kay. so top baby blogs reset its rankings today, and i'm about to beg for your votes. ready? please please PLEASE click the top baby blogs button in the left sidebar to vote for me! after you click it, there will be a screen that pops up and you have to click the link on that as well. that's it! just two clicks and i get a vote! i'm not going to pretend that this blogging network means nothing to me. i get the majority of my site traffic via this network. i have also met some AMAZING and supportive ladies through the site. the friendships i have made and the advice i have gotten mean so much to me. help a sista out! after this post there will be no more begging for votes until the next reset in 3 months. no putting the top baby blogs link badge at the bottom of every post. no mentioning TBB unless its important to a post. you have my word! help me out just this once (and then again in 3 months)! THANK YOU SO MUCH! (you can also click the banner just below.)
and now back to our regularly scheduled programming.
after seeking out advice here, on facebook and on twitter we decided to introduce a sippy cup into sylvie's routine. it won't replace her bottles just yet, but she's taken to it really well! for now i'm putting only water in it. i think i'll give her the weekend to get used to it and then try adding some formula on monday. THANK YOU to everyone who gave me advice on the matter!
in other news, i'm sure you noticed that things look a little different around here. i made a new banner and tweaked the colors while sylvie napped today. i like it much better! how about you? i just found the old color scheme and banner to be a little too aggressive, if that makes sense. i mean, i want a blog that gets your attention not smacks you over the head. so i dropped the carnival colors in favor of something more subdued, more me. any feedback is always appreciated!
on that note, i hope you all have a fantastic weekend! thank you for visiting and voting (or not)!!
his is a dish i made for my parents and myself for dinner sunday night. i think this recipe could use a few improvements, but i'm going to post it anyway. next time i think i will try adding some saffron or crushed tomatoes and more garlic.
MUSSELS WITH WHITE WINE
4lbs of mussels
1/3 cup of flour or cornmeal
3 Tablespoons butter
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 large leeks, chopped
2 shallots, chopped
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 and 1/2 cups dry white wine, such as sauvignon blanc or pinot gris (grigio)
kosher salt and pepper to taste
1. place the mussels in a large bowl, cover with the cold water and flour/cornmeal. soak for at least 30 minutes (an hour is better) so they can release their grit. discard any open shells, as this indicates a dead mussel. if your mussels have beards, go ahead and debeard them after they finish soaking. there is a good tutorial on that here.
2. heat the butter and olive oil in a large stock pot over medium heat. add the leeks and cook until tender and somewhat translucent, about 7-10 minutes. add the shallots and the garlic and cook until tender, another 3-5 minutes.
3. add all of your wine and allow it to come to a simmer. add all of the mussels and cover. note: the cooking liquid will not be enough to cover the mussels. you are actually using the liquid to steam them, not simmer them. cook for about 8-10 minutes or until the shells open. as soon as the shells open, the mussels are done.
4. serve the mussels in a shallow bowl with some of the cooking liquid. i grilled some sourdough bread to accompany them.
on a personal note, i need some mama advice. over the last few days it's as if sylvie has forgotten how to use a bottle. every time we offer it she coughs and spits it all out. i don't think it is a nipple issue. we have been using the same bottles/nipples for months now and she's never had a problem. they have 3 flow speeds built in and we've tried them all. do you mamas out there have any advice for me? have any of you experienced this? is it time to start the transition to a sippy cup? i would REALLY appreciate any and all advice. she takes barely 3 six ounce bottles a day (down from 5 or 6). i'm really worried about this. THANK YOU for your help!
EDIT: also, THANK YOU for all of your comments on my lurker post the other day. it was such a joy to "meet" some of my readers!
you are 6 months old today. today we celebrate you and half of a year as a family of three. i cannot believe all that you have learned this month! you have taken so well to solid foods and will eat just about anything. your favorites are parsnips, pot roast, and curried peas. mealtimes are so much more fun now that you sit in your highchair and eat with us!
speaking of your highchair, you LOVE to sit up and be a part of everything going on around you. it doesn't matter if you're tired or cranky. if we put you up at adult eye level you will content yourself for a long time. it's gotten so much easier to eat at restaurants!
you are so happy all day long now. entertaining you has become so much easier. you love rolling around on the floor and playing independently and are beginning to scoot toward things you want. tummy time has finally become an activity you enjoy now that you can get your knees up under you. you are this close to being able to push up with your hands. i cannot wait until you start crawling, though i will probably eat those words later!
the only time you are not content is bedtime. some nights it still takes a long time and a lot of crying to get you down to sleep. naps, however, are so much easier. you don't fight them tooth and nail anymore. what used to be 30 minutes of crying before EVERY. SINGLE. NAP. has become a minute or two of quiet fussing. it's a huge difference from even a few weeks ago! you easily fall asleep on planes, in cars, and in restaurants again. it's such a relief! thanks for this, baby girl.
guess what? you said your first word this month! you've said mama twice so far and it instantly turned me to goo. you are so close to saying dada as well. that first da is easy for you. we're just waiting for the second one to follow it. i know you are just mimicking and don't yet associate these words with us, but i don't care! you are so unbelievably vocal all day long. you will chat with and smile at almost anyone. it is so much fun to watch.
