Becoming A Nudist

Don't worry... not me!

Lately, Marco has been practicing taking off his clothes.  Unfortunately he does it at inapropriate times and places.  He'll put his hands in his pockets and start tugging and before I know it, pants are off.  Then comes the shirt.  Sometimes he gets stuck in his shirt... arms behind the head... and he comes to me yelling "I stuck... Mama, I stuck".

He's gotten so good at taking off his clothes, that I'll leave him for a few minutes and then when I turn around again, this is what I find:
Naked baby!  Yesterday I dressed him 5 times before we left the house... at 10:30am!  I kept telling him "PLEASE, don't take off your clothes"!  But he didn't listen.

As you can see from the picture, he's trying to take his diaper off too... which we've been trying to prevent.  Early yesterday, he couldn't do it... but by the afternoon he had it down.  We learned this in the most unpleasant way.  While Mauricio was cooking, Marco came up to him and said, "Papai, caca" and proceeded to HAND him his poop filled diaper... and then he ran off with a dirty (albiet, cute) butt!

Honestly, this is really a great thing.  I am happy he knows how to take his clothes off and I'll be even happier when he learns how to dress himself.  This tells me that A) We'll be allowing him to dress himself soon and B) He may be ready to potty train sooner rather than later.

Now we've just got to try and control this so he doesn't take his clothes off at public places... the mall, play-dates, church.  Wait, did I just say to control a toddler?  That's a total oxymoron... impossible.  But we'll do our best!

Sleep, Glorious Sleep!

Oh, Sleep, glorious Sleep, how I've longed for you.  It's been some time since we've been together... and I've missed you every day.  But, now I've seen glimpses of your return.  Although sometimes they are fleeting, I still dream of the day that you return to me for good.  
I haven't wanted to write this post, for fear of the jinx.  You know, you say it out loud and then it goes away.  So I'll whisper it to you... Jonas has been sleeping through the night.  

It's been about two weeks now.  He's been eating his dinner and nursing around 8pm and falling asleep in my arms.  He is then transfered to his OWN crib, where he procedes to sleep till approximately 5 or 6am.  Every night, he's given me 8-10 hours in a row.  Please, someone shout out a "Hallelujah, Praise the Lord"... I'm not kidding... do it!

Remember when I said that if Jesus REALLY loved me, he'd let Jonas sleep?  Well, guess what?  HE LOVES ME, HE LOVES ME, HE LOVES ME.  (Not that I EVER doubted).

It has immediately changed my demeanor.  I am more optimistic and energetic.  I'm having a lot of fun with him during the day, and I'm having a lot of fun without him during the night... (ooo, that was spicy).

So once he wakes up at 5, Mau goes and gets him and brings him to our bed.  I nurse him while we're sleeping and eventually he falls back to sleep too.  We snuggle till Marco wakes up around 8:30 and then begin our day.  It's been working out wonderfully.

Now, I'm looking forward to that next step.  12 hours, baby!  We can do it!

Making Lemonade

On Saturday I had planned for us to go to this huge event downtown.  A local church was sponsoring a massive egg drop on the minor legue baseball field with some 50,000 eggs and prizes from candy to xboxes.  I didn't care about the prizes, but I just wanted Marco to go nuts trying to get as many eggs he could... with Mauricio's help, of course.  Unfortunately, you had to register... and when I went online a few days prior to register, it was already sold out.  But I didn't care... I figured, a church wouldn't turn people (possibly heathens) away... right?  WRONG!  We were turned away from the event!  When we got there and explained what happened, they said they were sorry but no registration, no entry.  Gotta wait for next year.  I was disappointed and I pouted.  But luckily, Marco isn't old enough to even KNOW we were going to an egg hunt, so he wasn't disappointed at all.

It was such a lovely day that we decided to make good use of it... egg hunt or no egg hunt.  So we walked down Main until we hit the ever scenic Falls Park.  There, we sought out a grassy field and let Marco run free for a few hours.  He was so happy!  There were other children there with bubbles, and they let him chase them right along with them.  Mau took him down to the river to see the water and the ducks and they climbed on the rocks together.  Jonas also had fun sitting with me and snuggling.  He was also practicing pulling up to a stand.  Every time he did it, I'd say, "my Champion!" and he'd giggle.

