Thursday, September 27, 2012

What We’ve Been Up To Lately…

Haven’t done a photo recap in a while!  Here’s a bunch from my phone:

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This picture cracks me up because it looks like he has a little alien head :)  He’s getting pretty good at holding up his head, though!

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The weather is in that weird transition phase from summer to fall so it’s been hard choosing outfits!  This was a new comfy fall outfit from Old Navy…size 3-6!  He’s barely in anything 0-3 anymore with the exception of Carter’s short-sleeve onesies.

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Daddy’s birthday from a couple weeks ago :)  Toby and I bought him a Starbucks giftcard since he’s been obsessed with coffee lately (and because he always gives me the “I don’t need anything” when I ask what he wants).

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We have tried to wean the swaddle with no success (and we’ve only tried a half swaddle with leaving his arms out)…he will fall asleep for 5-10 minutes and then wake up screaming.  Guess he’s just not ready yet.

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This was from our Maine vacation…woke up pretty happy one morning and was moving so fast his arms are just a blur

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This was getting ready for Maine…his little red suitcase was all packed and ready to go!

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Little feet and big feet

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Serious face

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For some reason, I think he looks a lot like my dad in this picture!



Monday, September 24, 2012

2nd and 3rd Month Favorites

Never did a 2 month favorites recap, so here’s a combination of all the things that have made life easier for us the past couple months!  First month favorites can be found here.


The World of Eric Carle Developmental Elephant – love this little guy!  I picked it up at Kohl’s a few weeks before Toby was born since we only received a few rattles and small teether toys at our baby shower.  The ears crinkle which grabs Toby’s attention and he’s getting pretty good at grabbing the little star shape that hangs from one of the feet.

Jeep Cherokee Sport Stroller – we’ve started to use this a lot more now that Toby is a little bigger.  We also use a Snuzzler to give him more support.  Love how lightweight and compact this stroller is, and it’s pretty smooth riding for the price.  I would say it’s a good couple steps up from an umbrella stroller – it’s definitely not a jogging stroller but does pretty well on bumpy sidewalks.  Only downside is that it doesn’t have shoulder straps but so far that hasn’t been an issue since Toby can’t move around that much :) 

Munchkin Nursery Projector and Sound System – we originally had registered for the Graco sound machine.  We used it for a few weeks and then Maggie decided to eat through the power cord (she also ate through my phone charger and video monitor power cords yesterday…let’s just say we’re having issues with the cats acting out lately but that’s a whole other post).  We used rechargeable batteries in it for a few nights, but it would randomly turn off even though the batteries were still charged, and then Toby would wake up.  For some reason Graco couldn’t send us a replacement cord (something about them not making this model anymore) so we just decided to order a new machine but went with a different brand.  Should have gone with the Munchkin from the beginning – not only is it cheaper but the volume goes up much louder, which Toby needs to sleep longer.  We haven’t used the projector much but we may use it more once we do more sleep training and wean him from the swaddle and pacifier.

Fisher-Price Deluxe Infant to Toddler Comfort Rocker – I probably wouldn’t have been able to shower daily without this fabulous chair.  It keeps Toby entertained for a good half hour, sometimes even longer while I get ready (I just put him in the doorway of our bathroom).  I hang extra toys off the bar so he can play with new stuff each morning. 

Baby Einstein Caterpillar and Friends Activity Gym – we started using this activity mat early on and it’s been worth every penny.  He loves punching all the toys and now is much better at grabbing them.  The smiley sun keeps him entertained and the music is cute, not annoying. 

Chicco Keyfit Caddy Stroller Frame – we originally were going to register for a Chicco travel system and then last minute I decided against it because a lot of reviews said how bulky the stroller was and that it took up a lot of trunk room.  Since I drive a Civic, I needed something compact and small.  We went with the caddy frame and Jeep stroller, and so far we’re really happy with this combo.  The caddy is very easy to open and close, doesn’t take up much space, and there is a lot of storage room in the basket.  We use this more for shopping and errands.  As Toby gets bigger, he probably won’t be in the car seat for much longer outside of the actual car, but this was definitely worth purchasing for his first few months instead of going with the more expensive travel system. 

Fisher-Price Cradle Swing – My Little Snug-a-Bunny – I’ll admit it, I was anti-swing before Toby was born.  I didn’t think it was necessary, thought they were really expensive for something you would only use for a few months, and I also didn’t want something that big taking up so much space in the living room.  Well, I caved in after 5 weeks since he was going through such a fussy period in the evenings and we both needed a break since he wanted to constantly be held and be moved.  Toby took a lot of naps in it during his second month but now he just likes to swing and look around.   

