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Category: Pregnancy and Babies

  1. Thursday, April 16

    Friday Show and Tell

    Happy Friday, Everyone! I have three fun food links for you today but, before we get to those, I have some super cool news!

    one and heifer international trip to malawi

    Back in the day I was an International Relations and Women’s Studies major at Boston University. My focus was women and developing countries and my undergrad thesis looked at the complications of creating and enforcing international women’s rights laws. After graduation we moved to San Diego and I started working in PR and life took a different direction from what I studied in college, a wonderful direction that has brought me to where I am today. But all of those issues I studied and cared about so many years ago have remained close to my heart. A few years ago I connected with ONE at Mom 2.0. Every since I have absolutely loved working with ONE and using my blog as a platform to support their efforts.

    malawai | photo credit mom it forwardPhoto credit: Matthew Feldman, Research Associate for IVAC via Mom It Forward

    To complete the circle, or, more accurately, enlarge the circle, in just a few weeks I will be traveling to Malawi with ONE, Heifer International and 7 other amazing women writers (Ana, Ellen, Heather, Karen, Meredith, Rachel and Wendi). As I’ve been reading about this small and beautiful African country and learning about the specific issues that the Malawian people face, I’ve felt overwhelmed with excitement, gratitude and just overall “feelings.” I cannot WAIT to get on a plane May 8 and head south of the equator!

    For food links, here’s what I’ve got this week!

    Your turn for show and tell! Share whatever you like, from accomplishments in your daily life to blog posts to great links on the Internet. Anything goes!


  2. Thursday, February 26

    Friday Show and Tell + ONE AYA Summit

    Happy Friday! I have a TON of great food links for you today, but before we get to that I wanted to talk about something dear to my heart. Last October I had the chance to attend ONE’s AYA Summit in Washington, D.C. I have yet to write a post about the conference because there is just too much I want to share. I’m planning to do a series of recipes posts to tell the stories, but until then…

    ONE AYA Summit from @janemaynardPictured: Ginny Wolfe (ONE), Patricia Amira (The Oprah of Africa…she was AWESOME.)

    Video from the AYA Summit has been posted on Flipbook. Click here to see the videos (you’ll need to set up a Flipbook account – it’s worth it!). I don’t even know where to tell you to start, but all of it is fascinating/informative/inspiring – that I can promise!

    One of the women we heard from, Marquesha Babers, wrote a post for the ONE website. Please read it. Marquesha is an amazing young woman I was blessed to meet at the summit.

    Girl Rising Panel at the ONE AYA Summit from @janemaynardPictured, left to right: Holly Gordon (Girl Rising), Patricia Amira, Danai Gurira (Playwright and, yes, Michonne on The Walking Dead), Marquesha Babers (Poet)

    If you want to DO something right now to support ONE, click here! One of the reasons I love ONE so much is that they aren’t asking for our money, they are asking for our voice. Right now you can send a letter to your congresspeople urging them to reintroduce the Electrify Africa bill. It’s super easy and will make a difference.

    Okay, on to some delicious food!

    deconstructed chicken club from @janemaynard

    This week on Babble I shared a recipe for a Deconstructed Chicken Club. I’m finding that deconstructing foods is one of the best ways to get my kids to eat it!

    On Parade’s Community Table I have 2 posts this week!

    fast and healthy snacks for nursing moms from @janemaynard

    And, lastly, if you’re pregnant or have just had a baby, be sure to visit the Solly Baby Blog to get ideas for Healthy, EASY Snacks for Nursing Moms.

    Show and Tell time! Please share your own stuff!


  3. Wednesday, May 29

    Call for Recipes: Cooking During Difficult Times

    Megan, a new mom returning to work this week, recently emailed me with a request that inspired today’s Call for Recipes. Megan emailed asking for dinner ideas for moms and dads with brand new babies. In Megan’s own words, “I am looking for ideas and suggestions on how you get dinner on the table during the week that’s easy and relatively healthy when we’re both back at work and I won’t be walking in the door until around six-ish and more interested in lavishing attention on A than spending a lot of time in the kitchen.”

    call for recipes - cooking during difficult times | thisweekfordinner.comI was definitely in survival mode when this guy came along, but it sure was worth it! Look at that yummy face!

    I think we all struggle with this on a fairly regular basis, but there are definitely seasons of life where it is more difficult than usual to get dinner on the table. Case in point: newborn baby. Also, sickness in the family, stressful work/school, the list goes on and on! We’ve all been there and we all go through these seasons.

