Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Mama Made Clothes

Ellie has had the opportunity to try out some of the clothes I made for her back when she was born. I think I love her homemade clothes with their unserged seams and crooked stitching more than any of her purchased outfits. I feel like they just look like love on her. Plus, she looks adorable in them.

The first one she got to wear was that ruffled romper.

She only wore it once for her newborn pictures since I was afraid she would be cold in it. I haven't tried it on her since, but I'm sure she has already outgrown it.

I think I will make her another that will fit her for next summer when I'm not so concerned about her body temperature.

She has worn her kimono pjs several times.

I don't really know why I still call them pjs though, because she doesn't sleep in them. I put them on her for laying around the house.

Her fluffy cloth diaper butt is starting to get snug in them, but for now, they still fit her ok. I want to make her a new pair in a bigger size too and several pairs of the pants. They are super easy so I could whip out a pair during naptime.

And for church on Sunday, she got to wear her empire waist dress.

I decided last minute she needed a matching hair (of lack thereof) accessory, so I whipped out this little fabric flower headband about 10 minutes before we left.

She rocked it.

I just love her wearing her mama-made clothes. They make me proud and every time I look at her in them, it reminds me of all the anticipation I had leading up to her birth that I channeled into my sewing machine.

Since she's been born, I've been on a sewing hiatus since keeping up with her and getting some sleep has been keeping me very busy and tired. Luckily though, it appears that her sleeping habits are greatly improving (knock on wood), so I will hopefully be able to start making her some more clothes. I made her an outfit for the pumpkin patch we are visiting next weekend, but you'll just have to wait to see that.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Kitty Capers

I walked into Ellie's nursery this morning to find her mobile looking like this:

In addition to the strewn birds, also note the missing beads. Four to be exact. I could only find one in the crib though.

I had but one suspect on my list.


She may look cute, but that is just a ploy. See that baby toy on the floor next to her? That was stolen by her from the toy bin. We have another cat, Bella, but she is far too lazy to be involved in something that would require her to leap higher than the cushy couch.

Later in the day, my suspicions were confirmed when I spotted the suspect at the scene of the crime.

Since all forms of punishment are lost on felines, I guess I'll just have to keep the nursery door shut from here on.

No worries about the mobile though. It's good as new now. This is not the first time I've had to restring a few beads thanks to Chloe.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Game Day in Ellieland

If you read my post about talking to Ellie about A&M moving to the SEC, you likely gathered that this is a house that bleeds maroon. We fully intend on indoctrinating Ellie from an early age (like now) to love all things A&M and run from burnt orange like the plague.

Lots of people gave Ellie some Aggie onsies and other paraphernalia to help start her down that road, but unfortunately, the smallest size was 3-6 months, meaning the football season would be half over before she got a chance to wear any of her team colors. Unacceptable we say! But have no fear, because James took matters into his own hands and trekked down to Academy and bought his little girl the cutest Aggie jumper. And let me tell you, she was so happy to wear it on Saturday to watch the Fighin' Texas Aggies mash those Idaho potatoes! WHOOP!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Bath Time with Ellie

I have taken some flack for choosing what some people have referred to as a glorified bucket as our baby bathtub. Snazzy bucket or not, Ellie has come to LOVE bath time!

We've started making taking a bath a nightly occurrence as part of her bedtime routine. The bedtime routine is really helping too because she has gone from taking an hour and multiple trips back in the room to get to sleep for the night to 15 minutes. I think a routine and her magic chair get the credit on that.

Around 7:30, Daddy strips her down and I get the bath ready. I put a bit of California Baby Calming Bubble Bath in the water for the bubbles and the lavender scent. You can tell she gets excited when Daddy brings her in the bathroom. She starts pumping her legs and squealing. Then, in the water she goes and she gets really still for a minute.

