Wednesday, July 28, 2010


I've been playing around with Photoshop and tried an "eye pop" on this picture from a few weeks ago.  Conor's eyes are gorgeous to begin with and I was afraid the edits would be too much.  I'm still not 100% sure about it.


Now if I can just figure out sharpening...

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


The DGR (Dairy-Go-Round) is a summer staple for our family.  I like to joke that we bought our house mainly because of its proximity to the DGR.

Conor enjoyed his first taste of DGR Saturday.  Grandpa shared a Heath Crunch cone and I think we can confirm that Conor inherited the paternal family ice cream genes.

Then we played with the horses

followed by a nice stroll home.

Monday, July 26, 2010

13 Months - My Handsome Little Man

Sometimes, I can't stand the handsomeness.

Age 13 months

Weight ~23 lbs

Length ~31"

Size 12 month+ tops and pants, size 4 shoes, size 4 diapers, 2T hats

Hair  Still in need of his fourth cut

Teeth  Still 8 (and I really think he's working on molars now!)

Sleeping  Sometimes good, sometimes bad.   Bedtime is a struggle now, which is new (he has been so easy at bedtimes since 6-7 months.)  Usually only 1 nap a day, 1.5-3 hours in the early afternoon (sometimes 2 on the weekends.)

Eating 3 meals a day + 2 snacks.  Still takes a bedtime bottle.  New foods include horseradish (accidentally), cottage cheese, quiche, tortellini, zucchini bread

Movement  Walking!  He is also signing a few words, occasionally (I've seen him do "all done" and "more")

Milestones  Walking, pointing, new words

Outings Detroit Zoo, DGR, Baby Association Meeting at Gretchen's House

Favorite toys/activities Stuffed animals, books, rocking horse, wagon rides, balls, identifying things (can pick out a dolphin, duck, cow, and turkey from a lineup), listening to music/singing, play cars, jack-in-the-box

Words/sounds Lots of babbling and several words (CAPS are new this month): mama, dada, pop, cat, dog, all done ("ahhdahh"), BUBBLES ("bubbas"), DUCK, HI.  These are the words we have heard him say repeatedly with purpose.  Sometimes he'll get on a roll one day but forget or change the pronounciation the next (like cat - sometimes it's whispered "kah", sometimes it's forceful "DAT!")

Memorable Moments First Fourth of July Parade

McFatty Monday - Week 10

I'm back on track with my C25K program.  I was nervous about week Four - the intervals are really picking up and I worried that if I couldn't hack it, it would get me down.  It was tough but I made it!  I can tell I'm getting stronger and have more endurance every week.

My diet was better this week - I watched portions, drank lots of water, and made (mostly) good food choices.

It's a bit disappointing that the scale isn't moving much yet, but my weight loss/gain tends to lag a few weeks. 

Here's where I'm at:

Today's weight - 140.0
Today's BMI - 22.6
Goal weight - 130
Goal BMI - 21.0
Total weight lost - 3.0 of 13

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Baby Foodie - Crunchy Squash Sticks

I made these with some summer squash Conor and I bought at Eastern Market.  Squash with rosemary and thyme is really good, but I didn't plant any thyme in the garden this year.  I also thought it would be great to add some sage, maybe a little marjoram or oregano, and oooooh, maybe a little nutmeg.... Wait a minute, that's poultry seasoning!  Any blend of these herbs and spices would probably be good, fresh or dried. 

(We had some squash leftover, so we made Martha's Zucchini Spice Bread, which Conor also loved.)

3 medium summer squash
1 cup fine dry bread crumbs
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning (adjust to taste)
Olive oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Coat a foil lined baking sheet lightly with olive oil.
Cut squash into sticks.
Mix bread crumbs with salt and seasoning and place into a shallow bowl.
Dip squash sticks into egg, then coat in seasoned breadcrumbs.
Place squash on baking sheet and bake 15 minutes (flip halfway), then place under broiler for 1-2 minutes until golden.
Makes 4 servings.

Nutrition Facts
(Amount Per Serving)
Calories 149.9
Total Fat 3.0 g
Saturated Fat 0.8 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.9 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.8 g
Cholesterol 53.1 mg
Sodium 507.1 mg
Potassium 455.8 mg
Total Carbohydrate 24.8 g
Dietary Fiber 2.9 g
Sugars 4.9 g
Protein 7.0 g

Conor thinks it tastes like chicken. 
(Get it, poultry seasoning?  Never mind...)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Conor Month by Month

A collage of Conor's first year monthday pictures.  I started this around Conor's birthday but got frustrated with trying to fix white balance in each photo and forgot about it. 

