Friday, May 17, 2013

Alexander at 7 months

He is on the move! Alexander can scoot all over really quickly now. Which of course means now he needs constant supervision and is into everything, but he loves to move and chase his brothers. :)

At 7 months Alexander:

  • Is about 19 pounds and 29.5 inches long
  • Wearing 9-18 month clothes
  • Is getting better at sitting, although he'll still fall over sometimes
  • Has two teeth!
  • Has been trying a little more solid food
  • Loves fruit!
  • Has discovered his tongue and does funny things with it
  • Is super cute! (at least we think so)

He loves grandma!

Alexander loved the carpet at the hotel and kept petting it. :)

I like sweet potatoes!

I like whipped cream!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

DIY Protein Bars (Peanut Butter Black Bean Brownies)

Ever wish your chocolate fix had a little more staying power as a snack? These homemade protein bars are black bean brownies that are made with lots of eggs and peanut butter to really pack in the protein. You can even add walnuts, almonds, or other nuts to get even more protein into your dessert.

Unlike store-bought protein bars these taste like chocolate, not cardboard and don't have any questionable additives. This can be a completely organic whole food recipe if you choose and is gluten and dairy free.

This recipe tastes really rich and moist, but is actually fairly low in sugar and pretty healthy overall. Makes eating a brownie for a snack (or even breakfast) better for you than many, many store-bought snack and breakfast foods.

Homemade Protein Bars Recipe

  • 1 1/2 cups cooked black beans (or one 15oz can drained and rinsed very well)
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Optional additions such as such as additional nuts to pack in even more protein
  1. Add all ingredients together in a blender (except for any optional additions) and blend until smooth.
  2. Stir in additions if desired (or you could wait and sprinkle them on top too).
  3. Spread into a greased 8x8 baking pan.
  4. Bake at 350F for 20-30 minutes. 

Monday, May 13, 2013

My Favorite Mother's Day Tradition

My favorite thing that we've done every Mother's day since we've had a kid on the outside is to take family pictures and pictures with just me and the boys. I always love how the pictures turn out and seeing what a difference a year makes in our family.

I hope all of you moms out there had a wonderful Mother's day and feel treasured and blessed.

Mandarin Mondays: And Even The Entire World Loves Here (The Chinglish Files)

Friday, May 10, 2013

DIY Mother's Day Picture and Hand Flower Bouquet

Since I live so far from my mom, I don't always get to do a lot for her for Mother's Day, but since she just came and visited we were able to make her a present as a family and give it to her a little early. I think she liked it a lot and the boys liked helping to make it, so I thought I would share in case any one else is still looking for a special mother's day gift to make. This project is pretty simple and would be quite easy for older kids. Little guys need some help and baby wasn't exactly helpful at all, but his tiny hands sure are cute once we actually got one traced. You probably want an adult helper for that job.

You could also do this project for a group of kids at a class and have each one just make a single "blossom" to give their mom using either a photo they brought or a Polaroid.

Homemade Mother's Day Picture and Paper Hand Flower Bouquet

  • Paper (construction paper, scrapbook paper, wrapping paper, etc.)
  • Small photos printed and cut
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Glue stick or other adhesive
  • Tape, staples, string, or some other way to attach the flowers to their "stems"
  • Sticks or pipe cleaners
  • Hole punch (optional)
  • Container or vase (optional)
  • Ribbon (optional)
  1. Before you start the assembly process, gather all your supplies. Print off cute photos of you and your mom, you as a kid, your kids, your kids and grandma, you could even use pics of the grand-puppy and have pawprint flowers, etc. and cut to size. Hunt down sticks (honestly probably my boys favorite part of this whole project) or find/buy pipe cleaners.
  2. Trace a family members hand on pretty paper and cut it out.You might want to label at least some of the hands with the name and age of the owner so you can remember whose hands were so small later.
  3. Now you can glue a small picture in the center or if you want you can add a decorative shape out of contrasting paper that will help frame your picture first and then the picture. Repeat until you have all of the flowers you want for a bouquet.
  4. At this point I hole punched each flower to they could be tied together with ribbon later to be saved. This would make a cute little book to give just like this also.
  5. Then you need to attach the hand flower to its "stem." We used tape, but there are lots of other ways that could work equally well.
  6. Now you can either tie the stems together into a bouquet or put them in a container/vase. You could even fill the container with her favorite candy for a more elaborate gift. We had another gift to go along with this one so we didn't do candy this time.
  7. Give to that special mom you want to honor on Mother's Day.

If you let a 4 year old trace and cut entirely by himself
the hand might look this cute.

Bouquet tied together without stems

Friday, April 12, 2013

Alexander at 6 months

I'm sure you can tell we've been busy lately by my lack of posting. The boys and life in general always keep us busy of course, but we've also been blessed to just have my husband's family come for a visit and my parents are coming for a visit in less than two weeks! I think we may make all our American friends here jealous since our family is so great to travel so far to visit us, but I think maybe they are really just flying around the world to see our kids, including super cute baby man.

Anyway Alexander is half a year old already and changing all the time, like all babies do.

At 6 months Alexander is:
  • 18.5 pounds and 28.5 inches long (our longest and "thinnest" baby at this point, but just barely as he is really closely following Aaron's growth trends)
  • He is wearing clothing in sizes 9-18months, but he is about to bust the 9 month onesies, so those are going to have to be packed up soon again
  • He smiles, giggles, and laughs a lot
  • He is still my worst sleeper, doesn't nap much again, and wakes up a lot at night. None of my boys thought sleeping was a particularly good use of time though, and although they are all good at lots of things, sleeping just doesn't seem to be one of them. :)
  • He can now scoot all over the floor forward on his tummy, which means now he can intentionally go where he wants to. Watch out, but at least he isn't very fast yet.
  • He likes to move, but also has a really good attention span and can pay attention to something for a really long time for his age.
  • He can say mmmmmmama! Sometimes it comes it comes out mmm, sometimes mom, and sometimes mama, but it is incredibly intentional and directed only at mama. He is the first to say mama as his first word too (the first two boys definitely said dada first).
  • He is totally a mama's boy, but in a different way than my first. Aaron would cry the entire time I was gone and if I would even go to the bathroom. Alexander won't cry that much if I'm gone or out of sight. However, if I in sight but out of reach or not holding him he'll just cry mmmmama over and over. It's cute and heartbreaking sometimes.
  • He still doesn't seem to show a naturally gifted ability or bent to either verbal or motor skills, but his determination gained him real mobility and communication in the last month, so it seems to be working for him!
  • He has met both maternal and paternal grandparents now!

I love how blue Alexander's eyes are in this picture Grandpa took!


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