Thursday, January 28, 2010

Moving on up... a deluxe bathtub upstairs!

As mentioned in a previous post, Gillian Grace has outgrown her pink spa tub that we used to bathe her in the kitchen sink. After having read about the Munchkin Rubber Ducky safety tub on several Mommy blogs, I decided this was a good option until she becomes big enough to sit in the regular bathtub. What a great investment, thanks Gammie and Grandad! Gillian Grace adores her newest friend, blowing raspberries and giggling each time we make the ducky tub quack. That's right, the duck's bill actually makes a quacking sound...too cute! Not only does the tub quack, but it is super comfy for GG's tushy. Once the tub is properly inflated, it provides a great deal of comfort and support. The fit is just right---big enough for GG to splash and move around a bit, but not large enough for her to topple over. Rubber ducky, you're definitely the one!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A plus

Yesterday, we went to see Dr. Shearer for Gillian Grace's six month check-up. GG is growing like a weed, weighing in at 19.8 lbs and measuring just a bit over 26 inches in length. She endured another round of vaccinations, three shots in the leg and one dose given orally. Poor baby! My heart broke in a million pieces as she screamed in pain once the shots were administered. Her tears and cries lasted only minutes, but when your baby is in pain and there is absolutely nothing you can do about it, minutes can seem like an eternity! Gillian Grace pulled out all the stops today for the Doc---smiling, grabbing, cooing, laughing, and sitting up. Dr. Shearer was most impressed when she transferred a tongue depressor from one hand to another. Is it too early to give Mensa a call? Only kidding!

We were thrilled to get another glowing report from Dr. Shearer. In his words, "She's a happy, healthy, and content baby! A+ all the way!"

Waiting for the Doc with Daddy.
Dr. Shearer examines GG. She's such a good patient!
Gillian Grace left the Doc's office today with a sussy---the tongue depressor Dr. Shearer used to check her dexterity. She had a great time playing with it while waiting to get her shots.
Why I do declare! Pinky up, a Southern Belle in the making!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Mirror Mirror on the Wall

Who's the fairest of them all? Well, Gillian Grace of course!

During a shopping trip last week, Gillian Grace discovered something new...herself in a mirror. Watching her react to her own reflection was hilarious! Her laughter was contagious as she had both Gammie and me rolling, as well as several shoppers and store clerks. Who would've ever thought a mirror would provide such entertainment? Oh, the joys and surprises that come with motherhood!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Happy Half Birthday!

Today, Gillian Grace turns six months old. While it's difficult for me to believe that half a year has passed since Gillian's birth, it's even more difficult for me to believe that in a several months our baby girl will turn one. With each month passing more swiftly than the last, I am now more thankful than ever to be a stay-at-home-mom. Although there are moments that I want to run screaming out the front door, I would not trade my time at home with Gillian Grace for anything.

Our best guess is that Gillian Grace weighs close to 20 lbs. We'll find out for sure next week when she goes for her six month check-up. GG's size 6 month clothing is packed away and size 9 month outfits are becoming snug. For the foreseeable future, we'll purchase only clothes size 12 months and beyond. She is now wearing size three diapers. She wears Pampers Cruisers during the day and Pampers Baby Dry at night for extra protection.

Gillybean is still keeping to her routine of eating, playing, and sleeping. She can now stay awake for up to three and a half hours at a time without getting fussy. Some days she sleeps more than others, but most days she still takes two good naps each day (one morning/one afternoon). She goes to bed between 7:00 and 7:30 in the evening and sleeps through the night. Despite waking several times a night, she no longer requires our attention (most of the time) and is able to put herself back to sleep. Often she wakes, plays, strokes her Taggie, talks to her Pinky bear blanket, and eventually lulls herself back to sleep.

One of our favorite parts of the day is going in and greeting Gillian Grace each morning. She is such a happy baby, greeting us with a gigantic smile stretching from ear to ear. Before we go in, she can be heard cooing, talking, and giggling in her crib. If GG doesn't wake in a good mood, it usually means she did not get all her sleep out and needs to stay in her crib for a while longer.

She is becoming very mobile and is definitely keeping us on our toes. She cannot be left unattended for even the briefest amount of time. While I used to be able to put her in her bouncy seat and walk into the kitchen for a minute, she is far too figidity and strong to do that now. She still finds her exersaucer very amusing. However, we've had to retire the bouncy seat. After she learned to scoot herself down and practically out of the seat, we knew it was far too dangerous to continue using. She is very close to crawling. She gets up on all fours and sticks her booty straight up in the air. She'll practice for a bit before getting frustrated and calling it quits.

