Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Ethan at Month Five

It is unreal to me that E is five months old. How is this possible?!  He is looking more and more like a "little boy," as opposed to a baby, every day. We are having so much fun and I love watching him grow, but it is going so, so fast!

Here is an update on our past month.

Grow Baby, Grow!

Photo by RC Concepcion
I'm not totally sure on his current stats since his next doctor's check up isn't until next month, but we did attempt a weigh in at home, and it measured him at just about 19 pounds.  For height, I'm guessing about 24 inches, based on how some of his sweatpants are fitting him and his growth trends from previous check ups.

We've continued to have great health and a happy baby.  This past week E has had a tiny little cough, which we think may just be related to seasonal allergies or some post-nasal drip.  It doesn't seem to bother him at all and there is no raspy-ness, so we aren't concerned.  The nurse said to try using a humidifier at night, which we are planning on trying.


We've been practicing sticking our tongue out.
The drooling is out of control here, people.  It is like a river!  In addition to that, Ethan also shoves everything he possibly can into his mouth, and chews on it really intensely.  We tried to feel around in his mouth, and although we can't feel teeth popping through, his top gums feel rough, for lack of a better word, and we are pretty sure we've got a teething baby on our hands.  There hasn't been any disruption to his sleep or his demeanor due to the teething, which is great.  At most, he gets frustrated when he is trying to get a toy into his mouth to chew on it and it doesn't fit.

Catch those Z's!

Mike and I are some lucky parents.  I don't know what we did to deserve such a good sleeper, but we'll take it! E sleeps through the night every night.  He goes to bed around 8:30, wakes up around 6:00 for a bottle, and then goes right back to sleep until around 8:45.  We will occasionally have a day that gets thrown off schedule a bit, but for the most part our routine is pretty set.  Ethan is so good going to bed, too.  He just starts rubbing his eyes when he is tired, or he falls asleep in his swing or when having his last bottle of the night.  We just take him up, put him in his crib, turn on his twilight turtle, and he is out like a light.  When he wakes up, he just looks around and plays in his crib until I go in to get him, happy and content.  Such a good boy!

Moving and Grooving

Rolling and tummy-time love are still constants over here.  As soon as we put E down, he rolls onto his tummy and will happily "swim" on his play mat, kick his legs, scrunch his butt, and play like that for literally an hour at a time.  This month he has been "double rolling" more consistently, where we'll put him down on his back, and he will roll onto his belly, and then at some point roll from his belly to his back, and then later roll back onto his belly again.  I'll watch him slowly move farther and farther across the room, little by little!  He also has started turning himself around in circles while he is on his belly, and pushing himself up onto his arms (his chest off of the floor) regularly.

We've gotten much better at sitting, too, which is a huge development over here!  Now Ethan can sit unassisted for about a minute or two, with his hands on the floor in front of him.  He can't sit up straight on his own yet, but we are making a lot of progress.  He can also bear a lot more weight on his legs for a longer period of time, too.

Water Baby

The weather by us has been so insanely gorgeous lately, so we took E to the pool for the first time.  He seems to like "the giant bathtub," as we call it!  We swim him around, bounce him in the water, and kick his little legs for him to practice swimming.  He hasn't figured out that he can splash the water with his hands yet, but we keep practicing since he loves to splash during his baths.  And just for the record, I don't think there is anything cuter than E in his little rash guard, whale print swim trunks, and sun hat. It is a.dor.a.ble!

Social Ups and (melt) Downs

As is our norm, we take E everywhere.  We go out to eat, visit with friends, go to any and every store, etc.  Usually there is no problem, ever.  This month we had a few rough patches.  I took Ethan to visit at my school, and he did great with my class (my fabulous sub Jane had told the kids not to get too close and to try to keep their voices quiet).  When we got to the staff room, he let my co-teacher hold him, no problem.  As he got passed around, however, he started to get fussy, and within about 15 minutes, he was having a full on meltdown.  Screaming, crying, tears, and a beet-red face were out in full force, and it took me over 20 minutes to calm him down.  I felt so bad for him, but I also was taken off guard, since he is usually so chill in public.  A couple of days later, we went to a baby shower and he had another meltdown!  At the shower, no one was trying to hold him, either - full meltdown, and we had to leave the party.  The next week, we went out to dinner with friends, and he started to have another meltdown, but we were determined to push through.  Mike and I took turns taking him out to the car for breaks, and eventually he calmed down and made it through dinner.

Luckily, we seem to have finished the little phase of social freak-outs.  We went to a picnic party, where there were lots of people, and E not only lasted hours, but he was in his Baby Bjorn the whole time, not his stroller, so that was a huge development.  We also went to San Francisco and stayed for the whole day, and E was such a trooper.

