Friday, May 27, 2011

Mealtime mess

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Before feeding Peanut solids I was getting my practice by feeding my great-nephew Daniel his food.  I figured I would be more prepared having had quite a bit of practice.

Of course I was wrong.  Where Daniel sits still, completely focused on his food, Peanut is turning to look at the ceiling behind him, the floor, the wall, a shadow, all while kicking his legs constantly.

Daniel holds his hands to the side, opening and closing them as a sign he wants more but won't grab for fear it may delay the food from going into his mouth.  Peanut grabs at the spoon, smacks it, lunges forward to gag on it or puts his fingers in his mouth immediately after taking a bite.
Sometimes it takes 2 people to feed him.  He has always been the laziest eater ever.  He would rather we play/eat constantly all.day.long.  We've considered strapping him into a forward facing position.

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Oh and he has figured out how to reach back and undo his bibs.  I do have one that snaps and he pulls on it until he looks like he is about to pass out from self-strangulation.

Breakfast is usually the worst, with the shortest attention span, then it gets better throughout the day.

Sometimes I don't even attempt to keep him clean.  You can see the mixture of prunes and apples all over his face, slicking down his hair and it's even in his ears.

He has a habit of rubbing, scratching, pulling on his ears.  He always does this after sticking his hand in a mouth full of food.  I've had them checked and the doctor confirmed it's just a habit that might be from previous eczema. 

Can rotten prunes in the ear canal cause infections?

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Filling in the calendar

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It's not even summer yet and already the calendar is filling up. Places to go! People to see!

There are so many things I want to do. The area around here really comes alive during the summer. Festivals, activities, concerts in the park, birthday parties and celebrations. Trips to the beach, mommy and me swimming, visits to the pool. Food to try, books to read and adventures to be had.

Everything we do is a new milestone for Peanut.

I'll just have to remember to take the time to just kick back and relax. We'll schedule in some mandatory cuddle time and maybe some family naps.

Do you have any plans for the summer shaping up?

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Help For Joplin

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The thing about the blogosphere is that this great big world of ours is made so much smaller. In the reading of each other's blogs we are brought into each other's lives. We share in each other's daily activities and major life events.

We introduce our friends to each other and more bonds are formed. We speak as if we've met.

When someone celebrates, we share in the joy. When something tragic happens, when it affects a blogging friend it seems to hit home. We aren't just watching the news anymore.

We also get to witness a constant and immediate reaction from the blogosphere.  There is always someone, or a group of people, doing what they can to bring comfort.   It always amazes me.

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I'm relieved to hear that blogger friend Sarah (of This Heavenly Life) and her family are OK. Reading her post is a reminder that while life here is business as usual, life there is far, far different.

There are so many bloggers in that area, sharing stories, searching for loved ones, trying to pick up the pieces.

Bigger Picture Blogs is doing an online auction to benefit The Salvation Army in Joplin. It will be going on for the next 2 days if you feel like stopping by.

Whether or not you participate in the auction it would be lovely if you stopped by and left Sarah a kind word.

Let her know that we are all thinking about her, her family, her neighbors and her city.

Pictures taken from Sarah's blog

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Tour of Balboa Island, Newport Harbor

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Despite having grown up in Huntington Beach, just a hop, skip and a jump away, I had never been to Balboa Island before Erica's baby shower.

I unkowingly drove past the only street that accesses it a million times.  To drive in you enter Marine Ave (opposite Jamboree) off of PCH.  Otherwise you can take the Balboa Ferry off the Newport Peninsula.

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According to Balboa Island.com the island was created in 1899 in a time when it was surrounded by acres of orange groves.  Over the next 15 years it was connected to LA and other places by railway and soon became a popular attraction.

In the 20's, 30's and 40's the Rendezvous ballroom became a big band stop, featuring names like Nat King Cole, Benny Goodman and Glenn Miller.
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Nowadays I wouldn't consider this the concert haven or place to be for nightlife but what I found was much better.

