Growing / She’s finally filling out (a wee bit). She has a tiny little pot belly and absolutely is getting taller. I would bet she must weigh 20 lbs now-finally! She has outgrown her infant car seat, but we have been too lazy to buy a new one, so in the meantime we keep taking off her layers and stuffing her in the seat (sounds safe huh?).
Eating / She’s still a great eater. She will eat almost anything, minus some veggies (sadly). She loves yogurt, or “baby” as she calls it for Yo Baby yogurt. She is obsessed with eating my cereal. I can’t even pull out the box without her having a total panic attack. She’s also in love with bread, we try not to have it around or she won’t eat anything else. She has multiple melt downs in the grocery store because she wants everything she sees, especially when we reach the hot meal section of Whole Foods, she goes ballistic pointing to everything in sight.
Speaking / She impresses me daily with her language and comprehension skills. It utterly amazes me that she understands everything I’m saying. If I ask her to “please share,” she picks up a toy and hands it to another child and if I ask her for a specific book she retrieves it. She communicates very well to me, letting me know when she is hungry, thirsty, needs her diaper changed…if she doesn’t have a word for it (or I don’t understand) she will use sign language instead.
Learning / To get herself dressed. She is getting better at putting on her own jacket (and trying to put on her shoes and socks). She is learning how to cruise-this has been an incredibly slow experience, mainly to do with confidence.
Mastering / Climbing all over everything. Her new favorite is to climb on top of the coffee table when I leave the room. She is mastering the art of humor. She knows what to say and how to perform to make a room burst out in constant laughter.
Loving / Loves making funny faces (usually to get a chuckle), loves banging on the keyboard-sending nonsensical emails from my laptop, loves destroying everything in her path (I swear I spend half the day cleaning up after her!) and still loves to nurse-much to my disamay.
Loathing / Not much has changed in this category; still hates being in the car, hates getting dressed and despises diaper time-including going number deuce. Also hates sitting still; stroller or high chair time are always challenging. Recently she does not like elevators, she breaks out in tears if someone joins us on the elevator. Then sadly for me, she no longer enjoys going to the gym daycare-big, huge bummer!
Laughing / She is a bowl full of laughs lately. As I said earlier she loves entertaining and making herself and others laugh. She bursts into laughter each time she touches my mouth, nose or belly and each time we toss her in the air or chase her across the room. She also finds the words “potty” or “poopy” very comical (guess you are never too young to find joys in these words).
Playing / Recently she loves playing on the furniture. She constantly wants to be sitting either on the couch, chair or coffee table. As of late we have been removing all the cushions and building a fort type of environment for her so she can safely crawl around the furniture. She enjoys playing with her flashcards and books (always) and is recently obsessed with the Christmas ornaments.
Above is Berlin’s first time on the Merry-go-Round the other week. Its out of this world to hear my little girl saying “mama, mama” to me, still pulls at my heart strings!
Berlin’s first haircut thanks to Grandma Connie. Granted with some snacks and a little cartoon time and Berlin was an angel throughout it all.
Here’s to one of many firsts. I feel incredibly blessed to experience all the joys of motherhood, its a beautiful thing watching my little girl grow up.
I have hosted Thanksgiving for the past several years. It may just be my favorite holiday. Low stress (as far as holidays go) and just good food, family and friends-what’s not to love?!
In the past I have discarded the turkey remains without a thought of how much more I could get out of the leftovers. This year (having a toddler) I have learned the importance of bone broth and the many health benefits for both adults and children (especially babies and young toddlers). After much research, I’ve recently been buying (whew is it expensive!) bone broths from my local butcher and having Berlin drink it straight like a juice. It helps her gain weight and aids in her bone development. But now after making stock from the leftover turkey scraps I realize just how easy it is, you won’t see me buying bone broth any time soon!
1 leftover turkey carcass
1/2 cup sliced carrots
1/2 cup sliced celery
1/2 large onion
3 sprigs of thyme
3 sprigs of rosemary
Place turkey carcass and any leftover skin and bones into a large stock pot and cover fully with water
Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer on low for approx 4 hours
When cooking is complete strain all vegetables through a fine mesh strainer
You can then use the broth to cook a soup using the leftover turkey meat or store in mason jars in the freezer for future use.
Health Benefits: Fights inflammation, helps a leaky gut, helps with bone growth and repair and very important for this time of year; fights off colds and the flu.
Bone broth can also be used as a replacement for dairy in making homemade baby formula, its a great alternative to commercial formulas and extremely beneficial for those mothers unable to nurse.
