Thursday, September 20, 2012

Adventures in baby-food Making: Plums, Pumpkin & Oatmeal

This week we tried a few new things in our baby-food making adventures. Plums, Pumpkin and Oatmeal. Here is what we did….


I can honestly say I had never had never had a plum so this was a new experience for the both of us.

1. Scrub & Clean Plums
2. Peal plums so there is no skin remaining
3. Remove Pit from center of plum
4. Cut into smaller cubes
4. put into a food processor, blender or Baby Bullet with about a ¼ cup of water and puree .
5. 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 Math
I couldn’t find a Gerber or other Brand baby food in just plums. They were all mixtures (Apples/Plums, Banana/Plums, etc). So I couldn’t do a straight comparision but this is close. While it didn’t end up saving any money it is nice to have a straight plum mix since you can’t find it at the store. 6 plums made 16 oz. of food. That is about 4.5 servings for Sawyer

6 pears at $1.48 a pound – made 16 oz of baby food = $2.37
Total cost per ounce = .148 cents

Gerber 2nd Foods Nature Select Banana Plum comes in 2 – 3.5 containers for $1 each, so 16 ounces = $2.29
Total cost per ounce = .143 cents



My mom had a great idea to pick up some of the canned pumpkin at the store for Sawyer to try. Since it is the Fall Season, it’s easy to find. Pumpkin is a squash and since Sawyer has already had squash it was okay for him to have. It is a really easy vegetable to make, you literally just open the can and put it in containers for your portions. You can even mix it with different veggies or add some fresh cinnamon. Such a great idea mom! I use the Libby brand because there is nothing added, it’s just plain pumpkin.

The Math
I couldn’t find just plain pumpkin baby food either. Closest thing I found was Healthy Times Pumpkin Pie.

1 can 15 oz. pumpkin at $1.74 – made 15 oz of baby food = $1.74
Total cost per ounce = .116 cents

Healthy Times Pumpkin Pie 4 oz container for $1, so 16 ounces = $4
Total cost per ounce = .25 cents


1 day of Healthy Times Pumpkin Pie (2 containers or 8 ounces per day) =$2
1 day of Home-made Pumpkin (8 ounces per day) =  $.91
Total Savings per day = $1.09


Recently on the Today Show there was a story about the dangers of eating Rice because of high levels of arsenic. The story was mainly targeted at moms who feed their babies rice cereal, I am one of those moms and the story frightened me to say the least. CLICK HERE to see the story
That night my mom and I decided to try making our own oatmeal to give Sawyer instead and John and I tossed the rice cereal we had been feeding him.
For our first batch we just used 1 cup of Quaker Oatmeal. It made 9.5 oz but once you had water to serve it is about 3-4 servings.

1. Boil 1 ¾ cups water
2. Add 1 cup Oats, cook for 5 minutes
3. Put Oats nto a food processor, blender or Baby Bullet with about a ¼ cup of water and puree. May need to add more water if it is thick
5. 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)
6. When you are ready to serve, add a little milk or water to make it less thick and serve plain or with fruit. You can also warm it up if desired.

The Math
We already had the Oats but the savings are significant.
You can get a Quaker Oats 42 oz. Cylinder for $4 versus nn 8 oz. box of Gerber Organic Single Grain Oatmeal is $3. That’s huge!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Sawyer: 7 months

Where to start? Our boy is now mobile and moving around like crazy. He sits on his own and makes noises like he has something tosay. Sawyer never stops moving and we are loving every moment. His littlepersonality is really coming through as a social, vocal & funny little man.
I couldn't pick just one shot plus his little profile is too cute! 

Stats this month:

Weight: 17.5 

Eating: still nursing and taking 6-8 oz. bottles at school.His eating schedule hasn’t changed and is now on more of a breakfast, lunch and dinner schedule. He has had most of the fruits and we have even introduced the Puffs that are fruit flavored and dissolve in his mouth. He loves them and it is helping him practice his pincher grip. We have been trying out the sippy cup but so far he prefers water in a bottle.
His teacher sent me this, he is sitting with the big kids for lunch now!

