Sunday, August 29, 2010

Big Girl Food Revisited

You may recall LE's first experience with rice cereal. She cried, threw her head to the side, and arched her back to get away. The first attempt at putting a spoon towards her mouth ended up with her hitting the spoon to the floor. In other words, it didn't go very well.

When Susie visited shortly thereafter, she gave it a go with LE. Once again, LE was not a fan. Then, I tried giving her the cereal every few days for about 2 weeks and could only get about four spoonfuls shoved into her mouth before she went back to the same antics from the first attempt.

I took a week hiatus, and with a little adjustments to the preparation of the cereal, we tried again. This time, lo and behold, she opened her mouth for the spoon and willingly took a bite. What just happened!? Thinking it was my imagination, I prepared the spoon with another scoop of slop cereal, and she opened her mouth again. She liked it! By the end, we both needed a bath, but it was well worth it. It's amazing how proud I was of her.

For the record, LE was 5 months and 6 days old.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Grandparent Invasions!

We... or should I just say LE... have had a lot of visitors this month! John's dad, Joe, came up the last weekend of July. He stayed just for one night in Madison, but we managed to pull together marvelous grilled pork chops with a bourbon cream sauce, roasted new potatoes, and caprese salad. Yum!

I think LE was getting hungry. 
Check out the serious bed head.
Mmm! I love Sun Chips!
Ok, really I just love that the bag is so incredibly l  o  u  d!
(P.S. Check out the drool.) 

Reading with Dad...
Snuggles with Mom

Then John's mom, Susie, came to visit the weekend of August 13th. We cooked roasted chicken with rice and lemon cabbage, ate some pizza and gelato at a cute place in Middleton, shopped at the Farmer's Market around the Capitol on Saturday morning, went to church, and had a couple of friends over for dinner on Sunday night. Susie made "easy" beef burritos, I made mojitos, and our guests brought a corn side salad with bacon (way to John's heart) and delicious homemade bread. It was a packed weekend!

I think this was while Susie and I were slaving away.
Susie gave LE a bath.
Not sure you can scrub the curls out.
Then my dad came twice in August. He was in town for work the weekend of August 8th and then again this past weekend. We picked him up from the Milwaukee airport, ate in the Historical 3rd Ward, took a quick tour of Epic's new buildings, and went to church. Oh, I can't forget to mention that we also ate watermelon on the front porch and had brownies with vanilla ice cream for dinner. 

LE and I dropped Dad off at his parents' house in Roscoe on Sunday afternoon so that he and Grandpa could head up to the BMW festival at Elkhart Lake this week. Dad's going to be back this Friday.

Little fishy pjs are from LE's Nanny (aka Janet)

Singing opera-style

It's been a fun and busy month! The only grandparent we didn't get to see this month was Janet. LE misses you! 

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Unexpected Visit to Wisconsin

One of my close friends from SMU-- Courtney-- sent me a text on Sunday to say that she was in Wisconsin for a conference until Thursday. I rearranged my schedule for the week, and LE and I drove up to La Crosse to see her on Tuesday afternoon. We stayed the night with Court and then headed back to Madison on Wednesday morning after breakfast. What a great surprise!

Despite getting her shots the day before, LE was a sweet girl all evening and even though she still woke up every two hours at night, she didn't wake Courtney. Even in the almost 3 hour car ride there and back, she did nothing but play with her toy bird and sleep. She was a great travel buddy.

We stopped on the way back because I heard some action coming from her diaper region. She ended up having to get a baby wipes bath and changed clothes because she peed on the changing table when I took her diaper off. The paper towels that I used to protect her from the table didn't end up protecting the table from her! Gross.

At Buzzard Bill's for dinner

Big eyes!
A little while after dinner, we got ice cream walked along the Mississippi.
Thankfully it wasn't buggy though it was quite humid.
(Look at how blonde LE's hair is getting.)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Big Girl Food

We were given permission to start LE on rice cereal mixed with breastmilk.

Hi! Let's try this.
First spoonful!
That wasn't so bad.
Wait, on second thought...

Monday, August 9, 2010

Best Day of My Life

That's what LE would have said yesterday if she could talk.  She didn't fuss at all and was super smiley with great-Grandma, great-Grandpa, and GBob (or whatever my dad will end up having her call him).  I really think it was the best day of her life, which is a weird thing to say without it being hyperbole.

