Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Letters from Riesling

Hello Friends & Family,

Last week I got to have a very special day called My Birthday.  There was streamers, bubbles, balloons and lots of boxes filled with fun new toys.  I even got to have a delicious treat, I think Mommy said it's a cupcake.  Mommy says now when people ask me how old I am I supposed to hold up my first finger and say "one."  People seem to get pretty excited about this.  I'm not exactly sure what all this means but I hope I get to celebrate My Birthday again soon because it was really awesome.

Now that things have calmed down from all the celebrating I'm settle back into reading a lot of books.  Rainbow Rob is my favorite.  I have also really been enjoying stacking stuff and trying to figure out how little stuff fits inside of bigger stuff.  There are lots of different shapes and sizes which I have to take into consideration.  It's kinda tough but really fun.  Daddy keeps talking about blue, red, & yellow but I haven't really figured that out yet.  I also have a few new things that I want to try outside, like bubbles and a swing.  When does the sun come back?  I'm waiting so patiently for that day.

Love always, 

Monday, February 25, 2013

Party Details

I really wanted to keep Riesling's birthday party simple.  Just a classic celebration with family and a few close friends.  I grew up with low key parties.  The kind where just being your birthday was special enough without a big theme or gift bags (who started that anyways?) and I hope to keep it that way for the Robinson household as long as possible. 

The guess list included: Papa, Grandma & Granpa, Aunt Becka & Uncle Tim, Great Grandmom & Great Grandpop, and my dear friend/surrogate mother Gram & her new hubby, Gramps.  Unable to attend were the Crooker family (Riesling's godparents) and the rest of the Aunts, Uncles & cousins in Ohio. 

I already had a few red hearts hanging up for Valentine's Day so from there the decor was born.  I picked up a pack of red, white, and pink streamers at the dollar store, some cute napkins on clearance at JoAnn fabric, and ordered a few balloons.  Everything else I pretty much had on hand.  We had the party at lunch time (between her naps) so I just did a simple menu of egg salad sandwiches & a batch yummy gluten free butternut squash "mac n cheese" in the crockpot along with chips & guacamole, and veggies & hummus.

The biggest stress for me was birthday cake.  Riesling has had no wheat or gluten, no sugar, and very limited dairy.  I was really against throwing all that at her system at once just for the sake of a few good smash cake pictures.  It involved a lot of google searching a little bit of experimenting but it all turned out (I think I will do a separate post with more details and include the recipes) and most important Riesling loved her first lil cupcake. She even had seconds!

I ordered the personalized plate months back from Zulily.  I love that she will have her own little plate to use each year to make her feel a little extra special.

 After her cupcake fun, Riesling was stripped down to display her bulging birthday belly and attempt to run off her 'sugar high.' 

This was followed by a brief period of crying when Mommy insisted on a diaper change and new clothes before opening presents.  So mean Mommy, so mean.  I think she had the hang of the whole gift opening thing due to and extended Christmas.  It seemed like we were opening random gifts from extended family and friends for the whole month of January.  She set right to it. 

It was so cute to watch her.  She so much more stable and confident on her feet now so she was buzzing around to looking for new gifts and sharing her excitement/confusion with everyone.

Grandma got her this stuffed rocking horse that was by far her favorite thing.  She was in love instantly and pretty much couldn't take her hands off it once it was opened.  She was trying to pick it up to hug it.  So darn cute. 

The good thing about small parties is that the end quickly.  It worked out perfectly that the pile of wonderful gifts were opened and the crowd cleared just in time for an afternoon nap.  She slept like a log!  We feel so blessed for Riesling to have so many people that love her as much as we do and were able to help us celebrate such an important milestone.

Friday, February 22, 2013


Was this really a year ago?!

Happy Birthday little monkey.  Mommy and Daddy love you so so much....

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Loving motherhood

It's hard to believe a year ago I was just sitting around waiting.  Waiting for a whole new life to begin with my new little family.  Anxious with the anticipation of life as a new mom.  I could never have imagined how much love I was about to experience in one little instant, or how many questions I would have that I never knew I should ask or how little sleep I really needed to still be a functioning member of society.

My little Riesling has almost made her way around the calendar for the first time.  In just one short year she has changed my life and helped me rival the better side of myself.  Everyday I am reminded that it is my job to teach, guide, and support her in this experience we call life.  Embracing those huge responsibilities has calmed my soul, stretched my patience and tenderized my heart.  I am in love with motherhood.

For a long time after my mom died I dreaded facing the future without her, particularly the highlights of adulthood like marriage and parenting.  I really thought becoming a mother without her would be  grim, painful, and confusing.  I anticipated that the sadness of being without such a imperative figure could possibly outweigh the joy of becoming a mother.  I have found the exact opposite to be true. I now have the perfect somewhere to direct and place all of her that is within me.  It was hard for me to imagine what parts of her I would need to channel in this new part of my life. 

I can't pick up the phone to ask her about diaper rash, weird colored poop, or secret teething remedies (let's be honest, times have changed anyways and I would probably spend most of my time convincing her that it's not Ok to put whiskey on a pacifier). I can remember her calm composure and the way she supported her kids without question.  Her somewhat stern but fair about house rules.   All the nights she sat up with me when I was sick or softly talked me into dreamland when I couldn't fall asleep. I know there will be a million times for the rest of my life as a parent that I will think about her and know just what to do.  Long before I knew it was possibly, she is the one who taught me to be in love with motherhood.

