Thursday, March 31, 2011

11 for 11: Q1 Progress

The last day of March! 1/4 of the year is over! Crazy!

As i have done in previous years, I am providing an update on my goals. Keeps me honest ;)

1. Read 18 books.
If you figure it out, I should be done with 4.5 books by now. And Voila. I have read almost exactly 4.5 books this year so far.
Crow Lake by Mary Lawson
Mockingjay (Hunger Games #3) by Suzanne Collins
Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese (which really should count for two books because it was 650+ pages long!)
March by Geraldine Brooks
and I am halfway through Crossing to Safety by Wallace Stegner

I went ahead and got myself involved with not one, not two, but THREE book clubs. One meets montly, one meets every other month and one is online. So far, I have been able to keep up. (I know - this is absurd. I can't help myself).

2. Run a half marathon.
If I run one of these it will be during late summer/fall.

3. Make one thing a month.
I have made 3 things since the first of the year. See them here, here and here.

4. Work on my posture.
Hmmm. I am working on this...as i sit and type this, hunched over.

5. Drink more water.
Doing well with this - courtesy of Soda Stream!

6. Paint our hallway.
DONE! Nate finished this yesterday morning. I did nothing for this so i don't know why this was one of MY goals. Thank you Nate for accomplishing one of my goals, ha ha ha.

7. Remove the overgrown, hideous bushes from our front yard.
Once our ground is not longer frozen, this is up!

8. REALLY clean out my closet.

Done! I took my load of clothes to the consignment sale on Tuesday night. About 1/4 of them were returned to me. I'm not sure exactly why (and I will admit I was annoyed by this) but more stuff for my sister to have, I guess! I was telling a friend yesterday though that I still think I could do one more round of purging.

9. Go through the GIANT scrapbooking tubs in our closet.
Ugh. This is the one I am least a fan of. Nate continues to suggest doing this (Tuesday night was the latest request) and I always blow it off. One of these days...

10. Call my sister by her real name.
Doing quite well with this, if I do say so myself!

11. Get back into doing Yoga.
Could be doing a lot better with this. I bought some classes at a local studio (thanks Groupon!) and bought a DVD. I did the DVD one time.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Hallway Makeover

We are taking it back to the old school with today's post in that it actually is something home makeover related.

We repainted our upstairs hallway!

Before:


There is something to be said about living in your house for a bit before you pick paint colors. We painted this hallway prior to moving in and the dark maroon seemed like a good idea. Once we moved in, we realized that the hallway gets ZERO natural light thus the maroon just made it feel like a dark cave. Another con to the maroon was that you could notice every scrape, speck of dirt, etc on it.

It took us a few paint samples and lots of second guessing, but we finally settled on Urban Nature from the Benjamin Moore collection for Pottery Barn. Yes more green. I never thought I was much of a green fan but I (and Nate) naturally tend towards green when picking out house related things. The green looks much better with our green accents and curtains from our living room. I think the fact that we have green throughout our house just adds to the "flow" of the house (Thanks CD :) ).

After:


While I wasn't too sure about the color when we painted from the sample jar, I do really like it now that it is all green. It was hard to pick a color when the maroon was still on the wall. The hallway seems much brighter and wider - Yay!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Strata for Dinner

Speaking of The Family Stone, remember when SJP's character was making strata? Well we had strata last night for dinner that was delish. (Did you like that continuity between posts?! I swear I did not plan that.)

Swiss Chard & Sausage Strata
Source: Everyday Food April 2011 Issue

1 lb sweet or spicy italian sausage
1 lb/bunch swiss chard, stems diced and leaves ripped
2 shallots, minced
1 day old baguette, sliced 1/2 inch thick
7 eggs
2 1/2 cups milk
3 oz shredded Gruyere

If you are using sausage links, remove casings. Brown sausage on stove top. Using slotted spoon, transfer sausage to plate. Put shallots and chard stems in sausage fat until shallots are translucent. Add a bit of water to bottom of pan to scrape up bits. Add chard leaves until wilted. Add salt and pepper.

Beat eggs in a bowl and add milk, stir.

In 9 x 13 pan spread half the sausage. Put half of the chard mixture on top of sausage. Layer bread on top of chard, slighly overlapping the slices. Top with remaining sausage and chard. Pour egg/milk mixture on top. Cover with foil. Let sit 10 minutes or overnight in fridge.

