Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Margot eats and eats and eats!

Miss Margot loves to eat! And I love to make Margot's food. Clearly it's a great relationship. Since Chris and I love food it's no surprise that we were very excited to start feeding Margot solid foods.

While we started* with the obligatory organic whole grain baby rice cereal we quickly moved onto sweet potatoes, egg yolk, spring peas and other veggies. We have been making all of Margot's food from scratch using organic and local ingredients as much as we can. We try to buy her veggies at the farmers market this way we can make it a fun outing out of it. Because, you know, Margot is just so aware of the whole picking her veggies, bringing them home and cooking them...To date Margot has eaten (in this order): Rice cereal, sweet potatoes, peas, egg yolk, turnips, parsnips, carrots, banana, avocado, peaches, oatmeal, mangos, apple sauce, chicken (mixed with peas), and pot roast with onions. I thought I'd just share how we prepare veggies and fruits for Miss Margot.

As a general rule I steam or roast/bake her veggies and puree them with some cultured butter, breast milk and a small sprinkling of sea salt*. We give Margot each new food for 3 days, obsessively examine her for any signs of rashes and then proceede with our next new food. We introduced a variety of veggies first. Once we started adding fruits we still made sure to give her plain cereal and veggies consistently so she wasn't becoming too used to the sweeter tastes of fruits. Obviously we do not add any sweeteners to the fruit. Once she has had the veggie or fruit we sometimes add a spice and let her try that. So far she has had cinnamon, cumin, coriander, oregano and bay. This really depends on the flavors of what she's eating and if a spice would complement those flavors. We treat introducing a spice just like introducing a new food waiting for 3 days etc.

Sweet Potatoes: Bake whole at 350 for about one hour. Peel and mash well. And if you'd like add small pat of cultured butter and a sprinkle of sea salt (unless your butter is already salted). If needed add breast milk or formula to achieve correct consistency. Once sweet potatoes have already been introduced you may add a small pinch of cinnamon.

Peas: If using fresh, shell and steam peas. If using frozen thaw and then heat in small sauce pan with a dab of water. Once warm place in food processor. Again, you may add small amount of butter.

Carrots/Parsnips/turnips: Peel and cut into uniform pieces. Roast with a small amount of olive oil (just enough to keep them from sticking) at 400 for 30-40 minutes until tender. Place in food processor with pat of butter and/or 1 Tb breast milk or formula. Puree. Keep adding liquid until achieve correct consistency.

See her beautiful farmer's market parsnips and carrots:

Peaches/Mangos/apricots: Fresh, quarter and bake at 350 until tender (about 30-40 minutes). If frozen cook slowly in small pot with just enough water to keep from sticking until tender. Puree. We either give Margot fruit on its own or mix it into oatmeal or rice cereal.

Banana: Mash ripe banana with breast milk or formula. Serve alone or mixed into cereal.

Egg yolk: You want to soft boil the egg. We do this by placing in small pot of cold water. Bringing to a boil and boiling for 4-6 minutes. Run egg under cold water and peel. Place egg yolk alone, being careful to remove all egg white, into bowl. The egg yolk should be gooey but not runny. Add pinch of organic sea salt. Mash up and serve. We first did this at about 5.5 months and Margot did not like it. We did it again 1 week ago and she loved it.

Most of her foods freeze really well. These are mashed parsnips and carrots. Once I have a puree I freeze it in ice cube trays. I sterilize the trays first. Freeze the food in the trays for a few hours and then transfer into freezer bags.

Usually I keep one or two servings in the fridge for the next day or two. I am trying to use her frozen food within a month so I try not to make too much too fast. Obviously banana, avocado and egg yolk doesn't save.

Currently Margot eats three meals of solid food each day. She has breakfast at my Mom's around 8 or 9. This usually consists of cereal, cereal mixed with fruit or just fruit. She has lunch between 12-1 of a veggie. And dinner around 6 or 6:30 of a different veggie and meat or grain. She eats between 2-4 TB at each meal and she nurses/takes a bottle 5-6 times a day. So far she has liked almost everything we've given her the only two exceptions being the initial egg and avocado. I can tell a clear preference for the food fresh vs frozen. She eats the frozen but she eats with much more gusto when the food was just prepared. For this reason I try not to make things in too large of a quantity so she has fresh food more often.

Now that I have the go ahead to give her more foods I'm always thinking up new meals for her. Once I have a little more practice making her meat, grains, beans and so on I'll do another post on that.

