Monday, February 28, 2011

Here comes the emails!





One of the reasons that I love blogs is because I love the conversations that can take part in the comments section. I like being able to ask questions and get answers, or share ideas, or converse back and forth or whatever.

However, with blogger, I don't think you have the option of threaded comments, that is, being able to reply to a particular comment within the comments. And where as some self hosted sites generate an email to you when your comment gets a reply, I don't think you can do that with blogger either. Yes, you can subscribe to comments, but that's not the same thing.
And I don't know how many bloggers (if any) go to all the trouble of going back to a post they commented on just to see if the blog writer responded to it. If you read and comment on more than a few blogs, that would be a lot of work, so I'm guessing most people don't. I know I usually don't. And because I don't, I don't usually ask questions in my comments, even if I have a question, because I assume either it's not going to get answered, or I'm not going to see the answer. (make sense?)

However, thanks to the amazing Megan (love the name, by the way!) at http://mackeymadness.blogspot.com/ I learned that you can reply to the comments that you get through email. Meaning, when you comment on a post of mine and I've opted to be emailed with the comments I receive, I can reply through email back to you to comment on your comment.

I, personally, think this is fabulous! Hopefully you do too, because now you're going to be getting emailed replies from me to the comments you make. If, for whatever reason, you think this would be annoying or create unwanted email for you, just let me know and I won't email you any replies.

But since you know that I can reply now, if you have questions, ask away!

Baby food: Parsnips

This post is brought to you because Isabelle is sleeping and mommy is free to blog :)
I love that even while she's sleeping, she has her rabbit :)

I may be the only parent here to whom this sentiment is true, but maybe a few of you will agree.

As a parent, I think it's funny that I want to expose my child to so many different healthy things that I find myself buying and cooking produce that I've never bought, prepared, or eaten ever in my life. I'm very ambitious about her health....and not quite so much about mine.

Maybe I should work on balancing that out. (as in, taking concern about my health up to the level of concern I have for baby's health, not bringing my concern for her down to my concern for me.) (if that made any sense at all.)

Anyway, today I'm going to show you how to make parsnips for baby.

Start with parsnips:

 Peel them, and then cut chop them into pieces. The parsnips are pretty dense and hard, so it's more like a chop then a cut. 

Our method of cooking will be to steam them.



I let mine cook for about 25 minutes, until they seemed really soft when poked with a fork. For baby, I would rather over cook and have the food be a little mushy, than under cook and not have it soft enough to puree.

In reading online, I read that you should remove the inner parts of the thick part of the parsnip because it is tough and fiberous. I didn't read this until after I started cooking, so I removed those parts after it was steamed. You can easily tell what parts are the hard inner parts. 

I put all the soft cooked pieces into my little food processor, and processed until smooth.

Like I said in my baby food basics post, I use small sized silicon molds for freezing individual serving sizes of baby food. Here is one of my molds:

And filled with parsnip puree:

After that, I cover with saran wrap, freeze for a few hours (or in this case, days, because I haven't taken the time to package yet) and then remove the frozen chunks of puree and store in a freezer ziploc bag.

Fifty-five in February - Final Post

I started the fifty-five in February here, and then posted an update here and I think this should conclude my fifty five items.
2 shirts, a jean jacket, 2 bassinet sheets

 2 t-shirts, a workout tank, a crayon stained tank that went straight to the trash
and some cheer shorts that no respectable 26 yr old woman should wear :) 

 2 t-shirts, 4 pants

15 hangers. 
We buy plastic hangers and I hate these kind that come home from the store.

My last total was at 19, and with these items, I'm now up to...50. Which you would think puts me 5 items short, but I'll let you in on a little secret. 

Shhhhh, don't tell!
I hate little junky toys. (Think happy meal toys, oriental trading co. crap, vending machine trinkets, plastic rings/bracelets, etc, you get the idea.) 
Well, I may or may not be that mom that throws that stuff away while my child is sleeping. I cannot post any pictures to verify or disprove that, so you'll never really know. (And thus, my daughter can never say with certainty that I have done this!) 
But in the event that I have thrown stuff like that away, my daughter never really misses those things, so it works out just fine for everyone :)

Anyway, besides the items that went straight to the trash, the rest of the stuff is still here in my house, albeit bagged up and ready to go. In order to have these things out by the end of February, looks like y'all know what I'll be doing today! 

