Saturday, September 29, 2012

Pumpkin Patch

This past weekend we took baby girl to her first pumpkin patch and had such a great time!  I think we all have our “parenting bucket list”, you know that list of things you imagine taking your kiddo to before they’re even born?  Well, taking my baby to the pumpkin patch is something I’ve dreamt of doing since my “biological clock” first started ticking 3 years ago.  Visiting McCall’s Pumpkin Patch has been a tradition of ours for years, however me and G have always gone with friends at night to do the more “grown-up” stuff like the Pumpkin Patch Corn Maze of Terror!  This visit was 100% different then our previous “grown-up” visits but equally fun. :)

We met up with all of our friends with kids and Gracie ended up being the youngest of the bunch by several years.  They were all so great with Grace but Jaden was by far the best “baby-sitter” of the bunch.  She wanted to sit right next to Gracie all day.  She held her on the pumpkin jumper and held her baby pumpkin for her on the hayride!  What a good little helper.

I was amazed with all the awesome stuff they had for kids and to be completely honest, after years of visiting McCall’s I had no idea there was even a kids play area…

There was a farm animal petting section.

A darling little bunny community complete with a Hare Salon and houses.

There was a “tractor” obstacle course, a corn cannon and slides.  That’s G in the green getting her butt kicked, lol!

The food was YUM but I think the hayride and pumpkin patch were my favorite!  We rode out to the fields as a group at the end of the day to pick our pumpkins and baby girl did awesome on the ride over.  We ended up finding a lovely little pumpkin for the babe and a nice wart covered pumpkin for me!

Aside from what I now lovingly refer to as, “the stroller FAIL of 2012”, it was such a great day!  Here’s a TIP for any parents out there planning to take their baby to a pumpkin patch this year: do NOT take your stroller into the corn maze!!!  You will inevitably get stuck in mud and find yourself carrying your POS stroller through half the damn maze AND if you have our luck your child will decide to take a giant dump mid-maze while you’re busy carrying said stroller… With that being said, I’ll leave you with this picture.

My wife during "Stroller FAIL 2012".  She's a weird one - gotta love her. ;)

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


Like my mom always says, “Never drive faster than your guardian angels can fly”.  They sure were with Georgia and Gracie this morning.  First, Grace and Georgia are ok, thank God.  Having said that, we just experienced the scariest morning of our lives.  Georgia left the house an hour earlier than normal today because she had a work event.  Her mom was planning to meet her halfway to pick-up the baby while in route to Georgia’s work function.  From what G told me, the traffic approaching the freeway around 7:30am was horrific!  As she approached the light before the freeway, traffic quickly changed to stop and go and she caught the red.  When the light turned green she accelerated, pulling up behind an SUV.  She looked down at the passenger seat for 2 seconds to grab something and ::BAM:: – 3 car pile-up.

The impact was severe enough that the air bag was deployed.  This is the part that kills me.  Georgia couldn’t even tell me what happened next without crying.  She said that immediately following the collision and air bag release she was overcome with terror knowing Grace was in the backseat.  She jumped out of the car and open the rear passenger door to find Gracie securely in her car seat but shaken up and crying.  She unstrapped baby girl and held her close letting her know that everything was ok.  She checked her over, head-to-toe and when she looked back up at Gracie’s face she was smiling and just as happy as ever.  I think she knew her mommy needed a smile.

Gracie was checked out and was found to be perfectly fine, not a scratch but G wasn’t so lucky.  Her ankle was sprained pretty bad and cut, she was burned on the chest by the seatbelt and air bag and she has some cuts and scrapes on her legs and arms.  I’ve cleaned and bandaged her wounds and as of this afternoon she is just really sore.  She’s resting now and Gracie’s taking a nap so things seem to be settling down.

I discovered on FB today that if you’re in a moderate to severe car accident (even if the baby is not in the car) you have to replace your car seat.  I had never heard of this but after checking it out on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration government website, that is what they recommend.  So that’s what I’m doing now.  Shopping for new car seats, working things out with insurance, monitoring baby and taking care of the wife.  If you told me that this is how our day would unfold this morning – I wouldn’t have believed you. 

Thank the Lord for guardian angels.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Happy Birthday Sister Bear!

