August 31, 2023

Wordless Wednesday: Mom Hair

I did it; the classic "new mom haircut".  From long and wavly,
to short, straight, and easy to manage.
"After" photos from last night, right after having it styled. I really wish I had had someplace other than my bed to go to then.
Time to start growing it out again. :)  It's the one task that doesn't require free hands or much effort.

P.S. Don't worry, you'll never see me in mom jeans, just a mom cut.

August 26, 2023

Sleep Cravings

What a week!  I've resigned myself to the fact that a good day comes about when good sleep is had by all. Days when Jude is not napping well, like yesterday, often lead to a day and night filled with fretting by me, which then leads to a crappy night of sleep.

Jude's a tough nut to crack; some days he'll sleep easily in the Moses basket or crib, and others, like yesterday, he cried from overtiredness even when I was holding him.  He hates the car seat, swing and bouncer, but will always sleep in the sling or the Baby Bjorn.  Provided our backs don't wear out, that's how we tend to get naps out of him when he's uber-fussy.

So far today's been good, with both boys napping at this moment (I know I've just jinxed myself), leaving some time for me to blog now that dishes and chores are done.
photo from a good sleeping day
As of late, I've been so forgetful due to all these broken up nights.  At most, I'm getting about a 6 hour stretch every few nights, and generally I don't feel too bad during the day.  However I've missed 2 appointments, (which is highly unusual for me) one for the dentist and one to get my hair chopped off.  I'm through with Jude's fingers getting tangled in my long curls, so mom bob, here I come!

Even Chris is not immune.  Twice this past week, he's said "good morning" to someone when it's clearly evening time.   Such is the life of parents to a newborn.  Surprisingly, we're handling it well, and my nighttime feedings aren't too stressful for me, thankfully.  I attribute it to second-time parents' fortitude.  I mean, this all ends sometime, right?  And I don't mean when we're in the coffin, having our final sleep---bwwwahhhhh!

Ok, now I'm getting sleep-deprived silly.  Let's just say that I'm craving a little more sleep around here.  Uninterrupted, dark, cold and quiet sleep.  And copious amounts of ice cream too (of course it's the breastfeeding needs, right?). I do miss my coffee though, as I'm trying everything to get good sleep from Jude.

Happy weekend!

August 22, 2023

Cheap, Easy Pretend Play: Vegetable Soup

Since I'm generally pressed for time and am often doing things one-handed with an infant on my shoulder or in the sling, I'm forced to improvise non-traditional activities with my 3 year old.  A few times it's been simple things like "see how far you can kick that rock on the sidewalk" but sometimes I stumble upon something that really gets his attention.

Most recently: "vegetable soup".
I've been making soups of late due to the abundance of produce available, both in our overgrown garden and from roadside stands.
Tomatoes gone wild!
And thank my lucky stars, Soren's been eating it!  We were out back one afternoon, and I got out the kiddie pool and let him fill it up.  Then while tidying up the yard, I came across an enamel bowl and thought, wow, he might like to make some "vegetable soup."
Sure enough, he did.  I never know what kinds of activities will interest him.  It seems like the elaborate ones, where I've cut out things from construction paper, etc. never last more than 2 minutes, but this one went on for almost an hour.  And picked up again the next day.
All you need is a bowl, a spoon, water, and some plants that you don't mind scavenging from your yard.

We went around, picking leaves, herbs, mushy tomatoes, seed pods and other things, then added them to the soup.  S kept asking me for more "secret ingredients"--it was so cute.
When I'd give him the item, we'd decide what kind of veggie it was.  Dried hydrangea blossoms stood in for broccoli, green flower stalks were green beans, and peony seed pods were snap peas.
The next day on our walk to the park, he started collecting natural things like pine cones and acorns, to turn into soup the next day.  I'm still shocked at how engaged he was with this activity, and it required virtually no set-up or clean-up on my part.  Just mommy's attention and time, by far his favorite "toy".

August 17, 2023

Blueprint Baby Challenge Results

The Blueprint Baby Challenge came to an end on Monday, and I'm happy to report that I won 2nd place!  Not as good as first, but I'm still happy for all of the votes for my nursery, especially from so many of my loyal readers.  Thank you!

I'm most grateful for being invited to participate in the challenge, and of course to have redone a room that most likely would have been another hand-me-down from Soren.  One other bonus: my stats went through the roof on the days the challenge began.
Thanks to all of you who stumbled and shared the room on various social media sites.  You really helped get the word out about Jude's nursery, and I appreciate it!

