Adventures of a tiny Squirrel and her friends...

This is our life.

Monday, 23 January 2012

a baby of many hats

We are blessed to have so many generous and creative people in our lives who gift such lovely presents to our girl. Autumn has accumulated quite an impressive collection of hats...Some handmade, others store-bought but no less special. I have been super obsessed with crocheting little toques for my squirrel since before she was born so she has a few from her mama and she has two very talented grandmothers and a great-aunt who have put needle to yarn for her as well. Lucky little squish.
Here are a few little pictures of Autumn modeling her hats:

Several mamas and crafty pals have inquired about learning how to crochet for their babes (and themselves too!)...This is a really good place to start: How to Crochet

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Happy Birthday Papa

Today is my grandfather's 82nd birthday. I really can't think of a better role model or person. He is good to the core and I love him to bits.

Happy Birthday, Papa.

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Spanikopita Frittata

So I have to post this recipe because it is simply amazing. Our pals Liz and Luke sent us home on New Years Day with about 5lbs of feta cheese so Teddy and I have been doing our best to incorporate feta into as many meals as possible. Want not, waste not...Or however the saying goes. 
Anyway, I was browsing through my Quinoa 365 cookbook and I came across this recipe. The recipe calls for 1 1/2 cups of feta and 1 1/2 cups of cottage cheese. Clearly, I was instantly sold. Anyway, Autumn had a nibble or two last night and she seemed to enjoy it as well. Nutritious deliciousness for the whole family!!!

Spanikopita Frittata (From Quinoa 365 by Patricia Grenn and Carolyn Hemming)

1tbsp olive oil
1 cup finely chopped onion (white or green--i used leek)
1 10oz pkg frozen spinach thawed and drained
4 lg eggs
1/2 cup quinoa flour (though i'm sure any old flour would do)
1 1/2 cups cottage cheese
1 1/2 cups crumbled feta
2tbsp chopped dill
1tsp minced garlic
1/4tsp salt
1/4tsp pepper

Preheat your oven to 350 and prepare a 9inch round baking dish (a pie plate) with oil or cooking spray.
Heat olive oil in large sauce pan and saute onion until tender.
Add spinach and cook off excess water. (4-5 minutes)
Whisk eggs and flour together until smooth then add the spinach/onion mixture, cheeses, salt and pepper, dill and garlic...Mix it up and pour it into the pie plate. bake in the center of the oven until the middle of the pie is firm. YUM!

Seriously good eats, people.

In other news, Squish has her first commercial audition today. Wish her luck!! She has been trying to ward off a pretty ugly cold bug for the last few days and I'm hoping she will be in good spirits for her big debut. A few other moms recommended Coryzalia for treating cold symptoms so we gave it a whirl yesterday and Squish seemed to sleep much better last night. I don't feel good about giving infant Tylenol or Advil if I can avoid it, so this homeopathic remedy was pretty attractive to me. Fingers crossed that we've got this bug nipped in the bud. Adios snotty nose!

Friday, 6 January 2012

For all my mama-pals to be!

I did a little delving to find out what other 2011 mamas found to be the most useful/best baby items out there since so many important women in my life are having babies in 2012. I wish that I had done better research when I was preggo because the online baby registry tool that I used was utterly useless. Anyhoo, if you're expecting a little one, here are some must-have baby items:

Bouncy chair (the one we have bounces and plays music--Autumn loved it and I did too! I would have gone three months without a shower without it. haha! My in-laws even have one for us at their place. So good.)

Bumbo Chair and Tray (We have one and I actually didn't like it. Autumn spit up whenever she was in it as an infant as it put too much pressure on her little tum tum. I had a TON of mamas say that it was the BEST seat for little ones though so it clearly was just us. Autumn is totally comfortable in the Bumbo now at 10 months but it would have been more useful for us before she could sit up on her own.)

Breast Pump (I use an Avent manual pump but the Medela Swing got the best reviews for electric if you will need to pump quite often)

Baby bottles and Sanitizing kit (I have a pal who uses an Avent microwave bottle sanitizer and she swears by it for its ease of use--it's worth googling at the very least. Bottles are tricky cause your preference will totally depend on your baby. It could be an idea to register for a bottle sampler kit and see what your baby likes best.)

Exersaucer (You will be so thankful that you have one of these, trust me!)

Swing (We never had a swing for Autumn at our house as the bouncy chair was enough for us but if we had a bigger home, I would have loved to have both. My parents have a swing for Autumn at their place and she really enjoyed it when she was tiny. Worth it if you have the space, for sure.)

Nursing pillow (If you plan to nurse your baby, the brest friend nursing pillow is tops!! I WISH that I was smarter when Autumn was itty bitty and had bitten the bullet and forked out the dough for one of these puppies. She was so light in the beginning that I thought I could do without a pillow. Now she's 25lbs and still loves the boob. Really wishing I had a nursing pillow about now. haha!)

