Monthly Archives: December 2008

Week Fourteen

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Drool.

My neice is adopted from Taiwan. Ever since my SIL decided to do this we’ve celebrated Chinese New Year together. Which is my favorite because homemade Chinese feast = yum-o!

I even dragged myself, IV in tow, down there for the celebration last time around when I was having pretty awful morning sickness. This next year I’m looking forward to actually enjoying the food, not being knocked out from Zofran, not puking, not having puffy IV rejection arm stuff going on, etc.

Anyway, I really want to make Bean (and maybe me) something cute to wear. I was looking on Esty for inspiration which is always a bad idea due to the temptation. So I thought I’d share:

Chinese Fans Kimono Booties

Chinese Fans Kimono Booties

 

Dim Sum Outfit For Baby

Dim Sum Outfit For Baby

Baby Bib - China Doll

Baby Bib - China Doll

Traditional Baby Girl Party Dress

Traditional Baby Girl Party Dress

New Baby Girl Party Dress

New Baby Girl Party Dress

I also found some cute embroidery designs in my new embroidery book that I got for Christmas. So I’m ruminating on these things and trying to come up with something…

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Puttin’ on the chubbs

So I was going through my pictures and wow, look how much Bean has changed:

Week Two:

Week Thirteen:

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More praise for my cloth diapers

Over the holiday Bean was in disposable diapers because I thought it would be easier for us since we were going to be out of town for four days.

Well, it wasn’t easier.

For one thing I felt like I was changing diapers around the clock. We went through a whole package of Pampers and about 10 Huggies during our trip.

There were two blowouts.

And Bean developed a diaper rash the last day of our trip which was completely gone 24 hours after putting her back in her BumGenius diapers, no creams or other treatments were necessary.

I was willing to overlook the blowout problem for future vacations, but I am not willing to overlook the diaper rash. Bean has never had a case of diaper rash before and it doesn’t seem fair to put her through that discomfort for the sake of a “convenient” vacation.

I know some people would probably say that diaper rash is just a part of having a baby, but it really isn’t. Prior to the introduction of cloth diapers, diaper rash was a very rare occurance. If I remember correctly it occurred in under 10% of the population. Once disposables came along it skyrocketed to 90%.

As such I’ve decided to never buy a disposable diaper again. Future vacation planning that occurs while Bean or other kids are in diapers will just have to include planning for washing whether it is researching laundromats or staying somewhere that has access to washing facilities.

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Week thirteen, month three and Christmas Eve

Dear Bean,

Today three months, thirteen weeks and Christmas Eve all came on the same day.

Last year at this time Papa and I were cleaning our house in preparation for a huge family feast with 25 people. I didn’t even know I was pregnant with you yet, but I was already so very tired. Papa kept getting frustrated with me because I was sitting down on the job every 10 minutes. As I watched your cousins open presents the next day I remember feeling kind of sad because I thought I’d never get to see kids of my own excitedly tearing into wrapping paper. We didn’t find out for another month that you were already growing in my tummy.

You got ridiculous amounts of presents from us, stuff I’ve been buying basically all year long. The funny thing is you aren’t going to remember this Christmas or what you got. I’ll also probably be the one to open back up the presents I spent hours wrapping last night. Oh well, it is your first Christmas and there won’t be another one like it.

 

The past week you’ve been quite the grump. Every day from about 4:30pm until we put you to bed for the night you are pretty much inconsolable unless you are sleeping. I guess this is what is known as the “witching hour”. I have to admit that all the fussing has me pretty frazzled feeling lately. I don’t know how people with even fussier babies do it. I think I would go insane.

You are still teething and have your hands in your mouth almost all the time. There doesn’t seem to be much progress on the teeth though. Still just a bulge on your right bottom and bulge on the bottom left with tiny bit of white peeking through. I’m really ready for the whole teething thing to be over with, but I know it is going to last awhile. I just hate to see you uncomfortable and upset.

With the holiday upon us, that means we are going to be out of town for the rest of the week to be with family. As a result, I’ve got you in disposable diapers so that we don’t have to commandeer Aunt Ruth’s washing machine and so we can pack a little lighter as your diapers take up quite a bit of space.

I have to say that I still don’t know how people use these diapers regularly. Aunt Andrea said that Huggies are better and thicker than Pampers, but I can’t tell the difference. I think they both suck. You’ve had diaper leakage problems maybe three times in your BumGenius diapers. Two of those times could have been averted if I had changed your diaper a little sooner. You are rarely in disposables, but you’ve had at least 10 blowouts when you have been in them.

It seems like whenever I put one on you I am just asking for it. So while we won’t be packing our entire stash of massive diapers to take with us, we will be packing plenty of outfit changes.

In a few hours my family will be here to hold you and love on you. Hopefully you won’t get overwhelmed like you have been around lots of people lately.

Standing has become one of your favorite things to do. Sometimes it is the only way to make you happy. You’re probably going to be an early walker so I guess I’d better get to childproofing this house soon.   

You are getting so big! I did your monthly measurements this morning and this is what I found:


You are about 23 inches long.


Your head is 16.25 inches around.


And your chest is 15.75 inches around.

I haven’t weighed you, but you definitely feel more chunky. Your cute little baby fat rolls on your arms and legs seem to indicate this as well. Something funny I noticed today is that you have elbow skin. I’m not sure when that showed up, but it definitely used to be smooth right there.

