Thursday, May 31, 2012


I'm been working on a post about breastfeeding for months and months but just never seem to finish it.  It's been in the media so much lately....there was of course the controversial cover of TIME magazine and just today I spotted this article about military moms.  Get over it people!  They are just breast!  Breast that happen to be providing nourishment to a child. 

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Working Mom

I went back to work yesterday.....

I know I needed to go back to work.  It's good for me to use my skills, share my knowledge, and help body's heal.  It's good for me to spend time with adults.  It's good for Riesling to spend time with other people and gain some independence. 

I'm really fortunate to only be going back to work part-time.  I even bring Riesling to the office with me for part of the time.  We found a very qualified nanny to watch her two evenings a week in our home.  She's in a familiar environment and gets to stick to her evening routine.  I can't really complain about any of the circumstances surrounding the event.  But, it was still a strange thing and requires a bit of a transition. 

She's been my little side kick for the last 3 months.  I just felt so empty without her.  My arms so light and so free.  Which also meant that they were refreshed and filled with extra excitement to snuggle up with her as soon as I got home...

house tour
garden/flower beds
toy box before/after
nursery pics

Friday, May 25, 2012

Newborn necessities

A close friend is due to have her first baby in just a few weeks.  As she finishing her nursery and getting things set for Baby's arrival, she asked me what essential items she would need for those first hectic weeks.  It's only been three months but it seems like Riesling has been around forever!  I do remember it was overwhelming trying to feel prepared in those weeks before she was born.  What did I absolutely need those first couple of weeks?  Everything changes so quickly, I had to rack my brain to think about what life was like back then.  I thought I would compile a list before it completely escapes my brain altogether.

Diapers & wipes.   And lots of them!  Newborns poop and pee sooo much!  I preferred the sensitive wipes and chlorine free diapers to cut down on the diaper rash, but we did use the supply of Pampers Swaddlers from the hospital.

Swaddling blankets.  I received some handmade blankets that were a little wider and longer and made of a warm flannel and were perfect for swaddling my winter baby.  If you're having a summer baby the muslin blankets are great. Make sure your swaddle is nice and tight.

Feeding pillow.  I used a Boppy but I've heard the Breastfriend is also really great.  Even if you're not breastfeeding the support will make it more comfortable for mom and baby.  If you're doing formula I'm sure there are lots of essentials in terms of bottle and sterilizing equipment, but I'm just not familiar with it.

Onesies & sleepgowns.  Don't bother with too many clothes.  Riesling lived in a white onesie (the ones with mitten cuffs) for weeks.  I also liked the sleep gowns because there are no buttons or snaps in the middle of the night.  For trips to the doctors office have a few pairs of  pajamas on hand.

Burp clothes.  Pretty self explanatory.  You'll be surprised how many you go through in one day.

Bath time basics.  Hooded towels, wash cloths, and hypoallergenic soap & lotion.  We also had a baby bath tub that was given to us second hand but I know a lot of people just use the sink, not to mention you're restricted to sponge baths until the umbilical cord falls off. 

Swing or bouncing chair.  I borrowed a bouncing chair which I kept upstairs and put Riese in when I was in the shower (actually in the bathroom with me so I could see her like a psycho new mom) and bought a portable swing that we put in the kitchen to keep her occupied while I cooked or made a cup of coffee.  Basically you need to put Baby down at some point. 

Crib, bassinet, or pack n play.  It's pretty much whatever works for you.  We have the crib set up but she has yet to sleep in beyond an afternoon nap.  We've have her in a pack n play  next to our bed and it seems to work well for everyone.  

Sling or wrap.  Babywearing is amazing!  I have a MOBY which is great for computer work, light house work, or lounging with baby at your chest.  She really prefers the Ergo now which is great for walks and bigger projects but not great for sitting around in just for comfort reason for you not the baby. 

I guess that seems like a long list but when you look at all the crap you feel the need to register for it's really not that bad.  I've made a million trips to Babies R Us and Target for stuff over the past three months and I'm sure every new mom does too.  There's just stuff you discover you want or need based on the way you develop into parenting, stuff you never thought of, stuff you were avoiding buying because it's expensive and you hope you won't need it.  Babies need stuff.  Just try to keep it simple and borrow what you can.

Letters from Riesling

Hello Friends & Family!

I have been such a busy girl lately!  It's seems like everyday there is something new to discover.  I love grabbing at everything to feel the texture and shape and lots of my toys even make fun noises.  Today I rolled over for the first time from my belly to my back.  I did it three times total.  Boy was that a lot of work.  I might just stick to my belly from now on, or maybe I'll finally figure out how to move forward so I can get those toys just out of reach.  I'm also becoming quite the chatter box.  I just love to jabber on about my day or what's going on around me.  Even if the topic is boring everyone seems so interested, so I just keep talking.  I've also been enjoying lots of time outside walking that furry monster my parents call Sofee dog and today I got to pick peas from the garden with my daddy.  I had so much fun!  I hope you are enjoying a beautiful spring too.

