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Monday, November 28, 2011

Swingin'

I love the playground. 
 Simon doesn't hate it. 
 At 4.5 months I think that's the best I can hope for. 
 On this unseasonable warm holiday weekend, we made family outing to the neighborhood playground for some swinging. 
 Simon may not love the swings, but he does love his mama, so we got to see some of those dimples that I love so much.



Sunday, November 27, 2011

One more pound...

to go that is.  Until I'm to my pre-pregnancy weight.  But I'm never going to get there if I keep baking and eating like this.

I've been baking a lot recently.  It's to fill that need of a little morsel of chocolate at night.  If you know me well, you know that I really love cookie dough.  The actual cookies, I'll eat one or two usually and I've had my fill.  So we go through a batch of cookies every week or so.  Then a few weeks ago Rob handed me the 48 oz bag of chocolate chips we keep on hand.  Because if there are no cookies to be had, a few chips make a lovely late night snack.  But as he was handing me the store brand bag of chips, he saw the recipe on the back of the bag.  PUMPKIN CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES.  For whatever reason, we often have a can or two of pumpkin pie filling on hand - probably because pumpkin pancakes on a winter weekend are awesome - so we had all of the key ingredients.  Because the recipe calls for a whole can of filling it ends up being a double recipe, making 5 - 6 dozen cookies depending on the size.

I made these on Friday night.  Sunday afternoon they were gone.  I could. not. stop. eating them.  For snacks. For meals. For desert.  They have the texture of muffins and the taste of pumpkin, a breakfast food right?  I didn't post about them before, because there was no picture taken.  But last night I made them again. And they are just as good this time around.  So thank you store brand chocolate chips for giving me my new favorite cookie recipe.  I'm adding the word pie because I imagine that if you wanted a really decadent desert adding some whipped cream or ice cream would make them kind of like pie.  And really you should plan on gifting some of them.  Otherwise you too could eat 5 dozen cookies in two days.

Pumpkin Pie Chocolate Chip Cookies

4.5 cups flour
2 cups sugar
3.5 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice (or 2 tsp allspice, 1 tsp nutmeg, 0.5 tsp cloves)
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt

Mix all of the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
Then mix in:
1 16 oz can of pumpkin pie filling (I use Libby's)
1 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

Once that's all mixed up stir in 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips.  Or don't, because they are still pretty darn good without. (I had a couple with no chips from scraping the bowl.)

Bake at 375 for 15 minutes.

The finished product will be a little spongy and soft, like a muffin.

Yum!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thankful

Thankful for a happy healthy baby.  Despite the exhaustion and hard work, Simon's smiles and laughs are the absolute best.  He's growing and changing so fast. It's hard to believe it's only been four months, it seems like forever.
Thankful for Rob who has been a stay-at-home dad, while I work many hours at school this semester. Happy that this schedule will soon be changing.  I can do anything for a short period of time. Grateful that Rob and Simon got the good together time during unemployment.  We are lucky we've been able to rely on savings to get through this and allow for family bonding.  Hoping that a job will come soon.

Thankful for family. We are blessed.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Baby Dances

video

After 20 minutes of this he played himself to sleep.  And after three days of moving him to the crib and he wakes, today he is napping here too.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

