Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Adventures in Baby Food: Pears

Well, this adventure did not turn out as well as the apples one did. That is ok though! The process for pears was similar to applesauce. The only thing different was that I did not need to cook the pears.

I started with 8 ripe pears. Cut 'em up, put them in the food processor and "pureed" them... Well, I ended up with what I am calling "pear-sauce". I have no idea why they didn't puree smoothly. They are nowhere near like the baby pears from the store! I will use even riper pears next time I think and see what happens.

I figure this "pear-sauce" is still pears, still nutritious for Amelia and she likes applesauce so why not try "pear-sauce"? I hope she eats it! I splurged and got her organic pears from Whole Foods, so if she doesn't like "pear-sauce" it will be a bit more money wasted...but again, it's pears, she likes pears...she also likes applesauce, so she SHOULD like this, right?

Anyways, I didn't take pictures through the whole process this time since it was virtually identical to making applesauce but here is what I ended up with:


I put a few servings aside in baby food jars, as I did with the applesauce, to use tomorrow and Friday. I will have to let you all know how the "pear-sauce" goes over with the princess...

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Kindness of Strangers

I'll start out by saying that this has been a long weekend and today, in particular, has been very difficult for me.

I left for work this morning and headed towards downtown. This morning was the Susan B Komen "Race for the Cure", so to be pro-active about my commute I skipped driving on the lakefront. It was a good idea in theory and I will never know which way would have been faster at this point... I was detoured once because of work on a lift bridge (over the Milwaukee River), hit every red light, had to stop and wait for another lift bridge to go up and allow 4 sailboats to pass and then there was no parking anywhere near the theatre. I was ten minutes late for work despite leaving earlier than I normally would have, to make up for the extra time it takes to go through downtown.

After I left work I headed home, again through downtown, and had to wait at the same lift bridge for more sailboats! Once I got home I saw Jason for a few minutes and then he left for work. Amelia was napping and once she got up I fed her some apples and then got her ready for church in an effort to save time later.

I got ready for a run. We needed formula and also a few more things of pears. We use store bought for the first four days of every food. After those four days, if there are no problems, I will make them. No need to make a bunch of something she could be allergic to! Anyways, we left and it was very, very gloomy out. I decided to take a chance and took off running towards Target. Wouldn't you know it started to rain on us? We got there, soaked. Well, I was soaked and the blankets covering Amelia were soaked (she was dry as a bone).

We barely made it to church. Once there I gave Amelia an "orange card" (where people write in concerns, questions etc) as I always do. She loves to play with them. A simple piece of paper is sometimes the best toy. Well, today I looked down at it and a huge piece of it was missing. I did not find it on floor or anywhere near us and I panicked. I brought her into the hall and started hitting her back. Then I opened her mouth and was eventually able to pull out a huge, wet ball of orange paper. I don't think orange cards will be entertainment for her anymore!

During the service she was loud and very squirmy. I took her upstairs to change her and she proceeded to urinate all over herself, her new diaper I had set aside and the church changing table. I got her changed into another clean diaper and a onesie, cleaned the table up and decided to leave her up there since there was only one kid up there tonight. One of the girls that was up there (Michelle) tonight I know pretty well and I felt comfortable leaving her with Michelle. I went back up at the end of the service to find Amelia playing with a toy :) She wouldn't even look up to my voice she was so fascinated with the toy!

Anyways, the point of all of this. Today when I was leaving Target a woman saw me getting Amelia all bundled and asked if I needed help. I said no and she asked if I was worried the rain would start again. I told her I just lived 1.5 miles away and I thought I might be able to make it. She offered me her umbrella, just to have in case. I declined, but I still think it was very nice of her to offer. Not a lot of people would have even said hello or looked at Amelia and I.

Then tonight when I was walking to my car after church, a man on his porch saw Amelia and I and commented about her being underdressed. I explained that I had her in appropriate clothes but had to change her into this spare onesie because she had an accident. He offered to go in the house and get me a blanket or towel for her. I once again declined because my car was literally two driveways away.

It was just nice today to have people reaching out even though I didn't know them. I must have had this look to me that said "I am exhausted and nothing is going right today!".

Mother-Daughter Morning

This morning (well, actually, it is after midnight, so yesterday morning) Amelia and I ran errands together. We got up and she had her first taste of pears...which went well. She likes her fruits! After her breakfast we got ready to leave the house.

