Category Archives: playtime

A Very Zucchini Weekend

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When my mom came to visit a week ago she brought me a ton of squash, both yellow and zucchini. The zucchini in her garden are massive, most of them are at least a foot long. I had about 8 of them to use up so needless to say, we ate  zucchini all weekend. I got pretty creative too so I honestly never got tired of it. I came up with 2 recipes that were keepers.

First we had zucchini pancakes. The first time I tired making these I tried using shredded zucchini and whole oats. They turned out mushy  (remember, we are egg free right now so that makes pancakes hard to make). But the second time I made them I used pureed zucchini and oat flour. So much better! I am going to make them again in the next couple days so I can measure out what I do and record the recipe.

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Eating an entire zucchini before 9 am is a good start to the day! Especially when its topped with homemade blueberry jelly and a side of turkey breakfast sausage.

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We made a chicken in the crockpot and added cut up zucchini one night. Then had the leftovers Sunday for lunch.

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And the real winner happened on Sunday night. I figured since squash has such a mild flavor I could just slip it into some enchiladas as the filling. I figured it couldn’t be too bad and it would use up some more squash. It was amazing!! It could have been partly the homemade enchilada sauce as well. The meat mixture was a little bit of leftover chicken with 2 whole yellow squash, shredded. Since both were shredded, it really seemed like it was all chicken in there. And there was a ton of zucchini. 2 squash in a tiny batch of enchilladas, only 5 (it was just the kids and I for dinner).

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The enchilada sauce was amazing as well. I took some tomatoes my mom also brought me and cooked them down with some fresh oregano and parsley. I put it in jars to use for homemade marinara later in the week. Well I decided I’d try some enchilada sauce with some of it. I put some of it in the blender with some cumin, chilli powder, garlic salt and oh my gosh, it was amazing!

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Cassidy ate 1.5 huge enchiladas, it was crazy! And she kept giving me the sign language for more. She started with half of one. Devoured it and signed for more. I gave her another half. Repeat. Gave her another half and she asked for more again. I cut her off at that point! I didn’t want her getting sick.

I will be putting these on next week’s meal plan again so I can type up the recipe. Cassidy will probably be staring at the oven, drooling, waiting to dig into them!

We ended our weekend with a dipped vanilla cone at dairy queen and some time at the park with friends. And my once calm little Cassidy is becoming a wild woman like her sister. She crawls up the steps at the park, crawls to a slide, then throws her body down it face first on her belly. She loved it and did it over and over again. No fear what so ever. I am in for some trouble!

Weekend Wrap Up and Cassidy’s 10 Month Update

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How in the heck is my baby girl already 10 months? Famous words of a parent, I know! Time really does fly. Before I go into Cassidy’s stats, I’ll recap my low key weekend.

We ate lots of fresh healthy dinners with vegetables from our own gardens! Friday night’s dinner had green beans from my garden as well as a fresh pesto I made with basil from my garden.

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Sunday nights dinner had veggies from my mom’s boyfriend’s garden. He lives on a farm and has a legit garden/farm, not just a little backyard one. He sent me home with more potatoes and peas than most families could ever consume before going bad. But I will be eating them everyday until they are gone, I don’t mind repeats and leftover, especially when its repeats of fresh home grown vegetables. I roasted them up with a couple of Trader Joe’s chicken sausages, olive oil, and parsley, oregano, and basil from my own garden.

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Speaking of gardens, mine took a huge hit this weekend. I found out I have grubs or squash borers that completely destroyed ALL of my squash plants. HUGE bummer to put it lightly! I had butternut squash, yellow squash, zucchini squash, and spaghetti squash all growly beautifully a few days ago and now they are all dead.

I drowned my sorrows in a rolo McFlurry last night to make it all better. It helped a little.

Now on to the cutest, sweetest 10 month old baby around, Cassidy Blaire! Cassidy is still the same little angel baby she has always been but now she is go go go. She is always moving and active and its getting harder to get her to sit still in places like church. She made it about 40 minutes on my lap with snacks and patty cake before I had to take her into the “mother’s room”. In her defense, church is right in the middle of her morning nap so she is forced to nap later on the way home from church in her seat on Sundays.

