Friday, November 30, 2012

9 months

I had Riesling in for her 9 month check up earlier this week.  She weighed in at a whooping 22 lbs 7 oz (95 percentile) and 30 inches long (95+ percentile).  I'm getting some serious guns lugging her butt around! She was given a perfect bill of health and even got her finger pricked for blood (for iron and lead levels) without a whimper.

We've reached a new kind of exhaustion.  It's not so much lack of sleep now, just lack of energy to keep up with her.  I can barely guzzle down a cup of coffee without her getting into something.  Somehow strapping her into the highchair or putting her in the pack n play doesn't completely contain her.  She's just really curious about EVERYTHING (including the safety straps of the highchair and how far she can reach out of the pack n play). 

When she gets her mind set on something there's no stopping her (without tears at least).  She's such a brave little girl too.  Maybe all kids are that way but she just seems to have a little extra explorer in her.  Jim and I both try to let her act out her curiousity, within safety's limits of course.  Sometimes it's hard to know how far to let her go and she has gotten a few bumps and bruises but nothing close to serious so I guess we're doing Ok.  I know it will get even harder when she starts walking.

She's developing the sweetest little personality.  She's such a happy kid and just loves to be around people.  She really lights up when she see a familiar face and does this coy little shy thing with strangers followed by a quirky grin.  She loves bearded men the most.

I think Sofee dog is still her favorite.  I actually thought she might get tired of her after awhile but it seems that she actually loves her more each day.  We're working on which toys are Sofee vs. Riesling's with a little bit of success.  She seems to comprehend that they belong to Sofee and actually tries to give it to Sofee (usually after repetitive instruction from Mom or Dad) by shoving the bone or toy in/near Sofee's mouth.  This scares Sofee and causes her to run away and hide.  She usually hops up on the bed to hide but Riesling is quickly at her heals pulling at the comforter in and effort to scale up and be next to her.  With assistance she is hoisted onto the bed, causing Sofee to flee back to the floor.  Guess where Riesling wants to go?  This is my day people, this is my day. 

Burger & Fries

Side Note: Jim pointed out that I reused a few pictures on my last post about Florida, so I switched a few out for new ones.  I know everyone needs as many pictures of cutie pie as possible!  The photobooth pictures are some of my favorite.  The extra cleavage is courtesy of a hungry Miss Riesling.  (See Eating).

On to the recipes.  I've been pretty adventurous in my soup making lately but otherwise I felt like I was starting to get into a little rut with dinner planningNot to say that I don't like a lot of the things I prepare but sometimes you just need a little variety.  I decided to hit the cookbooks and magazines to come up with some inspiration and here's what I came up with for our Monday night meal.  

Tuna Burgers
1/2 C. raw, unsalted Brazil nuts (I couldn't find them solo at my grocery store so I had to buy mixed nuts & threw some cashews into the mix just because I'm crazy like that)
2- 5oz cans of tuna (I like Wild PlanetIt's sustainably caught & low mercury.) 
1/2 C. rolled oats
1/4 C. ground flaxseeds
1/4 C. nonfat plain Greek yogurt
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/4 onion, diced

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  
Pulse nuts in food processor until ground.
Add remaining ingredients and pulse until evenly mixed.  
Shaped into 6 patties (the will be pretty sticky).
Place on parchment line baking sheet.
Bake 10 minutes per side.

I really liked this recipe.  It was easy to prepare, full of protein and other good stuff secretly blended into a little patty.  I topped them with cheese the last few minutes and served with sliced avocado and romaine lettuce on top.  Toasted bread for Jim, none for me to keep it gluten free.  They also heated up well for lunch the next day. 

Roasted Carrot Parsnip Fries
2/3 C. apple cider
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp maple syrup
2 tsp chopped thyme
1 1/2 lbs carrots, peeled & cut into thin sticks
2-3 medium sized parsnips, peeled & cut into thin sticks

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.   
Whisk together apple cider, olive oil , mustard, maple syrup (or honey), thyme, and salt in large bowl. 
Add carrots & parsnips and toss until evenly coated.
Transfer to foil line large baking dish or roasting pan (with extra liquid)
Roast (uncovered) 35-40 minutes, stirring as needed.

