Tuesday, March 25, 2014

It's the Litlte Things: Pet Fishy

I grew up having all sorts of different pets throughout my childhood. Being an only child, I  was completely blessed by the companionship of the animals I grew up with. I remember them all so well and have such fond memories of our time together.  Now that I have a little one of my own, I want Myles to be able to enjoy the same love and bonds with his pets that I was able to experience. We kept it easy for Myles' first pet and went with a goldfish. Well actually, we didn't really choose. We went to a Memorial Day fair and as we were walking around, a little boy came up to me and asked if we wanted his fish. I'm guessing that he won it, but his parents didn't want him to keep it, or maybe he was just being nice. Either way, we thanked him and gladly took it.
This picture always makes me think of the picture of Darla and her goldfish from Finding Nemo. Myles was 10 months old here and really didn't know what the fish was. All he wanted to do was chew on the plastic bag! Don't worry, the fish actually made it home alive and into a little bowl we we set up for him. We (or I, rather) named him Chubby Bear after one of our favorite songs. He lived a long time for a fair fish! We had to leave him at my parents' house when we moved, but we were reunited at Christmas time. He lived to be almost 7 months... One day I decided to clean out his bowl. I did my normal routine, but something must have gone wrong because this cleaning didn't end well for Chubby. The next morning he was a floatin'. It was a total mommy fail moment, but luckily Myles didn't have a clue what happened!

I had been thinking about getting him some more fish lately because he is really fascinated by them, but I just never got around to actually doing it. Well last week my dad was in town visiting for a bit and he decided that he wanted to get Myles some goldies for his water table. Part of me thought: Wow, what a genius idea but the other part of me thought: Oh no, this isn't going to end well for the fishies. I really had no choice though because I now know that grandparents get to do whatever they want for their grandchildren. So we took a little trip to the pet store and got three goldfish and some food. 
When we got back home, I filled up the table with water and plopped those fish right in. Myles had the time of his life playing with the fish. He really thought it was the coolest thing EVER! At first, all he wanted to do was 'feed' them (don't worry the cap is on). 

 He kept following them around with his finger, pointing, and showing me what he had found!
Then he got a little more adventurous and started trying to touch them. 

At one point, my dad wanted to show Myles that the fish could swim up into the top part of the table as well. So he guided the fish with his hand up to the top the table. Well apparently, Myles did not want the fish to be up there with his elephant and giraffe, so he picked the fish up with his hand and put it back into the bottom part! I could not believe he did that! ALL BOY and no fear there. I wouldn't even pick a fish up and it didn't phase him one bit. I may have a future noodler on my hands :)

Eventually, Myles started going a little crazy-boy with the water. I didn't want him to freak the fish out too much that they would die, so we took a little break to let them rest.

I have to say my dad was a total genius for this idea. It seriously would have kept him entertained forever if I didn't make him take a break. I completely recommend the fish-tank-water-table for a fun outside activity!

And of course a huge thanks as always to Ashley over at Words About Waverly for putting together this link-up! 

What pets do your kids have? What pets do you want to get for your kids?

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Cashew Chicken with Romanesco Cauliflower and Quinoa {recipe}

Cashew Chicken with Romanesco Cauliflower and Quinoa

This meal is perfect for those on the Paleo diet or wanting to eat clean.

What You Will Need

Cashew Chicken
2 large boneless chicken breasts, cut in half
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon ginger
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon pepper
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup raw cashews, chopped
Salt, to taste or add 1/2 teaspoon into the spice mixture

 Romanesco Cauliflower
*I never knew this vegetable existed until I got it in a box of mixed produce we buy from a local farm. It gets dropped off at our door once a month and usually has at least one vegetable/fruit I have never used before. This month was a Romanesco Cauliflower. I'm not sure how readily available it is in all areas. But you should definitely try it if you ever come across it.*
This is what is looks like:

1 head of Romanesco Cauliflower
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt and Pepper to taste
3 tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese

1 cup quinoa
2 cups water


Cashew Chicken
I found this recipe on Wifessionals. It was a part of her clean eating series. You can find the directions here!

