Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Rose-9 Months!

Date: November 20, 2020

Sleeping Pattern: Things are pretty steady in the sleep department. Rose doesn't have super long naps during the day (they're usually around an hour-if I'm lucky they're longer, if I'm less lucky they're shorter) but she sleeps for a long while at night (like 12.5 hours on average) and she's a generally happy lady so no complaints! (I knew this would happen-she went through something for a few days after I wrote this where her sleep got kind of crazy but I think we're back on track again.) She wakes around 7ish every morning and then is awake for 2.5 hours before her 1st nap and then she's awake for 3 hours after waking before her 2nd nap. Then she's up for 4 hours before we start her bedtime routine. She still usually stays pretty still while sleeping, not moving around or rolling around much. Just assumes her classic sleepy time pose of left hand in her hair and right thumb in her mouth when I put her down and then her arms may lay in other positions whilst asleep but periodically pop back into position lol. 

Eating Habits: Nursing has been fine still! She eats and then is done and it's never very long and all pretty chill. Solids have been consistently good too-she still hasn't disliked a single thing. Little girl has eaten spicy curry and loves it (when something spicy catches up to her she does eventually cry because it hurts but then I give her yogurt and she's cool). It's pretty awesome. She is now eating 3 times a day (breakfast, lunch-which is after her 1st nap, and dinner) and happily chomps away. She may have started signing more at one point but now that's unfortunately disappeared--I always try to model and ask "more" and "all done" and so far still having some issues on sorting out what she wants in that area. She always lights up when I ask if she wants a drink and give her the cup of water. She looooves water. 

Development & Firsts: On 10/24 Rose got her 1st tooth (bottom right incisor) and on 10/30 she got her 2nd (bottom left incisor)! Now she's got 2 cute little toothers in the bottom of her mouth. She also had her 1st Halloween (she was a Care Bear! We stayed home because of COVID but still dressed the kids up for fun). She's crawling really really well and started being able to crawl on all fours (as opposed to the army crawl) and is super fast! She's also pulling herself up to standing on things and frequently gets up on her feet from crawling (she just can't get her upper body off the ground unless she's holding something). She loves to crawl into my lap and then pull herself up to standing on me and then just bury her face in my shoulder (she loooves me!) And she sits up from laying/crawling. Annnd claps two toys together (and sometimes her hands). She also points, a lot. Big fan of pointing. And she'll sort of wave too (hold her hand up and open and close it. She does this to daddy a lot, or to me if he has her, or sometimes when we video call). I'm incredibly impressed by how good she is at making things fit together-she's always attempting the puzzles and shape fitting things that we have with much more dexterity than I would expect at her age and she can even put all the rings on the stacking cone (which kind of blew me away honestly). And I think that's all? Lots of separation anxiety if you want to count that as development-she is not a fan of not being without her mama. If she had her way I'd be holding her 90% of the time.

Mischief:  Rose is still a fan of going after things even (especially?) if you try to redirect her from it. One time there was a toy I had moved her away from (not good for chewing on and she of course chews everything) and while I was doing something else she crawled over to the toy. She then looked at me, very purposefully, and held up the toy and when I said, "Nooo," she like laughed at me. She's also always wanting what James has, even when he's yelling at her that she's not allowed (*sigh*). Most of the time, though, she just gets mad and yells at you or cries when you deny her something. Now that she has teeth, Rose has experimented with biting me during nursing a couple times (very tentatively like she's literally testing it out). When I gently say "Noo Rosie no biting" she looks crestfallen and sobs about being reprimanded. (James had a biting phase at this age and thought it was amusing when I said no. So here's a very clear difference between them lol). She's still made of more sweetness than mischief!

