We Eat/She Eats & Monday Motivation

Though it took me several days to make it (for some reason it fell out of the rotation last week),  we had a real We Eat/She Eats success on Sunday night when A ate exactly what we did – organic chicken sausage (with sun dried tomato and basil) sauteed with organic zucchini and red pepper over pasta (hers was all cut into tiny bites), garnished with fresh grated Parmesan cheese.  She gobbled it up and finished it with a side of Greek yogurt with pear sauce.  She also ate a great lunch on Sunday of turkey (chopped), blueberries (diced) and cheddar cheese with a few Cheerios.  It’s really interesting to watch how much more delighted she is with more seasoned and flavorful food.  Here’s hoping we’re raising an adventurous little foodie!

In other news, T25 is still going great.  The scale still hasn’t moved much, and since balancing nursing with weight loss is such a struggle for me (I’m back at my pre-pregnancy weight, which I’ve maintained since doing Weight Watchers this past spring), I’ve decided to commit to three more months of WW to see if it can get me to my goal weight.  I went off when I traveled home to Vermont, knowing that I didn’t want to pay for two weeks during which I’d probably slide off program, but I’m ready to finish slimming down in hopes that a little less weight might ease up the last of my residual back pain.  I should note that all of these dinners are pre-tracked in my WW calculator, something that I’ve had really good success with in the past.  I tend to eat the same breakfast every day, and knowing what dinner will bring allows me to make better choices at lunch and in the early afternoon, when I tend to be most snacky.

We Eat/She Eats: Week Three

Monday:
We Eat: Grilled Chicken with Homemade BBQ Sauce, Maple Braised Carrots, Orzo
She Eats: Chicken Bits, Steamed Carrots & Chopped Orzo with Greek Yogurt & Pear Sauce if she’s still hungry after dinner

Tuesday:
We Eat: Cheese Burgers (90% lean, grass fed beef) on Sandwich Flats and Homemade, Baked Sweet Potato Fries with Watermelon
She Eats: Sautéed Ground Beef, Cheddar Cheese, Sweet Potato (Frozen), Watermelon Bits

Wednesday:
We Eat: Homemade Taco Salad: Lettuce, Tomato & Peppers Studded with Ground Beef (Homemade Spice Mix), Light Sour Cream, Avocado, Cabot Seriously Sharp Cheddar & Tortilla Chips (garnish – think croutons)
She Eats: Sautéed Ground Beef, Avocado, Watermelon Bits, Sharp Cheddar or Cottage Cheese

Thursday:
We Eat: Chicken, Sautéed and cooked in Seeds of Change Masala Sauce over Brown Rice with Broccoli and Garden Peas!
She Eats: Sautéed Chicken, Broccoli, Chopped Peas, Cottage Cheese

Friday: Possible Dinner Guests
We Eat: Homemade Pizza on the Grill – Pepperoni and Veggie
She Eats: Leftover Chicken, Leftover Broccoli, Cheese, Cheerios

What are you looking forward to cooking this week?

 

Weekend Wrap-Up

It feels sacrilegious that I’m writing our weekend wrap-up on Sunday morning, but that’s sort of how the whole weekend has felt.  We had an awesome dinner with friends on Friday night, but Jason and his mom have had to spend the entire weekend (and nearly every weekend this summer) out at his father’s house preparing it for sale (we’re under contract!), which has made for a weekend that, frankly, feels a lot like the middle of the week.  I’m not complaining, but it has lent a different feel to the days, particularly since A loves her Daddy so much.

We did sneak in a lovely dinner last night (pizza on the grill) and a quiet early evening together before A woke up for an hour.  When she did finally go down, she slept through the night for the second time ever, so this Mama’s keeping her fingers crossed that it happens again.

Since the summer is slipping away so quickly, I wanted a quick list of things that I’m hoping to accomplish this week.  Not having to drive into work should definitely help with the getting things done, but it’s also that time of the summer where I usually start devoting my mornings to lesson planning again, so we’ll see how it all goes.

  1. Put away A’s Swing.  She hasn’t used it in more than a month, but it’s still set up in her bedroom and taking up a TON of space.  We’re thinking #2 needs to wait a year or two, so it’s definitely not something I want under foot until then.
  2. Re-cord the living room entertainment system.  There are so many wires behind our bookshelves, and A has taken to trying to get them.  I also need to figure out some kind of charging station for the laptop because the old cord across the living room floor to the coffee table is an accident waiting to happen.

