Monday, January 31, 2011

Mommy's Wish List

I wanted to discuss the little list on the right hand side of my blog as some of you may have noticed.  Now before you think that this is a whole list of things I want people to buy me, that would be incorrect.  It is more of a list of things to remind myself to hopefully get.  It is mostly a list of needs (I know I don't need a massage, but c'mon that would be pretty nice for a full time mother).  Mommy's Wish List is also for people to look and say "hey, I have that and don't need it anymore" because I am one hundred percent okay with getting second hand items. I am not even saying I expect to receive anything from anyone (that would be surprising to me and a provision of the Lord naturally), but like I said the list is mainly for my sake and I felt it needed a little explanation. Most of the things on here are just your everyday things, such as loaf pans & sippy cups.  Then again there are things such as wedding photo albums, because yes, after almost three years I still have not organized my six hundred plus wedding photo collection. 

The list is short but will be growing as I think of things.  So in the mean time, if you see anything on my list that you may not need or know of where to get for cheap, please let me know.  You can contact me at jennoveev@hotmail.com.

Graciously,
Me

Friday, January 28, 2011

FBF: Frog & Toad (Switching it up)

Normally I do a FMF, meaning Family Movie Fridays, but today I decided to go a different route: FBF  (Family Book Friday).  And apparently my Friday posts are rather "official" & "heavy" for some readers (ahem, Seth & Samantha, ahem).  So I am keeping it light(er) this time around.
     Okay, so I must say that I love Frog & ToadFrog & Toad is a book series by Arnold Lobel that chronicles the simple, yet amusing, adventures of two British-esque amphibians who are best friends.  The two go about their daily business, but in two very different ways.  Frog is the more mature, if you will, straight forward character; whereas, Toad goes about things in odd and rather round about ways.  I recently found out there was a clay-mation animated series about the two characters created in the 1980s, which I'll talk more about in a minute.
     This is a wonderful family book and is great for first time readers.  The suggested reading age for this book is 4-8 years old, but if your baby is like mine, he or she likes to listen to full sentences rather than stare at pictures while you read two words.  I read one particular book from the series called Frog & Toad All Year to Judah at least every other day and it makes me laugh out loud every time.  My favorite story from within this book is called "Ice Cream," from their Summer-time escapade of trying to enjoy a sweet treat on a hot day.  I could not find a good YouTube.com clip of this story being read aloud, so I will leave it to you do discover this amusing tale for yourself.
     Now, about their animated series,  I would not have chosen the voice actors the producers did, but I will say, the animation is quite good for the '80s.  Furthermore, it is full of the classic F&T humor that is presented throughout the books.
     The videos and books are short enough to capture the attention span of the youngest minds, and both are loaded with positive thematic development.  Whether the plot is discussing bravery, persistence,or the value of friendship, the stories always end in an uplifting manner, like in the episode "Dragons & Giants."

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Some Recent Photos

Sixth & seventh month recent photos of our little boy. Enjoy!

Sweet boy.

Truly looking like a big boy.

Beautiful eyes.

Father & son OR twins?

Gotta get mom in there.
I love those fleece hooded sweat shirts, so soft.

Talking to the camera.

Waving bye OR rediscovering his hands for the hundredth time?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Judah's First Tooth

The tooth was discovered by Timm at church this past Sunday.

It is kind of hard to see, but its there!  At seven months old, the bottom left tooth is coming in!