you blow me away everyday with what you're learning to do. i love watching you grow, learn, and play. i know it will only keep getting better and more fun! you are the best thing i have ever done, and i can't imagine our lives without you. we love you so very much, baby girl. you are our world and we wouldn't have it any other way.
p.s. i made this little video in celebration of your half birthday!
the amount of page views i receive per day is sorely disproportionate to the number of comments i receive. i know i have some lurkers skulking about out there! introduce yourself! who are you? do you have a blog? what are you into? why do you visit this site? i share a lot about me. now i want to learn about you!
s you read this, sylvie and i are up in the air, on our way to pennsylvania! i'm so excited to spend the next week surrounded by so many people i love. i will do my very best to keep posting regular during my trip. as you may or may not have noticed, i am continuing to tweak small elements of the blog. i'm still settling in and getting used to my new home on the internet. thank you so much for bearing with me and for continuing to read!
did you notice the sweet hand drawn letter beginning this post? i've drawn, scanned and colored each letter of the alphabet. my plan is to start each post here with one of these letters. this is the project i referred to in yesterday's post. i hope you like it. i think it looks pretty nifty. if any other bloggers out there are interested in something similar for your posts, please let me know! i'd be happy to draw up some custom letters for you to use! email me at firstname.lastname@example.org (there is an email button in my sidebar) to work out the details.
i thought i would take this opportunity to write about traveling with a baby. i'm not an expert by any means, but this flight is sylvie's 5th time on an airplane. my wee traveller! i definitely have a small list of essentials i bring with me on the plane.
1. an oversized lightweight scarf. you can use it as a blanket for your baby and a pillow for under your head or elbow. also, if your kid is a nap-fighter like mine, you can use it to cover their face and block out stimuli as you attempt to wrangle them to sleep.
2. an empty thermos. obviously, you can't take a full one through security. once i'm through the checkpoint, however, i hightail it to a coffee shop and fill it with hot water. that way the water for her bottles stays warm for the duration of the flight.
3. pre-portioned formula. i have these small containers that came with my breast pump (kind of ironic that i use them for formula now) that perfectly hold 6-8 scoops of her powdered formula. it makes juggling a baby while making a bottle much easier.
4. a wrap or carrier of some kind. i always wear sylvie on the plane. when she was younger she used to sleep in the wrap as soon as she got snuggled in. those were the days! now i use it to keep my hands free so i can wheel my carry on around easily. she generally stays content in the wrap. i used to use the baby bjorn or maya for this, but she isn't that comfortable in those anymore. now i use an ergo (worn on the front of course) and it works great! i love that i can sit down with it on easily.
5. small toys and a lightweight blanket. i always pack a few of sylvie's smaller favorites in the carry on along with a thin (so it folds up to a small size) blanket. this way i can let her spread out on the floor and let her get some of her energy out before the flight.
6. a laptop with a cartoon dvd inside. if all else fails, sylvie will usually sit still and be quiet for the animaniacs. it's a total parenting fail, but it works!
7. plenty of pacifiers. sylvie is a total paci baby. i rely on them to get her through the pressure changes that occur during take-off and landing.
there you have it! is there is anything i've missed that you swear by? let me know!
here is a quick sneak peek of some hand typography stuff i'm working on for this blog.
i consider myself a fairly computer savvy person, but i don't think i will ever move away from doing the bulk of my design work by hand. i do, however, like to use the computer to make small tweaks. take my header, for example. it's entirely hand drawn, but i took it into photoshop and bumped up the blacks and made a few small changes to keep everything a little more polished. drawing letters has always been a passion of mine. i'm so excited to finish these up today and get them scanned in. i'm turning them into a blog element, which i think could be really interesting.
i have a to-do list that's about a thousand miles long today. first up, a trip to target for a few jars of baby food for our flight tomorrow and some new pacifiers. (i'm proud to say that these few jars of food will be the first i have bought for sylvie. i've made every single meal for her up until now. these are just to tie us over until i can make a few batches of food at my parents' house.) from there it's all laundry and packing, cooking and drawing for the rest of the day. whew! wish me luck!
today was one of those blah days. sylvie just didn't want to nap, no matter how hard i tried. she wasn't content being awake either. like any mom, i use her naps to get things done around the house, work on illustration stuff, make her food, etcetera. i didn't get any of those things done today, which makes me kind of anxious. my daughter is in christmas pajamas in february! i'd say it's about time to get some laundry done!
yep, those are reindeer and snowflakes. oh well. there's always tomorrow!
i am so looking forward to next week. sylvie and i are leaving on friday for eight days in pennsylvania. i'm beyond excited to spend some quality time with my family and friends! however, i know i will miss travis something fierce. he is incredibly busy right now with his last semester of graduate school, thesis work and studying for his certified sommelier exam. february and march are going to be a crazy jumble of days for us! in the words of kurt vonnegut jr., so it goes. at least i have sylvie's smiley little face to get me through the tough days, even if playing with her means the laundry keeps piling up.