Sunny at 2.5 months

Just just turned 2.5 months. I think there is a huge difference in her maturity this past month. Here are things I've observed about her that I don't want to forget. After all, kids change so quick.

Sunny loves kids and is very friendly.  She is easily excited too. She is the most social kid I have ever seen.  Here are some examples. 
Whenever we are out shopping, she will wave and say hello to any child she sees. If she is confined in a cart that is. If she is out of the car, she will proudly approach a child, say hello, and hug them or pat them on the shoulder. She is so affectionate.
  She has always been super affectionate. I can recall her going up to complete strangers and hugging them. One time a lady with a child noticed this and told her husband. When we saw them months later at the park, she told her husband that Sunny was the child she was talking about.
Sunny loves nursery. She has never been one who cried when either of us left.
 Sunny is the only kid I have ever seen who runs up to Santa and jumps on his lap. Even Santa told me today that he had never seen a two year old so outgoing.

Sunny seems wise beyond her years. If we are out in a store and she sees a little boy, she will go up to him and say, "Hello little boy, how are you?" She will then hold her hand out to shake his hand.  When she sees a little girl, she will say, "Hello friend" even if she doesn't know her.
Sunny answers "Sure" instead of "yes"
 Sunny is very polite. After leaving daycare or any place I pick her up, she will tell others "thank you, and goodbye"

Sunny is very much a right brained little gal. She loves anything to do with the arts.  Music, dancing, cooking.  She has taken a huge interest in singing.  At church she will sing hymns as loud as she can (pretending). She also has impressed quite a few people who have observed her art. When she watercolors or colors, she stays in the lines very well. This has come from months of practice.
 She has also taken a huge interest in cooking. Anytime we are cooking on the stove or chopping things up, she will grab a chair and pull it over so she can help.

 Sunny loves to do everything herself. If anyone takes over and does it for her, she will start over again until she does it on her own.

Sunny has been potty trained for a couple of months but she does go through her rebellion. There are days like today that she only wants to wear a diaper because I guess she wants to stay a baby longer.  There are also days she refuses to go in the potty and goes in her panties instead, even though she knows better.
 She has become a much better eater this last month (since daylight savings time) and has a much larger appetite.

She doesn't take naps much, but she is so much better at sleeping through the night then she used to. I will take it.
 She is extremely irritable if she is over-tired. But she is angelic as can be if she is well rested. That is with most kids.

She is starting to talk in complete sentences. She sometimes is lazy and doesn't want to take the time and pronunciate, but I know she can do it, because she has.  For example, she can say "Grandma" perfectly, but sometimes will say "Mama" because it's easier.
 She would rather be outside then inside

She is very much in tune to human emotions. Just yesterday I picked her up from gym daycare in the evening, and one of the supervisors told me that she went up to a lady who was crying and gave her a hug and told her, "It's okay."
 I love you Sunny. You are the light of my world.  You are my shopping buddy, my daytime companion, and my forever friend.  

My thoughts on motherhood:  Having a baby changes you completely. Your life before will never be the same as it is now. Motherhood is beautiful and rough and rewarding. I believe motherhood teaches us valuable lessons of patience, love, understanding, empathy. As mothers, we can remind ourselves that we can do hard things.  Nurturing a child, keeping a child alive and healthy, and raising them right, are all very overwhelming to think about. Perhaps that is the greatest anxiety all mothers have.  I know the Lord wants us to pray for guidance when we need help the most. He trusts us with all his heart to take care of his children who he sent to us.


Our Week In A Nutshell & Peanut Butter Protein Bites

This week went by fast. How is Thanksgiving already on Thursday.  Shopping for the feast is always a madhouse. That is why I do my shopping before 8 am. 

I try not to overlook Thanksgiving too much with all the Christmas going on. We do play Christmas music all day long from the radio. It's the way to go. No having to stop and worry about changing a CD. Playing music really helps bring the holiday spirit into our home, as well as hit a few tender nerves,  such as when Christmas Shoes plays or songs of Christ come on. (Bring on the Kleenex ).
 Sunny got an early Christmas gift. This GORGEOUS table and chair set was made by a sweet neighbor. I seriously can't stop looking at it and everything i've dreamed of having for Sunny (to pass down to generations even)

Yesterday afternoon we headed to the park. Then later that night we headed to a movie, then over to family,  and watched a Christmas movie.
          She loves hanging or swinging on        bars. Maybe gymnastics in her future??
                           Loves the slide
                 Fresh Autumn air is just what                                        she needs.
                         Loves to expore

I started reading these two parenting books.
Jo, from Super Nanny, discusses raising toddlers and effective ways to discipline.  The second book, Bringing Up Bebe, is about one woman's experience raising her toddler in Paris and how different Europe's approach is to the US approach on discipline and raising kids.  I highly recommend both these books. They are huge eye-openers to me and I see a major difference in Sunny's behavior. 

