We have been enjoying our board books around here lately! Reading to Henry has started to get even more fun because he actually looks at the pictures and reaches out to grab the book. Board books are great because they cannot rip. They are also the perfect size for Henry to hold on to.
Here are some of our favorite board books:
Little Blue Truck by Alice Scherrtle
Little Blue is such a fun book to read out loud, and the illustrations are wonderful. We often read this one a few times in a row!
Dr. Seuss’s ABC by none other than Dr. Seuss
We love practicing the alphabet with the silly sounds of Dr. Seuss’s. We of course add Henry’s name to the “H” page!
Jamberry by Bruce Degen
The repetition and alliteration in this book make it a blast to read. I get pages from this book stuck in my head and catch myself singing them throughout the day. My favorite is, “buried in berries what a jam jamboree!”
Moo, Baa, La La La! by Sandra Boynton
This book is hilarious and silly! The brightly colored illustrations really catch Henry’s eye.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
I remember my mom reading this book to me when I was little. Eric Carle’s illustrations are truly beautiful. This book helps us practice counting (it’s never too early to start 🙂 )
Poppyseed chicken is one of my all time favorite recipes! It is so easy to make. I often serve it with quinoa or brown rice and a green veggie or salad. We had it for dinner last night and I was too ravenous to remember forgot to take a picture-oops!
3-4 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
1 can cream of chicken (I use 98% fat free)
3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 sleeve whole wheat ritz crackers, crushed into small pieces
1 tablespoon poppyseeds
1 tablespoon butter or margarine
Preheat oven to 350, then:
Combine chicken, cream of chicken, Greek yogurt, lemon juice, Worcestershire, and garlic; place in a casserole dish.
Melt butter and combine with crushed ritz crackers and poppyseeds. Pour evenly on top of chicken mixture.
Cook until bubbly, about 25 minutes.
Our day yesterday was not only filled with yummy food, but also lots of fun activities. Henry and I attended our first Kindermusik class– we both loved it! We finally made it to the grocery. We got coffee with friends. And we made it to nursery playgroup at church. It was a busy day. Henry was such a trooper! Our bedtime story was Goodnight Moon. We love this book!
Uncle Hugh, the birthday boy, gave Henry this great bedtime story for Christmas. Happy Birthday Hugh! We all love you very much and are so thankful for you!
Talk about crazy- last week we had snow and ice; this week we have 70 degree days. We are certainly enjoying this warmer weather and sunshine!
We had lots of fun this weekend!
We walked on the trails in our neighborhood. One of my favorite things about our neighborhood is the great trails. Lucy and I walked on the trails most every day when I was pregnant. I’m looking forward to getting back into that habit as spring approaches.
We went to church as a family. I love it when John’s day off falls on a Sunday so we can spend this time together!
We napped. We took our Sunday nap with the windows open in our room. I loved listening to our neighbors’ wind chimes and smelling the fresh air. Hurry up spring and permanent warm weather!
We had Sunday lunch at the Root Cellar. This is one of my favorite places to eat in Chapel Hill. Their sandwiches, wraps, and salads are so good. And whenever we splurge and get dessert it is unbelievable! My favorite is the French silk pie I split with my mom a few weeks ago 🙂
This was how a lot of yesterday was spent.
For some reason that boy just wouldn’t nap in his crib. I spent a lot of time reflecting on this poem:
Cleaning and scrubbing can wait ’til tomorrow
For babies grow up we’ve learned to our sorrow,
So quiet down cobwebs and dust go to sleep
I’m rocking my baby, and babies don’t keep.
I must admit cuddling with Henry is far superior to cleaning and laundry!
Over the past week I have spent some time reflecting on the past (almost) four months. Life as an Eick has completely changed! My days have gone from revolving around John and myself to revolving around our family of three. Being a mother is so different than I thought it would be—in the best way possible!
Here are some thoughts I have/things I’ve learned over the past four months:
Henry’s joy is my joy. When he laughs, I can’t help but laugh. His happiness brings me more happiness than I knew I could possibly feel.
There is no such thing as too many kisses.
Celebrate the small victories. Nothing makes me happier than to watch Henry grow and develop day by day. It seems like every time I blink, he has learned a new sound or is doing something new and exciting. There is such sweetness in taking a moment to celebrate these little things.
Naptime is sacred.
Henry has a great Dad! Watching John become Henry’s father has made me fall in love with him in a totally new way. He makes being a parent so much fun, and I am so thankful for his love and support.
Some days are hard. Growing up my mom read us the story Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No good, Very Bad Day. It’s about a boy who wants to run away to Australia because he is having a bad day. The moral of the story is that “some days are hard, even in Australia.” We all have bad days, and that is okay. We just have to keep our head up, persevere, and keep doing the best we can.
This past weekend we had snow in Chapel Hill. It was very exciting! I am used to “snow days” meaning a light dusting of snow. It is fun to experience lots of snow and ice! Our neighborhood has lots of families with kids so it was fun to watch them playing and sledding in the snow. I can’t wait for Henry to be old enough for sledding!
