Wednesday, December 29, 2010

I sang to my baby last night.

It was nice. Since we didn't get to go to Christmas Eve service, I sang him the Christmas story in hymns, as best I could (the order was a bit off, oh well!). And then we sang the unicorn song from Shel Silverstein's Where the Sidewalk Ends.

And it was everything I had hoped it would be.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Fontina Mac 'n' Cheese

Oh gosh, this was good. It was a different kind of MNC, so if you're looking for the really creamy or chunks of cheese variety, this is not it. This is heavy on flavor and texture, and I might try a different type of noodle next time to capitalize on that.

Fontina Mac and Cheese
courtesy Annie, my favorite doctor. More info at her site, please visit, she makes me hungry just looking at titles.

1 lb. small or medium pasta shells
5 tbsp. unsalted butter, divided
1 cup heavy cream
8 oz. Fontina cheese, shredded
Pinch of grated nutmeg
1/3 cup panko bread crumbs
¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 400˚ F. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the pasta according to the package directions just until 1-2 minutes shy of al dente.

Meanwhile, dice 4 tablespoons of the butter and place in a large mixing bowl. Warm the cream in a small saucepan or the microwave. Cover to keep warm.

Once the pasta is cooked, add to the bowl with the butter and toss to coat well. Stir in the warm cream and the Fontina until the cheese starts to melt. Mix in salt to taste, and add the nutmeg.

Pour the mixture into a buttered 2-quart casserole dish. In a small bowl, melt the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter. Mix in the panko breadcrumbs and shredded Parmesan. Toss with a fork to coat evenly with the butter. Sprinkle the bread crumb mixture evenly over the pasta in the baking dish.

Bake until the sauce is bubbling and the topping turns golden brown, about 20 minutes. Serve immediately.

Notes: I omitted the parm cheese and the nutmeg, primarily because I forgot about the nutmeg, and had no parm cheese. I mixed butter and panko, the end.
I also took half and put it in a freezer-safe dish so that we could have some for later, when I didn't feel like cooking. Which will probably be sometime this week, lol. Again, I will PIP then as I will be insanely excited about taking food pictures with my new camera lens, and hubs will be laughing at me while waiting for food.



yeah, sorry guys. If there are any of you still reading, that is, lol. I've been pretty darn busy with the burrito for a while - not a food-related burrito, the baby. Yeah, it figures he'd have a bunch of food-related nicknames.

SO, the first thing I've actually made in a while that I haven't made before/doesn't involve a box is...


How did you guess it would be a baked good?

This December was my first time making two types of cookies, Peanut Butter Blossoms and Thumbprints. I've had the Thumbprints bookmarked for a while to be made, but the PB ones were a special request from hubs. They were made for the cookie exchange at work, and were received pretty well. I thought the thumbprints could've used a bit more sugar. Or, I should have put more sugar in the nut topping that I rolled them in. Anywho, the thumbprints were better. Go fig!

Also - I got a brand spankin new nikon lens for my D40 from Santa, so pictures to come should be freakin spectacular. Only thing I'm missing is a giant light!

Peanut Butter Blossoms
courtesy Hershey, founder of all things good. Like me. The recipe is on their website, and it's more fun than mine, so I'm not gonna c&p it here - the only change is that I used room-temp butter instead of shortening, because, well, shortening grosses me out. No, I've never made biscuits, and of course, I'd use shortening for those. Now move along, self-righteous shortening devotees.

courtesy Martha, natch.

Makes about 3 dozen.


* 1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
* 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
* 1 large egg, separated
* 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
* 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
* 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
* 1/2 cup whole blanched almonds
* 1/2 cup jam, or preserves

Notes: I doubled the recipe, and used both apricot and black raspberry jelly, and also used almonds for the apricot ones, but pecans for the black raspberry ones.


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together butter and 1/2 cup sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add egg yolk and vanilla; beat well. Whisk together flour and salt, and add to mixture, beating on low until combined.
2. In a small food processor, combine almonds with remaining 2 tablespoons sugar, and process until almonds are finely ground. In a small bowl, lightly beat egg white. Form dough into 1-inch balls. Dip in egg white, then in almond-and-sugar mixture. Place balls on parchment-lined baking sheet. Make a deep indentation in the center of each ball with your finger or bottom of a thick wooden spoon.
3. Bake for 10 minutes, remove from oven, and press down the centers again. Fill the center of each cookie with about 1 teaspoon of jam. Rotate sheets, and bake until golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes more. Remove from oven, and place on a wire rack to cool.

