Monday, January 31, 2011

Cute Baby Mags



Special Visitor Arriving Friday Night


So after we spend the next few days getting up to 24" of snow, we will have a special visitor on Friday. My niece, T, is coming to stay with us on Friday night as her dad is Super Bowl bound.

I am excited as it has been a year and a half since she has stayed overnight!

Of course the questions have already started: "Can I sleep in Maggie's room?" "Can we make a Rainbow Cake?" "Can we use sprinkles?" We have already promised to take her to the Y to swim.

Until then, Let it Snow!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Fried Egg and Lentil Salad

My boss, she who has 2 kids and one to be delivered via c-section in less than a week, turned me onto the magazine 30 Minute Suppers done by America's Test Kitchen. I don't think you can subscribe to this. I found it at our local grocery store and have been enjoying it. They have an issue that corresponds to each season, which involves seasonal food but not in a overly complicated way. I have been trying the recipes out and making notes. Some of them have been good, some not so good. This past week, I made the following salad and it was my favorite thing I have made out of there so far.

Please note that I am typing this from memory and that this is a modification from the original recipe.
Frisse and Fried Egg Salad with Lentils
1/2 cup du Puy lentils (i could not find these so i just used regular green lentils)
1 1/2 cups water
1/8 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup sherry vinegar
2 carrots, peeled and chopped thin crosswise
2 shallots, minced
additional olive oil for pan
2 heads frisse* (i used spring mix b/c that was what we had in the fridge)

put lentils water and baking soda in microwave safe bowl and cover. heat for 20 minutes. (There was an explanation as to what the baking soda does in the magazine...basically it is suppossed to trick the eater into thinking you slaved away all day and slow-cooked your lentils).

Meanwhile, put some oil in a pan on your stove and cook shallots and carrots in it until tender - about 4 minutes. Empty this into a bowl. Wipe out saucepan and make a fried egg for every serving. (Me, I like fried eggs so I made two for my salad).

When lentils are done, drain them and rinse them in cold water and put them in same bowl with carrot and shallot. Whisk vinegar and oil together and then pour some in lentil carrot mixture.

Build your salad - greens, topped with lentil/carrot mixture, topped with fried egg. The yolk from the egg will mix with the dressing and balance it out. Add more of the dressing to your desired dressing level.

I had a bunch of the lentil/carrot mixture left over so I stored that in the fridge and used it to replicate the salad, sans egg, the next day for lunch and it was yummy even without the egg. (Although if you are home, go for the egg or two. DELISH.)

We served this along with tilapia filets that I sprinkled some italian herb seasoning on before cooking them in olive oil.

Running On...

"...Running on Empty. Running On...Running Blind. Running into the sun but I'm running behind...."

{Love this Jackson Browne song}

I did not go to the gym to run once this week.

I would like to blame this on the fact that we had a lot going on after work. But alas. We did not have anything going on. I was just too tired.

Holy crap is it hard to motivate yourself to go to the gym after working 10 hours, doing the dinner-dishes-play with baby dance, putting baby to bed dance...At 7:30 PM I am EXHAUSTED. Two weeks ago I made it to the gym 3 nights. And I was so so so tired the next morning and all week. I think I am still recovering from that. I think I use up all my energy working and making breastmilk. My bedtime is getting earlier and earlier and I still am so tired. I feel like I am shoveling food in my mouth all the time. And I am still hungry. And my pants are still too big (probably not something one should complain openly about...)

GRRR.

In other running related news, I bought a running stroller. I know, I know. Some of you reading this are probably saying, "I thought you didn't want a running stroller." And I didn't. This is just one of the numerous examples of "Amy's judgement Before and After Baby" (future post title...mark my words).

Before Baby: "I do not want a running stroller because I feel like running will be my "me" time and this will let Nate bond with the baby."

After Baby: "I never see my baby. And sometimes it would be nice if I could just take her with me running rather than have to wait for Nate to come home. I still don't know if I will like this running stroller thing."

I emailed AH and her husband, E, about the whole running stroller thing a while ago. I knew they had one and used it to run. I also knew that they would have researched the heck out of baby strollers so contacting them would allow me to bypass that. They recommended hands down the Baby Jogger brand, performance model with the 20" wheels. This is also the stroller that the Run Like a Mother book recommended and the one that MB & her hubby have. Ok three well-researched recommendations. Let's investigate this stroller.

Holy Crap.

$429.99.

That seemed like a lot to invest in a stroller that I don't even know if I will like using.

So I hit up Craigslist. I found one for $150. We went to look at it and the hand brake did not work. For $150, I wanted the hand brake to work.

Then I found one for $45. I thought - this probably isn't the real Baby Jogger, but I met the woman anyway. Turns out it was a real Baby Jogger, although pretty well used (but hey! the handbrake worked!). She said that for their first kid, her husband (the runner) bought one brand new and used it once. They sold that on Craigslist. For their second kid, he wanted to try it again and she made him buy one on Craigslist - this is the one they were now potentially selling to me. He again used it once. She was pregnant with their third kid and told him - no more running strollers. So I bought it. I figured it is good enough for me to try one summer and if I love it, I can get a better than used one. If I hate it, I only invested $45 and probably could re-sell it to someone like me.

Now if only the weather would get warmer...

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Fun Baby!



Maggie is in a very fun stage right now. I feel like I can make her laugh or smile at just about anything. She also is a chatterbug.

I had to pack up a bunch of clothes this morning that were too small. If you had told me that my four and a half month old would be wearing nine-month sized things I would have thought you were crazy. But so it goes with baby clothes!

We like to say she is on a rolling strike. She rolled for the first and last time a week ago. She has not rolled since. Instead she rotates around on her bottom to see what she wants to see. (We were sitting behind her to get her to turn her head and roll around to look at us.) She has outsmarted us. She still has never rolled from her tummy to her back, although that is apparently supposed to be easier for them. You would think she would have figured that out early on to get out of tummy time since she dislikes it. I guess she isn't THAT smart yet :)

I am enjoying a day off with her. I was not enjoying that this day started at 4:22 AM. My fingers are crossed that it is just a growth spurt and not a new thing. I am an early morning person but even that is too early for me!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

New Addition to the Google Reader: Mile Markers

I collect blogs in my Google Reader like they are going out of style. Looking back, I always wanted to have a collection. There was my rock collection, my seashell collection, my Snow Babies collection. I never had a Troll collection like some of my friends at school, but boy did I want one.

Keeping up with my Google Reader was always a challenge. Now it is pretty much impossible. The new message number has been at "1000+" since Maggie was born. I deleted a bunch of blogs but that didn't help matters because I keep adding more in. Oh well. I look at it as I will always have something to read. I will be sharing my new additions throughout the year - maybe you will find them relevant to your own life.