 Romanesco Cauliflower
1. Preheat Oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or non-stick spray.

2. Cut Romanesco into small florets (like you would with broccoli). Place in a bowl.

3.  Season with the salt and pepper. Then add olive oil. Toss to make sure all florets are coated.

4. Place Romanesco on the baking sheet in a single layer. Evenly top with Parmesan cheese. 

5. Bake for 20-25 minutes, turning the florets once halfway through baking time.

Follow directions on the package of quinoa. 
I use 1 cup quinoa and 2 cups water. Bring to a boil, then cover and let simmer on medium heat for about 15-20 minutes or until all the water is soaked up.

Do you enjoy clean eating? Have you ever tried romanesco cauliflower before?

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Myles Monthly: 9

As you may know, I didn't decide to start my blog until my son Myles was about 8 months old. And well... now he is 19 months old! So I am focusing on getting caught up with monthly updates and monthly favorites, so I can get, and hopefully stay, up to date with current times. 

  April 15th- May 14th, 2013

Born: 7 lbs 6 oz and 19.5 inches
Nine Months: 19 lbs 13 oz and 29 inches


After all the craziness of last month, this month was a welcomed relief in the health department. Everything went really well at our 9 month well-check and we finally didn't need to get any shots! Super WIN in my book! Still rocking just the two middle bottom teeth, but it was obvious more were definitely coming by the way he was steady chewing on everything. The weather was finally nice enough to get outside and after a super long winter that kept us stuck inside 90% of the time, we took the opportunity to spent a copious amount of time exploring the new outdoors. Myles finally got some sunshine this month and he loved every second of it, as did I. 

Breastfeeding was still going strong; still no bottle and not really drinking from a sippy yet. It had become quite the circus to try to get Myles to nurse for any significant amount of time. He was so active and interested in everything that was going on, I could never get him to focus and chill long enough to eat for more than 3-5 minutes. Even then, his hands always had to be playing with something (a habit he still has today 10 months later), which was either my hair, any part of my face, or his hair. The only time he would actually breastfeed was when we was tired: before naps, before bedtime, and upon waking up. 

Since he refused to eat purees, I had to take food introduction very slowly. I guess we would be considered Baby-Led Weaners, although I never really consciously made that decision or labeled ourselves as such. Myles pretty much made the decision for me when he decided to stop eating purees after about only one week of trying them at 6 months old. I honestly shouldn't have expected anything less from my offspring... never anything the easy way ;) At first I just let him chew on harder foods because that's all he wanted to do anyway. He really had no interest in eating, only chewing. As the weeks went on, I tested his ability to effectively chew and swallow various foods. It mostly ended up on the floor, but he was learning and I was fine with that. He got into the puffs and rice rusks around 8 months, and this month we introduced him to some soft fruits and veggies. He liked strawberries and blueberries and ate mixed stemmed veggies once. He also tried pancakes for the first time (mostly just chewing). It was completely hit or miss when it came to eating with Myles. Some days he didn't eat any real foods all day and other days he was very interested. I still worried a lot about this. His doctor wasn't too concerned, but she told me to keep trying at every mealtime. Luckily, he still breastfed a decent amount throughout the day, otherwise I would have been really stressed and freaking out about it. I knew he was still getting a lot of nutrients and calories from my milk, and he was growing perfectly fine. So we just kept at it.
Ahhh... the dreaded sleep category. I say this every time and if you have been keeping up with my monthly updates, then you know about our very frustrating and often debilitating struggle with sleep. Myles was not a sleeper from day one. The first night in the hospital he was seriously grunting, moaning, and groaning the entire time. And it never got any better. I very much wondered how it was physically possible for a newborn to live on as little sleep as he did. I think part of it was over-stimulation. For a long time, so much was always going on around him, I'm guessing it was hard for him to chill out. Over time, I did a lot of research and reading to figure out how to get him to sleep better. Once I learned about max wake times and the longest he was supposed to be awake for at one time (based on his age), I started getting him to take regular naps. It made a huge difference in his behavior and attitude. I wish I would have figured it all out sooner, but I really had no idea what I was doing and did the best I could following his lead. It took me a long time to figure out that I needed to take the lead in order to get him on a better schedule. 