4 months


And you are getting so big.  14 pounds now and 26.5 inches tall!  This month has been huge in growth for interactivity.  We can roll from belly to back and back to belly.  You did each for about a week, all the time, and now only occasionally.  I think it's because you don't get much from it yet.  I think that in a few more weeks you will use your rolling to help you get places.  Right now you are still coordinating all of your limbs.  Your arms are less spazzy now.  You are starting to reach for things with purpose.  Any toys in your hand or within reach go straight to the mouth.  If there are no toys then your burp rag, fist, arm, my hand or arm will all work just fine. I'm not sure how you do it, but your inchworm technique is moving you pretty well.  It's slow, but sometimes I find you off the blanket. You are sitting pretty good with support, and tummy time is no longer torture.  You can hold your head and body up for quite a long time and enjoy babbling to whatever print is on the blanket of the moment.  On your 4 month birthday we got a jumperoo, I think you are going to really love it. This month flew by.  I worked a ton, so lots of daddy-baby time was had.
Some days you really throw tantrums.  Then you both fall asleep.
You are a drooling machine.  You can soak through a bib in 10 minutes. Your face is covered in drool rash.  You love to suck on apple slices, and once a grape - that almost ended badly though, so no more grape for awhile.  Eating food is still a month or two away, but we are ok with you getting little tastes right now.  Mostly the fruit has gone over well.  You love to sit on our laps while we eat and look at the food.  You laugh and talk all the time now.  You can blow razberries, so we do that a lot.  You also found "the baby in the mirror."  You are really responding to our voices now.  When I get home you smile when you see and hear me.  Same for Dad.  Mostly still vowel sounds, but the babbling is increasing.  You are just starting to entertain yourself, where I can leave you for 20 minutes or so.  I hope this trend continues and my productivity will increase greatly.
And you took your first flights to Indiana to visit all the grandmas and grandpa.  You flew quite well, although the downside for flying with a baby is we can't sleep on the flight.  Babies sleep just fine.  Since you refused to nurse on the take-off and landing you were awake for, we were happy this trick was shared - blow in his face to make him breathe and swallow.  It stopped the crying anyhow since you would not suck.  You also really liked looking out the window.  On the way there, we flew business class, the extra room was nice, and you slept the whole time. 
The way home we flew coach, but I used a trick I read on a blog somewhere and booked the window and aisle seats, and we lucked out and no one took the middle, so that was nice.  Airport security was surprisingly easy.  They let me keep you in the carrier and just tested my hands after walking through the x-ray.  Way easier than having to take you off and wake you up...  Grandma has a carseat and we borrowed a stroller there, so we didn't travel with those this time around.

I was going to brag about sleep here.  But last night we were up every two hours.  So it's not great, but it's not awful either.  I can't yet bring myself to be consistent with sleep training, but the current wake up all the time is working ok for now.  Some nights are really really awesome.

Friday, November 11, 2011

To Grandmother's House We Go


Simon love Grandma's house.  There was a new ball toy.  And lots of rest.
And a wedding.





And a trip to Madison, and visiting with aunts and uncles and great-grandmas.
Lots and lots of driving.  And lots of loving on Grandma.




And to make it a real vacation Mom and Chip took on night duty a few night.  And Rob and I got to sleep.  This is how I found them one morning.  Rough night.
But the best part of the trip was hearing Simon really find his laugh.
It's so cute you'll cry.

video

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Baby in the Mirror


I have a lot of things I would like to have time to do.  Like start sewing Simon's quilt that Mom and my sister-in-law cut all the pieces for over the summer.  But Simon is time consuming and I barely have time to get school work done,  I'm in a constant state of "I'm going to get fired" except it's school and they don't fire you.


And I'm far from being so behind as to get kicked out. So for my hoby time I mostly stick with blogging, sometimes one-handed while Simon eats.


But last week the hot glue gun was out from our Halloween costume extravaganza.  So, I did find the time to do a project that has been in my brain for some time.  While watching NCIS: LA because I'm a multi-tasker.


Simon really loves to play with the baby in the mirror.  And ever since I went with the "not a common baby theme" nursery decor, it's hard to match.  I've been wanting to get a crib mirror, but I didn't want treetop friends or farm animals, or Disney characters, I wanted ROBOTS.


So I bought some felt and a piece of orange foam at Michael's, and Rob found me a square plastic mirror at one of the art stores.  It's not a flex material like I would find in a ready made crib mirror, but it is plastic so I'm making do.


These materials have been moved around our apartment for the last couple of months.  Last week I started cutting robot parts, and letters, and shapes.  I glued the felt on to the foam frame.


I used the half for a back that was about an inch bigger than the mirror all around.  The front frame overlaps a quarter inch all around so there are no sharp edges available.


Some felt ties and a few minor glue burns and now Simon can play with the baby in the mirror whenever he wakes up. I love how this turned out.


I really like being crafty, there just aren't enough hours in the day right now.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Hail to Old IU

Last weekend I was fortunate enough to get to take Simon to Bloomington for the first time.  I just love IU's campus.  We took some pictures around campus.

Showalter Fountain and the Auditorium
  At the Sample Gates.


Here Simon is saying hi to Herman B. Wells.

We also went to the IU vs. Northwestern game.  I played in the alumni band, which was so much fun.  I forget during the year how much I like playing the trombone.  The game itself was kind of depressing.  More than half the crowd left during the 4th quarter we were loosing so bad.  Simon didn't like the game much at all.  Too loud for him.  He fussed through most of the game, and as soon as we exited the stadium and it was quieter, he got so happy.

Vince and I covering the babies ears.
 Strategy
 Go Hoosiers!
 Girls and babies

We also got to meet Clara for the first time, and see Charlie as a big kid.  I love that I get to see my best college friends at least once a year.  These guys are the best.