This month's addition was Mile Markers, written by Kristin Armstrong. Although I had been a subscriber to Runner's World for years (my subscription lapsed last summer), I had never heard of this blog. My friend and runner E had posted one of the blog posts to her Facebook wall and since then I have been hooked. I find her posts inspirational and very relatable - and I am so not into the self help/personal fulfillment genre. (I found Eat Pray Love, the book, to be annoying at best; and the movie, even worse.) I was excited to see that Mile Markers the book comes out in March. While running is certainly a topic of this blog, it isn't the entire focus. I think reading these posts has reignited my desire to get back into yoga, as mentioned on my 11 for 11 list.

So I might be a few years late to the table on this one, but I'm glad I finally arrived.

Monday, January 24, 2011

11 for 11

Ok so it's almost the end of January. I heard someone in my office say "Happy New Year" today so I figured this post wasn't too late. Here are my resolutions/goals:

1. Read 18 books. I don't know if this is me purposely underestimating so that I make this goal or if this is totally out of the realm of possibility. I finished two books so far this month:
Crow Lake by Mary Lawson
Mockingjay (Hunger Games #3) by Suzanne Collins
I felt like this was pretty easy to do but maybe not so much in future months. So 18it is.

2. Run a half marathon. While I was pregnant I made plans to run the 2011 MKE Lakefront marathon with two of my Boston '07 buddies from Chicago. (WHAT THE HELL WAS I THINKING?!) I was hoping thought they might have forgotten about that but one of them emailed me last week. I don't know if this marathon is going to happen for me (it's in October) but I do think a half marathon is doable. There was talk of MB coming up to Wisco to run the inaugural Summerfest half marathon with me. Peer pressure is always a good thing to help motivate you!

3. Make one thing a month. I copied this from another blogger but I thought it was doable. Even if it is cutting a bookmark out of a piece of paper :) I signed up to do the Pay it Forward homemade pledge on facebook so I at least have 5 of the months covered. Two of these 12 things must be knitted. I'm working on this cowl right now.

4. Work on my posture. I have terrible posture. I am proud to be tall but you wouldn't know it by my posture.

5. Drink more water. I got really good at this while pregnant but have since falled off the wagon. Maggie's doctor recommended this to me when I complained at how long it was taking me to pump. So more water it is!

6. Paint our hallway. We have very few things left to do to our house but we would like to re-paint our hallway. I chose a maroon paint for it before we moved in. This was a dumb idea. The hallway does not have a lot (if any) natural light so the maroon just makes it more cave like.

7. Remove the overgrown, hideous bushes from our front yard.

8. REALLY clean out my closet. My closet and corresponding rubbermaid tubs of seasonal wear is out of control. I always try to go through and get rid of things I do not wear, but it is oh so difficult. I always err on the side of keeping it. I would like to go through and get rid of things in time for the spring Divine Consign sale so I can sell it all. One thing that was nice about maternity clothes is that I had a limited selection. I knew what fit me and chose from that small section of my closet. I am overwhelmed by too much selection and not really knowing what does and does not fit me still.

9. This one's for my husband - go through the GIANT scrapbooking tubs in our closet. This gets suggested as a weekend activity, oh about 3 weekends out of a month and I always manage to get out of it. I had plans for all of these glorious scrapbooks - from travels, weddings, etc and never made them. Just threw things in giant tubs. Nate has even offered to help me MAKE these scrapbooks to get rid of these tubs. FOR REAL. Scrapbooking is one hobby I am happy to let go. I would like to make these books and then pack up all the supplies and gift them to someone...maybe my soon to be 11 year old cousin.

10. This one's for my sister. Stop calling her by her nickname bestowed upon her by my dad when she was 3. I recently found out it annoys her when we call her it. I made the comment, "I really don't call you that much anymore" to which she replied, "Amy, you're one of the worst offenders!!". Yikes! So step 1 - I entered her into my phone by her real first name.

11. Get back into doing Yoga. Again, while pregnant I was really into yoga and definitely saw the benefits of it. Since Maggie's arrival, I haven't done one pose. I really enjoyed the Shiva Rae Pregnancy Yoga DVD so if anyone has any non-pregnancy yoga DVD recommendations, please email/comment!

That's it! My 11 goals for '11.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

CHEESECAKE!!!!!!!!

Today we had a baby shower for my BF, JN. For dessert, I made chocolate chip bars and cheesecake. I was a little nervous about the cheesecake since I used a new recipe. I know, I know - You're never supposed to use a new recipe for an event but oh well.

Turns out this cheesecake rocks! I did not have a piece at the shower but had one when I got home. YUM! I served it with my FIL's peanut butter sauce. I don't know if I'm at liberty to share the sauce recipe but here is the cheesecake one:

New York Cheesecake
Source: America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook

Crust
1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs (If you make your own crumbs in the food processor, this ends up being one package of graham crackers)
5 TB unsalted butter, melted
1 TB sugar

Filling
2 1/2 pounds cream cheese (5 bricks), softened and cut into rough 1 in-chunks (I let it sit on the counter all day - the recipe recommended doing this vs using heat as using heat can bring on a grainy texture in the cake)
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1/3 cup sour cream
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 large egg yolks, at room temperature
6 large eggs, at room temperature
1 TB unsalted butter, melted

1. For the crust: adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees. mix the graham crumbs, melted butter and sugar together and pour into 9-inch springform pan. Press crumbs firmly into an even layer using the bottom of a measuring cup. Bake crust until fragrant and beginning to brown, 10-15 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack, about 30 minutes.

2. For the filling: Increase oven temp to 500 degrees. Beat cream cheese in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium low speed until softened, 1-3 minutes. scrape down bowl and beaters thoroughly.

3. Beat in half the sugar and the salt until incorporated, 1-3 minutes. Beat in remaining sugar, 1-3 minutes. Beat in sour cream, lemon juice, and vanilla until incorporated 1-3 minutes. Beat in the egg yolks until incorporated, 1-3 minutes. Beat in the eggs, two at a time, until incorporated, 1-3 minutes.

4. Being careful not to disturb the baked crust, brush the sides of the springform pan with the melted butter. Set the pan on a rimmed baking sheet. Pour the filling over the crust and bake for 10 minutes.

5. Without opening the oven door, reduce oven temperature to 200 degrees and continue to bake until an instant read thermometer inserted into the center of the cheesecake reads 150 degrees, about 1 hour 30 minutes. Rotate pan after 45 minutes.