These had a great flavor and went really well with the tuna burgers.  I think they were a little undercoat even though I roasted them for 45 minutes.  Next time I will cut them into thinner sticks or allow longer roasted time.  Also great as leftovers but I recommend heating in oven or toaster oven not microwave.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Oh the places you will go

 Riesling started belly crawling way back in August.  We haven't crossed over to walking (although she is so close it has Mama trembling), but has significantly improved her methods on all fours.  She is a master of the cross-crawl pattern, understands how to adjust her method for different floors and is a fast little bugger, especially when she has something in sight.

 Full speed ahead.....

Riesling's "New" Car

Us Robinsons love a good hand me down....

Monday, November 26, 2012


“A room without books is like a body without a soul.” 

~Marcus Tullius Cicero

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Our Florida Adventure. Events & Activities

Yes, our vacation was 2 months ago.  I have so many posts started and just never take the time to sit down and finish them and soon enough the content is outdated and the thought/memory/idea behind it lost.  I promised to wrap up this Florida trip so let's just get this done and over with.  To refresh your memory: Florida Preview & Travels with Baby.

(edit 11/30/12.  Jim pointed out that I reused a few pictures from my previous post so I switched a few out for new ones.  I know everyone needs as many pictures of cutie pie as possible!)

When choosing a place to stay I made sure to pick a condo that had easy beach access within walking distance and a pool close by.  I wasn't sure how Riesling would react to the ocean, but I knew she loved the pool.  It ended up working out perfectly.

We tried to do our beach time early in the morning or later in the afternoon to avoid the intense sun.  It was a quick walk across the street to the beach so easy enough to just carry Riesling and a tote bag with towels, sunscreen, a few sand buckets and small bottled water and no big deal to trek back if we forgot something.  She was a huge fan of the ocean and the sand so no problems enjoying some family time.  The biggest issue was trying to get her to wear a sunhat.  It's a pain to get lotion all over her head & ears.  I used California Baby on her exposed arms, legs, most of her head and neck then tried one of those sunscreen sticks for her ears, cheeks, and smaller areas.  It seemed to work well.  She did get a little bit of a tan but no burn. (Sun is good for you it's the sunburn that's bad!)

We tried to stay at the beach as long as she would tolerate it.  Usually it was a nap that sent us back to the condo.  A sandy baby does cause some inconvenience for naptime, we just tried to just towel her off best we could and put her down in just a diaper for a short nap (she takes much longer and less frequent naps now but she was a morning catnapper back in September).  After morning nap we would try to hit up the pool to play for awhile and rinse off.  This required swimwear and sunscreen reapplication.  Nothing is fast with a baby around.

Thanks to a summer of swimming at home she was prepared for the pool and loved every minute.  When she needed a break Jim and I took turns sitting under an umbrella with her. After pool time she typically went down for a really long afternoon nap.  Jim and I took turns laying in bed with her (since we had no crib) and showering, making a run for ice coffee, and getting ready for our evening activities.

I think this really depends on your baby.  Aside from the rehearsal dinner and wedding we managed to have dinner out twice.  We made a trip to the grocery store the first day and bought food for breakfast and lunch and decided to just see what happened as far as dinner.  The first night was not great but partly because of bad planning on our part.  It was later  in the evening, we tried to do a full dinner with drinks, appetizers, etc and by the end of it Riesling was fussy and miserable wanting to nurse and go to bed.  I ended up heading to the car and left Jim to pack up the rest of our dinners and pay the check.  The last night we were there we were smart enough to head out early and things went fine.  Babies at restaurants are not relaxing, even when on there best behavior. 

The brides family was offering boat rides and tours of the area throughout the weekend.  Jim and I were big weenies and insisted on a life jacket for Riesling.  We were really polite about it and simply offered to take turns on the boat and staying on land with the baby but simply would not budge on letting her one the boat without one.  They ended up finding one at a second hand sporting store for under $15 so she did get to enjoy her first boating experience.   There was a moment during the low speed pontoon boat expedition that I felt a little silly making a fuss (especially since there was a 2 year old running around the boat with no life jacket on!) but I'm still happy with our decision.  Who knows what could happen.  She didn't seem to mind it anyways and ended up using it as a pillow for naptime.


This was a big part of the trip since we were there for Jim's brothers wedding.  In addition to the wedding there was the rehearsal dinner and a day after brunch.  I tried my best to be conscience of her schedule and anticipate her needs before she had any breakdowns.  I also tried to limit the time she spent at any of the required events by driving separately from the larger group or leaving Jim behind to catch a ride with one of the guys so her and I could head back early for bedtime.  Of course I brought along extra toys to keep her occupied.


