November 30, 2010

cocoa mix and homemade marshmallows

As I mentioned for the bridal shower my mom and I threw, we handed out hot cocoa mix and homemade marshmallows for the favors.

You can find the recipe for the marshmallows here.  My mom added a touch of pink food coloring to give the marshmallows a pink hue, and used a heart shaped cookie cutter instead of slicing them into squares.

To package the marshmallows we used 4x6 inch cellophane bags.  I created a label on the computer that was 4 inches by 4 inches and folded it in half to seal the bags.  On the back of the label I included instructions for using the cocoa mix.

The hot cocoa mix recipe came from here.  Honestly?  I still haven't tried it, but the recipe called for mini chocolate chips and I thought that sounded pretty tasty.  It took just under two cups of the mix to fill our mason jars.  We didn't use the biggest ones, but I don't know exactly what size these are...

To decorate the jars first my mom glued two pieces of batting and a piece of fabric to a piece of cardboard she cut out that matched the size of the lid.  We didn't want the fabric hanging down look, but I didn't want any of the fabric in with the mix, which is why we used the cardboard.  I used my silhouette to make ribbon slider labels.  We put a dot of hot glue on the back of the labels, as well as where the ribbon met up in the back to keep the whole label/ribbon combo from sliding around.

Like I said I think this would make a great gift for the neighbors, maybe a work gift exchange?  Toss it in a basket with a couple of cute mugs and you are really good to go.  The site where I got the cocoa recipe from also suggests just putting the mix in a bag and putting it inside a big mug with a few other cute items.  It also looks like a good gift.

FYI:  It's too early to be writing a blog post.  I just about titled this post homade... ho-made marshmallows.  Nice.

November 29, 2010

eight months

Ohmigod my baby is eight months old today.  She is so close to being a toddler it's scary!  How can I make her stay little just a bit longer?  Oy.

Again no doctors appointment this month, so I am just estimating Ryann's stats at home.  But I think she weighs 18lbs 14oz and is just about 28 inches long.  She can wear a lot of her 6-12 month leggings and some of the tops, but the dresses and sweaters are still pretty big.  Her Carter's clothes are still a 9 month size.  I tried putting a pair of the 12 month pants on her because I wanted her to wear red pants, and they kept falling off while she was crawling around :o).  She is also still rockin' a size 3 diaper.

As far as food and bottles go this past month... Ry generally gets four bottles a day, six ounces in the morning and after each nap.  I give her a seven ounce bottle before bed.  Sometimes she will get a four ounce bottle in the middle of the night.  Eating solids still pretty much isn't happening.  Well when I try and feed her anyway.  I am trying to introduce breakfast and lunch, but Ryann has no interest in eating anything from me, she likes it when her daddy feeds her.  Makes the daytime meals a bit difficult.  I am also not very consistent about them because sometimes it seems like such a hassle since she never eats, but I'm trying to get over it.  Dinner is the best (thanks to Chris), she will often eat a little more than an ounce of puree, and some puffs.  Chris frequently uses the puffs to get her to open her mouth, and then sneaks in a spoonful of veggies.

we were frequently up close and personal, because I couldn't get her to stay off my lap

Like I mentioned, Ryann has no interest in self feeding yet.  She hasn't really been an everything goes to the mouth kind of baby.  So even if we put food in front of her, she just picks it up and plays with it.  But little miss independent just wants to grab the spoon when we are feeding her purees, so I think she would be better off feeding herself.  I'm going to keep encouraging it, and maybe in other month or so, I'll feel a little more confident giving her things besides puffs to try and pick up.  Any suggestions for finger food for kiddos with little chomping power?

Speaking of chomping power (teeth) we have a tooth!  Just one, and you can barely see it, but it poked through.  And I *think* there are some more following close behind it.  She still gets fussy and is constantly yelling while chewing on her hand and thumb, and frequently pulling at her ears.  I suppose that could be an ear infection, but she hasn't had a fever (other than the day her tooth was popping through) and ear pain from teething makes sense.

