my diaper stash

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So tonight I put Savannah to bed in a disposable so I could wash ALL her diapers! Since they were all downstairs, I thought I’d take a picture for y’all. Sorry the picture is so yellow. The yellow walls and CFL bulbs in the lights downstairs make for lousy indoor pictures. :-)
Cloth diaper stash

Columns, from left to right:
2 one-size FuzziBunz pockets
3 homemade one-size fitteds
1 homemade one-size bumGenius pocket knock-off
1 homemade one-size cover
12 one-size Baby Kanga pockets
1 one-size Flip cover with 1 organic insert
2 size two Thirsties Duo covers
2 size medium bumGenius all-in-one
2 size medium covers (off-brand)
a bunch of homemade cloth wipes
2 pail liners and 1 wetbag
1 one-size GroVia cover and 3 GroVia soakers

I’m planning to get some prefolds to go with the covers. Obviously, I have more diapers than I need, but this should be good if/when we have 2 in diapers. I’m also thinking of selling off some of the diapers, like the Baby Kangas. We’ll see.

Enjoy. :-)

once again, same old struggle

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I enjoyed a good year and a half or so of not worrying about my weight. It took about 8 months to lose my baby weight, but since then I have put it all back on again. I am now at the same weight I was back a few years ago, when I joined Weight Watchers and ended up losing 20 lbs before getting pregnant.

Weight Watchers was really good for me, but this time I decided to try and go the “I need to exercise more” route. After getting back from our trip, I decided to join a gym. The local YMCA offered the best solution – child care, a swimming pool, as well as (of course) fitness equipment. They have a lot of free classes and also paid classes.

Inspired by Beth and Becky and their marathon training, I have wanted to have a goal to strive for. Running by itself doesn’t interest me very much, but the thought of doing a triathlon is very exciting! I love to swim, and I like to run and bike. Training for a triathlon gives me the variety I crave.

I am not sure I’ll be able to do a triathlon any time soon, as they are mostly held during the summers. I decided I would start with just running and swimming for now, and try to train as if I am going to do one. It’s exciting to be working for something other than pounds.

Today I met with the fitness coach who showed me how to use the machines and set me up with a schedule for strength training (weights). I am sooo out of shape, and when doing the leg machines I had to put the weights to the sissy ones. But when it came to arms, I was able to put the weights heavier. I guess carrying around a 20 pound baby all the time has its advantages!

I look forward to getting back in shape, and also to swimming again! I hope to go swimming tomorrow, but I might take a day off first. I ran for 25 minutes yesterday, and did the strength training today… I’m exhausted!

cirque du soleil will need to wait

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Today was Savannah’s physical therapy evaluation. Here is what the therapist said:

* Savannah hates pressure and sensations on her feet. I always thought Savannah was just ticklish, but now I realize that she isn’t laughing when she pulls her feet away, like she does when you tickle her neck.

* She has low muscle tone, which is part of her body type. It just means that she’ll always have to work a little harder to do physical activity. It’s not something that will keep her from athletics or anything, but it just is something she’s going to have to compensate for.

* Savannah is super flexible in her hips and ankles. Has anyone seen how when she gets tired, she just folds over flat? I’ll have to get a picture sometime. Anyway, while this uber flexibility might come in handy in future her ballet career, it’s makes it hard to do something like put her feet flat on the ground and hold her body up. I thought that was interesting. She will need to learn how to compensate for that.

The therapist recommended weekly physical therapy, hopefully to start soon. She also gave me some exercises to work with Savannah in the meantime. I didn’t realize there were so many milestones that Savannah hasn’t met, like moving from laying down to sitting. We’re starting with those transitions – rolling over, moving from a laying down to sitting position, etc. We’re also going to work on desensitizing her feet to the textures, which will hopefully help when she is ready to start standing. I was hoping she would be walking by Christmas, but now I see that there is a lot of work that needs to be done. In some ways I wonder if I should have gotten started with PT earlier. Ah, well.

Also, on an unrelated note, I am super thrilled for my brother and sister-in-law, who are expecting a baby in May! I am so excited for my future niece or nephew! Go to Molly’s blog and leave a note of congrats! :-)

the travelers return

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I hope y’all enjoyed the pumpkin pie post that Paul wrote while I was gone. :-) He worked very hard on it, so if you find it helpful then you should definitely leave a comment telling him so!

We got back yesterday from our trip! Here’s an overview.