    Often during difficult times friends and family step up to the plate with meals. I wouldn’t have survived after Owen was born if people had not been so generous in this regard! But even with help, dinner doesn’t come every day and it doesn’t last forever.

    Time to share ideas! What meals, recipes and/or strategies do you have around getting dinner cooked even when you’re stretched for time and/or energy? Please share your wisdom because Megan is right–sometimes (all the time?) you’d rather be cuddling with your new baby than slaving in the kitchen!

    I’ll kick us off with a tip! Make sure your fridge and pantry are stocked up with basics so you don’t have to go to the store very often. That was key for me. Whether it was having cooked meals in the freezer at the ready or just a jar of sauce and a package of spaghetti in the cabinet, if I had supplies we didn’t starve and ate relatively well. One more piece of advice…don’t be afraid to ask for help!


  4. Thursday, May 17

    Call for ‘Recipes’: Introducing Solid Food to Baby

    I have to admit something to you. One of my least favorite parts of parenting is feeding kids…of all ages! But I especially dread the days when it’s time to introduce baby to solid foods. It involves way too much thinking, it takes FOREVER to feed the baby, it’s super duper messy, my hand cramps up from holding that tiny spoon ‘just so’…you get the drift. Of course it IS cute, don’t get me wrong, but STILL…

    Call me crazy, but I am tempted to eat that scrumptious baby! 

    Owen is finally beginning to eat baby food. He’s not that into it yet, but we’re getting there. Today we let him have his hand at toasted oat cereal, you know, the classic first finger food. I thought for sure he’d pick them up and immediately stick them in his mouth, since that is what he does with everything else that he picks up. Funny enough, he just played with the o’s for 10 minutes or so before one ever found its way to his mouth. And when he finally ate one, well, he was not such a big fan…there was a lot of gagging going on there. So funny.

    Going in for the o…

    Look mom, I’m totally going to eat this…

    Gotcha! Come on, why would I put that in my mouth? It’s food! Dirty shoes are much tastier.

    Anyway, as I struggle through this process yet AGAIN, I am thinking maybe this would be a good Call for Recipes of sorts…a call for baby food recipes, advice, tips, favorite products, anything! I’m sure I’m not the only one frustrated and/or overwhelmed by the prospect of feeding a baby FOOD. Let’s share our wisdom with one another…hopefully it will make some of our lives a little easier. Or at least we can commiserate together! And if you love feeding babies solid food, please share some of that good positive food kharma. I need it!

    All I have to offer is that avocado is a good first food and that I like the Earth’s Best Whole Grain Rice Cereal. Beyond that, I’m useless! It’s amazing what one can forget in just a few years’ time!


  5. Thursday, April 26

    Gearing Up For Baby: Stroller and Car Seat Update

    It’s been a while since I’ve done a Gearing Up For Baby post because, well, I’m not really gearing up anymore! Baby is here and we are in the groove! (P.S. How is he 7 months old already? Oh my…)

    I do want to do a quick update on the strollers and car seats that I reviewed before Owen was born. Thought it would be nice to let you know how they’ve been working when used with, you know, an actual baby.

    I LOVE the Orbit Baby travel system. Hands down best travel system I’ve ever used, and I’ve used quite a few. Owen and I took a trip to Utah a few months ago and I decided to take the Maxi Cosi travel system on the trip instead since it was smaller. While I had been enjoying using the Orbit system up until that point, it wasn’t until I used another system that I realized just how awesome the Orbit really is.

    Here are my follow-up thoughts on both systems.

    Orbit Baby

    • The soft handle is even greater than I thought it would be. It makes carrying the car seat sooooo much easier. It’s also super easy to flip up and down – no buttons to push. Love it.
    • The rotating base of the car seat is so handy for so many reasons. I could tell it would be, but now that I use it daily, it really is a fabulous feature.
    • The paparazzi shield is also really great. Use it all the time.
    • The sidekick skateboard for Anna is perfect. Again, use it all the time. She loves it, I love it. And it looks like a real skateboard, which makes it ultra cool.
    • The car seat is heavy. For sure. But all the other stuff makes up for it. And, again, the soft handle makes all the difference. I would much rather carry this heavier car seat with the flexible handle than a lighter one with a hard handle…because, let’s face it, car seats feel heavy no matter what.
    • Warning: If you use this system, people will talk to you. ALL THE TIME. I am not exaggerating when I say that every single time I use the car seat and stroller base in public, people either ask me about it or I overhear them talking about it. I really truly am not exaggerating. I even did a 10 minute demo for a couple at the mall last week. So, if you are not a natural extrovert, look at the stroller as a way to hone those skills! 😉
    • Orbit just came out with a toddler car seat that fits into the infant car seat base so you can continue to have the rotation benefit. Very cool – I’m telling you that rotation feature makes life so much easier. And the Double Helix stroller is coming out this fall. They’ll even have an upgrade kit for people like me who already have the single stroller so you can turn it into a double.