This month was a gross motor skills explosion.  Ry can easily get to a seated position by herself and rarely tips over anymore.  She is crawling with her belly off the floor and pulling up on everything.  Just this weekend she started trying to cruise on furniture.  She also mastered climbing stairs on Thanksgiving.  Chris's aunt and uncle live in a split level and I was surprised to see Ry quickly figure out how to climb to the top.  She had so much fun doing it I kind of feel bad that we don't have stairs for her to climb.  Although it is nice to not worry about them.  She also figured out how to climb into her pink chair, so now instead of standing in front of it, she would prefer to stand on top of it.

I am pretty certain that teething along with the developmental craziness is what was causing most of our sleep difficulties.  Ry has actually slept through the night (7:15pm -5:45am or 6am) three times this past week.  The other nights she only woke up once and was relatively easy to get back to sleep with a little bottle.  I'll keep my fingers crossed that this trend continues.  I would love for her to sleep a little later than 5:45am, but after all of the horrible sleeping I am going to count my blessings and take what I can get.  I figure if nothing else, maybe when the time changes again we will be doing pretty good :o).  She takes two naps a day, going down between 9-10am, and 2-3pm.  They usually last at least an hour, sometimes more like an hour and a half.

This little girl LOVES books.  She loves when I read them to her, and she loves to flip through them by herself.  She loves them so much that she usually screams for a minute or two after I say 'The End, all done!'.  However I often read before naps, and she still HATES taking naps, so I think that has a little bit to do with it.  It seems like her favorite book right now is 'Where is Baby's Belly Button?'.  She gets so excited when we lift the flaps.

look at all that cute little fuzz :o)

Ryann has a pretty crazy little personality.  She is highly independent and wants to do everything by herself.  But you have to be sitting right next to her.  If you leave the room, or get up like you might leave the room, she cries.  She gets extremely irritated if you try and direct her hands to do something.  Like putting a shape in a shape sorter, or waving or clapping, or really trying to make her hands do anything.  She pulls them into her body so tight.  She is a little goober and gives everyone the little scrunchy nose smile face.  Unless they try to touch her or hold her, she kind of freaks.  Hello stranger danger.  She has become pretty clingy to me, which is semi flattering, but really annoying when I just want to use the bathroom, or something like that.

spaz.  enough said.

She is babbling all the time, and is starting to say 'mamama' more frequently, which is exciting.  Mostly though, she is saying some version of 'di' or 'da', or has her motor boat noise running.  The other day I asked her if she climbed the stairs with daddy, and I swear it sounded like she responded with 'I did'.  I'm not making it up, ask Chris or my mom!  It was too funny.  More and more she will crawl to us if we say 'come here', and she will extend her arms to be picked up if we say 'up' or ask her if she wants 'up', so I think she is starting to understand a little bit of what we are talking about.  She will copy cat some noises, and loves to go back and forth with her making a noise and me repeating it.

Ryann finds it pretty funny when I make animal noises.  Lately the only way to keep her still on the changing table is to let her hold her owl night light.  I tell her the owl says 'whooo whooo' and she smiles every time.  We also talk about how the kitties say meow, and her duck toy says quack quack.  I need to find a book about animals so we can start working on animals and their sounds more and more.

mom, my mouth hurts.  seriously.  seriously I'm done!

One of my favorite things happens just before bath time.  Why we do this I don't know, but Chris holds her up so I can take her diaper off before we stick her in the tub.  I always try and get a couple smooches from Ry.  A lot of times she will open her mouth really wide when I pucker up, and frequently she opens her mouth and then licks me when I come in for the kiss.  She always kicks her legs like crazy.

Oh baby girl.  I love you more than you will ever know.  Stop growing up so fast, ok?

