Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Food woes...

New things Jay has tried lately:
Waffles, red pepper, cookies, eggs, toast, strawberries, blueberry smoothies, Popsicles, raw carrots and dip, pasta with Alfredo, Wheat thin sticks, cupcakes, and garage sale price tag stickers.

What has he actually liked? Waffles, cookies, and wheat thin sticks.

I feel like other people don't have problems with their kids eating food -or if they do it is because the kids are being stubborn (and maybe that is my problem too).

Jay knows what he likes, and he hasn't been too keen on trying other foods. He also loves baby food, applesauce and yogurt fed with a spoon (I guess without a spoon too)

Or anything in those expensive pouches- he can suck it right out!
Or this kind for all ages.
I'd have to say that the thing that has helped MOST so far is this book. "First Meals and More"
I have checked it out from the local library at least 3 different times in the past year.
It answers a lot of questions (it is in question and answer format) and also includes recipes to try. I haven't actually tried any of the recipes but it inspired me to mix up some ham,nectarine and peas in my baby food grinder. Of course Jay hated it. He has tried the regular foods I have attempted to grind up or mix and has hated them all. I think it is the texture. I just keep trying and I guess that is all I can do:)
I was also inspired by the book to make John a fresh fruit smoothie (with no dairy). He has a swollen uvula (the hangy ball in the back of your throat) because the tube they had down his throat for surgery today pinned it in a weird position and now it is swollen. It hurts him a bunch to talk and swallow. Good thing I watched 20 min. of baby sign language videos on YouTube last night and taught them to him this morning. He (John, not Jay) can say "eat", "drink", "more", "all done", "bath", "cheese" and "cracker". Now we need to teach Jay the signs. OK back to the smoothie. It had fresh strawberries (that I stuck in the freezer last night because I thought that I wouldn't get a chance to use them- so frozen), blueberries, a bit of nectarine, a bit of banana, a few tablespoons of water AND my special ingredient: A bomb pop (Popsicle)YUM.
Any food advice for getting Jay the food that he needs? I also read that babies under 2 should be getting supplements (vitamins) after they go off formula. What kind?

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Jay's 1st birthday Monster Bash

I apologize right now for posting SO many pictures...but this is the most fun thing I have done in a long time. Most of my ideas came from reading other blogs:)
Now for the good stuff...
First I ordered THESE monsters as JPEG files from etsy. Then I went crazy with invitations, signs, pictures and labels.

Happy Birthday little monster:)

I got the idea for balloon garland idea from THIS blog post:

I dressed up all Jay's stuffed animals in his Monster clothes.

We had lots of balloons around thanks to the balloon time helium tank- which Jay LOVED until he got tangled up in them:)

John and I had our monster shirts (which I made with iron-ons).

We also borrowed a friends "monster mix" CD and listened to it, but it wasn't very loud so we kind of forgot about it after a bit.

Our Monster Meal:
Monster smiles were Croissants, monster eyes and noses were the fruit(with a fruit monster watermelon), monster teeth were Doritos, monster fingers were veggie sticks, monster toes were carrots and dip, monster juice was lemonade. We also had monster cookies (oatmeal cookies with M&M's), and monster nibbles (a family recipe), and string monster cupcakes.

The snack table:

I enjoyed creating monster eyeball cups (with lids and straws) for the kids.

I made 12 string monster cupcakes...

and then my hand started hurting from frosting too I made some normal ones:

The cupcakes were delicious- apparently:)

We had Monster bean bag toss

Which was a hit with some of the kids.

We had Monster Bowling. (one of my favorite .25 garage sale purchases)

Silly Monster Grins
(thanks for modeling- friends of Jay:)

Jay modeled his last week:
and Pin-the Eye on the monster

and in case they didn't know what to do...I made a list (I'm such a teacher!)

People came with monster gifts:
And the kids got party favors: Some of the stuff was from Oriental Trading Company. I had soft books and a beach ball for the "under 1" kids:)

We sang him Happy Birthday but he has just woken up 5 min. before so he was kind of out of it.

