Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Bi-Bim-Bap/비빔밥... an Aldridge Favorite!

One of my favorite Korean meals is Bi Bim Bap or rather 비빔밥. 

Traditional BiBimBap in a stone bowl (PC: Wiki)
This Korean dish is a traditional dish... which literally means "mixed rice". This dish is served over a hot bowl of white rice topped with a variety of sautéed vegetables. To add more flavor, many times the dish is topped with gochujang/고추장, (chilipepper paste) & sesame see oil... and most definitely topped with a fried egg. Growing up my mom didn't make it too often because of the many difference components that goes into the dish. First my mom would make her stash of home made bulgogi, marinating thin slices of sirloin. Then she sauteed over 6 different vegetables (spinach, carrots, soy bean sprouts, onions, mushrooms, tofu, lotus flower, zucchini). The best part of it was the sauce topping. My grandmother used to send her home made gochujang & daenjang where she fermented the paste for months.

daenjang fermenting in traditional clay pot
gochujang in traditional clay pot

These days, I'm the one that makes it for my family... my White hubby & hapachild. :)

This is my hubby's dish... topped with a drizzle of sesame seed oil. No gochujang for this white boy. 
I don't over embellish with all the different veggies... I only do carrots, onions, corn & spinach... and I only get a chance to make it when my mom makes her bulgogi. :)

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Books, Books, Books!

Growing up, reading was one of my favorite things to do. I would stay up late, hiding under my covers trying to finish the chapter with a flashlight. I read EVERYTHING I could get my hands on.

These are just a handful of classics I recall...
All of a Kind Family
Charlotte's Web
The Giant Peach
Little House on the Prairie
The Babysitters Club
Sarah, Plain & Tall
Tales of 4th Grade Nothing
Trumpet of the Swan

In the last couple of months, Rhys has really shown his interest in books. Since his vocabulary is growing fast, he is associating pictures & words. I love seeing him laying on the floor with a pile of books. I admit that there are nights that I'm way too tired and forget to read or hope Rhys will forget BUT Rhys does not forget. He is adamant and yells 'BOOK'! Don't get me wrong...this is exactly what I had hoped for my child... the same love for a good story. I can't wait until he is old enough for us to explore one of my ALL TIME favorites, the Harry Potter Series.

Reading with Gigi (Grandma Maureen)

Reading with his babysitter, Linda. 

For the last 2 week, we have been stuck on Thomas the Train. I hope we can move to a new book soon... :)

Monday, September 19, 2016

Who takes care of Rhys?

When I was pregnant one of the most stressful issues I had to figure out was Rhys' childcare. Neil and I worked out our financials and figured I can take 4 months off for maternity leave. In that 4 months I had to find someone to entrust my sweet little baby to.

My research started online. I 'googled' all local day cares, Montessori's, etc and then called them individually to get the following information:
Child to teacher/caregiver ratio
Total Attendance
Daycare Layout

After calling about 30 different day cares, I made 5 scheduled appointments to check out the facilities personally. All 5 of the visits were a fail. Too many kids, not clean enough, too expensive, or the caregiver and I weren't on the same page.

I was quite overwhelmed and frustrated... when a co-worker suggested I check out the local school district's website because many have listings of local day cares. Trying not to put all my eggs in one basket, I kept my hopes low and continued my research. Once again, I had a long list of numbers to call. Then came the visits... That's when I found Linda, Mama Hines, Hines Family Day Care.

I met Linda when I was ~7 months pregnant with Rhys. Neil & I went over to have a home interview and the minute I met her, I knew she would be the perfect person to take care of MY baby. Linda is a sweet, caring, calm woman with over 15 years of experience that loves her kids. Linda been taking care of Rhys since he was ~4 months old. She has been wonderful helping Rhys becoming the awesome little boy he is. She sends me daily updates with lots of pictures & videos. Linda also cooks all the food she gives to the children. Since the day care is set in her home, she has the back room completely designated for the kids, with a cubbies for each kid and lots of toys & books. Her backyard is heaven for the kids too, plenty of playhouses, trikes, cars, etc. She has animals for the kids to play with (2 cats, 2 dogs, 2 parakeets & 5 guinea pigs). Rhys was taught at a very young age to be gentle and handle animals.
Rhys & Linda & a guinea pig

Looking at the drizzling rain with the other kiddos. 
First week of day care (~4 months old)

Now... after 2 years, Linda is still giving me daily updates and helping me raise Rhys to be a wonderful little gentleman.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Rhys & teeth... It took 20 MONTHS!!!!

Rhys is a special little dude. Unlike other babies, Rhys didn't get his first tooth until +18 months. Neil & I were concerned and took him to the dentist but after x-rays the dentist wasn't worried. We saw his teeth under the gumlines. all we had to do was wait. This waiting period was a tad stressful for me. I was worried that the lack of teeth will prevent him from a good diet... or delay is speech... or will the oral surgeon need to perform any surgery (we were told that was a possibility)? My husband was the one kept me grounded and just said to be patient... and wait.

And wait we did. How long did you think we had to wait???

Well... Rhys' first tooth came in when he was 20 months old! Do you think it was the 'normal' 1st tooth, the bottom center? NOPE! It was his left bottom molar... Yes... the molar. Then in the next month all 4 of his molars came in... still nothing in the front (top or bottom). Then when Rhys was 23 months... 4 bottom teeth started to grow in ALL at once.

Currently, his top center right has broken through. The growth is SLOW... but he HAS TEETH!!! 

Don't get me wrong... teeth or no teeth... he is a little muncher! Loves to eat, especially good, ethnic, tasty, flavorful food. One of his favorite now is Yellow Coconut Curry rice... and of course BBQ ribs. 

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

My Baby Boo is TWO!

I have totally laxed on this blog. I admit it.. this motherhood thing is crazy, FUN but crazy.

Last month, Rhys turned two. I planned to only do a low key dinner with just us three but at the last minute I was able to 'convince'/bribe my husband to light up the fire & BBQ up a few racks of ribs & invite the whole family for a nice dinner. Neil was awesome & made 3 racks of ribs along with a pork butt for Pulled Pork Sandwiches. I went ahead and made coconut rice, potato salad & baked beans. My mother in law was the one that made the cupcakes with lemon frosting for Rhys. Simple, sweet & lots of food.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

2015 Christmas with the Aldridge-ee-ya's

Growing up, Christmas was spent at Church with my parents & brother. I loved my church family but it wasn't the same. The big get-togethers you see on TV was what I envisioned mine to be in the future... and now... Christmas is better than I could have imagined. 

This Christmas, Rhys, my 18 month was old enough to experience the joy of Christmas morning. He ripped open his gifts and really liked the new toys Santa/Daddy got him. :) 

We're able to spend most of our Christmas day with Evan, my stepson and I love how Rhys loves spending time with him. Rhys loves to hug, cuddle, play with his BIG bro. I was able to capture some moments.... Brotherly love even if it's just 1/2. LOL!

Monday, December 14, 2015

I have a baby carnivore!!!

Rhys will be 17 month next week and he loves to eat. I am very lucky to have a baby that will eat anything. He loves food. Food that is full of flavor & taste. Hubby & I have been very fortunate that Rhys isn't allergic to anything.
In the last couple of months, Rhys has really appreciated different tastes from Korean, Thai, BBQ, Chinese, Spanish, etc.
Some of Rhys' faves have been...
Pad See Ew
Pineapple Fried Rice
Fish Cake
BBQ Ribs
Bean & Cheese Tostada
Beef Chow Fun
Rice... white, sticky
Also a side of soup... slurping soup on the side, Miso, Ckn Soup, Beef Broth, Stew, etc. :)