Here is one of my favorite protein snacks. One of these bites really hits the spot. They are packed with fiber, protein, and taste great. I love offering these to Sunny when she needs a bit ofprotein. These are also great to pack up in a sandwich bag when we are out n about running around and need a pick me up. Perfect snack anytime.

Peanut Butter, Chocolate Chip & Oatmeal Energy Protein Bars (Ball shaped).

 No Baking Required & Sugar Free.

2 c. Oats
1 c. All Natural Peanut Butter
1 c. Ground golden flaxseed
1/4 c. Chia seed
1/4 c. Shredded Coconut (unsweetened preferred)
1/2 c. Agave nectar or honey. You can reduce this and add 1/4 c.
2-3 T. Coconut oil
2 tsp. Vanilla extract
Mini chocolate chips

If you don't want chocolate chips, you can opt for dried fruit such as blueberry or cherries chopped up.

Combine everything in a bowl and shape into balls. Place on parchment paper on flat surface and refrigerate a couple hours. Ready to eat.


Christmas, Parks & California Sushi in a bowl

We get our Christmas out a little early. It drives some people crazy, but it makes us happy.

Seeing Christmas through a child's eyes is magical,  whimsical,  enchanting.

Every year, we choose a theme. This year, we chose nature. All our decor is of wild animals, birds nests and eggs, owls, acorns, swings, and trees.

Before Sunny was born, I prepared her nursary with the same theme. The twigs, birds, and branches are a decor I love.

She loves the tree lit up. Christmas is our favorite.

Here are a few pictures and updates from this past week.  We went to a park in town and Sunny was so adventerous, doing things I would never want to do. She also came out of her "stormy period' and is back to her old self.  Since our family pet Tigger died, she has been behaving like a cat and meowing a lot. That is for another post.

I was at storytime at the library a couple months ago, and there were these people from this place in town. I can't remember the name, but they do all sorts of music and crafts and fine motor things. They recommended that at 2 years old, a child should start stringing beads onto twine or whatever. It is supposed to be great for their fine motor skills. I picked her up these beads and some twine and she has been making necklaces and sorting beads by color. She loves it and it is good for her.

This was my birthday treat. 

After I devored my sushi, I thought of something I never had before. Why not have all those wicked good flavors (I spent a summer in Maine once) in a bowl, without having to worry about rolling it up and all the extra effort.

I looked up a recipe and found many. To get your sushi bowl to taste like a real authentic California Roll, you probably need to visit a store like Harmon' s if you have one in your town. They have everything and pickled ginger and Japanese sticky rice is essential for making sushi in any shape or form.


1 c. of sticky rice, cooked, divided into equal portions.
8 oz of imitation crab meat
1 avocado,  chopped
1 English cucumber, match sticked
1 carrot, match sticked
Pickled ginger
1-2 toasted seaweed, broken up into pieces

1 T. Soy sauce
3 T. Rice vinager
Wasabi powder to taste
Whisk until combined.

Add Sesame seeds

Pour dressing over rice in equal amounts.

Assemble everything in groups on top of rice.  Add French's fried onions on top if you prefer. Enjoy. Don't forget to see yesterdays post.

recipe adapted from pickledplum.com


Brussel Sprout Bacon, Pecan, Apple & Cranberry Salad

Please note that I am notorious for being a  flaky blogger.  When I started blogging in 2010, I was quite consistent for awhile. Then a year of nothing. Then I returned again to this present day and blogged almost everyday for 2 whole months. Wow, impressive pattern for me.  I think followers of mine like that predictability.

I love sharing healthy recipes, and I have so many I want to share. I really do. But, I just can't be a full time food blogger like I once envisioned.

The reality is, I am in a season of life where my focus needs to be on my family and on God.

I feel I can do so many other productive things with my time, besides thinking about blogging.  Don't get me wrong, blogging is wonderful and there is so much talent out there that SHOULD be shared with the world. I wouldn't have half the ideas of what to cook without the food blogs I go to.

My brain just can't handle the multitask or do so many things in one day. I wish I could be one of those amazing people.

 I am still going to blog, but I am going to be consistent and predictable on what days I choose to write  a post. I choose Sunday. I figure that is my quite day. I can journal stuff about Sunny from the week, add pictures of our week plus add a recipe.

So, I will see ya all tomorrow back on here with a few pictures from our week and maybe another recipe.

Now, let's discuss this salad. It is so so so good.  I am so excited about these veggies that are tasting so incredibly good.  Did anyone make my cauliflower or broccoli salad yet. Add that bacon and cheese if you want even more rich flavors.

