Sun Babies

The weather was so wonderfully perfect this past weekend that we pretty much spent the entire time outdoors. It seems to happen so rare, we just had to take advantage of the clear blue sky. Jameson loved it! The kid is already taking after his dad. At the end of the weekend Brian told me I no longer look like “Casper the Mom”. I said, you mean “Casper the Friendly Mom”. No, no, that’s not what he said. Apparently friendly didn’t qualify at that time. Sheesh, thanks Brian.

Can I take a moment? I would like to talk a bit about sunscreen.

Despite the teasing, I would like to note that Jameson was protected all weekend with sunscreen and a hat or shade most of the time. Though I will also mention that the sunscreen we are currently using is not what I would prefer.

Having done some research on sunscreens, Jameson’s baby sunscreen has one of the two listed “bad” ingredients. It has Vitamin A, which recent research has shown may speed the development of cancer when exposed to sunlight (ironic). I believe some sunscreen is better than none, but I do plan on finding him a new sunscreen soon.

Yesterday I purchased Aveeno Baby Natural Protection Mineral Sunblock (a good deal going on, details here) – the stick for his face, not the regular sunscreen. The stick is rated a 1 by the EWG. I also plan on getting the new ThinkBaby sunscreen, also rated a 1.

Saturday, while Jameson and I were at his very first baby sign language class (more on that soon!), Brian went to the farmers market. He surprised me by coming home with wildflowers. One of the many reasons why I love him!

Jameson and I spent some time outside on a blanket later while Brian moved things into the shed now that it has a ramp. One step closer to parking in the garage again. Good thing, because it definitely mid summer now, it hit 90 on Sunday.

We also picked up a new “friend” for Jameson. The neighborhood garage sales were going on and we came home with a bopping penguin for Jameson to bat at for just $3. Jameson is not too sure about Mr. Penguin just yet! (Hmmm… It appears that most of the children in our neighborhood are girls. All the clothes we saw were pink!)

Sunday we went to the zoo, despite the heat. The nice thing about having a pass is not worrying about how much you see while you’re there. This time we visited the aquarium, monkeys, as well as the giraffes and elephants. Jameson enjoyed watching the fish move at the aquarium, but he seemed to enjoy people-watching even more.

Of course, we completely exhausted the little guy and he went to bed around 6:45 on Sunday. He’s definitely been a bit more cranky recently, probably because of the teeth we’re waiting on. It’s been nice to just pop outside and swing with him to calm him down. I hope this beautiful weather lasts, though today it’s not looking so good.

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Better than a Jar: Pesto

You may remember, our first visit to the farmers market resulted in some lettuce a couple herbs. We bought basil, parsley, and cilantro. I’ve since learned that cilantro goes to seed quickly and the best way to have cilantro all season is to plant another after the first one sprouts, over and over. In any case, our cilantro went to seed pretty quick, and the basil… well, the basil pretty much exploded.

We decided to pick it all, because the beetles were starting to eat it faster than we were using it. And what else do you make with a whole lot of basil other than pesto sauce, of course! We started with this general recipe, but Brian always makes some modifications, so here’s what we ended up with (we did it 2-1/2 times since we had so much basil!). All you have to do is use a food processor to mix it all together:

  • 2 cups basil leaves
  • 3/4 cup parmesan (freshly grated is worth every bit of effort, though we didn’t for this set)
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 3 garlic cloves (we used the fresh in the jar kind, liberally since we love garlic)
  • pepper and salt to taste
Here’s our setup with ingredients. Look at that huge bag of basil!
Adding olive oil (side note: the new camera has the awesome swivel screen, which means I can hold the camera above my head and do awesome straight-down shots. Love it)

Mmm… that’s a lot of garlic!

Pulverizing it!

Of course, you have to taste test it.

Perfect pesto! The whole process took maybe 15 minutes.

This made a lot of pesto. We used some fresh, and froze 3 bags of the rest. I suppose that means we have to share with family…

Pesto with penne and grilled chicken.

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Crossing off the to-do list

Last weekend was so nice out, Brian finally got to cross off something from his to-do list! (His personal one that is, not the one that I have for him… just kidding! sort of). Anyway, he’s been waiting since the shed was done last winter to put a ramp on it.