Bake at 375 for 40 minutes. Remove foil and top with shredded cheese. Bake 10 more minutes until cheese is melted and middle is done. Let sit for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

Monday, March 28, 2011

{Amy} in {Fantasy} Life

I think I am a sucker for movies that display any large family gathering as the setting for most of the movie.

A couple of weeks ago, I commented to Nate that I really felt like watching Dan in Real Life. I am just going to go ahead and say that I love this movie - yes I love Steve Carrell and Juliette Binoche, so that might bias me towards this movie. I thought we owned the movie for some reason - but we do not. Fast forward to last Friday when Mags and I were at the library perusing movie titles and it practically jumped in our stroller: DAN IN REAL LIFE!

I settled in and watched it Friday night.

And mid-movie, when Nate joined me, I commented as I always do during these movies..."I want to have at least 5 kids and a big cool house so that when they are all grown up and married they can come back and spend days with us doing aerobics on the front lawn, having crossword puzzle races, you know - totally what people do in real life."

I have uttered this sentence before while watching The Family Stone on maternity leave (also one of those movies I can never pass up if its on TV).

I had to laugh when reading this blog post this morning - looks like I'm not the only Dan in Real Life fan.

And now back to Amy in Real Life...Monday at the office.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Bananas for Bananas

YES!

There is one more post today.

I received these mesh feeder things from a colleague at my work baby shower. I was anxious to try them so I put a hunk of banana in one and gave it to Maggie. She loved the banana but it was sort of a pain using the feeder because I kept having to push the banana down into the mesh. I ended up just cutting the banana into little pieces and putting them on her tray.

SHE LOVED THEM. She hasn't really gotten the hang of self-feeding yet, although we do let her try every meal with puffs. She is lucky if she lands one piece of food in her mouth. Thus, this is what we look like at the end of lunch or dinner:


No more banana purees in this house!

Maggie's New Dresser

I mentioned that Nate was busy painting an old vanity/desk/dresser that we received for free. I should have taken a before picture, but I did not. It was painted hot pink, light blue, pastel green, yellow and had old school spray painted light yellow handles on it. The paint was chipping in a lot of places.

The handles were actually really cool looking, we just didn't want them to be yellow. Nate tried spray painting them and it didn't work, so we had to get new handles.

We ended up keeping the hot pink and using up paint we already had.

Voila:


The dark brown is from our downstairs bathroom and the light brown is from our living/dining rooms. The handles are from Lowe's.

We think Mags likes it:


There is also a mirror that attaches to it. We aren't using that portion yet but it will be in the future. Nate has already planned out where it will go in Maggie's room :)

Are you a boy or a girl?

Today was a day to get stuff done, as most Saturdays are. We had to go to Lowe's to get paint, Macy's to get a CO2 refill for our Soda Stream and grocery shopping.

When I was pregnant, some people commented that how were we going to buy our baby clothes if we didn't know what we were having (boy or girl)? I used to get annoyed by these comments thinking that boys can wear colors other than baby blue and girls can wear colors other than pink.

However, now that we have our baby girl, I can tell you that it doesn't really matter WHAT color you dress your baby in, people will always ask you what the gender is. Or if they don't they will always guess the wrong gender.

One day, early on, Maggie was dressed in head to toe pink. A woman asked Nate if she was a boy or a girl. He responded, "Girl". She responded, "Good because if it was a boy, he'd look like a sissy."

Yes. This really happened.

Today Maggie was in a bright pink long sleeve shirt, a bright pink puffy vest and brown pants with pink and purple hearts on them. At Macy's the salesperson said, "What a cute little guy you've got there." I didn't really pick up on the fact that guy = male but then the salesperson said, "Oh. It's a girl. I just saw the heart pants."

Really? The pink vest and shirt didn't give it away? Hmmm. Not that boys can't wear pink, I guess I just don't see too many of them.

So when we got home, I stuck a bow in Maggie's hair...er, head. She hated it, although she did let me snap a few pics. Nate saw me and said, "What are you feeling bad that she got called a boy?"

Maybe I was. After all, I DO know how it feels when people don't know if you are a boy or a girl. I went through about 3 years of that in middle school. As I was just telling my aunt J, I distinctly remember when I was 12 years old, I had my light blue softball t-shirt and jean shorts on. I was tall, really skinny and had extremely short hair. I was making a phone call on a pay phone when a truck drove by and a kid screamed out the window, "ARE YOU A BOY OR A GIRL?"

True Story.

So yes. I may have had some recollections of those days when I came home and stuck a purple bow to my daughter's head.