The island itself is little more than 2 1/2 miles around and has a wonderful quaint, sometimes quirky and definitely creative feel to it.
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AND they have 2 different frozen banana places!  I love me some frozen banana.  I've never seen a frozen banana shop and the fact that there are 2 of them doors away from each other was incredible.
Both claim to be the original creators of the frozen banana and I'll just have to try them both eventually. 
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We stopped at Sugar 'n' Spice and order one.  To be honest, this was my breakfast.  I was surprised to find you can buy a small, medium or large.  I wasn't really paying attention when B asked me what topping I wanted.

You get to pick your topping!  They have toffee and nuts and different kinds of cookie and candy bits.  I just didn't know what to get so I got it all.

It was delicious by the way.  I mean, they all sort of taste the same.  I'm tempted to go back and try one from each, side by side to do a comparison.

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Walking around the main street there are lots of different artistic accents. 

It seemed a bit odd to put a church and cow picture together but they were both so pretty and fun. 

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This is the side you pass on the road in.  All these houses face part of the canal between the island and Newport Beach.  In front of each is a walkway and then the sandy beach that docks some of the boats.

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Across the way the boats are anchored in the harbor and to the far right is the Newport Harbor Yacht Club.

How fun to look out your window every day and see these big beautiful boats out there.

I bet the view is amazing during the annual christmas boat parade.

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We walked Peanut around and pointed out the houses I would like for him to buy me when he is a millionaire.  Apparently John Wayne used to live here and up until recently Nicholas Cage had a house here.  I wonder if Peanut could buy me John Wayne's old house.  Or I could start playing the lottery.
Apparently the first houses sold on the island went for around $250.  Now they are in the hundreds of thousands to millions.

On this side of the island all the streets are named after precious stones like sapphire, ruby and opal.  It's very fitting.

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Although many are quite small, this one was huge.  It took up 2 lots and I would love to see what it looks like inside.
It appeared to have a little courtyard in the center which would be fantastic because these houses just don't have any yard space.  As you are only feet away from your neighbor any private outside space would be a treasure.

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Despite the lack of yards we found that the Balboa Island residents so obviously pride themselves on their gardens. 

Most of the houses had patios with entertainment space surrounded by gorgeous greenery.
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No two houses were the same and neither were gardens.  Some of these homes and they way they dripped with greenery and flowers reminded me of cottages in fairytales.

Some like miniature castles and villas.

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Every street was just as charming as the last. 

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On this side of the island the homes face the harbor and passed that you see the ocean.

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Across the sidewalk some of the homes have their private docks.
To match the rest of the island, they are decorated and often have tables and chairs to dine or relax at.

I would love to wake up to this view in the mornings.  Wake up and smell the salty air, take the baby for a walk, stick my toes in the sand...

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or maybe just hop on my boat and sail around for a bit.

If you haven't been to Balboa Island you should head over.  We went on a Wednesday afternoon, during the week, before summer break and it was just perfect.  I'm sure it's much busier but still just as nice during the summer.

June 5th is the 18th annual Balboa Island Parade from 11 am to 2 pm.  The bridge closes at 10:30 am but the ferry stays open all day.  This years theme is Spirit of America so get ready for some pre-July 4th patriotic fun.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Chicken w/ Sweet Potato & Apples Puree

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Chicken with Sweet Potato (Yams) and Apples

1 chicken breast
1 sweet potato (yam)
2 apples

Trim any fat off your chicken breast and cut it into chunks.  Peel your sweet potato/yam and cut it into chunks.  You'll want to use any kind of yam (the orange flesh) for a purely aesthetic reason.  A regular sweet potato would be just as good but the mix will be an unappetizing whitish color.

Put both the chicken and the sweet potato in a pot with just enough water to cover.  Bring to a simmer.  Meanwhile, peel and cube your apples.  When the sweet potato is tender (and the chicken cooked) throw in your apples, mix and cover.  Cook for another couple minutes.  Everything should be fork tender.

