Category Archives: food

Home Front

Can I just start off this post with something I just overheard at my neighbor’s house? In the midst of some argument about something with his mother, my neighbor’s son said, “I’m tired of being broke. I need to grow weed.” 

Right.

Anyway, what’s new! Lots. This last weekend we added two more states to the Bean’s map-o-places-I-been. Kansas and Missouri, so nothing super exciting, sorry Kansas and Missouri. We trucked off there last Thursday and stayed the weekend to go to a wedding and spend time with Cameron’s step-sister and her husband. Bean did pretty well all things considered, I mean, nobody loves being in the car for 9 hours, but she handled it better than I expected her to.

Back on the home front, fall is on the way! With the exception of today (with a high of like, 91), the temps are dipping down into the mid-70s and it’s been awesome. Cool at night, warm during the days, damn perfect. I put out my fall decor yesterday, and was super pleased (read: not pleased at all) to find that at some point between last Thanksgiving and yesterday, a mouse or some small rodent has taken up residence inside the tote where I keep the fall and Halloween decorations. I have no idea if it’s still in there or if it…starved to death…and I kind of abandoned the whole thing once I realized it was in there. Aside from the classic sign (droppings), it had clearly burrowed inside a hay bale and those fake spiderwebs and even ate the burlap wrapping off of my wedding bouquet, which I use as a centerpiece on our table every year. Anyway, I guess in the next few days I’ll don gloves and work up some courage and pull the whole thing outside and likely take the entire thing to the trash so I don’t have to go picking through it. Luckily it doesn’t seem that there was anything damaged, though I have yet to pull out the Halloween lights and see if those got chewed. 

What else. Work! Yes, work. Cameron started his new job this morning as a personal banker. Yahoo! I know I mentioned a little while back that he left Starbucks some time ago, and had an interim job for a short while, but when he got interviewed and hired on the spot to work at the bank, it was too good of a position to pass up. I mean, who wouldn’t want to work banker’s hours when you have a family at home? So, it took a little while for them to let him come on board because you have to get background checked and all that, so he’s been home for the better part of three weeks now, and I know he’s glad to be back to work and getting back to a routine. (And I’m happy to have some income coming in soon.) 

Also, I am going back to work too! Also at a bank! The same bank I used to work for in fact, though at a different location. It’s part time, more than likely 3 days a week plus the occasional Saturday morning. I thought it would be good for me to have a couple days a week when I could get out and talk to adults, plus make a little extra income to help cushion us (we really need to get back on track with our savings because unfortunately we got capital-F Fucked on our health insurance for the last two months)…and possibly help support my IKEA addiction. Anyway, I’m pretty excited. Bean will get to spend a few days a week with her Papi, and I know he’s pretty glad for that. I don’t start till the 22nd, but I’m excited. 

I also decided over the weekend it was high time for me to get my body back in shape and be nicer to it. I’m definitely carrying around a considerable amount of weight that I don’t want to be hauling around, and it’s becoming more and more obvious at least to me. I’ve never been really good at sticking to (or figuring out) diets, but we are making an effort to eat more cleanly and really stick to our meal plans instead of eating out or eating badly. I also plan to start going to the complex gym a few days a week (since it’s, you know, free) and get back to doing Pilates when the baby is sleeping. I need to be better about drinking water which I know is a key factor in good health and I am unbelievably bad at it. What are your tricks for keeping in shape and feeling healthy?

So yeah, lots going on here lately. I’ve been spending a lot of time devoting energy toward making our house more of a home, which has meant a few purchases of furniture to help store things and display family items, things like that. I’ve always felt like our house(s) has(have) not really been homey, more just…functional. But I want to enjoy where I live, I want to feel comfortable here, and I want to take pride in showing it off to friends and family. I am making an effort to find better ways to keep things organized because I feel like it is ALWAYS getting cluttered in here, way more than it should for only two and a half people living here. But it’s getting there for sure. 

One of our new setups in the living room…and the Bean trying to pull up on it.
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Crafty Mama!

