Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Well, I held out long enough. Plus, I might be going insane.

I tried. I tried SO HARD. I just can't avoid the batteries!

I bought her toys that would really stimulate her brain. You know, blocks. Stacking toys. Cups. Stuff that crunched when you twisted it. A ball. For a long time, she only had one toy that ran on batteries.

I have officially given up.

I went out and bought her a play table at a garage sale yesterday. Now I'm singing my 123s to the tune of La Cucaracha, Ari is pressing on the chocolate chips of a half eaten plastic cookie to hear a crunching sound and playing with an electronic pizza that unceasingly declares how yummy junk food is. I am going to be an awesome parent.


Sunday, September 28, 2008


Me: "Manwich does NOT come with meat!"

Justin: "Yes it does."

Me: "No! It doesn't! You buy the meat and brown it and add the sauce. Manwich is the sauce! It does not come with meat!"

Justin: "Then why would it be called Manwich? If it didn't come with meat, it would be called Girlywich."

Friday, September 26, 2008

Standing UPPY!

So I wanted to wait to post this until I had a video but my little one is waaay too into my camera phone to be interested in showing off while I have it pointed at her. So I'll relay the news less dramatically: ARI CAN STAND BY HERSELF!

That's right folks, and I'm not talking your I'm-keeping-balance-just-long-enough-to-find-a-safe-place-to-land standing. I'm talking 20 seconds. 20 SECONDS! It started about a week ago and now she's having tons of fun with it, even pulling herself up to a stand without help! (Okay, that was once, and is disputed, but I stand by it!...haha...stand...by it...gettid?...ha...um...::ahem::)

I don't know where my baby went! What's next? Flying lessons? Scuba diving? Dates? (No way, Ari bar! Not till you're 53!)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Awesome Mommy Moments #1

I've decided to start a new section on my blog called Awesome Mommy Moments, because there are just some things that only mothers understand.  It's the little things...

Today I kept going around and something on my arm would itch.  I'd reach up and scratch and it would stop but then it would randomly start itching/scratching again.  I finally lifted up my shirt sleeve.  I had a partially digested Teddy Puff dried to the inside of it.

Thanks, Monster Mess*.

*Ari's new nickname.

Lesson for Today

Never, ever, EVER accidentally not press hard enough on your $7 crappy Wal Mart diaper pail that was probably designed by drunk monkeys because the latch, well...DOESN'T...and end up leaving the lid open after your baby starts eating solids.



Back in Houston

Well, we are officially no longer Ike Refugees!  No more free donuts...dang...

I'm not posting any pictures of the damage.  Because there wasn't any.  95 mile an hour winds at my apartment and the two rotten old pine trees are still standing in the yard.  Morbidly dissapointing.  Justin said he saw a billboard that had been thrown through the roof of a building in the Woodlands.  I was asleep.  ;)

We had a fun experience last night. And by fun I mean I might have accidentely thrown something through our wall.  Our baby monitor stopped working.  Only you didn't know it stopped working.  It didn't tell you until two in the morning when it suddenly rang out like the apocolypse was starting in our outlet.  I could not get the thing to stop screaching for the life of me.  I ended up having to sleep on the couch so I would be able to hear Ari if she cried.  Too bad we can't afford another monitor.  Maybe we'll use our walkie talkies.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Back on Wednesday!

Justin just got an update from his school and we are officially going to be back in Houston on Tuesday!  He starts back on Wednesday and classes begin on Thursday.

In other news, my dad is in the hospital.  It's not serious right now, but he needs to keep up with treatment because apparently he's got some sort of breathing problem that's more serious than asthma.  I'm not sure what the situation is, but I'll update when I get back from visiting the hospital.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Finally Got Internet

Well my parents don't have internet and we were in Oklahamo for a couple of days, but we're reconnected now!

We're still in Dallas, hanging out and having a ::very:: extended vacation time.  Electricity is back on in our apartment and Justin tentatively starts back to school on Wednesday, so we'll probably head back to Houston early Tuesday and start our lives back again.  ;)  We've signed up for text message updates via Humble ISD's alert system, so we'll see if that tentative date moves at all!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Ike Update

Well, we're still in Dallas.  We evacuated to avoid hurricane Ike and our apartment complex is still out of power.  Entergy says it might be as late as October 17 to get power back on, but Justin is probably going to have to start work on Monday.  Ari and I can't go to an apartment without power (it's waaaay too hot for an infant) so we might be in Dallas for a month while we wait.  Justin's going to try to get a ride back to Kingwood with a coworker who also evaced to Dallas.  I guess we'll see.  We're having fun here, hanging out with friends and family, really getting to rest.  It's pathetic but I've watched more TV in the last week than I have probably in all of 2008.  There's just not much to do!!  ;)  Well, we'll see how things go, but we're kind of enjoying our forced vacation for the time being!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Sign Class

I've been wanting to take ASL since Jr. High, but I never got the chance. They didn't offer it at my high school, A&M's class was always full, and even the community college near me has dropped their program. Then a few days ago I found out that the community center in Huffman offers a free sign class taught by a women who has been an ASL instructor for 25 years!! :D I went tonight, the class was 2 hours long and it was SO much fun! I'm really looking forward to going back for more. We learned family members and fingerspelling and numbers in ASL, a lot of which I already knew but it was really awesome to be able to see someone else doing them because it's a different experience (obviously) than when you're learning out of a book. The class is 8 weeks long and then I can move on to a more advanced class for another 8 weeks, I'm hoping that I can be somewhat conversational by the end. This will be a lot of fun!!! :D

Our daughter is going to be a musician

She has repeatedly shown herself to be very auditory. She wants a toy that makes noise rather than lights up or looks interesting. Right now she is banging vigorously with a rattle on the bottom board of our console table, finding all the different sounds it can make. My guitar is her favorite toy (though she tries to nurse on the tuning pegs more often than she tries to strum. ;)

She loves playing with the pots and pans and a wooden spoon when I'm doing the dishes or cooking in the kitchen.

Of course, it's not at all surprising, considering that she has oodles of musical talent coming from every side of the family. My brother wants to start teaching her how to play the mandolin and she had a toy piano before she had her first pacifier. Ari doesn't really have much of a chance. She's going to grow up thinking "EADGBE" are the first 6 letters of the alphabet.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Meals for Ari

If you're reading this on Facebook, you'll miss all the links, you should come to my blog. :)

Ari has begun three meals a day! She still nurses a lot, but we added the extra solids to help her stay full longer on the doctor's recommendation (she's still waking up three or four times a night to eat). Some friends have expressed interest in the fact that I make Ari's baby food, so I thought I would share a typical day of meals for Ari. :)

Making your own baby food is easy, cheap, healthier, and tastes better. It's actually good!! When I have to eat some of Ari's food to get her interested in it, I don't have to pretend to enjoy it. In fact, sometimes I'll just sit there and eat tiny bites myself, and she'll reach for the plate, and I'll say "Oh, no, this is good stuff, Mama's gonna eat this," and keep eating it. Then she REALLY wants some. ;) I make all her meals entirely out of organic foods, and it's cheaper than if I bought the Gerber stuff in the store. She's also able to chew solids now, from easily mashed up foods like pasta and banana to even crunchier (but still easily dissolved) foods like graham. I haven't yet attempted to make my own graham crackers, but I bought some organic graham flour at the HEB the other day and plan on trying it out soon! (Our kitchen is busy with banana bread right now.)

"Recipes" are below. That's in quotes because I really just kind of make it up. And I haven't included recipes for pureed stuff. You just cook it and put it in a food processor.

A note: Don't ever add salt to baby food, they can't handle sodium like we can and it will overwork their kidneys and is dangerous. They can eat salt that naturally occurs in stuff, but don't use it as a seasoning. Also be careful with nitrate rich foods, such as carrots and spinach, until your baby is 8 months old. Just research it. :)

Frozen waffle (organic Archer Farms homestyle waffles): I leave this frozen, it kind of serves as a teething biscuit (thanks for the tip, Paige!)
Fruity oatmeal

Macaroni and cheese (sometimes with some pureed chicken)
Veggies (if it's something like peas I might mix it in the mac and cheese, it's better than it sounds ;)

Snack (sometimes):
Cheesy crackers or graham crackers or puff cereal or a teething biscuit

Pureed veggies (peas and carrots and corn or broccoli and carrots etc)
Pureed fruit (applesauce with a dab of cinnamon comes in handy ;)
Leftovers from lunch (usually some mac and cheese left)
Diluted apple juice

Okay, so now for recipes:

Fruity oatmeal is pretty easy. I buy the organic oat bran from the bulk section of HEB for like $0.77 a pound, so it's about 5 cents a serving or so. Cook it with apple juice and mashed up banana and it turns into a fantastically healthy and delicious grit type breakfast.

Macaroni and cheese is a lot of fun and one of Ari's favorites. (You can buy organic flours in the bulk section at the HEB for less than a dollar a pound, or you can mill your own for even cheaper.) What makes this work is the pasta. I found this pasta at the HEB the other day - it's absolutely perfect. Rice, beet, and spinach based, it's tiny, swirly, colorful, and perfect for tiny fingers to grab. There's no wheat to worry allergy conscious mamas and it tastes wonderful. So I cook the pasta (don't cook it for as long as it says or for as long as you're used to cooking wheat pasta, it only takes a couple of minutes or it gets soggy...which isn't bad if your baby isn't chewing yet, anyway) and meanwhile make the cheese sauce. Put a pan on low to medium low heat and melt some butter into it then add flour (you can substitute a rice flour for entirely wheat free but I've never done this so you'll have to watch it closely). Cook it until it's a paste then add some milk and keep stirring and cooking until it's a thinner paste. When you are ready to add the cheese, add it. A mild flavored cheese works best and it needs to be finely shredded. Only cook the cheese long enough to melt it. You might need to add more milk/cheese to get the consistency you want, but the longer you cook the cheese the lest awesome it will taste. ;) Pour the sauce over the pasta, and voila! Instant fave. :D

The chicken is just as fun. (To save money and still eat very healthy, you can buy the organic chicken from the HEB when it goes way on sale because it's going to go bad in 24 hours, so it's cheaper than normal chicken, then cook it all at once and eat it throughout the week.) You can cook it however you want and then puree it with a bit of water or milk (or juice if you're bold). The last time, I breaded mine with some flour, milk, egg, and a bit of seasonings (some rosemary and such) then cooked it in a pan with a bit of sunflower oil and pureed it. She loved it! (And so did Justin and I. ;)

So there you have it! A day in the life of a mobile, eating Ari! Good enough that you can sneak some off your baby's plate. ;)