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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

A Week in Review: According to Caroline

"They see me rolling. With my paci."

"They tell me that's my Great Aunt Maggie on the right there. They tell me she sent me lots of precious handmade baby things that belonged to her many years ago. I don't know these things. I just go with what the big people tell me."

"Just hanging out. In my diaper. You ever do that?"

"I feel so proud of myself when Mommy says I'm a good girl. Can ya tell?"

"Emma came to see me. I must be special. She was fun, I liked the way she smiled at me. And her dangly earrings. Wishing I had the fine motor skills to grab them."

"My parents comment on how much I'm growing. But I haven't the faintest idea what they mean."

"Yup. That was a good nap. The hand hanging out of the Ergo tells it all." 

"My special friend Emma Grace and her mommy came to visit me and my mommy. Emma Grace is one stylish baby. I'm glad I wore my favorite white sleeper with frills. I hope she was impressed."

"My Mommy says it's nap time. I have other ideas."

"The strangest thing happens. I go to sleep in the car and I wake up in this strange overly crowded place my mom refers to as 'Whole Foods' and my Aunt Chelsea is there too. That sort of things happens to me a lot- I fall asleep and wake up some place totally different. That ever happen to you?"

"Do I get a bite, Mommy? Can't take my eyes off your pizza."

"Mommy let me play with a spoon. I LOVE playing with spoons. She says she's worried I'll hit my eye with it or something, but I got this spoon thing down, Mommy!"

Friday, March 22, 2013

Avocado Egg Salad

Here's our new favorite recipe around our house... avocado egg salad. I got the idea off of Pinterest, but made my own changes. It's super easy to make, super affordable, super healthy and super yummy. We love it!

4 hard boiled eggs (I generally use mostly just the egg white)
1 ripe avocado
3 heaping tablespoons plain (unsweetened!) Greek yogurt
salt and pepper to taste

slice avocado and eggs, combine all ingredients, stir well, enjoy! 

Summer Salad Swap

Monday, March 18, 2013

Caroline at 4 Months

In a hat that belonged to your great Aunt Maggie when she was a baby circa 1940s.

Caroline you are 4 months old!

You absolutely love sitting in your high chair and watching mommy and chattering away. I tell you all about what I'm doing in the kitchen as you sit there and you think it's so funny. Your favorite is when I get right up in your face and talk to you, you just think it's the best thing ever! 

Luna Bar baby...putting my breakfast in your lap was the only way I could get you to smile for the camera that morning. You look like a Luna Bar ad, so funny and cute! 

You still love books and have gotten even better at sitting and listening to them and looking at the pictures. You are especially fond of Dr. Seuss and sometimes try to "talk" along as mommy reads.

My redheaded baby! 

As long as you're not hungry you enjoy car rides. You like to look out the window or take a nap. 

You've really been discovering your hands ever since we stopped swaddling you at night. You're practicing picking things up and grabbing onto the things that dangle from your play mat. You also like to grab onto the ties of mommy's favorite hoodie whenever I wear it. Oh, and you're also pretty busy trying to stuff your entire fist in your mouth, you've gotten pretty close a few times. 

bonnet belonged to your great Aunt Maggie circa 1940s. 

4 Month Stats:
weight 10 lbs 15 ounces (10th percentile)
height 23 inches (10th percentile)
head 16 1/4 inches (50 percentile) (I laugh at this one because I've felt like it's hard to get things over her head that should be her size, now I know why, ha! 
clothes: 0-3 month & 3 month
diapers: size 1 but at night you wear cloth diapers (they only seem to fit under your night gowns so you can't wear them during the day) 

You're so precious, Caroline! It's hard to believe you are getting so close to being half a year old! 

Friday, March 15, 2013

Week in Review: Date Nights, Salads, and Friends

I'm a little late posting this week in review.  But better late than never, right?

Thursday evening Gramps came to take care of C so Mike and I could head out on a date (first dinner out since the babe was born) at one of our local favorites, Saladelias. They have the best fresh local eats and a great selection of Greek inspired fare. I went with the vegetarian lasagna and this really yummy Greek style kale dish. I've never tasted kale that was amazing!
Of course I missed Caroline the entire time and we were only gone an hour before we came back to see her. 
When we came home Gramps was wheeling C around the kitchen in her high chair as if it were a power wheels car. I think it's safe to say they had fun together.

This is what Mike often comes home to, the little bird taking an evening nap in the ergo carrier. 

I'm back on the vegetarian track.  But eating veggie doesn't have to mean giving up on the Christian Chicken. 
Luckily they make everything to order so my new favorite is Chick-Fil-A's market salad sans meat. It's insanely good- strawberries, apple slices, blueberries, bleu cheese, granola, nuts, oh and lettuce- but that's not too exciting.

We'd had a rough end to the week- Caroline wasn't sleeping well so we were both stressed out from lack of sleep. We got a much needed fancy date night out attending a friend's beautiful wedding. The ceremony was at a church downtown and the reception was at The Cotton Room- a part of The Golden Belt in downtown Durham. Such a gorgeous spot. We had a wonderful time and didn't want the evening to end! 
It's nice to get out of my mom sweatpants once in a while, ha! Wearing heels felt so fancy since I don't think I've worn them since before I got pregnant! 