February Craft of the Month

Here is the February Craft of the Month:


What is it?

A nursing cover. Hooter Hider. Udder Cover. There are many "official brands". I don't have an official name for my prototype. I call my own cover a "curtain". Sometimes, I go dramatic and pretend Maggie is the Wizard of Oz under the curtain. Yeah, I'm weird.

I made it for my friend JN who had a baby boy (on her due date!) in February. Thus, it is my February Craft of the Month, even though I cut out the fabric and planned it in January and finished it in March.

I am pretty happy with how this turned out, given that I didn't have any instructions that I was following. I based it off of my Jelly Bean nursing cover from Target. The main fabric is Anna Maria Horner's Good Folks Collection (Fortune Zinnia). The coordinating fabric is some linen fabric that I always keep on hand from Jo-Ann Fabric. I previously made JN a Birdie Sling and used Anna Maria Horner fabric with the Jo-Ann linen and she liked it so I stuck with it for this.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Trapeze Artist

Maggie still hasn't really grasped the concept that one is supposed to jump in this contraption.

She would rather swing.




Soliciting Laundry Advice

Laundry is my thing. I actually really LOVE doing laundry. Thus, I am responsible for laundry in our house.

It is a good thing that I enjoy laundry because since Maggie's arrival, the amount of laundry we have has tripled.

Yes there are the diapers, but that doesn't really account for most of it. Most of it is her food-laden or spit-up trodden clothes. And OUR food-laden, spit-up trodden clothes. I commented to Nate the other day that I used to be able to wear pants and shirts more than one time. Now I am lucky if they make it a day without getting covered in spit-up. Pre-Maggie, we generally didn't have a lot of stain fighting to do.

With the introduction of food, our laundry has taken on a new level of stain removal. The biggest culprit is sweet potatoes, which of course are one of her favorites. The bib does offer some protection while eating, however as they say, "spit happens". Mags is proficient in the ways of spitting up...AFTER the bib comes off. I know many people just have their kids wear bibs all day. I am hoping to avoid this as I'm not the biggest fan of the look and then I would still have to deal with removing stains from the bibs and have yet MORE laundry.

My current stain fighting method is filling a basin with some oxyclean and cold water and letting the clothes soak in there until I do laundry and put them in the washer on a cold wash. I generally try to soak the clothes as soon as possible to avoid stain setting. However, about half the clothes still have stains on them when I inspect them after the wash cycle. So then I spray some Resolve SprayNWash stuff on them and re-wash them. Usually the stains are gone after this step.

So am I just going to have to soak and wash 2x or does anyone have any magical solutions they want to share?????

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Mario Batali conquers Food, TV & the Ipad

I opened my email today to find the latest news from my buddy, Gwyneth, and lo and behold - Mario Batali has an Ipad app! Add that to my list to download.

Nate & I got into Mario Batali when watching Spain on the Road on PBS a couple of years ago. [Incidentally, when I went to find the "Spain on the Road" website to link in this post, I noticed that they will be doing a "Spain on the Road Again" tour in September! YAY!] YWe enjoyed his restaurant, Otto, while visting NYC.

You can see the recipes he featured in Goop here if you're not a GOOP subscriber.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Craft of the Month: March

You may be thinking, "Wait, Did I miss the February Craft of the Month?"

Alas. The February Craft of the Month is still half-finished on my sewing table. My goal is to finish it by the end of March.

The March Craft of the Month had to take precedence because there was an actual due date on it of today. I started the cutting late last night. :)

My neighbor (who received the January Craft of the Month) asked me to make a similar bag/purse for the fundraiser that she and her husband organize. So I whipped up yet another Birdie Sling for the MS Bowl-A-Thon silent auction. I have no idea how much it will go for, but must admit I am curious to find out.





The Interior:


2 Down, 10 to Go!

TCB

I cannot even begin to comprehend all the things we got done this weekend. Even with NCAA basketball on! {Both Wisconsin and Marquette in the Sweet 16! Yet another reason why WI is so amazing, ha ha ha.}

1. We took Mags to Sears to get 6-month pictures taken. Hilarious. We totally did it because I had a coupon (surprise surprise) and we thought it was sort of a rite of passage that every parent should go through. We took the first appt of the day at 10 AM. WELL OF COURSE she would not go to sleep for her morning nap so she was not exactly a smiley puss, even when she was on the furry white rug a la Austin Powers. Good thing the package only allows you to choose one portrait - there was only one good one to pick! Of course we could have paid for the upgrade that had the cloud around her head and "Maggie" in hot pink lettering, but we decided to pass. The pics will be in April 1 and I will definitely scan it and post.

