Thursday, March 20, 2014

Tessa - 9 Months Old

16.5 lbs

Clothing Size:
She is still wearing anywhere from 6-12 month tops and onsies.
But when it comes to pants and leggings, she is now needing to wear 12 month sizes.
She just might have some long legs!

Eye Color:


Still only two teeth right now.

Oh boy, we have hit some milestones this month.
Not only is she crawling around everywhere,
but she also pulled herself up to a standing position just yesterday!
She loves exploring the house now that she can crawl
and she just realized that she can now follow Mommy from room to room.

I am almost completely convinced
that she is saying "Mama" and meaning me...
or at least a part of me.
She has now begun to say "Mama" and reach for me when she wants to nurse.
(not to mention grabbing and pulling down my shirt too) :/
She will also say "Mama" if she wants me to pick her up.
Everything else she says is still baby babble.
She also loves to blow bubbles with her spit and make a "mah" sound.

Tessa is curious about everything.
Which means she is getting into practically everything.
Some of her favorite "toys" to investigate are...
Laundry Basket
Bookcase and Books
the "big" Piano
Silas's Bed
Washer and Dryer
Dish Washer door.

She also loves to sit in my lap while she is playing with toys
and crawling all over mommy and daddy.

I read a WONDERFUL article on the Kelly Mom website that really encouraged me
to keep a realistic view on Tessa's sleep patterns.
I totally recommend checking out the article
if you are dealing with a baby that doesn't sleep through the night.

Meal Time:
Tessa has tried a few new foods this month...
Raw Cheese (shredded)
Pot Roast (small pieces of the soft meat)
Coconut Flour Pancakes (one of her favorites now)

Tessa's Favorites:
She loves to go outside.
One day this month, I bundled her up and we walked down the street to pick up our mail.
We were gone only 5 minutes before we headed back home.
But the instant we stepped inside the house, she began to cry and cry.
I then realized that we need to get OUT more.
So I strapped her on me again, we put the leash on the dog, and we went on a longer walk.
Summer can't get her quick enough.

Mommy's favorites:
She is starting to snuggle and hug us now.
Especially when she just wakes up from a nap.
She will place her head on your chest and just let you hold her
until she is fully awake and ready to play again. 
Such sweet sweet moments.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

52 Weeks in a Year - Week Nine

"A portrait of my child, once a week, every week, in 2014."
Did I skip a week?
I feel like I skipped a week somewhere in here.
Oh well, I'm just going to continue to pretend that it's week nine.
My poor sleep deprived brain can't count anymore.
I love this picture because, not only is my sweet Tessa so happy,
it reminds me to not be a toy snob.
Let me elaborate...
Micah and I both are not the hugest fans of brightly colored, flashy, plastic kid toys.
We will walk up and down the toy isle at Target
and just cringe at the amount of ugly toys there are.
We (especially me) are so picky with the things that we buy,
we have found it so hard to buy one of these tacky toys.
(cue me eating my words)
Well, today in church, Tessa found the toy pictured above.
A huge, plastic, flashy, brightly colored, noisy toy 
that she thought was the most amazing thing EVER.
She was so happy and content exploring every inch of the toy.
I'm eating my words big time because I'm pretty sure
we will be purchasing a big plastic toy in the near future.
Babies, they keep you humble and not a toy snob.

Monday, March 10, 2014

My New Purchase - Porter Baby Ring Sling

I made an investment this week.
I purchased a Porter Baby Ring Sling... and I am already in love.
I knew we needed one fast because Tessa is going through the "Mommy Phase"
and constantly wants to be either with me or be held by me.
I'm not complaining, it's actually quite sweet.
I just knew that my poor tired arms needed a rest.

I definitely recommend this brand.
I was on a very limited budget when searching for the right Sling
and if you have ever shopped around for these, you know how expensive they can be.
Porter Baby Slings are super affordable,
made from %60 linen and %40 cotton blend,
and come in so many different beautiful colors that you can customize.
If you are in the market to buy one, I would head on over to there now!

Saturday, March 8, 2014

52 Weeks in a Year Series - Week Eight

"A portrait of my child, once a week, every week, in 2014."