Thank you for being such a wonderful auntie, sister and friend. We LOVE you!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Chile Season

Chile season is a big deal in the Roybal house.  Well, I guess it’s a big deal in New Mexico in general.  Green chile is as much a part of New Mexican culture as the Balloon Fiesta, luminarias and Old Town and for as far back as I can remember, my family has stocked the freezer every September with the yummy stuff! 

My ma hosted her first chile peeling party a few years ago and it has become somewhat of a tradition.  Each year we all get together, head to the Fruit Basket, buy boxes of the goods and proceed to spend the rest of the afternoon and evening peeling about a million chiles.  It really is so much fun!  We always cook something amazing; watch some sort of sporting event and hang out outside.  This year a family friend gave us a gigantic cut of beef that he got at a cooking convention so we sliced up a few steaks and grilled out.  Delicious.

The girls were just as cute as ever hanging out in their walkers and playing in the living room.  They even ended up going to sleep around the same time in their nursery at Nani’s.  Apparently Mia is a little ninja and has discovered how to climb out of her pink walker so we had to put her in Gracie’s.  The Jeep is too bulky for baby girl right now anyway and it fit Mia perfectly – more importantly, she couldn’t get out of it!  As much as I love Gracie’s Jeep walker it really is bigger than we thought it would be.  It may need to go back. :(

I tried to get as many pictures of our little gal at her first chile peeling party as I could, however I’m finding it harder and harder to snap her picture these days.  She is a wiggle worm and is always on the move.  She’s looking more and more like she may be ready to crawl soon.  I give it a few more weeks!     

It was a beautiful day of relaxing in the backyard, which is my favorite thing to do.  Grass (a rare commodity here in the high desert), twinkle lights hanging from the trees, gazebo, swings and flowers!  What’s not to LOVE

P.S. Things are also getting much better on the home front with Gracie’s sleep.  She is actually on hour 2 of her afternoon nap as I type.  Thank you Jesus.

Hope you all have a fantastic weekend!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


Correction – beyond exhausted.  I’m not sure what’s going on with my sweet baby girl, but lately she has been sleeping like a wild child.  This lack of sleep all began about a week ago around the time we introduced oatmeal.  On day one Grace did great!  She ate all of her oatmeal like a champ and LOVED it!  Not only did she love it, but she went on to sleep 12 hours straight.  It was glorious.  That was day one… since then things have changed just a bit.  At first we noticed that her poopie diapers were happening less often and she wasn’t letting us put her down after falling asleep at night like she normally does.  When we would try and put her down she would instantly wake up and began crying.  Our solution – let her sleep with us.  She then slept with us on day 2 and day 3 because that was the only time she seemed remotely comfortable.  By day 4 she was waking every 2 hours throughout the night crying at the top of her lungs.

After doing a little research we thought maybe she was just going through a growth spurt, all the while continuing to feed her oatmeal every night.  With all of the other foods that we’ve introduced we phased them in 3-4 days at a time but with cereal we just began giving it to her for dinner.  We never thought anything as simple as oatmeal would upset her little tummy.  Gracie’s nights continued to be hard on her so last night we decided to cut oatmeal out of her diet to see if she slept any better.  Well, she didn’t at first.  She woke at 12:30am, then again at 3:00am.  I woke up at 6am to the sound of her crying in the living room with G.  We did a little leg exercise on the couch to see if it would relieve some of the pressure in her tummy and boy did it ever!  Baby girl finally began releasing gas and I’m talkin tons-o-gas!  We were able to put her in bed with us around 6:30am and she slept until G headed to work at 9:30am.  Here’s hoping that we’ve gone through the worst of it and the little stinker will began to feel better soon.

Have any of you ever experienced this with cereal or oatmeal?  A few friends from my mommy chat room said that oatmeal and cereal can cause constipation and that mixing in fruit, veggies or prune juice helps.  To be honest, I’m scared to even try oatmeal again given the past 5 days… Since cutting off the oatmeal yesterday she’s started going poop and went 4 times just today.  I guess she was pretty backed up.  Her poor tush is bright red. :(

In happier news, we’ve started family night with my family every other week and I’m loving it.  Because my mom works full time (as do we) and it seems every weekend is booked with to-do’s, we’ve started setting aside one afternoon or evening twice a month to get together with my mom, brother, sister-in-law, nephews and niece to have dinner, grill, watch my nephews football games or just hang out at my moms.

