Friday, October 26, 2012

It's Getting Spooky Up In Here

 The second best holiday of the year is less than a week away! 
What are you waiting for?! Start decorating, candy hoarding, movie watching, and best of all, experimenting with monstrously delicious martinis!

A not-so-reliable Hallowe'en History: 

Halloween has its origins in the ancient Celtic festival known as Samhain.  It represents the end of the harvest season in Gaelic culture. The ancient pagans used this time to stock up on supplies and prepare for winter.  The ancient Gaels believed that on October 31, the boundaries between the worlds of the living and dead overlapped.  It's said that the deceased would come back to life and f*#k shit up by causing sickness and damage to their crops.  Creepy...

 20 Faaaantastic Hallowe'en Movies
These gems will be on loop all week at our place.
  1. Nightmare Before Christmas (also my fav. movie of all time)
  2. Hocus Pocus
  3.  Beetlejuice
  4. The Goonies
  5.  Casper
  6. It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown
  7. Edward Scissorhands
    ...and for after the kiddies are in bed... or if you're a scaredy cat...
  8.  Night of the Living Dead
  9. Poltergeist
  10. Halloween
  11. Friday the 13th
  12. Texas Chainsaw Massacre
  13. The Shining
  14. A Nightmare on Elm Street
  15. The Craft
  16.  Pet Semetery
  17. The Amityville Horror
  18. IT
  19. Child's Play
  20. Silent Hill (not the best, but partially filmed here in my hometown..represent!)
 On the Menu:
Pumpkin Rice Krispies
Once again..Thanks Pinterest!

Crock Pot Pumpkin Spiced Lattes
Enough said...
1/2 Cider, 1/2 Lager
Corpse Brides
It's Essentially a White Russian with Vanilla Vodka and a spider garnish.
I'll take full credit for this one, thanks very much!
Pics to follow

Oh... and food? I guess we'll just order at a time like this?!

In case you were wondering...
for C's First Hallowe'en she chose to be an owl.
She's been practicing her "toowit towhoo's".

Happy Haunting
boo,   Kiara

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Baby Buys

     I've had a few soon to be Mommas asking me to do a post on products that I find useful/ useless,  because being a first time Mom is just a little bit confusing.  I remember spending hours working on my registry, making sure that C would have enough sandals to get her through the summer.  Turns out, like most of you, I was an idiot.  Kidding! Remember...I'm the same Mom who thought we'd be hitting up the beach all summer, so obvi cute sandals are a must...No! 

     These are the things that have either made my job a little easier, or that totally broke my bank account and are now collecting dust in the nursery closet.

Things That Saved My Life

  • Nuby Teethers -We love the Bug-a-Loop and The Hand freezer teethers.
  •  Swing & Exersaucer - Aka. the (Fisher Price I Luv U Zoo) swing of neglect.  We made sure to get an electric swing so we wouldn't have to worry about batteries.  Cs Exersaucer keeps her occupied for a good hour while I do some housework/ write up a blog.  She's still a little young for it, but we prop her up with a few blankets.  I think Exersaucers are all the same, so pick your poison.
  • Zippered Sleepers - I can't count how many times I missed a snap.  That's like life or death at 3am...oh the frustration.
  • Infantino Flip Carrier - Because your arms get tired and there's lots to get done.  This carrier is comfortable and easy to wear.  You can wear your baby as a backpack, front facing (like Alan in the hangover), or towards you when their neck muscles are still weak.
  • Tommee Tippee Bottles & Formula Dispensers - We're in love with these bottles.  The Playtex Ventaire Bottles don't even compare.  These bottles are way easier to clean, they feed faster, and the formula holders are awesome for night feedings or day trips.  I keep a bottle beside our bed and dump the formula in when C wakes up.  Super easy.

Absolutely Necessary Things
  • A good camera: we use a Canon EOS 5D Mark II - This camera is like a professional photographer all wrapped up in a beautiful package.  I DO NOT look as good in real life as I do in the pictures that this camera takes.  I guess I'll give the Hubs some credit here too... he did spend 20 grand on school to be so awesome.
  • Baby Trend Jogger - I've only jogged with C twice because they say you shouldn't jog with them until they're six months old.  She's pretty durable though, so it's mostly my lack of motivation to exercise.  Anyway, this stroller is pretty bomb.
  • High Chair - We propped C up in her high chair as soon as she was old enough to hold her head up.  Now we use it everyday, 4 plus times a day.  She sits at the dinner table with us, wishing she could eat steak.
  • Swaddle blanket - C's guardians bought her the best swaddle.  It's made of bamboo, so it's breathable and cozy.  Being swaddled was the only way C would sleep for 3 months.
  • Summer Infant Slumber Sack -  Once C hit 4 months old she started rolling from her back to her tummy and the swaddle all of a sudden became extinct.   The sleep sack is awesome because it keeps her warm without any risks, and she can still do whatever it is that gets her to the top corner of her crib.
  • Sound Machine - Babies sleep best with white noise.  It also helps them tune out household noise, so that you don't have to tip toe around, party time!.  This one is amazing!

