Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The Wednesday Links from Around The Web 7.23.2014

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10 Freezer Meals for Busy Weeknights! I had a great stash of freezer meals built up when Maggie was born and this list is a great guide for my replenishment plans. 

How to Load the Dishwasher *twitch* *twitch*

Photo Storage by Personality Which one are you?


Monday, July 21, 2014

Seven Months with Mag-Pie (and 30 weeks with Chicken Nugget)


Maggie,

You are a master squirmer! This month you have mastered backward crawling, pulling up from sitting, sitting from laying down and you are finally rolling around. You so desperately want to walk but you are not there yet. Well to be honest, you just don't have the muscle strength yet but soon my child, soon!

Maggie - 30 Weeks

I often see your little face peeking over the edge of the couch or ottoman at me. You also get stuck in the standing position after pulling up on the ottoman. It would be cute if it wasn't so loud.

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Summer has been in full force here in Seattle so we've been hanging out at the wading pools, the beach and the pool. Your sister has been taking swimming lessons so we've been hanging out on the pool's edge during her lessons. You've been taking swimming lessons on Saturday with the whole family. You love the water but get so tired and have to leave before lessons are over. I'm still hoping you'll be a water baby like your sister! 

First Day of Swim Lessons! #forcedfamilyfun #summerbucketlist

It's been so hot around here that you are enjoying cooling off in the wading pools. We recently enjoyed a picnic with your buddy, Vivienne and her sister (your sister's bestie), Norah at the Greenlake Wadding Pool. It was a fun evening and another item knocked off our Summer Bucket List

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It's been fun watching you get more mobile. You love playing with your sister and her toys and now that you are mobile, you can really get in to everything. Molly is not as excited about these recent changes you are. 

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You also graduated to the shopping cart seat! Now you and your sister get to ride in the front of the cart at Costco while your Dad complains that the cart weighs a thousand pounds. 

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We took a family hike to Discovery Park on the Fourth of July. It was quite an adventure. There was a lot of crying, excitement and sleeping. You were a great hiking buddy though and I look forward to our next hike. You continue to be a pretty stellar sleeper though the last week has been a bit rough. You are working on your first teeth and that wakes all of us up. You look so sad but settle down when I bring you to bed with us. Then your Dad moves you back to your bed which causes more crying and back you come. I sense that we'll be working on this situation if it doesn't resolve itself once your teeth come in. 

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We've also been spending a lot of time with my parents. Grandpa is sick and so I go over to help him and Grandma out. He really enjoys spending time with you and all your smiles. You are just such a happy baby. I'm happy that you can bring him some joy while he's not feeling well. I also feel blessed that you get to spend some time with him now even though you may not remember him when you are older. But I'll have the memories and the photos. 

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Thank you for being such a bright, shiny person. You are the sunshine in my day. I hope you continue to spread joy as you grow. I love spending my days with you. 

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Stats at 7 Months
Weight: 20+ (I have no clue as our scale is broken and you haven't been 
to the doctor since your six month check-up)
Likes: Sleeping, Sister Molly, Standing, Sitting up
Dislikes: Getting stuck standing up, when Mom leaves the room, being alone 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Spicing up Seattle

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I love living in Seattle especially on days like today. The sun sparkles as it hits all the bodies of water surrounding this great city. The smell of sand, salt and food is almost always in the air. That's the best part, the food. This city is packed full of fantastic restaurants, great food writers and photographers. This is a city where you can really enjoy a good meal.

Octopus Potato

I follow a lot of Seattle Food Bloggers and know where they get their inspiration from. This city just provides tons of it from the Pike Place Market to all the fantastic farms within a short drive. Of course this means I have a ton of recipes that I'm dying to make but no good place to collect them. I was excited to recently learn about Kitchenbug which is a smart recipe collector that shows dietary and nutritional information on any recipe from any website. The other awesome thing about Kitchenbug is that you can adjust the size of your recipes. This is great for me since I have two adults, one toddler and one sometimes I eat food baby eater. I don't need a dinner that makes enough for 6 people. I like to adjust my meals so we have the right amount of food.

This was from the kid's menu! It was delicious but so much food. We helped Molly finish it.