    Maxi Cosi

    • I love the Mila stroller. I use it now in place of my Maclaren. It folds and unfolds easily, doesn’t take up much space, it has the most user-friendly brake system on a stroller that I’ve ever seen, the storage area is big and easy to access (hasn’t been a problem having the access point in the front, which I had wondered about), and it can stand on its own when folded. It is a great stroller!
    • When the car seat is attached to the stroller, it actually feels a little wobbly. I’m not worried about its safety at all, it’s just, well, wobbly.
    • The car seat is fine. Pretty standard. It’s nice and light, which is probably my favorite feature. Everything else about the car seat is pretty basic and similar to other brands.

    If you are looking at travel systems in the Orbit price range, I highly recommend the Orbit. I have enjoyed using it so much and it really has made life a lot easier in so many ways! The Maxi Cosi is in a lower price range and is a nice system…definitely a good option and I like it MUCH better than the Peg Perego system I had with Anna. That said…I heart Orbit 4ever.

    Links to my original posts about these travel systems, which have more information about the various features:

    Links to the manufacturer’s websites:

    I received both of these travel systems from the respective companies for free to review on the site. I was not compensated monetarily. Even though the systems were given to me, all opinions are my own and I was at liberty to say what I thought about the products, positive or negative.


  6. Friday, January 20

    Gearing Up for Baby: Rockin’ Baby Sling {and Giveaway!}

    This giveaway is now closed. Thanks! BUT…keep reading because this is a cool baby sling!

    It’s been a while since I have done a Gearing Up for Baby post…but I still have a baby and I’m still trying out lots of cool gear! Today I wanted to share a nifty sling that I discovered…and of course host a giveaway!

    I wanted some sort of pouch or sling for when Owen was born. I did a quick search on Cool Mom Picks (which is also where I first discovered the Orbit travel system), and both Liz and Kristen had only glowing things to say about the Rockin’ Baby pouch. So, I got on the horn (okay, I sent an email, but how long has it been since you said “got on the horn”…I couldn’t resist) to Rockin’ Baby to see if I could try out their pouch and do a giveaway…and they happily obliged!

    This pouch is very cool. There are zippers in the back that make it easy to adjust to the right size and it’s easy to get on and off. I don’t know about you, but other slings are intimidating to me, with yards of fabric to contend with. This pouch is simple and to the point. If you do like a more traditional sling, however, Rockin’ Baby has those, too! 

    I think my favorite part of Rockin’ Baby is their ONE FOR ONE business model, similar to Tom’s shoes. Every time someone buys a sling, Rockin’ Baby gives one to a mother in Haiti and educates those mothers on the impact a sling can have in their lives. Kathryn Wiley, who purchased the Rockin’ Baby business last year, bought the company because she loved the product and she had the lovely vision to evolve the business into a Mother to Mother model in order to help mothers in need. It’s a cool story and I love supporting Kathryn and her vision!

    Giveaway time! If you would like one of these cool pouches, just leave a comment by Midnight PT on Wednesday, January 25. If you have are expecting or have a baby, you’ll love it! If you don’t, this would make for a pretty sweet baby gift! So, get commenting! One randomly-selected winner will be announced on Thursday, January 26. Good luck!


  7. Sunday, October 16

    Week 247 Menu

    Sorry today’s post is late. And it doesn’t have a photo. Between Owen still not totally realizing that humans are NOT nocturnal and my computer shutting down and making an S.O.S. tone non-stop on Friday afternoon (right when I was about to sync up my new iPhone no less!) necessitating a trip to the Genius Bar where it still resides, well, I guess that says it all! But I haven’t ever missed a Sunday menu post and I’m not going to start now!

    Monday is the last day for meals being brought in. It’s been heaven and we feel very grateful to so many wonderful friends! We’ll see how I do this week…Owen is definitely more work than my other babies were, so I’m still feeling a little (okay, a lot) worn out. We still have a lot of support the next few weeks, so we should be good regardless of how well I stick to the meal plan!