Cuteness: I cannot emphasize enough how adorable Rose is. She is the sweetest most affectionate good little baby that I can imagine. I love all her chunky baby rolls and her big beautiful eyes (of indeterminate color, I'm guessing they'll end up hazel?) and crazy long eyelashes and kissy little mouth (that's always drooling) and the cutest 2 little teeth that peek out when her mouth is open wide (which is a lot she is always giving big grins or yelling lol). And her super pretty long hair (whether it's down or in pigtails). She just adores me and wants me like all the time and man that makes my heart swell. She would be content to be held always pretty much. She'll just lay her head on me or snuggle up on my shoulder (or Michael's) and squeeze for a big hug/snuggle. She'll give big open mouthed kisses happily all day long-including to her sweet brother (he loves to hold her and she gets so excited and they'll give each other kisses. It melts you.) And now that she's mobile she does the cutest little happy "I'm coming to get you" crawl when she sees one of us and wants to come get us. Her face lights up and she speeds up her crawling-soooo precious. She'll also crawl into your lap (which we fully predicted would be the case) and now even uses you to stand herself up and then like forcibly hug/kiss you lol. She's actually pretty cool to just play with toys and crawl around most of the time-she doesn't really get into stuff she shouldn't much (including the Christmas tree!), she's pretty chill left to her own devices until she becomes demanding of wanting to be held/cuddled. One time she was playing near Michael while he worked (I was putting James down for his nap) and she just crawled from the living room to the front room, took one of the stacking rings for her cone-which she had been playing with in the living room-, and came back to her previous spot. Like just went on a little mission and didn't do anything untrustworthy. She's constantly talking and babbling-so many probable words are emerging and it's so cool to see the beginning of this 2 way communication. And I love her little voice. She calls for dada a lot and even has flapped her hand out demandingly while yelling "dadaaaaaa!!" (She loves her daddy too, he makes her smile and giggle so much.) She talks with her hands a looot (can't imagine why....we all talk with our hands lol) and especially likes to hold her hand out in almost a Shakespearean "alas poor Yurik" kind of way. Rose is also definitely recognizing the people that we video call with, she gets so excited to see them (she even tries to happy crawl to the phone :P) and also loves to look at pictures of them. On Halloween James was already in his (ninja turtle) costume when we went to get Rose from her nap and she did a double take when she saw him. Then she started pointing at him and like guffaw laughing. It was the most little sibling thing ever. She's getting more into books now and even took a book back off the shelf after I had put it back (and since then she's decided a fun new game is "take all the books off the shelf!"--luckily pretty much everything at her height level is kid friendly thanks to James lol). Clearly she is standing quite a bit and it's cute how excited she gets sometimes after successfully pulling herself up, she'll like wiggle and do a cry of victory. Rose also seems to be very interested in instruments, especially Michael's guitar. Like everything she does it seems like she's very experiential about it (like James is more cerebral and likes to figure things out in his head first and really understand how everything works)-like she's tactile and likes to test things in order to figure them out (like the stacking rings on the cone, puzzles, etc.) It's amazing to watch her learn and grow and just how full of love and wonder she is.

Nicknames: Rosie, Rosie Rose, Rosie Posy, Baby Rose, Miss Rosie, Baby girl, Pretty girl, Lady, Young Lady, Chunk/Chunk-a-munk, "The Chub/Chubby" (James calls her that), Koala Bear, Sweetling, Sweetie-girl, Sweetie pie, Cutie-girl, Honey girl, Honey bun, Little miss, Missy, Ma'am, Sweetness, Love, combinations of all of the above.

Talking: Always talking but absolutely with more intention and meaning. Like she's clearly saying words now (just not always clear on what the word is). Dada and bruhbah (brother) are very strong and distinct-she doesn't use mama a ton but she'll whip it out occasionally. She's definitely saying "yeah" (always a cute response to hear lol) and might also be saying done, baby, book, that/dat (when we put up Christmas decorations she just kept pointing at everything going "dat! dat! dat!"), and other things. Lots of babbling. She also might make the "vroom" sound for cars and the elephant sound (similar to raspberries but a bit different I think). She'll also do a big excited inhale when she's stoked about something.