After the stock was complete I carried on using the leftover turkey meat and made a delicious turkey soup using half of my homemade stock (the rest I froze to use for Berlin).
Homemade Turkey Soup
6 cups of turkey stock
2 cups of leftover turkey meat
1 cup of diced potatoes
1/2 cup of barley
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup chopped kale
1 cup chopped onion
1 sprig of rosemary
1 teaspoon thyme
salt and pepper to taste
In a medium sized frying pan sauté the onion and kale in olive oil for approx 5 minutes
In the large stock pot used for the stock, add 6 cups of the stock and bring to a boil
Once boiled, add barley and boil for 15 minutes
Add kale mixture and spices, reduce to a simmer for approx 20 minutes
Both recipes are so simple to make and utilize all the turkey leftovers without any waste, while providing an amazing amount of nutrients.
Berlin and I have been snacking on the soup all week long, we both love it.
Hope you enjoy!
Our first holiday spent in our new home.
Perfectly filled with relaxation, projects around the home and family. Berlin was beyond happy with multiple trips to the park and all the attention received by having both parents, grandparents and a puppy around doting on her.
It was a lovely week. If only it lasted longer.
Enjoying some much needed time with the family this week. Hoping you are all doing the same.
I photographed this recipe several months back but never posted as I wasn’t happy with my shots, but as I prepared my Thanksgiving menu this past weekend I remembered this tasty recipe and wanted to share with you all (regardless of my out-of-focus shots).
This recipe came from my favorite vegan blog, Oh She Glows. If you are not familiar with this blog I suggest you check it out, vegan or not. Her recipes are healthy and delicious and always simple to prepare.
This recipe is great as a side during the warmer months, but its also good as a light dessert after a heavy meal (hello Thanksgiving!). I plan on preparing this as a healthy alternative to the usual fat laden pumpkin pie. You can use seasonal fresh fruits or frozen ones (as I plan to do), either work well.
Quinoa Fruit Salad
2 cups cooked quinoa
2 cups sliced strawberries
2 cups blueberries
1 cup cherries
1/2 cup chopped almonds
For the Dressing:
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon lime juice
Mix all wet ingredients to make the dressing in a bowl.
Add cooked quinoa to a large bowl and add all chopped fruit. Top with dressing and chopped almonds. Voila!
I am so looking forward to spending the first holiday in our new home. We had a new stove delivered today, just in time for the Thanksgiving feast, couldn’t be more excited! Hope everyone is enjoying the long weekend with family and friends. Happy Holidays!
Today I am very happy to announce that I will be guest posting over at The Stork & The Beanstalk.
I discovered this amazing blog shortly after having Berlin and instantly fell in love, it’s truly one of my favorite blogs. Ashley (the incredible creator, writer, and photographer of the blog) is absolutely adorable, so very talented and always has me in stitches.
Unfortunately she just underwent an insane back surgery and is at home recovering. So please stop by her blog and give her your warm wishes-and do stay for awhile to read her beautiful posts-you will be happy you did.
Here are a few outtakes I had from the photo shoot, however please check out the real winners over at Ashley’s blog.
I did this photo shoot back in August, so my outfit is not very winter friendly (although it is still 65 degrees here!), so I apologize in advance that this outfit is not so wearable across most of the country.
However I would strongly advise buying these boots-I absolutely LOVE them, and they can be worn year round!
Thanks again to Ashley for having me over at her blog, I hope to have her grace the pages of my blog one day soon.
Its been a few weeks now since we made the big move into our new home. The dust has finally began to settle, and Berlin’s mood is at last improving. While this move was particularly hard on me (for countless reasons), I came to realize it was even harder on Berlin. Although she is still so young, its clear our move had an emotional impact on her and in turn her behavior became a challenge to both of us (considering she can’t communicate or express her feelings).
Throughout the move I learned some valuable lessons on moving with a toddler that I thought I would share. I’ll admit I didn’t consider all the ideas beforehand, but shortly into the midst of chaos I came to realize how important each of these steps were to maintain normalcy for Berlin.
First and foremost: Be sure to set up your little one’s room first. Although I was knee deep in boxes and couldn’t find the coffee grinder (horror!) nor a towel to bathe with, I made certain to set up Berlin’s room first. Mind you everything was not in its proper place (and there were blankets taped to the window in place of blinds) but all in all it resembled her room at our old place (minus the thousands of vinyl records she previously shared the room with).