*I was determined to wait until Margot was 6months old to give her solids because that's what my nursing book recommended. However, at 5 months Margot was becoming so frantic during our meals that it was clearly time to give her some solids. Given how quickly she took to eating I'm thinking for her that was the right time. From 5 months-6 months she had veggies, fruit, oatmeal, rice cereal and egg yolk. Our pediatrician gave us the go ahead at her 6 month appointment to go ahead and start introducing everything at this point except dairy, wheat, peanuts, honey, sugar and citrus. We will introduce yogurt at 9 months, general dairy at a year along. We will probably wait longer on wheat. Unlike my normal type a self I actually have done almost no reading on feeding Margot. I did read the section in nourishing traditions on feeding babies and read a few articles from the Weston Price foundation. Chris says this is because they told me what I wanted to hear so I stopped. Perhaps he's right. Per the advice of the Weston Price foundation I do put small amounts of cultured organic butter some of Margot's purees along with a small sprinkling of organic sea salt. I understand this is not the mainstream advice. This is however how we choose to prepare her food. Obviously you should do your own reading and talk to your own pediatrician about what to feed your kid. That is my disclaimer.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

6 Whole Months

Dear Margot--
You are 6 months old! Mommy can't even believe how fast time goes. You are learning and growing so much each day. This has been such an exciting month for you. You have started to eat vegetables and boy do you love to eat!
You have also really started to interact with other babies. You are grinning and laughing all of the time. You love to play with your toys and sit at your high chair. You are a very social baby and as long as people are around you are a happy camper. This month's brought a lot of firsts for you, your first tooth, your first vegetables and fruit, your first trip to the beach, your first official play date and our first mother's day.

At 6 months you can roll over both ways and hold up your upper body when you are on your stomach. You can sit up unassisted  for about 3 seconds before toppling over:) You have two teeth. And perhaps your biggest accomplish this month: you are pretty much sleeping through the night. You go to bed at 7:30pm and generally sleep until 5-6am. You eat about 2 Tb of solid food 3x a day and nurse or take a bottle every 2-4 hours. You are a pretty happy and content baby so long as someone is near you! You love to go places and see people. You especially love the grocery store, farmers market and restaurants. You are very observant and watch everything around you. You like to play with links, sophie, gerald the giraffe, and you like to put EVERYTHING in your little mouth. Here you are at 6 months:

Weight: 15lbs 15oz
Clothes: 6-9 months and 9 months

Tuesday, May 22, 2012


Oh my this me blogging two days in a row???

Yes I'm busy but I'm trying to blog more since I have completely failed at maintaining either a journal or Margot's baby book leaving this as the only record of our lives. Wow that sounded kind of dramatic. Anyway...

Since I have some new readers, hello birth to three friends, I thought I'd do a little re-introduction post. So here are some interesting or perhaps not so interesting things about the Potters...

Chris and I met at philosophy club in college. Yes we are just that cool. We were both philosophy majors.

While other children woke up on Saturday mornings to watch cartoons, I woke up to watch Julia Child on OPB. I love Julia. Chris woke up to watch cartoons. However, he watched a lot of Julia with me while I was on bed rest and now he loves Julia too.

Chris and I were both on Mock trial in high school. See we were cool even then:)

Chris loved bugs as child and to this day he will carefully scoop up the bug and move it outside rather than kill it.

I spend a lot of my childhood on my grandparent’s ranch riding horses and working cattle.

Chris and I got married at an old barn that was built in the 1800’s by early settlers arriving from the Oregon Trail.

Chris hunts water fowl (ducks and geese). I cook the ducks and geese.

I am a lobbyist. Once my 10 year old cousin asked what I did and when I said I was a lobbyist he said that lobbyist were bad guys. This was during the 2008 presidential election. I tried to explain that I wasn’t a bad guy but I’m not sure he was convinced.

Chris and I love to read and own hundreds of books (a few years ago I counted and it was close to 700--EEK.

Once we had a crawdad feed. It was great fun!

I am fascinated by diseases particularly old diseases like leprosy and the plague. I am also fascinated by Pigmies and most recently dinosaurs (this is from watching Jurassic park and then finding some books about dinosaurs at St. Vincent de Paul’s).

Chris and I LOVE St. Vincent de Paul’s (a local catholic charity and thrift store). One of our favorite dates is to go treasure hunting at St. Vincent de Paul’s.

I have a pension for trashy television and trashy music (think Gossip Girl, Dawson’s Creek, Lady Ga Ga etc…)

Chris likes to sing karaoke with his friend Ryan. Sometimes they sing karaoke in our kitchen

I go to bed really early when I can. Sometimes I’ll get into bed at 8 or 8:30 to read and it’s heavenly.

