Sunday, December 27, 2009

Day 225

Today we celebrated with the Skidmore family. We all had my Mema's lasagna, which was delicious, and played Dirty Santa. This year everyone had to bring a gift they already owned and whoever had the best present got a pot of money we all contributed to. Nicholas devastated the competition because his gift was he would prepare a meal for the person and five of their friends. Needless to say, he won the pot. :)

Day 224

Yesterday, we celebrated Christmas with the Allen family. Griffin benefited from being the only baby around and was basically held, played with, and cuddled all day.













Christmas Dinner

Nicholas has officially taken it to a whole new level. The wild duck he prepared was one of the best things I've ever eaten. The entire menu was so rustic and delicious. I can't wait to see what he thinks up next year.

Update (from Nicholas): Here was the menu:

Seared Wild Duck Breast - I brined and seared them according to this recipe (with about an extra 30-45 seconds a side) and served them with a fresh orange juice and Grand Marnier reduction - the sauce was totally unnecessary.
Potato and Apple Gratin (used half Emmental and half Gruyere, skipped the Parmesan, I think they are better baked in a wide, short cast-iron casserole (like this) rather than a tall souffle-type casserole)
White & Wild Rice with Toasted Pine Nuts
Balsamic Glazed Carrots (used this recipe as a guide)
Slow Cooker Turnip Greens


Friday, December 25, 2009

...with a compass and a stock and a thing that tells time...

Turns out, after all the presents were over, I had one more trick up my sleeve.

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Don't worry he didn't shoot his eye out...yet. I even got in on the fun.

















I think I made a little boy's dream come true :)

Christmas Morning

Of course, the one day I want my child to wake up he sleeps in for TWO hours and wakes up at nine o'clock. By that time, everyone had gathered in anticipation and Nicholas and I had exchanged all our presents (or so he thought!). Nicholas got a Roku box and some other little stuff. I got the Lady Gaga CD I'd been begging for, some new PJs (Oprah-approved of course) and a new coupon organizer that my Mema described as the Cadillac of coupon organizers. We also had a yummy breakfast of my Mema's world famous cinnamon rolls.

Finally, little man woke up. He seemed most excited about all the people here to greet him.
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Griffin got a wide assortment of toys including a Jumping John, a little keyboard, a shape ball, a Leap Frog walker, a rocking horse, a bouncy ball toy, and a cute little lion. We're not sure he knew what to think about all of it.

















Although he thought the bouncy ball toy was hysterical! Thanks Stephen and William!


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Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve

Today we went out to La Center and had Christmas Eve lunch with Griffin's great-grandmother. Nanny made my favorite - salmon patties and Griffin had more fun playing with the tissue paper then his actual presents. I'm sure that won't be the first time.


































For dinner, we started a new Christmas tradition and had fondue at Mimi and Papa Ron's. It was delicious!

















We also got to open our presents from Mimi and Papa Ron. Griffin got lots of great toys and books. I got an awesome graphic representation of a picture of me, Nicholas, and the baby, a gift certificate to a local knitting store, and a bunch of other great things. Nicholas, however, got the best gift...needless to say, his constant coveting of Griffin's onesies had not gone unnoticed.

Day 221

Griffin got to meet my two dear friends from college - Mike Baker and Smith Crafton. They got along smashingly.

Day 220

All Griffin wants for Christmas is his two front teeth, which is why we think he keeps sucking on his top lip.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Small Spaces, Smart Design: The Puj Tub

My dear friend Sarah Pahnke Reisert will be guest blogging today! Below is her review of the awesome Puj Tub, which I LOVED. They offered me a free tub to review it but since Griffin had already outgrown it I passed the offer on to her!


I learned of the Puj Tub when my friend Sarah (creator of this blog) sent me an e-mail championing her love of the first generation Puj Tub, which she used for her now seven-month-old son, and encouraging me to apply to be a product tester (as an official product tester, the company supplied a free tub but did not pay me for writing this review). This message from Sarah could not have arrived at a better time – my newborn son was ready to graduate from a sponge bath to a tub bath, and I needed to purchase a vessel for washing him.