Monday, July 19, 2010

Conor Has Fun at the Hands On Museum

Here are a few short clips of Conor's trip to the HOM this weekend. He's walking!!!!

McFatty Monday - Week 9

A pretty good week.  Week three of the Couch to 5K started off well.  I hit the road Monday and it felt great to get away from the track!  Wednesday rolled around and I made excuses - no clean running clothes, too tired, too much to do before bed....  I planned to run Thursday but heavy rain prevented that.  Friday brought more plans to run, but I had errands to prepare for the baby association meeting we hosted Saturday and didn't make it back before dark.  I finally did Week 3 Run 2 on Saturday and my body wasn't happy about taking four days off.  I made it through the run, barely - I'm sure during the last interval I was quite a sight as I was really dragging.  The neighbors were probably wondering if they should call the paramedics.

I gained a little this week, which isn't surprising as my diet hasn't been good.  My goals for this week are to get back on track with C25K and complete Week 4, drink more water, and eat better. 

Here's where I'm at:

Today's weight - 140.0
Today's BMI - 22.6
Goal weight - 130
Goal BMI - 21.0
Total weight lost - 3.0 of 13

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Conor's Top Ten - Toys

My philosophy on toys has changed over the past year.  I used to think that we would try to focus on more "natural" toys for Conor - things like wooden rattles made from sustainably sourced materials and stained with beet juice.  Those are great, but I guess there's only so much a baby can do with a block of nondescript wood.   It's one of those things that sounds like a good idea, but in reailty is a little disappointing, like soup or breakfast burritos.  I've realized there's plenty of imagination involved with more traditional toys, and ample opportunity for reusing, recycling, and otherwise mitigating the downside.

And so we find ourselves living in a veritable Toys R Us.  Conor has lots of toys.  LOTS.  He's blessed with a very generous family, which is where many of these came from.  I've also recently discovered the joy that is the "Mom to Mom sale", a great source for gently used toys (as are Craigslist, garage sales, and resale shops like Children's Orchard and Once Upon a Child.)

It's hard to pick just a few and his preferences change day to day, but here are some of his current favs.

Melissa & Doug First Vehicles Set
These are very cute and we knew he would like them, but were a little surprised when he knew how to play with them "correctly" so soon.  He likes to roll them around gets a kick when we make them "crash."

Radio Flyer Pathfinder Wagon
Conor loves his little red wagon.  It's great for walks around town.  We equipped it with a canopy for shade, and it even has cupholders.  I prefer it to the stroller for neighborhood walks - easier in and out, he can sit up more, and we can load more stuff in if we're running errands around town.

Fisher Price Music Table
This one really has some staying power!  He's been playing with it since Christmas and it's still a favorite.  Sometimes it doubles as a walker because he likes to push it across the floor.

Playskool Walk 'n Ride
Great because it transforms from a walker to a ride-on toy.  He doesn't quite get the ride-on part yet, but once he masters walking I think he will transition to that.

Early Years Sweet Baby Blocks
Just like his cousin Madeline, Conor loves to "build a tower" and knock it over.  These blocks are colorful, soft, and clean up easily.

Bubble Bellies - Boubly the Hippo
Conor loves bubbles ("bubbas")!  I like this because there are no messy wands to deal with.


Step2 Naturally Playful Sand and Water Center
He could spend an hour easily playing with his sand and water table!  He really likes the sandbox at school but I was hesitant to get one at home because of the mess, and this was a perfect solution.  The umbrella is large and covers a lot of area, and the lid is very secure.  We've had no problems with leaks or having it blow off.  It's also a good size and height for him.

IKEA Farm Animals and Barn
IKEA is a great source for toys!  (Like this play kitchen - do little boys get play kitchens???  I hope so.)  Conor spends a lot of time playing with his farm. It looks like this is unavailable from IKEA at the moment.  Hopefully they will bring it back because it's great!  (I'm still waiting for the return of their easels.)

Homemade Pop Bottle Shaker - You know how with some cats, you buy all these expensive toys for them and they are just as content to play with those as with a ball of aluminum foil or an empty cardboard box?  Babies are the same way (at least, Conor is!)  Some of his favorite things to play with are shoes, measuring spoons, and magazine subscription cards.  This is one of his favorite music toys, made from an old Diet Coke bottle and a handful of beads.  I sealed the cap very securely with glue so there's no chance he could choke on a bead.