August 16, 2023

Paint and Blueberries

It's been a dry summer in terms of art making around here.
I got out the easel from the attic today and let Soren do some painting. It's been a while, since my time is somewhat limited now.  Tomorrow we have plans to attend a photography workshop for kids, but today was all about paint.
He made a nice picture for Daddy's office, then proceeded to keep telling us it was still wet while prodding the paint with his fingers.
I've definitely got the creative itch too! Though my sewing machine is just collecting dust at the moment.

Another series of photos taken this week that just cracks me up.
Caption: No, we didn't abuse him, zombie kid. 
S loves frozen blueberries, and they certainly make their mark on him.  I couldn't stop laughing when I came into the kitchen and saw his face.
In addition to his hobbit hair and old man expression, it totally made my afternoon.
I got out the hair buzzer the next day to clean him up a bit.
Though I think it's time for a larger art smock.

August 12, 2023

Spicy Refrigerator Pickles

Despite the daily management of both a newborn and 3 year old, I've found some time to take advantage of all of the abundant local produce (including stuff from our garden) and do some cooking, freezing peppers and tomatoes, and pickling.
Oh, and keeping some fresh cut flowers on the table too, after all, flower season is so brief in our backyard.

But I digress.  So the other evening, after buying a big back of pickling cucumbers at a farm stand, I decided to turn them into refrigerator pickles, which we all love.
They're so simple to make and don't involve any canning.  Plus if you're swimming in dill like we are, it's a great way to use it up.
SPICY REFRIGERATOR PICKLES (adapted from All Recipes)
  • 12 3 to 4 inch long pickling cucumbers (whole or cut into slices)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 3/4 cups white vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped fresh dill weed
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 8 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons coarse salt
  • 1 tablespoon pickling spice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dill seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl and let stand at room temperature for 2 hours so the sugar and salt dissolve.  You can omit the red pepper if you're not so into spice, however the garlic adds some kick too, so it's still a bit punchy.
Place pickles in jars, layering as you go if using slices, then ladle the liquid over top until filled.
Seal the lids, then wait 10 days for the pickles to take in the flavoring.  Eat within a month (but I doubt it will take you that long).  Enjoy!
Next up: making and freezing pesto!

August 11, 2023

Gifts for Modern Babies from BINTH {Giveaway}

Now that the nursery is complete and in use by Jude (by the way, you can still cast a daily VOTE FOR OUR NURSERY, pretty please! You can even win $500), I've been spending time in the room changing diapers, nursing, and on occasion, getting the baby down for a successful nap in his crib.  When I'm in the room, I often find myself admiring the artwork in the space, including this gorgeous and sophisticated Numbers poster from BINTH, which is one of the highlights in the room.
It hangs over the changing table, so it's been a focal point in the room.  I love the colors and the simplicity of its modern design, and of course the stylized animals that accompany each number in the print.
BINTH creates so many unique and appealing print items for baby, including wall artwork like prints and posters, as well as the most gorgeous baby book I've come across.
Note to friends and family: Jude needs this! :)
I love the pages in the book too, which leave plenty of space for writing thoughts and info about your baby.
I love BINTH's artistic style, and if you're looking for something truly original for a special baby's nursery, look no further than BINTH.  They have all letters covered!
BINTH is very generously sponsoring a giveaway, offering one lucky reader a choice of
a BINTH Numbers poster, a BINTH Baby Book, OR 5 single matted ABC letters (WOW!!)
To Enter
Visit BINTH, sign up for their mailing list (leave me the email you used, unless it's part of your Blogger profile) and leave a comment here about your favorite item AND which item you'd like to win out of the three.
Extra Entries (you must complete the first mandatory entry before doing the extras.  Also, leave a separate comment for each one):
  • Blog about this giveaway and leave me the link (2 entries)
  • Subscribe to my updates
  • Follow my blog publicly via Google Friend Connect
  • If you're a Fan of Katydid and Kid on Facebook leave a comment letting me know
  • If you're a Fan of BINTH on Facebook, leave a comment letting me know
  • Share this post on your Facebook page and leave the link (I'd love it if you tagged me or the sponsor in your post)
  • Follow @BINTH on Twitter (leave your Twitter handle)
  • Follow @katydidandkid and tweet this giveaway, leaving a link to your tweet in the comments. You can tweet once per day (leave a comment each day). You can copy and paste my tweet if you'd like: #Win a modern poster, alphabet prints, or a unique baby book from @BINTH @KatydidandKid #Giveaway
US and Canadian mailing addresses only. One entry per household.
You must do the first entry in order to enter ("I want to win, thanks!" comments will NOT be considered). You will have until Wednesday August 24th at 11:59pmEST to enter. The winner will be chosen via random number generator the next day and notified by email.I'll also post the winners on my blog HERE. If I don't hear back from the winner within 72 hours, I'll pick another. Disclosure: I received a Numbers poster from BINTH for review purposes.