Tommee Tippee Travel Bottle & Food Warmer Set – we purchased this before our vacation to Maine, but should have registered for this from the start.  Makes it much easier to prepare a bottle when out and about, instead of having to ask a waiter for a hot cup of water or finding a coffee shop that will give you a cup.  It’s crazy how hot the water stays after several hours in the thermos – we’ve even burned ourselves a couple times so you definitely don’t want to to pour it near the baby!  Instead of putting boiling water, I just use hot tap water now and it’s the perfect temperature.


Thursday, September 20, 2012

Recipe: Honey Mustard Pulled Chicken Sandwiches (slow-cooker)

Another slow-cooker recipe…what can I say, these are too easy.  I love cooking chicken breasts in the slow cooker because they always come out so juicy and flavorful.  I prefer the slow-cooker method compared to browning them on the stovetop or baking in the oven.


I found a honey mustard barbecue sauce a couple weeks ago at the grocery store so I decided to try it as a marinade.  We had some leftover hamburger rolls, so I used those to make pulled chicken sandwiches and they came out pretty tasty.  This makes about 4 servings (enough to fit on a roll with a little leftover).  Only thing is they’re messy, so it’s best to eat the sandwich with a fork :)  Here’s what I came up with for the recipe:


  • 3 frozen chicken breasts
  • 1 1/2 cups honey mustard barbecue sauce
  • 1/4 cup honey mustard
  • hamburger rolls (optional if you don’t want sandwiches)

Let’s Get Cooking!

  • Add chicken breasts, barbecue sauce and honey mustard to slow cooker.  Turn slow cooker on high for 4 hours.
  • At four hour mark, take chicken breasts out of slow cooker with tongs and put onto separate plate.  Use two forks to pull the chicken apart into small pieces. 
  • Add chicken pieces back into slow cooker and mix well with barbecue sauce mixture.  If mixture seems too thin or soupy, turn off slow-cooker and let it sit for 15 minutes to help thicken it up.
  • Serve on hamburger rolls or eat it alone – up to you :)


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

We Have a Roller!

We were doing tummy time in Toby’s room today and he rolled over from tummy to back twice in a row :)  So much fun seeing him reach milestones like this!  Though, I don’t think he’s really a fan yet…


Monday, September 17, 2012

Growing Up

Skinny newborn Toby certainly has grown over the past few months!  He looks like such a little boy in the three month photo.  I don’t see a huge difference between month 2 and month 3, other than the fact he can sit up a little more comfortably in the glider now! 











His face is filling out – love kissing those “chunka” cheeks hundreds of times each day.  Still can’t tell who he looks more like, though.  He has my nose and Hubby’s mouth and a mixture of the other features.  His eyes have become more defined…I really hope they stay blue like mine :)











He’s certainly grown taller!  He’s grown 5 inches from birth to his 2 month appointment so he may be even longer now.  As for weight, he’s still lean but his thighs and arms are getting fat.  I really feel like he grows so much lengthwise that he just can’t keep up with adding on the pounds.



Can’t wait to see how he progresses the next few months!


Sunday, September 16, 2012

Toby: 3 Months Old!

Well, this summer sure has flown by!  I look back at photos from the very early weeks and it’s just crazy how much he’s already changed since then.  Definitely doesn’t look like a newborn anymore.


This month, like month 2, has been fun!  He gives the cutest smiles so I’m always trying to find new ways to get a big toothless grin from him.  And when he giggles, oh my gosh, it’s so adorable.  Sometimes I tear up (tears of joy!) when we’re interacting – I guess seeing him so happy makes me happy :)  Playing with him is great, but sometimes challenging as I can only shake a toy in front of his face so many times before it gets old.  I’ve found that moving to a new activity every 20-30 minutes in a different room in the house helps.  We’ll do the activity mat (I sit on the floor besides him), let him swing, then go upstairs and do tummy time in his room, check out some books and rattles and then just relax and “talk” on our bed.  I’m trying to always keep talking  – describing colors, counting things, and other simple stuff so he’s hearing more and more words.  I’m really excited he likes the small touch and feel books now.  He doesn’t touch them yet but loves looking at the bright colors on the pages.