My goofy little girl.
I totally forgot to post her "week seven" photo.
But, to be honest, I had way to much worry on my mind.
Last Friday Tessa got her first real fever along with all the cold symptoms...
coughing, runny nose, congestion, fever.
And even though the Doctors were not worried because her temp never went above 102.5,
I felt like I was standing at attention all weekend. 
So, as the natural mama (that I try to be), I let the fever run its course,
in hopes that it would kill off any bug she had been exposed to.
When it spiked up into the 102 range, I brought it down a degree or two by
 soaking her socks in warm water and lemon essential oil,
putting them back on her feet and covering them with wool butties. 
After two days of straight fever, it came back down to normal.
Now we are just waiting for her runny nose to go away,
but other than that, all better!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Tessa - 8 Months Old


Clothing Size:
Tessa is wearing anything from 6-9 months clothing
to 6-12 month clothing (depending on the brand).
She definitely had a growth spurt!

Eye Color:

It's getting lighter and lighter.
Still has that hint of Strawberry Blond!

We have tooth #2!
This one was a bit more painful popping through but Tess did great.
She ran her first "teething" fever last night (100.5 degrees)...
boy was that a nerve wracking experience for mommy.
Daddy did great at helping out though.
He cooked and cleaned so that I could snuggle Tessa all night.
Other than being more cuddly and going to bed a few hours earlier,
she didn't seem to be in much pain.
Babies are so tough when it comes to fevers.
Last time I ran a fever of 100.5, I thought I was going to die. ;)

She has got the hang of moving forward now.
She's not up and crawling on all fours yet,
but she is pushing with her feet, face planting,
then dragging back up with her arms...
SO cute to watch!

She loves repeating the same words.
This month it has been all about the...

She does seem to say "Mamamamama" whenever she is wanting something though.
For example, when she is starting to cry or is protesting about something
and wants me to pick her up.
She will then start to repeat: Mamamama
Could she really be calling for me??
Is it too early for that??? 

Tessa loves it when you sing to her, especially if the song has hand motions.
She LOVES "The Itsy Bitsy Spider" or when I use sign language while singing ABC's.
She is now beginning to think that EVERYTHING is a toy.
Things like the computer, the phones, paper, wipes, remotes,
chunks of wood from the fire wood that we have missed picking up off the ground...
you know, anything that is NOT TO BE PLAYED WITH! :/
This of course means that I now go around the house
meticulously picking up every item that could possibly be dangerous.

Like I posted a few months ago, I have come to terms with Tessa not sleeping through the night.
She is still going to bed anywhere between 6-7pm
and she will still wake up every few hours at night to nurse.
But what has thrown us for a loop this month
is that it has become a bit harder to lay her down to sleep.
We will rock her to sleep and then begin to put her in her crib.
But the MOMENT her body hits the mattress,
she will jolt awake and begin to whimper and cry until we pick her back up.
Some nights we will try to put her back to sleep in her crib 4 or 5 times
before we eventually bring her into the bed with us to finish off the night.

Nap-times are not any easier either.
She will take two naps a day
(one in the morning and one in the afternoon).
She will fall asleep quickly and stay asleep when we place her in her crib.
The only hard part (and this is really hard on this mama)
is that her naps are maybe 20 minutes... 30 minutes is a good day.
Some days I can handle it fine, other days I just need a bit more "regrouping" time.
A few weeks ago a miracle happened...
We went out on a walk and she fell asleep about 10 minutes before we returned home.
I left her in the stroller to finish her nap and thought to myself, I'll take a nap too...
Since I figured she would only sleep another 15 minutes.
The next thing I knew, I was waking up and it was an hour later!
She slept for over an hour!
I took an hour nap!
After I (of course) checked to make sure she was still breathing,
I didn't even know what to do with myself.
Seriously, it was a miracle.

Meal Time:
Tessa has tried a few new things this month...
Chicken (she was kinda skeptical at first)
Goat's Milk Kefir (she LOVES it mixed with sweet potato)
I also gave her a bit of a pickle I was eating, she surprisingly liked it.
Her favorite food by far is the Fish Roe,
she gets so excited when I feed it to her and she will keep demanding for more.

