Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Valentine's Day Festiveness

There are a million reasons why Valentine's Day is amazing. Cupcakes are one of them. Or in this case, six of them. My husband doesn't have near the sweet tooth that I do & since we are saving cake for Harper's first birthday, I whipped these up all. for. myself. I'm not even mad about it.  You can file these under how not to lose baby weight.

My little Valentine has also been very festive lately, rocking her heart shaped elbow patches!

"Posing for a quick pic, mama. But then I gotta get back here & tear pages out of these books!"

Hat, Gap Outlet Jacket (similar here)

I grabbed this adorable Envelope Chair Backer right after Christmas (it's on sale now!) for all of Harper's Valentine's Day goodies!

So what exactly is going in her sweet little envelope? Here are a few of my ideas!

I love buying Harper books for every holiday & writing inside of them. It makes bedtime stories much more fun & I know we will love looking back at her old books as she grows up!
Kids are the easy ones to give Valentine's Day gifts to.... husbands, on the other hand? Not so much. We usually do something fun together like dinner & maybe a few small goodies. Think along the lines of these stocking stuffers! My go-to is usually some heart shaped pancakes, some sort of gadget from the hardware store (with a heartfelt note saying something along the lines of "Thanks for not being a TOOL!") and some festive balloons tied to mini-booze-bottles! :)
We are so classy over here.

What are your plans for Valentine's Day gifting?

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Summertime Swag ... in January!

 I know it's January, but I think it's safe to say that we are all dreaming about warm summer days! We are already planning some trips to the beach this summer, I can't wait for Harper to sink her toes in the sand & see the ocean for the first time. I also can't wait for a delicious umbrella-embellished beach cocktail, let's get serious.

 Take a look at some of our favorite summertime swag for your little beach babes!

baby girl swimsuits

baby boy swimsuits

Here is Harper's swimwear lineup so far (emphasis on the "so far"). I am in love with all of the ruffles!

There may not be anything cuter than a baby in a bikini! I was so in love with Harper's one shoulder black swimsuit from last year & the matching swim cap. I bought it while I was still pregnant & now totally regret not buying it in every size that it came in. 
We are hoping to get her in some swim lessons before we hit the pool this summer! :)

I know I'm getting a little bit ahead of myself thinking about summer, but at least we aren't planning outfits for next Christmas quite yet. Tomorrow, we'll be back on track with some Valentine's Day festiveness! :)

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Feeding the Babe

I have had quite a few emails lately asking some questions about how we approached feeding Harper solid foods. I thought it might just be easiest to write a post about it, and hopefully more of you will find it helpful. Let me start by saying, we are not experts (obv) and didn't use any specific method other than our go-to "winging it" approach. I am constantly still asking my parent friends how/when/what do they feed their kids, and I learn something new every day! 

Here's a little bit of a timeline for your reference:
Breastmilk/Formula only for the first 4 months, which by four months we were at about 4 feedings per day (which I think was about 8 oz. per feeding around the standard breakfast, lunch, dinner & before bed times).

The morning of her four month birthday, our ped had given us the go-ahead to let her try baby cereal. We started with rice cereal, put the recommended amount (maybe 2 tbsp?) into a small bowl, poured some milk from her 8oz bottle into the bowl of cereal until it was soupy & fed it to her. She was not a fan. We did this for 4-5 days for breakfast each day & she never really seemed to like it. A few other moms recommended that we try baby Oatmeal Cereal instead... loved it! She started to really get the hang of the whole spoon feeding thing. We gradually increased the oatmeal to twice a day (breakfast & dinner) over the next month. We never put the baby cereal into her bottle, only spoonfed.

At five months, we introduced fruits. We started with Earth's Best & Plum brands, I used maybe 1/3 of a jar/pouch mixed in with the oatmeal at both feedings. She immediately loved it & decided that plain oatmeal was for the birds. After about two weeks, we started giving her three meals a day (oatmeal/fruit for breakfast, fruit for lunch & oatmeal/fruit for dinner), and started lowering the amount of milk she had, more like 6oz with each meal instead of 8. We did follow our doctor's direction to introduce one food at a time for 3-4 days to make sure there were no allergies... which there weren't, other than my allergy to her blueberry diapers. HOLY MOTHER.

At six months (actually a little bit before), we introduced vegetable purees, using both Plum & Earth's Best brands. By this time we were totally burnt out on every single fruit, so it was exciting to give her something new. We started some of the stage two baby foods within the next two months, she loved sweet potato, mango & peaches. This is the stage where we LOVED the Boon Squirt Spoon, once they start eating all these yummy foods, they can't get it in their mouths fast enough! From here on out, the bottles were 6 oz. for breakfast, lunch & dinner and then 8 oz. before bed.