We left last Thursday morning for Pittsburgh. Savannah did great on the flight, though it’s definitely more challenging traveling alone. We landed and picked up the rental car – a Dodge Charger, my sister was excited – and the carseat. Easiest installation ever. After I put it in, I pushed it back and forth and side to side and it hardly wiggled at all! I can’t say the same for my Britax installed rear-facing in my car. :-p

We met up with Kacie and Johnny! I would show you a picture but alas, I don’t have one – I took most pictures with my cell phone camera, and as of yesterday my cell phone is somewhere between my house and the train station, and no amount of retracing my steps has been successful at locating it. :-( I’m super bummed to lose all those pictures. I did take a few pictures with my real camera of Savannah and Johnny playing:

Kacie and I hung out in a mall for a few hours, and we didn’t stop talking! It was so great! This was my first time meeting her, and I felt like I could have spent the whole weekend with her. I hope you had as much fun as I did, Kacie! :-)

Afterward, I took quite the tour of Pittsburgh as I tried to figure out how to get to my great-aunt and uncle’s house. I feel like every road I was on had construction, and the GPS was telling me to turn on roads that didn’t even exist, or were blockaded for construction. But I eventually made it, taking back roads most of the way, but I hit no traffic even though it was 5:30pm. Almost my whole family was there for this wedding – my parents, my sister, and my grandparents. We were staying with my grandmother’s brother – it was his granddaughter who was getting married. I think that makes her my second cousin – family relationships get foggy after you pass aunt/uncle/cousin. ;-)

Friday we didn’t do much except some shopping and then dinner with relatives. Savannah reacted to this traveling by being very fussy and not letting anyone else hold her. I am not sure if it was traveling or if it was Paul not being there or what. She also wouldn’t go to sleep unless I laid down next to her. I know so many people wanted to hold her, and it made me sad. :-( I kept saying they should have seen her before we went down to the D.R.! That’s about when this separation anxiety hit and she decided she didn’t want anyone else to hold her. I hope it passes soon. (It’s definitely getting better!)

Saturday was the wedding! It was a beautiful ceremony, and fun reception. I also enjoyed spending time with my family, both immediate and extended. I wish Paul could have been there!

Sunday morning came way too early. I got up around 3:30am and left for the airport at 4am. Returned the car, went through security, and made it back to the gate by my 6:15am flight to JFK in New York City. It was a short flight – only 50 minutes flying time. Savannah slept the entire time. We landed in NYC and I picked up my bag and found a taxi all before 8am. I handed him the name and address of the hotel in Brooklyn where we were staying and we were off.

I got to see a lot of NYC on my way to the hotel. I later found out the taxi drive took the long way around the city in order to overcharge me, but in retrospect I was glad I got to see some of the sites. I spotted the Statue of Liberty, several of the bridges, and the traditional brownstone neighborhoods.

The hotel was very nice and let me check in 5 hours early. I was so glad because they didn’t have any place to wait – I would have had to sit on the sidewalk until it was time. Since I didn’t have anywhere to be until around 4, Savannah and I took a very long nap all morning and the first part of the afternoon. We woke up around 2pm and I realized I was hungry. After giving Savannah lunch, I ventured out into the neighborhood and found a taco truck that my brother-in-law recommended. Yummy! One of the best tacos I’ve ever had.

Jeremiah (my BIL) got back from work around 4, and we took the subway into the city. I was glad he was there to show me the ropes. The hotel was literally on top of a subway station, so we just had to walk across the street and down some steps. I studied the map and by the time I left I felt like I had a pretty good understanding of how it worked. We got off in Harlem and walked to Central Park, and I got to see some of the typical NYC scenery before we decided we were hungry and went back to the hotel. We had Chinese take-out for dinner, then Jeremiah went back to his apartment and Savannah and I got ready for bed. The hotel only had a few channels, but I managed to find some Law & Order, so I watched a few episodes before I went to sleep.

We slept late the next day, and didn’t get up and moving until after noon. We took the subway to the Museum of Natural History, where we met Jeremiah (he only had to work until noon that day). We walked through the Central and South America exhibits, but by this point I had a horrible headache. We had to leave the museum to find a drugstore and get some Excedrin. I also got some peanuts and Gatorade, hoping that would help the headache. Jeremiah had to go to class soon, so we opted not to go back to the museum but instead had an impromptu photo shoot in Central Park. I’ll post those later, as they are taking forever to upload on my slow internet.

I was getting pretty chilly by this point, and Savannah’s hands were like ice. Being the Southerner I am, it never occurred to me to grab a jacket when I left in the morning. We left Jeremiah and returned to our hotel, where Savannah took a short nap. I called a friend of mine from high school, and we arranged details to meet for dinner that evening at a Peruvian restaurant nearby. We had a lovely time together – I can’t believe it’s been almost 10 years since I’d seen her! I am so glad we got a chance to catch up. Savannah did pretty well and I think enjoyed the Lomo Saltado. Yum!

That night, I put Savannah to bed and enjoyed watching Castle, especially exciting because of being in New York City. :-) Okay I was probably a little TOO excited about that.

Tuesday was our last day. We got up earlier this time and made it to the Metropolitan Museum of Art around lunchtime. I walked through the galleries but couldn’t spend much time at each painting because Savannah would get fussy every time I stopped. I should have brought the Ergo instead of the stroller that day. I found the Met extremely confusing to navigate – I kept getting lost while looking for an elevator, and then once I finally found one I realized it either didn’t go to the floor I wanted or it was full of people who have no reason to need an elevator except laziness. I can’t exactly use the stroller as a cattle prod to force people out of my way…

A friendly reminder: Please reserve elevators and handicapped stalls for people who actually need them. Thank you.

