Wednesday, August 28, 2013

3 Ingredient Pancakes

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Okay, I'm sure we've all seen these on pinterest. Pancakes made with only three healthy ingredients (Banana, Egg, Baking Powder). My curiosity finally got the best of me. I made them for Brandon and myself this morning. I have to admit I was pleasantly surprised. I'm not a huge egg eater...or banana eater. Yet somehow together I was impressed with the taste and texture. And I liked the ones I added cinnamon to so much better. I think what I like about these are that the options are endless, but you're at least starting with a fairly healthy base. I can imagine chocolate chips being amazing, or adding some oatmeal...or topped with butter and syrup, mmmmm. I also saw quite a few recipes that added peanut butter!

The recipe I followed is this one from Eugenie's Kitchen

1.5 bananas
2 eggs
1/8 teaspoon baking powder

-Whisk the two eggs together. 
-In a separate bowl I mashed 1.5 bananas making sure I left a good amount of chunks. 
-Pour the eggs on top of the bananas, add the baking powder and mix. 
-I used a spoon to spoon the mixture into a pan on medium heat. The pancakes are little (maybe 2-3 spoonfuls). 
-They cook for about 3 minutes and then when the edges seem to stay together when you try and lift them, I flipped them over. 
-After trying the first one, I added cinnamon to the batter and I also put a few blueberries in the batter.  

It made about 8-9 small pancakes.

Enjoy friends!


Monday, August 26, 2013

6 and 7 month old essentials

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It seems like we've hit quite a few milestones in the last 1-2 months! Avery started solids, got her first few teeth and is now able to wear sunscreen (we were trying to wait until the 6 month mark because newborns younger than this still have very thin, absorbent skin). I wanted to share some of our essentials lately...

1. Oxo Tot Baby Blocks Freezer Containers: BPA-, phthalate- and PVC-free
I've been using our Beaba baby food maker every few days to make homemade purees for Avery. I found these Oxo storage containers online and love them! They come in a pack of 6, and fit into a tray to keep them organized in the freezer. They seal airtight to keep the food fresh, and prevent any leaks. Plus, I love that I can throw them in the dishwasher. They also have the measurements right on the outside of the container so I can easily store food in 1 ounce or 2 ounce increments.

2. Frozen Gel Teething Rings: BPA free
Although this isn't the exact one, I got something similar to these gel teething rings at my baby shower and they have really come in handy lately! I throw them in the freezer (when I use the fridge they don't stay cool long enough) and Avery LOVES to gnaw on them. I've given them to her when it seems like she needs the relief, but also when I'm cooking dinner and need to give her something to occupy her. 

3. Babyganics Suncreen: NO Parabens, Sulfates, Phthalates, Toxins, Mineral Oil, Petrolatum, Nuts, Gluten or Artificial Colors or Fragrances
When researching sunscreens, I knew that I wanted one that was a broad spectrum sunscreen (meaning it offers both UVA and UVB protection). I also wanted 50 SPF and one that contained Zinc Oxide which acts as a physical sunscreen instead of a chemical one. Babyganics fits all of my requirements! :-) 

4. Hyland's Teething Tablets & Infant Acetaminophen
Hyland's teething tablets are a homeopathic option to help ease pain caused by teething instead of using the numbing gel (which contains Benzocaine, a local anesthetic linked to methemoglobinemia). There was a recall on these teething tablets, but in 2011 they introduced a new formula. Avery acts like I'm giving her a treat when I put them in her mouth. During the week that she was cutting teeth, I used them before her nap time to help ease the pain. They worked like a dream. And during the two nights when nothing seemed to be working, we gave her Target Brand (Up & Up) Infant Tylenol (Acetaminophen). It must taste okay because she sucked the liquid right out of the dropper, ha, and was able to finally fall asleep within 10 minutes. When administering Infant Tylenol, please be aware of the new dosage changes.

5. The Baby Book by Sears:
I am a huge fan of Dr. Sears. Brandon and I decided to follow his delayed vaccination schedule and I read The Vaccine Book all the time. When I became aware that he had another book which addresses all topics from sleeping, eating, development, etc for babies newborn - 2 years, I had to get it. Although, I've only read certain chapters so far, it is packed with information and practical advice. Some topics include: baby proofing your house, potty training, baby wearing, starting solids, breastfeeding, etc. I love that ultimately the underlying theme seems to be that "mom knows best for her baby". So while he offers options and his advice, he encourages moms to trust their instincts. 

