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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Establishing a Bedtime Routine

Our bedtime routine with P usually starts around 8 pm every night. We change Parker into his pajamas, turn down the lights, have quiet play time which consists of Tuan and I singing songs and reading at least 4 books, and then I nurse him in the rocking chair. I cannot stress how much establishing a bedtime routine has improved our evenings. The predictability is soothing and helps him understand that it's time for bed. It's also a great time for us to bond with Parks. Our routine takes anywhere from 30-60 minutes, depending on how much excitement he's had during the day. So if we want him asleep by 9 PM, we start at 8 PM. If he falls asleep quickly, we get to sneak downstairs and watch some TV. Lame? Maybe, but we'll be sleeping through the night! We try our best to keep to that schedule on the weekends too even though it means no more late dinners for me and T and leaving early from parties.

For more tips on establishing a bedtime routine with your baby, check out this article on BabyCenter.

[I really enjoy reading with Mr. P! I know he doesn't understand anything we are saying yet but one day he will. I hope he will love books as much as I do. Two of our favorites: The Very Hungry Caterpillar and A Color of His Own.]

[Tuan reading That's Not My Dinosaur!]

[I wonder if this part of Hungry Caterpillar makes him hungry]

[Melt my heart]

Monday, July 29, 2013

Step by Step Organic Fabric Teething Toy Tutorial

Mr. Parks is starting to become a drool/slobber machine. I suspect that his gums are itching and he may be teething. Here are step by step instructions to create an organic fabric teething toy. Don't have the skills to make your own? You can always message me and order some.

What you will need
Organic wooden rings (I ordered mine from Alexa Organics)
Two pieces of 10 in x 4 in fabric (I used minky and organic cotton but you can use two pieces of cotton)
Fabric scissors/Rotary cutter
Cutting mat
Sewing machine
Pattern which can be downloaded here 
**It looks like the link to the original template I used is broken. Above is a link to a similar template via The Clueless Girl

Step-by-step Instructions

[A photo of everything you will need.]

[Cut out pattern and pin it to your fabric. Fabric should be laid right sides together.]

[Cut out pattern.]

[Result after cutting pattern.]

[Remove pins and pattern and sew fabrics together using a 1/4 inch seam allowance. Remember to leave an opening where indicated on pattern.]

[Flip inside out]

[Press and sew again using a 1/4 inch seam allowance.]

[Loop completed bunny ears around your wooden ring. Ta da! All done.]

Now give the teether to your baby or someone else's baby and snap some photos.

[Parks LOVED the teether.]

Our First Time at the Little Italy Farmer's Market

Tuan and I (and the Sunday Funday crew) are slowly working our way through the list of farmer's markets in San Diego. So far we have gone to the Point Loma Market (TERRIBLE! Never again), Mira Mesa (Ok but small) and Little Italy. Today was our first time at the Little Italy market and it is by far the best ones we have gone to. Tuan's mom, step dad, sister and baby Kaden came with us to the market and we ate our way through all 3 blocks of vendors. I like to think that Parker really enjoys all the sights and smells but today he mostly looked unimpressed. We were able to pick up some organic green beans, avocados, some good eats and drinks and a little wooden toy for P.

[Next time I am definitely getting some carrots]

[I just turned my green beans into baby food for P]

[Tuan wanted to get some berries but I said no because I barely finished using up all my Costco blueberries. Also, I have a delivery of wild blackberries from Washington being delivered soon!]

[Baby artichoke]

[The hubby and P strolling]

[Best. Picture. Ever. Would love to hire this guy for Tuan's 30th birthday party!]

[I think these are protea?]

[Fell in love with these wooden toys from Germany. I got P the bear. I wish I had gotten the fox too.]

[Spicy watermelon lemonade. Like a diablito without the blend. SO GOOD.]

[Bucket Artisan Pops. Very good. On par with Viva Pops.]

Little Italy Mercato
Every Saturday from 8:00 AM - 2:00 PM

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Noah & Nolan's Birthday Pool Party

After all my shopping and prep for Parker's first pool party, I'm happy to announce that he was in the pool for a total of FIFTEEN minutes. Ha! Who knew that the sky would be cloudy and overcast in the middle of July. We still had a great time cruising around the pool in the batmobile and hanging out with my side of the family. Here are some photos of our fun day. Happy birthday to my nephews Noah and Nolan!

[Me and P cruising around the pool]

[My sister Tania and my niece Noelle]

[Adding this to my collection of Brandon and Tania photos]

[Nolan squeezed his big butt into the bat mobile!]

[Splashing around in the water with P]

[My sister Karen "relaxing" on my nephew Andrew's floaty]

Saturday, July 27, 2013

An Epic Battle Between Parker and the Sea Monster

[Hey man. Mind if I chomp on your arm?]

[Oh shizz! Take it easy! You could have just said no]

[I will never let you win]

[Oh good. I'm glad we can be friends again?]