These came out really well, but the black rasp jelly did run over in a couple. The apricot stayed together a bit better. Next time, I might splurge on the black rasp jam with fruit instead of the jelly kind. Also - I will make sure I mix the nuts and sugar better before I dip the cookies. I used my coffee bean grinder to chop the nuts as I didn't want to clean the whole darn food processor. And also, the processor may still have been dirty from last week's mac and cheese. Oh, I have to post that recipe too, gar.

PB Blossoms:

a really bad phone picture, but you get the idea.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

ok, I'll admit.

It was a pretty superb Christmas. (say it again Lucas...Su. Perb.)

Except for the burrito being sick, of course. It has now been a grand total of 4 times he has thrown up in the past 3 days, and the night is still young. It's just a baby cold, but he can't get the mucus out, so he ends up coughing so much that he vomits. Not cool, especially when I'd just spent an insane amount of time getting him to take half the dropper of baby tylenol without spitting it out (we now have orange burp cloths), and when I'm trying to keep the current pair of jeans on for at least three hours.

here's the burrito in his new Abominable jacket:

and here is my Christmas present from burrito: (I know, cell phone pic, sucks, but our cameras are currently still at the in-laws) It's a necklace with a foot charm (I love me some baby feets), with Ben's name and birthdate and his birthstone, a sapphire.

I also got: a remote car starter, a new lens for my camera (which means super close pics of the burrito now, which will drive my husband bonkers - at least it won't all be dogs and food this time!), a new work outfit, lots of gift cards, some clothes for the burrito, a new kitchen tool, lots of Burt's Bees stuff, and chocolate, of course. : ) It was an absolutely fantastic Christmas, and it was so nice to be able to do it as a family this year. Last year sucked big time. This year, almost perfect. It feels nice to be...somewhat normal.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Baby Cold.


Burrito started a little while ago with a stuffy nose, and yesterday it escalated into a full-on runny nose, complete with coughing. Such coughing, in fact, that he actually vomited twice yesterday morning. Thankfully, not on ma's work clothes. He seemed fine after he got all the mucous (and some milk) out, so we took him to daycare.

The coughing? May have gotten a little worse. I was supposed to go to a meeting last night but elected to stay home so I could nurse him as much as he wanted, which was A Lot. Lot. He coughed when he was upset pretty much, so we tried to keep him as calm and content as possible.

He woke up at 330am, after hubs and I went down to see the eclipse (looked like a big orange moon with dark parts and light parts, folks), probably because he heard us talking. Nursed, coughed a little more, was tormented by the nasal aspirator boogie-sucker, coughed a bit more, then went back to sleep with his pac.

Woke again at 640, which is when hubs rolled over to ask me when I was getting up. I'm thinking he stirs when he hears his voice, because I've talked to him before and nada. So we nursed then as well, and handed off to daddy for burping while I got a shower. Apparently he enjoyed that, because he spit up all over daddy, lol. Attacked him with the boogie-sucker a few more times, then packed him up for daycare.

I let them know that his cold was a little worse, and that he liked being upright so that his mucous wouldn't clog him up and make him cough. I also told them where his boogie-sucker was in his bag so they could attack him as well. She informed me that there were respiratory things and ear infections going around, so be sure to watch for signs of that too. Greeaaaaat. I feel so bad for the kid. I was sick last week, so I can't help thinking this has something to do with his cold. I'm drinking my oj and popping my PNVs, so hopefully keeping myself "well" will help him too. Because I can't stand baby coughs!

this past week's happenings

We had a wonderful weekend. I actually had a fabulous weekend, a better one than I've had in a while. Here's some stuff we did this past week/weekend:

- dressed the burrito in some fabulous outfits; I'll have to get a better pic of him in his fantastic new (well, old really) hat and mittens. It's the best thing ever, baby hats.

- accomplished the Christmas pics!

- hubs started my car every. single. day. so the burrito and I would have a warm car. and cause it's buttasscold in PA. suck.

