Thursday, January 30, 2014

Happy Birthday Dad!

Last weekend we threw my dad a surprise party! He literally had no idea it was coming and we had so much fun celebrating him…

We ate & drank:

Then my cousin and I hosted a special "old person trivia" game where we asked questions about current events in the years my dad was born/was in high school, etc. (We made Rob announce us as Patricia Sajak and Alexis Trebek and wore these mustaches…and I talked into a fake microphone…which all obviously makes total sense) 

If someone shouted out a right answer they got a "Steve coin" and whoever had the most at the end of the game won!

The winner of old person trivia won some things old people might like, like a heating pad and some sugar free hard candies….they were thrilled.

Then we had to put the mustache on the baby….

There was cake

and blowing out candles:

and present opening:

and of course, family pictures! 

Sorry family, this is what you get for being related for an internet superstar….your silly photo on the internets :)

Happy Birthday Dad!!! I love you!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Baby Finger Foods

I really enjoyed reading about what other babies were eating when Hannah was first starting solids, so I thought I would do a little post on what she's eating now that she's 11 months old and has a couple months of eating under her belt!

I wrote about the semi baby led weaning approach we took here and about my favorite baby food tools here. And even though we don't do purees at all anymore, we still use those little containers & the banana saver on a daily basis.. We also still regularly use the steam basket. I am really starting to learn how to effectively use the freezer, which I never really have before, besides food that comes frozen or freezing raw meat, so that's been really helpful!

Let me start off by saying that my favorite way to feed Hannah is to just share what we're having with her in some way. In the above picture for lunch I was having a grilled cheese with tomato and so she had the same thing! A piece of whole wheat bread with a piece of cheddar melted on top and tomato on the side. We also split a clementine, which we are both obsessed with :)

This night we were having wild rice with chicken and peas mixed in and she had the same… admittedly some things are much messier than others :)

If we have tacos I usually make her a plate of avocado, ground turkey, tomato & shredded cheese….which is one of her (and our) favorite meals! 
This night she also had some homemade cinnamon apple sauce.

If we have spaghetti and meat sauce, depending on the occasion, she'll just have it as we are having it only cut up small….or I'll take some noodles and meat out before adding the sauce if we don't have time for the extensive clean up sauce can involve :) One night she had a piece of lasagna that rivaled the size of mine…this girl loves her some italian food!

Speaking of pasta…it is one of those things I was talking about above with freezing. I took some extra noodles and put them my handy little containers and froze them for later use when i needed a side. This meal we were having chili, so I pulled some beans out before dumping them in the chili and defrosted a side of macaroni for about a minute in the microwave and added it along with some peas and fresh blueberries with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese on the top.

This night we were having roasted potatoes, roasted cauliflower and breaded chicken thighs…so she had the same!

One of my favorite things to make her because she loves it and it's so good for her (and easily digestible!) is winter squash. I will roast an entire squash (acorn, butternut, etc)-  the good thing is you can usually find really small ones, roast the entire thing, cut it up in bite size pieces and freeze individual portions…again in my green sprouts containers. An acorn squash roasting smells like cookies being baked! So much delicious natural sugars in them. Hannah adores squash of all kinds. This night she had some slow cooker chicken and black beans (that we used as taco filling), a half a slice of whole wheat toast, some acorn squash, peas and some red pepper leftover from dinner the night before that I cut up and saved for her.

This night looks like it was roasted potatoes, blueberries, acorn squash, peas and cheese

Here is a lunch of tomatoes, shredded cheese, peas, apples and turkey.

And peanut butter toast with red peppers and roasted butternut squash

This day we went to a crab party and she ate crab faster than I could get it out of the shell for her…she enjoyed the crab with the rest of the party food including broccoli salad, fruit salad, etc.

Over Thanksgiving/Christmas I never packed anything for her (except for this little high chair which literally goes everywhere with us!)…she just ate what the rest of us were eating. On Thanksgiving she feasted on turkey, corn, peas, mashed potatoes, mushrooms, rolls, stuffing…. and same with Christmas. When she tastes something new that is particularly delicious she always gives me a big "mmmmmmm!"

Our doctor mentioned to us that a lot of time breast fed babies don't get enough iron. So this was my attempt to get some spinach in her…which was a big fail, not because she didn't like it but because it's hard to pick up spinach! It stuck to her tray and got all over the place and was a big pain in the butt…and is one of the things on Maggie's (extremely) short list that she is not interested in soooo….

Enter the green smoothie. This particular one is an apple, a banana and lots of fresh greens (either spinach or kale) and some water blended up in my beloved Vitamix . I either make one and we share it…or I give her some and store the rest in a glass jar in the fridge..

She LOVES them.

Another thing I make and freeze are these awesome whole wheat carrot and applesauce muffins.
Except I make them into baby size mini muffins

I throw them into a gallon size ziplock bag and freeze them and they thaw in the microwave in about 10 seconds. Most mornings she has one or two of these with a banana for breakfast.

