Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Memorial Day Weekend C, C & C!!

Happy Memorial Day Weekend, Everyone!

I had a fantastic weekend - my sister Chrissy visited from Friday morning to this morning, Tuesday. She was the biggest help imaginable, not to mention super fun company all weekend long. As soon as she landed on Friday, we grabbed lunch at Panera and then flew home asap so she could meet her nephews! 

Soon after, we went to have some professional photos taken of the boys. It was a long process, so thank goodness she was there to help. Here are a few pics, Conor first, then Caden:

On Saturday, Joyce, Dennis and Pat came by for a few hours. Joyce and Den had met Conor in the hospital, but this was the first time they were meeting Caden. I think Joyce has Caden here on the left and Uncle Den has Conor.

On Sunday at some point, Chrissy and I decided to give the boys their first bath. We have been doing sponge baths since they have come home from the hospital, so this was the first "submerged in an inch of water" bath. Caden tolerated it a bit better than Conor - highs and lows all around. :)

Auntie Chrissy made sure Caden was all snuggled up, nice and toasty. He loved it.

They ended up passing out shortly after their baths, and we took a cute pic of their little arms in the air - they were tired!!

On Monday night, Chrissy babysat the boys while Jim and I ventured in Old Town for a celebratory drink (& oysters) since he passed the CA bar. It was a fun night out. We were under strict orders from Auntie Chrissy NOT to talk about the twins the entire night, but of course we did. They are just awesome. :)

I hope you all had a wonderful, safe long weekend too! And of course, a huge thank you to those who have served, both past and present. THANK YOU!!!!


PS Flashback photo last year Memorial Day Weekend on the beach in SoCal. Keryn came to visit!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Conor James and Caden Francis

My baby boys are HERE!

I am sure most of you have either received a phone call, a text, an email or read about it on facebook or instagram haha - but here is my official "the twins have arrived" blog post. Things have been crazy, hectic, amazing, memorable and exhilarating all at the same time. There really are no words to describe what these last two weeks have been like - we are just super blessed (& tired).

This photo of Conor (left) and Caden (right) was taken just moments after they were born. Jim was able to grab a few shots after they were weighed, measured and wiped down. Conor James weighed 6 lbs 11 oz and Caden Francis weighed 5 lbs 5 oz. They are absolutely amazing...and clearly loving being outside of my belly. ;)

This pic was taken a few minutes after I was brought into recovery. I was still completely numb and pretty out of it, but it's our first family photo! Mom has Conor and Dad has Caden.

I am now in the Family Care Center in the hospital - where we spent the next four days. Mommy and Conor left, Caden right. :)
And of course, Daddy and his boys...little different shot. He is super pumped. Ready to light up those cigars!

Here are a few pics of my Dad's arrival, us leaving the hospital and heading home. My Dad was quite the photographer that night. Both my parents helped us leave the hospital since Jim's hands were quite full with two car seats and I pretty much couldn't carry anything. So glad they were there to help. Here are Grammy and Grampa Callahan in action! Dad has Conor and Mom  has Caden.
Another momma and boys pic.

Since Caden is a little smaller than Conor, he had to take the "car seat challenge" (which he of course passed with flying colors). We tucked a little blanket around him just to be safe.

And here we are outside the hospital. We just didn't want to leave!

Sigh of relief, we made it home safe and sound.

My mom and I have gone for a few walks around the neighborhood. The weather has been beautiful and I feel great. We are trying to get outside as much as possible before the heat and humidity kick in this summer!

And here are a few little favs of them all snuggled up. Thank you to Abby again for the quilts she made. They are just too cute! "Three blocks long" hehe.

Here's a current pic, taken today 5/18/14 - the boys rocking their nautical outfits in preparation for the beach this summer! Thanks, Shay Shay!!

Oh and in other news, Jim passed the CALIFORNIA BAR EXAM!! Woooohoooooo! Here he is sharing the news and finally having his celebratory cigar. Peace and quiet. Congrats to Jimbo.
Til next time...maybe another two week hiatus? Hope not! ;)
Shaz, Jim, Conor and Caden

Monday, May 5, 2014

Granola - 1 Day Before Babies Arrive!!

