Wednesday, September 30, 2009

And we're officially crawling!!!

For weeks now Ty has been doing this little "inchworm" thing (which slightly resembled break dancing) to scoot towards whichever toy he was after. So I guess technically he has been "mobile" for a little while now, but not officially doing the alternating arms and legs crawling yet. He is now just over 8 months old. Yesterday I noticed that he would switch arms a few times to move forward, but then he would revert back to his inchworm technique, which was obviously faster than really trying to crawl. Last night Robin brought Ty down to the floor to play with him while I made dinner, and all of a sudden, Ty started crawling! Of course, being the overly-excited first-time parents that we are, we ran for the video camera to capture the first moments on tape (see below). Forgive the high-pitched squeals from the first-time parents as we observe one of the first major milestones of our super-athletic son ;-)

Good job buddy!!!! Look out he comes ready or not!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Fall brings sick days in our PJ's

Cold season has officially begun in the Schween household. Last week I thought I was coming down with something, but in usual Heidi fashion I ignored it and pretended it would go away if I didn't acknowledge the early symptoms. As it happened, those early symptoms turned in to a full blown sinus infection. So over the last week I've been dealing with that, and getting a cold on top of it, which I have now passed on to Tyson (lovely). That means a few days this week spent in our pajamas with a box of Kleenex. Since we have been somewhat stuck indoors I captured a few moments with Ty in his PJ's.

He discovered that he can crawl up to the mirror in our bedroom, and he found a little person just his size to play with! He also realized that he can chew on the frame of the mirror, which isn't such a good thing...

He is exploring all over the living room now, which means a lot of time spent "training" him to stay out of the kitchen and entry way, not to touch the entertainment stand (or anything on the shelves!), and trying to help him learn how to get out from under the table once he wiggles his way in there between the chair legs and cries because he's stuck.

Even though we have been dealing with sickness this week, as well as a host of other issues (i.e. napping problems), I have had very sweet moments with Tyson lately. His little personality is coming out more every day, and I feel so blessed to be home with him where I can notice when he learns something new, or tries something for the first time. One afternoon he was so tired and just needed some distraction, and since the warm, fall sunshine was still hitting our deck, I put him out there in his exersaucer! He loved it (as you can see below) and I wish I had thought of doing that earlier this summer!

Hopefully as fall arrives this week, our colds will depart at the same time! This weekend we have my mom staying with us Thursday and Friday so I can go to some appointments while she takes care of Tyson, and then we have Robin's mom, Kathleen, coming to visit from Colorado for the weekend and staying with us Friday through Sunday! Busy weekend ahead, but we are looking forward to both of our mom's being here, and the extra help they always are with Ty :) We are busy busy getting ready, but I will definitely blog about their visits next week. Ta-ta for now...

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Kicking off Fall 2009

Fall has officially begun and we haven't wasted any time capturing it's first moments on camera. Tyson is 8 months old this week - how time flies! We are enjoying all of his "firsts" and loving watching him turn from a baby in to a little boy with his own little personality and funny quirks. Below are some of our first fall photos with Tyson. Enjoy!
Here we are getting ready to go on a bike ride with Tyson in his "Chariot." You'll notice we have room for one more in this trailer at some point *wink* So far we have only done rides of 20 - 30 minutes because Ty is still on the small side for the trailer. But we are looking forward to many hours working out together and going on adventures as a family!

Tyson is loving learning to eat yummy fall foods! Here he is staring down some lentils...hoping he can somehow eat them without putting them in his mouth. After contemplating his options, he ate right up like a good boy!

We are also learning to use our pincher fingers! Snack time in the high chair. Sometimes it takes a while, but usually it ends up in his mouth eventually :)

Of course, the most important symbol of fall is the beginning of football season. Robin is thrilled to finally have a son to watch football with. Here are my boys in their matching Seahawks jerseys cheering on Seattle in their first game!

Our rapidly growing extended family gathers at least once a month at my parent's house in Anacortes to celebrate any birthdays happening that month. In September we celebrated my mom and dad, and our second oldest niece, Melanie! These are a few photos of Ty playing on the floor with Papa and borrowing his legendary denim hat - so CUTE!

A little bit later Ty got to wear his own special matching hat just like Papa's! My dad bought this when I was little, so it's pretty fun to have a picture of Tyson wearing it! I guess he has the Jacobson jeans...literally.

And of course Ty also had plenty of play time with Nana! Here she is teaching him how to ride on a wooden rocking horse for the first time! My grandpa made this horse when I was little and it has been passed on to many grandchildren since. Now Tyson is riding the horse that his great-grandpa Norm made. Pretty special. I miss my grandparents a lot and I wish they were still around to meet our son.

Lately when we get the whole family together we've been taking a picture of the three newest additions to the family. From left to right we have Tevin Jacobson, my brother's third who is a few months younger than Tyson. In the middle we have Tyler Shupe, my sister's sixth who is one week older than Tyson. And then on the far right we have Ty just chillin in his underwear! We were just about to put his pajamas on but he loves being naked and hates getting dressed, so we figured for the sake of the picture we would keep him happy for a few more minutes and skip the clothes for this photo :)

And last but not least, we gave Ty is first "real" big boy hair cut - complete with buzzers for the back and sides and a comb trim job on the top. He is getting so squirmy it was quite an adventure trying to get him to hold still and not jab him with the scissors when he turned his head! It turned out perfectly, even though it looks a little bit funny slicked down in the after photo. He has a very handsome boy hair cut now - success!

