Wednesday, January 28, 2009

$5 Dinners

Sabrina introduced me to this fantastic blog, $5 Dinners. I love it! She's got recipes, thrifty tips, and she prices out each meal so that it comes in under $5. AND she makes them gluten-free, casein-free, and soy-free, since her kids have allergies. It rocks. Right now she's got a Swanson chicken breast giveaway going on. You should check it out.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Veggie Tales

It turns out that baby food can get expensive. So I've been thinking that I should make my own. The doctor even mentioned that we could start feeding her table food, you know, take some of the carrots off our plate and give them to her. Or peas. Or green beans. There is one little problem with this. . . .

We never eat carrots. Or peas. Or green beans.


I may have expanded my palette to include some vegetables, but that is too far. That is like the trifecta of terrible veggies.

It makes me gag just thinking about it. Especially the green beans.

But I suppose that doesn't mean I can't steam some veggies for Julia and give them to her, right?


Am I that stubborn that I just can't bring myself to feed my daughter the foods I hate? No. Is their steamed stench that offensive to me that I can't buckle down and do it? No. The trouble lies in the fact that I don't actually know how to steam vegetables. Call the veggie police, I've never steamed a carrot in my life. You see, I have discovered that when it comes to my dislike of vegetables, half the problem (ok, let's be honest, more like 1/3) is how they are prepared. Take for instance broccoli. Steam some broccoli and slap it on my plate as a side dish, and there is absolutely no way I'll eat the stuff. But if you put it with something else, like in a soup, or with a nice creamy sauce stuffed in some chicken, or even in a broccoli slaw, I'll gobble the stuff up and even ask for more. So why on earth would I ever steam the stuff? I wouldn't eat it. And many steamed vegetables do, in fact, stink (peas and green beans being the worst, I can't even have the serving bowl near my plate).

But for Julia? I'd steam.

So now the only problem lies in the fact that most cookbooks don't consider the fact that you might be an idiot when it comes to vegetables, so they don't have a recipe for "steamed carrots." Do you just boil them? Don't they loose nutrients that way? Do you have to get a vegetable steamer? Like this guy?

And as a side note, how do you prepare sweet potatoes? Do you just bake them like baked potatoes and then mash them up? And while I'm confessing, I suppose I should mention that I had never actually made a baked potato until a couple weeks ago, when I looked at Clark and said, "So, um, how do you actually make a baked potato?" But it turns out the cookbook does consider you might be a potato idiot, so we were covered.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Bedtime Feeding

While looking at our Relief Society calendar in church yesterday, I came to a sad realization. There are a lot of fun things going on this week, and this month, such as a book group, craft night, and a cooking class, but I'm not sure how I can go to any of it. To be more specific, I'm not sure how I can go to more than an hour of each. Why? Because Julia goes to bed at 8pm.

This may seem like a lame excuse. And I've certainly let Clark put her to bed before, so why the sudden change? Maybe this is too much information, but I just can't seem to pump anymore. I could only really get anything out first thing in the morning, anyway, which means 5:30am, while Julia is eating on the other side, and honestly? That's nigh unto impossible for me to do these days, between it being so dang early and trying to fumble around with Julia and the pump (it's a manual one). And when I do actually manage to pump, I only get about 1-2 ounces. Certainly not enough for my hungry little eater!

And so we have The Dilemma: do I just make sure I'm home by 8 every night, or do we give her formula occasionally? I know neither Clark nor I is very keen on the formula idea, but it's mostly a cost issue. Which is negated by the fact that we still have some free samples from when Julia was born. That and I'd hate to stick Clark with giving her something she'll potentially hate on a night when I'm not there.

I'd say that I was asking for advise on the subject, but I guess I'm really not. I know that if I want to be out at 8, I've got to do the formula. It's just a matter of what I really want to do. Oh, and I guess Clark is somewhat involved in the decision as well :) Though, if any of you have any thoughts or comments, feel free to add them.

Clark fed Julia a bottle of formula last night (because it took somewhat longer than expected to get my hair cut), and she seemed just fine with it. While I'd rather she get breastmilk, it's nice to know that she won't complain if she gets formula instead, for those rare occasions when I need to be somewhere.

Weekly Quote 1/26/09

"So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance."

Last week's quote was from FDR's first inaugural address. New quote up!

Friday, January 23, 2009

9 Months

My daughter is 9 months old. I have a 9-month-old baby. How on earth did time go by so quickly? I took her to the doctor today. She is still the happy, healthy baby she has always been. She's getting her top 2 teeth now, and she's been a little bit more fussy (and clingy) the last couple of days. But seriously, she's such a good baby, I really can't complain.

On to her stats:
Weight: 17lbs 11.5 oz, 27%
Length: 27 in, 27%
Head Circumference: 17.25 in, 46%

So she has definitely thinned out. But no one is worried about her weight, she definitely burns a lot more calories these days. And she's well proportioned with her height and weight.

She's doing much better with solid foods. If anything, I am the lazy one who finds it so much easier to just breastfeed than to pull out the food, the spoon, the bib, the washcloth, and sit and feed her. She also prefers to have Clark feed her, especially if it's a new food. So she generally gets one "solid meal" at night, and perhaps one during the day. Not that she skips out on the breastmilk, no sir, she still gets that 6 times a day. But I'm hoping to be better about feeding her solid foods at breakfast, lunch, and dinner times, so she gets used to those 3 meals.

There isn't much else to report. Physically Julia is a very normal baby. I think she's quite advanced mentally, but I might be a little bit biased.

