Saturday, September 26, 2009

Soup's On

Well, it's that time of year. Each Fall, I make Grandma's Chicken Soup, freezing all but enough for a week in order to have some delicious, cold-fighting goodness for later in the season. I have fond memories of my grandmother making chicken soup so delicious that we would beg for bowl after bowl. I try to channel my inner-Helen whenever I make it. The recipe is not exact because, like chili, chicken soup can and should be made to taste. If you want more of something, add it. Less? Take it out. And remember, as Grandma always said, it's the pastina.



I never realized how incredibly easy it is to make chicken soup until I watched a former client's mom make it. Many recipes will call for additional veggies (celery, onions, etc), and occassionally I'll throw those in, but I've found that sticking to the version that Grandma made is always a winner. What's wonderul about homemade chicken soup is that it's not just a tasty, healthy and perfect all-in-1 meal, but it's also so much lower in sodium than store-bought stuff in a can. It's not just a story-book myth either, chicken soup is full of nutrients that fend off and aid in fighting sore throats, colds, and flus. It freezes well, so this weekend, try it! You'll be glad you did when you are all stuffed up and have no interest in cooking.

EDIT 9/29/09: Thank you, Rebekah, for asking for more information! Using either regular, white potatoes or sweet potatoes works fine; both taste delicious! If you are making soup that you want to share with an infant, consider making it salt/pepper free and then telling adults who eat it to season their own bowl to taste. This way, all you have to do is mash up the potatoes and carrots into child-safe pieces. Grandma was a big fan of doing this for us, so I have it on good authority that it works. Please note, the soup can simmer for as long as you'd like, but the minimum time is listed below (until the pastina cooks through which doesn't take long since it's so tiny). Also, make sure if you use rice, it is pre-cooked. Rice soaks up water in order to cook, which you don't want here because well, then it wouldn't be soup. The same can happen with bigger noodles (shells or elbows, etc) so be wary of when you add those in and you may need to consider cooking them first. The reason why the soup stays on simmer when you add the pastina is because this pasta is very tiny and cooks quickly so it's not worth taking the entire pot back up to boiling again. However with bigger pastas, it may be necessary to pre-cook them (as with the rice) or get it back up to boiling in order to ensure they aren't raw when you go to eat it. Unfortunately, because I often use rice or pastina, I can't say for sure how to do this. You may need to do some trial and error to get it right.

Chicken Soup (makes: a lot)

To Buy:

1 - 1.5 pounds of chicken (I prefer boneless, skinless chicken breast but go with what you like; I'm pretty sure my grandma use white and dark meat chicken with bones that got taken out, naturally)

3 - 5 carrots (note: I've used half a bag of baby carrots in a pinch and it was fine)

2 - 3 potatoes or sweet potatoes

half a box of pastina (you can use pre-cooked rice or a noodle-y pasta but honest to God, this is the BEST tasting pasta for chicken soup)

salt

pepper



To Do:

1. Clean the chicken. I take off some but not all of the fat. The fat helps flavor the broth but I take off anything that wouldn't boil off the chicken and into the water. Do not cut it up, just wash it and trim off the grossest fat.

2. Get a big old soup pot. Frank has referred to ours as the lobster pot in case that helps. I'm not sure that "lobster pot" is an accurate description of how we use it, but that's what he has called it. Fill the pot about halfway full with water. Add salt -- I eyeball this, but it's probably about a tablespoon or so.

3. Put the pot on the stove, high heat. Add the chicken. Allow it to boil until the chicken is cooked. I'm not sure how long this takes because I tend to get involved in something else but 20 minutes will do it. Note: You cannot overcook the chicken. Boiling it longer will help make it easier to shred or pull apart (a later step).

4. In the meantime, begin peeling and cutting the carrots and potatoes into bite-sized pieces.

5. Once the chicken is cooked, turn the heat down to simmer. Carefully remove the chicken and place it on a cutting board to cool completely.

6. Add the carrots and potatoes to the chicken stock. Turn the heat back up so the carrots and potatoes boil and soften. These can become too soft so don't let them overcook. This can take anywhere from 10 - 20 minutes depending on the amount and size of potatoes/carrots as well as your stove or pot. So, keep an eye on this. Add another round of salt as well as some pepper. Do NOT be heavy-handed with either and frequently taste it to make sure it's not too much. I tend to be minimalist with these because this way, those eating the soup can add it to their liking.

