Sunday, January 29, 2012

Newborn Necessities

Having had a newborn for just over 8 weeks now (how did that happen so quickly?!?!), I have discovered a few things that I would not have survived without!  This is mostly for my own personal reference for when I have another baby, but maybe someone out there might find this useful!


We use an iPhone app called Baby Connect to track Sawyer's feedings, diapers, weight, length, shots, etc...This app is AMAZING!  If it weren't for this I would have know idea when and how much Sawyer was eating...I have zero memory!  There are also tons of other things you can track that I don't use it for such as activity, sleep, drop off & pick up times.  The best part is that the app syncs between my phone and Barry's.  So, whenever I put a feeding or diaper or whatever in, Barry gets a notification on his phone too.  It's very helpful and well worth the $5!




The Mama Roo Swing has also been a life saver.  Sawyer will nap for hours in it.  I realize that she looks very uncomfortable...but we are going on 2 hours of this current nap.  It did not come with the fuzzy insert, but she isn't so into the swing without it so I keep it in there.  And, it is very easy to wash - if a diaper explosion were to occur in the swing...hypothetically speaking of course...


We love our video monitor.  We put Sawyer to bed between 8-9 every night with the hopes of getting some things done in the house and spending some time together, but we spend a lot of that time watching her on the monitor!



A good diaper bag is a must have.  As soon as I found out I was pregnant, I decided that I wanted a Petunia Pickle Bottom Bag.  I love that it can be carried on your shoulder, or as a backpack - which is super convenient when I am trying to juggle a car seat and anything else in the other hand.  And, a built in changing bad is really convenient as well.  This is not the pattern I have, but you get the idea!






Since we can't put blankets in Sawyer's crib with her, and she refuses to be swaddled because she sleeps like this...yes, she fell asleep on her changing pad while I was changing her diaper.






Hands over her head, all the time.  So we use these sleep sacks to keep her warm.




And her bath chair.  She loves taking a bath, and I think it is because of this chair.  We put it in the sink and let the warm water run down her back.  Its was the perfect size for her when we first brought her home and we should be able to continue to use it for a while too.  This is actually Cora's, but we have one pretty similar...it works great in the actual bath tub too.




She loves the bath, but the getting out part...not so much...till we wrap her up in her hoodie towel...another must!




Breast feeding necessities - if this topic bothers you - stop reading now!  This might be too much information, but I wish I would have known about these things sooner, so maybe this will help someone out.  Breast feeding was really difficult for us at first, painful for me and frustrating for Sawyer - these Lansinoh Soothies kept me sane.  


And, I will be going back to work in a few short weeks and would like to continue to breast feed Sawyer as long as possible so I will have to pump.  I don't have a hands free pump, but turns out there are about ten million other things I would rather be doing with my hands.  So I got this Hand Free Pumping Bra.  I will spare you the picture, you can go to the website if you want to see!  It allows me to be get caught up on emails on whatnot rather that just sitting there.


Sawyer is such an easy going baby; she is always smiling and will sleep anywhere...(I didn't love the Boppy for breastfeeding, but its great now that she is big enough to do this!)



We feel very blessed to have such a happy baby, but all these things have definitely made the experience go even more smoothly!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Corn, Bacon, Potato Chowder

This is my 100th post!  Who knew I would actually stick with this??  Being pregnant, and now having Sawyer has been pretty good motivation to keep up I guess.

I made this soup last week when it was "cold" - compared to the 75 degree weekend we just had!  This was another Pinterest find that turned out really good, originally a weight watchers recipe.  I already want to make it again.

I love potato soup and am a pretty big fan of corn.  But, I HATE bacon, weird, I know.  I tried this recipe despite that - only because it was Canadian bacon and I was feeling adventurous.  I think this would also be really good with shredded chicken or left over carved ham.  I never know what to do with left over ham after the holidays - this would be perfect!

I was pretty curious how this would turn out since there was no cream in this chowder, but you use the potato to thicken the soup and it worked out great.

You will need:

1 medium sized baking potato
1 large shallot, diced (1/2 large onion would work too)
1-2 stalks of celery, diced (I only used one because I am not a huge fan, but you couldn't taste it)
1 red bell pepper, diced
4 oz (about 4 slices) uncooked Canadian bacon
2 cups of frozen corn (the original recipe called for corn shucked off the cob - I'm far too lazy for that)
Olive oil
2 cups skim milk
Pepper


Start by poking some holes in your potato and place in the microwave for about 8 minutes.  Meanwhile, get everything chopped.


Shallot...




Celery...




Bell Pepper...




Canadian bacon...




Once potato is done, remove from the microwave, cool enough to touch it, remove skin and mash with a fork.






In a large sauce pan, combine shallots, celery, bell pepper and corn.  Saute for about 5 minutes or so in olive oil.