- burrito found the toys on his swing tray yesterday! had no idea what to do with them, but they moved. and he's still trying to figure out what that thing making them move was.

- he found his feet on Tuesday. lolz

- had a wonderful counseling session this weekend.

- went to see a Christmas skit at church.

- that's all I can think of right now, more to come later!

Countdown to Cmas: 5 days.

Monday, December 20, 2010


Yesterday morning, the burrito decided to get up hella early for a Sunday. Since he and I were so stuffy and coughy and congested (oh my), there was no way I was heading to church, so after the morning feed, I laid him on my chest and we took a little snooze. Hubs was up and doing some things around the house, and came back in to turn on the iPod iHome thingy. We enjoyed our Christmas music for a little bit, and when hubs had a break he came in and laid down next to us. Silent Night started playing, and we stared at the burrito, sleeping peacefully.

That's what Christmas is all about.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Christmas pics! & a Meltdown story.

We went to a local pic place to get some ordinary, generic Christmas pics done at Hubs' request - he had an Austin Powers sharks w/ frickin laser beams moment last week; "all I want is a regular Christmas photo card like everyone else!" so I scheduled an appointment.

We timed everything perfectly, he'd be fed, burped, clean, and we'd put his reindeer shirt on at the picture place. It was working out great, except for having to wait when we got there. Which, of course, solicited a grunt from hubs - "they make you get an appointment, but they make you wait?" I held in my toldyousos.

By the time we got up and ready, we got a couple good shots in and then burrito started to fuss. Ok, maybe he's just gassy, or peed and might need a diaper soon. Continued with the shots. He was fine on his belly, fine sitting with us, but then they got out this present box, and we tried to put him in that...his immediate reaction was "ohHELLno" followed by a little light screaming. Off to the restroom for a diaper change.

Got in the women's room, was bouncing him around to calm him down before I laid him on the cold, cold plastic changing thing - all of a sudden, he starts letting out cries the likes of which I have NEVER heard before. I held him up and turned him around to see if he was bleeding from anywhere, maybe I'd scratched him with my ring (a constant and unfounded fear of mine), maybe he hit a body part on something, maybe his foot was stuck in a strap; nope, nothing. I tried bouncing even harder, patting and rubbing the back to elicit some burps, whatever normally works - no dice. It was literally screaming.bloody.murder. Finally I just decided to go on with the show and laid him down on the changing station.

It was a poo-splosion of epic magnitude. So epic, in fact, that it went up the front of his diaper (not the back), soaked through the onesie, and onto the jeans and back of his nice reindeer shirt. Ok, so apparently he REALLY doesn't like being dirty. Poor kid. Once I got him out of the onesie and diaper and got him wiped up, he went back to his normal happy baby self. When we got out of the bathroom (I put him back in his shirt and jeans for the sake of the pictures), hubs said "was that him screaming? the photo lady said it was, but I said no, he never screams like that, he's happy." Yup, that's your kid with that set of pipes. I told him how I was on the verge of tears and holding him up and looking for blood because I didn't know what was wrong.

After that, the night was pretty much over - anytime we tried to pose burrito, he just wasn't having it. So we had her save the pics on their computer and went back last night to finish them. They titled the folder "meltdown."

Here are some of the finished product:

So cute.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


I'm 99% sure that burrito discovered his feet yesterday. I sat him up on the couch where two of the pillows meet (so he wouldn't roll to the sides), and he looked down and suddenly caught his foot moving. He proceeded to stare at them intently for the next 10 seconds, after which he promptly pitched forward in an effort to "move in for a closer look."

Then, this morning, as I was in the kitchen filling my water bottle/shoving tylenol in my coat pockets (damn you, winter!) I put him in his bouncy chair, which by the way is the dog's favorite place for burrito because he can lick all appendages and not just the feet...and when I looked back over again, he was tilted down as if trying to grab his feet.

When I have my wits about me again, I'll have to remember to get a picture of this. Now that I'm back at work and it's dark at night (again, damn you winter!), there isn't much time to get a decent picture, and flash is my enemy. Gar.

Friday, December 3, 2010

I did it.

I bought more baby stuff. I'm not allowed, Christmas is coming up...but I couldn't resist these.

oh yeah.

ladies - don't forget to wash your belly button.

thank you, BotB.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

A Very Special Post. Boobs Mentioned.

