Monthly Archives: February 2012

MomMe Advice: Baby Shower Wisdom

Each guest at my baby shower filled out a card with advice for me, a new MomMe. Some are practical, others are funny, and some are encouraging. I stumbled across these last weekend while putting together H-Man’s baby book and wanted to reflect on them now.

Take time to put together a great and detailed baby book. Your little guy will love to look on this in thirty years to see all of the details of his first year. I finally ordered H-Man’s baby book at 7 months and was thrilled when it arrived. Looking back, I should have taken this advice and purchased it before he was born because I feel like a horrible MomMe who can’t remember every single moment about her newborn. When was his first bottle? I have no idea! I do remember the five solid hours of screaming before I decided to supplement with formula, setting the alarm clock to wake up and pump, logging every ounce he ate, each poop, pee and nap, but not the exact date I gave him his first bottle. Sometime in the future I will have to confess to my child that I fudged his baby book. Lesson learned for when baby number two comes along!

Make special time for date nights for you and Joe. You will probably need some breaks. This is true. I have a deep appreciation for the magic hour. What’s that? The magnificant hour of peace and quiet immediately after your adorable bundle of joy tucks in for the night.

Do something for yourself every day. Whether it’s taking a shower, putting on makeup or going for a run. It will help you take time for you and be a better MomMe. This is true. I feel better when I have a few minutes to escape and take time for myself. If I can even remember who I am. I used to shower every morning, do my hair, put on make up and run every day. Now it’s an accomplishment if I’m out of yoga pants, dressed and don’t have holes in my socks or bags under my eyes.

Let them color outside the lines (until they are at least three years old). Will do! I’m looking forward to plastering the walls with artwork, messy craft projects and letting H-Man discover finger paint.

Be not only a parent, but a friend. Cultivate an adult relationship wiht your little boy as he grows up. And, when he’s a baby, include him in everything you do. Take him out to dinner with you and make him a part of your life. The bus boy is cursing you for this, but it’s true. I enjoy bringing H-Man out to dinner. He might spill Cheerios everywhere, grab my plate, or scream and throw a tantrum, but he will learn and so will I. It will teach me patience and knowing that life isn’t always as planned with baby on board.

Last, but not least, “Don’t let them watch Gremilins before they are fifteen.”

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Diane von Furstenberg for GapKids: Can She Help Gap Bounce Back?

We all know the state of affairs at one of the most American of retail stores, the Gap.  Their sales were extremely disappointing for 2011, and they are closing stores.  Re-assessing their strategy.  Shaking things up.

And really, what better way to shake things up than taking a page out of H&M and Target‘s book and having a major fashion icon design a special line?  Okay, I know what you are thinking, Madonna for H&M is not a major fashion icon, though Versace and Marni are.  But did you try to log on to Target’s website the day Missoni went live?

If so you were either unable to access it because it crashed in poor form, and then had a waiting list.  One new person on to shop once another left.  Don’t even get me started on their stores that morning.  Chaos is too kind to describe the scene there.  If you were lucky you found a discarded cardigan somewhere.

But to be perfectly honest, I was not that impressed by the Missoni for Target line.  The items were very typical Missoni, but nothing special.  No amazing colors, eye-popping new silhouette.  I personally felt like most people were buying the items to say they owned Missoni more than they actually liked them.

Not so with DVF for GapKids.  Her collection is adorable, stylish, everything that her brand is known for just in smaller sizes.  While DVF may have made the wrap dress the dress that flatters all women, only part of her collection involves wrap dresses.  She also brings a-line dresses, shirts, leggings, shorts, jackets and accessories to the table.

Did you get your invitation to the preview in the mail today?  I will be there, on March 4th at the Grove, and yes, I am hoping to fit into the largest GapKids size available…

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Baby’s Veggie Mac & Cheese

Veggie Mac & Cheese

2 ½ cup cauliflower

1c broccoli

1c whole wheat elbow macaroni

6 tbsp cheddar cheese grated

6 tbsp gruyere cheese grated

½ c whole milk

½ tbsp flour

Boil pasta, drain and let cool. Steam cauliflower and broccoli. Set aside. Heat milk in a saucepan until it simmers. Add flour until it thickens then add cheddar cheese and gruyere cheese until melted. Combine all ingredients in a dish and mix well. Let cool and puree.

NOTE: I’ve also made this recipe with spinach and it turned out wonderful!

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Bonding over Surgery?

For the first time in his life, my son is not with family. Instead, he is lying on an operating table, for a procedure that I am told is quite minor. But let me tell you, nothing seems minor when the word surgery involves your baby. Or child. I have this habit of comparing my situation to others in an effort to make myself feel better. Perhaps this is my own self-soothing, but whatever it is, the process usually makes me feel better.

When I was pregnant and having a hard day, I thought to myself, at least I am not pregnant with twins. That would be so much harder! Or, if that woman could have nineteen kids, surely I can have one! In the past few weeks I have spoken with moms who have experienced surgeries far more complex and invasive than the one my son is currently undergoing. Things like open-heart surgery to correct arteries attached backwards, cleft palates, and the like.