Brussel Sprout Salad

Preheat oven to 350

1 Ib Brussel sprouts, stems cut off and chopped into fourths.
6-7 slices of cooked bacon, chopped
1/4 c. Chopped pecans
1/4 c. Dried cranberries
1/4 c. Chopped apples
1/2 tsp. Sea salt
1/2 T. Fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp. Pepper
2 T. Olive oil
1/4 c.  Parmassan cheese,  optional

In a baking casserole, toss Brussel sprouts with salt, pepper, and oil. Massage with hands and bake about 20 minutes or until Brussels are tender.

Toss everything with Brussels and add lemon and optional parmesan cheese.

Eat immediately.
Recipe adapted from Cookscountry


For Sunny

I have a couple journals recording Sunny's milestones and a few letters I want her to read when she is older.
Wisdom I gave gained through the years, that I want her to remember. As she is learning social skills and do's and don'ts, I want to start teaching her now.  It's never too early. If you have young kids, start teaching them now.
  Letters are a great thing to write our children one day when they may need some direction.
Please note that nobody, including myself, is perfect at following each of these. But enforcing them often is key.  This is not meant to sound preachy, I promise! From the time Sunny starts school and beyond, I especially want  her to know these 25 things:

1. Be kind to everyone. Be a friend to kids who are different then you.

2.  Be a leader, not a follower.

3. Feel sad for the bullies. They are struggling with issues you may not understand.  As hard as it may be, respond to them with kindness. They are the ones who need the most love and direction.

4. Always be polite and say please and thank you. Teachers especially will notice you more for your politeness.

5. Surround yourself with people who uplift you and are good examples to you.

6. Avoid those who are negative or bring you down. You may show love to those people, but you don't necessarily have to hang out with them.

7. Respect the elderly.  Open the doors for them occasionally.

8. Always respect adults and authority including your teachers. If your peers are not listening or obeying, be the better example.

9. At 16 years old, you will be allowed to group date.  Find a boy who respects you and your decisions.

10. Work hard for good grades. Study and homework first, play second.

11. Always eat a breakfast high in protein. You will learn better.

12. For every unkind person out there, there is 100 more kind. Don't lose faith in humanity because of those unkind souls.

13. Don't get caught up in wordly things or social media, including texting.

14. Don't get caught up in trends. Just because your friends dress in name brands, doesn't mean you have to. People will love you for what's inside if they are true friends.

15. Give each of your peers a compliment everyday, including your teacher. It will make you and others feel good.

16. Serve someone everyday. Even staying after school and helping your teacher clean up the floor when everyone else has left.

17. Know your divine worth. Don't allow bullies to determine how you feel about yourself.  What matters is what God thinks of you and what YOU think of yourself.

18. Don't get discouraged if you don't get it. Everything makes sense with practice.

19. Eat healthy and take care of your body.

20. Never judge anyone! Unless you have
walked in their shoes a mile, you will never know what they are going through.

21. Never gossip! Gossiping only makes you look bad and is not polite.

22. Reach out to those who are shy or need a friend. Sit with someone at lunch, even if you don't know them.

23. Don't worry what others think of you. Who cares! It takes massive amounts of energy worrying about it and doesn't do you any good. As long as you are kind and polite, you will gain respect anywhere.

24. Always be humble, never prideful. Apologize when an apology is needed, and forgive and forget. Holding anger inside is not of God.

 25. Always put God first and pray to him when you need help. And always remember to love yourself.


Gratitude List

It's November, a month of Thanksgiving and gratitude. I decided to write a list of ten things I am grateful for.

1. The gospel- I don't think I would be who I am today or HAVE what I have today, without the gospel of Jesus Christ. It breaks my heart to see so many people in this world who don't have it or know what it's all about. I pray those missionaries will be able to reach those without it, and their hearts will be humble enough to learn.

2. Service- I feel so uplifted when I serve. I love my calling in church so much. I just can't ever be without it now.  When I am feeling down, service immediately builds me up.

3. My family. I feel so blessed to have a family. Most all my family and sisters, nieces, etc, all live in the same town as I do. They are not active in the church, but my prayers are with them.  I also am so thankful for my own Tracy family I am sealed to for eternity. I am so grateful for a loving husband and father and for my little girl. Sunny is my whole world.

4. Talents: I am grateful for my talents. I have neglected them for years, and I feel quite ashamed about it. My patriarchial blessings emphasizes my talents and how I need to stay true to them. I am so thankful for that extra push I was given to keep coming to ward choir. It is now one of the highlights of my Sunday.

