Wednesday, June 25, 2014

10 Months

Wow, we are so close to the one year mark! Crazy. I don't have my 10 month pictures done yet, things have been quite the blur.  What is new at this stage? Hm. One thing I LOVE is that John "plays cars." He will push around a car (or train...or computer mouse) like a car the way that we do when we show him how to play with it. SO CUTE.  And tonight on the way home from church he was trying to whistle. I'm definitely going to need to get a video of that.  He would make noise some of the time along with the whistle face.  

Here is what I resorted to  one morning when I REALLY needed a shower. Baby Genius (netflix) in the bathroom. Klassy.
 Office shenanigans - he plays in my office often during the day (supervised by Zach) but I do take pictures when I can. Here is is pushing that cart all through the house. (Zach has to steer it.)
 Another day he helped himself to the office supply drawer. Thanks for reminding me where my pens are, buddy!
 Most of the time he sits here and plays with this Infantino shape sorter castle and those stacking/nested cups in the background.  This castle = amazing. He plays with it so much!!!  He can't get the shapes through their right section yet so he mostly enjoys taking them all out of the castle and clapping them together. There are also 3-4 people that sit on the top of the castle he likes to gnaw on.
 On a recent trip to my Grandma's house, I took a nap and came out later to John eating dog food.  At least 6 other adults in the house and none of them watching John. Oh well. Well worth the visit to see my Grandpa, who passed away the day after this visit.  He was such, such, such a special man who loved his family and loved reading this blog, and deserves more than just a sentence here which I will try to post soon. Miss you, Grandpa!
I'm not sure what John weighs these days, but tonight he felt like a total chunk and the scale hit 20 pounds. Just last week it was 17 and some change, so I don't know if it was a fluke or big growth spurt or the fact that he pigged out on dinner the last two nights. I just moved him up to 9 month clothes because I noticed his pants were starting to flood a bit.  

John is ALMOST sleeping through the night, still getting a dream feed but we are slowly reducing the quantity of that, working towards dropping that feed as well. He usually takes 2 solid naps a day, although the last week or two he has REALLY fought actually going to sleep. Painful on the ears, I tell ya! He has 3 teeth and is probably going to cut the fourth by tomorrow. I can see it through the gum.
That's about it. We have been really super busy and I am looking forward to a break. Which will last maybe 2 weeks and then turn super busy again. Sigh.

Question: Sports theme or Uno theme for first birthday? I spent $5 on clearance stuff and got napkins, cups, plates, and a banner - all sports. But then Zach suggested an Uno card onesie for his birthday shirt...which also has some great potential (and leads into a Draw Two theme next year! hah!) Thoughts?

Tuesday, June 10, 2014


I've been intending this post for a while but I keep forgetting what I actually like and don't like, so I'm going to try to hit the high points! I love posts like this from others because I am always getting ideas on great products.  Sorry I am not including pictures. I'll post a bunch of John at the end.

My Top 3 favorites for Feeding:
Reusable Feeding Pouches: I use these at home for faster feeding, and for drinking water.  John will eat anything out of a pouch, except that one awful oatmeal time.
THESE BIBS! Seriously. Bumkins. Machine washable and don't melt in the dryer like *ahem* some of our other ones did. Yes, we mostly just rinse them off for reuse. But sometimes they're just nasty and you don't want to deal with that. I think we have 4-5 plus 4 other bibs and they all seem to get used pretty regularly.
Travel Placemats: I first discovered these at  Chick-Fil-A where they give them out. Perfect for any unnamed child who likes chewing on and licking tabletops. Yes, you can wipe it down and no, I am not afraid of germs. Just lazy. And he likes them.

