Thursday, July 3, 2014

Happy Birthday America!

Miss Emilie is all smiles in her red,white and blue!

She is 2 months old now! 

Mommy tries to eat health  (and quickly)and Jersey blueberries were beautiful and bountiful!
 Brunch.  I really wanna make a fancy flag cake, or fruit kabobs like I've seen on other's blogs,
 but with the new baby and toddler we are just lucky to be able to  even get out shopping for fruit
and have time to fix the simplest of meals.   Maybe I'll make these:

Yummy treats I saw on facebook.

  Recently Julie made some delicious lactation cookies. These are so good, you had better make a batch of regular cookies too, so the rest of the family will keep their hands off of Mommy's cookies!    The two special ingredients that help increase milk production are brewers yeast and flaxseed meal.
  I found them at Whole Foods, but most health food stores, and many grocery stores carry them too.

Lactation Cookies
2 tbsp. flaxseed meal and 4 tbsp. water
2 eggs
1 1/2 cup  brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla 
2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
3-4 tbsp. brewer's yeast powder
3 cups whole oats
1 cup chocolate chips

First, measure 2 tbsp. flaxseed meal into a small dish and add 4 tbsp. water,
and let soak, about 5 minutes.

Mix butter and sugar together, add eggs and beat till nice and fluffy.

Then add flaxseed and vanilla, and mix.

 Next add combined dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, salt and brewer's yeast..  Mix thoroughly.

Add oats, and chips and mix. 

Drop onto non-stick cookie sheets by rounded tablespoonfuls. and bake at 350 for 12 minutes.

Julie enjoyed a cup of Mother's Milk Tea with her treats. It has galactagogues,
herbs that help nursing  mothers breastfeed.   Fennel and anise give the tea a licorice
 taste and fennugreek, coriander and blessed thistle help with milk production too.

She's got a great supply stored already for when she returns to work.

      We've had a few outings with the babies, and I've gone off  to some of my jobs,
       resuming my work with regular customers and  Selective Residential Services projects.
       I love seeing all the flags flying!  Especially now, in these troubled times,
       I think it shows respect and appreciation, affirms that we are still a great nation!

   I went to work at a friend's home the other day. Her flag has a solar light to illuminate it.
   I was delighted to see her front porch, and her pretty porch rail boxes and planters.
   I love her winning combination of  yellow begonias, asparagas fern, lamium,
   sweet potato vine, and coleus.

 I help some of my clients with landscaping and weeding. I've been hearing that we shouldn't
destroy milkweed, because it's a major food source for monarch butterflies.
 So I am trying to leave some growing at my daughter's.

Here's a healthy  Milkweed specimen thriving at my friend's.
Actually it's kinda pretty, don'tcha think?

Tommy is growing like a weed too!  Today he modeled a vintage Big Bird Lovie, blanket toy for me.
To get him to pose, I had to bribe him with the promise of a Batman movie and some M&Ms, (don't judge).
 I have listed Big Bird on my Etsy, along with some other nifty things.  See!   I'm still able to do a little work, even though it seems like I am just playing with the grandbabies all the time, but could you blame me?

 Fireworks Celebration at Art Museum   Philadelphia, PA 

I hope your 4th of July is blessed!
 I think while we are celebrating all weekend, with various family cookouts, and friend's parties, 
we must remember to be thankful for being able to live in America, land of the free, 
because of all those brave ones who have sacrificed so much to keep us free.   

Love, Linda

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Grandma's cookin'!

 Miss Emilie is 1 month old today!
 Since I am the chief cook and baby rocker,
 I just prepared dinner and while it's in the oven,
  I am seated at the computer wearing her in a sling.

Emilie  Grace,  1 month old today!
 Big brother Tommy picked out this outfit!

Yes, I'm wearing my grandbaby in a Seven Sling! ,makes Grandma's life easier!
Looking down at her, she seems very comfortable,and my hands are free.  
I even ran the vacuum cleaner this way.  How else can we get anything done?
Hoping  her mama can get in a quick nap before she wants to eat again.

I made Parmesan Encrusted Pork Chops for dinner.

6 boneless pork chops
3 tblsps olive oil,
3 tblsps. prepared dijon mustard
1 tsp. Italian seasoning,
2 cups shredded parmesan cheese

Mix dijon, seasoning and oil  in small bowl

Generously brush mixture on top of chops

Spread cheese on paper plate, then dip chops in cheese.
Return to tray, coat other side of each chop with mustard oil  and then cheese

Place in baking dish sprayed with non-stick coating, like PAM
Bake 45 minutes at 375
I will make some whipped potatoes and green beans to go with it. 
Sauteed green beans with minced garlic

The other day we went to my sister's and had a tasty  guilt-free treat
It tastes like a Wendy's Frosty! 
 here's a tip:  if you have more bananas than you can eat before they over-ripen,instead of wasting them, simply peel them and throw them in the freezer  to use for smoothies anytime.  

 Aunt Beverly's Frozen Chocolate Delight    serves 3-4
 3-4 frozen bananas
1/2 cup cocoa powder
A couple tsps. agave nectar
1/2 cup  lo-fat milk, almond milk or yogurt
 2 cups ice cubes
 Whirl in Vitamix blender or other good food processor until creamy and smooth.
Add more milk or other liquid for a slushy drink.
Tastes like chocolate ice cream or milkshake , and was really healthy!

