Sunday, January 27, 2013

Girls' Weekend

Chou was away this weekend. It's the forth(?) weekend he's been away since E's birth. The first time E was less than two months old. I vacuumed the house before heading to bed and realized a dog we had been watching peed all over the entire first floor of the house. E rocked in her swing, screaming at the top of her lungs for an hour as I scrubbed every square inch of my carpet. As I was finishing up, E finally fell asleep but woke herself up ten minutes later and continued screaming at the top of her lungs. Honestly, it was this experience that caused me to never let E  "cry it out" because we were both way more upset at the end of that hour than was healthy for either one of us.

The third weekend we were flying solo, I drove out to join a bunch of friends at the beach for the weekend. On the way home, I got a flat tire in middle-of-nowhere southern Jersey. After 2 hours of waiting for AAA to come change my tire (I was in a gravel parking lot and not wanting to attempt the feat myself) I had the joy of driving on a spare on I-95 with an infant in the back seat. Not an experience I ever need to relive.

Needless to say, I wasn't too excited for this weekend. However, this one was delightful despite a mild snowstorm on Friday! We got to see friends on Friday and Saturday, and E has slept better than ever! E has been incredibly happy and maybe just a little too busy, as usual :) Yesterday E managed to grab my latte and drink it while standing over the pile of all her hats and gloves she had previously created, spilling it all over herself and all her hats/mittens. After rinsing everything and placing it in a bucket to soak, I decided to go ahead and give her a bath rather than wait until bedtime. I grabbed some bubble bath and we had a blast! She ate countless soap suds and my standard 'drain all the water when I'm ready for her to be done' method of getting her out of the tub failed because too many of the bubbles remained behind. Totally worth it! We came downstairs to play and she shredded and ate a handful of leaves from one of my houseplants. I moved her to the kitchen so I could keep an eye on her while I made pancakes for dinner, but I failed and she baptized her doll in the dogs' water dish while I was flipping away. After dinner I bundled her up, which is challenging with no hats or gloves, and we walked the dog in the 18 degree frigid air. We then watched a terrible movie before putting her to bed. I was able to clean up and get ready for church before joining her beneath the warm covers. This morning we made history and, for the first time ever, I made it to the 9am service at church without Chou's help. Go me!'s the little things!

So while E's face is still red from all the inedibles she consumed yesterday and every piece of actual food I've given her has been immediately handed off to the dogs, we've had a great weekend.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Story Time

I love watching Titus and E interact. 

The other day E was playing in his crate (lately she sneaks in there every chance she gets) and he decided to join her for story time. It was adorable!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Eating us out of house and home

E is 13 months and hungry. Really, really hungry. It's like someone told her she's in the tenth percentile and she suddenly feels the need to catch up. In a day. Or maybe she feels the need to live up to her last name, just like her daddy. Regardless, keeping up with her appetite is nearly impossible, even with a chef in the house.

I'm ready!

This is what she ate today:

7:00 am - Nursed and then I cooked four eggs for us to share, and she ate three.

9:00 am - Bowl of peas and some cheese

11:00 am - Leftover shepherd's pie (normally she'd eat a smoothie, but we killed our kefir again)

1:00 pm - Chicken enchilada

2:00 pm - Nursed

4:30 pm - I grabbed two grapefruits to share. She ate one and a half and would have kept going if I had let her.

6:00 pm - Brussels sprouts this point, we were about out of anything original to feed her :)

9:00 pm - Brussels sprouts, sauteed kale and broccoli with quinoa and creme fraiche

11:15 pm - Roasted veggies came out of the oven and she had a small sampling

12:00 am - She'll nurse again before bed, and probably once during the night.

Needless to say, she's eating us out of house and home. Every time I sit down to grab a bite to eat, she ends up eating the majority of my food. I seriously thought she'd outgrow the need to eat every two hours, and she will eventually, but I guess we're just not there yet. 

sometimes spooning just isn't fast enough

Friday, January 18, 2013

Favorite Things Fridays - Coffee

This morning Chou woke up at 5am, and E was already sitting up, just waiting for us to wake up. This wouldn't be quite so shocking, except she was also wide awake at midnight last night. Seriously. Wide awake. I wish this was the exception, but it's the norm in this house.

My baby girl is happy, curious, driven, chill, sweet, beautiful, friendly... well you get the point. She's awesome!

She has to be, to make up for the one thing she is not.

She is not a sleeper.

She thrives on very little sleep. Yesterday she slept seven hours total (six hours overnight and a one hour nap). Today she's going strong on eight hours of sleep, as she actually took a real nap today!! I'm really hoping that doesn't interrupt her already obscenely late bedtime, but it probably will. <sigh>

I don't know if this is fair, but I blame her constant Energizer-like energy on her Asian lineage. At least I know she gets it from her dad. I love sleep, and need a decent chunk of uninterrupted sleep to be able to function at all the following day. I don't do well on little to no sleep, but Chou, even at the age of 30, can seamlessly pull all-nighters and function completely normally on an hour or two of sleep. He is amazing and takes over nighttime duty when E needs a little help settling.

He is also amazing and likes to wake me up with a cup of hot coffee in hand, ready to be consumed before I even emerge from the warmth of my covers. And while coffee doesn't completely fix lack of sleep, it most certainly helps.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Back to blogging and healthy eating

Chou and I are generally really strict with the food we bring into our home. If it's not whole, fresh, and/or generally nutritious, it rarely makes it past the front door. We've gotten to the point that all of our produce and the majority of our groceries come from market or the Amish health food store and we supplement with whole grain pastas and sometimes cheese and meat from the grocery store. Our diet is far from perfect, but we've come a long way in the past year. When I was pregnant, we committed to giving E the best possible nutrition. (Unfortunately she got pretty terrible prenatal nutrition because she made me way too sick to eat anything.) For us, this meant that she was exclusively breastfed for a minimum of six months (we started letting her taste foods around eight or nine months and she started actually wanting to eat them around ten and a half months). We have gradually changed our diet to include only things that we are okay with E eating and we've successfully eliminated all white flour/rice/grains, white sugar, preservatives, chemical additives, and most processed foods. There are obviously the occasional exceptions to this (I generally have cheese tortellini in my freezer because Chou makes an amazing tortellini soup, and Chou's an amazing pastry chef so every once in awhile I indulge...) and we don't worry too much if we're not eating at home. Since we've started being intentional with our food, we've both felt so much better and have generally stayed healthy and energized. E didn't get sick once for the first year of her life, and although nutrition isn't the only factor that contributes to good health, I think it has helped. A lot.

Unfortunately our whole foods diet went out the window in December. I ate endless cookies and goodies with zero nutritional value and can honestly say I noticed a huge decrease in my energy level. Additionally, E got her first cold the week before Christmas.

And then on January 1st, she developed a fever and came down with a super nasty virus that completely took her out of commission for a week. She's still not back to her normal sleep schedule eleven days later. Can I just say I never knew how exhausting caring for a sick child was? It's quite possibly more tiring than being sick yourself.

E never ate the junk I was devouring, although she had a few whole grain cookies, but she didn't get her smoothies for breakfast or as many healthy and balanced meals as normal. I'll never know if she would have gotten so sick if we had stuck to our normal foods, but it's a great motivation to get us completely back to our real food diet. I'm really thankful that she didn't get sick once in the first year of her life and I'm hoping we got it all out of the way for her second year :)

So for 2013, I'd like to keep up with real foods. I'd love to replace all conventionally grown meat with grass fed, as that hasn't happened yet, and we're hoping to participate in a CSA for the first time.

Kitchen help at its best!

Helping herself
Daddy's helper