Things That Were a Hit for a Whole 24 Hours
  • Fisher Price Ocean Wonders Aquarium - waste of money period.  Why would you want to stimulate your baby before sleep? Not to mention the batteries run out after a few days and C batteries are expensive.
  • Baby Jeans - enough said.  I don't even like wearing jeans.
Unnecessary Things:
  • Playtex Diaper Genie - At least not super important for the first 4 months.  You change way too many diapers at the beginning and those refills are expensive.  It's probably more handy to reduce the smell once the loads get large and in charge, and less frequent.
  • Baby Shoes - I still don't really understand the concept.  Save your money and buy a surplus of socks.  Baby socks are a dryers favourite snack.
Good things to get:

  • Long Sleeved Onesies - Awesome for nap time or cooler weather.  Old Navy has the best/ most affordable onesies.
  • Fleece Sleepers - So comfy and cozy for rainy/ cooler days.  Some days I changed C out of her pajamas and into fleece pajamas for the day. 
  • Breathable Crib Bumper - For when they start rolling all over the place.  You don't want little arms or legs to get stuck in the bars.
  • A Change Pad with a "seatbelt" - Little buggers will start squirming before you know it.
  • A Bath Tub - Get a small bathtub cradle for the first couple of months and then upgrade to a bath basin.  We literally use a measuring cup to rinse the suds off.  Nothing fancy here. 
  • Digital Ear Thermometer - If you're anything like me, a worrier, you'll check your babies temp. once a day, which is totally unnecessary.
Things For Later On (circa 5 months of age)
  • Pack N' Play - I forgot we even had one until the other day.  I'm sure we'll use it more once C can stand up.
  • Bumbo Chair - C uses this chair now, but it gets tiring for her after about 10 minutes.  It's pretty awesome though and I'm sure she'll get more use out of it (and it's tray) once she's eating finger foods.
  • Baby Bullet - We started C on a few solids at 4 months old.  You'd be surprised at the amount of "non food" items that are acceptable in baby food.  Disgusting stuff like mouse poo and hair.  No Thanks! So we make our own food with organic fruits and veggies.  The Baby Bullet is super inexpensive and crazy easy to use.
Diapers & Wipes:

     From experience, Huggies Little Snugglers was the only brand to have successive blowouts.  When C was newborn, we used Pampers Swaddlers just in case she has sensitive skin.  Now, we use Pampers Baby Dry.  I know there are mixed reviews about the chemicals in this brand, but once we saw that C wasn't having any issues with them, we made these our first choice.  Some nights she sleeps 14 hours, and while her diaper is full to the the max when she wakes up, there's never any dampness or leakage.  Except for when Dad puts the diaper on wrong.

     As far as quantities of diapers to buy, we had a few packs of size newborn, 1, and 2 already in the nursery and we just stocked up as we went along.  I think it's easier to buy as you go because most places, including Walmart and Shoppers Drug, will not return diapers without a receipt.  (Not sure about you, but I always lose receipts.)

     Unless your baby has sensitive skin, I found that buying the expensive brand name wipes was a waste.  We did that for the first couple of months and now we're on to the walmart brand that we buy in bulk.  They're a little thinner than say, Huggies Natural Care Wipes (which are awesome), but you end up becoming so pro at wiping poop that you could use Kleenex and it wouldn't make a difference.

     The nurses told us to use petroleum jelly after every changing.  We did that and C never got a rash.  Sometimes she gets a little red and we use Penaten Cream until the redness goes away.

Hope this longest post of life helps!
xo,     Kiara

Friday, October 19, 2012

Baby Daze

Sometimes I like to reassure myself that I'm not completely insane by googling things like "easiest way to clean bottles" or "4 month old feeding schedule" because I really have no idea what I'm doing.
Most of the time, I wing it and hope for the best, because, dare I say it, google isn't always right.
It's still pretty unfathomable that I'm a parent.  I kind of can't believe that I've been given such a major responsibility.  This is what a pretty successful average day looks like for us.

