Friday, January 31, 2014

Our Week in Photos

Oh my goodness, y'all, this has been such a long week.  I've got a post coming up about the horrendous  road trip back to GA that August and I went through on Tuesday and Wednesday, which put a massive kink in our productivity these past few days.  In the meantime, here are the high points from the last 7 days!

 August can (sometimes) hold his own tiny bottle!  Already such a big boy.

 We had a playdate last week, and I was able to fit into some pre-pregnancy, non-stretchy pants!  The smile is totally genuine.

 Is there anything sweeter than chunky baby toes?

 Last Saturday morning, JP, August, and I ventured up to Cumming to check out Dutch Monkey Doughnuts.  Um, we might have enjoyed it a smidge.

 We got an assortment of flavors: coconut lime, chocolate passionfruit, Aztec chocolate, banana and chocolate, etc.  Soooo tasty!

 Holding hands.  Be still my heart.

 This is his, 'Mama, stop taking pictures.  I'm trying to concentrate on my sweet potatoes and peas' face.

 August and I took our first solo trip to visit Haley in Tallahassee Sunday!  Hello, Florida!

 Hein read August some poetry before dinner on Sunday night; he liked Elizabeth Barrett Browning.  Good taste.

 Big smiles!

 Auntie Haley was an excellent hostess, and also a wonderful back support for August.

 Prior to leaving on Tuesday, the little man took a quick nap with his Hein.  They looked so cozy wrapped in a blanket!

When in Tally, we must wear our FSU sweaters.  How adorable is this little fan?

Friday, January 24, 2014

Our Week(s) in Photos

 August and I do a stroller fitness class on Friday mornings, and cap off the outing with a nursing session in the women's lounge of a nice department store.  It's a pretty nice end to the week.

 This little man is putting everything in his mouth these days.  Including his bath toys, like this shark.  Whatever floats your boat, kid.

 Oh my goodness.  Sometimes I can't even take it.

 The sweetest little bear wandered into our living room last week!

After-dinner storytime.  We read a few books throughout the day, and JP shares book duty before we give August his bath.  Doesn't he look so earnest here?

 I bought these shoes on consignment last week and cannot tell you how much they make me smile.  Totally over the top, but I couldn't help myself!

 JP and I celebrated 8 (!!) years of coupledom last Saturday.
I love him.  So.  Much.

 Baby bedhead!

 Monday morning smiles in bed.

On MLK Day, August and I explored the Atlanta History Center, which included an exhibit on local folk art and a recreation of a Civil War-era farm, including sheep!  Very cool space.  The museum is situated on several acres of land, and one of their buildings is a gorgeous house from the 1920s that was used to film The Hunger Games.  How fun is that?!

August is so over being photographed all the time.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Waiting for Dogot, Part 1

One of my favorite plays from the 20th century is Waiting for Godot.  Have you read or seen it?  Estragon and Vladimir essentially spend the entirety of their time onstage just shooting the breeze; there isn't too much happening, but it is difficult to stop reading.  Their friendship and conversation just draws you in.
That's how I feel watching Mia and August interacting.  Mia has gone from super-anxious to relaxed but alert with August, who has officially taken notice of her and her many licks.  
I'm calling this the 'Waiting for Dogot' series.  There are many more to follow.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

August is eating solids!

It has been an exciting month around here; August is firmly into a routine with solid foods!  It is awesome.  I love watching him discover new tastes and expand his world to include something so essential to our daily lives.  It really does feel like he's becoming more grown up just by eating what we do.

We started giving him tastes of solids about 6 weeks ago, and, though he was completely disinterested at the beginning, now it's part of his morning and night routine.  Our pediatrician gave us the okay to start solids at 4 months, but we waited until he was 5.5 months based on some new research that says babies can totally subsist on breast milk for the first 6 months.  Our nursing routine was going so well, I was a little hesitant to switch it up. 

 August's first food was sweet potato puree, and he's since had carrots, green beans, peas, avocados, bananas, applesauce, pears, prunes, peaches, apricots, and even butternut squash!  The only thing he's not crazy about is avocado; I didn't like them until I was about 20, so will cut him some slack on that.
I make most of his food, but have bought a few jars of organic baby food to have on those days when I need to grab something quick.
The process of making baby food is so simple, though: steam or roast veggies, and puree until smooth.  I am in love with my immersion blender for making this even easier.

I store the food in ice cube trays, and freeze until needed.  So simple!  

