Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day weekend

We had a fun memorial day weekend. We started Friday night with two kinds of homemade waffles - s'more and blackberry. They were delicious and we have the best waffle batter recipe ever. It has to rest overnight or 8 hours, but it is so worth it and easy to make.

Saturday was exciting because Violet met her great-grandma Bernice (nana). She came from Kansas City and was very excited to meet Vi. It was fun to have Mike, Carol, Laura, Lois, and Erin here too.

Violet with nana

4 generations

Sleeping away with her dad

We even ate a little turtle cheesecake leftover from Nathan's birthday

Saturday night we went out with the Shooks to celebrate Nate's birthday. We went to a new restaurant downtown called Bridge and it was fantastic - Violet stayed with our friends Stephanie and Jerret and played with one of her many future boyfriends - Ephraim.

We wrapped up the weekend by going to the Greek Festival and eating gyros and baklava. The Greek music and dancers were fun, but it was a smaller festival than we imagined. Nate even found time over the weekend to stain the deck. It was a fun busy weekend!

Photo shoot

Vi was so happy and looked so sweet in her yellow dress that we decided to have a little photo shoot!

She also looks very cute in her custom made onesie

I could just kiss her little face and inhale her sweetness all day

Monday, May 24, 2010

8 weeks

Happy 8 weeks, baby Violet. She did great at her 2 month doctor's appt. She weighs 10 pds, 14 oz and is 23.5 inches long. She is growing so much! She did have to get 4 shots and one oral vaccine, but she was such a trooper. Mom cried almost more than she did :-)

8 week chair picture

We are mourning the swaddle. This is how she ends up every time!

Wiped out after the doctor's visit

Rolling Over

Today Violet rolled over from her back to her belly! She was on the activity mat and we were just gabbing like we like to do and she was laying with her elephant up above. I was stuffing diapers and I noticed she was on her side. She's been rolling to her side for the last week or so, so it was no big deal. Then she just kept going and going! I got the video camera and caught the last few seconds of the big move. She's such a big girl!

Visit to Tremont

Violet and I took a little girl's only trip to Tremont to celebrate Riley's 8th grade graduation. I was a little nervous about traveling with a newborn by myself, but it was a great trip and I'm so glad we went. Violet is a great traveler and slept the whole way there and back. She was in a great mood and gave everyone big smiles and lots of songs.

I was also excited to go because we got to meet baby Jordan Moses Parker. My long time friend Joni and I got go share something very special. We found out last summer that we were due on the same day - March 25th! It was so fun to be able to share our pregnancy and celebrate the milestones. The story gets even better because we both went 4 days late and our babies were born only two hours apart on March 29th! They were only 1 oz different, but Violet was a couple of inches longer. Finally the birthday buddies got to meet. We put them in their Bumbo seats and it was so fun! Jordan was sleeping, but he was a good sport :-) He is such a handsome guy and he is very loved by his big brother Ezra and his parents. He's a lucky boy to have such a great family! We also got to see Ashley and Natalie again. Seeing these old friends makes me wish we lived closer and could see each other more often.

Violet and Jordan, almost 8 weeks old


After stopping in Bloomington to meet Jordan, we headed to Tremont to see the Steffeys. Violet loves her Grammy, Grampy, Aunt, and Uncle. She especially loves her Grampy!
She just talked and smiled at him for such a long time. He loves her, too!

Don't you just love to hear a tough guy's baby voice??

Riley's party was great! She looked beautiful and it was fun to meet her friends. A friend of the family made this awesome cake for her.

Such pretty girls!

Violet also got to spend some time with her great aunt Lisa

Talking and kicking in her pack 'n' play

It was a great trip, but we're glad to be home!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Cuivre River Trail

This weekend I took my first hiking trip of the year at Cuivre River State Park near Troy, MO. It's a great place to hike, only an hour from St. Louis with a variety of short and longer trails. This was my first real hike with my new GPS.

I took the Cuivre River Trail, starting from the Hamilton Hollow trailhead, and ending with a shortcut for a total of 8.4 miles. After 1/3 of a mile on the Hamilton Hollow, you turn right to head towards Big Sugar Creek. The next 2 miles were very muddy and flat as the trail follows the creek. After turning west and leaving the connector trail, you head uphill out of the mud and along hillsides for the next 3 miles. Then the trail turns sharply to the east as you arrive at the bluff overlooking the Cuivre River and the plains below. This part of the trail overlaps with the Frenchman's Bluff Trail, which is a shorter 3 mile hike. Total hiking time was 3 hours. Here is the map I created of the journey.

Props to:
- my wifey for getting me the GPS
- GPS Babel, a great site which lets you convert any GPS file format into any other (
- MapFinder for GoogleEarth for the topo map background

I can't upload it here, but if you want the file for the trail to upload to your GPS, let me know and I will e-mail it to you. Coordinates for the waypoints are below.