I like crafts. I like making stuff. Lately I have had a little less time than I’d like to make stuff. Go figure. But, I was trolling around Instagram the other day and came across one of those signs you can have made with your baby’s birth stats on them. They seem to be all over sites like Etsy and for a wild second I thought, that would be a cute thing to have. And then my mind came to a screeching halt and I went….wait a minute! I don’t need to pay all that money for one of those! I can make that myself!

So after our early morning walk in Wash Park last week we trucked off down the highway to the nearest Michael’s (since we don’t shop at Hobby Lobby anymore) and picked up supplies for my project. I spent a lot of time wandering up and down the aisles looking at things that the Bean and I will be able to do soon–chalk and crayons and foam letter projects…oh I’m so stoked. I found these crayons that are egg-shaped and meant for toddler hands, so can you say stocking stuffer?! Oh boy.

Anyhoo, we escaped without anything other than what I needed (what a shock) and I got to work. I decided to stencil the whole thing because I am lousy at free-hand, so while it came out looking better it also took forever because I had to let the previous letter dry before I could lay down the next stencil. Anyway, here’s my finished product!

I’m pretty proud of it. I guess I could have done better at centering the lines a little more but whatever. I like it and it’s made by hand by ME! 

In other news, we are getting ready for Bean’s first trip and first airplane ride. We are going to Maine for a week to help settle my grandma’s estate (she passed in February) and send her ashes off to sea. Cameron won’t be able to come because he is about to start a new job, but I’ll be traveling with both my parents which eases my mind a little bit. The flight situation is less than ideal because we fly very early from Denver to Orlando and then to Hartford (yuck) where we’ll be picking up a rental and driving up to Montague, MA to spend a couple nights with my grandma and grandpa before driving the rest of the way to Maine. Luckily, this means we’ll get to see all our family still in Mass and the Bean will get to meet her Nana and her great uncles. I’m excited to go back to my second “home.” My mom grew up there and almost all of her family is still there so we spent a lot of time in the summers there, and I lived there for a year during my freshman year of college. We visited two years ago for an afternoon, but I haven’t been back to Maine in almost 10 years. Can you say…..lobster!!!

We are also super close to crawling. Bean will lean way forward on her legs and rock her butt back and forth and has recently been holding her belly off the floor too, so I know she’s getting close to getting it. Everyone said to put toys just out of her reach to entice her but weirdly I’m having better luck with food. Apparently she, just like her mama, is highly motivated by food.

Bean has been an absolute chatterbox lately and has been very close to “Dada” and “Mama” though I don’t know if she has actual association with them yet or is just repeating what we say. She says “baba” pretty regularly. She has the sweetest voice and I am so happy to hear her talk to me. 

Moar Food!

Dude. The Bean has suddenly turned into a real person who eats real food. It’s sort of weird and really awesome. She decided that purées are for babies and she wants to chew food on her own now. And mostly pick it up on her own, though she’s still working on how to make that happen since she seems philosophically opposed to using her index finger and instead insists on scooping it with the side of her fist and hoping it hits the target. We’re working on it. She will eat anything. I don’t think I’ve put anything in front of her that she has rejected so far. She even apparently got the lemon gene from me and eats them like you might an orange. I need to get better at introducing more veggies…fruit is easy because most of it is soft enough to eat without having to steam it first. Even with only two teeth she can take down crackers and cookies, but I don’t think a carrot stick is going to go down very easy.

Oh, but will she hold her bottle on her own? Yeah right, mom. Dream on.

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7 Months

Well, I normally use that chalkboard to write what month we are at as well as the date…but the Bean had other plans for it this month. As soon as I set it down in front of her she grabbed it and rubbed all the writing off. Oh well!

We had a lot going on this month with the Bean! She now sits up on her own, eats basically everything I give her, started chewing real food, has 2 teeth now, and has started saying consistent sounds that seem to be actual concerted efforts at words. We’ve even heard what we think might have been attempts at “hi,” “kitty” (though it came out “tikky”), and maybe, possibly, even “daddy.”

I’m happy to say that the un-swaddling effort seems to be going without much of a hitch. When she’s not teething, she sleeps pretty solidly even for nap times. When she is teething, well, that’s a completely different story, but I guess that’s just part of the package.

