Thursday, July 22, 2010

Similac

So, I was happily playing with Luke when a loud knock at the door startled us this afternoon.  It was our mail carrier with a package.  The package was addressed to me with my address listed, but I was thoroughly confused.  It was a package of Similac baby formula.  I never ordered any such package, and I said so to the mailman.  He said he delivers loads of them, and he thinks they are free "gifts" from the company. 

Hmmm... nice try, Similac, but we're doing just fine with breast milk, thank you.  And very smart ploy, by the way, to supply new moms with just enough "free" formula to reduce their milk supply so they will eventually need to buy your product.  Smart, but your trick isn't going to work on me.

Isn't that crazy?!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

First Night in the Crib

How could I have forgotten to post the big news?! 

Luke spent his first night in his crib in his own bedroom.  It helped that his babysitter Laura put him there, and Mommy and Daddy didn't come home until 1:30 AM, but in any case, Luke stayed there from about 10 PM until 4 AM.  Yippee!

Perhaps I should also mention that he hasn't spent the night in there since then.  Naps?  Oh yes, he takes many naps in his crib, but we've yet to do the overnight thing again.  We both really like having him in our room, as we know his noises so well.  Listening on the monitor is just not the same for us since we've gotten used to having the real thing right there. 




Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Fun Photos

While this photo was taken a while ago, it was the very first time Ozzy decided to get close to Luke.  Very cute!



He's an intellectual.


This photo speaks for itself. 

Monday, July 19, 2010

Luke's First Dip

Father's Day 2010 marked Luke's first official dip in a pool.  Aunt Carol's pool, to be precise. 

We are not sure how Luke felt about this experience.  We believe he was both tired and hungry during his first swim, which we believe accounts for his fussiness.  We are going to try swimming again soon. 

First Trip to Wildwood, NJ

Okay, this post is about a month late.  We went to Wildwood the day before Father's Day.  We really enjoyed the day.  We left my parents' house at about 3 PM, arrived at about 4 PM, walked the boardwalk, ate some crappy but delicious boardwalk food, rode the giant ferris wheel, and took the tram car back to North Wildwood.  Luke was accompanied by his Mommy, Daddy, and Nana.

Getting ready

Luke and Mommy posing on the boardwalk

Nana jumped in this photograph

Loving his day out

People watching on the boardwalk

The Kelly family on the big ferris wheel

Luke Reading the Bible

video

Luke reads the Children's Picture Bible with Nana and Grandpa.  He appears to enjoy it, as the commentary suggests.

Little Foot


Sunday, July 18, 2010

First Sleepover at Aintin's House

Last night was Luke's first sleepover at Aintin and Uncle Rob's house.  It was somewhat impromptu, as we only decided to spend the night after already spending several hours here in the afternoon.  We had Luke's overnight diaper and pajamas, but we did not have a place for sleeping.  For naps at Aintin's house, we usually make up a little bed on the floor in one of the air conditioned bedrooms.  However, I was a little nervous about a full night of sleeping because of Luke's newfound mobility.  I kept the monitor very close to him, and I kept the receiver next to my ear whenever he was in the bedroom.  After hearing nothing but one little grunt, I moved quickly upstairs only to open the bedroom door and find Luke had rolled onto the hardwood floor.  It was then that Luke did all his sleeping in our Ergo baby carrier until I was ready to go to bed. 

We will have to solve this bedding issue for next time. 

Reaching for Mama

For about a month now, Chris and I have noticed Luke "reaching out" for us.  I use the quotation marks because it was just a feeling we had when Luke would spread his arms wide and cry or fuss.  It was if he was asking to be picked up. 

Well, Luke was sitting in his Bumbo yesterday and he made one fussy noise when I turned to him and said, "Awww, do you want Mama?" and I put my hands out to him as if to pick him up.  Amazingly, he calmed immediately and reached back!  He spread his arms, but also angled them towards me, as if he knew what would follow in this sequence: being cuddled and carried in my arms. 