Riesling was the cutest little flower girl ever!  I thought she would definitely cry and never make it down the aisle but she did great.  One of the bridesmaids carried her down with her and she looked adorable.  I didn't get any good pictures because I was too busy on standby in case she freaked out.  

She tolerated pictures for a little while but was due to a late start in the ceremony she was getting hungry and started to get fussy.  I haven't seen the photographers pictures yet but hope they got a few good ones of her all dressed up and innocent.

 Jim, Tim (the groom), and Miss Riesling

 Grandma & Grandpa

After pictures I found a quite place to nurse her and changed her into a comfortable sundress for the rest of the night.  She was a real trooper and lasted through most of the reception.  After dinner and the formal parts of the reception were through, I found a quite area of the beach and nursed her to sleep for a half hour or so but it was short lived....just too much action.  After some photobooth fun and a few turns on the dance floor we called it a night and made our way back to the condo. 

All in all a wonderful vacation!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

November 22

Tomorrow is a big day in these parts.  Of course we'll be giving thanks and stuffing our bellies at Thanksgiving dinner with the rest of America, but in addition Jim and I will be celebrating our 4th wedding anniversary AND it happens to be Miss Riesling 9 month birthday. 

As far as our anniversary, no cards or gifts have been agreed upon.  Just endless amounts of love, gratitude, and respect (Aawww).  Our first anniversary we took a weekend trip to NYC knowing it wouldn't be a yearly thing.  I'm happy to do something small and meaningful each year (and maybe hit up Hawaii on one of the big ones!) We are planning a family hike and picnic at the park surrounding the restaurant where we were married later in the weekend, weather permitting. Past anniversaries:

Riesling is so close to walking.  She even took 2 steps by herself yesterday before tumbling forward on her knees.  Although I doubt it will happen, a 9 month birthday does sound like the perfect time to become a biped. She's become more and more kid & less and less baby.  There is so much I love about each new stage and she keeps me too busy to miss any of the stuff that is already part of her little past. 

 Just lounging with a little after dinner drink

Monday, November 19, 2012


“I am the happiest creature in the world. Perhaps other people have said so before, but not one with such justice. I am happier even than Jane; she only smiles, I laugh.”

~Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Halloween Redo

I don't go crazy with Halloween but I do think its fun to dress up an be silly for a night.  I have always been a fan of theatrics. This year I was planning a little family themed fun, which was unfortunately slightly disrupted by Hurricane Sandy. Halloween night we were amongst hundreds of thousands of people without electricity so Trick or Treat night was postponed. (Sad face)

We made the best of the evening with Riesling dressed in her black kitty shirt and a wonderful dinner with our neighbors who actually had power.  One week later Halloween Redo night and it's snowing.  Seriously people! Give a mom a break!  I warned Jim in advance that no matter what we were dressing up at least to get some pictures.  He was a bit grumpy to start but he ended up really getting into it and we had a fun little evening complete with a whopping 5 trick or treaters.  

Robinson Family Presents: Goldilocks and The Three Bears....

Someone has been eating my porridge.....

I think someone has been sitting in my chair....

Um guys I think someone IS sleeping in my bed....

I'm gonna get you Goldilocks! Eating my porridge, breaking my chair, drooling on my pillow....

 GRRRRR.  You upset my Baby Bear....

That's how the story goes, right?!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


I'm so glad that I was able to get outside and enjoy the beautiful weather yesterday because today is gray, rainy, and chilly.  I took a intro to photography class over the weekend to learn how to actually use the manual settings on my DSLR (a wonderful gift from Jim for my birthday....2 years ago!).  Riesling was kind enough to be my model yesterday while I played around with the settings.

 1/60 f5.6 ISO 100

1/50 f5.6 ISO 100

1/125 f8.0 ISO 400

 1/100 f8.0 ISO 400

1/160 f8.0 ISO 400

Monday, November 12, 2012


"Those who wish to sing, always find a song."

~Swedish Proverb

Letters from Riesling

Dear Friends & Family,

Just a quick note to let you know that all is well.  I know I should take more time to write but I have just been such a busy little bee.  In addition to all my regular play time, I have to make sure I give Sofee dog enough attention each day so that she doesn't get sad or lonely.  She is quickly becoming my best friend.  I've also been taking walking lessons several times a day.  It is exhausting!  I'm hoping that all my extra hard work pays off and I'll be cruising solo before the holidays. I would really like to try and catch Santa in action or maybe a glimpse of one of those famous reindeer.