I try to give her 2 “meals” a day now, as well as snackies in between bottles. I’m not full-on baby-led weaning (I don’t think) but if I see something on our plates that I think she could handle, I give it to her. Tater tots, beans, small bites of frozen yogurt…she eats pretty much anything and everything. This morning she tried orange juice for the first time and she didn’t even bat an eye at the taste. She loves the yogurt bite treats and apple-sweet potato crunchies from Gerber Graduates. In the mornings I try to give her pieces of fruit, strawberries or blueberries, along with some yogurt, and she snarfs it all. She even likes hummus! I’m so thrilled that I appear to have a baby who enjoys food. She still drinks 4 bottles a day plus usually one overnight, but I’ve noticed that with the addition of the solids she doesn’t appear to be as hungry for as much formula as she used to, which is good because that makes it last a little longer. She can sort of feed herself, but usually I put it in her mouth for her just to keep the mess to a minimum. She is still working on the pincer grip but usually she grabs the food with her fist and then tries to shove her fist in her mouth. So, still a work in progress obviously. We are still working on getting her to hold her own bottle too. (Yesterday we left one of her bottles with handles at a restaurant and I’m super annoyed.) She gets the idea but the application isn’t quite there yet.

If you read my last post you recall that I was fighting with her teeth. She popped one a few days after Mother’s Day and I didn’t even notice. Seriously. I happened to peek in her mouth and there it was. The one right next to it was a completely different story, oh lord. That thing sat right under the skin of her gum for weeks. It finally popped about a week ago, or I’m assuming that’s when it happened anyway because the poor thing was up all night screaming her head off. The next day was totally different and the tooth was out. Yay! My mom estimates that the top center teeth are about 2-3 weeks away. Guess I’ll enjoy the tooth-free time while I can.

She loves getting out of the house and hanging out with us. I take her to the park almost daily (though it depends on her nap schedule, if she gets up too late I don’t take her out because it’s just too hot). She can sit in the front part of a shopping cart now which makes my life massively easier in terms of shopping. We’ve gone to the mall, the art museum, a chalk art festival in downtown, a Memorial Day service at the local cemetery, pretty much everywhere we go she is down. She loves hanging in her stroller and is good in the car…usually. Next weekend the Colorado Renaissance Festival opens, and I’m in the process of hunting down a used wagon for her so that I can transform it into a carriage and trundle her around the faire site. (It’s too uphill and bumpy for the stroller and I’m not carrying her all day.)  At least she is ready for the faire!

She loves her kitties. The best way I’ve found to entertain her recently is put two piles of catnip in front of her. The cats come running and she laughs and laughs at them. Sure, the cats are stoned all day long, but it gives me a few minutes to get a couple things done while she is entertained. On that note, she really is pretty independent and definitely doesn’t require my attention all the time, which I’m grateful for. Now that she can sit up, I can put her on the floor or in her playpen with her toys all around her and she will entertain herself for a while. In her bath, as long as she has her wind-up toys, she will stay quiet for twenty minutes while she tries to figure it out. She is curious and loves to explore and observe. She is obviously a hands-on learner and loves new textures and sounds. Anything that rattles or crinkles has her full attention, so tins with snacks in them and pieces of paper are super handy. She sits in the grass feeling it with her toes which is super adorable. I’m going to be making up some sensory play toys soon because she really likes feeling different things. She loves music too, and she bangs away all day on her little piano and her guitar.

She isn’t too interested in trying to crawl yet, and still usually gets pretty annoyed when I put her on her belly if it isn’t to sleep. On the one hand I’m okay with this because I have a lot of baby proofing to do when it finally happens and I haven’t figured that out yet, but on the other hand I start worrying she’s falling behind when in 1 outing 3 strangers in a store ask me if she’s crawling yet. I know every baby is different and some don’t crawl at all, it’s just one of those paranoid mommy things I guess.

One thing everybody does comment on, however, is how happy she is. And it’s true! I have one happy baby. She smiles and laughs at just about everything now and generally is just one easy-going gal. I feel like if she were an adult, she’d be that friend of yours who is down for anything at anytime because really, she’s just happy to be here.

6 Months

A half a year old!

But…since I forgot to do her 5 month update, here’s that picture too.

What a happy, spirited girl I have. She has really blossomed in the last month or so and she smiles at everything and everyone. You still have to work at her to get a real laugh out of her (I am the same way though) but she is very jovial.

