Critter Updates

Hello, hello.  After we got home from the cabin, I was rewarded for my caretaking efforts with Critter’s first string of giggles.  I nearly died of the cuteness and then, Marcus got home and I was ready to collapse from exhaustion.  I would like to say that I spent most of the weekend in a state of sloth (I am pretty sure I am still recovering), but mostly that struck after Critter went to bed.  We did, however, enjoy the glory of an all-family nap on Saturday afternoon.  Our biggest regret being that it did not last longer than 40-ish minutes.

  • Critter is in the process of dropping to 2 naps/day (he’ll only take a third if the second nap is a crappy car nap) and stretching his awake time to 3 hours at a time. This has been great and hard. Great because 3 hours is enough to do something. Hard because his mind and body are not quite in perfect agreement about this yet.
  • Because things were going too well, we’ve freed Critter’s arms from the SwaddleMe Up. Please just…pray for us as he figures out what he is supposed to do with his newly liberated arms when he sleeps.  The first night wasn’t a total disaster but it also wasn’t the best sleep he ever had. 
  • Critter tried his first solid food on Friday!  Because we are trying so so so hard to be the world’s laziest granola parents, we are going the baby-lead weaning route.  We boiled up some sweet potato sticks, threw them onto the high chair and let Critter have at.  Honestly, he was more fascinated by sitting in the high chair and mashing the sweet potato on the tray than he was with actually consuming the food.  I will also note that at this point I think he has eaten more of his book, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, than he has actual food.  Um, not that he has consumed much of the book, but it has become his favorite chew toy (OMG World’s Most Okayest Mom Alert).  Next foods up on the list: avocado, carrots, banana.  And because we are not fools (this is Exhibit B to being cloth diapering parents who always carry some disposables), I also have a container of puffs and some other containers of pureed prunes.
  • Critter and I went to baby-wearing barre class at the Yoga Mat Sanctuary and that was actually my first time ever going to a barre class.  It was a hoot.  I’ll probably go to more, but the only classes I can make are on the weekends so it will be more of a treat.
  • Thanks to our time at the cabin, I was able to pump another 30 oz for our freezer stash.  That was a wonderful blessing since I pretty much never pump the same amount he eats during the day and have been counting on the pumping I do on my days off and weekends to make up the difference.
  • We ordered Critter’s big boy car seat. We ordered the Evenflo Sureride/Titan 65.  It was the #3 Consumer Reports rated car seat and it was less than $100 (in comparison to the #1 Chicco Nexfit and the #2 Britax Marathon).  Our plan is that if he likes this one, then we’ll order another for Baube and Zayde and if he is only of mixed feelings and comfort, then we’ll just give this one to Baube and Zayde (since it will not be his full-time car seat) and source a different one that is more to his liking for my car.

What I’ve Been Reading

Slowly, but surely, I am making my way through a few more books.  The library just sent me a BUNCH of books off of my holds list via eBook.  That’s sort of nice because again, I can use my Kindle OR I can read on my phone if I just have five minutes to spare.  With that in mind, I need to remember that I can use my phone for reading actual books when those five minute books present themselves.

The Thousand Autumns of Jacob De Zoet by David Mitchell

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It’s Okay to Laugh (Crying is Cool Too) by Nora McInerny Purmort

Liar's Poker

MaddAddam by Margaret Atwood

MaddAddam

Liar’s Poker by Michael Lewis

It's Okay to Laugh

Coming Home

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So.  Let’s discuss the rest of the cabin week.  We came home on Thursday morning because a real rager of a storm rolled though just after midnight and took out our power, a tree in our backyard (that blocked off the road), a power line (c/o said tree) and so then we didn’t have running water and we didn’t have air conditioning and it was supposed to be 90 degrees that day.  With an infant.  No bueno.

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This was after the fire department stopped by to clear the road for us.


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Our neighbors.  Less lucky.

In addition to this, on Wednesday morning, I discovered that because our yard was one of the few dry ones in the area, the local ants had decided to colonize the entire thing.  One such ant lair was large enough to see from the deck and looked like something out of Nat Geo.

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Generally I am an ant pacifist, but it was all too much.  Destruction rained from the sky upon these ants as well as all of the others in the yard so that we could actually…have a yard.

