Taste Bud Tuesday: Green Bean Delight

Sweet. It’s Tuesday, and I actually remembered that means it’s not just Tuesday… it’s Taste Bud Tuesday!

Small victories give me such joy.

Here’s a great recipe I made last week – very flavorful, pretty filling, and Daniel fast friendly. I originally found this recipe here. If you’re not doing the fast, this would just make a great side dish. At the time I made this, it was our main dish, so I doubled everything.

Green Bean Delight

1 shallot (the Teeter was out, so I just used a small onion)
1 large clove of garlic, minced
5 green onions, chopped
1 1/2 c. green beans
1 c. sliced mushrooms

In skillet, warm 1 tsp olive oil, then add shallot & garlic. Saute until tender. Add chopped green onions, raw green beans, and mushrooms. Stir-fry to mix flavors. It’s ready when beans & mushrooms are tender.

Adventures in Cloth Diapering: UPDATE!

I just realized that I never followed up after this post! Well, for all of you who’ve been on the edge of your seat just wondering what has been covering my baby’s butt these days…

It’s CLOTH! Yes, we made the switch, and Owen’s cute little tush – and his bodily functions in all their glory – are securely contained by a cloth diaper. I ended up choosing the bumGenius brand, which seems to work well for boys and heavy wetters (I got a two-for-one deal on that with Owen). (Did I really just say "heavy wetter" in normal conversation?) (Oh my.)

I was definitely a skeptic, but I’m so happy with the switch. Do I get a bit of pee – and sometimes poop – on my hands on a semi-regular basis? Yes. But I’m saving money, my baby stays dryer than ever, and hey who doesn’t feel at least a little warm and fuzzy about doing something better for the environment ?

For anyone who is considering a switch to cloth diapers, I recommend checking out Jillian’s Drawers. It’s the most helpful and comprehensive site I’ve found – and don’t miss the "New to Cloth" section on the left menu bar. There’s a tutorial, tips for washing, and even a $10 trial offer for different brands. (It’s also the site where I actually purchased diapers for Owen.)

And finally, is there any kind of recognition I can receive for using the words "butt," "heavy wetter," and "poop" all in one post? Just let me know.

Taste Bud Tuesday: Allanas Pasta Primavera

Welcome to the first edition of Taste Bud Tuesday!

I’ve been wanting to do this for a few weeks, but I kept forgetting, and then Tuesday would pass by, and I can’t think of a good name for any other day of the week, so I’d just wait for Tuesday to roll around again. So here we are, and I finally remembered!

This will be my weekly attempt to share a good recipe with you. I’m always looking for new ideas, and I figure some of you probably are too, so here’s my contribution!

This week’s recipe is inspired by Daniel’s fast. Beginning Sunday evening, our church joined together in a “Daniel fast” for 10-21 days. Our desire is to join our hearts before God and ask Him to do great things in our city this fall. You can read about Daniel’s fast in the Bible in Daniel 1 and Daniel 10, but it’s essentially a partial fast where we will be eating fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, beans (no animal products, dairy, sugar, caffeine, alcohol, additives, etc). This is the recipe for the dinner I made last night. I found it here, and Matt & I both enjoyed it! Let me know if you try it!

Allanas Pasta Primavera
by Allana Martian

1 package of whole wheat or brown rice penne pasta
1/2 cup organic vegetable broth
1 sweet onion chopped
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1 1/2 cups chopped fresh mushrooms
1 cup chopped red bell pepper
1 cup chopped green bell pepper
1 cup snow pea pods, sliced in half
3 cups tomatoes chopped

Boil pasta. Cook the onion, garlic, and basil in the broth, stirring occasionally for 3-4 minutes. Add the bell peppers and mushrooms and cook for another 3-4 minutes. Add all remaining vegetables and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with pepper, sea salt or Braggs to taste. Serve over the pasta.

It was great just as the recipe called for, but next time I want to add more mushrooms and replace the peppers with asparagus and/or broccoli. Yum! (p.s. this recipe makes a LOT of food!)

The longest trip.

Oh. My. Goodness.

Seriously, I have just endured the most ridiculous 20 hours of my life. Ah!!

It all started on Thursday, at 3 pm, when Matt & Owen & I set out for the Charlotte airport to travel to Colorado for Matt’s sister’s wedding. We chat on the way to the airport about how excited we are to get out there and see Matt’s family and how we can’t believe that little Emily is all grown up and getting married and how we’re so glad we will be at his parents’ house by 8:30 that evening.


