Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Daddy Pumpkin, Mommy Pumpkin and Baby Pumpkin!

We carved pumpkins last night with Adam's mom. Here is a picture with her dracula pumpkin in it. I think they all turned out great.

Happy Halloween!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

My Little Monkey

Last week Ryan dressed up as a monkey for his first Halloween party. Here are some pictures from his photo shoot! Too bad I couldn't get him to smile but I still think he's a cute little monkey!


Friday, October 29, 2010

Ryan: 6 Months


Happy Half Birthday Ryan! Wow, already 6 months old. Time is just flying by! This past month has been one of many changes for you. You sit upright in your stroller, use a highchair, scoot around, and have a tooth!

This month you were on the move. Every single time I lay you down on your back you immediately flip over, assess your surroundings, and then off you go! You are not quite crawling but you get closer each day. You are a pro at scooting, or dragging your lower body around with your arms. Recently you have been getting up on you arms and knees and rocking back and forth. You're so close!

Sleep is still an issue, but in the grand scheme of things, you have gotten a little bit better. You take an occasional nap during the day and you have slept in your crib a few times now. Baby steps!

I love hearing you laugh! It doesn't happen often, but when it does I cherish the sound of it. Sometimes tickling your armpits makes you laugh, other times it's my duck sounds.


You weigh about 16 and a half pounds now. Your face is getting so chubby and I love it!You still hate your carseat, so I often wear you in the Baby Bjorn when we go out shopping. You don't like being strapped down in anything. You prefer to be moving at all times!
You're getting better at sitting up. But you still tend to tip over after about 10 seconds.
This is such a fun age! You are making all sorts of sounds and are really starting to imitate others. Your latest thing is growling. It is so adorable! I am currently teaching you to wave. You have done it a few times now!I can't wait to see what life will be like once you really start crawling and walking. Love you Baby Boy!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Ryan Laughs! (And Imitates)

Turn up your volume! Here is a video of Ryan laughing at my silly duck sounds. He then tries to imitate me at the end. Sometimes he does this cute laugh, which you hear in the video. Other times his laugh sounds more like a really loud yell. Still cute, but a little strange. I only wish it was easier to get him to laugh! He's a pretty serious little boy most of the time.

video

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Weighty Wednesday: Need Clothes!

Remember how a few weeks ago I went out shopping and bought a pair of jeans in my new smaller size? Well they no longer fit. I bought them slightly loose assuming they would shrink up once washed, but it's almost as if the opposite happened. I can pull them off now without unbuttoning them. So off I went yesterday to Old Navy (and Carter's. How cute is that store??). I tried on 2 pairs of smaller pants before Ryan started wailing in the dressing room. He was being so loud that I had to leave, so I'm kind of frustrated that I didn't get to actually buy anything. But I now know my new size so I'm excited about that!

Shopping for clothes made me realize how old and out of it I have become. Jeggings? What are those? I'd like to participate in the current trends but I just don't have the time to shop for and put cute outfits together. I need a personal stylist to shop for me and pick out my outfits. Anyone up for the job?

Stats and Goals for Week 21:
Lbs Lost This Week: 1
Lbs Lost So Far: 27
Lbs Left to Lose: 3

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

What Goes in Must Come Out.....Right?

Ryan is becoming quite the foodie these days. He has a growing list of foods he has tried and loved:

Rice Cereal
Oatmeal
Banana Oatmeal
Banana
Pear
Apple
Sweet Potato
Green Beans
Peas
Butternut Squash
Ice Cream - Oops did I just say that? It was only one bite. Obviously he loved it.

He literally opens his mouth and lunges forward when he sees the spoon coming.

Avocado is the one food he's a little unsure about. If he's part of this family I'm sure he will learn to love it!

We are now feeding Ryan in his big boy highchair. Doesn't he look tiny in it?
Feeding Ryan all these foods has been really fun for me. The thing is, the input has changed his output. In other words, diaper-changing has become really really gross. Solid foods look pretty much the same going in and coming out, only grosser and smellier. Sorry, but it's true. And unfortunately Ryan's output has slowed down to once every 3-5 days. We're on day 4 right now and let's just say I'm dreading each diaper change.

Sorry if reading this was gross. But this is our life! Just be thankful I didn't post a picture of one of his dirty diapers.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Teeth

Bad News: Adam and I went to the dentist on Saturday and we both have cavities.

Good News: Someone sprouted their first tooth yesterday!

I've had a feeling Ryan was teething for the past month. He had all the symptoms of drooling, rosy cheeks, ear tugging, chewing on everything. He has been fussier than usual this week and has been screaming in the evenings, like he used to do as a young colicky baby. It is nice to finally know what was bothering him! Let's hope the next 20-some-odd teeth don't hurt him as much!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Sleep Crisis

Warning: The following contains excessive whining and complaining. Try not to roll your eyes at the following blog post.