Love always, 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Another Sofee day

I'm working on a Halloween post and Part II of our Florida Adventure.  Plus I think I'm past due on a Letter from Riesling.  But, Riesling and I are heading out to work soon (I should do a post on that too!) so no time for that.

I thought I would dedicate another day to Sofee dog and look back at some of my previous post.


My top ten list from 2010

Another period of high stress for Sofee dog

Ice Cream walks

Another cute puppy pic

Fall pics

Sofee learns to swim

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Happy Birthday!

 Sofee dog is the ripe old age of seven today.  It's hard to believe it's been nearly seven years since we scooped her up from the shelter and brought her home to a house full of love.

 Baby Sofee & young hippie tye dye wearing Jim

I think she might be having some kind of mid life crisis.  She's often gloomy and has sad ears.  Riesling and I do are best to cheer her up but she wants little to do with either of us. Poor girl has had a tough time transitioning to having a baby around.

Sofee has always been a bit neurotic and losing the center of attention has only made it worse.  She is never aggressive but wants little to do with Riesling on most days.  But little Miss Riesling wants everything to do with her!  She LOVES Sofee dog so so much and wants her to be her bestest friend.  She loves chasing her around and patting her head, sticking her fingers in her nose, snuggling up on her back.

hmmm I wonder why Sofee avoids her?!

She is learning to not to take Sofee's toys and jam them in her mouth and has made several attempts at throwing her rope toy in hopes of Sofee chasing it.  I consider "doggie" (DAW-e) to be her first word (although Jim would probably disagree claiming that the random Da Da Da sounds where in fact "daddy").  Today in honor of the special day she even picked out her special Sofee dog sweatshirt to wear. 

I hope that Sofee had a good birthday despite having to spend it with her best worst enemy.  Even when she is reserved and even a little timid I know that she is secretly watching out for Riesling.  She often just hangs out in whatever room we are in and when guests come over she sticks close by her little sister just in case.  I really love that Riesling is exposed to a doggie friend early and hope that they eventually grow up to be best friends. 

Happy Birthday Sofee dog!!!!!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Breakfast with Riesling

Complete with hand jives, clapping, chattering, and some good ole classic baby toot toots (we were NEVER allowed to say fart when I was growing up!)

Monday, November 5, 2012


"Loyalty to country always.  Loyalty to government, when it deserves it."

~Mark Twain

Our Florida Adventure. Traveling with Baby.

I've been working on this long winded post for a month now.  I know it's outdated but I thought it might be useful to someone, even if that person is future me as reference.  

I was such a nervous wreck about flying and traveling with Riesling.  If it hadn't been for the obligation of Jim's brother's wedding there is no way in hell that I would have planned a Florida vacation with my 7 month old.  I had pretty much thought up every worst case scenario and tried to be prepared for it.  In the end everything was amazing and I wasted a lot of high cortisol levels for nothing.  But I guess it's best to be prepared....

I Love Florida!

After some internal debate about cost, I decided to go with SouthWest airlines.  You can check 2 bags per person for free,  which is a huge bonus these days with the luggage costs most airlines charge.  They also allow you to change your flight date/time without any fees or penalties.  I thought worst case scenario if Riesling was sick and couldn't make the trip at least Jim could go and I could save my ticket for another time. The prices ended up dropping significantly so overall cost really didn't end up being much of a factor. 

Children under two years old are able to fly on your lap free of charge, but make sure you bring their birth certificate to verify the age.  They definitely ask.  You can also check a stroller and a car seat free of charge with your luggage or at the gate.  We brought our extra hand-me- down stroller and pushed it through the airport.   I was worried about checking the car seat with the luggage because they seem to toss stuff around without much thought, so on the flight there we checked it at the gate.  It was a bit annoying carrying it through security and dragging it around until we boarded, so we decided to check it with the luggage on the return flight.  It survived but my guess is the did not handle it with any extra care.  You can also rent a car seat from any of the rental car companies, but it costs extra and who knows how often or well they are cleaned.

As carrying on items I brought along her diaper bag, the GoPod, our Ergo, and a medium tote bag stuffed full of crap.  I definitely brought along a lot of stuff that we didn't use but who the heck knows what can happen once you're in the airport.  I had a few changes of clothes (including was very chilly in the airport!), extra blankets & burp cloths, plenty of diapers & toys.  There was enough room for the Ergo (when Riesling wasn't in it) and a small cooler bag in the tote bag so it wasn't like we had to carry a lot of items through the airport. In the cooler bag I put her breakfast, an empty sippy cup, a bib, several spoons, and a bottle with breast milk.  I did not expect her to take the bottle when she could just nurse on demand but I thought it would be nice to have 'just in case'.  I asked that the cooler bag not be put through the X-ray machine, so they hand checked it and swabbed it for gun powder or whatever they are looking for, with no problem.  Everyone at security was very nice and helpful.  They even have a separate family line so you can get through faster.  SCORE!