It's like she becomes entranced by the water and bubbles. Slowly she starts wiggling around and playing with the water. She has recently discovered that she can make her toes poke out of the layer of bubbles and she tries really hard to keep them there, but is usually unsuccessful at this point.

Since she's started smiling this week, she has started cheesing it up. She's just on the edge of laughing too. Can't wait for that sound!

Once the water starts to cool down, its out of the tub for PJs, nursing, swaddle, story, and then bed. Last night was 6 hours and 45 minutes!!!! Praying our good luck continues!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Tasty, tasty!

This isn't baby related, but it sure is tasty! Like I said yesterday, I am testing out recipes that are going to be included in a culinary textbook (Global Cuisines and Cooking Techniques by Nancy Kreck-Allen if you are interested). I tried out my first one today, and it turned out quite yummy so I thought I would share. Lucky you!

Sizzling Shrimp Cazuela
This is designed to be served as an appetizer, but I will tell you at the end how to turn it into a main dish.

Here's what you need:

A loaf of country bread
6 tablespoons of olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
2-1 inch dried whole red chilies, stemmed, crushed, and seeded
12 ounces of peeled and deveined shrimp
1/4 teaspoon paprika
A lemon

Cut your bread into 3/4 inch cubes and set aside.

Measure out your oil in a pan over medium low heat.

Add your crushed garlic and chili. Brown the garlic and then discard. Don't let it burn or it will become bitter. Keep the chili in the oil.

Add in your shrimp and cook until they are opaque, about 3 minutes. Don't overcook shrimp or they get chewy.

Meanwhile, chop your parsley.

Wedge your lemon.

When the shrimp are done, add paprika and season with salt.

Squeeze a little lemon juice in it.

To serve as an appetizer, separate the shrimp from the seasoned oil and serve both along side your bread cubes. Garnish with parsley and lemon wedges.

Dip the bread cubes in the oil and provide toothpicks to eat the shrimp.

*If you would like to try this as a main dish, cook some pasta (I used penne, but linguine would be good too) and toss with the shrimp, oil and bread cubes. Drizzle on another few tablespoons of olive oil and a little more lemon juice. It's delish!

Friday, September 9, 2011

A (very) Indecent Proposal

Ellie and I went to Whole Foods today to get some groceries. I'm recipe testing for a new culinary cookbook to make some extra cash-ola while I'm out on maternity leave. They pay me $50-65 a recipe for the ingredients and my time. Tomorrow will be my first day cooking, so we'll see how it goes. We trekked to Whole Foods since I was worried about finding some of the ingredients at my local HEB.

It should come as no shock that I whole-heartedly embrace the crunchy vibe of Whole Paycheck Whole Foods. I mean, where else can you find organic, vegan, gluten-free, free-range, Double Super Ultra Fudge Cake sold by the slice? It's glorious! If it's organic, it's gotta be good for you, right? Right. However, an encounter I had there today had me deeply questioning my granola soul.

Let me set the stage. Ellie is in the Moby wrap and is being a grocery shopping champ until we hit the bakery for the last thing on my list- a loaf of country white bread. It was there that she let out her banshee wail to proclaim to the entire store that her mother is, quite possibly, starving her to death, despite the fact that she was fed an hour earlier. I grab my loaf of bread and begin to make a beeline for the checkout, but was blocked.

Standing in my way was an otherwise unassuming African lady in her 40s. When she spoke, she had that melodic accent that I could listen to all day, but is slightly hard to understand. Here was our conversation:

Lady: "Can I breastfeed your baby?"

Me: *blink, blink* (Surely I misheard her. She's probably asking if I need to feed my baby.)

Lady: "Can I breastfeed your baby?" *gestures to her chest*

Me: ".............no............." *flees*

Seriously?!?!?!? On what planet do you offer to breastfeed a stranger's baby in the grocery store??? I would be weirded out if a stranger to ask to hold Ellie in the grocery store, let alone whip out a boob for her. What's next? A stranger asking to....... Nope. Can't think of anything more bizarre.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Ellie's Take on A&M's Move

I explained to Ellie that her future Alma Mater would be changing conferences today. Here's how our conversation went.