Here's a few picture from our last 2 family nights ~  

Look at me mom!  I finally have enough hair for a bow!
I could watch these little gals play all day :)
Loving on Nani!
I'm so glad Grace let's us dress her in all sorts of fun accessories.  So cute!
Devin was super nervous to hold baby girl.  Can you tell?
Cousins :)
Devin giving Gracie kisses.  He LOVES her so much!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Adventures in baby food

About two weeks ago, I made my first batch of baby food.  Holla!  I won’t lie, it took the whole damn day but that’s mostly because of all the breaks I took with baby girl and less about the time it actually took to purée the goods.  We were preparing for the arrival of Georgia’s brother, so G was in the backyard pulling weeds while I was in the kitchen puréeing everything in sight.  Normally this arrangement would have worked out just fine, however Grace has become much more aware of her surroundings lately, i.e. her toys and wants to rotate “play stations” often.  Because of this, one toy no longer occupies her time for more than about 20 minutes, which means that as I was making baby food I was also taking breaks to get her situated with a new activity, diaper change, feeding, bottle, etc.  I’m telling you, this kid is turning me into a master multi-tasker!

For Grace’s first month of eating solids she ate Gerber Organic 1st foods.  I read on a few blogs and on that sampling store bought food in the beginning allows you to determine what your baby likes vs. can’t stand and what foods are safe/allergy free before making a huge batch of something you may not end up using.  This made perfect sense to me so that’s what we did.  For my first adventure in baby food making I puréed avocado, sweet potatoes, peas, apples, bananas, carrots and yellow squash.  I used ice trays to freeze the food after it was puréed and once frozen I emptied the ice trays into labeled freezer bags.  This is both a space saver and allows me to easily identify which food is which and how long I have before it expires.  According to the BB book, you have roughly one month to use any puréed, frozen food because unlike processed baby food, there aren’t any preservatives.

I decided to do a little math because I was curious as to how much money we would save by going the homemade food route.  I purchased the organic fruits and veggies at a market and it cost $24 for everything.  With the amount of food I purchased I was able to make 28 days worth of baby food.  It would have cost $55 to purchase the same amount based off what I was spending when we used store bought baby food the first month.  That’s more than 50% savings, people!  Bonus: all organic and locally grown. :)

Here are a few other pieces of info I found to be helpful:

* Refrigerated baby food needs to be eaten within 3 days
* Frozen food needs to be thawed and eaten within 30 days
* Be sure to use plastic feeding bibs when feeding solids because the food WILL stain your cloth bibs.  This may sound like common sense but I didn’t even think about it until I took a stack of adorable bibs out of the dryer covered in stains.  Boo ;(
* When boiling vegetables, add just enough of the liquid used to make a smooth purée.  This adds the vitamins and nutrients that may have been lost during boiling back into the recipe.
* A great way to add flavor to the more bland purées is to add a pinch of cinnamon, limejuice or lemon juice.
* And lastly, combo purées are a great way to get your baby to eat all different types of fruits and veggies – even ones that they may not have liked initially.  For example, Grace was not a big fan of peas or avocado at first but once I mixed them with sweet potatoes and carrots she gobbled them up!

I found a bunch of great combo purées and other helpful info in, Top 100 Baby Purées.  Great reference guide, I highly recommend buying it if you plan to make your own baby food!

First year NO-NO list
Peanut Butter
Citrus Fruits
Raw Strawberries
Egg Whites
Whole Milk

In other news – did you all know that today is “National Wife Appreciate Day”?!  I never knew this day existed but Georgia did so she woke up with Gracie this morning and let me sleep-in until 11AM while she entertained baby, cleaned the kitchen and did laundry.  I seriously have the best wife EVER!  Love you, lady.