6. Transfer the cake to a wire rack and run a paring knife around the edge of the cake. Let cool until barely warm, 2 1/2 - 3hours. Running a paring knife around the edge of a cake every hour or so. Wrap the pan tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold, about 3 hours.

7. The recipe recommends using a wet hot kitchen towel around the springform pan to unmold the cheesecake. I did not have to do this - the paring knife trick was enough to unmold it in my case.

I'm so happy there were four extra pieces! :)

Saturday, January 22, 2011

BRRRRRR - Baby It's Cold INSIDE

It started out with a smell.

Last night we had friends over for dinner and games. It was a nice laid back evening. People left around 12 AM and we cleaned up and got to bed. It smelled sorta weird in our house. Even though I don't think carbon monoxide smells, that was where my mind went. So nate dusted off the carbon monoxide detector and changed the batteries. No, it wasn't CO. But the burning smell still continued. Nate went downstairs to investigate our furnace and called the number on it at 2 AM. Apparently it sounded like our blower motor was out. Temperatures in our house were falling fast. They were going to send someone over around 8 AM.

So we threw another layer of clothes on and then Maggie woke up. She would not go back to sleep in her crib, which we have never had an issue with - I think it was just too cold. I tried feeding her, we paced up and down her room, she would be fine in my arms but the minute she was in the crib, she was screaming bloody murder. After an hour and a half of this, we threw in the towel and co-slept. Once she was in our bed, she went right to sleep.

The three of us huddled together under the covers and got a few hours of sleep before the furnace guy came.

Our furace is circa 1991 - the part that broke is over half the cost of a new furnace. So we were going to just get a new furnace. Problem - they couldn't install it until Monday. OF COURSE this happens in the dead of winter when we are having negative temps. OF COURSE this happens during the weekend.

We started calling around and found someone to install the furnace today so we are just hanging out waiting for him to arrive. Thankfully, the Hs brought over a space heater and the Cs brought over coffee, bagels and more space heaters. Once we had a space heater in her room, Maggie took a two hour nap in her crib. I'm hoping she doesn't remember the warm coziness of our bed :)

4 1/2 Month Update

Yesterday Maggie had her 4-month Well Child Visit. The visit started with tears, from me, as our doctor's nurse told me that her granddaughter, who was 2 months older than Maggie passed away. I was giving Maggie some extra squeezes for the rest of the day. After that, the news was only good. The ever important stats:

Length: 26.5 inches (97th percentile)
Weight: 15 lbs 7.2 oz (77th percentile)
Head Circumference: 16.54 inches (I don't know what percentile).

In other words, Mags is still the beast that she started out as :)

Everything looks great. She had to get three shots which she still cried at but it was not as traumatic as the 2 month well child visit.

Apparently we are doing something right!!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

ROLL AWAY....WITH (MAGS)!!!





After a week of "almost" rolling (and me singing every song I could think of with "roll" or "rolling" in it), she finally figured out how to tuck her arm and flip from her back to her tummy.

We are all a little excited around here!!!



Another transition is upon us!



Oh No! Today is the last day that our nanny will be with us full time!

I believe I have mentioned on here that our nanny = my one and only sister, A. When I was pregnant, I asked her if she would ever consider being our nanny since she goes to college at a University here in the city. She said yes! I was excited.

Fast forward a few months to the week before I had to go back to work and I was ELATED that she was doing this. It made my transition to work much easier. My sister is like me in a lot of ways but also the polar opposite of me in others - mainly she is not as neurotic as me. That said, she still came over the Sunday before my first day back and patiently listened to me read a FOUR PAGE TYPED DOCUMENT that I made re: caring for Maggie. Of course this was 99% for my benefit. I was so nervous to leave Maggie that I felt if I typed a book on her, it would all be ok. She agreed to come 7:30 - 5 four days a week and we worked out a "salary".

The first day of work came and I willed myself not to call home until noon. When I called, I could hear Maggie laughing in the background. A sent me photos of Maggie smiling and playing. I knew she was having a great time. I don't know why but I was worried she would just scream all day.


Three weeks may not seem like a long time but it's crazy how much babies change and adapt in that short amount of time. A has helped us get Maggie out of the swaddler, has started to watch Maggie grow out of the 6-month sized clothes (yes, it's happening already!), has practiced rolling with her (she's still on the verge), has doubled the amount of time that Maggie will spend on her tummy, has gotten Maggie to consistently take 4 oz bottles (instead of 2 oz here, 5 oz there), has helped me figure out how much milk to leave for her during the day, has taken over my daily habit of taking pictures of her, has tested out different bottles for me, and has overall been so great. Nate made the comment that it is sort of crazy how the whole sister nanny thing worked out - I mean who would have thought we would have been living in the same city as her when we had a baby and that she would be available to watch her?

Monday, A starts school again and will only be watching Maggie part time, on days that she doesn't have class. The other time, we are sort of going with the flow. Yes - that phrase just came out of MY mouth. Next week, the grandparents are up to bat. My mom will be taking one day and my FIL and MIL will be taking another day. I feel so lucky that we live close to our families and that they are willing to help us out with Maggie. [Although, come on - who wouldn't want to spend time with that cutie pie?!?] We were lucky in January to have my MIL and Nate's cousin's girlfriend (home from college) to pinch hit on a day that A couldn't make it. We're hoping our luck continues otherwise I might be interviewing part-time nannies soon!

I also am lucky that my office is really flexible so that I can basically set a new schedule every week if necessary. Next week I will be working all five days - three long days (ten hours) and two short days (of 4 and 6 hours each) to accomodate when we could arrange for childcare. I don't know if I will like this better or worse than working four long days. Stay tuned...

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

More on the Hair

I got a comment/question re: the non-hair washing and a few emails with other questions so voila - a blog post was born whereby I will expand upon my non-hair washing-ness.

1. What do you do after exercising - doesn't your hair get all sweaty?
Short answer - not really. I only have energy to run for 30 minutes at the Y, which is not enough for me to get sweaty hair. Sure some of the hair by my face will be a little sweaty or by my neck but it isn't drenched. I go home change into my pjs and pretty much go to bed. NO I DO NOT SHOWER. Yes you probably think this is gross. But I have dry skin - if I showered twice a day, my already flaky skin will turn into a cracked bleeding mess. I cannot not shower in the morning so that is the only time I shower. My husband doesn't seem to mind sharing a bed with me. This is the winter plan. In summer, this does not happen - I usually shower post-run in summer. And in that case, i will rinse my hair but not wash it.

