the friday post – vol. 12

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Ahhhhh Friday! And ONE WEEK LEFT OF SCHOOL! I could not be more thrilled. I had my last classes in the library today (movie week!), and it feels good. Even if you work a “regular” job, I’m sure you’re celebrating this Friday especially because hello long weekend! We don’t have anything special planned which will make it feel even more relaxing.

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It’s been so rainy lately that we have these sweet little mushrooms popping up all over the garden! The rain has been fantastic for my herbs and the grass, but not great for our enjoyment of the great outdoors. It’s raining as I write this and I’m feeling like this weekend may be a cozy and peaceful one with pitter pattering on our rooftop.

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I made Ina’s chicken parmesan this week with a side of garlic bread from my loaf of no-knead bread. It was especially good. Mike emphatically stands that it’s not really chicken parmesan because it doesn’t have a red sauce. He thinks it’s really just a salad with breaded chicken which is totally fair. But still delicious. I had this recipe on the menu this week for my *new* recipe, but we didn’t get around to it because of a few extra after school events! It’s getting shifted to next week and I’m still excited about it.

It’s officially rosé wine season, and I have jumped right on the bandwagon with my whole heart. So refreshing! Such an easy summer bevvie! I want to try this recipe for rosé sangria which sounds amazing. I may just have to host a happy hour so I can try it. 🙂

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Everything is blooming around us right now! Trees, flowers, bushes! I don’t know why, but I feel like I’m noticing all of it especially much this year. We had our jasmine vine on the front porch in bloom a couple weeks ago, and now it’s the roses. What’s next, I don’t know!

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I’m so looking forward to a quiet weekend at home with my two boys (plus Wendy) , lots of snuggling, too many belly laughs, and happy hours every night. 🙂 What are you looking forward to this weekend? Something wonderful, I hope!

xx, em

one small way to make getting ready for work with a baby easier.

Processed with VSCO with a6 presetMornings can be so hard with a baby, amiright? Honestly, mornings were hard when I only had to get myself ready. Adding a squirmy little guy to the mix has not made it any easier. I’ve been back at work for nearly four months now, and I’ve collected a handful of tips to streamline our mornings. Am I still late to work some mornings? YES! Has it gotten a little easier? YES! Do I still go back to snuggle Charlie 10,000 times before actually leaving the house? Double Yes. This is such a small and silly little tip, but I’m telling you it has made such a big difference for me in the morning.

IMG_9883Are you ready? Here it is: On Sunday night, lay out all your baby’s outfits for the entire week! That’s it! Simple, but big. I get a lot of laundry done on the weekend, so on Sunday when I’m folding, I just set aside five outfits (complete with socks) on Charlie’s dresser. It makes it so much easier to get him dressed in the morning. That way, after I feed him I just have to grab a little stack and throw it on him and I’m done. No more digging through drawers, or coming up short on matching outfits.

Isn’t that such a great little thing? Try it! A bonus that is that it’s a serious visual for how close you are to the weekend. Three outfits on the dresser looks like nothing compared to five. Now, if I were really on top of things I’d lay all of my clothes out for the week too, but I’m definitely not there yet.

a recipe: anything granola bars

I’m staring down the tunnel of testing season at school. Which means tomorrow I’ll either be quietly locked away in my office finishing up my collection development plan for the end of the year or I’ll be suddenly called to do my duty and proctor a test for third grade should some teacher call out sick (I did hear that one third grade teacher has hand foot mouth disease so I’m fearing the latter). Testing season in the elementary school brings with it both stress and anxiety for both teachers and students in the morning and then the extreme, almost delirious relief of the afternoon when the tests are over for the day (only to know that section two comes the next day). A combination of both celebration and the camaraderie of doing something no one wants to be doing for the day. I have a hard time mustering up any real emotion about it either way. All I’ll be thinking about (in addition to the spending of my library budget – Fiction? Nonfiction? Graphic novels? Dare I throw it all at picture books?) is Charlie giggling hysterically over toes tonight before bed. I mean hysterically. Toes!