Sunday, February 27, 2011

20% off diapers

I realize this is really last minute, but I have a coupon for 20% off diapers at Amazon.com
Amazon has great prices on several brands of diapers and if you have an Amazon mom account, you save 15% off the listed price. In addition, you can sign up for subscribe and save, and save another 15%. So basically, you save 30% and this coupon will allow you to save another 20% on top of that.

The coupon expires TOMORROW, 2/28, but if you're interested in it and will use it, please comment with your email address so I can email you the code.

(and no, this wasn't the giveaway I mentioned last week!) 

Saturday, February 26, 2011

We've got teeth!


Pictures today went well......sort of. 
The picture part went well, as in, I think we're going to have a lot of great pictures. Mollie was wonderful and had lots of fun ideas and stuff to use. Isabelle was well rested and although I think she took a little while to warm up and show off that smile, she did a good job too. 

But we also took big sister with us. 
And today was the worst display of attention seeking I've ever seen from her. I guess I can't be too upset, because for the most part, she has done wonderfully about having a baby sister who gets so much attention from family, friends and strangers. Kaylee was the only one for seven whole years, so sharing the spotlight and the attention is certainly a big thing for her to adjust to. 
Pictures today were 90% for Isabelle's 6 month pictures, and 10% for a few professional shots of the girls together. But Kaylee wanted to be a part of everything. Wanted to be in the middle of everything. It was bad enough that while Mollie was snapping pictures of Isabelle and coaxing out smiles, Kaylee was on the other side of the room, doing something silly saying "mommy, look at me! look at me! look at Kaylee!" which of course got not only my attention, but Isabelle's as well. SIGH. 
While it was annoying and frustrating, I'm trying to remember how different Kaylee's world is now that she's not the only one, and how well she has done for the most part, and just trying to let it go.

Atypical

(First, to everyone that inquired about the overnight oats from yesterday, YES, I eat them cold. I think it's so good. Cold and creamy. I suppose you could try heating them, but something about heating up yogurt just doesn't appeal to me. To each their own, though!) 
(Back to your regularly scheduled post!) 

Not your usual lazy Saturday over here!

We have our appointment for pictures at 2:00 today, so instead of a lazy Saturday like we usually have, I've been very schedule focused.
 When talking a baby for pictures, you've really got to consider their sleep schedule. If you want a happy, smiley baby, you must have a well rested baby.
Luckily, Isabelle woke up around 7:00 today, had some early morning play time with daddy while mommy slept an extra hour (oh yeah!) and then had breakfast at 8:45. (breast milk, breakfast of champions!) Then she played in the bath for awhile and got all squeeky clean for pictures.
 This was actually from last week lol!

She laid down for her nap at about 10:15, which should be perfect if she'll sleep her usual 3ish hours. Up at 1:00ish, eat, change diaper, and head to pictures, with a perfectly rested and full of smiles baby! Yay! I'm really really excited to have pictures to post from our photo shoot with Mollie Wetta!

In other news, It's a frigid 30 degrees outside but our forecast for tomorrow is in the 60s. Hopefully, Mr weatherman is correct, because we're hoping to go outside and frolic!
nothing says frolic like jumping off a big rock!

Hope y'all are having a super Saturday!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Overnight oats

Yeah, yeah, if you read any of the food blogs out there, you've already heard of overnight oats approximately 4329573 times already. I know.
But for those of you that don't, or those of you that have read about it, but never tried it, it's time! Try everything once, didn't your mom ever teach you that? :)

(I'll begin this by saying that I have no idea how similar or not overnight oats are to "typical" oatmeal, because I don't eat typical oatmeal. I've never really tried it and it's never really appealed to me. That being said, if you don't like oatmeal, there's a good chance you'll still like this. So again, TRY IT!)

The premise behind overnight oats is that you prepare it the night before, and it sits overnight. (who woulda thought?!) However, this isn't absolutely necessary, just know that the longer it has to sit, the less...hard your oats are. Or the chewier they become. Something like that.