2. Do you wet your hair on the "off" days at all?
Short answer: no. Here is my routine - exactly with products and all.
Day 1: Wash hair with shampoo and conditioner. In winter, spray a leave-in conditioner in it. Put some sort of straigtening cream in it. [Right now I am alternating between a bunch of free samples - Got2B Cashmere Straigtening Cream, Aveda Smooth Infusion Prep Cream and Redken Blown Away Protective Blow Dry Gel. I have not found a big difference in any of these.] After putting that in, I will blow dry it mostly dry with a regular hair dryer and then switch to my blow dryer styling brush to finish. (If I have time, I will use the blow dryer styling brush only). Then I will spray a quick spray of hairspray and be done. (SIDE NOTE: Any recommendations for hair spray? I am growing out my bangs so this is a must-use product but I'm not really a fan of most I've tried. Currently I am using this free sample of Aveda Control Force Firm. It has nice hold but still leaves the crunch factor).

Day 2: Wake up. Put hair in ponytail and headband and put shower cap over all of that. Take a shower. Take ponytail and headband out. Brush hair. Done. Looks pretty much the same as Day 1. Occssionally by in-the-process-of-being-grown-out bangs need to be braided or twisted and secured with a bobby pin on this day.

Day 3: Here's where things might start to go downhill and options must be had. I will still shower with a shower cap. If hair is looking a little greasy near the face but otherwise ok, I will use a dry shampoo. Right now I am using the Tressemme Fresh Start Dry Shampoo. There are two versions - One for dry hair and one for oily hair. Although I don't have oily hair, I use that version because the dry hair version gets your hair wet. I spray this in and then brush hair as usual. Voila. Done. I have read that baby powder or cornstarch will have the same effect as dry shampoo. I have found this to be true but a lot messier and since i do my hair after I am dressed, this can be a disaster.
If hair is looking a little flippy, I will pull it back. I have found that my hair works better pulled back on Day 3 or 4.
The other thing I use a lot are headbands.

Day 4: The tipping point - sometimes I can squeak by with doing Day 3 routine again and other times Day 4 becomes Day 1. If my hair is looking pretty flat to my head, I sprinkle in some Aveda Pure Abundance Hair Potion along my part. Boom. Instant volume. [Side note: I love this product but store it in my fridge. I found out the hard (read: expensive) way that this product pretty much gets destroyed with humidity, which is often found in one's bathroom.]

So - I can really only pull the wash-hair-every-4-days routine with longer hair. When i had short hair, I was definitely washing/styling every other day. Also, bangs made a difference - bangs (at least on me) require more work and I could really only rock bangs on the day I washed my hair. Thus, you can see why i am growing out both my hair and bangs - TO SAVE TIME!

Some other caveats - I don't really play with my hair all day. I find the more you touch your hair, the greasier it gets. I don't have silk pillowcases, or sleep with it in a ponytail or anything like that - these are often recommended in magazines as ways to save your hairstyle. And the above routine only applies if I wear my hair straight. If I wear my hair curly on Day 1, I have to wash it on Day 2 because 1) I have to use a lot of product to get it curly and 2) the curl factor does not last through a night of sleeping. If I let my hair dry naturally on Day 1, then everything gets moved up a day in the above rotation.

This is probably a defensive comment, but every single hair stylist I have ever had commends me on not washing my hair everyday saying that it is good for your hair and scalp. I also do not have any problems with dry itchy or dandruffy scalp since I started doing this - which definitely was a problem in the past.

3. Doesn't your hair start to smell?
Short Answer: Yes/No. By Day 3 or 4, my "hair smells like hair" as my husband likes to say. So it no longer has the scent from shampoo/conditioner in it but it doesn't reek either. Using a dry shampoo puts some scent back into it but I don't like to have too many scents going on at once anyways. Those of you that personally know my husband know that he is the antithesis of a hippie so he would be honest about the smell factor.

4. Do you use special shampoo/conditioner?
Speaking of hair stylists, this is the question I hate getting the most from them mostly because I feel like they are going to try to sell me something. Yes I have found that some (but not all) "nice" shampoos are awesome. Example: Kerastase which is what my old salon used to use. Am I going to shell out big coin for this? No. Even though I could probably rationalize it by saying that I don't use as much shampoo so it would last me a while, I am still too cheap to spend $30 on a bottle of shampoo. Also I would not let Nate use this fancy shampoo (he washes his hair daily) and then we would have two bottles of shampoo in our already crowded shower caddy thing.

Generally we shop for shampoo using two rules:
1) Nate has to like how it smells and
2) It has to be a moisturizing formula.

This is when we buy shampoo - because of my free sample habit, we often are using shampoo from the free sample rubbermaid tub in our closet. Currently we are using a god-awful shampoo from Trader Joes. It smelled good but DOES NOT rinse out of your hair very well. Again - WHY DON'T WE JUST THROW IT OUT. I rarely throw anything out, for good or for bad. So we are sucking it up and finishing the bottle.

Conditioner - Generally I will use stuff from the free sample tub. If I buy a conditioner I try to get an uber-moisturizing one. (Are you noticing a theme with me? I crave moisture.) Right now I am using some Pantene sample that we have about ten of.

I am not loyal to one brand. I like getting "nice" shampoo/conditioner as gifts but am too cheap to buy it myself.

What are people's thoughts on shampoo/conditioner? Are you loyal to a particular one?

Back to the hair stylists, I never confess the above to them. I totally lie and say some salon brand. And you know what their response is? "You can totally tell - you have really nice hair." Suckers.

I think that covers all of the emails/questions I got. Hopefully you are not too grossed out by me now.

33 Until 30

Last night Nate-O asked me what I wanted to do for my birthday this year. "You only turn 30 once!"

THIRTY! I am pumped.

Ok, so generally I get excited about every birthday. The countdown usually begins about now, much to my family's annoyance. 33 days. Until I am 30.

I know that no matter what I do that this birthday will be a better one than my 29th birthday where I laid on the couch for 5 hours feeling disgusting at 12 weeks of pregnancy and my lovely sister listened to me whine for 2 1/2 hours and then right after I got off the phone with her, I whined to my mom for another hour.

This birthday will contain no whining.

But what will it contain?!? I have 33 days to get my requests in :)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Roast Chicken and Queen of Crockpots

Last night I made a dynamite roast chicken. The accompanying veggies were even more delicious.

I know what you are thinking. "This woman is complaining that she doesn't have time to make dinner and she makes a roast chicken. Huh?!"

Let me explain.

I have all of these recipes that call for shredded chicken from a rotisserie chicken. I had a whole chicken in the freezer so this past weekend I thought - I will make the roast chicken for dinner on Sunday night and then we will have the meat for the quick/easy rotisserie chicken meat recipes for this week.

