Sunday, March 31, 2013

Photo of the Week: Easter Sunday


Happy Easter from the Gorohoff's!! 

Hope everyone has a wonderful day filled with egg hunts and chocolate bunnies!!
    

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Spring Shower


Today we celebrated my sister Francie with a lovely spring baby shower.  My cousin Jen hosted a wonderful luncheon filled with family, delicious food, and of course presents!!  It was a beautiful sunny Seattle day which only enhanced the festivities.

Since this is Francie's second baby, and she has plenty of baby gear, Jen had the great idea for all of us to give her a spa gift rather than the standard baby supplies.  She was thrilled, and I'm sure she'll be in need of some R&R once baby number two shows up!

Ollie attended the party along with his cousins Freddie and Keeley.  They all had a great time sneaking bites of cake and playing with wrapping paper and bows. It really is true that boxes and wrapping paper can be just as fun as the presents themselves!

Francie's due date is April 6th, so we're all on baby watch 24/7.  My money's on April 4th in the family pool so my fingers crossed we have a babe this coming week!! So exciting!!

    

Thursday, March 28, 2013

March of the Penguins


Last week the siblings and I took the kiddos to the zoo for some animal spotting.  My brother-in-law treated us to zoo entry and a penguin feeding, something I have never done.  We each got 4 fish that we dangled over the penguin cage and dropped into their watering mouths.  It was actually super fun, I wasn't sure what it would be like when we signed up for it but it's pretty cool being so close to the penguins.

Going to the zoo with three babes under 2 is definitely an experience.  At any given time one of them was fussing or cranky or needed a diaper change, so we probably only saw about 5 or 6 exhibits,  but it was still a great day. The sun was shining, the animals we did see were out and about (especially these cute cubs), and most importantly we killed an otherwise boring morning!

Since we live so close to the zoo I am considering getting a zoo pass membership.  I figure even if Ollie is too young to really know what's going on, it's still fun to walk around the park! The only problem is the Seattle rain . . . will I really go enough on the rainy days to make it worth it??  Oh the things I think about now that I'm a stay-at-home mom, haha.


Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Broken Computer + Sick Baby = Slacking Blogger

I've been out of blogging commission due to a sick baby and a broken computer, but I'm back!!



Last week I accidentally dumped a full cup of coffee on my laptop resulting in a fizzled out power button.  Shortly after poor Ollie came down with a flu, most likely because I let him chew on toys at the Greenlake community play area (whoops).  After a couple sleepless nights the worst seems to be over.  There is nothing more pathetic than a sick baby, they are just so sad.  So glad my happy little guy has returned! And my computer is fixed, woot woot!

Cousin Freddie

Last week my sister Char and her 10 month old son Freddie arrived from Scotland for a 3 week visit. It's been SO fun having them here.  Ollie is loving having another cousin around to play with, and I'm loving having another adult around to drink coffee with while the kiddos goof around!

We've been doing a lot of neighborhood walks and living room playtime while Freddie and Char get over their jet lag.  Hopefully next week we'll venture out and doing some fun kid activities with the babies.

What are your favorite kid friendly Seattle outings? I haven't been on the great wheel yet so that's on my short list.


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Can you say Quinoa??


One of my favorite "homemade" baby-food meals for Oliver is quinoa mixed with vegetables, any veggies will do.  Lately we've been on a quinoa and peas kick, Ollie loves it and it's quick and easy!

Now that we are cooking with quinoa I often find myself with a heap of leftovers in the fridge.  So, what can you do with a bunched of cooked quinoa? After some intense googling I ran across a great recipe to turn cooked quinoa into a crunchy salad topper.  This is a tasty alternative to croutons, and while I haven't tried it I'm guessing it would be a nice soup topper as well!

Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a frying pan, you can choose any oil that suits your salad.  I used hazelnut oil but coconut or olive oil also works well.  Simply take some cooked quinoa, about 1/2 a cup, and place it in the hot oil. Fry the quinoa in the pan over medium heat until it starts browning and "popping", about 5-10 minutes.  Cool and add to any green salad.