First we went to UWM so I could photocopy some reading for class Monday. We don't buy all the required texts (either for reason of cost or reason of availability of the text) so most classes have books "on reserve". I have four chapters from two books to read for my graduate course out of books on reserve. I opted to photocopy them to bring home because reading in the library with a very active 7 month-old seems problematic to me. I will need to get that done tomorrow night, no questions asked...she is expecting us to give oral reports on what we read (vs the usual typed papers on everything we read). I would much rather write a paper (I never though the day would come when I would say that!).

Once we left campus Amelia and I grabbed some fast food for a snack because I was starved. In my hurry to get Amelia ready and get her fed, I never ate. After my snack we headed to the laundromat (my work clothes were in desperate need of washing). It was the first time I had ever done laundry without Jason (he was working brunch). I amused myself by using the timer to take pictures of Amelia and I. We got a couple keepers, like this one (note my new glasses):


I had some trouble getting her to look at the camera. Remember, when the orange light goes on on the camera, she does that goofy, scrunched smile. Well, when the timer is counting down that orange light flashes for every second. We were on a ten-second self-timer, so she scrunched up, ready for a picture for about the first two seconds. Then she would get all confused and start looking around. It was fun. I am sure the people in there thought we were weirdos :)

Amelia likes the laundromat. Here she is watching our clothes be washed:


She is bent over like that because she discovered that on the tile floor she could push herself. I would sit her up, normal, and then by the time I got the camera ready she had pushed herself back and was enjoying "the show" bent over.

I was hoping Amelia would take a nap during at least part of our laundromat visit but there were two very loud and active kids there, running and screaming the whole time. Once I tired of playing with the camera self-timer Amelia hung out in her carseat. She would lift her legs and slam them down over and over and at one point she had moved herself into the middle of the room. I see what they mean about warning parents about putting those carseats on elevated surfaces! Had she been on a counter, she would have fell and she wasn't strapped in! Here she is being a good girl in her seat:



Tonight marked my second shift working the Milwaukee Film Festival. Once again there was a movie being screened that I wanted to see :( Every film I want to catch is on a day that I am available to work! Isn't that the way it always goes? The following is a list of some of the films I would like to see from the festival. This list is a virtual list to myself, so that I have somewhere to reference in the future (I will lose a post-it with movie names on it in about 2 hours. This is more finite):

Waterlife
No Impact Man
Seraphine
North Face

I am sure there are more that I have already forgotten, so I might have to add to the list over the next few days. We were able to watch last night's feature (Modus Operandi) in the comfort of our own home :) It was made by a local filmaker and he had copies available. I texted Jason and told him that and he said to pick one up. No sense in us missing everything from the festival, especially when I work at one of the venues!

I had better head to bed because I open in the morning. I am just not that tired yet though! Hope everyone is having a good weekend :)

Thursday, September 24, 2009

A Lot of Random Stuff

This post will probably be all over the place, sorry. I just have a lot of things I'd like to share and there is no theme to them at all and no particular order to them.

WACKY HOUSE:

This is a house that is in Cudahy, which us just south of Bay View. We stumbled upon it some time ago but this week we happened to have the camera with us! Can you imagine living next to this house?:







SHE'S ON THE MOVE:

video

Amelia seems to have her own crawl, an Army-type crawl. This is how she gets around the house these days, much to my dismay. We are looking into a baby gate already, to keep her out of the hallway that leads to the bathroom, kitchen and stairwell.

MAM NEWS:

Tomorrow is opening day of the Milwaukee Art Museum's (MAM) newest exhibition, Andy Warhol, the Late Years. Today was member preview day but we didn't make it.

In honor of this weekends Susan B Komen 5K race, MAM dyed their fountains pink! It is pretty neat. Here are some pictures (it has been really cloudy and gloomy, so the pictures aren't great, but you get the idea!):





MOM'S GROUP:

Tuesday this week was the first meeting of the mom's small group at Epikos. It was myself and 4 other moms. Our kids range in age from 5 weeks to 3 years. Amelia stayed at home with Jason because I ran out of time to get her ready to go. Next week I will try harder to bring her so she can socialize with the other babies. There are two 4-month-olds, Stella and Josiah, that I think she might be pretty interested in. The 2 and 3-year-old girls might also be pretty interested in her :)

I had a good time getting to know the other moms. We met for almost 2 hours but normally it will only be about an hour, maybe an hour and fifteen minutes. We will be talking about exactly what is talked about on Sundays in church (Ezra) and so will the other small groups. I think it will be nice to get to know some other moms. Maybe eventually we will have "playdates".