And, despite those three meltdown episodes, he continues to do totally fine during lunches out with friends, going to any and all stores, riding in the car, having people over to the house, and other outings.   We stay busy, and E keeps up with us so well!

We've continued going to gym class, which he loves, and even had a play date with one of his baby friends.  Definitely way more ups than downs socially, for sure.

Top Gear

The bouncer, swing, and play mat are all still in constant use.  We are terrified for when he outgrows those, lol!  We've been bringing out his BebePod chair more, but he really doesn't seem to like it much, so we just practice sitting other ways.  We also used the high chair for the first time, and Ethan did so well! He had no problem whatsoever getting into or out of it, and was content to sit in it for his entire meal.

Toy-wise, Ethan still likes his O-ball and other toys, but his faves seem to be his Elmo toy and his little black and white ring toy.  To say he has a little crush on Elmo is an understatement! The ring toy he likes because he can fit the ball part into his mouth really well to chew on, which helps with his teething.  He can also put his arm through it, which he loves to do.  He does this with his bibs, too - he'll put his arm through the hole, and just wear the bib or the ring toy like a little bracelet or something.  It is really freaking cute!

Elmo, I love you.
I'm gonna give you a kiss.
What you saying about my Elmo?!

Chowing Down

We haven't been super good about giving E solid food every day, but we do bring it out from time to time.  He still likes the strawberry apple puree, and he also enjoyed mango puree.  I think he likes his spoons best of all - they are fun to grab and great to chew on!  We also let him chew on frozen Eggo mini waffles to help with his teething, and Daddy will let Ethan lick various foods he is eating to try different flavors.

Clothes Horse

Since it has been so warm, I went out and got Ethan some little shorts-jammies, which I am excited to try.  He is growing out of his 6-9 month jammies, and other clothing is running into the 6-12 month range or the 9 month range.

Our current favorites are the Chicco brand shorts (from Target) and short-sleeve onesies from Baby Gap or Chicco.  The Star Wars Robeez we got for E finally fit, so he's worn them a few times this month, too.

Rocket Baby

Ethan's favorite things in the whole world are "rocket baby" and flying.  For rocket baby, Daddy stands E up on a hard surface and bounces him up and down while counting down from 10 (like a launch sequence).  As he gets closer to 1, the bouncing gets more intense, and then Blast Off!  Daddy launches Ethan off into the air, fast-flying him all around the house.  He also engages "rocket boosters," where he goes super fast.  Ethan gets so excited during the "launch sequence" that he squeals and shoves his hands into his mouth in pure joy.  It is his favorite thing in the world, period.  Taking a second place after rocket baby is regular "flying" around the house, and tickle time with Momma.  He laughs so hard, it is contagious, and we both just giggle and giggle for the longest time.  Baby E is super ticklish on his ribs and his thighs, and he loves it when I "eat" his cheeks.

I'm sure there are many things I am forgetting to mention, but that's a pretty good summary of our month.  Now we are off to try more foods, swim more laps, and giggle lots more giggles. :)

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Film Fashion Series: The Great Gatsby

The new film version of The Great Gatsby is coming out on May 20th.  The few previews I have seen look amazing, and it got me thinking that it would be so fun to dress up and go out to see the movie with my girlfriends.  You know I love anything with a theme, and so here are two Gatsby inspired looks I put together.

Gatsby Inspired Looks

I know they aren't totally historically accurate, but I liked the art deco and flapper influences in both outfits, and both are very wearable for day-to-day.  

As I was putting together the looks above, I came across some really cute products that fit with the Gatsby theme as well.  These include Gatsby items and other 1920's influenced trends, like Art Nouveau, cloche hats, and the iconic Mr. Chaplin.  


1. Art Nouveau bracelet and earrings - Modcloth.com
2. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Penguin Classics Edition - Amazon.com
3. Charlie Chaplin Mug - Modcloth.com
4. Gatsby Women's Tee - OutofPrint.com
5. Cloche Hat - Hatsinthebellfry.com
6. Essie Nail Polish in Red Nouveau and Tart Deco - Amazon.com
7. Art Print - etsy.com
8. Gatsby Tee - OutofPrint.com

To get inspired yourself, check out The Great Gatsby trailer on Apple Movie Trailers.

“And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.” 
― F. Scott FitzgeraldThe Great Gatsby

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Box Mix Made Better - Lemon Poppy Seed Cake

Zesty lemon is the perfect flavor to compliment the gorgeous spring weather we've been having lately.  With that in mind, I came up with a little recipe for some lemon cake for this edition of my Box Mix Made Better series.  Enjoy!