Tessa's Favorites:
Tessa loves watching the washer and dryer.
Whenever I carry her into the kitchen she will keep her eyes glued to them.
She will even wrench around backward if she is in my arms to try and watch them.
Because I know she loves them so much, whenever I know a load is going,
I will make a little "play spot" with toys, so she can go back and forth
between watching the washer and dryer, and playing with the toys.

Mommy's favorites:
She is beginning to get more interested in books.
Before she would just want to grab at the book and play with it,
but now she will listen for a while, then she will look up at my face and watch me read,
then look back at the book again.
I love to see her face as she looks at me with wide eyed wonder.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Emily McDowell Illustrations

Wouldn't you just love to receive one of these
beautifully witty greeting cards?!
I know I would.

I am both loving and cracking up at these
hand lettered and illustrated cards by the talented Emily McDowell.
Here is how she describes her art work...
"My work reflects our shared human experience,
in all its different, messy forms,
and is based around universal, relatable truths."

Friday, February 14, 2014

52 Weeks in a Year Series - Week Six

"A portrait of my child, once a week, every week, in 2014."

Tessa gave us a little Valentine's Day gift today... she began to "scoot" forward!
It is so cute to see her try so intently to crawl with every scoot and face plant into the carpet.
It's now only a matter of weeks (or days?) before she is fully up and moving.
I'm pretty sure that the reason Tessa started scooting forward today
was because we had a "Mom's playdate" with a few friends
and one of the little girls that came (who is a week younger than Tessa) was scooting forward.
I think Tessa saw her and was able to figure it out by copying her.
Do babies even do that? Copy each other in milestones?
Either way, it was such a wonderful Valentine's Day Milestone!

I had another Valentine's Day surprise...
Micah cooked dinner for me!
You may not know this but my hubby is a fantastic cook.
He made Fillet Mignon, mashed potatoes,
and amazing green beans that were cooked with bacon and drizzled with maple syrup!
I think we need to make it a rule that he cooks at least one meal a week for me. ;)

Have a lovely weekend!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Valentines Baby Girl Ideas

I am one of those suckers for Valentines Day.
Well, to be honest, I am a sucker for any holiday.
I don't know what the Mr. and I will be doing on the 14th yet,
but I'm sure that if we do go out, we will be bringing Tessa with us.
(she's going through that mommy phase right now)

How cute is the idea to make a little Valentines package for your little loved ones?!
These are a few of my "dream" items that would be in Tessa's gift.

Friday, February 7, 2014

52 Weeks in a Year Series - Week Five

"A portrait of my child, once a week, every week, in 2014."

Out of all the rooms in the house, the kitchen is turning out to be our favorite.
One of the main reasons is because it is the brightest and sunniest room in our house.
And it has been gloriously sunny here these past few days.
But with the winter sunshine comes two thing...
 1. The bitter cold. I'm not even joking, yesterday morning it was -22 degrees outside.
 2. We do not go outside. And after being coped up for a few days, we NEED to get out of the house.
But the closest thing we will get to being outside is the sunny warmth
of the winter sunshine pouring through the kitchen windows.

In other news, Tessa has been growing and changing like a weed!
I feel like her little personality has been getting more and more distinct
and it's so fun to see who God has created her to be.
One thing that I have noticed in the past week is her curiosity.
It's out of control!
She wants to touch everything, see everything, taste everything.
She will start at one end of the room, roll all the way over to the other end to check something out, then roll all the way back again to play with a different toy.
I have a feeling that once she begins to crawl were gonna need one eye on her at all times.
 Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Bla Bla

When my Mom was here to visit me a few weeks ago,
I took her out to do some tourist-y shopping!
I always find it fun to be a tourist in your own city at times, don't you?
We bundled up in our winter jackets and boots,
put Tessa all snugly in her stroller,
and with coffees in our hands we strolled in and out of each store.
We stopped to have a crepe for lunch at one of my favorite little spots.
I think it will be a little tradition of ours whenever my Mom comes to visit.
To my surprise I even discovered the cutest (and new to me) baby boutique!
They had so many of my favorite brands, like Zutano and Aden and Anais...
I was in baby supply heaven!