Today was pretty good, too, but I was bound to change that! I'll show you, LE! She had her 4 month check-up. She's technically closer to 5 months but who's counting? She showed off her smiles to the doctor and nurses all the way up until she got her immunizations. She cried during the shots, but as soon as I picked her up and put her pacifier in her mouth, she cuddled right up in my neck. Both nurses commented on how sweet that was. I'm happy LE is a snuggly baby.

Soo... The doctor said everything looks great. LE is 14lbs, which puts her at the 50th percentile for her age. She's in the 50th percentile for head size, but she's slightly above the 75th percentile for height. She's perfect!

LE has graduated to getting to start eating rice cereal mixed in with milk. We attempted that tonight, and I'll post about it when I load the photos on the computer. To sum it up in two words: not happy.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

How to Make Your Trip to Sam's Club Last Longer Than Necessary

Sam's Club is open to everyone this weekend-- not just members. Given that I hadn't been there in about 15 years, I thought I'd go check it out. I went with a vague idea of what I'd buy, but I was open to getting other items if it was a good deal and something we generally use already. I probably would have been duped to buying more than I did had I not had a great understanding of how much things cost when not in bulk. The majority of what I consume was not a good deal there.

I must admit, the store was a little overwhelming and exciting. I don't know why seeing oversized condiments made me want to buy them (I resisted.). At first I felt like it was almost a race. Clearly, if I didn't get to each aisle faster than the other people in the store, everything would be gone! The adrenaline settled after I got to the packaged junk food aisle, which is when I started to get a little disgusted by the idea of people buying pounds of crap for their homes. I can absolutely see how people who have a different perspective on food, larger refrigerators, and bigger families can get carried away with buying stuff there. I don't think I'll ever need to get to that point unless I'm stocking a vending machine or catering a very large party.

So, you may wonder, 'How can I stretch out my Sam's Club experience as long as possible?' Just follow these simple tips:

  1. Arrive to Sam's 30 minutes before they open. That way, you have too much time to sit around and wait yet too little time to go home. It will feel like your time there was 30 minutes longer, even though you didn't step foot in the building yet.
  2. Wait in line at the front desk like the old lady at the door tells you to do so that you can get a guest card for the day. Then have the desk clerk tell you those passes aren't necessary this weekend.
  3. Walk up and down every aisle of the store, pausing at potential purchases to divide the cost by pound, box, or standard serving size to verify whether they really are a deal.
  4. Choose a check out lane with only one person in it, but--this is key--be sure that person is buying over $1000 worth of food and needs it sorted a special way. Bonus: the cashier tells you it's the largest purchase he's ever checked out.
  5. Let someone who is just buying 2 items skip ahead in line, even if you just have about 10 items.
  6. Take the shorter distance home as long as construction makes it one lane and an oversized farm tractor is leading the way. This will add at least 10 minutes to your total shopping trip.
If you follow those simple steps, you're guaranteed to spend at least twice as long grocery shopping. In all seriousness, it really wasn't bad. People were friendly, the store wasn't crowded since it just opened, and LE didn't fuss one bit.  Can't ask for much more than that.

First Kiss

LE had her first kiss on Thursday. Sure, she's been kissed a thousand times by her relatives, but this kiss was by a boy just two years older than her, on her mouth, twice. Cade has blonde curly hair and blue eyes. He and LE have the same hat except his is blue and hers is yellow. He's part of the group that meets on Thursdays, but this past Thursday, both his mom and I decided to not join the group, and we ended up at the same place.

I held LE's waist so that she could stand in front of Cade. He said, "Hug," and gave LE a big yet gentle hug around her neck. Then, without asking if I thought it'd be ok for LE to get her first kiss at 4 months and 14 days, he gave her a sweet smooch right on the lips. And then again.

LE didn't respond; she just stood there with a blank stare. I thought for sure that she'd try to eat his face the way she tries to eat anything that comes within a 6 inch radius of her body.  Maybe she was in shock. Or maybe she was just smitten.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

New Obsession

A couple of Saturdays ago, I stumbled upon America's Test Kitchen on PBS. The show speaks to my inner geek by including the why's behind the recipes. They'll say what they tried and didn't work (so I know not to substitute something), the science behind why the recipe works, product reviews, and always the "best" way to cook whatever it is they are making.

After watching, oh, I don't know... 10 or so episodes... I decided to attempt a couple of the recipes: Hungarian Beef Stew and Almost No-Knead Bread. John and I were both pleasantly surprised by the results, especially with the bread. It was the first time I have tried to make bread, and I'm ready to go back for round two. The process may require quite a bit of time, but most of it is hands off, easy, delicious, healthier than store bought, cheaper than store bought, and good results are surprisingly satisfying.