Parking Lot: ( 39° 0.591'N, 90° 56.385'W)
Trailhead: ( 39° 0.643'N, 90° 56.358'W)
Right to leave Hamilton Hollow trail: ( 39° 0.792'N, 90° 56.204'W)
Trail splits, go left: ( 39° 1.548'N, 90° 55.933'W)
Bluff: ( 39° 1.499'N, 90° 57.598'W)

To get to Cuivre River State Park from I-64, go west towards Wentzville, then get on Highway 61 North for 15 miles. Exit onto Highway 47 and turn right. Go 3 miles and turn left on Highway 147 to enter the park. To get to the trailhead, go straight past the visitors center until the road ends at the picnic area.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

homemade applesauce

It's been a while since I posted a recipe, but I'm back in the swing of cooking again. We were so blessed to have so many friends and family bring us meals after Violet was born. It was so nice not to have to worry about dinner 3 nights a week for the last 6 weeks, but now we are back on our own and I am looking forward to getting back in the kitchen!

I love apples. I've eaten an apple a day for the past 3 years! I am not so much a fan of the applesauce that you buy in a jar, so I thought I would try to make my own. It's so easy and your house will smell so good!

You need:
-a crockpot
-6-8 red baking apples like Macintosh
-1 tsp cinnamon
-1/4 tsp cloves
-1/4 tsp nutmeg
-3 tbsp sugar
-1/2 cup water
-1/4 cup orange juice
(the measurements are estimates, I didn't measure anything and I think you can mess around without messing anything up)

1.Peel, seed, and roughly chop apples
2.Add in rest of ingredients right into the crockpot
3. Cook on low for 4-6 hours, depending on how chunky or smooth you want it. There's no need to mash anything, just stir it around a few times and it will break down on it's own. You can use a fork to smash it around if you like it smooth. I love it chunky with a little texture.

Final product - YUM!

Cloth diapers

Today is the first day we are switching to cloth diapers. I'm nervous and excited! They've been prewashed and ready to go for way too long and now I finally get to see how cute they are on my baby girl. We have lots of colors to try out and I'm sure she will like wearing them. I just have to get used to her big bumgenius booty!

Why is it that babies are happy and smiling and then as soon as you take a picture they freeze? She looks kind of startled, but I promise she was kicking around and talking the second before and the second after this was taken!

Monday, May 17, 2010

7 weeks

7 weeks talking

morning girl

In the bumbo seat

This is a cute video of Violet sitting in the bumbo seat talking to her dad - our favorite part is the last few seconds! This is real life with a baby :- )

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Graber visit

Our good friends Adam, Ashley, and Natalie came to visit us and to meet baby Violet. It was such a fun weekend and we always like to talk about old times. We even swapped date nights and we left Vi for the first time. We had a great time because we knew she was in good hands.

Big smiles for the Grabers!

Natalie was so sweet to baby Violet. She is getting good practice at being a big sister! She will have lots of love and kisses to give Ben in a couple of months.

From this angle Vi looks humongous!

Funny face

Monday, May 10, 2010

6 weeks

Our baby girl is already 6 weeks old - it's hard to believe!

Trying to wave

So cute!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mother's Day

My first mother's day was great because we traveled to Champaign, IL to celebrate with my family. Violet met her great-great-grandma and we took a picture of all 5 generations present. It was great to spend the day with my mom, too. Vi even wrote that I am the best mom she's ever had (she is very advanced).

Our first overnight trip went very well and she was a great car traveler. I couldn't have asked for a better weekend!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Big Smile

Everywhere we go Violet is very popular. People love babies. People love smiley babies and kids. People love cute outfits. People especially love hats with big flowers on them! Put these things together and now I know what it's like to be a celebrity. Except people aren't looking at me, they're looking at this cute baby!!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

5 weeks

Happy 5 weeks, baby girl. Somebody tell this kid to stop growing!


Just a few pictures from the weekend

This outfit is a HUGE hit wherever we go!

Since she can hold her head up so well, we thought she might like to try out the Bumbo seat. She loves to be up so she can look around and smile and talk. (Thanks Steph and Ephraim for letting us borrow this!)


It's still so hard to catch a big smile, but here's a little grin

Her favorite way to fall asleep (and mine, too)

Cardinal's Game

We were offered free tickets to the Friday night Cardinal's game and decided to go. I wrapped up Vi in the moby and it was actually a little easier than we thought it would be. If only there were no storms and tornado warnings! We were all safe though and Violet really enjoyed her first Cardinal's game.

Doctor's appt

On Friday April 30th Violet had her one month check up. She is a healthy growing baby and she even smiled for the pediatrician. She had to get one shot in her thigh and after a few tears she was back to her usual happy self.

She weighed 8 lbs 15 oz and was 22.5 inches long. She's grown over an inch and gained a pound and a half!

See, even with a bandaid I'm fine!