Place all your ingredients, reserving cooking liquid, into the food processor.  Add as much liquid as you would like to produce the consistency your baby likes.  I used all of it.

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Peanut is a big fan of this puree and it has lots of nutrients for him!

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The answer to yesterday's tupperware guessing game is.... Hot Spicy Pork Ear Thread!  It's just spicy sliced pork ears.  A lot of you were pretty darn close and Sasha was right on. 

However, I think my favorite answer was "sturgeon genitalia" from Elle.  You are so right- that totally sounds like something B would try.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Tupperware Guessing Game #2

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Can anyone guess what is in this container?

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In a previous post  of the tupperware guessing game I mentioned how living with B can result in some very odd food discoveries around the house.  Things like candied baby octopus.

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Oh and there was the pig head.  Before being cooked, that thing was cut in half and stored in our freezer.

Most of these things B finds at different asian markets.

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I love wandering the market aisles.  There are rows and rows of things that are a complete mystery to me and there are rows and rows of.... soy sauce.

I mean, how many different types of soy sauce can there be?

Has anyone tried all these types of soy sauce?

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Oh and the cans of processed meats.  Call me naive... or ignorant... but I had no idea that there were brands beside Spam.  Many, many brands.
Unidentifiable processed meat pressed into loaf.  I'll admit it looks nasty when you open it and glop it onto your plate.  Pan fry it and I can't resist a slice.
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I digress... does anyone know what this is?

Here is a clue:  I mentioned in one of those posts that B eats a version of these.

What are you snacking on today?

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Waking up to daddy

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I love the time just after Peanut has woken up from a nap. 

The moments when he is still groggy and cuddly.   When his cheeks are still pink and his hair most likely sweaty and sticking in different directions.

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I love seeing his little hand on B's. 

I love the contrast of B's perpetually dirty fingers (grease from working on bicycles) to Peanut's soft pink ones.

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Peanut just loves waking up to daddy.
He gives a big smile and reaches out his chubby hand to pat daddy's face.

When daddy picks him up, he is just content to sit for a while.

Of course, then he really wakes up and all the action begins.  The calm, inactive moments at home are becoming a rare gift these days.  :)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Cancer on paper

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I've recently changed my insurance.  All new doctors, a whole new system.  Starting over.

I see an oncologist every 6 months, have a mammogram every year, the obgyn twice a year, blood labs done every 6 months in addition to my regular doctors visit once a year and whatever else seems to come up.. and things always do. 

If I were to spread it all out monthly then I would have a visit every month.

Changing all this can be daunting and exhausting.

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I had to request a copy of my medical records from UCLA and was completely surprised when they arrived.  I have no idea why but I didn't expecct such a thick packet.

That packet only includes my treatment at UCLA and not even my radiation at St. Josephs.  Isn't that crazy.

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B and I sat thumbing through the pages, randomly stopping to see the neatly printed notes.

Above is a list of my chemo cocktail.  8 different drugs.  Oh and the benadryl to counter the allergic reaction I had to the chemo.  It brought back some memories of the days sitting in that chemo chair.  I may share a few stories with you.

All of those memories and none of them bother me in the least.

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16 months of treatment and I realized I've forgotten a lot of the dates in between.  I can tell you that my last round chemo was October 26th, 2007.

I can tell you that I travelled to UCLA and sat with an IV in my arm every 3 weeks for over a year.

I can tell you that I had 35 rounds of radiation over 7 weeks and my skin looked like leather.

I can no longer remember every individual date.  I couldn't remember what date I started radiation or when I stopped taking my post-chemo meds.

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Sometimes the memories are so very vivid and sometimes it seems that having cancer was a lifetime ago.

Then again, it was a life ago.  It was pre-Peanut.  It was pre-Mrs. B. 