    My mom’s team at work sent us a TON of frozen meals from Omaha Steaks, so we’ll probably start using some of those. So, for a few nights I’ll list the Omaha Steak food we’re eating, but link to my recipe I would normally use if I were actually cooking it! 😉

    MONDAY:
    – Dinner coming from friends

    TUESDAY:
    – Leftovers

    WEDNESDAY:
    Beef Stew
    – Yummy bread

    THURSDAY:
    Chicken Salad Sandwiches
    – Fresh fruit (still coming in from our CSA!)

    FRIDAY:
    – Leftovers

    SATURDAY:
    – Eat out

    SUNDAY:
    Waffles

    Let’s see what you got! Share your menus for the week! And I’ll have more recipes to share this week from meals that were brought in by friends (including the pineapple satay and coconut caramel sauce I was supposed to post on Friday before my computer decided to prove it knows Morse code).


  8. Sunday, October 9

    Week 246 Menu

    I am officially the most tired I’ve been since Owen was born. Last night was a rough one. The whole time he was awake, I just kept reminding myself how wonderful and adorable he is and that I should be enjoying the time since he won’t be this little for very long. The pep talk mostly worked. 😉

    When Mom is busy feeding the new baby and napping when she can, the older kids in the family turn into delinquents. Graffiti is Step 1 on the path to rebellion. But, I gotta say, I’m digging those colorful bricks. And graffiti is better than drugs and alcohol.

    It’s a good thing we have people still bringing us meals this week because my brain is simply not functioning today. I couldn’t create a meal plan if my life depended on it! I’m hoping next week to {maybe} get back on the meal planning train. We’ll see how things go. Until then, please please please share your menus to provide inspiration for one another!

    Also, I have more delicious recipes and meals to share with you this week from what people have been bringing us. Seriously, we’ve been getting great dinners. We are so grateful! Stay tuned for some of that yumminess.


  9. Tuesday, October 4

    Hungarian Stuffed Peppers

    One good thing about me not cooking the next few weeks and having people bring us dinners is that we’ll get to try lots of fun recipes, which I can then share with you!

    For our first post-baby dinner, my friend Julie brought us Hungarian Stuffed Peppers. Julie got this recipe from her Hungarian landlord in Vienna, so it’s totally Hungarian legit. I know you were worried about that. The peppers were delicious and we thoroughly enjoyed our dinner. Thanks, Julie!!

    Hungarian Stuffed Peppers
     
    Author:
    Recipe type: Main Dish
    Cuisine: Hungarian
    Ingredients
    • 8 green peppers
    • ½ pound ground beef
    • ½ pound mild italian sausage
    • 1 egg
    • 1 cup uncooked rice
    • 2 28-oz. cans crushed tomatoes
    • 1 large white onion
    • 3 or 4 yellow potatoes, peeled and cut into tiny cubes
    • 2 tablespoon sweet Hungarian paprika (buy it fresh!) (Julie used a combo of smoked and sweet paprika when she made ours, and it was yummy!)
    • 1+ teaspoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon fresh pepper
    • 2 tablespoons sugar
    • 2 bay leaves
    • 1+ cup water
    • Sour cream (full fat organic is best)
    Instructions
    1. Cut off tops of peppers. Take out seeds.
    2. Mix: meat, egg, rice, potatoes, salt & pepper, paprika. Stuff meat mixture into peppers. Set upright in pot. Make meatballs with extra meat to set on top.
    3. In Cuisinart chop onion and tops of peppers finely (or blend smooth in blender.) Mix onions, pepper tops, crushed tomatoes, sugar, water, bay leaves.
    4. Pour mixture over peppers in pot. Bring to simmer and simmer on low heat for 1 ½ hours. The key is low heat! Add water if sauce looks too thick.
    5. Serve with fresh sour cream and sauerkraut if you have it. Great paired with noodles or dumplings.

     


  10. Sunday, October 2

    Week 245 Menu

    In case anyone was wondering, recovering from an emergency c-section is way worse than a regular delivery. But there is one benefit to being forced to do nothing. I get to stare at these…

    …all day.

    My mom leaves town today, after two weeks of having either her or my dad here to help. (I don’t know what we would have done without them!) We have a bit of time before more family can get out to help us, so I’m a little nervous about what the next week or two will bring. Thankfully, between church and good friends looking out for us, we have people bringing us dinner 10 nights in a row. I can’t even begin to express the gratitude I am feeling for everyone who is helping us out in so many ways.

    Anyway, here’s my meal plan for the week…sit back and let the food come to us!

    What are you having for dinner this week? Please share your menus! And have a fabulous week!