While I was there I was practically drooling over everything by Bla Bla.
Especially the Apple Tree Mobile... I die!
I think about going back to buy it all the time.
Bla Bla also makes the most beautiful knit dolls in so many fun designs.
Here are a few of my favorites...

Friday, January 31, 2014

52 Weeks in a Year Series - Week Four

"A portrait of my child, once a week, every week, in 2014."

Oh my little girl, how she loves to be naked.
What is it with babies preferring to be naked ALL THE TIME.
It's snowing outside at the moment and maybe 20 degrees,
not necessarily the weather you would expect from this picture.
But we are keeping warm by the wood stove as we watch the snow fall.
I have tried to put her clothes on at least 20 times.
Each time I begin she protests with yells and screams,
letting me know that she's having none of it.
Okay, little girl...
since your so cute at the moment,
you can be naked a bit longer.

I hope you all have a lovely weekend!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Tessa's Feeding Essentials

I mentioned in Tessa's 7 month update that we have started feeding her solid foods.
This experience has simultaneously been the most fun yet extremely terrifying experience so far.
The process of trying out new food and praying that she both does not choke on it nor is allergic to it.
Teaching her how to use the sippy-cup and again praying that she does not inhale the water.
That happened once and I seriously had a mini heart-attack!
Dealing with many consecutive days of "no poop"
and wondering if she is getting constipated or if this is normal.
But with all that said, this has also been such an exciting time.
Being able to watch her excitement and approval in her newly found favorite foods...
butter, fish roe, fermented cod liver oil, peaches, blueberries, sweet potato.
And seeing her funny reaction as she recoils and shakes her head no
at the foods she would rather pass by... aka broccoli.
I can see her personality coming out so much as she tries to communicate to me
whether she wants more to eat or something to drink.

I mentioned that we followed the Baby Led Weaning method
when it came to introducing solids to Tessa.
I have been so happy with our decision to stick to that.
Even our Pediatrician was on board with our decision.
And sure enough, right around 6 months,
Tessa was showing signs (big time) that she was ready to eat.
Right around Christmas, as we all sat around the dinner table,
I reached over and scooped up a bit of butter with my finger and offered it to her.
No joking, she grabbed my finger and began to suck the butter off like it was going out of style.
And she kept wanting more and more.
She's just like her mommy and daddy... can't eat enough butter in our opinions.
The only thing we have done differently than the baby led weaning,
is that I do puree some of her food and I taught her to use the spoon when eating pureed foods.
Which is a great way to segment into some of my favorite feeding essentials!
Here are a few items that have become invaluable to us...

I actually found ours at a consignment store for $20!
I wasn't originally planning on buying one, but for $20... that's a steal.
And I am so happy that I bought it too.
For those days where I don't have time (or energy) to make something fresh for Tessa to eat,
having a stash of frozen pureed foods that I can just whip out has been wonderful.
It's also great to use for steaming food, even if I'm not going to puree it.

I am in love with this high chair.
Absolutely in love.
It's super easy to clean, light-weight, has a great modern style, and best of all... it's small.
It fits perfectly into our small kitchen without taking up so much space that were tripping over it.
And it fits right up to our kitchen table so we can all eat together as a family.

I'm in love with these glass bottles as well.
So much in love, I even bought a matching glass water bottle for myself.
Now me and Tessa can be twinsies!
The entire bottle, including all components, is completely free of known toxins
including BPA, phthalates, polycarbonates, and PVC.
One of the main reasons why I bought them... that and they are super cute!
Since we never bottle fed Tessa, I only have two glass bottles that we use.
Which, in my mind, totally justifies the price of $12 a bottle! :/

Yup... the bottles have a sippy-cup attachment!
Another huge reason why I love these.

Read my earlier blog post for these awesome items.

These have been great for the times when we are out, either at a restaurant or over at a friends,
and we don't want Tessa to feel left out during meal times.
Just pack some food for her in these containers, throw it in the diaper bag, and your good to go!

Friday, January 24, 2014

52 Weeks in a Year Series - Week Three

"A portrait of my child, once a week, every week, in 2014."