Ryan rarely naps. And I'm not exaggerating when I say this. He really does not nap. But I can live with that. I am beginning to accept the fact that he will never be the baby who takes regular hour-long naps in his crib.

But what is driving me crazy is the way he acts at night. Putting him to sleep at night takes me an average of 1-2 hours. It does not matter what time I start his bedtime routine. It always takes a long time. I nurse him to sleep because it is the only way he will fall asleep. Trust me, I have tried everything else. I would be okay with putting in the effort of 1-2 hours if I knew it would result in Ryan sleeping through the night. But he often wakes up just 15 minutes after falling asleep. Or if I move him too soon after falling asleep. Or if I breathe too loudly. I then spend 30 minutes nursing him back to sleep. He often wakes up 5 minutes later.

At this point in the evening I begin to feel hopeless. Why am I spending so much time and effort only to have Ryan immediately wake up after being put down, time after time? Sometimes I cry with Ryan. Sometimes I give up. Sometimes I pray. Sometimes I honestly feel like screaming because I am so incredibly frustrated. And I'm all alone in this because I am the only person capable of getting Ryan to sleep.

I'm not writing this to get pity or even advice. Because I'm pretty sure that if you suggest something I've already tried it. I have read The No-Cry Sleep Solution twice, and it does offer some good ideas. But I think I have 2 things working against me. a) I am not consistent enough. Most nights I eventually give up and nurse Ryan to sleep in bed next to me, and then nurse him back to sleep in bed when he wakes up every 1-2 hours throughout the night. b) Ryan is extremely attached to me, probably more so than the typical 6-month old is to their mom. He wants to be next to me all the time.

So what am I supposed to do? Just continue to spend the multiple hours every evening, fighting to get Ryan to fall and stay asleep? This means I have zero time to myself or to spend with Adam. I never get to just sit on the couch with my husband anymore. I often don't even get a chance to take off my makeup at night.

I really thought this whole sleeping thing would be easier by now. But I love the little guy and I will do whatever it takes to get him down to sleep at night. But why can't it be easier?? I hope this experience teaches me the value of patience. Just in case the next baby is like Ryan.

Foodie Friday: Naughty and....Naughty

So I was going to title this food post "Naughty and Nice". My plan was to post two dessert recipes. One "naughty" and one "nice". But really, who wants to eat a "nice" dessert? So they're both naughty.

Petite Nutella Pochettes

I made these last week for my MOPS group and they were a hit! The one change I made to the batter was to add 1/4 cup sugar to sweeten it up just a tad. These are really delicious if you like Nutella.

The second recipe is one I may have gotten from my mom at one point. I love the combination of pumpkin and chocolate.

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins

2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup mini chocolate chips
4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 can (15 oz) pumpkin
2 eggs
1/3 cup canola oil

Preheat Oven to 375. Coat 12-cup muffin pan with cooking spray. Combine first 7 ingredients. In a separate bowl combine pumpkin, eggs, and oil. Stir pumpkin mixture into flour mixture just until blended. Divide batter among muffin cups. Bake until toothpick inserted into centers comes out clean, 25-30 minutes.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Halloween Party

Yesterday Ryan and I went to a Halloween party at our friend Rhonda's house! And wouldn't you know it, my camera battery died 2 minutes after I got there. Here are a few pictures from the day taken on other people's cameras.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Weighty Wednesday: 4 More

1 more pound! I can't believe I have lost almost 60 pounds since giving birth. At this rate I will make my goal by Thanksgiving....just in time to pig out and eat everything in sight. =)

Stats and Goals for Week 20
Lbs Lost This Week: 1
Lbs Lost So Far: 26
Lbs Left to Lose: 4

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Strolling

Ryan and I really enjoy our daily walks. Just a few weeks ago I upgraded him from his carseat on top of the stroller, to actually sitting in the stroller!
So far he really seems to like it. He can see more of the scenery passing by him. I think he feels like a big boy sitting up in his stroller. If I'm lucky, this might even happen:

Monday, October 18, 2010

Backyard Bounty

Look what I'm eating in my salad today! I've been enjoying radishes from my backyard garden for about a month now. I think they taste even better than the ones in the store....a bit spicier.

I gave Adam one to try the other day because he had never had a radish before! He said it tasted like dirt.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Such a Boy!


Mommy and Daddy are constantly telling me I'm "such a boy".


I don't know why, though! It's not like I wiggle around all day and get into things I shouldn't.

Mommy thinks I'm going to be a difficult toddler. What do you think?