So instead of letting that little bump in the road keep us down, we made the most of the opportunity and possibly had a better time than if we had gone to the egg hunt.  Now that really is making lemonade out of lemons, don't ya think?

Water for Whine

Finding ways to discipline your toddler can be challenging.  Some people stick exclusively to time-out, others to spanking.  We use a variety of methods depending on the offense.  You know, "the punishment must fit the crime".

I enforce time-out for things like pushing, hitting, throwing things, exhibiting aggression, etc, because I feel that he needs a chance to call down.  If he's angry and needs to let it out, I allow him to hit the table or the floor, but he knows not to hit people.  I feel like this is an acceptable punishment for these offenses because if I would choose to spank instead, that would be counter productive.  "Don't hit"::WHACK::!  That doesn't make sense.  This will hopefully teach him to take a breather, relax and then go back and play.  Right now, he doesn't really get the whole time-out thing.  I usually have to stand in front of him and continuously put him back into the corner... or hold him while he flings around if we're out and about... for 2 minutes.  2 minutes is all I give him.  And it's a LONG 2 minutes.

I am also okay with spanking... :insert GASPS here:.  I think that sometimes it is appropriate and needs to be done for the most severe offenses.  We only spank when Marco puts himself or someone else (usually Jonas) in a dangerous situation.  Reasons in the past why we have spanked include:  sitting on top of Jonas, trying to pick up Jonas, hitting Jonas with a toy, running away from me while in a public place, running out into the street... you get the picture.  But the problem with spanking is that as a parent you have to be very careful.  Especially as a stay-at-home-mom who is around 24/7... sometimes you want to go a little slap happy.  And THAT is not ok.

Here's what started happening to me.  Although he could speak, Marco would choose to whine... about everything.  He would stand at our kitchen gate and whine if the milk was taking too long in the microwave, or if I didn't peel the banana fast enough, or if his juice wasn't in his hand the second he thought of it.  After a few days of hearing constant whining, (and Jonas' constant crying), my ears felt like they were going to bleed.  Every time Marco would whine, I swear my blood would begin to boil... and honestly, I wanted to smack him.  But really, whining does not merit a spanking... so I wouldn't.

Then I remembered a trick my sister-in-law Bea used to use on her toddler.  A spray bottle.  So I went to Target and invested in a $1 spray bottle, I filled it with cold water and put it in the fridge.  The next time Marco came over whining, I pulled it out and sprayed him in the face.  At first he smirked, thinking I was playing, but I gave him a very serious face and said "No Whining", and he  knew I wasn't kidding.  The next time he whined, I did it again.  The time after that, all I had to do was pull out the bottle and he went RUNNING!  We've only been doing this for about 2 weeks, but I don't think I've actually had to spray him more than twice.  Just seeing the bottle is enough.  Sometimes I just take it out and leave it on the table, as a reminder.  Or I can say, "do you want to get sprayed in the face?" and he stops.  It's unbelievable!

Yes, I am aware that this is the same kind of training they use on animals.  So?  Mauricio doesn't like it.  He refuses to partake... but then again, he's not around the whining and crying as much as I am.  And I have to do something, or I'm going to go bonkers!  This way no one gets hurt... just a splash of cold water in the face to snap him out of it!  It's perfectly harmless and works like a charm.

Marco's First Haircut

Marco's hair has been a subject of argument in our house.  It's beautiful.  I love it.  But it was too long.  Mauricio didn't think so.  The fact that it was in his eyes and was like a rat's nest every morning didn't seem to matter.  Mauricio did not want him to get a haircut.  Actually, he didn't want him to GO get a haircut... because he wanted to give him a haircut.  I don't know when Mauricio went to cosmetology school, but he thinks that because he cuts his own hair, with clippers, that he can cut Marco's fresh never-seen-a-sheer- hair with ease.  I did not agree.

Luckily, this past weekend I had back up... HIS MOTHER!  Immediately she agreed that he needed a haircut and we agreed to take him on Saturday.  When Mauricio began protesting, I asked his mom, "do you go to a salon to get your haircut?" To which she replied, "yes".  Then I asked his dad the same question and again we got a "yes".  EVERYONE goes to a professional... well, everyone but Mau.  I mean, take a look at his hair... here he was last week.  Cute as a button, but the hair was just too long.

