Monday, January 30, 2012

Making Baby Food

I already told you that I love my babycook.
It makes making baby food so quick and easy.
I enjoy making Olivia's food, and I'm pretty proud of the fact that she is getting the best, most natural food possible.

So I thought for any of you moms out there that may be interested, I'd share how it works.

First, it comes with a little booklet that tells you exactly how much water to use to steam each food and vegetable.  You then just fill to the line.  We use bottled water because sometimes the water is reused (I'll explain that in a minute).
For line one foods it takes about 5 minutes to steam.  For line 2 it takes about 10 minutes and for line 3 it takes about 15 minutes.

You then pour the water into the steamer side.

There is a little steamer basket that sets inside the main compartment.
On this day I was making pears.
I cut the pears up and put them in the basket.
I leave the skin on for apples and pears.  
That is another reason why I buy organic. (Obviously I still wash them well before steaming.)
Leaving the skin on helps keep in more of the nutrients.  You can blend them with our without the skin.  I have blended the skin on with apples for more fiber.  I have also made both apples and pears by peeling the skin off after they are steamed.
Then you just put the compartment on the cooker.  It locks in place.

Then click to the steam side.
It knows how long to steam the food by how much water your poured in.
It's done steaming when the light goes off.

It comes with this little spoon type tool to lift the basket out.
Since I wanted to take the peels off of the pears, I let them sit for a little bit.
Taking the peels off added maybe an extra 5 minutes to the process.

Keeping the basket out, you put the food into the main processor.
Here is where that extra steamed water comes into play.  Pears (and apples) are already pretty liquid-y.  They don't need extra water to thin them out.  Other foods such as sweet potatoes need the water.  So you would take the water that was used to steam the food and use it here to help thin your food out to the right consistency.

Blend to preferred consistency

I used 2 1/2 pears and it made 10 ounces of baby food.
So at most it took me 30 minutes to make a weeks worth of breakfasts. 
(She won't eat pears every day for breakfast.  We'd be having a problem then! :)  I'm just giving an example.)
Besides homemade food being healthier, it is way cheaper!

I bought a bag of frozen green beans for $1. (Remember to look under ingredients if you do this.  It should just say green bean or peas.  You don't want any added ingredients!)  That dollar bag of green beans made 14 ounces of puree.  That is 7 of my little "jars".  If I was buying baby food, $1 would get me ONE jar. Maybe two.

We buy organic for some fruits and vegetables.  Especially ones on the dirty dozen.  We buy frozen for ones that are out of season (i.e. peaches) or would be more work than it's worth (i.e. peas).

About an hour a week and this is what we have
Ahh, this picture makes me so happy! :)

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Project 366: Week 4

22. This was from our Sunday afternoon photo shoot--She was telling me something!

23. Apparently everyone and their mother wanted to have a dinner/party with my boss before she switched jobs, so I had to watch Little Man late almost every night for two weeks.  When we watch him, we generally go out to dinner (on the bosses).  Olivia was enjoying her menu.

24. This was one of the pictures from our Little Gym class that didn't make the blog the other day.  It's a super cute picture, but it's a little blurry. :(

25. We can finally just sit her on the floor with some toys and let her play.  She has definitely mastered sitting unassisted. Yay!

26.  Speaking of sitting unassisted...this was her first time sitting in her bathtub instead of laying.

27. After our lunch date with friends, we headed to Target to get some formula.  Olivia loves the wind and sticks her tongue out to "catch it" every time.  As we were walking into the store, this is what she was doing.
28.  We decided to take Olivia to a park.  It was her first time in a park swing.  She loved it.  We couldn't stay long though.  It was a little cooler than we thought.  We'll be back...many times, I'm sure.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Giddy Up!

So if you haven't figured it out already, this blog has gone from book reviews, recipe raves, craft examples, and my opinions to a giant MOMMY BLOG.  I can't help it.  I don't have much of a life outside of working and being a mommy.  Plus, my daughter is just too cute! :)  Sorry for those that are just over the pictures of Olivia. (Ok, I'm not really sorry... you don't have to read it every day!)