Anyone else eating a lot of quinoa these days? What are your favorite ways to serve it?
  

Friday, March 15, 2013

Photo of the week: Mommy Fail


After a pleasant walk around Greenlake earlier this week, I was changing Ollie's diaper in the backseat of the car when he decided to pee all over the seat, his clothes and  himself.  Arg, a pain but not the worst thing in the world. I mopped up the pee (yay for leather seats!) and went to grab him some new clothes out of the diaper bag only to find it EMPTY!!! My habit of constantily switching back and forth between diaper bags finally caught up to me. Luckily I had a spare diaper tucked away so Ollie didn't have to ride home completely naked!! 

We blasted the heat and headed back home, and I must say Ollie enjoyed every minute of the ride. He talked up a blue streak the entire way, nothing like a little naked car trip to get your squeals on!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Birthday Boy, 8 months old!!


Ollie is 8 months old today - woot woot! Can't believe how big he is getting! This past month has been super fun, Ollie is more engaged with everything and everyone and is really starting to understand the world around him.
Ollie is mastering new skills everyday, some of the highlights from his 7th month include: 
  • continuing to try new solid foods with special focus on spice!
  • developing fine motor skills
  • babbling (bababa, dadada, badabada)
  • grabbing toys, food, ect. and putting it in his mouth
  • crying when toys are taken away
  • drinking from a sippy cup
  • laughing at jokes, his favorite being when he puts a toy in my mouth and then grabs it away
  • pivoting when placed on his tummy

Can't wait to see what happens in month 8!

    

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Social Butterfly

Ollie and cousin Keeley

There is so much literature stressing the importance of  socializing your children, but at what age do kids actually start playing with other kids?? 

Ollie is lucky to have older cousins who live nearby, and when we get together they all play very nicely with Oliver. He, on the other hand, tends to plays around them rather then with them.  Oliver enjoys being part of group play, but he's more interested in watching other kids interact with their toys and each other then actually playing along with them.

According to this Babycenter article, during the first year of life babies generally play by themselves, but enjoy watching and learning from other kids. Between 1-2 years of age they will begin parallel play where they learn to play alongside other kids with minimal interaction. It isn't until 2ish that kids start to truly play and share with others. AMAZING!!  For some reason I thought they would all be playing together as soon as Ollie could crawl.  When I stop to think about it though, it makes perfect sense.  Just as with learning a new skill or sound, Ollie needs to first observe others to learn how to interact with his peers.

Do your kids play with other children? When did they start interacting with their playmates as opposed to just watching?
  

Monday, March 11, 2013

Snow Baby


Saturday was a beautiful sunny day in Seattle, so Alex and I decided to take Ollie up to Alpental to get some skiing in.  In my old age I've turned into quite the fair weather skier so I was super excited for a spring ski day in the sun!!

Our brother and sister in-law have an awesome camper they take up to the mountain which is the perfect spot for Ollie to hangout while we take turns on the slopes.  This is the second time we've taken Ollie up skiing with us, but I'm still shocked at how well he does. My sister lent me this baby pop-up tent which we set-up on the bed in the camper for Ollie to nap in. And HE ACTUALLY NAPPED!!! I mean, sometimes I don't give him enough credit.  He totally adapted to the new nap environment and went down no problem.  Oh what a fabulous baby.

Ollie's cousins Siena and Nadia take ski lessons, as do some of Alex's friends kids, so it's quite a party up on the mountain.  Everyone gathered for a tailgate lunch by the camper complete with beers and brats. It was so warm you barely needed a jacket!!!

I know it's important for Alex and I to start doing 'normal' activities, things we used to do before the baby, but sometimes it's hard to take that first step out the door. I get so afraid of screwing up his sleep that it can hold me back from enjoying our free time with Oliver.  A ski day was just what I needed to renew my faith in Ollie's ability to adapt. Plus, one day off schedule isn't going to kill anyone!!!

Here's to many more sunny days ahead!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Spring has Sprung!

Happy 'Spring Forward Day' everyone!!! 