He’s starting to enjoy outings more and take in his surroundings instead of just snoozing.  We’re much more comfortable using his Jeep stroller so he’s front facing.  He definitely likes riding in that better than being in the car seat caddy as the car seat is like a torture device for him.  I ordered a car seat activity bar on Amazon a few days ago so hopefully that will keep him entertained longer instead of just whining in the seat.


Things I’m excited to see for the following month:  Hubby put together the jumper a few days ago to see if Toby can use it yet.  He’s doing really well with holding his head up but I think he still needs a few more weeks before he can use the jumper without me sitting right next to him.  We also started a baby yoga class last week.  It’s a 7 week session so the majority of it will fall within this next month.  He liked the first class so let’s hope he enjoys the rest of it!  It was tough searching for a “mommy and me” class that starts under 6 months of age, but I’m really glad I found this one. 


Weight: Was 10 pounds, 5 ounces at his 2 month appointment (which was 10 days late).  Still skinny but his doctor said it’s okay, just to make sure that when he’s showing his hunger cues to feed him right away.  In the 10th percentile for weight.  Guessing he’s gotta be at least 11 pounds by now, hopefully getting closer to 12.

Height: Was 24.5 inches at his 2 month appt – grew another 2 inches in a month!  Long and lean still – he’s in the 86th percentile for height. 

Medical Issues: First fever came from his 2 month shots on 8/28 – it went up to 100.7 so we called the doctor to get the okay to give him Tylenol.  That helped immediately and he was able to sleep decent that night.  He was still a little fussy the next day but not as hot.  Other issues: dry skin, including a little cradle cap.  I’ve been using baby oil on his scalp at night and gently scraping it away with his comb.  We do a bath every other night so he doesn’t get too dry, unless there’s a big diaper explosion.


Sleep: Still good – sleeping 9pm-2:30am, up to eat for 20 minutes, back to sleep until 6:30ish.  Trying to work on a schedule for naps, but it can still be random.  Basically he will eat, stay up for about 90 minutes or so and then get fussy so I know it’s naptime.  He usually takes one mid morning nap that lasts for 45 minutes.  Then he goes back down for an early afternoon nap, which sometimes can be longer.  He’ll nap in the late afternoon for 45 minutes to an hour, and then he typically needs a cat nap in the evening or else he’s really fussy.  Would love for him to just go to bed early around 7:3o or 8 to eliminate the cap nap…

Clothes/Diapers Sizes: 0-3 stuff is getting tight lengthwise but will not have to switch to 3-6 stuff for another few weeks (except I did have to put him in a 3-6 white onesie that he’s wearing in these pictures as Gerber runs small).  I put him in some 6 month pants to see how much room he has left to fill them out and they’re still pretty big.  Don’t want to buy any 3 month pants, though, as they’d be capri’s on him!  Using 1’s for diapers but probably on our last big box of those.

Diet: Made it 3 months with breastfeeding which was my goal!  We’re still going strong, so I’m going to give it another month.  Eating 4-4.25 oz when taking a bottle. Sometimes will eat up to 5oz in the evening.  Getting better with going 3 hours in between feedings (the every 2 hours schedule was getting annoying and meant very short naps).  I think I’ll wait another few weeks until I try to get him to stretch it to 3.5-4 hours in between since I want to make sure he’s gaining enough weight.


Baby Gear Love: Jeep stroller – used it a lot on vacation and it was perfect since he fell asleep in it on walks from the rental house to the beach/downtown area.  Also bought the Tommy Tippee thermos and we are amazed at how hot it keeps water all day – awesome for traveling or even when we’re just out and about for a bit (no need to wait for a waiter to bring over a cup of hot water or track down a coffee shop to ask for some). 

Milestones/Firsts: First trip to Boston (went to Museum of Science) on 8/19.  First fever (which meant first dose of Tylenol) on 8/28.  Attended first kid’s birthday party on 8/25 (for Mickayla, she turned 1).  First family vacation and first trip to Maine 9/1-9/8 [firsts during vacation: trip to the ocean/beach (York Beach), trip to the zoo (York Wild Animal Kingdom), also started grabbing toys, pulling his legs up to his belly, giggling, and “talking” during this week].  So close to rolling but hasn’t done it yet.