So at nine months old, we were finally getting to where bedtime was a relief at the end of the night and not a time of dread and stress. He started sleeping for 8 hours straight this month!!! At the rate we were at just a couple months before, I thought I'd never see this day. He was sleeping in his crib from about 10pm-6am. Then when he woke up around 6am, I would get him and lay him in bed with me to nurse and sleep until we got up for the day sometime between 8:30-9:30.

 I can't even put into words what this did for me. I honestly felt like a whole different person and a real human being for the first time in over 9 months. It still took a long time for me to get adjusted to sleeping through that time, but just knowing that I could rest for 8 hours without having to get out of bed to feed and tend to my child dozens of times throughout the night was such a welcomed relief. To function as a real mother that did things with her child and to be able to interact with society again totally changed me. I felt new and whole again and I really started to really enjoy being a mother. Living on 1-2 hours of sleep a day for 9 months did a number on me physically, emotionally, psychologically, etc. Getting sleep was the first step to fixing all those issues and I was just so thankful it finally came! 
Thank you Myles for finally sleeping :)

  • Myles got to finally meet the cutest little girl around, McKenna, for the first time this month. It was long overdo, but I'm so happy it finally happened. McKenna is the daughter of one of my very good friends. We went to the park across the street and let them play. She's about 9 months older than Myles and so was walking, but they were still able to play together a bit. 
  • Conservatory: The conservatory in our town was recently updated and finally opened up after a year or more of being closed for the renovations. They were having a butterfly 'exhibit' and I wanted to take Myles to see all the cool things he wasn't supposed to touch :) Both of Myles' grandmothers came with to spend some time with him. He was super fascinated by the butterflies and wanted to touch all of them. The sign said not to touch the butterflies, but come on now.... that's the whole point! And most of them landed on you on their own anyway. I always love watching him see and experience new things. I often wonder what he is thinking when he sees all this stuff for the first time. 
  • My aunt had a costume 50th birthday party this month as well. Everyone was supposed to dress up as their favorite musician. Since Myles' favorite song at the time was still LMFAO's "I'm Sexy and I Know It', I had to dress him up as a member of the Party Rock crew. I found the shorts in the girl section at Walmart and I painted the onesie with fabric paint. I also wore my shirt from when I dressed up as Sky Blu for Halloween a couple years ago. The picture at the bottom middle is of my aunt and Myles. She was totally 80s-out as Cyndi Lauper! He had a blast being the center of attention, as usual. And he even got to dance to his song before we left!
  • Petting Zoo: This was technically the first zoo Myles went to. However I am a little hesitant to call it a full on zoo. I would describe it more as a farm/petting zoo. Not to take anything away from it, because it is really beautiful with tons of fun animals. It's just that it is small and really only has farm animals (there are a couple zoo animals though). Myles got to see horses, a zebra, lizards, turtles, lambs, pigs, goats, cows, lemurs, birds, llamas, monkeys, a mountain lion, and lots more. They also had real reindeer, which I had never seen before. I actually loved this place. Although it was small, it was very personal and interactive. Myles was a little goat whisperer in the petting zoo. Of course having food helped, but they were still all over him. We all really had a great time!

  • First kiddie pool: It finally got nice enough outside for us to fill up Myles' kiddie pool. I probably jumped the gun a little bit, but we were totally stir crazy from being cooped up in the house all winter! It was pretty much just an outside bath to him, but he had tons of fun. I bought this pool because it has a place where the hose can be hooked up and then the hippos mouth becomes a sprinkler. I thought Myles would love that feature, but he hated it. The first time I turned it on, he freaked out and wanted nothing to do with it. It might have been because it was cold water, but either way, we nixed that feature for future use.
  • First Mother's Day: this month we got to celebrate my first Mother's Day! Being that it was a Sunday, we did out normal Sunday routine of church and brunch. Myles tried pancakes for the first time. I don't think he ate much, but he was acting like a super big boy! The rest of the day was spent outside since spring finally decided to come around! We also had to add in a little mini photo shoot, of course!
  • First bug encounter: Like I said earlier, this month we soaked up every moment we could outdoors! Mostly that consisted of the front yard and park across the street, but Myles had no complaints! I love this little video I captured one day when we were sitting on a blanket in the front yard. He discovered a rolly polly bug and was completely fascinated by it. Watch what he does with it:

  • I talked about his love for the HooplaKidz YouTube channel on my 7 & 8 months favorites post. It is a channel on YouTube that my step-dad found when he was looking for music to play for Myles. It is by far my favorite channel for nursery rhymes, fun songs, stories, spelling, and learning in general. At the time, Myles had no interest in kid's shows, but he loved the HooplaKidz songs. He would sit with his grandpa and watch the songs, totally mesmerized by the colors and sounds.

  •  Balls: his ball obsession continued to grow this month. He no longer would accept being in his crib if not sleeping, so I had to find a new makeshift ball pit. And this is what I came up with: balls and laundry baskets, two of his favorites! 
  • I started my blog this month and of course Myles wanted to give his introduction himself! I could never work on my computer when he was awake because he would get very upset if I didn't let him help. Even if he was playing perfectly fine, as soon as I opened my computer and started typing, he was right there whining to get in on the action. He's the type of kiddo that always wants to be involved in what you're doing. I guess he was wanting to make sure his story was being told accurately :)

  • Still not totally feeling being in the car seat, but getting better. I had to become very strategic about when and where we would venture out based on his moods.
  • Not getting to chew on whatever he could find to put in his mouth. This was mostly shoes... he always wanted to chew on people's dirty shoes! 
  • Being confined: Now that he was an expert crawler and stander, he hated being stuck in something. That is why we had such a hard time with the stroller, car seat, high chair, etc. He wanted to be down exploring this whole new world! He was also finally over his jumperoo. We definitely got our money's worth out of it though.
  • Jailed: we invested in baby gates this month because he would not stay out of the kitchen. Every time someone walked into the kitchen, he had to be right there at their feet! So we jailed him off. Sometimes, he didn't really notice or care but other times, he did not appreciate being blocked off from all the fun in the kitchen/dinning room.

Come back to check out my favorites from months nine & ten!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Boys Behind the Blog #10

I felt like it was about time that I introduced you all to the other, other man in my life (he comes after Myles and my dad). He is my boyfriend of 6 long years, father of our child (aka baby daddy), and my butterfin (ridiculous nickname I have given him). The details of our crazy, roller coaster of a relationship will be saved for another day, but I will be giving you just a little tease of the infamous Marky. He is taking over my blog today for a link-up called The Boys Behind the Blog by Mal and Stephanie. Below are his answers to the 5 questions that Mal and Stephanie posted earlier this month. If you want to participate click on the link above and check it out! 
And of course, I couldn't go without commenting myself, so my responses to his answers are in italics.

Mal Smiles

1. What's your lucky number? My lucky number is 12 because that's my birthday. We have been together for 7 of Mark's birthdays, from 24 all the way to the big 3-0 last year! As you can see, the celebrations always involve dinner of some sort.

2. Do you have a lucky charm? I don’t really have a lucky charm. I wear this rock healing necklace for health sometimes, but I don’t think it really works. I have to agree, I don't think it works. He does like to keep the paper fortunes from fortune cookies if they are particularly good or pertain to certain situations. I bet he would have never thought about that! 
  3. Do you fill out a bracket for March Madness? Who do you want to win?
 What is March Madness? Yup, that's Mark. I think he may be the only man in the world to not care about sports whatsoever. He doesn't play or watch. In fact, I know more about sports than he does. I guess it's kind of nice because I don't have to lose him every Sunday during football season, etc., but it is a little weird. He is athletic and really strong though. He was an aggressive Rollerblader in his younger years. He even got me to try it out... It should be of no surprise that it didn't end well.  

