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Archive for July, 2008

The other day, Garrett and I decided to go to Barnes & Noble. It’s a nice little retreat for the two of us and allows me to do my own book browsing. Sometimes, I just sit and read while in the store…never fully purchasing a book. But, this time I had full intentions on buying a book. I bought FIRST MEALS, by Annabel Karmel. Ok, not exactly your ‘run out right now, gotta read best selling novel’. Yet, these days it comes pretty darn close.

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Now, I know many of you are saying, “Isn’t Garrett still a bit young for solids?” And yes, you are correct. But, in my defense he does turn 4 months next week- so getting ready for the world of solids now, rather than later seems the smart thing to do.
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Besides, I am still contemplating on when I want to begin his first foods. Originally, I had thought I would wait until 6 months, since that’s the recommended age. Yet, now I am a little eager and thought maybe I would go for 5 months.
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According to Karmel, babies shouldn’t be given solids until 17 weeks after their due date. This is due to a baby’s underdeveloped immune system and digestive system. It can help trigger allergies. Ok, I get that, makes prefect sense and if I can prevent Garrett from getting my dreaded eczema than I’m all for it!
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This means that Garrett shouldn’t have solids until he is just shy of 5 months old, since my little man came 2 weeks early. And that goes with my own magical number, so I believe that we will wait to start solids until then.
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Of course, now I have this book egging me on to start solids.
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It peers at me from the counter top, somehow more noticeable than all the other cookbooks.
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No, that’s not quite true.
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It does peer at me, but not to start Garrett on solids. I actually read the first 50 pages the day I bought it. The next day, I was making baby food. It was easy. I should have taken some photos, but I was preparing it during one of Garrett’s nap and was trying hard to finish before he was back up. On my next go around, I will be sure to share pictures.
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I have about 20 servings of the following foods frozen, just waiting for Garrett to try out:
Apples, Pears, Peaches, Blueberries, Carrots, Squash and Zucchini
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(My mother had brought the squash and zucchini from home so it is organic, but the rest were bought and I didn’t have the money to go organic. I am going to try to give him as much organic or at least locally grown as possible. Regardless of organic or not, making your own baby food is the best route if you keep things clean. Plus, I get to know exactly what he’s eating and I get to save us some extra money, too.)
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The cookbook by Karmel is really wonderful and covers recipes up to the age of 7. She gives some great combinations for baby food and a lot of creative ways to jazz up a toddler and young child’s food as well. So, even if you aren’t up to making baby food or don’t have a baby at home you’ll find it helpful. Next time your at the bookstore or library, see if you can’t browse through it…
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And to all you Mommas out there, I have a few questions:
When did you begin feeding your little one or when do you plan to feed your baby?
And, what did you feed them? Any recommendations, advice or suggestions you can share?

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Simply an update…I’m so excited, we have 6 cloth diapers on the way!! That gives us a total of 8. I only need about 10 more and we should be able to make the switch to all cloth. The diapers I ordered are all different brands, so we can figure out which one we like best and order only those. I’ll be sure to post more about each of the diapers later!!!

Whoo-hoo!!! I finally feel like I am making alittle bit of a difference for our environment.

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Mommyhood truly is a full time job. Nursing is a second full time job. Cleaning the house is a third full time job. Cooking for anyone, save myself is sometimes impossible. Remembering what I need to do at my ‘part time real job’ the following morning is pointless. Making time for my husband and then for myself is a nano shy of obsolete. Where are my personal assistants when I need them? Oh yeah, I don’t have any…that’s right. So exactly why does a celebrity like Britney go cuckoo?

I’m jumping on the whine train tonight and I so wish that meant a red bottle of wine, like the good old days. But, shamelessly it doesn’t. Rather it means five minutes on the deck as I take the trash out for Monday pickup as Bryan tries to coax Garrett back into LALA land.

Let’s be candidly real for a minute. I miss me time and really miss we time.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my baby more than anything in the world. He’s perfect. He’s always happy…that is, he is happy now. Once upon a time, I had a colicky baby…miraculously that period ended as if someone hit a switch when he turned six magical weeks old. No doctor bills or prescriptions needed. Luckily, the days have gotten much much easier. But, the long days have not ceased to exist and neither has his growing need for attention.

My day begins around 9 a.m. as we all begin to wake up. Depending on the day, I am either off to work by 10, sometimes by the grace of God I make it out by 8. But, that’s on a very good day. Most days Bryan is off to work at noon and works a 11-12 hour shift. On lucky days like today, he leaves at 10 a.m. and doesn’t return until 12 a.m. These days remind me of those first few weeks with baby Garrett and truly tempt my sanity. It’s a day of constant struggles, in how to fit in all of my jobs without compromising Garrett’s growing and learning.

I feel guilty if he doesn’t get enough attention or if I take a moment to make myself a sandwich or browse the Internet for a few moments. He usually wins. No, he always wins.

We interact, we talk non-stop. I always had been told I was a talker, hence my name Brook. Yet, now I am a flood of words. We read books, sing songs and sometimes simply talk about everything. I tell him the who, what, where, why and how of everything. And Garrett eats it up and looks up at me with a twinkle in his eye, gabbing back as if he is in conversation over the most fascinating discovery. And I am certain that he is.