Stay tuned for more fall adventures with the Schweens!!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Crock Pot Crazy

Every time my mom hears that I'm cooking something she has a PMM ("proud mom moment"). I don't think she ever imagined that her little soccer-playing, dirt-loving, won't-learn-to-cook, barbie-hating, I-refuse-to-wear-anything-pink/flowered/girly, tomboy of a daughter would ever truly flourish in the kitchen. Well mom, the time has come at last. Your daughter is now a cleaning/cooking/diaper-changing machine! (Okay, so I'm not exactly always caught up on the cleaning part, but I'm doing pretty well at the cooking and diaper changing these days).

As you may know, one of my goals for this fall is to explore and master crock pot cooking. I do not know why I didn't take advantage of my crock pot more often when I was working outside the home full time! Who wouldn't want to come home to the smell of delicious dinner ready to be served? I am now making up for lost time and using the crock pot a couple of times a week. I have had a few people send me recipes, I found a couple on blogs, but mostly I just "Google" whatever ingredient particularly sounds good and include "crock pot recipe" after it, and see what I come up with! Here are a couple of recent recipes I've tried that Robin and I both liked and I will be making again. Bon appetit!

Easy Pot Roast Recipe
From the kitchen of Heidi Schween

o 4 lbs chuck roast (I used a roast just over 2 lbs)
o 3 – 4 carrots, chopped
o 1 onion, chopped
o 3 potatoes, peeled and cubed (I used less)
o 1 – 2 stalk celery, chopped
o Salt and pepper to taste
o 1 packet dry onion soup mix
o 1 cup water

** Easy to add more or use less of whatever vegetables you have on hand or sound good!

Take the chuck roast and season with s/p (or Montreal Steak seasoning – see notes below) to taste. Brown on all sides in a large skillet over high heat. Place in the slow cooker and add soup mix, water, carrots, onion, potatoes and celery. Cover and cook on low setting for 8 – 10 hours.

Heidi’s modifications: Use 1 – 2 cups/cans of beef broth instead of plain water. Sprinkle roast heavily with Montreal Steak Seasoning (instead of s/p) on all sides before browning (plus a little garlic salt/powder if on hand). Gives much better flavor. Add chuck roast, onion, broth, and onion soup mix to slow cooker, then HALF WAY THROUGH cooking (about 4 hours) I added the potatoes and rest of the vegetables – keeps the vegetables from becoming mushy!
Crock Pot Beef Stew
From the kitchen of Heidi Schween

o 2 lbs beef chuck or stew meat; cut in 1 inch cubes
o ¼ C. flour (I use whole wheat flour)
o 1 ½ tsp salt
o ½ tsp pepper
o 1 ½ C. beef broth
o 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
o 1 clove garlic; minced (I use 2)
o 1 bay leaf
o 1 tsp paprika
o 4 carrots; sliced
o 3 potatoes; diced (I use less)
o 2 onions; chopped
o 1 stalk celery; sliced
o 2 tsp kitchen bouquet (optional – I do not use)

Place meat in crock pot. Mix flour, salt/pepper and pour over meat; stir to coat meat with flour. Add remaining ingredients and stir to mix well. Cover and cook on low (200 deg) for 10 – 12 hrs, or high (300 deg) for 4 – 6 hrs. Stir stew thoroughly before serving.
Crock Pot Bananas Foster
From the kitchen of Heidi Schween

Serves: 4

o ½ C. margarine or butter
o ¼ C. brown sugar
o 6 fresh bananas, cut into 1 inch slices
o Vanilla ice cream

Melt margarine/butter in slow cooker by turning cooking on low (will take about 10 minutes). Mix in brown sugar when margarine/butter is melted. Gently stir in fresh bananas and rum. Cook on low for 1 hour. Spoon banana mixture over vanilla ice cream and serve.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Long time coming...

Good morning. It is Friday (finally!), and I decided to be productive and clean the bathroom. But then I logged in to my email (just for a minute). Then I logged on to Facebook (just for a second). And then...I remembered the blog...for more than a few seconds or minutes. Distraction set in.

I can't even remember when I first created this blog, but whenever it was, it has been blank since then. Until this morning. Now that summer is over and fall has begun, I have some new goals for our family - ok new goals for ME really:

1) Begin online scrapbooking.
2) Make a list of the projects I need to get to around the house.
3) Start working on said projects one at a time.
4) Explore, enjoy and perfect crock pot cooking.
5) Meet and befriend other new moms...the rainy season requires new indoor activities and relationships.
6) Start blogging.

I used to love to write. Who has time to write once you graduate college and turn in your last paper? Actually...who really WANTS to write after you graduate college and turn in your last paper!? I didn't for a while - but now I do.

So, all that is to say, bear with me while I re-train my brain to write as I haven't done so since June of 2006 (and while I learn to post photos and explore my creativity in the world of blogs). Keep up on the happenings of Team Schween. Stay tuned for updates of our little man and the new things Ty is learning and doing. And enjoy pictures of our every day little adventure at a time. Maybe I'll post once a week. Maybe I'll post once a month. Maybe I'll post whenever I feel like it...I haven't worked those details out yet.