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Sleep:

Still a STELLAR sleeper. Like seriously unreal. She’s out by 830 pm and wakes up at 830 am. Some days even longer. Friday night she was out by 815 pm and I woke her at 930 am because we had somewhere to be that morning! She naps for about 1-2 hours in the morning or sometimes a nap in her car seat if we are out and about which is usually only 45 minutes-1.5 hours. Then she naps in the afternoon for 2-2.5 hours, sometimes closer to 3 if she had a shorter morning nap. She adapts beautifully to our hectic schedules and naps whenever she can. We are usually home for her afternoon nap though so she has some nap consistency and I do keep a relatively strict bedtime. She goes to bed late maybe once a month if we are out at a party or friends house but I really try to be home by bedtime.

Eating:

She is still breastfed mostly. She nurses at 830 am (or wakeup time), 1130, 230, 530, and 820. So that’s 5 times a day. She eats a small breakfast of bananas and some days some rice puffs. Lunch is a fruit, vegetable, protein, and whole grain. Dinner is a vegetable, protein, whole grain. A little cheese is offered at either lunch or dinner and is her favorite food of all time. She eats baby cereal mixed with 2 oz breast milk around 7 pm each night. She eats mostly organic, well I guess we all do. She just eats what we eat, no baby purees or anything. She is not picky at all so far and eats whatever I make the rest of the family to eat. I just cut it in little pieces and she feeds herself. So a modified baby led weaning approach I guess. Sometimes I give her the bunch chunks of food for her to bite, like bread or a green bean, but I cut up most of her food.

Milestones:

She pulls herself up on anything and everything and can climb really well. I found her on top of Alyssa’s little tykes picnic table in the playroom. I went to the bathroom real quick and ran back to see her so proud of herself that she made it to the top in record speed. She is starting to walk behind her little push car but I don’t foresee her walking on her own this month. I am expecting closer to a year old, but who knows.

And we can now do pigtails, that’s a milestone, right?!

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Stats:

These are unofficial since I did them at home. She is 29.25 inches long and 17.75 lbs. That puts her in the 95% for height and 30% for weight. We only have 3/4 of an inch left until she outgrows her infant carrier. I am dreading this because she still falls asleep in her carrier a lot and its nice to be able to snap it out of the car and just sit in the house for her to keep napping.

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Speaking of percentages, I looked up growth charts today to get her percentages and there are 2 different ones commonly used. One is from the CDC and that’s the one my pediatrician uses. It averages all babies in the United States. However the other one is the WHO growth chart and it is made from averages across the world (I think it said from 4 different developed countries) ONLY from babies who were exclusively breastfeed for at least 4 months and are still nursing by 12 months. So the WHO growth chart would obviously be more accurate for us and it puts her at a higher percentage for weight.

I really don’t know what I did to deserve this easy easy baby. Maybe its to balance out little miss sassy pants Alyssa. Alyssa is so sweet and caring and hilarious but girl has a little attitude on her when she wants. Dave better watch out because if all my future children are as easy as Cassidy and fun as Alyssa, I may want 10!

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Going to the Zoo

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Warning: picture overload ahead…

We met my dad and stepmom for Alyssa’s first trip to the zoo. It was the last “firsts” blank left in her baby book. Cassidy’s baby book filled up so much quicker since she gets drug along to everything we do with Alyssa. She went to her first movie at 2 weeks old! Anyway…the zoo. It was perfect weather and the zoo was completely empty.

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I think we walked about 3 miles throughout the day. And there were some killer hills. We brought the stroller for Cassidy but switched over to carrying her in the ergo about 30 minutes in. So I was carrying an extra 20 pounds on my back.

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We had to take a picture on every stone animal.

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The children’s portion of the zoo was actually kind of lame. We saw a bunch of butterflies and that’s all. But we did find some more photo ops.

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My little farm girl was hamming it up for pictures.

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We ditched the children’s portion of the zoo and then the fun began when we got to see some real animals. Alyssa got to feed a giraffe. She says “I fed a giraffe and it wrapped its big tongue around my hand and got me all slimy”. My dad said he was expecting her to pull away and freak out when it starting eating the leaf but he said she didn’t at all. She loved it.

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We saw the penguins, elephants, chimps (who were in mating season which was quite…interesting), polar bears, monkeys, cheetahs, prairie dogs, and some others. One of the monkeys had a baby a couple weeks prior and we saw it nursing its baby. It was so sweet.

