Sunday, February 27, 2011

Six Months

Our little man is six months old! It seems like it's been forever since I did Grant's five month post. It's been a long month. But this is a happy post so I won't dwell on the bad stuff.

Six months old!

Grant has been on cereal and veggies for two months now and is doing great. He's gone through all five of the stage one vegetables (even peas!) and he seems to love them all. He doesn't even seem to favor one more than the other. I do have a hard time now getting him to eat cereal now that he's had the veggies. Although I'll admit to not doing the cereal as much as I should because the veggies are so convenient.

I decided to clean out Grant's dresser because he's finally outgrown his 3 month and 3-6 month size clothes. I came upon the outfit I bought for Grant to wear home from the hospital...which was way too big for him when he was born. I thought I'd missed my window opportunity with it and I basically did but I at least wanted to see what it looked like on him.  This was a few weeks ago:

It was a touch too small so it didn't stay on him long and he'll never wear it again
 but he did look super handsome in it :)
 No crawling yet. He's still just really close. He'll now get up on his elbows with his knees underneath him and he'll even pick up his head now. He gets his eyes on a toy he wants but then all his limbs go out from underneath him and he's back to square one. But he is sitting up really well. He can do it for long periods of time before he topples over. I guess I always figured babies crawled before they sat up but this makes sense too.

He's graduated from his sleep sack to "real" pajamas. Nate had to talk me into that one. But he was right. Grant was having a really hard time sleeping because he always turns over on his tummy to sleep and he was getting all twisted up in the sleep sack. So I gave in. He does look very cute in his big boy pjs though :)

I took a picture of him this morning because I think these are my favorite pajamas.
Look at this lttle cows on the feet!

I'm also more comfortable putting a blanket on him during naps. But not at night.
Things between Grant and Brodie seem to be improving...slowly. Brodie will now at least acknowledge Grant's presence. And I've even caught Brodie trying to make friends:

Caught you!
We don't have Grant's exact measurements yet (6 month check-up on March 10th) but we do know he's weighing roughly 16 pounds. We know this because Grant had a trip to the emergency room while we were in NY when he had a 102 fever and his cough came back. But I'm curious to see exactly how much he weighs and how long he is. And I'm hoping they'll tell us we can start some new foods too.  But anyway, here are more pictures!

We adjusted the straps on his stoller so he can ride in the stroller like a big boy.
I took this because he reminded me of my Grama at the casino.

He loves it when we spead out a blanket (to minimize the ingestion of dog hair - don't judge)
so he can just roll around  and go after toys.

So cute...but what's up with that hair?
I took this picture because he got this outfit for Christmas and mys sister was pretty excited about it. It's also probably the only time he'll ever wear it because that shirt was already too short.

We have a very happy baby and he laughs a lot. But no one is as good at making him laugh as his daddy :)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

New Recipe: Country Breakfast Pot Pie

When I really want to cook dinner but have zero energy to put into thinking of what to make it usually comes down to two things: breakfast or BLTs. Last night breakfast won out. I want an omelet! I said. But then I found this breakfast casserole of sorts on the Pillsbury website. Plus, it's almost the end of February and I thought I needed a second new recipe for the month...but it turns out this is my third. It's been a long month. Anyway, you can find the recipe HERE. It was pretty yummy and I know this because Husband said he would eat it again. I didn't read through the recipe - something I really should start doing - before deciding to make this or before buying the ingredients so I had to fudge a few things but it all worked out.

Everything for breakfast in one place - YUM!

Cookin' the taters!

Grant hung out in the kitchen with me and seems to like to watch me cook!
I can't wait until he can be my little helper :)
Choppin' the ham

Look at all that cheesy goodness!

Cooking the egg & ham mixture
(I really could have eaten it just like this with a piece or three of buttered toast)

Ready for the oven!

Ready for my belly!

  • The recipe called for an 11" x 7" (2 quart) casserole dish which I did not have. My options were an 8" x 8" (2 quart) casserole dish or a 13" x 9" (3 quart) casserole dish. I was afraid the 8" wouldn't hold it all so I went with the bigger one. It didn't have an impressive thickness to it like the Pillsbury picture but it was still yummy.
  • I added an extra egg to be sure my egg mixture covered the pan but I left all other amounts the same.
  • I accidentally bought the regular croissants (not the big & whatever ones called for in the recipe). They worked out fine.
  • I forgot green onions so I substituted my trusty onion powder and I didn't miss the chives at all.
  • Great brunch recipe!
As a side note I just want to say that I love sharing and recieving recipes. Since I've been posting recipes here I've been told by two people that they've tried a recipe that I've posted. My mother-in-law tried the Chicken Pot Pie recipe and my friend Jen tried the Lasagna Roll Ups recipe (she even doubled it for company). I get irrationally excited when people tell me that they've tried - and loved - a recipe that I've shared. Husband makes fun of me for it but I don't care because it makes me happy :)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Baby's First Roadtrip

Grant has, of course, logged many hours in the car. But never anything that would qualify as a road trip. Our first trip to New York with Grant came much earlier than anticipated due to the death of my Dad. But the trip would have happened sometime in the late spring/early summer anyway since it's a trip we usually make at least once a year.

