Monday, November 26, 2012

london claire is five months old

Age: five months six days (gimme a break, it was a holiday)
one of my favs of the five month pics i took on wednesday
Height: assuming somewhere in the 25 inches realm
Weight: 16lbs 4oz as of last week
Hair Color: brown / red in the right light, and it appears it's starting to grow back in
Eye Color: blue
another one of the five month pics i took on wednesday
Favorite Outfit: bright blue top with zebra print pants. so on-trend. her owl print jumper from "sweetie" was another favorite. i'm a sucker for a baby in corduroy!
sassy thing, playing in her baby gym

looking like a little school girl on mommy's birthday
Sleep: if you'd asked me a week ago, i would've said "amazing!" ... but she didn't do great while we were on vacation. and by "not great" i mean, i didn't sleep more than a few hours total, two nights in a row. but, since we've been home, we appear to be getting back on track. and in case you're wondering, she was sleeping from around 8pm to around 6am most nights. looks like the ol' CIO works.
Eating: still sending 4x 6oz bottles to daycare each day and she often doesn't take all 4. we cluster feed in the evenings but no more dream feed so she normally goes 8-5 or 8-6 without eating. the past few days, though, it feels like she's been eating nonstop so it may be a growth spurt. we recently gave her cucumber slices to gnaw on and she loved them - i'm sure the cold felt great on her teeth (which the ped says will likely not break through until sometime around christmas)
Illness: baby had her first ear infection, a rite of passage for a daycare kid i'm sure. but after 10 days on amoxicillin, she is back to 100% according to the recheck appt last week. she's still suffering a runny nose and cough, that has woken her up on more than one occasion. 
Development: she is sitting pretty well for a few minutes at a time on her own! she loves to jump in the jumperoo now. she also appears to wave in response to us waving. maybe i'm imagining it.

practicing her sitting during her five month photos
Movement: rolling rolling rolling! back to belly, belly to back, and back again. she can scoot a little bit if we put her on her belly.
Favorite toy: she still sleeps every night with the small sheep that my mom got her. still liking the bouncy seat (though she's starting to weigh it down!) and loves to pull up on the hanging toys from the overhang on it. she really enjoys the exersaucer now that she's figured it out. she loves her little gym that has noisy toys that hang down enough for her to grab them. she loves all teething toys, but especially sophie the giraffe and a rasberry teether i found at buy buy baby.

keeping herself entertained while mom & dad eat dinner
Funniest habit: she figured out how to fake cough and realizes it gets our attention. 

Best moment of last week: the past week has been kind-of rough for london, which means they've been rough for me too. i love that, no matter how bad of a day she's having, ben can always make her laugh. listening to her giggle while he kissed and tickled her last night was so special.
she is such a daddy's girl
What I'm looking forward to: christmas, of course! and getting her back on track in terms of napping and sleeping.

can't forget to post an adorable halloween photo! she did so great wearing her costume, and was definitely the cutest elephant around!
it doesn't get any cuter than a baby elephant!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Recipe: Stuffing

I'd be lying if I said I didn't open a box of Stove Top every now and again. Ben loves box stuffing, and I do not have the time or the patience to make it homemade on a weeknight. But when it really counts, there's no comparison. The "real" stuff is where it's at.

  • One loaf of White Bread, broken into small bite size pieces
  • 4 stalks Celery, chopped
  • 1 Onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of Garlic, minced
  • 2 cups Chicken Broth
  • 1/2 tsp Poultry Seasoning
  • 1 tsp dried Parsley
  • 1 tsp Thyme
  • 1 tsp Sage
  • 1 tsp Rosemary
  • 4 Eggs, lightly beaten
  • 7 tbsp Butter (stop judging me)
  • 2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  1. Spread the bread "cubes" onto two large cookie sheets, lined with foil
  2. Melt 5 tbsp butter and pour over bread cubes
  3. Bake bread at 350 until golden brown, tossing once halfway through (15-20 minutes)
  4. Meanwhile, heat 2 tbsp oil and 2 tbsp butter in large skillet over medium-high heat
  5. Add celery, onions, garlic and a pinch of salt; sautee until onions are translucent (5-10 minutes)
  6. Mix veggies & cooked bread in a large bowl
  7. Stir in seasoning, spices and broth
  8. Mix in beaten eggs until all bread is well-coated
  9. Transfer to a well-buttered 9x13 glass pan and top generously with pads of butter
  10. Cover with foil and bake at 375 for 25 minutes
  11. Uncover and bake an additional 10-15 minutes

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

"How's she sleeping?" Part One

As far as major life events go, the knee-jerk reactions are as follows:
  • Engagement: Have you set a date?
  • Wedding: When are you going to have kids?
  • Pregnancy: How are you feeling?
  • New Baby: How's she sleeping?
Why is this the question that everyone asks a new parent? The answer can really only go one of two ways. Either the new parent says "s/he is sleeping great, we are so lucky!" and then everyone wants to punch them in the face for all the sleepless nights they had with their own child, or the new parent says "s/he is not sleeping and we are zombies and OMG why do people have babies?!" ... or something along those lines.

Because, really, what new parent ever feels they are sleeping enough? I don't know adults without kids who are sleeping enough. But I tell you this, adults friends without kids, if you think you're tired now ...


Just wait until it's been three months and you haven't slept in longer than 3 hour increments in the better part of a year*. Then you'll know tired. When all you want for Christmas is a way to transfer coffee directly into your blood stream, then you know tired

*that's another subject altogether, but to all the jerks that say "sleep now, while you can!" to a pregnant women, you've obviously never known the joys of heartburn, peeing every 30 minutes, anxiety, nightmares, insomnia, chronic congestion, why is this pillow so hard, is he seriously snoring that loud, did we send Aunt Sally a thank you note and an 8 pound bowling ball with legs that's trying to break out through your lungs. and oh yeah now you have to pee again. go ahead, ask me if I miss being pregnant, I dare you.

The thing is, London was an amazing sleeper when she was tiny. She slept three hours straight the first night she was born, and at least that long every night thereafter. She was sleeping 5 hour stretches regularly at 5 weeks. She never missed a beat despite a transatlantic flight. Ben & I thought we were doing everything right - she was sleeping in her own crib from the night we brought her home! - and we actually talked about how easy this "parenting" thing was. Famous last words.

Then she hit 8 weeks and it all went to shit. No schedule. There were a few nights she was up every hour and a half, two if we were lucky. I remember one particularly trying moment when I was holding her in the recliner and Ben was laying on the floor of the nursery. It was about two in the morning, he was muttering something along the lines of, "What do we do?," while I googled, "How young is too young to cry it out?".

Those were desperate times. 

And of course, they coincided with the time that I was starting back to work, so I had approximately 300 people each day asking me if I was getting any sleep. Did the fact that I am double-fisting diet coke and iced coffee not clue you in to the fact that NO, I am not getting any sleep?!

Sometimes, as new parents, we smile and nod and say everything's great to avoid the unsolicited advice. But then, your resolve wears so thin that you start whining to anyone who will listen about how many times she was up last night (Five. Or was it six?) and next thing you know, you're in the pediatrician's office pleading with her to just let you get some sleep!

To be fair, by the time London hit 4 months, she was waking up twice most nights. To bed at 8pm, up at 1, up at 4, up for the day at 7am. This was pretty standard. And to many new parents, waking up only twice a night probably sounds like a dream. But when you're never getting more than 3 hours of sleep at a time, you're ready to fix it. Of course, the pediatrician told us what we already knew was the answer - those three dreaded words.

Cry. It. Out.

Ugh, makes me sick to my stomach just seeing them. Cry it out, or CIO as the cool kids say, is a super controversial topic (almost as much so as breastfeeding - another topic for another day). But we committed to it because we knew that teaching London to self soothe was the only way we'd ever get her sleeping through the night. I'd be lying if I said there weren't a few nights where Ben all-but had to restrain me in bed.

... to be continued

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Trials and Tribulations, London Claire style

I'd like to promise that I won't update you on London more than once a month but whatever, that's a lie, and I don't want to lie to y'all.

So here's what's up: we are having a time of it. I hate to ask for prayer for such seemingly trivial things like baby sniffles, but this prayer isn't for ME, it's for the BABY ... so it's ok, right? Don't get me wrong, I personally don't mind asking God to help with seemingly trivial things, I just hate to burden other people to ask Him for my trivial things when they could have very big things to ask Him for ... or their own trivial things. Whatever. But I know His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.

Did you follow all that?

London is sick. Currently, she's snoring on the couch next to me, because she's so congested she can hardly breathe. It's depressing. Almost as depressing as her greasy Donald Trump comb-over hair. Looks like mommy needs to give daddy a lesson in bath time, am I right?

But I digress ... the child has been congested for what feels like weeks. I get it, she's in daycare, she's going to get sick. We humidify. We saline-ate. We snot-suck. And the congestion continues. The past few mornings, she's thrown up after she eats "breakfast" (AKA boobie milk). And she started coughing, but I wasn't really sure if it was a real cough or if she was just coughing because she figured out how and it amuses her. The kid is adorable, what can I say? Anyway, yesterday, she was running a low-grade fever, and that was about enough for me. Since I couldn't send her to school anyway, we went to see Dr. Seidel. Ears are good, chest is good, yadda yadda just a cold. I admit, it's good to hear your child's pediatrician say you're already doing everything you can, but it's also somewhat frustrating. Can't I do MORE? I'm a doer, you know?
she's still pretty
By yesterday afternoon, she was just a big ball of pathetic. Lethargic, fussy, barely eating, in and out of sleep, wouldn't be put down. I mean, just pitiful, y'all. I have to admit, I cried a few times with her while she whimpered in discomfort. Is there anything more disheartening then seeing your child in pain? If there is, I don't want it. Ever.

Praise the Lord, she slept well last night, thought she would half-fuss every thirty minutes or so, moaning a little bit, then put herself back to sleep. Can I get an AMEN for sleep training? This morning, wouldn't you believe the child's fever was up to 102.8?! Mama just can't get down with that. So, back to the pediatrician we went. Ears are good, chest is good, but let's just do a quick blood test. White blood cells elevated, thinking this is more than a virus, need to test for a UTI ... wait a second, you're catheterizing my four month old?! But I am thankful for a thorough doctor, and I'd much rather us unnecessarily catheterize the baby than have it go undiagnosed and affect her kidneys. She was so brave during the finger stick and just whined during the whole cath process, which was heartbreaking. Poor little dear.
If that doesn't just break your heart
There are a whole lot more words on this page than if I had just gotten right down to it: London is sick. She might have a urinary tract infection. If you have some prayers to spare, send them our way.

  • Pray for her comfort, because right now she has very little; specifically, for the fever to break and her congestion to ease up.
  • Pray for Ben & I to properly care for her, and not to take our frustrations at her illness out on each other.
  • Pray for the doctors to be thorough in her care, but not to rush toward medicinal intervention unless it's necessary.
  • Pray she is healthy enough to return to school on Tuesday, because we are quickly wearing out our ability to work from home.
  • Pray that no one else, among our family, friends, coworkers or her class, gets whatever is plaguing her sweet little body.

Thank you, sincerely, for any talking to The Father you can do on our behalf.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Recipe: Egg Salad

This is Post Number Two of God-Knows-How-Many regarding the baptism reception. I shouldn't even be posting this, because Kelly did most of the "making" of this egg salad, but I supervised and directed and she doesn't have a blog so I win.

I made tuna salad and chicken salad (possible recipes to come) but got the most compliments on this egg salad. It's the dill, y'all!

  • 9 hard boiled eggs, peeled and diced
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1 tsp mustard powder
  • 1/4 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp dill weed

  1. Mix all ingredients
  2. Cover and refrigerate overnight (about eight hours)
  3. Serve on King's Hawaiian Rolls for best results ;)

Photo credit: Alina Patel

Monday, November 5, 2012

Recipe: White Sangria

I obviously have never thrown a baptism reception before, but I knew what I wanted it to look like. Pink & white; fresh, crisp and clean; more luncheon and less backyard bbq. Somehow With the help of my best friend, I was able to achieve exactly what I was going for. It was feminine but adult, minimal but not haphazard. And the best part was that everything was done when we left for the church, so all I had to do was pull things out of the fridge and the party was set.

I will never not take off the Friday before I host a party, Amen?

I'm going to break the reception down into several posts because there were several good recipes, but here's the first (and arguably the most important):

Strawberry Lemon White Wine Sangria
(you could probably just call it "white sangria")


  • 2 lemons, thinly sliced
  • 2 apples, cored and thinly sliced
  • 1 cup strawberries, tops cut off and quartered
  • 1 750 mL bottle Sauvignon Blanc (or other white wine)
  • 1/2 cup Bacardi (or other white rum)
  • 4 cups Sprite (or other lemon-lime soda)


  1. Add fruit to pitcher
  2. Pour wine and rum over top of fruit
  3. Cover and refrigerate overnight or longer (I made it Friday night and served it Sunday morning)
  4. Add soda immediately before serving

So refreshing! Even though it was October, it was still delicious. And it wasn't too strong! This would be great for a girl baby shower or wedding shower, and you could customize the fruit to your theme (blueberries and lemon for a boy baby shower, etc).

Photo credit: Alina Patel