Friday, January 29, 2010

Chock Full o' Photos

Hi all.  Haven't featured many Mitchell pictures lately.  Just finally got around to loading all the software from my new toy and transferred all my images to the ole hard drive, so I thought I'd give you a little TGIF treat.  Lots o' pictures of Mitchell....isn't that why most of you are here???

Without further ado...a foto-feature of our last couple weeks.

Woke up one Saturday morning with what looked like pink eye.  A pediatrician visit, eye drops and antibiotics later, we're all doing fine.  Also, don't you love the 'do?  That's how he rolls most mornings, to be honest.  I have stopped trying to fight it.

All boy - the more you mess with him the better.  Don't you love that grin?

Lots of eating.  Loves green peas.  Didn't get it from his daddy.

New favorite pose.  He's either practicing for his future modeling career or waiting for us to come feed him grapes and fan him with palm fronds.

Sitting up all on his own for minutes at a time.  Can even get to a sitting position by himself, through a rather complicated set of contortions.  Mighty pleased with himself these days...

And as always, he just continues to grow and grow.  As evidenced by:
delicious chubby cheeks; and

even more delicious, chubbier legs!

He's really moving at the speed of light these days.  Look...

never a dull moment around here.

And one last picture, of our other child.  I took this picture of Dixie the first night I had my new camera, and this was how I knew I was truly in love!  I never have a good picture of Dixie because she never sits still long enough.  With this baby, it's not even an issue!


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Le Creuset Giveaway

If you love Le Creuset, click on the link below to enter a great giveaway contest!

You get two stoneware dishes (10.5x7 and 7x5) in a choice of 7 great colors!

Good luck (but I hope I win)...

Monday, January 25, 2010

Bedtime Bath

I'm going to take a page from my friend Reeves, The Product Mama, and provide a product review of a recent purchase.

My bottle looks different from this, but I did get it on clearance at Babies R Us, so maybe the packaging change is the reason for the clearance price I got.  (As a side note, I'm a total sucker for a clearance price; I'll buy anything if it's on clearance.  Definitely something to work on, budget-wise!  So I bought this, naturally...)  We were out of bath wash for MKM and I was going to get Aveeno, but I decided to try this instead.  You see, I was intrigued with this claim:

"A nightly routine that includes a warm bath using JOHNSON'S BEDTIME BATH, followed by a massage with JOHNSON'S BEDTIME LOTION, and quiet time, is clinically proven to help babies fall asleep easier and sleep through the night better. " (emphasis added by me)

This product apparently has something called "NATURALCALM" essences that apparently, when released, help soothe children and make it easier for them to sleep.

Ok, most of you who read this probably know this about my child:  he's not a sleeper and he's very rarely calm.  So I really didn't hope for much in the sleep department.  I don't really believe that a certain type of bubble bath can make him sleep better.  This routine encourages a warm bath and a soothing massage with the accompanying lotion before your child goes "quietly off to sleep".  I think that sound like a lovely evening and is certainly a goal of mine for Mitchell's nighttime routine. 

As it is now, our routine is slightly less serene than that.  Bathtime usually consists of Mitchell beating whatever toy I've given him repeatedly on the water and gleefully enjoying the splashes.  Then the drying off/soothing massage portion of the evening more closely resembles a wrestling match, usually involving both me and John trying to dry him off, put a diaper on and hopefully slathering some lotion on various parts of his body which we can haphazardly cover while he thrashes around.  That is followed by one of us quietly trying to read him a book or two, while he sqirms out of our arms or lap, trying to get the nearest page from the book into his mouth.  It's hardly a relaxing time for any of us.  My only hope each night is that he will calm down enough while he's nursing that he'll go to sleep once I put him in his crib.  Some nights he does; some nights he doesn't.  So, pardon the bad pun, but I kind of felt that whatever calming effects that this product purports would be, for us, ahem...a wash. 

Having said that, the scent of this stuff is sublime.  I actually found myself sniffing Mitchell's hair when I was laying in bed this morning feeding him.  I like it so much more than the fakey lavendar scent that some of the other washes and lotions have.  It is not exactly floral, but has a very clean, fresh, yummy scent that will make you want to eat your little one right up (even if they are acting like a wild banshee).  I'm even going to go so far as to say that I'd put a few squirts of this in my own nighttime bath just so I could smell like this all the time.