Favorites: James, mommy, and daddy. Playing with, hugging, and kissing James (she'll give him big open mouth kisses and it's too sweet). Snuggles. Burying her head in your shoulder. Hugs. Kisses. Being held. Daddy wearing his glasses (she thinks it's funny). Daddy's guitar (listening to him play and also trying to play herself). Babies (she gets so excited when she sees pictures of her little cousin Mena). People (pictures and video calls especially, and most of all the grandparents and aunts and uncles and aforementioned cousin). Smiling and attention. Eating food (yogurt and applesauce have elicited particularly aggressive positive responses, amongst others). Playing peek-a-boo (especially with daddy). All forms of playing and attention and affection bring her joy. Toys (especially ones her brother likes and also the xylophone, and cone and stacking rings). Still anything with a face, especially elephants and, like I said, babies. Going where she wants and getting what she wants-the newfound independence of crawling. Baths. And yeah I mean a million things. She's so dang happy and loves all of us so much. It's the most precious.

Dislikes: Not being with mommy. Getting wiped down after eating. Being kept from being able to go crawl and be free if she so desires. Taking something away from her (or her away from the something) that she wants. Falling (starting to happen now that she's standing and she is not a fan of falling down. James never seemed phased so it's very different!) Being told no/reprimanded/stopped. 

Concerns: COVID as always. And just anytime she's crying in her crib. And no one enjoys the teething and separation anxiety stuff. But that's pretty much it. 


A Day in the Life: James wakes up around 7-7:30 (usually) and so does Rose. I get James then we go get Rose together (and she's always so excited to see big brother and he's so excited to see her). We all go downstairs and I get James situated then she nurses, I change her diaper, I give them breakfast, we play, and then down for a nap after being awake for two and a half hours. She usually sleeps about 1-1.5 hours then I nurse her, change her, give her lunch, we play, then we get James down for his nap around 1ish and she usually goes down after that (about 3ish hours after waking up). I get a bit of a break while they both sleep usually, but this nap is usually short for her because she needs to be awake by 3 so that her bedtime is no later than 7 (since James' is at 7:30). After she's awake I nurse her, change her, we might play for a smidge and then I generally get dinner ready and we all eat together. After that I maybe give her/James bath(s)-usually together now-or just play (maybe video call with someone). Bedtime starts 4 hours after she woke from her nap. Someone reads her a book, says goodnight to stuff around the house, then she says goodnight to James and goes upstairs. We read superhero rules, get her diaper changed and into her sleeper and sleepsack and then I nurse her and sing "Rosie". She usually falls asleep and I cuddle her before laying her down in her crib. Then she sleeps all night (Except for the weird days she wakes up and cries in the very early morning *sigh*)


Friday, November 27, 2020

Foodie Holiday Gift Guide

It's a very COVID Christmas!

Too soon? Sorry. And yet-I think we can all agree that we pretty much could all use some extra cheer this year. And my food loving heart thinks that the best gift is a tasty one. So I've rounded up some of my favorite food gifts that you can order online and send to your loved ones. I can attest (through personal experience) that all of these companies make delicious delicious food and whoever receives them is very lucky indeed.

Is this list a gift guide for you or a wish list for me? You decide.

Little Red Kitchen Bake Shop

This one is super exciting to me-I met Susan (the woman behind the Little Red Kitchen) back when we were just a couple food bloggers in NYC. And now she has a successful baking business! Everything she makes is all natural (no preservatives and nothing artificial!) and baked fresh to order with high quality and mostly organic ingredients. And they are DEEELICIOUS. Little Red Kitchen Bake Shop offers cookies, bars (like brownies!), hot chocolate mix, cookie kits, cookie pies, and even a cookie of the month club subscription (the perfect gift for any cookie lover). When they were just starting I was lucky enough to sample some of the cookies (peanut butter, s'mores, and their signature chocolate chip: YUM YUM YUM) and I just recently got to try their Rocky Road Cookie Pie and seriously....I am a dessert snob. SO SO GOOD. The cookie pie didn't even need warmed up to be moist and delicious (and I almost always warm up cookies). Little Red Kitchen Bake Shop ships nationwide when you order from their website but they also can be found at certain markets and stores in the NY area and they have recently started being sold on Amazon! Tons of options to give the gift of sweet. 

Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream

Jeni's has my all time favorite ice cream. They originated in Columbus, Ohio (my home state) but have now expanded to various locations nationwide. Their ice creams are made with super high quality, whole ingredients are are fair trade/direct trade. Essentially it's artisan ice cream that meets really high standards and the company is awesome and the ice cream is crazy delicious. Salty Caramel is my absolute favorite but they have so many really cool and unique flavors, including consistent innovation with new seasonal and limited edition flavors rotated frequently. Jeni's is sold in lots of stores, there are scoop shops around the country, but you can also order online (including Jeni's cookbooks!) and-the ultimate gift for the ice cream fan in your life-they have a pint club:

"Every month, recipients receive a curated selection of four flavors (often before they’re on sale) delivered directly to their doorstep. Plus, to kick the subscription off right, the first shipment includes four of our signature flavors, a welcome letter with the ice cream delivery dates, and a set of our favorite ice cream spades. Giving Pint Club as a gift? We’ll help you keep it a surprise! Pint Club recipients will be notified of their membership with their first shipment."

Wafels and Dinges

When someone asks for recommendations on what to eat in NYC one of my first recommendations is Wafels and Dinges. They're also probably the #1 most missed food item for Michael and I. They're a bunch of food trucks (and they have a cafe now!) that serve Belgian liege waffles (extra sweet dessert waffles that are chewy and crisp and filled with pockets of caramelized sugar) with a bunch of different toppings-aka dinges-and they're heaven on earth. I have chronicled my missing them on social media and their brilliant social media team has sympathized and dangled the fact that they ship nationwide at me like a bright shiny dream. You can buy just waffles or a box that includes some of their popular toppings as well. Dear Santa, I've been super super good this year....

Imperfect Foods

I started using Imperfect Foods (if you use this link and decide to sign up you get $10/off your first box and I get $10 off mine as well!) a few months ago and I'm honestly just extremely impressed by them as a company and concept. Essentially they take food that would otherwise be wasted (for a variety of reasons such as cosmetic, discontinued labels, incorrect barcodes, surplus, etc. etc.) and sell it to us at a discounted rate. The people these foods come from aren't out the money, food isn't wasted, and we get really good stuff for less-it's honestly a win all around. There's no forced subscription (I always opt out of all future delivery dates then go back and opt in when I want a box) and you can choose what you get in your box. And they're offering holiday gift boxes this year that you can send to anyone in the US! Lots of tasty treats for only $24.99 (plus tax and shipping). 

Levain Bakery

Levain cookies are famous and there is a good reason. This NYC bakery makes massive cookies that are perfectly underbaked and gooey on the inside but nice and sturdy (and almost biscuit like!) on the inside. They're incomparable and another one of my most missed NYC items. Which is why it's pretty fabulous that you can just order some online to give to someone you adore. 

ButcherBox

ButcherBox is another subscription service that I actually tried out a few years back-I absolutely loved it, although I sadly haven't ordered in awhile! Their boxes feature 100% grass-fed, grass-finished beef; heritage-breed pork; free-range, organic chicken; and wild Alaskan salmon. You can get a mix or only a particular kind of meat and I can attest the quality is top notch and the prices are insanely reasonable. If you're the gift giver to a carnivore with high standards, I highly recommend giving a gift subscription!


Who doesn't love cookie dough?? DŌ is awesome (and another NYC based company!) because they have made edible cookie dough fun, chic, and so so delicious. And there's a ton of different gift options on their website so we really have no reason to not all be eating their cookie dough all holiday season. 

Dana's Bakery

Another NYC based company (I found so many tasty things when I was there!)-Dana is a self professed mom-trepreneur and makes super creative and delicious macarons in a wide range of fun flavors (and she's introduced the Mookie-a macaron stuffed into a cookie. WHAAAAT?!) And there are so many fun things you can order for anyone else fun and cool that you may know. (Like me! Kidding...sorta lol.) 


Disclaimer-I was not compensated in any way for including anything on this list. I did receive a free sample from Little Red Kitchen but was under no obligation to give a positive review. All opinions are, as always, my own. 

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Rose-8 Months!