My friend Laurie got Olivia a shirt that says "This Ain't My First RODEO" with a picture of a cowboy on it.  It was a size 12, but I figured I'd give it a try.  I hate when I wait too long for clothing of the next size and then it doesn't fit.  It fit perfectly.  I'm glad I didn't wait any longer.

I paired it with her jeggings and the cowboy boots from Little Man.  I also added my cowboy hat.  
We did a quick photo shoot before heading to lunch with a friend.
The boots are still a little big.

She thought the cowboy hat was hysterical!
She kept cracking up whenever it would fall down and I had to fix it.


Funny faces

More cracking up at the hat

And since she couldn't wear the cowboy hat to lunch...
we replaced it with a Texas sized bow
A true Texan for sure!

Friday, January 27, 2012

The Little Gym

The Little Gym was one of the first things I signed Little Man up for when I began working with him.  He has always been pretty athletic, but we could tell that it made a difference in his motor skills, agility, and balance.  In fact, now at age 6 he consistently wins the balance game at TKD.  He is also does some of the moves better than others and I know it's because of his years at The Little Gym.  I knew it was going to be something that I wanted to do with Olivia.

Besides the physical benefits, it's a great way for her to be social and be around other babies AND adults.
We took her in for a "free preview class" this week.

Honestly, I wasn't exactly sure how it was going to go.  She has been having a rough time in the church nursery.  She can go either way when it comes to loud noises, and at library story time she just sits and looks stunned, in awe, and maybe a little overwhelmed.

Thankfully, she LOVED it!
She was smiling from the minute we walked in the door.
 So much so that the workers kept commenting on how smiley she was.

Clapping her hands for the opening song.

They did an introduction game where they went around the circle asking for names.
After every child's name the adults would lift up the parachute and say "Hi (Olivia)"
This is her watching the parachute go up

We were singing some song with hand motions and such.
I can't even remember what it was teaching--eye hand coordination?  
There was so much information!
She watched the teacher intently.

Doing shoulder stretches

Doing a flip.  As soon as the teacher explained it, I passed Olivia right back to Michael.
20 pounds over my head and then not drop my child?!  I'm not sure how I would have done.
This is suppose to help with their inner ear and balance.

Hey Mommy, I love this!

Strengthening her core
(Most of the class is set to music)

Sitting/bouncing on the air track

Bouncing/standing and bearing weight on her legs

Watching the bubbles come down while doing some leg stretches

More core strengthening

Ball time

Baby foos ball! :)

More bubbles before the bye bye song

We will be adding The Little Gym to our Tuesday routine thanks to Olivia's grandma.
We are so excited!!

Thursday, January 26, 2012


It always amuses me when people say that Olivia looks like me.  I'm 100% convinced that they see the cheeks and nothing else.  She doesn't really look like me.  She has Michael's hair color, light eyes whereas mine are very dark, Michael's baby cheeks, Michael's forehead, Michael's chin and Michael's/Michael's mom's nose.  I have said from the very beginning that the only thing I can see that is mine is her mouth.

Every once in a while I see a little Gjertson in her.  And by Gjertson, I don't even mean the Gjertson characteristics that I have.  I mean I see my brother Jared.  She looks a lot like his baby pictures as well.  I even pulled them out at Thanksgiving to prove my point and all the naysayers agreed.

That brings us to this last Sunday.  We were all dressed up nice for church so I thought we should take some pictures.  I mentioned to Michael that we have a ton of Olivia, but not a ton of pictures with us in them.  We took a few pictures while playing on the the floor with her.  Michael uploaded them to the computer and I was browsing through them.  Then the conversation went something like this....

(Looking at these pictures)
ME: "Man, you guys are twins.  You practically look identical.  I really don't understand how people say she looks like me."