So a trip that we used to do in one day that took anywhere from 14-17 hours we broke down into two days (this is where I'm from). Grant is a good baby...but we were not about to keep the poor little guy strapped into that car seat for that long. Each day ended up being around 9 hours (or even a little more) with the driving and the stops for meals and leg-stretching. We stopped at a hotel in Pennsylvania both ways and it actually ended up being the same hotel both times. I have to say that if we happen to stay at that particular hotel again in the future (and I wouldn't be opposed to it) I will be getting up early enough to make a waffle at their breakfast area. Both times I had to turn down the make-your-own-waffle because we had to leave. Damn it I wanted a waffle! 

The drive was fairly uneventful. Grant slept most of the time and when he wasn't then he was playing with the toys I'd hung from his car seat handle or trying to eat the blanket draped over him. Occasionally he would snack on a sock. I will say that I don't know how he slept so well with Nate reaching back every 15 minutes to make sure he was breathing.

We very quickly learned how to get good at feeding on the go and our pit-stops were well managed and not as long as we had thought they would need to be (except for our lunch stops at Panera...yum). Most places we came across had a baby changing station in the women's AND men's bathroom, although we did find one or two that only had it in the women's room. There was one McDonald's in Ghettoville, VA that didn't have a baby changing station at all! I wanted to take Grant up to the register and change him on their counter. But I did not. How do you not have anywhere for someone to change their baby?!

Even though the trip was for a very sad event, we did manage to make some good of it. Being Grant's first trip to New York it was also his first time meeting a lot of people. And visiting with some people who hadn't seen him in a while. I didn't get pictures of him with everyone but here are a few:
He met Uncle AJ - and apparently loved his nose and facial hair
And Aunt Melanie - he loved her too

And they loved to play with him and make him laugh!
And he met my friend Jenny (who is going to be a mommy herself come July!)

And he got to see Auntie Shauna again (she spent Christmas with us)

And he had a reunion with his Great-Aunt Bonnie who hadn't seen him since he was a month old!

It looks like he remembered her :)

He also met Mollie who seems to consider him less of a threat than Brodie does (However, she did air hump in the direction of anyone holding Grant. It was kind of yucky.)

As you can tell, we were not lacking for entertainment for Grant! But for those times that it was just us and we couldn't hold him all the time a neighbor had kindly let us borrow their exersaucer which helped us out so much! And I think Grant enjoyed it too :)

Yay for entertainment!
We also had to borrow something to bathe him in because we had no room in the car for our baby bathtub. So another generous neighbor let us borrow their baby bath seat. At which point I discovered that my parent's bathtub no longer held water. There was no plug for the tub. A quick assessment of the situation led me to the sink! Its a double sink so it's perfect! The extra sink held my rinse water.

Not a great pic but one of the few not showing his little peeper.
I thought he might not be crazy about it but he didn't mind it at all!

A good pic taken by his Daddy while Mommy did some shampooing
We got to spend some time with Mollie, my parent's chocolate lab. She had been living with my sister since my Dad was admitted to the hospital back in January. Mollie has had as rough a year as the rest of us. She loved the mess out of my parents and has been a very sad girl without them. She ran away from my sister's house twice while I was there and guess where she came? Home.

The loveseat is hers.
So what if I fed her some ham & cheese? Look at that face!

That doesn't look comfy to me, but who am I to judge?

Mollie was nice enough to share when little man needed a nap
Our last day there was AJ's birthday. He requested Chicken Alfredo which my sister made from scratch and it was delicious! And AJ's wife Melanie made some cupcakes. But calling them cupcakes doesn't do them justice...look at this!

Cupcakes made to look like a TV dinner! How fun!

I made him make an excited face.
I know this post is dangerously close to being too long...but I have a lot of good pictures :). We brought our bumbo seat & play tray with us as a highchair so Grant could still have his veggies. Uncle AJ was very amused by the tiny person learning to eat so he wanted to give it a try. And he did a pretty good job!

Grant puts his arms up when he's ready for a bite. I had never noticed that until AJ pointed it out.

