Monday, November 29, 2010

Baby's First Thanksgiving(s)

Thanksgiving Part 1
Our Thanksgiving started off watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Jimmy Fallon and the Roots covering "Feed the World" made that song stuck in my head all morning. I just kept singing it. I think Nate was thankful that we had to get to his family Thanksgiving early that afternoon so that I would have some distraction from the song.

Maggie was not a fan of Thanksgiving dinner:

We have noticed that it now takes her a good hour to warm up to new surroundings. After that, she's more willing to get passed around!

After the feast, we played some games. My brother-in-law's friend, J, was celebrating the holiday with us and for some reason, Maggie took a liking to him. He had very thick hair and she really liked petting him, like a Yak :)

Another fun thing about Thanksgiving was that my other brother-in-law flew home from FL! He had not seen Maggie since she was a couple days old. Here he is showing off the turkey that was on the bottom of her Thanksgiving outfit.

Yes, her shirt says "Thankful for Mommy". I would just like to take this opportunity to say that I did not purchase this outfit for her - it was a gift. :)

We ended the day by picking our names for the Christmas name exchange. Great-Grandpa W had the touch and got Maggie to sleep in no time:

Thanksgiving Part 2
We celebrated Thanksgiving with my dad and siblings yesterday. Once again, it took Maggie about an hour to warm up to everyone. After that, it was time to get crazy with her cousin Toni by bouncing on Aunt Amanda:

Then I played hairdresser and braided the girls' hair. Unfortunately Maggie's hair isn't long enough yet!

My sister and I wanted an all-girls shot, which is easier said than done with a 4 1/2 year old and a two 1/2 month old:


My niece Toni was very interested in everything we did with Maggie...and I mean EVERYTHING. We changed Maggie into her Green Bay Packer outfit so they could be Packer Girls.

I think the first thanksgivings were successful!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Jersey Shore Fist Pump, Maggie Style

Yesterday we took Maggie over to our friends' dental lab to get her fist cast for a keepsake sculpture. I guess this is something they offer to do for friends so we figured why not. (Incidentally, Jackie, this made me think of those belly casts that you can get when you're pregnant!)

If you every had a retainer, braces or bruxism tooth guard made, you probably can remember the pink clay that they filled trays with and stuck in your mouth. That was what we stuck Maggie's hand into. Part of the "fun" of doing this is that you never really know what they will do with their hand in the goop (even though I had an on). After that, a mold is made and then filled with clay/paster to make the "sculpture".

I was not surprised to find out that her hand was in a fist, with her thumb underneath her fingers. Her hand has been like this since we had her first pictures - at her 12 week ultrasound. At the 20 week ultrasound, we had to work for about 30 minutes, rotating and flipping to try to get that fist open in utero. Every time I see the little fist pump, I smile. Her first artwork:

Monday, November 22, 2010

Organ Piper Pizza

Saturday night we did not feel like cooking so we called up our friends, The Cs, to go to Organ Piper Pizza. Both AC and Nate recalled going here when they were children. I had never been.

Holy wow. That place is crazy. A man plays a giant organ while you eat pizza. There are tons of things to look at - lots of lights, disco balls, etc. I found myself singing and dancing along. It was all I could do NOT to take Maggie out on the dance floor. At least if she was two or three years old I could disguise my enthusiasm a little..."Oh I just HAD to come out on this dance floor because my daughter begged me too..."

Needless to say, Maggie LOVED it. She was entranced by all the activity. We even made a new discovery - that she is an ABBA fan - play Mamma Mia and she will giggle up a storm. Trust us - after that we played it several times on Sunday at our house.

Oh, and the pizza is pretty good too :)

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Pumpkin Doughnut Muffins

MMM! 'Tis the season for PUMPKIN! I love pumpkin so I was excited that this month's issue of Everyday Food has a bunch of pumpkin dessert recipes. I made these muffins last night. DELISH! Don't let the word "muffin" fool you though - these are in NO WAY healthy. :)

Pumpkin Doughnut Muffins
Courtesy of Everyday Food ~Martha Stewart
You can print off a nicer version of this at the Martha Stewart Website.