7. When the carrots and potatoes are adequately cooked, turn the heat to simmer. Add salt/pepper as necessary.

8. Once the chicken is cooled, begin to pull it apart or shred it. Add it back to the pot as you do.

9. Add the pastina as well as salt/pepper if needed. Cover the pot and let the soup simmer until the pasta is cooked through. Then, serve and eat or freeze for later.

Friday, September 25, 2009

HIIT

Today I had a much-needed day off, so Olivia and I picked up where we left off and headed to the mall for some good ol' mall-walkin'. Unfortunately, Rebekah and Avery couldn't make it because of illness (get better soon, Rebekah!!) but we had a good time. We did a wonderful 3.1 miles. Usually when we walk solo, we tend to walk a tad slower and far less than when Rebekah and I can chat away. In order to combat this, I did something called HIIT (high intensity interval training). It's super easy to do and is a wonderful way to pump up any workout. Essentially, you specifiy interval lengths pre-workout (time-based OR distance-based) and spend the longer interval really pushing yourself to exercise harder (think, totally out of breath and/or unable to maintain a conversation). Then, take a shorter interval and go at or below your normal pace; this gives your body a chance to recover before the next burst. Today, I chose to speed walk for .5 miles, maintaining a speed of 3.7 - 4.0. Then, for .3 miles (the jogging stroller pedometer only goes to the tenth spot), I would walk at a speed of no more than 3.5. What's wonderful about this is that by focusing on the intervals and not the whole, the workout tends to go by much faster (mentally and actually), so we did the 3.1 miles in about 45 - 50 minutes.

There's a science behind why HIIT works, but I couldn't begin to explain it. If you would like to know more, go to the following articles from Runner's World. Enjoy and good luck!

Lactic Lift-Off

Beyond the Burn

The Science of Speed

Mix Up Your Routine with New Types of Workouts

Thursday, September 24, 2009

First Day of School -- a Retrospective

The time had come... I went back to work and Olivia headed off to daycare. I've been so busy (and exhausted!) from work that I forgot to post these. Daddy went with us to help (and because I was a tad sad). Thankfully, the day flew by and I was able to get the Livster quickly. Her teachers are in love with her saying over and over how she is such a great baby. I know she is well cared for because when we walk in or out, all the staff members stop and say "Hi, Olivia!" I figure if they know her name, they must just love her. But really, anyone who knows her does! Note: her face in the last picture did NOT help my anxiety over leaving her.














Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Reading Rainbow

Recently we were blessed with a visit from Uncle Matt who decided to read a book (Chicka Chicka ABC -- a boardbook) with Olivia. What followed can only be explained via the following pictures. ;-)


See, Uncle Matt, it's about letters. You just read the letters -- like this.

Look, I'll show you. A told B and B told C...

No, it's ok, don't be confused. They all go up the coconut tree. That's how the story goes, Silly!


Ok, now you try it.


While you figure out that plot twist, I'm gonna watch TV. Let me know when you're ready and I'll explain why they all fell out of the coconut tree.


Yes, Uncle Matt, you did a great job listening!

And they all lived happily ever after. Thanks for reading with me, Uncle Matt!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

5 Months Plus!

I didn't have an opportunity to post these before (it's amazing how work can exhaust and consume a person!). They are some of my favorites from Olivia's 5 month photo shoot... of course, she'll be 6 months before too long but better late than never...

Kisses for Bear and Livie. I think I found a new photo for the "Mommy and Me" frame.



And then, Mommy was like "Oh, Olivia," so I was like...


Lovin on Bear. We stopped sending Bear to school for this very reason!

Olivia loves books... and eating her hand.






At 5 months old, Olivia has been through so much! She is out of her cast and into a brace. She weighs 14 lbs 10 oz (on Sept. 11th). Olivia can:
babble using consonants and vowels (still one syllable)
smile at everyone, thus stealing the hearts of all her teachers
hold herself up when on her tummy
try to roll over (the brace gets in the way a little)
hold toys with one or two hands
grab at and take toys
hold on tight to objects when someone tries to take it away
put her hands together in front of her
mouth everything!
follow small objects with her eyes
loves animals! and books!
bear weight on her very flimsy legs when being held by an adult
look when she hears familiar voices
blow bubbles... lots of bubbles... and raspberries
push away from Mommy when she's done feeding



Thursday, September 10, 2009

Photo Shoot Sequence


In keeping with tradition, Olivia and I did 5 month photo shoot when I got home from work. Despite another day of little napping, she was a champ! I thought the above sequence of photos was adorable and wanted to post it right away. There are a few other doozies, but I'm too tired to post them tonight. Look for them as well as a little blurb of all the wonderful things Liv is doing at 5 months! (BTW, there is no brace in the pictures but this is because I chose not to put her in it during the "event." It should be noted that Olivia is supposed to be in her brace so don't think that some wonderful hip healing has gone on lately; I'm just being a bad mom.)