We were all very entertained and took lots of pictures :)
 Like I said before, even though it was a very sad time we managed to make the best of it. It's always good to be with family. "Home" will never feel like it did when I was a kid. Especially without my parents. But it's always nice to know that we can all still hang out, be comfortable and lean on eachother when we have to.

I will say, though, that it's always nice to be back in your own bed. Grant hated his pack-n-play so he was in bed with me every night. Even at the hotel:

Grant at the hotel. One more day of travel left...poor little guy was a trooper!

Monday, February 21, 2011


2011 was supposed to be a better year. But some of 2010 seems to be lingering and I hope it goes away soon. On Saturday, February 12, 2011, my father passed away at Strong Memorial hospital in Rochester, NY while waiting for a liver transplant. I guess we are supposed to expect this. When you know someone is in the end stages of liver failure your mind should think the worst and it probably was in the back of my mind. But if I'm going to be honest, I really thought he'd get a liver in time. My sister and I weren't really prepared for anything else. We never heard someone say that it might not be possible. So, in less than 9 months time, we got into the car for a second time to make the 800 mile trip to attend another funeral for one of my parents. That trip ending at the home where my sister and I grew up and me dreading it's emptiness. I breathed a sigh of relief when we pulled into the driveway to see my sister, Shauna, and cousin, AJ, coming out to greet us.

This was a hard time for everyone. Not only because we had lost my mother not long ago, but also because we were just starting to be able to look forward to the person my Dad was hopefully going to become. In August Dad made the decision to quit drinking after a long battle with alcoholism. My sister and I were hoping Grant would be able to enjoy the "old Dad". The one that we can still look back and see. Of course, we weren't the only ones who lost someone. If the amount of people at the visitation is anything to go by, my Dad will be missed by many people.

One of my favorite pictures of my Dad. I took this while we were on a boat ride in 2005.
 As my cousin AJ pointed out to me, my Dad valued humor. He frequently walked the line between funny and inappropriate (something I seem to have inherited). So I thought a good way to honor his memory would be to tell some short stories and share some pictures and memories.
  • My Dad's birthday was December 30th and he loved to leave the Christmas tree up for his birthday. He took pride in his Christmas tree. So my logical explanation for this picture is that he must be going out for his birthday. We call this picture "Dad the Christmas Pimp"
  • Dad loved to dress up. He dressed up even when no one else did. But he also loved to wear Hawaiian shirts on Christmas eve and declare it a "Don Ho Christmas". I wish I had a picture of him in one of those shirts. 
In his tux before my wedding

Dressed up at Boldt Castle for my friend Jen's wedding

  • Dad was kind of crazy. He did crazy things. Like the time he built ornamental deer from birch wood and put them out front of a neighbor's house with a "No Hunting" sign on them. Good thing he had crazy friends. That same neighbor wired together those two deer in mating position and put them in our front yard. My mother was not amused (they lived on a busy road).
  • Or the time that an argument broke out during Easter dinner involving - as usual - my Mom, aunt Bonnie, and Gram. They were all talking loudly so as to be heard over eachother about who knows what. The last thing we heard was my Gram yell "Nobody ever cares about my feelings!" and then my father grabbed one of our hollowed out colored Easter eggs and smashed it on my Gram's head and then proceeded to sing "Feelings" as my Gram cried.
  • For Thanksgiving we always had turkey and ham. And my Mom made ham gravy for the ham which was, in my opinion, a vile substance. Apparently, my Dad thought so too. It was also roughly the same color as turkey gravy and Dad mistakenly put it on his turkey. He said grace like he always did and we barely had our first bite in our mouth before we hear "DAMN IT!" and my Dad's plate hits the wall. "I put f-----g ham graving on my turkey! Oh my God!" and he threw the whole plate in the trash (it wasn't a paper plate but it was apparently contaminated).
Those, of course, are not my only humorous memories of my Dad but they are definitely some of my favorites. This past week has made me think about a lot of things I hadn't thought about in a while. Like the time he had my Mom drop the three of us off at one end of the lake with our ice skates on because he always wanted to skate the whole lake. And he did but it would have taken a lot less time if he'd managed to stay upright more often (coordinated on skates he was not). Or how he made me believe that it was illegal to drink milk when I ate pizza so I would always tell the waitress at Pizza Hut that I had to have Pepsi or the police would come.

Dad & Mom at their wedding reception

Dad & Mom at my rehearsal dinner
Dad walking me down the aisle

Father & Daughter dance at my wedding. He picked "Tiny Dancer"

Dad & Nate decorating for our reception
Dad & Me at Boldt Castle after Jen's wedding

Dad & Mollie. She has been a very sad pup lately.
There are many more pictures I wish I had to share and lots of stories I'm forgetting at this moment. But you at least get the idea of who my dad was and why we'll miss him so much.

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