Father’s Day Craft

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Mike’s Birthday was last week so I decided to attempt a craft with Grace for her to give him. It was definitely more difficult than when she was younger and we made Santa handprint ornaments. She tried eating the paint, rubbing her hands on any piece of furniture ¬†she could see and trying the smudge our project…but we finally got it done and I think it turned out great.

It was so cute when she gave it to him too. He unwrapped the present and she saw what it was and are running over talking mile a minute. She then grabbed the picture from him and walked around the house with the biggest smile on her face. She was so proud and I guess she wasn’t quite ready to gift her project yet ūüôā

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Memorial Day Shopping

Normally this weekend would mark the first weekend our family would head to a lake. This year we didn’t head back to Wisconsin or a Texas lake…. instead we did a lot of shopping (very unusual for my husband).

Here are some of the great items that we found on sale for Memorial Day. Memorial Day

1. Ralph Lauren Dress

2. Gap Romper

3. Little Me Swim Suit ( I have posted this one before but I think it is so cute and now it is on sale Рuse code spring20 for an additional 20% off sale price and while you are there check out these cute PJs here and here).

4. Egg By Susan Lazar Dress

5. Old Navy Flower Jeggings – with the extra 30% off right now you can pick these up for under 7 dollars

6. Old Navy Mint Jeggings – If you cannot tell I love mint for this spring/summer and these are also under 7 dollars

7. Under Armour Capri Pants РHow cute are work out clothes on little ones? Pick these up for under 12 dollars

Friday Favorites

Here are some of my favorite products right now.

favorites

1. See Kai Run SKR Gloria II Shoes РHow cute are these shoes?! These are also top on my list.

2.¬†Petit Collage Alphabet Cards Animals A-Z¬†– I love doing flash cards with Grace as she learns to talk. We are working on animals and I love using these. They have such cute pictures, are a great size, and best of all…Grace proof. She chews on them and they are still in perfect condition. We have both the sea and animal versions. These would also look amazing framed and on your nursery walls.

3. Melissa & Doug Magnetic Farm Hide & Seek

4. Melissa & Doug Magnetic Hide & Seek Board

Grace loves playing with both of the Melissa and Doug Hide and Seek board. She loves opening and closing the doors and taking the pieces in and out. It keeps her entertain for a long time!

These products can all be found at Diapers.com, enter this code JLKE0468 for a discount.

We are BACK!

The last month has been a busy one at the Kessenich household. We spent a week in Whistler with my husbands entire family – that included 12 adults and 2 babies under 1. Then there was a trip to Cabo, Easter and Grace’s FIRST birthday (with of course a first birthday photo shoot and cake smash). Needless to say I am way behind on my post due to a very busy month.

Here are some of the pictures from the past month.



Whistler

CaboEaster


Birthday

Grace’s favorite birthday present…her KicKee Pants Footie Pajamas…mostly because each pair has 3 or 4 tags attached and she loved playing with them! If only all present shopping was this easy. I just need to look for the items with the most tags and buy it!

Items from above:

Birthday Girl Bloomers

I Play Sun Hat

i play swim diaper and Honest Company Swim Diaper

Sherpa Baby Hat

Sherpa Baby Booties

Homemade Applesauce

I make this recipe EVERY Sunday night. Not only because Grace loves it, but it seems like whoever ends up feeding her loves it as well. I cook the apples with the skin on to give the applesauce a nice pink color and I find it easier to scoop the inside of the apple out than peeling all the apples ahead of time.

What you need:

– 2 pounds of Organic Gala apples – I use this Gala because it makes the applesauce the perfect sweetness without needs added sugar or juice like other recipes.

Side note:Try organic if possible since apples are number 1 on the ‘dirty dozen’ list – ¬† ¬† ¬†which just means they contain the most amount of pesticides out of all the tested ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†fruits and vegetables. See this website for more information on this.

– 3/4 teaspoon of cinnamon

– Steam pot – I LOVE this one

Beaba Babycook , Food processor, Blender – Something to puree the apples or a fork if you prefer a chunkier consistency

Steps:

1. Cut the apple in to fourths around the core

2. Place apples into steam basket and cook for about 15 minutes (until the apples are soft and you can stick a fork into them easily)

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3. Let cool – once cool scoop the inside of the apple out of the skins and place into food processor, blender or I use my Beaba Babycook

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4. Add the cinnamon, blend and ENJOY – if you want chunkier applesauce just mash with a fork instead to the desired consistency.