4. March 10th is "Middle Name Pride Day." What's your middle name? My middle name is Richard! Yeah they say Dick is short for Richard, so that's cool. Yup short for Dick... sounds about right ;)

5. Submit one question that would would like to see on a future The Boys Behind the Blog. What is your favorite thing to do with your kid/kids? I guess he doesn't realize that not everyone has kids. To be fair I write a mommy blog, so I'm guessing he assumes that all of the bloggers I interact with are also mommy bloggers. I do love this question though! Here are a couple pictures of things Mark likes to do with our son Myles.
They enjoy working on projects together. Myles loves to feel like he is really helping out; he always wants to hold the tools. I got him his own plastic tools, but of course, he still wants the real ones. 
This is Myles giving his dad the 'pound'. Mark has been doing this with him since he was born and calls it 'boom, boom'. He has been waiting a long time for Myles to do it back. He finally did it around 17 months and this is the first time I was able to catch it on camera. He even says 'boom, boom' too. Melts my heart :)

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Tunesday Tuesday: Weeks 12-15

It's music time people! I'm back for another edition of the Tunesday Tuesday link up with The Patchwork Paisley, Drinking the Whole Bottle, Momma Candy and MrsTeeLoveLifeLaughter. I really love coming up with my picks for each week's theme. It always brings back some amazing memories. So a big thank you to all the lovely ladies hosting this link up!
Structure in an Unstructured Life

And, of course, it wouldn't be in true Julia fashion if I wasn't doing 4 weeks in one! So here are my picks from week 12-15:
Week 12 Theme:  "Your Booty Shaking Jam"

Bubba Sparxxx "Ms. New Booty"

Okay so this pick is a total guilty pleasure. It's so wrong, but so right. Am I slightly embarrassed that this was the first song to come to mind for this theme? Possibly... But it is hands down, the best song to get you're booty shaking on to... for reals people. This song also has tons of great memories linked to it. I just turned 21 when this song was popular and I spent many nights shaking it on the dance floor to this song with my best girl friends. Sunday nights at Take 20...man oh man! I don't get out much now (okay I never go out), but if I ever hear this song.. watch out world... IT.IS.ON.

Week 13 Theme:  "A song the reminds you of..."
This is another pick that I probably should be ashamed of. I mean, I am a mom now for heaven's sakes! I suppose I need to preface this pick with a disclaimer (for the sake of preventing unwarranted judgement): I do not listen to this kind of music around my son nor do I condone the content/behavior of the song and video. 

Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg "The Next Episode"
So this song reminds me of my best friend in high school, Megan. It came out when we were freshmen in high school and we had just met. As soon as we got over our initial petty dislike of each other, we bonded over our love for Eminem, Dr. Dre, and Snoop Dogg and instantly became the best of friends. I honestly can not even begin to write down all of the memories created over this song. It's pretty funny that this totally inappropriate and raunchy song is one of the most meaningful songs of my life. We even came up with our own version of the song to fit our names... M-E-G and J-E-W for life y'all!

Week 14 Theme:  "80s Jam"

 Pat Benatar  "Love is a Battlefield"
This song also reminds me of two of my oldest and dearest friends. So many fun nights riding around with no place to go, blasting some Pat Benatar with the windows down... happy and carefree. I LOVE me some Pat Benatar.. totally 80s and totally amazing!

Week 15 Theme:  "Random 5"

Random 5 is supposed to be the first 5 songs that come up on your playlist when it is shuffled. My list isn't really reflective to what I listen to now. My iTunes playlist hasn't been updated in almost 2 years and I haven't bought any new music since then either. I also don't have very much on there because my computer crashed a couple years ago and I never put all my music back onto my computer. I didn't have the patience to upload dozens upon dozens of CDs. So I never listen to my iTunes music anymore. I only listen to Pandora or watch specific videos through YouTube on the AppleTV. Since having Myles, my music playlist has changed dramatically. However, I know this trip down memory lane should be fun, so enjoy:

 1. Lil Wayne ft. Eminem  "Drop the World"
I'm so glad I did this theme because I didn't realize how many random songs I have on my iTunes that I totally forgot about. This is some classic Eminem and I'm not ashamed to say that I love it! Plus, the video is pretty cool.