Her latest move---grabbing her feet. Not yet sure if she realizes that she can actually control them, but she has a blast just trying to get her hands on them.

Gillian Grace has four meals a day, three of which include either fruit or veggies with rice cereal and a bottle. Her fourth meal is a bottle shortly before bedtime. She is able to hold onto both the 4 oz. and 10 oz. bottle on her own, an improvement from just a few months ago when the smaller bottle was all she could handle. At times she is so squiggly that it is nearly impossible to feed her. She wants to be on the go at all times!

Gammie and Grandad purchased GG a new high chair/booster seat from Fisher Price at Target. This seat is a lifesaver! She absolutely loves her new big girl chair and I love its space saving design. This new chair fits securely on top of almost any existing chair and has an adjustable seat with tray. It also has a harness for extra security, but I find that since she's never unattended while in high chair, it's not really necessary. Once the tray is removed, the chair also doubles as a recliner (great for watching all her favorite shows). Since GG is now reaching for the spoon and can now use her tongue to push food and lick her lips, she is ready for Gerber 2nd foods. That means more variety like apples and cherries or apricots with mixed fruit. Mmmmm, yummy yummy!

She's still toothless, despite showing practically all the trademark signs of teething---drooling excessively, gnawing on any and everything, and fussing while feeding. Could there be a tooth lurking just below the surface? We expect to see her first chomper any day now.

Bathtime continues to be one of her favorite times of day, except now we need a lifeguard on duty. GG is so active in the bath! She sits up, grabs for the bottles of soap and shampoo, reaches for the faucet, kicks her feet, splashes her hands, tries to stand, scoots back and forth, steals the washcloth, squeezes her rubber ducky, turning bath time into mission impossible. With bathtime over and GG dried and snuggled in a warm towel, I look like I've just participated in a wet t-shirt contest. It's very obvious that she needs more room during bathtime so this morning we had our final bath in the pink spa kitchen sink tub. Tonight we're going to try out another gift from Gammie and Grandad, the Munchkin inflatable rubber ducky safety tub. Can't wait to see how this goes!

Gillian Grace still loves the outdoors and enjoys accompanying us on our runs and walks. She has a new favorite toy, a plush musical elephant Daddy has nicknamed Harry Elafonte after the King of Calypso, Harry Belafonte.

GG loves books, just like her Gammie. Looks like many trips to Barnes and Noble await them in the future. Just recently Gillian Grace began to turn the pages of her board books during nightly storytime with Daddy. Not surprisingly, as soon as she has a book in her grasp, it goes straight to her mouth. Silly Gilly!

We are so happy to have such a healthy and beautiful baby girl. She is definitely our greatest accomplishment and we can't wait to see what milestones and firsts lie ahead in the near future.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Two Men and a Baby

Looks like Gillian Grace has the men in her life wrapped around her tiny finger. Both Grandad and Daddy are smitten with this little girl.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Sporty Spice

Okay, so I'm definitely dating myself with the Spice Girls reference, but it was the first thing that came to mind when I dressed Gillian Grace this morning. Love, love, love this sporty little Adidas velour number from cousin Jennifer and Aunt Linda.

Ready for her workout---A day of playing, eating, and napping. Man, being a baby is tough!

You don't have to try very hard to get Gillian Grace to smile or laugh.

One of GG's favorite things to do is to practice standing and walking. We jokingly say she's going to walk before she crawls.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Tasty Tuesday Update

I'm hanging up my apron...

No, I'm not resigning our family to a lifetime of take-out and microwave dinners, but rather I'm saying goodbye to Tasty Tuesdays. Instead of feeling the intense need to post a recipe each week just for the sake of posting, I'll post only those recipes too delicious not to share. That could mean a few postings a month or no recipe postings at all for several months. But once a recipe is deemed worthy of a post, you can be certain it's worth giving a try in your own kitchen!

Bon appetit!

Happy Birthday!

A very Happy First Birthday to Baby Jack Reese (future Gator quarterback and boyfriend to one Miss Gillian Grace)!

Jack is celebrating his big 0-1 in grand style, at Disney World. Gillian Grace wants you to say hi to Mickey for her. Enjoy your day, Big Guy!

Lots of Love!