MICHAEL: (glances at the picture) "We don't look exactly alike"

ME: "Pretty darn close.  Look!  She looks just like you"

MICHAEL: "You don't think she looks anything like you?"

ME: "NO!"

Then I scroll over to this picture
ME: "See!"

MICHAEL: (looking....looking...looking...pause) "Well, like I said, she has your eyebrows"

Really?  My eyebrows?!?!  Then he clarified that she doesn't even have my eyebrows...her eyebrows are just "spread far apart" like mine.  To which I responded, "I PLUCK!" LOL!!!

Anyway, here are some other cute pictures from the day
In her cute dress and shoes that I got for cheap at a consignment sale back in August.

Relaxing--Church is stressful! ;)

I LOVE this picture!  This is what she does when Michael kisses her with his scruffy face.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

7 Month Loves

Olivia is really enjoying all of her Christmas toys.  I could probably put them all on this list.  The only one she isn't sure about yet is the elefun ball popper.  It's a little loud and it scares her.  She likes to watch it from a far (and if you are holding her), but she is not the least interested in playing with it yet.  It is a 9 months + toy, so she has some time. :)

One thing she LOVES that she didn't get for Christmas is....
a water bottle!  She is constantly trying to grab at ours.  She'll stare at them from across the room.  If she is actually lucky enough to get one in her possession, she either sticks it right in her mouth or twirls it around and inspects it.  I'm going to make her some discovery bottles.  I just haven't gotten around to it yet.

I originally got the boppy because everyone said how I would love it and need it when she was first born.  I did use it from breastfeeding some, but ended up liking the my breast friend pillow better.  I also used it to lay her in from time to time.  We are now using it to prop her up when sitting.  She is getting better by the day (and just recently I try not to use the boppy as much), but she needed it as support for the past month while she was learning.

Fisher Price Little Superstar Classical Stacker
I registered for a few toys and this was one of them.  A stacker is just a classic toy.  I thought that fact that this one lit up and played music was a bonus.  We have been playing with it off and on for months now, but she has really taken to it the last month or two.  So much so that we just had to change the batteries.  (I say "we"--that means Michael. ha!)

 Bright Stars License to Drool Keys
I'm not even sure where these came from.  I'm pretty sure I just picked them up on a random trip to Buy Buy Baby while I was pregnant.  Olivia hasn't really been much of a rattle girl, but she has recently taken to these keys.  She loves to chew on them or inspects them.  Her most favorite thing to do is bang them on her high chair.  She likes them so much (and they are cheap!) that I bought a second pair to keep at work.  If she wants to bang on her high chair while Little Man and I are doing workbooks--then go for it!

Beaba Babycook Baby Food Maker
I pretty much knew before I was even pregnant that I was going to make my own baby food.  Hey-- that's what you do when you wait until you are 31 to have a baby.  You have it all planned out! :)  So while I was hardly pregnant and definitely not even close to showing, I asked for this for Christmas.  Don't get me wrong-you can make baby food without a fancy tool.  I know lots of people just use their stove/oven, steamers, blenders, and food processors.  I have a few tools I probably could have used.  BUT, I knew I would be a working mom who was also taking care of my daughter full time.  I was looking for ease and convenience and I got it!  I love this thing.  It's so easy.  I'll probably do a post about how it works some day soon.  It is has made making Olivia's baby food a breeze.

Fresh N Freeze Reusable Containers
Along with the baby food maker, I got 3 trays of these containers.  I know lots of people just use ice cube trays.  I didn't want to be messing with that.  These have worked out great.  They are easy to measure the 2 ounces and when I have to take food to work with me, it's just like grabbing a jar of baby food instead of trying to put thawed ice cubes in a container, etc.

O ball
I mentioned she was getting an O ball for Christmas because people on the bump were raving about it.  My bumpies did not disappoint.  She really likes it.  It's easy for her to grab on to.  She swings it all over the place.  It was probably her cheapest Christmas present ($4 at Target), but one of her favorites.  At least at first it was.