    I love this idea from HGTV

  3. Wash the kitchen floor.  Seriously.  Scrub it on hands and knees.  Because if A isn’t crawling on it, she’s licking it like her best friend, Abby the Dog.
  4. Find a solution to the mail on the kitchen table nightmare.  So much mail.  So little organization.  I’m thinking some sort of organizer I can hide away in my kitchen closet.  Ditto for a purse hanger.  I need somewhere other than the floor to set my handbag when I come in.
  5. Put together Katie’s Bridal Shower gift – I’ll share this one with you after her shower on August 2.
  6. I doubt I’ll get to it this week, but I bought 15 yards of fabric in April, and my living room still has the ugly Roman shades that have been up since… Jason bought the house ten years ago.

    Fabric Swatch – Waverly Swept Away

  7. Finish Week Three of T25 – Weeks 1 & 2 are complete.
  8. Keep harvesting peas.  Yesterday, I picked, shucked, prepared and froze two quarts.  All during nap time.  I’m hoping to do a Preserving the Harvest blog post on how to freeze peas that taste sweet and fresh all year long.

What are you hoping to accomplish this week?  Amelia is working hard on standing up in her crib every chance she gets!DSC_0085

We Eat/She Eats and Motivation for Monday (well… Tuesday)

We’re running a little late here because we got invited over to the neighbor’s for some playtime on the porch after our afternoon nap yesterday, but here’s your update:

Goals for the Week:

  1. Continue to eat less sugar.  We did okay last week.  Then I baked a batch of cookies.
  2. Keep pushing the water.  It’s hot and so hard to keep up with nursing A while remaining hydrated.
  3. Snack on fruits and veggies.

T25 is going great so far.  I finished week one, getting all of my workouts in and doing the Sunday Stretch workout, as well.  I feel great and my back pain finally seems to be receding.  I haven’t noticed any major movement on the scale, but I have a lot more energy and a lot of muscle to rebuild.

We Eat/She Eats

Monday:
We Ate: Tomato & Goat Cheese Bruschetta (we had both eaten really late lunches)
She Ate: Yogurt with Pear Sauce, Cheerios, Watermelon, Ground Chicken (weekend leftovers)
Tuesday:
We Eat: Grilled Rib Eye (Grass Fed), Herb Roasted Potatoes (local potatoes with herbs from our garden), Steamed Asparagus
She Eats: Ground up steak (depending on how tender the meat is), potato, steamed asparagus bits, watermelon for dessert

Wednesday: I have to work, so I’ll prep Jason and A’s dinner before I leave.
We Eat: Burger & Homemade Fries for Jason
She Eats: Sauteed Ground Beef (Grass Fed), with Fruit & Cottage Cheese

Thursday:
We Eat: Spaghetti and Meatballs (Homemade – Pioneer Woman Recipe – Frozen)
She Eats: Alphabet Pasta, Cottage Cheese, Leftover Steamed Carrots

Friday: BBQing with Friends on the Lake
We Eat: Bringing Watermelon Salad (Recipe to Come) & Italian Lemon Cake
She Eats: We’ll bring watermelon, Cheerios and Yogurt for A (and likely give her bits of chicken, as well)

Saturday:
We Eat: Sausage, Zucchini, Parmesan Cheese & Pasta
She Eats: Steamed Zucchini, Pasta, and Cottage Cheese

In the spirit of truthful reporting, we managed to follow our menu exactly last week, except for Wednesday when I had to work and I came home and made French Toast for dinner for myself, mac and cheese for Jason and pasta bits, peaches and yogurt for A.   This is the entire reason why we’re doing a freezer meal for when I work on Thursday.  Gone are the days of putting A on her play mat in the kitchen and cooking while she watched on her back.

Five for Friday

It’s been one of those weeks… I stripped our cloth diapers not once but twice; had to spend a whole day at work (blah – it’s summer!); because I went to work and A went to daycare, she was up five times on Wednesday night because she didn’t want the bottle and reverse cycled.  But A is down for a late afternoon nap and the weekend is almost here.  Here are five things I loved about today!