I don’t think I ever talked too much about the shed, but it was pretty much a long drawn out ordeal in which I demanded he finish before baby and it pretty much was impossible. It was finished about a month after the baby was born (with the help of some good friends!), in the snow.

The story quickly, in pictures:

So last weekend, he built a ramp that could hold a car. If a car was that narrow.

When the shed was built, he left an unfinished piece at the base of the door to hook the ramp up to.

All framed up! Note the side boards are in the ground. When all was done, about a foot of the side boards were in the ground for stability.

Oops. Need to get more wood!

And finishing touches.

Brian is really proud of how tightly the ramp came together with the shed.

All done! About 6-7 hours of work over the weekend. What this means for me is that stuff can finally go into the shed and stay there, like the tractor mower, and the old couches which we are still trying to find a place to take will go into the other garage annnnd I get to park in the garage again!

This weekend, we plan to plant a few more flowers, in hanging baskets around the porch. Also, we need to replace the rail basket. Oops. (Did you see how I captured live plants in the distance in this picture? that is so you don’t think I am a complete failure)

What are your weekend plans?

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First Fourth

Jameson had his first Fourth of July this past weekend! It’s hard to get back to real life after a four day weekend, so I thought I’d try to extend the feeling a bit longer and share our weekend fun.

First, Jameson had to get dressed up in two holiday outfits. Luckily, there were four days in which to subject him to some photo shoots. I bought a little flag for him to wave, but he only wanted to eat it and poke his eye with it, so that didn’t happen (Brian took it away from me, sigh..).

On Saturday we spent the early morning at the farmers market. We picked up some amazing blueberries and black raspberries, along with our traditional salad lettuce mix. I couldn’t believe the black raspberries, they were across a couple stalls, so they must have been the fruit in season and perfectly ripe.

At the farmers market we also picked up part of Saturday night’s dinner, Ohio City Pasta. This is fresh pasta, never frozen. Here’s what it looks like before cooking:

We had red pepper, lemon basil, and garlic onion flavors. They stay good for about 10 days, so after having garlic onion on Saturday, I am looking forward to the rest of the week filled with tasty pasta goodness. (And these pastas, they only need butter or olive oil. They have amazing flavor all by themselves).

That night Brian and I watched the fireworks from our front porch. So fun to be able to see them, albeit far away, since we had Jameson and can’t go out late like we used to. And how amazing to sit there on a warm night together to do that.

Sunday we stopped by Brian’s parents for a cookout and brought over Jameson’s exersaucer.

Brian’s mother has filled a room full of Jameson items: crib, changing table, toys, burp clothes… everything he needs. It was so much more convenient to come over, and Jameson even took a nap in the crib.

We added those black raspberries from the farmers market to a fruit salad which we brought over to the neighbors’ on Monday for another cookout. Jameson enjoyed his friend Lily‘s pool and her toys. One toy in the mouth apparently means two more toys just arms length away. He took a little dunk and cried for a bit, but it was okay again after a little while.

Little champ loves to be held and swung by his arms. Immediately after sitting up by himself, he’s now decided that standing up is even more fun. Always looking to do things that he can’t quite do himself yet.

Hello handsome! Say goodbye now (oh well, he doesn’t do the wave thing yet, so we’ll just have to settle for a smile) Hey, look at that smile! A smile, in the grass!? Hurrah!

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Jameson takes an Ice Bath

Just last week, a co-worker was telling me a story about a kid who stripped and dove right into an ice cooler, full of melting ice, and apparently enjoyed himself swimming in the “pool”.

Ironic, considering Brian did that to Jameson just Saturday. No, really.

We did this weekend casually at home, running a few errands and going to the farmers market. Brian mowed the lawn (another of the many reasons he’s such a great husband and father) and did some other yard work. Around mid afternoon on Saturday, after Jameson got up from his many naps (kid was a short sleeper this weekend), we decided to try out the baby pool that Jameson got Brian for his birthday.

That screaming face there looks like the permanently scarred for life from water kind of face doesn’t it? That’s because the water was ice cold, I-C-E cold. It could only have been colder if there had been actual ice in it. Brian filled it up from the hose… apparently we both neglected to check the temperature.