You'll need 3 main ingredients.
-oats
-milk
-yogurt
You use whatever amount you want, but the same amount of each.
I use 1/3 cup, but feel free to use more or less.
the milk is underneath the oats
I use pumpkin pie spice in mine, but that's just a preference thing. (remember how much I love anything pumpkin?) I also use vanilla yogurt, cause that's the only flavor I like. If you like fruity yogurts (bleh!), I bet that would be delicious, and you could top it with sliced fruit before you eat it.
Stir it up, cover it, and store in the fridge overnight. (or for a few minutes if you're making in the morning)

It'll come out looking a little like this:

I stir maple syrup into mine because of my terrible sugar addiction cause I like maple syrup, but feel free to experiment with mix-ins or toppings, like peanut butter, nuts, fruit, raisins, etc etc.

I'm one of those people who get into an eating rut, and when I like something I'll eat it over and over again. I'm pretty sure I've eaten this everyday for the last 15 days or so.

Now, go try it!

A little somethin' for the weekend

Pepperoni Chicken Parmesan

I haven't posted a recipe for awhile, so I thought it was high time I shared another!
This recipe has two of my most favorite things in the whole world...chicken and cheese. (chicken only because I know I need protein. Cheese, obviously, because it's so delicious.)

Here's what you'll need:

-4 thin chicken breast halves
-2 eggs
-1/3 cup milk
-2 cups Panko breadcrumbs
-1/2 cup flour
- salt and pepper
-1 cup shredded mozzarella
- pepperoni to your taste (optional, but adds a little pep! ha!)
-1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
-1 jar marinara (or spaghetti) sauce
-1/3 cup canola/vegetable oil

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

In a  pie plate (I used an 8X8 baking dish), combine the eggs and milk.
Spread the bread crumbs onto one plate and the flour onto another. (a total of 3 plates/dishes altogether.)
(line them up for a little chicken coating assembly line)
Salt and pepper the chicken. Taking one breast at a time, dip it in the egg mixture, then the bread crumbs and lastly, the flour. Repeat with all 4 pieces of chicken.
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook the chicken breasts and lightly fry until golden on each side and cooked through. (The oil really isn't optional at this point. Non-stick spray won't give you the same result.)
If you feel the need, set the chicken on paper towels to drain, and place in a baking pan or casserole dish. (feel free to use your non-stick spray at this point.)
Pour tomato sauce over the chicken, and cover with lots of parmesan and mozzarella. Top it all with the pepperoni. (I cut my pepperoni circles into smaller pieces to make it more Kaylee friendly)(again, optional, but if you like pepperoni, you'll enjoy it with this.)
Bake for 15 minutes. We served ours with whole wheat spaghetti noodles. Yum!

Kaylee said it was like chicken pizza :) The cheese was definitely my favorite part!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Isabelle's rough day

Isabelle and I have a weekday routine that we stick with almost every day.
We have Kaylee dropped off to school by 8:50 every morning, and then we usually go to the YMCA for about 30 minutes. Yes, I know, 30 minutes is hardly enough time to break a sweat, but my goal is just to do something active, not hardcore work out. We began just by walking on the track (Isabelle in the Ergo) but now we usually split our time between the elliptical and the track. I'll let Isabelle play as long as she'll allow in her car seat, and once she's yelling loudly enough that I feel like the inattentive mom that's focused on her workout and not her baby, we'll strap on the Ergo and go walk the track.
 Obviously, I am not one of those runners :)

After we're done at the Y, since we're already out and about, if we have any grocery shopping to do (and/or momma just feels like wandering around the grocery store) we do it then. Today, however, we were headed to Target. 

(Here's where Isabelle's rough day could actually be called Isabelle's bad mommy)

I, personally, don't like diaper bags. (let me interject that Isabelle is breastfed, so we have no need to carry bottles and formula. So essentially it would be a big ole diaper bag...with just a few measly diapers and wipes and footie PJs.....and a whole lotta empty space) I already carry a purse, and depending on our mode of transportation, am either carrying my almost 20 lb baby in her infant car seat (which is heavier than you think) or pushing a stroller. If I carry the car seat, then it's being sat in the cart. (go ahead and picture that....car seat, in cart does not equal much room left for groceries.) So basically what I'm saying is that in most cases, at the grocery store, my cart is filled with baby seat, and I'm pushing a cart AND holding my purse. IF I were a diaper bag user, I would also be holding a diaper bag on top of that. 

