Apr 26, 2012


Look at that face!  Have you ever seen anything so pitiful in your life?  Miss Priss's Zantac stopped working.  Luckily, her doctor switched her to Prevacid, about which I have heard wonderful things.  Mamas of babies with reflux- I salute you.  I had already forgotten what colicky afternoons and reflux-napping was like.  She has reminded me.

I just hate seeing my smiley little baby screaming bloody murder after she eats, stiff as a board with pain.  I also hate that she is not sleeping well anymore, but that is a whole other ball game.

So I am counting down the days until the new medicine begins to work- we have 5-8 days left.  Oh, did I mention we are taking our first road trip this weekend to see Hubs' fam?  If she keeps on crying, they won't invite her back!

As always, it is a good thing that she is the most adorable baby on the planet.  When she grins at me in the morning, all of those wake ups in the middle of the night are instantly forgiven and forgotten. 

Apr 24, 2012

Brown Bagging It- Lunch!

I am loving this simple quinoa salad for lunch lately. It's super simple, and delicious hot or cold.  A healthy and satisfying lunch, which might help me lose some of this five pounds of remaining baby weight. 

Makes 4 large servings
1 cup quinoa
2 cups chicken broth
3 bell peppers (I used one red, one red and one yellow) chopped
1-2 boxes grape tomatoes
1 cup green olives, chopped (optional)
2 cups chopped pecans
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons cumin
1 cup feta
salt and pepper to taste

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
  • Toast the pecans on a baking sheet for about five minutes.
  • Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  • Toss the bell peppers and grape tomatoes with olive oil and kosher salt and put on the baking sheet in a single layer.
  • Roast the veggies for about 25 minutes or until the tomatoes are bursting.
  • Meanwhile, cook the quinoa in 2 cups of chicken broth (or vegetable broth), and the cumin, according to the quinoa package instructions (i.e. I just followed the bag, and can't remember exactly how long I cooked it for).
  • Mix the cooked quinoa, toasted pecans, olives, and feta in a large bowl.  Add the roasted vegetables.  Stir, and season to taste!  Equally delicious warm or cold.
I love how the feta gets creamy when it melts a little into the quinoa when you mix in the warm veggies.  The pecans, quinoa and cheese provide enough protein to keep me full through the afternoon, but I think the addition of some tonno canned tuna would be excellent to beef it up a little.  This is a great base recipe to add in any vegetables you have lingering in your crisper.  Just roast away!

Apr 23, 2012

Plumb Tired

Well, I have made it through two weeks.  I'm alive.  Functioning?  Slightly.  However, things are looking up- Dell Harper slept from 7 to 7 Friday night (perhaps noticing I was this close to having a full on nervous breakdown?), and is loving being 12 weeks old!

Sadly, she has revised her seven am wake time to five am the last couple of mornings, but I have hope.  Which is good, as writing legal documents is super fun on four hours of sleep . . .

Apr 16, 2012

My Shameful Secret

I was a smoker.

Now I am not.

Even though I have not smoked a cigarette in close to a year (unlike Jackie Kennedy here, I chose to not smoke while pregnant), it's hard to comprehend.

Honestly, although I know that it is disgusting, and have zero intention of reverting into a smoker, I miss it.  I love smoking cigarettes.  I'll probably start back up when I hit 75 (my designated age to quit watching my figure, and eat a pan of brownies and a boatload of Caesar salad every single day).  I started smoking when I was barely 14.  I quit when I was 29.  That means I was a smoker for a majority of my life.

 I miss the ritual and the social aspect (although smokers are becoming quite the rare breed- ostracized and shoved away far away from any action).

I miss smoking while sitting on a porch, drinking an early evening glass of wine and laughing about old stories with my friends.

However, I love not smelling like smoke.  I love not spending money on something that is both gross and awful for me.  I love not having to hide the fact that I smoke.  I mean, I'm a Sunday School teacher!  How can I set a good example while puffing away? (However, I am also a lover of drinking wine and telling inappropriate stories with my friends- smoking fits in quite nicely with that).

It actually wasn't too difficult to quit, as I only smoked while drinking.  Plus, you know, I was pregnant.  The possibility of hurting your unborn child makes it pretty easy.  Now that I am nursing Dell Harper I have further incentive to remain a non-smoker.  There is no point in starting back up, and all the reasons in the world not to. . .such a tacky habit.