  1. The Weather: It’s a beautiful seventy-six degrees with a sharp breeze.  A & I spent the morning running errands and going on a coffee date with friends and then came home for a long nap.  After the nap, we went for a beautiful outdoor walk.  Hooray for a lovely, humidity free day and a super-happy, well rested baby!

    The well-rested baby in full-on crawler mode!

    The well-rested baby in full-on crawler mode!  She also stood up in her crib yesterday.  Slow down, A!

  2. My friend Lacey just had a little girl two weeks ago, so A manned her highchair, while I baked a batch of Joy the Baker’s Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies.  You’ve got to love a good excuse to bake!

    Best. Cookies. Ever.

  3. I mentioned this above in my mini rant, but after boiling and stripping with RLR the cloth diapers once again smell good as new.  As easy as the disposables were over vacation, I’m glad to have A back in her earth friendly option!  They also give her a little more padding now that she’s starting to pull up on things.
  4. The chicks are almost ready to head outside!  I know the blog has been really chicken light these days, but our little ones are just about ready to head to the hoop house – and isn’t this Mystery Chick cute?

    These are our little ones from Murray McMurray this year... including the "mystery" rooster who has a nice pair of bell bottoms!

    These are our little ones from Murray McMurray this year… including the “mystery” rooster who has a nice pair of bell bottoms!  Can you spot him?

  5. Pizza on the grill!  I just made the crust (bread flour, beer, yeast and salt) and I’m looking forward to a nice evening meal with Jason when he gets home.

    Gratuitous Rooster in Repose Shot... What chickens do on a warm, breezy day...

    Gratuitous Rooster in Repose Shot… What chickens do on a warm, breezy day…

And a final, just to be thankful thought, I made it all the way through the first week of T25 and feel great!  Looking forward to writing Monday’s post already.

We also have a garden... which Jason pretty much takes care of.  Even I'm shocked by how much we planted and how well it is doing given the fact that I spend my days chasing A instead of weeding.

We also have a garden… which Jason pretty much takes care of. Even I’m shocked by how much we planted and how well it is doing given the fact that I spend my days chasing A instead of weeding.

Have a great weekend!

The Honest Co. Diaper Review

All along, or at least since day four, we’ve been a cloth diaper family: Thirsties covers with Cloth-eze prefolds and, for nights, GMD workhorses.  We have a solid wash routine, and they work great!  However, when we were recently traveling to Vermont, my mom asked that we bring disposables.  She has a front load washer that doesn’t work great, and, honestly, I didn’t want to deal with the hassle of traveling with cloth.  It works great for home, daycare and errands, but sometimes you just want a vacation from all the laundry.

I ordered a bundle from Honest Co. using a great coupon, and scoring a month’s worth of diapers at 40% off (about $60 total).  I found that canceling the bundle (since we really don’t need a monthly diaper delivery) was easy as can be after the twenty-six minute wait on hold.  So what did we order?  A month’s supply of size three, which A had just started wearing in six different patterns; this came with four packets of wipes, and I also ordered the Honest Co. bug spray to try.

Photo Credit: Honest Company

So how did the diapers work out?  We were so impressed!  Most importantly, they caused no rash, and A seemed very comfortable in them.  The biggest problem we had is that she’s a heavy wetter overnight (she usually nurses once or twice but doesn’t want a change) and she woke up a little damp 2/14 times, but that’s looking at nearly 12 hours in a diaper.  We’ve never had leak problems with our workhorses, but they are always VERY wet first thing in the morning.

In terms of blowouts… well, there were blowouts.  A usually only poops once or twice a week (which falls into the realm of normal for breastfed babies), and every time it escaped to some degree, but I attribute most of that to quantity, and though her Thirsties have almost always contained her poop, they are a huge, contained mess.  I must admit, tossing rather than using the diaper sprayer was a nice little treat, though our Potty Pail is officially back in action.

We found the wipes to  be thick enough to handle her messes and very sensitive on our skin.

So in short: we liked the Honest Co. diapers.  They didn’t smell like plastic, didn’t cause any rash problems, and neither A nor I had any kind of allergic reaction to them.  The velcro-like tabs worked great and were easy to reapply during the first days when Jason and I were still getting used to velcro instead of snaps.  The prints are cute, and the service (though we spent a long time on the phone on hold) was great.

