Monday, August 27, 2007

She Caught It...

My cold that is. I figured she would get it eventually. Breastmilk has antibodies, but it won't have any for a bug that I'm not immune to yet. Yesterday her nose started running especially when she was upset. She was sneezing more often than usual. She even sneezed directly into my ear when I was holding her. Her sneezes are so petite, but that was loud! She didn't sleep well overnight. She cried out on more than one occasion. When I went in to feed her this morning, I could hear her congested breathing. She has a fever. Her diaper was full already because she had been awake more than usual. To relieve her discomfort, I gave her some ibuprofen, changed her and fed her. Hopefully this cold will quickly run its course for both of us. Colds are no fun for anybody.

Joe left for Chicago yesterday. He won't get back until late Wednesday night, which leaves me to deal with a sick girl.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Samantha Pictures

I told you a while back that I would put a picture of Samantha's tooth up here. This morning I took her picture and she showed off both of her teeth. If you look closely you can see both of her pearly whites.

You're probably wondering what she can do now that she's approaching the 9 month mark. As you can see, she can now hold onto something and stand. As she gets older she probably won't appreciate Mommy taking a picture of her rear end!

And just what was she so interested in looking at? Her kitten book, of course.

She's telling me that it's time to get ready for bed, so we better go before she trashes my office.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Poll Results

At what age should a child stop breastfeeding?

0% Don't start. That's what formula is for.

0% At six weeks when mom goes back to work.

50% When she gets teeth.

50% When she can ask for it.

0% When she goes off to kindergarten.

Where are the Kleenex?

I have a cold. It's not progressing like my colds usually do. Tuesday night it started with a sore throat which lasted for two and a half days before any other symptoms kicked in. Friday morning I woke up and had that deep, raspy voice. Then late in the afternoon my head started getting congested. It was difficult to fall asleep. Now my nose runs and I sneeze on occasion. The weird part is that I don't feel all that bad. Oh, I forgot the itchy eyes that I had before I took a nap this afternoon. This just seems milder, but more drug out than usual. I haven't had a cold since before getting pregnant, so maybe my memory is failing me.

So far the rest of the family is feeling fine. However, Samantha is fussier than usual since waking up from her nap.

Barbecued short ribs are in the crockpot for supper. I checked them a couple hours ago and the bones fell out. There's no doubt about their doneness, so I turned it down to low. At that time, I spooned out the sauce into a jelly jar and let it settle for a few minutes. Over a third was grease -- so gross. I dumped out the grease and poured the sauce back over the ribs. I hope they're good because there are a few more packs of ribs in the freezer. It's 6 pm and the only question is what sides should I serve.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Kings Island

Tomorrow Joe and I are going to Kings Island. It's his company's summer outing. Free admission, lunch, and drinks for the two of us. We pay for gas and parking. Not too bad. I've never been there.

Samantha is going to spend the day with Joe's parents. She'll be asleep before we pick her up tomorrow night. I don't think she's been away from the both of us for that long before. She'll be fine. They're taking her to a family reunion. Every year his family schedules the reunion for the same weekend and every year we have already made plans by the time we get the invitation in the mail. Watch, next year I'll leave that weekend open and they'll move it up a week. We'll just have to wait until Thanksgiving to eat cottage cheese. (It's best to eat before visiting Joe's dad's family. They are not known for their cooking skills. One aunt is so bad that she takes cottage cheese to every event.)

Saturday, August 11, 2007

CSA Potluck

The Sippels had their monthly potluck at the farm today. Samantha and I went so she could see her boyfriend Charlie. He had his first cold this week, so they didn't get very cozy. Hopefully she didn't pick up his germs.

There were green beans available for you-pick and Samantha loves green beans, so I had to be sure to get some. I borrowed Lisa's backpack carrier and wore Samantha out to the bean field to pick. I was able to fill a four-quart basket before she started getting fussy. It's akward having a baby on your back and bending down to pick beans. It showed me how out of shape I really am.

