Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Jalapeno Cheddar Hummus

I have a recipe you need to try.  Even if you don't like hummus, you'll probably like this hummus.  One good thing about this hummus is that there is no tahini involved.  I love tahini in hummus but I haven't bought any in ages and the ingredients to this are simple and cheap.  I used THIS recipe from the website Eat Live Run and added a few changes to it.  What you'll read here is my edited recipe but feel free to use the original recipe, either way it'll be delish!  This time I tried peeling my chickpeas beforehand.  Do not do this if you're short on time.  It takes awhile.  Next time I do, I'll sit down in front of the tv and do it when the kids are in bed.  It's oddly fun and results in a much creamier hummus.  Just squeeze them and the peel comes right off!

Peeling them is oddly cathartic 

Jalapeno Cheddar Hummus
2 14.5-oz cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed and peeled (if you so wish)
1 jalapeno pepper, chopped and seeds removed
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 T warm water + more to make it as creamy as you want
2 tsp salt
1 1/2  tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp chili powder
1 cup freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese (I used Cabot 50% Light Cheddar)
Peel chickpeas, set aside, throw away skins. Combine the chickpeas, jalapeno pepper, olive oil, water, cumin, chili powder and salt in a food processor. Process until smooth (adding more water if you desire to thin the hummus out a bit, I added about 1/4 cup more.
Add the cheddar cheese and cumin and process again until everything is well combined.

Perfect slathered on crusty bread w/ a big salad (I had 2 little pieces actually). 

Let me know what you think.  I doubt you'll be disappointed with this recipe, I'll definitely be making this often!  Have a great Tuesday ya'll!

Monday, April 25, 2011

On the Road to Recovery

Good morning! I've been meaning to write an update on Rowan and our hospital experience but I've been SO busy (as you can imagine). I have to figure out how to streamline this blogging thing because I DO love it.  First off, Rowan is doing amazingly well, now let me tell you a little bit about our journey.

Jason, Rylie, Rowan and I went up to Atlanta on Monday because Rowan had a pre-op appointment for blood work and paper work.  The blood work was NOT fun.  Apparently this kid's veins are hard to find.  The good part was that when we were done we went to my Aunt Amy and Uncle Stan's to stay the night.  They really spoiled us with delicious, healthy homemade food and tons of hospitality.  Rylie loved it there.  Here she is riding in Stanley's chair and "helping" Aunt Amy do the dishes.

Rylie playing at Rowan's pre-op appointment.

Washing dishes with Aunt Amy

Jason and I slept about 3 hours that night.  We had to get up and feed Rowan near midnight because he had a midnight cut off for formula.  We got a little sleep and then woke up at 4 because his cut off for pedialite was 4:15am.  We drove 40 minutes to the hospital and started admissions.  I was scared that Rowan would wake up starving and mad but he slept until they started taking his vitals and even after that he was sweet.  Amy and Julianne (my sister's) were there and he cooed and smiled at them both.  All the doctors came in for a chat (anesthesia, neurosurgeon and plastic surgeon) and prepped us on what they were doing and then they took him back. We even had a GA Tech student ask if we'd donate the bone that they took out for a study they're doing on the cells in children with this condition.  Absolutely!  I have to say, as much crying and worrying as I did before his surgery, on the day of I felt calm and confident that it would all be ok.  

Still sleeping when we got to the hospital at 6am!

Rowan just before going off to surgery

We went down to breakfast and after breakfast my friend Karen stopped by with her husband Paul and little Patrick (who had the same surgery 5 weeks ago!).  They could not have stopped by at a better time.  What a bright spot in our morning.  Sitting there waiting to hear from the doctor's and boom, we get to see how happy and well adjusted little Patrick was just 4 weeks after surgery.  They also gave us great comfort and reassurance and 2 venti coffees!!!  It was a bright spot in our stressful morning.  Being the great bloggers we are, we forgot to get a picture together, LOL.  I'm sure it's not the last time I'll see her though, next time!

After taking Rylie outside to play and downing even more coffee we went up to the room and the doctor's starting coming in to let us know how things went.  The anesthesiologist had to put a central line in because they couldn't find a vein (and now he's bruised from head to toe where they kept trying to find a vein).  When Dr. Reisner came in (the neurosurgeon) he explained that they got into surgery and decided that the best option would not be an ear to ear incision, but 3 incisions that they could take the bone out endoscopically and then the plastic surgeon could also work to reshape his head that way.  It was a little less invasive, yay!

Rylie playing while Rowan was in surgery.

