Saturday, May 10, 2008

It is time to play

Selena has been a lot of fun the past month. She is starting to have an imagination and a sense of humor and it is fun to see all the new things she can do. It's funny because most of the things really aren't that impressive to most people, but to me it is so fascinating to watch her doing things that she couldn't a month or two ago.

Some of these amazing feats include: playing cook in the kitchen by taking a spoon and mixing stuff up, wanting to help us sweep, vacuum and pick weeds. Reaching up for me to hold her hand when she is walking over a challenging surface or changing surface. Turning around and waving bye bye to me when I ask her where she is going. Reading a book in the car. Giving me zerberts. Refusing to give me or dad kisses, but always giving Dyna kisses. Playing ring-around-the-rosie. Dancing to the songs on American Idol - Seyesha is her favorite. Pointing and getting excited at animals and pictures of animals wherever we go.

She still isn't talking much. She pretty much uses 'da' for every thing. Dada - dada, Dyda - Dyna, Da - dog. She says Da da Dy da all the time. She has added bye bye and diaper change to her signing vocabulary but only uses the latter if I say it first.

She has also finally settled on a consistent bed and nap time. That doesn't mean she still doesn't wake up every 2 to 4 hours during the night but I don't have to guess when to start getting her ready for bed or a nap. All the sleep experts recommend getting your child to sleep at consistent times but this was really hard for me because I didn't know if I was supposed to wake her up in the morning if she slept "too late", and what was I supposed to do if she woke up too early? At night if I tried to force her (ie. rock or nurse her till she was comatose) to sleep when she didn't want to she would wake up every half-hour for the rest of the night--and that was just exhausting for me. And I really did not feel comfortable with letting herself cry herself to sleep.

So we usually would have a schedule for about 4 days and then something would mess it up, be it activities, her needing to fill her diaper, Dyna barking at invisible things, etc. So being a pretty go-with-the-flow parent I just decided that four day schedules are fine and we can create a new one whenever we needed to. But now (for the last two months) she has settled into a schedule all on her own and even if she does end up napping at a different time she still goes to bed around the same time. I also don't have to rock her or hold her while she falls asleep and she did that all on her own as well. I am hoping that since she has progressed in this respect, sleeping longer stretches will also happen soon.

I also figured a while back that rather than read books about how to get my baby to sleep I preferred reading about other babies that didn't sleep. I found this blog -- . I especially like their list of excuses for why your baby doesn't sleep and Sleep training - a baby's view.

Friday, May 2, 2008

What's for dinner?

So Floyd and I traditionally go back and forth with each other. "What do you want for dinner?", "What do YOU want for dinner?" et cetera, et cetera until we cave in and make frozen pizza or noodle-roni or something else that is quick, tastes okay, but is not exciting, and doesn't include many vegetables. This happened almost every day and maybe once a week I might get ambitious and plan something that actually involved cooking.

Well now that I am home during the day, and have a young toddler to feed, I felt like I should be making more nutritiously diverse meals. So I thought to myself, "Wouldn't it be cool if there was a website that just told you what to make every day and gave you a grocery list?" Then I figured there probably was, so off I went and started googling menu planning services. There are plenty. So being a frugally minded person, my idea was to try each websites sample menu, and since there were about 8-10 sites that would last me two months, and rotating menus every two months would work pretty well, and it wouldn't cost me anything.

Well after perusing the menus (on a side note look up the word peruse, I was very shocked at it's definition) some of the menus really didn't sound too good. So I did another search for whole food meal planning and found Their sample menu looked really good and their philosophy behind diet seemed similar to mine--eat a wide variety of fresh foods. They aren't providing a weight loss service so they don't provide calorie counts or fat content and they don't sacrifice taste by trying to make a meal "light" (one of my pet peeves), they provide recipes made with fresh ingredients that taste good. So I decided to try their site first. It was very tasty. Their current sample menu is a little different now then it was when we tried it, but my favorites, the chicken strips, steak sandwhich, and the tomato salad are still there. The chicken strips have a side dish of zucchini and potatoes that is really yummy. I am not a fan of salads but the tomato salad was really good and I got to make my own croutons. So overall I was pretty happy, but I figured I should give another site a try.

So I tried Their sample menu seemed pretty good when you looked at it, unfortunately it seemed like noone actually tried the recipes out before providing them. A couple had really weird contrasting flavors that didn't seem to go together, and a meatball recipe's proportions were all wrong--it was supposed to be a recipe for four, but it said to put an entire bag of meatballs in and the meatball package served 14. So after that disappointment I decided to sign up for's service after all. It is only $15 for 3 months so it is a pretty good deal.

We have been using it for about 2 months and have been overall happy with it. Like I said before I am not a salad person, but their salad recipe's are really good. I am also not a very good cook, but I have only had screw ups with a few of the recipe's so overall most of the recipe's are pretty easy to make. Not every recipe has been a roaring success, but each week there is usually one that is really good, that you really would like to have again. I usually only use about 5 of the 7 recipe's a week and then do leftovers, go out, or do something easy the other days.

The one big thing that is annoying and I find inconvenient is when you print out the recipe's and the grocery list your recipe and grocery list often get split between pages , so that you are constantly flipping between two pages. However I know that technically this is easier said then done. As a web developer you have virtually no control over how html is printed so you are pretty much stuck with what you get-- however it seems like their should be a library out there somewhere that allows you to dynamically create pdf files... But I haven't seen it and that is totally off topic.

But I really recommend this service to anyone who has a hard time deciding what to make for dinner. I really think the chef in this family owned business is talented and I feel really good about recommending their site.