Love always, 

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Three months

I can't believe our little Riesling is 3 months old. At the same time I can't believe it's only been 3 months because it feels like I've loved her forever. 

 Since Daddy is a big softie,  he decided she needed a 3 month birthday present while we were at Ikea yesterday.  He picked out the vegetable basket....

 And she loves it....

Let's hope she loves her real veggies when that time comes because Daddy has a garden full of peas, carrots, & beets with her name all over them.


Monday, May 21, 2012


“Those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind.” 

~Bernard M. Baruch

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Tracey's Taco Dip

I don't actually know Tracey but I do that her taco dip is AWESOME!  I snagged the recipe off of my dearest college friend, Tricia, and have been making it for parties and gatherings ever since.  It's super unhealthy,  so it's best saved for special occasions. 

Taco Dip
2- blocks cream cheese, softened
1- 8oz sour cream
2-packets taco seasoning
1 lb ground beef or turkey
shredded cheese
diced tomato
green onion, black olive, or additional taco toppings of your choice

Brown ground beef or turkey.  Add 1 packet of taco seasoning according to directions.  Let cool.  Mix cream cheese, sour cream, and 1 packet of taco seasoning until well blended.  Spread mixture evenly over serving platter (12-14 inches in diameter).  Top with cooled beef/turkey, then shredded cheese.  Add diced tomatoes and toppings of your choice.  Serve with tortilla chips. 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Closet crisis

I dropped down to my pre pregnancy weight pretty quickly which certainly makes me happy.   But I'm definitely not even close to being back to my pre pregnancy shape, and combined with the warmer weather it is providing some wardrobe issues. 

My boobs are huge which makes most of my shirts fit weird and I need to get back into a workout routine, get a butt back and flatten this jelly belly again to please the bottoms half of my closet.  I also realize that much of what I use to wear is either not practical, not appropriate for the activities associated with motherhood, or not nursing friendly. 

So I'm on a mission to update my closet without breaking the bank.  I feel like I need to chose each item carefully and try to mix new stuff in with the old stuff that still works.  I also need to shop quickly because we all know time is a precious gift these days.  So help me out fellow moms....

What are your favorite items for day to day? 
What stores are your favorite?
What are the things in your closet you couldn't live without?

Monday, May 14, 2012


“For the hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world.” 

~ William Ross Wallace

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Letters from Riesling

 A Mother's Day edition....

Dear Mommy,

Happy first Mother's Day! Thank you so much for all your hard work bringing me into the world.  I so appreciate all the effort you put into making me happy and healthy.  I know we will have a special relationship for many years to come.  I love you!


Friday, May 11, 2012


I have a few mommy related posts that I started and never got around to completing.  With Mother's Day approaching I thought this would be the perfect time to bombard the blog with chatter about boobies, poop, and all things baby....

Shall we start with poop?

I was back and forth about cloth diapering when I was pregnant.  After some research and speaking to a few mom's who were doing it I decided with some hesitation to go for it. 

If it's something you're considering, especially as a first time mom, I recommend giving yourself at least 2 weeks to get adjusted to motherhood, sleep deprivation, and breastfeeding before adding in the stress of keeping up with laundry.  I started when Riesling was about 4 weeks.  I decided to get the all-in-one diapers that adjust as the baby grows (7-35lbs), rather than brands that offer a different one for each weight/size category.  Although they say you can start at 7lbs a lot of websites and blogs I read recommended waiting until 10lbs for a better fit. Riese weighted it at 8lbs at birth and hit the 10lb marked really quickly but I still decided to wait and make sure I had a handle on motherhood,  plus newborns go through a million diapers a day at first.   Either way waiting 4 weeks seem to work best for us. 

We use two varieties of bumGenius. I have some of the 4.0 one size, which are a outer shell which you stuff with a fleece type liner as well as some Elemental,  they are all sewn together so there's no stuffing involved.  I actually think I like the ones you stuff better.  The Elemental are REALLY thick and seem to take forever to dry (2 dryer cycles).  I usually hang them to dry overnight on a clothesline Jim constructed in our basement laundry room then but them in the dryer for one cycle the following morning.  With the others I can just put the fleece inserts in the dryer and hang the outer diaper covering and they dry really easily and much faster.  I also feel like poop gets stuck in the folds of the Elemental right now since i have it adjusted to the smaller size which makes rinsing a little bit of a pain. 

 Jim installed a diaper sprayer, which I still can't decide if it makes a difference at this stage.  I know a lot of moms don't spray them when exclusively breastfeeding because the poop is 100% water soluble.  I have a medium size trash can next to the toilet in our second bathroom and spray out the super poopy ones once a day, usually after Jim gets home from work and put the days worth of diapers in a wet bag in the laundry room (unless it's the night I'm going to wash diapers in which case they are rinsed and right into the washer).  It take less than 5 minutes.  I may have to develop a new system once we start solid food (and know the sprayer will be helpful then!) but for now this system works for us.  To control any odor (which I haven't actually noticed as a problem) I put a rag with a few drops of essential oil (lemon, tangerine,etc) on it and hang it over the edge of the trashcan.