Monday, January 11, 2010

A Visit

Between keeping up with the increasingly more mobile Gillian Grace and an ever growing list of chores, housework, and errands I've fallen a little behind on my posts. A few weeks ago Bret's Mom and Dad made the long drive up from Fort Myers for a brief visit. Old Man Winter once again showed us that he was in charge, giving the Webbs a less than warm welcome as they rolled into town. The breezy and chilly temperatures even sent Nana running to the Eastern Shore in search of warmer clothes. Though it was uncomfortable at times, the weather didn't keep us from enjoying the day. Not surprisingly, they fell in love with our lil' Gillybean all over again. After having not seen GG since August, they couldn't believe the many ways she had changed. Gillian Grace was a wonderful hostess (Mommy has taught her well) to Nana and Poppy Webb, even taking them to a new local BBQ joint, The Shed which was once featured on Guy Fieri's, Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives on the Food Network. We also enjoyed a fabulous dinner at Felix's on the Causeway. Bret dined on one of the evening's specials, cajun blackened fish with a crawfish cream sauce; while I enjoyed crab cakes on top of fried green tomatoes, with a side of hushpuppies and dirty rice. Can you say yum?

Bret's parents brought a special treat with them from Fort Myers, handmade chocolates by a local artisan turned chocolatier, Norman Love. Just by looking at the box, you'd never guess that gourmet chocolates were hidden inside. The key lime box with white satin bow presentation is elegant, sort of Tiffany's meets Key West, but it's the chocolates themselves that are the real star of this show. Expecting to find the typcial boxed candies---brown chocolates molded with decorative forms, I was pleasantly surprised. These chocolates are works of art reminiscent Dale Chihuly's blown glass that covers the ceiling of the lobby at the Bellagio Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. They are almost too pretty to eat. Note, I said ALMOST. How do they taste? Let's just say that the box is empty!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Tasty Tuesday

Well, I'm nothing if not consistent. It's Thursday again and I'm just posting this week's recipe. Perhaps it's time to rename the post to Tasty Tueursday (that's Tuesday and Thursday combined). Since making my New Year's resolutions public, I feel obligated to not only stick to them, but to enjoy the process of change. Loving to eat as I do, my resolution to eat healthy cannot mean sacrificing taste. I also have a husband and, although she cannot eat meals yet, a child to consider. Healthy meals must be delicious, satisfying, and easy to prepare! So I embarked upon an Internet quest to find yummy recipes that would quash our appetite as well as help us eliminate those few extra pounds. Having already cooked this first recipe, and with a plan to cook recipe #2 tonight, I think we're off to a great start.

Oh and for the sweet tooth out there, have no fear. I'll still be posting the occasional sinfully indulgent dessert recipe. After all life's too short to always pass up dessert.

Cuban Mojo Chicken
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon cumin, ground
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
20 ounces chicken breasts, boneless, skinless
  1. Combine first 7 ingredients in a zip-top plastic freezer bag or shallow dish; add chicken. Cover or seal, and let stand 20 minutes.

  2. Remove chicken from marinade, reserving marinade. Grill chicken until done.

  3. Pour marinade in saucepan and bring to a boil. Boil 2 minutes, stirring often. Serve chicken with marinade.

  4. (Double marinade if extra sauce is preferred for serving with rice or pasta.)
With outside temps hovering in the 40s, I opted to bake instead of grill the chicken . I simply marinaded the chicken for about 30 min. and then baked it in a 375 degree oven for about 75 min. (If you like juicy chicken, reduce bake time.)

Spinach and Black Bean Enchiladas
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 onion
3 cloves garlic
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 c. black beans
10 oz frozen spinach
2 c. enchilada sauce
17 corn tortillas
3 c mozzarella cheese, low fat
1 c sharp cheddar cheese
  1. Saute onion, garlic, coriander, cumin in vegetable oil.

  2. Add frozen spinach and black beans.

  3. Microwave corn tortillas to soften

  4. Spoon beans and spinach into each tortilla, add cheese and roll.

  5. Pour enchilada sauce over the entire dish and top with remaining cheese.

This is on the menu for tonight. Check back to see how it turns out.

Happy Cooking!

*All recipes on this page can be found at Calorie Count.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Baby, it's cold outside!

Now we've had our share of cold weather here in the South, but I have to think long and hard to recall a time when it has been as cold as it has been these last few days. As my MaMa would say, "It's colder than a well-digger's butt!" Although the metaphor may lose something in appeal, it couldn't me more accurate...IT'S COLD! Old Man Winter is definitely making his presence known and we are preparing for even colder days and nights towards week's end. With a slight chance of snow showers predicted for Thursday night and a high only reaching the upper 30s Friday, it's a good thing Santa brought us new gas logs and starter for our fireplace. There's never been a better time to snuggle up next to a nice warm fire!

With a slightly warmer afternoon (upper 40s), our family bundled up for a quick stroll and some fresh air.

Gillian Grace loves the cold!

Our lil' bundle of joy!

Winter Wonderland---Our down the street neighbor's fountain

Our 7-day forecast

Saturday, January 2, 2010