I do miss it though.

Apr 10, 2012

Second Verse, Not Quite the Same as the First

Okay, I might have gotten a little too assured in my ability to go to the office.  Someone asked me if it was hard being back at work this morning, and I burst into tears in the elevator!  Mortifying!  Luckily the asker was discreet, and pretended not to notice as a frantically wiped my eyes.

I ended up running home around lunch to feed her and have a quick cuddle.  Much more enjoyable than pumping.

It's so difficult as a woman- truly we are damned if we do, damned if we don't when it comes to motherhood and working.  And honestly, most of us don't really have a choice.  Bills need to be paid. College funds need to be started.  But it is so incredibly difficult to leave your little one.  

Some friends of mine were anxious to get back to work- they need that interaction.  I'm not sure if I do or not, but I hate the disconnect I feel from my baby- I don't know if she smiled or fussed after waking up from her second nap.  My situation with working from home a couple days a week, and having a sitter the other three is pretty much ideal.  It doesn't make it any easier though. . . now I am paranoid that Dell Harper will like her sitter more than me.  Sigh.

However, I think every mama needs to do what is right for them.  Working or staying at home- whatever is best for the individual, because a mother who is happy with her own situation is best for her children (see Betty Draper for the antithesis of this).

Apr 9, 2012

I Survived!

The first day back at the office has come and gone.  Dell Harper is in quite good spirits, and I am making it alright. I got a bit sniffly a number of times, but am glad that it's over.  Anticipation, or as my daddy calls it, projecting, is always worse than the actual experience.

I took all of you wise women's advice, and packed my pumping bag, lunch and breakfast, laid out my fancy outfit, and prepared her bottles all the night before.  I sent out a warning e-mail to all the attorneys, instructed my assistant to be my gatekeeper, made a do not disturb sign and pumped at three set times.  It was okay! I made it!

Haha, sleep deprivation leads to a very low bar for what one considers a success.

Success by anyone's terms is coming home to this trio-

  Ha! Dell Harper started fussing the minute I whipped out my phone.  Such drama! My mama is giving an evil chuckle of revenge right now, I am sure.

Anyway, speaking of the fussies, has anyone out there read The Wonder Weeks?

Source: amazon.com via Samma on Pinterest

I just started reading it- so far I really am enjoying it.  Interesting, informative and reassuring!

The Best Spring Chicken

Brother, Em, Mama and Daddy came over Friday night for family dinner.  I was so proud of my daddy for being patient enough to wait to eat until 8 because of Dell Harper's lack of desire to go to bed.  He is just smitten with that little cutie.  And obviously, he is not the only one. . .

Look at that pout of hers!  I could just die.

Anyway, y'all need to run out and make this chicken with angel hair pasta, because it is just too good!  I appreciate the fact that it can be made in steps during someone's nap time.   It's perfect for a dinner party or just an easy weeknight meal.  I served it with roasted asparagus.

The chicken recipe is floating around the webs, and the pasta comes from one of those recipe magazines at the checkout in the grocery store- "Taste of the South- the South's Best Comfort Food"

Parmesan Spring Chicken-


  • 2 cups mayo (or one cup mayo, one cup greek yogurt)
  • 1 cup freshly grated parmesan
  • 3 teaspoons seasoned salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 6 chicken breast halves
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (1/2 a lemon)
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees
Place chicken breasts in a baking dish and coat in the mayo mixture
Bake for 45 minutes
Squeeze the lemon over the chicken before serving

Springy Angel Hair Pasta


  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 12 oz container of grape tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1 cup chopped green onions
  • 1 1lb. box angel hair pasta, cooked according to the directions on the box*
  • 1 heaping tablespoon fresh Italian parsley
In a medium skillet melt the butter over medium heat.  Add the lemon juice and spices, stirring well to combine.  Add the tomatoes and green onions, and cook for two minutes- stirring frequently.  remove from heat and add the parsley, stirring to combine.  Add the butter mixture to the pasta and enjoy!

*Your pasta will taste immeasurably better if its cooking water is as salty as sea water, and has a generous glug of olive oil to prevent sticking.  I used the Barilla Plus angel hair which has some multigrain and protein action, but tastes completely normal.

