Monthly Archives: January 2013

Places to go!

Dang, you guys, it is hard to find time to blog! So much has changed with my now-8-month-old sweetheart since I last wrote about her.

All of a sudden she is shockingly mobile. She has been commando crawling for months, and about topped out her speed for that type of locomotion, but she was still pretty slow and still stuck on the ground.

On Christmas Eve she sat herself up.

The day after Christmas she straight-up crawled.

January fourth she pulled to a stand (something she probably would have done sooner, but all the furniture available to her was too tall to reach or too short to count as standing if she held it. This day I brought out something the right height and she crawled right over and stood).

About a week later she cruised along our very soft, slippery sofa. Slowly and awkwardly, but still.

So in the space of about three weeks she went from stuck on the floor to cruising. Yeah. Our baby proofing wasn’t quite ready.

Oh, and did I mention she was 7.5 months for the cruising? I’m screwed, aren’t I?

I have no idea where she got her athletic genes. From looking at her daddy and me I’d have guessed she’d be a talkative, immobile lump. I’d think there’d been a mix up at the hospital, but, you know, no hospital.

It’s been over a month since she started crawling and, much like with pregnancy, despite all the dire warnings that I’d hate it once she started, I’ve got to say, I still LOVE watching her move. Sure I have to be more on my toes, and sure she can get into LOTS more trouble. But she can also explore her world in the way she wants and delights in her own mobility. And that, my friends, is a joy to watch.

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Scared

In six days I leave my daughter to begin student teaching. Student teaching is a full-time gig. I will go from being with Baby Love 24/7 to missing most of her days.

And I.don’t.want.to.

Before I had her I figured I’d be ready. Seven months? She’ll be fine, and I’ll be ready to pull my hair out!

But what I’ve found is I love being home with her. I love seeing her grow and change every day. I love watching each new discovery. I love being present for all the minutiae. It isn’t boring. It is wonderful. And I am so happy doing it that I feel guilty, figuring in my silly brain that if I’m this happy I must not be working hard enough.

By the time I realized I didn’t want to finish my program this semester, though, it was too late for me to back out. Arrangements have been made. So Monday it is.

I am scared of many things.

I don’t want to miss the moments of my daughter’s life. She is the most fun she has ever been, and I am leaving now. I see how much my husband sees of her, and he is a fantastic daddy and she adores him, but he doesn’t see all I do just because he’s not around as much. I don’t want to miss things, even silly little things, like I see him do sometimes just by circumstance. I am drinking up every day, living it fully, and I’m afraid if I stop being around her so much I’ll begin missing the past instead of enjoying the present. I don’t have any, “Aaaw, I miss that stage!” feelings like so many moms I know do, and I think it’s largely because I DON’T feel like I missed it! I experienced it, and it was wonderful, and now I’m experiencing the next wonderful stage. But if I’m gone full time will I still have the satisfaction of experiencing it? Will I have no regrets, feeling like nothing was missed?

We have a wonderful nanny coming to care for Baby Love, and I am so grateful to have found her, but here’s my deep, dark secret: I’m afraid she’ll be a better mommy to my girl than me. I love my Baby Love with every fiber of my being, and all the tangible ways of caring for her and providing for her and standing up for her needs I do well. But getting down on the floor and playing? Not my strong suit. I’ve been doing it more in the last week, and she loves it (and I’m having fun, too!), but it’s just not something I’m natural at and not something I do much. Plus right now my baby loves me above all others, and I think that’s largely because I’m her constant companion. What if spending more of her day with the nanny, who gets down on the floor and plays with her whole attention, she comes to like the nanny more than me? I know it sounds silly, but it scares me. I love my bond with my little girl. I don’t want to lose it.

I know she has to grow up and learn independence sometime. But it doesn’t seem necessary at seven months.

I know lots of moms go back to work and their relationship with their children is fine. But that doesn’t mean ours will be.

I’m scared. And not of student teaching. I’m going to rock the socks off that. But of leaving my baby for the majority of her waking hours for what will be the last third of her life, by the end. I’m sure she will be fine. I just hope I will be.

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I love this little baby

I love this little baby so, so much.

I love being the only one who can make some things feel better for her.

I love how she snuggles into me when she is sad or tired or shy.

I love watching her break into her giant, toothy grin.

I love how happy she gets from our praise.

I love her determination to reach her goals.

I love hearing rare baby giggles erupt when my husband or I play with her just right.

I love seeing her look like she is about to burst from joy.

I love watching her crawl towards me with a giant smile on her face.

I love how she charms everyone around her.

I love how much she wants Toby to play with her.

