Monday, July 30, 2012

Monday Miscellaneous

* I never posted about our boat weekend.  It was a lot of fun but we definitely learned some lessons.  I will try and get a separate post up about that.

* I am going to Denver for work at the end of August.  I probably shouldn't tell Jason that I actually requested this trip right?  Mostly for training for work but also, I will admit, it will be awesome to have a whole bed to myself, sleep without interruptions and be able to eat out and have some adult time.

* Speaking of Denver and sleep, we are really going to start sleep training Cal.  We started but then he got sick with a cold and then his double ear infection.  We are ready now.  Friday night is the start and we already have a plan.  The crib is set up, the mobile has fresh batteries, I ordered a sleep sack and Jack is spending the night over at Nana's.  I am scared to death.  Getting him to sleep isn't the issue.  It's getting him to STAY asleep.  I don't look forward to listening to him cry when he wakes up in the middle of the night.  I am not expecting miracles but I would like to decrease his night wakings down to one or two rather than six or seven (yes, he really wakes up that much).  This plan is in the hopes that when I go to Denver, Jason won't have to wake up so many times during the night.  He doesn't handle disruptions to his sleep very well.

* Here is something weird.  I weighed myself yesterday and I was at about 215 fully clothed in the afternoon.  Hmmmm, that means I have lost weight somehow, without even trying.  Go figure.

* I am on the hunt for yellow, non-slutty shoes.  I have a feeling I won't be able to find them.  They have to be the right color (not mustard) and can't have a huge heel or be real sandaley looking.  I found an awesome pair of Cole Haan's, but I can't justify spending $100 on a pair of shoes that I am only going to wear a few times.  But aren't they gorgeous?

* I scored on the clearance racks yesterday at Fred Meyer.  I didn't buy anything for myself but instead for the boys.  Cal doesn't have any shorts that fit him since he's such a chunky monkey.  He wears most of Jack's hand me downs but all the shorts we have are 6 month size and Cal needs 9 months.  I got a ton of cute summer clothes for him and some jammies for Jack all under $40.  Score!

* Have I mentioned that I am still pumping?  I am really proud of myself because at this point with Jack, I was wrapping up because my supply was crap.  I am really proud that I have kept up this long.  My ultimate goal is to have enough milk to stop at 12 months.  My mini goal was 6 months and I made it that long!  We are getting a chest freezer for our shed so I can store a lot more milk in that. If I plan it right, I can pump, store my milk and then have enough to stop at around 10 months and just use up the frozen.  That would mean I would need about 1900 ounces of frozen milk banked up.  Yikes!  I am not sure if that's going to happen but it's a good goal to aim for.

* Cal is moving, moving, moving.  He is up on all fours and rocking back and forth.  He often takes a half crawl forward too.  You can't leave him on the floor and expect him to be in the same spot five minutes later.  We are making sure to pick up Jack's small toys so he doesn't put them in his mouth and choke.  Since he's not only mobile but awfully grabby with things too.

* Jack can count to three!  I know this isn't a huge deal for people.  Most kids his age can probably count higher but I consider this a success.  He also can identify all colors and most shapes.  Jason was shocked last night when they were reading a board book and Jack kept pointing at the shapes and reciting them "Circle, triangle, diamond, moon, rectangle".  He can also identify some letters too, especially E.  He amazes me.

* I need to make an appointment to get my hair cut and highlighted.  It's been ages since it was cut (since well before Cal was born) and years since I got it highlighted.  When it's highlighted, it makes me look a lot more refreshed and awake.  Better get on the phone with my stylist, Chai.  

* This is going to sound awful but I am just not into the Olympics this year.  I did watch some of the opening ceremonies because I love seeing the parade of nations.  I haven't watched all weekend.  It's on today while I work but I am not paying attention to it.  My favorite event is gymnastics, followed by diving so maybe when those are on I will pay more attention.

I could go on and on but I will leave my post now.  I will do a boat trip update soon.  Maybe tomorrow?  I am trying to blog more but sometimes, it's hard to find interesting topics.  I am not an interesting person and don't craft or have good fashion sense so those two topics are out.  Oh well.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Cal's 6 Month Appointment

Today was Cal's 6 month pediatrician appointment (a couple of weeks late).  It's probably a good thing he had his appointment late because when he was sick with his ear infection, he wouldn't have been able to have his immunizations.

My big boy weighs a whopping 19 pounds 3 ounces (80th percentile) and is 28 inches long (95th percentile).  He's even longer than Jack was!  Jack was big but Cal is even bigger.

I asked about the big jump in percentiles and if I should be concerned - he was 75th percentile for both at 3 months - and because his weight isn't concerning, the pediatrician said he is perfectly fine but he might need another meal during the day.  Cal will now get two solid meals a day because of this.  He won't mind, trust me.