On to the real topic for today. I discovered the best recipe for granola bars a few weeks ago. I loved them so much I’ve made them twice for us, once for the neighbors across the street who just welcomed a new baby and I’m planning another batch to be whipped up this week. They’re quite possibly the easiest thing because they are an “anything” recipe. Whatever you happen to have on hand you can throw in. Those are my favorite kinds of recipes. Flexible and forgiving. I’ve been playing around with an “anything” bread (or maybe some would call it cake 😂) that I’ll share when I get it just right. But today I wanted to put his here for my own future reference and yours when the mood may strike.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup nuts
  • 1/4 maple syrup (or honey)
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup mix-ins of your choice (I used dried tropical trail mix here)

Here’s what to do:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9 inch square baking dish with parchment paper or foil.

Place oats and nuts on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for 8-10 minutes. Place them in a large bowl.

Combine syrup, butter, and brown sugar in a small saucepan on medium heat until butter and sugar are melted.

Remove from heat and stir in salt and vanilla. Pour over the oat and nut mixture.

Mix in any of your extras, saving chocolate.

If adding chocolate, let mixture cool for about fifteen minutes then add.

Use a rubber spatula to press into your pan. Chill for about two hours then remove from pan and cut!

I hope you try them! So yummy.

three months with charlie.

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I know everyone says it, but when you have a child DON’T BLINK! I swear, just yesterday we brought Charlie home from the hospital, and today he’s doing big boy things like holding his head up on his own and moving up to size 2 diapers! Does he even need me anymore? Charlie is just the sweetest baby you guys. He has the happiest little personality. A couple weeks ago, he started laughing these great big belly laughs and he has a crooked, squinty-eye smile just like his mama. I feel like it’s my mission in life to get a laugh out of him every day now. I’ve found his tickle spot in his little armpits, and Mike has this chomping move that gets him every time.

He seems like such an aware, wise little person lately. I keep pulling out our box of baby toys to see if he’s interested yet, and I swear he looks at me like, “Why are you trying to make me play with these baby toys? So beneath me. Read me a book instead, Mom.” He’s just really soaking everything in like a sponge right now. Our next project is rolling over, and *fingers and toes crossed* sleeping through the night.

It’s not all sunshine and roses, of course. I’ve become a working mom this month, and it’s so tough you guys. I’m back at school full time doing my Elementary School Librarian thing though my heart isn’t quite in it. I have total mommy guilt at leaving Charlie at daycare every day. I just know that he would be getting the absolute best care if I were home with him, but like so many people, both of us working is the best option for us right now. Mike has to talk me down every night while we’re getting dinner ready. Classic first-time mom here – worrying about everything!

It’s not that the daycare is bad. Charlie’s getting what he needs – food, sleep, diapers. We get to check in on him on video from work (I watch while I’m pumping, hehe), and Charlie is a happy little dude when I pick him up after school. They tell me what a good baby he is every day. But I think as a parent you just want your baby to be loved on as much as you would love on him, and of course that just doesn’t happen and you can’t really expect it at daycare. With a bunch of other kids running around, he’s not getting a ton of extras – especially because he’s not much of a crier and not moving around yet like the other kids.

Just the nature of being separated from your tiny baby who you love more than anything for 8 hours every day is so tough. It just means that we make sure to love on him that much more when we get home from work every day. We just keep telling each other that it’s going to be so much better once he’s more mobile. The socialization, routine and activity of daycare will be a really good thing for him then. And those days are going to be here before we know it! This parenting thing though – so not straightforward, and I admit, no one said it would be easy. But! Spring break is coming! And Summer! Ah, the life of a teacher. Always having a break to look forward to is such a luxury!

He’s just the best little guy though. Happy 3 months, Charlie!  You are so loved!