A Schedule for Judah: Part 2

I decided that two weeks would be sufficient to record and come up with cumulative results as to how Judah's scheduling attempt worked out. Will we ever have a perfect schedule? No, because life happens and you can't stay inside the house all the time.  You would go stir crazy.  Does it get harder to keep schedules when you have more kids?  I don't know, I only have one right now, but I would imagine so.  That's why I always seek the advice of mom's who have much more experience.  Wisdom comes with experience. But, I will always try to keep some order no matter how many kids I have because God is a God of order.  With no further ado, here are the results:

WEEK ONE
Day 1 -Not too bad.  Only took two naps during the day.  Woke up four times at night. Needless to say I was tired the next day. 
Day 2 - Pretty much on schedule, especially with naps. Woke up two times at night. Not bad considering it was only the second day. 
Day 3 -On time with eating but kept being early with naps, therefore, he had an early bed time.  Woke up four times, ouch, little relapse. 
Day 4 -Pretty much on time with both eating and napping. Woke up three times, better than last night. 
Day5 -Same as yesterday.  Woke up three times again. Dear Judah, please stay asleep. Love, Mom. 
Day 6 - Ate a little more than usual today. Went to a friends house, so of course that threw him off.  He didn't get to bed until 9pm, therefore, he didn't wake til 9am the next day.  He always needs twelve hours for some reason.  Surprisingly, only woke up two times. 
Day 7- Church today, Judah went way off schedule.  Very hard to keep a schedule on Sundays.  Woke up three times tonight, small relapse.

WEEK TWO:
Day 8 - Had two long naps today instead of his usual three one hour ones.  Eating was on schedule for the most part, except he missed one of his solid feedings due to his long nap. I must have been really tired because I don't have the time he woke up written down.  I know it had to be at least two or three times.
Day 9 - Off on his naps, but his feedings were right on time. Woke up three times.  Mommy's still not giving up. Five more days to go.
Day10 - Feedings and naps were on time.  Ate a little more than usual today too.  Woke up three times at night.
Day 11 -Same exact thing as yesterday.  At least I'm seeing some consistency. 
Day 12 -Feedings and naps were on time.  He only woke up twice! Are we actually getting somewhere?
Day 13 -Slightly off on both feedings and naps due to running around doing errands on a Saturday. He went to bed on time, and I believe he woke up twice that night.
Day 14 -Some hard proof that trying to keep a schedule can pay off. After a very off day, being Sunday and spending most of it not at home, he slept nine beautiful hours in a row and only woke up once!

This is how he always sleeps; swaddled and under a cozy blanket.
As you can see, even though I attempted to keep a semi-strict schedule (the same one from "A Schedule for Judah: Part 1"), not everyday was perfect.  I did live my life as usual, but I really believe my conscious efforts to keep a schedule did pay off.

Currently Judah is napping in his crib in exactly the time I allotted him to have his third nap of the day and I didn't have to think twice about looking at the schedule I set up.  His internal clock seems to have caught on and it is great.  Most nights Judah is now sleeping eleven to twelve hours and waking up just once around 3a.m. and that is fine with me.

Will Judah's schedule change as he gets older, needs less sleep, & starts eating more solids?  Definitely.  But we will just take it one day at a time.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Strawberry Chocolate Chip Pancakes

I decided to make pancakes since I am now allowed to have milk products again. Remember Judah had that milk allergy back in the "To Mommies" blogpost? Anyway, here I am to share another delicious experience and recipe in my culinary endeavors. Enjoy!

I thawed frozen strawberries and then cut them by hand.

Ingredients:

Dry
1 ½ cups whole wheat flour
1 ½ tablespoons baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 tablespoons white sugar

Wet
1 ¼ cups milk
3 tablespoons melted butter
1 egg

Goodies
½ cup cut up strawberries
½ cup chocolate chips


I can fit about 8 pancakes on my griddle.

Directions
1.  Preheat the griddle/fying pan to medium heat.

2. Mix together all of the dry ingredients. 

3. Then add and mix the wet ingredients & goodies with the dry ingredients.

4. Stir all until mixed well but still lumpy.

5.  Spray either griddle/frying pan with shortening or butter  to keep pancakes from sticking.

6. Pour ¼ cup of batter onto cooking surface & leave approximately ¾ inches of space between each pancake.  (I find on a griddle you can make approximately 8 at a time).