Likes: Playing with Mommy on the activity mat (loves when I get up real close to him).  Laying on the couch and looking up at people’s faces upside down.  Loves listening to anyone talk and he’ll talk right back – he can be a little chatterbox just like Daddy :)  Being outside is exciting for him – we have been laying on a blanket out back a lot since we returned from Maine.  Also still a fan of the swing – now he stays awake in it and just looks around the room instead of falling asleep right away.

Dislikes: Tummy time is no fun – tolerates it for a few minutes at least.  I think he’ll be rolling in the next few weeks.  And still hates the car seat, unless he’s moving in it.

Postpartum: I’ve had a couple times where sleep deprivation has gotten to me.  While I know it’s nice that he only wakes up once a night to eat, it’s still draining.  Slowly adjusting to an earlier time schedule.  As for physical stuff…my hair is coming out in handfuls!  Apparently postpartum hair loss is normal.  I’m going to schedule a hair cut soon to see if it helps cut down on the shedding.  Also had a mini meltdown in Maine when my boobs didn’t fit in a bathing suit I bought last summer.  And as fall approaches, that means I won’t be able to do skirts and dresses every day…I need to get used to wearing real jeans again but they’re just not comfy!





Thursday, September 13, 2012

Recipe: Sweet & Tangy Turkey Meatballs over Brown Rice (slow cooker)

Hubby has been working a 10:30AM-8PM shift this week, which means it’s a little hard to make lunch and dinner for myself, especially if Toby is being fussy and only wants to be held.  I decided to try out a couple slow cooker meals this week, since they’re so easy to throw together.

I’ve seen recipes using grape jelly to make slow cooker meatballs, so I figured I would try it out.  I made this recipe up based on ingredients I found in my kitchen and it came out pretty good…proud of myself haha :)

This recipe is meant for 2 people – dinner portions and then a lunch portion for leftovers.  You could easily double it for a family portion.

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should have taken a better picture on my “real” camera but the iPhone will have to do for now


  • 1 small package of frozen turkey meatballs (I buy the 12 pack ones from Trader Joe’s)
  • 1 1/4 cups reduced sugar grape jelly
  • 1 cup honey barbecue sauce
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 package of minute boil-in-bag brown rice

Let’s Get Cooking!

  • Add all ingredients EXCEPT brown rice into the slow cooker.  Cook on low for 4 hours.
  • At the 4 hour mark, add in package of brown rice and stir.  No need to boil the rice previously as it will cook in the slow cooker with the sauce.  Don’t be alarmed if mixture is very liquidy at this point, as the rice will soak a lot of it up.
  • Continue to cook on low for 2 hours, or until the the rice is plump and fully cooked.

Mmmm so good and really filling!  I hade 4 for dinner plus a decent amount of rice and I probably could have gone with just 3.  The mixture is very similar to a sweet and sour concoction, but this is more tangy because of the barbecue sauce.  There’s a slight kick from the chili powder, but my taste buds are pretty sensitive to spicy food, so you may want to add another 1/2 teaspoon to make it hotter.


Monday, September 10, 2012

Maine 2012 – First Family Vacation

Things have been quiet around here since we just got back from our first family vacation!  We rented a house in York Beach, Maine last summer for a week in late August and wanted to continue the tradition for this summer.  We had decent weather (there were a couple rainy and cloudy days that I think were remnants of Hurricane Isaac), but at least it wasn’t overly hot since our rental house didn’t have air conditioners.  We spent a lot more time at the house this summer since Toby was with us, but we were able to get out each day and do something new.  Both sets of grandparents were able to come up so we had extra sets of hands to help out, which was nice :)  Let’s just say I quickly realized that vacationing with a kid is not really a “vacation” anymore. 

Getting ready for this trip was exhausting – just trying to remember all the stuff Toby would need was crazy!  I basically went through what we do the entire day, starting with his morning routine, and made a list of things we needed to bring.  I’ll do a separate post with my lists I updated from last summer.  My organization paid off, though, since we didn’t forget anything and we adjusted pretty well in the rental house.  I was also really anxious about wondering how I would feed Toby the whole week.  I think people forget that even if I’m bottle feeding him, I still have to pump to keep my supply up (or to keep me from getting too engorged).  That means I had to make sure we came back to the house after 4 hours or so, or I would bring my pump with us and plan to pump in the car.  I managed to keep up my supply, but it will be much easier next summer when he’s drinking regular milk all the time! 