Hearing these stories gave me comfort. If these women could get through however many hours being apart from their child, worrying and overcome with anxiety, surely I could get through an hour and a half, right? An essential part of becoming a momme is joining the community of women, mothers, grandmothers, aunts, sisters, friends, colleagues and such that are mothers, nurturers, caregivers and understand what it is the have unconditional love for another being that you created or care for like they are your own.

Knowing that others have traveled down this path before you, and gone through the hard nights, kissed boo-boos and dealt with lack of sleep, frustration, fears and worries is extremely comforting to me. It binds women in a way that nothing else can, because really, we are all in this together. There may be some new bottles or theories about when to introduce rice cereal and foods, but the essentials of motherhood never change. It is the reason many new moms feel a bond with their own mother like they have never experienced before, because suddenly, they understand. They have been initiated into the club.

Walking around Costco this past Sunday, the store was packed with people, many of them frustrated and wanting to move as quickly as possible. One gentleman made a rude comment to a slower walking couple, and I as a new mom immediately made eye contact with the mom of a four-year old girl and we shared a knowing glance. As moms, we know what it is like to experience frustration and lack control on a daily basis, we have come to almost expect it. Our patience and understanding has increased, and we share a bond, even though I had never met this woman before. She said to me, “what does this guy expect on Sunday at the busiest Costco in the country?”

We smiled and laughed. We are both moms, and we both get it. Listening to other mom’s stories about their experiences with surgeries on their little ones provided me tremendous comfort that google searches and talking to a doctor never could. These women had been through the same thing as me and survived, and I knew that I could do the same.

The paging board just changed colors, which means my son is done with his procedure. I can’t wait to kiss his face and look into his eyes, and know that we got through this together, just as so many other mommes and babies have before us.

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Beef Casserole For Baby

H-Man loved the beef casserole I made yesterday during my baby food making frenzy. Here’s the recipe! Be sure to let us know if you try it and your little one loves it.

Beef Casserole

11 ounces beef stew meat

1 onion

2 carrots

3 small potatoes

1 stalk celery

¾ cup mushrooms

½ tsp garlic

1 ¾ cup chicken stock

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Place all ingredients in an oven safe baking dish, cover, and bake for 3.5 hours. Let cool and puree.

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Filed under Baby Food Recipes by Lane, Lane's Favorite Things

Baby Food Frenzy

It is a scary sight in my freezer when I only have 2 cubes of homemade baby food left. I have been procrastinating restocking my freezer to watch the Superbowl, go to dinner parties, watch the Academy Awards, watch the Grammy Awards and last night to watch Revenge. It had to end after H-Man had a banana and applesauce for breakfast the second day in a row. Mommy guilt is incredibly motivating, but we’ll save that topic for another post.

Rather than spend my coveted baby nap time on Pinterest, I was a short order cook who cranked out an insane amount of homemade baby food this morning. We have enough food to feed a normal baby for at least two months. Not H-Man, though. He is a food monster. I think he eats as much as a toddler on a normal day. And, what’s this about formula intake decreasing over time? We haven’t seen any sign of that happening anytime soon.

We’re on our second nap of the day now and H-Man’s food is cooled and is pureed. Here’s the first recipe I made:

Sweet Potato & Lamb Casserole

14 oz lamb

4 green onioins (diced)

2 large sweet potatoes (peeled and cubed)

2 medium tomatoes (diced and liquid drained)

1 cup chicken stock

Rosemary (to taste)

Parsley (to taste)

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Put all ingredients in an oven safe dish. Cover and bake until boiling. Lower heat to 300 degrees and bake for one hour. Let cool and puree.

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Missing: One Giraffe Named Sophie

Has anyone seen a seven-inch giraffe named Sophie?  She is a soft rubber chew-friendly toy covered in spots that squeaks, but please do not call her a dog toy.  Or over-priced.  Sophie just happens to be the most popular baby item on Amazon, and is proudly displayed by registers in stores ranging from Pottery Barn Kids to Right Start and Nordstrom.  She is French and imported, oh la-la!

Sophie was last seen in a vice gripe between my son’s fingers, mouth and jaw, covered in saliva.  She is so important that my mom decided to buy a toy leash for my son’s stroller just to make sure she does not get thrown overboard one day.  Wait just one minute…is it possible that she could have made the jump, intentionally?

No, Sophie was born just to amuse my son in his endless need to put everything in his mouth, take out, look at, and repeat.  Surely she had to like this game, right?

Woody felt abandoned when Andy turned 18 and moved off to college.  Maybe Sophie could not wait it out another 17.5 years and decided to jump ship a tad early?

All I know is that I have looked everywhere for Sophie, and she seems to have disappeared.  She is the one and only thing that can always bring a smile to my son’s face, and get him to look at the camera for a picture.

But can I justify another $20 for a rubber squeaky toy?  That would amount to a total of $40 plus tax spent on fourteen inches of spotted rubber.  And those spots fade, as is evidenced by the much older Sophie that resides at our pediatrician’s office.

So I ask again, has anyone seen Sophie?

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Filed under Rachel's Favorite Things, Toys