Sleeping: He started waking up hungry once in the middle of the night so we started feeding him a little more before bedtime. He is slowlygetting back to the 9 hrs in a row (without waking) like he used to. Stillloves to nap! He also loves to sleep with a blanket now and pulls it to hischeek to help him relax.

Clothing: Wearing 6-9 month clothes. 9 months is still alittle big but 6 months can be too snug. He is wearing a 9 month onesie in the7 month photo and he is swimming in it!

Diapers: size 3

Playing: Sawyer is crawling all over to get what toys hewants. He loves his walker and his new stand-up walker (we lock it so itdoesn’t move yet). He pulls him self up from the ground onto his nap nanny andus. When mommy jumps, Sawyer cracks up! He is starting to really like to play in the bath, with his elephant & rubber duckies.
His new dragging the leg move and standing playing with his new toy 
Talking: About 3-4 weeks ago he started saying “Dada” in his car seat whenever we were driving. This past week he has added all types ofsounds like Papa (see video), Baba and even yesterday while he was crying hesaid “mama mama”  He loves to sing when music is on and imitates words when we speak to him.

Teething: Sawyer has both his front bottom teeth. No signs of any new ones but he is drooling and chewing a ton.

Other new developments: His new favotire game is throw the pacifier, he likes to drop anything in his hand just so you can get it for him and then throw it again.


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Sawyer's 6 Month Photos

Our son is a Ham, his last name fits him well. You get a camera out and this boy knows how to work it. Jared did another amazing job shooting Sawyer's 6 month photos, we couldn't be more pleased.

To see all the photos from Sawyer's 6 month shoot, visit our share site: CLICK HERE

As many of you know we entered him in the Gerber Generation Photo Search and I think these photos prove he has what it takes. You can vote until Sept. 24,we appreciate the votes!!
Here is where you vote (sawyer is entry ID # 51244):

Here are a few of our favorites from his shoot (honestly they all are)

Monday, September 17, 2012

Adventures in baby-food Making: Pears

I love Pears. I actually like them better than peaches, so I was excited for Sawyer to get to try them.  I am already salivating thinking of Christmas deliveries at work when those amazing pears arrive from Harry and David!
We have been mixing pears (or whatever fruit he is trying at the time) with his rice cereal in the morning and he just devours them! But like I have said before there really isn't anything this boy doesn't like.


1. Scrub & clean pears
2. Peal pears so there is no skin remaining
3. cut into small cubes
4. put into a food processor, blender or Baby Bullet with about a ¼ cup of water and puree .
5. 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)

4 pears made 22 oz. of food. That is about 5.5 servings for Sawyer

The Math 

The math came out the extremely close (less than a cent different) to the same on the pears as it did with the peaches. So once again, it's worth it to make your own.

4 pears at $1.89 a pound – made 22 oz of baby food = $2.97
Total cost per ounce = 13.5 cents

Gerber 1st Foods SmartNourish Organic baby food (pears) comes in 2 – 3.5 containers for $1.49 each, so 16.5 ounces = $3.47
Total cost per ounce = 21 cents


1 day of Gerber’s Peaches (2 containers or 7 ounces per day) =$1.49
1 day of Home-made Peaches (7 ounces per day) =  $.91
Total Savings per day = $.58
Total Savings per week (7 days) = $4.06
Total Savings per month (30 day month) = $17.40
Total Savings per year (365 days) = $211.70

Thursday, September 13, 2012

In Memory: Jim Appelquist

Last night I got the dreaded message from my best friend Trina that her father lost his fight with Alzheimer's. Her father, Jim, was diagnosed 4 years ago at the young age of 56 and the disease quickly progressed. Trina, her mother Darlene and two sisters, have cared for him tirelessly! They have been amazing advocates for finding a cure for this devastating disease. Words cannot express the sadness I feel for them.
I struggled with whether to blog about this but while looking through some old photos, I found a couple I really wanted to share to honor the wonderful, smart, funny and talented, Jim Appelquist.

