Friday, June 29, 2012

Swim Team

In honor of the Olympic trials going on this week and Harry's first swim, I thought it would be appropriate to share some of my swim team photos.

I bet you didn't know I was a collegiate athlete! My freshman year of college I joined the swim team on a whim, I had never swam competitively before that. Stephens College was a NCAA Division III school at that point, and athletics weren't a top priority at the school.

I mainly competed in the backstroke, but I'm pretty sure I did a freestyle medley once or twice. The breaststroke was really fun to do in practice, however I hated the butterfly, that stroke is so hard! I definitely wasn't the best swimmer but I had a lot of fun and was awarded the Most Improved Swimmer at the end of the season.

My sophomore year Stephens joined the NAIA and I was given a swimming scholarship (it wasn't much at all), but I turned it down to focus on other activities like residence life and my sorority.

While my athletic career was short lived I really enjoyed it. Sometimes I wish I would have accepted the scholarship and continued, but I really enjoyed my other activities in college and it would have been really hard to keep up with everything along with you know.... studying.

I wore a nose plug thingy because I can't stand getting water in my nose!

Fluff Envy

Yesterday Harry and I met up with some friends at Fluff Envy, a cloth diaper store in South Elgin. One of my friends bought one of my cloth diapers that didn't fit Harry very well so of course I had to get something to replace it!

A new Tots Bots AIO diaper! I purchased the Enormous Turnip print from their new fairy tales line. It's too cute. I am currently obsessed with finding a London Tots Bots, but they seem to be sold out everywhere Stateside :(. Along with the diaper I got two lollidoo organic inserts on sale and a mini jar of CJ's BUTTer in the Monkey Farts sent (it smells soooooo good!).

I really liked Fluff Envy. They have a great selection of cloth diapering stuff and other green products. I just wish it didn't take us over a half hour to get there. But, it's probably for the best that it isn't super close so I'm not tempted to go shopping every week!

After Fluff Envy we went to the mall to hang out. We chilled at the food court for a bit, all our babies had such a fun time interacting! Unfortunately the mall didn't seem to care that it was 100 degrees out and the air conditioning was basically non-existent.

On our way home I was driving through a large construction zone and Harry started screaming. Like absolute gut-wrenching screams. Because we were in a construction area I couldn't pull over anywhere to see what was wrong. At one point we were at a standstill on the road, it was awful. I was trying to console him as much as I could from the driver's seat, but it didn't work much. I even started crying a little because I felt so bad. By the time we got to an area where I could have pulled over he had cried himself to sleep. Poor guy.

Despite the blasting air conditioning the whole ride Harry was extremely sweaty when we got home. I stripped him down to his diaper and cooled him off with a wet washcloth.

Look how red his little cheekys were!

Happy Friday! I had a great Flashback Friday post in mind for today but I'm not sure if I'll be able to get to it. The pictures are in one of my old scrapbooks, and it's hard to find time during the day when Harry is content by himself for a few minutes. I'll get to it at some point!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

We Just Lowered His Crib...

And he's not even standing...

Looks like we're going to have to lower it again soon. Harry still hasn't mastered sitting up from lying down, so he can't get into this position all by himself.... yet. Just a matter of time I'm sure!

If you're in the Midwest I hope you stay cool today! Weather reports are calling for 100+ degrees today, yikes! Harry and I are meeting up with some moms and babies at a local cloth diaper store today, so hopefully he won't get too worn out being outside a little.

And thank you to all my new subscribers and for all the comments this week from the Comments Challenge! I've been bad about responding to them, but I have read them all and will try to respond soon. Harry is not content to sit still any more so my days are becoming increasingly busy!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Baby's First Swim

Yesterday we took Harry swimming for the first time! Our condo complex has a small pool that we've been wanting to try out. Harry loves bath time so we had a feeling he'd feel right at home in the pool.

Rockin' the shades

The pool isn't heated so the water was really cold! Surprisingly Harry didn't mind it at all. He was a little apprensive of the pool at first, but after a half hour in the water he was lovin' it.

Hi Mom!

He even got to the point where he was laughing and kicking his legs around.

We all had a great time and plan on making it over to the pool a couple mornings a week.

