CT—8 months

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Happy 8 months to our sweet little boy! I took Cohen for his influenza vaccination and hemoglobin test to check for iron. He seems healthy all around except that his blood test showed that his is anemic. We are giving him an extra dose of his iron supplement to help with that. Stats from this visit:

weight–20.8 lbs
height–28 inches
Fun things he is doing:
1. on his way to crawling! It won’t be long. He goes from sitting to down on his hands to all fours to reaching to his belly.
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2. When he gets excited he waves his arms in the air furiously. It is really funny sometimes. He will be in his walker and the girls will be dancing around him and singing. He starts to wave those arms like he is doing his part of the dancing.
3. He successfully placed his first puff in his mouth the day he turned 8 months (Dec 19). Fingerfoods, he we come!
4. He sleeps through the night with an occasional off night here and there. He wakes around 6 am to nurse, goes back to sleep, wakes at 8 to eat his solid foods, and take his first nap close to 9:30. He is still taking three naps a day.
5. He has started rolling around a lot in his bed. He was belly-up for the first time the other night. He was crying because he couldn’t roll back over. Sometimes I find him perpendicular to how he is supposed to be lying.
6. He plays really well sitting on the floor with his toys. He always ends up on his belly from reaching for something. He will take a toy and toss it away from him just to challenge himself.
7. He loves splashing in the bathtub.
8. He smiles from ear to ear when his sisters come around. He is especially fond of Ana because she is so interactive with him. She can get him to giggling. I love it!
9. He is a cuddler. If you can’t tell that from the first photo with Greg. Sweet boy.
10. I feel like he weighs as much as Maggie (because I think he just might).

We can’t wait to celebrate his first Christmas!

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CT—8 months

Alfredo Sauce Pasta (my twist)

Chicken Alfredo is one of my favorite pasta dishes. Recently, as a mom that has nights when I really don’t feel like cooking, this has become one of my favorite one-dish meals to prepare. I took two recipes that I had saved and combined them. The easiest version I prepare just has bacon, but if I have time to add grilled chicken I do. It is multiple steps, and this is how it all goes down for me…

You will need:
half a stick of butter
1/2 cup of heavy cream
1 cup parmesan (real grated parmesan is the best)
1 package of frozen bacon
1 onion (diced and I always use red onion)
1/2 pound of pasta
generous handful of peas
large pot of boiling water
1 large grilled chicken breast (cut up)–optional

1. Take a package of frozen bacon and cut up into bite-size pieces (thanks for teaching me this trick, Deborah Bills!). Start frying in a skillet.

2. While bacon is frying, boil a pot of water in order to cook the pasta (bow-tie is actually my favorite for this dish). Also start melting the butter in an additional pot. Yes, that is three burners going at once.

3. When bacon is looking unfrozen and starting to cook, throw the cut onion in with it. When the water is boiling, put the pasta in with a generous handful of frozen peas (my pasta cooks for 16 minutes and I love using the boiling water to cook the peas at the same time).

4. When butter has melted, add cream, stir and turn off burner when mixture has thickened. Add half of the parmesan cheese to melt in the mixture.

5. When pasta is done, drain water from pot and add the crisped bacon and onion. Toss well. Next, add the cream mixture. After it is all looking yummified, add the other half of the parmesan cheese. Add your grilled chicken too if it wasn’t a crazy busy night. (My husband prefers to have the sauce doubled, but I don’t mind not having it drenched in butter.) Enjoy your one-dish meal!

Alfredo Sauce Pasta (my twist)

Quinoa Chili

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This was DELICIOUS. We love chili. We love black beans. We love lots of vegetables and eating healthy. Quinoa is a food that has become popular as one of the “super foods” in the world. It is pronounced “keen-wah.” Guess what? We live in the area of the world where they get quinoa. It is a type of grain, but it cooks very similarly to rice. I am just going to post the link from allrecipes.com:

The recipe for QUINOA CHILI

Also, this chili comes out really thick. I added about 4 extra cups of beef broth to the mixture so that it would be more soup like and tripled the spices. Left-overs are delicious with tortilla chips or as a mixture to add to Spanish rice in a tortilla. Oh… and we added Rotel cheese dip to ours—even better!

Quinoa Chili

Sweet Seven

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December 18, 2004–The date that Greg and I got married SEVEN years ago. Well… time in grad school, moving to a different country, and three kids later, here we are to celebrate. In honor of the seven years I want to list seven things I love about Greg:

1. He is the father of Anastasia Grace, Margaret Kathryn, and Cohen Timothy, and he is a GREAT daddy.

2. He can build things, hunt, repair things, fish–he is a manly man.

3. ALSO… He can cook, wash dishes, fold clothes, straighten the house, feed a baby, change diapers–he can play the role of Mr. Mom when I need him to.

4. He likes to watch the XFactor with me. 🙂

5. He is absolutely delighted with some very simple things in life: cooking him a meal he likes, saving the “crunchies” in a popcorn bowl for him, being served a cup of coffee in the morning.

6. He is such a thoughtful gift-giver.

7. I am told by so many of my Christian brothers and sisters (in the states and in Peru) that they have so much respect for Greg. That makes me so proud.

Greg arranged a surprise anniversary date night for me. That is a wonderful way to make a girl feel special. He arranged for childcare and told me that I needed to be ready to go out Friday evening. He even bought me a new dress for the occasion (I don’t dress up very often here). When Friday arrived, that morning he gave me a small bag from one of the nice Peruvian jewelry stores we have here. Inside was this sterling silver handcrafted Peruvian bracelet. He told me he thought it would look good with my black dress.

Around 5:15 we took the kids to our friends’ home. On our way into the center, I realized that I had forgotten Cohen’s pacifier (perfect mistake for the 7th! Ha.). It took us 45 minutes to go back home, get the pacifier, drive it to Cohen, and get back into the center. Boy did I feel like an idiot. Those three kids caused me to lose so many brain cells, especially the ones for memory, I am afraid.

Greg took me to share a frapuccino. We then walked to an art gallery that was featuring an Arequipan artist (which we loved). From there we went to eat at our favorite steak restaurant. It was a wonderful evening full of time without kids to distract me (except for forgetting the pacifier) and conversation over our past year, the ways we have grown, and looking into the future.

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Thank you, Lord, for seven sweet years with a godly man that strives to serve you with all that he is. Continue to bless him with wisdom to serve you and lead his family.

I love you, Greg McKinzie, with all of my heart! Thank you for choosing me to be your one and only.

Sweet Seven