Things go just fine at the airport, from check-in to security to waiting at the gate… but perhaps I should take it as a sign of trouble coming when just before we’re called to board, Owen pukes all down the front of my shirt.

Oh well, no biggie – I’m a mom. I’m supposed to smell a little bit like vomit, right?

So I attempt to wash the puke off my shirt in the bathroom and we board the plane. Owen is in good spirits, as are we. Matt & I are grateful that we just have one connection in Denver and then we’ll be flying into Colorado Springs where we’ll meet up with his parents.


While waiting on the tarmac, the captain comes over the intercom and explains that we will be making a stop in Omaha, Nebraska to refuel the plane.

Um, I’m sorry, what? Refuel the plane? Uh, aren’t we currently parked at an airport? Do they not have fuel at this airport? Okay, I hear you explaining something about the heat and blah blah blah blah why do we have to stop in Nebraska for fuel??

Oh and what else is that you are saying? Everyone will still make their connections in Denver… I’m sorry, what? Except the connection to Colorado Springs? Oh, right. Gotcha.

Matt & I raise our eyebrows, wondering how late the next flight to the Springs will be. We don’t get too concerned though, because Owen is in great spirits and really, what’s one little hiccup in our plan, right?


Our spirits are crushed with this announcement from our friend, Mr. Captain:

“Well, folks. It’s just not a good day to fly.”

As if that is not discouraging (and obvious) enough, it is followed by, “It looks like there are seventeen planes in front of us in line to take off. It should be our turn in approximately one hour.”

Finally, an hour later, we are in flight. Matt & I decide to just laugh at the incredulity of the whole situation. Will we ever get to Denver, let alone Colorado Springs!? It is the flight that will never end.

About an hour into our flight, our friendly pilot greets us over the intercom once again. Pardon me, Captain, why are you telling me that we are flying over Indiana? Oh, I see, because we’re having a minor mechanical issue? Oh, good, thank you for reassuring me that it is minor. Oh, but they want us to land so you can fix it immediately? I see. Oh, land in Chicago? Right…

So, we land in Chicago. And what’s this? Our captain again? Hello, again, trusty Captain. Ah, we’re not getting off the plane because they can just fix the minor mechanical issue while we wait comfortably in the cabin? And you are not holding us hostage and we are free to de-plane but if we want to go to Denver we’d better stay on the plane and wait? Fantastic! Let me just explain that to my seven. month. old. baby.

Thankfully, Owen was actually quite a trooper, and he didn’t seem to mind at all that we were sitting in a hot, claustrophobic cabin with a line a mile long for the toilet. He was seriously my inspiration. I mean really – if he wasn’t fussing, then I had no reason to! And praise the Lord, they were able to refuel while we were in Chicago! No stopping in Omaha!

After about two more hours, we finally land in Denver… and then follow the mass of angry flyers to the Customer Service counter to find out how in the world we are supposed to get to our final destination! Flying that night is not an option (it is after 10 pm local time – let’s not forget that means after midnight to us and our infant – and there are no more flights going out)… so, we spend the night in Denver, courtesy of hotel and meal vouchers from the airline. Woo hoo!

Matt and I get to chow on free McDonald’s, and Owen gets to enjoy his first stay in a hotel!

At 6 am we catch the shuttle back to the Denver airport, and after the usual pre-flight rituals, finally board our plane to Colorado Springs. Ah, we are in the home-stretch! The complications are behind us!


As we taxi to the runway, we hear from our new captain – at this point I’m wanting to just plug my ears every time that blasted intercom turns on – and we are informed that the visibility in the Springs is not promising. And what’s that? The alternate airport to the Springs is Denver? You mean where we are right now? So we may just be turning around and coming back here? Well isn’t that a treat! I really don’t feel like I got enough time here, seeing as I spent the night here last night and all.

So, we begin our descent into the Springs, I’m looking out my window and I can see the runway beneath us, probably about 10 feet below. Awesome – we made it!


My head practically hits the back of my seat as the pilot pulls up and away from the runway. What!? Oh, I see, the visibility was okay until you got ten. feet. off. the. ground. Then suddenly it warranted basically taking back off and circling the airport. Right.

Oh hello, Mr. Captain. You again. Yes, I understand that we only have enough fuel to circle and try to land one more time. And that’s our last chance. And if we don’t make it then we’ll be flying back to Denver.

So we circle. And we descend. And we pray that the Lord will part the clouds and let us land this freaking plane.

HALLELUJAH!! We landed. And our luggage arrived with us. And Matt’s parents were there to greet us as we walked out of the airport! And THAT was the longest post trip ever.

