Tag Archives: 5 months

the focus on food.

one of my favorite parts of stay-at-home mommyhood is being able to put a lot of focus on what i feed my family. i have the luxury of time. time to be able to make a small daily trip to the grocery store. time to make things like bread and biscuits from scratch. time to meal plan. time to cook. time to make all of sylvie’s food from scratch. it has been a great source of pleasure for me since sweet baboo started solids.

we have recently shifted things around in our budget to allow more funds to buy the best quality food we can. i am happy and proud to say we eat mostly local and organic on our very tight income. food is our top priority as a family. travis and i are of the mindset that we would rather spend our money on food (or good wine and beer) more than anything else. i love clothes and fashion as much as the next person, but if i have $50 in my pocket you won’t see me buying pants. you’ll see me buying locally raised, hormone-free, grass-fed beef to make the world’s most awesome pot roast. the reason for splurging on these items is simple: IT JUST TASTES BETTER.

so here i am, a foodie mama trying to raise a foodie spawn. so far she’s a great eater. of all the foods and flavors she’s tried the only thing that didn’t sit well with her was smoked spanish paprika. i pray to juan mari arzak that she’ll learn to love it one day. her list of likes includes sweet potato, asian pear, garlic, sweet curry, cinnamon, vanilla, peas, green beans, carrots, potatoes, turnips, leeks, celeriac, herbes de provence, and schmaltz (that’s rendered chicken fat to all you gentiles out there). i’m proud of this list, but i know better than to get cocky. i know that most babies will eat like goats, but that most toddlers will pick like birds. right now my best plan to combat this picky toddler phenomenon is EXPOSURE. i plan to use this golden time of eat-anythingness to expose sylvie to as many flavors and foods as possible.

tonight travis and i had one of our very favorite meals–roast chicken, roasted potatoes and carrots with butter and herbes de provence, and garlicky sauteed green beans. sylvie ate all of the aforementioned vegetables pureed with schmaltz and warm water. she loved it. i loved watching her love it.

while i cooked, sylvie teethed on a cold green bean and hung out in bed with her daddy.

i love letting her explore food in this way. we’re not doing baby-led weaning per se, but i do let her gum on some whole foods as well as practice spoon feeding herself. we seem to have found our happy medium, and meal times with sylvie at the table are a complete joy. i am so thankful to have this time with my young daughter as i watch her learn and explore her food and her world.


sylvie has been teething for quite some time now. however, we’re still waiting for her first tooth to show itself. in the meantime, we’re handling it with the help of various teethers, hyland’s teething gel, and the occasional bedtime dose of infant tylenol.

our current arsenal:

1. razbaby raz-berry teether
2. bpa free, water filled plastic teether (i don’t remember the brand of this one)
3. baby banana bendable training toothbrush
4. the ever popular sophie the giraffe
5. hand carved wooden teether (a gift from my dear friend, emily)
6. infantino vibrating grape teether

today we added a new item to our lineup–homemade teething biscuits.

the stegosauruses (i totally had to look up the plural of that word) are sweet curry and the manatees are cinnamon vanilla flavored. they were so incredibly easy to make.


1/2 cup organic whole wheat flour
1/2 organic brown rice cereal
1 and 1/2 tablespoons canola oil
a dash of whatever flavoring (if any) you wish to use
ice water

1. preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
2 in a medium bowl mix together flour, rice cereal, and flavoring.
3. slowly stir in the canola oil.
4. add the ice water 1 tablespoon at a time until the dough forms into a ball (it took about 6-7 tablespoons for me).
5. dust your work surface with flour and knead the dough a few times to toughen it up.
6. flour your rolling pin and roll out the dough until it’s 1/2 inch thick.
7. cut into shapes and place on an ungreased cookie sheet.
8. bake for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned.

this recipe makes approximately 6 biscuits. leave them out overnight to harden. they will keep in an airtight container for 2 weeks. i just made them tonight, so we’ll have to wait until tomorrow to test one. i tasted the dough and it wasn’t too bad. i’m also going to try freezing half of a banana for her to gum on. i hope these teeth start to break through soon! on the other hand, i’m going to miss her gummy smile. watching her grow is so bittersweet sometimes.