Anyway, that paragraph is a means to show you why I dislike using a diaper bag. Which is not to say I don't attend to Isabelle's possible needs. I carry 4-5 diapers + a travel case of wipes in my purse. 

However, today at Target, we had the dreaded poop explosion. (all you moms out there have experienced it, don't lie!) And as I said earlier, I carry diapers and wipes in my purse...not a change of clothes. I keep extra clothes in the car. 
So I get Isabelle out of her dirty clothes and change her into a clean diaper. (1 point for good mommy)
But then I have to wrap her up in her blankee since I don't have clean clothes on hand to changer her into. (1 point for bad mommy)
On top of that, I have to carry her out to the car, where somehow it has managed to get at least 10 degrees colder outside than it was when we got to Target. (1 point for bad mommy
Now, picture me, carrying purse, carrying baby, trying to keep blankee wrapped tight around baby, trying to open car door, trying to reach extra clothes, all while carrying purse, baby, wrapped tight, etc. Not easy!
Then, while trying to close car door while carrying purse, baby, wrapped tight, plus clothes....I accidentally drop the clothes. (not baby!) On the ground. That's wet. Cause it's raining. (148 points for bad mommy)
We returned to the changing table and I did my best to blot and squeeze out any wetness from her clothes. Unfortunately, there were still a few damp spots, but I got her dressed. 

Poor Isabelle. She wishes she had a diaper bag carrying mommy.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Baby food basics

Allow me to begin this post by saying that I am in no way a baby food making expert.
Nor am I a comprehensive guide to baby food making.
There are TONS of websites with MUCH more information about making baby food. (but I'm not going to link to them, cause I'd like you to keep reading this post instead of clicking to the better sites hehe!)

All that being said, I'm still going to share my method of making baby food in hopes that it will be helpful to someone and maybe you'll decide to make some homemade baby food for your own little one.

First of all, you don't need this:
I'm certain there is nothing wrong with having a Beaba babycook machine, but it's not cheap and it's not necessary. One of my friends used one and loved it, but I'm just as happy with my results without one.

Making baby food is simple.

Step 1:
    -Buy whatever foods you're wanting to make for baby.
    -Side note: Fresh is best...maybe. I know we've all heard fresh is best, but if produce food isn't local, you have no way of knowing how long ago it was picked and how it was stored during transportation and storage times. I've read that fruits and veggies begin to lose nutrients as soon as they're picked. Frozen fruits and veggies are flash frozen at peak ripeness and are often in better condition than what we can buy fresh from the grocery store. Anyway, I'd recommend purchasing fresh or frozen, but not canned.

Step 2:
    -Determine cooking method.
    -Side note: For nearly all vegetables, you'll either steam or roast (bake) or not cook at all.
     I would suggest you steam: peas, carrots, green beans, and parsnips.
     I would suggest you roast: sweet potato, butternut squash, and acorn squash.
     For some fruits, such as apples and pears, I'd suggest you cook on the stove, in a pot, until softened.
     For naturally soft fruits and veggies, such as avocado, banana and mango, no cooking is required.

Step 3:
    -Prep the produce as needed before cooking.
    Side note: just your basic food prep, such as peeling carrots or parsnips, cutting squash in half and de-seeding before roasting, peeling apple and pear, etc.

Step 4:
    -Cook, using whatever method is best for the food you're making, until food is soft. 
    -Side note: for baby food, go a little beyond al dente. It's better to be a little mushy than too hard.

Step 5:
    -Allow food to cool before pureeing.
    -Side note: I think this step is optional. I've read that you should allow it to cool, but I don't think any harm will come if you don't.

Step 6:
    -Puree the food.
    -Side note: There are many ways you can puree food. I use a teeny little food processor and it gets the job done just fine. I think you'll end up with satisfactory results with either a food processor or a blender. You can even mash/puree by hand, it'll just be more work and you won't have as smooth of a puree.
    -Side note: You have the option of thinning out your food by adding a liquid to the cooked food. It's recommended you thin the puree with either breast milk or formula. If your food isn't pureeing very well, add a bit of liquid while you puree, otherwise, if you're planning on freezing, it's best to add the liquid prior to serving, not prior to freezing.

