I finished reading Wicked the other day (sometimes Maggie lets me read while she is nursing). I thought it was a pretty interesting book, although I never would have slated it for making a musical. This would be a great opportunity to state that I don't think about books when I read them. I know this book is packed with political and social undertones, and I'm sure I didn't even pick up the obvious ones. I'm not sure if this is because I am lazy, or because I just want to be reading for entertainment - probably both - but this is the case with every book I read, and also with movies.

John is very good at picking out the undertones and hidden (or not-so-hidden) agendas in books and movies. I remember watching Forrest Gump with him one time; afterwards he started talking about the portrayal of "our time" and I said, "what?"

I do enjoy discussing these things, I just don't want to think about it! Someone else can point them out, then we can chat.

Salade du Jour: Inspired by Alyson and motivated by a large amount of semi-free time and John liking when I try new recipes, I made a fancy grocery list and planned some meals yesterday. When John got home from work, I went to the store and spent lots of money. I really didn't plan very many things, but it will be better than nothing.

I made myself a salad ahead of time for lunch today. Shake 1/2 diced green apple with 2 T. ranch dressing. Add 2 c. spinach on top, 1/4 c. cubed cheddar cheese, and 1/4 c. chopped walnuts. I had a recipe, but the apples mixed with the dressing was the only part I followed. All the other ingredients were either too expensive or I couldn't find them at the different store I went to. Anyway, it was yummy my way, and you could add whatever you wanted, and the dressing keeping the apples fresh and the apples keeping the dressing from getting the salad soggy is the key to the recipe anyway. The recipe has variations that include using tomato wedges in place of the apple, if you don't like fruit in your salads.

Sneaky Paws 2: I took Maggie for a walk to the park across the street just now. I hadn't taken Maggie across the street before because there's no crosswalk/light, but both times I got to the street there were no cars at all, so I crossed. I thought I could hold her on the swings, but this park is rather lame and has no swings. Anyway, two families were there playing on the playground and with their dogs. When I walked through the park on the way home, one of the dogs started following me. He thought he was being stealthy: every time I turned around he would stop. He even hid behind a tree!

Also, when I was changing her diaper, Maggie managed to grab a handful of her hair. I couldn't believe she wasn't screaming as I tried to get her to let go. I think her hair is coming in much lighter.

Non-Casserole: For dinner last night I made a casserole recipe I've had forever but never tried. I hardly ever make casseroles because John doesn't care for them. This was no exception. However, in my mind it has the strong advantage of being made entirely from scratch. I even used fresh steamed broccoli instead of the frozen. Oh yeah, the actual recipe is called Chicken Rice Divan Bake.

1 pkg. frozen broccoli
1 c. grated cheddar
2 c. cooked cubed chicken
1 c. cooked rice
2 T. butter 
2 T. flour
1 c. milk
1 T. lemon juice
1 c. sour cream

Put cooked broccoli in 13x9 pan. Top with chicken. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon rice over top.

Melt butter over low heat, blend in flour and add milk. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice and sour cream. Spoon over chicken. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake at 400 and& for 15-20 minutes.

$3.33/gallon: I bought gas last Saturday for the first time in 6 weeks for $3.25/gallon; the last time I filled up I paid $2.65. Yikes.

[Comments] (4) Smiley Face: This weekend Maggie started making real smiles and is so adorable. I can usually get her to do it by poking her nose. She also has been making lots of little "aah"s. She loves to do it while propelling herself across her tummy time mat. Right now she is lying on my lap and we are making faces at each other.

[Comments] (2) Burrito Filling: The last two nights, instead of kicking the covers off, Beet has been scooting herself out of her cocoon, leaving behind a little burrito shell. It is cold so I'm hoping she just does it in her waking moments before we hear her.

She is getting immunizations today. I hope my heart can take it. John wanted me to go to work for him, but I reminded him of what my job entails today. He said he would take her to get ice cream instead. So he is at work. Poor Beet - and no little sister to cry for her!

Little Black Rain Cloud: Today it is rainy like it hasn't been in months. At least since I stopped working, because I barely recognize this desire to snuggle up with a book and some soup. Or a baby.

Knock Knock: Alyson's comment about Atticus making up his own jokes made me think of some jokes the kids were making up in the car at Christmas. They like to copy jokes John makes and just change the words (they do this with the stories he tells also).

Ember: Three muffins were in an oven. The first muffin said, "It's hot in here!" The second muffin said, "Ah! a talking muffin!" The third muffin said, "We all can talk!"