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I portion out 4 containers that I will use in the next day or two (depending on who is all eating it) and then I scoop the rest into a Beaba Multiportion Freezer Tray

Applesauce is great to add to oatmeal, yogurt, meat purees and can be add instead of oil to baked goods for you or baby – it’s always great to have on hand.

Combining Solid Foods

Following up with my previous post about Starting Solids, I wanted to address how to continue adding healthy foods to your babies diet.

After about a month of introducing foods one at a time, I started making some combinations. I noticed that many other resources often have a fruit and vegetable combinations. I wanted to stay away from that so she would learn to like the taste of vegetables alone without having to have them mixed with fruit. Although every now and then I do include fruit in my combinations.

I started with mixing the food she had already tried. Some combinations were:

– Broccoli and cauliflower

– Asparagus and sweet potato

– Zucchini and carrots

– Oatmeal and Blueberry – I used Earth’s Best to start and then I started making my own but pulsing the oats to a fine powder prior to cooking

Next I started adding additional food items as a third choice. I really wanted to start adding in spinach, kale and other green leafy vegetables. I didn’t serve these items alone because I am not a fan of cooked greens (I love them raw) and I always taste the foods I am serving Grace to make sure they are palatable. I remember when I was taking my nutrition exams we were told that if we didn’t know the answer to a questions that started with “name the best source of”…to ALWAYS choose green leafy vegetables if it was an option because they contain SO MANY nutrients.

Some of my favorite combinations:

– Asparagus, sweet potato and leek

– Broccoli, Sweet Potato and Kale

– Broccoli, spinach and leek

-Blueberry and mango (I used organic frozen mango)

Once I introduced some of these combinations I started to add quinoa to the mixtures. Quinoa is a super grain that is a complete source of protein, high in fiber , high in Iron and high in other important nutrients. I found that adding quinoa to Grace’s diet was much easier than trying the pureed meats.

When starting combining foods I often would puree the foods separate at first and serve them in this divided container. I would slowly mix the two foods a little at a time until I knew how much of each item Grace liked in her combinations (to be honest…she just loved to eating pretty much anything). It also prevented me from wasting purees that I knew she liked by itself but might not like mixed with a certain item. Once I knew she liked it then I started making the combinations altogether from the start.

Happy Mixing!

Starting Solids

Starting solids with Grace was a big production for me since I am a Dietitian or at least that is what I am going to blame it on. I brought out all my old textbooks and notes from my infant nutrition classes. I remembered how important it is to expose your infant to many different textures and flavors before they become picky toddlers. I wanted her to be an adventurous eater so I could continue to cook the foods I liked and would enjoy (I did not want to have a family that has ‘kid meals’ ¬†EVERY night – although it is great in moderation and I do enjoy it now and then) . Most of all I wanted to her to be exposed and learn to enjoy healthy foods. I decided to skip the rice cereal since I didn’t think it had enough of a nutritional value to be her first food…I mean it is not even a whole grain! I spent WAY TOO MUCH TIME on deciding what her first food should be. I wanted it to be a green vegetable, not something too awful where she would refuse to have real food and never try it again (like that would happen), not something orange (not really sure why this one was on the list but it was…I guess it went along with “too sweet” and it tends to be favored more than green vegetables), not something too sweet (you would have thought I was deciding on her first dessert) and definitely not a starchy vegetable. After typing that out (and even before typing it) I realized I put WAY TOO MUCH THOUGHT into it. ¬†I finally decided on green beans. At first she gagged a lot and made funny faces like all kids do, but after 2-3 days she seemed to enjoy them. Although once she tried other foods she did not like green beans anymore :).

So here is my chart of Grace’s first month of solid foods

Green Beans Green Beans Green Beans Avocado Avocado Avocado Carrots
Carrots Carrots Blueberries Blueberries Blueberries Cauliflower Cauliflower
Cauliflower Apple Apple Apple Oatmeal Oatmeal Oatmeal
Sweet Potato Sweet Potato Sweet Potato Broccoli Broccoli Broccoli Zucchini
Zucchini Zucchini Asparagus Asparagus Asparagus Banana Banana

These foods worked out so well and led to great combinations that I could make. I will continue to post more advanced foods and combinations for you to try!