Except that plan didn't work out because we ended up having late brunch with visiting friends JT & JT on Sunday at Blue's Egg, our new favorite restaurant. Then we were stuffed for the rest of the night. I was not about to make a roast chicken.

BUT i still had the damn bird in my fridge de-thawed. So it was either cook that bird or let it rot.

LUCKILY I had to come home from work early yesterday so that my sister (aka our nanny) could get to her other job. Coming home two hours early let me make the chicken. Which was dynamite.

Here is the recipe:
Roasted Herbed Chicken and Vegetables
Source: Saveur Magazine via Milwaukee Journal-Setinel

4 tablespoons (½ stick) butter
1 ½ tablespoons dried herbes de Provence
1 tablespoon honey
2 cups white wine
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil (divided)
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
12 cloves garlic, unpeeled (8 whole, 4 crushed) (divided)
1 small butternut squash (about 2 ½ pounds) peeled, seeded and cut into thick half-moons
3 medium turnips, cut into 2-inch pieces
Kosher salt
Coarsely ground black pepper
1 chicken (4 pounds), wings tucked under body
1 lemon
1 bunch fresh thyme
1 large yellow onion, cut into thick wedges
¾ pound brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
¾ pound cremini mushrooms (left whole)
12 large sage leaves

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a pot over medium heat, melt butter with herbes de Provence. Remove from heat. Whisk in honey. Cover pot and allow herbs to steep 20 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine wine, half the olive oil, the fennel seeds, whole garlic cloves, squash, turnips and salt and pepper to taste. Set mixture aside.

Season chicken with salt and pepper. Peel rind from lemon in strips. Cut lemon in half, and reserve.

Put lemon rind strips into cavity of chicken, along with remaining garlic and the thyme. Tie legs together with twine.

Set chicken on a small roasting rack in a roasting pan. Arrange turnip mixture around chicken, and scatter with the onions. Brush chicken with some of the herb butter. Roast in preheated oven, basting chicken with herb butter and the vegetables with pan juices, until turnips are tender, about 1 hour.

Meanwhile, toss brussels sprouts, mushrooms and sage leaves together in a bowl with remaining oil. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to roasting pan, and continue roasting until a thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh registers 165 degrees, about 25 to 30 minutes.

Transfer chicken to platter. Cover loosely with foil. Return vegetables to oven, and roast until very tender, 18 to 20 minutes. Carve chicken, squeeze reserved lemon over top and serve with vegetables.

Think roasting a chicken is too hard? Read this article. My friend HC also roasts chicken in a crock pot - put the whole bird in a crock pot with some white wine, garlic, rosemary, salt and pepper and cook for 4ish hours on high. I have yet to try this. My boss gave me a few crock pot jarred sauces from Williams-Sonoma for Christmas. She said that I will be the queen of crock pot meals now that I have a child. My problem with the crock pot was that most recipes call for 4-5 hours in a crock pot and I can't really run home to plug the crock pot in.

Then - a magical solution appeared in the Target clearance aisle last weekend.

A CHRISTMAS LIGHT TIMER!

Seriously - it was on clearance for $1.24. I plan on plugging the crock pot into it and then setting the timer to turn it on while I am at work. GENIUS! A little on the Clark Griswold side of things - but hey! It just might work. Stay tuned...

(I also realize that now that I have a nanny I can just have her plug it in too. However, the timer will come in handy when Maggie is getting cared for outside the home.)

Monday, January 17, 2011

Tips for Mothers From Gwyneth Paltrow

I don't know if any of you get Gwyneth Paltrow's GOOP email newsletter. While they often make me roll my eyes, it's sort of one of those things that I can't look away from. GP is the "expert" on a variety of subjects - somtimes there are fashion tips, recipes, hotel recommendations, etc. The life wisdom emails are the ones that I really get rolling about. I found it funny that last week, right after I posted about my return to work, GOOP popped into my mailbox and what was the topic: “finding a good balance between having a career and being a mom".

Oh Christ.

This I gotta read.

My cynical thoughts aside (i.e. anyone could find balance with a personal chef and live-in nanny), I actually found myself agreeing with some of the recommendations, or at least saying, "I do that". So using Juliet de Baubigny's template, here are my comments:

My Day

Early Bird. There is a funny episode of Modern Family where Claire, the mom, talks about how she gets up before everyone else. Phil, the dad, doesn't believe her. Thinking back to growing up, my mom also got up before all of us to get ready and then make our lunches, etc. I think this is the first initiation into motherhood - getting up early. Since returning to work, I get up at 5:30, get myself ready and then wake up Maggie. 5:30 is freakin' early. But there are several things that help me. 1) I pack my lunch the night before and put it in the fridge. 2) I lay out my clothes the night before. I think this is seriously the thing that helps me the most. I don't know why I didn't do this pre-Maggie. 3) Blow outs (that is further down Juliet's list). 4) Minimal makeup (again this is further down Juliet's list). 5) Having my bags all ready to go - I seriously have turned into a pack mule. I have my regular bag/purse, my lunch bag, my pump bag and a cooler with me every day.

Breakfast. I must eat breakfast. MUST. I have always eaten my breakfast at work and that has not changed. However, in the morning I often am so hungry that I feel lightheaded so I put a carnation instant breakfast in a nalgene and drink that on the way to work and eat my 2nd breakfast of oatmeal when I get there.

Hair. Juliet recommends a weekly blow out. Ok. I do not get weekly salon blowouts (I wish!). But I do find that if I wash and blow out my hair at home at the beginning of the week, I can make it to the end of the week with good hair and not having to re-wash my hair. SAVES a lot of time in the morning. Daily Candy has a tutorial on a salon-quality blow out at home. I asked my MIL to get me two things for Christmas to assist me in this process: 1) A Revlon Hair Dryer/Round Brush in one tool which i am obsessed with and 2) The Garnier Blow Dry Perfector Kit. I haven't tried this blow-dry perfector thing but I will let you know how it goes when I do. I think not washing my hair so frequently has improved the quality of my hair as well. I am lucky that I tend to have dry hair so I don't really have to worry about the grease factor. That said, I did sort of have to "train" my hair. I started only washing my hair every other day a few years ago and since then have lengthened the time between washes. Now I wash my hair every 4th day. I also decided to grow out my hair a bit. I do not think having short hair is easier than long hair. With long hair, you can always default to putting it back. With short hair, you HAVE to style it. At least in my case you do, lest you look like a man.