Baby Carrier (Most of my mom pals and myself use an Ergo baby carrier but my advice to you is to go try on as many carriers as you can and have Dad try them on too. You want one that is going to be comfy for both of you and easy to put on. A few other mamas I know use the Baby Beco Carrier--It's also a hit.)

Swaddle-me blankies with velcro (These will come in very handy when your tot starts flailing him or herself out of a swaddle and waking him or herself up.)

Video Monitor (We were SOOOOO lucky and received a used vid. monitor from our friend Tanis as a gift. They're pricey but totally worth it. Have a look-see on craigslist or pop one on your registry and hope for the best.)

Diaper Genie (For folks who plan to use disposable diapers, this is a must-have.)

Jolly Jumper (This item makes for tired babies. Sleeping babies make for happy mamas.) Click here for more information.

Food for your freezer (You should spend the first weeks of your baby's life getting to know your new family member and recovering from the birth. We found it extremely helpful that our friends Will and Jill stocked our freezer full of little meals for us and we literally didn't have to cook dinner for two weeks. This was an amazing gift!)

A Bazillion soft little facecloths & Spit-Up blankies (Newborns barf alot. It's a fact.)

White Noise Machine (We have the LeapFrog My Pal Scout dog and Autumn has slept with it in her crib since day one. We take it everywhere--It really helps her to sleep.)

**Thanks mama pals & the facebook Sugar Mamas for helping out with this little list.

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

A fabulous posse of mama bloggers:

Two of my favourite mamas and their adventures in parenthood:

Beautiful Taryn and her beautiful panda family: Panda Family

Lovely Karina and her amazing little boy (find awesome cookie recipes here!!): Momasaurusrex

Monday, 2 January 2012

Welcome 2012

I hope you all had an amazing New Year's Eve and that your 2012 is off to a pleasant start. Our first New Year's Eve as a little family was different than NYE's past but really fun, no less. We spent the evening and countdown with a couple of other little families, ate lovely, yummy treats and had a little sleepover party.

Teddy preparing a special little NYE treat to share with our friends.


We got the idea here:

Aren't they cute???!!!

We spent the first  morning of 2012 feasting on delicious waffles and bacon and guzzling coffee. I've learned the hard way that parents really pay for late nights when babies want to party at 7am or earlier the next day. Autumn snuggled with us in bed from about 5am onwards and woke her daddy up by smacking him repeatedly across the face around 7am...Fun! I managed to convince her that it was a good idea to nurse and nap for another hour or so but there was no stopping her after that...Hence the guzzling of the coffee. We actually really love her morning antics. She's so much fun and has so much energy. One of my new year's resolutions is to take a little lesson from her about  morning pma. haha!

In honour of our New Year's Day brekkie, I thought I would dedicate this entry to waffles. I have been trying to gain 10-15lbs for the last 6 months or so. Breastfeeding has taken a bit of a toll on my body and it's been really difficult to regulate my weight. I'm naturally a thin woman but am feeling and looking pretty undernourished these days so I've been trying to find healthy ways to add calories to my diet and have found full fat dairy to be my best pal--particiularly cottage cheese. It's pretty hard sometimes as a mom of a busy little baby girl, to find time to prepare a nutrient and calorie rich snack or meal so having a fridge and freezer stocked with quick and easy items is super helpful. Waffles are great for this--They are freezable and easy to pop in the toaster for a quick and nutritious little bite when you need it. My new favourite waffle recipe is SO NUTRITIOUS and packed with healthy calories for us breastfeeding mamas who need the extra fat. You can make them with low-fat cottage cheese if you don't want the calories--it won't hurt the delicious factor :-)

The original recipe is from Mollie Katzen's Moosewood Cookbook but I have made a few little alterations here and there to accommodate my need for fat and extra nutrients. Here we go!

Cottage Cheese Apple Pancakes/Waffles

4 eggs separated (I use the yolks and sometimes need a little extra flour to get the right consistency but you could leave the yolks out if you want to lighten the recipe)
1 cup high fat cottage cheese (low fat is ok too)
1 cup grated apple (squashed up banana works even better!)
3/4 cup flour (quinoa flour is a good alternative for added nutrients or if you're looking to cook gluten-free)
1-2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
2-3 Tbsp crushed walnuts or almonds for added crunch
1 tsp vanilla extract
butter for frying if you're using a pan or skillet

1. Beat egg whites until stiff
2. Mix together all other ingredients (except butter)
3. Fold in eggwhites
4. Cook 'em up!

I buy the Liberte Coconut yogurt (which is like 11% MF) and dump a bunch on top with some hemp hearts and chia seeds...and maple syrup too...(yeah, I like 'em sweet!) But you are free to get creative with your own toppings.

Autumn really likes these waffles too though she enjoys them without the mess of toppings.

That's all I've got for now, friends. Happy waffling!