August got a great high chair for Christmas, which he sits and plays in while we get his meal together.  We just defrost the food in a ramekin or on a small plate, add a bib, and feed him.  He's a quick eater, so it doesn't take too long. 

Generally, it's a neat process, but we have our messy nights.  Peas can just get out of control sometimes!

After he eats, we let him play with the ramekin and spoon to get him used to eating utensils, and he really enjoys it.  I can't even tell you how fun it is to watch a smile spread over his face when he tries a new food and likes it.  We're having fun with this stage!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Beef and Tomato Stew

Move to Georgia, they said.  It will be warmer down south.
This winter has been nuts.
I can't believe that here, in north Georgia, there were temperatures in the single digits last week.  That didn't even include the wind chill!
You better believe that I was using our crock pot last week, and have been leaning heavily on it throughout this season.  My favorite these past few months has been Martha Stewart's beef and tomato stew.  Easy to throw together, incredibly flavorful, and great served on its own or with rice, it's just a powerhouse recipe.
Also, it is guaranteed to make your house smell amazing.   What do you have to lose?

Beef and Tomato Stew (from Martha Stewart)
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 large onion, diced
3 medium carrots, sliced 1/4-inch thick
3 celery stalks, sliced 1/4-inch thick
2 lbs. beef chuck or stew beef
28 oz. crushed tomatoes
1 c. chicken broth (veggie also works!)
3 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled

1. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium.  Add onion, carrots, and celery; cook, stirring often, until softened.
2. Throw veggies and remaining ingredients into slow cooker, salt and pepper to taste, cover, and cook on high for 6 hours.  Can be served over carb of your choice (brown rice and quinoa are super tasty).

Friday, January 10, 2014

The Week in Photos

 On Saturday, I told JP that I was in the market for a mail organizer and, by the end of the day, this jewel was hanging in our laundry room!  He added the c-hooks on the bottom for keys, and used chalkboard paint on the front panels so we could label our own cubbies.  I swooned.  He's a good man.

 We had a bit of a cold spell here this past week, perhaps you heard about it?

 My happy baby doing the happy baby yoga post.  He loves his feet!

August loves meal time!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

State of Wonder

It happened!  I finished a book over the holidays!  I won't confess how long it's taken me to read Ann Patchett's State of Wonder, but I will tell you that I loved it.
Decades ago, Dr. Marina Singh was a budding obstetrician studying under a well-respected but incredibly demanding gynecologist and teacher, Annick Swenson.  Now, Marina works for Vogel, a pharmaceutical company, where she is partner to the kind and family-centered Anders Eckman.  When Anders dies under mysterious circumstances in the Amazon jungle while researching a new miracle drug, Marina is sent off to find out more from his team, including the elusive Dr. Swenson.
It may not sound like much, but it's such an intriguing start to a book.  Patchett is detailed without being overly verbose with her characters, so you'll be sucked in from the get-go.  Much happens within the nearly 400 pages, including an encounter with a cannibalistic Amazon tribe, interactions with 70-year-old pregnant women, and an attachment to an astute and gentle deaf/mute adolescent.  State of Wonder is definitely a book you could read in a weekend; if you're stuck inside with dreary weather, this is sure to transport you.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Christmas in Florida, Part 2

Christmas Eve and Christmas flew by!  It's crazy to think it was almost 2 weeks ago; where did 2013 go?  
 Meg and August got to hang out before church.  He was so well-behaved, and slept through most of the service!

 We did get one picture together, Haley!

August got lots of soft toys from Santa, which he was only mildly impressed with.  He's tough to please. 

 He did prove that he's teething, though, on Christmas morning!

 He's also meh on bananas.

 The scene at my grandparents' house while Papa read from the Bible.  It's one of my favorite parts of Christmas morning.

 August can sit on his own!  For about 10 seconds.  We'll take it!

 People took turns pushing August in his stroller to keep him happy during the marathon gift unwrapping.

 We have very patient family!

 Happy parents!

 Happy almost-marrieds!

 My babygirl Layla got some loving over the holiday, too.  She is so, so sweet!

 On the drive back to Georgia, we stopped in Jacksonville to visit some of our favorite college friends, who have an adorable 13-month old girl.  Joe and JP used to be in a band together during freshman year; it is one of my great regrets in life that I met them after the group had disbanded.

August worked on his game with Emma by kissing (licking) her hand.  It was pretty precious.

We made it back from our big trip in one piece, and with lots of great memories and pictures to prove we were there! I'm so glad we made the trek down.  Thanks for your excellent hospitality, Florida family!