What C's Up To:

7:00am: "Wake up mom!!"
7:30am: She scarfs down 2 tbsp of bananas, 1 tbsp of oatmeal, and a 6oz bottle (umm, fatso!) before I can even get a cup of coffee into me.
8:00am: Morning nap... also when mom crawls back into bed if she's feeling extra lazy.
9:00am: "Wake up mom!!"
9:30am: Play time! Consisting of the exhausting Exersaucer, the swing of neglect, and the I-just-slept-12-hours-on-my-tummy tummy time.
12:00pm: Mid day nap
2:00pm: "I'm up! You should have been waiting by my door!!"
2:30pm: She downs 2tbsp of carrots, some barley cereal and a 6oz bottle.
3:00pm: We usually have some sort of outing... a walk to the grocery store, playtime at the park, or if I'm being super mom, I roll her up to the garden in her stroller to stare at the roses.
4:00pm: Afternoon nap
5:00pm: "Can't you hear me talking to myself?!"
5:30pm: I force her to eat some sweet potato or introduce a new veggie or fruit...she hates it.
5:45pm: Dad gets home for playtime...finally!!
6:00pm: Bathtime, story time, 6oz bottle time.
6:30pm: I get her into her sleep sack and it's blinds closed, sound machine on, lights out.
5:00am: "Hellooo, I'm freakin thirsty over here!" and I nurse her back to sleep.
5:10am: Out cold.
7:00am:  "wake up!! let's do it all again!"

Once C's asleep, I tidy up around the house, scrub out her bottles, and fill them with boiled water for the next day.  I find it easier to add the formula to each bottle as I need it.  I get whatever vegetable or fruit out of the freezer for the next day or whip up my own stuff in the baby bullet.

Finally, it's down time for the hubs and I.  And by down time I mean slaving away in the basement, working on Operation Income Suite.  Or if it's the weekend, I polish off a bottle of wine and/or Kraken and attempt to drywall and paint some stuff.

So impressed about the drywall dust.
Do work: our motivation
The days that I put the most effort into scheduling, oddly eoungh tend to be the most disorganized and frantic days.  I've learned to let go (some days) and let things happen.  Our fly by the seat of your pants days are usually the most fun.  The hard part is telling the type A personality in me to shut up and go with it.  I use the Baby Connect App to track C's naps and feedings so I can free my brain of the daunting task.

xo,  Kiara

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Sandwiches

The hubby has been bugging me to make him pulled pork sandwiches for a while now...  These turned out amazing! and I don't usually like pork. (except for bacon, because bacon is awesome)

The Goods:
2 medium yellow onions, thinly sliced
 4 medium garlic cloves, thinly sliced 
1 cup chicken stock
1 tablespoon brown sugar 
1-2 tablespoons chili powder 
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin 
1/4-1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
1 (4-1/2- to 5-pound) boneless pork shoulder, twine removed 
2 cups barbecue sauce

Do It:
  1. Throw the onions and garlic into the slow cooker, and pour in the broth. Combine the sugar, chili powder, salt, cumin, and cinnamon in a bowl. Pat the pork dry with paper towels. Rub the spice mixture all over the pork and place the meat on top of the onions and garlic. Cover and cook until the pork falls apart easily, about 6 to 8 hours on high or 8 to 10 hours on low.
  2. Turn off the slow cooker and move the pork to a cutting board. Run the onions & garlic through a strainer and put them back in the slow cooker.  You can either get rid of the broth or put some back into the meat to make it juicier.
  3. Using 2 forks, shred the meat into bite-sized pieces, throwing out any disgusting pieces of fat. Put the meat back in the slow cooker, add the barbecue sauce and mix that bad boy up. 
  4. Mix up some coleslaw, put the meat on buns, and top with the coleslaw.  I added a little extra bbq sauce to mine because I like it SAUCY.
xo,  Kiara

Monday, October 8, 2012

Turkey Day

 Holidays are the shit now, plain and simple.  The little kid in me has always made an appearance, especially during the festive holidays, only now I look a lot less crazy since, "I'm doing it for the baby".  

Thanksgiving 2012

My hubby is the incredibly talented photographer who took these.  
Above all, I'm most thankful for him.

xo, Kiara

Monday, October 1, 2012

Baby R is 4 Months Old!

 Well kid... I must say you are kicking some major life ass already.  Teething? No problem, I'll just chew my fingers until they're raw. Shots? Whatever, I'll just sleep it off.  Seriously, you're the best.

Today you are 4 months old! Holy cow, already?!  I feel like just yesterday you were still in my belly.  Except way happier, because you're so awesome in person, and because I'm a lot less bitchy and uncomfortable this way.

You've been a blessing.  An angel baby.  I don't know if anyone has ever been so lucky as first time parents as we are.  You never cry.  You pretty much sleep through the night.  You squawk like a birdie when you want out of your crib.  You have full on baby talk conversations with us.  You smile and giggled and play shy.  

Some cool stuff about you:

You love playing in your Exersaucer
You attempt to roll over while I'm changing you
You chew your hands constantly, but never complain
You love hiking the trails in your carrier
Your favourite book is still the Gruffalo
Your favourite song is C Had a Little Lamb
Bathtime is by far your favourite part of the day
You take three naps every day
You drink 4 bottles
You eat carrots
You light up when you see your Daddy

You have made my life so much better.  You've made me completely happy.  I try hard every day to make you as happy as you've made us.  Love you with all my heart C Bear.

xo, Momma