Of all things that I've been excitedly anticipating, it's been this.  I know Luke needs and wants me, but to see evidence in his body language is special.

Binky Dexterity

Over the past week or so, Luke has gripped his binky while in his mouth by putting all fingers around it and pulling it out.  He sometimes does this at very inopportune moments like when falling asleep or when recovering from a fussy time.  The only problem is that he was unable to get the binky back in his mouth on his own, which he clearly wanted.

Until yesterday.  I watched Luke pull it out and put it right back in at least three times yesterday.  I was excited about this, as I anticipate using the binky for several more months, and it makes my life somewhat easier if Luke can take care of his binky with minimal intervention on my part. 

Thursday, July 15, 2010

New Recipe - Hummus

I have to give credit to Carrie Bannon, a former colleague, who gave me this recipe.  We love this hummus.  We east a batch every week. 

1 can chick peas/garbanzo beans (or if you wash and soak your own beans, use a little more than a cup of prepared beans)
1/3 cup tahini (found near peanut butter in the grocery store)
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tsp salt
2 cloves of garlic minced (or 2 tsp jarred minced garlic - feel free to be generous with garlic)

(I usually add roasted red peppers - roast them on your own for a fun experience - or jalapeno, but you don't need to flavor it.  It will be delicious with just the ingredients above.)

Add all ingredients to a bowl.  Use your food processor, stand blender, or immersion blender to puree. 

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Luke and his friend, Patrick

When Luke was 5-weeks-old, Patrick's mommy (and my good friend), Rose, came to visit.  She was a week past her due date.  Well, apparently, Luke did the trick.  She went into labor early Saturday morning, and Patrick was born only a day-and-a-half after his first visit with Luke. 

In May, we went to visit the Birkhead family.  We took some great photos. 

Yes, they are almost holding hands!

So much smaller than Luke!

"Are you lookin' at me?!"

We've been back to visit since then, but we were camera-less that day.  Needless to say, Patrick is growing up into a fun little baby, and we look forward to many more fun times together with the boys!

Photo Roll

Okay, so I don't want our blog to mirror facebook, but those of you who visit my page will recognize some of these photos.  While I check FB for friend updates, I prefer our family blog to the FB profile page.  Lucky are those who read our blog (Mom!) to see and learn all the new updates in vivid detail.  Let's face it, if you are our blog follower, you like us and care about us, and if we're just "friends" on FB, well, you only want to see the occasional new photo.

So without further ado, because we've delayed new photos long enough (nearly a month), here they are! 

"Do you come here often?"

Disappearing into Mommy's graduation gown

Messy (but happy) boy!

"Dad, you're so funny!"

I used to read this book to Luke when he was still in my belly.  I'm glad he likes it, because back then, he was a captive audience!

Bath time

Hugging Baxter Bear, a gift from Granny

From Laying to Standing

Luke was practicing his new skills the other day, and he discovered a new one.  He can go from laying to standing (yes, standing!) all in one swift motion.  I've gone over this with him so many times, I can break it down step-by-step:

  1. Luke lays on my legs or some flat surface.
  2. He grabs onto my thumbs, and I grip his wrists for support.
  3. He lifts his head and straightens his back.
  4. I give a slight pull, and his leg muscles tense up.
  5. He jerks himself forward as I pull slightly.
  6. Voila!  He's a standing 4-month-old baby!
Now I need to worry about the "steps" he's taking after he stands!  It's crazy, but he can support all of his weight (and balance it) for a few seconds on his own.  Of course, I continue to hold his wrists for support, but if we are somewhere soft, I don't fret about the possibility of toppling over.

We'll video this soon and post for all to see.

Regret

It is 9:10 AM.  Luke is bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.  And I am regretting all that late-night blogging. 

Luke loves his turtle-man


Captured with my iPhone, so the quality isn't great.... but these show how Luke loves his turtle-man.  He plays a song if you press his belly, and each "limb" has a button to play an individual instrument that is part of the song.  He's hugging him.  Luke is very much interested in his toys these days.

