Exciting Times….

There are exciting times in the He Runs, I Cook household in between watching Sesame Street and the everyday juggle of life, we’re actually doing some interesting things– sort of.

For starters, MiniMe is nearly 2. He’s only 22 months to be exact but I’ve finally reached the point of motherhood where I know longer know exactly how old my child is. The first few months, I could tell you that he was precisely 9 weeks, 4 days and 37 minutes, then it was 8 1/2 months, now we’re starting to round up to years. I’m sure if you asked my mother right now, she would say that I’m somewhere in my 30s- because to be honest, even I can’t remember my exact age sometimes.

 

So MiniMe has gone from being a baby to being a walking and talking human being with his own personality, preferences and priorities which is super cute and fun- until they clash with the preferences and priorities of others in his orbit. But we’re coping well- his favorite words are bus and car and he’s fascinated by anything that has wheels or an engine (especially buses and cars). He knows his colors, can count to two and is generally a pretty cool kid.

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The second exciting thing that’s happening is I’m combining my job (IT recruitment) with my passion (gender equality) and organizing and hosting an event at work called Women Leading IT. I’m super excited about it, my company is super excited about it and we’ve had a great response from the female IT community- with over 100 women registered. I’m really thrilled because it’s been a huge lesson for me in terms of speaking up and agitating and advocating for change at work. I kept opening my mouth and asking why we’re not doing more and voila- here we are doing more! And my we, I mean mostly me and my co-organizer, but it is being paid for and sponsored by our company so it is very exciting! You can read more about the event here.

As you can see, I’m MC-ing the event- also a new challenge for me, fingers crossed I don’t freeze and just stare at the audience for 5 minutes!

The third, and possibly most exciting thing that’s happening is that I’ve found the perfect muffin!

Yes, that’s right!  I told you it was exciting times.  They are apple and carrot gluten free and sugar free and actually quite delicious. They’re relatively healthy- although I added chocolate chips and raisins- so I don’t feel bad about feeding them to MiniMe for breakfast, snack and even after dinner- not three in the same day obviously—- well, not obviously but don’t judge me! I found them on the Cookie and Kate website- they call them superhero muffins. And they’re 100% right! Amazing! Great to grab and go in the morning to eat on the bus when we’re running late and they have hidden fruit and veggies in them which is great for a toddler that won’t eat a vegetable other than potato and pumpkin. They come from a cookbook called Run Fast.  Cook Fast.  Eat Slow.  It is written by an elite marathon runner, Shalane Flanagan,  which I ordered as soon as I tasted the muffin.  Healthy Treats for MiniMe and The Runner; a new cookbook for me- So, all in all, a win!

Like I said, exciting times in our house!

He’s a natural!

Not to brag, but I’m pretty sure T-Money aka Baby Runner/Mini-Cook is a natural born culinary genius. Ok, like most Mothers I am exaggerating just a little, but I am really surprised and proud of his cooking skills. Namely, he didn’t thrown anything in the batter and actually stood on his stool throughout the whole process and was even a bit sad when it was over.

This morning we made Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread- both a nod to my Grandmother and an easy thing to take to a potluck 1st birthday party, and an easy thing to freeze in case someone oversleeps and we miss the party.

Mini-Cook has always been fascinated by things that make noise, especially in the kitchen, so when he heard the food processor start up, he ran in like a flash! He was very good at pushing the button to make it stop and go and stop and go and stop and go. He likes pushing buttons- a lot. When it came time to beat the eggs, he helped with that too. He watched me crack two eggs and then helped with the third by throwing it into the bowl- unconventional but effective!

Egg is one of the 5 or so words he clearly says- along with more, Dada, Duduh (for Duggee, his favorite cartoon), Mama, up, and his personal favorite- buh-bye. His buh-byes actually vary in tone depending on whether he wants to go, is actually going or wants you to go- sometimes there is a wave and a kiss, other times just a stare and an increasingly insistent bye.

He helped the mixing process by operating the stand mixer and also supervised the filling of loaf pans. For a 17 month old, he did pretty well as you can tell by the look of concentration on his face!

It was also really fun for me watching him participate in something I love. He was curious and helpful but most of all he enjoyed it so it won’t be the last weekend cooking project we undertake together! We haven’t tasted the finished product yet, but no matter what it tastes like, we’ll definitely be back in the kitchen together soon!

Happy Mother’s Day!

A big shout out to all the Amazing Moms, Grandmothers and all the Children with amazing Moms and Grandmothers. I hope you’re spending the day with the Amazing women in your life either in person or in spirit! We’re blessed in the He Runs, I Cook household to have wonderful mothers and grandmothers who we love and cherish every day!!

Happy 2018!

Wow-2017 went by in a blur but I can honestly say it was one of the most exciting years ever.  So exciting that I barely had time to write about it!

The source of all the excitement was, of course, The Baby.    And for a little person, he certainly took up a lot of time and provided more laughter and smiles than anything else I’ve ever experienced.  I can’t believe he’s 12 months old now- 54 weeks to be exact- and is now officially The Toddler thanks to his amazing and improving walking skills.

Motherhood has been a challenge but a fun one and through it all we’ve still been eating and I’ve still been cooking – not as elaborately as before but hey, no one has starved.   The most challenging part of motherhood at the moment is what to feed The Toddler and how to come up with easy, delicious meals which he will eat in under 45 minutes without destroying the carpet, clothing and requiring showers for both of us after.  Luckily, he is an adventurous eater who loves to try new foods especially if it comes from someone else’s plate.

My New Year’s Resolution this year- aside from keeping The Toddler alive for another 12 months- is to get back to writing and doing and cooking interesting things worth writing about at least 1-2 times per month.   I don’t think there will be a lot of fine dining restaurants reviewed but anywhere with a high chair and any meal that can be cooked with just one hand is fair game!

P is for potato

Starting with kitchen basics- but not quite ready for kitchen duty yet! 

 This is the reason I haven’t been writing more or cooking more recently!

It’s been an amazing 11 weeks with The He Runs, I Cook kid.  Lots of sleepless nights, diapers, and tears (from both of us!). But he’s an amazing little guy who has doubled in size since he came into the world so like his parents he loves his food!

We’re starting to get into more of a routine with Little T so hopefully I’ll be able to share more of our future cooking adventures!

For now, here are a few more photos out of the thousands (literally!) that I’ve snapped over the last 78 days!

For an endless supply of Little T photos, please follow me on instagram @stephzuniga.

A Birth Day Cake

So tomorrow, we get to meet Our Son.  After months of seeing him on an ultrasound and weeks of feeling him move and kick and wiggle inside me, tomorrow we will finally come face to  face.

It’s a pretty surreal feeling and if I’m  honest, I still don’t totally comprehend the fact that in 12 hours from now, The Runner and I will be sitting (or lying) down in hospital waiting to be taken into an operating theatre.  It’s been a long, not always easy journey to get this far, but I’m so happy and thankful that we have nearly made it to the finish line….. Or maybe it’s the only the starting line really!

Either way, we’re here.   And we will soon be three.  A cook, a runner and a little boy who is full of possibilities.  

In the last few weeks, we have had lots of lasts or at least “lasts for a while” but tonight is a first.  Tonight, I am baking a first birth day cake for our son.  A Tres Leches Cake which hopefully The Runner will remember to bring me slices of this week in hospital- it’s going to be a pretty big week and I reckon cake is good for recovery!