In case you were wondering...Harry is wearing iPlay swimwear... reusable swim diaper, swim shirt and sun hat. If you're interested in iPlay swimwear, be sure to check out their size chart. The brand runs really small, Harry is in the 12 month size! To keep him floating we put him in the My Baby Float.

And, Harry can now give kisses! Very slobbery, open mouth kisses! Pretty much the most adorable thing ever. Here's another picture from yesterday. I gave Harry some finger foods and Pearl wanted to see what he was doing. They were staring at each other for a bit, but of course as soon as I grabbed my camera Pearl looked away. Just my luck.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Spice It Up For Baby

I have a super-unscientific theory: Picky eaters are made, not born. Well, to some extent anyways. I'm sure genetics play some role in what a person does and doesn't like, but I think their parents play an even bigger role.

I was a very picky eater growing up, partially because I wasn't given a large variety of foods when I was really young (my family lived outside the US until I was four, so that probably made it more difficult for my parents to find appropriate foods for me). I'm still not the most adventurous eater, but in the last few years I've tried things I never would have even in college (pine nuts, lobster, duck and hummus just to name a few). I also used to only like bland food. Garlic was the only flavor I'd eat. I still love garlic, but I've been experimenting with different herbs and spices in the kitchen, and I love it!

So my point is, start early with giving your babies flavor. Regardless of if you start with purees or finger foods (also called baby lead weaning), it's really easy to entice baby's taste buds with herbs and spices. I started adding spices to Harry's purees right when he turned seven months old. We haven't been doing it long, but so far so good! He has really enjoyed all the different flavors we've introduced, and hopefully I'm setting him up for a bland food-free life.

So far Harry's tried cinnamon, nutmeg, oregano, garlic and thyme. I'm not sure what he's enjoyed most, but he hasn't reacted unfavorably to any of them.

Here are some things to keep in mind when introducing herbs and spices in to your baby's diet.

  • Wait to introduce herbs and spices until your baby is more comfortable eating. Wholesome Baby Food recommends waiting until eight months for herbs and spices. We started at seven months and have no problems. 
  • Introduce one herb or spice at a time. Wait the typical three to four days in between new flavors to easily pinpoint any adverse reactions.
  • Start small. Just a pinch per ounce will dramatically change the flavor of the puree (or finger food) for your baby. As baby warms up to the flavor you can add more.
  • Stay away from added sugar or salt, both can be bad for baby. Be mindful of some spice mixes that might include either sugar or salt.
  • Herbs and spices can be added to both store bought and homemade purees (and some finger foods). If you make your purees store them without adding the herbs and spices so you can customize the flavor with different flavors.
  • Introduce and encourage your baby to love the herbs and spices you love. That might sound a little selfish, but if you don't like curry I don't really see the point in introducing it unless you're fine with making separate dishes with curry in it for the next 18 years.
 Also, don't be afraid to mix and match! After baby has tried a couple different flavors, mix them together! Harry loves zucchini puree and yesterday he had it with oregano, thyme and garlic. He also enjoys butternut squash, pears and apples with both nutmeg and cinnamon.

One last thing, keep it fun! If your baby doesn't like something, don't push it. Doing so can create a negative association with food for baby. Try the herb or spice again in a few days, baby might like it the second time around.

Comment Challenge
This week I'm taking part in the 3rd annual Comment Challenge hosted by Jenna's Journey. Check out her blog and link up! You're supposed to do a post every day this week and then comment on other bloggers who also linked up. Kind of a fun way to discover new bloggers, right?

Question of the day:

What's your favorite herb or spice?
As I said above, mine is garlic, I add it to just about everything I cook. Last summer I discovered Lighthouse Freeze Dried Garlic, it's the best! I crush it up into a fine powder and add it to Harry's purees.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Another Photo Shoot

I'm getting more comfortable with my DSLR and have started playing around with more of the settings on manual. It's still a bit intimidating, but not as scary as it used to be.

On Friday Harry and I were playing in his room and I brought out my camera to see what kind of shots I could get. I think they turned out pretty nice!

Don't mine my smudged makeup

Harry's one drooly boy

One very drooly boy!

You can see both little toothies here!

These aren't great pictures, but I think they're adorable. You can really see how gentle Pearl is with him.