After we had our fill of the Met, we left and walked through Central Park. We stopped at a playground and Savannah enjoyed a break from the stroller for a bit. It’s hard when your babies are moving but not walking yet – there aren’t many places you can put them down for a bit of exercise! After playing, we continued walking until we got to the end of Central Park and found FAO Schwarz (toy store) and the Apple Store. The Apple store is really cool – I would show you pictures, but they are on my cell phone. Go here to see other peoples’ pictures. The store was really crowded and with a stroller it was just too difficult to navigate, so I left and went next door to FAO Schwarz. I really enjoyed walking around the three-story toy store. I wanted to buy something for Savannah, but she doesn’t really need anything so I resisted. :-)

We went back to the hotel because at this point I was exhausted and my feet were starting to get blisters! I managed to leave again to get some dinner at a Chinese place across the street, and then I packed while watching more Law & Order. Jeremiah stopped by after his class that night to pick up the subway card (there was still money on it) and we said goodbye. Wednesday we took a taxi to the airport and got back to our home in Atlanta by 4pm.

Overall, a good trip! I really enjoyed NYC. I can’t wait to go back with Paul! There is so much more I want to see… the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island (my ancestors came through there), Empire State Building, etc. I just love being in the city atmosphere, riding the subway (that was a lot of fun!!). In the meantime, it’s back to the grindstone…

From Pie Pumpkin to Pumpkin Pie

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Editor’s note: This guest post is brought to you by Paul who has been delighting friends and family with pumpkin pies for the past 3 years.

Just looking for the pumpkin pie recipe? You can find it here.

One of my favorite times of the year is fall. There is just something about the change in the air that is refreshing and beautiful. From the changing of the leaves to all the holiday traditions that bring people together. One such tradition for our family is making pumpkin pie from scratch. This started several years ago when I created my first pie; ever since pumpkin pie has embodied the beginning of fall for me. Today I will share the process for anyone interested in trying their hand at it.

The Pumpkin

It begins with finding the perfect pumpkin. This can be a fun outing especially if you live near a pumpkin patch that sells pie pumpkins. Although, it is possible to make pumpkin pies from regular pumpkins the down side is that you need to add more sugar to the recipe and generally regular pumpkins are a bit more stringier then pie pumpkins. Even if you don’t live near a pumpkin patch most grocery stores will sell  pie pumpkins in October. This is usually how I procure my pie pumpkins.  When choosing a pumpkin I like finding one that is somewhere around 2 1/2 to 3 pounds and has a medium dull orange color. Feel the pumpkin, you will want the pumpkin to be firm all around with little to none blemishes. I also find that the denser the pumpkin is the more you will get out of it. Generally, I count on one pumpkin making one pie with a little left over. With the larger pie pumpkins two pies can easily be made.

Next you will need to prepare your pumpkin. Turn on your oven to 375° F to warm it up while you prep the pumpkin. Remove the stem either by hand or with a knife. Next you will want to cut the pumpkin in half either the long way or through the middle. I like cutting it the long way because the lines on the pumpkin help guide my slicing.  Once in half, take a big metal spoon and cull out the seeds and stringy mess. If you intend to make pumpkin seeds as well then save what you cull out in a bowl of water. Put the two halves in a 9×13 glass baking dish. The pumpkin halves should be facing down so that the water drains on the glass instead of in the pumpkin. Cover with foil and bake in the oven for 1 hour.

Bonus: Remember the pumpkin seeds and stringy mess in the water. Now remove the seeds from the mess by squeezing it in your hands. As the seeds are separated they will float to the top making it easy to skim off. Let the pumpkin seeds dry over night and then mix seasoning, olive oil and the seeds in a plastic bag tossing to coat. Place on a baking sheet in the oven at 250° F for 1 hour.

Now back to the pumpkin. After an hour take the pumpkin out and remove the foil. Set the foil aside as we will use it later. Sometimes the skin of the pumpkin will just fall right off when first removed from the oven leaving just the pumpkin. If that does not happen then let it cool a little and remove the soft pumpkin from the skin with your trusty spoon. It still might be a little string so I like taking the pumpkin mush and run it through with a food processor for about 30 seconds to a 1 minute. This will make it nice and smooth. However, if it is not stringy at all you can also mush it by hand with the spoon. Now we are ready to make the pie!

The Pie

For the pie you will want to have the following ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cup pumpkin
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. ginger
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1/2 tsp cloves
  • 1 can (12 oz.) evaporated milk
  • 2 eggs

It is a fairly straight forward process. Preheat your oven for 450° F and mix all the ingredients together in a bowl so that it is smooth. I find that mixing your spices in with the pumpkin first makes it easier to get an even blend. Pour your mixture in your pie crust. I like getting the deep dish crusts because the regular size pie crusts will have a lot of the mix left over but not enough to make another pie.

Place the pie in the oven for 15 minutes at 450° F. Then turn down the temperature to 325° F for 45 minutes. Test the center of the pie with a toothpick, if it comes out clean—nothing clinging to it—then its done. Cool and then cover with the foil you set aside before. Chill in the refrigerator and then enjoy!

Now you can enjoy a very tasty fresh pumpkin pie. Thanks for taking the time to read this post. Please leave comments on how well this recipe worked for you. Below are some pictures of the last pie I made.

Pictures: The making of a pumpkin pie