It's interesting looking back thru these records and thinking about all that we've been through.  I dare say that it's a nice reminder.  Equally foreign and familiar, having come out of it the way we have, I can look back and smile... and heave a big sigh of relief.

It's been a wild ride.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Mother's Day in the Real World

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Although this is a very cute picture of my little man, it's really just a courtesy photo. 
You see, the next two photos are both gross and disturbing.  They contain a large amount of baby poop.  They aren't pretty.  They may cause you to gag.

I wanted to give you the opportunity to turn back.   It isn't pretty.

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But you know what?  Sometimes being a mom just isn't pretty.

These are the only two pictures I have of Peanut and I from Mother's Day.

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The whole mess started when Moose pooped while bouncing and bouncing and jumping and jumping in the jumperoo.

When I took him back to the changing table he would not stop wiggling and kicking his legs and flapping his arms and this is what the result was.

Clearly, the kid doesn't care a bit.

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I'm hoping next year's mother's day present will be a bit more glamorous.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

I'm sure he's fine

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When Peanut first arrived I spent every waking moment watching, looking around protectively and listening to his breathing.  I was here to protect my little man.

Just a few months ago the sight of my baby sandwiched in a toy would have had me running.  Now the fact that his legs are still kicking is a clear indication that I have the time to get my camera.

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Not that this kind of thing happens often.

I barely ever take pictures when I should be taking care of him instead.

The other day I had my camera right next to me and as soon as I noticed he was wrapping his head in a blanket I went right over.

I only got one picture in first- and it turned out blurry. 

Perfectly good parenting.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Tropical Fruit Puree

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This is a super simple fresh fruit puree.  No cooking, easy peasy.

I'll admit that this was the first time I've had papaya by itself and I really wasn't a fan.  However, just because I didn't like it doesn't mean that Peanut wouldn't. 

Once I added the mango and banana we both liked the puree.

Tropical Fruit Puree
1 papaya
1 mango
1 banana

Make sure all your fruits are ripe so they'll be sweet for your little.  Peel and cube the mango, slicing around the pit, and put in food processor.  Cut papaya in half, scrape out seeds and scoop flesh into food processor.  Add banana and puree.

This puree was perfect consistency for a beginning eater.  If you feel it's too thin you could add cereal to it.  It would also be great hand mashed for more texture.

Banana is a great source of potassium and fiber and they also have natural probiotic qualities.  Mangoes add to the potassium in addition to vitamins A, C, K, beta-carotene and calcium.  Papayas are a great source of vitamin C, folate, fiber, potassium and they aid in digestion.

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Sometimes Peanut looks like such a big boy. 

I feel like I might just blink my eyes are he'll be running around.
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Well, maybe he's not that big. 

It might be a while before he can run around in grandpa's work boots.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day

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Before you were conceived I wanted you
Before you were born I loved you
Before you were here an hour I would die for you
This is the miracle of Mother's Love
                 -Maureen Hawkins


You can thank my computer issues for the lack of lengthy mushy mother's day post. :) 

I think that picture says it all.    

My very first Mother's Day ~sniffle~  I could not be happier.  Oh how I love my little Peanut.


We're off to go see my mother who makes my baby laugh like noone else can...


Happy Mother's Day everyone!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Icy Pancake Anyone?

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One of the things I love about the asian market are the random products you find that you just can't get anywhere else.

As B was choosing between approximately 294 different kinds of potsticker I was browsing the frozen dessert section.

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Who could possible pass up Strawberry Icy Pancake?

It is as it looks, an ice cream sandwich made with pancakes instead of cookie.

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They are much lighter than your typical American ice cream sandwich.  The ice cream isn't as sweet or rich and the pancake not nearly as dense as a cookie.

Perfect for a hot day and we've been having a lot of them.

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The Peanut wasn't allowed to have one so he opted to chew on his fingers while he complained very loudly.

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Any fun or unusual things you like to eat on a hot day?
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