Monday, July 30, 2012

Getting Organized

For those of you who know me in "real life" you know I am a bit OCD when it comes to having everything organized and in its place.

I can't go to bed at night if there are dishes in the sink, clothes that need to be put away or toys out on the floor. I even got out of bed late one evening (before baby) to put clothes up in the closet because I couldn't settle down to fall asleep. I know, I am crazy! I mean, I write "make new to-do list" on my current to-do list and put things down after I completed them to get the satisfaction of crossing them out. My behavior drives my husband nuts!

When Molly was born I went through some serious anxiety about the state of my house. I know that it was completely irrational to think my home would stay clutter free and organized with a new baby around but it seriously got to me. Instead of sleeping when the baby sleeps I cleaned and picked up. I needed it, its almost like therapy.

But while the house was clean it was far from organized. With all the new baby stuff taking over we started cramming things everywhere. A couple areas I couldn't even look at because of how stressed out it made me. So a summer goal was to whip this place into shape!

I took advantage of having my Mom in town for over a week and we got to work. I had a long list of areas that needed to be taken care of and we almost crossed them all off! I have been sleeping much better these days.

I identified 14 areas of need in the house and we crossed 12 of those areas off the list! The biggest two were our guest bathroom closet (a complete disaster) and our hall "junk" closet.

Sorry for the crappy iPhone pics, we were in the organizing zone!

The "before" mess...


The "after" all organized...


So clean a baby can fit in there!

My goal is to keep these newly organized places as such (gotta keep the husband in line) and tackle the remaining few areas in the next couple weeks.

Feels so good to have the house back in shape after the new baby chaos!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Munchkin Meals: Dinner Bell!

Thanks again to Brittany at A Healthy Slice of Life, I am back with another Munchkin Meals Thursday post. This week is all about dinner.

Dinner is my favorite meal of the day for Molly because there are so many options. I feel restricted at breakfast and lunch but dinner is open and she can usually eat a variation of what we are eating.

But...that would mean we have to eat at the same time. Unfortunately between my schedule, Molly's schedule and when her Dad gets home the stars don't align very often and we eat after Molly goes to bed.

When I first thought about solids I pictured myself making all of these delicious purees on Sundays and then freezing them for easy reheating for meals. Then we moved away from purees and to baby led weaning and that plan was shot! Now I need more preparation for her dinner, something I have not mastered yet.

A lot of times Molly will have leftovers from our meal the night before. This is actually the perfect set up because I can just reheat whatever we had and boom, done!

This week I am featuring left over pot-roast (minus the beef). It was a big hit!



Her full dinner featured slow cooked potatoes, carrots and celery with turkey veggie ravioli as her meat item. For dessert she has fresh nectarines. 

And now for the video proof!

Molly eating dinner from ChasingHallie on Vimeo.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Exploring the Metroplex: Dallas World Aquarium

The Dallas/Ft Worth area has tons and tons of great attractions and areas to explore. We have made our way to several and established a few favorites (Dallas Arboretum, White Rock Lake) but there are others that after living here for over 2 years we hadn't ventured out to. This past weekend, while my Mom was in town, we crossed one off the list -- The Dallas World Aquarium.

The DWA sits in the heart of downtown Dallas in a converted 1801 warehouse. You walk off the busy streets of downtown and into another world.

Now that Molly is 8 months old we thought this would be a great time to introduce her to the aquarium and have some fun of our own. So my Mom, Molly and I took off for a new adventure!




Molly was very quiet the entire time and you could see her really taking it all in. It was also pretty crowded so besides the animals she did a lot of people watching as well. 

One of the coolest parts was the sea lion tank. Molly was able to get right up to the tank and the sea lions kept swimming right up to her face. I was too busy playing with her and introducing her to the sea lions to snap a pic.

Her favorite part was the fish. She loved getting up to the fish tanks and following the different fish around. She did lots of talking to the fish.




She was also very intrigued by the flamingos.


We had a great time and I would definitely give this place a visit if you are in Dallas. Its a great indoor summer activity to avoid the 100 degrees + temps that we have been having!


Can't wait to take her back when she is older and watch her explore it all over again!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Molly: 8 Months

WHAT?! Okay, where is the Pause button. 8 Months, seriously. Wow.

This last month has been so much fun! Molly has become the best playmate and buddy to spend my days with and watching her turn into this little person is an unbelievable feeling. I even find myself missing those newborn days (somebody slap me!).

Our days are filled with exploring, eating real food, little adventures, napping and lots and lots of dancing! Girl loves to dance (in her own way). You can get a full glimpse into our daily life in my Day in the Life post.

Molly is speeding around the house and is getting into everything. She loves to climb, crawl, pull up and side step from one object to another. She has even stood on her own for  few seconds on occasion. Blows my mind. The thought of this tiny little baby walking around our house in the coming months leaves me speechless.