SNEAKING A PEEK:

Amelia is getting smarter and smarter... When she wants out of her crib this is what she does now:




When one of us walks in, she lets go of the bumper (usually) and starts talking to us, in a very excited way. It's pretty cute.

SPOTLIGHT ON LUCKY:

Lucky had his second birthday on September 16th :) He is quite annoying a lot of the time (especially when it is bedtime) but we love him dearly. There is not another cat as affectionate as he is with EVERYONE he meets. Here he is on his new blanket from my sister:


PILLOW PETS:


I just think these are the cutest thing. We got these at the MN State Fair. They are pillows that fold up into animals when you are not using them. The larger one (moose) is for our couch. My mom got it for me and brought it down last weekend. The smaller one is a wolf and it is for Amelia. Once the time comes for her to have a pillow in her bed, that will be it!

FIRST COLD:

Amelia is sick for the first time. Tuesday night she had a hard time falling asleep Jason said and she had the sniffles. Wednesday she was all congested when I left for school. Jason picked me up, I dropped him at work and when I got home I found a very sad baby in the backseat. She had her first true "blowout" (ie- the contents of her diaper were all over her and her carseat). I know most other people have "blowouts" often, but this is honestly the first time we have had one. We have had leaks here and there a few times, but nothing like this before.

Anyways, I got her cleaned up, went to draw a bath for her and she went to the bathroom again. So I then had a baby, her clothes, a carseat and a changing table to clean up. Joy.

I started to realize how sick she was feeling at this point and I was cursing myself for not picking up Johnson & Johnson's "Calming Vapor Bath" months ago. I saw it and thought, "hm, I may need that one day". I decided I'd get it when that "one day came". It came and I had to then run to the store and I got the very last bottle on the shelf (thankfully). I also picked up saline drops for her nose and a Vick's Vaporizer and some VapoSteam.

When I called the pediatrician, the nurse told me to put a vaporizer in her room. I assumed she meant to use the medicine in it too. Well, maybe not. The bottle said "ask a doctor for children uner 2". I took one look at Amelia and knew she needed something. I put in under half the recommended amount and kept the vaporizer in her doorway, this way the Vick's VapoSteam wouldn't be overpowering (as we all know it can be, Vick's is a strong scent!) but it would be there.
*From reading on the Internet, the only reason I could find posted for babies not using Vicks was because the smell often burns the eyes of infants. (well, also, the Vicks that you rub on your chest is too strong for babies, but that is not what I have been using with Amelia. You just add VapoSteam to the water in the vaporizer) I figured if that happened, I would adjust from there. I also figured if that was the only reason they don't recommend it for babies, I would try it out. It did not happen and I think it worked wonders on her, so I would not tell another mom not to try it. I would recommend using a very small amount though and keeping it away from the crib.

I absolutely made the right decision! Amelia is still a little stuffed up but she is feeling MUCH better. She was her normal self, rolling and scooting all over the place, talking and laughing. I have the vaporizer running again tonight, with a smaller amount of the VapoSteam stuff, and think I may have Jason hook it up again tomorrow night while I am at work.

And hey, if/when Jason or I get sick this winter, this Vick's Vaporizer with VapoSteam will be wonderful I think!

...Some people say that babies get runny noses when they are teething. Maybe that is the reason for all this trouble? The doctor told me it could be, but to treat it as an illness and call today if Amelia was worse. Only time will tell if there is a tooth on it's way :)

MILWAUKEE FILM FESTIVAL:

Today marks the start of the Milwaukee Film Festival! Last year there was no festival because the group that put it on (Milwaukee International Film) fell apart (basically because of politics...) and the new group (Milwaukee Film), formed of many of the same members, didn't have time to get a festival put together.

I stopped in there this evening to pick up my work schedule and man does the place look different! The next week and a half are going to be crazy around there... There are some films I would like to see but they fall on all the days that I am available to work :(

You can go here for a complete listing of the films being shown, if you are interested.

