Thursday, November 17, 2011

You guys. I have the cuuutest video of Brennan saying all the words he mispronounces, but I've tried four times and it just won't upload!! He tries so hard to say what his friend, Trenton, was for Halloween (Obe-Wan Kenobi, yes, I did have to look up how to spell that), or my personal favorite, when he says, "cutie patootie". Ah well, just imagine how cute it was, mmkay?

I think I remember telling you all that I was in a Bible study this summer with some staff wives from The Met? Did I? Anyways, we all try and get together about once a month over brunch. I hosted it this Tuesday and we decided to throw in a little surprise party for Thuy who turned 40 today. I hope I look as good as she does at 40!!

SOME of the food.

You know how we ladies don't ever have a birthday past 21. :)

Tomorrow is MOPS. Saturday is the MOPS Missions project (I'll hopefully blog about it later), Sunday, Brennan and I fly to Michigan!! We fly via Minneapolis and Chicago, with a little drive to Bridgman, so yes, I fully plan on using the baby belly fully to my advantage. :) It shall be a long day, but well worth it. I'm excited to see family, and friends, and to take a little break from working. Whoop! However, the weather is amazing here right now, I will miss that!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Rustic Lodge

Hola guys.

It's Thursday and I feel like I can breathe for the first time this week. I've already worked 21 hours this week among other things and I am tired! But I have the rest of the day free and am starting to feel relaxed! I'm going do to some prenatal pilates, listen to the last week's message online from The Met which I've missed and drink some tea. Hoo-rah.

So onto the boys' room. We decided to put the boys in the same room. Baby #2 (we think we've settled on a name, but not quite ready to share it yet) will be in our room for the first few months, but after that, we're planning on putting him in with Brennan. I kind of wanted to put them in separate rooms and not have to deal with them waking each other up. But Jon really likes the idea of them learning how to share from the very beginning. And we like the idea of having the camaraderie that comes with sharing a room. So I took Brennan's nursery decor and put it up in the playroom and decided to do a rustic lodge theme for their room together. I took most of my inspiration from Katie Bower's blog, see her nursery here. I love her style and I loooved her son's nursery. We wanted to do an entire wall made out of pallets like they did, but after considering time, money, work, stress, we decided to do a sign instead. Check it out:

Jon got an air compressor for his birthday and he's been having so much fun using it. The sign was his first project! He's currently working on a bench that I hope to post on here soon.

Whaddya think??

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


We got some eggplant with our CSA last week. I've never bought eggplant before. Ever. But I've heard that eggplant parmesan is really good, so I hopped onto one of my favorite food blogs and looked up a recipe. It was a little time consuming, but I decided not to make my own sauce and use canned.

It was sooo good!

I've been trying to cook in batches, rather than one dish at a time. So the same time I was making the eggplant parmesan (while the eggplant was dehydrating a bit), I also made this recipe of Eggplant Gratin with Creme Fraiche. I personally like the texture of the first dish better, but the second dish tasted just as good or better. I did make the homemade red sauce for this recipe and it was easy AND good.

I also made two types of Okra while the eggplant dishes were baking, fried okra and baked okra. It was my first okra experience. And it was delicious (as Brennan would say!). I've always heard okra can be slimey, but it helped that I dredged it in flour before cooking it.

Eggplant is in season down here, I'm not sure about up north. But if you run across some, try it, it's YUM.


Sunday, November 6, 2011

In Which I'm Getting a Little Granola

We're becoming a little granola. And we're okay with that. Two new granola-ish things were doing??

1. Cloth diapering our next baby.

2. Joined a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture).

We're also a little granola in other small ways, like we don't really take antibiotics (even with Brennan's ear infections) unless absolutely necessary. We like to let our bodies heal themselves. Even if it takes a little bit more time. And I am going to give natural childbirth a try. I say try because I want to give myself an out in case I fail. :) For realz. I'm kind of low on the whole pain tolerance thing so you can imagine my concern. TMI- I was super constipated early on in this pregnancy and woke up with horrendous stomach cramps (due to lacatives I took the night before that and was sweating and crying and telling Jon that there was no way I could do natural childbirth if I couldn't handle constipation. We shall see people, we shall see.