Right around seven and eight months, she was just starting to crawl. Our ped said that at this time, EVEN if they don't have teeth (which she obviously already had a mouth full), we could start giving her Puffs. It's scary at first, but honestly, just put one in your own mouth & watch it do it's disappearing act. Those things melt so quick, I honestly don't think it's possible for a kid to choke on them. It did take a few tries for her to get the hang of it, but she became a pro in no time. After about two weeks of watching her successfully eat solid foods with her fingers, we started testing out some other finger foods. Broccoli (steamed), green beans & blueberries. All of which, she LOVED. (Read more seven month & eight month feeding adventures).
I will say, things like bananas & avocado, anything slimey, took a few tries before she liked them. She hated anything we tried to mash or puree for her, she really just like to do it herself.

We also introduced the sippy cup right around this time, giving her half water/half apple or pear juice once or twice a day in between meals. We had to help her hold it the first few times, but eventually she figured it out. Our favorite brands of sippys are Nuby, Avent & Tommee Tippee. Although I think they secretly ALL leak the more you use & wash them.

Things got even more fun around this time when we pretty much gave up baby food all together & decided she could really just eat a lot of the things we ate. We gave her pancakes one day while we were out for breakfast & you would have thought it was Christmas morning. For all of us. 

I quickly traded in Puffs for Cheerios, started buying different flavors of regular applesauce & yogurts.

By Thanksgiving, when she was just over 9 months, she ate a full Thanksgiving dinner. She ate sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, turkey, stuffing & pie.

We continue to try lots of new foods, giving her really anything that is soft enough to chew & small enough that she won't choke. She eats 3 meals a day, with a juice & snack in between & an 8 oz bottle before bed.
Here's what her typical menu looks like for the week:

Waffles & Yogurt
Banana & Cheerios
Oatmeal with Blueberries & Raspberries

Cheese Ravioli with Tomato Sauce
Grilled Cheese & Steamed Broccoli or Cauliflower
Chicken (either grilled leftover from dinner or something like dino-bites) & Green Beans
Usually a side of blueberries, watermelon or banana

Pasta (spaghetti, ravioli, lasagna, etc.)
Grilled Chicken, Avocado, Beans
Mashed Potatoes, Beef or Turkey, Veggie (green beans, peas, carrots, etc.)

The only things we really don't give her is spicy stuff, we eat a ton of fajitas, stuffed peppers, tacos, enchiladas, buffalo chicken, etc. but for the most part, we just let her eat what we are eating. (A little more detail about our most recent feeding adventures here)

Also, she frowns when she eats. No idea why, maybe she is concentrating? :)

Once you start eating solids, you MUST get these silicone bibs. This will save you from picking up two hundred cheerios off the ground at the end of the day.

And for the record, our high chair is from Ikea. I hated it at first, but it has really grown on me. This high chair is honestly not meant for smaller babies that aren't fully sitting up/moving around on their own yet. Harper would slouch and slide around in this because it isn't contoured, so I would pack it full of blankets to make her more comfortable. For older kids? This high chair rocks. It is SO easy to clean & doesn't look like a spaceship in the corner of your kitchen. 

I am really looking forward to her being able to eat eggs & peanut butter (was waiting til her one year appointment, although I could probably give it to her any day now) two of the most common things we eat in this house. So tell us all! What are your kiddo's favorite things to eat?! I know that mamas with kids of all ages struggle to find things to make for meals, so hopefully this is helpful! Again, I am not an expert by any means, just sharing a little bit about how we roll around here! :)

Monday, January 21, 2013

Birthday Party Planning

Ahh, the party that I have been planning in my mind for over a year now is finally just a few weeks away! I'm excited to share some of the details that we have picked out! I decided that "birthday" is theme enough, so we will be sticking with just a color scheme of pinks & golds.

 sources to individual images can be found here.

You all know by now that I would do nothing short of painting my walls pink & gold to match the party theme... (as I casually look around the living room thinking that maybe I should actually do it) but the plan is to stick with lots of balloons, streamers & garlands for the decor. Cupcakes, cotton candy & a popcorn bar will be some of the goodies on the menu. Also, a kick ass pink ombre smash cake.

This is also appropriate. Of COURSE there will be cocktails.

There will probably also be tailgating. Now I just need to get my shit together & finish her invitations on time so we will actually have party guests! :)

Also, for the record, still no kisses. But she is an expert head-butter & eye poker. Still love her to pieces.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Baby Easter Outfits

I know it's not even Valentine's Day yet, BUT I can't stop drooling over all of the adorable Easter attire at the Gap right now! :) The new Peter Rabbit collection is beyond words. I scooped up the adorable Bunny Ear Hat over a month ago, and have since gone back for more pieces in this collection. Not to mention, Gap is having a 30% off sale online this weekend!! :) So, if you're like me, and already planning your little bunny's Easter outfit, get a load of this!

babys first easter

I just had to share since all of the cute stuff like this seems to sell out so quickly! Might need to scoop up a few pieces for next year as well! :)

Easter is early this year, but still hard to believe that it is already approaching so soon. It seems like just yesterday that Harper was half the size of her first Easter basket. Look at that tiny little bebeeeee & tiny little tootsies!!