2. Nate painted a vanity for Maggie's room. We got the vanity free from my in-law's neighbors. It needed a coat of paint. He did a great job on it - the drawers are still drying but when they are done, we'll post a pic. We also went shopping for new hardware for the drawers. We used leftover paint that we had - so the project only cost us hardware. We were just going to save it until she was a little older but the tower that her humidifier was on kept leaning further and further to the right. We decided that the humidifier probably should be on something a little more sturdy than Nate's first piece of furniture he bought from Target for college.

3. We grocery shopped, Target shopped, and Kohls shopped. CHECK

4. Mags and I went for a run. I wore shorts! It was a rough one for both of us - because while the "out" 1.5 miles was nice and sunny, the "back" 1.5 miles was all into the wind. Holy hell it's tough to run and push a running stroller for a mile and a half into the wind.

5. Like mother, like daughter:

What is she transfixed on? Why Joan Rivers on Fashion Police, of course:


6. We picked out a paint sample to re-paint our upstairs hallway. Nate started re-painting and we definitely picked out the wrong color. So now our hallway is maroon with spots of mint green. ICK.

7. 8 loads of laundry

8. Watched Life As We Know It - Josh Duhamel is quite possibly the worst actor ever. We watched The Romantics a few weeks ago which planted this seed in our heads, and this movie confirmed it.

9. Got killed in not one but two games of Words with Friends by HB

10. Cleared out a stack of magazines from the coffee table (which I will now be looking to distribute)

11. Finished the March Craft of the Month (next post)

and

12. I tagged, hung and organized my loot for the Divine Consign sale. One of my goals for 2011 was to clean out my closet. I got rid of 31 shirts/sweaters, 1 blazer, 5 pairs of shoes, 3 pairs of jeans, 2 dresses, a pea coat and 2 homecoming dresses. FOR REAL. I think I just never got rid of anything since about 9th grade. I also got rid of anything that fit a little wonky. I now feel like I should go through one more time and probably could get more stuff. Through Divine Consign you make 65% of your sales. For me this would be $170 and 85% of my stuff is in the $3-$5 range. We'll see how successful this is. I am loving my closet now!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

It's Shandy Time!


Oh sweet Summer Shandy.

It has been over a year and a half since I've had even a sip of you.

Thank you for giving me a little taste of summer in Mid-March.

Photo Source: Leinenkugel's Website

Easy, Delish Dinner Recipe

Acorn Squash Bowls
Source: Keri's Kitchen

1 large acorn squash

1/3 pound ground turkey

1 box Near East brand lentil rice pilaf

dried cranberries

chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Slice acorn squash in half to create bowls. Brush cut sides with olive oil and bake cut sides down in a baking dish or rimmed cooking sheet for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook lentil rice pilaf as directed on box and brown the ground turkey on top of the stove.
When squash if cooked (test this by poking with a fork for softness), place a squash bowl on plate and fill with ground turkey, rice pilaf, chopped pecans and dried cranberries.

Feeds 2 very hungry adults

Friday, March 18, 2011

Maggie Learns to Grocery Shop

Yesterday I only worked an 8 hour day and it was like heaven on earth. With the extra two hours in my day Maggie and I went grocery shopping and went for a run.

It is becoming more and more difficult to lift Maggie in her infant car seat. I decided that I was going to give the child seat in the shopping cart a try (after giving it a good wipe down with the wipes provided by the store!).

HILARIOUS.

She loved it. The first aisles we went down she was turning her head from side to side in a frantic way all the way down the aisle. Like, "WOW!! What is this amazing place?!"

Of course she also got a lot of attention, which our little ham loved. Here I was trying to take her picture (with my cell phone, hence the small size) and she would not stop looking at someone waving at her:


Finally, I was able to get her to look at me:


The whole grocery shopping experience was much easier than lugging that damn car seat. Upgrade!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

They Grow So Fast!

Our neighbor was throwing a baby shower and wanted to borrow some of Maggie's baby items for a game she was planning. While going through an old tub of clothes trying to find a baby hat to give her, I came across the Winnie the Pooh hat that Maggie wore home from the hospital and through her first couple weeks.

We managed to stretch it over her noggin.