So we took him, against my husbands wishes, to the kiddie salon, called Jelly Beans.  The place is great for kids.  Toys, video games, cars, etc.  Marco immediately felt at home.  The best part is that for the 1st haircut, they only charge a penny... ONE CENT!  What?!  And they give a cute little certificate with a lock of hair attached.  It was very sweet.

First she attempted to wash his hair, but he wouldn't lay still, so instead she just wet it.  She sat him in the 4 wheeler, and he was good to go.

He did super well.  He didn't mind getting his hair cut at all.  The only time he fussed was when she was cutting his bangs.  He was too busy playing with the 4 wheeler, saying "beep beep, vrooom", and she was getting in his way!

Here's the final product.  I thought it was pretty good... until I got home and it settled.  Mauricio immediately didn't like it.  Said it looked silly.  Said he could have done a better job.  Said he looked nerdy...

Said it looked a little like... Dumb and Dumber.  Oh no!

And now that a few days have passed, maybe it's true?  But he needed a haircut... but why does it have to look awkward?  I want him to have a cute surfer look... not a bowl cut!  Eeek.  What do you think?

2 Boys, 1 Room

We really have no choice at this point.  I teach lessons from my home so I NEED a studio.  And now in our new house, one bedroom is on the first floor and the other two bedrooms are on the third floor.  I can't be two floors away from my babies just so they can each have their own rooms.  So they share.  And they will continue to share until we get a 4 bedroom home, if that ever happens.

My sister-in-law, Bea, has 2 boys as well.  One is 5 and the other nearly 3.  They have been sharing a room for years now.  But they share by choice.  They just love each other so much that they want to be close together all the time... even in sleep.  So sweet.  But that doesn't mean they don't have their complications.  The older one, David, loves to sleep, while the younger, Adrian, loves to talk.  Adrian ends up annoying David while he's trying to get to sleep.  But they work it out because Adrian is old enough now that when his mom says, "be quiet", he will.

Such is not the case with us.  Every night is a toss up... sometimes I feel like I'm playing Russian roulette.  Will Jonas sleep long?  Will he sleep all night?  Will Marco wake him up?  Now, here's the thing... we don't know what the answer to the first two questions are, because the answer to the last one is always "yes".  Marco WILL wake Jonas up sometime in the night.

Marco has always been a good sleeper.  He falls to sleep easily, and if he wakes up, he doesn't mind talking, singing or playing till he falls asleep again.  When we hear him wake up, we ignore him unless he's crying.  He wakes up every night for a few minutes between 3-5 am.  Well, now that his brother is in the room with him, he doesn't want to be awake alone!

He wakes up, stands up at the edge of his crib and screams "Oh Duh-der... Ooooohhhhh Duh-der".  (Duh-der is now how he says "brother").  Then, when Mauricio enters the room, he's all, "Hi Papai!".  As if to say, "welcome to the party!".  Yeah, Marco... it's not 4 in the morning or anything?!  Thaaaaaanks!  So naturally, Jonas is awakened from his gentle slumber, and begins shrieking like a banshee.  He spends the rest of the night in OUR bed, while Marco goes back to sleep as if nothing has happened.

I know that the novelty of having Jonas in his room will wear off, and hopefully he'll allow him to sleep. Or, if when they're older, that novelty has not worn off, then I hope they play together for a few minutes and fall back to sleep... but most importantly, leave me alone!


So, I know you've all seen this clip from Family Guy.  It's a classic, everyone loves it.  In the past week or so, this has become my life.

For months, I wished Marco would say "Mama".  I would tell him that he could get whatever he wanted if he just said "Mama"... cookies, ice-cream, sharp objects, anything.  I bargained and negotiated and nothing... for months.  Oh, but once he learned it, and realized it was used to get my attention, the name of the game changed.

It's the worst in the car.  Our conversations go like this:
"Yes, Marco"
"Bliba diba do balo"

"Yes, my love"
"Licka sta maggoo"
"Ok, Marco we're almost there"

:: ignoring::
:: ignoring::
"Yes, Marco, what is it?"
"Stima pla badooo"

And on and on and on it goes.  The WHOLE time we're in the car.  It doesn't matter if I'm on the phone, or talking to Mauricio, it's a constant desire to have Mama's attention.  And it's driving me BONKERS!

