Tuesday, September 28

Sweet & Spicy Citrus Tilapia

On our First “Little” Family vacation several weeks ago, we had many opportunities to enjoy relaxing meals al fresco where we could try new recipes.  I found this recipe in the August edition of Cooking Light and it was perfect after a long day on the beach.   You could use this marinade for chicken, pork, shrimp or any other type of fish – it is so versatile. 

We enjoyed fresh grilled veggies and lime scented rice as sides.IMG_5980 Sweet & Spicy Citrus Tilapia

  • 4  (6-ounce) tilapia fillets
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/2  cup  fresh orange juice (about 1 orange)
  • 3  tablespoons  fresh lime juice
  • 1  tablespoon  brown sugar
  • 1  tablespoon  extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2  teaspoons  lower-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2  teaspoon  salt
  • 1/2  teaspoon  ground cumin
  • 1/4  teaspoon  black pepper
  • 1/4  teaspoon  ground red pepper
  • 2  garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1/2  teaspoon  paprika

Arrange fish in a single layer in a shallow roasting pan coated with cooking spray. Combine orange juice and next 9 ingredients (through garlic); pour over fish. Let stand 15 minutes.

Preheat broiler.

Sprinkle fish with paprika; broil 15 minutes or until desired degree of doneness. Drizzle sauce over fish.

Tipp’s Baptism

image Tipp was baptized on Sunday, September 19 and this was an extra special occasion.  Our new pastor, Dr. Carl Frazier was appointed to our church in June.  Coincidentally he was my previous pastor at my parents church in Sanford and married Ben and I at Duke Chapel.  imageThe service was wonderful with all of our families in attendance.  Tipp was so peaceful during the ceremony and woke up just in time to be baptized.  He was very alert while Carl walked him through congregation while everyone sang “Jesus Loves You” to him; and I was filled with such emotion knowing not only the commitment we made to raise our child with Christian principles, but also the commitment our entire church family had made as well.image After the service we enjoyed a fantastic lunch at Lucky 32 with everyone.  The icing on the cake (or cupcake) was chocolate Cafe Carolina Cupcakes for dessert.  Tipp received many wonderful gifts including photo frames to document the day, a book of Bible stories for children, many cute clothes for the winter season, and money for his 529 plan.  IMG_6108IMG_6103IMG_6105Ben and I feel incredibly blessed that we have such a wonderful family that loves Tipp so much!!  It was truly a special day that we will never forget.image

Football and Our House Divided

Football season has finally arrived and we are so thrilled to start dressing Tipp in our favorite team colors.  One of the first games of the season was VT Hokies vs ECU Pirates and Tipp cheered on the Hokies to their first win of the season.  I’m sure he was the good luck charm they needed.image IMG_6102In true Stafford-Hedrick fashion we watched the game over lots of snacks and munchies, then followed with a cookout. IMG_6096Virginia Tech and ECU are not the only team Tipp is starting to root for…he has plenty of Carolina Panther gear for the season!  Ben and Tipp enjoyed a Sunday afternoon watching football all day.  The Panthers did not win, but we think we have one cute fanatic to take to the games soon!  IMG_6023 IMG_6025Laura and Lillie gave Tipp Stripes for a baby shower gift since it’s the Chinese year of the Tiger.  They picked out a Carolina Panther outfit for him to wear, which conveniently Tipp is almost the same size as Stripes and could wear his helmet!   IMG_6037 IMG_5914

Miles 8 & 9

I am now running into unchartered territory…the farthest I have ever ran!  My mom and I have become training partners and conquered both 8 and 9 mile long runs in the past two weeks.  imageThis past weekend we braved the rain for a 9 mile run on the American Tobacco Trail.  Running in the rain is so much fun…we did not have a dry bone on us when we returned, but we made amazing time at 10:56 per mile. 

We both have enjoyed training together so much we kept thinking of ways we could run the races together.  Finally around mile 7.5 I agreed to run the Myrtle Beach Mini Marathon with her on Oct. 24 - she signed me up that night!   I cannot believe I am running not one, but two half marathons within 3 weeks of each other, let alone just months after having a baby!

After the Myrtle Beach Mini, I’ll taper off again, but continue training with Ben for the OBX Half while she watches Tipp during our long runs.

Happy 3 Months Tipp!!

It is already fall and Tipp has turned 3 months!  Where has the summer gone?  He no longer reminds me of a newborn even though he is still on the small side (11 lbs, 2 oz).  He is nursing like a champ now and meeting all of his milestones so his doctor is not worried.  IMG_6081Tipp is incredibly strong and can hold his head up really well now.  He tolerates tummy time a little better, but would much prefer to lay on his back under his play gym.  He loves to bat at the toys and kick which restarts the music and lights.  He is also trying very very hard to roll over.  He rocks from side to side, but favors his left, to rotate himself around the play mat.  