Maggie, 2 days old:



Maggie, 6 months old:



Funny, but I think Nate is wearing the same t-shirt in both sets of photos:)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Mac or PC? Mags & I are Macs

Yesterday was Ipad Day!!!



32 GB to fill with Apps. I didn't go to bed until an hour an a half past my regular bedtime. Thus, I was VERY tired today!

And someone didn't take too long to move in on my Macbook:


"Who me?!"


Confession: The pics of Mags at the computer were taken last month by my mom. I was saving them for this post :)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

CRAVE Cheese


I mentioned that the cheese that was recommended to us for our dessert course at Bacchus was Les Frères by Crave Brothers Cheese.

And I also mentioned how much I loved it.

This past weekend we had it for dinner. Sometimes when we have a late lunch, we are in more of a snacking mood for dinner, and Saturday was no exception. When Nate suggests cheese platter for dinner, I am never one to turn it down.

We headed to our local Sendik's and purchased the Petit Frère and had it with crackers, Wisconsin honey and cherry jam from Door County.

YUM.

It sort of reminded me of an upgraded version of the Wisconsin dinners we used to throw for our friends in the ATL.

The Petit Frère might be my new go-to gift, in its cute wooden box.

Check out Crave Brothers. Any company whose website is cravecheese.com can't be bad, in my humble opinion :)

Photo Source: Crave Bros.

Monday, March 14, 2011

2 of my new favorite outfits

One:


Two:


(Featuring Brady!)

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Happy Birthday Grandma Judy

It is also my mom's birthday today. She is in Cali, so we did a photo shoot for her to wish her a happy birthday, only Maggie was more interested in eating the sign:


The whole photo progression is pretty funny, ending with this gem:

Happy Birthday NATE!

It's a palindrome birthday for Nate: 31 on the 13th!

Actually, the whole day is about 3 and 1 - turning 31 on 3/13/11.


Maggie got up early to celebrate and we made him breakfast. His parents and brother came over for dinner - we did DIY calzone bar and his mom made a caramel ice cream cake! It was a fun day!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Teano

This is Nate's nickname for me since I am addicted to tea. Since I try to limit my coffee intake to one cup per day, I need something warm to drink!

I had a bunch of Starbucks gift cards that I spent on venti Earl Grey tea lattes. (I think these originally went by the name London Fog when they first came on the scene). I had to take a deep breath the other day when I tried to order one at the Target Starbucks and the woman had no clue what I was talking about. I tried to recreate one at home. It was gross.

I do like the Starbucks chai tea latte. You can get the Spicy Chai Tea mix from Trader Joes. I have seen DIY chai recipes online although I haven't tried them.

My other tea obsession is Stash licorice spice herbal tea. I go through a box a week at work. Nate and I come close to going through a box a week at home as well.

Over Christmas I really enjoyed Trader Joe's candy cane green tea. The peppermint tea is just not the same.

Any other Teanos out there with some tea recommendations for me?

Shoes as Growth Chart

Love this and you can bet I am saving Magster's shoes.


Source: Real Simple

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Leggings as Pants: Yay or Nay

My relationship with leggings came a LONG way yesterday.

I wore leggings as pants.

Not pants under a long shirt, tunic or dress.

But Pants.

I am still trying to figure out if I veered into TV stay at home mom territory (blame this post for that reference) or total fashion hipster.

I recall a day, almost three years ago when I could not stand leggings. Thought they were too trendy for me and I was not going to participate in THAT.

Then I saw my sister wearing them and I was like, "WHAT are YOU wearing?" She replied, "I know. I would make fun of myself too except that they are SOOOO comfortable."

I jumped ship and bought leggings from Uniqlo on my trip to NYC.

Holy cats I was wearing leggings ALL THE TIME. My BILs were making fun of me (and still do to this day) calling me a "coastie". (UW alumni will understand this).

I did not care. I was loving my leggings.

So then i started making fun of people who wear leggings as pants. Really? I don't think they are meant for this.

Then again, i came home one day to find my sister wearing leggings. As pants.

AGAIN, I went agog. "Really?!" She replied, "I know. I can't help it. So comfy."

I have missed wearing leggings since having Maggie. I mean, I still rock them now and again, but given that I need to have easy access to the feeding mechanisms, the tunic/long shirt/sweater thing doesn't work very well. It is ok if I can wear a tshirt with a cardigan. However, I only own one longer cardigan, which I just purchased last week.