For those of you who are curious, her headband is from Banner Boutique on Etsy.  :o)

November 28, 2010

where have I been?

Apparently I took the long holiday weekend off from blogging.  I didn't intend to, but we were busy, and I haven't been feeling so hot, so blogging took a back seat.  I feel like I have lots to share, and no time to really sit down and get it all out.  Plus holy freaking cow Ryann will be 8 months old tomorrow.  So I have to get her 8 month post written too!  Ahhh!!

Therefore, you are getting a hodge podge post filled mostly with pictures.  I hope you can deal.

How do you take pictures of a moving baby?  I'm trying really hard, but I feel like I never have near as many to choose from as I used to.  (And I still end up with a bajillion pictures, I suppose it isn't horrible)  I was trying to hold her back with my legs in this one, she is constantly climbing all over me.

Doing her favorite thing these days... standing at her little pink chair.  As of tonight she can now climb into it which creates a whole different batch of problems :o).

We've been trying to get Ryann to feed herself puffs.  They usually just end up stuck to her hands.

Daddy made her a pretty little link crown :o).


More chair standing :o)

Daddy and Ryann were heading outside to kill some time.  I thought she looked rather adorable!

A few shots from Thanksgiving day...

Over the weekend we went to my parents house to celebrate Thanksgiving with them.  Ryann helped grammy cook our turkey dinner.

We tried to get some photos of Ryann and us with the Christmas tree, but a tired/antsy baby, plus a room full of people who don't know how to use my camera = semi blurry shots.  But hey, they are still memories right?


Really Ryann just wanted to play with her Grandpa, who was helping make her smile.  Chris is holding her back in the photo on the left.  She just wanted to go!


Seriously.  My child absolutely loves to rip up newspaper.  I think it is getting out of hand.  But it makes her happy...

Hanging out with Grandpa, trying to get a peek outside.  She was a little confused when I ended up on the other side of the door.  

Whew!  I hope everyone had a great holiday weekend.  I feel like these next few weeks are going to be REALLY busy.  So if I don't post as often please don't hate me!  Maybe I'll surprise myself and stay on top of things.  But I'm not counting on it.

Good night!

November 24, 2010

a day in the life - jen

Woot!  I actually have 'a day in the life' post to share with you this week.  Get excited!  Please meet Jen... I know I've mentioned her blog before, and if you didn't check it out then you should now.   But before you jump over there take a peak at a day in her life!


Hi! My name is Jen and I blog over at Let's Make it Ours about renos, crafting and kids. I am the mom of two kids, a four year old girl and a boy who is about to turn one. Since I live in Canada, I was fortunate enough to have a year off for maternity leave. Since I stopped working before my son was born, my year is up and I am currently working from home part time for a publishing company but will be back in my real office starting December 1st. The day I am sharing with you is a typical Wednesday around here. It is a work day for me, but since my husband works weekends, he has the day off.

4:45 am - I wake up to the sound of my baby talking to himself in his crib. After 10 minutes, I realize that soon he will be wide awake and I should just go ahead and breastfeed him. 10 minutes later, he is fast asleep and I am back in bed. 
6 am - I wake up, check the time and realize that everyone is still sleeping (yay!). I sneak downstairs, make myself some tea and check my facebook, emails and google reader. I really need this time to myself in the morning. I would much rather sacrifice an hour more of sleep for some peace and quiet! 
6:45 - My husband and daughter come downstairs at the same time that I hear my son on his monitor. My husband leaves for a run so I take my daughter upstairs and she plays in her room while I change and attempt to feed the baby. He decides that he is not interested in eating. 
7:15 - We head back downstairs and I make breakfast for both kids. A cinnamon raisin bagel for my daughter and applesauce, diced peaches and oatmeal for my son. Because no morning is complete without a temper tantrum, my daughter decides that she cannot eat the bagel because there is raisins in it, even though she loves raisins. It is too early for an argument so she gets cereal instead....ironically, she chooses raisin bran out of the pantry and happily eats it. After the kids are fed, my husband returns from his run and goes upstairs to take a shower while I make us scrambled eggs with peppers, mushrooms and spinach and a piece of toast. 
8:30 - 10:00 I check the time and realize that I need to start working right now and I unfortunately don't have time for a shower first. I thrown on some yoga pants and put my hair into a ponytail and make my way to my home office and get to work.