My top 3 favorites for newborn:
Amazon Prime. Because you aren't getting to Target in the next 3 days.  Ok, this one doesn't count.
Swaddle Sacks. We got ours at a kids consignment store. Sleeping perfection.
These books. We are still getting daily use out of these books (except the one I lost on a plane. sad.) Seriously John loves these!!!
Snap and Go Stroller.  We borrowed a Snap and Go and used it for the first 6 months, until John couldn't stand not seeing anything from his carseat anymore.  You can get them pretty cheap used, too.  This eliminated a need for a bulky stroller when we were already carrying around a bulky carseat. (did great through the airport too.) Then we moved right into Umbrella Stroller territory, even though John was a little too small.  We were eventually given a larger (normal?) stroller that IS nice - full recline, etc - but is too heavy to be carting in and out of the car. We use it on walks around the neighborhood.

Things I wish I knew back then:
1. There are more baby carriers than an Ergo. Ergo is great and simple, but it is not the only choice out there. Also, there is a sport Ergo that is a more lightweight fabric that I wish I had! If I were to have another Ergo, that is.
2.  Babies may be picky about bottles, but if you start them on one a day early, MOST babies probably won't be. So pick one that matches your breast pump so you can pump right in the bottle (if you aren't going to store in bags, which are so messy to pour one handed.) This eliminates one container to wash. Yay.
3. Reading about pregnancy during pregnancy is fine. But you should probably read a bit about parenting/babies because they're going to be a lot larger phase of your life. I didn't read any parenting/sleep/baby books until the 9th month (and only because someone told me.) Then I read BabyWise and thought it was the ONLY way a baby could sleep through the night...wrong. Anyhow there are LOADS of resources out there (Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child is good) and it would be wise to read a coupe and then make your own opinions!!!  Now I'm lucky if I remember to google which month it is in terms of developmental progress for John.

Onto the pictures as promised.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Travelling Tot

We've been on many a trip with the babe now, and I want to remember what ages are best for travel.

5 weeks - weekend trip to a friend's house - I packed my entire CRV full for just John and myself for 2  nights.  But we survived! 3.5 hours away, I drove while he slept.

9 weeks - 1 week trip to my parent's house in Sacramento. We drove the 6.5 hours, stopping twice to feed him along the way. At that point, he was taking an hour to nurse, so I pumped while my mom gave him a bottle.  I warmed the previous bottle in the car before each stop with my Medela microwave steamer bags and a carafe of hot water.  He mostly slept the entire drive. We repeated the same steps on the way back.  I packed less this time, and seemed to survive.  I had his travel sleeper and the pack and play so he could lay in it away from the dogs. He hated the pack and play that trip.

10 weeks - 3 day road trip with mostly driving each day.  I scaled back John's things to a diaper bag, one shoulder bag, and his sleeping case. (here but it used to be a fraction of that price!)  He slept most of the drives, but the difference this time was each time he nursed, we tried to look at interesting things for a bit afterwards - i.e. stopped at a restaurant, another time at Hearst Castle, etc.  By this trip my MIL had recommended to only let him nurse 5-10 minutes per side so that became faster and less messy than dealing with a pump and a bottle.

3 Months - airplane trip. This was a fantastic time for this sort of trip. He was young enough to sleep on us whenever he needed a nap.  He was young enough that a handful of toys were interesting for the entire trip.  He would sit on our lap at the table, etc, but not grab at anything.  Yet he still had at least a solid hour or more of awake time per cycle to enjoy with all the folks we were visiting.

4 Months - Christmas and a week plus driving trip up North. I don't remember much about this trip, except stopping somewhere strange to nurse in the parking lot and then taking John into Walmart for some stimulation. And finishing my stocking stuffer shopping while we were in there.  We broke up the driving into a lot of segments with visits in between so it wasn't too bad.  I was really sick in December so I don't remember much from this trip because I was always sleeping.  We had to fit presents in the car so we really scaled back on what we "needed" to bring.

6 months - another week up North, driving.  This time I drove up myself - the first 4.5 hour leg after John went to bed one night, and the second 1.5 hour leg the next day. This worked fine but a late night 4.5 hour drive with no pit stops is NOT easy. Dark chocolate!  On this trip, John slept wonderfully in the pack and play and actually began to take naps on his own.