Yesterday I was happy in my sweats until it came time to take Maggie to the doctor. She was getting shots so I knew I was going to have to feed her after (best shot-coping mechanism ever, BTW). So i did it. I wore leggings, a nursing tank and a cardigan - that only went to my hip/mid-butt. Leggings = pants.

Some people are anti this: Example 1

However, some people pull it off as "cool": Example 1 Example 2

So...leggings as pants: Yay or Nay?

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Six Month Report

**For those of you who may have seen this post yesterday, I accidentally hit "publish post" on my draft version instead of "save now". This version has been updated.

Maggie turned six months old yesterday.

SIX MONTHS?!

Where did the time go? I've said it before and I'll say it again. Time flies.

The last month has been crazy fun as Maggie turns more and more into a "person" rather than a baby. I got into a habit of doing this monthly review, which is handy since I got way behind in filling out her baby book. My future children have no chance of having a baby book given my slacking on the 1st!

Food
She has been on solid food for a month now and LOVES it. Where at the start we would be lucky if she swollowed one spoon of food out of ten, she now eats fairly cleanly. And if you give her something she loves (e.g. apples) you probably don't need a bib. With the eating comes frustration if you can't get the food spooned up fast enough. Someone is a little impatient with their hunger!

Her Favorite Foods (aka better work on spooning these up as fast as you can):
apples
sweet potatoes
squash (acorn and butternut)

Foods she likes:
oatmeal
peas (both pureed and frozen peas straight from the bag)
pears
barley
bananas
squash + apples

Foods she is only ok with:
Rice cereal - she will eat it if you mix in some fruit or cinnamon

Foods she does NOT like:
Prunes

Foods she absolutely can't stand although it is funny to feed her them to see her face:
Green beans

We haven't had any severe reactions so far so keep your fingers crossed. We are still making the majority of her food, although I did buy some things because I figured it would be easier to buy prunes rather than DIY those. I also bought some peaches because those also seemed easier just to buy. One thing I did try was DIY cereal. NEVER AGAIN. I made some mushroom barley soup for Nate and me and had a small amount of barley left so I decided to DIY barley cereal for Maggie following the instructions in the Baby & Toddler Cookbook. You basically have to leave pearl barley in the food processor until it is ground into a fine powder. This takes about 10 minutes and white barley powder dust gets everywhere. Then when you add it to the boiling water, it became sort of gobular - like really thick oatmeal. Maggie ate it all, and seemed to like it but each time we really had to add more milk and mash it to thin it out. After that, I'm just buying the boxed cereals.

I had started just making one food at a time which would require me to make food about every three days. As she ate more food and added a second solid meal to her day, I have found it easier to make a bunch of foods at the same time and freeze them in pre-made portions. Then we just work from the freezer. I am currently going on about 2 weeks without having to make food. For freezing, I really like the Beaba trays. Maggie generally eats 2 oz of a fruit for one meal (lunch) and 2 oz of a veggetable for the other (dinner). If she is still hungry after that, she gets rice, oatmeal or rice+oatmeal cereal. We also started giving her a sippy cup of water. She really likes cups but hasn't really figured out the concept that you swallow the fluid that comes out of them! She actually seems to do better just drinking from a regular cup - which Nate started doing a while ago and we continue to do if we are drinking water. In addition to the cookbook, I have found this website helpful for food prep. Outside of solid food she is still getting breastmilk. Yay for making it 6 months. My initial goal was 12 months. I am still feeling like that is doable, although I was cursing the pumping situation when I first went back to work.

Skillz
So the past month was big in terms of food...what else? As I posted, she now sits up like a champ. This allows her to rake every toy, blanket, pillow that is in front of her to her mouth. She just HAS to taste everything within sight.

The girl still has never rolled from her front to her back. And since rolling from her back to her front for the first and last time two months ago, she hasn't had a repeat performance. The doctor today told me not to worry. "Some kids are just not rollers." Maggie in fact will work her hardest NOT to roll, even when you try to force her to roll. It's quite funny.

Her other new skill is raspberries (i.e. blowing air through your lips so they vibrate). She also will put her tongue between her lips to make sounds. She will do this most often when she is frustrated or not happy - like when she is done eating or tired. All in all, Mags is CHATTY. She partook in book club that I hosted a few weeks ago and everyone was commenting, "Does she always "talk" this much?" Um - hello?! Look at her mom and dad, people! We're not exactly quiet types. I think we are going to have to start taking advantage of the church nursery though. I have been spending more time in the church basement on Sunday than I care to.