A few things we also love that I didn't really talk about are:
  • Those little sargento cheese sticks…so great to grab for on the go
  • blueberries…you don't have to cup up an entire piece of fruit..just what you need!
  • Steamed cut up carrots frozen in my little containers
  • Tofu
  • Sweet potato fries
  • cheerios
  • quinoa
  • avocado (the harder ones are not as delicious but so much less messy!)
  • Bites of whatever I'm eating..even if it's spicy chili or indian food…
So far she hasn't turned away from anything…seriously….. the other day I was having a (virgin) bloody mary (aka just some spicy tomato juice with horseradish, worcestershire and tabasco) as an afternoon snack and she wouldn't stop asking for a sip so I gave her one and got an "mmmmm"…. so maybe she will be my little spicy lover. The one thing she will not eat no matter how I prepare them….eggs.. not a fan. I'll wait a few weeks and try again but on those mornings the dog gets a feast…interesting that's the one thing she's decided not to eat.

I'm sure I will think of a million things I've missed and so maybe there will be a part two!
I hope this has helped people in some way. Leave a comment with delicious baby finger foods I might have missed!

Friday, January 10, 2014

11 Months Old

Whoa whoa whoa…when did this happen? Our baby is 11 months old. In one month from today she will be a YEAR old. I can hardly believe it!!

She is into EVERYTHING and we final got around to baby proofing our house with cabinet locks and baby gates. Nothing in the world is more fun than opening a cabinet and throwing every bit of its contents onto the floor, obviously..

She is constantly pointing all the time at everything so I spend most of my time explaining, "yes, that's maggie" "that's a window" "that's daddy" "that's the ceiling" I love when I say a phrase and it's obvious that she understands it… so much going on in that little head! 

She pulls up on everything and cruises around the table/couch/our legs/ the kitchen and her crawl is lightening speed. Not sure when she will make the leap to unassisted walking…  She can take her time as far as I'm concerned :)

This is my favorite age so far (although I think I've thought that about every age we've been through) - her personality is starting to shine through so much. I love learning what makes her laugh, what makes her mad and how she reacts in all kind of new situations. I love that every time music starts playing, even on some random commercial in the other room she starts smiling and dancing.

Happy 11 months baby girl!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

2013 Christmas Re-Cap

I know Christmas has been over for a while now, but I thought my first post back after quite a hiatus, would be a little picture heavy Christmas re-cap. I'll touch on all the big points of our holiday season.

The closing on our new house ended up getting pushed back 5 days giving us exactly 2 days rather than the week we intended to move into our new house. However being the Christmas enthusiast (or crazy lady- you pick) I am, I still insisted the tree be up and decorated the day after and a week later we still  hosted a baby friendly daytime Christmas shindig. It was hectic but worth it and so much fun.

I hung whatever Christmas things I could find on whatever nails the previous owners left in the wall. ha

Holiday food is the best kind of food.

Coolest babies in town!

We also set up a little makeshift photo booth with some craft paper, a tripod and some Christmas props…

They all turned out sooooo cute! Here are a couple :)

It was also Hannah's first trip to visit Santa! Rob and I talked for days about what we thought she would do when she met him…she is generally pretty easy going about letting strangers hold her and new people….so we thought she might yank his beard or try to take off his hat or something but neither of us guessed she would cry…well apparently her lack of stranger danger doesn't apply to men with crazy facial hair who try to hold you while your parents take pictures….

Not having it.

She wouldn't even look at him. It was hilarious.

This is the best we could do.

Rob's parents were in town for a week and we tried to pack in some Christmas activities like visiting the Trains, making Christmas cookies

and building a gingerbread house!

I had fun trying to spend as much QT with this girl as I could

Christmas Eve we went to my cousin's house and had some good old fashioned Christmas fun…

Cutest strangle ever :)

both grandpas!
All the "kids" on my mom's side :)
Christmas morning was lots of fun too… I made a giant breakfast casserole and some cinnamon buns and coffee and everyone came over ready to dig into the presents!

And this little girl made out like a bandit and got more toys and books than she knows what to do with!! She has been having fun exploring all her new toys……and this chair….well she spends more time sitting in this chair than she spends doing pretty much anything else…so I would say the chair was a hit! She loves climbing in and out (and in and out and in and out) of it for now...

Later that day we headed over to the country to spend some time with my Dad's side of the family.

Babies Played

Tweens were pinned down and breathed on (apparently hypercolor shirts are BACK!)

and Rob somehow kicked some serious butt in one direction trivia

All in all it was a great Christmas!! Here is a copy of our Christmas card this year…complete with the Christmas photo shoot we staged before our big move….what a fun year it's been!!

And the second annual Christmas Eve Video for your viewing enjoyment .
Happy 2014! 

Christmas 2013 from Jen Eisenstein on Vimeo.