Then we ate. There were two large families that brought a small covered dish (certainly not enough to feed their respective brood) and did not bring table service. To say that Lisa was miffed would be putting it lightly. Even I brought two things to eat even though Samantha isn't old enought to eat either item. The members knew to bring table service. It was rude for them to expect it to be provided. Organic farmers aren't exactly big on putting disposable dishes in landfills. I think Lisa had enough plates for everyone, but then she got stuck having to wash them all. Maybe they'll think twice before coming to another potluck.

After the dinner, Ben always gives a farm tour. I've been on it a number of times, but the exercise is always good. Plus it gives me a chance to see what crops I might see in the next couple weeks. (I saw the okra. How much longer will it be? Will it make good babyfood?) Samantha rode in Charlie's jog stroller. She fell asleep in no time even though the terrain is less than flat. Her head rolled forward in a position that would have given me a crick in my neck. Ah, the joys of being a baby and really flexible.

I left Samantha with Lisa and headed back out to the bean field. I had brought two baskets with me and wanted to fill them both before going home. Now I have more beans than will fit in my fridge. The plan is to freeze them all. Samantha will be happy that part of them will be made into babyfood. I'll snap the rest into pieces and freeze them for Joe and me.

This wouldn't be a proper post if I didn't find some way to bring up breastfeeding. Samantha ate her supper lying down on a blanket in the grass. The side-lying position is a personal favorite even though we don't use it as often as the cradle position. I think it's easier to relax. It helps to have a certain amount of boobage, so it's not for everyone.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Puke Everywhere

Joe is flying to Chicago today, so I woke up Samantha this morning. The usual routine goes like this: get her out of bed, change diaper if wet, nurse on one side, feed her some solid food, change her clothes since she probably got food all over her pjs, and then nurse her on the other side.

She was still asleep when I went into her room, so I had to wake her. Since she hadn't awoken yet, she also hadn't peed yet. I held off on the diaper. I grabbed a bib and we went to the living room to eat. I turned on the tv to check out the weather forecast (hot, muggy) and we sat down in the glider. I put the Boppy in my lap and laid her down. She didn't nurse quite as long as her norm, but I didn't think much of it. I sat her up to put on the bib before going into the dining room to eat her food. I barely had the bib on her when she started vomiting. Some people say "vomit" or "puke" or "throw up" when their kid really just spits up. This was vomit. Chunks of last night's supper all over the two of us.

I had to change her clothes, which I would have done in a few minutes anyway. I had to change my clothes because it got on my shirt, pants and soaked through to my underwear. It got on the Boppy, so I had to take off the slipcover. I saw a couple chunks on the chair, but I didn't see any liquid, so I think the chunks just fell off when we sat up. Needless to say, there's a load of laundry in the wash right now.

After cleaning us up, I tried feeding her the breakfast I prepared. She had a couple bites, but wasn't up for more. She nursed on the other side, again faster than usual. I don't know if she's sick or whether her dinner just didn't agree with her. She isn't running a fever and she seems like her happy self. I called Dawn to her know that Samantha had thrown up. We agreed that I'd keep her for a few hours to see if she gets sick again. If it is a bug, we definitely don't want to spread it to her cousin Zach.

She's taking a nap. I'll try to work and hopefully she'll be better soon and able to go to Aunt Dawn's house later on.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Italian Seasoning

I don't know about most people, but I think I have a lot of spices. They fill up an entire shelf in my cupboard, and there's a second shelf that I use as overflow. (Now that I think of it, there are spices on the top shelf too!) To make finding a particular spice easier, I have an expanding, tiered organizer. Sometimes, the dorky engineer in me will alphabetically sort the spices by container type so that it looks nice with like being by like. However, as soon as I pull something out, the whole system gets messed up. Usually it ends up that the lesser used spices are at the back (vanilla bean, essence, dried lemon zest) and the commonly used ones are in the front (pepper mill, garlic powder, italian seasoning.)