Because she is so nosy, she really seems to like any activity. Cooking is fun with her in the Baby Bjorn - I usually give her measuring cups and spoons to chew on. We have started taking her out of her carseat on trips to the grocery store, Target, etc so she can look around. I am eager to get a zoo pass this summer and get back into a routine of spending more time outside now that the weather is starting to warm up...ever so slowly!

Size
As for size, we had the 6 month checkup today and here are the stats:
Weight: 17 lbs 3.2 oz (75%)
Height: 27 in (90%)
Head Circumference: 17 in (75%)

In the doctor's words, keep up the good work :)

This means that she is in 9 month sized clothes for the most part. We have maybe a handful of items that are still 6 month sized things that fit her and even some 12 and 18 month sized things (I'm not kidding - 2 of her pairs of footie pajamas are Gerber 18 months). As with adult sizes, baby sizes are all over the map - even a single brand can vary depending on where you buy it. And her feet? The most recent socks I bought her were 18-24 month sized. Poor girl!

We are still using cloth diapers 95% of the time. When we do use disposable, she is in size 3.

Speaking of growing out of things, she no longer fits in her infant bath tub, which was poorly named the "Newborn to Toddler Tub". So we did one bath in the regular tub with one of those giant mat sponges. Given that she was in a FOUL mood to begin with, the bath did not go very well. Hopefully things start to improve on that front.

MISC
The funny thing at the doctor today concerned the crinkly paper they have on the exam table. In previous visits, Maggie HATED this paper and would cry. Today, she LOVED it. We had to refresh the exam table 2x because she kept tearing it and trying to eat it.

She goes to bed at 6:30 - 7:00 every night. We have a night routine down pat. She eats her dinner around 5:30 plays for an hour and then we go upstairs for some playing in her room if she is in a good mood, followed by getting into her jammies and reading some books. I nurse her right before bed. She wakes up anywhere between 5:30 and 6:30 the next morning. I consider it a good day if she sleeps until 6. Sometimes she will go back to sleep after eating, but this is rare. We'll see how this changes with daylight savings time!

She LOVES kicking her feet when she is on her back. This will remedy almost any bad mood :)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

6 Months!

Today Maggie is 6 months old!

Maggie with Mickey: 6 Months


Maggie on her Quilt: 6 months




See previous months by clicking here

Full six month update tomorrow!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Toes are a Tasty Snack

Confession: Her cheeks might be that red due to how many times I kiss them per day.



MAJOR Non-Sequitur

AH! I have all of these random thoughts in my head! What a treat for you for this fine Monday morning.

1. SODA STREAM! I blogged about DIY seltzer over a year ago in the midst of my early pregnancy aversion to still water. Well my love of sparkling water did not fade with pregnancy and I have a self-imposed limit of one can per day. I don't understand how sparkling water is as expensive as it is. I also feel guilty about all the cans I waste (even though they get recycled). My BIL got the Soda Stream for Christmas and gave it to me over the weekend because he doesn't use it that often. I have already made (and drank) 2 L of seltzer water! I think this will greatly improve any progress on my resolution to drink more water. YAY!

2. Netflix Via Wii: The one comment I got re: Apple TV opened a whole new world for me (Thanks Tara!). I didn't realize there are several ways to go about getting the Internet on your TV. While investigating this, I discovered that we can connect our Wii to the Internet and get Netflix. I also figured out what cords I can get (with some help from my Ipad source) to hook my Macbook up to our TV. Netflix via Wii has been fairly nice. You don't get instant access to many current movies, but we started watching Californication. WOWSA. This is a dirty, crass, FABULOUS show. RATED FOR MATURE AUDIENCES. Add Hank Moody (David Duchovny) to my list of TV crushes. He sort of almost is reminicient of Jimmy McNaulty from The Wire, one of my other TV crushes.

3. Saturday Spa Days. This past Saturday, my friend HC took me to Gloss for a birthday pedicure. The Saturday before that, my aunt, a massage therapist, gave me a birthday massage. This Saturday....I think it's back to normal. But WOW! Starting my weekend with some spa therapy has been nice!