Friday, October 15, 2010

Foodie Friday: Freezer

I love my freezer! It holds so much food and I love keeping it well-stocked. There are two main compartments to my freezer, along with a pull out shelf on top. I try to keep it organized so that I always know what I have on hand for fast meals. Here are the two main sections:

On the left is where I store all the proteins. Right now we have:

Salmon, Shrimp, Tilapia, Ground Turkey, Turkey Burgers, Beef London Broil, Ground Beef, Beef Roast, Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts, Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs, Chicken Sausages, and Bacon.

My best tip for buying and freezing proteins is to buy in bulk! I never pay more than $1.87/lb for boneless skinless chicken breasts. You can get a good deal if you buy in bulk and then separate out into smaller freezer bags. Then I just defrost what I need for each meal. Even things like bacon can be frozen. I bought that bacon on sale for 99 cents!

On the right side is where I keep grains/breads. Right now I have things like whole wheat tortillas, pizza dough, and brown rice.

On the top shelf I keep baby food and sweet things like desserts and frozen fruit.

There is also a small shelf where I store miscellaneous items such as ground flaxseed, nuts and ginger.

How do you organize your freezer?

*Edited to Add*: So about a half hour after I posted this some random guy knocked on our door selling frozen meat! I was tempted because the prices were good but sadly my freezer is a little too well-stocked at the moment. Oh and I wasn't too sure how safe his meats were. Have any of you ever purchased meat from a delivery service?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Still Losing It

Remember this post? Well I'm still losing my hair. Lots. It comes out not in strands but in bunches. I find it in the shower, the bed, Ryan's mouth.....I was definitely not prepared for this! I read that it's normal, but come on already. It's almost been 6 months!

Luckily Ryan is no longer losing his hair. It's slowly growing in and he's got something kind of funny going on at the back of his head.

It's kind of hard to see in this picture, but he has two cowlicks next to each other, going opposite ways. The result is that all his hair gets pushed up the middle in a strip on top of his head. Poor guy. At least the front of his head is adorable!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Weighty Wednesday: Wedding Weight

I'm back on track this week with a 1 lb loss! These last few pounds are so hard to take off. Not like in the beginning where I was easily losing 2-5 pounds per week. The weight that I'm at now is exciting because it's what I weighed when I got married!

Stats and Goals for Week 19
Lbs Lost This Week: 1
Lbs Lost So Far: 25
Lbs Left to Lose: 5

Monday, October 11, 2010

Scootin' Along

Ladies and Gentlemen......we've got a scooter! Ryan has been "scooting" for the past few weeks and I've been trying to capture it on film. I finally got it today! I can't believe my 5-month old is already attempting to crawl. I had no idea it would all happen so soon!

video

I have a funny feeling Ryan may be crawling by 6 months!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Home Improvement

When we moved into our house back in April there were some pretty interesting paint colors on the walls. Including an orange fireplace!
Last week we finally painted it and bought some new art for the wall. Goodbye orange fireplace!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Pumpkin Patch

This is my favorite time of year for so many reasons. (perfect weather, pumpkin-flavored foods, cinnamon candles, the start of the school-year, fall leaves, colder nights......) One of them is going to the pumpkin patch at our nearby Ardenwood Farms. We took Ryan there today and picked out not 2, but 3 pumpkins this year! Poor guy was so excited by all the pumpkins that he fell asleep in his Baby Bjorn.
Stay tuned for pictures of our carved pumpkins in a couple weeks. Can we top last year's designs?

Joselyn

Babies everywhere! Our friends Chris and Amber had a beautiful baby girl a few weeks ago and we finally got to meet her this week! It's so fun having other friends with babies now.

Joselyn Elaine Chin

Isn't she a cutie? We had a lot of fun visiting with our friends and letting Ryan observe Joselyn. He stared at her whenever she cried. He was probably thinking "Wow, finally someone who speaks my language!"It's fun to see Ryan with younger babies because it reminds me how far he has come. Congratulations Chris and Amber on your sweet baby girl!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

My New Job Title

It is now official. I am a stay-at-home Mom. I have dreamed about this for a while but was never 100% sure it would be possible. But now here I am, staying home and taking care of Ryan full time!

Since late March I have been on maternity leave from my job in the finance/mutual fund world. I knew going back to work would be hard. Then I had Ryan. And discovered over the last couple months that returning to work wouldn't just be hard....it would be impossible. Ryan has been a challenging baby to say the least. And because he has been so needy, he and I have developed such a close bond over the past few months. It's like he is a part of me, and having someone else take care of him every day is unimaginable.

So we crunched some numbers and decided to give it a try. I'm not saying it's going to be easy. We're going to make sacrifices. But I know it will be worth it.

I do realize how blessed I am. I know that many moms would love to stay home with their children but simply cannot afford it. So while I may complain from time to time about Ryan's lack of sleep or his teething fussiness, I will never take this job for granted.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Weighty Wednesday: Pfftthh

That's the sound of me being frustrated because the scale has not budged. I honestly thought I had gained weight this week, so I guess I'm happy that it stayed the same! I did go shopping for a pair of jeans this past weekend for the first time in about a year and a half. It was fun buying one size smaller than I used to buy! I'd like to get down one size smaller, though, so I'm waiting to buy more clothes until that happens.

Stats and Goals for Week 18:
Lbs Lost This Week: 0
Lbs Lost So Far: 24
Lbs Left to Lose: 6

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Family Fun Day

Yesterday was a fun family day! We drove across the bay to East Palo Alto IKEA in search of a dresser for Ryan's room. We found one we liked but I was a little uncomfortable with the price. We got all the way up to the register with it and then I found the exact same one in the clearance section! We bought this one and saved ourselves $65. Can you spot the "flaw"?It looks a little out of place in Ryan's room because it's so large and doesn't actually match his other furniture. We may end up putting it in our bedroom and give Ryan our dresser, which matches his crib.

Then we took Ryan out to dinner for the first time last night! We have never attempted this before because of his colic. Ryan used to scream for hours every single evening, so the idea of going out of the house at night was just ridiculous. Last night we were feeling brave. We went to Chevy's because it's noisy and therefore kid-friendly. (And we had a coupon!). Our dinner looked something like this:

We brought him inside in his carseat asleep. We sit down, he immediately wakes up and cries. I hold him for a while and he tried to grab my cup, my fork, my hot plate. I pass him off to Adam and quickly scarf down a few bites of food. He grabs at Adam's beer, hot plate, and knife. He starts to cry so Adam walks around with him while I eat. I take him back so Adam can eat. He cries so I get up and walk around with him. Our bill comes and we are relieved. Ryan cries all the way home.

I can vaguely remember the pre-baby days when going out to dinner was relaxing. Things sure have changed now! I don't think Adam and I said more than 5 words to each other during dinner because we were so focused on trying to keep Ryan quiet in the restaurant. If I'm going to pay money for a meal away from home, I want to enjoy it! Oh the joys of having a wiggly 5-month old. I think it might be a while before we attempt going out to eat again. Good thing he's got such kissable cheeks.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Baby Food

Feeding Ryan solids has been going well. So far he seems to really like everything! We've tried rice cereal, banana, peas, avocado and oatmeal. He now tries to grab the spoon and jam the food into his open mouth. It's cute but messy. Yesterday was my first attempt at making baby food.
Butternut Squash!

I roasted it for 40 minutes and ended up with this:

22 perfect baby portions, ready for the freezer

Only problem is that the ice cube trays don't fit in the freezer bags!

Overall it was pretty easy! I figure 22 portions of jarred baby food would cost me about $6 or $7, whereas the butternut squash cost me just a couple dollars. I definitely want to try other foods now!

Ryan unfortunately has been acting a bit strange lately with nursing. He will feed for about 5 minutes and then pull off because he's either distracted (by anything.....a cup, a book, my hand) or because he's upset. He'll stop nursing, start crying, and then immediately shove his fist into his mouth for comfort. At first I wondered if he was starting to like the solid food more than breastmilk. But now I'm wondering if he's teething, and breastfeeding is somehow painful for him.

Ryan is at the appropriate age to be teething, and he's got a lot of the symptoms. Excessive drooling, sucking on anything he can put into his mouth, waking up a lot at night, fussier than usual. I really hope he's teething, and not starting to wean himself from breastfeeding. I'm not ready for it to end!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Foodie Friday: Chick Food

I have a great recipe, but I must warn you that it is "chick food". When I made it this week for dinner, I absolutely loved it. But after Adam ate his portion, he asked me "So where's the rest of dinner?". So I'm thinking this would be great for lunch or a light dinner, but probably not something to serve to a hard-working meat-loving man.

Southwestern Quinoa Salad

1/2 Cup Red Quinoa, cooked with broth
1 Cup chicken broth
1 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 15 oz can corn
1 avocado, cut into small pieces
2 tomatoes, diced
1/3 cup red onion, diced
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
1 lime, zested and juiced
salt and pepper

Cook quinoa with broth according to package directions. (Rinse first, Bring to boil with broth, reduce and simmer 15 minutes)
In large bowl combine all other ingredients. Once quinoa has cooled, add it to the bowl. Add a generous sprinkle of salt and pepper to taste. Serve cold.

It gets even better the next day! The taste reminds me of salsa, only more substantial because of the quinoa and beans. Did you know that quinoa is not only a grain, but also a complete protein? Let me know if you try it!