So, this breastfeeding thing. Let's start from the beginning.

When burrito was born, I'd say he was on the boob in the first 2 hours. Luckily, there were lactation consultants as far as the eye could see, so I got offered help at least a million times. I said yes to all of them, cause from what I'd heard, I'd need it.

The first one went pretty well, she helped get him latched and sucking away with his little newborn mouth. She basically grabbed my boob and shoved it in his mouth. She used the method of brushing the nipple down his nose to get his mouth open wide. I didn't feel a whole bunch at first, but it did get a wee bit sore so I lathered on the Lansinoh - in small amounts, because I am cheap.

The tops I brought to the Hosp were basically pajama tops and one Gap nursing shirt, and I had a Medela sleep bra, which, love. Oh the comfort at night. Not that I slept that first night. I was pretty much just up watching him, and figuring out how to lie/sit so my ass didn't kill.

So, we continued on, my burrito, boobs and me. It looked as If he was able to suck and get stuff, it was just colostrum at first so I didn't really see anything come out, but he wasn't opening his mouth wide enough, and it was starting to get painful. The lac cons and I tried a couple different positions for nursing, with the boppy and with pillows, and my left side started to be the one he didn't like. I was doing one side at a time at first.

After we got home, he continued to get enough, and I'd say within the 1st week, my milk came in. And then my boobs came in. Waaaay in. Like, good morning Dolly Parton (for me) in. I had cleavage I never thought I would, and found out what it's like to have actual boobs, like other women. Of course, eventually the side-effects kicked in: stretch marks, giant areolas, and a fun one - leaking. I blamed burrito's wet outfit on two faulty brands of diapers until I realized I *may* be leaking through my bra while he's nursing. Thank you, let-down.

The 1st week, I thought, was a bit hard. It was nothing compared to the 2nd week. The nips were sore all the time, and the cream helped, but it was just torturous at times. And then there was the favoring one side. He wasn't latching very well starting a couple days after we got home, and I remember being up one morning at 2am just crying, tears falling on the baby who was crying also, because it was so frustrating. There were times when he wanted to eat All.The.Time. and I didn't know if he was getting anything, or if he was getting nothing, or what the problem was.

And then of course, there was the moment when my mom was like, you're only feeding on one side? hmm. yeah. It's ok to feed them on both sides. And here I was sitting there for a half hour while burrito munched away on one boob. Lo and Behold, it only takes him like 10-15 minutes on one side to get his fill. It was only a couple days of that though, so we figured it out and got into a new routine pretty quick.

I wish I would've known about the growth spurts where they eat CONSTANTLY, and that there are days when they just wanna eat and that's that, when I started. Sometime around the start of the third week, he switched to the other boob being the favorite, and just wasn't having the shunned boob. His latch really didn't improve, and I called the lac cons about two times after I was home from the hosp. They gave me some good suggestions and advice, and I am so thankful I had that option. When it came down to it:
- his latch wasn't the best, but he was getting food
- sometimes he just wanted to eat
- sometimes he just wanted to suck
- my nips were PAINFUL
- it was ok to cry, moan and bitch about it.

Sometime after that, I'd say around 4+ weeks, it got better. I can't pinpoint anything specifically, but really helped, and just sticking with it made me feel...not better, but stronger. Not to say if it had been bad enough that switching to formula would've been weak, however, I think now that I didn't even consider that as an option, so my only choice was to succeed at breastfeeding. Possibly. Kind of like with labor - I was so scared of the needles, it didn't occur to me to ask for drugs; it wasn't even an option. And of course, there's always my pain mantra: it's probably going to get worse, so suck it up.