If you're my Facebook friend you might have seen my status on Friday night... Harry sleeping on his tummy! Yep, my tummy time-hater fell asleep on his front side. After I noticed it I was checking on him every 20 minutes! He actually rolled over on to his back after just a few hours. He did the exact same thing last night, too! Crazy boy :)

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Strawberry Festival

Yesterday Ant woke me up by asking if I wanted to go to the Long Grove Strawberry Festival. Sure, why not! We packed up and got to the festival around 12:30.

I must have been the only person in the Chicago area to have never heard of this festival, it was packed! I'd never been to Long Grove either, but I had heard that it was a very cute and old-fashioned looking town. The festival took over the entire downtown area, which is so freaking adorable!

As far as foods go, there isn't much I hate more than strawberries. I loathe them. So I was a bit nervous that there wasn't going to be much for me to enjoy, but there were plenty of non-strawberry related foods. We were both starving when we got to the Festival so we headed straight for one of the food areas, grabbed some chicken and found a shady spot to eat lunch.

After we ate we walked around a bit more and found one of the (many) stands selling fresh strawberries.

Both Ant and Harry love strawberries so we picked up a quart. We brought one of our mesh feeders so Harry could have some of the fruit, too.

Then it was time for the pie eating contest! There were four local celebrities (I use that term very loosely) that were competing for a $500 donation to the charity of their choice.

While we were watching the contest we got some cake pops for dessert.

Yummo! We kept walking around Long Grove and stumbled across something this mama likes a whole lot.

A little pinot grigio! After our drinks we decided it was time to head home, but not before we stopped by the Long Grove Confectionery to pick up a few treats.

Artichoke and spinach dip, chocolate covered graham crackers, truffles and chocolate covered cherries

We had a great time! Long Grove also hosts an Apple Festival in September, so I think we'll have to make a trip up there this fall. If the Apple Festival is anything like this week's activities the town will go all out for it.

Oh, and happy anniversary to my blog! Yesterday TAW turned the big O-N-E!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Fresh Takes

Have you guys heard of the new Kraft Fresh Takes? I love them! Fresh Takes are cheese and breadcrumb mixes you can add to meat or poultry. So yummy! We've tried the Southwest Three Cheese, Italian Parmesan and Rosemary Roasted Garlic and I can't say that I have a favorite.

The Southwest Three Cheese

It takes about 25 minutes to cook and the chicken comes out so juicy and moist. Delish! I always make extra for Ant to take to work and he says that it reheats really well.

I haven't done any recipe or food posts in a while because our schedule has kind of changed. Not dramatically but I don't have as much time to make dinner these days. We've unfortunately resorted to a lot more prepackaged, processed foods for dinner. That's why I like the Fresh Takes so much, all the dirty work is done for me but I still have to prepare and cook it! I'm hoping that our schedule goes back to normal sometime in the future, but I don't foresee that happening anytime soon.

Have a great weekend, bloggy friends!

Disclaimer: I was not compensated in any way for this review. We purchased the Kraft Fresh Takes ourselves and really do love them! 

Thursday, June 21, 2012

And... We're Standing

Yesterday I mentioned how Harry accomplished a big milestone on Monday. My not-so-little boy can now pull himself up into a standing position!

I was speechless the first time he did it. We were just playing on the floor and he reached up, grabbed the edge of the table and next thing I know he's standing. So crazy! He's done it about a bajillion times since, too.

I also took a short video clip of him standing up.

I'm such a proud mama! Most babies don't pull up until they're at least 8 months so it feels great that Harry is ahead of schedule, especially since he's hit a lot of his past milestones on the later side.

Pretty soon he'll be making his way around the table. He's still not crawling or scooting on the ground and I won't be surprised if he never really does.

Here are a few random pictures from yesterday, too.

Harry snuggling with Daddy.

Harry thinks cold pop cans are fun to touch. He also likes touching my warm coffee mugs in the morning.

I made Harry some brown rice for dinner last night. I added it to some zucchini puree along with a little garlic powder and oregano. He didn't like it, but to his credit I didn't make it right. The rice wasn't nearly as soft as it should have been and I cooked it for nearly an hour. When we go to the store tomorrow I'm going to pick up some instant rice so I can make it in the microwave.

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