Monday, October 31, 2011

The One Where I Fed My Daugher Heavy Cream

I don't think I've mentioned this too much but not only am I still nursing Natalie, I am also making my own baby food.  I'm a little embarrassed to admit that I had never heard of making baby food until I read it on a few blogs before I was even pregnant.  I starred those posts right up and knew when I had my own baby I would at least try to do it.  So that's what we've done!

Natalie's had sweet potatoes, peas, green beans, carrots, avocados, pears, peaches, apples, squash, bananas, and chicken...all homemade.  Now, this is as crunchy as I get.  I'm a disposable diaper kind of girl...and although I'm still nursing, I don't freak out about what I eat.  Natalie has shown no aversion to anything and, you know, I like food.  But that's just me.  I look at it as floating the middle ground.  It works for us.  We go with it.

I make all of her food in bulk, puree those suckers up, and then freeze them in ice cube trays so it's all ready when I need it.  All of her cubes are in Ziploc baggies in the freezer, labeled. 

Okay.  Most of them are labeled.

It got to the point where I thought, "I know what these are!  Why do I need a label?"

So I stopped.

On another, not so unrelated note, I heard on a program once about how you can freeze your leftover heavy cream in ice cube trays as not to waste it.  I thought this was a fantastic idea as I tend to buy heavy cream when a recipe calls for it...and then I end up throwing the rest out because it expires before I have a chance to use the rest of the container.  Well, no more!  I froze those bad boys up and saved them.

Just like the baby food.

Do you see where this is going?

One evening for dinner I thought it was a good idea to try out the newly pureed chicken (sounds yum, right?) with some pears for a sauce.  When I took it out of the microwave, I thought it looked a little liquidy but didn't think too much about it.  Natalie wasn't too thrilled with it and only had two bites.  No big deal.  Girl definitely lets me know when it's something she doesn't like.

Later that night it dawned on me.  


Mom fail to the infinity degree.  I fed my child heavy cream.  

Needless to say, the labels have made a permanent appearance.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Rub a Dub Dub

Bath time hasn't always been something Natalie was thrilled about.  In fact, when she was a newborn she hated it.  I mean, screamed bloody murder the entire bath, hated it.  I still remember her first bath where she didn't cry.  Matt was bathing her and I was cleaning up her room and I called out to him to make she was still alive.  I was that amazed she wasn't screaming.  

Eventually, Natty poo learned to enjoy bath time.  I think it will only get more fun for her as she grows up, but for now she splashes a little bit in her tub and is perfectly content to just sit there and get clean.  But one thing must be present for her to behave.

Her hammerhead shark.

I've given her a few bath toys over the last few months but this little guy has been beyond her favorite.  He's the only one she plays with when I put several in the tub.  We take him with us on trips and vacations.  I was originally just doing it to bring a little sense of home along with us to make her more comfortable.  I didn't realized until we returned from our last trip just how attached she was to this little guy.  

I hadn't fully unpacked yet when it came time to give her a bath so I tried to substitute a few new bath toys into the mix.  A toy is a toy right?  Wrong.  Girl threw a fit.  I couldn't figure out what was wrong at first.  And then it dawned on me...I bet she wants that silly shark!

Sure enough, I got it out of the suitcase and everything was right with the world. 

Aren't babies funny?  So silly the things they fall in love with.  I mean, her favorite toy is a wooden spoon.  Of course it is.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

JLC 100th Year Cake

This year marks 100 years since the Junior League of Cleveland was established.  We're having a year long celebration which kicked off Monday evening at our general membership meeting.  I was asked to make a cake to celebrate this momentous occasion and this is what I came up with!

It was red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting.  Just as a warning, cream cheese icing will melt when left out of the fridge for an extended period of time.  And even though it says it is crusting icing, that is a bold faced lie.  Your decorations will slide right off the cake and you will have to send your husband to Costco for more powdered sugar that evening in order to make regular buttercream icing.  Which is not stressful at all.  At all.

There were a lot of things I would've done differently with this cake, but it was such a great learning experience for me.  One thing's for sure, nothing goes quite as planned when the icing hits the cake.

But even after all of the headaches, I am pleased with the final presentation.  I received so many sweet comments from members not only about the look but the taste....which is important to me.  I tried a new recipe and the cake scraps were oh so yummy!

We had a ton leftover (isn't that always the case) but it was a lovely evening and I was so honored to be asked to make a cake for such an important group of women.  And hey, perhaps I'll get some business from it?!?  Yippee!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Last year, our Christmas cards featured some maternity photos I had taken in the fall before our sweet little girl was born.  This seems like so long ago looking back now.  I mean, here I am, huge as ever, and Natalie wasn't even born yet.  Amazing what changes a year can bring.

