And We’re Back

After my long absence from blogging, I’m happy to be back.  I wish I could say that I was busy doing an interesting project or on a great vacation, but I’ve been doing laundry (yuck) and taking care of one sick baby.  I’ve learned that sick children consume all of your time – schedules are off, naps are too short, and there are usually frequent night wakings.  I’ve been a wreck the last 3 weeks but it looks like we have gotten over the worse and Silas is finally eating and gaining weight.
For Christmas, we were at Mimi and Papa’s in North Carolina.
You wouldn’t have guessed it if you looked at this picture, but two of the people pictured above spent most of their time sick with a stomach bug – one of them didn’t leave their room for 2 whole days and another two people had bad colds and had to sleep with humidifiers.  Despite this sickly bunch, we did manage to enjoy our time together.
Mimi kept the boys busy with all sorts of activities.  Here they are decorating presents.
Brooks had so much fun with Rowe.  Every morning he woke up asking for cereal and Rowe Rowe.
Silas got in on the wrapping too.  Although I would say he did more chewing than decorating.
The boys on Christmas Eve.

Santa was really good to us this year.  Brooks got puzzles, drawing paper, play dough, and play food.
And Mark got a banjo!    
Amidst all of the celebrating Silas turned 6 months.
He is now sitting up!

He is really excited about this.

We’ve also started some finger foods along with the solids.  It is such a joy to finally have a healthy baby.  We had to cut out all the solids and nurse every 2 hours for about a week- it was like having a newborn again – just so he could keep anything in his stomach.  At his 6 month appointment he had only gained 5 oz in a about a month, weighing about 17lbs 4 oz.  We went to the doctor 3 days later and he had gained 5 oz in those three days after they put him on some powerful antibiotics.  I can’t tell you his percentile for weight, but he is still 90th in his length.  I’m so glad to be done with this awful illness.  
New Year’s
Because of the plague that hit our house, we stayed in on New Year’s Eve.  This was the first year Mark and I were in bed by 11pm.  At first I was a bit sad that our New Year’s would be sorta lame, but honestly we were so tired it didn’t matter anyway.  The next morning everyone seemed to feel rested and the weather was beautiful so we spent the afternoon outdoors.  
Brooks helped Mark with his mulching
and Silas and I just enjoyed the weather.
We also got a chance to do some exercising.
Speaking of exercising, I decided to leave it off of my goals for the year.  I love having goals and lists – in fact I write a to do list everyday – but I feel that my energy needs to be focused in other areas of my life. I’m hoping to pray more and worry about the appearance of my house less this year.  And for fun, I’m hoping to get back into playing the piano.  I’ve already bought a piece to work on during the year.  So in the spirit of sticking to your goals I’m leaving you with a recipe that will help you in the New Year – that is if you are looking to lose weight or eat healthier.
Kale Chips
I’ve seen this recipe on several food blogs and in a few food magazines.  The recipe that I’m using below is from a cookbook I got from Santa (Gwyneth Paltrow’s, “My Father’s Daughter”).  Its a great recipe to use in place of potato chips. Warning: Highly addictive and also a bit messy because the kale turns delicate and crunchy.  
Preheat oven to 350. Take one to two good handfuls of washed and torn kale leaves and place in a bowl.  Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and a good pinch of salt and coat leaves.  Spread kale on a foil lined baking sheet and bake for 12 to 15 minutes.  Until leaves are slightly browned and crunchy.  

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