2. Cobra Starship  "Good Girls Go Bad"
I completely forgot about this song too! Such a fun pop song to blast in your car during a warm summer night with the top down!
  3. LMFAO  "Party Rock Anthem"

 Already a classic party jam in my book! Thank you LMFAO for tons of super fun songs to rock out to all night long... Oh and of course for the perfect Halloween costume inspiration:

 4. 5ive "When the Lights Go Out"
OMG... YES!! 5ive never quite took off like the Backstreet Boys or 'NSync but I still loved them! I even saw them in concert when they opened for 'NSync back in, I want to say, 1998? My friend and I learned the dances to all of their songs by watching (and re-watching) their Disney Channel special. We had signs and everything. Man, I miss the 90s!

 5. Fall Out Boy "Disloyal Order of Water Buffaloes"

Love, just love... everything about FOB. FOB was my first real rock concert. I couldn't believe that I loved every second of it; mosh pit and all! Their concerts are ridiculously fun: amazing music and lyrics, super high energy, and some pretty cute faces to look at!

 What songs have the best memories attached to them for you? What's currently on your playlist?

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Zesty Sausage and Rice {recipe}

Zesty Sausage and Rice

What You Will Need

1 package (13.5 oz) Johnsonville Smoked sausage, sliced
1 tbs olive oil
1 small zucchini, sliced
1 cup fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 cup canned corn, drained
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 jar (16 oz) salsa
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

White/Brown Rice or Quinoa 


  1. In a large skillet, heat olive oil. Add sliced sausage and cook until brown, 3-4 minutes. Add zucchini, mushrooms, corn, onion, and garlic.

2. While sausage and veggies are cooking, start rice/quinoa. Cook according to the package.

3. Cook sausage mixture until vegetables are tender. Then stir in the salsa. Continue cooking until thoroughly heated. 

4. Sprinkle with the cilantro and serve over hot rice/quinoa.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

It's the Little Things: First Ice Cream Cone

A couple weeks ago, we cooked out on the grill for dinner one night. I'm not really sure what happened, but let's just say neither of us will be trying out for Top Chef: Grill Master anytime soon. I honestly blame it on cheap steaks, but regardless, it was barely one grade above canned dog food...ugh... So to make up for it, I decided we needed to be treated to some ice cream. We took a fun little trip to max out on our favorite choices of Baskin Robbins' 31-Flavors. I decided on one scoop of strawberry cheesecake in a waffle cone. Unfortunately for me, my cone was instantly hijacked by this little guy:
I couldn't complain too much though, because I had the best time watching him have his very first ice cream cone. I was able to sneak a few bites here and there, but for the most part, he kept that cone on lock. I was totally surprised that he actually ate some of it. He is not a fan of sweets and normally won't even take a bite if I offer it to him. I'm pretty sure at first, he really only wanted it because I was eating it. Then when he realized it was something new, fun, and messy, he just couldn't give it up. I surely don't blame him!

Every couple of minutes, I had to break the cone off so that he could get to the ice cream. Otherwise, he would stick his whole face into the cone. He made a pretty big mess (as evidenced above), but he was having too much of a good time for me to dare to stop him. He even took my little spoon and started using it to get the ice cream out.  

 If you follow me on Instagram (@theeveryday_momma) then you have probably seen this video:
We all had a great time and it definitely made up for the less than stellar dinner. He made a couple other customers smile as well: It's all about the little things!

And of course a huge thanks as always to Ashley over at Words About Waverly for putting together this link-up! 

Do your kids get any sweets? What's their favorite?

Monday, March 10, 2014

Chicken Lasagna Roll-Ups {recipe}

Chicken Lasagna Roll-Ups

*Inspired by Creamy Chicken Lasagna Roll-Ups by Eat-Drink-Love

What You Will Need

1 lb chicken breast
1 cup chicken stock
1 tsp. Italian seasoning (or seasoning of your choice)   8 lasagna noodles
6 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup milk
1 jar of pasta sauce

  1. Place the chicken breasts into a crock pot. Add the chicken stock and seasoning. Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8.