Roasted asparagus is a perfect easy side dish, and can be popped in the oven with the chicken during the last 20 minutes of cooking time- just spread the asparagus on a baking sheet with some olive oil and kosher salt.  Yum!

Tulips and Italian Cream Cake in the background- always a delightful way to end a meal.

Apr 5, 2012

My Return to a Suit- HELP!

It's hard to believe that a year ago, I was in Italy- it seems like a lifetime and a half ago, yet just the other day.  Isn't it strange how the passage of time changes as we grow older?

Our nanny started yesterday, to get a feel for things before I start work on Monday.  While Dell Harper was napping under a watchful eye, I snuck out to hit up the grocery store.  As I perused Kroger,  I ended up settling on antipasto for dinner.  Perhaps I was subconsciously channeling last year's family trip to Florence?
Perfect meal for a hot spring evening- one that I will keep in my back pocket as things grow increasingly hectic around here beginning next week.  I have become quite anxious about returning to work  For one thing, I have no idea how I am going to manage getting dressed and getting out the door in the morning!  A suit?  Pumping friendly attire?  It sounds so . . .structured and complicated.

I am going to prepare a lot of meals for the freezer tomorrow, as well as try on outfits for the week.  I have no clue what fits and zips.  I have about 5-7 pounds to get back to my fighting weight, but my body is, well, altered.  Um, especially up top.  And I normally wear dresses, but those are not very conducive to pumping.

So working mamas- please help me!  I need advice on

a) getting ready in the morning
b) nursing mama/lady lawyer wear
c) pumping schedules in the office.

I am just scared to death.  Luckily, I will be working from home 2 days a week through the summer, and have a sitter part time the remainder of the week.  She is just as sweet as she can be- I came home from the Kroger yesterday to find Buddy licking her feet!  Ha!

Of course Miss Priss embarrassed the hell out of me and was super grumpy the whole time her new sitter was here, but hopefully she will be better today.  She liked her nanny a lot though, and felt comfortable with her.  Fingers crossed!

Apr 3, 2012

Wine, Egg Hunts and BEST Oven Fries Ever!

So my night out was wonderful! I didn't end up having a cocktail, but did have plenty of white wine and raw oysters (oh, how I have missed you!).  It's amazing what nine months of abstaining can do for on'e tolerance- I have become quite the lightweight.

I was so excited to take Dell Harper to her first Easter Egg hunt at the church Sunday afternoon.  I got her all dolled up, replete with bonnet (which she was not a fan of), got Hubs and Mama to join us, and readied my camera.
To arrive in an absolute downpour!
We all huddled in the breezeway with the babies, while the older kids got sopping wet.  That's what I get for being vain and staying up late to straighten my hair the night before!  It cleared up when we got home, and we snapped some pics (ruined hair and all) on the front porch.

Saturday night I made the BEST oven fries! I am attempting to clean out the freezer, and I unearthed a huge package of ground tenderloin made from trimmings by the butcher.  Mama and Daddy came over and we feasted on tenderloin burgers and oven fries.

The recipe for the fries comes unsurprisingly from America's Test Kitchen- writers of Cooks Illustrated.  Their cookbooks are some of my favorite reading material, and appeal greatly to the Home Ec nerd in me.  Each recipe details the various incarnations and techniques tested to produce the very best recipe.  For one of my science requirements in high school I took Nutritional Science- besides English, probably my favorite class I have ever taken.  Cooks Illustrated is like that- edible experiments!

Anyway, here's the superbly simple recipe:

3 russet potatoes (baking potatoes)
5 tablespoons vegetable oil
salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 475 degrees
Cut the potatoes into evenly sized wedges (I got about 6 per tater)
Put the potatoes in a large bowl, and cover with hot water.
Let soak in the water for 15 minutes
Meanwhile, cover a rimmed baking sheet with 4 tablespoon of oil, making sure it is evenly distributed.
Sprinkle salt and pepper over the oil.
Drain and potatoes and pat dry with paper towels.  Wipe out the bowl, and put the dry potatoes back in.
Toss the potatoes with the remaining oil, and lay out in a single layer onto the baking sheet.
Cover the baking sheet tightly with foil, and bake for five minutes
Uncover and cook for 20 minutes.
Using tongs, flip each fry over and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes.
Season with additional salt and pepper to taste, and try to let them make it to the table before devouring!