So, in closing, I can't really endorse this product for it's sleep enhancing properties, but I'm going to keep using it, and keep working towards that lovely, ideal bedtime routine.  Whatever the outcome, at least I can take comfort in the fact that my child smells heavenly in the process!


Edited to add: I meant to post a link to a $2 off coupon to this product if you want to try it.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Amen, and a Way to Help

I have a heavy heart about what's going on in Haiti right now: for the people who are trapped, or who cannot find loved ones; for the relief efforts that are being slowed by problems with infrastructure; for so much.

I was so saddened to hear of Pat Robertson's comments about why this happened.  I was outraged, quite frankly.  This article helped calm me a little bit; maybe it will you too.


There are so many ways to give; I hope you will all help in some small way if you are able.

My friend Rachel sent me this info on how to create a health kit that can be sent to victims in Haiti and other disaster areas. 

Catchin' Up in the Kitchen

So, that whole thing about posting what I've been cooking on a weekly basis hasn't really panned out, has it?  What a shocker, especially if you know me (and especially if you know me lately).  It probably wasn't that wise to "commit" myself to something like this just before the holidays, when I knew we'd be busy and traveling.  As it was our fridge was mostly bare for a good part of late December, so dinners were interesting, to say the least. 

Instead of trying to hold myself to a standard that I clearly couldn't keep, even for a week, I'll just try to post periodic updates for recipes worth your time.  How 'bout that??

Let's see.  Since my last update, I've made:
  • John's favorite chicken enchiladas twice
  • Spanish Spaghetti - very good; a nice variation on the traditional spaghetti with meat sauce.  Next time I will up the spice and saffron a bit based on our preference for a bolder flavor.  I also didn't have time or interest in purchasing actual sherry, so I got some sherry vinegar and just put a couple of splashes in as an alternative.  Worked for us.  I made it with whole wheat spaghetti; I usually try to do this with most any pasta these days because there are so many better-tasting options available now.  A lot of times I cannot even tell the difference in taste, so why not add some fiber and whole grains to your diet while you're at it?!?
  • Turkey meatloaf.  No recipe, just used a pack (usually about 1 1/4 lb) of 99% fat free ground turkey, chopped up half a green bell pepper very finely (since the 99 turket can get dry in a hurry), a couple of tablespoons of dry breadcrumbs, handful of grated parm cheese and seasoned with garlic powder (out of fresh garlic), seasoned salt and some grilling pepper that is in my pantry, which is basically seasoned pepper.  I also added a couple tablespoons of some crushed tomatoes that I had in the fridge and a few glugs of my favorite barbecue sauce (Rudy's, linked to it previously in one of my recipe posts).  I mixed about half of that combo into the meat and saved the rest to spread on top.  Mixed it all up with my hands and put in a loaf pan, topped and baked at 400 for about 30-40 minutes (didn't really pay attention to the time, just until it was done in the middle).  I actually prefer doing turkey burgers with the 93/7 ground turkey, but I have a hard time finding it sometimes.  The 99 worked and really it was a totally delicious outcome for such a hodgepodge process.
  • Ina Garten's Baked Penne with Five Cheeses - it was decadent and tasted awesome, but I'd maybe tweak it a bit becuase the sauce stayed a little too soupy for my liking.
I've certainly made other things; just nothing to write home about.  I hope to start taking some food pics with my new toy that John got me for Christmas - yay!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Just a cute pic; couldn't resist!

Here he is, reaching for more:

And yes, I realize that in the last two posts Mitchell has been wearing the attire of three different schools.  John has deemed it OK for him to pull for both an SEC East and West team.  The Texas outfit was a hand-me-down that my parents bought when Reid was a baby.

Roll Horns/ Hook'em Tide

Mitchell had a hard time deciding who to pull for last week.  He just decided not to choose sides*.

*-Clearly y'all know I'm kidding; he was obviously dreaming of a Crimson Tide victory that night as he slept soundly in his crib.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Public or Private?

Since I'm bascially putting details of our life out there for all to see, I'm contemplating making my blog private.  If you read this, will you send me an e-mail at bkmaedelATgmailDOTcom?  That way I'll know who to invite if I go that route.  I will probably wait about a week or so; respond to be by January 15 if you want to be given permission to keep reading.