10 TB unsalted butter, room temperature
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp coarse salt
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/3 cup buttermilk
1 1/4 cups pumpkin puree
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs

Sugar Coating***:
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350. Butter and flour 12 standard muffin cups (this recipe made 17 muffins for me). Make batter; In medium bowl whisk all dry ingredients together (flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, allspice). In a second bowl, whisk pumpkin puree and buttermilk together. Using an electric mixer, beat butter and brown sugar in a third bowl until light and fluffy. Beat eggs in one at a time, scraping down bowl as needed. With mixer on low, add flour mixture in three additions, alternating with two additions pumpking mixture and beat to combine.

Spoon 1/3 cup batter into each muffin cup and bake until a toothbpick comes out clean, ~30 minutes. Let muffins cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack.

Combine sugar and cinnamon for sugar coating. Working one at a time, remove muffins from the pan, brush all over with butter then toss in sugar mixture. Let muffins cool completely on a wire rack. Store in an airtight container.

***I think the ingredients for the sugar coating are way overestimated. I only used 2 TB butter and I would cut the sugar/cinnamon amounts in half.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A well placed duck

Progress has been made folks.

Bathtime at our house used to look like this: sponge bath hatred

Then we progressed to this: unsure about the newborn bath sling

One day we were in a rush and realized that we hadn't bathed the baby in...we couldn't remember. That is never a good sign. So I told Nate to bring her into the shower with me. We don't have a picture of this, for obvious reasons.
We continued showering with Maggie for several weeks because it just seemed easy. Sometimes she seemed to like it, sometimes she didn't.

Last night we decided to try the bath again, sans newborn sling, since once again, we couldn't remember when we bathed her last and she literally was starting to rot. And we thought she actually liked it! Lots of kicking the legs in the water!

Now bathtime looks like this: A well placed duck

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Two Month Stats

(I love her little foot poking out in the above picture!)

Last week Wednesday Maggie had her 2-month well child visit at the doctor. She is growing along her growth curve and even moved up a growth curve for length - girl is going to be tall! The doctor could not believe how much she was sleeping at night but is not concerned about it because she is maintaing a steady growth rate. She did say that I should be getting up to pump - BOO!

The ever-important stats:
Length: 24.25 in (97%!)
Weight: 11 lbs. 15.4 oz (75%) (She didn't pee on the scale this time! Hooray!)
Head Circumference: 15.5 in (73%)

Maggie does NOT like the paper covering on the exam tables. Her startle reflex works overtime while she is on there! At the end of the appointment, she had to get her immunizations which consisted of two shots in one thigh, one shot in another thigh and an oral vaccine. It was awful - I don't think I will ever forget the look of terror in her eyes as she was getting poked. My friend MB recommended nursing her after the shots which is what I did. She was crying and sniffling for the first 5 minutes. It was so sad! My brother said it only gets worse when they get older and realize that a shot is coming. Oh great! We gave her a dose of Tylenol immediately after and another five hours later. After that, she seemed to be back to our ol' Magster. No reactions - Phew!

We manage to get a lot of smiles and giggles out of her most days. She still is not a big fan of daytime naps, but every once in a while we get lucky. We had her first bout of diaper rash start this Sunday (right on baptism day - lucky us!) but it seems to be clearing up fine. She also is not spitting up as much after meals, which is really nice. However, she has just this week started drooling a lot so we're still always wiping her mouth!

She doesn't seem very interested in toys yet. She did really like her activity mat, but lately when she is in there she will get startled a lot and start to cry. We aren't sure why this is since she used to spend 15-20 minutes in there. Now she likes the rainforest attachment on her bouncy chair. It plays cricket sounds and has some animals that move. She still seems pretty engaged with books. Her new favorite is Ten Little Ladybugs. I also made her a book a while ago - I cut out these flashcards and put them in a 4x6 photo album we had laying around. This is by far her favorite book b/c of the black and white images. She even has some favorites that she smiles at consistently. Nate made up names for all the pictures.