Uh-oh, Baby is waking and fussing.  Now it's time for Emilie to eat again, Gotta go find Mama!

Love, Linda

I went to the party!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Is there a Grandma in the house?

As you already know, I am totally wrapped up in the care and adoration of the new baby, Emilie.
I can't think of too much else, or talk about much else, so please pardon this silly grandma,
 I  just can't help it.

But today, we went out for a bit and stopped at a local market, roadside stand. You do know that new Jersey is the Garden State, right?  Even this early in the growing season, the produce looks wonderful.
 Mostly it is coming from California or Florida or somewhere, right now.  But they had some hot-house tomatoes.

Just had to have a Jersey tomato sandwich as soon as we got home.

Thick slice of tomato, a  generous slather of mayonaise,  pinch of coarse black pepper and a sprinkle of salt on toast, that's the way I make them.  A deliciously simple  local favorite!
 Even though they are hothouse "maters", they're pretty good!
I got this good multigrain bread at Aldi's, for  only $1.89.
I've been making meals for the little family, trying to come up with some new ideas.

Easy hostessing with fruits and vegetables!  Attractive and wholesome too!

 Watermelon-high amounts of vitamins A and C, and  lycopene, for cardiovascular health.      
Blueberries-antioxidants, and fiber, lower cholesterol and protect heart.                               
      Strawberries-contain phenols, are anti-inflammatory, fight disorders such as osteoarthritis.           Cauliflower is rich in Vitamin C , and K and lots of other nutrients.                                      

 I just keep cutting up fruits and veggies for the family and friends stopping by to see the baby.

I bag up leftovers for healthy snacking anytime and use surplus veggies for stir-fries, or steam for dinner sides.

Fruits can be thrown in the freezer then whirled in the blender with milk or yogurt for delicious smoothies. 

Oh, and we had an important birthday for Aunt Amy,  Mother's Day, and Memorial Day! 

Also Amy, my youngest, just graduated from Rutgers School of Law! What an accomplishment! 
She has such determination and brains!

   My,  what an eventful month of May!

My daughter, me and baby Emilie on Mother's Day

My baby girl graduates from law school!  So proud!

So we've been pretty  busy with the new baby,  graduation ceremony, family celebrations and it's been wonderful.  But there are complications and some drama in every family, and it takes a bit of  humor, and grace to pull it off and keep everybody happy.

 3 year old Tommy and his brand new baby sister Emily.

Grandma's tips to keep the older siblings from feeling left out.

  • Be patient. Don't push them away, even when they are bothering the baby or you.  If you embrace them and gently guide them they will learn to be gentle and not feel       neglected. They will be helpful if included.
  • Realize they have been dethroned and may have some normal jealous feelings.
  • Invent ways to make them feel special. Let them fetch things for you, like a blanket or       pacifier.
  • Let go. Grandma or other family members can take them on walks and other outings, or just  outdoors so Mama and baby can nap in peace. You'll appreciate the break and they will feel special.
  • Show them pictures of themselves as a newborn, and tell them they were just as cute, sweet, precious.
  • Pray with them at table grace time and bedtime, asking God to help them  obey, behave,  and be helpful, and thanking God for the new baby and the family you have.  You can express your values and gratitude. You can teach them while saying a prayer, and it doesn't hurt for a child to see you  talking to God.
  • Try to keep normal routines, but allow for extra treats, like staying up later than usual to play a game with Daddy.   Be flexible, understanding, everybody is adjusting!
  • Praise them!  Positive reinforcement  creates more positive behavior.

You shall teach them to your children,
 talking of them when you are sitting in your house, 
and when you are walking by the way,
and when you lie down,
 and when you rise. ..
                                                                                        Deuteronomy 11:19 ESV

I am reassuring my daughter that life will settle into more normal patterns, 
as the baby learns to eat on more of a schedule, (and not every hour and a half), 
when we begin to get more sleep. 
In the meantime, I am doing everything possible to make the house run smoothly.  Besides diaper changing, and rocking the baby, I'm playing with Thomas, cooking, cleaning, and  doing all the dirty work, so my daughter who's nursing can concentrate on her mothering roles, and get some rest while she heals and everyone adjusts to all the changes.
 I am also helping with grocery shopping and being an an extra pair of arms when we run errands. Did you know that they make the car seats now, so that they no longer fit in the shopping carts, so I don't understand how a young mother can  possibly do her shopping alone, especially with more than one child!  Frustrating!  So I can solve some problems, just by "being there".

 Anyway, here's a solution I used to get rid of some pesky ants.

Easy Ant Killer Cotton Balls
Make a solution: 1 cup warm water, 1/2 cup sugar, and 2 Tbsp. Borax.
Soak several cotton balls in solution. Squeeze gently and place soaked
 cotton balls wherever you've seen ants making trails.
They will feed and die immediately.
 Use care when placing the cotton balls where children and pets are present.

"Every house needs a grandma in it"

Hope you're having as much fun as I am! 
                               Love, Linda