Quiche & Pot Pie

We've been trying to really plan meals for the week and take into consideration what we buy when we grocery shop. For example, if we are cooking a recipe with fresh basil, we try to find other recipes with fresh basil so that not so much goes to waste. This is a bad example, but you get the picture.

So tonight, we took a cue from Rebekah and made a quiche with extras from foods used in the chicken pot pie we made Tuesday night. The recipe we followed was inspired by one from Erin Cooks and can be seen by clicking here. We made a few changes using ingredients we had, and it turned out fantastically. We both ate a little more than we should have but it was pretty tasty. I'm listing the chicken pot pie recipe as well as the ingredients we put into the quiche. I'm not listing the full quiche recipe in order to encourage everyone to check out the Erin Cooks post. There's important information on protecting your oven when baking a quiche! Unfortunately no pictures for this post... but just imagine yummy goodness!

Quiche Ingredients & modifications:
The frozen veggies mentioned below can't be purchased in "1 cup" sizes, so we used about a cup of those (peas, corn, onion) as well as some of the carrots and a small tomato (called for in the recipe). We bought a 2-pack of the frozen pie crusts, so one was used for the potpie and the other for the quiche. Frank decided to use 6 eggs (Eggs are really healthy for you and when divied u into an 8 serving quiche, the protein & nutrients weigh out any cholesterol!!) instead of 4. In lieu of the gruyere cheese called for in the recipe, we used some Mexican blend shredded cheese leftover from taco night; we decided this was a delicious complement to the onions and tomatoes. Also, we didn't have half & half, and since I only drink vanilla soymilk (which is not a great replacement in this situation), Frank substituted butter. I calculated the calories per serving assuming the one quiche yielded 8 servings and it's around 275 - 300 calories. When doubled, this is a great dinner for an active adult. If you are sticking to the Change One plan of 450 calorie dinner, shoot for 1.5 servings. Enjoy!

One-Crust Chicken Potpie (from Change One)
serves 4
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 package (15 oz) refrigerated pie crust
1 egg white, lightly beaten with 1 teaspoon water
2 medium carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
1 cup frozen corn
1 cup frozen green peas
1 cup frozen small white onions
1/2 cup fat-free evaporated milk
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 tablespoon butter
1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper

1. In a lrge saucepan, bring the chicken, 1/8 tsp salt, and enough water to cover to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low and gently poach the chicen until the juics run clear, abu 15 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board, let cool, and cut into bite-size pieces. Reserve 1 cup of the poaching liquid.

2. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly coat a baking sheet and four 1-cup baking dishes. Note: we opted instead to use a traditional pie dish and instead of cutting out individual pie crusts, we simply used the entire pie crust over top the inside chicken mixture.

3. Dust a work surface lightly with flour. Unfold the piecrust, cut in half, and wrap the remaining half in foil or plastic wrap; refrigerate or freeze. Roll out the crust 1/8 inch thick, then cut out 4 squares to fit on top of the baking dishes. Brush the tops with the diluted egg white. Transfer the squares to the baking sheet and bake until crisp and golden, about 12 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

4. Meanwhile, cook the carrots in boiling water until tender about 5 minutes; drain. In a colander, rinse the corn, peas, and onions in hot water. In a small bowl, whisk the milk and flour until smooth.

5. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the milk mixture, then the reserved poaching liquid. Cook until the sauce thickens and boils, about 5 minutes. Stir in the chicken, carrots, corn, peas, onions, pepper, and the remaining salt. Cook until heated through, about 3 minutes. Divide among the 4 baking dishes and bake until the filling bubbles, about 15 minutes. top each with a pastry square.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

America's Pasttime

This is something I've been meaning to post for about 2 weeks now, and since I'm reminiscing about my summer with Olivia, I thought now was a perfect time.