I haven’t taken her to her 6 month appointment yet (we have to find a new pediatrician) so I don’t have exact stats on her, but when I took her to the doctor for a cold about a month ago she was 13 pounds exactly. She’s been putting on about a pound a month consistently up till now but she seems to finally be getting some solid chunk on so she might be more than 14 pounds now. She is actually fitting into 6 month clothes; she was wearing 3 month sizes up to really recently. I can’t really dress her in footie pajamas for very long anymore because her feet grow out of them faster than the rest of it! Her hair is coming in really long and got really dark! Looks like it will be brown after all. Her eyes are still beautiful gray.

She loooooves food! We are still mostly on purees, but she gobbles them up at light speed. Carrots, peaches, pears, sweet potatoes, she loves them! The only thing she hasn’t really been crazy about was prunes, but really, who is. This last week I started giving her puffs and she is still getting used to those. She eats them and I think she likes the flavor, but the texture obviously freaks her out. We’ll work on it. I tried strawberries in the mesh feeder a couple days ago, and she got the hang of it really quickly but the strawberries were obviously way too tart because she freaked out! She even got a bite of my frozen yogurt and she loved it so much she tried to grab the whole cup.

Speaking of eating, she popped her first two teeth a couple of days ago! I was sure that her top two would come in first but she proved me wrong and the bottoms came in. I never even noticed because she wasn’t especially cranky or anything like that, but the other day she was nomming on her Sophie and I happened to look in her mouth and saw two gray things in there, and there they were! She has been wearing an amber teething necklace, so I have no idea if that’s why she hasn’t been showing any additional crankiness over it all, but if so, yay. They haven’t quite come up all the way yet but they are on the way for sure.

Sleep has been okay, but a little bumpier than normal. She was sick about a month ago, and then we moved and she went through a huge growth spurt at the same time, so we went through a hitch where she felt the need to wake every 3 hours at night and put up a fight going back down and then wake for the day at 4:30am. We’re slowly getting out of that now, but man oh man was it nice when she would sleep 6 hours at a time and only wake for a bottle once! (Which she did at my parent’s house last week, I should note. Grumble.) Naps are still pretty normal, once we got out of the moving transition period she went right back to sleeping about 2-2 1/2 hours for each nap.

She still isn’t sitting up on her own and she hasn’t rolled over from her back to her belly yet, and she isn’t very interested in attempting to crawl, but she can stand up! Not independently and she can’t pull herself up, but if I stand her and lean her against something she can support herself. Doing things in the “correct” order would be boring I guess.

My parents bought her a walker a couple weeks ago and it’s like the best thing ever for her. She loves that thing! Especially since it has a tray that I can put her favorite guitar on and make music. She can go pretty much everywhere that we go around the house and be present with us instead of in her play pen which I think she likes much better.

Even though she can’t sit up or roll yet, she still gets around. Those legs of her are strong. She kicks the bars of her crib and the edge of her changing table so hard she gets bruises on her feet! When she lays on her back on the floor she can wiggle herself all over the place and usually when I come into her room after a nap she is completely perpendicular and upside down from the position I originally put her in. Once she figures out how to crawl and walk she is going to be friggen unstoppable.

Her favorites right now are bath time, playing guitar, sitting on the back patio in her new chair, swinging at the playground, and going for walks. She has to bring Sophie with her everywhere we go. She is an observer for sure; she loves watching the other kids at the park and she is happy to sit and watch the geese in the pond in the courtyard. Being in the city opens up so many possibilities for us and she has been out and about with me a lot. We’ve been to IKEA and the aquarium and the book store and I think this weekend we’ll go to the Botanic Gardens. She usually enjoys being in the Ergo, but I think I might have to figure out the back carry soon because it’s pretty obvious she much prefers to be facing outward and looking at things than having to stare at mommy’s neck. She loves her kitties! They seem to have welcomed her into the pack too, especially Sherlock. She smiles and laughs at them and they love to cuddle up next to her on the couch. Whiskey even sleeps on her changing table. Weirdly, when she was at my parent’s house last week, she cried every time their cat Simon meowed at her. For a while she was really interested in Brody and would laugh at him all the time, but since he is living with my parents right now I think she has forgotten about him, because last time she saw him she cried at him too. Oh, and she totally has a crush on Jimmy Fallon. Usually in the mornings I turn on last night’s Tonight Show and she will stop whatever she is playing with and stare.