Tyler's version went something like this: Two poops were sitting on a poop. The first one said, "poop!" The second one said, "poopy!" and the third one said, "poopety poop poop poop!"

Meatloaf Muffins:

1 lb. ground beef
1 package Stove Top
1 c. water
ketchup
mozzarella cheese

Mix meat, stuffing mix and water until well blended. Press evenly into 12 medium muffin cups; make an indentation in the center of each. Squirt ketchup (about 1 T) into each indentation. Bake 30 minutes at 375, or until meatloaves are cooked through. Sprinkle each with cheese and continue baking 5 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

You could do this with any meatloaf recipe, I think, and cut your baking time in half. Not only is it faster, it makes nice individually portioned leftovers for lunches, or to freeze and reheat easily. John thought I had made him coconut cupcakes when he saw these, with the melted cheese on top - this is why I made coconut cupcakes today.

Mashed Cauliflower: John raved about some mashed “potatoes” he had while living with Jamie, so I finally tried it. I think what John had was cooked cauliflower, mashed, so this version was very different. I don’t think John liked it very much – he said it was dry – but I did.

1 lb. potatoes, cut into chunks
1 c. bite-sized cauliflower florets
¼ c. sour cream
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese

Boil potatoes and cauliflower until tender. Mash with sour cream; sprinkle with cheese.

[Comments] (1) Coconut Cupcakes:

1 1/2 c. flour
1/2 t. baking powder
1/4 t. baking soda
1/4 t. salt
1 c. sugar
3/4 c. butter
3 eggs
3/4 t. pure vanilla extract
3/4 t. pure almond extract
1/2 cup buttermilk (or milk with a little vinegar)
1 7-ounce package flaked sweetened coconut
cream cheese icing

In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside. In a large mixing bowl, beat together the sugar and butter on medium speed for about 3 minutes, or until light and fluffy. Turn the mixer speed to low, and add the eggs one at a time, beating 1 minute after each. Beat in the vanilla and almond extract. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, and beat again briefly.

Add the flour mixture and the buttermilk alternately to the butter mixture, beating on low speed after each addition just until combined. Fold in only 1 1/3 cups of the coconut.

Fill each muffin cup almost full with batter. Bake in a 325-degree oven for 20 minutes or until the cupcake tops are golden and a wooden toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean. When cool, frost with cream cheese icing and sprinkle remaining coconut on top.

We both really liked these. Other than having to make frosting it wasn't anymore difficult that using a cake mix, and much more yummy. I didn't have any cream cheese so I made buttercream frosting. I also didn't have any almond extract. I will definitely be making these again!

[Comments] (2) She is Out of Mascara:
Susie:I almost called you today because you went to get cheetos two days ago and never came back. noone had seen an eyelash of you since.
Rachel: who would have seen my eyelash? tonks?
Rachel (later): I posted an eyelash

Where's the Beef Dinner: Here is a recipe I made ages ago. It wasn't outstanding, but pretty good and I generally have all these ingredients, so I will probably make it again when I am wondering what to make for dinner.

Brown:
1/2 lb. beef
2 cloves garlic

Add and bring to a boil:
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can beef broth
1 c. water

Add and simmer 15 minutes:
2 c. bowtie pasta
1 med zucchini (I used green beans)

Stir in:
1 can tomato paste
1/4 t. italian seasoning
1 c. cheese

[Comments] (1) : My baby is watching Playhouse Disney. Luckily her Daddy read The Berenstain Bears and Too Much TV to her today.

Brag: John brought me tulips!

[Comments] (5) Potsticker Success: I made up a potsticker recipe by browsing some on the internet and picking out my favorite ingredients.

1 lb ground pork
2 cloves garlic
1/3 head cabbage
1 medium carrot
2 green onions
½ red bell pepper
2 t. Worcestershire sauce
2 t. Soy sauce
Black pepper
1 t. ginger
1 package wonton wrappers

Cook pork. Finely shred all the vegetables. I used the cheese grater, except for the green onions. Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Put about 1 Tablespoon on the wrapper. Wet two edges of the wrapper and fold into a triangle and seal.

Heat 1 T. oil in skillet. Arrange potstickers in the pan. Once the bottom is brown, add 1/3 c. water and cover. When the water is gone, let the potstickers brown a bit more and remove from pan.

I think this is going to make about 75 potstickers. They can be frozen before cooking on a sheet and then put into a ziploc.

How good are these? John wanted In-and-Out for dinner and since trying these changed his mind. Yup, he just wants more potstickers.

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