Friday, August 30, 2013

Pizza for Baby T

Here's some of what's happening:

  • The 13-year-old built-in (!) microwave stopped microwaving and started emitting odd burning electrical odors when the on button was pressed, so we stopped using it.  At that point, I discovered that the microwave is (after the fridge) the second most-used appliance in the kitchen.  We microwave our oatmeal in it, our frozen bagels, veggies for Baby T, frozen meals, hot fudge for ice cream, etc.  It gets used half a dozen to a dozen times, every single day.  And right now, we have no microwave.
  • After much research, my husband ordered us a microwave and trim kit.  The old microwave was built-in, so that substantially increases the cost of replacement.  It is a painful fact that we are paying almost as much for the trim kit as for the microwave itself.  We went for stainless steel, as I hope to eventually replace our appliances with stainless, and anyway, the only suitable trim kit was stainless steel.  We have a mixture of white and black appliances, but we have to start somewhere if we're switching over.  (I realize stainless steel may be a little less trendy than 5 years ago, but I like it, and a microwave is not a lifetime commitment.)       
  • Baby T went to bed just now around 8:35 PM, which is about an hour sooner than she has been doing recently.  I really, really like this, as an 8:30 bedtime would give me the option of helping out with D's and C's bedtime.  D is down right now and I am hanging out in C's room lending moral support as she tidies up her room.   
  • Baby T and I went to the zoo this morning with a bunch of grad moms and one grad grandma.  It was hot, but I happened to have a bunch of zoo passes that would have expired tomorrow.
  • Baby T had cheese pizza for dinner tonight at the wonderful new cafeteria.  I am trying to figure out how to feed her at the cafeteria, as we have had her sitting in her nice stroller, and I am struggling with the idea of tomato sauce on the stroller upholstery, but C reminds me that the stroller is red.  We do have a portable feeding seat that may or may not fit into the stroller basket--I will have to see if that works.  There's really good food at the cafeteria and Baby T is currently so open-minded about food that we really should take advantage of it (I realize this window of opportunity is closing).  

Sunday, August 25, 2013


Here's some of what's happening:

  • Right now, my husband is hanging up a coat of arms and crossed decorative swords in D's room.  It's going to look great.  [UPDATE:  I got to see the preliminary position of the coat of arms and it does look fantastic.] 
  • Tonight, we had store ham and cheese quiche and steamed mixed veggies and grapes for dinner and Baby T had the same thing (minus the grapes).
  • Our recent pattern with Baby T's solids is that Baby T gets one large meal and some starchy snacks at other times (tortilla, bagel, etc.).
  • I'd been wondering what weaning was going to look like, as I've never weaned a breastfed infant before (C and D were bottle-fed pumped milk).  What seems to be happening is that Baby T has taken matters into her own plump little hands.  I think she's had one full-length breastfeeding today (first thing in the morning?), but the rest of the time, she has been cutting her feedings in half.  This has been particularly pronounced when I try to feed her when not in my usual location (church, C's bedroom, etc.).  
  • What I think is going on is that Baby T is switching from treating milk as a meal to treating it more as a beverage. 
  • I had been hoping to start weaning at 1 year and go directly to whole cow's milk with no bottles.  That's six weeks away and I think I may need to revise that plan.  While I would still like to skip bottles, we may well need to start supplementing a bit with formula, perhaps at meals.  Another option is to offer cheese and yogurt and lots of water.  We have a small stash of formula, so we have options.           

Sunday, August 18, 2013

False start

Here's some of what's happening:

  • Three of us are mildly afflicted, each in our own way.  I'm a casualty of the weaning process.  I called in to the after-hours doctor this evening and got set up with some antibiotics, as I didn't want to wait the 12 hours until the office opened.  It's not entirely clear that I have mastitis, but I didn't really want to wait to find out.
  • C did a lovely acrylic painting of an Asian dragon today (copied from a book on how to draw dragons).
  • My husband is working on some decorative swords for D's room (which is decorated in a castle theme).
  • Baby T has been eating some lovely steamed vegetables.  My little microwave mini-steamer is perfect for this and they taste much better than green veggie baby food, which is nasty.   
  • Baby T's passive language is really improving.  She handed her daddy a Little People polar bear and a Little People pig when he requested them.      