6. Plum Organics Super Puffs:
These are amazing little snacks to have around for a young baby (6+ months) who can't really "snack" on foods yet. Avery still gets 95% of her nutrition from nursing, and will have one pureed meal a day. She is too young for cheerios or other "snacks" but these organic puffs are perfect because they melt in her mouth. I never have to worry about her choking on them. We bring these with us to restaurants when she sees us eating and starts to whine, not because she's hungry but because she sees us eating food and wants what we have. We feed her these puffs and she feels like she's partaking in the meal :-) So we don't use them as a "food" to fill her up, but just as something fun for her to experience and munch on. They're made with organic rice flour, organic whole oat flour, and organic brown rice flour.  

Moms, any other products you are loving for your babe??


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Seven Months

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Can you really be 7 months? It wasn't until I visited a friend's newborn a few weeks ago that I realized you aren't one any longer. I feel like I blinked and you're a sitting, rolling, moving, babbling little human being. Gone are the days when you could hardly lift your head, and you slept on our chests 20 hours out of 24. You've become a giggling, curious, spunky little chubster. I feel so lucky to be your mama, and am often overwhelmed at how lucky I am to have this job.
Eat: You still nurse every 3 hours or so and are eating solids once a day. I planned to up your solids to twice a day this month, but while you've been teething you haven't really shown much interest. You just want to nurse.

Sleep: You sleep in your crib from 7:00 pm - 6:00/6:30 am. You started this schedule at around 6.5 months and I am PRAYING you keep it! It's amazing how much differently I feel getting those two extra hours in the morning. You still take about 3 naps a day, but they always vary in length. Sometimes it's a two-hour nap, sometimes 25 minutes.
New: If I take something away from you, you've started to get mad. You'll either turn your lip, and your eyes will fill with tears... OR you'll almost yell and bang your hands while crying. It's like a mini-tantrum in the making. We've made it a point NOT to give you back what you wanted because I don't want you to learn to throw a tantrum when you want something. You're still pretty easy to distract, so often times it's really easy to get you to stop crying.
TEETH!! Your first two teefers broke through the skin about a week before you turned 7 months! On one hand it is SO exciting for me, and on the other hand slightly terrifying. We're still nursing and I've heard so many horror stories about biting. Yikes. It has also been really difficult watching you in pain. You are such a good-natured baby and it's clear that your gums have been hurting. We've given you Hyland Teething tablets which help a lot, and we've given you infant Tylenol a few nights when you've been at your worst and really struggling to sleep. It worked almost instantly and you were able to rest.
Walker: We've introduced you to your walker. You still don't realize that you are the one making it move, so it's certainly not intentional, but you do end up making your way across the whole house and into the kitchen. Your dad and I realize it's time to baby proof the house.
Also, You still aren't crawling, but have started to rock on your hands and knees. I see crawling in your near future...

Monday, August 12, 2013

Tips for camping with a baby

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A lot of people thought I was nuts to try and go camping with a six month old. The idea of it made me nervous too. So much stuff! How will she sleep? But there are few things my husband enjoys more, and I know he reallllllly wants Avery to enjoy camping {unlike her mother} as she grows up. So I thought, why not?
Here are some helpful tips for camping with a baby...
1. Leave during nap time: Idyllwild is about 2.5 hours from us. We decided it would be best to leave when she was getting ready to go down for a nap any way so she'd sleep for most of the trip. Much more peaceful for baby...and parents.

2. Bring a Pack n' Play: We knew we needed to bring something we could set her down in. We went back and forth between her exersaucer, her rock n' play and her stroller. All of these things took up too much room. We busted out the Pack n' Play for the first time and we were so stoked on how small it is when it's all folded up. Avery LOVED hanging out in it, and it was nice for us to be able to set her down when we needed free hands. 
Plus this doubled as her bed, which we put in our tent at night.

3. Bring husband to put together said Pack n' Play: Just kidding, sort of. I almost always have Brandon put together Avery's various toys/swings/seats etc. but the Pack n' Play was so easy even I could do it ;-)

4. Bring easy foods! With all the stuff we had to bring, we wanted to limit the amount of ingredients we'd have to pack. We wanted to keep it simple. Hotdogs don't get any easier. We also brought pringles, stuff for breakfast burritos, sodas, water, cookies. Very nutritious meals ;-) You could always bring sliced fruit, veggies, string cheese, crackers, stuff for sandwiches, etc. Avery is still super simple as far as food is concerned. Our campground was private enough to nurse her whenever we wanted. We also brought along some baby food (peas) and Super Puffs which we give her when we eat so she feels like she's partaking.

