Two words: consignment sale

I have a confession to make. I love buying clothes for baby girl. I know that a sale at Carter’s or Babies R Us doesn’t usually mean great deals, but I can’t help myself. I go anyway, and I almost always come out with one or two outfits. Sure, they don’t cost a lot, but when you add up all of those little unnecessary purchases, it can get expensive.

That’s why I love the Just Between Friends consignment sale. Twice a year, the local community center is taken over by a giant kids’ stuff consignment sale. The entire gymnasium is covered with rack upon rack of clothes, tables full of toys, books, shoes and other kid gear. At the back of the gym, you find the strollers, pack ‘n plays, play gyms and other big toys.

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One of the best baby purchases we’ve made

When hubby and I registered for baby gifts, we figured that we probably didn’t need everything the Babies R Us guide says to get. For example, we were pretty convinced that we didn’t need a wipe warmer (although I registered for one anyway), and we knew that it was way too early to look at potty training seats.

But we didn’t know that a high chair was something else to cross off the list.

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Recipe: Pork chops and applesauce for baby

Baby girl is almost 10 months old, and we’ve given her lots of yummy foods. Her favorite vegetable is probably squash, and she loves pretty much every fruit. But we’ve only given her two meats: chicken and turkey. And she only had a couple of bites of turkey because we were eating it for dinner one night, so I’m not sure that counts.

Either way, I decided it was time for her to try another meat.

I went with pork primarily because it’s what I had in my freezer. When I told my mom I was planning to give baby girl pork, she asked if that was a good idea. Her question prompted me to look into the nutritional value of pork. This is what I found out:

It’s got lots of good vitamins, including A, C, B1 and B2 and Folate. It’s also got Potassium, Magnesium, Calcium and Iron. Plus it’s obviously a protein. Now we know.

I think I’ve mentioned before that I tend to make baby food that mimics meals that hubby or I like. This one is a hubby favorite. We both love pork chops, but I’ve never been a fan of sweet sides with savory dishes. That said, pork chops and applesauce is a classic. I added carrots to the mix because a) they’re good for baby girl, b) I figured they would give the meal a better texture and c) I wanted an excuse to go buy a steamer.

Here’s the recipe:

  • 2 pork chops – cooked and cubed
  • 2 handfuls of baby carrots – steamed
  • 1 and 1/3 cups of applesauce

I put the cubed pork chops in the food processor first, followed by the carrots. Then I added applesauce by 1/3 cupfuls until it got to the consistency I wanted. Turned out I needed 4 of the 1/3 measuring cups. You could probably get away with a little bit less if you wanted the mixture to be less sweet. The recipe made 2 ice cube trays full.

This recipe was a hit! Baby girl loved it. I think she liked that it was kind of sweet but at the same time not like her fruits. We’ll have to give it another couple of tries before I declare it a favorite.

A note about the carrots: I’m not a very measurmenty kind of cook, so I apologize that I don’t have a real number for you on the carrots. If you have small hands, you might want three handfuls. You can see in the picture that the amount I used filled about half of a cereal bowl.

A note about applesauce: At baby girl’s 4 month doctor’s visit, her pediatrician gave me some advice:  “Applesauce is applesauce.” I told her that I was planning to make all of baby girl’s food. She suggested that I spend my time making other food and just buy the unsweetened, plain old applesauce you get at the grocery store. I decided to take her advice. You could probably make this recipe with an apple and some water instead of applesauce if you wanted.

A note about pork: If you don’t eat pork, I think this recipe would also work well with chicken.

Confessions of a working mom: Umm…. I think I peed my pants

I’ve struggled with whether or not to delve into the … challenges … of being a working mom. After all, some of my colleagues read this blog, and many of my working mommy stories might make those readers uncomfortable. But you know what? I started this blog to share my mommy stories with other mommies, so I finally decided that it wouldn’t be complete without a few awkward work stories.

You might think that a woman isn’t a working mom until her baby’s born, but you’d be wrong. The fun starts well before that. As I mentioned in one of my first posts on this blog, becoming pregnant gets you entrance into the Mommy Club. If you work outside the home, it’s also your introduction to the embarrassing, funny, frustrating and wonderful adventure that is being a working mom.  More

Watch out baby food, real food’s making an entrance

I’ve blogged before about making baby good for my daughter. She’s had lots of veggie purees, a few meats and lots of fruits. Her favorite foods are pieces of fruit, and those baby berries are definitely up there too. But until today, she hadn’t eaten the same thing as hubby and me for dinner.

That’s mostly because I don’t usually cook very good meals for hubby and me to eat. I think I mentioned it before, but I really dislike grocery shopping. I love to cook, but by the time I get home from the store I have usually lost my motivation. So hubby and I eat out a lot. Or we end up making boxed mac and cheese or frozen pizzas.

Today was different. More

Keeping my fingers crossed for curls

Anyone who knows me knows that I have incredibly curly hair. We’re talking looks “like an afro if you try to straighten it” kind of curly hair. And I love it. It’s part of who I am. In fact, when I was pregnant, a co-worker mentioned that she had curly hair before she had children, but it loosened up a lot after her son was born. Now her hair is – I hate to say it – basically just frizzy.

Needless to say I was not pleased to hear that. It’s up there with “are you sure you want to eat that?” in my book of things you shouldn’t say to a pregnant lady.

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My little giggle box

You know those phrases you hear people say and think Where did they come up with that? I’ve got lots of them. When I was younger, I thought my dad was totally nuts when he called me or my sister a “giggle box.” And I’m pretty sure I thought my mother was a overly sentimental for saying that we “made her heart happy.”

But you know what? Now that I’m a member of the Mommy Club myself, I totally understand the sentiments.

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Giving thanks for grandparents

When I was a kid, I used to get to spend a week with both sets of grandparents in the summer. I’d go to my Mimi and Papa’s house in Oklahoma, and we’d go shopping and swimming. They’d always take me to church with them, too. The kids had their own Sunday School class, so I got to play instead of sitting still in the pews (like I would’ve if I’d been at my own Catholic church at home). It was the best!

Then I’d go to my other grandparents’ house in St. Louis. They had a big farm with a pond in the back. I loved to fish in that pond. I remember one time Grandpa let me spend the day on the dock catching bluegill (I think they call them sunnies up here in the North). Other times I would wait all day until it was late enough for Grandpa to go fishing for catfish with me. Then he’d clean all the fish we caught, and Grandma would fry them for dinner. That was the best, too.

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Saturday is my favorite day of the week

Since I work outside the home during the week, weekends are particularly special for our family. We don’t always have anything particularly special planned to do, but just having the time to spend together is valuable to me.

Saturdays are the best. Baby girl doesn’t sleep in (what 9 month old does?), so hubby or I get up and play with her around 7 most Saturday mornings. About 8 o’clock whichever of us got up early with the baby brings her in to wake up the other one. Today was my day to sleep in (thanks, love!) and let me tell you, waking up to my sweet daughter’s giggles is one of the best things in the world.

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It really is the little things

In the nine short months my daughter has been alive, I’m constantly amazed by the pride I feel at the little things she’s learning to do. As cliché as it sounds, the first time she smiled I absolutely melted. She was (and is) such a happy baby, that I was extremely proud to be able to show off her adorable smile.

When she started to eat solid foods, I was once again amazed as she learned to pick up pieces of food and feed herself.

In the last few weeks, she hit a big milestone: she started walking. And I have to admit, that was pretty exciting. But just today, she learned another new skill. This one isn’t one of those skills that gets classified as a “milestone,” but to me in this moment, it’s just as impressive.

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