Honestly, I know it's super sweet.  And when he says "night night Mama" in his sweet voice, it melts my heart.  I just wish that after he got my attention, he'd really ask me something... not just babble nonsense. Although, I know I'm asking that now, but when I get it I'll probably be telling him to give the talking and questions a rest!

Ehh, I'll just tell him to talk to his brother... after all, that is why I had TWO babies!

IKEA: Worth the Trip, Every Time

Today we took a family day trip... to IKEA.  There isn't an IKEA in Greenville, so we have to drive to the nearest city that does have one, which is Charlotte, NC.  So is it worth it?  Driving an hour and a half with two kids, even crossing a state line, just to go to a furniture store?  Ab-so-lutely.  Every time.  (And how DARE you call it a "furniture store", hypothetical questioner?!) 

When we first got married, we did not know the joy that is IKEA.  But then, one was built in Orlando.  We LOVED it.  I'm talking, we were there most weekends... sometimes we'd just go to eat.  But when we moved to Greenville, the nearest IKEA was in Atlanta... and that's two and a half hours away.  That is, until they opened one in Charlotte... and we were there on opening day!  (That was a total coincidence, but still cool).

Since living in Greenville, we've made the drive up to Charlotte, specifically to go to IKEA, 3 times.  Once when I was pregnant with Marco, another time with Marco and now today, with both kids in tow.

If you've never been, (what's wrong with you?) you totally need to go.  First off, it's massive.  Think, the size of two Walmart's stacked on top of each other. (Though it pains me to compare IKEA to Walmart).  If you have kids that are potty trained, they have FREE child care.  I look forward to the day!  Then you go up to the showroom and it's kinda maze-like... maze-like of awesomeness.  They have everything set up comfortably and beautifully and you WILL want EVERYTHING.

Then at the end of the showroom, they have a restaurant!  And everything is cheap and delish!  But if you choose to eat at the end, they have a little concession stand and you can get 2 hot dogs, chips, and a soda for $2!  Unbelievable!

They had a baby changing room, that we were all able to go in and change diaper after diaper, as a family.  It was a special moment.  AND, if you happen to run out of diapers, guess what?  They have extras there for you... for free.  Awesome?  Yes!

Then, after you've stuffed your face with Swedish meatballs, you head downstairs to the warehouse.  This is where you pick up all the knick knacks you drooled over while upstairs.  This part always takes us the longest.  It's hard deciding between this and that, when they're both cool.

When you come to our house, you can tell we love IKEA.  Not everything is from there, but a good amount is.  We've got:  Our bedroom furniture (Hemnes), 2 Poang chairs, a Tulsta chair, a desk chair, and the Expedit bookcase (the BIG one).  That's just furniture... we've also got a bunch of lamps and other stuff.

Today, although we didn't buy any furniture, we didn't come home empty handed.  We bought:  a hooded poncho towel (for Marco), straws, a clock, a wooden spoon, a canister, a cheese grater, tongs, 4 spotlights, and a small patio table with 2 chairs.

3 hours of driving, 4 hours in the store, 2 kids in a stroller, 4 lunches, 2 diaper changes, 3 temper tantrums, 15 items = 1 fun day at IKEA.  Worth the trip, every time!


The dreaded 6 month weaning began yesterday.  Dreaded because I was hoping to be doing this after we celebrated Jonas' first birthday, but as you read in my previous post, that is not a possibility.  So, although it breaks my stinkin' heart, I have begun.

We went this weekend and bought Jonas a bottle.  I've heard wonderful things about this bottle... Breast Flow.  It's supposed to be perfect for exclusively breastfed babies because it emulates the breast so well.  It's weird because it has 2 nipples, but the outer nipple even feels a little boob-ish.  And, when you squeeze it, milk squirts out... you can actually milk the bottle.  Kinda funny... and fun!

Although we bought the bottle over the weekend, we couldn't begin until yesterday because the outer nipple was mysteriously missing.  Well, not so mysterious... Marco got a hold of the bottle and parts were EVERYWHERE.  I finally located all the pieces to this complex feeding tool and put it to use.

My feeding schedule is roughly:
9:00 am
12:00 noon with puree
4:00 pm
8:00 pm with puree
11:00 pm
4:00 am (or later if I pray really hard and Jesus loves me extra much)

So, I decided to start weaning with the 4 in the afternoon feeding.  For one, it's between meals, so it's sort of a snack.  Secondly, we're always home at this time because I work shortly thereafter, so I don't have to pack a bottle.  It's only been two days, and Jonas is taking the bottle super well.  I, on the other hand, feel like I'm going to explode by dinner time.  I know it'll only take a few more days to get regulated... and then it's time to switch over another feeding.