Next, adhere to the regular schedule-despite the madness that is happening all hours of the day. I made it a point to keep on schedule and not disrupt her routine (too much), not allowing for any more fussiness than was already occurring. It’s important to keep nap and meal times consistent and even more important to carry on with the normal nighttime routine; bath, books, rocking or whatever it may be. I found this familiar routine really soothed Berlin and made her feel more at ease in her new room.
Have a helper-or two! I was incredibly fortunate to have my mother-in-law volunteer to fly down and assist us with the move. It was crucial having her around during that first week (did I mention Ryan flew to London literally in the middle of our move!?). Having a toddler is a full time job in itself and then complicate it with the physical exhaustion and madness of a move, and I would say its near impossible to do without someone solely focusing on the little one.
Furthermore, be sure to stop and give your little one lots of cuddles. Its easy to get carried away rushing to unpack the entire house without even a thought to eating lunch (or even going to the bathroom), but its crucial to take breaks and spend some quality time with your nugget. Although Berlin was happy playing with her Nana, I found it was important to drop everything once and while and concentrate on showering her with some mama attention. Things were already so chaotic for her, I didn’t want her to feel separated from me as well.
Lastly, be certain to get outside at least once a day. Considering your to-do list is massive, its easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of it all, but its important to take a breather and get a breath of fresh air-for everyone. On day three of being cooped up in the house, I forced myself to put it all down and take Berlin to the playground. It was refreshing not only being outside, but it was wonderful spending some much needed time with my sweet little girl.
These were invaluable tools to get me through a crazy move, what lessons have you learned from moving with a toddler (or any age for that matter)?
Kale & Quinoa Bars
1/2 cup millet flour
1 cup cooked quinoa
1 cup organic oats
1/3 cup minced kale (I used a food processor)
1/3 cup almond butter
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1/4 cup brown rice syrup
1 ripe mashed banana
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Preheat oven to 375 degrees and spray a baking dish with olive oil spray
Combine all ingredients and mix well
Pour into greased baking dish and bake for approx 20 minutes
The consistency of the bars turned out to be more like bread due to the millet flour I used (as well as the baking dish), but didn’t stop Berlin from gobbling them up. I added the kale to the recipe as an experiment since its been harder to get Berlin to eat all her veggies lately, she didn’t seem to mind it, however if I was making the bars for myself I would definitely eliminate it and add some maple syrup for more sweetness. But as is they are a perfect nutritious snack for a toddler.
Please remember to cover and refrigerate the baked bars immediately as they go bad quickly. I ended up cutting up the bars into serving sizes and freezing each individually to preserve them longer.
Adapted from here.
Sorry for the crickets around here. As I’m sure you can imagine our move has been keeping me very busy -it has been one big adventure around here, but I will save that for another post…In the midst of all this chaos our little nugget hit fifteen months, and is growing and changing on a daily basis (or so it feels), so before I forget all her monumental changes here it goes:
Growing / She seems to be growing taller, her pants are suddenly getting shorter while still being big in the waist. Her hair is growing quickly (and quite scraggly) while turning more and more blonde.
Eating / She is a BIG eater lately, however quite moody regarding food. In the early morning she rejects almost all food, except for maybe eggs. Then by the evening she will stuff her face (literally) with almost anything in her grasp. She loves sitting in the shopping cart at the grocery store, grabbing produce from the aisles and scarfing it down (she bit into a whole avocado the other day-skin and all).
Speaking / Her communication improves daily, I swear every day she learns a new word and loves to mimic everything we say. Her latest words are agua and ojos (nana was here last week teaching her Spanish) and yay. Her comprehension of language is amazing. She seems to understand everything I say and will point or look to the person or object I’m speaking of.
Learning / To stand independently, drink out of a cup (no sippy) and put on her shoes.
Mastering / Climbing stairs and playsets, opening and closing cupboards and doors and using the iPhone (sadly).
Loving / Still loves to read, wants to read the same books over and over. Fully concentrates on each page looking over the images before turning each page. Loves viewing murals/artwork, studies each design as if she was an art critic. Loves pushing around her toy box filling it up with stuff around the house as she goes.
Loathing / She still despises being in her carseat, car rides are a stressful nightmare! She intensely hates putting on a shirt, has a screaming fit when I attempt to dress her, and she hates getting her diaper changed.
Laughing / Laughs every time I turn off the car (she knows that means she will no longer have to be in her carseat). Laughs whenever she sees her cookie monster. Laughs if I stick out my tongue or say “belly.”
Playing / She still enjoys purses, kitchen tools (or anything from a cabinet) and scattering her clothes around the house. Now she also loves brushing her teeth and her hair and playing with any electronics; computer, stereo, phone…