Holy baby fever! :)

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

All You Need Is Love

Hello, Valentine's Day card.

I love sending out Valentine's Day cards. I look forward to it even more this year since I failed to get our Christmas cards finished in time.

Now that she is bigger & can stand, I can't wait to take more pictures of her with our festive chalkboards! I really can't wait until I can bribe her with Fritos to sit still & smile too.

I got this little one piece romper at the Gap, it was literally on the site for a day & I couldn't scoop it up fast enough. It was so fitting for Harper's first Valentine's Day! Little chubby baby arms in tank tops?! I mean. Come on. I die over the cuteness.

This chalkboard print has also been added to my Etsy shop! Here is a sample of what it looks like printed & framed.... with a festive washi garland attached too of course! :)

Print Available Here.

Thank you all for the sweet comments on Harper's videos & for the encouraging words about my complex about her not kissing us. I read each & every comment on every post...  You all are the BEST & I LOVE YOU. I will be taking all of your advice, especially about kissing her stuffed animals to make her jealous! ;) Hopefully we will be getting kisses by the time she turns one!
Crazy how much things have changed since last year...

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Nine & Ten Month Favorites

We are just a little behind with our monthly favorites, but things sure have changed around here! We are rocking all new toys (much thanks to Christmas), more toddler gear & certainly a whole new world of food.

As I mentioned to some of you on Instagram, Harper is eating all of the food we eat now. I wouldn't say that we necessarily went the traditional way or even the "baby lead weaning way"... we were just sorta winging it with a little direction from our pediatrician. Harper started baby cereal/oatmeal at 4 months, transitioned in fruit & veggie purees at 5 months, added in "puffs" around 7 months when she started crawling. Shortly after that I started to transition to similar, less expensive substitutes, like cheerios or regular natural applesauce.

The direction from our pediatrician was that once they are crawling with their belly off the ground & appear to be picking things up with their fingers instead of their whole hand, you can start them on solids. Just making sure that everything is easy to chew (even with no teeth, they can mash with their gums/tongue!) AND small enough that they would not choke. The very first "real food" that we gave her was steamed broccoli. I steamed the shit out of it. She could barely pick it up without it crumbling. We moved on to green beans, bananas & blueberries. Then, I cut up pasta into very small pieces & fed it to her (meat included!) and she LOVED IT! Now, we just kinda test everything. Some of her current favorites are mac n' cheese, peas, tender pieces of chicken & most recently grilled cheese! Yes, I still have a heart attack EVERY TIME we try a new food... but I guess that's what parenthood is all about? :) 

Although our favorite lists should probably include cords, door stops, mascara & the cat's tail.... here's the acceptable list of things we're working with...

Britax Marathon Convertible Carseat - I know this was on our last month favorites post as well, but I can't stress enough how amazing it is to have upgraded to a bigger bucket (as my husband calls it). Especially if you plan on roadtripping anytime soon & don't plan to take the carseat out (because let's face it, that shit is heavy)... give your little guy or gal some extra room while they ride! :)
Parum Pum Pum Drum - We sometimes can't believe how much she loves this toy. She smooshes her face up against the lid, holds the straps in her hands while she claps & dances to the sound of all the little noisemakers inside. This was a big win! We did take away the drumsticks for now though, she wanted them in her hands at ALL times, and with her just learning to walk, we just knew the outcome wouldn't be good.
Beaba Utensils - Perfect for when you start feeding your kids the things that you eat. Those little, shallow baby spoons result in a giant mess. These are perfect for cut up spaghetti, casseroles, etc.
Where the Wild Things Are - My child is definitely a wild thing, so this book is obviously very fitting. But basically, books in general are on the favorites list in the last few months. Finally Harper is more interested in us reading them than her trying to eat them or rip the pages. Just in time for her first birthday, where we plan to spruce up her little library!
Skip Hop Bath Spout Cover - For your little fishy who now swims in the big kids tub! Harper is WILD in the bath tub these days, she slips & slides all over the place, so this thing is a lifesaver.
LeapFrog My Discovery House - Probably the most entertaining kids toy yet. Harper got this as a Christmas gift and plays with it non stop. There are so many little gadgets & sounds to entertain her, she even claps at this toy!

You can check out all of our month by month favorites by clicking the Monthly Favorites link at the top of the page! :)

 In other news, I seriously cannot believe that Harper is ELEVEN MONTHS old today. I would still like to know how this happened.

 She seems so grown up & independent. She is making great progress on walking & she even started saying IZZY when our cat comes in the room! Talk about mind blowing to hear your kid say their first word other than mom or dad. Whoa.

 Glitter Headband (similar here), Pink Skinny Pants, Striped onesie from last year

 Her silly little playful self is also getting harder to take pictures of. I guess instead I capture cute moments like this, her reaching out with both slobbery hands to grab my hair. Which she then puts over both of her eyes & squeals. 

I love this little wild thing with all my heart. Even if she wont kiss me. Damnit.