Date: October 20, 2020

Sleeping Pattern: Naps haven't been amazing lately (I aim for 1.5 hours but frequently they're like an hour or less), I'm assuming partly due to teething. But it's not a big deal, we just do early bedtimes when they're too short.  Rose's first nap is usually like 2 hours and like 15-20 minutes after she wakes up in the morning and then her second nap is about 2 hours and 40ish minutes after waking from that nap. Then she's awake for like 3 hours and 45 minutes before we start her bedtime routine. Once she's asleep she sleeps all night, woot! Her sleep routines are all the same and she usually stays asleep on her back and doesn't really move much-there have only been a couple times she's rolled onto her stomach or scooted around her crib. It'll be interesting to see if that starts to change soon or not (her big brother started moving everywhere in his sleep like right away lol). 

Eating Habits: Nursing is still going fine-Rose definitely eats the most during her first and last feedings (and is hungriest at the first one) and then the 2 middle of the day feeds are shorter and she frequently gets pretty distracted by all the chaos of her brother. She's started occasionally biting down when she's kind of over it-luckily still no teeth-but not my faaavorite. But she's so cute it's hard to get too upset about it lol. Solids are still going super well. Rose is a champion eater-she does super duper well and loves everything. I have yet to find something she straight up doesn't like. Red peppers have been the only thing she's seem less enthused about but she still ate it. Little girl even likes curry and doesn't seem to mind the spice! I'm hoping she ends up being less picky than James and I (I'm also hoping he'll get less picky when he's not a toddler but I digress.) She's still eating twice a day (breakfast and dinner) and she just happily eats until she's done. I can usually tell that she's good when she starts just wiping her hands all over the tray and yelling a lot. Then I sign and say "all done", she smiles, I sign and ask "drink?", she gets stoked and then drinks some water (and I eventually pry it out of her hands because babies aren't supposed to have a ton of water lol).

Development & Firsts: Big month! On 10/8 Rosie CRAWLED! And she's been on the move ever since. She has become very single minded and goes after things she wants (much to the frustration of her brother, at times). She's also utilizing rolling much more easily now, but purely as a supplement to the crawling lol. Her communication has taken a big leap, too. She's pointing and waving and even started signing "more" (on 10/17) for when she's eating and wants more food (of course). And more on this stuff in the talking section. 

Mischief: Now that Rose is crawling she has become quite fixated on getting certain things--especially things that her brother is playing with or that she shouldn't have. You move her or the things away and she just goes right back to it. Seems I have two stubborn children, huzzah lol. And if you actually manage to remove the thing she wants from her she. will. scream at you. Rose isn't afraid of telling you like it is and making sure you know how she feels. In that same vein she's also still incredibly grabby lol. Otherwise, though, she's much more sweet than mischievious!

Cuteness: This is my least favorite section to write and here is why--it is IMPOSSIBLE to completely summarize how cute my babies are. Rose's happy little eyes, chubby cheeks, kissy mouth, big smiles, long hair (AND PIGTAILS), little baby hands with little fingers that are always pointing, tiny toes, chunky thighs...just all so cute. She's truly just pure joy. So happy, smiling so much. She's just thrilled to be with us. She's always smiling at Michael and putting her hand on his face and waving at him and saying "ahyada dadaaaaa". She also loves to try to feed him when she has food. She still fangirls over James. When we get her from sleep and he's with me her legs kick like crazy and she squeals while leaning out of my arms and reaching for him with a giant grin. They're always hugging and kissing each other and the look on her face when he gives her that attention...omg I melt. She just watches him constantly and thinks everything he does is so interesting and so funny. It's amazing. And she's always trying to be held and snuggled when I'm near her, she'll just bury her head in my neck and shoulder and is always kissing or chewing on any part of me in her vicinity. She loves to grab my head and give me giant (aggressive) kisses. And now when we video call her grandparents or aunts and uncles she gets so excited and grins at them and reaches for them and tries to like crawl to them. It's cute and sad. The first time she waved we were on a weekly Zoom call that Michael's extended family does and when we saw everyone on there she just lifted her little hand up and moved her fingers in the wave and she just has kept on doing it. She does it to Michael the most. She also is doing more imitating of motions-she saw my mom shaking her hands at her and Rose copied what she was doing exactly. She's always gurgling and doing raspberries/elephant sounds (
she'll even raise her hand so she may actually be making the elephant sound.) Oh and she liked super loves her stuffed elephant that James gave her in the hospital. He lives in her room and she just like grins at him and reaches for him and oooooh. It's so cute to see her happily play with stuff and how determined she is to crawl after things. I love how into peek-a-boo she is also. She has tons of fun when you play with her but the best is when she raises her hands up or a toy up in front of her face then abruptly brings them down and you say "peek-a-boo!" and she grins and giggles! I love it. She frequently does this during meals so the messy face adds to the cute factor. Eating is adorable, too. She just loves it and is so pleased to be eating like...everything. She legitimately seems to have liked all food equally at this point (she miiight like red peppers and beets less than everything else and maybe burritos, pot pie, and strawberries more? But I don't know she gobbles it all up). And yeah as always...she's just sweet. And happy. And lovey. And everything about her is cute. 

