Saturday, April 30, 2011

baby oatmeal

I'm not really a breakfast eater, but now that I have kids, making breakfast is kind of a requirement.

That being said, breakfast is not yet our most exciting meal of the day. Maybe one day we'll have funny face eggs, or pancakes shaped like teddy bears, but for now, there are 2 options: yogurt or oatmeal.

I love oatmeal for Luna because it is simple as sin but is still a warm breakfast. For this recipe I've used either rolled or quick oats, both work fine.



Baby Oatmeal (6 months and up)
Ingredients:
1/2 cup oats
1 cup boiling water
dash of cinnamon

- Bring cup of water with dash of cinnamon to boil in a small saucepan. Add oats, stir, cover and turn off burner. Let sit for 15 minutes.

- Serve alone or with mashed banana, applesauce, milk, blueberries, or anything else that sounds good to you.

- This is a great meal for babies learning to chew. We pureed Luna's oatmeal at first, but even without pureeing the oatmeal is soft enough to gum.

Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

wednesday random

Some random links I've been looking at the past couple of days- some serious, some seriously fun:

-Have you been hearing all the talk about food dyes lately? Here's some food for thought from Healthy Child Healthy World entitled When Food Colors our Children's Behavior. Take a look at it, especially if you have been struggling with hyperactivity, ADD/ADHD, or are worried about cancer. More reason to cook and use whole food ingredients.

my DILF
-Yeah, yeah, we've all seen/lusted after those MILFs running around out there. But what about the DILFs? Check out this website and drool.

- Fantastic interview with Ina May Gaskin, midwife and birth activist, about women of color and birth options. Reading it made me remember how relatively lucky we are here in Minnesota compared to some other states, but how far we still have to go in supporting positive, safe birth experiences and access to them for all.

- At work and need to get away for a second, even if it's a virtual vacation? Check out 10 Surreal Botanical Places from Around the World. I loved the idea of having a secret garden as a child, but these take those gardens to a whole new level.

- Finally, the weather forecast for Minneapolis, so everyone out there can see what crappy weather luck we've been having this spring. Remind me why we live here again? Sigh.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

luna update

Luna is starting to play and be curious about different toys now, so I went to Savers on Lake Street yesterday to find her some new toys. Good searching pays off- I found some really great stuff for 8 bucks:

Lamaze Pupsqueak
Manhattan Toy Sound Bug Pull String Toy
Manhattan Toy Spiral Wrap a Bug Activity Toy
Pipapo by Haba
8 bucks! I love a good score. Luna has already thrown the Haba clutching toy off the highchair twice, and played nicely with the Lamaze puppy.

Other recent Luna highlights:
- Picking up heavier toys with two hands
- Rolling from her back to her stomach (huge!)
- Lunging and grabbing for toys that she wants, rather than just staring at them
- Picking up toys while rolling on her exercise ball
- Making better transitions from kneeling to sitting to laying on stomach

My little girl works so hard! I'm really loving the peanut exercise ball that one of our therapists brought over for Luna. We bounce and dance on it, roll on it frontwards and backwards, kneel on it, twist on it... it's just great for so many things, like core and leg work. Highly recommend it for little one therapy!

What we are focusing on now:
- Taking things out of bowls or buckets
- Moving from laying down to sitting
- Holding all different types of objects

She never stops surprising me!

Playing hard on Passover

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Friday, April 22, 2011

egg-sellent!

10 things related to eggs for your Easter/Spring/Passover enjoyment!

Courtesy of Hounds in the Kitchen
1. One of my favorite new blogs is Spoonfed: Raising Kids to Think About the Food They Eat. Check out Christina's egg-speriment with using natural dyes to make easter eggs.

2. A tutorial for making natural egg dyes from What's Cooking with Kids.

3. Got a bunch of left over eggshells? Make eggshell seedlings!

4. The World's Healthiest Foods says that "Eggs are egg-ceptional foods" and I agree. Check out their nutritional profile here.


5. What to do with all those egg yolks? Make Luna Superfood for baby!


Egg Classic
6. My egg-sellent egg salad recipe:
Ingredients
4 hard boiled eggs
1 celery stalk, diced small
1 tblsp chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 spoonfuls of mayonnaise
Cayenne pepper, salt and black pepper to taste

Peel eggshells and run eggs under cold water. Mash with other ingredients. Enjoy!

Courtesy of Martha Stewart
7. Why are eggs all over the place right now? Find out what Wikipedia has to say about it here.

8. Martha Stewart is a crazy lady with some perfection issues. At least she can teach us how to make these really cool decoupage eggs from a paper napkin!

9. I really want these bento box egg molds. Why eat a boring old round egg when it can be shaped like a rabbit or a bear?!?