Makeup. I am the queen of makeup. I LOVE IT. However, I'm not about to get up 15 minutes earlier just to put make up on. While I was pregnant, I actually cut back on my makeup a lot because my skin was going wack-a-doo. So instead of using foundation, concealor, powder, blush, eyeshadow, eyeliner, mascara and lip product, I now use 4 things: bronzer/powder, blush, concealor and eye shadow. I generally tend to use high-end makeup because I think the quality is better and I think it lasts longer than cheap makeup, therefore rendering it more cost effective. However, my favorite bronzer is like $4. I started using the Laura Mercier (ie expensive) bronzer. When that ran out, I bought this NYC powder from Target to fill in until I could get to Blush in the 3rd ward to restock. Turns out I like the NYC one a lot better. I currently have the Color Wheel Mosaic Face Powder in Translucent Glow. I use Nars blush. It is the best blush ever - and blush is one of my favorite make-up things. I use Bobbi Brown under-eye concealor. (I have been pretty much sold on this one since getting a birthday makeover with CD (then CS) at Saks in Atlanta like six years ago. I totally was hungover and we had these Origins facials scheduled and I puked right outside the Saks 5th Avenue entrance to Phipps Plaza. The Bobbi Brown makeup lady was so glamourous. I had a mini-crush on her.) I have a fun Smashbox palette of eye shadow and that's it. Sometimes I'll step it up and add mascara in. (Dior Show - best mascara).

Work. Juliet has a bunch of tips re: time management and work. I am at work from 6:45 AM until 5:00 PM four days a week. Most of this time, I am working solo so I don't really have this rush from meeting to meeting, etc. And for the most part, this has made pumping pretty easy. I blocked off 3 half hour time slots on my outlook calendar (which is visible to all of my coworkers) so that people don't schedule meetings for me during that time. However, if a meeting does get scheduled, it is pretty easy just to move my pumping time a bit. It isn't too often that I will have to pump in a church basement or Walmart parking lot (as mentioned in my back to work post). I have my own office with a door too, so that helps. I emailed a lot of my working mom friends to figure out a system for pumping prior to going back to work and that really helped me. Another thing that I do differently at work is pay for parking. For the first 3 1/2 years here, I parked in the free lot, that was 1/2 mile away. I never minded this because 1) I'm cheap and 2) I got a mile of walking in everyday. However, it was time consuming and so now to save time I pay for parking in the lot by my office. This saves me about 30 minutes a day and actually cuts down on my commute time too.

Dinner. I have yet to figure this part out. (Tips, suggestions welcome!) The first week back to work, Nate took on a lot of the dinner making. In the past, it didn't really matter what time we ate and if we didn't have an ingredient, one of us just ran to the grocery store. That is difficult to do now particularly because Maggie's bedtime routine usually starts when she gets crabby, around 6:45-7 PM. We either have to eat around 6 PM or wait until 8 PM. I am starving when I get home so 8 PM isn't going to cut it. The second week went a little better. I spent some time this past weekend planning meals and then going grocery shopping to make sure we had all the stuff for the meals. I think this might be a bit easier than thinking "what are we going to have for dinner" every night. While I realize we won't be making as many elaborate meals anymore, I'm not about to subject us to frozen tv dinners at night either.

Exercise. Juliet did her exercise in the morning. I cannot do that right now because I don't want to get up an hour earlier and my sports bras fit better at night. The go to the Y after Maggie's in bed plan worked really well last week. I'm going to try to do that 3-4 times a week. I think this will be even easier when the weather is nicer and it is light outside longer because then I can just run outside.

So I guess the short story is pre-planning goes a long way and in the long run, saves you a lot of time. Pretty no-brainer suggestions, but I needed to have a baby to figure this out!

If you want to read the entire GOOP newsletter, click here. I bet you $100 that you will roll your eyes at least once. :)

Visit from One of Maggie's Boyfriends

This weekend we had a couple of visitors. On Saturday JP came over with her son, C who is ten months old. I get the comment "Oh I could just eat her up" about Maggie a lot. C takes this quite literally. C met Maggie when she was only a few days old and at that time, wanted to chew on her arm. See Exhibit A:



This time, he still wanted to eat Maggie.





The first time, she liked it:



The second time included teeth and she was NOT a fan:


She had some teeth marks on her forehead for the rest of the day. There was no permanent bruising or anything. She quickly calmed down and was back to staring at him in wonder. Let's hope this isn't a sign of things ahead!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Momentous Occasion!

No Maggie did not roll over. She is SO CLOSE though.

HOWEVER, Maggie slept through the night without a swaddler!!!!!!!!!!

As I mentioned we have been trying to wean her from the swaddler. This past week she woke up every morning with her arms out of it. Additionally, the two swaddlers we have were getting to be too small for her, and we already own the largest size they make in the Kiddopotamus and Summer Infant brands. I said we were NOT going to try to find jumbo swaddlers - that when she outgrew these two, she was done.

The weaning strategy
We get these weekly emails from The Bump. The email this week had some link to a "trying to wean the swaddler" message board. I read some of the posts and as usual, eveyone recommended a different strategy. "Try swaddling only one arm in", "Try loosening the swaddler"; "Try losing the swaddler at naps to start". The one arm and loose swaddler strategies were not effective in my opinion. Once Maggie has the tiniest bit of wiggle room she is out in about 0.3 seconds so we might as well just not swaddle her. This past week, we took the attitude of try naps without the swaddler and if she gets to be totally crazy, go ahead and swaddle her. We were still swaddling at night. Then Thursday night hit. She broke out of the swaddler and woke herself up twice during the night. We went in and re-swaddled her and she went back to sleep. However, we were not about to start a new trend of getting up and re-swaddling during the night. So last night, we were going to try no swaddler since the weekend was approaching and if the nights were really bad, we could nap during the day. Thinking that she would only need a couple of nights to break the swaddle habit.

We put her in a sleeveless wearable blanket and put her to bed at her usual time. She went to sleep and stayed asleep all night with no crying!!!!!!!!!! We fist bumped her this morning. Maybe that is all the positive reinforcement she will need to keep up the trend, ha ha ha.

Here she is in "wooly bully" (our nickname) - the wearable blanket.


I don't know if a couple days of napping sans swaddler did it or if we should have just went cold turkey right away. We'll see if our luck lasts. Just in case, I haven't packed away the swaddlers yet. :)

Friday, January 14, 2011

TGIF part 2!

...And one of the disadvantages of working full time with an infant is that your brain disappears and you re-post a picture that was posted earlier this week.

Instead I give you - Maggie in a bikini!


This was taken last weekend at the Wilderness Indoor Waterparks and Resort in Wisconsin Dells. The bikini was a gift from my friend JP and from Janie and Jack, source of all things cute!

I totally realize that some day I will not be so supportive of Maggie in a bikini. :)

TGIF!