While there wasn’t a great deal of downtime while we were up there because Critter is still a crappy napper and I was all baby-tending, all the time, I did get to fish once, off of our flooded dock and the back of the pontoon.  On one of my last casts, I finally caught a Northern.  When I walked up to the cabin to tell Mom and Dad about it, Mom expressed surprise that I hadn’t captured a photo of it.  I reminded her that for my entire life up until 2011 or so, 99% of the fish I had ever caught were not also captured on film and they still existed too.  Even as I was casting and picking weeds off of my line and casting again, it was just nice to even be doing it.

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And as a grand finale to the entire ordeal, when we got home, I discovered that the bite I had thought was a deer fly bite was actually developing a small bullseye around it.  Even though I had never seen a tick, part of Tick Bites 101 is that if you see a bullseye bug bite, you should go to the doctor pronto.  In order to get Lyme’s Disease via tick bite, you have to be bitten by an infected Deer Tick and it has to roll with you for 24-36 hours.  With that in mind, you can take antibiotics prophylactically within 72 hours of the bite and that should keep you on the healthy list. I did just that when we got home (it’s literally one dose) so what a grand and splendid way to wrap up our time in the Great North. 

Friday Food Round-Up

I headed up to the cabin last Saturday so there is some food here that I didn’t make, some meal ideas that I did propose, and a few things I actually made.

I will also confess I did a heinous job of not photographing the bacon-wrapped shrimp we ate on Saturday and the steaks we had on Monday. Please use your imagination.

Friday – Szechuan Chicken Kebabs from Von Hansen’s, Grilled Tomato and Mushroom Kebabs, Dijon Potatoes


Looks like a weekend date night to me!

Tuesday – Brats on King’s Hawaiian Bread, Corn on the Cob, Baked Beans, Potato Salad, Quinoa Pilaf


I love/hate/secretly love all of the iterations of King’s Hawaiian Bread that now exist. The hot dog buns being an example of a positive expansion.

Wednesday – Yellow Cake Baked Oatmeal from Cravings


That missing corner of the pan?  Me.

Chrissy has some great breakfast recipes that I would never be able to make if it was just Marcus and I eating them. Solution: the cabin. Mom and I agreed thay this would be a great baked oatmeal base for a host of flavors. We’ll probably try it out with a few other combos instead of raspberry-peach.

Wednesday – Baked Chicken with Green Salad, Tots, Stretchy Artichoke, Spinach, and Buffalo Chicken Dip from Cravings


Real talk: we built a meal around the dip because when we scuttled our original plan (too hot to grill!!!), basically we wanted to be sure to eat that.  Not such a bad existence, right?

Lake Baby


We are Up North at the Cabin. Or at least, Critter and I are. With my parents. Marcus is in the cities working this week and living the free life of a bachelor. The man has assembled a social schedule for this time that would have put even his past, childless self to shame. 

  • I can type this without hexing it now (because he woke up last night) but on Saturday and Sunday night he slept from 7:00 PM – 5:30/6:00 AM and it was just so magical. On Saturday morning, I woke up on my own. Amazing. I think that it was probably penance for the fact that he woke up four times on Friday night. Yikes. 
  • As you can see from the snap above, the little tyke is getting MUCH better at sitting up. Even in the past few days, the difference has been profound.
  • We took Critter swimming for the second and third times and once he figured out splashing (and the fact he could try to drink the lake water – gross!) it was a hoot. 
  • I brought my yoga mat up and I am so glad I did. It gives me the chance to keep my “normal” home routine (morning yoga practice during first nap!). I get to practice outdoors instead of in (even though I try to go on our deck every chance I get in the summer!), and it is just so nice, really. 
  • There is some crazy flooding up here.  Our yard is generally fine (see above), but our neighbor’s (see below) is legit under water and I have been watching the sunfish swim in and out from beneath his shed. 
  • We had a wilderness visitor this morning. I heard scratching at the door as I changed Critter’s diaper. I thought my Dad was moving the grill. We peeked through the blinds to surprise him and saw A SKUNK.  My first time ever seeing a live one. 
  • A nice sunset. Behold. 
  • The library really came through for me before we left and four eBooks I had been waiting for became available so I have some absolutely great reading to do. 
  • Not cabin-related at all, but I ditched our original diaper bag in favor of a North Face Borealis Backpack.  I was going back and forth on this before Critter was born and as we all know we chose a traditional diaper bag. It was cute but too small for cloth diapers. Even more important, as we transition Critter into a bigger carseat (and carrying him in-arms everywhere!) I thought this would really be the least-distracting way to get him and his many possessions contained and to and fro. 