[Let me see if you have a boo boo]

[I love you, Mr. Octopus]

White Nectarine Baby Food Recipe

I found some white nectarines on sale yesterday at Sprouts and they smelled so good I had to buy some for Parker. We're not introducing fruits yet but these will keep for 3 months so I went ahead and made him some white nectarine baby food.

5 white nectarines
1 cup of water reserved from steaming fruit

Peel and chop nectarines, removing pit
Steam for 10 minutes or until tender
Put nectarine in blender with 1 cup of water reserved from steaming fruit
Blend until smooth
Pour puree into baby food trays (I used So Easy Baby Food/Milk Trays)
Freeze and store

[The cubes turned out to be the most beautiful blush pink color]

Product Review - Skip Hop, Baby Bjorn and Bumpkin Bibs

Ahh the wonderful world of baby food. Actually right now I think most of the food is just decorating his hands and face but it's progress. We are 3 days into feeding Parker solids and here's what I've discovered about the bibs I ordered.

1. These Skip Hop bibs will probably be my go to for when we go out in public. They are so adorable and fold up into tiny pouches. Perfect for when we are on the go! 

2. The Bumpkins Dr. Suess bib is cute and easy to clean but the graphics are too distracting for P to handle. The colors distract him from trying to eat.

3. The Baby Bjorn bib is the easiest to clean and will probably be the most used when I feed him at home.

Are there other bibs out there that we should try? I've love to hear any suggestions you may have.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Grandpa is Back!

Hooray! Grandpa is back in town :)

Lemon Blueberry Drizzle Bread Recipe

That's it folks. I've finally finished off the Costco blueberries. It started with these Whole Wheat Blueberry Muffins, continued with some uninteresting smoothies and ended gloriously with this amazing lemon blueberry bread recipe. I picked this recipe for three reasons 1. I obviously had too many blueberries 2. I had a couple of lemons left over from when I was sick and drinking lemon water to get better and 3. the story that went along with the recipe. I've done a lot of baking and this recipe is definitely making it to my top 5. Thank you, Pinterest for the great find!

[I made this loaf at 8 PM last night. This morning, I came downstairs and this is all that was left. The bread was a hit!]

Lemon Blueberry Drizzle Bread
Recipe from Good Life Eats

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour + 1 tablespoon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon lemon zest
3 large eggs
1/2 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

For the Syrup:
4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
4 tablespoons granulated sugar
For the Glaze:
1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
*I used a total of 2 large lemons
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 C) and place the rack in the middle of the oven. Butter and flour a 9x5-inch loaf pan.
In a small bowl, whisk together 1 1/2 cups of flour, the baking powder and the salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl, cream together the sugar, butter and lemon zest until light-colored, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one by one, beating until well mixed before adding the next. Add the milk and vanilla and beat until well blended. Add the dry ingredients and mix just until incorporated.
In a small bowl, gently toss the blueberries with 1 tablespoon of flour. Carefully fold the blueberries into the batter.
Scrape the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake in preheated oven until a toothpick inserted near the center of the bread comes out clean, about 50-60 minutes. Remove from oven and set on a rack to cool for 5 minutes. Turn the bread out onto the cooling rack.
Meanwhile, make the lemon syrup: in a small saucepan, bring the lemon juice and sugar to a boil. Cook until the sugar has completely dissolved and the syrup has thickened slightly, about 2 minutes.
While the bread is still warm, jab it all over with s skewer. Brush with the lemon syrup. Let the bread cool completely, about 2-3 hours.
To make the glaze: in a small bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar and lemon juice. Add more juice/sugar to gain desired consistency. Drizzle over the cooled bread.
Store bread in the refrigerator (if there is any left to store).

Thursday, July 25, 2013

A GOOD Hair Day!

This is a big deal people! In a very rare turn of events, Parker woke up with GOOD hair!

[Want some tickets to the gun show?]

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Cheap Thrills - Playing With His Toes

When he isn't grabbing other people's faces, he's grabbing his toes. 

Just Two Guys Hanging Out

Sorry, Kaden. Parker is going through a face touching phase.

A Quick Quilt with Tutorial Link

Have you ever bought a piece of fabric and thought, "I know exactly what I want to do with this"? That's the reaction I had when this Kokka Japan Beep Beep Black fabric was delivered in the mail. I knew I wanted to make a little quilt for P and today I finally had the chance. Using this tutorial from Red Pepper Quilts, I was able to complete this project in less than 30 minutes.

What you will need:
Sewing machine
Quilting pins
1 1/2 yards print fabric
1 1/2 yards coordinating solid fabric
1 baby size cotton batting (I used the Warm and Natural brand available at Joanns)
Thread that matches your fabric choices
This tutorial from Red Pepper Quilts

[Kokka offers some really great modern prints]

[Beep beep! What little boy would not love this print?]

[He waited patiently in his pack and play while I sewed]

[Completed quilt]

[One thing I know for certain is that this boy will never be cold...ever]