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Category: Pregnancy and Babies

  1. Thursday, September 29, 2011

    Gearing Up for Baby Giveaway: Matthew Kate Kids’ Clothes

    This giveaway is now closed – thank you!

    First off, before you think I’m Wonder Woman or something, I’m not. I wrote this post days before Owen was born, knowing I would be out of it this week. Since I am in baby lala land right now, I have another cute Gearing Up for Baby giveaway for you!

    A good friend of mine from years ago (before either of us had kids!) has started a super cute company and I’m happy to share it with you today! Her company Matthew Kate sells clothes for kids that mark their birthday milestones. Jessica sent my girls each “3 Years” and “6 Years” t-shirts last year and they LOVE them. She also sent me the “Oh What a Year!” baby boy shirt set that I can’t wait to use. Might have to do something like this with our little guy using the shirts!

    Matthew Kate is giving away a baby set to one of you lucky people and the winner can choose either Boy or Girl! If you have a baby, you’ll love it…and if you don’t, this makes a GREAT baby gift! Same drill as always…just leave a comment on this post. Please post comments by Midnight PT on Monday, October 3. Winner will be announced on Tuesday, October 4.

    Good luck!

  2. Tuesday, September 27, 2011

    Owen is here!

    Just wanted to put a quick post up and let you know that Baby Boy Maynard has arrived! AND he has a name…Owen!

    I was scheduled for an induction, but ended up going into labor on my own a few hours earlier. Unfortunately there were some complications and we ended up having a very fast emergency c-section, but both Owen and I are doing very well now and we go home tomorrow!

    Thank you ALL for your baby name ideas, well wishes and support! Off to snuggle with my son…

  3. Sunday, September 25, 2011

    Week 244 Menu

    Yes, I’m still here. But we are going to the hospital today…on my birthday! Yup, baby boy will most likely have the same birthday as me. Pretty fun! Wish us luck today!

    This week I am not planning a menu. I figure having a baby is a good excuse, right? So, I’m giving myself a break! I’m not even posting a photo today. Take that, Blog.

    BUT…you are not off the hook so easily! Please post your menus…please please please! I’m counting on all of you to step up while I slack off!

    Don’t forget to enter the Dillon Rogers giveaway if you haven’t already.

    And if you have cookie recipes that you like (or love!) that are vegan, gluten-free, egg-free, etc, please be sure to comment on Friday’s Call for Recipes post!

    Adios, amigos. I’m off to have a baby! Happy Birthday to Me!

  4. Sunday, September 18, 2011

    Week 243 Menu

    Well…today’s my due date. And this baby is still cooking. And he still doesn’t have a name. So, nothing much new around here! (P.S. People started sharing name ideas with their menus…and, yes, name suggestions are welcome! We need all the help we can get!)

    My dad arrived yesterday. Such a relief – if I go into labor in the middle of the night, we have someone here to take care of the girls. Phew! Last night he helped me cut up some melon. As he was cutting he said, “So, do I get a mention on the blog now?” So, here’s his big shout out. Good job, Dad.

    Here is my total non-menu menu for the week. I’m just hoping that one of these days has hospital food on the menu!

    Rachel Sandwiches

    – Frozen pizza

    – Rubio’s


    – The girls have a pizza party, adults fend for themselves

    – Eat out

    – Grandma’s in town! Maybe she’ll rustle something up…or maybe we’ll just eat out again. ūüėČ

    For real. We NEED your menus now. I am no inspiration whatsoever. Please share what you’ve got cooking for the week!

  5. Friday, September 16, 2011

    Gearing Up for Baby: Maxi Cosi Car Seat & Stroller

    I have another car seat and stroller review for you, and it’s another product that broke me out of the Babies-R-Us-store-wandering rut. Maxi Cosi was generous enough to provide me with their¬†Mico infant car seat and their Mila stroller¬†(which works with the car seat) to try out and let you know what I think. This system is on the affordable side of the spectrum, which I think most of us greatly appreciate, and I’m excited to share it with you!

    First impressions – things I’m liking a lot:

    • The system looks cool and there are good color choices. I know, looks aren’t everything, but I do appreciate it when a company realizes that just because a kid might like Winnie the Pooh doesn’t meant the parents are going to want to make a Pooh statement everywhere they go!