10. Finally, the classics. End the day with a nice long reading of Green Eggs and Ham.

Happy Spring!

Monday, April 18, 2011

monday random

Some fun things to look at as you are avoiding work, pumping, or drinking your coffee this morning:

For Passover, Quinoa is Popular, but Kosher? 
Important information for today! I'm hoping that it is- maybe it can make an appearance at our seder too, the same food every year is boring me.

Love this poster. Need to hang on ceiling to look at every morning. Or put on my wall at work.

Are you an organization freak (I have my tendencies)? Check out Things Organized Neatly for some inspiration, or just to look at their fun photos.

Finally, do you shop at Whole Foods and assume that you are buying non-GMO foods? Read this article stat!

Happy Monday!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

back to work eatin'

The count down continues... Tomorrow is Passover and then Tuesday I am back to work.

Back to the daily rush to figure out meals. On good days, I have everything figured out, or time to prep dinner in the morning. On bad days, if there's nothing in the freezer, then we either eat some crap (which the pocketbook will not allow at all for the next couple of months) or we eat at about 10:00, after baby (now babies!) is taken care of and meal is made. Not ideal.

So, I have been trying to start my work week on a good foot and get all our meals figured out ahead of time. Criteria for weekday meals:

1) Easy enough to be made or prepped by Dustin.
2) Able to be made ahead of time and frozen.
3) Can be made in 15 minutes.
4) Can be prepped in the morning.
5) Nutritious.

Meals must meet one or more of the above criteria, with #5 being the most important. Eating McDonalds every day would be easy, but then we would just get sick, and I don't have the time and energy for that. (Plus, McD's is disgusting.) It's also great when I can have leftovers for lunch the next day.

Enter the stir fry (horns bleating, drums rolling)... My best meal friend. This week we made a new stir fry that is yummy delicious and will be making a repeated performance over the next couple of months.

BEEF AND LEEK STIR FRY
Marinade: (From Rasa Malaysia)
1 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tblsp water
1 tsp rice wine, Shaoxing wine or white wine
About 1 pound of grass-fed beef cut into small strips

Ingredients:
3 carrots, sliced diagonally
2 leeks, white and light green parts sliced diagonally
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tblsp fresh minced ginger

Sauce:
1 1/2 tblsp oyster sauce
1 tblsp soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tblsp water
Pinch of red pepper flakes
3 dashes white pepper
Salt to taste

1. Marinate beef for about 30 minutes (or all day) in fridge.
2. Heat wok on high. Add about 1 tblsp oil (I use olive). Cook beef until barely red and take out.
3. Add more oil if needed. Put garlic and ginger into the wok and cook for 1 minute.
4. Return beef to wok. Add vegetables and cook until carrots are tender.
5. Add sauce and cook for 1 minute more.
6. Eat with rice (thanks sis for the supremely awesome rice cooker!) and enjoy!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

in case you forgot:





if i should have a daughter..

Beautiful expression by spoken word poet Sarah Kay:

video

*******************
On the funnier side, check out this gem from actress Tina Fey:

the mother’s prayer for its daughter - by tina fey

“First, Lord: No tattoos. May neither the Chinese symbol for truth nor Winnie-the-Pooh holding the FSU logo stain her tender haunches. May she be beautiful but not damaged, for it’s the damage that draws the creepy soccer coach’s eye, not the beauty. When the crystal meth is offered, may she remember the parents who cut her grapes in half, and stick with beer.
Lead her away from acting, but not all the way to finance - something where she can make her own hours but still feel intellectually fulfilled and get outside sometimes and not have to wear high heels. What would that be, Lord? Architecture, midwifery, golf course design? I’m asking you because if I knew, I’d be doing it, dammit.
May she play the drums to the fiery rhythm of her own hearts with the sinewy strength of her own arms, so she need not lie with drummers. Oh Lord, break the Internet forever, that she may be spared the misspelled invective of her peers and the online marketing campaign for “Rape Hostel V: Girls Just Wanna Get Stabbed.”
And when she one day turns on me and calls me a bitch in front of Hollister, give me strength, Lord, to yank her directly into a cab in front of her friends, for I will not have that nonsense. I will not have it.”

*****************
My #1 fears and hopes that I have for my daughters:
Fear #1: that they will become conservative Republicans/ Tea Party bible bangers.
Hope #1: that they will have the courage and personality to do what they are most happy doing.
I seriously hope fear #1 never happens, but knowing karma the way that I do, it is almost 100% certain that one of my children will rebel even harder and louder than I did. And what better way to shock, worry and outrage Dustin and I than falling in with Dick Cheney and Sarah Palin's crowd of crazies?

Friday, April 15, 2011

if only...

back to work

Back to work next week! I can't believe this time has gone by so fast. Granted, I took way less time with Dakota than Luna- unfortunately, the pocket book has it's own demands.