Phillies Rebel


I like to call this photo "Yeah, I go to Phillies games, and I eat what I want!"

Okay, I don't really call it that, but I do like that we take Luke to places where we like to go.  He's getting to know our "scene" and frankly, he's enjoying it!

Why such a funny name for a photo?  Well, most of you know that Luke is a breastfed baby.  When he needs to eat, he needs to eat, and I don't always (in fact, I rarely) have a bottle to give him.  (In my opinion, pumping requires more effort than it's worth.)  I usually nurse him discreetly under a very modest cover.  I have never encountered any issues until the other day, when it seemed that two women in front of us were not all that happy about us breastfeeding.  I remind you that (#1) I was covered, and (#2) the most natural and healthy source of infant nutrition is breast milk.  I can't be sure that they were talking about us, but I'm fairly intuitive, and I could tell they were not the least bit happy when they saw a wiggling baby under my cover.

I made two observations about the situation on this particular day.  First, I wore a tank top to the game.  My attire was more revealing than when I covered up to feed Luke.  Second, people eat all kinds of disgusting things at Phillies games: hot dogs, cheese steaks, hoagies, and fries, and no one gives a second look.  But a baby eating as nature intended, now that's gross!  Uh, am I missing something?!

Off we go, to fight the good fight and remind people that babies are supposed to nurse from their mothers.  Phillies game or not, Luke has to eat, and I'm going to feed him - modestly, of course - but feed him nonetheless.  My message to those who don't like it: Deal with it.

Post-rant: Did I mention that we thoroughly enjoyed the game?  We did!

Are we bad parents?


I say no!  We are "fun" parents!  Yes, it's a can of beer, but Chris is drinking the alcohol....Luke is only enjoying the condensation that eases his sore gums.  Luke was all too interested in beer on this particular evening.  He was giving Lucy's beer the eye earlier in the night.  (I happen to think he enjoyed seeing the light shine through the glass and the light-colored beer.)

My First Loaf


I just want to add that this photo was taken after the loaf was baked.  It grew no bigger than when I put it in the oven.  It was the densest (is that a word?) bread we've ever encountered.


My first loaf looking much better than it tasted!  My second and third loaves (both baked in the bread maker) have been much tastier!

Where the Wild Things Are


Tonight, our little family had the pleasure of attending an outdoor movie at Penn Treaty Park, which is just down the street from our house.  The Friends of Penn Treaty Park and the Philadelphia Department of Recreation hosted the movie.  Chris and I ate a quick (but home-cooked) dinner before walking to the park for the supposed 7 PM start.  I didn't want to miss any of the film!  Well, it was 8:30 before the movie started!  I would have been annoyed at such a delay in most other circumstances, but we met some great neighbors and chatted during the time before the movie began.

Luke was very happy walking to the park in his Ergo carrier, where he remained quite content for nearly an hour after arriving.  (We normally walk him in the stroller and take the carrier along in case he gets fussy.)  We took a big quilt and two lawn chairs, as well as a box of dark-chocolate Raisinets for movie-time munching. 

The sound was very loud, and Luke got scared a couple times.  A few times, when I was nursing him under our sling, he was startled by the loud noises, but all was fine after he ate and had some more cuddle time in the carrier.  He eventually fell asleep for a bit.

All-in-all, the Kellys enjoyed a great, free night out, something we hope to do more!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Sitting up on his own!

We are at the "almost" stage for sitting up on his own. Luke has been grabbing his feet for about a week now when he sits on our laps or in the Bumbo. This must offer him some kind of stability because he is now able to sit without support for a few seconds. We are a bit nervous to move our hands away completely in case he teeters over, but unless we move our hands, I'm afraid we'll never give him the chance to sit up on his own. I'll be sure to post photos when he masters this skill.