Hope you all woke up refreshed from your extra hour of sleep . . . or not.   At least my brain was tricked into thinking I got an extra hour even if my body wasn't.  There is something about glancing at the clock when the baby cries and seeing 7:20am instead of 6:20am that makes getting up that much easier. Yeah for making it to the 7s!!!!!

It's time to say goodbye to Winter and HELLO to Spring, 9 days and counting!! Lets hope Seattle sees some sunny days and blues skies.  I am already thinking of good outdoor activities Ollie and I can do.

What are your favorite sunny day outings? Any good ideas for babes under 1?

Friday, March 8, 2013

Vitameatavegamin!


My girlfriend Michelle, who is expecting her first babe this summer, recently introduced me to GUMMY prenatal vitamins. Life changing. I knew gummy vitamins existed, but as someone who doesn't really take vitamins (oops) I never experienced them first hand.  SO GOOD!

I am still nursing so I'm suppose to be taking prenatal vitamins, but they are truly the WORST pill to swallow.  The pills are super big and I have to take them with food or else suffer a queasy stomach and vitamin burps for the rest of the day (barf). Needless to say I have been less than stellar about taking my daily dosage.

Now that I have gummy vitamins, however, I never forget to take them. It's my little afternoon treat, super yummy and no upset stomach. Woot woot!!

I'll leave you with one of my all time favorite TV moments from the great Lucille Ball!


Thursday, March 7, 2013

Photo of the week: Happy Birthday to Me!


Today I turned 32!! What an amazing year I've had, full of many new experience. Can't wait to see what's in store for me in the year ahead.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Finger Food

Ollie attempting to eat some toast

Many baby books encourage offering finger food to babies as early as 6 months to help with their hand eye coordination and overall development.  While we have mostly focused on feeding Ollie pureed foods with a spoon (I guess that's old school?) I have recently been attempting to get Ollie interested in self-feeding. It has not been going well, ha ha.

When playing Oliver puts everything in his mouth; toys, blankets, any piece of lint he picks off the carpet (yikes), but when it comes to food he simply grabs it and tosses it off the side of his highchair. We've tried toast, steamed carrot sticks, banana chunks, but barely anything makes it in his mouth. So odd! On a positive note he does enjoy playing with the food, so that buys me 10 -15 min of time to do the dishes or warm some food.  Still, I would prefer him to eat the food rather than wiping mushed scraps off the floor!

Next on my list of food to try is teething biscuits, and then I suppose I'll start back at the beginning and try toast again.  Has anyone had success with finger foods? Do you have any tips for me and my silly babe?

   

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Move It or Lose It

Getting ready for moving day!

We always new our one bedroom house would prove too small once Ollie was born, but so far we've made it work.  Alex and I moved our bed to the loft freeing up the bedroom for baby Ollie (lucky duck!).  It's been a tight squeeze but manageable.  Well, until now.  As Oliver grows our living space seems to be shrinking.  His toys, baby seats, blankets, books, etc. continue to expand and show no sign of slowing down. So, it's time to move!  We are hoping to get our house ready for sale by mid-April so we spent this past weekend clearing out our studio storage and shipping all our junk off to the dump and goodwill.

Me and my Grandpa
When I was growing up my Grandparents lived on a farm in Wenatchee. While their farm was super cute and well maintained, the farm next door, belonging to neighbor Jim, was a dumping ground for old farm equipment, rusty trucks, and other miscellaneous junk.  As kids we thought we were hilarious when we nicknamed poor Jim "Junky Jim" (so creative), and would laughingly look at his messy yard.  Flash forward to now and guess who's not laughing?  "Junky Anna",  that's who.  How did we manage to hoard this much crap? Yikes yikes yikes!!

Wish us luck with our continued house prep.  Anyone have any tips for selling our house quickly and for mucho deniro?? 

Monday, March 4, 2013

Toy Review: Bright Starts Rattle

Ollie at our mom's group cupcake meet-up

I am lucky enough to be part of a wonderful mom's group, all of whom have baby boys between 6 and 7 months. We gather weekly at Cupcake Royale for some sweets and baby chat.  One such meet-up I noticed all the other babies had the same toy rattle, and they all seemed to love it!! Ollie stared longingly at this little toy before attempting to snatch it from the unsuspecting baby next to him.  Being the great mother that I am I tried to distract him with a paper napkin . . . he was not impressed.