Add bacon and milk.



Add mashed potato and mix well.  Season with pepper to taste.  The original recipe also called for hot pepper sauce, something like tabasco I am assuming, but since I don't do spicy I left it out!




Cover and simmer for 10 minutes or so.  Make sure it doesn't boil - don't want to burn the milk - it won't be pleasant!


And, a picture of Sawyer hanging out in her car seat.  Just because.


ENJOY!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Boening Genes

Barry and I went to his parents' house yesterday so Barry could go hunting with his dad and Sawyer and I could hang out with her grandma, Aunt Tammy and Brody & Blake.  Barry's mom got out his baby pictures and they look awfully familiar!

Barry and his cousin BJ always joke that their kids would be lucky to get the Boening genes.  I think Sawyer got them!  How much does she look like her daddy?!?





It's crazy!  And just another picture because I think it's sweet...they love each other!!


Ok, one more...Sawyer is full of smiles today!  She thinks its hilarious when I kiss her nose...smiles every time, so of course I do it all the time!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Chicken Spinach Pasta Bake

I know it may seem like I have forgotten how to cook, and blog anything that is not baby related for that matter.  But, after 6 weeks of cooking hiatus I have found my way back to the kitchen!  This is still kind of baby related though, so I hope you don't mind cute baby pics!  I made this on Monday to take over to our friends on Tuesday for dinner. They just had twins so cooking dinner is not high on their list! Remember this?
14 and 19 weeks pregnant
27 and 32 Weeks pregnant. We are still waiting on Kristina's baby Caroline to join us...soon!
Now this!!
Beckham, Lleyton (I think!) & Sawyer


Three very hungry babies unwilling to cooperate with our photo shoot.  The boys are exactly three weeks younger than Sawyer...amazing what a difference that and a couple pounds makes!  On to the recipe...

I found this one on Pinterest (my new obsession - especially when I am up in the middle of the night feeding Sawyer).  I didn't change too much with it, just a couple tweaks.  Here is the link to the original recipe... from my Recipe Board on Pinterest.

Gather your ingredients:

1 medium sized onion, chopped
olive oil
8 oz whole wheat pasta (I used Barilla Plus bow tie - high in omega 3s and protein - good for the babies!)
3 medium/large chicken breasts
1 can Italian style diced tomatoes
8 oz chive and onion cream cheese
10 box of frozen spinach, thawed
1/2 tsp pepper
1 1/2 cup low fat mozzarella cheese


Preheat your oven to 375.  Place chopped onion in 9x13 casserole dish, drizzle with olive oil.  Bake for 15 minutes.




Meanwhile, boil pasta until tender.




I also boiled my chicken, but you could use precooked or rotisserie chicken to save some time if you want. To shred my chicken I used my mixer - my sister told me about this and it's AMAZING!  Such a time saver!  The chicken went from this...


Those are whole chicken breasts if you can't tell...
To this...in 30 seconds...


I should have made a New Year's resolution to improve my food photography.  Maybe next year.

Once the onions are done, transfer them to a large mixing bowl.


Add the tomatoes, cream cheese, pasta, spinach, and chicken.






Mix together.


Transfer back to casserole dish.


Top with mozzarella cheese.

Don't mind the shadow of my hands...
Bake at 375 for 30 minutes, covered.  Uncover and bake for 10-15 more minutes.

And my hands again...geeze.
I made this on Monday and didn't bake it until Tuesday - it worked.  So it is a great "make-ahead" recipe.  It was also good for lunch the next day!

ENJOY!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

1 Month

As cliche as it sounds, I really can't believe Sawyer has already been with us for a month!


She has already changed so much and is really starting to show her personality.


She loves to take baths...I think.  She yawns and nods off during them so I guess she isn't that bothered!


She likes lights. She stares at lamps, windows, ceiling fans...and kind of light really.


She is also starting to like her crib. We have started putting her down in there at night then bringing her into our room when she wakes up...hopefully around midnight.  She has even taken a few naps in there, but she much prefers to nap in her swing or bouncy seat.


She is still waking every 3-4 hours at night to eat, but she is pretty good about going right back to sleep in her bassinet.


She doesn't really love tummy time. I think if it were up to her she would just do it on her daddy's chest. When I put her on the floor to do it, she just stares at me or falls asleep.  And she still has crazy hair...


She also doesn't like to be cold or hungry...who does?!? But, that is really the only time she cries. Or if she wants to be held. She loves to snuggle.


She weighs right about seven pounds. She is still wearing all newborn clothes, a lot of which are still big on her, and newborn diapers - but we don't have to fold them over anymore!


Although the sleeplessness and adjustments of having a newborn have been a challenge at times, I wouldn't change it for the world.  I always heard people say the love you have for your kids is something that you can't understand until you have your own - I get it now.  We love her so much!  And she loves us too...