One of the advantages of having your sister be your babysitter is that she emails you cute pictures like this:

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Back to Life. Back to Reality.

"So how is it going back to work?"

That is a question I hear a lot of now.

The answer is: Really Tough.

I am coming to the end of my second week back. I made the decision to work four longer days in the office so that i could have a whole day at home with Maggie. (This also means we only have to arrange for childcare four days a week as well). So far, I feel like this is working out pretty well. I don't feel like I am at the office that much longer than I was pre-Maggie (which is true). Previously, I would stay at the office until I got my work done so my end of the day time varied. Now - I am itching to get out of here starting at about 2 PM. By the grace of God, I make it to 5 PM where I practically sprint to my car and speed home.

But let's back up to Day 1. I thought the first day was going to be awful. The day before we were taking down our Christmas tree and I was taking down a "dad" ornament I (er...St. Nick) got Nate. I said, jokingly at first, "Thanks for getting me a "mom" ornament (because he didn't). Mid-sentence I broke down. Sobbing. So of course Nate felt awful and proclaimed he was going to go out and get me a mom ornament. While I realized that I did sort of care that he didn't get me an ornament, the larger issue was that I was sad about going back to work. I think I broke down a few more times that day. [And after calling four Hallmarks, he found a 2010 mom ornament. And it was 50% off.]

Morning came. 5:30 AM. A full 2 to 2 1/2 hours earlier than I had been getting up all maternity leave. I showered, dressed and got Maggie up at 6:15 to eat. She gave me a look like, "What is up? Why are YOU waking ME up? Isn't it the other way around?!". She ate like a champ and then promptly went back to sleep and I got in my car and headed to the office. I have been pumping right away when I get to the office for two reasons: 1) Milk supply is greatest in the morning and 2) no one else is here. (I have an office with a door but I still like the fact that no one is here to interrupt me). I had lots of phone calls and emails from friends and family wishing me luck (THANK YOU!).

When my co-workers arrived, it was sort of fun to be back. Everyone wanted to stop by and chat. I had been checking/cleaning out my work email throughout my maternity leave so there wasn't too much to do there. The morning flew by. At 2 PM, time stopped. My boss looked in my office around 4 and asked how I was doing. I told her, "I miss smelling Maggie". (Moms out there tell me this is normal - I think I am addicted to smelling my child). She told me to go home. Pre-Maggie I would have said, "Oh I have work to do". That day I said, "OK see you tomorrow" and bolted.

I only called home one time the first day and Maggie was doing great.

Then Day 2 hit.

Oh Day 2. Forever burned in my memory as the day shit hit the fan. I got cocky and wore mascara on day 2. I woke Maggie up and she was all smiley and giggling and I thought, "Ugh. I don't want to go to work. I want to stay home and watch you smile and giggle at me!". I drove to work and hooked up the pump. While I was checking emails, I forgot about monitoring the pump and one of the bottles overfilled and spilled breastmilk all over my dry-clean only skirt. UGH. I switched out the bottles and it literally happened a second time. I started crying. I wanted to call my mom but she was on the west coast and I didn't want to wake her up. I opened my email and an email from CD sent my tears into full out hysterical sobs. So I called her. I don't think i really spoke for the first couple of seconds because I was crying so hard. Thankfully she talked me off the ledge. Apparently this was normal. I cleaned myself up, wiped all that mascara off my face, took a deep breath and resumed working.

My boss got to work and popped in my office and said, "How was it seeing Maggie last night." OH BOY. Let the waterworks start again. Then my friend HC, whose daughter was born 6 days after Maggie and who also went back to work the same day I did, called to check up on me. We both starting bawling during that conversation.

Somehow I made it through Day 2. I came home smelling like breastmilk to a very smiley baby.

Day 3 was presenting a new challenge. On the road pumping. One of the studies I work on requires interviews at different time periods with older adults. Of course right when I return to work the 6-month post intervention interviews start. So on Day 3 I made sure I had 8 AA batteries for the battery pack and headed to the parish church for interviews. My boss, ever so supportive, told me to ask for a room so I wouldn't have to pump in my car (that came on day 4). The church admin assistant was wonderful. She set me up in a room in the church basement (hey! better than my car) and was so nice. "My daughter had a baby last year and went through this too", she said. So there I sat...pumping away in a church basement.

Day 4 - I was pumping away in the parking lot of a nursing home listening to Terri Gross interview Mark Wahlberg for The Fighter. I rewarded myself with Chick-fil-A since I was in Racine (the ONLY Chick-fil-A in the state).

And that was that. My first week was over. I won't lie - there were more tears on Days 3 and 4, but I survived. I then got to spend 4 days with Maggie. (Friday was my day off for Week 1 and Monday was my day off for this week, week 2).

Week two has been going much better. I don't think I have cried this week. Even when I was pumping in a Walmart parking lot yesterday...in a gold Pontiac grand Am and a wool hat. I feel like I have gotten more into a routine with things, although dinner is still a struggle. I was telling my friend HC during a nightly whine session that nights are my bad time. Mornings- I have down. Nights are tough. Prior to going back to work, I was emailing with my friend MB (who is also a new mom) and she commented that at night she feels like she is pulled in 1000 directions. This is no joke. I walk in the door and all I want to do is cuddle Maggie. But I can't turn off the voice in my head that is saying "You have to wash the bottles and the pump parts, make tomorrow's bottles, make your lunch for tomorrow, make dinner, do some laundry, change Maggie's diaper..." And hobbies? When was I going to run? I had new running shoes still in their box for over a MONTH. I would never let brand new running shoes sit in a box for a day, let alone a month. When was I going to read? When was I going to sew? Knit? Do anything I wanted to do? As my mom said, "Welcome to martyrdom". She was joking...right?

After spending the first week feeling sorry for myself on the couch at night after Maggie was in bed (and watching every single episode of Modern Family Season 1, which BTW, is a fabulous show), I decided this week that mom was not going to equal martyr ALL THE TIME in my world if I could help it. Sure I would not have free reign to do whatever i wanted whenever I wanted but I know lots of moms that still have hobbies. And work. As my friend BLK said, "Millions of moms work outside the home everyday. If they can do it, we can too." I thought of a quote from Nora Ephron that OldMDGirl posted on her blog a while back:

This is the season when a clutch of successful women -- who have it all -- give speeches to women like you and say, to be perfectly honest, you can't have it all. Maybe young women don't wonder whether they can have it all any longer, but in case of you are wondering, of course you can have it all. What are you going to do? Everything, is my guess. It will be a little messy, but embrace the mess. It will be complicated, but rejoice in the complications. It will not be anything like what you think it will be like, but surprises are good for you. And don't be frightened: you can always change your mind.