He has become much more social and his entire face lights up when he smiles…we will do anything for a smile and a coo!  Generally he has become a happy baby!  Tipp is also becoming more aware of toys, so much so, I went out and bought him new one.  He has also discovered his feet and hands.IMG_6088We have been so blessed to have such an awesome sleeper!  Tipp’s bedtime routine is being established with a bath, book, and nursing around 830-9pm every night.  He usually sleeps until 6am hardly waking any during the night.  I think Ben and I will need the sleep training to let him be sometimes and not get up to pop the paci back in!!  Lately we have been enjoying his morning nursing session in bed and Tipp usually falls back asleep.  I come downstairs for coffee and a little “me” time while Ben dozes off beside Tipp.  It’s the sweetest thing to go check on them and see my boys snoozing away!

New Friends & New Recipes

Since I have such an extended maternity leave, I have been enjoying the benefits of being at stay at home mom.  I joined our church’s MOPS group and love the fellowship every other Friday we share over breakfast.

Each group takes turns bringing a huge spread of breakfast that includes casseroles, breads, fruit, grits, coffee and juice – which is an awesome way to start the weekend.   My group was chosen to provide breakfast for our second meeting and I decided to make a Chocolate Zucchini bread after reading several recipes in a latest issue of Cooking Light.

This bread is incredibly moist and tasted amazing.  I was nervous about making a recipe without trying it first, but I got so many compliments and requests for the recipe.  It makes 2 loaves and the first loaf I kept for us since I was too anxious to get it out of the pan and it crumbled.  It was still wonderful and between Ben and I we ate it within 2 days!


Chocolate Zucchini Bread

  • 2 (1 ounce) squares unsweetened chocolate
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups grated zucchini
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease two 9x5 inch loaf pans. In a microwave-safe bowl, microwave chocolate until melted. Stir occasionally until chocolate is smooth.

In a large bowl, combine eggs, sugar, oil, grated zucchini, vanilla and chocolate; beat well. Stir in the flour baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Fold in the chocolate chips. Pour batter into prepared loaf pans.

Bake in preheated oven for 60 to 70 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a loaf comes out clean.

Wednesday, September 8

Ready to Run…

I must be crazy, but I’m training for the OBX Half Marathon!  I actually registered back in April while I was pregnant knowing it would be great motivation to get back out on the road running again.  I got the go-ahead at my 6 week post delivery check up and have started a 16 week training program.  imageNot having run a single time since last October, starting back was actually much easier than I thought!  I started slow with just running/walking 2 miles and focusing on covering the distance.  Slowly my pace has gotten faster, my endurance better and my distances longer.  This past week at the beach I did a ton of running and it felt great!  Saturday I ran 6 miles with my mom at a 11:30 pace.

13.1 miles seems pretty daunting and I have moments where I ask myself why I thought it would be a good idea, but overall I feel good setting a goal for myself.  2010 will be an awesome year with the birth of Tipp and me finishing my first Half!

Tipp’s First Church Service

When Tipp was 8 weeks old, we finally decided it was time (or safe) to take him to church for the first time.  Since our day starts around 6 or 7am we decided to go to an earlier service and had intentions of possibly taking him to the nursery if needed.  IMG_5858 IMG_5862IMG_5860 Our timing was perfect and he ate right before leaving.  At the start of the service he immediately fell asleep and slept the entire time.  All of our “neighbors” loved having him in church and were so happy to meet him.  Ben and I were happy to be back at church and to finally say hello to our new pastor, Dr. Carl Frazier.  Carl is new to First United Methodist Cary, but not new to us.  He was our pastor at my old church in Sanford and actually married Ben and I at Duke Chapel.  We are thrilled he will baptize Tipp on September 19 and that Tipp will grow up with a wonderful church family!

Happy 2 Months Tipp

Our sweet baby boy is now 2 months old and we are falling in love with him more as each day passes!!  Tipp is becoming more aware and noticing his surroundings.  He loves to smile, especially at his Daddy!  I think the fussy period has finally passed and everyone is getting more sleep.  At night he sleeps like a champ waking usually once around 3 or 4 am to nurse.  Although he is cat-napper during the day, but we’ll take that as long as he continues to technically sleep through the night!IMG_5872He had his 2 month check up and got 3 shots and an oral vaccine and those were not fun.  Luckily he did well with them and we only needed one dose of Tylenol when he got fussy later in the evening.  Fortunately we did not have to experience any fevers.  He is still a little peanut weighing only 9 lbs. 8 oz, which is in the 10th percentile.  His length is 22.75 inches and puts him in the 50th percentile for height.  Hopefully over the next month breastfeeding will become even easier as he gets more efficient and gains more weight, but overall it is going well and I’m so glad we have stuck it out!IMG_5882Over the next month we look forward to watching our little man grow and start to interact with us by cooing more and laughing.   Ben and I cannot stop saying how cute he is…we now cannot remember life without him!