Friday, January 31, 2014

52 Weeks in a Year Series - Week Four

"A portrait of my child, once a week, every week, in 2014."

Oh my little girl, how she loves to be naked.
What is it with babies preferring to be naked ALL THE TIME.
It's snowing outside at the moment and maybe 20 degrees,
not necessarily the weather you would expect from this picture.
But we are keeping warm by the wood stove as we watch the snow fall.
I have tried to put her clothes on at least 20 times.
Each time I begin she protests with yells and screams,
letting me know that she's having none of it.
Okay, little girl...
since your so cute at the moment,
you can be naked a bit longer.

I hope you all have a lovely weekend!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Tessa's Feeding Essentials

I mentioned in Tessa's 7 month update that we have started feeding her solid foods.
This experience has simultaneously been the most fun yet extremely terrifying experience so far.
The process of trying out new food and praying that she both does not choke on it nor is allergic to it.
Teaching her how to use the sippy-cup and again praying that she does not inhale the water.
That happened once and I seriously had a mini heart-attack!
Dealing with many consecutive days of "no poop"
and wondering if she is getting constipated or if this is normal.
But with all that said, this has also been such an exciting time.
Being able to watch her excitement and approval in her newly found favorite foods...
butter, fish roe, fermented cod liver oil, peaches, blueberries, sweet potato.
And seeing her funny reaction as she recoils and shakes her head no
at the foods she would rather pass by... aka broccoli.
I can see her personality coming out so much as she tries to communicate to me
whether she wants more to eat or something to drink.

I mentioned that we followed the Baby Led Weaning method
when it came to introducing solids to Tessa.
I have been so happy with our decision to stick to that.
Even our Pediatrician was on board with our decision.
And sure enough, right around 6 months,
Tessa was showing signs (big time) that she was ready to eat.
Right around Christmas, as we all sat around the dinner table,
I reached over and scooped up a bit of butter with my finger and offered it to her.
No joking, she grabbed my finger and began to suck the butter off like it was going out of style.
And she kept wanting more and more.
She's just like her mommy and daddy... can't eat enough butter in our opinions.
The only thing we have done differently than the baby led weaning,
is that I do puree some of her food and I taught her to use the spoon when eating pureed foods.
Which is a great way to segment into some of my favorite feeding essentials!
Here are a few items that have become invaluable to us...

I actually found ours at a consignment store for $20!
I wasn't originally planning on buying one, but for $20... that's a steal.
And I am so happy that I bought it too.
For those days where I don't have time (or energy) to make something fresh for Tessa to eat,
having a stash of frozen pureed foods that I can just whip out has been wonderful.
It's also great to use for steaming food, even if I'm not going to puree it.

I am in love with this high chair.
Absolutely in love.
It's super easy to clean, light-weight, has a great modern style, and best of all... it's small.
It fits perfectly into our small kitchen without taking up so much space that were tripping over it.
And it fits right up to our kitchen table so we can all eat together as a family.

I'm in love with these glass bottles as well.
So much in love, I even bought a matching glass water bottle for myself.
Now me and Tessa can be twinsies!
The entire bottle, including all components, is completely free of known toxins
including BPA, phthalates, polycarbonates, and PVC.
One of the main reasons why I bought them... that and they are super cute!
Since we never bottle fed Tessa, I only have two glass bottles that we use.
Which, in my mind, totally justifies the price of $12 a bottle! :/

Yup... the bottles have a sippy-cup attachment!
Another huge reason why I love these.

Read my earlier blog post for these awesome items.

These have been great for the times when we are out, either at a restaurant or over at a friends,
and we don't want Tessa to feel left out during meal times.
Just pack some food for her in these containers, throw it in the diaper bag, and your good to go!

Friday, January 24, 2014

52 Weeks in a Year Series - Week Three

"A portrait of my child, once a week, every week, in 2014."

This little cutie is sure "trying" to be on the move.
She has begun to scoot backwards,
but just recently she has really been
getting up on her hands and knees to rock back and forth.
Pretty soon she will be launching forward!
Which reminds me...
I need to baby-proof the house!
Here is my check-list...