Ah, I'm finally to my desired topic. I don't really remember when it started, but I have been blending my own italian seasoning for quite some time. I know that I have purchased italian seasoning at least once in my lifetime because I have been reusing the same container over and over. Whenever the container gets empty, I make more. Since I'm an American, I don't actually know what should be in Italian seasoning. So I read the ingredient label and added stuff that I thought should be in there. As I said above, I have a lot of spices on hand. My blend contains basil, oregano, thyme, parsley, rosemary, a touch of tarragon and maybe garlic powder. There is no specific recipe. I just add some of this and some of that until it looks good. The only rule I have is that I am not allowed to use all of an herb when I make a blend because I want to make sure I don't run out of anything that I might need for a recipe later. A while back, Joe caught me making a batch of italian seasoning. By his reaction, you would have thought I was making hot dogs or bologna (which, btw, he claims to not be bothered by the pieces and parts that make up those items.). He could not fathom why I would make something when I could go out and buy it for a dollar. The way I see it, herbs have a short shelf life, so I might as well use them to make a blend where they're likely to be used than left alone to go bad. For Mother's Day, Joe bought me an herb cookbook (I love to read cookbooks) and had bookmarked two recipes. Any guess as to what they were for? You got it -- italian seasoning.

Lots of Squash

I cooked up all of my yellow squash and pureed it into baby food. Cut up, they filled a 3.75 quart pot to the brim. After cooking, I filled up three ice cube trays plus another half cup that I put into the fridge. That's about 37 ounces. Samantha currently eats 1 or 1.5 oz at a time, so she will be eating yellow squash for quite a while. Good thing she prefers yellow over green when it comes to squash.

Now don't start thinking that I'm making my daughter eat her veggies when I'm not eating my own. That's not the case. I kept all the zucchini for Joe and me to eat. Yes, Joe has been eating squash! I have done a few different things.

I have also pureed chopped, cooked yellow squash with canned crushed tomatoes to make a pasta sauce. Except for the orange color, it was hard to tell that it was squash.

I have taken finely diced squash and cooked it with ground beef. Then I used that as an enchilada filling with a very spicy salsa verde topping (I used two jalapenos and probably should have just used one for the number of tomatillos I had.)

Last night I got a little more bold. I made a pasta bake with big chunks of zucchini and eggplant. My basket of tomatoes was piling up, so I made them into a tomato sauce with some onion. I ran it through the food mill to take out the skins. I chopped up a couple garlic scapes (only one more left for the year) and added italian seasoning (homemade, of course). So that was the sauce. I sauteed the zucchini and eggplant chunks until they were soft. Then comes the pasta. I had started on the tomatoes before confirming my pasta alternatives, so I had no options. The only Italian noodle in the house was spaghetti, which is not what I usually select for a baked dish. I prefer penne, but I used what was on hand. If I had taken the sauce in an Asian direction, I could have used soba or udon noodles, but I didn't, so they are left for another day. I mixed the sauce, veggies and spaghetti together, topped with cheese and baked until bubbly. Joe started picking out the chunks towards the end of the meal. For the leftovers, he figured that he would be able to eat them with some more salt and garlic.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Stage 3.5 Baby Food

No new posts for the last few days. Roadrunner has been on the fritz and I haven't always been able to go online. A couple neighbors have unsecure wireless networks, but they're too slow for web surfing.

I bought some peaches yesterday and made more babyfood. I peeled, pitted, squeezed them in my hand and cooked them in their juices with a cinnamon stick until they were thick enough. This morning I stopped by Kroger for milk and walked down the baby aisle. I wanted to see what commercial baby peaches look like. My peaches don't look anything like that crap. Stages 1, 2 and 3 are all too homogenous. Some of them had fillers like rice or oats and sweeteners such as apple juice. The Graduates peaches are cubed in juice. So I'm calling my peaches Stage 3.5.