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Baby T's second breakfast

Baby T is 10 months old and has been enjoying the wide world of table foods lately.  (I am going to have to find somebody to take my stash of Stage 2 baby foods off my hands.  I'm keeping the Stage 3s and maybe the Stage 2 pureed meat--I guess we can try it on toast or something.)  Just now, she's having banana, Cheerios and plain yogurt for her second breakfast.  Yum!  This was the first time she's had yogurt, so she winced a little, but she had a fair bit of it.  She's not as fanatical a nurser as she used to be, but I'm aiming for weaning at one year, if possible.  You're allowed to switch over to cow's milk at one year and it would be nice to avoid the unnecessary expense of formula.  I have a small stash of formula, though, just in case.    

In gross motor news, Baby T pulls up all the time and needs only the very slightest support to stand.  In fact, if you put her in a standing position, she'll stay up not just momentarily, but occasionally for quite a while, sometimes for long enough to clap her hands.  


Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Quilt finished

Here's some of what's happening:

  • C finished her quilt yesterday.  Her teacher did some of the piecing, but it's about 75-85% C's work.  That leaves the dress project.  I've told C that if she wants to sew clothing or a quilt for Baby T, that we can furnish material.  I also told C that if she can do a quilt 100% by herself, we will enter it at the county fair.   
  • My husband has been having Baby T climb stairs.  She has done 15 steps at a time.  
  • We had a big playdate this afternoon.  We all had lunch at the cafeteria and then went home.  I did a house tour for our friends, D showed off his block castle and knights and C showed off her sewing machine and projects.  Then the kids got to work building cardboard box castles (we had been saving some really good boxes from the move).  Eventually, my husband was able to help do crenellation with a box cutter.  We had an ice cream break to restore everybody's vitality.  The boys worked on their box castle, the girls worked on their box castle, and eventually there was a big battle.  I eventually declared peace.  I'm hoping that the boys' castle and the girls' castle will eventually be turned into a joint mega-castle.   

Monday, August 12, 2013

C's quilt

C missed three days of a five day quilt-making class and of a five day dress-making class.  We bought a used sewing machine for C and my husband brought home C's projects in a box (her teacher had done some piecing for her), but with neither of us adults being quilters, we were in a bind.  With much trepidation, we gave C permission to finish her quilt project at home (she did do a different quilt last summer in a class, but she ran out of time and her teacher had to finish it for her, so C has never done a quilt independently).  She's doing very well.  It's not perfect, but it definitely looks like a quilt, and I have mentioned to C that I would be very happy to have it as a living room sofa throw.  I asked C how she figured out how to finish the quilt, and she told me that she had been looking at one of the quilting books I gave her.  

The dress is more of a question, as this was the very first dress-making class C has ever taken.  I'm hoping we'll be able to touch bases with C's teacher for some pointers.  

Balanced diet

Baby T is finishing up a late lunch of part of a bagel, some steamed green beans, some fresh plum and some shredded cheese.

Bamboo bowls

Here's some of what's happening:

  • C has been working on her quilt.
  • Baby T had an awful night, which I eventually figured out was due to molar activity.  She fed 8ish,10ish, 12ish (at which point we wised up and dosed her with baby Tylenol) and then again at 1 something AM, at which point she finally curled up and went to sleep for the night.  Between the midnight and the 1AM feedings, I was rocking her, walking her, patting and rubbing her back, etc., but she needed the combination of the baby Tylenol kicking in and a feeding to knock her out for the night.  Up until then, she was waking up every time I tiptoed away.  I think I finally got down for the night around 1:45 AM this morning.  
  • My husband and D have been working on ornamental swords for D.  He's also going to have a wooden shield with coat of arms on his wall.
  • My new blue-and-white Japanese rice bowls arrived!  Squee!  They're 8 oz. and have a bamboo pattern.  On reflection, they would work very nicely for ice cream. 