    • I love the fact that this stroller is quite compact, similar to the Maclaren that I love so much, but you can also use it with the infant car seat! And, once you’re done with the car seat, you can use this stroller up to 50 pounds. Great versatility, you get your money’s worth.
    • The brake system is super easy to use. I actually am really loving this feature. To brake, push the button on the back right wheel with your foot, to un-brake, push the button on the left wheel. (Works better than my Maclaren’s brake system by a long shot.)
    • When the stroller is folded, it can stand upright. I really like this feature a lot.

    • Large basket underneath for storage.
    • Folding and unfolding the stroller is easy, and you can either push the release in the back with your foot or pull a handle.
    • Car seat is lightweight, which is nice when lugging baby around, and there is side-impact protection.
    • Stroller comes with a rain shield.
    On first pass, here are the things I don’t love:
    • Easiest access to the storage is through the front of the stroller – would prefer if the access was from the back.
    • No tray by the handles to put stuff. There is a cup holder and a pocket in the canopy, so at least there’s something up top for keeping a few little items. No tray for the kids, either.
    • Typical small stroller wheels. I like my wheels bigger so I can go off-roading! ūüėČ


    Jury’s still out:
    • You can’t adjust handle height, but the handles aren’t too short and you do not kick the wheels when strolling, so it may not be a big deal.
    • Canopies on the stroller and the car seat seem like they’re a decent size, but want to use them to see if they really do cover enough.
    After we use this with the baby a bit, we’ll let you know what we think, so stay tuned!

  6. Tuesday, September 13, 2011

    Gearing Up for Baby: Orbit Stroller Travel System G2

    Each time we get pregnant, at some point I realize we need an infant car seat and stroller. So I head to Babies R Us and end up feeling completely overwhelmed and frozen with indecision.When I was pregnant with Cate, almost all the car seats and travel systems were UGLY. (Remember the plaid phase?) So, I’ll admit, I pretty much selected our travel system based on looks. We ended up buying an Eddie Bauer Vector stroller (three-wheel style) and car seat. It was actually really easy to use – easy to fold the stroller, easy to snap the car seat in and out of both the car base and the stroller, and the large wheels made for easy strolling over all kinds of terrain. But the back wheels were so wide it drove me bonkers when I went to any stores. When Cate grew out of the system, I sold it and for almost the same amount I bought it for. (Note, they don’t make this system anymore.)

    For Anna, I bought a used Peg Perego system (it was practically new, great condition). I had a few friends who literally gushed over their Peg Perego car seats and strollers, so I thought I would love it. And I didn’t. AT ALL. In fact, the whole time we used it I was wishing I still had the old Eddie Bauer system. It was nearly impossible to snap the car seat into the stroller without a major struggle, it was not very easy snapping it into the base in the car, and folding and un-folding the stroller was a pain in the patootie. I didn’t even bother selling that one, I just gave it away.

    Enter pregnancy #3. With no car seat or stroller in sight, I was going to just get the Graco Metrolite or Chicco systems, keep things simple. But then I decided it would be fun to do a review or two on the blog and actually try out some strollers and car seats that I would want to use, based on research. Today I’m reviewing the Orbit Baby travel system, a high-end product that I am sooooo excited to have. Later this week I’ll review a travel system in a lower price-range and let you know how they compare.

    As I was editing DailyBuzz Moms one day, I came across this review of the Orbit travel system. I had never heard of Orbit and was immediately intrigued, especially when the title of the post included the words “life-changing.” I contacted Orbit and thankfully they decided to work with me. Yippee! They provided me with a Stroller Travel System G2 to review and use with our new baby. Orbit is based in the Bay Area, so I had the chance to meet them at their offices, where they gave me a tour of my new travel system.

    First impression – parents designed this system. There are so many little things that only a parent would have thought of that are incorporated into the design. To name a few:

    • Easy to fold and unfold the stroller base.

    • Soft carrier handle on the car seat…it is so much more comfortable to carry on your arm!
    • Paparazzi shield built into the canopy – no more trying to get a blanket to stay in the right spot when you want baby covered.
    • You don’t have to remove the straps from the car seat to remove the cover for washing. Love this feature.

    • You can rotate the car seat on the stroller base and the car base. This feature ROCKS. It’s handy when using the stroller to be able to choose which direction you want the baby to face, but it’s especially handy with taking the baby in and out of the car. You can click it in whatever way it lands and then rotate it to the proper position, or you can just leave the car seat in the car and turn it to face you to put the baby in. It’s pretty much genius.

