Braised Short Ribs

Daniel had some really yummy short ribs at a restaurant recently, so I picked some up at the grocery store to try making them myself. Here’s the recipe I came up with.

Preheat oven to 350

1-2 lbs boneless beef short ribs
1 tbsp rib seasoning or other spice blend
1/4 cup flour
1/2 onion, chopped
1 tbsp crushed garlic
1 cup chicken or beef broth
2 cups red wine (I used Cabernet)
2 tsp thyme
2 tsp parsley
2 tbsp olive oil

Generously season all sides of ribs with rib seasoning. Dip in flour to coat all sides. In a dutch oven, heat olive oil and add thyme. Brown ribs on all sides. Add onions and garlic and cook until softened. Add broth, red wine, parsley, salt, and pepper. Make sure that ribs are completely covered by liquid. Remove pan from stove and cook covered in a 350 degree oven for 2 hours or until desired tenderness.

here’s the scoop

So, here’s what we know about Brennan so far. He likes to sleep. A lot. So far, nothing special is needed to put him to sleep and he can tolerate loud noises, bright rooms, etc. He’s got a big appetite and will consistently take in more than his tummy can hold. In which case he spits up. But they are just little chunky spitups, not the big gushing variety experienced by his older brother at this age. When Brennan is very hungry he roots around and is very squirmy. If your face is in his path, he may try to mall it off. He snorts like a little piggy when he’s hungry, and then eats too fast – resulting in hiccups and gas. Brennan hasn’t figured out that he needs to open his mouth in order to eat, but has no trouble sucking once the nipple is in.

Brennan has his legs clenched up froggy style most of the time and his little fists are often held tight under his chin. In fact his fists can often hold the bottle. He hates getting diaper changes and starts crying as soon as I start pulling the diaper down. He’d probably prefer warm wipes, but not going to get that started. Brennan hates being naked too, even skin to skin or in a nice warm bath. He’s happiest when bundled up in a soft blanket and doesn’t mind wearing a hat.

His eyes don’t open very wide at this point, but he’s more likely to look around if the room is dimly lit. He does maintain good eye contact. Brennan likes the pacifier but can’t seem to keep it in his mouth for long. When Brennan is sleeping, he sometimes giggles and smiles, though it is probably gas induced.

In comparison to Ashton at this age, Brennan seems somewhat more fragile, more cuddly, and less curious.

SF Zoo

Grandma Smith came to visit for two weeks (one week before the birth, and one week after), primarily to entertain and care for Ashton. Hallelujah! While here, she took Ashton on a number of outings including park visits, the Seymour Marine Center, and the San Franciso Zoo (Daniel went with them to the zoo as well). Ashton apparently had a great time, although not as interested in animals in real life as he is with TV, toys, and books. Still, Ashton is happy any time he gets to run around and explore some place new. Plus, they had a playground.

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Never too young for Halloween

Though a costume might have been a little much for a newborn, I found a few pairs of Halloween jammies in the prior month that were too irresistable to pass up. Brennan models them here.

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On Halloween night, Ashton went mall trick-or-treating with Grandma, Erin, and Kaylin. Brennan stayed home and cuddled with mommy, with a pumpkin tribute placed on the front porch.

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1st Doctor’s Appt.

When Brennan and I were discharged from the hospital on Weds (after a Monday birth), I was instructed to make a doctor’s appointment for him before the end of the week. It seemed overkill to me, as he had daily pediatrician visits in the hospital, his Apgar’s were good, and he passed all the tests given in the hospital (like hearing and such). Never-the-less, we complied. Of course, I had just had a c-section, so leaving the house wasn’t really on my agenda. So Daddy took Brennan to the doctor. It was pretty much a non-event. Dr. Gallagher said that he was “ridiculously healthy” and that Daniel should get him out of there before he catches something. Isn’t that the truth!

It’s your birthday

So little Brennan Zachary entered the world at 9:37am today via c-section. He weighed 9lbs 7oz, and was 19 3/4″ long. Daddy was in the operating room with mommy, and Grandma Anderson standing by in the waiting room for early snuggles and moral support. Despite good Apgar’s, Brennan was taken into the NICU for a short while as a precaution since mommy was gestational diabetic. Over the next 24 hours, Brennan was poked every 4 hours to check his blood sugar, which tested normal each time.