The Eick family snow days included:
Lots of hot chocolate.
D.E.A.R (Drop Everything And Read) time.
Snowy walks. Pushing the stroller through slush is a great workout!
Taco soup for the adults…
Hands for Henry 🙂
We thought John would have to spend a few days trapped at the hospital, so we packed him a bag (hence the sad face). Good things North Carolinians ice and clear the roads! He made it back and forth to the hospital with no problem.
We had a tasty version of taco soup during our snow weekend. It is so easy to make. In the past I have used a small can of chopped green chilies instead of bell peppers. I loved the substitution of the bell peppers! It was a way to add more veggies and more color to the soup. I served our soup with Fritos and a big green salad.
93% Lean Ground Turkey
1 onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp olive oil
1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can white shoepeg corn
2 cans diced tomatoes (no salt added)
1 packet taco seasoning (I use reduced sodium)
1 packet ranch dressing mix
Sautee onion, bell peppers, and garlic in olive oil until translucent (about 5 minutes), and add to crock-pot.
Cook ground tukery, breaking it up into small pieces as it cooks. Drain fat, and add to crock-pot.
Add beans, corn, tomatoes, taco seasoning, and ranch dressing mix to crock pot; stirring everything together.
Use the black bean can to add 2-3 cans full of water to crock-pot, until the soup reaches your desired consistency.
Cook in the crock-pot as long as you like (the longer it all cooks together, the more flavorful it will be)
I made the most delicious apple cake for our trip to Boone last week! I got the recipe from my mom, who got it from a coworker. I LOVE this cake because it is moist, it is a bundt cake, and it is “healthy” because one of the ingredients is apples (you know what they say: “an apple (cake) a day…”). My biggest tip for anyone making this cake is to butter and flour the bundt pan really well…
It was all fun and games…
We were all upset, but only for a moment!
May not be magazine-cover perfect, but it still tasted delicious! We may or may not have even consumed it as both a dessert and a breakfast food. Vacation is the best!
Here is the recipe I used:
Ingredients for Cake:
1 ½ cups vegetable oil
1 ½ cups white sugar
½ cup packed brown sugar
3 cups flour
2-½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
3 ½ cups (about 4-5 medium) apple peeled and chopped (very small pieces)
1 cup walnuts, chopped
2 tsp vanilla
Ingredients for Caramel Icing:
½ cup packed brown sugar
½ cup heavy cream
¼ cup butter
1 cup powdered sugar
For the cake: preheat the oven to 325, then:
Butter and flour your bundt pan (verrrry important!!!).
Combine flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl.
Cream oil, white sugar, brown sugar, and eggs together in a large bowl.
Slowly add dry ingredients.
Stir in chopped apples, walnuts, and vanilla.
Pour into prepared pan.
Bake for 1 ½ hours.
Remove from oven, let rest for about 10 minutes, loosen with a knife, and transfer cake from the pan to the baking rack.
For the Icing:
Heat brown sugar, heavy cream, and butter in a small saucepan until bubbling.
Yesterday was a hard day. Henry was fussy; I was tired; it was freezing cold outside. As I put Henry to bed, I felt defeated. We all know that feeling. It can be so discouraging. John is working nights this week, so I cleaned up a bit, watched “Flip or Flop” on Netflix, and started getting ready to go to sleep. I decided to break one of my rules and peak at Henry in the nursery before crawling into bed. I am so glad I did. As I looked down on my sweet, sleeping boy, my heart grew and grew and grew (I’m imagining the Grinch here). I remembered how much I love my son and my life. Being Henry’s mom brings me so much joy. To me, this is worth a billion hard days. He is a precious gift and I’m so thankful he is part of my life. This experience reminded me how important it is to stop, smell the roses (or peak in the nursery, in my case), and remember that I have much to be thankful for.
We had a wonderful time in Boone last week! It was so nice to get away as a family. We loved spending time together, eating yummy food, and doing some hiking!
Boone is a really cool town. My favorite part about it was the Christmas tree farms-they were everywhere! It was fun to drive around and see fields full of Christmas trees.
We stayed in this adorable cabin. It was perfect for our trip! It had a great kitchen and fireplace. There was even a great fenced in area for Lucy.
One morning we hiked part of the way up Elk Knob mountain. It was so much fun because there was snow on the ground. We only made it about halfway up because we were worried about Henry getting too cold. The high for the day was 32!
I loved getting out of town with our little family. I’m so glad we decided to do it! When we got home from Boone, my mom came in town to visit for the weekend (talk about a great week!). Henry LOVED spending time with his Gran and I soaked up every moment spent with my mom. She is such a special person. She is both my dear, dear friend and my role model. Needless to say, all the Eicks were sad to see her go yesterday!
Now, it’s back to reality here in Chapel Hill. We are praying our way through today as both Henry and I are not in the greatest of moods. I have definitely had the opportunity to practice mindfulness. On tough days it is so easy to get caught up in being stressed or frustrated. However, taking a moment for a few deep breaths can make a world of difference!