8 months - another week North, this one the torture one. John screamed most of every leg of the drive both ways, no matter how I timed it.  Like at 6 months, he slept in the pack and play except could never sleep in the mornings. Wakeups at all ungodly hours of the morning.  I don't know why he wouldn't go back to sleep.  We brought a lot of toys this time and he was very mobile.

Summary:  Trips under the 4 month mark are my favorite so far, with 3 months being the best!  I never want to road trip during the 7-10  month stage again. But we have some more trips coming up, so it could get worse before it gets better!!!

So there...when to travel with your baby, the not-so-condensed version.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Another perspective.

I realize last week I posted mostly difficult parts of a day with John.  Just in case the internet still exists in 15 years and he googles this blog and hates me for that post, I want to try to redeem myself.

Yes, he is a total bundle of energy. But he is a happy bundle of energy. Lots of smiles. And lately a lot of funny faces too.

Oh and he loves seeing himself on my phone. Nothing cheers him up like a good selfie!  I've noticed diaper changes are a bit more manageable if I pay a little more attention to him before I start, and sing Twinkle Twinkle the whole time.  We had some company over and went out to eat twice and he was a gem at the restaurants (and mall) both times.  He is easy to please and loves to laugh. So there. Yes days are crazy. But a fun crazy, mostly.  And we are (dare I say it) on a decent routine with 2 naps a day and a 7pm bedtime.  He still eats at 10:30ish but we seem to have finally cut out the other middle of the night feed - yay! And there is a top tooth just days from showing!

Ok, I hope I've redeemed myself!

Thursday, June 5, 2014


Ok everyone. You have to try this new cookie recipe. I do love chocolate chip cookies. But I am a little bit of a snob about them - both Zach and I avoid store bought cookies.  It's actually a great diet - only eat sweets you make - haha.

Anyhow, someone on Pinterest posted "chewiest cookies ever" and I had to try. Until about a year ago, my cookies were frequently flat and a little more crispy than I would like. I discovered this link, and realized I was not generous enough with my flour.  So I upped my flour and got slightly taller, or at least not flat, cookies.  Now keep in mind, we aren't too picky about our cookies. If any actually make it to the baking stage, that is pretty decent. And if I overcook mine too much, I just toss an apple slice into the cookie jar and they soften right back up.  However, I do take the time if I'm baking for others to try and let the cookies chill overnight. According to the cookie baking geniuses, this is a valuable step. If you can stand the wait.

I digress.

So someone pinned "chewiest cookies ever" and I took the bait and discovered Sally.  These cookies really are amazing. But because you use melted butter, you have to take that "chill overnight" business seriously, and just eat dough when you make them. But it is worth it.  I've found these are super simple to make - I melt my butter in my 4 cup Pyrex and use that to mix my wet items. Then I prep the dry ingredients in my mixing bowl. Normally I don't take the time to do the dry ingredients thoroughly mixed together in advance and whatnot, but I do for this recipe since it doesn't cost me an extra dirty bowl.

I'm not going to be some crazy food blogger and tell you I "tweaked" the recipe and now call it my own. I changed nothing.  Except the baking part.  Sally suggests large scoops and shaping them into towers for the ultimate tall chewy cookie. I agree with this, but haven't really taken the time to do that.  My only modification is to chill the dough in a 1.5-2 inch tall rectangle shape (like the shape of store bought cookie dough.)  That way when the dough is cold the next day, you aren't trying to scoop it out of the bowl and shape it. I just cut the dough into rectangles and maybe ball them up a little bit.

And now onto the amazing droid photos. (Not.)
Fancy chopped chilled dough.

Final cookie. Tall(er) for once!
So that's it...try it and tell me if you like it!  Or - what is your favorite go-to recipe?
The link again: