Monday, December 24, 2012

Happy Holidays!

By now, everyone should have received our Christmas card. Of course, Nori is the focus, so we just HAVE to share!

Frames Of Happiness Holiday Card
View the entire collection of cards.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Holiday Craft: Daycare Provider Gift

It's that time of year again, and now with Norah, gift giving has entered a whole new level. I've found myself needing to buy gifts for people we've never had to worry about before. The most important new people on our list being Norah's daycare providers.

These three women take care of Norah every day and make it possible for us to go to work and not worry (at least not that much) about her. In my opinion, this calls for a special gift.

But what to get? There are about nine other kids in Norah's class, so I wanted to try and be original. I've heard from other teacher friends that the most gifted items are lotions and candles. Scratch those off the list.

Off to Pinterest I went, and ended up finding something perfect. A recipe for peppermint hot cocoa mix. Slightly unique and once they are finished with it they can recycle the jar and be left without any junk.

1 cup powdered milk
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup miniature chocolate chips
1/2 cup crushed peppermint candy

Layer powdered milk, cocoa powder, sugar, salt, chocolate chips, and peppermint candy.

The site I got this recipe from said to use a 1 quart container and it would fit nicely. As you can see below, I used a 1 quart container and had some room at the top, so you might want to go a bit smaller. Otherwise, just stuff some tissue paper at the top so the pretty layers don't get messed up.

Recipe Source

Monday, December 17, 2012

I'll Never Do That.....and other annoying things I've said regarding child rearing.

When Norah was first born, there were things I swore I'd never do.  Things I saw other parents do that horrified me. So I made my mental list and kept reminding myself of it. Until Norah got here, and it was clear that everything I ever thought about parenting was off the table. As she grows, I'm beginning to realize that parenting is like the Wild Wild West. Anything goes and all the grand fantasies I had for how she'd grow up were just that.

Here are a few of my "I'll Nevers":

I'll never let Norah run around with a snotty nose. Ha! Good luck with this one past-self, because it's virtually impossible to keep that thing from gooing out all over the place. In any given weekend, we must go through a whole box of tissues, and she still has constant boogies leaking out.

Jar food? That stuff has too many preservatives to be good for her. I'll make all my own food. Ahh...what a novel concept. There has been many a time when I open up the freezer only to realize we are completely out of home-made food. We can't very well let her starve, so store-bought food it is! The one thing that turned me off was the smell of the foods I was giving her. The brands I've found to like the best are Earth's Best and Sprout. She pretty much gobbles up anything I feed her from those brands. We've had a lot less luck with Gerber offerings.

She'll never watch TV before she's two. At first I tried to justify this one by saying that we were the ones watching TV, but the fact of the matter is, if it's on, she's looking at it. Thankfully, now that she's grown a bit, she doesn't like the TV that much. Crawling around and biting wires is much more interesting.

So what's the moral of this little post? Flexibility is key. If you can't be flexible and bend the rules you made for yourself, you simply won't survive. Don't be too hard on yourself and always remember that you're being the best parent you can be, and that's about all you can do.

Anything you've said you'll never do and ended up doing it? I'd love to know I'm not the only one out there that caved!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Flashback Friday - 12.14.12

Norah will be 9 months next week. I can't believe how fast the time has gone. Before I know it, she's going to be 9 years old!

Here she is back when she was only 9 days old. So little!

And yes, if you were wondering, that is a newborn outfit she is wearing!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Baby Food Recipe - Broccoli, Cauliflower and Quinoa

What do you do when you have an entire freezer bag full of broccoli and cauliflower left over from a crudite tray for a party you threw over the weekend? Well, you don't let it go bad. Especially when there's a baby in the house who is eating twelve ounces of food a day. The answer is, you steam it, add some quinoa and some spices, and call it lunch!

Broccoli, Cauliflower and Quinoa

10 florets of broccoli and cauliflower
1/2 c quinoa
1/2 c water
1/2 tsp each of basil, pepper and garlic powder (you can probably amp up the spices a bit if you're baby is used to it, but since I just started using  spices, I kept it low-key.)

Steam broccoli and cauliflower until fork tender. While veggies are steaming, grind quinoa with a food mill and add to 1 c boiling water. Allow to come back to a boil, then turn to a simmer and let cook for about 10 minutes. Once steamed, add vegetables and 1/2 c water to blender (I used the Baby Bullet which works AWESOME!). Blend until desired consistency. Add quinoa and spices and blend a bit more to mix.

Let cool completely before serving, or portion out into an ice cube tray and freeze for later use. This made about ten 2-ounce servings.

Verdict: Norah is not so sure about this, but I think she'll come around. If there's one thing I'm learning, it's that she won't be joining broccoli's fan club anytime soon.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Baby Book of the Week - Good Night New Jersey

This week we're reading something Jim picked out for Norah while we were in New Hampshire for a friend's wedding. Of all places to find a book about New Jersey!

If you've read Good Night Moon, you'll find the concept of this book familiar. Instead of saying good night to the room, the red balloon and the cow jumping over the moon, you find New Jersey-isms in their places. Some are familiar, like Lucy the Elephant, Monopoly, and even a reference to the Boss. There are also references to things I didn't know existed in New Jersey, like the Lakota Wolf Preserve. If this book stays in rotation, we just may end up taking a trip there so we can bring it to life!

Happy reading!

Book Info
Title: Good Night New Jersey
Author: Adam Gamble
Illustrator: Joe Veno
Pages: 20

If you're interested in purchasing this book, or one in the series, click on over to Amazon.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Baby's First Haircut

Last week was a whirlwind of activity in the House of Norah. To kick it all off, we took Norah to her first hair appointment with her Aunt Julie! As much as I didn't want to see her adorable locks go away, she was looking kind of shaggy. The poor girl was constantly brushing her bangs out of her eyes.

Norah was a real trooper. If she was old enough for lollipops or ice cream, we would have taken for a sweet treat as a reward. Instead, Mom and Dad went to Moe's for lunch.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Flashback Friday: November Clip Show

We took a bunch of video of Norah during the month of November. Here are the highlights! Hope you enjoy!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Milestone Alert: Standing Up

It seemed like it took forever for Norah to go from laying on the floor like a lump to rolling over. Ever since that moment, things have been a real whirlwind. Last month she began to sit independently, then she started to army crawl. In the last week, she mixed in a few regular crawls with the army crawl (but I think she prefers wiggling around like a worm). And now, over Thanksgiving weekend, she stood up! With the help of her dad and a well placed table. Looks like the next thing we have to look forward to is some cruising!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Baby Book of the Week - Guess How Much I Love You

Every night, Norah gets a story. This week we've been reading Guess How Much I Love You. It's about a baby bunny and his dad. All through the book, the baby keeps telling his dad how much he loves him, but the dad keeps saying he loves him more. It's a great story to tell before bed to remind your little one that "a lot" is simply not enough to describe how much you love them.

Book Info
Title: Guess How Much I Love You
Author: Sam McBratney
Illustrator: Anita Jeram
Pages: 32
Click to purchase: Amazon | IndieBound |B&N

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Thanksgiving Project - Baby Turkeys

I had a lot of feathers and such lying around from last week's turkey project, so I decided to put it all to good use and send out some Thanksgiving cards to the grandparents. I really loved this turkey craft idea, but I just sent hand prints last month in the form of Halloween spiders. So in the interest of not being repetitive, I did this instead:

Monday, November 19, 2012

Eight Months Old!

Happy eight month birthday to the cutest baby on Earth! We are blessed to have you in our lives and love how every day is an adventure!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Flashback Friday - 11.16.12

Norah turns eight months on Monday! Here's a picture of her when she was eight weeks old. It's so hard to believe she was once that small!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

About that Cloth Diaper...

Some people seem to be very afraid of cloth diapers. As someone who knew next to nothing about cloth diapering before I started, I was a little afraid too. Once I started doing it, I really got into the swing of things, and now it's like second nature. For all you beginners out there, I thought I'd run through a list of questions that I got most often when I told someone I decided to use cloth.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

First Homework Project

Last week I picked Norah up from daycare, and not only did her teacher have a big bag of dirty diapers for me to launder, but she also handed me a poster board sized turkey. Yikes! Naturally, the first thing I did was run to pinterest. I found a good amount of crafts, but man, this turkey was BIG!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Baby Food Recipe - Broccoli Soup

I kind of cheated on this one, but I'll post it anyway. I have a tried and true recipe from Food Network for cream of broccoli soup, so I basically used that and pureed Norah's before I added the cream.

Monday, November 12, 2012


Welcome to my new blog!

For those of you who aren't family/friends and happened to stumble onto this blog, let me tell you a little about myself. I'm newly thirty and newly a mom. For the past 8 months, I've been stumbling through new parenthood, and now I want to share the journey. If I'm lucky, I'll hope I'll get a few tips from all you experienced parents out there!

I'll mostly be blogging about my beautiful baby Norah and how she's the most awesome thing ever (okay, maybe not while she's screaming for a bottle...but I digress). First, a little more background.

We try as hard as we can to cloth diaper. We're a two income household, so while we're at work, Norah spends her day with several other little cuties at her daycare. Sometimes I make my own baby food, and sometimes I use Earth's Best. Even though I think I'm a pretty good cook, sometimes Norah prefers the jarred food. Honestly, with flavors like Chicken Mango Risotto, I almost want to dig in!

I hope you stick around and if you have any questions or comments, please don't hesitate to add something below. If you're a new parent, you know that unsolicited comments are a dime a dozen, but I like to take an open approach to parenting. It's nice to know what everyone else out there is doing!