Alyssa also got a camel ride. My dad said it was horribly uncomfortable, but Alyssa loved it!

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I am glad to finally fill the blank in Alyssa’s baby book but I just realized that, besides her first day of school, her baby book is complete. It makes me so sad, my baby girl is growing up too fast!

The zoo is one of those things I did for my kids. I enjoyed watching them enjoy themselves and I had a lot of fun. Dave has been bugging me to go to the zoo since we met 8 years so he is definitely more the zoo person.

Do you like the zoo?

9 Months and Counting

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How is it possible that my baby is 9 months old? I know every parent says this a million times but its true. I feel like I was just pregnant with her and its been almost a year ago! You can read my birth story here, it’s a good one that will keep you on the edge of your seat for sure! (It did us!!)

Personality:

Cassidy’s personality is really coming through lately. She is no longer the quiet passive baby who just sits around. She is getting stubborn and sassy, which was inevitable. If you’ve met her older sister Alyssa, it would be no surprise. And honestly, all of our kids are bound to be that way because Dave and I both are. Its crazy around here! Cassidy now has a mind of her own. She protests if she wants something but can’t reach it.

She gets really mad if I am eating something and not sharing with her. She will yell and wiggle until she gets her way. Then give me a big goofy grin when she gets what she wants. And they say you can’t spoil a baby. I could not disagree more! I think its ok that babies are spoiled, but lets call a spade a spade. Its being spoiled. But I love spoiling my babies, as long as it doesn’t turn into being a spoiled brat. I am thinking the concept of time out is in our near future. I started with Alyssa around 1. For now I will give her a simple “no” and redirect her though.

Milestones:

She crawls everywhere. Mostly the army crawl (or LOW crawl as my Marine Corps husband corrects me). She can crawl on all fours but it hurts her knees on our hardwood floors and tile so she opts for the scoot. And shes faster scooting than real crawling.

She pulls up on everything

Can get herself from crawling, to sitting, to pulled up, back down, etc. Sometimes the getting back down isn’t as graceful as she’d like but she has a hard head.

Waves Hi and Bye.

Says Mama, Dada, and Bo-Dee (Brody, our dog)

Feeding:

She still nurses a good amount. She nurses when she wakes up between 830 to 9 am, 1130, 230, 515, 715, and then just a top off before bed around 825. I am planning on dropping her 715 feeding soon but she is just cranky around that time and a quick nursing session seems to cure it. So we’ll see.

We are doing all tiny chunks of food and no purees. She hated purees and its just easier to give her what we are eating anyway. She eats a meat, veggie, fruit, and breastmilk mixed with cereal around 1230 for lunch. Dinner is a meat, veggie, carb around 545. She then eats 2 oz breastmilk mixed with baby cereal at 745. I did this when she was smaller so I would load her belly up before bed and she’d stay full. Now that shes getting older I’ll probably move things around a little. But again, it works for us so we’ll just go with it. She rarely eats breakfast since she drinks a ton of breastmilk in the morning but she will occasionally have a little banana or pancake while she sits at the table with us. So she eats a lot, but is still so skinny…maybe she’s our little hummingbird and just has a really fast metabolism.

Sleeping:

My little girl is still a rockstar in this area. She has been sleeping through the night since about 6 weeks old and she continues on. We start bedtime around 8 pm and she is asleep in her crib by 830 pm. She usually wakes up around 830 am. If she’s especially tired, like tonight, she will go down more like 815 and will sometimes sleep as late as 9 am. Yep, thats 12 solid hours, sometimes closer to 13. I thank her every morning! I am a person who needs sleep. 8-9 hours is what I need to have my normal energy levels, so I am so grateful for her sleeping well. I usually nurse her until shes really sleepy, which only takes about 2 minutes. Some nights shes too full or too tired and won’t nurse and just wants in her bed, like tonight. Other nights she falls pretty much asleep in those 2 minutes. (ETA: She slept from 815 pm last night to 930am this morning, a new record of 13 hours 15 minutes! I actually woke her at 930 so we could get our day going, not sure how long she would have slept!)

Naptime is pretty good as well. IF we are home in the morning she will sleep from 10-1130. We are usually out and about though so she will take like a 45 mintue nap from like 11-1145. We are usually home for her afternoon naps, which are roughly 230-430. I lay her down awake and she is usually asleep within 5 minutes. Sometimes she’ll cry for 10 minutes before falling asleep, sometimes she sucks her thumb right to sleep.