After a fourteen day vacation and a few days in them at home during a cloth diaper strip, we still have 2.5 bags of diapers left.  Given that she’s on the small end of size three, we are hoping they’ll get us through the remainder of our summer, and we’ll likely purchase size four for our trip home at Christmas.

Note: We purchased our diapers.  This was not a solicited review.  We are in no way affiliated with Honest Co., but we really liked their product and think it provides a great alternative for cloth diapering, earth conscious parents when cloth isn’t as convenient.

We Eat/She Eats & Monday Motivation

I haven’t talked a lot about this here, but I’ve thrown my back out twice since having A.  And I’m not talking little pull, I’m talking trip to the physical therapist with intense therapy and take home exercises.  The last time, she suggested I sharply increase my cardio and ab work, and after month of healing and increasing my fitness level, I bought T25 and spent last week doing a week of the modified program.  As such, I’m going to call this week my first week, and I’m hoping to chronicle my progress here, along with a series I’m going to call We Eat/She Eats because introducing a tiny person to solids is so much more time consuming than I expected.

Goals for the Week:

Cut out some of the sugar.  Jason has an extremely active job.  He burns calories like a machine, so he can get away with eating a lot of things that I shouldn’t (and can’t).  As such, I do a lot of baking for him.  Baking that I sometimes sample with my morning coffee.  This week, I’m trying to cut back and focus on natural sugars: fruits & veggies, using a square or two of dark chocolate for dessert.

I’m also hoping to get back to drinking water like I was before we went on vacation (for me that’s somewhere in the range of 100 – 120 ounces a day), which I desperately need to keep hydrated while nursing A in this very warm weather.

Complete Week One of T25 using only the modifications necessary to protect my back.  So far, so good – I wrapped up day one at 5:15 a.m.

We Eat/She Eats – Week One

Disclaimer: I’m NOT a doctor or dietician.  A is still primarily breastfed, and we’re feeding her along the guidelines of our pediatrician.  She has done purees successfully but now wants finger foods, so that’s where we are — tiny bite sized bits that she scoops up with great abandon.

A few notes.  We typically eat local, hormone and antibiotic free meat (much of the chicken we raise ourselves).  Veggies at this time of year come from the grocery store, but are slowly being supplemented by our garden produce.  Beyond that, while Jason & I don’t eat a totally organic diet, we do the best we can to ensure that what Amelia eats is as safe and pesticide free as possible.

Monday:
We Eat: Pre-Baked BBQ Chicken with Homemade BBQ Sauce, Boiled Sweet Potatoes, & Peas
She Eats: Bits of Chicken, Mashed Sweetie Potatoes (Sweetie Potatoes are sweet potatoes pureed with breast milk and served in little chunks on her tray), & Chopped up Peas, Cheerios

Tuesday:
We Eat: Hamburgers on Sandwich Flats with Salad
She Eats: Diced Avocado with Bananas and Cheerios, leftover Chicken if there is any

Wednesday:
We Eat: Indian Chicken (Seeds of Change Sauce) with Brown Rice and Broccoli
She Eats: Chopped up Brown Rice, Bits of Chicken, Steamed Broccoli Bits,

Thursday:
We Eat: Pork Tenderloin (Grilled or Roasted, depending on weather), Roasted Potato & Braised Carrots
She Eats: Bits of Pork Tenderloin (pureed or finely shredded), Braised Carrots, Steamed Broccoli Bits (leftovers), Cheerios

Friday:
We Eat: Homemade Veggie & Pepperoni Pizza on the Grill
She Eats: Organic Alphabet Pasta with Chicken & Sweetie Potato Puree (Freezer), Yogurt with Pear Sauce

Final Thoughts on Traveling with Tiny

After nearly 900 miles of travel in the car, a week at my parents’ home in Vermont, and one night in a hotel room, I wanted to come back to reflect on a few things we learned while traveling with A.  First and foremost, A was a rockstar when it came to travel.  She had a few rough spots (after about six hours on our initial trip to Vermont), and about twenty minutes before the end of our four hour drive to Freeport to meet Jason on Saturday, but all and all, she rode pretty comfortably.  Thank you Graco Snugride 30!