Finish putting the plates on all the outlets
Cover the outlets
Tie up all the electrical cords in the house
Put safety locks on the kitchen cabinets
Remove all household cleaners from the bottom of the hall closet

What else should I do to baby-proof the house?
If you have any "mama-advise" I would love to hear it.

Have a great weekend!!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Tessa - 7 Months Old


Clothing Size:
Tessa is officially out of size 3-6 month clothing.
She is now wearing 6 month and 6-9 month clothing.

Eye Color:

I would definitely say it's Strawberry Blond.
I'm so thrilled by this!!!

Still only one tooth, but I'm pretty sure that another one will pop out soon.

Were on the move!
Not only is she now rolling all over the floor,
she has started pushing herself backwards!
She can get pretty far pretty quickly when she's on the wood floor.
She has also started to get up on her hands and knees and rock back and forth.
I'm pretty sure we'll be crawling by next month.

Tessa has started to use the "B" sound.
She just loves to talk in the mornings
and wake mommy and daddy up with her

Now that she's sitting up really well, toys are so much fun.
I'll just pile a bunch around her and she will play with each one, one by one.
Some of the toys she gravitates to are...
(now that I write that list...
she pretty much likes anything that makes noise)
She also loves to "fly".
Anytime you lift her up in the air over your head
you will get the biggest smile ever.

This area hasn't changed since last month.
She is still waking about every 3 hours to nurse.
She has transitioned into taking 2 naps a day instead of taking a bunch of "cat-naps".
The funny (or not so funny depending on the day) thing is, her naps are still "cat-naps".
She will take a nap around 11am and 3pm, both being about 20 minutes each. 
Some days I'm okay with that and some days mama needs a bit more time to regroup. 

Meal Time:
I've added a new section because Tessa has begun to eat solid foods now!!!
We decided to follow Baby Led Weaning when it came to introducing solid foods
and I am so happy that we waited for her to show cues that she was ready.
Her first foods have been...
Egg Yolks
Sweet Potatoes

Tessa's Favorites:
There are so many things that I can share for this section.
She still LOVES the mirror and looking at her reflection.
She loves people and whenever anyone smiles at her.
But one thing that she has begun to notice... Silas!
She loves her puppy.
When he walks past her she will just watch him so intently.
And, if she is in her high chair and he walks by,
she will lunge out to try and grab him.

Mommy's favorites:
I am absolutely loving our meal times.
I am cherishing the time I get to spend with her as I prepare our meals,
then as we sit down to eat together.
Especially dinner time when Daddy is home.
Watching her try new food and seeing her facial expressions
when she takes her first bite is priceless.
And it has been wonderful to see her learn to communicate to us to let us know
when she wants more food, wants water, or is done.

Friday, January 17, 2014

52 Weeks in a Year Series - Week Two

"A portrait of my child, once a week, every week, in 2014."

The item that Tessa is holding is called a Nuby Nibbler.
Horrible name for what is basically a mesh pacifier/teething/feeding "thing".
I don't even know how to classify it.
I was super skeptical when I received a few before Tessa was born.
I had heard great things about them, but in all honesty they just seemed kinda gross.
Skip forward 7 or 8 months and it is one of our new favorite things.
I love to fill it with chopped banana then stick it in the freezer for a few hours.
I'll then give it to Tessa while she's in her highchair watching me cook.
She will just chew on that thing until she gets as much banana out as she can.
Beware though, it is MESSY (as you can see from the picture above).
But isn't that part of the fun of seeing your baby explore food for the first time. :)
Bring on the mess!!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

A Vintage Peter Rabbit Nursery

You know what I realized the other day...
I haven't shared with you pictures of Tessa's Nursery.

To be honest I have actually been putting it off because I felt the Nursery wasn't "ready".
If you remember, Tessa decided to arrive three weeks earlier than her due date,
so the Nursery wasn't quite finished when she was born.
So I kept saying to myself... "I finish her nursery soon".
Well, "soon" has come and gone and I have come to the realization
that the room will never be perfectly finished.
The walls won't get painted, pictures won't be hung,
the mobile over her crib will probably never get straightened,
and the knobs on her dresser are still broken.
But you know what...
I LOVE her Nursery anyways!

