Wednesday, January 31, 2007

More firsts!

As I type, we're getting ready for tonight's flight to Minneapolis -- Davey's first flight. We are praying that he sleeps through the majority of the flight, and will happily nurse during takeoff and descent. Wish us luck!

Before we go -- more firsts!

Yesterday afternoon, Mark fed Davey from a bottle for the first time. Woo hoo! I've been trying pumping for a couple weeks, but with no luck on getting him to eat it. We figured out that my milk is turning sour (soapy smelling -- ICK) pretty much as soon as it cools. What a bummer! From what I've learned, this is due to extra lypase hormone in my milk and it can be neutralized by scalding the milk before letting it cool. So I scalded yesterday morning's milk and Davey was willing to drink it from a bottle that afternoon. Ahhh...

And last, but not least, tonight's other first... Davey just started laughing when I was tickling and nibbling on his belly. Yay -- how cute!!!

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Davey recommends "California Baby" products - 113 days old

Remember a while back when I was talking about how Davey's skin and scalp always seemed dry, especially after baths? He had a mild case of cradle cap, as well.

WELL, we were given some calming lotion by California Baby and it worked beautifully to moisturize Davey's skin, as well as help get rid of the rash he had all over his body (in addition to double rinsing all his laundry). So when Mark and I ran across California Baby products at Whole Foods, we had to look through them all. We bought a bottle of their Tea Tree and Lavender body and hair wash, as well as some massage oil. It was expensive, but if the lotion was any indicator, the price would be well worth it.

What can I say? The cradle cap is gone and Davey's skin is no longer dry. Ta daaa!

I logged on to California Baby's website and wrote them an email to thank them for making such great products. They wrote back to me today to ask permission to use my letter in their monthly newsletter, and in exchange, they'll send us a $50 gift certificate. Neato! I think we'll be stocking up on more wash, bubble bath (for when that's interesting to him), sunscreen (for all of us)...

It pays to be positive!

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Wow, amazing how much he's changed already

I've just been thinking about how much Davey's grown in just 113 days. Here's a picture of him when he was 10 days old:
Sleeping Davey - 10 days old

He's wearing that long-sleeved onesie under his pajamas tonight, in fact, but now it's tight and nearly too small. I suspect he'll wear it maybe one or two more times, max, before it's destined for the outgrown pile.

Here's a photo from tonight, 103 days later than that first picture:
All clean! 113 days old

Over the weekend we measured and weighed him. These are approximate measurements (especially the weight), and we'll get "official" measurements in about a week and a half at his 4 month well-baby visit.

Weight then: 6lb 9oz
Weight now: 13lb
Difference: +6.5lb

Height then: 20"
Height now : 26"
Difference: +6"


Next big thing: We booked our tickets tonight... Davey's first flight will happen this week. Let the world travels begin! Okay, so we're sticking to domestic travel for this first adventure: We're flying to Minneapolis, MN this Wednesday night. The flight leaves at 12:30am (technically Thursday morning) and gets in at 6:05am. Flying home on Sunday night, the flight leaves at 9:30pm. We're flying Sun Country Airlines and hoping to upgrade to First Class (for the extra seating space) the evening of the flights, as Dad and Linda have been able to do every time they've flown this airline. Fingers crossed! Anyway, our hope is that Davey will cooperate and simply sleep through each of the flights, as those are prime sleeping hours for him, and his absolute favorite place to sleep is on either one of our chests, which is where he'll be. Our stroller, which we love so much, is too expensive and bulky to trust to the baggage handlers, so we'll leave that at home. Instead, we'll bring the Baby Bjorn carrier and we'll check his car seat. It's not like we're going to go strolling a whole lot in Minnesota in February. ;-)

For those that have kids -- any advice for flying with an infant?! Pllllease?

Friday, January 26, 2007

A happy day

Today started off with a bang, withy Davey and I up and out of the house by 9:30 and on our way to a free preview class of Kindermusik. I wanted to see if Davey would enjoy it, or whether he'd be too young for it. Well, happily, I think we both enjoyed it a great deal!

Davey was definitely the youngest, but one mother had been bringing her daughter since the girl was two months old, and they were still going. Davey didn't fuss, cry or frown for the duration of the class. In fact, he was often smiling, relaxed and engaged. We got to sing songs, tango, cha-cha, play with the parachute, beat on drums, shake egg rattles and look at lots of bubbles... and look at other babies, of course. What fun! By the end of the last song of the class, Davey had fallen asleep, peacefully, in my arms. He didn't awaken until I took his car seat inside the house (sleeping through walking in the rain, strapping in to the car seat and removing the seat from the car).

A fun aside: A very cool former co-worker, Alice Ostrovsky, was in the class with her son, Xander (Zander?). She told me she'd just emailed me (on LinkedIn). What timing! Anyhow, the class is actually full for the rest of the session, but the teacher said she's thinking she'll let Davey and I join, since "Davey doesn't take up much space yet." Perhaps she caught the connection with Alice and I, as well. Meanwhile, all the moms and kids were really nice and really sweet. I'm totally looking forward to this!

Upon returning home, changing his diaper, etc., Davey, Mark and I went for a trip up to visit his grandpa Merz for a little while and then grandma Bonnie. Just short visits, but nice, nonetheless. As you can see from this photo, Davey was a very smiley boy today.