Add insult to injury, as I am telling Brian about how I recalled occasions where my mother had provided some warmer water from inside (I may have made that up, as I don’t really have any distinct memories of this), anyway Brian tells me that his mother made him swim in ice. Which I promptly shared with her. Liar liar, pants on fire.

I saved the day though and added some hot water to the mix, making it sort of luke warm. Then we got more curious than grumpy faces (though no big grins, and some rather startled looks while splashing; apparently he didn’t trust the water quite yet).


He also enjoyed chewing on some of the pool toys that came with it. It has these little blow up mushrooms that stick in the base or float free, and some stick on blow up butterflies.

Adorable! A duck somehow snuck in there too.

We loved the baby pool, even if Jameson didn’t just yet. We’ll have to give it another shot, just like grass face. Which, by the way, we managed to get a non crying grass face this weekend. Will be sharing that soon.

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Digging Holes

On my last day before starting the new job about two weeks ago, I had the day entirely to myself without Jameson or Brian. So I decided to plant bulbs.

See, we are internet deal shoppers, and Brian found a deal for a box of random bulbs for cheap. It took like 6 weeks to get to us, by which time we had forgotten we had even purchased them. They arrived and they said “plant as soon as possible”. So that is how I spent my day off, and by the end of the day I had a sunburn. It took a lot longer than I thought.

Before I start, I should mention that I am not plant savvy at all. But apparently I am not bad at it, when I am paying attention (for example, I had a spider plant which I almost killed, but now it’s thriving. As soon as I started paying attention to it and re-potted it [which was scary], it exploded with little mini spider strands).

Okay okay, there are photos in this post, stick with me. Here’s a teaser.

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I go to the farmers market for the lettuce. I do, seriously. Someone from some small little internet news business took a photo of Brian. When she asked why he came there, he said for the “fresh produce”. Laughing, I corrected him with what I firmly believe to be the reason we go. The Lettuce, with a capital L. There is nothing like farm- or garden- grown lettuce. It is soft and crisp at the same time. Light, but still filling. Excellent with just a little oil and vinegar or lemon juice.

Lucky for me, it was also the only thing really there this early in the season. Maybe I was just dreaming, hoping for something a little more… but really it was just lettuce and some starter plants. We did go ahead and get some herbs which we’ll plant in pots (since we have no garden this year)

So no fresh produce for Jameson just yet. We did go to the grocery store then and buy him some more Gerbers Nature Select foods. We bought more of his favorite carrots, some peas, bananas and prunes. I am sure there are a lot of theories out there as to the order things should be done, but I figure after cereal, its a free for all (except meat, and food with more than one ingredient, or food that is too thick… I am not that crazy), just space some things out a few days and make sure there is no bad reaction. So he’s getting a mix of fruit and vegetables, we didn’t start with vegetables cause they taste bad or anything. I myself like vegetables better than fruit, actually. Not that that has anything to do with his likes and dislikes.

For the first time the other night, Jameson finally opened his mouth properly for the spoon. I think he likes the carrots. We had them for a couple nights, but when we switched to peas, spoon eating became a struggle once again. But then on Sunday night he decided he liked peas. So we will keep at it!

P.S. We are famous now, because my quotation was in the little article along with Brian’s photo. She seemed to take it literally though when I edited Brian’s comment, because Brian is quoted as saying that we come for the lettuce. haha.

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Grass Face

For a while now I’ve been telling everyone that I can’t wait for Jameson to sit on his own so I can plop him in the grass and take lots of photos. I’ve been dying to take cute grass photos.

Well, we finally did put him in the grass even though he can’t sit on his own. The neighbors stopped by on Sunday and we had a classy impromptu photo shoot.

However, Jameson did not have the grinning, excited face I was hoping for… in fact, I think he was a little concerned about the grass… most of our pictures turned out with a concentrating face, concerned face, or crying. I deleted those last ones, haha.

Oh well. We’ll try again soon.

By the way, his onesie says “Peapod v 1.0 just out of beta”. We are nerds, after all. My friend Emma had it custom made for us when Jameson was born, and he finally fits in it. So cute!

