Monday, March 30, 2009

Barbie has tattoos...

Maybe this is not news to you but it was to me. Matel has recently released Barbie® Totally Stylin’ Tattoos™ a Barbie with 40 tattoo designs that can be applied to Barbie...I know some lovely people who have tattoos, my husband for example. But I REALLY am not a fan. I definitely don't want to see my children getting tattoos and I most certainly will not be gifting anyone with a Tattoo Barbie!

Ethan is still very very young but, news items like this one make me stop and consider if some of the ways in which I safely experienced the world as a child are now appropriate for our children. Can my son, and subsequent children, learn to live his faith in a fallen world in public schools, or will there be too much mature exposure and not enough quality education? Is participation in certain merely social aspects of religious holidays, Santa, Easter eggs/bunny, etc..., a harmless social ritual or instead muddling their understanding of their God? And will I even be a mommy who can't give her daughter Barbie?! I was not necessarily in love with Barbie, and I never had the notion that Barbie was the personification of any real female but I did enjoy playing in a 70's era Barbie dream house :) (thank you Ashley & Jenny). I know there are LOTS of worries as a parent to protect, grow and nurture our children, to see them come to faith at an early age, and to have the opportunity to see that faith grow and flourish. I know that God gives us answers as we need them, so I needn't worry. I am curious though, what issues parenting issues are really gripping you these days? I know there were things that occurred to me before I had Ethan so, maybe what do you wonder about for your future children?

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Enter the spit up zone with caution

Our latest victim of Ethan's spit up (which has lessened now that the first tooth is cut and he's not so interested in feeding to soothe) was our dog Lady. Lady is recovering nicely, and is actually unaware that anything has happened to her...she generally likes whatever Ethan does:).

Made with love at Fort Benning

Ethan is blessed to have been one of many babies that were born to new Infantry Lieutenants. In fact, he is one of 5, that began their gestation during Ranger school at Fort Benning:). So, one of our good friends Shannon sent Ethan this onesie. He is just now big enough to wear it and we are happy to show some Fort Benning pride! I miss my Benning friends and I hope to see ya'll, Raegan & Steven soon!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

And the tooth has arrived!

Ethan cut his first tooth last night and he slept through the night too:). It looks like the tooth breaking through has brought with it great relief. Ethan is back to sleeping 9+ hours at night and is now ready for a big boy nap schedule-I am LOVING all I can get done when he takes a long nap, including a nap for me! I made several attempts to capture the new tooth but its too close to the gums, plus he's a wiggle worm:). So, the above picture is more so you can visualize;). The tooth is on his bottom left and is nice and sharp! Thankfully I have only experiienced that when he uses my hand as a teether...

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Teething...oh goodness!

Ethan has a tooth just under the skin and its sharp presence can now be felt! Yesterday he started chomping on my hand, as he has often in the last 6 weeks, and I felt the sharpness of it on his bottom left. Who knows how long it will take to break through but it certainly makes his funky sleep schedule make sense! He's 15 weeks today so it is rather early but Joel and both of his siblings cut their first tooth at 4 months...mercy:)!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Wonder of cleaning wonders

I do my best to not be taken in by marketing gimics and go out and buy the latest cleaning products but this one really caught my eye: Scotch Fur Fighter Hair Remover. Now I really wasn't as interested because of Lady but rather because I am STILL shedding massive amounts of hair 3+ after having Ethan! Yes, I have TONS of hair still but I end up coating the floors of the house, our furniture, my clothes...everyone's clothes, the car, and Ethan, with my hair. I have found solutions for most of those surfaces, well Ethan I'll just have to keep picking it out of his sweet little mouth:(, but the microfiber furniture kept getting my hair imbedded. So this handy dandy tool is fabulous:). It's basically just a sheet of the hook side of velcro and there are refills when it gets loaded up but it doesn't seem to happen quickly. The handle is a bit pricey for just being a stabilizer for the sheets but it's useful for us. I got a $2 off coupon o buy it initally and that came with a $1 off coupon.