We felt a little trapped this summer with Olivia being in the spica cast. We were told not to take her too far in the car seat since it was not the absolute safest seat for a child her size, but it was the safest option for someone her size in a spica cast. Before Olivia had her surgery, we had planned to go up north and visit family and see the National Baseball Hall of Fame. The reservation was set, and we just prayed that the darn thing would come off before our "vacation." Ultimately, it did not, and while we decided to cut the trip incredibly short, we also made the decision to still go to Cooperstown, NY. Now, for those of you who could care less about baseball, Cooperstown is the Mecca of baseball. I've been there but Frank had not and really wanted to go. And this year, for his birthday, his parents gave him a membership to the Hall of Fame as well as a gift certificate to The Inn at Cooperstown I felt very strongly that we, as a family, needed to get out of town for a bit and relax. Plus, the Phillies World Series display would come down after October (unless they win again but then we'd need to take a whole new trip!). Here are some of my favorite pictures (with commentary, of course) from the trip.

This was our "house." Yes, this building was where we stayed -- the whole thing. I let Frank make the reservation with the only caveat being that it had to have access to a refrigerator. This is what we got: the luxury suite... it slept 5 and had a staircase. But since it also had a refrigerator, who was I to complain. Thank you, Mom Mom and Pop Pop, for the gift certificate.

We were celebrating the Phils 1st place standing in the NL East. I think Olivia was most excited.

We took this picture for Uncle Matthew but then I realized Mickey Mantle's head was cut off (which is why I had Frank take the second picture). Olivia was so impressed by his stats that she chewed on her hand. I can't wait to show these to her future boyfriends...

Here's Olivia with Harry who is greatly missed.

I think this picture speaks for itself. We had to edge out some little leaguers to get this gem.
The whole family in front of the World Series display featuring the World Champion Philadelphia Phillies (can you tell we are fans?). Again, Olivia is the most enthusiastic person in this picture.

Generations

Oliva and I recently had the opportunity to visit with my great-aunt and uncle. So, this is a picture of Olivia with Great-Great-Aunt Babes and Great-Great-Uncle Pat. Initially Olivia was terrified of Aunt Babes because she had rollers in her hair... luckily, the curlers eventually came out and the Livster was her usual cheerful self.
I took quite a few pictures of Aunt Babes holding Liv in order to get one -- Aunt Babes always seemed to be talking! Lol, now we know which side of the family Olivia's "chattiness" comes from, but really, was there ever any doubt?

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Desperate Times

6:30am Olivia wakes up in her usual happy, chatty mood. I adore when she wakes up like this. Despite Frank being away most of the weekend visiting his sister in Indiana, I think that we can get through this day. This is the magic of the morning babble causing my mind to play tricks on me. Nevertheless, I am optimistic. The morning routine is as it always is; Liv eats while we watch the news. She stays upright the usual 30 minutes post-feeding. While she shows signs of being tired, I am delaying her nap in the hopes that she will sleep longer.

7:45am Olivia goes into the pack n' play which has been fitted with the playmat for easy access and cat-free fun. She happily chats and plays. I begin eating breakfast.

7:55am I haven't heard Olivia babble in a bit so I check on her. Her hands are in sleep position! I rush her upstairs and lay her in the crib. Close one.

8am Olivia falls asleep. I go about getting ready for the day. We can do this!

8:10am I decide to weigh myself before taking a shower... I have gained 1.5 pounds since my last weigh-in. Hmmm, two nights in a row of Chinese food (leftovers! I'm not a complete fatty!) may have contributed to this. I try to remain optimistic and plan for a future walk with the bambino.

8:33am Olivia wakes up. This is 15 - 30 minutes earlier than usual, but I'm mostly ready so I remain unphased. However, with 2 1/2 hours until the next feeding, we need something to do! Off to the mall we go. Shopping fixes everything, especially when we both need fall clothes. Well, I need fall clothes; Olivia just looks cute in fall clothes, and I have a 20% off coupon for Gymboree.

9:37am We arrive at the mall, which doesn't open until 10am. We do laps until Ann Taylor Loft opens up. Olivia is awake and happy, watching people and occassionally chatting. With 3 laps down before the store opens, I feel athletic and strong. This day will go well! She is so fantastic in the store while I shop and try on clothing that the sales woman comments on both her beauty and manner. I think that I am the world's luckiest mom. I also think that Liv's perfect behavior could lead to dangerous future shopping trips and potentially risky fiscal behavior. But for now, who cares?

11am We depart Ann Taylor Loft and head to Nordstrom's, which is reinforcing for both of us. Me because it's such a nice lounge to nurse in and Liv because, well, isn't it obvious?