Today, he has completely found his toes. He grabs at them and holds them, feeling them with his fingertips. I try to show him my feet too, that way he knows that I have feet also. He has started perfecting his laugh. His first giggle was when he wasn’t even 3 months old. We were in Walmart as a lady started talking to him. Of course, he has yet to giggle like that again, but he is getting close. I know any day now it is bound to come out! I am almost sure he laughed at the lady like that because we were playing with the giggle stuffed animals right before she spoke to him. So tonight, I bought a giggling frog. I know I ‘m a sucker. And yes, I made a trip to Walmart at 8 p.m. on a S-U-N-D-A-Y. I hate Walmart, but with a child it becomes an experience and somehow makes the hours fly by.

Back home, we settled in to complete our nightly tasks. OK, those would be my tasks…I start cooking my dinner, make sure the dogs are taken care of and change Garrett’s diaper before laying him down for bed. No night-time stories or a bath. We are both, too pooped for any routine other than the bed and the boob. He comes from a long line of sensitive skinned people and too many baths a week would surely ruin his precious baby skin. No lotions, either. Besides he smells sweet as it is. Of course, do I really need to justify this?

Except this go around, Garrett doesn’t want to sleep without mommy. Yuck. Two tries and still a baby fussing. Finally, I bring him out to the living room and hold him, as I eat. Multitasking has taken on a whole new meaning. And then, finally at 11:53 my sweet relief walks through the door, takes a shower and keeps baby for twenty whole minutes.

I emerge renewed and remember why we decided to become parents. Tomorrow night I need to make time for ‘we’ so Bryan remembers that, too. Because, what would I do without him? He makes mommyhood and all it entails so very worth it.

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Ok, I intended on writing this review some time ago, preferably a week or so after we used them…but, the idea slipped my mind a few times. (Perhaps it was due to my inability to remember anything at all anymore.) As you may remember I purchased these online at diapers.com about two months ago. Man oh man, has it really been that long ago? Seriously, I can’t remember.

Anyway….my initial reasoning for buying these were to create as little impact on the environment as possible why using disposable diapers. The thought of using disposable diapers is akin to nails on a chalkboard to me. I am in the process of purchasing cloth diapers, but until I get fully stocked in cloth, I must succumb to the wastefulness of disposables. Which means I need an alternative to the regular name brands (i.e. the extremely wasteful disposable diapers.)

While looking online for alternatives (as I have stated before, no local stores, at least not in a 20 mile radius carry anything even remotely eco-friendly in the diaper department) I ran across Nature Babycare Diapers.


(Oh, and the packaging is biodegradable as well!)

Here’s the low down on what they have to offer (per diapers.com):
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NATURE BABYCARE – Eco-Friendly Baby Diapers

Nature babycare, the award winning ECO diaper –

A proven success in Europe and now available in North America!

Product features:
– Award Winning Premium Performance eco-friendly disposable diaper- Awarded the Eco Label “Good Environmental Choice” of Swedish Society for Nature Conservation (SSNC)- NO oil-based plastics against baby’s skin- Kinder and more gentle to your baby and the environment- Breathable and chlorine-free with natural based material, for natural protection- Ultra-thin construction gives a non-bulky fit, enabling your baby to move around freely- Consumer packaging is based on 100% natural renewable material. No oil-based plastics!- Winner of the 06-07 Silver Award for “Best Disposable Diaper,” featured in Mother & Baby Magazine, a leading UK baby magazine

Features and Benefits of Nature babycare:-Chlorine-free absorbent materials – does not contribute to dioxin pollution-100 % natural based back sheet – NO plastic – reduce the greenhouse effect-100 % natural distribution layer – NO plastic – reduce the greenhouse effect-100 % compostable consumer packaging – NO plastic – reduce the greenhouse effect-No latex, fragrance, or TBT (tributyl tin)

The use of compostable natural materials based on renewable sources reduces the green house effect.
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Over 170 users that have posted reviews on diapers.com give them 4 out of 5 stars.

I think all those users are right. Nature Babycare Diapers are good diapers, minus all that frill. They stand up, they do the job and they’re ECO-friendly to boot! Although, they are stiffer than Pampers and all the ‘name brand’ diapers, they were just as absorbent when I used them on my son. Garrett didn’t seem to mind them one bit. They also don’t have the ‘commercials’ and all that dye on the diaper- they were rather plain with only tiny green leaves on the tab area. The tab area, however could have been more durable- once undone, they didn’t have much wear to them. Which only meant you can’t really wrap them up the same way you do the other diapers! But, really that isn’t a big deal. These diapers also were more square and don’t give as much in the legs, but I imagine that this is mainly due to the sizing issues. the size of the diapers I ordered were my only true disappointment. These diapers run extremely small. I would recommend ordering a size higher than what you think you need. When Garrett was two months old and around 10 lbs, I ordered the Size 2 for 12-18lbs and he could have easily wore a Size 3. Overall, these diapers are a must if protecting the environment is important to you, yet you aren’t up to using cloth diapers.