He got three shots and a vial of the Rotavirus goop.  He was such a good boy and took all the Rotavirus with no issues.  He smiled through his first shot, got a little concerned for the second and made a sad face for the third.  Once I picked him up, he was happy as can be.

What made me feel great were the comments from the pediatrician and the nurses.  "He is such a happy baby! Is he always this smiley?".

I make big, happy boys.  I must be doing something right.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Eat - It's Good For You

I haven't done a Week's Worth of Dinner post recently because I have been making a few duplicate recipes and well, that's no fun to read.  Instead, I am catching up and posting the new recipes I have made over the past few weeks.

I will start with our favorite.  Crockpot Pulled Pork.  The author isn't kidding that this smells amazing.  We were conveniently out of the house that day which is good because I would have scratched my eyeballs out waiting for it to finish cooking.  It smelled that good.  It tasted that good as well.  I had my pulled pork over a whole wheat hamburger bun.  Jason had his with a regular hamburger bun.  

Amazing!  We ate the leftovers happily for days.  Sooooo good.  And the fruit salad I made with it wasn't too shabby either.

I made another crockpot recipe.  I love using my crockpot.  It's satisfying knowing that I can put all the ingredients in with minimal prep and then come back to dinner a few hours later.  Even in the summer, I use my crockpot.  Here is a Crockpot Chicken Cacciatore recipe.  It was pretty good although I would make some very slight modifications next time.  We like spicy food in our house so I would probably add some red pepper flakes, garlic, and some additional basil, oregano and such.  

I didn't use chicken on the bone but I bet if I had, it would have been more flavorful.  I served our cacciatore over whole wheat pasta.  We are carb lovers so I also made Olive Garden style breadsticks.  No recipe involved.  I just buy breadsticks from Costco, bake them and brush them with melted butter and garlic salt.  Easy and delicious.

Here is another chicken recipe that I made.  It was easy and tasty.  Even Jason liked it.  Chicken Piccata.  If you haven't noticed a theme, most of my recipes come from Skinny Taste.  Her blog is amazing by the way.  You MUST check it out.

I typically don't keep white wine on hand but I wanted to make this recipe as authentic as possible.  I bought a cute little box of white wine.  It was enough for this recipe and another and it was cheap!  Definitely a possibility if you aren't a wine drinker - I know a lot of people are thinking "Is there such a thing??!!  Not a wine drinker?"

I served our Chicken Piccata with whole wheat noodles that I lightly buttered and green beans.  The sauce was tart and salty and perfect!

A big favorite in our house is macaroni and cheese.  Any shape, any form.  I found this recipe, also from Skinny Taste:  Lighter Baked Macaroni and Cheese.  I really like it because it sneaks a veggie in and it doesn't lack in taste.  

Mine didn't turn out as pretty as her's.  It was still super yummy and I ate the leftovers for lunch for the entire week.  Have I ever mentioned how much I love using up leftovers?  Yup, I do.  I actually look forward to lunches if I have made a yummy dinner the night before.  

I liked the crunch this recipe provided by sticking the pan under the broiler.  What a good idea!  I might have to try this with other casseroles.

Jack even ate this, although he picked out anything green.  Little stinker.

This next recipe is going to be added to our rotation.  Not only was it super easy, it was super tasty and who doesn't love soup?  Stuffed Pepper Soup.  I didn't think a soup could taste like a stuffed pepper but I was wrong.  I used white rice instead of brown but the end result was the same.  

Yummmmm!  I am already looking forward to making this again.

I have a couple more recipes that I have made recently but I am going to save them for another post.

Right now though, I am off to make a new puree for Cal.  Apple, pear and blueberries.  I hope he likes it!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Miscellaneous Monday

Happy Monday!

* We had a crazy busy and fun weekend.  My friend Cathi and I took the boys to the zoo on Saturday.  Then while Jack was napping (which he actually didn't, scary!), I went grocery shopping.  Since Jack didn't nap and he was just jumping on his bed, I got him up, we went to Target and then to watch the plans take off and land at the airport.

* Yesterday, Jack and I had a Mommy and Me day.  I was originally going to take both boys to the playground but the weather was not cooperative.  Instead, I woke Jason up early and got Jack and myself ready.  We went to Pump It Up which is a bounce house facility.  Jack had a blast!  With the exception of getting kicked in the face by some bratty kid, he had such a good time.  We jumped together in the houses, crawled all over, went down the huge slides and played.  He giggled so much and I could tell he enjoyed our time together.

* We got a "special lunch" afterwards.  I can count on one hand the number of times my child has eaten fast food (he doesn't like anything but fries generally) but he has found that he likes nuggets these days.  So we stopped at McDonald's on the way home.  He is so grown up people!  He sat and just ate his food.  I took a video of my big boy eating.  He kept putting every fry and apple slice in the little box that his fries came in.  He would put a fry in, take it out and eat it.  It is much funnier than it sounds, trust.