When we finally got to see our baby he did not even need to go to the PICU as expected, he went straight to a regular room.  He looked really good and was chugging pedialite as the nurse was wheeling him in.She took him off the gurney and handed him straight to me!  He had an IV in his foot, a central line on his chest/shoulder, a turban on wrapped head and a drain coming out of it.

Rowan fresh out of surgery and drugged up.

Thankfully we got a sleep room every single night we were there.  One night my Aunt Amy even stayed with Rowan so that Jason and I could both sleep.  It was amazing!  He still did pretty well despite all of the interruptions. On the third day they took the turban off and the drain out and unhooked everything. We could finally see the incisions. It was horrific for me, but he did fine with it.  He only took morphine the first day and then the rest of the time only tylenol!

Day 2, a little more swollen, but still lookin' good! 

He even grinned and "talked to me(day 2).

The bandages came off and this is what we saw!

Being sweet right after they took the turban off and the drain out!

The nurses and doctor's were amazing.  Very sweet and patient.  At one point Rowan woke up while Jason and I went to grab coffee and the nurse was walking him around the nurses station while he flirted with all the nurses there  when we got back.  There were playgrounds, little outside garden areas, a koi pond and some little nooks to just sit outside and take a break when you needed it.  And we needed it at times.  As horrific as an experience as I expected we did have highlights.  Playing outside with Rylie at the koi pond, my sweet friend Karen stopping by to bring the MOST amazing basket of goodies for us (trail mixes, fruit, chocolate, magazines, gourmet popcorn and a balloon and stuffed animal for Rowan...that Rylie is obsessed with).  I am SO glad to have met Karen and her family, they are very dear to us.  I also got to meet another Twitter friend, Kelly, who was nice enough to stop in for a visit!  The time I got to spend with my Aunt Amy was wonderful. The kindness we were shown over the past week has been unreal.  We felt all the love. Rowan's speedy recovery, lack of swelling and resilience is amazing. To God be the glory =)

Taking a breather outside with some coffee.

The basket of goodies (minus the balloon) that Karen brought us.
We named the dog Choa (Children's Healthcare of Atlanta) and Rylie takes him everywhere!

Happy, sweet and delicious even after skull surgery.

Since we've been home Zande my MIL has been here and she has been amazing.  She's gotten up with Rowan every night (twice a night) and Jason and I have slept better than we have in years.  My parents and sister and brother-in-law have helped me more than I can even write about.  My grandmother and Aunts too. I don't have enough space or time to say thank you enough.  I'm sorry if this post is a bit of a mess.  I've been trying to have time to sit down and write it for days and haven't had time or I've been too tired.  Thank you all so much for your prayers and support.  I'll keep ya'll updated on our buddy and please keep him in your thoughts/prayers.  He's doing amazingly well but SUPER clingy (and 15 1/2 lbs).  I'm SO blessed and happy that the surgery is over and we're on our way to recovery!

Have a great day ya'll!  

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Here We Go

My happy little buddy.

Tomorrow morning we leave for Atlanta.  All weekend I tried to relax until today and I cleaned and packed like crazy.  It's not easy packing for the entire week when I'm not entirely sure what I'll be facing. My friend Karen has filled me in, but I'm notorious for over-packing.

Look! I over-packed and put a kid in there!

I tried to focus all of my attention on relaxing and enjoying my kids and my husband and my family.  I know that my sweet little boy is in God's hands (there is no better place to be). My emotions hit me in giant waves though.  Saturday morning I was rushing around and I got the mail, in there was an envelope full of little prayer slips.  On each one was a handwritten note from people that chose to pray for my sweet Rowan.  Jason's Aunt Pat's church sent it to us.  I opened it and immediately burst into tears, tears of gratitude. What a wonderful thing.  I appreciate every single person praying for my baby and our family.  I really do feel the love surrounding our family.

What a wonderful ministry!

Saturday night we had planned to have a Girl's Night Out to celebrate our 30th birthday with some girlfriends.  It really was the perfect way to get my mind off of the surgery and just relax.  Amy and I met Jessi, Erin and Cherish and The Black Cow and had dinner (I had Shrimp and Grits) and then we went down and had coffee at Fountain City.  Lots of laughing and girl talk.  Perfect.  When I got home my Mom and husband had gotten both kids in bed and asleep, it was a glorious thing.

We had SO much fun!