She eats a lot. We think she compensates for not eating at night by eating very frequently during the day - pretty much every two hours. Nate still gives her a bottle every night which she takes down like a champ. She has only refused a bottle one time and that was during her baptism party, which I think was more due to her adjusting to all of the commotion in our house. Every time she has a doctor appointment we are supposed to write down how many oz she gets per feeding. I always am confused by this question - how are you supposed to know how much they get via breastfeeding?! She takes 5 oz in her bottle at night with Nate and during our Dells trip he gave her a bottle in the afternoon and she ate 7 oz. That is the only measurements we have to go by - so I'm not really sure how you figure out how many bottles to make them when you go back to work - friends with babies, please feel free to respond to that one!

I just commented the other day that I am glad I took an extended maternity leave. I feel I am at the point where I am fairly confident with Maggie and am enjoying hanging out with her more (and she is more interactive so that helps!). We have settled into a nice routine and I don't feel as "what am i doing?!" anymore. I am glad to spend some time just playing for the next 6 weeks!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Take your daughter to work days

Last week, Maggie also had her first hotel stay as I returned to work for a day and a half for a meeting/conference in Wisconsin Dells. I did not HAVE to go to this, however, I mentioned before going on maternity leave that I would consider it. Nate and I were actually excited to go - he was on baby duty while I was at work. It was sort of weird thinking about work, but I really enjoyed it. In some ways, it did not feel as if I have been out for over two months. The meeting was at Grand Canyon Lodge which shares indoor waterparks with Wilderness Lodge. Nate & I were also excited about the indoor waterpark!

We rotated going on some waterslides - one of stayed with Maggie (and snapped pics) while one took a ride on slides. It may be cheesy but we love a good waterslide. We did try to see what Maggie would do in the water. Here's the answer after dipping her TOE in:

(you'll have to tilt your head - I could not get this photo to rotate for whatever reason!)

She did very well with her first hotel stay. We brought the pack-n-play along. She slept great, however, It was back to waking up to her every noise for us!

Her next experience going to work with me was probably not as fun, but she hammed it up for the people in my office today. I submitted some revisions to a manuscript a month before she was born to an academic journal. Of course they got back to me (with an acceptance!) last week needing some last minute revisions by today. So I had to go in the office and re-look at my data. I timed it so she would be sleeping for most of it which worked out well. She lasted 3 1/2 hours there (with one diaper change and one feeding) before having a meltdown so I was able to get everything done. Phew! That was enough work for me to last for the remaining month and a half of my maternity leave!

Baptism Weekend

Woah! What a week! We had quite possibly the busiest week ever since Maggie was born, culminating in her baptism today. Our entire weekend revolved around the baptism. What previously would have taken Nate & I a few hours took ALL DAY Saturday to make meat, potatoes and pick up the house since we were tag teaming with baby duty as well. Oh and finish a little thing like a baptismal gown. Yes. I returned to crafting with a vengeance by making Maggie's dress. Crafting post-baby takes about 5 times longer than crafting pre-baby. The week before last we went to Jo-Ann fabrics to search for patterns. The Simplicity 5813 pattern was NOT my favorite but it was by far the easiest and given that I had a week to work with, that was the one I went with. I modified the design because I thought the dress on the cover of the pattern was ugly...that and I was not about to handmake rosettes out of ribbon.

WHY did I decide to make the dress, you might ask? When we got married, I had my wedding dress made because I wasn't finding anything I really liked in the bridal shops. There was some extra material leftover after that and I can't remember if the woman who made my dress or my mom suggested that I save it for my future baby's baptism outfit. So I dug out the fabric and looked at the pattern to see what parts of the dress I could use the leftover wedding dress material on. The dress itself is a gown that is suppossed to have a see-through bottom and then you make a slip for underneath. I had enough leftover wedding dress material to make the entire bodice, collar, sleeves and back out of so I only made the front part see-through. I found this really beautiful beaded and embroidered veil fabric that I used for the front. I also decided to jazz up the collar but cutting some of the embroidery from the veil material for the collar. This was turning into quite the couture gown.