Step 7:
    -Use or store baby food. 
    -Side note: You can use the puree now, package and refrigerate to use within the next few days, or freeze for later use.
    -Side note: For freezing, I recommend using a silicon baking mold (cupcake or similar sized) to portion out small amounts of pureed food. I've read many recommendations for ice cube trays, but I find you can remove the food easier if it's in something flexible, like silicon, as opposed to rigid, like plastic. After the puree has frozen, I double bag the little "cubes" in ziploc freezer bags, label (food and date), and then you're free to defrost just small amounts for baby.

Step 8:
    -Remind your husband that you just worked so hard to make nutritious homemade baby food for your little one and it's only fair that he does the clean up. :)

Coming up soon!!
Step by step with pictures of preparing several different foods.

ABC's of me

A: Age: 26

B: Bed size: Queen, which I've always been fine with until the bed became our preferred place to hang out with baby and it gets a lil crowded with 4 of us there!

C. Chore you hate: hmm. maybe dusting? when it requires moving everything off a surface, dusting the surface, dusting all the little things, then rearranging. Yup, dusting!

D. Dogs: I love the idea of them, and think they're so cute, but I don't like the reality of them. I really dislike dog smell, and I despise shedded fur all over the house. However, if there is absolutely NO dog smell, and very little shedding, I want that dog!

E. Essential start to your day: Nothing really. I eat breakfast, but not immediately. I guess my most immediate things once I'm actually up are going pee and getting a drink. (hey, you asked!)

F. Favorite color: Pink!

G. Gold or silver: I used to be all about the silver (or white gold) but my wedding ring is gold and I happen to like it. So, either, I suppose.

H: Height: 5' and maybe half an inch on a good day :)

I: Instruments that you can play: the piano, but not nearly as well as I wish I could. Too bad I didn't "apply myself" better during all those years my mom made me take lessons. Sigh.

J: Job title: Milk maker

K: Kids: Two girls, but hopefully at least one more in the next few years.

L: Live: Kansas. But there's several other places I'd rather be!

M: Mom's name: Julie

N: Nicknames: occasionally Meg, but not regularly.

O: Overnight hospital stays: only to give birth. Those are my only hospital stays, period.


P: Pet peeve: Oh Lord. I hate the phrase "pet peeve." You will never hear me say it. And while I could list several things that annoy me, I'll limit it to one: slow people that just meander when you're trying to walk at a brisk pace and get things done (like at the grocery store or Target or the mall). By all means, feel free to meander, but do it on the side of an aisle!

Q: Quote from a movie: "Yeah I called her up, she gave me a bunch of crap about me not listening to her, or something, I don’t know, I wasn’t really paying attention." Lol! I'm not going to lie, I couldn't really think of a stellar movie quote at the moment so I googled best movie quotes and this is the first one I read that I liked. Only because if I was being really honest, the same words could probably come out of my mouth! :)

R: Righty or lefty: Right handed

S: Sibling: I have two half brothers, and one ex-step-sister-in-law. I am definitely not a product of your typical American family. Or, more accurately, I am a product of what is considered typical now :/ Regardless, I love my family and think they're pretty fantastic!

T: Time you wake up: Usually about 7 am. Isabelle is a demanding alarm clock!

U: Underwear: Yes, I have some on, thanks for asking.

V: Vegetables you dislike: Beets. Eww.

W: What makes you run late: I would say Isabelle, but my husband would say that I'm late regardless. Clearly, he's wrong.Sometimes it's getting everything out to the car, kids ready, kids all buckled up, etc and then realizing I need to run back in the house for one. more. thing. Sigh.

X: X-rays: Only one, to rule out the possibility of pneumonia.Oh wait, and all those dental ones.

Y: Yummy food you make: I can't say that I have a favorite. My husband says everything I make is delicious. Clearly, he's just trying to make me feel appreciated so that I keep cooking. You can see some of my recipes here.

Z: Zoo favorite animal: Spider monkeys, or any other little cute monkey :)  Or otters. So cute and playful!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Yeah, I'd jump off a cliff too

Lately (or maybe always, who knows) it seems like there are a lot of popular books that everyone is loving (thus the popularity) but that don't sound at all good to me when I read the review or synopsis or whatever. But then I figure if that many people like the book, there's obviously something behind that and probably I should suck it up and read the book too. (Does that make me a follower?)