At around 5 weeks, we started being able to nurse laying down in bed, which was fantastic. He was beginning to be able to suck the nip into his mouth without having me pry his chin down and shove it in. And now? It's like a little mini-vac that sucks it in no matter where it is. Seriously. He could be across the room and his sucking power will just draw him to the boob. Pshaw. But I digress. I'm glad I was able to stick with it, and it wasn't as painful as it could've been, because it's really good for him and his immune system especially now that we're in cold&flu season; it's cheap; and I feel wanted and needed and useful, especially now that he's in daycare. And those moments when he's nursing and he looks up and catches my eye? Priceless.

products used:
Lansinoh lanolin
Lansinoh disposable pads - not to sound like the quote on the main page...but yeah, these do work well overnight!
I did try nipple shells and shields (Medela) but I think that I got the wrong size shield so it just hurt that much more. The shells, however? LOVE. It's like a protective little cup for the nips. Course, if you're leak-prone, remember to put a pad around them, lol.
Gap nursing tops - because I don't shop anywhere else.
Ok, I lied, Target has some nice nursing tanks for bedtime too.
I also brought one of Medela's sleep bras to the hosp with me, which was nice.

Advice to myself for possible next baby:
expect it to hurt like hell for the first 3 weeks. wake up at 2am, bitch, moan, throw things at husband. but it will get better. they will stop hurting. and maybe next time, try to plan for a summer baby so your nips don't freeze off.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Daycare - almost 3 days down.

The First Day:

We got there around 815, I had wanted to be there by 8 but I'm always late to everything, so why should that change now that I have even more to do in the mornings? ::sigh::
I don't have a code for the front door yet, but the director and owner recognize me. Walk in, hit the computer sign-in program, and go down the hall to the infant room, where the sign says "Welcome Benjamin and (other new baby)!" We either have to take our shoes off or wear booties, and obviously my shoe choice that day was boots, so I opted for the booties. Sex-ay.

I went in, said g'morning to the teachers, and set the burrito down to put his things away. Diaper bag to the cubby, blanket to his crib, bottles in the frig in his little plastic bin. I filled out his morning info (last nap? diaper? feeding? how's he doing this morning?) and didn't really know what to do then. The teacher with a squeaky voice (now that I think about it, she kinda reminds me of shelly duvall) asked if he was hungry, and he probably was, but when she warmed up the bottle to try it, he wasn't interested - he was looking around at everything. It was so darn bright in there.

I left his carseat there for hubs to pick him up, along with his blanket (thanks auntie Kim!) and his 3-6mo knit hat and sweater (thanks grandma shurl!) and just kind of moseyed my way to the door. I must have said goodbye about ten times. I just didn't want to go. : (

I didn't call in until about 2pm, and they said that he was doing fine, and was a happy baby, but didn't eat much. He took about 1/2oz, then 1oz, then 3, then 3. He had two leftover bottles (it said on their info sheet that I should send 4), which I then sent with him the next day. I figured it was just that he was in new surroundings, with new faces/shapes/colors/bright lights, and that he'd eat more later. He did. Of course, it took me a freakin hour to get home, thanks stupidlocalhighway. When I got home, it wasn't like he was wagging his tail and running up to me like another household item (who also peed on the floor, natch), so I wasn't expecting much. But like I said, he was a bit ravenous and ate for longer than usual. He seemed like he was sleepy, lethargic almost, and wary of his surroundings. It took him about two hours to be back to his "normal" happy baby self, and then he was smiling and chatting away.

He woke up twice in the night to eat - 2am and 550, which he hasn't done for a little while now, so he must have been starved. Hubs did say that when he went to pick him up, his hands were freezing, and the room was cold, so I'm going to see how it is today when I go to pick him up, and then address it with the center director and teachers. He does have mittens, if his hands were cold I'd hope they would use them. Maybe they forgot I packed them?...Maybe it was just the weather on Monday which was colder than the norm lately.

Yesterday, he ate a little more, but wasn't as happy baby as the first day. He hasn't taken his usual naps either, going down for only a half hour to hour at a time. He usually goes for a good 1+ in the morning and 2 in the afternoon. We'll see if it's just getting used to daycare. Hubs reported some green poop as well when he picked him up, which had happened once before, the first time he had a bottle. Is that common? Interwebs?

Last night was a little bit better, he started napping when I took him to the store, and went down for the count at about 930. Slept until about 330, when he started fussing - I woke him up to eat. My boobs were a'hurtin by that point, whee engorgement. He went back to sleep, I went downstairs to pump the other boob, and he woke up again at 650 for the day.

I really have to start getting up at 630 like my alarm clock says. Can't there be more hours in a day? and less days in a year? we don't need all those days in August. Take some back, Julius Caesar.