Overall you are still a really sweet and happy baby. You also like to sleep in late in the mornings which is very nice for me. When you do wake up we have lots of cuddle time too. That’s one of my favorite things.

Love you baby girl,

Mama

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Good deal!

Yesterday when we were at church Bean was being very talkative and excited. So I decided to put her in the nursery for the last fifteen minutes of service. I had just nursed her and figured that she’d probably have more fun with the toys in there than in my lap while I tried to pay attention to the message.

I signed her in and then plopped her down in one of their exersaucers just to see if she liked it. She’s been wanting to stand more and more lately (and wanting to be laying down less and less) so I figured she might think it was fun. I was right. She was so happy and smiley in there. When we came back to get her she was making all these noises and interacting with the nursery worker. Stephen and I looked at eachother and said, “We’ve got to get one of those!”

I knew right away though that if I could I wanted to try and find one used. I’m sure there are plenty of exersaucers already made that some baby like Bean used for a couple months. I don’t think it is necessary to always buy a new thing every time she goes through a new phase of stuff that makes her a happy baby (swing, tummy mat, activity mat, etc.). Plus, I knew it would be a little easier on our budget if I could be like Emery and find one for $20.  

So I was pretty much on a mission today. I went to every Goodwill in town and the Salvation Army. And… nothing. Then I decided to try a couple of those factory outlet stores (A.J Wright and Factory-2-U). Still nothing. It was 4:30 and I was beat from all the driving and wandering around stores. I was just going to head home when I remembered that I wanted to check out this store I’d seen when we were driving home one night. It was called “Small Change Children’s Store.” So I headed over there to see what kind of stuff they had.

From what I can tell they sell gently used children’s clothing, toys, furniture, strollers, etc. They had like ten different exersaucer type things all priced from $20-$50 depending on how fancy they were. I was so happy and excited. I found one that I liked that was $21.99 +tax.

I brought it home, disinfected it and plopped Bean down in it. She was so happy!

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Gourmet Lisa: Cheese Raviolis and Meat Sauce

Just kidding dad, I won’t be sharing the secret family ravioli and sauce recipe with the world here on the Internet. 🙂

I will say that ravioli making is how I got my “Gourmet Lisa” start. Growing up each year I watched my dad not really use a recipe, but put it together based on the taste until the right amount of salt, pepper, basil, parsley, etc. blended together for the sauce, dough, and cheese filling. Oh, and calls to his mom each year also helped.

So for me, nothing quite says “holiday” like ravioli or lasagna making. It was definitely just the thing I needed to put me into the Christmas spirit this year too.

Oh and John or Cara, if you are reading this, the raviolis we owe you for those keyboard tracks are finally coming your way.

Ravioli making is pretty much an all day process and yeilds hundreds of the scrumptious little cheese packages at the end. So here’s a photo essay to show what goes on:


First up is sauce. We got to my dad’s house after church and it was already simmering on the stove. So we walked in and were pleasantly greeted by the aroma. Mmmm. This sauce is like the meat sauce of all meat sauces. There is ground beef, meat balls and Italian sausages in it. Plus various veggies. It is pretty chunky. My dad always starts it in the morning and slow cooks it all day long. We  take “breaks” throughout the day to stop and snack on sauce and bread.

The next step is to make the filling. We usually do a pretty simple Ricotta cheese filling, but last time we made raviolis my dad said he wanted us to experiment with a spinach filling. So this year a small portion of the batch has this new spinach filling I came up with. Purely an experiment.


New spinach filling.


Plain filling. The little green specks are herbs.

Next up is to make the dough. I don’t actually have pictures of this process because Bean decided to be a little fussy at that point and so I had to tend to her needs. Once the dough is made, my dad pulls off chunks of it and rolls it out really thin. He spoons the filling onto the dough and then starts cuting out the raviolis.

And then that’s when the rest of us get in on the action using forks to seal them all up. It becomes this flurry of hands cutting, forking, reaching, grabbing, and handing off.

As each one is finished we put it on a plate. When the plate is full I take it into the house.

We have a clean sheet spread out on one of the beds and we start laying out the raviolis. I’m not really sure what purpose laying them out serves other than it is a place to put them while we work on the rest and so we can count them all. This year we made 83 spinach and 198 plain cheese.

After we’re all done making them, we divy them up into foil packages to be passed out and shared with various friends and family members. We also are sure to enjoy the fruits of our labor.


Cooked spinach raviolis.


With sauce.

So the spinach filling was pretty good. Not much different from the plain cheese though. You can kind of taste the spinach, but the Ricotta is pretty overpowering. Definitely needs a little more experimentation to bring out the flavor, I think. I was satisfied with the first round of experimentation though.

Anyway, mostly the day is about being with family. My dad and his friend (pictured above) did the raviolis one year all by themselves and it only took about 2 or 3 hours. Somehow when we all get together and are talking and hanging out it takes a bit longer. I think it is probably more fun that way though.


Bean and her grandpa on her first ravioli making day.

This is definitely a tradition I hope to keep alive. While I won’t share it here, I actually do have the basics of the recipe written down and tucked away in my recipe box. Hopefully I can pass the tradition along to our kids and they will do the same.

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