Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Summer BBQing

Chris Gregory & Ashley Vallely had a Summer Kick-off BBQ last weekend complete with Hillbilly Golf Tournament and a Jenga game Chris made out of 2X4s. It was a scorcher out but was a really fun night! Sawyer even passed out on a blanket in the grass.
small talk with daddy

have to get creative

party pooper

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Adventures in Baby-food Making: Carrots

I am equal parts a frugal person as I am healthy eater, so it only felt fitting to explore how to make my own baby food. It didn’t take much research for me to learn it was pretty simple. My mom and I went to the Farmer’s Market Saturday and picked up some fresh carrots and green beans for our first couple batches. Sawyer’s Pediatrican told me to go through the orange/yellow veggies first, then the greens, then beats and then introduce fruits. I decided to start with the carrots I bought and I plan to make the green beans and freeze them for when he gets to those colors. Sawyer loves the carrots, so I'm curious to see how he does with the rest of the veggies. Here’s what I did:


Food Processor/Blender
Steamer (I used my Pampered Chef MicroCooker)
Containers (I got the Munchkin Freeze & Serve)
Breast Milk/Water

  1. Clean your carrots really well with water, peel all the skin off and cut into small chunks
  2. Steam until they are soft – discard the water you use to steam and do not pour into the processed carrots because it might contain the extracted nitrates.
  3. Put in a food processor/blender and mix into a puree. I added a small amount of breast milk to get it softer but you could also use a small amount of water.
  4. Pour into individual serving cups and store in a refrigerator or freezer
Munchkin Freeze & Serve Containers

I did not add any salt, butter or seasoning because I want to keep it as close to the real thing as possible but there are sites that say you can. I also found it is best to serve the carrots in a separate bowl than the freezer/refrigertor container. That way if they don’t finish the whole container  you don’t have to throw away the extra due the germs from the spoon. The puree in the containers will last 48-72 hours in the refrigerator and 1-3 months in the freezer. 

I'm serious about eating,....well, sort of

Monday, June 25, 2012

Slow your roll dude!

Ha! You just thought I was sleeping

It’s true; once a baby starts moving there is no stopping them. After I picked up Sawyer from daycare Friday and laid him down to start playing, immediately he rolled onto his belly. I was in shock because it was without hesitation. Then he immediately rolled right back to his back. That night when we laid him down to sleep and John and I laid down, about 5 minutes later, we looked in the baby monitor and he was on all fours scooting around his crib. This hasn’t stopped since Friday….he has even rolled out of his nap nanny, rolled on his changing table and practically rolled off the Doctor’s table at his appointment today. It is pretty stinkin’ cute and I think if it were up to him he would be crawling already. 

Sawyer's new sleeping positions

He also got a new toy from his Grandma & Grandpa Nelms this weekend, a Cars Walker. He is loving it, even though is feet don’t touch he smiles the whole time he is in it. Thanks Gma & Papa!!! Another cool thing he got to experience this weekend is going under water. We dunked him in my parent's pool. He did great, no tears!


We went for his 4-month check-up today and he did so well. He got two immunizations in his thighs and 1 orally. He cried like crazy but after a good snuggling with momma, he was fine. He is in the 75th percentile for both height and weight and 40% for his head size. His pediatrician said his development is right on schedule.
They gave us the OK to start some foods, which you will hear all about in my next blog post.
Here are his stats:

Monday, June 18, 2012

John's 1st Father's Day

We had a busy, food-oriented Father's Day Weekend...John's favorite. 
Friday, we celebrated with my parents, sister and her boyfriend at Newk's. 
Sunday, we started with lunch at Joe's Crab Shack in Branson with John's Mom and Step-Dad then did some shopping around the landing (Sawyer says thanks Grandma D for the awesome new duds!!). Sunday night, we had Father's Day dinner at Outback with John's Dad and Grandparents. Sawyer was quite the trooper considering he had a super busy weekend. He loved, loved, loved riding face-out in the Bjorn with John as we shopped the Branson Landing....smiled the whole time. 