Me: "Hey Ellie! Let's play on the floor. There's something I need to talk to you about.


Me: "Did you know that A&M is leaving the Big 12 to go to the SEC?"


Me: "Yep. It's true. But it'll be good for our school."


Me: "We'll play better teams and have more recruiting power."


Me: "We'll also get more money and more media coverage."


Me: "It also means that we will probably lose more games at first since the teams in the SEC are tougher."


Me: "No no. Don't worry though. It'll make us better in the long run.


Me: "Some of the schools still in the Big 12 are throwing a hissy fit though."


Me: "Ya. Kinda like that. But you know what we say to them?"


Me: "Suck it up! There is nothing you can do about it you big cry babies!!"


Me: "Oops. Sorry Ellie. I didn't mean to insult babies."

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Ellie's Magic Chair

The last week or so, we have started having a lot of trouble getting Ellie to fall asleep and stay asleep. She went from 2 hour naps and 3-4 hours stretches as night without much trouble to 20 minutes and up every hour at night. Needless to say, we were all really tired and cranky. The only way Ellie would go to sleep is if she was being held and moved. Now, during the day this isn't that big of a deal because I can just haul her around in the Moby wrap and eventually she passes out for an hour.

But the whole "hold me or I'll scream" thing of her's really doesn't work for us at night. We spent several night taking turns being up with her or I would sleep with her in the bed with me, which made me nervous.

After a terrible Sunday night, I took to the interwebz to find an alternative sleeping situation. It was there that I found this:

It's the Fisher Price Rock n' Play Sleeper. This contraption looked promising. It keeps her tucked in like her swing, which she loves. It keeps her moving like she requires. It's under $50 too so that's a big plus in case it doesn't work out.

Ellie and I went out to Tarjay to pick one up. We got it home and a few minutes later is was assembled. I nursed her, swaddled her, and put her in it and......success!! Kiddo passed out and stayed out! Cue the choir of angels singing from above. That night, for the first time in a week, she slept for 3.5 hour stretches and I didn't have to pull her into bed with me at all for the first time since she was born. Today, she has napped in it like a champ. And now, as I type, she is down for the night in it with no fussing or waking up. This thing is ah-maz-ing!

So my advice to any mommys-to-be reading, add this thing to your registry ASAP. At only $50, its much cheaper than most bassinets and it is super portable so you can move it to other rooms easily. I bring it in the office during the day so I can rock her to sleep while I'm on the computer and quickly shush her if she starts to wake up.

Now I am off to bed where I am holding out hope for 4 hours of continuous sleep.

1 Month Down...

...215 to go (until she is 18 at least).

I've been a bad mamarazzi. I didn't take any pictures of Ellie on her 1 month birthday on Friday or her first Labor Day. But, we did celebrate making to a month with what has become her official cupcake, the margarita cupcake from Frost Bake Shoppe in The Woodlands. They are delicious!

They are the official cupcake of Elaina Beth because they were her baby shower cupcake and Penny also made a fantastic knock-off and brought them to the birth center when Ellie was born.

Ellie is up to 11 pounds now, and although I haven't measured her, she seems much longer too. She's doing a great job holding up her head when we are holding her and during tummy time. She's started using more sounds lately too. "Ab dah" was her first official baby word. Ellie gave James and I her first big smile yesterday while we were changing her diaper. I would smile too if some one got me out of a poopy diaper. I have yet to catch it on camera though. You know that picture will go straight to the blog when I do!

Today marks Ellie's 5 week birthday, and in what has become a Tuesday tradition, we took her picture. I'm loving how this series of pictures is turning out too. It's incredible to see how much she has changed in the last month.

So there we are. The Ellie update for her 1st month of being alive. Looking forward to the next 215.