7. Flip pancakes over when they seemed to have stopped bubbling up.

8. Make sure each pancake is fully cooked.  You can do this by sticking the side of the spatula or a knife into the top or bottom of the pancake and see that it comes out clean or just hope for the best.

9. Finally, remove pancakes from cooking surface and top with maple syrup, butter, &/or powdered sugar.

10. Bon Appetite!


Finished product!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

FMF: The Beauty & The Beast (Blu-Ray Style)

NOTE: First off, yes, its true, I did not put up a FMF last week, but just read my post "The Going's On as of Late" and you'll see why and you'll possibly give me some sympathy.  Please? Okay, thanks I knew you would, you're a good reader.

Beauty & The Beast - Rated G - 84 min - Released 1991

Now I am sure that most of you are familiar with this Disney classic, but watching it in Hi-Def really makes a difference; it was a treat.  If you haven't seen the movie in a long while (or ever, which is crazy) here is a refresher course.  The Beauty & The Beast tells the tale of a free spirited inventor's daughter who willingly takes the place of her father, Maurice, when he is imprisoned by the Beast after accidentally stumbling onto his castle property.    The Beast, who was magically transformed by a spell from a youthful handsome prince into the monster he is now, must find a girl who will fall in love with him before his twenty-first birthday.  His years are shown, ever passing, by a wilting rose that has nearly lost all its petals by the time he meets Belle, the beauty in this story.  Since the Beast agreed to let Belle intercede on behalf of her father, she is forced to live in the castle forever. As the story progresses Belle learns the castle is enchanted, and she makes some unusual friends with pieces of china, a candelabra, and a bossy little clock.  Initially Belle and her captor do not get along, mainly due to the Beast's fiery temper, but over time Belle learns there is much more to Beast than meets the eye. 

Of course there is a villain, as there is in every Disney story, he's named Gaston.  Gaston is a well known, handsome, yet very popular, pompous, and outright pretentious man who desires Belle to be his wife and will stop at nothing to achieve what he wants, even if that means, locking up her father in an asylum and killing the Beast. The importance of Gaston's obnoxious attitude is not to be underestimated because the thematic ventures of the movie are embodied in his characterization: what really makes a beast? Looks or Heart?

Anyway, you have all seen the film (hopefully) and know that just like every other fairy tale, the same five words are repeated at the end.  As for questionable content, there is a climactic fight scene that may have some youngsters crying for their mommies, but the happy ending will have them smiling in no time.  And, to top it all off, the amazing Blu-Ray update practically makes every aspect of the movie jump off the screen, and we don't even have 3D TV.  Also know, with the Blu-Ray edition there is an added song that did not take away from the meaning of the movie or from any of the original songs, which are all wonderful.  So, if you are 3-years-old or older and are looking for an excellent story and production, this one's for you.


Overall Rating: 10 out of 10

Friday, January 21, 2011

Goodbye Blue Aveo - You Were a Good Friend

As you can tell from the blog title, yes our blue '05 Chevy Aveo is no more.  One day we are driving a well running paid off vehicle and the next day, well morning actually, we find it is totaled in a freak accident right outside our apartment while we were sleeping.  Of course now this means we need to find a new car, luckily for me, my husband loves to play the negotiation game with salesmen of all sorts, especially car salesmen.  Whereas I would get eaten alive like live bait in a shark tank.  But, just ask my husband and he'll tell you the story about our $29 brand new car we bought in '08.  Well, sort of.  It was a trade in and the difference was $29, but still its a great story.  Anyway, to conclude this short farewell, I need to point out how thankful to God we are that we were not in the car when the accident happened.

The blue car served us well over these past six years and we'd like it's predecessor to meet the expectations our Aveo set, so if you know of any good deals out there on a family car, let us know!