PICTURES:

Lastly, here are some pictures from today:



Adventures in Baby Food: Applesauce

This morning I made my first batch of baby food for Miss Amelia. I made her applesauce. I started out with ten gala apples:


I peeled them and cut them up. (I dropped one apple into the garbage during this process, woops) I then placed them in a pot full of water to boil them:


I boiled them until they were fork-tender. I then placed them into the food processor:


(thanks for getting this for us mom and dad, it made this a breeze!)

Once the apples were pureed, I put half into a bowl and added the leftover water from boiling to the other half. I ran that through the processor one more time until the applesauce was to the consistency I wanted. Then I repeated this with the other half of the pureed apples:


When I was finished I put the applesauce into ice cube trays and put 4 servings into re-used baby food containers for tomorrow and Saturday:


Later this evening, I put the frozen applesauce cubes into a storage container:


From what I have read, a typical serving will be two cubes. So, including the servings in the fridge, I got about 20 servings of apples out of 9 apples. The entire process took me just over an hour with most of the time spent peeling and slicing the apples. Next time I will get Jason to help and we can probably shave about twenty minutess off of the process!

I can't wait to make more foods for her! Making our own baby food is going to save us so much money and it feels good to be making our own food for Amelia.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Catching Up

This month is FLYING by. I can't believe that it is almost October! I have been very busy this month, so far, and I anticipate I will be very busy for the next twelve weeks (ie- until graduation). I miss (sometimes deliberately) phone calls a lot lately. Usually it is because I am in the middle of something, or I just finished something and just want to sit down or I just plain can't talk (for a variety of reasons). So, I am going to take some time tonight and catch everyone (well, everyone who reads this) up on what's going on around here since I just cannot spend the time calling people. In all honesty, aside from quick calls to my mom I will probably not be able to return phone calls until Wednesday, at the earliest.

Let's see, my last post was Thursday. Friday I worked,as usual, and my parents arrived in Milwaukee not too long after I got off work. There is not a lot to tell about Friday night aside from we welcomed visitors. Amelia was ready for a nap after being up for only a few hours on Saturday morning. I had to get ready to leave, so I crossed my fingers and laid her on a blanket and I got lucky, she stayed asleep! Lucky even joined her on the blanket:


(her eyes are slits, like in this picture, when she sleeps. It is strange and sometimes freaks me out)

Saturday morning Amelia impressed my parents and I by sitting on her own extremely well! She can usually do it, leaning forward, but it never lasts too long. Saturday morning it lasted long enough to get the camera and snap a picture with her still very upright:


Saturday morning my parents and I went to Bayshore Town Center (basically, an outdoor mall). I had to get my sunglasses and eyeglasses adjusted (both sat on my face just terribly). While we were there we were discussing eye exams and how I had not had one in four years, so the girl told us that she could get us in that afternoon. We walked around for a bit and then I went in for my appointment. My eyesight has not changed much in four years, which is great! I did get new glasses though. I was kinda let down when they said they'd be ready in 7-10 days (vs the one hour I have waited for most other pairs). Oh well, I am getting better lenses than I usually get, so it should be worth the wait :)

Once we got home from Bayshore we did a little more sitting:


Here she is mid-fall-over, sporting her "camera smile" (the smile she makes when she sees the orange light on the camera shining):


I headed into work Saturday evening and my parents walked down to the Bay View Bash after Amelia was in bed. They didn't stay long, they just sort of passed through it on their evening walk.

This morning (Sunday) Amelia was very interested in Grandpa's coffee...she almost looked like she was asking permission to have some:


She sucked on the edge of the cup for awhile (and I think some actual coffee may have splashed her little lips...):


She kept pulling away from it and then immediately wanted to suck on it again. Maybe the smell of fresh coffee was just too much for her? She still wanted it though, badly! Perhaps we should have named her Lorelai after all? (some of you will get that and laugh)

Once we were all ready we went to the Pancake House for breakfast. I was a little sad, they aren't offering their pumpkin pancakes yet...I guess I will just have to go back :) Here is Amelia and her grandparents at breakfast this morning:


After we ate we stopped at the Public Market on our way home. None of us had ever been there and we wanted to just check it out. There was a lot of neat stuff in there! My mom and I tried root beer custard and it was good! My dad had key lime, which my mom said tasted better. We saw watermelon after we had paid and everything, I am getting that next time (if they have it)!