Today was absolutely crazy busy. I hope I packed everything I need for the week. At this point I'm so tired I just don't care.  Tomorrow Rowan has a pre-op appointment at Scottish Rite and then we're staying with my sweet Aunt Amy and Uncle Stan for the night.  Tuesday morning we have to be at the hospital at 6:15am...whew.  Poor little buddy can't eat past midnight, I'm just praying that goes okay.  I'll keep everyone updated via Twitter (follow me there if you want real-time updates) and if I have time I'll try and update my blog in the hospital.  Thank you for all your prayers and well wishes.  I know my baby will be okay but we have a bit of a journey ahead of us.  Love to all of ya'll.  Now I'll leave ya'll with a few pictures I took of my sweet boy this weekend.  Here we go!

One of the hats we got to cover up all of his stitches while his head heals.

He is SUCH a sweet baby! 

He's winking at the camera =)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

It's My Birthday =)

Hi! Today I'm 30 years old. I know to some that may seem young, and to some it may seem old. To me it seems old. I did SO many things in my 20's. I met and married my best friend. I bought a home with that husband. I had one little girl and then a boy 2 year later.  I feel like I've lived a lifetime in the span of 10 years.  I guess, to me, 30 just means that I'm really really an adult now. Just don't tell me I have to act like one.

I seem to have lost my blogging mojo in the past week.  I'm caught up trying to get ready for Rowan's surgery next week, enjoy my birthday and spend as much quality time with my two darlings as I can.  I'm generally optimistic about Rowan's surgery because I know he'll be fine, but I do have moments of total panic where I just want to hold him tight, kiss his soft warm velvety head and never let him go.  One thing I am realizing from this is that my support system ROCKS, which I already knew, but really and truly, my family is blessed beyond words. So please bear with me. My blogging mojo will return very soon. For now I'm going to celebrate the first day of my 30th year and kiss on my little fuzzy headed boy.

Have a great Wednesday ya'll!

Friday, April 1, 2011

It's a Friday Five Post!

Hi friends! It's been another busy week around here.  School, a speech appointment and trying to stay busy indoors (because of all the rain) have kept us going this week.  Oh and I also ran 2 days this week, yay!  I plan to get one weekend run in too, so GO me!  I CANNOT believe that it's April already but I am so thrilled that next week is Spring Break.  That should mean plenty of time hanging out with my Mama and the kiddos.

All the kiddos.  I watched them while Amy ran on the treadmill =)

To kick off a fun weekend here is a Friday Five post.  Don't call LAME on a Friday Five either. I think these are fun, so there. This one is on the topic of "Connections".  Let me know what your answers to these questions are or blog about them on your blog.  Also, don't forget to have a great weekend!

Friday Five: Connections

1. Nowadays, just about everyone knows a couple who first met online. Among couples you know, who has the best story?
Jason and I!  We met on MySpace back in May of 2006.  Well actually we "met" on MySpace before that but we met in person in May.  Jason friended me and told me he was trying to just "meet people in town with common interest" okaaaay.  Then one Sunday afternoon as I pulled into Publix with my Mom and Amy I saw this tall, dark and handsome guy putting his cart away and thought "is that the MySpace guy??? He's WAY cuter in person".  I sent him a message, he gave me a call, we met a week later and the rest is history.  We got married 13 months to the DAY after we met in person.
Jason and I on my 26th birthday

2. Who among your real-life acquaintances might you never have been friends with if you hadn’t gotten to know each other online first?
I'd say Kathlyn.  We did visit her booth down at Market Days on Broadway last summer but I really got to know her by reading her amazing blog.  I'm so glad we got to be "real-life in person" friends.  She so talented and just a fun person to be around, I feel like I've known her for ages.  It's much better to be real friends AND blog friends.
Amy, Kathlyn, Rowan and I at the Pioneer Woman book signing.

3. Of people you know online only, who would you most like to meet in real life?
I'd say the Pioneer Woman but I've already met her =)  Definitely my friend Karen in Atlanta who daily helps me keep my sanity.  Plus she's an awesome Mama and blogger too. Also, Sarah who probably lives down the street from me and is ridiculously talented (Seriously girl, we should do coffee sometime).

4. In the past 365 days, what’s the longest you’ve gone without connecting in any way to the Internet, including email?
I cannot think of the last time I was unconnected.  I tweeted while in labor.  I'd say pre-iPhone.  I'd rather be connected than unconnected, some of you people help me retain my sanity!

See! I took this pic of Jason sleeping while I was in labor. 
I took it to tweet and decided not to. Technology kept my mind busy 
while I labored all night long.

5. Who is the least-connected person you know in real life?
My Mamaw.  No email or texts for her!  She sends good old fashioned hand-written cards, or calls on the phone and believe me, her cards are priceless!
Rylie and my beautiful Mamaw!