A few things that I think helped were the toys.  She had her Jellycat, whom she has had since she was two months old and a few jingle bugs.  What surprised me was that she wanted her old, familiar toys, not the new things that I’d picked up for the trip.  On the way to Vermont, we fed her at her usual intervals, and that helped until she just grew sick of the car after her second nap would have normally ended.  Going to Freeport, we were so close that we pushed it a bit to just get there in one nap since I knew it would have been way too hard to get her back into the car seat (she began to straighten her back and resist the car seat a lot more after that first long drive).

The greatest joy of the trip was that it came at exactly the time we needed to get her out of the swing and into her crib, and as long as she was in her sleep sack and rubbing her eyes, she slept like a little champ in her Pack & Play at my mom’s.  When we got home yesterday, she went down not only for a crib nap but also bed for the night without a hiccup, and I think that had a lot to do with the consistency we had to develop in Vermont because there wasn’t a swing and we were, largely, going cold turkey.  Today, I plan to disassemble her swing and store it for future use.

A, hanging out with her Go-go before bed.

A, hanging out with her Go-go before bed.

A few thoughts on successful hotel travel with tiny people:

  1. If your vacation or trip involves a lot of car travel, try to stay within walking distance of shops/restaurants/beaches.  We were lucky to secure a room at the Hilton Garden Inn in Freeport, and A was so happy to just stroll around after a long ride in her car seat.  It’s settled within two blocks of the flagship LL Bean store and has a lovely park within 200 yards for crawling and lazing about in the shade.

    In the LL Bean fish tank with her dad

    In the LL Bean fish tank with her dad

  2. The close hotel room meant that after lunch and a bit of shopping, A was able to go back to the room with me and my mom and take a much needed nap before we met Jason and some friends for dinner.  This absolutely saved us.
  3. Call ahead for early check in.  I called the hotel and talked to a lovely young woman at about 8 a.m., so they knew we might be early.  She said she couldn’t promise us anything before 3 p.m., but when we arrived at 12:30, she had our room ready and the Pack & Play pre-installed.
  4. Hotel P&P’s are okay, but not always the cleanest.  We brought our own sheets, but they didn’t fit.  A also sucked on an interior tag that I hadn’t noticed (yuck!).  Next time, I’ll check first and make sure all tags are tucked safely away!  At the end of the day, the hotel P&P was fine for one night, but I would probably bring my own for an extended hotel stay.
  5. Relax!  I spent so much time worrying about how A would do.  She  was great!  Sweet, gentle, generally awesome.  Babies are a lot more flexible than we give them credit for.

    Hanging out with the LL Bean boot

    Hanging out with the LL Bean boot

This wraps up my short series on traveling with A.  If you have any questions or other tips, please feel free to comment!

Vacation Resolutions

We’ve been with my family in Vermont for about five days, basking in the quiet of my parents’ lovely home with its wide open screen porch and glorious kitchen.  It’s been years since I’ve taken this much of a vacation, and even though it’s hard to be away from Jason, I’m happy to have a few more days of quiet left before we head home and pick up our normal everyday lives.  These last few days have, however, helped me come up with a list of summer vacation resolutions for the seven weeks A and I will still have left when we get home!

  1. Exercise More – I’ve lost the baby weight, but I want to keep toning up so I can keep up with my little crawler as she starts running.  I ordered T25 two days ago, and I’m committing to the first two rounds of it as soon as we get home.  I’ll update you with how that goes.
  2. Worry Less – I spent so much time stressing about how A was going to eat and sleep on vacation.  Realization: she’s so much more resilient than I give her credit for.
  3. Live in the Moment – The best part about A is that she’s constantly focused on the now.  And that’s how I want to live our summers together – focused on what we’re doing, now how we could be doing it better or what we should be doing next week.
  4. Have Fun!  We have a few things lined up for the rest of the summer, some super-fun and some super-tedious, but I want to make sure that regardless of what the day’s plan is, we work something joyful into it.
  5. Read more!  – I read to A all the time, but I want to be sure that I’m getting some summer reading in, too, because once work picks up again, my reading time becomes much more focused on my curriculum and less on what I’d like to be enjoying.
  6. Eat Healthier – Our garden peas are almost ready, so when we get home, we’re focusing on more garden fresh, organic fruits and veggies.

What are you resolving for these next few weeks?