If I had to redo my introduction of foods – I think I would have started with zucchini – it is still green, however it purees very nicely for a baby transitioning from milk to solids. It has a very watery consistently so you need less milk for other liquids to thin out the puree and has a mild flavor. I also used fresh blueberries in my blueberry puree. I think I should have cooked the blueberries first because my puree seemed to have a weird consistency due to the skins. I should have cooked them for a bit first.

Grace really loved all of these foods. I think her favorites were cauliflower, sweet potato, carrots, asparagus (which shocked me), apples and zucchini.

Bananas and avocados are nice to introduce early so that if you are running late on time you can just grab one and mash it with a fork – no cooking required.

Hope this helps guide you on what to feed your little one!

To make my food I use the Beaba Babycook. My lovely sister was nice enough to let me borrow hers. It has worked really well and when I feel more ambitious and make bigger quantities – I use a steam pot on the stove. If I was buying one for myself I would get this newer model where you can cook two different options at one time – anything to save time!

When storing my food,  I first portion it out in to this multiportion container and freeze it. When I need food I take it out of the freezer Рput it in this container or these glass containers Рlet it thaw overnight Рand then heat before serving.

Little Boys Summer Wear

The other day I posted some little girls swimsuits. Since then, little boys summer wear has been popping up all around me…so since I do not have a little boy of my own…I thought I would share all the items. They are WAY too cute not to.

Boys
1. Mud Pie Baby-Boys Newborn Suspender Short Set
2. Mud Pie Baby-Boys Newborn Cardigan Рhow cute are those elbow pads?!
3. Mud Pie Baby-Boys Newborn Seersucker Vest
4. Mud Pie Boy’s Gingham Bow Tie and Suspender Set
5. Mud Pie Baby-Boys Newborn Giraffe Swim Trunk
6. Mud Pie Baby-Boys Toddler Whale Swim Trunks
7. Mud Pie Baby-Boys Newborn Pelican Swim Trunks

Valentine’s Day Gifts

Since Valentine’s Day is around the corner I thought I would share some of the cute gift ideas that I have seen around.

1. ¬†Bright Pink Heart Anywhere Chair¬†– The perfect size chair for your little one and the simple heart decorations make it perfect for a Valentine’s Day gift but still alright to use year round.

2. Pottery Barn Kids Blocks Р These blocks are so cute and have different animals/items pictured for each letter than you typically see Рfor example acorn instead of the typical apple. They are also very sturdy and a good weight.

3. I Love You Through And Through Board Book РA very cute book to tell your little one you love everything about them no matter what.

4. Heart Shaped Crayons – Make your own using this mold. Simply fill the heart cavity with broken crayons ¬†and bake at 230 degrees for 15-20 minutes. It is a fun and festive way to create some Valentine’s Day art projects!

 

Sorry if there is a random letter or mark in this post. I had a little one that woke up from her nap and wanted to add her thoughts to this post before I uploaded it ūüôā

Swimsuits for Little Ones

The last couple days have been BEAUTIFUL in HOUSTON! The main reason I deal with the incredibly hot Houston summer is for the random days in winter when its 80 degrees out….and I currently get to experience that (sorry for those of you still in the snow). Since it has been so nice out I have been checking out little girls swimwear and I came across the cutest line by Little Me. I loved their sleepers when Grace was little…I was so sad when she grew out of the 9 months ones since that was the biggest size. ¬†Here are some of my favorites.

swim

1. Little Me Baby Girls Hibiscus Tutu One Piece Swimsuit

2. Little Me Baby Girls Swim Stripe Tutu

3. Little Me Baby-Girls Infant Dot Swimsuit

These swimsuits pair well with this adorable cover up which can be found hereLittle_Me_Cover_Up_Girls_Swim__91519.1415810813.260.260

Little me also has rash guards for the extra sunny days or when you will be outside longer and want more skin protection…best of all they are just as cute! Check them out here¬†or here.


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