Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Letters from Riesling

Hello Friends & Family,

Sorry for my absence.  I've just been in no mood to write.  I was cutting my first tooth and it just had me in a bit of a funk.  I feel kind of bad because my Papa came to visit and I was a little cranky.  He didn't seem to mind and knew just what I needed to cheer me up.  I think it was nice for my mom to have some extra help too.  I'm getting really big and strong and her arms get tired when she has to hold me and rock me extra on the bad days.  I wish Papa lived closer so I could see him more, but I will just have to make the most of the time I do get to spend with him.

On a brighter note, I'm discovering all kinds of new things since I learned to crawl.  There's a whole world out there that I know nothing about and I'm ready to explore!  I love chasing after that Sofee dog and grabbing her soft fur.  I also love crawling under my crib and playing hide and seek.  Moving around on my own also makes it convenient to get to my toys and all the extra stuff that I like to put in my mouth, like napkins.  Man oh man I love napkins.

Love always, 

Friday, August 17, 2012

Summer Food

Between the garden* & farmer's market^ I've been enjoying a lot of simple meals, especially for lunch. 

Exhibit A: Served with hummus, blue chips, carrot sticks*, and watermelon^ for mommy & baby swim date with a friend

1/2 can black beans, drained & rinsed
1 small red onion*, diced
grape tomatoes*, cut in quarters
1/2 cucumber^, peeled, seeded & cut into chunks
parsley*, chopped

Mix. Add juice of 1/2 lime.  Add salt, pepper, olive oil to taste

Exhibit B: Lunch at work with side of sweet potato chips & handful of almonds.

1/2 can black beans, drained & rinsed
yellow grape tomatoes*, cut into halves
1 small red onion*, diced
1/4 C. peas*

Mix. Add balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt, pepper, olive oil.

Exhibit C: Lunch with my dad. Served on the cutting board.

1 large Jersey tomato^
1 avocado
1/2 cucumber^, peeled

Slice. Add salt & pepper. Drizzle with olive oil.

It's hard to believe how quickly summer is slipping away....

Monday, August 13, 2012


“The only creatures that are evolved enough to convey pure love are dogs and infants.” 

~Johnny Depp

Saturday. August 11, 2012

Crawling. Day 2.
Riesling captures Sofee dog.

Mommy & Daddy start baby proofing....


Our Friday actually started off a little bumpy due to what we later decided was lack of caffeine and poor communication, but it ended up being a spontaneous and fun evening. 

We headed over to Tyler State Park for a little family hike.  The skies were a bit dark and cloudy but  rain wasn't forecasted for a few hours, so we decided on a short trail so Sofee could run off her leash for a bit and then we would continue on the paved path closer to the car just in case.  Crossing over the bridge we noticed the water was pretty high with a strong currant.  Thank goodness we went for the short hike because 15 minutes later we came back to this....

We had no choice but to cross.  I had Riesling in the Ergo so Jim picked up Sofee and away we went.  We watched the couple in the picture came across (carrying a stroller overhead!) when we were on the trail side.  We informed them that the water had risen significantly in only 15 minutes.  A few minutes after we were safely on the parking lot side they starting coming back across and said that the water had gotten deeper and stronger in only the few minutes since they had gone over. 

We decided wet boots were a good reason to cut our family walk short and opted for a little country drive in search of ice cream.  We came upon the strangest little area. There was a garden center, a little gym, some antiques shops, a peacock & turkey, a train ride (only running on Saturday/Sunday). It was so cute but no one was there.  Riesling had a little dinner in the empty picnic area.

 Then Jim and I enjoyed some handmade ice cream from O Wow Cow. They use local & organic ingredients and have amazing flavors.  I had lemon verbena, Jim had some kind of almond chocolate.

Then for an extra special treat we got to ride a carousel. 

To celebrate the end of the work week we had a pizza picnic in the air conditioning.  Riesling got so enthralled with a dirty greasy napkin that she decided it was time she get moving.....

Saturday, August 11, 2012


As Riesling started showing interest in pushing up to stand and wobbling around, I was encouraged by some fellow moms to get her some kind of jumperoo, exersaucer, or walker type device. 