Food!

Last week at the baby’s appointment her doctor said we could start giving her solids like oatmeal and fruit/veggie purees. I was super excited about this because I’ve been looking forward to exposing her to foods! I love food, hope to attend culinary school some day, and I was reeeally excited about getting Caroline interested in food too.

The first attempt, oatmeal, went rather as you might expect it: messy! In fact, after the first mouthful, she looked at me and burst into tears.

Not a whole lot made it down that first attempt, naturally. I tried again the next day, but she still wasn’t particularly interested. She also still has a pretty strong tongue thrust reflex which naturally makes it a little more difficult to finagle a spoonful in there.

After giving it a couple days, I tried some apple juice, since the doctor suggested using it as a sweetener when I pureed fruits. He also said to try everything by itself first and to wait a few days so that if there are any allergies, we can nail it down to the right food. Anyway, I gave her the apple juice bottle and she immediately looked at me like “just what the hell do you think you’re trying to give me here?”

It took a bit of persuading, but she did eventually drink 2 ounces.

)

We tried pureed banana after that and she gobbled it up. She’s getting much better at opening her mouth wide enough for the spoon and is keeping most of it in her mouth. Today she had two servings of oatmeal with a little apple juice stirred in for some more taste and she snarfed it! Later today I’m going to do some apple puree (I used this as an excuse to finally buy a food processor and snagged a Ninja choppy thing last week, wahoo) and probably soon will try something like green beans or peas.

Now we’re working on nailing down the right amount of food for her. The suggested serving size on the oatmeal is for a much bigger child, so I can’t really go off that yet. I’m working on cutting out her lunchtime bottle and giving her juice, oatmeal and a fruit or veggie instead. I think some oatmeal at dinnertime is in the works too. Maybe that will keep her full through the night and I can soon start to wean her off her midnight bottle!

The Best Library

It should come as no surprise that one of the greatest things I cherish is the value of good books. My library is very special to me and I am definitely one of those people who will pick up MORE books even if I haven’t finished the one (or six) I’ve already spent time reading. When Borders went out of business (sniff) I haunted that place like a bad case of fleas and I probably ended up taking home a couple hundred dollars worth of books to add to my library. I love books! (Don’t get me wrong, I love my Kindle too, but there’s just something awesome about real, solid books. A lot of times I’ll buy a book on my Kindle and then buy it again in hard copy because I feel like it needs to grace my shelves.) I can’t wait to pass on my love of reading and exploring to my daughter.

Last night some wonderful friends of mine threw me and Caroline a second baby shower because nobody was able to make it to the first after the flood. What a fun time! We laughed and played games and I think the whole thing was especially therapeutic because there just haven’t been that many chances to let loose and be silly and laugh amongst friends since the flood. We specified that there should be no gifts, but naturally there were, though I was pleased that the majority of them were….books! Caroline is well on her way to a wonderful library and I am so excited!

Just too appropriate after the flood! I think his name should be Rainy. (Or do you think it’s a her? For some reason I tend to inherently see teddy bears as male…)
Are these not the cutest damn things you’ve ever seen in your life?
Sophie!
Books, books, and more books!
More owls!
Definitely THE coolest! It belonged to a friend’s grandfather and was printed in 1905. If there’s one thing I love more than books, it’s old books. I have a mild obsession.

And though I forgot to take pictures, everyone decorated blank bibs, onesies and socks for Caroline which I thought was just the cutest. I also got a basket of bath goodies, because everyone knows Mommy needs to be pampered too. And a 2-year subscription to Parents (Parenting?) magazine! We had such a fun time and had some great food (one of the girls made a pumpkin spice cake with maple cinnamon frosting, OM NOM NOM) and played games…including one where you had to place a large potato between your knees and waddle over to a glass jar on the floor and deposit the potato inside. It was hysterical. Mostly I was glad to have some time to spend with friends, a few of whom I hadn’t seen for quite some time. Caroline will be well loved indeed!