I wish I could be like this woman, Licia Ronzulli, an Italian member of the European Parliament.

On taking her newborn to work, she said:

"It was not a political gesture. It was first of all a maternal gesture—that I wanted to stay with my daughter as much as possible, and to remind people that there are women who do not have this opportunity [to bring their children to work], that we should do something to talk about this."


Thank you Licia! Although there are points when Dakota drives me crazy, I am not ready to leave her everyday for an extended period of time. She is only two months old, and still needs to be close to her mother. I wish I could bring her to work in the Moby.. Although when I visited work this week with her it really distracted the kids (I work in an elementary school). It was sweet though- kids love seeing babies!


Sigh.. maybe one day things will be different. As for now, goodbye all day cuddling, hello sad goodbyes, pumping in the conference room, and crazy daily homecomings. Sniff.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

more breastfeeding inspiration




baby event

The South Parent Advisory Council (PAC) is hosting a morning of learning this weekend:

Saturday, April 16, 2011
10 am- 12 pm
Wilder Complex- 34th and Chicago Avenue S
Enter through door #2 (on 34th Street)

10:00-11:00 Baby Brains: What's going on in there and how you can help
From the Sage Education Center, speaker Stephanie Johnson MA, DTR, LPC demonstrates how our brains develop through the movements of our bodies. Learn to recognize the movements your baby is doing and how you can support optimal brain development.

11:15-Noon Yoga and sign language for caregivers and babies
Come with or without your baby to learn yoga poses you can do together. The sign language signs related to various poses will also be taught (for example, learn to sign "Cat" and "Cow" while doing those poses). A fun way to integrate a variety of movement into your days! You may want to bring a yoga mat or towel.

No childcare provided. Babes-in-arms welcome. Free!


**************
I'm excited about this event- sounds like fun! My only decision now is who to bring- Dakota or Luna?

See you there!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

who knows best?

What do you think about this? Chicago's Little Village Academy requires students to eat the lunches that are provided by them at school. Their reasoning is that students bring junk food to school, and they want them to eat more nutritious meals.


As one parent put it, "They're saying, 'Parents don't know what's best for their children, the government does.' "As a parent, I would feel the same way. Yes, it's true, some parents don't (or can't) always provide healthy meals to their children. But does that mean that the government should just step in and take over? And how does this solve the changing of eating habits at home? I think a more effective strategy would be education for families.


I also would be interested to see what their lunches look like- if they are anything like the ones served in the Minneapolis Public Schools, then their ban is just laugh-worthy.

mmmm... mmmm??? Give me home cooked any time!

changes

Found this gem at The Chaos of Mystery blog:

Taking Care of Children - By Birth Order

Your Clothes:

1st baby: You begin wearing maternity clothes as soon as your OB/GYN confirms your pregnancy.
2nd baby: You wear your regular clothes for as long as possible.
3rd baby: Your maternity clothes ARE your regular clothes.

Preparing for the Birth:

1st baby: You practice your breathing religiously.
2nd baby: You don’t bother because you remember that last time, breathing didn’t do a thing.
3rd baby: You ask for an epidural in your eighth month.

The Layette:

1st baby: You pre-wash newborn’s clothes, color-coordinate them, and fold them neatly in the baby’s little bureau.
2nd baby: You check to make sure that the clothes are clean and discard only the ones with the darkest stains.
3rd baby: Boys can wear pink, can’t they?

Worries:

1st baby: At the first sign of distress–a whimper, a frown–you pick up the baby.
2nd baby: You pick the baby up when her wails threaten to wake your firstborn.
3rd baby: You teach your three-year-old how to rewind the mechanical swing.

Pacifier:

1st baby: If the pacifier falls on the floor, you put it away until you can go home and wash and boil it.
2nd baby: When the pacifier falls on the floor, you squirt it off with some juice from the baby’s bottle.
3rd baby: You wipe it off on your shirt and pop it back in.

Diapering:

1st baby: You change your baby’s diapers every hour, whether they need it or not.
2nd baby: You change their diaper every two to three hours, if needed.
3rd baby: You try to change their diaper before others start to complain about the smell or you see it sagging to their knees.

Activities:

1st baby: You take your infant to Baby Gymnastics, Baby Swing, and Baby Story Hour.
2nd baby: You take your infant to Baby Gymnastics.
3rd baby: You take your infant to the supermarket and the dry cleaner.

Going Out:

1st baby: The first time you leave your baby with a sitter, you call home five times.
2nd baby: Just before you walk out the door, you remember to leave a number where you can be reached.
3rd baby: You leave instructions for the sitter to call only if she sees blood.