Rookie Mistakes: Lessons Learned the Hard Way by a First-Time Mom, Volume 2

Owen & I had a fantastic afternoon the other day with our friends Ginny & Evan. Evan is just 6 weeks younger than Owen, so it is really fun to see them interact together. Correction: it will be really fun to see them interact together – right now it is really fun to watch them play on the same blanket and not really notice each other yet. Truth be told, it’s really more of a play date for Ginny & me, but the babies don’t seem to mind coming along.

Throughout the morning, Ginny and I had some hearty laughs about being first-time moms. It became apparent that the time has come for Volume 2 of Rookie Mistakes. Feel free to begin with a refresher of Volume 1.

And now, without further ado, Volume 2:

1. For crying out loud, relax about the Baby’s First Year Calendar. It will not be a national crisis if you misuse a milestone sticker.

2. Is it really necessary to have a fully-over-loaded diaper bag on your person at all times? No. Especially in a place like Aldi’s that doesn’t even have a place to change your baby and where you are never more than 100 feet from your car anyway. Cut the cord. Leave the bag in the car, woman.

3. When your baby wakes up hungry in the middle of the night, your sleep-deprived brain may reason that it makes sense to turn on the lights and put on a 3-ring-circus for your bundle of joy to ensure that the child is good and awake so as to get a full feeding, thus ensuring that Precious Baby will not wake up again until the morning. WRONG. Please just quietly nurse your baby in the dark and don’t wake him (or yourself) all the way up. You will both be much better off.

4. Always lock the wheels on the stroller, even if you are certain you are on level ground. If you fail to do this, don’t be surprised when you turn your back to lock the door behind you and turn back around and see your Bundle of Joy rolling toward the street in front of your house. Not that this has happened or anything.

5. If you make plans for how to spend your time during Baby’s nap, be forewarned – Baby knows. Baby will not be napping that day.

6. If you happen to think that you are capable of skipping the “First-Time Mom” stage, be prepared to be the most ridiculous of all First-Time Moms. You cannot bypass this stage. Embrace it, o ignorant one.

Adventures in Cloth Diapering

Today, for the first time ever, I am attempting to contain my son’s bodily functions by a cloth diaper.

Over the past few months I’ve become interested in switching to cloth diapering, but I’ve been so overwhelmed with all of the options! I will say, though, that just the names they’ve invented for these things are hilarious! bumGenius, Fuzzi Bunz, Thirsties, Happy Heinys… the options are quite impressive.

Note to reader: if you’ve got a weak stomach, or you’re currently eating your lunch, you may want to skip the rest of this post.

So anyway, to help in my search for the right cloth diaper, my friend Jamie is letting me borrow a few of her bumGenius diapers to try on Owen. Today was our first day.

And wouldn’t you know it. Diaper #1 ends up being full of poop. Owen wasn’t really feeling like easing Mommy into this cloth thing. Oh no. He decided we just needed to plunge right in.

So there I was, all prepped for the first cloth diaper changeroo, I open it up and find Owen’s little gift. He’s fussing because he’s teething and his gums hurt. I’m fussing because his poop stinks to high heaven. All the while, I’m trying to load up a new cloth diaper to put back on him (note to self: PRELOAD). I set him on the floor so I can go dump the poop into the toilet, he tips over and hits his head on the floor and starts screaming. I’m frantically trying to shake poop off of this stinking diaper so I can go get my screaming baby, and finally I am able to go to pick up my son when what do I notice on my right hand?


I had poop. on. my. hand.

I may not be cut out for this.

Rookie Mistakes: Lessons Learned the Hard Way by a First-Time Mom, Volume 1

1. Always wait until Baby has been fed, burped, and changed before getting yourself dressed on Easter Sunday morning. If you fail to do this, expect to pick out an entirely new outfit, which will probably be difficult since most of your clothes still don’t fit right.

2. If you see Baby winding up to sneeze, duckespecially if he has just spit up.

3. Respect the force of directional pee.

4. When removing naked Baby from bath, do not pause to cuddle and admire how cute Baby looks while leisurely drying him off. Secure fresh diaper immediately. (Please refer to Lesson #3.)

5. Babies grow through diaper sizes faster than you thought possible.

6. Never open a new pack of diapers unless you are sure Baby hasn’t outgrown that size because you will use 2 diapers out of that $20 pack and realize he needs the next size up. If in doubt, refer to Lesson #5.

7. Always use the “look” method when checking to see if Baby actually pooped all the way up his back. Never, ever use the “feel” method.