One of the many memories we had with our blue car.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Going's On as of Late

Many of you would think, "Okay Jenn's a stay at home mom and to only one kid for that matter, she must have a lot of free time on her hands."  Well that is completely and one hundred percent wrong. Especially since she doesn't have a dishwasher or washer and dryer. I hardly ever get to take naps either.  I mean it is truly rare.  I am lucky to even be here writing this at 11:02 P.M. when I should be in bed! Oh well, maybe all that chocolate cake I ate is keeping me up, but oh it was yummy!

Anyway I would love to be writing more for you all as of late and getting you updated on Judah's Schedule, Diaper Brand Experiences, and other topics I am anxious to talk about but here's a tid bit of why I've been so, well, unavailable with very little time to myself:

1. My house has been a disaster since post Christmas Break!

2. I have been working on a beautiful present for my cousin-in-law's baby shower (Yay another baby in the family, I'm so excited), which required a lot of running around to different stores and not to mention creating the gift. I will post pictures of that later, I've got to be careful for now in case she reads this.

3. Two hours worth of driving in one day to do three weeks worth of laundry. Let me put that into perspective for you. That is nearly one month of dirty clothes that needed to be washed, dried, folded, & put away!

4. Speaking of driving, well no cars actually, my husband's car got side swiped on our street in the middle of the night while we were sleeping.  Too bad that wasn't a dream.  But I know the Lord will help us.  So needless to say there's been a lot of running around with that. We're still waiting to hear if its totaled. Yea, it was that bad.

5. Last but not least, which is kind of a good thing too, my dear husband Timm drove half way to work and came home, due to a very unexpected school cancellation (he works an hour away) so therefore, his presence took precedence today, it was a special treat.

I must mention though, the highlight of my week was going to this awesome restaurant called the Pasta House with Timm and Judah.  I think I'll be going there for my birthday.  The food was delicious.  I had ordered Butternut Ravioli in Maple Syrup Cream Sauce. Mmm!

Now I must sleep and attempt to clean the rest of my house tomorrow.

Love,
Me

Friday, January 14, 2011

Angelcare Baby Monitor: You Let Me Breathe Easy

To all the moms and dads who check to see if their newborn, infant, okay maybe even toddler is breathing, here is a wonderful product.  The Angelcare Baby Monitor was recommended to my husband by one of his co-workers just as our due date was getting pretty near, so we quickly added it to our registry, because whether or not if we got it, we'd get that lovely 10% off afterward.  Blessedly we did receive this at my baby shower and I am forever thankful to the giver.  The monitor not only detects sounds coming from the baby's room, like all other monitors, but comes with a pad you put under the crib mattress - not under the baby, or semi-under the baby, but entirely under the crib mattress, therefore the baby doesn't feel any princess and the pea discomfort - to detect the baby's breathing.  This pad is very sensitive to any movement and will sound a very loud beeping and vibrating alarm if there is no "movement/breathing" for twenty seconds. 

This is the specific monitor package we have. It's wonderful.

There are numerous models to count in various price ranges, none which will break the bank either.  My husband and I received the deluxe monitor, which comes with two speakers with digital displays, two charger bases, the sensor pad, and the monitor (in the shape of an angel, how cute) that stays in the baby's room. 

Semi-Drawbacks: You will need a piece of board of some kind so that the monitor pad will lay perfectly flat beneath the mattress.  Very rarely you will get a false alarm if the baby travels too far away from the sensor pad during their sleep travels. 

Bottom line: You will find little use for video monitors after using this product.  There are many other features to the Angelcare Monitor Deluxe including setting temperature controls.  The sound quality is great with next to zero static and you can rest peacefully knowing your baby is breathing (or rest as peacefully as the baby will let you).

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Postpartum Hair Loss

I think this is a topic that not a lot of women like to think about, but I am writing to let all the women out there that are dealing with this (or soon will be) that you are absolutely not alone.  I am currently shedding mounds and mounds of once beautiful black hair only to watch it all end up on the floor, down the drain, or in the hands of my quick fingered 6-month-old.  As a result I found it best to cut my hair short(er) and sweep often.  I keep telling my husband "I think I'm going bald", but the truth is I'm not.