I have about 23 diapers and wash a load about every other day. I basically following the care instructions that came with the diaper.  I run a cold rinse only cycle first, followed by a hot heavy duty/deep clean cycle.  I use Charlies Soap that I get off and put any that have stains out in the direct sunlight when wet and it bleaches out the's actually pretty amazing.  After they are dry I stuff the ones that need it ahead of time and organize them all in the top drawer of Riesling's dresser which is also her changing table. 

For day to day outings I carry a medium size wet bag in the diaper bag for any soiled diapers and just take along 2-3 diapers depending on how long we plan to be out and about.  They do take up more room in the diaper bag which is sometimes annoying.

When we traveled to Charleston we switched back to disposable (chlorine free) diapers.  This is when I realized how much we really loved the cloth diapers.  Riesling had at this point never had a "blow out" in one of the cloth diapers.  With those stupid disposables we had at least one poop explosion incident a day.  She did have her first blow out in the cloth diaper last week, but I adjusted the size to make it longer and we've had no problems since.

I'll admit it's not for everyone. The two biggest things I hear from other moms are:  It's gross/they hate dealing with poop or the smell; it's just one more thing to add to their 'To Do' list.  Personally I don't really mind poop, blood, etc. Not that I exactly like it but it doesn't really bother me.  And yes, I'll agree, it's just one more thing to do but once you have a system down it's not so bad.  I can see it being a bigger problem for moms who are at work all day, especially if your kiddos are in daycare vs. a relative watching them at home who might be able to throw a load of laundry in for you now and again.

Other things to consider:

Cloth diapers are a big initial investment but good quality ones will last for years and through several kids.  That was a big factor for Jim and I because we plan to have at least one more little Robinson.

I view it as eco-friendly investment as well but there are those out there that say the extra water usage cancels out any benefit of producing less trash.  I don't know that I agree completely but extra water usage is a valid point.  We have a high efficient washer and I try to air dry as much as possible to save on electricity but our water bill has increased slightly.  I also think we just do more laundry in general with the arrival of Miss Riesling due to burb cloths and changing her cloths (and sometimes mine!) due to slober and spit up. 

All in all, we LOVE them! I'll continue to use chlorine free disposables when we travel but otherwise I couldn't imagine switching back. If you're considering making the switch and have any specific questions, let me know. 

And a couple of good websites:
Jillians Drawers
Cloth Diapers Made Easy 


Because I'm a mom

Last night I was laying on the edge of the bed gently rocking Riese while she was in her pack n play.  Apparently I was also sleeping.  After Jim gently woke me, he asked with bewilderment...."are you sleeping and rocking her at the same time?  How do you do that?"  To which I replied, "I don't know.  I'm a mom."

It's the truth though.  It's like some kind of super power you develop the minute that little person enters your world.  There's really no better explanation for the things we do as mothers.....

Why do I have a gentle sway while standing in line at the grocery store, even if I all alone?
Because I'm a mom. 

How can I be fully functioning on 3 hours of sleep?
Because I'm a mom. 

Why can I do almost anything with only one hand?
Because I'm a mom.

How do I know the difference between tired cry and hungry cry?
Because I'm a mom.

Why I am I bouncing on a physioball with a baby strapped to my chest while typing?
You get the idea....

I'm a Mom
And I love every minute of it!!

Monday, May 7, 2012


"One generation plants the trees; another gets the shade."

~Chinese Proverb

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Kale Salad

Thanks to Jim's planning and ambition we have been enjoying fresh lettuce from our garden for several weeks now.  We have a pretty good variety including red leaf lettuce, romaine, four seasons lettuce, arugula, spinach, and two types of kale.  It's pretty amazing, actually.

Typically we roast kale or use it in a soup but while in Charleston we had a really amazing kale caesar salad and decided to recreated it at home. 

The key really is to use dinosaur kale and a good quality caesar dressing (or better yet make your own!) 

Thursday, May 3, 2012


While I'm not a fan of fake meats for vegetarian meals, I have been experimenting with tofu a little bit.  We probably have it once or twice a month.

An easy way for starters (and the way I started) is a stir fry version: slice firm or extra firm tofu into cubes, marinate in soy sauce for 5-10 minutes, saute in grapeseed oil until both sides are brown and crispy, then toss with veggies and rice.

Last week I got adventurous and made a version of this recipe.  It was a bit time consuming for some reason, maybe it was all the prep work.  But, it did turn out really good and was a new and exciting flavor for us.  We paired it with a heaping pile of roasted kale.  YUM!   The potatoes were also great as leftovers, although I personally don't think tofu reheats well.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Wedding Season

Riesling survived her second wedding!  Jim's cousin got married last weekend.  Thankfully it was local so there wasn't extensive travel or overnight planning involved.  She wore the same adorable dress as the rehearsal dinner in Charleston, which barely fit her this time around.  It's AMAZING how much babes can grow in a matter of days.

My favorite family picture so far.....