    • Side impact protection on the car seat.
    • Babies can use this car seat up to 30 pounds, and, from what I can tell, there appears to be ample room for baby to still be comfortable up to that weight.
    • They used certified green materials.
    • The stroller base folds up compactly.
    • The front wheels can swivel or be locked straight.
    • Handle height on the stroller is adjustable.
    On first pass, here are the things that I don’t love:
    • When you fold the stroller, the handles hit the ground really easily. I think they’re going to get banged up pretty good, but at least the folding process is a snap.
    • The car seat is quite large. When placed in the center of the backseat of our Ford Taurus (yes, we drive a wicked-cool Ford Taurus), it stands very tall, making it hard for me to see the girls on the sides. There is still plenty of room for the girls, it’s just really tall, blocking visibility for me.
    One thing the jury is still out for me on:
    • The storage space under the stroller is¬†removable, so you can pack it up in your house, carry it around, etc. I think I’m going to like this feature because I do believe it’s hard to stuff things under strollers in general. It’s really easy to remove the pod and put it back on the base. But I’m still wondering if it will really be easier. I’m just going to have to use it to see what I really think!
    Once we’ve used the system for a little while I’ll do a foll0w-up post to let you know how it goes! This system is on the expensive side but, like a luxury car, it really does have all the bells and whistles that make life easy and comfortable. I am super excited to use the system and will keep you posted on how we like it!
    Orbit provided me with their Stroller Travel System G2, but all opinions expressed in this post are my own.

  7. Friday, September 9, 2011

    Little Man Baby Shower…and DELICIOUS Recipes

    On Tuesday night my friends threw me a baby shower. Even though I told them not to. Because it’s my third child. But they insisted. Because we’re having a boy and we need boy things (which is true). And because they are great friends. And, I must admit, I’m so happy I gave into their shower entreaties. The party was beyond adorable, the food was amazing, and, most importantly, I got to spend an evening with a beautiful group of women I am so grateful to know and count as friends.

    But enough with the sappy stuff. I have to show you how ridiculously cute this shower was. I actually don’t have tons of pictures because it was dark, so they do not convey the total cuteness that was the shower. But believe me, everything looked fabulous.

    There were moustaches and bow ties all over the place.

    And the food. Ah, the food. Again, no great photos, but believe me when I tell you it was all beautiful and tasted even better than it looked.

    The inspiration for the Little Man Shower came from this blog post on ReMarkable Home. (If you click through, you can get the templates for everything and see how to put it all together!) Our friend Courtney discovered the post and shared it with my friend Natalee, who spearheaded my shower. Courtney is good at finding great stuff online. The girl has 53 boards on Pinterest, for Pete’s sake.

    Thank you to my wonderful friends Wendy, Amy, Mindy, Sarah, Natalee and Ana (and Angie, not pictured, who did the flowers). You ladies orchestrated an evening I will never forget and helped welcome Baby Boy Maynard into the world with style!

    Click more to see some fabulous recipes from the shower!

    (>> Find out more…)

  8. Tuesday, September 6, 2011


    Yeah, that’s right. I ate a chocolate cream puff for breakfast.

    Anna and I happened to be driving by Cafe La Tartine in Redwood City this morning and the Chocolat Choux à la Crème was calling out my name. The car practically drove itself into the parking lot.

    Anna decided to get a carrot cupcake…which just so happens to have the best cream cheese frosting I’ve ever tasted. Beginning to think maybe I should have gotten that instead of the cream puff.

    I figure if there’s any time in my life I can eat cream puffs for breakfast, it’s when I’m over 38 weeks pregnant. I blame the baby for this irresponsible behavior.

  9. Friday, September 2, 2011

    ‘Gearing Up for Baby’ Has Begun! Plus…The List

    Today marks the kick-off of Gearing Up for Baby on This Week for Dinner! With my due date just over 2 weeks away, I am in major nesting and preparation mode. I thought it would be fun to share some of that with you…and maybe throw in a few REALLY cute giveaways along the way. Besides, I’m not cooking anything very exciting right now, so I gotta give you something to read on this here blog!

    Don’t worry, I’ll still get the weekly menus up and we’ll still talk some food for the next few weeks, but there will also be lots of other fun stuff mixed in. I’m even going to do some car seat and stroller reviewing because I think that is one of the hardest things to buy! I have years of good and bad experiences, so hopefully it will be helpful for a few of you. (Teaser: Orbit Baby¬†provided me with their G2 Travel System to review…I received it yesterday…it’s amazing…but more on that later…)

    To kick everything off, I have a gift for you. Something that, until now, only went to a few close friends. But I’ve decided it’s time that this something make a public appearance, and that something is The List.