In continuing my efforts of making different meals/snacks for after we are home from the hospital, I made a little snack today. I was eating a KIND bar this morning I thought - why don't I make my own granola??

Homemade granola is super easy, healthy and often cheaper than the store bought stuff. Plus, if you have a few of the staple ingredients plus an oven and a bowl -- why not make it? You can diversify it by adding it to yogurt or eat it with fruit, or just by itself. So it got me thinking of different ingredients I could whip together today for a not-so-bland-homemade granola. After reading this website, this is what I came up with...oats, walnuts, apples, chia seeds, cocoa powder, cinnamon, coconut oil and raw organic honey.

Oh, but before I forget - we bought a new sofa yesterday! It has power recliners on both sides and is pretty darn comfy. It is the extra sitting space that the downstairs was missing. I have a feeling I will be spending tons of time in this room this summer and fall!

But back to the granola. There are a few essentials to make any granola - grain, nuts, sweetener and oil. Then there are your "optional ingredients" like seeds, dried fruit and spices. Here are most of my ingredients, with a few additional spices like nutmeg and ginger. I started off with all my dry ingredients in my bowl - so 3 cups of rolled oats, 1 cup of walnuts, 2 tbsp. of chia seeds, 2 tbsp. of cocoa powder, a dash of salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg - all of these are optional. Then I added my wet ingredients to the bowl which were 1/4 cup coconut oil, 2 tbsp. of raw organic honey and 1 egg white 

I originally was going to dry out my granny smith apple pieces and then mix them into the granola after it was done cooking, but then I decided it would take too long. I honestly didn't feel like waiting 8+ hours for it. So I googled a few other recipes to see if anyone opted to use fresh fruit in their granola. I was hesitant it would make it juicy or runny, but it actually came out great! I like the tangy flavor of the apple in the "sweeter" granola.

I mixed everything all together so it was all coated with the coconut oil/honey/egg white. I then spread it all out on a baking sheet. I personally like to cover it with aluminum foil or parchment paper to save on cleaning down the road.

Here we go! Ready for the oven...350 degrees for 45 minutes.

I took an "after" pic - but it looks pretty much the same as the before photo. It is really delicious, and is going great with my decaf coffee on this late afternoon, the day before my boys are scheduled to arrive. ;)

Happy Cinco de Mayo everyone!! Me and Jimbo are clearly celebrating a little bit differently this year. Be safe and have fun!


Saturday, May 3, 2014

Mom's Arrival in DC!

A and B are almost here!! 

I will be 38 weeks on Monday. Since it is getting down to the wire now, my mom arrived and has settled in to her little 'apartment' downstairs at our place. She has her own room, bathroom, kitchenette, and rec room to hang out and have her own space for the next 3 weeks. She and I will probably spend a lot of time down there when the babies are here, because we can walk out to the back patio area, and just veg out downstairs.

We had a fun, relaxing first day today. We decided to have a little BBQ while the Bruins were playing (& winning) and we grilled up some cheeseburgers with avocado, potato salad and corn on the cob.

We also whipped up some "Honey Lemon Chia Seed Muffins" I found here. She has wayyy better pictures than me because I packed up the Canon Rebel in the hospital bag. I just used my phone for these today.

Well here are the ingredients and the instructions. I highly recommend them with a cup of coffee or a latte in the morning...very lemony and remind me of spring!

  • 1¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 2½ tsp baking powder
  • ¾ cup part-skim ricotta cheese (Greek yogurt not recommended)
  • ½ cup water
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • Zest of 2 lemons
  • 2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp. chia seeds
  • 2 tbsp honey, melted
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with cupcake liners and set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar and baking powder. And in a medium bowl, mix together ricotta, water, olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, and one egg.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry mix and fold together with a wooden spoon. Add the chia seeds and continue to gently fold into batter. 

Evenly divide batter into prepared muffin pan. Bake for 16 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.  

Let cool for 5 minutes then with a pastry brush, gently brush melted honey onto the tops of the muffins. I think this step is the most important - it really adds a bit of sweetness. Enjoy!

See you soon!!! Maybe with some exciting news to report! :)