Before his first day was through, he had visits from Grandma Smith, Aunt’s Erin and Stacey, and our neighbor Dorothy. The following day, Grandpa Anderson and Great-Aunt Shara came and both Grandma’s returned as well.

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halloween party

Ashton was invited to a party hosted by three of the mom’s who I met through the Sutter support group. Julie, Mary, and Estrella really outdid themselves with setting up a great party for our toddlers and their families – fantastic food, fun games and crafts. Doubt that the little tikes appreciated the work that went into it!

Ashton had a blast in his little farmer outfit that also turned out to be the easiest of the costumes to play in. He loved driving the little car, climbing on the play structure, coloring at the crafts table, and just exploring a fun new environment. And of course our kid was the only one who wouldn’t stay still for the group photos. Why am I not surprised? 🙂

BTW – This was the day before my cesarean. Everyone was amazed that I was up and about.


Last year, Ashton absolutely loved pumpkins. He wasn’t yet crawling or walking at the time, but we just sat him next to one and he happily pounded on them. So I was a little surprised that they weren’t nearly as interesting this time around. Still, Ashton had a blast running around, and pulling one of the wagons that the patch provided for carrying your loot. Also to my surprise, Ashton showed some fear near the big blow up tent with a gargoyle out front. The only other signs of fear I’d seen in him to this point was loud noises (doesn’t like the car wash for example). Kind of shoots down my theory that the fear of things that society deems as “spooky” is learned through media and books, rather than a natural response. Ashton hasn’t  been exposed to any media or books that have people or animals reacting to so-called spooky things.

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haircut again

This kid’s hair grows fast! While many of Ashton’s little friends are on their 1st or 2nd haircuts, Ashton is up to the 4th or 5th one (lost count).. and long overdue. We should have taken him to the lady who specializes in kids cuts in Soquel. She is lightning fast – but we don’t really like her. Still, she wouldn’t have given Ashton a mullet like Daddy did. Daniel and I both worked to correct that issue while Ashton squirmed in our lap and watched Blues Clues. In the end, the haircut was passable and I was left with the knowledge that at least it will grow back fast.

The missing months

Mommy has been remiss in keeping this blog updated! I’ll get around to posting pictures from specific events very soon, but in the meantime, here’s some of what’s been happening with Ashton since I last wrote:

  • Climbing furniture – easily accesses couches and dining room chairs. Daddy had to secure the lamps on the end tables and we can’t leave any dishes or electronics there. Dining chairs have to be pushed in to keep him off the table. Fortunately he is not strong enough to move the chairs which are solid wood.
  • Stopped eating books – hurray! Still likes to pull ours off the shelves though and leaf through the pages which are likely to get very wrinkled or torn.
  • Has adopted “Blues Clues” as favorite TV show. He loves ALL TV, but this is the only show that he’ll reliably sit or stand and watch – so it gets used as babysitter when mommy needs to take a shower and nobody else is around to watch him.
  • Got a whole mess of new teeth. I don’t even know how many now, but there’s only a couple empty spots remaining in his mouth. Guess they’re still coming too, cause the drooling and excessive chewing continues.
  • Ended the ban on green foods. He’ll now eat zucchini sticks or peas, though still in such small quantities that it barely counts… but still it’s progress.
  • Started sleeping in his own bed – a queen size air mattress on the floor of his room. Now he doesn’t cry much when he wakes up – he just runs into our bedroom and stands by the bed waiting to be picked up. But often he just rolls over and goes back to sleep, since now he doesn’t have to get mad or scared about being confined in the crib.
  • Adopted strawberries as a favorite food – but will only eat them if given whole (without stem) rather than cut up.
  • Can open all our doors, so external doors must be kept locked so that he doesn’t escape.
  • Cries anytime someone closes a door if he is on the other side.
  • Understands lots of words and instructions, but still not speaking any intelligibly.