I love how curious she is about the world around her.

I love how happy she is any time she’s awake.

I love every beautiful cell of her body. Even when I’m horribly sleep deprived, I love this little baby more than I thought it was possible to love.

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Top Posts of 2012

As determined by number of page views as tracked by WordPress, here are my most popular posts of 2012:

5. Why my birth wasn’t empowering (And that’s OK)

In this post I discussed how my all-natural birth that turned out ideal in every way still wasn’t the empowering experience I feel it is overtly and subtly billed as being by the natural birth community, and then I explained why that wasn’t a failing on my part and why I was glad I still did it the way I did.

4. Baby girl is here! (Almost 4 weeks ago…)

Evidently parentheticals are good for my page views! In this post I finally introduced Baby Love to you guys, and I talked about the reasons I was glad I was out of hospital for my birth despite it absolutely sucking in many ways. At this point I was still trying to focus on reasons to be grateful instead of being in a place of acceptance. I went into a lot of the ways a hospital birth could easily have been differently than the birth experience I had out of hospital, and got a little pushback from a fan of hospital births.

3. Dumb name, amazing results

Here I introduced EC, or infant potty training, that we do with Annika and how it was working for us. We’re still doing it and still loving it!

2. First food: Banana!

This post is basically a photo stream of Baby Love’s first experience eating (and loving!) banana using Baby Led Weaning.

1. Baby Girl’s Birth Story

3 guesses what this one is about. That’s right, Baby Love’s birth story! I go into a fair amount of detail of what happened when and how things went down in my all-natural, out-of-hospital birth.

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Meat & Cheese Stuffed Shells

I have moved! I am now blogging at The Energizer Mommy. Please come join me there!

It’s been a month, time for me to post again! Sorry I suck at blogging. My whole life basically revolves around sleep still, so there isn’t much time in-bewteen for luxuries like peeing or blogging.

That was a lovely introduction to a food post.

My most popular post on here overall has been my recipe for Delicious Enchiladas. Those are still a staple in our house, and I still LOVE them. So good.

When Baby Love was approaching, the hubby and I prepared a bunch of food and put it in our new, upright deep-freezer. The food we prepared lasted us months, and I loved having homemade meals I could pull out and have ready in no time! So we’ve kept up the trend. I’ve adapted the Delicious Enchiladas, and every 3-4 months I cook meals for that timeframe.

I am wrapping up the cooking for this round today, and one of the new recipes I’m trying looks like YUM. I haven’t cooked it yet, but I’ve tasted the filling while stuffing it in the shells and ohmygoshheavenly.

So since the recipe was half made up on the fly, I thought, hey, I’ll write it down here so I can remember it and others can try it, too! If, when I cook it, it crashes and burns I’ll be sure to let y’all know, but this is a pretty straightforward freezer meal that many make so I don’t anticipate that. I just modified it for greater deliciousness, as is my wont.

Now behold…meat and cheese stuffed shells!

Ingredients

1 lb of ground turkey
1 lb of mild Italian sausage
1-2 onions (depends on size, your taste)
2 cloves of garlic, minced
4 cups of mozzarella cheese
1 16 oz container of ricotta cheese
2 eggs
1 cup of milk
~2 tsp of Italian seasoning (haha, like I measured)
2 packages of jumbo pasta shells
4 jars of spaghetti sauce

Steps

  1. Cook the jumbo pasta shells (under-cook slightly), drain, set aside
  2. Brown the turkey and Italian sausage with the onion, mixing it together into a homogenous mixture
  3. Add garlic, simmer for another minute
  4. Drain meat mixture
  5. Transfer meat mixture to a mixing bowl and add 2 cups of mozzarella cheese, ricotta, eggs, milk, and Italian seasoning. Mix together.
  6. Stuff shells and lay them in an 8×8 baking dish. This should yield 4 8×8 baking dishes worth.
  7. Cover each 8×8 baking dish with one jar of sauce. Sprinkle remaining 2 cups of mozzarella cheese over top.
  8. Freeze.
  9. When you’re ready to cook, take it out of the freezer and put in a preheated 375 degree oven for 1 hour and 45 minutes to 2 hours. If you have thawed it you can probably cook it for only ~30 minutes; everything except the egg is already cooked so you’re mostly just reheating and blending flavors.

Not too complicated, and yummy! The one thing I found is that I had a lot of leftover shells, evidently I either stuff them full or people like to make extra since so many of the shells are torn and thus hard to stuff. I’ve been munching on the completed meat mixture as I stuff the shells, and I’m very excited for the whole dish. Let me know if you try it, and any modifications you make!

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