Friday, January 30, 2015



Violet is definitely understanding more of what we're saying to her.  I can tell her to go pick out a book to read and she'll go get one, whereas before I might have to point at the books while telling her.  She loves to read and with the weather warming up, I decided to take her to the library a couple of weeks ago for the first time to pick out some books.  She was totally overwhelmed with the urge to pull down all the books from all the shelves.  So, let's just say it was an adventure for both of us.  I did find out they have a storytelling time for her age group on Tuesday mornings we are going to start going to, which I'm excited about.

Violet has also figured out how to climb on some of our chairs, which is surely a milestone in her eyes.  The first time she did it, she just sat up there with the smuggest little smile.  We're definitely going to be in trouble when she can finally climb on the sofa because she literally becomes a wild animal when she's on it.  I do not understand it.


Violet loves going outside.  She knows the word "outside" and runs to the front door and practically hangs on it.  I've always taken her for walks in her stroller when the weather is decent, but now she just wants to run and explore on her own more.

Bubble baths.  I introduced Violet to the world of bubble baths a couple weeks ago and bath time is suddenly the event of a lifetime.  Before I would have to chase her around to try peel off her clothes and now she hangs over the tub trying to get in on her own.


Um, discipline.  I know Violet knows what "no" means.  I know because she tells me no.  I think this is the part of parenting when things get fun and parents of teenagers make comments like, "oh just you wait..."  At least they can take away things from their kids as punishment and they'll understand there are consequences for their actions.  With Violet there's just mutiny, I sternly say "no" or something else equally offensive in her eyes, and then she has some kind of highly dramatic, emotional display of opposition.

Life Now-a-Days:

This past week has been a rough one on the homestead.  Violet's been teething/has a cold.  I can't ever tell if it's one, the other, or if it's both and I'm just that lucky.  Thankfully the roughest patch ended a couple days ago, but her runny nose has still lingered on like an unwelcome houseguest.  She was blowing snot bubbles the size of half dollars---I kid you not.  And she was skipping naps left and right, which made kinda feel like the mayor of Crazytown for a few days there.  So as you can imagine, besides her being a mess, so was I, and the house.

On another note, I finished reading The Cold Dish by Craig Johnson.  And whoa.  If you watch the show, Longmire (which you should if you don't), then just know it's different from the episode.  At the end of the book I was both shocked and saddened.  So, I definitely recommend it if you like mysteries.  I'm going to read the rest of books in series, but next month I decided to finish reading Pride and Prejudice.  I know it might technically be cheating since I said I'd read a book a month and I already started it, but February is kinda cheating because it has fewer days.

Monday, January 26, 2015


Before Violet was born I had plenty ideas on how I would parent her, some of which fell by the wayside.  One of those ideas would be that I would make all of her pureed baby food.  I am not keen on jarred/bagged baby foods.  Most have been diluted with water, are thickened with some kind of refined starch, and can contain artificial sweeteners and flavors, trans fats, preservatives, and contaminants (think pesticides, bugs, plastic, mold, icky things, etc.)  Also, something about the fact that the food was very likely older than my child just kinda grossed me out.  However, right around when Violet turned 6 months old, my hyperthyroid was in full swing and it left me feeling exhausted all the time, which meant I needed a new game plan.  Enter baby-led weaning!

Violet was exclusively breastfed for her first year and we did baby-led weaning, which just meant that we offered her solids when she showed us she was ready, but always second to breast milk.  By the time she was 12 months old, she was eager to self-wean, but didn't (and still doesn't) have the teeth to really chew food.  I was eager to offer her a variety of foods, but totally clueless on how to serve it.  I'd search Pinterest for ideas, but I always came across these complicated recipes, like fish rice balls and mushroom spinach quiche muffins, that frankly I didn't have the time to make.  I just wanted simple foods that were delicious and nutritious.

I've complied a list of some of the foods I serve her on a regular basis because they're easy and she enjoys them.  Now, does this mean I don't serve her processed food occasionally?  No, I do because that's life.  I have a pretty wicked addiction to Oreo's that I'm just not interested in rehabilitating from.  And I'm not at a place in my life where I wanna make my own pasta and yogurt.  I'd rather sleep in a little later/shower/read/anything else.  But, I do feel at ease knowing what's going into the majority of what my daughter eats.

(From top left...)
  1. Steamed Squash.  Sliced and steamed for about 15 minutes.  I put the teensiest amount of salt on it. 
  2. Sweet Potato Fries.  Peel and cut into strips.  Toss with olive oil, cinnamon, and brown sugar.  Bake at 400 degrees for about 45 minutes.  The first time Violet had these, she shoved about ten in her mouth at once. 
  3. Peas.  Violet loves peas.  I buy her frozen organic sweet peas and when she sees me put it in the buggy she whines for me to give her some.  On top of that, she loves to eat them frozen!  Sometimes I hand her a little cup of them to keep her busy while I'm preparing a meal for her.
  4. Cantaloupe.  So juicy and delicious.
  5. Avocado.  A delicious super food.  She eats it off a spoon and when I don't mind it getting in her hair, I give her small cubes of it. 
  6. Yogurt.  I like giving Violet Siggi's because it's really low in sugar.  Violet also loves Noosa, which is sweetened with honey and has tons of fruit options.  Her favorites are pineapple and pumpkin.  My favorite is their passion fruit.
  7. Blueberries.  They're great for picking up with little fingers and they're a superfood! 
  8. Banana.  Violet calls them "nana."  They're perfect for when we're on the go.
  9. Raspberries.  They're great because they mush so easily and require little to no teeth!
  10. Pears.  Violet gobbles up pears.  There are so many soft varieties and I just cut them into little cubes for her.  
I hope this helps other mamas out!  Feel free to share other ideas and recipes that have worked for you.  And keep an eye out for another post with more on baby led weaning foods and recipes (including some baby/toddler-friendly dinners) that Violet (and the rest of us) eat.

Thursday, January 8, 2015


Happy New Year!  (...even if it is a week late.)

Jon took off two weeks (!!!!!) for the holidays and Monday was his first day back to the salt mines.  We are definitely missing him around the house all day.  Violet's new thing is saying "Hi, Dada!" to everything, which is a constant reminder that he's there while we're here.  [insert sad face]

"Violet, do you want more?"
"Hi, Dada!"

"Look, there's Neil!"
"Hi, Dada!"

With the turning of every page in a book..."Hi, Dada!"

When giving me, HER MOTHER, a hug..."Hi, Dada!"

When saying hello or goodbye to anyone, "Hi, Dada!"

Violet also appears to be going through another Wonder Week  (hip, hip, hooray!).  Wonder Week 65 is right on time!  After weeks of blissfully easy bedtime, Violet is suddenly disinterested in going to bed again.  Violet, the horse is dead, put the stick down!  I might remind y'all that sleep deprivation is a torture technique used on suspected terrorists.  On a positive note though, Wonder Week 65 is nothing like the apocalyptic experience Wonder Week 55 was.

Well, in honor of the passing of 2014, I thought I'd share some sweet photos from last year of our once itty, bitty, little, baby girl.

My, how she's grown!

As for myself, I've never been one to make New Year's resolutions, but this year I'm gonna jump on that bandwagon.  I've resolved to read a book a month.  As a former high school English teacher, you'd think I read all the time, but I always feel like there's something else I should be doing---laundry, dishes, the list goes on...  However, if I'm going to be completely honest with myself, too often I could be reading and instead I am a lazy bag of Funyun farts.  So, my first book is The Cold Dish by Craig Johnson.  Wish me luck!