I am amazed that this has happened so fast. In about four weeks, Luke has gone from being unable to roll over to nearly sitting up on his own. Wow! Baby development is absolutely amazing!

New Recipe - Granola


Another fun new experiment has been making our own granola.


Here is the recipe that we love:
 
2 cups old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup wheat germ (I didn't have any wheat germ so I substituted ground flax seed that I had in the fridge.)
2 tbs dark brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt
 

1/3 cup chopped walnuts
1/3 cup sweetened flake coconut (I used unsweetened and it turned out fine)
1/3 cup dark or golden raisins (I also used dried cherries) 

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 cup maple syrup (When I didn't have enough maple syrup, I used a little bit of honey to make up the difference - it was yummy!)
3 tbs canola oil
1 tbs water 



Adjust oven rack to middle position. 
Heat oven to 275 degrees. 
Coat a 9-by-13-inch metal pan with cooking spray, then set aside.  
Mix oats, wheat germ, brown sugar, salt, walnuts, and coconut in a bowl. 
Bring syrup, oil, water and cinnamon to a simmer in a saucepan over low heat.
Drizzle over oat mixture, and stir to combine. 
Pour mixture onto prepared pan. 
Working a handful at a time, squeeze cereal to form small clumps. 
Bake for 30 minutes. 
Stir in dried fruit. 
Continue to bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes longer. 
Let cool. 
Enjoy!

Granola can be stored in an airtight container for up to two weeks.


Monday, July 12, 2010

Baking bread

After being inspired by Michael Pollan and Nina Planck (two food authors I am reading now) to look at the listed ingredients in my food, I pulled our bread off the shelf.  How bad could Arnold's Healthy Multi-Grain Bread be?  It's multi-grain and advertised as "healthy" so one would think there's no need to worry. 

Uh, wrong. 

What's bread except for milk, butter, and flour, and maybe a few other normal ingredients depending on the recipe and the type of bread.  Well, our (former) favorite had some pretty scary things in it, apparently to allow it to be massed-produced cheaply and to extend it's shelf life.  Because we threw it away, I can't list the 20 or so ingredients here, but I assure you, there were plenty of soy-this and diglycerides-that.  I think all the ingredients in a loaf of bread should be pronounce-able, and if not, we'll be just fine without it - in fact, we'll be better off without it.

And so, I found myself a recipe for homemade bread online.  I baked my first loaf on Thursday.  It was, well, it was awful frankly, but it was edible, and I knew everything that went into making that bread.  It was as dense as a brick, and it didn't slice very well.  (I think I should have found a recipe for whole wheat bread because I used whole wheat flour, but my recipe called for unbleached white flour.)  Despite the minor catastrophe, my wonderful husband pulled out the butter and jam, poured a glass of milk, and "enjoyed" a piece of homemade toast. 

Inspired by my efforts, Chris thought we might like to try to bread maker.  I didn't think another gadget would fit in our kitchen, but I took a look on Craigslist and found a local person selling a pretty good model at a great price.  You can probably guess how the story goes... we bought the bread maker, made our first loaf (it was a half loaf) on Saturday night, ate it ALL on Sunday, and loaf number two is baking as I type.  (We found a cabinet to fit the contraption when it's not busy baking us bread.)

I feel remarkably better about sending Chris to work with a sandwich made with homemade bread.  I feel better about eating it too.  I feel better nursing Luke knowing that I am "making" his food with good wholesome ingredients. 

I don't know if all our bread will be homemade from now on, but I do know that it's not that difficult to make and that we will probably be healthier people for eating foods we make ourselves. 

Updates soon to come...

After some inspiration from our friends Madhavi and Jeremy, I am back to the blog.  I was making lame excuses about being unable to post recently, and I don't want to regret my lack of verbage in Luke's later years, so here we are: back to blogging!

I am going to elaborate on some of the highlights over the next few days.  I have done this before... made  promises to my blog, and never actually came back to post the updates, but we'll see how this effort goes!