My trusty hair brush, with surprisingly not that much hair in it.


During pregnancy your hair goes into a resting stage, as well as continuing its regular growth, therefore when you are no longer pregnant and your estrogen levels drop your body begins shedding that once luxurious hair, the dreaded shedding stage.  The shedding may seem worse than you remember before you were pregnant because you are shedding nine months of rested hair along with the usual one hundred hairs you lose per day, yikes!  The shedding may seem more dramatic for women who have (or once had) very full thick hair like myself and also for women who have long hair, which I also did until I of course cut it.


The regrowth of my new hair.


There is good news! Somewhere between the sixth and twelfth month postpartum your hair should be back to its pre-pregnancy thickness.  In between your hair falling out and that day you get your normal hair back you will notice regrowth, usually along the hair line.  It may look as though you tried to cut your own bangs.  As for me, I started shedding hair at the latter half of my fourth month postpartum and I am still shedding, noticing plenty of hair on my pillow when I wake up each morning.  Just now at my nearly seventh month postpartum am I seeing some regrowth of my hair.  It feels like a long process to me but may not be the same for everyone.  The main thing to remember is postpartum hair loss happens to nearly every woman who has a baby and when you go through it you are definitely not alone.

And if you were feeling bad at all about your hair, this picture should make you feel better. Enjoy!


My husband, Timm. Thank you for making me feel beautiful.



Some Websites About Postpartum Hair Loss:
Postpartum Hair Loss
"What..." Questions on Postpartum Hair Loss

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Homemade Sushi: A Culinary Adventure

I used smoked salmon, crab meat, carrots, & avocado in top left roll.

 Over the past three years for Christmas, I have received not one, not two, but three sushi making kits.  Initially not having much ambition to make the stuff, thinking that it would just be "too hard to make", after three years I figured I should at least give it a try.  It was worth it.  Now these photos, which were taken by my wonderful and loving husband, were not my first attempt at making these delectable morsels but rather my third or fourth.  I did get better with practice and with many random trips to the grocery store (mostly done by Timm, thank you I love you).

I also used cucumbers & cream cheese in the other maki roll and hand rolls.

If you want to make sushi at home get good ingredients, it makes a huge difference.  The basic tools for sushi making at home can be found in a sushi making kit, found at a store like Barnes & Nobles, or you can shop for individual pieces or full kits online.  The advantage of the kits at Barnes & Nobles is that they come with books that give you step by step instructions as well as many ideas for not only sushi rolls, but soups and even desert sushi (something I will definitely try later when I gain some more confidence).  If you are a visual learner like myself you can look for the kits that come with DVD's or look for sushi making videos on YouTube.com. But try to make sure they are instructed by professionals and not just anybody, such as this one.  I encourage anyone who wants to try this at home to not be afraid, it is okay if they come out looking horrible because they will definitely still taste good.  You just need to make sure that you have quality ingredients and a little bit of time. Enjoy and have fun!

Some sites on making sushi at home:
Make My Sushi
How to Make Sushi: Step by Step Video

Friday, January 7, 2011

FMF: Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs - Rated PG - 90 min - Released 2009