Said sucking it up occurs, and lo and behold, I usually do like the book too.
The most recent example of this would be The Hunger Games trilogy. The synopsis on Amazon did not sound at all good, but I decided to give the books a try and ended up reading all three of them in less than a week.

The book in point at this exact moment though, happens to be Water for Elephants.
For many months now, I've heard and read nothing but good reviews. But the premise of the book is not at all appealing to me. Circuses aren't particularly interesting or awesome to me. I mean, even the flashy-ness of a circus show (as a spectator) doesn't interest me, much less the real, unglamorous behind the scenes side of it.

However, all these good reviews cannot possibly be wrong.
So if everybody else is doing it, Megan will too.

I bought the book for my kindle tonight and will start reading it whenever I can summon up enough interest. I'll let ya know how it is.

What about you? Have you read it? Your review??

Zoo day!

This last Friday, we took a road trip to Oklahoma City.
The hubs had to work, but school was out for inservice, so Kaylee, Isabelle, and I went with my dad. We actually go to OKC about once a month, just for a change of scenery and a fun little outing. We even go for the same three things: shopping, eating, and the zoo. We love road trips!

As far as the shopping goes, as most moms know, once you become a mom, it seems like the majority of your shopping is now for the kids, and no longer for you. Bummer!
Kaylee found this girly-to-the-max soccer ball, and Isabelle was the designated carrier of it while we were at the mall :)
I love this picture!

After the mall, it was ZOO time! 
Normally, I'm not one to take pictures of the animals. I'm very much a picture of people person, not a picture of things and scenery person. However, since I have my new camera, I was pretty impressed with my animal shots. 
I love that cute little otter face in the upper right pic

For the days when Kaylee is in the mood for taking pictures, the Oklahoma City zoo has fabulous photo spots. 
And to my child who thinks she needs to climb EVERYTHING, this rock formation was perfect. 



For the more normal people looking for photo ops, all throughout the zoo, they have really nice bronze statues of the zoo animals and Kaylee loves to pose with them. 


There's several more of these, but these two were my favorite.

And just so Isabelle could feel the picture love, we included her in a few too!
 My favorite part of this picture is actually Kaylee in the background.
She's such a SPAZ and as I already said, is always trying to climb on things. There's your proof.
Contrary to her expression there, Isabelle actually does love riding in the Ergo.
She's just mad cause she always chews those side straps, and I moved it away for the picture.

My dad and Kaylee scoping out the alligators. 

We enjoyed our time in Oklahoma City and were so happy to be out enjoying the 75 degree weather. It was SO nice! Unfortunately, it's back to 30 today. HURRY UP, SPRINGTIME!!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Update to Fifty-five in February (19)

I shared my mission of getting rid of 55 things last week, and I thought I'd share a little update on the process.

My older daughter's school requires uniforms, and they also allow parents to bring in used uniforms and resell them very cheaply. We are donating a few pants and shorts that no longer fit.

In addition, like so many parents, we ended up with waaay more baby clothes than Isabelle could ever need. We are packing up and saving the majority of her clothes in case another little girl happens to join our family one day, but we still have excess beyond what we're choosing to save.
Luckily, one of the girls I used to work with is expecting a little girl, so hopefully she'll be able to use some of our extras. I'll be taking them to her first, and then anything she doesn't want will make the trip to Goodwill.

Between the school clothes and the baby clothes, my count is currently at: 19 items.

I better get busy!

Monday Minute, part 3


Here are this week's questions:
(1) Do you think Lady Gaga is Gaga or just plain KaKa?
(2) If you had to write these questions every week, what questions would YOU write the participants?
(3) What animal/ insect has always scared the heck out of you?
(4) Do you wash your hands after you use the restroom every time?  Be honest!
(5) Do you buy brand named purses or replicas?

1.  I'm very neutral about Lady GaGa. Umm, I don't own her CD, so I'm not familiar with any of her music besides the songs they play on the radio. Some I like, some I don't.

2.  I'd ask people for their favorite blogs...I'm always looking for more blogs to read, even though I probably spend way too much time reading blogs as it is!
Or I'd ask about their #1 favorite vacation...where they went, where they stayed, what they did, etc.