Fisher Price Nursery Rhymes CD Player* -  I saw this at a garage sale and remembered Madeline playing with one, so I had to buy it.  The songs are pretty hilarious and over the top.

*not actually a CD player

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Conor's Top Ten - Books

Conor loves storytime and I can't recall a book we've read that he didn't like. Here are the books we've been reading a lot of lately.

The Going to Bed Book - We read this book every night, and it's always the last one before bedtime. Once he hears the opening lines, he usually tries to lay down in my lap.

On the Night You Were Born - This one is more for mama. I usually can't get through it without choking up.  It's a very sweet book about how special he is because he's "the one and only, ever" Conor.

Is Your Mama a Llama? - Great rhymes - I think the rhythm of it really keeps his attention.  He also seems very interested in the illustrations and likes pointing to the suns.

Snuggle Puppy - His first Sandra Boynton book and still a favorite.

Fifteen Animals - Yet another Sandra Boynton, this one is very clever.  It was made into a song, which totally changed the way we read this book. You just have to sing it after you hear the song!

Five Little Ladybugs - An abbreviated version of "Ten Little Ladybugs." Conor likes books with interesting things to feel and always touches the ladybugs while we're reading this one. When we get to the last page, I can tell he's really studying the ladybugs' home!

I’m Just a Baby Pterodactyl - I picked up this one for a buck at JoAnns and it may be one of the the best dollars I've ever spent. The story is very sweet and he really likes the googley Pterodactyl eyes.

(The book doesn't look nearly that creepy in real life.  Not sure why it looks like the pterodactyl is wearing transitions lenses...)

That’s Not My Bear - Another book with interesting things to touch. He's particularly fond of the bear on the cover and it's squashy nose.

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? - Like all Eric Carle books, this one is bright and colorful.  This is one of my favorites, too!

Dinosaur’s Binkit - One more Sandra Boynton, but a bit different than most of her board books.  Lots of touchy feeley parts and flaps to lift. 

I'll have lists of Conor's Top Ten Toys, Albums, Places, and Things That Make Mama Happy soon!

Monday, July 12, 2010

McFatty Monday - Week 8

Grrrrrrrreat week!  I finished Week 2 of Couch to 5K.  I love this program.  It's challenging enough but I'm succeeding at each workout, which feels really good.  The iPod app is working great, and I actually look forward to hearing the voice say, "Run now."  I've been sticking to the security of the track so far, but am venturing out for a road run today for the start of Week 3.  I used to figure out a route - a little tricky because the C25K progam goes by time instead of distance, but I estimate I'm going about 2 miles at this point.  I installed a little widget over on the sidebar that tracks my workouts.

I LOVE my new shoes!  The Mizunos are a stability shoe and I think that's what I was missing with my old (neutral) Brooks.  They also match my new running skirt (priorities, people!)

The new kicks on their maiden voyage.

My weight has been down as low as 136.4 earlier in the week, but this morning was holding steady at the same as last week.  I'm not so concerned with the number on the scale because my clothes are fitting better than they have in a long time.  I even found a box of pre-pregnancy clothes I had forgotten about and fit into lots of them.  (It was like going thrifting, for free, without having to worry about the hygiene of the previous owner - score!)

Here's where I'm at:

Today's weight - 139.0
Today's BMI - 22.4
Goal weight - 130
Goal BMI - 21.0
Total weight lost - 4.0

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Baby Foodie - Homemade Cereal Bars

Conor usually enjoys an "appetizer" before meals - something to munch on to keep him content in the highchair while I fix his meal.  Usually it's cereal or Chickadees (Target's Goldfish), but last week we found Sunny Days Snack Bars.  BIG hit!  I thought I would try to make my own.

I adapted this recipe from CarriesCooking.  I substituted Sucanat for the brown sugar.  If you prefer, you can use brown sugar instead.  [If you're not familiar with Sucanat, it is a whole cane, non-refined sugar made from cane juice (SUgar CAne NATural).  I found it at a local health foods store, and imagine Whole Foods also carries it.  (Unfortunately I didn't find it at Trader Joe's, Hiller's or Kroger.)  It has the highest nutritional value of all major sugars derived from sugar cane.  I've also started experimenting with using Agave nectar as a sweetener, so look for some recipes with that coming soon.] 