today is cold. the kind of cold that makes one want to hibernate. we’re talking negative lows and single-digit highs. i had planned to venture out to the store this afternoon to collect some ingredients for dinner. the frigid winter air quickly dashed those plans. we had very little food in our cupboard, but i managed to come up with something pretty delicious. i called it cheater’s chili.

i started with a jar of newman’s own marinara, 2 cans of black beans (rinsed well), some white quinoa, and a cabinet full of freshly organized spices.

i simmered the sauce and beans together for a few minutes while the quinoa cooked on a neighboring burner. to turn italian marinara into a chili base, i threw in a dash of anything usually at home in a chili. this included ancho chili powder, mexican oregano, cumin, dried cilantro, pre-made fajita seasoning, hot sauce, red wine vinegar (to cut the sweetness of the sauce), and a small pinch of cinnamon. the results were surprisingly delicious, especially topped with sour cream. i think this last ditch effort to avoid the cold air may just become a warming winter staple.

sylvie had a leftover puree of pot roast vegetables (carrots, turnips, and potatoes.) this combination is her clear favorite so far. curried peas are a close second.

as you can see, my sweet girl eats her meals in the buff. i’m a big fan of letting her get messy during meals, but was not digging the sudden increase in laundry. this way she gets to explore her food and build the coordination skills to feed herself, and we simply plop her in a bath afterward. messy meals make for the cutest pictures.


GUESS WHAT? my sweet baby girl said MAMA today! she started making M sounds for the first time this afternoon. after a few minutes of that, travis looked her and said MAMA. she said it back, clear as day, TWICE. amazing. my heart is completely full right now.

thank you, sylvie, for making my day LIFE.

what we’ve been up to.

sylvie had a pediatrician appointment this morning. she wore her favorite panda hat for the occasion.

(thanks aunt marsha!) we found out she weighs 14 pounds 11 ounces (that’s almost a pound and a half gained since christmas eve!) and it still holding tight at 25 inches long. developmentally she is doing fantastic. she can bear weight on her legs, sit unsupported for minutes at a time, and has become a pro at mimicking us. the only area in which she is falling behind is tummy time. ever since she learned how to roll from front to back she has avoided tummy time with all of her might. i think we may have figured out a solution.

this is either parenting at its worst or its finest. whatever. she did tummy time for a full 10 minutes without whining or trying to roll over. it’s a new record! i don’t blame her for her aversion to tummy time. why would she want to lay down when she can STAND?

this is blowing my mind right about now! she can STAND with very little support. when in the heck-fire did this happen?!

also, i have a confession to make. with all of the traveling we’ve done lately, we have gotten a little lax with cloth diapering. however, i am happy to report that we’ve started it again! this afternoon’s diaper even matches her outfit.

cloth diapers are great for the environment, friendlier to the tush, and blah blah blah. whatever. they’re stinkin’ CUTE. end of story.

you know what else is stinkin’ CUTE? sylvie does this thing where she puts one finger in her mouth and then looks at me or travis all sweet and dimply.

yeah. it slays me, too.

she is getting funnier and more fun every single day. this month is shaping up to be the best one yet!


do you love me?

sylvie sits!

sylvie can sit up unassisted for short spurts of time. just before i took the following video, she sat on our bed for almost a full minute!

this amazes me because just the day before she couldn’t sit up for longer than a second or two at a time. it’s incredible how fast she learns and adapts. we started spoon feeding her brown rice cereal just a few days ago, and she’s already so much better at it. i must say, a face full of rice cereal makes for some awfully cute pictures.

i can’t believe my little bean will be 5 months old tomorrow, but more on that in my next post!

here’s a picture of day two of the red lips challenge. i wore them to go to goodwill, target, and barnes and noble. then i cooked some dinner.

this is a small town and my bright lips got me quite a few strange looks. oh well. i love them and that’s all that matters! i hope everyone has a lovely weekend!