I am 95% happy with how it turned out. It is DIFFICULT to make an infant dress - everything is so tiny, which I previously thought would make it EASIER. I was not happy with the sleeves. Although I am fairly certain I put them on the correct way based on the instructions, they may have been put on backwards. They looked a little wonky. Mags did get a lot of compliments on her dress though which was nice. For most of the baptism service she was wrapped in the shawl I was baptized in and the shawl Nate was baptized in, which also did a nice job of hiding the sleeves :) Funny story about the dress: my 4 year old niece saw it and asked if it was for Maggie when she gets bigger since it was so long!

Here is a full view of the dress:

Maggie was ok in the dress. She hated putting it on and off, which I had to make her do several times in the course of making it, unfortunately! We had a rough start to the day - Maggie was up off and on beginning at 2 AM (where was our awesome sleeper?!?) and she has her first bout of diaper rash. Thankfully once we got to church she fell asleep :)

Once we arrived at church, the day turned out pretty well! Nate's grandfather is a retired pastor and our pastor was very gracious in letting him baptize Maggie. (He also married us). Maggie did wake up once the water hit her head, but she did not cry. She was also quite a little ham as he walked her up and down the aisle to show her to the congregation.

We also took a five-generation picture on my side of the family as my 93-year old great grandfather (Maggie's great-great grandfather) was in attendance. Here is my mom and Nana (my mom's mom) and Great Grandpa T:

After the service, we hosted 25 family members at our place for lunch and CAKE!!!

And now, baby is sleeping and mom and dad are enjoying a nice glass of vino!

Up next - Maggie goes to a waterpark!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Two Months Old!

Magna Doodle is two months old today! You know what that means...get out the camera!

Maggie with Mickey: One Week

Maggie with Mickey: One Month

Maggie with Mickey: Two Months

Maggie on Her Quilt: One Week Old

Maggie on Her Quilt: One Month

Maggie on Her Quilt: Two Months

We go to the doctor on Wednesday so I'll know her stats then. You know what the 2-month checkup means...SHOTS!!!!!!!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Cape Cod YARD Makeover!

I mentioned during the summer that we received a gift of landscape design from Hawks Nursery from my in-laws. We were excited about this because our yard is less than desirable, in our opinion, but we don't really have the knowledge of how to change it.

Enter Tom who met with us pre-Maggie and asked us questions about what we liked and didn't like about our yard. We didn't like that it doesn't have a lot of usable space at the moment and we also didn't like all of the evergreen bushes and the somewhat random bushes in our front yard as depicted in these photos:

We wanted a pretty, inviting yard. Currently, our curb appeal was a big fat ZERO.

After a month or so, we had another meeting with Tom who gave us his design plan. For a mere $40K we could have the yard of our dreams, including (and I kid you not) a white picket fence! And I'm telling you that if I had an extra $40K just lying around, I probably would have given it all to him! However, the nice thing is that we now have a plan to follow for the next few years:

(Clicking on this photo may englarge it somewhat)

As usual, we are going to try to do some of it ourselves, which we started over the weekend by removing many of the random bushes on top of the hill. It is nice how much more open it seems already! We only have 2 of the 6 randoms left! Then we will need to pull out the evergreen bushes next to the house. Thank goodness we only live 4 blocks away from the yard waste dump off!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Living Room Takeover

This weekend we TCB'ed. (Took Care of Business. Blame Elvis for the acronym.)

I realize that once you have a kiddo your house will not remain immaculate. However, all of Maggie's crap all over our small living room was driving me bananas. After I tripped over her bouncy chair the third time, I called for a rearrangement. Given where our cable comes in, we are pretty much stuck with where the TV and two couches go. However, now Maggie has a whole corner of the room where we can stash her stuff - Boppy, Bouncy Chair, Activity Mat and Bumbo chair. We also moved a small table under the window for pictures and put a basket underneath that for a bunch of her books. The larger end table used to take up Maggie's corner and it is now between the two couches.

The small table that was between the two couches now is under the new photo shrine of Maggie:

The girl has officially started the house takeover!

Next post: Cape Cod YARD Makeover!