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Tree down

Here's some of what's happening:

  • On Friday, the tree guys came and trimmed a Chinese tallow in our front yard and fell a scraggly 39-foot (there's an app for that!) larch in the backyard.  The larch was leaning over our house.  They got it down safely, which was a relief.  They sent their lightest crew guy up with a harness and a chainsaw and he cut a bunch of limbs, then methodically worked his way down, cutting off first the crown of the tree, then successive lower stretches of trunk.  They then chipped the stump.  This all took about 90 minutes and cost us $325.  The actual tree-climber was a Hispanic guy wearing a Jesus shirt (done in the style of the famous Che Guevara shirt), with text saying "Viva la revolucion!"
  • C has been experimenting with the embroidery function on her new (used) sewing machine. 
  • C has finished sewing her felt horse from online instructions.  She decided, late in the process, to make it a unicorn. 
  • C seems to be getting better.  D, however, is starting to act a little peaky.  School starts next week.  Get better, kids!
  • Baby T has figured out how to pull up on her play pen, an advanced task.
  • D has been staging elaborate scenes with block fortresses, knight action figures and stuffed dragons.
  • Baby T had a lunch today consisting of Cheerios, Wheat Chex and steamed peas and diced carrots (from frozen).  This is the first time I've used my new microwave mini-steamer, which I like a lot.     
  • I got a shipment of four blue-and-white earthenware Tunisian salad bowls.  The size is perfect, but they're not as nice as they looked in the online photos.  I'll keep them for a while and see if I warm up to them, but I may just send them to Goodwill eventually.   

Morning report

D asked for permission to see Baby T this morning (a frequent request from the kids) and came back with the following information:

  • Baby T was looking at the ceiling fan.  D said "fan" over and over again to encourage her to repeat the word.  Baby T, however, said something that sounded a lot like "give" and D told her he couldn't give her the ceiling fan.
  • D reminds me how many developments Baby T has been through.  Early on in Baby T's life, when he went in to see Baby T, she'd be in exactly the same position she'd been put down in.  The next step was being on her tummy.  After that, he'd find her sitting up.  And now, he has been finding Baby T standing up holding her crib rail. 

Friday, August 9, 2013

Momentary standing

My husband reports that Baby T (who has been pulling up like crazy) is able to stay standing momentarily and even managed to clap her hands once while standing.

Baby T pulls up at every opportunity, including in the bath.

Mrs. Lin's Kitchen

I have 1) a thing for blue-and-white Japanese ceramics and 2) a nice little windfall, so we ordered me some more bowls.  I just got my first shipment of four blue-and-white noodle bowls from Mrs. Lin's Kitchen and I'm waiting for a set of ten blue-and-white bamboo-patterned rice bowls.  I really don't need ten, but they're really pretty.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Sewing machine

C is about to be the proud owner of a used Pfaff 2030 sewing machine.  Pfaff is a German company, which is reassuring.  We've bought the machine from a Bernina store and it will come with lessons and 2 years of service.

C's had to miss all but two days of her sewing camp due to illness, but we are going to try to make arrangements for her to finish the dress and the quilt she was working on.     


Baby T went to the pediatrician for a belated 9 month check-up (no shots--woohoo!).  Baby T is 19 pounds 14 ounces (something like 57th percentile) and 28.37 (?) inches (63rd percentile).  Practically perfect, as Mary Poppins would say.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Good news, bad news

Bad news:  There was a spill during the baking process last night.

Good news:  It was my bottle of rose water.  It smells amazing around the fridge.