Monday, February 18, 2013


"It takes a whole village to raise a child."

~African Proverb

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Tiny spaces

Someone has been into finding tiny little spaces lately.  Like under chairs or tables or wedged between the toilet and the wall.  It's actually pretty cute to watch her try to nestle herself into a new found spot.  Daddy was oh so kind to introduce her to this one...

Thanks Daddy.  Thanks a lot!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Date Night

Last Saturday Jim and I had our first official date night since Riesling was born.  That's right we pretty much haven't been anywhere except work without our little sweet pea in almost a year.  I guess we did go to my best friend's wedding in Charleston when she was about 7 weeks old but I don't really count that since we were within walking distance of our hotel and my "nanny" for the evening brought her to the wedding for feedings.  Anyways, we booked our sitter, got all fancied up and off we went to celebrate Jim's birthday like real adults. 

We started the evening dining amongst the 65 and older crowd with a 5:30 reservation at the Yardley Inn (one of our favorite restaurants) accompanied by our dear friends, The Crookers.  I must say early dining has it's advantages.  It wasn't too crowded, it was early in the shift so the servers were fresh on their game, and we scored a major three course early dining special. It was definitely a little weird to be without Riesling.  While we were waiting for The Crookers to arrive the table behind us had a 5 minute discussion about which bottle of Riesling was the best....it was like torture to listen to our little gals name over and over again while trying to ward off the guilt of leaving her behind for the night.  When Jon & Lorraine arrived and the adult conversation started to flow, we got over our mild case of guilt pretty quickly.  I honestly didn't know what to do with both my hands free. We even enjoyed a round of oysters (well none for the shellfish allergy stricken gal) and a three course dinner without interruption.  I had to keep reminding myself that it was Ok to eat slowly. 

Following dinner we headed over to the new brewery in Yardley, The Vault.  Jim has recently taken an interest in brewing beer and it was a desired trip to The Vault that actually prompted us to get a babysitter in the first place.  The men enjoyed some fine brews on tap while ladies aka designated drivers chatted over chilled water.  Good times were had by all.  By 9:30ish we were holding hands and walking through a sparkly dusting of fresh snow.  So romantic. 

We arrive back home only to find our darling Miss Riesling has decided to awaken from her slumber just minutes if not seconds earlier.  Not only is she not sleeping she is apparently wide awake and ready for a night of partying.  Our sitter apologizes, takes her cash, and sleeps out the door while I attempt to rock her.  After nearly 2 hours of rocking, singing, nursing, reading, snuggling, and every other trick in the book (that's right, very close to midnight) she was back asleep.  Jim has been snoring in a bit of a drunken stupor for well over an hour at this point and I exhausted and lying on the floor of Riesling's nursery holding her hand through the crib comforting her to sleep. Man I love date night. Stupid wasted oyster.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Letters from Riesling

Hello Friends & Family,

I have to say I am not the biggest fan of this winter stuff.  I really really want to go outside and play but it's just so dang cold most of the time.   Most days I just play inside.  I run around everywhere, climb up the steps, snuggle with Sofee dog, or help Mommy with the chores.  Sometimes we take fun trips out to breakfast or do some shopping.  Yesterday I went to story time at the library for the first time.  It was great!  There were lots of other kids, a big room to run around, and a lady signing songs and reading books.  

All these things are fun but some days I just really want to go outside.  I stand at the window, pointing at the trees, just hoping I get a chance to breath in some fresh air.  Usually Mommy feels bad and ventures out with me.  I still can't decide if it's worth it though.  First, I have to put on this big puffy coat and I can hardly move my arms.  Then Mommy tries to make me wear a hat, which I immediately take off and either try to hide or just throw on the ground.  And mittens, just forget it...how am I suppose to do anything with those on?  To top it all off we can't even stay outside very long.  My mom says not to worry though, Spring will be here soon.

Love always, 

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Gluten Free Vegan Pizza

Doesn't that sound yummy?  Who needs all the chewy crust, oozing melted cheese, and greasy pepperoni?  Pizza was one of those things I've struggled to replace when I started converting to a gluten free diet.  I tried a lot of different crusts. Some pre-made, others from a mix or recipe but they were all obviously not "real" pizza.  I finally stumbled upon Shar's gluten free crust awhile back and have stuck with them every since. 

They come in a pre package box of 2 crusts.  The prices varies depending on the store but I can usually get them for around $6.00.  It seems a little pricey but when you think of how much you pay for pizza when you order out it's not so bad. It makes for a quick and easy semi-homemade pizza night.  We sometimes go the traditional sauce and cheese route, but for Jim's birthday I decided to do a special vegan kale pizza.

Vegan Pizza

Pizza crust of your choice
1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
2-3 gloves of garlic, chopped
~ 1/2 c. pizza sauce
toppings of your choice
olive oil

Preheat oven according to pizza crust directions.
Cook garlic on medium heat medium skillet using 1-2 Tbsp of oil.  Add cannellini beans and cook until warm.  Mash beans and garlic.

Spread bean mash over crust. Add sauce. Top with choice of  veggies (we went with red onions...I also enjoy roasted red peppers.)

With 2-3 minutes remaining on the recommended cook time I remove the pizza and top with a heaping pile of kale and drizzle a little oil olive around the edges of the crust.  Returning to the oven until the kale is crispy. 

Monday, February 4, 2013


Winter is the time of promise because there is so little to do - or because you can now and then permit yourself the luxury of thinking so. 

 ~Stanley Crawford