Wednesday, November 30, 2011

New Trick

Oh yeah - and here is Clara's newest trick -

The kid is a monkey! Our kitchen chairs now sit on the kitchen table unless our butts are in them.

Clara. Lately.

Every day I am astounded at how much Clara grows and changes. It seems in the last few weeks she has thrown all “baby-ness” away and is full on toddler. She has been sleeping like a rockstar lately (which I realize I just jinxed…) and Paul and I are VERY thankful!

Her vocabulary continues to grow and now she will repeat most of the things you tell her. Cookie seems to be her favorite word lately and she knows EXACTLY what it means! She sings the ABC’s and knows the EIEEIO part of Old McDonald has a farm… it goes like this:

Me: Old McDonald had a farm….
Clara: E-I-Yo!
Me: and on that farm he had a puppy…
Clara: E-I-Yo!

…and anytime you say “Puppy”, you usually get a “woof, woof” too 

Last night she was playing with her toys and I mentioned taking a bath. She dropped what she was doing, marched right to the bathroom door and tried to take her shirt off. Apparently, she wanted a bath!

She is also starting to get picky about her clothes (already… ugh…) I tried to put some shoes on her the other day, and she grabbed her foot and firmly told me “No mommy!”. So I grabbed another pair, and she held out her foot. I guess those are the ones she wanted!

She loves to “haul” things… she will grab any large box or toy and tow it to another part of the house. We have a large penguin that keeps showing up in odd places! The other night she pushed a tote of toys into the living room, climbed in, and then threw the toys out.

The girl LOVES to be outside in the chicken coop, shed, and barn. On Friday, mid-clothes change, she bolted for the front door, plopped a hat on her head, and waited to go outside… in just a diaper. So funny and cute, but she was NOT happy when I told her she couldn’t go out.

I am excited for Christmas this year to see if she will actually be interested in opening gifts this year. I’m still on the look-out for a Christmas dress for her too. Hopefully I will find something soon!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Thanksgiving and a Wedding!

It’s hard to believe the long Thanksgiving break from work is already over! Those 4 days blasted by, but we were pretty busy.

Thanksgiving Day we found ourselves at my cousin’s home in a nearby town. It was a small group, but the food and conversation were both great! The weather was gorgeous, so when we got home Paul headed out to start putting up the Christmas lights.

The rest of our weekend was taken up by the wedding of my close friend from high school and college roommate, Sarah. On Friday I headed to the reception site to help set-up and decorate. I ended up putting together all the centerpieces, which were barn-board boxes with arrangements of dried grasses, grains, and berries. No pics of course, but you all shouldn’t be surprised by that! That evening we had the rehearsal at our church. Clara liked walking down the aisle with the couples and standing up front next to mommy! The rehearsal dinner was at Sarah’s childhood farm in the shed. It was very low-key and fun! Clara especially enjoyed climbing on the snowmobiles in the shed!

Saturday morning was filled with beautiful dresses, pictures, ouchy shoes, music, party bus, drinks, food, dancing, and more dancing! My feet and legs still hurt! It was a beautiful day and I am so happy for Sarah and her groom KC! I will post some pics of the day if I find some, since I took 1 whole photo the whole day!

Here is a pic from my wedding of Lisa, Sarah, and I taken at my wedding in 2006. The 3 of us have been close friends since our freshman year of college in 2000.

This is the only picture I have from the wedding this weekend! It is the 3 of us again, at Sarah’s wedding.

Hopefully sometime in the next few years I can post one from Lisa’s wedding! (no pressure Nate...:))

Busy weekend, but so worth it. Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving as well!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

{Almost} Wordless Wednesday

This is what happens when you leave your iphone on the couch, with the camera app open...

Absolutely LOVE these shots!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Making Homemade Babyfood - My Experience

A friend of mine has a 2-month old and posed a question on facebook about making baby food. My head started spinning about how to answer her question, so I just decided to do this post about it. (Thanks for the inspiration Mandy!) I'm not an expert by any means... this was just my experience.

We started feeding Clara rice cereal at 6 months per the recommendation of our pediatrician. As you can read about in this post, she wasn’t ready at 6 months. My best recollection is that she really started doing OK with the solids at about 7 months. We started with rice cereal, then rice with a little fruit mixed in, than purees.

I made 99% of the purees that Clara ate. I bought a few Target-brand baby food containers for when we were traveling or out and about because they were just easier. I found it to be a major money saver. Since Clara started eating purees in the middle of winter, I couldn’t just go out and pick something out of the garden for her, so I had to purchase the veggies and fruits we used. I bought frozen veggies for $.88 a bag at Aldi and whatever fruit was on sale that month, paying only $.60/lb usually. I had honeycrisp and SweeTango apples coming out of my ears, so I had loads of those for free. I pureed everything using my $12 stick or immersion blender which worked wonderfully! No need to buy another piece of expensive “baby” equipment to do the job.

I froze everything in ice cube trays because they are usually 1 oz per cube. 1 bag of veggies would make at least 1 tray of cubes. For less than $7, I could usually make enough food to last more than a month. The Target brand food was $1.09 for 2. So at 2 containers a day, it would have been close to $30 for the month with purchased food.

I looked for inspiration on the Wholesome BabyFood website, and found TONS of useful information there. I didn’t really make any “recipes”. I made all of my cubes using single veggies/fruits, and then just used 2 or 3 different cubes when making up her bowl for the meal. That way I wasn’t stuck with a bunch of cubes that she didn’t like.

I really enjoyed making Clara’s food and will admit being a bit addicted to the stick blender… I was almost sad when she moved on to table food at 9 months. But for the 2 months she ate purees, it was fun! I plan to make food for Baby #2, when that day arrives.

Some other things to consider are what your daycare will be using. If your daycare provides food, you may want to just use that since you’re paying for it anyway. Our babysitter didn’t provide food, so we sent purees every day. It might not be worth it to make purees for the few meals your child will eat at home.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Must have been a rough night...

Happy "Owl"aween!

To further indulge my current obsession with owls, I made an owl costume for Clara for Halloween. She was a pretty cute owl, if I do say so myself!

We put on a lot of miles for Halloween, but when you live in the country and have family in 2 different towns... it happens.

I picked up Clara after daycare and headed to Zumbrota to visit my parents and hopefully catch a glimpse of my nephews and niece. My sister's current obsession is PBR Bull Riding... so she worked long and hard on these ADORABLE bull-riding costumes. They are seriously the cutest bull riders EVER! And they know their stuff - Colby is riding "Asteroid", and Chase is riding "Bushwhacker" - names of actually PBR bulls!

After lots of pictures, playing in the gravel and leaves, and lots of hugs and kisses from grandma and grandpa, we headed to Lake City to pick up Paul and do a little trick-or-treating. Clara fell asleep on the drive there, so she was pretty shy and out of it when we got to Washington Street. The businesses on Washington Street dress up and hand out candy for the kids. Since we live in the country and don't really have a neighborhood to trick-or-treat in, this was a lot of fun. We know many of the business owners from our involvement with the Chamber of Commerce, so it was fun to show-off Clara a little too :).

And seriously, with all the work that went in to that costume, I was definitely going to make sure more than just the grandparents got to see it!

We made a few more stops in town to some of Paul's co-workers homes, then headed to Great-Grandma's, and finally Paul's parents. Clara even went trick-or-treating in the barn to see grandpa.

By 8:30pm, we were all bushed from the running around, had some pizza for supper and hit the hay. Not bad for our first "real" Halloween adventure!