There are only a few movies that I have come across that are truly clean throughout the entirety of the film; this is definitely one of those films.  If you have ever read the story book version of Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs you may be a little disappointed with the adaptation of the movie, or perhaps not.  I would consider the movie to be loosely based on the book, at best, simply because the movie is presenting the idea of raining food as a reality and not as a tall tale a grandfather tells to his dear grandchildren before they hit the sack.  Rather, this movie is about an amateur, yet ambitious, inventor named Flint Lockwood, whose crazy past inventions have earned him the reputation of being a "Weird dude" and a "Shenanigan-izer."  His one goal in life is to create an invention that will help save the townspeople of Swallow Falls of their dull food menu, sardines.  Inevitably Flint and his trusty sidekick Steve, who brings a good portion of comic relief to the table, invent the FLDSMDFR (you'll have to watch the film for that one), which turns water from the sky into food, which leads to meaty-er showers and ice cream flurries.  With a few clicks on Flint's computer, his invention allows for any food of choice to rain from the sky. 
     All seems well as Flint is basking in the lime light  of his newly renamed town Chew and Swallow, until his machine takes on a mind of its own, making the food portions much too big and rather scary for the townspeople.  Flint finally realizes that he must rectify his mistake for ignoring the mutating food and save the town by destroying the machine once the love of the town turns sour.  With the help of Sam Sparks, who would later become his love interest, Baby Brent, Mayor Shelbourne, and Manny, whom all add an interesting and very funny dynamic to the film, he is able to save the town and become the true hero he always wanted to be.
     As I said before, this is a pretty clean movie, but if I had to pick out any questionable content there are two things that come to mind.  One being when Flint's sidekick Steve rips the heart out of a Gummy Bear and screams with victory. And the other instance being when we see an extreme close up of Earl the cop flexing his buns of steel--which happens to be hysterical by the way.  Overall, I'd say an appropriate viewing age would be 2 years and up.

Overall Rating: 9.5 out of 10

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

A Schedule for Judah: Part 1

Now that the holidays have come and gone, so has Judah's schedule.  The poor little guy dealt with a lot these past two weeks and many will testify he handled it all extremely well.  Between the traveling, sleeping in many unfamiliar places, and meeting lots of familiar and new people he was bound to get overwhelmed at some point. I think it all came to a head Saturday night after my Dad left when we couldn't get Judah to fall asleep.  It was already 8pm when we tried to put him down but he refused to sleep until nearly 10pm.  His behavior was very strange because it seemed he had forgotten how to fall asleep on his own, in just one night, a skill I thought he'd mastered weeks ago.  Can that happen?  Well it did and the past few nights have been rough. So here is the schedule I have carefully designed around our weekly activities and with God's help will hopefully adhere to.  This is considered to be a parent led schedule.

Mind you, I did leave a half hour leeway in between some of the times because I know days won't always be perfect, but I am going to keep the eating schedule as strict as possible.

7:30/8:00 a.m. ------- wake up, diaper & outfit change, vitamins
8:00 a.m.----------------- nurse
9/9:30-10/10:30 a.m.- nap (Relax & Read my Bible)
11:00 a.m.--------------- nurse & solids
12:00-1:00 p.m.------- nap (Clean up around the house)
 2:00 p.m.---------------nurse
2:30/3-3:30/4 p.m.--- nap (Start Dinner)
5:00 p.m.--------------- nurse
6:00 p.m.--------------- solids
7:00 p.m.--------------- nurse & night time routine
7:30 p.m.--------------- bedtime

Now I chose to stick with a stricter schedule (meaning nap times & eating times) to make our days more predictable for Judah, productive for me, and practical for the both of us.  I had gone the way of feeding on demand and putting him down for naps only when he was tired, but this was not working for us and was only resulting in many sleep-less nights (we always manage to get some sleep.)  Since I stay at home, I consider this to be my job and most jobs have schedules, or at least a beginning and an ending time.  My good friend Rachel also reminded me a while back that God is a God of order and that is what I desire, is some order.

*Important Note: I am not saying to wait until exact times to meet the needs of your child.  Of course if they are hungry or tired, feed them or put them to sleep, but the idea for me was to try and reach these times by either adding or subtracting say 15 minutes at a time so that eventually he will be hungry and tired at the same times everyday.  Also note, this is an okay schedule for a 6-month-old.  I would not use this for an infant who obviously needs to eat & sleep much more often. The links below should be able to help you create a schedule at any age, when you are ready.  Like I said before, I carefully constructed this schedule by doing research, comparing notes with sample schedules, and trying to make these times coincide with our weekly activities.

Some Websites on Scheduling Your Baby:
Baby Schedules
Should I put my baby on a schedule?