5. Education: I am so thankful for education. Education doesn't have to be a degree. Education comes in many forms. Books are full of knowledge we can gain. The scriptures are another way we can educate ourselves and ponder answers.  I have set so many goals to read my scriptures, and I know I need to do better.

6. Modern Technology- I am suprised I am saying this, but I actually kind of like facebook. While I'm not one who believes in spending copious amounts of time on facebook,  I love the keeping in touch aspect it. Some may wonder why my husband and I have the same facebook account. The truth is, it was Rodney's account first and then I joined his account a year ago.  Before that. I never wanted a Facebook.   I wasn't sure if I would like it, so I just added my name onto his account (with his permission) so it looks like Rodney N Amy Tracy.  I think this may have confused some people as they never know who is saying what, lol.

7. Friends: When I moved back into this town, I was so excited to be here again.  I had always been going to that same chapel since I was born, then I went away to college and moved on.  To be back again is really nice. I know so many people from the past who watched me grow up.  I am so grateful for friends who aren't afraid to be themselves.

8. A house:  I feel so beyond blessed we found this tiny little house to live in, which so happens to be in the same ward boundaries as my mom. I feel I totally lucked out. This is a dream come true.

9. The temple:  I haven't been so long, again I feel horrible about it. The temple was something Rodney and I loved to go to, before Sunny was born. Now that I am a busy mama, I feel it so difficult to make time to go. Poorest excuse, I know. I am definately going to make time to go.

10. Health:  I feel so blessed to be in good health right now. When I was in high school, senior year, I had my first bout of fibromyalagia. It got so bad at times that I couldn't even sit down in a chair without feeling like I was going to die. It is an autoimmune issue that has to be controlled by diet and excerise. Through the years, I have managed it off and on. I can't eat dairy and I must have limited gluten, sugar, and chocolate (I LOVE chocolate). For awhile, I ate the paleo diet and felt the best I ever have in my entire life.
The paleo diet can be expensive, so I don't do it much now.  My cooking blog recipes are quite simple, but I have to make recipes that are low in sugar so I can manage my aches and pains. I feel it badly. There are a few ladies in the ward that suffer like I do, and this disease can make you quite miserable and in a lot of pain at times. I have learned to keep going.

So there is my top ten. I am so grateful for these things in my life.


Baking & Cooking With Mama (Pumpkin Spice Applesauce Muffins)

Sunny is turning 30 months on the 21st.  What is it about this age that is so adorable, yet so moody and fiesty at the same time. Does anyone relate?

Sunny is still in her stormy period. It's been over a week. I won't care to publicly go into too much detail about the challenges we've endured this week, but to sum it up: this week has been rough.

 Sunny who was always so bright and cheerful with the sunniest of disposition, has suddenly turned angry at her world.  We have a doctor appt scheduled today to make sure everything is okay, health wise. My gut tells ne it's another urinary tract infection.

With Sunny waking up at around 6 am every morning, we decided to get going on some fall baking.

Pumpkin Spice, oats, applesauce,  hints of brown sugar, pecans...

Sunny loves her a muffin.  The applesauce oat muffins from this week were a huge hit, so I knew today, a muffin for breakfast would hopefully brighten her day.

I let her fill each muffin tin and she loved it.
                        Getting her involved makes
                        all the difference.
She thought they were ready to eat, so I had to explain how patience works. While the muffins baked, I decided to try getting her involved with eggs. She has always rejected eggs, so my hope was her stirring them would encourage her to eat them. Did it work??
Yes it did!!! Hooray. I called them Mickey Mouse eggs to get her even more excited.  (She LOVES Mickey).
Foods high in protein are so important,  and Sunny has never been one to eat much protein, hence the irritability she goes through.
When the muffins were done, I added a touch of butter and she was on cloud nine. She calls them "hot cakes" and kept asking for more. I think she ate three.
                          Stuffing her face

Pumpkin Spice Applesauce Pecan Muffins

Preheat oven 375
*note* don't over mix muffin batter. Just a few light whisk is all you need for moisture muffins.

2 eggs
1/2 c. Pumpkin puree
1/2 c. Applesauce
1/4 c. Canola oil or butter
1 tsp. Vanilla
1/4 c. Agave or maple syrup
1/4 c brown sugar
1/4 c. Milk or almond milk

Whisk and mix well
1 C. Whole wheat flour
1 c. Oats
1 tsp. Baking powder
1/2 tsp. Baking soda
2 tsp. Pumpkin pie spice
1/4 tsp. Cinnamon
1/2 tsp. Salt
1/4 c. Chopped pecans
1/4 c. Raisins,  optional
Mix with wet ingredients.  Fill muffin liners 3/4 full and bake 15-20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Store in airtight container. 


Mango Salsa (see January archive on right for recipe)