11:37am Off to Gymboree we go. Olivia is being a peach, though it does not go unnoticed that she is getting a tad more vocal.

12:11pm We depart Gymboree after getting some great deals, including an outfit that Mom Mom will love. Other shoppers go ga ga over how cute the Livster is and her calm disposition, so I am having a blissful moment. Life is great. I'm going to win Mom of the Year. Today is going magnificently. I can do this without Frank!

12:15pm As I am putting Olivia in the car, it occurs to me that she hasn't slept since waking from her 30 minute nap at 8:30am... this is a bad sign.

12:20pm We drive off. I know that Olivia will be asleep in seconds. Even as I think this, I don't hear chatter or movement...

12:45pm We arrive at home. Olivia is indeed asleep but wakes when I shut the passenger side door. Fantastic.

12:50pm I take Liv out of her carseat and transition her to the crib. I do this because I am hoping, really hoping, that her silence may mean that she will fall back asleep upon hitting the mattress. I go downstairs and begin making my lunch.

12:55pm I hear screaming from upstairs.

12:56pm Olivia is once again in the pack n' play and happily playing with the toys. I go about finishing making lunch, which I hope to eat both sitting down and with two hands.

1:12pm I do not hear movement from the pack n' play. Upon checking, Olivia's hands are in the "sleep position." I rush her upstairs and lay her in the crib. I return downstairs where my lunch is waiting.

1:13pm Screaming once again. I know she is tired so I make the executive decision to wait this one out. I eat lunch with the soothing sounds of screeching in the background. I pour myself caffeinated soda, and then refill the glass upon its consumption. I begin to have negative thoughts about this day and my husband.

1:17pm Vito, who happened to be sleeping next to the baby monitor, has come downstairs and is now meowing at my feet. He does this whenever the baby cries for extensive periods of time. I'm pretty sure my neighbor will call Children's Services if I let this continue.

1:24pm I finish lunch and go upstairs to get the demon baby formerly known as Olivia.

1:25pm Olivia and I are laying on the bed. I sing her lullabyes in the hopes that she will start to fall asleep enough to be laid back in the crib. Unfortunately my brain is fried and the first song that comes to mind is "This Old Man..." I have difficulty remembering what rhymes with "nine" and almost say "fine" before "spine" comes to me. Thank goodness because "He played knick knack on my fine" is weird. Olivia is rubbing her eyes and yawning. I'm so close to peace, I can feel it!

1:41pm I put Olivia back in her crib. She is wailing but I swear that I will let it go. I turn the volume on the monitor down and set my telephone alarm for 2:30pm [when I need to pump] just in case I doze off.

1:52pm Quiet. God has intervened.

1:55pm I doze off.

2:00pm I awake and check on the baby. Still sleeping. It worked. It really worked. I'm awesome. I should totally have a reality show about how to be an amazing mom.

2:05pm Like shots in West Philadelphia, Olivia's cries ring out. I am strong and stay in bed... or just too tired to move.

2:07pm I curse Frank, who I now think has abandoned us. Expletives run through my mind.

2:12pm Quiet again with some whimpers. Perhaps the tide is turning?

2:14pm The glorious sound of silence. I lay on the bed praying as hard as I can that this will last.

2:17pm I check on Olivia, who is sleeping. This is great, but I am now completely and utterly awake.

2:20pm I admire the purchases from Gymboree bought with a 20% off coupon found in Parents mag before heading downstairs. I tell myself that my over-tired child will surely sleep the afternoon away.

2:41pm I begin pumping according to new fall work schedule. Nothing is on TV so I put on The Rachel Zoe Project. I hate the Saturday afternoon TV line-up.

2:42pm Wailing from upstairs pierces the atmosphere. I pray that it will stop and Liv will go back to sleep so I can finish pumping.

2:47pm No such luck. I stop pumping and go get the baby in case my neighbor really has called DHS. While upstairs, I can swear I hear knocking...

2:53pm We sit down to watch The Rachel Zoe Project... Olivia is propped next to me in her boppy; I no longer care about Liv watching TV (although I am having guilt about it being The Rachel Zoe Project). I begin pumping again and say another silent prayer that I can get through the next 13 minutes tear-free [from either of us].

3:06pm Liv is fussy and hungry, additionally she has slid down a bit and looks a tad uncomfortable. I think that I am completely out of the running for "Mother of the Year." Regardless, I finish pumping, pick up Liv, and go warm the bottle pre-assigned for the hour. I think I see a glimmer in her eye when she sees the bottle -- at the very least, a slight grin.