Happy baby waiting for our morning flight

I tried to time it so that Riesling could nurse on the take off and hopefully again on the landing.   I had been told that some babies/kids have issues because their ears won't "pop" with the change in altitude and that the sucking helps.  She did nurse on the flight both times but really only because she was hungry.  She had no problem flying.  Not a single tear, whine, or whimper.  The worse thing that happened was when she reached over the seat and grab some guys newspaper.  He was nice about it so no harm done.  The hardest thing was keeping her occupied.   She did really great, but I will say that I'm glad it was a really long flight.

I hate packing!  I have a tendency to over pack even when we're just going to Ohio or camping for a long weekend.  I have lists and piles of stuff everywhere for at least a week before the trip.  Then I have to try and streamline it down, sort through the mess, and combine all my crazy lists.  I really am my own worst enemy in this category.  I have been trying to improve and with a little extra preparation I think I did pretty well this round. We had a 3 suitcases (one per person) and a garment bag for the wedding attire.  I tried to divide things up a little bit thinking that if one suitcase got lost at least one person wouldn't be without all his/her stuff.  For  Jim and I it was your normal vacation packing.  We ended up wearing/using pretty much everything so I think I consider it a packing success.  I did bring along a pair of long pants and sweatshirt for each of us, which we never ended up wearing because the weather was so nice while we were there.

I pretty much packed every piece of clothing that fit Riesling at the time.  She grows so fast that I try not to overbuy in one size.  She had about 10 onesies, a few pair of shorts, 3-4 dresses, 5-6 pair of PJs, 2 swimsuits & a sunhat, plus some long sleeves and pants which she also never wore.  I brought 3-4 lighter weight muslin blankets, all the burp cloths we own, and plenty of toys.  I recommend bringing along toys that can be washed or wiped off.  We were in all kinds of weird places throughout the trip and everything always gets dropped or thrown, so it turned out to be a wise decision.

I wasn't sure if we would make it through the trip without doing a load or two of laundry so I brought along a few scoops of powder detergent I use.  I also had a few dishwasher tabs in case there were none in the condo (I wanted to avoid buying a whole new bottle), a bottle brush and free & clear dish washing detergent that I use on Riesling stuff (and ours for that matter).  For feeding I packed a few extra spoons and an extra bib & sippy cup, in addition to the one in the carry on. (See EATING for further details)

For a moment I had the insane idea to bring along the cloth diapers and deal with washing them in the coin operated laundry at the development.  Thank god I came to my senses.  I love our cloth diapers but did enjoy having a little break and being able to toss them away with no extra thought.  I bought 2 packs of chlorine free EarthBest's diapers on sale before we left, brought plenty in the diaper bag & carry on and packed the rest. I also brought a pack of swim diapers.  And don't forget the sunscreen!  Our condo provided beach towels, bath towels, and linens so no worries there.  I threw in a small tote bag and an old flat top sheet to use at the beach.   I am hating packing even more than before just writing all this down!

Just remember whatever you bring you have to load/unload at the airport, while carting your baby around.  Which bring us to....

We used a valet service in Philadelphia that drops you off and picks you up in your own car.  This avoided any shuttles, car seat installation or extra loading/unloading of luggage. It was slightly more expensive but well worth it.  I got some good deals on other areas of the trip so I didn't mind splurging a little.  They dropped us off right at curb side check in and helped us unload and the same when we arrived back in Phila. We brought our extra car seat base so we didn't even have to worry about removing one at the airport.

In Florida we rented a car from Avis.  The biggest hassle was dragging our stuff from baggage claim to the car rental area.  It wasn't far but you only have so many hand.  Jim looked like a pack mule.  We thankfully had no issue with the rental car or any part of the experience surrounding it.