* Cal is teething.  I am certain of it.  He has been drooly for over two months now.  I have been able to see a tiny white tooth nubbin on his front gum.  It is there but it just won't pop through.  Well yesterday and today, he has had loose poop, a diaper rash and he's been SO CRANKY.  These were all tell-tale signs with Jack.  I cross my fingers that he pops one through soon.  Otherwise, I might have to start drinking.

* I have so many recipes that I have tried lately and want to post about.  I have to muster up the energy to do it.

* Our weekends are going to be incredibly busy until the end of summer.  This coming weekend we are headed to Jason's parent's boat for the weekend.  It's Eagle Fest in the town their boat is docked.  There is a parade, vendors, fireworks and activities for the kids.  I have to be back early on Sunday because I have a check out at work.  The weekend after that I am on call for work which means I have to be glued to my BlackBerry.  Jason's birthday barbeque is on the 22nd.  We have a potluck get together on the 28th.  We have a big family reunion on August 11th.  I want to hit up the Oregon State Fair and The Oregon Bite too.  Talk about busy!

* I am not intentionally forgetting about posting about my Weight Watchers progress.  I haven't been following the plan for several weeks. I don't have an excuse other than laziness.  I frustrate myself because I am all gung-ho when I first start and then I get lazy.  I need to get my butt to the meetings every week.  That usually keeps me on target.

* I haven't posted about a couple of topics lately:  My PPD and cloth diapering.  I am happy to say that my PPD is under control.  I am still on meds (never stopped them while pregnant) and I never had the overwhelming feeling of despair or felt like I made a mistake. I am actually enjoying being a mom now.  As for the cloth diapering, we are still chugging along.  I think it's safe to say that I LOVE cloth.  It's easy, the laundry doesn't bother me, and even Jason isn't complaining about changing diapers.

That is about it.  I am making an Arroz Con Pollo recipe tonight so I hope to be able to post some tasty eats tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Cal is 6 Months Old!

Calvin Wyatt, you are half a year old!  And what an awesome 6 months it has been.

You are blossoming into a little boy already.  It's so much fun to see you change and grow.  But don't grow too fast!  I say this at every stage of my boys' life, but I think this age is my favorite.  Cal, you are so happy and LOVE people.  Here are some things you are up to this month:

* You got sick for the first time this month.  Big brother shared his cold with you and you took it a lot harder than the rest of the family.  Your sleep (what little you already get!) was disrupted and you have a nasty cough.  Last night was pretty rough and after taking you to the pediatrician, you have a double ear infection.  Your first ear infection!  Let's hope you don't take after Jack and get an ear infection with every cold you get.

* You love people but I think your favorite people are Mommy and Jack.  Every time you see either of us, your whole face lights up into a huge grin.  When Jack wakes up in the morning and comes running into the living room, you might be grumpy but as soon as you see him, you want him to notice you and pay attention to you.

* You are starting to recognize and identify the kitties.  If one crosses your path, you will try everything in your power to reach for them.  If we hold you close to one and let you "pet" it, you get a huge smile on your face.

* I say this all the time but I swear you are the happiest and most easy-going baby ever.  The only time you cry is if you are tired, hungry, have a dirty diaper or are hurt.  That's it.  Once in a while you will fuss to be held if you are in the bouncer for too long.

* You are rolling both ways and are scooting.  If we set you down on the floor, you will scoot over to a toy, your brother, a cat, or anything that piques your interest.  A few times you have pushed your chest up or gotten up on your knees.  Crawling can't be all that far away.

* Man you are teething.  Drool factory!  I keep checking for a tooth because the amount of drool you are producing is insane. No tooth yet!

* Your favorite toys right now are your Taggie blanket, your new piggy teether, and Mommy's knuckles (you gum them and shove them into your mouth).

* Sleep is still okay.  Not great, not terrible.  We tried to start sleep training you but the next night, you were sick and we stopped.  We won't try again until we know you are healthy.

* You are talking more and more.  You are saying your B's.  "Blah blah" and "Buah buah".  It's so stinkin' cute.

* You love your food!  Purees are going really well.  You will eat almost everything.  Green beans and peas aren't really your favorite but bananas and cereal are.  I think you are going to be a definite fruit man.  We have given you some Mum Mums and pieces of banana to suck on.  You go absolutely NUTS for those.  The other night when your teeth were bothering you, I gave you a cold piece of watermelon that I was eating.  I thought you were going to devour the whole thing!  You kept sucking and moving your little head like a bird to get more of it.