3:17pm I start feeding Olivia while watching The Rachel Zoe Project. They use fancy, couture language like "bananas" and "gorg" [for gorgeous] and shorten their names to RaZoe and Tay [Taylor]. She talks about being in a recession but does so while eating "one of everything on the menu" for breakfast in her hotel room. She is in a hotel because she has traveled to NYC for Fashion Week. Her husband says they must go shopping without buying -- whatever will she do?! At this point, I have zero hands free to change the channel. I believe this is God getting revenge on me for allowing Olivia to cry for so long.

3:30pm The Notre Dame game that Frank is attending begins. They are playing Nevada. I know this only because I looked it up. In my head I am planning a spa day... minus Olivia... which Frank will be paying for. I then feel guilt for looking forward to a day without my beloved (Olivia, not Frank). I give her a kiss to make myself feel better.

3:53pm The Rachel Zoe Project is almost over... I think I'm dumber for having watched it. Liv has been upright for the requisite 30 minutes and can now lay down. I don't have the energy so I watch the rest of the stupid show, wanting to slit my wrists when the cliff-hanger ending is a question of whether or not she will dress Anne Hathaway in the Armani Prive dress... this is a real TV show?

4:04pm We play Super Liv, which entails me flying Liv through the air while singing the Wonderpets theme song using "Super Liv" instead of "Wonderpets." She loves it. I am secretly dismayed and embarrassed that my child knows the Wonderpets theme song... I blame Frank for watching it with her during the days of 9pm bedtimes. I also blame Frank for my having to deal with this solo. I then feel guilty that I'm blaming Frank and play Super Liv longer to feel better.

4:10pm I put her in the pack n' play/play mat while I put away the pumped milk and the old bottle. She is happily chatting. As in not tired happily chatting.

4:36pm I hear a yawn and immediately take Liv upstairs to change her diaper and try the nap thing again.

4:40pm After changing a poopie diaper, I lay Liv in crib and hope for the best.

4:43 Chatter and babble. Babble and chatter. Will this never end???

4:50pm Quiet... do I dare?

4:51pm Whimpering. Crap.

4:53pm Silence -- all may be right with the world.

5:08pm I go upstairs to check on Liv. With trepidation that only other mothers know, I step in only creak-free places and turn the knob so slowly that no noise is emitted. Stealth. Even the cats are impressed. Well, they would be if they knew what that meant. Either way, SUCCESS! She is asleep for the moment.

5:12pm I contemplate doing the dishes but decide to go online instead.

5:36pm Happy babble fills the upstairs hallway. We may need to go to Starbucks.

5:40pm I am changing into a t-shirt because the cute top that I wore to the mall doesn't match the house/running shorts that I changed into when I came home. The combination of the t-shirt and shorts is not entirely flattering to my figure, so amongst other tactics, I try stretching out the shirt. Olivia thinks this is funny and smiles. As I do this repeatedly in an emphatic manner, I think You won't be laughing when you have to do the same thing one day. This causes guilt so I give Livie tickles and blow raspberries on her in an effort to feel better.

5:50pm We are walking to Starbucks. I am sucking in my tummy so that the shirt doesn't look so bad and dreaming of the Grande Non-Fat No Water Chai with One Pump Mocha.

6:23pm We are home. I'm renewed from the tea. Olivia goes to bed at 7pm. I prepare her bath in the hopes that this will make the time go faster. It works.

6:45pm Bath over. 15 minutes until bedtime!

6:53pm Final feeding. 30 more minutes of being upright and then this wretched day is over!

7:14pm I get a text from Frank: Everything ok? My response: Ok enuf.

7:24pm We call Daddy to sing the Good Night Song over the phone.

7:33pm Asleep. No fuss. Not even any chatter. All is once again right with the world.

7:40pm I am cutting the tags off the Gymboree clothing and patting myself on the back for one of the outfits costing a mere $7.20. Now that's bananas, eh, RaZoe?

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Must Love Dogs

We've noticed recently Olivia's awareness of other babies and animals. It occurred for the first time on "Cast Off" Day when we saw Caroline and Baby Taylor; she just thought Taylor was a riot! We've seen it also with our two cats. Olivia has been smiling at them and following them visually. I even saw her try to "call" Vito when he wasn't looking at her. Recently, on a trip to Mom Mom and Pop Pop's house, we discovered just how deep this love goes. Enjoy!

video
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