3.  SPIDERS. I freaking HATE spiders. Eww. Small, big, furry, whatever. The odd thing is, I'm not scared of being bitten or hurt by spiders, I'm just scared/grossed out by the spider itself. I even have a weird enough fear of them that I don't like to kill them because in my mind I'm sure that right when I go to squish them, they're going to run or jump or somehow otherwise end up on me instead of getting squished. The really bad news, though, is that they often run and hide and while I'm running to get someone else to come do the killing :(

4.  Ummmm. No. Out in public, YES. Always. But that's because of touching doors/handles/etc in public restrooms, and I hate those germs, not because I'm a messy pee-er. At home, I may or may not wash afterwards.

5.  For the most part, I do not buy designer purses, but I SURE DO own designer purses. Yes, I know it's terribly materialistic and unnecessary, but I love designer purses. I own at least 18 Coach purses, 5 or 6 Dooney & Bourkes, and 1 Louis Vuitton.
 this is the one I'm using at the moment

this is Isabelle's diaper bag

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Things I'm loving today...

Tiramisu ice cream from Marble Slab. Tastes like a mudslide made with kahlua. Yum!

My new camera. The hubs got it for me last month after I blogged and publicly declared my lust for it. Such a sweet husband I have :)

A scheduled photo session with none other than the fabulous Mollie Wetta. She did our wedding pictures and Isabelle's newborn pictures. I'd recommend her to anyone in the area. We can't wait for next week!


An upcoming giveaway I'm going to be hosting on my blog! I'm so excited for it and can guarantee a lot of you will be interested! Stay tuned!

Tiny Prints cards. I sent out quite a few of their cards for Valentine's Day and was happy with the selection and the personalization options. They are so easy to make, and I love that you can have them send the cards out for you! Plus, if you like them on Facebook, you'll become privy to several codes for special deals :)

(Note: I wasn't paid or perked for mentioning any of these companies/people. My opinions are my own!)

Friday, February 18, 2011

Fifty-five in February

Yes yes, I realize I'm a little late on this, since February is more than half over, but better late than never, right? Exactly!

We live in a tiny house. And just in case math isn't your forte, let me do the equation for you. 4 people + all their stuff does not = enough space in a teeny house.

So as part of my ever ongoing process to consolidate and simplify, this February I am going to get rid of 55 things in my house. I will donate what I can, and trash the rest.

I'll work on my 55 and let you know how it's going next week.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Did I make a mistake?

 VS


I have no idea why I chose Blogger in the first place. I had no reason for doing so, it's just what I typed in when I first began my blog last month.

And while it works alright, the more I read about blogging, the more I keep reading that Wordpress is the way to go.
So I'm wondering if perchance I made a mistake in choosing Blogger, and if in fact I should have chosen Wordpress.
And if so, I'm wondering if I should switch to Wordpress....
And if I did switch, could I take my content with me?? 

Does anyone have any thoughts, ideas, experiences, etc they'd like to share?? I'd love to hear it!!

my (occasional) helper

I feel like I've had NO time for blogging lately! I was out of town for the weekend and then I've spent the last few days getting caught up with chores and grocery shopping and cleaning up around the house.

Also, we have some really gorgeous spring weather going on right now and I'm LOVING it. The temperature's currently 73 degrees and it feels like perfection after all the snow we've had this month.
And if you find yourself being envious of my weather, don't worry. It's all just a big tease, as the prediction for next week is back in the 30s. SIGH.

Kids are so funny, yes? If you were to ask her, Kaylee would say she hates chores. She hates being asked to do chores. She complains when she's given chores to do. Sounds like your typical child, I know.
But on her own, however, she enjoys chores. Earlier this week, she announced that she would be doing the dishes that night.
And sure enough, as soon as she finished her dinner, she got up from the table, got out mom's apron, and headed to the sink.
School uniform shirt and pajama pants...great combination!

Kaylee spent a good 20 minutes filling up the sink with water, making lots of bubbles with the dish soap, and scrubbing dishes with the sponge. 
Smile if you're having fun! 

I can assure you, had I have asked Kaylee to do the dishes, I would have had 20 minutes of complaining and moaning. Instead, her crazy little head thought it would be fun, and she came up with it herself. Lucky me! 

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Pillsbury UPDATE

A few weeks ago, I wrote about some frustrations I was having with Pillsbury.
Now, of course, venting to all of you made me feel better, but it didn't exactly fix the issue.