The night before the night a tooth is cut

I probably should have known something was afoot, but I'll chalk it up to being a first time parent:). Ethan is on a funky sleep schedule lately and it appears to have been partly from the hubbub of our trip but mostly because of teething. So, on Monday night, Ethan woke up at 11 after going down for the night. I fed him and thought that was that, then Ethan began an animated chat that lasted for the next 20 minutes or so! He wasn't mad but definitely awake! He ended up being amenable to going down after about 40 minutes but wow it was funny. Oh and of course, since this was a weeknight poor Joel had to be up at 5 something but he's a good sleeper so he just ignored us and slept right through it:)!

Here is a little bit of Ethan's continuous "Ahhh" talk. He talks often but this is a new thing to stick to a vowel sound and just come up for air:). Usually I get lots of "Hi's" and "Goo's".

Monday, March 9, 2009

Houston at last!

Our days have been so full! As a result, this post will be light on words...yes I know, a Rachel first! I'm growing before your eyes;). Mom and Dad will begin the packing and moving process on Wednesday so we have had time these past few days to enjoy each other:).Ethan was in a great mood right before the plane took off. Our flight attendant was kind enough to give Ethan an extra seat on the plane so we capitalized on the opportunity:).
Ethan conked out as we took off and slept for 30 minutes, what an angel:)!
Ethan's first meeting with Pops and a reunion with his Mimi!

Praise the Lord for blessing us with the resources and ability to fly Ethan and I home to Houston for a visit. I only hope we will soak up enough quality family time to last us until this summer!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Grunt chorus

Joel and Ethan had many funny moments last night! This was captured when Ethan launched into a chorus of grunts as he started to fuss to go to sleep and Joel just grunted back at him.

Presenting the Von Hilborn family singers

Joel sang to Ethan last night and he REALLY loved getting into the act and playing air instruments along to the music, with Joel's help of course. I had to take a video of this precious moment.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Joel has his Air Assault wings!

Joel and Tony-LT's for Pathfinder Co. and new Air Assault graduates
Yesterday Joel successfully completed Air Assault school and Ethan and I were there at his chilly graduation. Joel has Pathfinder school next on his school agenda after his company, a Pathfinder company so Pathfinder school is kind of important;), completes Expert Infantryman's Badge tasks over the next few weeks. Until then, we are thankful that he has this school behind him and it certainly is a great job skill. Just for fun I took some video of his graduation. The video I'm posting is of the students "pushing" in cadence because they didn't sing the 101st song well enough ...yeah...

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Heading back to the motherland!!!

Ethan and I are flying to Houston on Saturday:)!!! My parents are moving to a new house...that's right...after 36 years my parents are moving out of my childhood home and into a home that will more closely meet their needs as they exist today. I am so sad that our home will be someone else's house but I am excited for Mom & Dad. It is also a great opportunity for Ethan to meet his Pops, the rest of his Aunts and LOTS of cousins:).

I will post pictures while in Houston as we say goodbye to Oxhill and hello to Kennington.

If you are in Houston and you want to get together, drop me a line! I will be in town March 7-17.

Ethan is 3 months old today!!!

Ethan at 3 months, 2 days

Joel and I are amazed at how Ethan has already grown and changed, he is SUCH a blessing. His current growth and development:

Weight-somewhere over 12 lbs officially, likely 14+ lbs
Height-somewhere over 24 in, likely just under 25 in
Development-He has been showing signs of teething for about a month and is now progressed to the point where he is gnawing on my arms, etc...and I am buying Orajel today because they are really bothering him...I'm in trouble! He sits up beautifully in the Bumbo seat and with assistance and can also sit in the gorilla sit by himself. He loves to stand and bounce in a jumparoo or with assistance and can/will do this for 30+minutes. He still HATES tummy time. He will fall asleep on his tummy instead, he actually sticks his fingers in his mouth as a means to escape "mommy torture" as Joel has coined tummy time;). He has the strength, control and understanding to roll himself over, he did it once for Joel when I was out of the room:( but he doesn't want to....he definitely was "gifted" with stubbornness throughout his bloodline! He actually spends more time scooting himself around the quilt then trying to roll so who knows, he may go right to crawling, that was a joke, but it may not be so funny when he follows in Joel's super-early development...He talks up a storm and has discovered that blowing bubbles, in his now copious amounts of saliva, is a GREAT pastime. He now regularly sleeps 8 hours at night, takes a 2 hour nap in the morning and a 2-3 hour nap in the afternoon with several power naps in between. I've tried to manipulate his schedule to combine some of that and maybe make his nights longer but it backfired so I'm letting him progress at his own pace and stay a happy baby!

Here are a few more pictures of Ethan, the cuteness abounds!

So, what was your baby doing at 3 months? Any suggestions of ways to combine Ethan's naps or make him happier during tummy time?

Monday, March 2, 2009

Artichoke & Spinach Pesto

This recipe was also inspired by a recipe from Giada. My take on it is to take from some of the yummy flavors in a Artichoke & Spinach dip but without the calories from mayonnaise, cream cheese, etc...We love to serve pesto as an appetizer at dinner parties, a base for sauce to toss with pasta, or to flavor chicken in a pasta or salad dish.

  • 1 (8 oz) pack frozen artichoke hearts, thawed (or canned if frozen aren't available)
  • 1 C frozen chopped spinach (thawed and with the moisture squeezed out)
  • 1/2 C chopped toasted walnuts
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 t kosher salt
  • 1/2 t freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 C olive oil
  • 2/3 C Italian cheese mix
  • 1 Ciabatta loaf, cut into slices and then halved
Bake your Ciabatta loaf according to the package directions. To prepare your pesto, combine the artichokes, spinach, walnuts, cheese, lemon zest and juice, garlic, salt, and pepper in a food processor. Process the ingredients stopping the machine a few times to scrape down the sides. Then, with the machine running, drizzle in olive oil until the mixture is slightly runnier than a paste. Serve the pesto with the bake Ciabatta slices for spreading.

Turkey & Artichoke Stuffed Shells

This recipe is my version of a recipe from Giada deLaurentis with some changes for our tastes, Joel is a bit phobic about onions, etc... We loved this one and it has all the flavors of a fun lasagna with more reasonable portions. I also enjoyed that the artichokes add a certain creaminess to the mixture without having the heaviness of additional cheese.
  • 1 (12 oz) box jumbo pasta shells
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lbs ground turkey
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/4 t pepper
  • 1 (8-10 oz) package frozen (canned if frozen not available) artichokes, thawed and coarsely chopped
  • 1 (15 oz) container ricotta cheese
  • 3/4 C grated Parmesan
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 C chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 1 Jar Tomato Sauce
  • 1 C Italian cheese mix
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and partially cook until tender but still very firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 4 to 5 minutes. Drain pasta.

Meanwhile bring your skillet up to a medium-high heat. Add the ground turkey, the minced garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the meat is slightly golden and cooked through. Add the artichoke hearts and stir to combine. Remove from heat and let cool.

In a large bowl combine the cooled turkey mixture with the ricotta, Parmesan, eggs, basil, and the remaining salt and pepper. Stir to combine.

To stuff the shells, cover the bottom of a casserole dish with 1 cup of sauce. Take a shell in the palm of your hand and stuff it with a large spoonful of turkey mixture, about 2 tablespoons. Place the stuffed shell in casserole dish. Continue filling the shells until the dish is full, about 24 shells. Drizzle the remaining sauce over the shells, top with the Italian cheese.

To bake, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Bake until the shells are warmed through and the cheese is beginning to brown, about 20-30 minutes.