My parents left this afternoon. After they left Amelia and I ran to Target to get her some more prunes. She ate all of the ones we had, mixed in with her cereal, so it was time to get more. Prunes must be popular, there were only 3 packages left out of all the brands! We will continue to buy prunes because we just aren't sure how to make our own own baby prunes. Amelia has grown to love prunes! When we got home I fed her some, without cereal this time, and she ate the entire "tub"! (to me a tub=one of the containers from a double pack of Gerber foods).

While I was at Target I also picked up Huggies "Pure & Natural" diapers. Her butt is SO much better then it was a couple of weeks ago. I am hoping that these diapers will help keep it that way! We have not had the best luck with Huggies (they never fit her little body well) so I got a size larger than she would wear this time. I think that might do it. They just seem too small on her when they are the "right" size.

This weekend Amelia showed an extreme interest in computers. She was relentless at getting at my mom's while she was on it! While I was making my usual rounds through Target I saw a "Baby Learning Laptop". It was on sale which I took to mean, Amelia needs it! It is a little obnoxious but she seemed to enjoy it! Here are some pictures of her with her new toy:


This evening, Amelia was playing on the floor by herself and I looked over and she was up on all fours for the first time! I grabbed the camera, turned it on, pushed the button and it didn't take a picture :( Instead it took a video :) Here it is, so you can all see this milestone Amelia has now reached:

video

I have one more video that I wanted to post of Amelia at breakfast, but it takes so long to upload them and then it squishes everything together and I have to go back through and space stuff out so it posts right and I just don't have the time to do that right now. Keep an eye out for it though, if I need a quick post one day I can start that upload, walk away, and come back and hit "publish"!

I REALLY need to get to some other things now. I have homework and would like to pick up around here a bit. I also have a Redbox movie, Sunshine Cleaning, that I still have not watched. I want to watch it before Tuesday (which would mark one week of having it in the DVD player). Hopefully everyone had a good weekend too!


ps- thanks for all the comments lately everyone! It is encouraging to get feedback on this. It reminds me that there are people out there checking in on us :)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Second Food: Prunes

This morning it was finally time to try another food! Amelia has had some constipation problems since starting "solids" because she refuses to drink water, so she is getting a little dehydrated. The doctor suggested we try prunes or applesauce for her next food. We got both and this morning gave her some prunes.

Here are some pictures Jason took while I was feeding Amelia:


We also took a video of some of the faces she was making:

video

This afternoon Amelia and I went to Sarah's parents house in Brookfield so Sarah's mom could meet Amelia. They got Amelia a really neat doll:


It is a little "advanced" for her at this point. It will help her learn to button things, once the doll's coat is unbuttoned there is also a zipper for her to practice with. There is also a part that will help her learn to tie things and another to practice fastening things. For now it is just a doll to her though :)

Once we were back home I tried with the prunes again. This time I mixed it in with some rice cereal and Miss Amelia had two full servings and another half serving! She liked it much better this way :) I will mix them again tomorrow, with a bit more prunes in it each time until she can eat just plain ol' prunes.

My parents are coming in tomorrow night so I really need to get back to picking this place up. For those of you who know me well, you know that I was a NEAT FREAK. Times have changed and I am more "relaxed", as Jason would say. So, that means that when we are expecting someone I actually NEED to clean. I just wanted to take a break to blog since I have been posting less and less this month. Sorry! School is keeping me busy already :)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Family Photo Shoot

This morning we all headed to Sears for our first photo shoot as a family! We had the first appointment of the day and they didn't have another one until three hours later, so we got to take our time!

We ended up going with a photo package that came with the full rights to our images. We got the image CD right away today, which I wasn't expecting (ah, the wonders of technology), so I am able to share some of the pictures with you all! All together we got 107 images (several of most poses, with different enhancements on them) on the CD.

Anyways, here is a sampling of our pictures from today:
















Now family, when viewing these pictures, please keep in mind that we have already done some things with these pictures for gifts for you all! Be patient! And you can always get any pictures from us (in the future) because we do have the rights to them all :)

All in all we had a good experience today! We ended up being there for 4 hours, eek! It was a much longer process than we anticipated but it was nice not being rushed because of other people's appointments! We are thinking we may go back and do a Christmas photo now...we'll see :)