Thank you to all the dads in our lives but especially my Pops, who is the most loving and caring man I know, and my husband for being a perfect Father to Sawyer. We couldn't ask for better. Love you!
My three favorite dudes!
Look at that awesome drool, his whole shirt is wet
Playing at Joe's
First time facing out in the Bjorn and he had a blast
New hat to protect his little melon

he fell fast asleep shopping so John had to hold his head up
Flirting with Grandma

The Hamra men

Sawyer: 4 Months

Yesterday, June 17, was such a special day. We celebrated Sawyer turning 4 months and John's 1st Father's day. Sawyer has developed lots of new fun skills over these past 4 weeks and has such a cute little personality.

Here are the stats this month:
weight: 15 pounds
eats: nursing and 6 oz bottles every 4-6 hrs. Rice cereal at bedtime
sleeps: still sleeping through the night (6-7 hrs)..most nights, we had a couple rough nights this month
clothes: wears 3-6 months clothes. 6 months are a little big but fit way better than 3 month clothes
diapers: still in size 2
playtime: Loves his Johnny Jumper and the pool. Doesn't matter how cold the water is he enjoys it, even learned to splash and kick. He still loves his elephant toy and even cuddles it at nap time. He has attempted to try to crawl a few times and holds his head up super high during tummy time.
talking: he laughs and giggles daily and makes talking noises when you talk to him.
teething: He is drooling like a crazy person and gnawing on everything, we haven't seen any little teeth poke through but is showing the signs of teething. I'll keep you posted.
Other new developments: he has learned to use his hands to grab his toys and can hold his bottle on his own (for short periods), he has spotted his feet a few times but hasn't figured out their his yet.

Happy Father's Day John!!!
Enjoying bath time with daddy

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Jackson & Avery

Our friends Mel & Sam welcomed their twin babies Sunday June 10. They were a healthy 6 lbs 2 oz and 5 lbs 1 oz. John and I were able to visit them at the NICU Monday and boy are they cute! While they are doing great, they still have some hurdles to overcome being preemies so will be inNICU for a little bit. I got to hold little Avery and she felt like a feather compared to our buster. Mel looked great and was getting a long like a champ. We are so happy for you guys and are super pumped about play dates to come. I apologize in advance for any shenanigans my son may teach his new buddies. Hugs!! j+k

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Kingston turns 1

Sawyer's buddy Kingston turned 1 on June 5 and to celebrate Thomas & Josey threw him a "Game Day" bash. We dressed up as Team Hamra and had a great time with the birthday boy & friends. Megan snapped some amazing pictures of Kingston & his guests enjoying his party. It never hurts to have your Godmother as the photographer because she captured some adorable pics of Sawyer too. Thanks Megan! You can see all the great pictures here:
Birthday Boy!

Happy Birthday Kingston! 

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

My Must Haves from One New Momma to Another

One of my friends who is expecting asked me to blog about my top recommended baby/nursing items that I can’t live without. What a great idea! So here’s to you Ellen and I hope this helps as you plan for your sweet baby boy!

First off, this is strictly my opinion. Some, most or all of these items may not work for you and your baby but they worked for us. And, as you will learn as a new mom, everything is trial and error, so give them a shot and if you don’t like them, move on. If you find something better, please share.

Second, it’s true when they say you really don’t need very much….at first. When they first come home all they need is clothing, diapers, food and a place to sleep (and lots of love of course). All those things you registered for that you didn’t get, don’t feel like you have to get them right away. With time you will quickly learn what you will actually need as you get to know your baby and it’s individual needs. Don’t worry, let them get a little bigger and you will wonder “why does such a little creature have so many things!”

So here’s my list. I plan to do this again at about 6-8 months when he is more mobile because I am sure I will have more products to recommend.


The Nap Nanny
Nap Nanny: Worth every penny! I have heard some babies don’t like it but it saved us at the beginning when Sawyer wouldn’t sleep flat on his back. We would put this bad boy right in his pack ‘n play by our bed. Now he uses it to nap and hang out.  We got ours at Jelly Beans in Springfield but you can find them online too (

Snap N Go: Your Car Seat fits right in
Baby Trend Snap N Go Stroller: Super cheap and fits any car seat, this is my go – to stroller for everyday use (shopping, errands, etc.), I use the jogging stroller (also by Baby Trend) now for walks/hikes now that he is big enough. (Baby Trend's Website)

