Sunday, June 17, 2012

To the Daddy of My (Our!) Babies

A pretty big chunk of the time that I've know, and loved, my AngryBear has been punctuated by his role as a daddy and co-parent to our daughter Madeleine. I consider myself pretty lucky for this fact because any less than perfect traits he might carry (which are pretty much nonexistent since he and I are both perfect, which makes us perfect together;) are easily overshadowed by his overwhelming ability to be an AMAZING father. Grrr grrrr I just tripped on a pair of cowboy boots for the tenth time today! Oh look,Stephen is snoring with our toddler nestled into the crook of his arms! What was I annoyed about again???

This is all to say that he is an incredible father and my love for him only deepens as I watch him love and parent our sweet baby (soon to be plural woo hoo!). Sometimes it seems I can actually feel my heart swelling when I see him with Maddie, loving her, teaching her, comforting her, it's just all so amazingly beautiful.

I truly have no shame in bragging about what he does as a father, I know he's unlike so many out there. I've never been left to deal with difficult times on my own. When Mad was a newborn he woke up several times almost every single night the first 4 months to change her diaper. A man who never had changed a diaper in his life could quite literally do it in his sleep! Seriously, sometimes he would do the diaper change then have a full conversation with me while I nursed her and not recall a single moment the next day. It was, and is, hilarious. Bath time has always been his specialty, I hardly ever hear a peep when it comes time to wash hair, and he is happy to let Mad splash and play for an extra long time when I would get tired and pull her out kicking and screaming. His most anticipated moment after she was born was for the day she would be able to wrap her arms around his neck and REALLY hug him. See? I just swooned while writing that! I am happy to report that he can't get out the door without a hug AND a kiss right smack on the lips from his girl. When I don't have the patience? He always does. When I don't have the energy? He finds a little extra to give. When I feel like it's all too much he is there with a pat on the back, letting me know that we're there together and eventually we'll make it through.

On top of all that is the fact that he works, day in and day out, to care for us, put a roof over our heads, put food in our bellies, and provide for us the things we need AND want without asking for anything in return. He doesn't complain he just does it all because he wants to, it's who he is. If there is no dinner on the table at the end of his long day? No big deal. No laundry? I barely hear a word about it. A mess everywhere he looks? Hey, it happens. He has never once asked me to do more than I do, he is just always grateful for what is done. A smile or hug is enough for him even though I know it would probably be nice to have a perfectly clean home and a wife who isn't pulling her hair out waiting for him to come home and share some of the "burden" on a difficult day (not to say life is a burden but I'd be lying if I said some days weren't more difficult and tiresome than others, if you know what I mean).

My Maddie, oh how she adores him. She wants to do everything that daddy does. When he heads out the door to go cycling she shadows him around the house getting all of his gear together, crouching down to watch him put on his shoes, holding his helmet until he's ready to put it on, sending him off with kisses and waves and the insistence that he "be so careful". Recently he was lookin at motorbikes to purchase and she was thrilled to sit on the back of each bike with him, her sweet little arms wrapped tightly around his waist, and offer her opinion on choices of color. After that day she has made all kinds of plans to have her own motorcycle to ride with him (a blue one, with a blue helmet). She really, truly, is his number one fan.
The day he brought his final choice home. She approves!
We're so lucky to have him. No blog post can adequately describe how it feels to have a man like my AngryBear as the father of my children. Knowing I get to spend my life loving our babies, and granbabies, with him at my side is enough to fill me up with so much happiness and love.

Happy Father's Day Stephen. Mad  & I KNOW how much you do and how special you are, even if we act like little brats sometimes and forget to remind you of how amazing we think you are like you deserve. Although it's a good thing we rarely act like brats..........

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Easy Pesto Shimp Mini Pizza with Sauteed Onions and Herb Goat Cheese

So I'm supposed to be working on a little Disneyland share post. But there are a lot of pictures and words to choose from and I'm lazy. So, it is going to have to wait a couple more days until I have more than a minute to myself. Speaking of minutes, lately nap time means naps for this mama too but today, and the last couple days, my leg cramping is just out of this world and it's so hard to get comfy for sleep. Instead of the two things I should be doing, writing about my little bug's first magical trip to Disneyland or napping, I thought I'd share a quick post about the most delish quicky mini pizza I've ever made. It's so yummy and oh so easy I just had to share. In fact, I just had leftovers while my computer booted up. The bread was a little more droopy but still yum.

I saw this recipe on Pinterest. It's actually a pretty simple recipe as she has it but I don't have a Trader Joe's to buy pre-made dough from and rolling etc....well I'm just too lazy these days, it's kind of my thing. So I made a few adjustments using a flatbread pizza creation from The Pioneer Woman that I've done before. But this was way better than that first time.

Anyway, I buy Naan flat bread for this pizza that is in the perfect oval shape which I find in the bread aisle at our GOOD grocery store. I don't shop at Wal-Mart so I can't say if stores like that have good Naan bread but maybe? I also added sauteed white onions and tomatoes and the goat cheese I used was an herb goat cheese, so perfect for this recipe. I didn't know they were going to be so amazing when I started so I don't have any step by step pics, but the original recipe does, so feel free to use that (but really, add in the onions and tomatoes, it makes a world of difference).

For this recipe you need :
♥ Pizza dough or flatbread
♥ pesto (I highly recommend the Costco brand pesto if you were too lazy to plant basil this me)
♥ goat cheese
♥ mozzarella cheese
♥ Shrimp aka shrimpies (that's how Mad and I say it)
♥ white onion
♥ fresh tomato
♥ garlic seasoning, Italian seasoning, & fresh ground black pepper

To start saute some halved and thinly sliced white onion in a pan of melted butter, yum, until they are fragrant, soft, and golden. This is my favorite step, onions in butter smells incredible (until you go to bed that night!). While they are cooking pre-heat the oven (she did 400 degrees but I only did 375 because I didn't need to actually cook the dough just toast and melt everything slowly) and smear your bread/dough with pesto. Also, slice up some tomato and grate the mozzarella cheese. When the onions are done spread them over the top of the pesto, as much or as little as you'd like. Add tomato, top with shredded mozzarella, and crumble goat cheese on top of that. Season now with fresh black pepper. Add a bit more butter to the same pan and toss in your shrimp, giving each piece room to cook. Quickly toss on some garlic and Italian seasonings and flip to the other side, cooking 30-45 seconds on each side, just enough to see them turn pink. Top your bread with the shrimp pressing them down a bit into the cheese mixture (in my opinion how you add the toppings really does make a big difference which is why I go into such detail about the order of it all) and put the pan into the oven. I don't think I specified but I just put the bread on a big cookie sheet to catch all the drips etc.

Now you can see how the layers really pay off. All the colors look so perfect and every bite has just the right amount of goodness.
Honestly the cooking time will really vary depending on the oven and your desired bread toastedness. If you used pre-made dough like the original recipe it should be about 20 minutes. Mine went for about 10 or 15 minutes; I just kept peeking at them and when the edges were golden and the cheese was bubbling I pulled them out. Admire how beautiful your mini pizzas are, post pictures on Instagram or Facebook so you can pretend to be domestic, and try not to burn your mouth and you shovel it into your mouth. Your kids will love this too, I swear. Maddie went crazy for it and even Stephen had one sans shrimp. I don't think I'll ever make mini pizza with regular pizza sauce again. I love pesto so much I might name my baby Pesto....with the middle name of goat cheese.

Now, please excuse me while I go print off a poster sized print of this pizza to put over my bed.


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