At Home:

1st baby: You spend a good bit of every day just gazing at the baby.
2nd baby: You spend a bit of everyday watching to be sure your older child isn’t squeezing, poking, or hitting the baby.
3rd baby: You spend a little bit of every day hiding from the children.

Swallowing Coins:

1st child: When first child swallows a coin, you rush the child to the hospital and demand x-rays.
2nd child: When second child swallows a coin, you carefully watch for the coin to pass.
3rd child: When third child swallows a coin you deduct it from his allowance.

****************
As I'm reading it, I'm saying to myself Yes, yes, double triple yes! When Luna was a newborn, I was so particular about everything, especially germs. Everything was washed religiously- if something fell on the floor and touched an (invisible) piece of dust, it went in the hamper. Now things go back into the dresser unwashed if there are no visible stains or wetness. The pacifiers permanent home is on the floor- I stick it in my mouth to clean it. I also didn't leave Luna alone with even my mother until she was 3 months old. Now, with Dakota, I wish wet nurses still existed because I would gladly hire one.

Does this make me a worse mother than I was? No, just a mother who is a little more experienced and realistic.

Monday, April 11, 2011

vintage breastfeeding

vintage breastfeeding

stress

Rolling around on the web today I found this:


Perfect for me. I get stressed really easily. Lately, I tend to sit on the couch feeding Dakota, looking around the room, and thinking about all the things that I need to get done, want to get done, and am procrastinating on. Getting my crap together to go back to work. Cleaning the floor. Cleaning the kitchen. Opening mail. Making a new mobile for Dakota. And on, and on, and on. And all I can do is sit there and drive myself crazy about it, because I have a newborn and a 16 month old, and they are taking pretty much all my time and energy at the moment.

This little list just reminds me of what I already know to work- Relax, and do one thing at a time. Good. Yesterday Dustin and I cleaned out some drawers and the hallway. Something little, that had been bothering me, that took only a little bit of time, but made me feel better. Like I had accomplished something.

Today I worked on "Get enough sleep"and took a nap with Dakota instead of doing anything else. Heavenly!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

art cards

What I'm loving right now- these super cute baby flash cards that my sister got us. 6 cards- zebra, lion, monkey, parrot, snake and bear.

Dakota really likes to stare at them. I put them in her bassinet and in the diaper changer. At this point I might even paste them all over my body...

Anything that can hold her interest is Good. Great. Incredible.

Thanks sis!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

life is crazy (beautiful)

Wow.. this week has just flown by in a blur of:

Babies
Appointments
Broken sleep
Breastfeeding
Breaking points
Bonding

Babies! That was totally unintentional but very fitting.

I think this is the first week that I really have felt the impact of having two babies on our lives. The days and nights have been going non-stop. Before Dakota, we had gotten into a really nice routine with Luna that gave us plenty of quality time with her as well as quality "self" time. I knew that things would change with the second baby, but it is hard to know what something will be like until it is there.

And now it is. And it is nuts. "Self" time is non-existant. As is sleep.

Part of it is probably the fact that Dakota was going through a growth spurt this week and wanted to eat non-stop. Luckily this has mellowed out over the past day or so... I also got Scrabble on my Kindle which gives me something fun to do while feeding her other than watching bad TV. (You can play 2 player too, and Dustin is consistently kicking my ass. I blame it on pregnancy.) Dakota loves to be held constantly too- I realized today that the Moby is my best friend.

Luna also has a lot of appointments- doctors, therapy, classes.. This week it was every morning. She and I go to her Wednesday class without Daddy and Dakota- it's nice to have some bonding time for just us, since I feel like I spend way less quality time with her since new baby has arrived.

There have been some breaking points too- trying to keep the big picture in mind and not get too stressed out when Dakota wants to feed for the fiftieth time in fifty hours. Remembering that playing with Luna is not something that I need to do because I should, but because I want to and I love it.

At least the weather has kicked in! We have been out in our fabulous stroller every day rolling around the neighborhood. We definitely have the most styling stroller out there, by far! :) Dakota has also started smiling more, which makes it all worth it.

So, in recap, life has gotten really nuts. Trying to focus on the beauty in it.

Luna working on her kneeling skills.
Hello beautiful!
Having fun.

Friday, April 1, 2011

questions- rhetorical and non

Why is Dakota eating non-stop and still acting like it's not enough?

Shouldn't a 5 week old baby sleep a little more than this?

Is it bad to compare my babies actions to a crackhead or a chicken?

Do you think she'll remember me calling her "devil child" at some point early this morning?

Even now, as she's sleeping, why does it seem like she's monitoring me, waiting for the moment that I decide to try to sleep, so that she can wake up and demand to feed again?

If she's sleeping, then why am I wasting time being here awake?

Why are you looking at me when you should be FEEDING ME, lady that gives me milk?!?
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