Friday Food Round-Up!

I didn’t realize how much we cooked this week until I sorted through my phone snaps. We ate. And we’re pretty sure our grill is dying so now we have to decide what to do for the rest of the summer. Life is full of difficult choices. 

Saturday – Chicken Kebabs from Von Hanson’s, Tomato Kebabs, Zucchini Kebabs

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We bought the chicken kebabs. We made the veggie kebabs. Buying kebabs is our new weekend treat as I am sure you have been able to tell. The butcher marinates them well and it makes dinner really easy for us. 

Sunday – Vegetable Tortilla Stew from Cravings

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I know the real reason we haven’t made this since April is because it’s hot and no one wants to make stew on the regular in the summer but gosh it is good!  We will definitely be having it more often this fall/winter. 

Monday – Grilled Garlic Chicken Sausages from Trader Joe’s, Elote, Coleslaw

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We made this. I had aspired to do some sort of new coleslaw but I just could not make the effort. We survived. 

Tuesday – Green Chile Chicken and Bean Enchiladas, Guacamole

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Michelle mentioned she loves enchiladas and I have not made any since Critter was born. To make the chicken cooking/shredding process easier, I just threw some breasts in the crockpot with some enchilada sauce. Done. I also added refried beans to the dish when I was rolling these up because it just sounded good. 

Wednesday – Grilled Teriyaki Chicken, Grilled Pineapple, Grilled Asparagus and Broccoli tossed in Sesame Oil and Red Pepper Flakes, Steamed Rice

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I am proud of this entire meal but I am MOST proud of the fact that we threw broccoli and asparagus onto the grill in a basket and then dressed and seasoned it once it was done. It was absolutely delightful. 

 

Updates

Y’all.  I feel like it has been a long time since I have assembled an update on the state of Critter, parenthood and the like.  In reality, it has been about two weeks.  I don’t know how we managed to survive.😉  This week is a “normal” week for all of us, and then on Saturday, Critter and I will head Up North with my parents for family cabin week.  Since Marcus is staying in the cities so he can work, I am sure that it will be a ton of work.  BUT, I am excited for Critter to be able to spend the week outside since the cabin has a large yard, and we really don’t.

  • Today we ran errands via stroller!  We walked to the post office for stamps, and the library to return/check out books!  I have taken Critter to the library before but it was a side-trip in the car when I was on an iced coffee/sugar cookie run.  This is something we can do right now because we live so close to these places, so I am taking full advantage of it.
  • I finally made it to Once Upon A Child where I sourced a few things for Critter. And then when I stopped by the Babies R Us next door to pick up a gift, I discovered that there was a 40% Carters sale so between that and the gift card we had, we now have 90% of the clothing we need for an 18 month old (still searching for footie pjs!) and 60% of the clothing we need for a 24 month old (still searching for footie pjs!).
  • Critter discovered his feet over the July 4th weekend and that just adds another layer of hilarity into what is his already-interesting life.
  • On the note of feet discovery, Critter is getting better at sitting.  He’s not sitting unassisted yet, but we’re getting much closer.  This is a really exciting development because since he is SO big for his age, he has pretty much outgrown his bouncer and his play gym, and we need for him to have another way to play that will replace those things!
  • Fang Watch 2016 has been activated and will be continued until the first fang is spotted, or 2016 comes to an end.  Whichever happens first.
  • Life-wise, even though we are going Up North again next week, it is so nice to be back into our normal schedule.  Critter and I haven’t had an alone day in the last week and a half.  I haven’t had the time to workout as much as I would like (even though this is like a 40 min walk and 20 minutes of deck yoga on the days I am home, and a 30-40 min walk on the days I work) and my body seems to be in some sort of revolt.  I finally have time to move past guerilla warfare-style cleaning and into a normal-ish cleaning routine (and tackling stuff I rarely do, like dust).  It is good to have all of these things back.  Now all I have to do is keep on crossing things off of the to do list.