This little cutie is sure "trying" to be on the move.
She has begun to scoot backwards,
but just recently she has really been
getting up on her hands and knees to rock back and forth.
Pretty soon she will be launching forward!
Which reminds me...
I need to baby-proof the house!
Here is my check-list...

Finish putting the plates on all the outlets
Cover the outlets
Tie up all the electrical cords in the house
Put safety locks on the kitchen cabinets
Remove all household cleaners from the bottom of the hall closet

What else should I do to baby-proof the house?
If you have any "mama-advise" I would love to hear it.

Have a great weekend!!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Tessa - 7 Months Old


Clothing Size:
Tessa is officially out of size 3-6 month clothing.
She is now wearing 6 month and 6-9 month clothing.

Eye Color:

I would definitely say it's Strawberry Blond.
I'm so thrilled by this!!!

Still only one tooth, but I'm pretty sure that another one will pop out soon.

Were on the move!
Not only is she now rolling all over the floor,
she has started pushing herself backwards!
She can get pretty far pretty quickly when she's on the wood floor.
She has also started to get up on her hands and knees and rock back and forth.
I'm pretty sure we'll be crawling by next month.

Tessa has started to use the "B" sound.
She just loves to talk in the mornings
and wake mommy and daddy up with her

Now that she's sitting up really well, toys are so much fun.
I'll just pile a bunch around her and she will play with each one, one by one.
Some of the toys she gravitates to are...
(now that I write that list...
she pretty much likes anything that makes noise)
She also loves to "fly".
Anytime you lift her up in the air over your head
you will get the biggest smile ever.

This area hasn't changed since last month.
She is still waking about every 3 hours to nurse.
She has transitioned into taking 2 naps a day instead of taking a bunch of "cat-naps".
The funny (or not so funny depending on the day) thing is, her naps are still "cat-naps".
She will take a nap around 11am and 3pm, both being about 20 minutes each. 
Some days I'm okay with that and some days mama needs a bit more time to regroup. 

Meal Time:
I've added a new section because Tessa has begun to eat solid foods now!!!
We decided to follow Baby Led Weaning when it came to introducing solid foods
and I am so happy that we waited for her to show cues that she was ready.
Her first foods have been...
Egg Yolks
Sweet Potatoes

Tessa's Favorites:
There are so many things that I can share for this section.
She still LOVES the mirror and looking at her reflection.
She loves people and whenever anyone smiles at her.
But one thing that she has begun to notice... Silas!
She loves her puppy.
When he walks past her she will just watch him so intently.
And, if she is in her high chair and he walks by,
she will lunge out to try and grab him.

Mommy's favorites:
I am absolutely loving our meal times.
I am cherishing the time I get to spend with her as I prepare our meals,
then as we sit down to eat together.
Especially dinner time when Daddy is home.
Watching her try new food and seeing her facial expressions
when she takes her first bite is priceless.
And it has been wonderful to see her learn to communicate to us to let us know
when she wants more food, wants water, or is done.

Friday, January 17, 2014

52 Weeks in a Year Series - Week Two

"A portrait of my child, once a week, every week, in 2014."

The item that Tessa is holding is called a Nuby Nibbler.
Horrible name for what is basically a mesh pacifier/teething/feeding "thing".
I don't even know how to classify it.
I was super skeptical when I received a few before Tessa was born.
I had heard great things about them, but in all honesty they just seemed kinda gross.
Skip forward 7 or 8 months and it is one of our new favorite things.
I love to fill it with chopped banana then stick it in the freezer for a few hours.
I'll then give it to Tessa while she's in her highchair watching me cook.
She will just chew on that thing until she gets as much banana out as she can.
Beware though, it is MESSY (as you can see from the picture above).
But isn't that part of the fun of seeing your baby explore food for the first time. :)
Bring on the mess!!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

A Vintage Peter Rabbit Nursery

You know what I realized the other day...
I haven't shared with you pictures of Tessa's Nursery.