In particular, I was intrigued by the Puj Tub’s compact design. As a city dweller who lives in a 1000-square-foot condo with a tiny bathroom, I was sold on the idea of an infant tub that promised to take up little storage space by hanging and storing flat (we did not need any more baby gear taking up precious floor or storage space!). As advertised, the Puj Tub has a very small footprint and narrow profile – it inconspicuously hangs on the inside of my shower curtain and does not have to me moved when I shower. I love that it does not add to baby clutter. I would recommend the product for this reason alone.Even better, the small scale of the tub securely and comfortably cradled my 2-month-old son during our “test” baths. The tub’s ergonomic design and soft foam ensured that my son’s head was supported, and it prevented him from slipping and sliding below the water level. This is great for a first-time parent because one can more easily (and swiftly) bathe her child without having to rely on a second pair of hands or constantly reposition the baby to prevent his head or body from being accidentally submerged. My son was content for the entire duration of his Puj Tub bath, which was not the case when he received sponge baths while lying on a towel in the kitchen. I’m certain this was because he felt cozy and safe within the cushy and close walls of the puj, making this tub a perfect fit for newborns (too bad I didn’t have this tub when we brought the baby home from the hospital).

The third feature I appreciate about the Puj Tub is that the product’s materials are non-toxic, free of BPA and PVC, and easy to clean. I don’t have to worry that the bathtub will introduce pollutants, harmful chemicals, or mold and mildew to my home and baby.

While I would recommend the Puj Tub, there are a few things that would make the tub even better. First, the tub’s design does not allow one to add enough water to cover the baby’s torso, so I had to keep my son warm by pouring warm water over a washcloth covering his belly to maintain a comfortable temperature. Second, while I love the tub’s compact size, this space-saving feature does limit the tub’s use to smaller babies. The tub claims to fit babies up to six months old; however, my two-month-old son, who measures 24 inches in length, did not have much growing room, so I worry that the puj won’t accommodate life after three months. Third, the tub could feature a flat temperature strip so a parent can gauge weather the water that fills the bottom of the tub is too hot or cold.

Overall, I would give the innovative Puj Tub two thumbs up. Check out the Puj Tub for yourself at the new web site exclusively for baby bathtubs!






















By Sarah Reisert
Guest Blogger and Mother of Two-Month-Old Gavin

Monday, December 21, 2009

Merry Christmas to me!!!

I asked Santa for a new closet. My previous closet was worthless. Clearly the previous owners did it themselves. The majority of the space was taken up by these terrible wide shelves that ended about four feet from the ceiling. Worthless. But now my closet is fantastic and spacious and well-organized.

Day 219

Quack!


For Christmas dinner, Nicholas has decided to make duck. We're bored with turkey and want to try something a little more exciting. One of my mom's best friend is a big hunter and volunteered some of his fresh kill. My mom then decided to tell him we would dress the ducks ourselves, because "it could be fun!" It was something. That's for sure.







Day 218

Thursday, December 17, 2009

HELP!

Go vote for my wreath everyone! It's the finals and I'm losing!

dollarstorecrafts.com/2009/12/vote-wreath-winner/

It's wreath #10!

Voting ends at midnight tonight (PST)!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A Day in the Life of a (now) 7-month-old

Here is an average day in the life of Griffin Stewart Holland:

At around 7 to 7:30 am, I wake up. I usually babble a little bit at first, until I get my Daddy's attention. He comes in and picks me up.













Some days I wake up happy....some days not so much.



















As soon as Daddy changes my diaper, Mommy feeds me breakfast.















Then, I usually play in my play pen for while. I can sit up now so I grab and reach for all my toys. I'm particularly fond of my rattle or anything that makes sound. Some times I fall over or spend time playing on my tummy.



















After I play for an hour or so, I eat my breakfast, which is usually yogurt and bananas. Then, Mommy puts me back in my sleep sack and closes the blinds in my room so I know it's nap time right around 9. She reads me a quick story and puts me in bed to fall asleep on my own. I like to sleep on my side and I usually only wake up if my pacifier falls out before I'm good and asleep. Today I slept for 3 hours because I've been a little sick.




















When I get up, it's time to get dressed for the day. I love, love, love being naked and usually cry when Mommy starts putting my clothes back on.















Dang, I'm good looking!



















After I get dressed, my Mommy usually feeds me again and then I play in my Exersaucer for a while.














I eat lunch and then go down for my afternoon nap around 1 or 2 after another story.




















Today, Mommy had to run some errands so Papa Ron came over to babysit me for awhile.






















When Mommy got back, I was more than ready for dinner. Today I tried tofu for the first time!

































After dinner, I play for just a little while and it's time for my bedtime routine around 6:30 or 7. First, I get a bath, which I absolutely love. Mommy says I'd stay in there forever if I could.
















Then Daddy gives me a quick massage and reads me a story. Then off to bed so we can start again tomorrow!