Chris and I both HATE to clean and often on Saturday mornings to we will leave the house as soon as we wake up to avoid cleaning. This is why we like breakfast dates and farmers markets so much.

Once I hiked a really tall and scary mountain. I do not intend to do it again.

One of our dreams in life is too own a house by the sea. Another is to travel the world with Margot. We plan to take her to Paris when she is 10 or 11.

We are kind of whisky connoisseurs and we are planning a food and whisky tour of Tennessee and Kentucky for our 10th wedding anniversary. Our plan is to fly into Nashville then drive to Memphis weaving up through Kentucky and then on down through the Mississippi delta to New Orleans.

So now--please share something interesting about you.

Monday, May 21, 2012


Last night Chris and I had a long conversation about life and how hard it is. We have many blessing and we try to be very grateful but lately life has just been so hard. It feels like life is coming at us from every angle. We've both been sick a lot this winter, we both have to work too much, we don't sleep enough and we are still working to pay off all of our bills from Miss Margot's arrival and extended hospital stay. It feels like we are short on time, energy, money, sleep and health! But what can you do? This is our reality right now and so we are trying to make the best of it. As hard as life is right now it's also such a special time. Margot will only be a baby once and my hope is that we look back on this time as one of joy rather than one of stress.

What this all means day to day...lately it's been a lot of chaos. A lot of dishes sitting in the sink for 3 days, un-vacuumed carpet and quick blah dinners. While I probably won't be able to create an immaculately clean house I do aim to take back my kitchen. I'm tired of not enjoying dinner or dinner time. And nothing puts a grey cloud over dinner like sink of dirty dishes and no idea what's for dinner. This means it's time to return to the weekly mean plan and doing the dishes before I go to bed. So with that...Here is what we shall be eating this week. I am shooting for lots of quick, easy and economical meals but still healthy and tasty. I'm also recognizing there are nights, such as this Thursday when I have a bridal shower to attend at 7pm, when cooking dinner is just not a reality. Planning ahead for convenience food is a lot cheaper than last minute take out.

Monday: Pasta with Peas and Prosciutto
Tuesday: Balsamic chicken with cous cous and spinach
Wednesday: Chicken korma simmer sauce* with rice and peas
Thursday: Annies organic white cheddar mac and cheese shells
Friday: Chicken satay with rice and cucumber salad
Saturday: cumin spiced chicken with cous cous
Sunday: Italian pot roast with polenta

*I picked up this simmer sauce on sale at Target. We shall see how it is and if it's something we can add to our regular rotation of convenience foods. Currently that rotation includes: tuna sandwiches, grilled cheese and tomato soup, stove top, annie's shells, Archer (Target brand) boxed risotto.

Monday, May 14, 2012

I love Mother's Day

Mother's Day was wonderful. We had breakfast in bed. We played with Margot. We celebrated our dear friend Ryan. We had a family lunch outside in the sun with my Mom, Step-Dad, brother and sister. We took a family nap. We played with Margot some more and we ate take out on our front porch. Basically it was a great Day.
I really love being a Mom but at the same time I think it's the hardest thing I have ever done. I once told a friend of mine I wasn't ready to have kids yet because I wanted to do what I wanted to do when I wanted to do it and I knew having kids would require me to give that up. I was right. It does. And sometimes that sucks. Especially before Margot slept in her own bed it was really hard to give up my evenings and have no downtime. It was also really hard to have no time to myself. So yes it's hard. BUT it's so wonderful. Margot brings so much joy. I know everyone says this but I truly can't imagine our lives without her. It continues to amaze just how much she completes our little family. It was wonderful to have a day to celebrate that relationship and really to celebrate her and what she has brought to our lives. It was also nice to be spoiled a little:) I also enjoyed treating my Mom. Since having my own baby I have so much more perspective on her and what she has given me throughout the years.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

A Good Day

Today is a good day. I am wearing a wonderful outfit and I even accessorized in the form of many many pearls. Accessorizing is something I often fail to do these days and I race around each morning in a foggy haze of not enough sleep.
Today however is different. Because last night my baby slept ALL NIGHT LONG!!! I'm not even kidding. She slept from 7:30pm-5:30am. That is 10 hours people. And I, having gotten in bed to read at 8pm and falling asleep at 9pm like an old person, slept for 8 hours for the first time in 6 months.

Sleep is wonderful. I love sleep. Today is a good day--the end.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Eating my words

Last week Chris was sick.