Video Monitor: I honestly didn’t think we needed a fancy one since we live in a small house but now I can’t imagine not having it. You can use for other purposes besides sleeping too…gardening, dishes, laundry, etc. We have the Summer Slim & Secure Handheld Color Video Monitor (

The Bumbo
Bumbo: This really isn’t that expensive but it didn’t fit into any of my other categories. The Bumbo is great when your baby can hold it’s own head up. It allows you to have them close by without holding them all the time. We got a tray for his toys and snacks (or future snacks) and we also heard it is great to use in the bath too. (

White Wash Clothes: This was John’s idea and it was genius…we go through these puppies like they are going out of style. We use them for spit up, clean up, bathing, everything!

Plain White Onesies: Babies make a lot of messes so when you aren’t taking them out or showing them off, plain onesies are really the best thing to keep them in.

Pampers Swaddlers with the Wetness Indicator: Yes, they are a little more expensive but it saves you from the guessing game. So in the end maybe you are saving money (well maybe not). If they are wearing the plain white onesies as I previously mentioned, you can see the blue strip right through it and saves you from getting them undressed, genius!

Soothies by Lansinoh Gel Pads: The disposable pads are nice but boy do these Gel Pads feel good, you can even put them in the refrigerator. You will understand later I promise. They are reusable so another great money saver. (Lansinoh's website)

The Boppy: Multiple uses besides just for nursing
Nursing Pillow: Whether you go for the Boppy or My Breast Friend, these nursing pillows are a God’s send. They are also great for tummy time or just propping your baby up when you are playing. (

Medela Quick Clean Breast pump Accessory Wipes: Once you go back to work and only have like 10-15 minutes to pump and be back at your desk, these are life-savers.

Medela Quick Steam Bags: These are great for traveling or quick cleaning of your pump supplies. Watch out they get super hot and will burn your flesh off!

Bibs: If your baby drools like Sawyer does, they can literally wear them all day! Get lots!

Dr. Brown's Natural Flow Bottles: We tried almost every other bottle on the market to avoid buying Dr. Brown’s (because they are one of the most expensive) but we learned there is a reason for their price. They work and do reduce Colic (which Sawyer had!)

Mylicon/Simethicone Gas Drops: Here is another product we didn’t know existed, Gas drops are awesome. They are all natural so you don’t have to worry about giving them too much and they do help their little bellies almost instantly. We use the Target Up&Up Brand. (

Burp Clothes: We didn’t register for these for some strange reason but use them A LOT! Sawyer likes to spit up and unless you want to make a fashion statement with drool stained shoulders, you’ll want to stock up.

Bath Sponge
Big Bath Sponge: We didn’t use one of those fancy bathtubs they sell instead opted for a big sponge,. Sawyer loves it and it was cheap. Might be worth trying one of these before you make the big purchase. 

Burt’s Bees Baby Bubble Bath: Our son has sensitive skin and his pediatrician recommended we switch to Burt’s Bees instead from the Johnson and Johnson’s Lavender product we were using. His rash was gone after a couple days. Plus John and I use it too.

Dove Sensitive Skin Beauty Bar: Another great product for sensitive skin babies recommended by his doc. It lathers really great and makes his skin super soft. John and I now use it too as our soap. (

Eucerin Calming Cream: Instead of J&J baby lotion we use this to avoid rashes. I have been using it too because I have sensitive skin and with holding him all the time you never know what irritates their skin. (

Aden+Anais Muslin Blankets
Aden+Anais Muslin Blankets: Our little man is like a furnace but still likes to be swaddled (arms out!) so these are great because it doesn’t make him sweat. They have adorable patterns too. (

Sound Machine: Word to the wise…get your child used to sleeping in loud/bright rooms! If you get them in the pattern of only sleeping when it’s dark and quiet you’ll be sneaking around in the dark like a crazy person for who knows how long. We keep lights on and have a sound machine on at all times for Sawyer and he will sleep even in the loudest rooms. We never whisper when he is sleeping and go on with our normal activity so he is used to it. It will help in the end, I promise! We have the Homedics SoundSpa Lullaby with Ceiling Light Show - Sawyer loves this!) (

Hope this all helps! All the moms out there feel free to comment and add what you love. Everything helps.