Well this year, I am pleased as punch to get to spread our holiday cheer with the face of the best thing I ever did (and perhaps Matt and me...this is yet to be determined).  A year of firsts for sure, Natalie's first Christmas is something I have been looking forward to since before I was pregnant.  Weird, I know.  But finally having the child I have prayed for and celebrating our Lord together will be so much more joyful than ever before.

I have been scouring Shutterfly's website searching for the very best card to feature my sweetie.  Here are some of my favorites:

If you're looking for some great holiday cards,  I really do recommend Shutterfly.  And not only because they give them to me.  They are very high quality cards and I love the designs and ability to add photos and be creative.  So check them out!

*I received 50 free Holiday Cards from Shutterfly for this blog post*

Monday, October 24, 2011

A Little Taste of My Day

Here is the sweetest sound you will ever hear.  Guaranteed.

Told you.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

9 Months!

My sweet, growing girl.  Somehow you have been with us 9 whole months.  I can't believe you are that old, but at the same time it feels like you've always been here.  It's difficult for me to remember a time without your toothy grin.  It's like you were a part of me even before you were born.

Length:  29 1/2 in. (97%)
Weight:  20 lbs. 1 oz. (75%)
Head:  17 3/8 in. (50%)

You've had quite the busy month as always!  Most notably, you've started clapping!  It's pretty much my new favorite thing.  Although you don't do it on command or even when you see other people clap.  We're learning quickly you are a girl who does what she wants when she wants it.  Your Daddy says you get this from me.  Hm. 

You've got four big chompers now, two bottom and two top teeth.  You're sporting quite the gap between the top teeth but we've been assured this is in fact a good thing to give your big girl teeth room to come in.  Mama sure does hope so!  Only the last top tooth gave you any trouble and you were really just fussy the day it was coming in.  I'd say so far we've been very lucky in the teething department.

 We put your swing and your infant carrier away this month.  And when I say away I mean they're sitting in front of the basement door in a stand off between your Mommy and Daddy as to who is going to take them downstairs.  Unfortunately, Daddy always wins so I'll be taking them down this week.  But I just cannot believe you are going through baby equipment so quickly!

 You were quite the traveler this month as you spent time in Nashville with Mommy's godparents, Gatlinburg with Daddy's extended family, and Indy for a week.  You rock out in your pack 'n play and just make it so easy on us when it comes to trips.  

You are incredibly sweet and in my unbiased opinion, the happiest baby I have ever seen.  You are always smiling!  I cannot take you anywhere without someone commenting about how darling you are or how good you are acting.  And you know what?  You're that way at home too.  We have our moments, sure.  But you only really get upset when you're sleepy.  And seriously, who can blame you for that?

 We've been working a lot on standing this month and you are taking real steps when we hold your hands.  You can also take a few steps by yourself along the couch when you want to get to the remote!  You're not pulling up yet though and seem perfectly content to scoot on your belly in your weirdo army crawl forever.  You can get in a legit crawling position and rock back and forth, but then you just plop on your belly and scoot to what you want.  You'll get it someday goofball.
 You got your first cold this month, presumably on the flight to Nashville, and we had some rough nights.  You were very congested and woke up when you weren't able to breathe.  It took about two weeks for you to completely recover.  We went through Boogie Wipes like crazy in this house and your humidifier became your bestie for sure. 

Your new favorite toys are the CD's we have in a stand in the family room.  Whenever you're on the ground you go right for them.  You stop when I say, "Natalie!  No!  Those are not for babies!"  And then you smile at me.  And then you go right back to banging them together.  Like I said, you do what you want.

Your hair is growing like crazy!  I can't quite put it up though as you have a ton of hair on top and behind your ears...but none on the sides of your head.  Sometimes you twirl your hair behind your ears and pull on it because I think it's itching you!  I'll have to find some sort of clip that stays in your super fine hair.  I tried one day put you just took it out and ate it.  Per usual.

You've started holding your little arms up when I go to pick you up which I absolutely love.  It's like you're reaching for me.  And when you're excited you do what your Daddy and I like to call the "happy kicky dance" where you flail around in our arms and just smile.  You 'talk' quite a bit but are pretty quiet when you're around new people.  You've been letting other people hold you, though, very well and that makes me very happy. 

I finally got you to start eating three solid meals a day near the end of your 8th month.  You just were not into having lunch for some reason.  But now we're throwing in some finger foods and you're getting it.  The only food you can successfully feed yourself is Puffs, but we're working with fruits, cheeses, and chicken as well.  We've also added yogurt to your diet and some spices for your morning oatmeal. 