At diapers.com, they run $11.99 for all sizes (less diapers as the sizes go up, like all diaper brands) and for that price there really isn’t any good excuse for not using them. (The only possible excuse is availability, but remember there is the Internet!)

The company, Nature Babycare (located in Sweden) is starting an ‘Ambassador’ program that gives incentives for using and spreading the word about their product. (And, no that isn’t why I am doing this review….the U.S. program hasn’t begun yet! So, there!)

Point is, why spend money making the big companies bigger and polluting the environment all the while, when there are small companies making green products that do make a difference?

Whatcha’ waiting on?

CHECK EM’ OUT for yourself!

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Recipes are such an experiment and I love experimenting with new foods and new flavors! I made this recipe for Banana Bread on Sunday and wanted to share it with everyone. I have to admit this is my first attempt at Banana Bread. To my delight, both Bryan and my mom seemed to enjoy it. (At least, they say they did.)

I would recommend using more bananas and to make sure they are a bit overripe, as this adds to the flavor and I didn’t think the bread had enough banana flavor for myself. After I made the bread, I took a peak at other banana bread recipes online for comparison and after checking them out, will next time add cinnamon and I might also try chocolate chips or walnuts, too. Unfortunately, I was out of walnuts and didn’t think of using cinnamon or chocolate chips until after it was made. I used a recipe for a crunch topping from an old recipe book and have included it, as well.

So, here ya’ go!

BANANA BREAD

1 3/4 cup self rising flour
2/3 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/3 cup shortening (I also added 3 tbs. of butter…I know, talk about fattening!)
1 tbs vanilla
2 tbs ginger
1 cup of bananas -mashed

(I used a mixer, but next time I think I will mash them with a whisk or fork and then mix everything by hand. Because, I think the mixer may have over-mixed and left the bread not having ‘enough’ of a banana taste-it was either this or I didn’t use enough bananas.)

Grease and flour loaf pan. Mix all ingredients together until they form a batter like mixture. Pour evenly into loaf pan. Mix crunch topping ingredients together and spread on top of bread. Bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees.

For a crunch topping:
(optional)

1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup or 1/2 stick of butter or margarine, melted
3/4 tbs of cinnamon

Hope you give the recipe a try and like it!! If you do try the recipe, I would LOVE to hear what you do differently and how you think it turns out!

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Well, Bryan and I did take a stroll on the beach, but we went as a family. It was one of those wonderful moments of being a family. One for the memory books. So why was this beach trip so special? Because, Friday was Garrett’s first trip to the beach – EVER. He was completely mesmerized by all the sights and sounds. Garrett seemed to be in deep thought the whole time we were there, taking in all the ‘new’ sensations! He didn’t make so much as a peep, unless you laid him down and obstructed his view. Bryan took him into the water so he could feel the cooler water on him, when a wave hit them- Garrett’s first reaction was a shocked and scared one, but he soon changed his face as he realized he was okay and Daddy was still holding him.
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Sunbathing with Nana.
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Catching some waves with daddy…
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Feeling the water and sand between his toes.
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Drying off in his birthday suit and
feeling more sand between those toes.
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I wonder if our little boy will one day love all things water?

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I have been seriously slacking on my blog!! What, you say…you haven’t noticed? Well, for starters I haven’t added any pictures in ages! What is up with that? And I’ve been relatively boring, too.

Tonight, I was planning to change all of that and get busy blogging one of the many drafts I have started, but decided “Aye, I’ll just finish this a little bit later when I have more time to devote to it.” But, once again I have let myself down. Equally disappointing in the past couple of weeks, I have forgotten the numerous potential blogs I feverishly type in my head as Garrett, I, Bryan or the dogs do something interesting that I think, “Now, that’s definitely something worth sharing!” I could so kick myself. On top of all this, mother has come to visit and at last I am to entertain. Decisions abound, do I blog or do I sleep? Mercy me.

Like I said my mom is here. Yep. Before, I continue I would like to state for the record that we love mom being here and have a great time when she is here….

But, and this is a big BUT, she has…..

(You’re not reading this are you, mom?)

That was a close call.

Ok, dare I type it?

I think I must.

Here goes.

QUIRKS.

They’re really minor. Not really worth mentioning. Small and insignificant, the kind that truly just make her who she is. I’m going to list a couple of them anyway just for fun. All in good fun. She won’t mind a bit, she’ll get a kick out of them. Really. She will. Trust me. Ok, here goes.
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Hmmm, that’s funny….and kinda strange. I started to list all these quirks and believe me she HAS some, when I thought about whether or not I will have quirks that drive Garrett bonkers as well. And then IT hit me. I, sure the heck hope not. I mean, me…how could he find quirks in me, his mother. The person who gave birth to him and nurtured and cared for him every single day of his life. Won’t this child know how I would give him the shirt off my back? No, not my Garrett. He would never think his mother was quirky or had quirks. Most certainly not.

And just like that, in a split second, all my mother’s little quirks escaped me.

Mom, you better thank Garrett.

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