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Brian is Mowing the Grass Today

So that saying, April showers bring May flowers… I think it goes something like this for north east Ohio:

April is cold and has some snow, while May is wet and slightly less cold.

Yep, no rhyming there. Cassie, I know you read this, come up with something clever woudja?

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A 4 Month Recap

This past week, I realized that I haven’t taken as many photos of Jameson this month as in previous months. It must be because of going back to work, but it made me a little sad because Jameson is so much more active and aware now. I weighed him and he is about 12-1/2 pounds right now. One of the biggest changes this month since he started daycare is his “tummy time”. He will now stay on his tummy for minutes at a time, and his head is way up, about 90 degrees (though not consistently the entire time he’s on his belly). Some of his recent photos demonstrate this, but I love this one from his 4 month photo shoot this weekend.

The second biggest change this past month is the development of his napping schedule. I think I’ve talked about this a couple times already, but okay, it’s still not really a schedule, but at daycare he will sleep 2-3 hours at a time, and at home on the weekends he’ll nap for 30-45 minutes at a time. That may not seem like a big change at home, but he is napping in his crib!

Jameson’s bedtime is also gradually getting earlier. We’re working our way to an 8 o’clock bedtime. A couple weeks before starting back to work, we started him at a real bedtime and routine at 10. Since then we dropped to 9 after daylight savings, and now on most nights it’s 8:30. I’ve been avoiding an earlier bedtime, fearing that he’ll wake up twice at night, but the past two nights he has slept through the entire night (not just the 5-6 hours that doctors consider “through the night”, but a full 8-9 hours) Hopefully the trend continues and it wasn’t just because it was the weekend and he didn’t have as many naps during the day!

His photos on Saturday made him look so big! I put him in shoes, and a white button up onesie which my mom ironed for me last weekend when they were here. It was his “alternative” baptism outfit. He sat there with his little knee upright without my posing. And what a smile, right at me and the camera! He was sitting still enough there’s no blurriness.

Compared with his previous month photos below. I think I’ll have to do a little collage at the end for his 1st birthday party or something.

Can I just point out too, how my photo taking and editing is getting so much better? Look at how yellow the earlier photos are. I’m going to have to go back and re-edit some of those good ones!

In other news, Brian and I left his with Brian’s mom last Monday night while we went to the PACE Awards! Brian’s company didn’t win a trophy, but they did get a plaque, which is wonderful considering they go through thousands of applicants. There were a lot of engineers there, and we saw some great new innovations coming to the auto industry! A couple of my favorites (ie., I could understand what the innovation actually was) were the inflatable seat belt, which is effectively an airbag for the rear seat passenger, coming out on a Ford model. And also the high beam headlights which you don’t need to turn off because they automatically adjust the angles to avoid direct lighting in oncoming traffic, coming in a Mercedes model.

It was fun to get dressed up, and we met with Brian’s client and his wife, some other co-workers who I have met before, and his CEO and his wife. It was wonderful to be able to talk about Jameson (actually having something to talk about).

Jameson did great, and Becky successfully put him to bed without us for the first time. When we left he was giving his grandma all kinds of giggles so I knew he would be fine. He woke up when we got home for a feeding, and slept the rest of the night. The latter half of last week was a little rough on me though for lack of sleep since we got home so late. It was nice to sleep in on Saturday while Brian took Jameson, and I let Brian sleep in on Sunday. This is usually how our weekends go these days, taking turns.

This weekend, Brian has off on Good Friday and will be brewing beer (he says this batch will be a citrus-y IPA); on Saturday we are hopefully going to visit Jameson’s great grandma and more extended family who he hasn’t met yet; and Sunday will be a relaxing day after church for Easter. I am getting two pansy baskets in memory of Brian’s grandpa and my grandma. If it’s nice, I have been thinking about planting lettuce in either a basket over the railing of the porch or in a pot if their roots need more space. I got the idea from a recent Better Homes & Gardens issue. (like this but a little different).

Also, hopefully this week we will finally get to meet little Nicholas; our friends had their baby over a month ago now and due to a series of unfortunate illnesses (us and then them!) we haven’t been able to get together. Hopefully tonight will be the night!

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