4. S--L---O--W movies. Friday night has become movie night in our house, which is fun. On Oscar weekend, we watched Chariots of Fire, since it won the Academy Award for Best Picture in 1981 and since my friend CD gifted it to me in my Birthday Time Capsule. I wanted to love this movie. It was drama and about running. Alas, I thought it was really slow. I think I fell asleep during part of it. Nate got out the computer about half way through. Oh well - it has been on my list to see for a while and now it can get crossed off. I had a stack of movies from the library and this past Friday we watched Doubt. Also very slow. The best thing to come from this movie is now Nate every once in a while will do a Meryl Streep impersonation "I HAVE DOUBTS!!" (from the end of the movie for those of you who have seen it). It makes me laugh. However, I don't think I will get to choose the movie this Friday.

5a. Meal Planning. This is still really working well for us. My day off during the week typically is a Wednesday, which is double coupon day at the grocery store! A former colleague just started a column for her local Patch all about meal planning. You can check it out here. I was gifted a Borders gift card (Thanks Brooke!) for my birthday and one of the books I ordered was Moosewood Simple Suppers due to a comment I received on one of my meal/recipe posts (Thanks Cha Cha!). I have gotten some of the Moosewood cookbooks from the library before and really liked them. I am excited to check this out.
5b. Yesterday we made dinner for Nate's fam. I decided on baked Butternut Squash risotto (America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook) and Chicken Picatta (Barefoot Contessa at Home). At the last minute, I decided to make soup as well. I have been working through the soup/stew section of the America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook on Sundays. We will typically have soup for lunch or dinner on Sunday and then I have leftovers for my lunch. The soup that was up was White Bean and Garlic Soup. I soaked the dried beans for an hour and then peeled a bunch of garlic cloves. I cooked the bacon for the garnish...yadda yadda. Generally I find that soup isn't that difficult or time consuming to make. This one did not fit that bill. It came time to eat the soup and I could have dumped a can of beans into some chicken broth and had the same result. Everyone was very gracious and ate it, but really, I am never making that soup again. This is the FIRST recipe in that cookbook that has been a FAILURE - Mom, Amanda, Jennifer take note.

6. And a funny story for you. One of my work projects has required me to go to Racine, WI. It happened that my friend, BCK, who recently moved to Calgary was going to be back in the US (SR>>The Beatles) and wanted to meet for lunch. Given my project, I coulnd't do lunch so we decided on breakfast. I am not too familar with Racine so I googled to find something close to where I needed to be and found the Milk and Honey Cafe. We agreed to meet there at 8:45. I programmed the address into my GPS and made my way to Racine. Blindly following GPS, I pulled into a pantry/liquor store at 8:30. The cafe was no where to be found. CRAP! They must have closed. I called BCK to make a new plan. CRAP! I never programmed her new number into my phone.

I had a panic attack right outside this liquor store. I called Nate...several times. No answer. I called my sister to try to get into my Gmail to find BCK's number. Given the ZILLIONS of emails I have to/from BCK, she could not find it. CRAP CRAP CRAP. I looked up and saw BCK drive past. I laid on my horn. She did not look so I sped out of the driveway to follow her. She turned into the next driveway and I threw the car in park, jumped out of my car and as I made my way over to her car I saw it.

The Milk and Honey Cafe.

I started cracking up. I will end this post with a lesson - don't let your GPS takeover your brain :)

Friday, March 4, 2011

We love striped shirts!

We hung out with my dad and his fiance last weekend when my niece announced that "Maggie and you and me match!"

Perhaps a love of striped shirts is genetic?

Apple TV

Does anyone have any experience with Apple TV?

I know you can purchase tv episodes and movies with it but can you also watch things from network websites or hulu.com on it?

For example, we sometimes watch The Office on nbc.com if we miss it's regular airing. With Apple TV, could we watch the epidsode on nbc.com (for free) on our TV and not our computer screen?

Apple TV seems too good to be true so I'm wondering if it is worth the $99.

(BTW, I did notice that I can download an app for my Ipad to be the remote for Apple TV. :) )

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Maggie loves to swim!

We have taken Maggie swimming at the Y a couple of times and she LOVES it! Her legs kick like crazy and she doesn't really mind getting splashed by the kids in the kiddie pool.

I was able to take one picture and then promptly was yelled at by the lifeguard. Apparently there is a no picture policy at the pool - who knew?


We are considering signing her up for the swimming lessons that start at 6 months old.

Cookie Goodness


I made these cookies on Sunday...and promptly ate 1 dozen of them that day. (No I am not exaggerating.)

These are a dangerous cookie, particularly if you enjoy chocolate + peanut butter.

They are also on the putzy side, which may save me because if they were quick and easy, I would make (and eat) them entirely too often.

Magic Peanut Butter Middles recipe here.

Consider yourself warned.