Stats:

My baby is a little bean pole. Alyssa was a fat baby. Rolls everywhere. Cassidy is this little skinny tall baby. I fed them on the exact same schedule but every kid is just different I am learning.

Height: 28.75 inches (92%)

Weight: 16.5 lbs (20%)

Head: 17.9 inches (90%)

The doctor said she looks great and not to worry at all about her being petite. He said since my husband and I are both small builds, she may just be small. But she obviously has his height though. He is 6’1.5” and I am 5’3.5”. She is growing and is in the same percentiles every checkup so he said that’s what matters. If she all of a sudden drops into the 5th percentile for weight, then we may be concerned. But for now, just keep doing what we’re doing. Great thing to hear!

And just to show you Alyssa around the same age, at the beach as well. Check out those thighs!

AI can’t believe she will be 1 before we know it. She will be walking around soon. Just thinking of it makes me tear up. I feel like as soon as a baby walks, they are a toddler and not a baby. I need my baby to stay a baby! Although I am excited for her to walk because crawling results in her hands being all over dirty floors, which is particularly unsanitary for a thumb sucker.

I love you Cassidy Blaire more than anything in the world. You are the sweetest, most smiley, baby ever and love you more every day! Your dimples melt my heart time and time again with every smile. I swear if every baby was like Cassidy the world would be so overpopulated because everyone would have like 15 kids!

I am so lucky to have the little girls I have, I wouldn’t change a thing about either of them!

Two New Workouts

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I have two new workouts I’ve completed in the last week. I rarely do the same workout twice in the same month or so, I get bored way too easily.

A tabata two nights ago that kicked my butt and left me nice and sore of course…

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It was nice adding a little warm up with stretching in there. Stretching is my sore spot and I really need to do more of it.

And I finally dusted off my treadmill for the first time in a couple weeks. Since I recently bought my double BOB jogger and the weather has been so nice, I have been opting for outdoor runs. Well and my lack of exercise in general the last couple weeks has kept me away from the treadmill. I get too bored just hopping on and running a couple miles at a steady pace and incline. I am a button pusher.

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And for some reason when I add in those short walking inclines, it makes me sweat like no other. After I was finished this workout Alyssa asked why I was so sweaty. I told her its because its fun and healthy to exercise and get sweaty. It makes you have a healthy body and live a really long time. She ran up to me and rubbed her head all over me.

Me:           EW Alyssa that’s gross, I don’t want to get you all sweaty.

Alyssa:    No, Mom. I want some sweat, I want to be healthy too.

Me:          That’s great babe, but you need to make your own sweat for it to be healthy.

Later that day we went to a bounce house place with her soccer team for her end of the year party. She ran and bounced and went down slides for 2 hours. She ran up to me at one point and grabbed my hand to put it on her head.

Alyssa:     Look mom, I made my own sweat. I am so healthy now!

She was so proud of herself, it made me smile. I really am trying my best to set a good, healthy, balanced example for her. Raising little girls these days is tricky with both anorexia and obesity such huge issues within our society.

Have you been taking advantage of Spring weather and moving your workouts outside? I need to go for more walks before it gets too hot. It was 91 here today, so its quickly becoming too hot!

Momma Jewelry

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I asked for something called Chewbeads for Christmas. They are kind of like a teething ring you wear around your neck. I know it sounds gross to have a kid slobber all over your jewelry but its better than her chewing on my nice white gold cross. They also kind of looked like Betty Rubble jewelry according to Dave. So I forgot about them. Well now Cassidy is teething. She chews on everything and she is also very busy and always needs something to do. When I hold her or breastfeed her, she grabs all over my chest and neck. She grabs hunks of skin and scratches leaving me looking like a cat got me. She likes to tug on my nice cross necklace, so much so that she actually broke the clasp from tugging so hard. Chewbeads were my answer. But at 30 bucks a pop and a less than desirable “flinstone” look, I figured I could make my own! With some etsy inspiration I got going during naptime…

For all you Momma’s out there, I figured I’d give you a little tutorial. Although they are pretty cute aside from being functional so anyone could make these, and quickly!