10:15 - I take a break to nurse, change and put my son down for his nap while my husband gets our daughter dressed and ready for school. 
10:30 - 12:00 - I keep working and manage to get everything wrapped up for the day which I am very happy about since that means I get to spend the afternoon with my family. 
12:00 - My husband returns home from taking my daughter to her afternoon preschool while I (finally!) take a shower and then the 3 of us have lunch together. 
1:00 - I try to feed my son before we leave, but he refuses to eat, won't even latch on. He is doing this a lot lately and it is quite frustrating. We leave to run some errands and then head to preschool for the 2:00 pickup

2:00 - Since it is an absolutely gorgeous day here we go for a walk to one of our favorite places.

3:00- We return home. Our daughter has a snack while I put the baby down for his nap. Luckily, he nurses this time, but only for 3 minutes. Oh well. My daughter and I head out to Benjamin Moore to look at paint colors for the kitchen. Chloe loves it there because they have a kids table with lots of toys. I leave more confused than when I arrived...I hate choosing paint colors. 
4:30 - My husband decides to take advantage of the nice weather and grill burgers for dinner. Since it gets dark at 4:30 now, this isn't the best idea, but I don't complain since it means that I am only in charge of making a salad while he cooks. I feed my son his dinner (noodles and steamed carrots) but he is still hungry. I give him a hard boiled egg yolk, which he devours. For "dessert" he gets some banana and organic puffed rice. I am starting to have a really hard time feeding him because even though he only has one tooth (which just broke through this week) he is not as interested in purees anymore and he has a dairy allergy which really limits his diet. I need to come up with some new ideas! 
5:30 - Since our daughter finished her dinner quickly tonight, she gets to choose an activity before bath time. She chooses Dora Bingo so the three of us play on the living room floor while the baby plays in his exersaucer. 

6:15 - Both kids take a bath. Nolan learned to pull himself up onto his knees in the tub this week and is quite proud of himself! I pull my son out and get him dressed while my husband does the same with our daughter. While listening to her scream because she doesn't want her teeth brushed, I am grateful that my son is still so easygoing...I am sure it won't last long! I put him on the floor to play while I hang up some clean laundry and tidy his room. 

6:45 - I feed and rock my son to sleep and put him into his crib. He reaches for his dinosaur blankie which I realize is NOT in his crib where I left it. My husband took it downstairs with him when he got him up from his nap. Luckily we get the blankie into the crib before he starts full on screaming. 
7:00 - I read my daughter one chapter out of her new chapter book, kiss her goodnight and head downstairs. 30 seconds later, she is out of bed and saying she is scared. I get her calmed down and back to bed and hope it is for good this time. 
7:30 - I throw a load of cloth diapers in the washer, tidy up the kitchen and run the dishwasher. I finally sit down to unwind with the computer while my husband heads out to the garage to prime the last set of kitchen cabinet doors. I am just about to order Nolan's birthday invitations, when he comes into the house and starts working on the cabinets bases so I get up to help him. Since we are priming with stinky oil primer, we have to prime at night when the kids are asleep. Unfortunately, the last thing I want to do at the end of the day is open all the windows in the kitchen and paint! 
8:45 - We are finally done painting, so we go downstairs to the rec room with a glass of wine and cuddle up to watch a couple shows on netflix. 
10:15 - We go upstairs and get ready for bed. I am exhausted and hope that my son sleeps until a decent hour tonight!