And so this week, I thought to myself. Do I want to spend every night pitying myself on the couch in front of the tv or do I want to use those 2-3 hours and actually do something I like? So last night, I took those new Asics Gel Kayanos (side note: love having an Asics rep in the fam for supreme discounted awesome running shoes!) out of their box, found my YMCA card and went to the gym after I got Maggie to bed. I ran 3.6 miles and felt awesome. I got home from the gym and cracked open my book. And I went to bed at the same time I was going to bed last week. Yesterday was a good day.

I am sure there will be bad days along with the good days and I'm sure I'll whine and cry a bit more but it was nice to show myself that I didn't have to be a martyr all of the time. Stay tuned...

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Ten-FOUR!

We now have a four month old. She loves eating her hands or anything that she can get her hands on (like Mickey). She is grasping things with more control and of course this means that drool has made an appearance. It hasn't gotten out of control yet so we aren't using bibs or anything.


She even enjoys tummy time a bit more - my sister caught her smiling during Tsquared! We set up her Lamaze mirror on the arm of the couch for her to look at. Sometimes I sing "You're so Vain" when I catch her admiring her reflection, ha ha ha.


- such an excellent cobra pose:


We do not have any roll over action yet although I sense she is getting close. She now will arch her back and crane her neck around and even does these movements by lifting her butt up while she is in a sitting position. We first discovered this movement in her bath. The bathtub has her reclined at a 45 degree angle and you really have to watch her b/c she will lift her butt up to get over the hump and get almost horizontal. It is really funny. She definitely LOVES her bath now. We think part of the reason this is is that we make them much warmer than we did in the beginning. We were so afraid of burning her! The bathroom floor is quite soaked at the end of them! We still only bathe her 1x per week. Her skin has definitely taken after me - dry dry dry and really, she doesn't NEED a bath more often that that.

If you put her on her activity mat on her back or on a blanket, she now notices the toys that are on either side of her and will twist a bit to look at them. She goes CRAZY in the activity mat. CRAZY.


She is definitely more interactive. You can definitely get her to laugh or smile almost on command. She still likes standing a lot. Either with our assistance or in her exersaucer. We don't really have to put a blanket around her anymore in the exersaucer to keep her stable.



She loves Sophie the Giraffe - both for her excellent chew-ability and for her squeak. Her favorite book right now is Mr. Brown Can Moo, Can You? She will smile EVERY SINGLE TIME you make the owl "hoo hoo" sound or whisper the "whisper whisper" part in her ear. Interestingly, she will not smile if you just say "hoo hoo" or whisper in her ear without the book. So we think she must like those sounds associated with the book.

She has a fairly regular routine now too. I wake her up at 6:15 to eat before I go to work and she goes back to sleep and will wake up around 8. She takes 4 naps throughout the day and goes to bed at 7:15. She eats 6-7 times per day. She still needs to be swaddled to sleep. We are starting to try to wean her from it, but it definitely is not easy. We keep swaddling her at night (hey, I'm not ready to mess with that yet!) but try not swaddling her at naps. Sometimes it works sometimes it doesn't. We are now at the point where we just put her in her crib and she puts herself to sleep! Hooray! This has been going on for several weeks I am glad to say. I wanted her to get to that point before I went back to work to make it easier on her babysitters. Every once in a great while she will still have a meltdown that requires some pre-sleep bouncing but those are few and far between.

We had no problems with switching to bottles for half of her feedings while I am at work. I think it helped that we started giving her one bottle a day back at the one month period. But who knows - maybe she would have been ok with the bottle without that. We weighed her on the Wii Fit on Thursday night and she was 14.4 lbs - this is still right along her growth curve. She has her four month doctor appointment (more shots!) in 2 weeks.

Jan 8 = 4 Months Old!

Maggie is 4 months old today!!!

Maggie with Mickey: One Week


Maggie with Mickey: One Month


Maggie with Mickey: Two Months


Maggie with Mickey: Three Months


Maggie with Mickey: Four Months


Maggie on Her Quilt: One Week Old


Maggie on Her Quilt: One Month


Maggie on Her Quilt: Two Months


Maggie on Her Quilt: Three Months


Maggie on Her Quilt: Four Months

Sunday, January 2, 2011

REALLY?

2011 has not been kind to us. Our "wonderful sleeper" has been on strike. Maybe on some level she knows I am going back to work tomorrow?!

Last night we chalked it up to the fact that we were at the N's house at her bedtime and it was a strange bed and we forgot the swaddler.

Tonight she has the swaddler and her own bed and routine. Screaming for the past 2 1/2 hours. We tried the Mylecon drops after an hour. Didn't work. We tried letting her cry. We tried comforting her. We tried feeding her. We tried rubbing her back and rocking her.

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.

She's still crying. 8 more hours until I have to get up for work.

Sigh.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year

We said good bye to 2010 and hello to 2011 over delicious food, some tears and lots of champagne-induced laughs.

Let's start with grocery shopping. I had mentioned that Nate was getting a lot of food items from wholesalers for the holidays. One of the things was a Butterball turkey check. We were sort of like, "What do we do with this? We certainly don't need a huge turkey!". We found out we could spend the check on any grocery items. So we went frivolous grocery shopping - shrimp! champagne! Those really sweet frosted sugar cookies from the bakery! We get up to the checkout and the woman had to call the service desk for instructions: "Yeah, What do I do with this Butterball Check?" We were cracking up. Nate also got four NY Strip steaks from Omaha Steaks....so you can guess what we had for NYE dinner!

We took advantage of the 50 degree weather (in January! in Wisconsin!) and grilled steak and shrimp. We also had marinated eggplant and zuchhini, Brussels sprouts, and mashed potatoes. After Mags went to bed, we watched Toy Story 3. (Don't judge - after watching both Inception and Black Swan this week, I needed something light and easy to digest.) As someone who is sad/nervous/anxious to go back to work on Monday, this movie literally had me sobbing at the end of it. New moms - take note! (Although I really think I would have cried even if I wasn't a mom.) Nate decided after the movie was a good time to break out the bubbly. One glass of champagne later I was giddy and cracking up at all of the new years eve specials. Did you know that Snooki (of Jersey Shore fame) was going to drop from a ball?! Seriously. What is going on in the world. I also was happy that NKOTB performed. Was anyone else a fanatic about the New Kids on the Block?!

We made it up until 12:15 AM. It's the latest I have been up since September 8. This morning we made sweet potato hash with over easy eggs on top, rosemary sourdough toast and chocolate croissants. Now let's hope the Badgers win the Rose Bowl tonight!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!