So I wrote a kindly worded letter to Pillsbury, expressing my disappointment about the cardboard tubes causing the dough to rip when you open it.

And today, I receive this:
Two coupons for free Pillsbury bread products. Score!

Since I've shared this much of the story with you thus far, I think I'll try to find some fun ways to use the Pillsbury bread dough and I'll share the recipes and results on my blog!

That was unnecessary

Last week was a tough week for me.

One of my girl friends decided she wanted to do a girl's trip for her birthday and I felt very honored to be invited along. While I really wanted to go, I really didn't know if I should.

You see, in the five and a half months since I've had baby, the longest I've been away from her is 3 hours. And little miss is exclusively breastfed and wants to eat every three house no. matter. what.
Being that I do feed her every three hours, it was really hard to build up a milk supply pumping because I wasn't missing any feedings and yet still trying to pump more on top of that.
So maybe we could mix milk with a little formula? But what if she didn't like the taste? What if it hurt her tummy? 
Plus, I didn't know if she'd be okay with having to take the bottle for an entire weekend. What if she hated it?
And then you hear that sometimes babies end up preferring a bottle because it flows faster, and then what if she like the bottle better and didn't want to breastfeed?

Basically, what I'm saying is I had a million 'what ifs' running through my mind.

I swear I picked up the phone about 20 times to say that I just wasn't going to be able to go.

But I sucked it up, hoped for the best, and went.

I had a lot of fun with 4 other girls, and we spent the weekend shopping, eating, drinking and dancing. It was fun to have adult time, a break from the kids, and a change of scenery. I'm really glad I went.

And of course, all my worries were in vain. Isabelle had enough milk (with a bit of formula mixed in) to last her the weekend. She did fine with the bottle. There was no apparent tummy issues. And she has welcomed back her usual method of getting milk :)

Anyway, that's why my blogging has fallen behind. But I'm back in full force now!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Baby Food

As a mom, you'll find that pretty much everyone has different advice, suggestions, and recommendations involving absolutely anything to do with baby. Even the professionals, like your pediatrician and research doctors that you read have different views on all matters concerning baby.
As a mom, it's your job to do your research, ask the professionals, consult your friends, scour the web and then process it all and make the best decisions for you, your baby, and your family.

Right now, I'm talking baby food.

The current consensus is that babies can start on baby food at 4 months, but the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends waiting til 6 months. The AAP also recommends starting with rice cereal, and then working through veggies, one at a time, followed by fruits one at a time.

Anyway, my little Isabelle will be 6 months old at the end of the month and we've decided to start exposing her to food other than the delicious milk manufactured by mom :)

A few weeks ago, we tried rice cereal a few times, and each time, little miss wanted NOTHING. to. do. with. it.

Hmm. In my mind, introducing food was going to go over perfectly. Hmm.

Luckily, this week we decided to give oatmeal a try.
For some reason, even though I do not feed myself, or any other member's of my family an all organic diet, I feel very strongly that Isabelle MUST. have. organic. I have no idea why. I have no plans to feed her organic for all of her life, so why I feel the need to as an infant, I don't know. But I do.

Anyway, success! She liked her oatmeal :)
First feeding!

And the next day, ready to handle the spoon herself :) 
sassy!

In the past few months, I was busy in the kitchen preparing all kinds of baby food for Isabelle to eat. I made peas, carrots, butternut squash, acorn squash, sweet potato, and apples. I'm also planning on giving her bananas and avocado, but those don't need prepped ahead of time. 
While I'm very happy that I was able to make a lot of her food (so much cheaper, plus it makes me feel so domestic!) I still feel there's some things I need to supplement with prepared baby food. 

Enter Happy Baby
I read and research way too much. And in doing so, read lots of good things about Happy Baby baby food. Everything I read indicated that they are a great company and make a great product for babies. Their products are all organic and all natural. The closest thing (and perhaps even better than) to homemade.
So now we have our own little stack of Happy Baby food, which includes oatmeal, mango, several mixed dishes (like beets+grains), and puffs (for when Isabelle is older).

In the interest of full disclosure, I will say that I did purchase some of the Happy Baby products myself, but was provided with one canister of Happy Bellies baby cereal, two pouches Happy Baby baby food, and one canister Happy Baby puffs courtesy of Happy Baby. Thanks, Happy Baby!

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