I've had the bottle of rose water untouched through two moves and not been totally sure what to do with it, so this is a step forward.  I had been thinking of using it in a birthday cake for me (maybe with chocolate?).  The internet informs me that you can also do a cardamon and rose water kheer (Indian rice pudding), which also sounds amazing.  

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Third word

Here's some of what's happening:

  • Baby T had her 9 month pediatric appointment this afternoon. 
  • Baby T has a third word:  "poo."  That's actually her version of "spoon".
  • The inside of the house is officially unpacked--not perfectly arranged, but unpacked.  We will leave the garage for cooler weather.  The garage is the last area to be dealt with.
  • Our mover came and got some used boxes from us today.  
  • I was finishing up the master bedroom and some odds and ends in the hall:  baby clothes that need to be given away and a box with a few items of baby memorabilia.  On reflection, we have lots of photos with C and D in their hospital baby hats, so we don't need to keep the actual physical hats.  D's baptismal candle can join the other candles in our candle collection and come out for special occasions and C's first pair of toddler shoes looks serviceable for Baby T.  So, no box of baby memorabilia.  Our photos, baby journals and blog will have to serve.      
  • We've had the bushes and vegetation directly around the house removed (it's for termite and carpenter ant prevention) and are collecting bids for the removal of a nearly 40' larch that is leaning over the house.   
  • Good news:  C was working hard this evening on making baklava with phyllo pastry, nuts, butter, oil, honey and rosewater.  Bad news:  I'm not close enough to hear what's going on, but there's a burnt smell wafting up the stairs.  
  • D went down to sleep around 8:30 PM.  Woohoo!  

Monday, August 5, 2013

Second word

My husband and C tell me that when Baby T saw a freshly assembled Rubiks Cube she said, "Give!"  That is T's second word.  The first one is "book" or "gook."

Bad news--I think Baby T may have been getting an allergic reaction to the blackberries in the baby food I was giving her a couple days ago.  She was getting circles around her eyes (as if she'd been crying--but she hadn't been) and then spots at the back of her neck.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Thursday, August 1, 2013

What's left

The photos I just posted are of rooms that are officially unpacked.  That leaves D's room and C's room (which are unpacked but not decorated) and the master bedroom.  I will try to do posts for D's bedroom and C's bedroom as we add finishing touches (a horse poster for C, a castle poster for D, various odds and ends).

Upstairs at the new house

This post and the previous one are of unpacked rooms in the new house.  Here are some photos of the master bath and Baby T's nursery.
master bathroom vanity
shell sink (not so yellow in real life--more purplish)
shower with purple swirl cultured marble
purple swirl bath--but very comfy for reading
grand view from top of stairs
Baby T's nursery--lots of built-in storage
Baby T's nursery--shelves and cabinets

Downstairs at the new house

main entry

breakfast nook and built-in cabinet

coffee corner


breakfast nook

playroom with foam matting 


Here are some odds and ends:

  • I forgot to mention that we were all in the playroom when Baby T was pulling up on the low windowsill, and there was much applause and enthusiastic outcry for her efforts.
  • I'm lately noticing that Baby T is very excited about being spoken to and seems to relish speech.
  • She fell asleep after a feeding last night around 6:30 PM, which was supposed to be her second-to-last feeding, rather than her last feeding.  I had a real dilemma as to whether or not to wake her up and feed her for the night.  We let her sleep and she stayed down until around 7 AM this morning.  6:30 PM is early for a bedtime for Baby T (although D really did go down around that time for a while in his preschool years), but it would really be nice if she started going to bed 7ish or 8ish, freeing up the later evening for the big kids.  Up to now, I've usually been putting Baby T to bed around 9 or 9:30, which means I've been mostly unavailable for C and D's bedtime.  Even 8:30 or 8:45 would be good.
  • C did the Mona Lisa cookie recipe in Tattoo a Banana.  We're still eating it.  
  • My husband is replacing an unreliable old powder room toilet with a more standard toilet.  We were going to have the home improvement people install it, but the plumbing department guy sold my husband on the idea of doing it himself.