First get some wooden beads (roughly 1/2 inch diameter). I actually took them from an old necklace I had and never wore. You can also get them from a craft store for a buck or two. Then take a piece of fabric about 3 inches wide by 46 inches (the width of fabric off the bolt) long. Fold it in half with the right (front) sides together. Stitch the entire length making a long tube. Turn it right side out. You should now have a long tube with the right side of the fabric showing and the seam hidden on the inside.

Now tie a knot roughly 10 inches from one end. Drop a bead in the long end of the tube.

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Tie another knot, right up next to the bead.

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Drop another bead, tie another knot. Repeat. I used 7 beads total.

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Take the leftover fabric and trim it to 10 inches.

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Finish off the edges and sew them together. Make sure it fits over your head before you sew it! If it doesn’t, make the ends a little longer than 10 inches.

Put it on and let baby at it!

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Cassidy seems to like it so far!

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So here is a close up…

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I actually really like how they turned out. They are really cute and I think I am going to make a couple more in some more fun prints. The possibilities are endless and they cost under 5 bucks to make!

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These took about 30 minutes to make. Would be great for a homemade gift!

Vacation at the Waterpark

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Today is going to be a rough one. For the last 2 weeks Dave has been on vacation. He rarely is given the oppertunity to use his leave so it just builds up and then we take a week or two at a time. For the 3 1/2 weeks before vacation, Dave was away on training so it was just me and the girls. Well Dave got home, then my in laws were in town, then we went on vacation, and now its back to reality. Lets just say my girls were spoiled rotten the last couple weeks and today will be a harsh dose of reality. There will no longer be at least two other people around to play with Alyssa all day long and an extra set of hands to assure Cassidy she will never have to be set down. But its ok, it was all worth it to get 2 weeks of pure family time!

During our vacation we went to a place called The Great Wolf Lodge. They offer a pretty good military discount and we love it there! Its our third time going in the past year. We have made the 4 hour drive just to stay one night over a weekend. It is an indoor waterpark with pools and 6 different big slides and 3 kiddy slides. Alyssa is obivously too big for a “baby slide” though so she rode all the big ones. I did not do one formal workout for an entire week and I was totally okay with that. Mostly because I had to climb 7 flights of stairs every time we went down a slide. And for 2 of those slides I also was carrying a double tube over my head. Lets just say my quads were legit burning by the time I got to the top every time!

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When I wasn’t going down slides with Alyssa, I was snuggling my sweet baby girl. Cassidy is a pretty go with the flow baby so she just napped on me in the actual waterpark and I nursed her under my hooter hider in there when need be as well. The one thing that can be a downside of breastfeeding is that it can be kind of secluding having to go somewhere private to nurse. But I just use a cover up called a hooter hide and nurse her wherever I am. Everyone else eats in public, why can’t my baby, espeically if I am covered up? Thats how I view it at least. A little old lady actually walked by while I was nursing her and said “good for you, honey!”. It made me smile.

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Snuggling a sleeping baby is quite possibly my favorite activity in the world! When Cassidy was awake she enjoyed swimming around the baby pool. I wish I didn’t cut the top of her head off in this picture because it would have totally been frame worthy.

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She is at an age where she is curious about everything so splashing around was right up her alley! Just check out that concentration with the tongue hanging out of her mouth.

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A little bit about The Great Wolf Lodge…it is an indoor waterpark that is part of a hotel. You have to stay at the hotel to use the waterpark so it can never get overcrowded. I am in no way affiliated with them, whatever I am saying is just our experience. They are extremely friendly and very willing to help you out. Alyssa has an absolutely wonderful time and talks about it non-stop between each trip we make. It really is geared towards families with young kids including a nightly story time and kid show.

It sure was nice to get a little time alone with Alyssa while Dave held Cassidy.

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And of course it was nice to all be together and just have some good old fashion quality family time relaxing. Well Alyssa didn’t do much relaxing, she swam non-stop, literally. I don’t see how her little legs were still working by the end of each day. My legs were burning from walking all those stairs and she walked all those stairs as well, plus more when Dave took her down slides. I wish I had her energy levels!

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And now instead of lounging by the pool I am back to reality about to unload the dishwater and fold some cloth diapers. Alyssa keeps asking if we can go back to the “waterpool” in 6 days. Not sure where she came up with that number from but I may have to take her up on that, its sounding pretty good to me too!