Toby did really well the whole week – he was so good during the day and was fussy only a couple evenings.   He played a lot and also really started interacting with us more this past week.  He was “talking” (cooing) and smiling all the time.  If you continue talking to him, he loves making noises back at you.  He also hit some milestones this past week, which was exciting.  He started grabbing his toys on his activity mat and infant seat and is oh so close to rolling over.  He pulls his legs up all the way to his chest and moves to one side, but just can’t roll over completely yet.  He also started sticking his tongue out ALL the time and is always trying to lick his onesie or shirt.  He sucks on his fist a lot, too, but he was doing that before we got to Maine. 

I was worried he wouldn’t sleep well in the pack n’ play, but he adjusted quickly.  The first couple nights he woke up a couple hours earlier than he normally does at 1AM to eat, and he got up again 4 hours later at 5ish instead of normally getting up around 7ish.  The third and fourth nights he managed to stay asleep until 2:30ish, so that wasn’t so bad.  And then one night he slept from 8:45PM – 4:15AM, which I think is the longest stretch he’s ever done.  Hubby and I woke up at 3:30AM that night wondering if he was okay because we hadn’t heard him cry yet!  He did really well with naps in the pack n’ play, too – he averaged about 45 minutes each time we put him down.  The only thing that worried me was that he moved like crazy in it, even with the swaddle done tightly.  I would lay him the long way on the mattress and sometimes when I came back to get him when he woke up, he turned himself 90 degrees so he was laying the short way.  And one time he managed to scoot all the way to side of the crib, smooshing his face against it, so I went in to move him and that woke him up completely from his nap.  Even though the side of the pack n’ play is mesh, I still felt like I needed to move him.  All in all, it went much better than I anticipated!

Enough talk, here’s some pictures to recap our week:






We walked down to the beach a couple times and then did an actual beach day towards the end of the week.  We visited the Nubble Lighthouse (I want to do a family picture there each year now), went to the zoo in York for the first time, took a road trip up to Freeport to shop at L.L. Bean and other stores, and of course had to hit up the Kittery Outlets to purchase some fall and winter clothes for Toby.  We also had lots of ice cream from Brown’s and the Scoop Deck in Wells.  Time to start counting calories for real again if I want to fit into my jeans before it gets cool out!


Sunday, September 9, 2012

101 in 1001 – Museum of Science

It’s been difficult to work on my 101 in 1001 list since Toby’s arrival, but I’m still determined to get as many items crossed off the list before the “due date” next fall!  A few weeks ago, I was looking to see which things would be possible to complete now and decided we would visit the Museum of Science in Boston.  I last visited the museum a long time ago, probably when I was only 4 or 5 years old. 

Boston is about a 45 minute drive from our home. Parking can actually be pretty cheap on the weekends in the city as long as there’s not a sports game or huge convention taking place, which kind of defeats the purpose of taking public transportation.  We knew it would much easier driving in with Toby anyways.  Plus, I wanted the option of being able to pump or breastfeed in the car if necessary.  Oh, the planning involved with a baby :)

Toby slept the entire ride in and then woke up after we parked at a nearby mall.  It was perfect weather for visiting Boston…not too hot and there was a slight breeze which made walking really pleasant.  Toby wasn’t thrilled to be in the stroller but once we got moving and made our way over to the museum, he was okay.  He started fussing a lot more after we bought our tickets, so I decided to wear him in the Ergo.  Luckily it put him right to sleep so Hubby and I were able to wander around the exhibits.  Checking out the dinosaur fossils was my favorite:


We made a lunch and bottle pit stop in the mid afternoon and then after that, Toby decided it was the perfect time to have a diaper explosion while we were in the Egypt exhibit.  Of course there wasn’t a restroom on the same floor, so we had to go down a level to do a diaper change.  Hubby took care of that one, and then 5 minutes later Toby had another one so I was on duty that time.  Toby seems to always enjoy having explosions while we’re out of the house :)  We headed back up to the exhibit to finish looking at all the Egyptian artifacts, including a real mummified body.

Overall it was a good day with just a couple episodes of fussiness on Toby’s part.  The museum was good to check out, but I thought there would be more exhibits in it.  It also needs some updating, as I don’t think some exhibits have been re-done since the 70’s.  There are a lot of interactive activities for younger kids to do, though, so it will be a fun place to visit again in a few years when Toby’s older.  Visiting the city wasn’t as difficult as I thought it would originally be, and I’m glad we’re continuing to venture out in public as much as we do.  It takes a lot of planning, but it’s always worth it.