Our little man had an awesome party.

I know I will probably never do a party as elaborate as this one again...but it was so much fun. If you are looking for more great ideas for Monster parties-click on the links throughout the post. What do YOU like about the party?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Bean bag toss

My latest project has been working on the bean bag toss game. For my birthday I asked my dad to make the boards (he is a very handy woodworker and enjoys scroll sawing)and he did a great job even though he was kind of busy that week (THANK DAD!).

My mom sewed some bean bags and they are beautiful.

Then I drew the monsters I wanted to paint on in pencil (I darkened it so you can see).
After that I spray-painted the boards.
Then I learned you are not supposed to use spray paint on it because it makes it rough and you want it smooth. So I sanded it. I had already painted the body of my purple monster on before I sanded it, so he now has a little lighter hue.

I originally drew green dots on the purple monster, but I kinda think he looks like the hamburgler, so I am leaving the dots off:)
Jay will demonstrate: First you set them up.
Then you throw the bean bags in here:
And if you get bored while playing, you can always eat grass:
Here we come Monster Party!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

He's Walking!

He disappears behind the doors for a bit and then come back walking. It has taken a while to get this on video- but here it is:)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Shopping with kids and other random thoughts...

...on a Wednesday.
-Pillow Intervention. Before I was pregnant, I slept with one pillow and a small pillow to hold. When I got pregnant (and wasn't supposed to sleep on my back anymore) I added another pillow under my head (so my sinuses could drain), a body pillow to put between my legs and a full size pillow to hug. I haven't been able to break the habit, so it looks like there is someone sleeping in my bed- even when I'm not there. I think I need a pillow intervention (anyone watch "How I Met Your Mother"?). At least John doesn't complain about it.

-Free lunches. On Monday I stopped by Noodles to get my free bowl of Pasta (for my birthday), and on Tuesday I stopped by Red Robin and got my free birthday burger to go. Jay and I had picnics in the grass both days, then we did some shopping. If you sign up with these restaurants- you too can get your free birthday meal (which usually is good for the 2 weeks surrounding your birthday). Noodles sends you an e-mail and Red Robin just started a new loyalty card, so it is a little more work, but totally worth it. FREE FOOD.

-Shopping with kids? While I was shopping I stopped by a store that was having a big sale to get some new bras(guess which store). I navigated my way through the sale racks with a stroller and picked up a few things from the sale racks. As I was pulling in to the dressing room area I overheard two of the store employees talking. They said "if they can afford to shop here the can afford a BABYSITTER". I decided to turn away from the dressing room with my stroller and think for a second. Then another lady with a stroller came to the dressing room and asked to try something on. They informed her that only one of the dressing rooms was big enough for a stroller and it was being used so it could be a while. I asked about the return policy and decided to buy something and try it on AT HOME. I'm still feeling kind of disgusted by the comment. If our kids are being good (and every kid in that store was just hanging out in the stroller being good) we should be able to shop with them- right?

-Almost walking. Jay has been cruising along the furniture, the walls, anything he can get his hands on. He really has been "almost walking" for 2 weeks now. He can take 5-6 steps anytime he chooses to. I guess he will decide when he wants to walk.

-Sippy cup failure. I have been trying to get Jay to take (and like) a sippy cup for MONTHS now. I took out the stoppers (so the water comes out easily) but that doesn't seem to help. He shoves it away from his face anytime I am trying to get him to drink. I mostly put water in, but sometimes I put some watered down juice in. When he is in the baby pool with a cup (without a lid) he will drink LOTS of water (spilling most of it over himself). I haven't tried water in a bottle or formula in a sippy cup- should I be trying that? I'm slowly limiting the bottles he has in a day because he is almost a year old...but he needs to drink. Help.