I think the next one I'll switch will be the 9am one.  I can give him a bottle while Marco is drinking his milk on the couch watching Super Why.  Plus, he'll be having breakfast (starting on Friday) too, so he should be good and full.

The only one I'm not going to switch over is the 4am... which I'm praying that by the time we get there, he'll be sleeping through the night... (Jesus, did you hear that?  Pleeeeeease.)  Because there is no way... NO WAY I am climbing down the stairs to prepare a bottle and actually feed it to him at that God forsaken hour.  I will continue to nurse in my sleep... forever and ever... amen.

For now, he'll be supplemented with my crazy freezer stash, and as we get to having more bottles and less boob each day, I'll begin to add... formula.  (ok, I know it's not poison, but it still bothers me and it's still not breast milk.)

He's also started eating his veggies... So far we've got Sweet Potatoes and Green Beans down.  On deck, we've got Bananas and after that some Butternut Squash.  We're gonna fatten this boy UP!

Scary Skinny

For those of you that have known me for a while, you know that I've never been a "skinny girl".  True, I've never been FAT either, but I've always been a little round around the edges.

I was at my heaviest when I was a senior in high school, weighing 160.  I know that for some of you 160 is great, but I am not athletic, so that 160 includes NO muscles... seriously, none.  Then, when I started college, I joined weight watchers and lost 20 pounds safely and healthily.  But, after falling into some health problems which lead to depression, I dropped another 20 pounds by not eating much.  I was weighing 120 and although I looked good, I wasn't healthy.  When my depression subsided, and I fell in love with Mauricio, I gained more weight... pretty much back to my 160.  That's where I was at when I got engaged in September of 2006.

I was determined to lose some weight for my wedding, so I changed some eating habits and was able to lose 20 pounds with no difficulty at all.  Here I am by July of 2007.

I was able to maintain my weight throughout that first year of marriage... yes, I beat the odds!  I was afraid that having children would change my body a lot and that since I had yoyo-ed so much in the past, that I'd have a hard time losing my baby weight.  When I got pregnant with Marco in October 2008, I was weighing 143.  I ate and ate... I gave in to a lot of my cravings (not all though) and still had a very hard time putting on weight during Marco's pregnancy.  By the time I went in to labor, I had only gained 15 pounds.  The day after Marco was born, I was weighing LESS than before I got pregnant.  Most women would be jealous... and I was happy! 

Thanks to breastfeeding, I lost more weight than expected.  I was looking good... my stomach was nice and flat (for the first time ever).  I had to buy new jeans... size 6!  Here I was in February of 2010... I was weighing about 135.  

Then, I got pregnant again.  At my first doctors appointment, I was weighing 133.  Again, I had a hard time gaining weight... but this time because I was still breastfeeding Marco and chasing around a mobile baby.  Although Jonas was born early, I had only gained 4 pounds.  FOUR pounds... and he weighed 3.7.  Um, thats not good.  I was weighing 125, and again had to buy new jeans... this time a size 3.  I have never... and I mean NEVER (like, not even in middle school) worn a size 3.  I was happy I was skinny... even with 2 kids... talk about a hot mama!  Here I was in December.

But then, the weight just kept on dropping.  I was doing more, but I wasn't eating more.  And, I SWEAR I did not do this on purpose... it's like it didn't dawn on me what was happening.  I was breastfeeding a baby, not sleeping enough, chasing a toddler and sharing food.  I was not eating my extra 500 calories for breastfeeding, and I'd be surprised if I was eating anywhere close to the amount of calories I needed.  Before I knew it, I was weighing 118.  My size 3's began to slip.

Then, a few weeks ago, I went to the doctor, stood on the scale and I was weighing a SHOCKING 108.  O.M.G.  That is not right.  I am not a 10 year old.  I should not be weighing that little.  My doctor was not pleased.  He said I needed to eat more... put on weight... stop sharing food... and sadly, stop breastfeeding.  NOOOOOOO!