Nicknames: Rosie, Rosie Rose, Rosie Posy, Baby Rose, Baby girl, Pretty girl, Coy fish, Lady, Young Lady, Chunk/Chunk-a-munk, "Little Chub/Chubby" (James calls her that), Grunty Girl, Sweetling, Sweetie-girl, Sweetie pie, Cutie-girl, Honey girl, Honey bun, Little miss, Missy, Ma'am, Sweetness, Love, combinations of all of the above...

Talking: Still constantly making sound-yelling, babbling, gurgling, blowing raspberries/making elephant sounds, and talking. She's saying the same words (may be saying "yeah" also and some babbles sound like words too but nothing concrete) but with more intentionality and consistency. She's always talking to and looking for "bruhbah" and has been doing a lot of waving at and asking for "dadaaaa".

Favorites: James, mommy, and daddy. Playing and cuddling with James (they still love to hug and smooch and cuddle and also yell at each other). I think she's recognizing people we see frequently on video calls and getting excited to see them (grandparents and my brother and sister-in-law in particular but she still just loves seeing any people lol). Smiling and attention. Eating food (still loves it all. Pot pie and burritos probably elicited the most of her signing "more"). Kisses. Being held and snuggled. Pretty much any version of loving, attention, and playing. Playing peek-a-boo. Toys (especially ones her brother likes). Still anything with a face but I think her stuffed elephant (that James calls "Willy", after the boy elephant at the Cleveland Zoo). Getting where she wants to go now that she can crawl. Baths. Mirrors. Watching any of us do something she finds amusing. And...honestly almost everything. She's still very happy like all the time. 

Dislikes: Still isn't a fan of me walking away from her but now that she can crawl she usually gets less upset about it. Definitely any lack of attention is not her favorite, though. When she isn't allowed to have something or when someone takes a toy she has away from her (she will scream/cry at you. Loudly.) And teething (I'm thinking she might actually get a tooth or 2 before her next update? We'll see!)

Concerns: Still everything COVID-related. Ugh. 

A Day in the Life: Rose wakes up around 7-7:30 and we go downstairs. She nurses, I change her diaper, I give her and James breakfast, we play, and then down for a nap after being awake for two hours and like 15-20 minutes. She usually sleeps about 1-1.5 hours then I nurse her, change her, play with her, then we get James down for his nap around1ish and she usually goes down after that (about 2 hours and 40ish minutes after waking up). James has started fighting naps so if I'm lucky I get a little break while they both nap and in the likely event that I'm not then James messes around in his room and I hope he doesn't disturb Rose. This nap is super variable (probably due to the loud brother) and can honestly be anywhere from 45-90ish minutes. After she's awake I nurse her, change her, I generally get dinner ready ASAP and then we all eat together. After that I maybe give her/James bath(s) or just play (maybe video call with someone). Bedtime starts 3 hours and 45ish minutes after she woke from her nap. Someone reads her a book, says goodnight to stuff around the house, then she says goodnight to her brother and goes upstairs. We read superhero rules, get her diaper changed and into her sleeper and sleepsack and then I nurse her and sing "Rosie". She usually falls asleep and I cuddle her for a few minutes before laying her down in her crib. Then she sleeps all night (with the exception of random crying that usually happens every so often). 


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