-Date disaster. John and I went out on a date and couldn't find a babysitter (we didn't try that hard) so Jay came with us. We went to a nice restaurant and Jay had a blast. He ate 1 1/2 things of baby food, drank a lot of water (yes in his sippy cup- maybe that was because it had ice in it?), had some crackers, a bean, and a few puffs. He was a happy camper. After we were done, we strapped him in his car seat and headed to a nearby town to do a bit of shopping. Along the way we heard a big PLUCHHHH sound and it started to smell like throw up:(. We pulled over in a parking lot and Jay had just puked up like a cup and a half of stomach contents. We started emptying his car seat, changed his clothes, cleaned everything up and then...continued shopping. YEP. He seemed to be pretty happy and he was holding a blanket, so most of it was on that. When we got home we washed all the cloth parts and the straps of the car seat, hand washed the metal parts, and disinfected the rest. Kinda gross- but I guess every parent has to experience it sooner or later:)

-My Business plan. I am teaching a clay animation class for kids this summer and it has been going great. I charged a bit less than other classes hoping to get lots of kids to sign up- and it worked. I have two 8th graders there helping me run the class (and helping out with the little kids) and they are getting community service hours (which are required at our school). I have a teacher watching Jay during the class each week and can have their kid attend for free. I paid the art teacher to help me run the class the first week and I am running it the second week by myself - with the student helpers. I have had a blast and the projects are looking great. Maybe I will post a few on here. That being said...Jay spends a lot of time at my school with me while I get set up in the morning and while I clean up afterwords. He doesn't complain and kind of likes that chance to explore new things.

His FAVORITE thing is to touch all the keyboards and push the keys (we don't let him do that at home:)

Friday, June 10, 2011

a constant state of "project"

I feel like right now I just run in between projects. Of course there are the ongoing laundry, dishes, cooking, e-mail, cleaning ones...compounded by the fact that I can't open the dishwasher anytime Jay is awake because it will be attacked:) The other projects are fun ones, but I just can't get anything done because I only have 15 min. here and there. Today I decided to take a break from my projects - Happy Birthday to me- and go swimming in the backyard with Jay. That turned into a project: getting the pool from the basement and cleaning it off, filling it and letting it set for 2 hours to heat up, getting Jay into a swim diaper, sunscreen for all of us, finding toys for the pool... Of course swimming only lasted 30 min. so then it was the project of cleaning it all up and getting back into normal clothes. oophta.
I guess the best part about summer is that I can be in the middle of 30 projects and not get stressed out, because I don't have much else going on:)
I knew it was time to get out the baby pool because when grandma came over he went swimming in the sand table:)

This pictures makes me laugh every time I see it.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

a few videos

The Fake Laugh

Practicing Ei-ei-o

I sang this song for like 40 min and then we watched videos on you tube of Old Mac Donald for 20 min. I think he is singing ei-ei:)

Taking a few steps (but he has taken a lot more since then)

Terrorizing the village (and making a mess:)

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Practice party

When we went to visit Jay's cousins in Nebraska last week, I decided we should have a mini-birthday party for him so I could practice making cupcakes.
I took along some monster decorations/activities I got on clearance at Target, and our "activity" for the party was decorating monsters (which I will use for decorations at the real party). Here is Caleb's creation:)
Here is a picture of what I bought:
I found them online too in case anyone is interested: MONSTER CRAFT

Here is one that my brother-in-law created.
After the activity we set out my cupcakes and took a few pictures. I got my ideas from other blogs. These cookie monster cupcakes were adorable, but seemed a little difficult to make.
So I settled on these adorable fur-ball and string monster cupcakes.
On my first try I got something that resembled a purple shaggy dog: If anyone has tips on how to make the fur-ball cupcakes look more like the ones in the picture (like a different tip on the frosting decorator?) let me know:)
Then I tried a different approach, but it ended up looking like monster guts instead of a cute monster.
My third try was a string monster cupcake.

John thought they looked kind of weird without mouths, so I got out the yogurt pretzels I had packed for my road trip and created a mouth for the string monster. That's when I decided I could combine the cookie monster and the string monster cupcake ideas.
Here is my final draft for the practice party. I'm thinking of trying some more colors, and maybe doing something different for the eyeballs. The eyes should be placed closer to the front of the head too:)
Everyone enjoyed them.