Lemon Poppy Seed Cake


1 box lemon cake mix
1 box lemon instant pudding mix
3/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup lemon lime soda, flat (I used Diet 7UP)
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 Tsp poppy seeds
3 Tsp powdered sugar (optional)


1.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Grease your favorite bundt cake pan and set aside.
2.  Put all of the ingredients in a bowl and mix until well incorporated.
3.  Pour the batter into your prepared bundt cake pan.
4.  Bake for 30 - 40 minutes until a tooth pick inserted near the middle comes out clean.
5.  Cool completely; invert onto a serving plate.
6.  Top with powdered sugar, if desired.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Color Crush - Mint & Navy

As Spring approaches, I've been totally drawn to the colors mint and navy, especially when they are together.  Here is a little set I put together that includes some of my current favorites.

mint and navy

mint and navy by goldenpoppypress featuring flat shoes

What are some of your favorite color combinations for Spring?

Box Mix Brownies Made Better - Grasshopper Edition

For the second installment of my doctored box mix brownie series, I went with a mint theme.  I used to love Andes mints - they were a rare treat.  There was a restaurant when I was little that would give you an Andes mint when they brought the check to the table, but for the life of me I can't remember which restaurant is was.  Anyway, I would only get them when we went to that particular restaurant, which wasn't very often, and I always looked forward to it.

In honor of those coveted Andes mints, here is a recipe for Grasshopper Brownies.

Grasshopper Brownies


For the Brownies

1 box brownie mix, any variety
Eggs, water, and oil called for in box mix directions
1 tsp. mint extract
1/2 cup chopped up Andes mints or Andes mint chips

For the Frosting

1 package cream cheese, softened
1 tsp. chocolate powder
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Optional Garnish

Halved Andes Mints


1. Preheat oven and grease pan as directed on the brownie package.
2.  Make the box mix brownies as directed on the package.
3.  Add mint extract and mint chips; mix well.
4.  Pour batter into pan and bake according to time directed on package.
5. Cool completely.
6. While brownies are cooling make the frosting by mixing all ingredients together until well incorporated.  If the frosting is a bit too liquid-y, just add more powdered sugar, little by little until the frosting is the desired consistency.
7. When brownies are cooled and the frosting is made, you can either frost the entire pan or you can cut the brownies into portions and pipe frosting onto each portion.
8. Garnish with halved Andes mints, if desired.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Baby Product Faves 4 Months

fave baby products 4 months

fave baby products 4 months by goldenpoppypress on Polyvore

Instead of re-hashing information on all of the things we still love from the previous baby product post (swing, bouncer, play mat, etc.), I thought I would just describe our current new favorites that are exclusive to this month.

We've introduced solid foods, and the Ella's Kitchen Food Pouches make experimenting so much easier!  They are completely organic, and include nothing except the pureed ingredients listed on the front.  For example, if the flavor of the pouch is pear, the only thing in the pouch is pureed pears.  No additives,  preservatives, etc.  You can re-cap the pouch and store it in the refrigerator for two days, and since Ethan eats such a small amount at a time, this helps us save on waste.  Once we know more of the flavors he likes, I can start making bigger batches at home.  For now, though, these pouches are the perfect way to introduce Ethan to new flavors while still giving us the peace of mind that he is getting nothing but natural foods.  So far the strawberry and apple is a big hit, and the broccoli and pea was an epic fail - like, it induced a meltdown fail.  On the menu to try next are pear, peach, and banana.

We finally get to use spoons!  E does really well with his infant spoons, which is great.  He opens his mouth to let us put the spoon in, licks the food off, and then lets us take the spoon out.  Sometimes he gets extra ambitious and even holds the spoons himself and puts them in his mouth all by himself.  :)

Now that Ethan's head control is solid, we broke out the Prince Lionheart BebePod chair.  We have the green one with the kiwi tray.  The chair is very soft and comfortable for E, and the tray snaps on and off very easily.  Ethan only lasts about 10 minutes or so in the chair now, but we practice every day, and hopefully he'll be able to last longer each week we use it.

On a whim I got Ethan an Elmo hand puppet.  He really likes the clown hand puppets at gym class, and I thought it would be fun to play with one at home.  I liked the Elmo one because it is such a bright color.  Um, Ethan is totally in love with it.  He loves getting tickled by Elmo, and he sticks the big eyes right in his mouth (don't worry, they're baby safe).  The fur on it is really soft, too, which he holds in his little hands and rubs on his face.  Cute is not even the word to describe Ethan with his Elmo puppet.  It is adorable times a thousand!  

It is exciting to see what products Ethan grows into each month and to see his personality coming through more and more as he explores new flavors, colors, textures, and sights.  I can't wait to see what he discovers next!