5. Bring a baby carrier. We didn't have the space to pack her stroller, so we used her baby carrier to walk around the campground. If you want to go on any hikes, strolls, etc. a carrier can come in handy since it gets tiring holding a chubby baby :-)

6. Turn off phones and enjoy time together. Enough said.

7. Never underestimate the appeal of water bottles and pots and pans. I lugged a bunch of Avery's toys with me and she wanted nothing to do with them. We gave her an empty water bottle and a few pots and pans and she banged on them for over an hour.

8. Take a family picture. I almost always have the camera out, but very rarely remember to set up the self-timer and get a family shot. Great one for the baby book!

9. It's okay not to match :-) Polka dots and cheetah? Why not. No headbands and bows, this is camping after all.

**Most of all, be flexible. We brought a sound machine (ipod and speakers) to put in the tent while she slept. Since she goes down so early (7 pm) we wanted to drown out any noises from other campers. It worked like a dream for a few hours. Unfortunately, a pretty rowdy group in the campsite next to us got louder and louder as the night went on, and after the third time of Avery waking up crying, Brandon packed it all up and we headed home! It sounded like they were having a great time and we didn't want to rain on anyone's parade. But we also didn't want to ruin our daughter's night sleep (especially since she's sleeping 12 hours every night and I don't want to mess up a good thing!) **


Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Chicken Curry Sandwiches

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Not pictured: chopped chicken (it was cooking when I took these pics)
My husband has been asking me to make these Curry Chicken Sandwiches for weeks. It's a recipe we got from his sister and he loves them. I love how easy they are to make. I'm not the biggest fan of super "mayonnaise-y" dishes (I don't even really like mayo on my sandwiches) but I do like this recipe. The recipe calls for 3/4 cup mayo but I think you might even be able to do 1/2 cup. We were also thinking about maybe trying greek yogurt next time? 
3/4 cup mayo
2 tsp lime juice
3/4 tsp curry powder
1 medium green apple, chopped
3/4 cup cranraisins 
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup chopped pecans
2 tblsp chopped green onion
2 cups chopped cooked chicken (I think you could also do shredded chicken)
Mini croissants (we used Hawaiian rolls because that's what we had) 

Combine mayo, lime juice and curry powder into a large bowl. Stir in remaining ingredients. Cover and chill. Make sandwiches when ready. 

See? So easy!


Monday, August 5, 2013

Fabulous Wine Gift Idea

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My friend Marissa is honestly one of the most creative and thoughtful people I am lucky enough to know. Just recently (for no reason) I received the best package from her. This would make THE best gift for so many occasions: new baby, marriage, birthday. 
Five bottles of wine (and almond champagne) adorned with handmade tags (instructing you when to open them), 
packaged in a cute little drawer (instead of a box).
and now for a better peek at these adorable rhymes...
Soooo cute right? 
The First Birthday tag gave me tears in my eyes.
Now a bottle of wine won't stay good for 16 years,
Avery's first date for example
But you could always research which ones are meant to "age".

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Silicone Baby Feeder

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A few weeks ago we were out at a restaurant with Avery and my dad held a piece of melon while she sucked and gnawed on it. It was such a hit, and she cried when we took it away. We assumed that it probably felt good on her gums, and she loved the way it tasted. I picked up this silicone teether/feeder from Target for $3.99. Not only can she hold it herself (unlike a lot of slippery foods), but I don't have to worry about her choking on any big pieces. The food just squeezes through the little holes. 

We've tried avocado and peaches in this feeder, and it worked brilliantly. Plus, it is SO easy to clean because it's silicone and there are no little nooks and crannies to collect food. I've heard that the mesh feeders can be a huge pain to clean. No thanks, mama has no time for that.

I also think it helps her with her hand/eye coordination, as she continues to bring it to her mouth when she wants some more. I've also had mama friends tell me that they put frozen fruit, or even ice cubes in their feeders for teething. I have to say this was the best, cheapest purchase I've made so far. 

Unfortunately, I threw away the package before I knew what a hit this would be, and I have no idea what brand it is. I've scoured the internet trying to find it, and have only been able to find similar styles. This one seems like the most similar, and I found this one as well.

And for your viewing pleasure, here is little Avery going to town on her baby feeder :-)

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