So, back to being granola. I took a cloth diapering class yesterday at the world's best baby store, Nurtured Family. I was a bit overwhelmed by the choices and options that you have when cloth diapering. . . all in ones, pocket, prefolds, fitted, contours, wool covers, waterproof covers, etc. The class was awesome and talked us through the different types of diapers, pros and cons, benefits of cloth diapering, how to wash and dry, etc. We decided to go with FuzziBunz all in one diapers.

We are mainly doing cloth because it's cheaper than disposables. It's all about the money, honey. But there are some pretty cool benefits to cloth: they are practically as easy as disposables, no fold laundry, less odor, baby stays dry, wayyyy better for the environment, less diaper rashes on baby, etc. I'm actually pretty excited about this new little adventure for us!

The CSA we joined is called Home Sweet Farm located north of us in Brenham, TX.

A CSA is a farm in which you are basically "buying" a share. You pay to join, and then get a share of the crop every week. Home Sweet Farm has drop off's all over the city of Houston, ours is about 5 minutes away. Every Tuesday we get fresh, local, organic, in season food. I love the idea of supporting LOCAL farmers, eating LOCAL foods, eating foods that are in season, and not shipped 500 miles across country and eating so fresh. So far, we've gotten mainly peppers, greens (arugala, bak choy), eggplant and okra. I gotta be honest, everything's been great but the bak choy, so if you have any amazing bak choy recipes, kindly let us know. :) We tried grilling it and we must've done something wrong because it was bitter and terrible (what'd we do wrong, Katie??). I'm thinking about trying it sauteed in a chicken stir fry, we shall see.

So here's my plug. . . buy local, support local farmers and stores. I highly recommend Nurtured Family and Home Sweet Farm to anyone in the Houston area!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Old Town Spring, Halloween

Last Saturday, we visited Old Town Spring for a little family outing. I wasn't feeling so hot (turns out I had the 24 hour stomach flu), but it was still fun. It's a little town that was built in the early 1900's as a booming railroad town. There are a lot of antique shops, museums, restaurants, etc. Our personal favorite stops are the toy store and the wine tasting shop. :)

We ate lunch at this little red caboose restaurant and Brennan thought it was awesome.

There was also live music so he danced around while we attempted to eat.

He ran around a lot. He's two and a half. That's what two and a half year old boys do.

"Whatcha talking about? Me??"

Monday was Halloween. I don't go crazy with Halloween decor because frankly, I think it's mostly hideous and I don't like what it represents. But I do enjoy candy and kids and hanging out with friends, so we still celebrate. We met up with other staff families for a BBQ and trick or treating and it was so much fun! Brennan would knock on doors and say, "squeak squeak, trick or treat!" because he was a mouse.

Jon's mom made this costume for him as a child. He, his sister, Erin, her son, Westin and Brennan have all worn it. I love that!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Don't touch us with a 10 foot pole.

The Ackerman household is down for the count.

I got the 24 hour stomach bug on Saturday. Jon has got a wicked throat/cough cold that Brennan caught.
Then last night, while we were at our birthing class and sweet friends of ours were watching Brennan, we got the text that every parent hates to get. The "your child just threw up" text. Ugh.
And besides that, the wife that was watching Brennan for us is pregnant. I'll feel just terrible if she catches the stomach bug from us!

So I guess, it's one of those weeks where God is telling, no forcing, us to rest. Which is against my nature, but we need to stay home and not infect the rest of the world. Now, to pray that Jon doesn't give in to the super 24 hour stomach bug.

And I had just a sweet post outlined in my head about Halloween and our cute mouse and all that. But for now, I'll just leave you with this beauty: (O'Neill clan, circa 1992?)