A big moment for us both this spent a whole day away from Mommy.  We were apart from about 8 until 4 and you did just perfect!  You napped and ate for your grandparents and probably didn't miss me one bit.  I, on the other hand, called twice to check on you and missed you like crazy!  But it was a big step and one I'm hoping to make more often.  It's good for both of us.

And now for some outtakes, because you know each photo session is getting harder and harder...

I spent practically the whole time saying one of two things:  "Natalie, look at Mommy!"  or  "Natalie!  Get your fingers out of our your mouth!"

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

One, Two, Three, Four...First Down!

When Natalie and I went back home to Indy for the week, my sweet brother got us tickets to the Purdue game.  He works in the equipment department for the basketball team, but scored us some awesome tickets to the football game and showed us all around the facilities.  It was so cool to get a behind the scenes look.  

As an aside, did you know he has to scan his hand before the door will open to the locker room?  I mean, I pretty much bleed black and gold but seriously Purdue?  This isn't a bank vault.  It's a Big Ten locker room.  Pretty sure that money could be better spent elsewhere.  

Anyway...I was whipping out my camera everywhere and making Matt take pictures of me nonstop.  Matt and my parents were quite annoyed but I couldn't help it!  I mean, I was in the locker room!  And sitting where Matt Painter sits!  Hello, people.  This is a big deal!

 Me and my bro in the football locker room before the game

 This is where the head basketball coach watches film.  Pretty cool huh?  I wonder if Gene sat here or if this is a new purchase since he retired?  Let's just pretend this is the exact same chair Coach Keady sat in, okay?  Living the dream...

 Hummel's locker.  What a mess...
And yes, I am carrying around my breast pump with me.  Life of a nursing mom...

 Basketball players' film room.  Those chairs were so comfortable!  I could've stayed right there and taken a nap...

 This is a view from where I was sitting at the film screen, which is really just the entire wall.  Matt was beyond thrilled to be there let alone get his picture taken.  What can I say, I married a Hoosier.

Needless to say I had a blast.  We won...I got to walk around campus and reminisce about dorm rooms, old friends, frat parties, and all night bar hopping...and I got to have my favorite calzone from Love Shack as well as a Den Pop.  Pretty much a fantastic day. 

AND, I left Natalie with my in laws for the whole day and she didn't die.  Can you believe it?  She survived being taken care of by people that love her as much as I do?  I know, right.  And I only called twice.  Pretty impressive, huh?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Playing a Little Catch Up!

Since I've been MIA for some time, I bet y'all are just dying to see some pictures of my sweetie, yes?

I thought so.

Here's a little bit of what we've been up to, brought to you in the form of:  pictures from my phone!  Ta da!

Taking long naps in the car on road trips...

Rooting for our favorite college football team...

Hanging out with Daddy on the weekends...
I love this look she's giving him!

Working on using our sippy cup...
Girl can totally do it herself, but she doesn't understand to lean her head back to get to the water.  And when I try to help her, she just lets go.  Lazy bones.

Growing a serious mop...

And generally being the happiest baby on the planet...

We sure hit the jackpot with her.  She's all smiles, even when she's dealing with a case of the sickies, of which we are currently in the midst.  How did she catch this, you ask?  Hm.  I have an idea.  We went to dinner with friends Saturday evening and they brought along their two sick kids.  Nice, right?  Runny noses and coughing at the dinner table.  And now my little one is congested.  

How rude.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Fall with a Daughter

Sorry for my crazy long blog hiatus friends!  I didn't really do it on purpose.  Sometimes life just gets in the way, huh?  

We've been out of town and busy, busy, busy so I have lots of updates for you!  First picking!

Matt and I go apple picking every year and I was so excited to share it this year with our daughter.  As an aside, want to know something weird?  It still feels unreal to me to say "daughter" and know she's mine.  I have a daughter.  When will that sentence not feel like a dream?  I mean, the girl is 9 months old!

We ended up venturing out on a weekend that was a little cold and wet...but we still had a great time and came away with a ton of apples.  Good thing they keep well!  I have them coming out of my ears!

Girl looks more and more like her daddy every single day.  

We let Natalie try some of an apple and she didn't seem too impressed.  Apparently since she has some in her oatmeal almost every day she could have cared less it was fresh from the tree.  Girl is our child for sure.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Winner, Winner!

Hey y'all!

Thanks so much to everyone who entered my digital scrapbooking giveaway from My Memories!

And the winner is...



Congrats Charity!  Shoot me an e-mail and I'll give you the instructions on how you download your software FOR FREE!

Hope y'all have a lovely rest of your weekend!!