I've been hard at work collecting some of my favorite Seattle recipes on Kitchenbug in a collection box named, "Spicing Up Seattle". I have a few favorites and a few recipes I'm dying to try in there. Come check it out and tell me, what are your favorite Seattle recipes? 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Pumping the Race

8:42 am I wash my pump parts and bottles. #adayinthelifephotochallenge

Exclusively pumping is like running a marathon. You start out with the best of intentions and goals. You'll pump as long as this child needs you to pump! You pump 8-10 times a day. It is mind-numbling boring and sometimes a bit painful. The amount of time you spend pumping each day never seems to decrease. Sometimes you'll ask for advice on how to get more efficient and people will tell you to throw in another pump session to boost your output. You pump in the strangest of places because while you may travel away from home, your boobs can't leave the pump behind. You'll waver. You'll stop at the water station and think, I'm not going to finish this race. I'm ready to throw in the pump.



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And if the pumping marathon finish line is one year, I'm getting ready to quit the race halfway through. I've been sprinting for the last 13.1 miles and I'm done. My training partner keeps trying to trip me up. She doesn't like waiting for the milk to be produced but won't drink from the tap. She's getting more wiggly and doesn't want to sit while I pump. Her cohort sister is either a great supporter (MORE PUMP, MAMA!) or a great hinderance (NO PUMP, MAMA!). And my body keeps rebelling. I've had mastitis three times, three painful times. My output has decreased with each instance and Maggie is thriving on a mix of breast milk, formula and solid food. I've made it this far and I'm done. This is the end of my breastfeeding career and I can say it was a wild one. 

9:58 am Pumping while Maggie naps and Molly is distracted with the iPad. #adayinthelifephotochallenge

All in all though, I'm pretty proud of what I've accomplished with breastfeeding it certainly didn't go the way I expected but little in life does. In some ways, it was easier than I expected and in other ways, it was WAY more difficult than I thought it would be. I fed both my babies with some breast milk for some period of time which is great. Now I get to reclaim hours of my day back. I won't have to rush home to pump. I'm a bit giddy at the freedom, I see within my grasp. I'm also excited to really start exercising again. Each time I've tried while pumping, I've gotten sick. 




I do have some guilt at weaning from the pump. Logically, I know this is worthless guilt as I've done everything to help Maggie breast feed and in the end get breast milk but emotionally, I feel a bit like I'm letting Maggie down. The heart and the head don't always meet in a logical place. The thing is at some point I am going to wean from the pump. I may be doing it a few months earlier and I really can't continue with the status quo. Three bouts with mastitis just does a person in! I have started the pump weaning process and I plan to take it slow so that I don't get sick again. I've been pumping 4x a day and shortening the amount of time that I pump. I was pumping 30 minutes each time. Now I pump 25 minutes each time and I'll be dropping that down to 22 minutes after a few days. I'll continue dropping down the minutes I pump until I'm down to 5 minutes when I'll start dropping pumps. It's a long, slow process but one I'm trying to be careful with. 

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All in all, this little face made all the pumping worth it. Her cubby little thighs are proof of my efforts which is a reward in itself. Now we're moving on to a new stage in her food adventure and I can't wait to continue to introduce her to all the yummy food out there. She's already a huge fan of sweet potatoes, apples and bananas. 

Monday, July 14, 2014

Fresh and Fruity Blueberry Lime Yogurt Popsicles

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It's been a scorcher of a weekend around here. Seattle has been in the 90s which for us is HOT! HOT! HOT! We've been spending a lot of time in the water which helps us to keep our cool. Another great way we've been keeping our cool was with these fresh and fruity Blueberry Lime Yogurt Popsicles. Making popsicles was also on our Summer Bucket List so we've knocked another fun thing off our list!


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I used these popsicle molds and found them to be awesome! Pro Tip: Running the frozen popsicles under a bit of warm water helps release the yummy frozen treat. 

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My popsicle taste tester heartily approved of these treats and even requested one for breakfast. I gave in. It was already in the 80s and heck, these have fruit in them so they are practically healthy. 


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Blueberry Lime Yogurt Popsicles
by Rebecca Mongrain
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Ingredients (Makes 6 popsicles)
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons corn starch
  • 2 teaspoons lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest + 2 teaspoons lime zest
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 12 oz blueberries (fresh or frozen; thaw if frozen)
  • 1/8 cup honey
  • 1 1/2 cup greek yogurt
Instructions
1. In a small saucepan, combine the brown sugar and corn starch.
2. Slowly stir in the lime juice, lime zest and water.
3. Bring to a boil before adding the blueberries. Cook the blueberries until they start to pop. Set aside and allow mixture to cool.
4. Whip the honey, greek yogurt and lime zest together in a small bowl.
5. Spoon soon of the blueberry mixture into the molds and then add the yogurt. Alternate for a nice swirled look.
6. Insert the sticks and freeze until solid, at least 4 hours.
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