Darlene - your unconditional love for Jim is an inspiration, you stood by him through sickness and health and I am in awe of your strength and compassion.

Trina - your father would be so proud of you! You've developed the Appelquist foundation in his honor and for other Alzheimer's patients to help their families. If nothing else, know that you are making a difference every day because of him.

If you want to help, the 2nd Annual Appelquist Foundation Golf Tournament is Sept. 29, 2012 at Deerlake Golf Course. We would love for you to sign up to play or even if you would just like to donate. You can sign up online at

God bless & lots of love!!

My favorite photo of Jim & Darlene dancing at our Wedding Jan. 22,  2011

My dad found this photo of their coed softball league for Redeemer in 2008 (Jim is in the middle back row)
Here is an beautiful song Trina's sister Stephanie wrote for her father.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

St. Louis Zoo Visit

Sunday afternoon we headed to the St. Louis Zoo, one of my favorite St. Louis landmarks. Visiting the zoo brings back lots of great memories for me.
Growing up in St. Louis, I spent many mornings at the Zoo with my mother and sister, Amie, taking part in a program called "The Wild Side Walkers". Each summer we would get up super early (well for a kid it was early) and walk the entire distance of the zoo before they would open to the public. We would get punches for the miles walked on our walkers card towards prizes at the end of the summer. Honestly, I know it might sound cheesy but those miles walked helped influence me still today with my love for fitness. My mom & dad was great about doing  activities with us that were healthy & outdoors and it has always stuck with me (thanks Mom & Dad!). John and I hope to instill this into Sawyer as well. We hope he chooses outdoor play before video games and physical activity versus sitting in front of the TV. Long story short....we hope to go on lots of family trips like the zoo.

Here are some pictures from our trip & a couple photos from after the zoo when we went to go visit my Grandparents, Aunt Debbie and Chase.

Sawyer got to meet real life "Sophie" the giraffe!
Sharing my love of elephants with Sawyer

Train ride
I love the train!
John called these the Happy Sock animals
Inside the Penguin house, it was super cold!!

Second Cousins Chase & Sawyer meet. Notice Sawyer took all the toys

Not so good at sharing yet

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Grant's Farm Trip

About a month ago, John and I decided to plan a trip to St. Louis to visit friends & family and take Sawyer to Grant's Farm & the St. Louis Zoo. We thought it would be a nice way to spend my birthday weekend and luckily the weather turned out to be amazing (high 70s)!!! Because I took so many pictures this post is just of our trip to Grant's Farm but I will do a separate post from our Zoo visit.
We traveled up on Saturday morning and met up with our college friends Mike & Andrea who were kind enough to let us crash at their new house (even with a baby!), thanks guys!
If you have never been to Grant's Farm, I highly recommend going. There are animals, a train, a petting zoo, the Clydesdale's and the best beer at the beer Garden. 

Here is a little history on the Farm, for more info visit their site here:
281-acre ancestral home of the Busch family, located just south of the city of St. Louis. The Farm is home to more than 900 animals representing more than 100 different species. Grant's Farm, operated by Anheuser-Busch, Inc., has been a St. Louis tradition for over five decades.  The Farm takes its name from our 18th President of the United States, Ulysses S. Grant. In the 1850s, Grant founded and farmed a portion of the 281 acres. Today, this land is home to Grant's Farm and is preserved as a living symbol of the Busch family's love for animals and Anheuser-Busch's commitment to wildlife conservation and preservation. Admission to Grant's Farm is free to all ages. Reservations are not required.

Champ wanted to wear the Bjorn
Mike, Andrea & Sawyer on the train
This camel stole a kids red snowcone, now he has pretty lipstick on
Mike feeding the camel ice 

Feeding the goats milk, it got crazy!
Look at Sawyer's Lip!

Beer Garden
Andrea & Sawyer

Petting the mini donkey

looks like they both like it
The boys don't follow directions very well (see sign posted on fence)
Worn out, fell alseep on the walk to the car