Here's a picture of Julia, Charlotte, and me at the Hoover Dam. (Charlotte is Julia's new favorite doll.) We stopped there on our way back from Tucson last weekend. (Dude, I hate wearing glasses. I can't wait to wear contacts [and actually see out of them] again!)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Shanny Saver

My friends, I am in love with looking at my grocery store receipts these days. Take yesterday's, for example:

Total Spent: $43.49
Coupons Tendered: $46.79

And I'm not even a Coupon Queen like some people. More like a Coupon Duchess. But I'm loving the fact that we are saving money, buying food we like, and building up our pantry/food storage.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

How big is Julia?

Last week, Julia suddenly figured out how to play "So Big." You know, where I say, "How big is Julia?" And she raises her hands in the air when I say, "Soooo big!" It was so cute, and I took a video of it. She also learned to clap.

A few days later, we were watching the video on our computer, and she was playing along with my video-recorded voice. It was very cute, Clark took a video of that. One of our favorite parts is when she sneezes in the video, and then she sneezes in real life. You'll have to be on the lookout for that.

So here they are, back to back. Enjoy!

Weekly Quote 1/19/09

"We can sew!"
"There you go, you can sew."

From The Three Amigos. Clark gave it to me for Christmas, so it's fresh in my mind. New quote up!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Return

As it turns out, I'm not dead, and neither is our computer! We had quite the scare after we returned from vacation, but thankfully KC nursed our poor computer back to health, and now we are up and running. KC, we owe you big time.

I could try and play the catch up game, but then blogging would seem like a chore, and I certainly don't need more chores. So, here is the condensed version:

Christmas was lovely, simple, and quiet. We went up north on the 26th, and had a nice visit with family and friends. Julia was not afraid of strangers. New Year's Eve involved going out to dessert after Julia went to bed (Chili's white chocolate molten cake? Oh wow, so good), and falling asleep watching White Christmas. We came back home on the 1st. Clark and I got sick on the 5th. Julia got sick on the 10th. We're all doing much better now, except that Julia seems to have lost all interest in solid foods (even Go-gurt and Cheerios). I'm thinking she just needs a couple of days to get over her first puking experience.

That's it in a nutshell. I don't think I made any official New Year Resolutions, but I have created a somewhat busy little schedule for myself. I've been going to the gym Mondays and Wednesdays, after Julia has gone to bed. We might add Saturday to the mix, or maybe Friday nights, we'll see. I started a new singing group that meets Wednesdays @ 11 (the Keynotes). I've still got my lovely Lieto choir on Tuesday nights. I've started going walking at the mall with someone in the ward on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. I have a playgroup on Tuesdays. And we get to have Craig come over to our house MWF so his parents can go to the gym for an hour or so. That makes me sound pretty busy, but I have still managed to find plenty of time to sit around and pine for the internet. (once again, KC, THANK YOU FOR FIXING OUR COMPUTER!)

There. I feel caught up. Any questions?

Weekly Quote 1/13/09

"Let's watch the old year die with a fond goodbye
And our hopes as high as a kite.

How can our love go wrong if
We start the new year right?"

That was from the song "Let's Start the New Year Right" by Irving Berlin, from the lovely movie Holiday Inn. New quote up.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Weekly Quote 1/5/09

"And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men."

The Bible, or Handel's Messiah. Whichever is more Christmasy to you. We missed last week, being on vacation, and we almost missed this week, due to the lack of a computer. Good thing Clark brought his computer home for the weekend! New quote up.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

All About Clark

I love naptime. It gives me time to post stuff like this.

1. He's sitting in front of the tv. What's on the screen?
We don't currently have TV channels, but if we did, you better believe he'd be watching ESPN.

2. You are out to eat. What dressing does he get on his salad?
Um, I dunno. Probably depends on what the options are. I think he often gets the "House Dressing," just to try something new.

3. What's one food he doesn't like?
I'd say peas and kiwi, but it's not that he doesn't like those, it's just that his body rejects them. Ooo, ooo, fish!

4. You go out to a bar. What does he drink first?
We are at a bar?!! How on earth did we get there? Maybe he'd drink water?

5. Where did he go to high school?
Hillcrest High.

6. If he were to collect anything, what would it be?
I'm going to go with nerd books.

7. What shoe size does he wear?
12, but sometimes 11 1/2, depending on the shoe.

8. What is his favorite type of sandwich?
Hmmmm. . . Peanut butter and marshmallows, toasted. Excuse me, I've been reminded that it has an official name: Peanut Butter Marshelades!

9. What would he eat every day if he could?
Chocolate milk.

10. What would he never wear?
Jeans that come pre-thrashed. Also, a suit coat.

11. What is his favorite sports team?
The BYU Cougars!

12. What is something you do that he wishes you didn't do so much?
Fall asleep during movies. And cry.

13. How many states has he lived in?
Just Utah. Unless you count Rio Grande do Sul, which is a Brazilian state. And also Sao Paulo.

14. What is his heritage?
Well, the Blockburger name is likely German, though we're not 100% sure. (As a side note, I have had someone tell me that it's just so sad that he doesn't speak the language of his native land [meaning German]. To which I should have responded [but didn't because I don't like confrontation]: the native land that his family hasn't lived in for almost 200 years?) He's also got some Danish, and a bunch of British stuff.

15. You bake him a cake for his birthday. What kind of cake would it be?
I'd let him select from the fabulous Cake Mix Doctor.

16. Did he play sports in high school?
Well, not for the high school. I imagine there was some church basketball going on.

17. What could he spend hours doing?
Watching college football. I know this because he does spend hours doing it every Saturday from August through November. Or at least he did when we had TV. (He reminds me that he has not seen any bowl games this year, and that the last football game he watched was the BYU/Utah game. Boo hoo.)