1 cup rolled oats
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
2/3 cup Sucanat
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup canola oil
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup apple juice
1/2 cup fruit spread (I've made these with Trader Joe's 100% Blueberry Spread and apple butter, but any flavor of jam/jelly would work well I think)
2 tablespoons water (optional)

Preheat oven to 325F.
Briefly pulse oats in a food processor to a coarse powder.
Whisk together processed oats, flour, Sucanat, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl.
Add oil, egg, vanilla, and apple juice, and stir until just combined.
Roll out mixture between two pieces of wax paper.  Final size should be ~12"x16", square edges as much as possible.  Carefully remove the top piece of wax paper.
Mix the fruit spread with the water, and spread evenly over bottom half of the dough.  (For thinner fruit spreads, omit the water.)
Use the wax paper to gently fold dough in half lengthwise (creating a jam sandwich), then carefully peel back the top layer of wax paper.
Transfer the dough to a baking sheet lined with parchment or a Silpat.  (Tip - lay the lined baking sheet on top of the dough, then flip it all over and carefully remove the wax paper.)
Use the back of a knife to create impressions in the dough but do not separate (make 3 rows of 8)
Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown.
Cool completely then separate into bars.  Store in an airtight container or freeze.
Makes 24 servings.

Nutrition Facts
(Amount Per Serving)
Calories 80.4
Total Fat 2.8 g
Saturated Fat 0.3 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.9 g
Monounsaturated Fat 1.6 g
Cholesterol 8.9 mg
Sodium 78.4 mg
Potassium 39.1 mg
Total Carbohydrate 14.6 g
Dietary Fiber 1.4 g
Sugars 2.1 g
Protein 1.4 g

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Taking candy from a baby

It turns out it's actually not that easy to take candy from a baby!  For example, if you give a baby a Twizzler to keep him occupied, thinking he'll just play with it and won't actually be able to eat it because it's kind of old and hard, he probably will eat it, and LOVE it.  Then when you try to take it away from him because you think it's not such a good idea for him to eat Twizzlers, he most likely will scream and cry.  (At this point, it's best to just let him eat an inch or so, then he will inevitably drop it and the dog will get it.)

Conor's Funniest Home Videos

A couple recent videos that have us laughing:

Conor cracks up when dada pats his belly:

Conor likes to crawl around with shoes on his hands.  (Towards the end he also softly repeats the word "cat", or "kah", to Cassady!)

Monday, July 5, 2010

Swimming Lessons

Conor and I started swimming lessons Saturday.  I thought he did really well for his first experience in the pool.  The water must have been relaxing because he was very calm the whole time - no fussing or crying.  Most of the other babies were pretty hyper but he was pretty chill, just taking it all in.  We worked on the front float, safety jump, and sang some songs.  We can't wait for next week!

(The one thing he does not like AT ALL is the shower in the locker room.  The shower head is apparently set to blast all the germs off of you and it really stings!)

McFatty Monday - Week 8

Even though today is supposed to be a McFM holiday, I wanted to post anyway because last week was a breakthrough week.  I ended up gaining a bit, but more importantly I started my Couch to 5K program and did all three runs!  The iPod app makes it very simple to keep track of the time and the workout so far is great.  I'm looking forward to week 2. 

I also bought a new pair of running shoes - check out these bad boys:
I needed a new pair because my old ones were one of the only pairs of shoes that fit the last few months of pregnancy so they are quite worn.

Here's where I'm at:

Today's weight - 139.0
Today's BMI - 22.4
Goal weight - 130
Goal BMI - 21.0
Total weight lost - 4.0

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy 4th of July!

This morning, we woke up bright and early to watch the Fourth of July Parade go down Main Street.  The parade route runs right by the house, so we loaded up the Radio Flyer and headed down to find a spot.  (Last year, Conor was eight days old and we watched it from the window of his nursery!)  The parade is one of my favorite Plymouth traditions and Conor seemed to enjoy it, too.

All American boy in his "Rock On America" tank top and jorts.

Front row seats.

Plymouth has the distinction of having the earliest Fourth of July parade in America.

Senator Stabenow and Martha Stewart's dogs. (not really)

Worst job in the parade.

The parade Grand Marshal was Plymouth Hall of Famer and the library's namesake, Margaret Dunning, who is coincidentally exactly 99 years older than Conor.  Tim pointed out to Conor that she is 100 times as old as he is.

Detroit's Martin Luther King, Jr. High School marching band was a real highlight of the parade!

Detroit Tigers' mascot, Paws.

Another marching band, slightly less lively than the King HS band.

Plymouth Whalers' mascot, Shooter.

No parade is complete without LARPers.

Shrek's cousin, Schrek.

Conor has those overalls!