Eating is going really well. In the past month something clicked with her and she has a serious appetite for real food. She is also really vocal in letting you know she wants more. Patience is something we are going to have to work on.

Each day she has 3 meals and a snack. Her total intake usually consists of yogurt and a mini waffle for breakfast, cheese and turkey w/a fruit for lunch, puffs/cheerios/fruit for a snack, and a modified version of our dinner for her dinner plus sweet potatoes and fruit for dessert. We are mostly doing real foods now and helping her eat it but every now and then we do a puree. Getting her to eat off the spoon has become a challenge though, she prefers real food. She is also getting 4 bottles a day (7oz each) and still wakes at night and we give her a tiny 2oz bottle (we are weaning her off that).

Sleep is going pretty well. She has started this separation anxiety thing where she is waking up about 30 minutes after being put down to bed. Sometimes we have to go in and calm her and sometimes she calms herself. Her naps are going great, she takes two naps - generally 10:30am and then 3pm.

We have also been going to Kindermusik classes and she loves spending time with other babies and playing with them. Its so neat to watch her be social.

She makes her Dad and I so proud to be her parents and I don't know what I would do without her. That little smile gets me through every day.

We love you M. Happy 8 Months!


Stats: {no doc appt this month so these are guesses}
Weight- Close to 16lbs 
Height- 26 1/2" {50%}
Head- no idea

Wearing mostly 6mo clothing and some 6-9mo and still in size 2 diapers (she is kind of in-between size 2 and 3).

Drinking out of a straw
Destroying magazines

Sitting still
Putting on clothes (especially her pjs)
Diaper changes





Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Munchkin Meals: Lunchtime!

Thanks again to our gracious host Brittany at A Healthy Slice of Life its Munchkin Meals time. And this week is all about lunch.

Now that Molly is becoming such a great little eater I am finding it hard to come up with new foods to feed her, and harder to plan ahead so that I have things available and ready for her.

Lunch is probably my biggest challenge in terms of creativity. I like to leave the "fun stuf" for dinner so I am having trouble coming up with things to do when its lunch time. Sounds a lot like figuring out lunch for myself.  : )

As of late our lunches usually involve cheese of some sort and a meat protein. Then fruit for dessert.

Our menu yesterday consisted of rotisserie chicken, colby jack cheese, black beans and fresh nectarines. The nectarines are SO perfect right now and absolutely delicious. Molly LOVES them. And I have to be careful because if she finds them first its all she wants.


Get em while there hot in season! Our grocery cart gets nectarines every time we make a stop.

Looking forward to adding to my lunch arsenal with all the great Munchkin Meals link ups this week!

What are your kiddos eating for lunch?

Monday, July 16, 2012

A Few Bumps and Bruises: Our Baby proofing Philosophy

Long before Molly started to get mobile I had my thoughts on baby proofing our house. And that thought was minimal. As little as possible. To me, that entire aisle at Babies R Us is just too much. And I didn't want our house to become one big piece of plastic corner protectors.


And then she started crawling. And found power cords and outlets extremely interesting. So we went to that isle and purchased some outlet protectors.

Then one day our little girl pulled herself up to stand and subsequently fell. Sharp corners started appearing everywhere. So, back to that aisle for a couple corner protectors.


And then our curious little explorer peeked inside a kitchen cabinet. To the aisle we went for some gadget to keep a pair of cabinet doors closed.


But that is it. That is all we are doing. Partially because I want to keep the integrity of my home. But mostly because I don't want my daughter to think that certain actions have no consequences.

I want her to explore and discover things on her own. Discover that some adventures lead to bumps and others to a few minor bruises.

The more freedom we give her the more skilled she becomes and the more brave her spirit.


Yes, I say "be careful"a thousand times a day. And yes, my heart breaks a little when she takes a spill and bumps her head. But she has proven strong and resilient and has never once stopped exploring.

We believe in the old, let her touch the hot stove so she knows that its hot and won't touch it again philosophy (don't worry, we are not leaning Molly over a hot stove so she can reach out and touch it). She needs to learn from her environment and we don't want to stifle that.

So far our approach is working out. We have had no incidents in which I thought we needed to do more. And Molly has so much fun making her way through the house and all the fun things it has to offer.

And our house still looks like our house.

We have been up and down that aisle a few times but we don't see a need to do any more.


At least not right now.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Daddy Daughter Friday: His Girls


Hanging with his two main girls. Love this picture.

Happy Friday!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Day in the Life: 8 Months Old

Tomorrow Molly will be 8 months old! The last time we did a Day in the Life post she was just 4 months old. Wow, time flies and things CHANGE!

Because of all these changes I thought we should do an updated Day in the Life...of an 8 month old. Geez, I can't believed I just typed that.