2. When the chicken is fully cooked, shred it by using two forks to pull it apart. Let simmer on warm until needed.

3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.Prepare the lasagna noodles according to the package instructions.

4. Cut a piece of wax paper or aluminum foil big enough for the noodles to fit on. Place it on your counter top.

5. While the noodles are cooking, mix together the cream cheese and garlic powder in a medium sized bowl. Add the mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses, making sure to mix thoroughly. Next, stir in the milk until it is absorbed into the cheeses. Lastly, stir in the shredded chicken.

6. Pour a layer of pasta sauce into the bottom of a 11x13 baking dish so that it is completely covered.

7.  Place the lasagna noodles on top of the paper/foil. Spoon 1/8 of the mixture onto the noodle and spread across the length of the noodle. Roll each noodle up and place into the baking dish with the seam side facing down onto the sauce. Repeat for all eight noodles.

8.  When all roll-ups are placed in the dish, pour the rest of the jar of sauce on top of the roll-ups, trying to completely cover each one. Top with Parmesan or mozzarella cheese, if desired.

9. Cover the pan with foil and bake for 25 minutes. Uncover and continue baking for 5-10 minutes.

Have you tried lasagna roll-ups before? What are your thoughts?

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

It's the Little Things: The Little Gym

Life with a rambunctious, inquisitive, busy-bodied toddler is really ...ummm... well... it's just really. Honestly, no words can accurately describe how our life is somehow simultaneously both an utter shit show and a well-oiled machine all rolled up into a big ball of deep, overflowing love. Our life is a perfect disaster really and I have been learning to just go with it. It's a fine balance between keeping consistency, but also allowing Myles to experience new things. I have found that routines have really helped Myles in all aspects of his growth. His sleep, attitude, eating, socializing, and learning have all benefited from the stability and predictability of our routines.
One of our weekly routines is going to The Little Gym. Even though we've been going every week for 8 months now (sometimes twice a week), I still always look forward to taking him. I have seen him change so much since we first started taking him. Of course, he has progressed physically, but more importantly it has taught him to embrace routine and procedure. Now that Myles has a mind of his own, it is becoming increasingly difficult to get him to listen sometimes. I have been working on cause and effect a lot lately and going to a structured play time has really helped with this. 
When we first started going, he would run away with things that he was supposed to be putting away, namely balls. He also would never sit and wait for his turn to say his name and get a hi-five. Now that he knows the routine so well, when triggered by the certain songs we sing, he has no problem putting things away and sometimes even does it before the time is up! Whatever voodoo magic they use to get my son to put a ball away after only a couple of minutes of play time needs to be taught to all moms: the priceless gift of obedience :)
This is what Myles does if he finds anything new at the gym. He has to figure out what fun activities can be done with it. And 'fun' for him means anything that allows him to almost break a bone and give his mother a heart-attack. He would not leave this mat alone during free play. He spent the whole time rolling, unrolling, and jumping on it.

They change the set-up every week, but Myles always finds he beloved hotdog rollers to walk across over and over and over. He also loves this tire-looking-circle-thing (technical term). He likes to roll it around or get inside and have someone roll him around: of course the two things that really shouldn't be done with it. My rebel son, I tell ya!

Skill of the week: learning to stand up and walk across the beam! He used to favor the bars, but now he likes the beam best. Love my little gymnastics baby :)
IT'S BALL TIME: Myles' favorite part of class. They just dump out a garbage can full of balls and let the kids have at it. Usually Myles just finds his favorite ball and carries it around everywhere. Occasionally, he will throw it to me or kick it around, but for the most part, he is the crazy ball hoarder wondering around collecting any and all balls. 

Sometimes what you think are just little things actually make a huge different in a child's life. I love giving Myles the feeling of safety and comfort through routine; not all kids are so lucky. It really is all about The Little Things.
And of course a huge thanks as always to Ashley over at Words About Waverly for putting together this link-up! 

  Do your kids go structured play time or gym classes? Do you see positive changes from them?