Truth be told I kind of thought he was being a wimp. He seemed to be "dying" from a cold. And we all know how men can be when they are sick...

Then I caught the same bug...And let's just say I'm eating my words. I quickly realized this was not a cold and went to my doctor who said I had the early stages of the flu. She thinks we can stave it off with some homeopathic remedies.

Poor Chris...sometimes I am a crappy wife.

I will now proceed to spend the weekend on the couch "dying" while my wonderful husband takes care of me.

When I am better I will get Chris a present. Or at least let him pick the movies for a while.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Who cares if it is a hallmark holiday

This is my sweet baby. I love her oodles and oodles. This will be my first Mother's Day. And while yes Mother's Day may be a consumeristic hallmark holiday I do not care. Not one little iota. I love my baby but it has been a hard year bringing this little one into the world. After two months of bed rest, a very painful 1.5 hours of pushing, breastfeeding trauma that I don't even want to think about, and way too many 10 hour work days after a mere 3-4 hours of sleep I just want a day that's about spoiling me. And that is just the truth of the matter. Next month Margot and I will plan a day all about spoiling Chris in honor of his first Father's Day. We already have big plans, we've been plotting!

As a new Mother here are some ideas to make Mother's day a fun and special day without breaking the bank.

1. Breakfast in Bed: I have already put in a request to my dear husband for Bagels with Lox and decaf Duncan Donuts coffee

2. Flowers: flowers are lovely and they just make you happy. Just a small simple bunch of peonies or roses is perfect.
3. A small trinket: I think a small gift is nice. You can wear it and remember it was a gift for your first Mother's Day. I am loving these three affordable pieces from Stella and Dot. hint hint...:)

4. Do something she likes to do. I'm not sure what we are going to do. I know our dear friend Ryan is going to be ordained that morning so we are going to his ceremony. But I'm sure in the afternoon we'll do something I enjoy like walk on the river path or treasure hunt at St. Vincent de Paul's.

5. Take out for dinner. I have no intention of doing any dishes (or cleaning) on Mother's Day. Her favorite take it is a great way to still have a relaxing evening at home playing with baby and not dirty any dishes. I'm thinking Indian sounds good.

Obviously as Margot gets bigger I look forward to funny handmade cards/gifts which I will of course frame and display in all their glory because obviously my child is an artistic genius. But at 6 months her sweet smiles and hugs are more than enough.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Photo A Day--April

 It was had to remember to take a photo a day this month! So some of these are lame. Oh well
 Day 1: Reflection--Miss Margot smiles at her own reflection
 Day 2: color--beautiful spring colors
Day 3: Mail--Margot received a sock bouquet, in the mail she was rather enamored
 Day 4: Someone who makes me happy--Chris loving Margot so much
 Day 5: Tiny--Harriet the bird
 Day 6: Lunch--This is Margot eating dinner and being a grumpy pants
 Day 7: Shadow--A shadow from Lenard the Lion
 Day 8: Inside your wallet--lame
 Day 9: younger you--this is me at, I believe, 18months
Day 10: cold--Margot bundled up for the cold
Day 11: Where you ate breakfast--my desk at my office
 Day 12: Stairs--inside the Atrium building where I have tons of meetings

Day 13: something you found--my purse which I found on sale for $5 at St. Vincent DE Paul's
 Day 14: How you feel today
 Day 15: Sunset--Margot playing before getting ready for bed
 Day 16: Flower--Jasmine flower tea
 Day17: Something I don't like--putting away laundry
 Day 18: hair--er...Margot's lack of hair (seriously lame prompt)
 Day 19: orange--one of my last surviving tulips after the neighbor kids cut most of them :(
 Day 20: something I drew--does drawing on the computer count? window sign for downtown business for a recent campaign I was working on
 Day 21: bottle--of wine
 Day 22: The last thing I bought: whole milk decaf latte with chocolate sprinkles from full city
 Day 23: vegetable--Margot's first vegetable: mashed organic sweet potato with breast milk, cultured butter and sea salt yummy!
 Day 24: something I am grateful for--these awesome terracotta soldiers Ben brought back for me from China
 Day 25: looking down--and enjoying the fact that I am wearing my favorite gladiator sandals

Day 26: black and white: Margot' toy bin in the family room
Day 27: somewhere I went--my front porch where we sat and relaxed
Day 28: 1pm--getting ready to run errands

Day 30: circle--Margot's skirt is a circle...isn't it fetching!

and day 31 was something that makes me sad which I failed to take a picture of---whew that as a lot of pictures!