Any other baby food making mamas out there?  I would love to hear any tips or recipes you have!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Six Months of Gracie

This past Friday, our Gracie girl celebrated her half-birthday!  I know I say this all the time but how in the heck did that happen so fast?!  I feel like we were just bringing her home and yet here we are watching our little babe roll over, say actual words and attempt to army crawl across the room.  This past month was so much fun and much, MUCH less stressful than the month before.  With surgery behind us and Gracie healing beautifully, our big “to-do” in August was introducing solids and all that comes with it.  I’ll take that over surgery any day! ;)

So far “Operation Introduce Solids” has gone great!  As of this weekend and our 4-day avocado allergy test, she has liked almost everything (not a big fan of peas) and shows no signs of allergies.  I even made my first batch of 100% organic, homemade baby food and she LOVED it!  Thank goodness for that because I made a months worth of food and we would’ve been in trouble if it weren’t a crowd pleaser. I plan to post about my adventures in baby food making as soon as she gets through this last veggie group.  Just one more day to go.  

Grace has changed more in the past 4 weeks than I feel like she has in the previous 5 months combined.  I feel like we are checking milestones off the list several times a week, every week!  I’m having to go through her clothing every other weekend to pack up what she’s outgrown and re-stock the empty racks in her closet.  Luckily, we have baby clothes still coming in like it’s her baby shower all over again.  We really do have the MOST generous friends.  You guys rock! 

Baby girl has also begun to show signs of “stranger anxiety” which I’ve read is an emotional milestone for her age.  I really don’t like the name, “stranger anxiety” because it sounds like the title to a Lifetime made for TV movie about kidnapping, but in either case Grace does at times have anxiety when held by anyone that she hasn’t been around for more than a week or two.  She always warms up quickly but it can be difficult when the “stranger” happens to be an uncle, aunt or grandparent.  We know it's a phase of development and will pass with time. 

Here are some of the other things our SIX month old has been up to ~

* At 5 months, 3 weeks old she said her first words!!  She now says “mama” and “mom” but they sound more like, maaama and mum.  We tend to hear these words more when she is fussy and on the verge of crying, but still they melt our hearts!

* At our last weigh-in, 3 weeks ago, she measured 24.5 inches long and weighed 14lbs, 7oz.  Me and G both agree that she has grown significantly since then.

* She has become a great little eater.  So far she has tried organic carrots, bananas, sweet potatoes, pears, sweet peas, yellow squash, applesauce and avocado.  She currently eats 2oz servings of solids, 2-3 times a day and as of last week her diet consists of 100% homemade and organic baby food. :)

* Now that we’ve started incorporating solids she is drinking less each bottle.  She’ll usually drink around 3-4oz of formula each feeding and 6oz at her 6am feeding.

* She can now roll over, back to tummy, and refuses to lie on her back any longer.  When you lay her down she is instantly flipped and ready to go (even at night when she’s sleeping)!

* This past month she had her first sleep over!  My cousin had an “adults only” 30th birthday bash and we didn’t want to drive across town with baby late on a Saturday night so she had a slumber party with grandma and grandpa.  G picked her up as soon as the sun came up the following day… lol!

* She is sitting almost 100% unassisted.  At the start of the month we needed to use the Boppy for support when sitting but she can now sit for long stretches, even while playing without toppling over sans the Boppy.

* She can now rotate 360 degrees in her jumper and play with all her toys in one sitting.  Thank God for the jumper, it’s the best “babysitter” ever!

* I can’t even begin to tell you what’s going on with her poop.  All I will say is that we are now dealing with “nuggets” rather than runny poopie and it comes in all shapes, sizes and colors.  TMI, I know…

* She has discovered textures and wants to run her little hands across everything.  She reaches for the water in the shower; she runs her hands across the suede and leather on the couch and loves to feel the face of whoever is holding her.  She is in total discovery mode right now.

* She is still wearing size medium cloth diapers but we’ve had to start putting her in disposables at night.  She is just drinking and eating way too much now to go 8 hour stretches without a leak.

* We are still working on the signs for food (papas) and milk (baba) and she has definitely begun to recognize and understand what they mean.  We plan to introduce the sign for “more” and “mom” this month.

* Bottle-feeding has become more of a challenge.  There seems to be way too much going on that Grace would rather watch then drink her bottle.  We now have to sit her up on our lap facing out if we want her to actually drink. ;)

Well, that about sums it up.  I can’t wait to see what September will bring.  
Maybe we’ll get a crawler!

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