8am/8:30am- I open the door to a smiling baby standing up in her crib. Molly is up and ready to go! I open the blinds, sing Good Morning to her and we get dressed. After we are all dressed she gets a bottle (bottle #1).


9am-11am- Morning playtime. Usually spent in the living room going through her toybox, climbing on things and getting into things she isn't supposed to. I say "be careful" and "don't do that" a lot. As if she understands. Case and point = playing with Paisley's dog food and water.


During her morning playtime we break for breakfast which usually consists of YoYo baby yogurt and some toast or croissant (meal #1).

11am-12:30- Morning nap. Sometimes its shorter, occasionally its a bit longer (generally after morning activities like Kindermusic that wear her out).


12:30- Up from her nap and hungry! Time to eat (bottle #2).

12:30-3pm- Afternoon playtime. We go exploring through the house, play in her room, walk around outside if its not too hot and sometimes we run errands.


Around 1:30 she eats lunch which is any mixture of turkey, cheese, sweet potatoes, pears, black beans etc (meal #2).


3pm-4:30/5- Afternoon nap.

5pm- Up and time for another bottle (bottle #3).

5-6pm- Evening playtime. Usually accompanied by a snack and hanging out with Dad because he has gotten home.



6:30- Dinner time. We haven't gotten into a good enough routine to get our dinner ready at the same time so we eat after she goes down. This dinner is all about her. Usually she eats a meat of some sort (turkey meatloaf this night) and some black beans, sweet potatoes and a fruit for dessert (meal #3).


After dinner we wipe her off and let her play for a bit while we clean up and prepare her bath.


7:15- Nighttime routine begins. Dad gives her a bath as I prep her bed bottle, get her room set up for nighttime and set our her PJs. She gets a bit of naked playtime then its lotion, diaper, pjs and ready for bed. Then she gets her bottle (bottle #4) and a book.



8pm- Asleep. All cozy and comfy in her crib.

4/5am- She is still waking up once a night. We are in the midst of weaning her off the bottle (dropping an ounce every few days) and then we will be sleep training so hopefully she can sleep through the night.

And that is the day in the life of Molly. Most days are so much fun, we have a cranky one every now and then (don't we all). She is such a joy to be with and I love that I get to spend my days with her!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Molly's Munchkin Meals

Brittany over at A Healthy Slice of Life started an awesome weekly blog column titled Munchkin Meals to allow Moms to share their kiddos meals passing along great ideas for all.

Since Molly is still working on her ability to grab food, so we do a combo of purees and real foods. I wasn't sure I was really going to be able to share since most of the kiddos are BLW and eat some really impressive foods (better than my meals!). But as she grows she is getting better and better and her palate more sophisticated.

So...we are jumping in to Munchkin Meals!

For Breakfast Molly has a 1/2 cup of YoYo Baby yogurt (Blueberry is her favorite) along with some pieces of toast or a croissant etc.

For lunch, at around 12:30 or 1 after her morning nap, she gets sweet potatoes, some HealthyBabies puffs and usually some turkey and cheese. She LOVES cheese.


We also usually have an afternoon snack ranging from puffs, mum-mums, cheerios, yogurt bites etc.


Dinner is where we get a little more exciting.


Turkey meatloaf, black beans, sweet potatoes, croissant and pears for dessert. Yum!


It is so fun to start giving her  more "big girl" foods and nice to be able to give her what we are eating. Hoping she continues to be a good eater!

Monday, July 2, 2012

HOT Summer Nights

One of our favorite local things to do is go to the Dallas Arboretum's Concert series. They are somewhat affordable (we sprung for a membership this year), close to the house, entertaining and a great group activity.

So last week we packed up our cooler full of yummy food and cold beers, threw the blankets in the car,  slathered sunscreen on and headed out for some music under the stars.

But before the stars came out we had to sit in the beating. hot. sun. It was brutal! The first 45 minutes of the concert the sun has a direct line to the audience and with temps topping 102 degrees that day we were melting. We were counting down the minutes until the sun fell behind the trees and then darkness would take over. Once it finally did the evening got so much better, yet still nice and toasty.

We met some of our good friends there, spread out our blankets, and unloaded our delicious spread of food. I took croissant sandwiches: chicken salad, turkey and cheese and avocado egg salad (Ashley's recipe). We also took fresh fruit kabobs. Our friends brought pinwheels, fresh guacamole and chips, a variety of cheeses and crackers and some yummy pumpkin spice cookies for dessert. We all stuffed ourselves!

Molly was a trooper yet again even though she was up well past her bedtime and didn't nap well that day. She pretty much just lounged on our friend Alex the entire time!

We all had a really good time as we danced to the music, caught up on each others lives and consumed copious amounts of food.

But at the end of the night, when we were all drenched in sweat and sticky from the combination of sunscreen and bug spray, we decided no more concerts until Fall. We need the temps to be below 100 degrees.



photo 1

photo 2