It's funny how before having a baby we'd enjoy going to a wedding but it wouldn't be that big of a deal. Now that we have a sweet babe the occasion for a date out, and a fancy one on top of it, is soooo rare that we were looking forward to this wedding all week long. I think motherhood makes you appreciate the little things a whole lot more. 

We had dinner with our sweet friends the Rudolphs. Mike and I first met at their house.
Chris holding Olivia, their youngest, who was born a little over a month before Caroline. 
We love the Rudolphs, they give us great insight into things. 

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Life These Days: Tuesday Afternoon

tuesday as nap timed neared its end i decided to pull out my nikon dslr (a rare occurrence these days as i typically only have a single free hand) and play around with ISO. it proved to be the perfect opportunity to capture a handful of images of what life these days look like on a typical tuesday afternoon...
(except for resizing them to be smaller, images are straight out of the camera)

always using mason jars...southern born 'n bred

chatting with my girl, fresh faced post nap 

 the way i used to tote my cell phone around has now been replaced by how i always tote the baby monitor around these days

favorite toy at the moment, the lamaze zebra toy. we named him "zenith the zebra" she likes to try to eat him when she can mange to get him near enough her mouth.

baby bottles washing in the sink. these days our sink is in constant rotation with baby bottles needing to be cleaned. thanks born free, we love your bottles and can't wait to try your training sippy cups (and no, that's not a sponsored shout out, just toting a product i love of my own free will, friends)

oh those eyes. 

it's a cold winter outside, but a warm winter inside

tiny toes stealing my heart

the diaper bag, my constant companion yet constant annoyance because i'm always worried i'll forget something of critical importance such as the burp cloth, or an extra bib, or the formula, or diapers, or clean bottles,  or wipes, or the formula scoop, or a paci, or an extra blanket, or mommy's lip balm...see why it's always stuffed full?

i like how playing around with my camera's ISO setting always me to focus in on one focal point in a picture.

what images would comprise your everyday life these days? 

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Choosing an Organic Formula

First let me begin with a thank you for all the support I received after posting my story about breastfeeding and formula feeding. I was blown away by the positive feedback I received and was especially touched by the moms who shared similar stories of challenges with birth, breastfeeding and other parts of motherhood. Hearing your stories about how you overcame unexpected challenges on your journey as a mom was inspiring! Thank you! 

Now if you've read my story about my short lived breastfeeding experience you know that because of a serious medical complication I had to stop breast feeding earlier than planned. Within a matter of hours I went from a breast feeding mom to a formula feeding mom and I knew virtually nothing about preparing formula and bottles or picking the right formula for my baby. I quickly turned to Google to find out if there were any organic formulas since I'm a big time health nut. 

Here's what I discovered...

There are three brands of organic infant formula currently on the market: Earth's Best Organic Infant Formula, Nature's One Toddler Formula (also known as Baby's Only Organic), and Similac Organic. I decided to look into Earth's Best and Nature's One because they were companies that dedicated all their products to the natural and organic foods movement.

 When searching for an organic formula, the first formula I came across was Nature's One. I was first interested in Nature's One because of their commitment to quality organic pediatric nutrition. Nature's One refers to their formula as "Toddler Formula" and I was confused about the label "Toddler Formula". Some internet sources said this was merely a "political statement" meant to promote breastfeeding the first 12 months, which conflicted with what Nature's One says about their formula. At least I'm not the only one confused about "Toddler Formula". But after talking with Sara at Nature's One she cleared things up for me: their formula is indeed formulated for babies 12 months and over. Glad I asked before I started mixing. Thanks, Sara!

 Like Nature's One, Earth's Best also holds a USDA Organic Certification. Earth's Best is a wide selling brand and was easy for me to find in stores including Babies R Us, Whole Foods, and Harris Teeter. Earth's Best offers both dairy, lactose sensitive, and soy infant formulas. (Earth's Best is formulated, like most formulas, for babies 0-12 months). I also plan to use Earth's Best baby food when Caroline first starts solids.

The major difference between the two brands I researched is the carbohydrate source used. Nature's One uses brown rice syrup because they say it helps keep blood sugar more stable than other carb sources. However, brown rice syrup vs corn syrup or glucose syrup is still a debate so for now I'm going to stick with the more widely known and used carb sources in formulas (corn or glucose syrup). So for now Caroline is on Earth's Best infant formula and I've been pleased with it and plan to use it till her first birthday when I plan to use Nature's One Toddler Formula as I'm transitioning her to milk just to make sure she gets all the nutrients she needs. 

And I don't want you to get the wrong impression, I don't eat ALL organically. In fact, a majority of my pantry isn't organic- it's expensive and we've got bills to pay. But there are certain things I like to splurge on and buy organic, and for me infant formula is one of them. 

And if you're a mom- whether formula feeding or not- I highly recommend you check out The Fearless Formula Feeder. It's a fantastic blog and online community dedicated to infant feeding and providing an open platform for moms to share their experiences with infant feeding without judgement from others...check it out!