My parenting preference is to be more engaged with her by carrying, holding, or babywearing.  We also do playtime together on the floor and she actually really likes sitting sitting in the highchair while I'm in the kitchen cooking or cleaning.  There are occasions when these scenarios just don't work, but I was still resistant to those darn jumpy things.   They are expensive, take up sooo much room and are overloaded with all kinds of crazy toys, bells, and whistles.  I could not find something that wasn't down right obnoxious. After a little internet searching I came across the go pod and decided to give it a try. 

 What a great investment it has turned out to be.  It folds up into a little bag like a camp chair, so you can bring it along 'just in case.'   There are little tabs to hang toys.  Riesling prefers just one or two toys at a time and spend more time chewing on the tabs than anything.  It adjusts to four heights for the growing baby and has a mat attached to the bottom so it's perfect for outdoors.  We put ours to use several times already...

Riesling chilling at the fondue bridal shower far away from all the sizzling hot cheese.  

Hanging on the deck on our pseudo camping trip with the Crookers last weekend. 

 I really can't believe it's not a more popular baby item. Everyone that see our happy lil gal hanging in her little pod loves it.  I guess it's the bells and whistles that sell.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Meal Planning for the Veggie Lover

Last weekend we were away with our friends, Jon & Lorraine.  During the week prior Lorraine and I were discussing what we needed to bring and trying to coordinate meals.  It brought up the inevitable question people ask vegetarians, "What do you eat?"  It's a valid question, especially when we are so programed to think of meat as our main dish and veggies as a side item. I remember thinking the same thing when Jim made his declaration last summer.  Although a bit challenging at first, it's not nearly as scary as it sounds.  In fact I rarely even think about incorporating meat into our weekly meal planning now. 

I came across this post on meal planning on No Meat Athlete and thought it had some helpful tips. When I'm trying to come up with ideas I often start with a few high protein sources (quinoa, beans/lentils, eggs) and branch off from there.  Just hit the old internet and search "quinoa recipes" and you'll be pleasantly surprised at the variety of options.   Lately I've been starting with what's available from the garden.  There is nothing like garden fresh veggies!!!  Limiting animal based proteins has been such a positive change in our life.  It forced me to be creative, inspired and innovative with my cooking.   Give it a try.  Start with just one day a week......

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Intimacy after a baby

Just a few thoughts.  Nothing too detailed.  Just thought it was best to be straightforward about the content of this post.  My dad does read my blog after all..... 
  • Whoever said a woman is ready for sex 6 weeks after delivery was obviously a man.  Every woman I've talked to about this is not ready mentally, physically, or emotionally for this type of intimacy.  Husbands circle the day on their mental calendar and patiently wait like something magically is going to happen on that day. I think it was the only time Jim knew exactly how old Riesling was. 
  • There always seems to be a million other things that need done and it's usually pretty basic things like eating or bathing.  I like how my OB phrased it, "Do you want to be put on birth control pills or just use the exhaustion method?"
  • There are, of course, some nights where you are super accomplished and have all the dishes down, laundry put away, and dog walked all before 10pm and still have a little spark of energy left.  That is of course before you step in a huge, disgusting pile of dog barf that requires 25 minutes to clean up. Spark smoldered.
  • I know it's hard to resist and seems unfair, but the big breastfeeding boobs are off limits.  It is distracting.  I'm either reminded of the baby or worried that milk is going to squirt you in the eye. 
  • Somehow babies just seem to wake up out of the deepest sleep at the exact moment one or both of you are about to take off your pants.  It's as if they have a little radar....WARNING. WARNING.  Potential sibling alert!! 

In all seriousness, finding the time & energy to be just husband and wife can be hard.  Not to mention that the intense love you feel for a newborn can really consume you emotionally.  There are lots of articles in magazines and across the web about how to keep the fire burning so to speak.  For us, keeping the communication open really helps. Reminding one another of how much you love them, telling them how great of a job they are doing as a parent, and even calmly expressing frustration about the difficulty of the new circumstances.  Jim and I are also big fans of the 5 minute massage exchange and general snuggling time, even if that involves Riesling cuddled up between us.  I know it will get easier as she gets older (right?!) but some nights you have to wonder....