Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Adventures in baby-food Making: Apples

Apples to me are the perfect fall fruit! I have been sort putting off starting Sawyer on the fruits because I just know he is going to love them more than veggies but as soon as the weather started to cool down, I starting thinking about apples. I picked up a huge bag of gala apples at Sam’s Club and decided to try to make some for little man. The best part, my friend Hugo & Wendy decided to give me their brand new, never been used Baby Bullet. They received it as a gift and knew they would never use it. Thank you guys sooooo much, it was so easy to use and made the best puree!! You guys are the best!
The very helpful Baby Bullet instruction guide

My mom did a little research on adding spices to baby food and found a really interesting article on the myths of baby food and why they don’t always have to be bland. The article raises some interesting & valid points and after reading it we decided to add Cinnamon to the apples in our recipe. You can read the article here:

Cinnamon actually has a lot of health benefits associated with it and tastes delicious, to me it was a win win for Saywer. Here you can find the 11 health benefits of Cinnamon:


1. Rinse and scrub Apples
2. Peel apples of all their skin
3. Core (we used a Pampered Chef apple corer)
4. Place in a large pot with ¼ cup water per apple used (add cinnamon sticks if desired)
5. Cook on medium/high heat until they boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until apples are very soft
6. Put Beets in Baby Bullet or processor (discard cinnamon sticks) and Puree.
7. Put in storage containers, freeze or refrigerator depending on when you plan to use them. (Here are some rules of thumb – 3 days in refrigerator or 30 days in freezer)

The adorable storage containers even have a date stamp

The Math

You can really choose any type of apple that suits your fancy...I choose Gala and they were $2.57 a pound and I used 6 (they were about a half a pound each)

6 – Gala Apples made 27 oz. of baby food = $7.71
Total cost per ounce = 29 cents

Gerber 1st Foods SmartNourish Organic baby food (apples) comes in 2 – 2.5 containers for $1.59 each, so 27 ounces = $8.59
Total cost per ounce = 31 cents


*While this isn't a huge savings it tastes fantastic and John and I actually said we would eat it. It comes out just like applesauce. **

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Sin City Celebration

John and I are about to turn 30 (me in Sept, John in Oct) and we thought the best way to beat the getting older blues was to head to Sin City. We took along our good friend Trina & Jammi. It was the first time I left our little Soy Bean and the night before I cried my eyes out thinking about leaving him. Luckily once we got there I was able to block the tears and enjoy myself.  It really helped that my parents skype us every day so we could see his adorable face. Plus, it looked like he had a blast with all the fun things they had planned for him.
We stayed off the strip this time at the Palms, it was really nice and offered a free shuttle straight to Caesar’s Palace. We really had a great time and it was just the perfect amount of time to celebrate but still not be away from Sawyer for too long. Thanks Trina & Jammi for helping us celebrate and play like kids again!

Here is what our weekend consisted of.............. 


Arrive after 3:30 p.m., check-in & unpack.
Then shuttle ride to the strip to walk around before eating dinner at Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville. After dinner head back to the Palms and go out at Ghost Bar and dance until our feet were about to fall off.
Jammi got searched, ha!
Nachos from Margarittaville
Exploring the shops at Caesar's
Awesome Elephant at Marc Jacobs
Had to check out the water show, a Vegas Must!
Out at Ghost Bar


Palms buffet for breakfast, head to the pool early around 10:00 am.
We took a quick  lunch break at the Palms buffet for unlimited beer & wine and then back to the pool for Taboo (from the Black Eye Peas) Pool Party.
We took the shuttle back to the strip for dinner at Toby Keith’s I love this Bar & Tavern before we went to Pure Night Club for JLO’s after party. We ended up leaving before JLO showed up and went back to the Palms where we ran into Volleyball Olympian Silver-Medalist Tayyiba Haneef-Park.
Daily Skypes with our little guy
Pool Day #1: Cold Adult Bev, check!
"Old Enough (But Not too Old)" Thank you Palms!
The crew on our first pool day
Taboo hosted the Pool Party
Ready to go out and we run into the ELVISES
Heading to dinner at PURE
Practicing his moves on the Strip
Nice way to end the night running into an Olympian
Super dirty feet..couldn't last with the heels on so we walked barefoot


Another morning buffet followed by an all-day pool party with some new friends from Texas, California and even Columbia Mizzou student (woohoo). Probably one of my favorite days of just lounging and relaxing. We ended up ordering pizza from a close by Pizza Parlor. John decided to walk there but quickly discovered it was too far to walk. He somehow convinced the delivery driver to let  him drive home - only my husband! We chowed on 'za and chatted until we crashed around 1:00 AM. 
Pool Day #2 with our new friends
lots of fun inflatables
John got to drive the Pizza Man's car home, not surprised!


Got up at the break of dawn to be at the airport by 5:00 AM. Arrived home around 11:30 AM to a happy baby boy & our families. Sawyer even made a welcome home sign!!! It was a very successful trip!
Best Site Ever!!!