What's New with Mitchell? Almost 5 Month Update

So, Mitchell will be 5 months old in a couple of days and I feel like so much is changing about him lately.  Here's a rundown of what he's doing these days:

  • He loves to coo and make lots of new noises.  After he's done nursing and is very content, he makes this sweet little noise that literally sounds like a baby bird and I swear it makes my heart melt.  He also squeals all the time (literally, he did it in his crib this morning at 3:30 when he was under the impression that it was play time), and makes many more noises that I can tell are fun for him.  It's amazing to see how he is obviously testing out sounds in response to us talking to him. 
  • He has his two bottom middle teeth - one came in on Christmas Eve day and the other popped through a few days later, on the 28th.  I had hoped we'd have a reprieve from teething for a little while, but almost immediately he started drooling again, putting any and everything in his mouth, and has been super fussy lately so I guess we've got some more on the way.  I've not been able to feel them yet, so I'm not sure where they are, but pretty soon he's going to have a mouthful.  He "used" them on me for the first time the other day; we're working on that issue!
  • He has been rolling over for about a month now, but he really can get going when he wants to.  He can do this thing that John calls the log roll where he'll roll all the way from front to back and keep going for a few revolutions, so we do have to watch where we put him when he's playing on the floor.  We have to make sure he's got plenty of room to move. 
  • If we sit him up, he can stay there unassisted for about 5 seconds.  Then he'll either lean forward and grab his toes or do the tripod sit with his hands on the floor, or he'll flop over to one side or the other.  It makes me cringe when he does it, but he always looks up at me with a huge smile on his face so I guess he's having fun!
  • He has eaten rice cereal, oatmeal, and has tried a few foods, all with mixed results - sweet peas, sweet potatoes and pears.  We're going to keep working on the food; he seems to really be happy with just milk, but he's going to need those extra calories soon....
  • ....because, watch out, he's up on all fours now, trying to figure out how to crawl.  We are sort of in disbelief at this, but he can get up on his hands and knees and rocks back and forth, and has just started pushing his feet into the ground when he's up there.  He has figured out how to scoot himself around by pushing up on his toes and inchworming around.  I think he will get the army crawl figured out really soon and I woudn't be surprised if he's crawling in a few weeks.  Defintely by the end of January, I'd say.  Obviously, we are going to work on baby-proofing this weekend, much sooner than we'd expected!
Here's some new pictures, and as a reminder, you can always go here to see all of them:

Other fave new pasttime - exersaucer!

Christmas Round 2

It occurs to me that I'd better get this down before I forget everything.  We returned home from Birmingham on Christmas night, and one of the first things we did was give M a haircut.  His hair had gotten to the point of hanging all in his eyes, over his ears, and was quickly approaching mulletesque lengths in the back (this is what bothered John the most).  Here are some before, during, and afters:

Back shot (plus you can catch a glimpse of his cute back dimples)

At its shaggiest, on Christmas Day, with my dad

Mitchell tolerated the haircut reasonably well, but he is such a squirmy baby and I was super nervous about cutting it, especially the front.  In the end I did the sides and back that night and then did the bangs the next morning, when he was a bit more rested and in a better mood.

We put him in his seat and gave him some things to play with to distract him.  He still ended up with hair all over himself because he wouldn't sit still!

Here is an after; the bangs were not even close to being even; I just basically ended up whacking some off in three or four quick cuts.  He looked so different to me at first, and I think it made him look older.  I guess I've gotten used to it but the other day at day care one of the moms whose child didn't come the week between Christmas and New Years saw him and exclaimed that I'd cut his hair.  I guess everyone else had noticed how shaggy he was looking too!


The day after Christmas we repacked and headed north to Knoxville to celebrate with John's parents.  Mitchell was great the whole time, slept well in the pack and play and just delighted his Gramma and Grampa in general.  They loved getting to see all his new tricks (more on that next post) and he got lots of love from both of them.  As in Birmingham, Mitchell received lots of wonderful things from John's side of the family.  My task this weekend is to pick out the most suitable toys and books for now and then pack some of the others that will be better for when he's older away!

Here are some shots from our time in Knoxville:

Kris had a pillow with Rudolph on it, and its nose lit up, and Mitchell loved watching it.  And Kris loved watching Mitchell!

Tooth #2 was on its way in, so Mitchell had his hands (or someone elses') in his mouth most of the time.

Fat and happy (just like the rest of us), at the end of a great Christmas weekend!