* I don't have your exact stats because I was a Mommy Failure and didn't make your 6 month well baby visit on time.  However, I do know that from your appointment today you weigh 18 pounds 6 ounces.  I have no idea what percentile that is.

We love you big boy!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Homemade Baby Food

When Jack was a baby, I wanted to try my hand at homemade baby food but I never did.  It was mostly fear because I thought it would take forever but would be really hard to do.  It was just easier for me to buy the little Gerber $.99 baby food packages and just buy his favorites.  You see, Jack was a picky eater even as a baby.  I didn't want to make batches of baby food for him to not like any of it.

On Saturday I bit the bullet and got a few things I would need to make baby food:  A little food processor, some extra ice cub trays, and some fruits and veggies.

You absolutely do not have to buy a food processor specifically to make baby food.  I have a food processor but it's incredibly loud and takes a million pieces.  This processor is small, quiet and was inexpensive.  I bought ice cube trays to freeze individual portions of the food in.  These are also not necessary if you want to freeze your food in some other way.

I got this nifty baby food processor:

It's by Boon and called Mush.  It's a manual processor and you pull the orange handle to puree the food.

I started with yams, carrots, peaches and peas.  I prepped all the food first and then cooked it by steaming it on the stove using my steamer basket.  The pieces of food were all small enough that nothing cooked longer than about 10 minutes.  Then the cooked food went into the processor.  

Depending on how many pulls you do, you can have big chunks, little chunks or puree.  I had to add a little of the steaming liquid to the processor in order to get the right consistency.

The carrots turned out nice and thick and I taste tested them.  Yum!  

All the food was frozen in individual servings and then bagged up into a bigger freezer bag for easy storage.

If I add up the cost of the fruits and veggies, I spent $.30 on the yam, $1.00 on the carrots, $2.00 on the peaches and the peas were free (had on hand already).  I would guesstimate that if I were to buy the equivalent amount of Stage 1 baby food, it would cost $12.  In the end, this will be a cost saver.

The verdict?  SUPER EASY.  It hardly took any time (I made all the food during the boys' nap time) and the clean up was pretty simple.

I can't wait to see what Cal thinks of some of his special food.  I saved out some of the peas to give him - his first.  I also can't wait to start really being adventurous with some flavors.  Apples, pears, plums, apricots, rice, pureed chicken and all kinds of other ideas.  

Friday, July 6, 2012

The 4th in Pictures

Our 4th of July was pretty low-key.  We had a very small barbeque with my in-laws and a couple of Jason's friends.  I invited some people but they were either working or had other plans.

I wanted to keep the menu simple so we made:  hot dogs, hamburgers with all the fixin's, pasta salad, watermelon and pineapple pops, baked beans, chips and a blueberry cobbler for dessert.

Jason had purchased some legal fireworks to shoot off with Jack.

Here are some pictures from the day.

Jack and Nana playing with his water table.  He will literally splash around for hours.

Relaxing before most of the guests arrive.  I love our purchase of lawn furniture and that umbrella is amazing!  It kept us cool the entire day.

Cal hanging out in the shade enjoying his ExerSaucer.  He wasn't feeling all that great but he was such a good baby and just relaxed.

Jack enjoying a sparkler.  He is just like his Daddy and LOVED the fireworks we bought.  He ran around all day throwing down those snappers and had such a blast.  He couldn't get enough of them!

It was a fun day!  The weather was gorgeous, the food was great if I do say so myself, the company was nice and none of us were woken up in the middle of the night with huge booming fireworks which might be a first.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Big Boy's Room

Last weekend we made the purchase that we had been holding out for........a toddler bed.  Jack had previously been sleeping in his converted crib which is completely fine, but when you need to use it for the next baby, this poses a problem.

I made the trek to Ikea after finding a bed we wanted.  It is so super cute in person.  It's the perfect little boy's bed.

Jack didn't get it at first.  We tried to make it exciting while we were putting the bed together saying "Look, it's your new big boy bed!".  The only response we got out of him was "Nooooo".

The challenge of the day was trying to fit two beds into a very small bedroom.  I had an idea planned out but it didn't make it to execution.  The bed and dresser won't fit on the same wall so I had to rethink my plan.  In the end, it all worked out and although the room is small and "cozy" it's still cute.  A perfect little boy's room.

Here is Jack's new "big boy bed" with the special quilt that was made by a family friend.  You can't really tell but the headboard has a cut out of a squirrel and a fox.  The fox matches the paint color in the room coincidentally.

Here is a view from the door of the room.

Have I ever mentioned that I share a closet with these two kiddos?  

And here is Cal's bed (eventually).  We need to put the headboard back on and adjust the mattress.

I really like how it turned out.  We might not have the biggest house or the fanciest stuff, but I am happy with where we live.  We have a roof over our heads and it helps that I am super organized and am constantly purging so we don't accumulate too much "stuff".