To be honest I have actually been putting it off because I felt the Nursery wasn't "ready".
If you remember, Tessa decided to arrive three weeks earlier than her due date,
so the Nursery wasn't quite finished when she was born.
So I kept saying to myself... "I finish her nursery soon".
Well, "soon" has come and gone and I have come to the realization
that the room will never be perfectly finished.
The walls won't get painted, pictures won't be hung,
the mobile over her crib will probably never get straightened,
and the knobs on her dresser are still broken.
But you know what...
I LOVE her Nursery anyways!

I feel so blessed by how many people came together to help contribute to Tessa's Nursery.
Once friends and family found out that we wanted a Peter Rabbit Themed Nursery,
we were receiving items left and right to decorate her Nursery with.
A gorgeous handmade Baby Quilt.
Vintage Baby Books.
Tessa's first Complete Tales of Peter Rabbit Series.
A Peter Rabbit Blackberry Game.
A Beswick Jemima Puddleduck figurine.
 And those are just to name a few.
We were truly blesses.

Here are a few pictures of her Vintage Inspired Peter Rabbit Nursery...


Sunday, January 12, 2014

Chicken & Gnocchi Soup

I think it's pretty safe to say that were officially a soup family.
Okay, maybe it's just me forcing my family to eat soup,
but seriously, we have it at least twice a week.
And I'll make enough so that were eating the leftovers for lunch
for the following two or three days.

It all started when I begin to try and find ways
to get more nutrient dense food into our daily diets.
And knowing that homemade chicken stock was SUPER good for you,
I made it a point to make a batch of the stuff every other week or so.
Then came the task of finding recipes to use the stock in.
Soup has been my go to meal for using it each time.
(I also use the stock when I make rice and quinoa.
And I mix it with water and give it to Tessa in a sippy bottle.)

 From what I hear this soup is kinda a knock-off
of the Chicken and Gnocchi Soup from the Olive Garden.
I wouldn't really know because I have never had that soup from there.
Nevertheless, this soup is amazing and I will be making it again and again and again.
I'm pretty sure you should go make it right now too. ;)

Chicken & Gnocchi Soup

4 tbsp butter
4 tbsp flour
3 cups half and half
1/2 cup celery, finely chopped
1 cup onion, finely chopped
2 minced garlic cloves
3 cups chicken stock
1 cup carrots, finely shredded
1 cup chicken breasts, cooked and diced
1 package gnocchi, cooked according to package directions
1 cup of fresh kale, coarsely chopped
1 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp parsley
salt and coarse pepper to taste (at least a 1/2 tsp of each)

1. Saute the onion, celery, and garlic in the butter over medium heat until the onion becomes translucent. 

2. Add the flour and make a roux. Let the butter and flour mixture cook for about a minute before adding 3 quarts of half and half.

3. Into the roux, add in the carrots and chicken. Keep warm on the burner and let the soup thicken while you cook the gnocchi.

4. Cook gnocchi according to the package directions. 

5. Once the mixture becomes thick, add the chicken broth. 

6. Once the mixture thickens again, add the cooked gnocchi, spinach, and seasoning; simmer until soup is heated through.

7. Taste the soup and adjust the seasonings according to your liking. Sometimes if I feel a soup needs more flavor, I will add a 1/2 tsp at a time of Organic Better than Bouillon Chicken flavor.


This is Tessa's "Hey Mom, can I have some more avocado please" face...
and then her being distracted by something far more important in the living room.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

52 Weeks in a Year Series - Week One

"A portrait of my child, once a week, every week, in 2014."

So, I'm kinda jumping on the blogging bandwagon with this new series.
I've been following a few bloggers who have been documenting their children's lives
by posting a picture of them every week for a year.
I just love that idea so much, and seeing that it's the new year and all,
I figured it was a great time for me to join in on the fun too.
I hope you enjoy seeing my little Tessa Anne grow up each week!

Week One:
We arrived back home after spending the holidays in Washington
to find a package sent from my sister and her family.
Inside was the cutest Christmas present for Tessa...
A plush little stuffed animal/teething/developmental toy made by Skip Hop.
I seriously love that brand of baby toys!
Unknown to my sister, I had actually been eying this toy for awhile now and wanting it for Tess.
So it was such a wonderful surprise for both mama and baby.
My sis knows me so well. :)