I was a little apprehensive about that last part.  I knew I had to stop sharing with Marco... and I have.  I knew I needed to eat more... and I've been force feeding myself.  But stop breastfeeding... say it ain't so!
I finally decided that it was necessary when we went in for Jonas' 6 month check up.  He was weighing 7.14 lbs.  At his 4 month appointment, he was 7.0.  That means that in 2 months, he didn't even gain a full pound.  Who's fault could that be?  Who else, but me?  My milk must not be as nutritious and fatty as it needs to be in order to bulk him up.  So, we've started cereal and veggies.  I am beginning to wean, starting by using my stash (which is fatty milk back from when I was heavier) and then switching to... (I can barely say it)... formula.  It makes me sad that I wasn't able to stay healthy enough to breastfeed for a year.  But the truth is, that switching will make us BOTH more healthy.

So, yes, I can totally rock a bikini this summer... but at what cost?

Here I am today... exact weight unknown, but too skinny for sure.

Makin' Baby Food: Sweet Potato

Have I mentioned that I don't cook?  Like, for real... I have not made a meal in nearly a year now.  (Yes, you can all be jealous of my amazing husband now!)  But I do make my own baby food.   For one, it's WAY easy... or else I wouldn't do it.  And for two, you know exactly what you're feeding your baby and you control the quality as well.  I like that.

The truth is, most babies only eat pureed baby food for a few months (4 months at most) before moving on to table food.  So if you make large batches, you may not have to make more.  Also, you can make things that don't exist in a jar... like mango, papaya, strawberry, etc.

Here I'll walk you through how I made 21oz of organic sweet potato puree for just a few dollars.

At Whole Foods, I bought these 3 medium sized sweet potatoes.  Sweet potatoes come in all funky sizes and shapes, so I tried to pick the more similar ones so that they would cook together evenly.

First, I preheated my oven to 400 degrees.  Then I washed the sweet potatoes and pierced them.  You can use a fork to do that, but I use a knife and stab it all over.  Do not forget this step, or you risk your potato blowing up in your oven. (What a mess!)

Then you wrap the wet potatoes in foil and bake them for 45 min- 1 hour.  I let it cook for an hour just to be sure that it'd all be super soft and not have any hard spots.

Once the timer goes off, pull the potatoes out and let them sit for a half hour or so.  They'll be too hot to work with straight out of the oven.  When you are ready to work with them, they'll be nice and soft and sticky.  You want to peel the skin off of the potato.  This is super easy to do and you don't even need a knife.  I use my fingers, even though it does get hot sometimes.  If you like peeling a sunburn, you're gonna love this part! 
Once you've peeled all of your potatoes, you can coarsely chop them and throw them in a bowl.  To puree, I use a hand blender, but you can also use your regular blender or a food processor.  I like using the hand blender best because I can physically control the thickness of the food... I can choose to make it super smooth and creamy, or leave lumps (like for stage 2 food).  My hand blender was only $50 at Bed Bath and Beyond.  

Consider how thick or thin you want your baby food to be.  If you've got a beginner, like I do, you're gonna want it to be really smooth.  I added a few ounces of breast milk to thin out the sweet potatoes... but you can use water or formula as well.  Just remember not to use cows milk!

For storing your purees, you are going to have to purchase some kind of freezer trays.  I bought these because they have a lid, they're BPA free and each cube is exactly 1 oz.  But, I've also used regular ice cube trays and they work just as well.  If you do that, you may want to cover them with cling wrap so they don't get nasty freezer smell/taste. 

Then scoop your purees into your trays and try to make it as even as possible so each serving size is roughly the same.  1 oz = 2 Tbs. 

Cover your trays and freeze.  Once you know they're good and solid, pop them out, throw them in a ziploc and you've got a ton of food at your disposal!  

What I love about this, is that it just takes 20 minutes of work, and then I've got food for a good few weeks.  I mean, Jonas isn't going to go through 21 oz that quickly... plus we've got other foods frozen and waiting as well.  I know exactly what is going in to my baby's body... no preservatives, only pure organic veggie goodness.  And, it does end up being cheaper than buying bottled baby food.  

So, although I will be making all kinds of veggies and fruits (no meats, I think that's gross), I will not be blogging about it again because this is not a food blog and it's too boring.  BUT, if you'd like to know more about makin' baby food with tips on storage, pairing and all sorts of recipes for every fruit or veggie you can think of, visit this awesome site:

And lastly, If I can do this... You SOOOO can too!