So OF COURSE I went straight home and bought him one off amazon.  He couldn't be the only kid without the cool toy now could he? Plus I was curious to see what made this rattle so special.

When it came in the mail Ollie instantly loved it.  The Bright Starts Rattle is light weight so he can easily grab it, and the shakers on both ends make an exciting noise with each arm wave.  Another perk is the price, just under $6! With that said I am not exactly sure why all the babies like this toy so much, but who am I to question? Best not to over think it, if Ollie's happy then I'm happy!

This toy is great for car rides, and fits easily in a purse or diaper bag so it can be at the ready when you feel a breakdown coming. I would definitely put this my list of top toys!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Photo of the Week: Great Grandma Martha

Great Grandma Martha

Ollie and I with his Great Grandma Martha on her recent visit to Seattle. 

 One of my favorite Grandma Martha quotes, "pamper yourself, you'll be a better person"
   

Family Dinner: Lentil Soup with Roasted Tomatoes

Lentil Soup with Roasted Tomatoes

Inspired by one of my favorite bloggers, yoonanimous, I made her lovely lentil soup for dinner last night. I tend to gravitate towards soup dinners for a few reasons; quickness, easy ingredients, and the endless rainy Seattle weather!

This soup is DELICIOUS! I would highly recommend it to all the soup lovers out there. The flavors are big and bold and leave you feeling full and warm.

I used canned fire roasted tomatoes rather than making my own (I know, you're shocked I picked the easy option), and added sherry wine vinegar instead of red wine vinegar because that's what I had in my cupboard. I blended the soup with my favorite kitchen appliance, the immersion blender, so Ollie could partake as well, a true family dinner!

This recipe makes a TON of soup, so if you have a medium soup pot I would suggest you half it.  I did not head this advice and my soup was nearly overflowing.

Served with crusty homemade bread and butter, this meal is perfect for a stormy winter evening.


Oliver's ready for some soup!

Lentil Soup with Roasted Tomatoes
Adapted by yoonanimous.com  from The Best Recipe: Soups and Stews, serves 12 (you can halve the recipe)

Ingredients: 
  • 4T vegetable or olive oil
  • 8 oz. bacon, diced
  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 2 large onions, diced or chopped fine (my kids are likelier not to pick vegetables out of their food if the pieces are tiny, but maybe yours don’t care)
  • 4 large carrots, chopped fine
  • 2 T minced garlic
  • 2 cups dried green or brown (not red) lentils, rinsed and picked over for stone
  • 2 cups roasted tomatoes, chopped into rough chunks (recipe follows)*, or 2 cups canned, diced tomatoes with juice (fire roasted work great)
  • 2 t chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1-2 T red wine vinegar, or to taste
Directions

1. Heat oil in a large stockpot or cast iron casserole over medium-high heat. Cook bacon until fat has rendered and pieces are browned and crisp.

2. Throw in the carrots, onions, garlic, thyme, bay leaves and a few grinds of black pepper. Saute for 3-5 minutes, until softened.

3. Throw in the lentils and tomatoes, and “sweat” the lentils by sauteing for 5-7 minutes.

4. Stir in the wine, stir until dissolved.

5. Pour in the broth along with two cups of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 30 minutes, or until lentils are softened.

6. If you like a creamier soup, you can blitz 3-4 cups of the soup in a blender and then pour it back into the pot. Or you can leave as is. Stir in the vinegar at end. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

7. Enjoy with a crusty baguette and a salad! Leftovers are great for lunch.

*Roasted tomatoes: preheat oven to 400 degrees. Halve five roma tomatoes and put them, cut sides up, on a cookie sheet. Melt some butter and brush the tops with butter. Sprinkle with kosher salt and a little pepper, if you like. Roast them on the top rack until they turn brown and bubbly–took 25 minutes in my oven.