I feel so blessed by how many people came together to help contribute to Tessa's Nursery.
Once friends and family found out that we wanted a Peter Rabbit Themed Nursery,
we were receiving items left and right to decorate her Nursery with.
A gorgeous handmade Baby Quilt.
Vintage Baby Books.
Tessa's first Complete Tales of Peter Rabbit Series.
A Peter Rabbit Blackberry Game.
A Beswick Jemima Puddleduck figurine.
 And those are just to name a few.
We were truly blesses.

Here are a few pictures of her Vintage Inspired Peter Rabbit Nursery...


Sunday, January 12, 2014

Chicken & Gnocchi Soup

I think it's pretty safe to say that were officially a soup family.
Okay, maybe it's just me forcing my family to eat soup,
but seriously, we have it at least twice a week.
And I'll make enough so that were eating the leftovers for lunch
for the following two or three days.

It all started when I begin to try and find ways
to get more nutrient dense food into our daily diets.
And knowing that homemade chicken stock was SUPER good for you,
I made it a point to make a batch of the stuff every other week or so.
Then came the task of finding recipes to use the stock in.
Soup has been my go to meal for using it each time.
(I also use the stock when I make rice and quinoa.
And I mix it with water and give it to Tessa in a sippy bottle.)

 From what I hear this soup is kinda a knock-off
of the Chicken and Gnocchi Soup from the Olive Garden.
I wouldn't really know because I have never had that soup from there.
Nevertheless, this soup is amazing and I will be making it again and again and again.
I'm pretty sure you should go make it right now too. ;)

Chicken & Gnocchi Soup

4 tbsp butter
4 tbsp flour
3 cups half and half
1/2 cup celery, finely chopped
1 cup onion, finely chopped
2 minced garlic cloves
3 cups chicken stock
1 cup carrots, finely shredded
1 cup chicken breasts, cooked and diced
1 package gnocchi, cooked according to package directions
1 cup of fresh kale, coarsely chopped
1 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp parsley
salt and coarse pepper to taste (at least a 1/2 tsp of each)

1. Saute the onion, celery, and garlic in the butter over medium heat until the onion becomes translucent. 

2. Add the flour and make a roux. Let the butter and flour mixture cook for about a minute before adding 3 quarts of half and half.

3. Into the roux, add in the carrots and chicken. Keep warm on the burner and let the soup thicken while you cook the gnocchi.

4. Cook gnocchi according to the package directions. 

5. Once the mixture becomes thick, add the chicken broth. 

6. Once the mixture thickens again, add the cooked gnocchi, spinach, and seasoning; simmer until soup is heated through.

7. Taste the soup and adjust the seasonings according to your liking. Sometimes if I feel a soup needs more flavor, I will add a 1/2 tsp at a time of Organic Better than Bouillon Chicken flavor.


This is Tessa's "Hey Mom, can I have some more avocado please" face...
and then her being distracted by something far more important in the living room.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

52 Weeks in a Year Series - Week One

"A portrait of my child, once a week, every week, in 2014."

So, I'm kinda jumping on the blogging bandwagon with this new series.
I've been following a few bloggers who have been documenting their children's lives
by posting a picture of them every week for a year.
I just love that idea so much, and seeing that it's the new year and all,
I figured it was a great time for me to join in on the fun too.
I hope you enjoy seeing my little Tessa Anne grow up each week!

Week One:
We arrived back home after spending the holidays in Washington
to find a package sent from my sister and her family.
Inside was the cutest Christmas present for Tessa...
A plush little stuffed animal/teething/developmental toy made by Skip Hop.
I seriously love that brand of baby toys!
Unknown to my sister, I had actually been eying this toy for awhile now and wanting it for Tess.
So it was such a wonderful surprise for both mama and baby.
My sis knows me so well. :)