 And the questions...
1.  What is the most surprising thing to you about being a mother?
How hard it would be for me to hand my children over to someone else. I didn't anticipate having such a hard time with that. Even though I am a working mom, it is still really hard for me to leave them, especially when they are young. Sometimes I wish I was the type of mom that could leave the kids at home and go on vacation for a few days, but I am way too nervous. 

2.  What are some tips you would give to new moms, or soon to be mommas?
Take time to sleep when you bring your baby home from the hospital! In the early days, I knew that as soon as I started feeling tired, I started to feel a little sad and depressed. With both children, for the first couple weeks, I used to take a nap from about 7-9 pm so that I was better rested to deal with the night wakings. It was really hard for me to walk away and force myself to take a nap, but made a huge difference in how I felt. 

3.  What are your top 3 baby products?
  • White  noise machine. This was a must for us because when our son came home after his 5 week nicu stay, he was used to lots of noise and bright lights. He still sleeps with the white noise machine on every night and it helps drown out his sister playing during nap time. 
  • swaddle blankets - both my kids loved to be swaddled so these were a lifesaver for us. 
  • itz been timer (or a similar iphone app) - When my daughter was born, I used a notebook to record info regarding how oftern she nursed and when she started sleeping through the night at 7 weeks, I had already stopped using it. My son on the other hand woke up every 30 min to 2 hours for months on end and the timer was a lifesaver for us. I used to wake up and think that it had been 2 hours and he was probably hungry, but when I would check the timer, I would find that it had only been 30 minutes so I knew that he didn't need to eat. Those months were such a blur! I still use this occasionally to record when I give him his medication or to see how long he is napping

Thanks a bunch Jen!

November 23, 2010

diy wreaths

As I am beginning to think about decorating for Christmas, I've decided I need a new wreath.  The one we've been using is a lovely $9.98 wreath from Wal-Mart.  It gets the job done, but it doesn't really fit my style.  (Whatever my style might be, I really have no idea what it is)

My real problem is I have yet to find a wreath that I like.  I love the look of some of the live wreaths I saw online at Pottery Barn, but other than that I can't find the 'one'.  I like clean lines without too much fluff going on.  There can't be too many sticks hanging out, I won't do pinecones...  So I started thinking maybe I could make one!

I've found some fun diy wreath ideas online, not sure if I'll try one of them, but I thought I'd share anyway!

I think this felt ruffle wreath is so cute.  I think it is my favorite.  My dilemma with this one... my door is a bright green, and I like silver and golds, but I'm not sure about silver or gold felt (does that even exsist?).  I'm generally not a fan of red, but maybe a red felt wreath?  That could be pretty.  If I don't do it now, I might make a hot pink one to use for Valentine's Day, or for Ryann's birthday party...

You can find instructions here, on domestifluff.

I also saw this yarn wreath on Joi's blog, she got the idea and tutorial from here.

It seems relatively easy to make, and the felt flowers are adorable, but maybe some cute little ornaments would make it a great holiday wreath?

Check out this Halloween wreath:

Ok wrong holiday, but in different colors and minus the skull, I really like that one too.  My lack of sewing skills, or a machine for that matter, could make it difficult to achieve.  A little help mom?  :o)

Or I could always go with a good old ornament wreath...

You can find the tutorial here.  Not sure if it would work for me because we have a storm door.  Based on the pictures I've seen I'm not sure it would fit!

What does your holiday wreath look like?

November 22, 2010

she gets it from...

When Ryann was born it was crazy how much she looked like her daddy.  Just check out that baby picture of little Christopher.  She is most definitely his child.

She still looks a lot like her daddy.  However her chubby little cheeks and blue eyes have become a bit more prominent.

But her ridiculously adorable scrunchy nose smile?  The one that makes me giggle every time?

Yeah, she got that one from me...

Mine might not be quite as goofy as hers, but I think you can see the resemblance.  And if your wondering, that is a picture of four year old me holding my baby sister.

Happy Monday :o).