A Resolves to Spend More Time Poolside

A Resolves to Spend More Time Poolside

 

Traveling with Tiny: The Drive South

So we survived the eight hour drive.  Getting up at three was hard, but we were in the car by four a.m. and A slept for the first six hours, with a brief interlude for milk and snuggles while we grabbed coffee.  The hard part came after the second nap, when she woke up, needed a bit more milk and then twenty minutes later had an epic meltdown when we couldn’t just pop her out of the car seat.  I swapped to the back seat until we got to Errol NH, and then we all took a half hour rest at the LL Cote Sports Center.  She was a little fussy after that, but we were thankfully able to clock the last hour or so of driving with Mama keeping her busy in the back seat.

The PJ’s and taggy blanket were huge hits, as were the books and toys, though she really preferred her JellyCat to pretty much everything else.  So far the Honest Co. diapers are doing great, but we haven’t had the opportunity to see if they make it through one of her blowouts (fingers crossed).  We used her Ergo and Chewbeads on a trip to Burlington, and there isn’t anything on our list that I would say hasn’t been completely useful!

DSC_0175

A’s first experience with bubbles!

Jason has already gone home, leaving A and I with a full week to spend with my mom and stepdad.   We’re lapping up the summer luxury – Mom is an awesome cook and the Vermont house has a gorgeous screened in porch and lovely backyard kiddie pool.  We’ve gone to Burlington (while Jason was still here), had a date night at the lovely Derby Village Inn, enjoyed maple soft serve and generally just loved the time away from home and our responsibilities there.

And though I was so so worried that being away from home and her swing would mean a huge change in her napping schedule, she’s transitioned seamlessly to napping in her Pack & Play, so here’s hoping we’ve jumped that hurdle for both vacation and regular nap time at home!

DSC_0180

Date night!

I hope you and your family had a great weekend!  We certainly did!

Traveling with Tiny: Final Preparations

Well, most of the bags are packed, and A is snoozing happily through her morning nap, and Mama is hoping that all of the preparations that Jason and I have put in place will make for a smooth vacation for Mama, Daddy and baby.  What is allowing us to travel so light (if two suitcases, a bag of diapers and a diaper bag is light…) are a few preparations we took on the Vermont side of things.  When we initially scheduled the visit, we planned to bring along our Pack & Play, A’s high chair (the top section that snaps off the base), and a second car seat base for my mom’s car, not to mention her stroller.  But after several long chats with my mom, we decided to take another tactic.  She emailed the girls she works with (she’s a teacher), inquiring about baby loans, and she got a great response.

My theory was that any Mama with babies past infant stage, might still have basements full of baby supplies (I know we will between A’s infanthood and #2′s (hopeful!) arrival in two years.  She was able to score a borrowed Pack & Play and the same AMAZING Graco Blossom High Chair that we use at home.  This was, of course, after I’d sent her a Fischer Price mini chair, but extra seating for tiny people is always worth having!  And after visiting a great second hand shop in Newport, she was able to score a Graco activity center and a baby pool, which will give A all sorts of options for play while Mama and Daddy head out on a much needed date night.  But what I’m most excited about?  A good friend of hers gave her a great, used jogging stroller, so we can leave our much-loved but ENORMOUS stroller at home.

Our final packing list looks a little like this:

  • Clothes for the Whole Family – Too Much to Think About
  • Four Packs of Honest Disposable Diapers (probably too many but we’ve never disposabled before and I don’t want to run out and have to buy more, when I already have them at home!)
  • Three Packs of Wipes
  • Baby Backpack – Toys & Books for the Car (see earlier post)
  • Mini Cooler of Healthy Snacks & Frozen Milk (for said date night) & Two Bottles
  • Books – Because maybe Mama will get some time to read while Grammy is playing with A!
  • Laptop & Other Electronic Junk (Cell phones, etc.)
  • One Very Excited Baby!

While I miss the days of traveling with an overnight bag and the dog (she’ll be staying with her Maine Grandmother), I can’t wait to introduce A to her Vermont family!

Yesterday, A spent the morning trying on dresses to meet her Great Pa in!  (Again, we are bringing too much clothing.)

Yesterday, A spent the morning trying on dresses to meet her Great Pa in! (Again, we are bringing too much clothing.)

The only question I have left is what am I forgetting?