Weekend in Pictures

We had a very busy weekend and Sawyer got to do lots of fun news things. I couldn't think of a better way to blog about it then with a bunch of pics. Here we go....
Got a new big boy bathtub!
Garage sale time with Megan

Wearing my camo in ARKANSAS
First visit to see Grandma in Arkansas
Snuggles with Great Grandma
Hanging with Grandpa Derrick
First time seeing a horse
I love Horsies!
Taking Steps with Grandma 
Rico, john's first dog
Grandma got me a new highchair!!!
First time in a shopping cart!!!
BBQ with my bud Evan
Karen's Adorable Dane puppies
Homer Hamra has a nice ring to it :) 
BBQ with Tasha

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Sawyer's 6 month Photos & Check-up

I love going to Sawyer's check-ups with his pediatrician because we get updates on his growth but I HATE that he has to get shots. He handles them pretty well but that sad face gets me ever time. This round he was fine all day but had a pretty rough night, woke up a couple times.
His check up went really well. His pediatrician said he is starting to slim down as he becomes more active. He even lost a little weight since we weighed him last week. His height and weight dropped from 75th percentile to 45th, looks like he might be lean like his dad. He is doing great on the developmental scale and his eyes & ears passed with flying colors. The cutest thing was when she went to check his tummy and limbs he laughed his little  butt off, he is super ticklish.
His doctor said after he finishes trying the fruits (we are going to start this week), we can move on to meats...holy cow, can't believe my little baby is moving to big boy food. She also said since he is reaching and grasping objects we can start trying him out on baby snack puffs.

We had Sawyer's 6 months photos taken last Friday (on his actually 6 month birthday) and our photographer Jared with JDesigns posted a couple previews. They turned out with all his work! Here are a few:

Friday, August 17, 2012

Sawyer: 6 Months

It was a lot harder to snap a photo this month, he's always moving!

Sawyer is half a year old and we just can’t believe it! What amazes me the most is the things a baby learns just in a short 6 months. It helps that Sawyer is one motivated baby. He gets his mind on something and he wants to do it no matter what. The last few weeks he has focused his attention on crawling & sitting up. And he is about 85% there one both developments. We go to his pediatrician Aug. 24 for his checkup and I will be sure to post an update.

Here is a video of Sawyer practicing crawling (best moves are at the 0:46 mark)

Stats this month:
Weight: 17 lbs.

Eating: still nursing and taking 6 oz. bottles at school. His eating schedule has stayed the same as last month but he’s been going a lot longer in between feedings, has even cut out that 9:00/10:00 a.m. bottle and waits until lunch. He has tried all the yellow, orange and green veggies and is now on Beets. They are definitely his favorite so far. We plan to start fruits next week.

Sleeping: Still loving his sleep, consistently sleeps 8-8.5 hrs. His new habit is falling deep asleep about 7:30 but we like to wake him up to nurse about 8:30 or 9 and put him back down.

Clothing: Wearing 6-9 month clothes. What shocks me is he still fits a couple 3-month sized pants. John is excited because his shoes are starting to fit.

Diapers: moved up to size 3

Happy Boy!
Playing: Sawyer loves to JUMP! He could spend all afternoon jumping on mommy or daddy’s lap (are arms have gotten quite the workout). Since last month he is scooting and turning in circles. He sits up for short periods of time by himself and supports himself by leaning forward and putting his hands on the ground. He “crawled” last Friday but only made one move forward and was done. He is getting good and pushing his knees underneath him but not the best and keeping his belly off the ground. He is a pro with his hands know and will grab anything in sight. He loves books and balls. His feet finally touch the ground in his walker. His favorite game is peek-a-boo. He can also finally touch in his walker and walks backwards around the house. John caught a video of it yesterday.

Talking: Lots of new noises. When he cries we swear he is saying “AMIE!” (I am sure his Aunt loves that) He loves to yell when he is happy and he grunts when he is working hard. He giggles loud now just when you make a silly face at him or when we play peek-a-boo.

Teething: We have a tooth!!! We spotting his left bottom tooth on Monday night (Aug. 13) and the right bottom is also making an appearance but hasn’t popped through. He is handling it very well so far and only fusses a little.

Other new developments: He is reaching for people all the time now and sometimes plays the game of reaching from person to person like he can’t decide. 

Friday, August 10, 2012

Adventures in baby-food Making: Beets

Beets and I have quite the history. I loved them as a baby, loathed them as an adolescent and have now rekindle the flame as an adult. And guess what? Sawyer loves there a food this kid doesn't like?

Sawyer’s Pediatrician recommended trying beets after the green veggies as sort of a bridge to fruits. I looked all over Springfield for canned baby beets but never found making them was really my only option. 

I really enjoyed making beets for 3 reasons.
1. They are easy-peezy to make (probably because we used canned beets)
2. I got to sample them as I prepared them, delicious!
3. Their vibrant deep red color is so pretty, what’s not to love?

We tried to get fresh beets but couldn’t find them anywhere either. Unfortunately, canned beets have added salt so to get rid of it, I rinsed these puppies A TON. If you taste them, you should be able to tell if you need to keep rinsing.


1. Pour canned Beets into colander and rinse very well until salt is removed
2. Put Beets in blender and mix until pureed
3. Put in storage containers, freeze or refrigerator depending on when you plan to use them.

Let's see what these are all about
More please...yep, I love them!

The Math

Ideally I would have loved to get fresh beets but had no luck finding any. Luckily, the canned version is very economical. I also couldn’t find canned baby food beets anywhere. I found a couple mixes (banana, beet & blueberry) but nothing he could eat yet. I googled it and nothing came up. So since I don’t have anything to compare it too savings-wise I will just tell you how much it cost me to make.

3 – 15 oz. cans of Beets (2 for $1) made 20 oz. of baby food = $1.50
Total cost per ounce = 13 cents