    My sister-in-law Jessica and I were pregnant with our first babies at the same time. Cate came first, so I was the guinea pig in the “new mom” department. Not long after Cate was born, Jess called me on the phone and said, “Okay, now that you’ve had the baby, what stuff do I really need to get?” We spent a good amount of time talking, with Jess dutifully typing away. That was how The List was born.

    The List¬†is meant to be a guide…all babies and moms are different!¬†That said, it’s a good jumping-off point for figuring out what baby supplies you need. I know it’s been helpful for a lot of my friends, and I actually was very grateful to have it myself when it was time to get ready for Baby #3!

    Click here to see The List!

    And, as always, please leave comments if you have your own baby shopping list advice!

  10. Thursday, August 11, 2011

    On food and having babies

    Photo taken by my sister Anne when Cate was about 1 week old

    My body does not like being pregnant. It’s a fact. It happens every time. And yet, here we are, working on baby number 3. Sometimes wondering¬†why¬†we are working on baby number 3 (just kidding!), yet¬†always¬†beyond happy that we are.

    As you may have noticed, one of the biggest impacts that pregnancy has on my life¬†is in my relationship to food. For the first half of my pregnancy, I can barely keep any food down with the help of medication. It’s a constant struggle to keep myself, and my baby, nourished. Then, once the crazy¬†nausea¬†and vomiting have dissipated, the constant acid reflux controls what I do (or do not) eat or drink right up until the baby is born. My current food predicament? Nothing sounds good to me. Yes, I’m starving, but I have no zest for food. Except chocolate lava cakes. There is always zest for chocolate lava cakes.

    The thing is, food is essential and central to the experience of life. Especially my life. I’m a mother, constantly needing to feed two (and a half) little people. I’m a food blogger, constantly wanting to write about food. And, at the most basic level, I’m human, needing food to survive. So when the relationship I have with food is so wrought with problems, it really does affect everything. It’s beyond frustrating.

    I want to complain. And often I do. And I invariably feel guilty about the complaining, despite caring friends and family telling me I have every right to complain, that I should get it all out without feeling guilty. And even though sometimes (okay, maybe more than sometimes) you can find me whining about my latest pregnancy-induced ailment, I truly am so grateful to be growing this little life inside of me. And whenever I do feel like I’ve hit rock bottom…too sick or in pain to move, to be a mother, to be a wife, and feeling depressed as a result of all of that…I remind myself of that gratitude. Grateful that I am in this position to begin with and that, despite the crumminess, in reality everything is healthy and wonderful and the end result will be breathtaking.

    I also can’t help but think of many of my friends. My single friends who wish so much they were married and having babies of their own. My married friends who never could get pregnant or who struggled for years to conceive, with month after month of heartbreak defining the process. My friends who are parents but for various reasons cannot have more children and constantly feel a small hole in their life where that child they thought they would have should be. I love these friends dearly and I hope that I have been able to keep my shallow complaints about sciatica and heartburn to a minimum in their presence.

    I very recently had the most precious moment with our little Anna, who is now three years old. As the pregnancy progresses and she gets a little older, her interest in her baby brother increases. It’s so sweet to see the evolution. Two days ago she was gently feeling my belly, trying to see if she could feel the baby. He wasn’t moving, but there was a bump that she said she could feel. I am never quite sure if she really gets what’s going on, but I love that she tells me she does.

    After a few seconds, she laid her little head to my belly and said, “I can hear his dreams.”

    She’s three and you can’t always understand everything she says. I wasn’t entirely sure she had really said the word dreams, so I asked, “You can hear the baby dreaming?”

    When she answered that, yes, she could, I asked her what he was dreaming about.

    “He’s dreaming about us.”

    And at that moment all of the struggles didn’t matter. All I could feel was love and gratitude. For my supportive husband. For my friends who, no matter their own circumstances, are truly and wholly happy for me. For my beautiful daughters anticipating the arrival of their little brother. And for this person moving around inside of me who, before I know it, will be grown up and having babies of his own. And so I take my iron pills, throw a pillow between my legs and eat my dinner that doesn’t really taste that great. Because life is good and I’m lucky I get to experience it.