Cue the Awwwwwws (and the Sharks)

Jude had his first Anne Geddes moment; naturally I had to capture it on camera.
Lest you go thinking that we'll be dressing him up in bee costumes and using flower-pillow props, don't worry. I'm SO not a fan of that sort of sentimentality.  But he just looked so peaceful sleeping here, in the middle of our living room floor, no less.

In other news, I can't forget about the other little man around the house.  We're quite grateful to all the friends and family who have taken Soren on outings and playdates to get him out and about, rather than being stuck next to his nursing mama, who always seems to be in sitting in the recliner.

Last week, my brother and sister-in-law took him to the Adventure Aquarium in Camden, NJ, and apparently he had a great time, considering he was chatting at length about his trip.
I love the photos my SIL took.  There's something so magical about a child's silhouette in front of a large, colorful fish tank.
After getting over the darkness of the place (and the sharks!!), S enjoyed himself and his Uncle Jeff and Aunt Izabela.
When asked what his favorite part was, he told Chris and I that it was this:
So much for living things!

August 10, 2023

Wordless Wednesday: Harvest

Despite the neglect we've shown our garden in the past month, it's certainly rewarded our early-season efforts.
What have you grown this summer?  Is your garden faring well?

August 9, 2023

Homemade Chocolate Syrup

In a perfect world, I wouldn't have to spend time reading labels in the supermarket before buying a product. I'm a stickler for so-called "natural" things, and it's discouraging how many grocery items that seem relatively healthy really aren't.  Like Nutella (sigh, we love that stuff, but must eat it in moderation).

One item I've avoided lately due to its inclusion of high fructose corn syrup, (something we try to avoid in our pantry), is chocolate syrup.  Recently I came across a recipe for making my own, and it couldn't be more simple.  While it does contain sugar (ie. calories), it has no HFCS or preservatives, and is great in chocolate milk (Soren approves) and over ice cream.
With only 5 ingredients, all of which I usually have on hand, this recipe is super-easy, tasty, and lasts for about a month.

HOMEMADE CHOCOLATE SYRUP (makes about 12 oz.)
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
In a medium sized pot, whisk together the sugar and cocoa to get out all the lumps.  Add the water and salt and cook on medium heat.  Be sure to stir the pot often, and let the mixture boil.  Watch that it doesn't boil over though, and if the bubbles are too much, lower the heat a bit.  Continue stirring until the mixture thickens, about 5 minutes.  Turn off the heat, let cool for 10 minutes, then add the vanilla and stir.  Store in the refrigerator in an air-tight container for up to a month.

August 8, 2023

One Month

It's hard for me to believe that Jude is one month old already. 
While the past few weeks have had their rough spots, I can say that I've enjoyed Jude's first month more than I expected.  In comparison to Soren's first month, I think I've shed fewer tears and flashed more smiles.

In general, he's a good baby, and a champion sleeper, at least when we can transition him to sleep.  Sometimes that's the hard part, when we can tell he's tired (yawning, pulling at his face, staring) but often he just won't settle, unless at the breast.  But we're all learning...
Somehow Chris and I have managed to keep up with the household, including the laundry, which has been about every other day.  Jude's a spitter-upper, so lots of things get milked-on, and I know from past experience that often it becomes moldy and stinky if left to fester.  But the house is fairly tidy, save for the floors (our vacuum broke recently).  Who's ever heard of a clean house with a newborn anyway?
I can't help but love looking at and cuddling this little guy.  He's certainly restored my faith in myself as a mother, especially for how tumultuous Soren's infancy was.  With Soren, I was pretty miserable, fumbling around, trying to get a footing on this whole baby thing.  I often felt like I was not cut out to be a mother, and that there was something wrong with me for not really enjoying parenthood.  I still sometimes feel inadequate as a mom to such an energetic, spirited little boy.
However, Jude has made me realize that maybe my experience with Soren was just, well, different.  I think S and I are often two puzzle pieces that just don't fit together, and his extroverted personality is so full-blast compared to my quiet, introvertedness.  Not that I know Jude's personality yet, but he's definitely a calmer baby, and I'm a more experienced, relaxed parent.
Thankfully, we've made it through month one, and hopefully month two will bring a little more sleep for Mama!
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