 Da Da and Riesling at the beach 

The great thing about nursing a baby is you can do it anywhere.  I breastfed Riesling at the airport, on the plane, at the beach, poolside, at the country club, at the wedding (which was on the beach), and pretty much anywhere in between.  It can be a little difficult at her age because she is easily distracted but if she's hungry enough she will eat regardless of what's going on around her.  I find the most important thing is making sure I wear something that is comfortable and makes for easy access.  I don't use a cover up or blanket so I usually just have a burp cloth on hand to put over the top of my breast if it's exposed and quickly pull it down if she unlatches.  The only trouble I had was at the actual wedding.  She was extra hungry after patiently waiting around to be in some of the pictures and started violently pulling at my dress which ended up ripping the seam.  Jim said no one would complain about a little extra cleavage.

At this point she was also eating a solids twice a day.  Because of my incessant concern over food allergies, I didn't introduce any new foods for several days before the trip or during.  I bought a little stock of EarthBest's pouches in pear and banana and that was it.  Normal for restaurant or out of home outings that involve food I use a portable high chair with a tray but it was too bulky to bring along.  Of course most restaurants have high chairs but some of them are a little too big for my squirming baby, plus I wanted something to use in the condo.  So I bought a collapsable one that hooks to the table and packed it in pieces. This turned out to be a waste of space because we never used it.  Our condo had a glass top table and it didn't hook on securely so we just fed her in the stroller and used whatever was available at the restaurants.  

At the Country Club for the rehearsal dinner 
Where we nursed in the ladies room (quite lovely)

This area seemed like it could be a challenge for some families.  I think the best option for most is to rent a crib.  I guess you could bring a pack n play but that just one more thing to carry around and risk getting damaged on a flight.  We are Ok with co-sleeping so I just planned on Riesling being in our bed and didn't give it much thought beyond that.  The only issue was during her naps one of us had to stay in the bedroom to make sure she didn't wake up and crawl off the side.  There was a TV in the room so one of us either napped with her, read or watched TV.

 Early Morning wake up call

Part II coming soon.....

Sunday, November 4, 2012

A little catching up

Last year it was snow, this year a hurricane.  I'm seriously considering changing my birthday!  We got most of the celebrating in before hand so by the time Monday rolled around it didn't really feel like my birthday anyways.

Saturday 10.27.12

Riesling and I went to work while Daddy did some birthday shopping and errands. In the afternoon I made a quick run to the grocery store for a few Hurricane Sandy supplies then we walked down to our local Harvest Day, where we picked up some fresh local grown beets, goat cheese from another local-ish farm, and a homemade treat for Sofee dog.

Langhorne Harvest Day with my little Black Kitty

Per my request we all got cleaned up and fancy for an earlier dinner reservation at the Blue Sage.  It's a wonderful vegetarian restaurant but the food is so diverse and creative even a non vegetarian doesn't miss the meat.  Dining with Riesling is an interesting adventure but she always does better than I expect. We tried really hard to get a family picture but non of them came out very good.  But I do love this one of Riesling and her Da-Da

Sunday 10.28.12

The Robinson crewed joined us for a little lunch and birthday cake.  I made a batch of roasted acorn squash soup, put it in the crockpot and made a little tray of cheese (including our goat cheese purchase) & crackers and called it a day.  Jim is always in charge of my birthday cake (no matter how many woman family members offer to get him out of it) and he made a delicious gluten free pumpkin spice cake with homemade pumpkin cream cheese frosting and candy corn.  Since it's the one time of year he does any baking, he likes me to stay close by the kitchen in case he has any questions but would definitely be fine without me.

Monday 10.29.12

Jim was off work because of the approaching Hurricane, so it was a little bit of a bonus to spend my actual birthday as a family.  We spent the morning and early afternoon prepping the house for the heavy winds & using as much electricity as possible.  I got all the laundry and dishes done and tried to cook up stuff that was in the fridge and forced us to eat leftovers for lunch.  The day ended with no power and scary hurricane wind & rain.

We ended up being without power until last night.  Five days without electricity is a wee bit inconvenient with a little babe but I can't even think about complaining.  I know that Sandy destroyed and damaged a lot of homes and there are still so many people suffering through the devastation. Our house is completely unharmed even though 4 huge pine trees were uprooted from the property behind our house into the only empty field in the neighborhood.  Friends, family, and neighbors were all so generous.  I was particularly warmed by the support of our neighbors. Part of the neighborhood got their electricity back within 24hrs and without a second thought they opened up their homes for us to shower and stay overnight when the temperatures dropped; prepared meals and invited us and other families in for coffee or a hot dinner; set up generators for families with elderly or small children; and one guy even ran multiple extension cords across the street so we could plug in our fridge.  I love knowing that we are raising a family amongst people that care.