What a nice day!

And a sweet video from last night:

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Another first -- a movie!

A long day - 108 days old
Originally uploaded by jessicafm.
I'm almost afraid to put this in writing, for fear that it will jynx it, but... here I go, tempting fate. The past couple of nights, Davey's been pretty good about being in his crib. He's fussed for 5 minutes or so after being put in the crib, initially, but then fallen asleep after that for 3-1/2 to 4 hours. Then he would wake up, want to eat and then go back to sleep in his crib for another couple hours or so. The biggest problem seems to be getting him to sleep for longer stretches after that first, initial few hours. Ah well -- he's learning. He just obviously likes to be with Mark and I and doesn't like being alone. Hard to blame him, huh?

Something that became noticeable yesterday, and even more so today: A bald spot on the back of Davey's head, about the size of a quarter. It's where he rubs his head back and forth against the crib mattress when he's fussing or trying to put himself to sleep. I'll see if I can get a picture of it to share.

So this morning, upon waking to the daylight with a big smile, we started off on a nice day. I put Davey in his stroller and we went for a walk together to Peet's, for a nice non-fat decaf latte (a "why bother"). He took a good nap while we walked there and while I sat in the sunshine, sipped my coffee and caught up with my grandmother on the phone. When it was time to go, he woke up with smiles and cooed to me while we walked home. What a sweet boy.

One of our neighbor's, Nelson, came by and gave us a gift: thousands of baseball cards. Yow! Nnot that we need t collect more stuff, but hey, this could be a really fun thing for Davey as he grows up. Perhaps it'll even be a good investment down the road, who knows? Davey's first baseball cards!

A little later, I decided it was time to see if it would be possible to go to a movie. I tested this theory with a matinée presentation of "Pursuit of Happyness." Yes, his first movie outing! I figured if he fussed, there wouldn't be many people bothered by it, and I wouldn't have wasted a full price movie ticket. Happily (happYness), I timed the movie just right and it was his afternoon nap time. Through most of the movie he slept, except for a bit of time where he wanted to nurse and when he wanted to sit on my lap to watch the movie. At one point, Will Smith yelled out which started Davey and the pouty lower lip appeared, but he was quickly and easily soothed. Phew!

After the movies, it was a quick stop at the Goodwill drop-box (did you know they don't take light fixtures?) and then in to Target to return the "sleep positioner" that I bought but he doesn't need. The only time he fussed all day was while waiting in line at Target Customer Service. I don't blame him!

Now we're home and he's tired... a day out and about will do that, eh?

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Time Out for Chocolate Almond Toffee

In honor of the January "Sugar High Friday" food blogging event, I decided to make some decadent and delicious chocolate candy. The theme this month is "Chocolate by Brand."

I thought it might be fun to mix up a batch of chocolate covered almond toffee. It's not a very difficult recipe and it's oh, so delicious. Once the recipe was decided, I needed to figure out which brand of chocolate I would use, and why. Ultimately, I wanted this to be decadent and rich, with high quality chocolate. Here's what I decided:

Valrhona Noir Orange: A dark chocolate with essence of orange. Doesn't that sound like it would go very well with almonds and toffee? Yeah, I thought so, too.

Shokinag milk chocolate: In honor of my hunni, who prefers milk chocolate to dark, I wanted to make half the candy with milk chocolate. While browsing the chocolate section at Whole Foods, this brand looked luxurious. I've never used it before, however, so it was a gamble. A gamble that paid off, mind you: It turned out very creamy, extremely melty, smooth and delicious.

While cooking up the sugar, the thought of adding a bit of Sel Gris de Marin to the dark chocolate came to mind. You know what? YUM!

Here's the recipe!

1 c sugar
1/4 c water
1 TB light corn syrup
1/2 lb butter
1/2 lb almonds (not roasted)
1/2 lb chocolate (your choice)
Fleur de sel to taste (optional)

Melt butter with sugar, syrup and water in a pan (such as a large non-stick frying pan or stir-fry pan) on medium to medium-high flame. Stir continuously with a wooden spoon. When butter is melted, add the almonds.

When mixture comes to a rolling boil, set your timer for a minimum of 10 minutes and keep stirring (no more than 15 minutes). The mixture will thicken and turn darker in color. The almonds will roast. Keep stirring and cooking until the mixture turns an amber color. If you don't cook it long enough it will not harden, so keep stirring and look for the amber (caramel) color.

When it looks like caramel and you smell the roasting almonds, pour the mixture out onto a large cookie sheet and spread it as thinly as possible. While it is still hot, distribute the chocolate over the nut mixture and let it melt. Spread it evenly on the top. Sprinkle on a small amount of fleur de sel if you like.

Let it cool. When cold, lift the whole thing off the pan and break into small pieces.

What a sweet boy

Gymnastics - 105 days old
Originally uploaded by jessicafm.
Davey was such a good boy yesterday. We started out by a little gymnastics and wearing the jeans Roberta gave him for the first time. A little gymnastics and playing with his feet first thing in the morning was a lot of fun. Yay!

Then Garrie dropped off Prescott around 9:30 and Mark, Prescott, Davey and I headed off to the San Francisco Giants Fan Fest event at AT&T Park. We'd never gone and, thinking it would be a fun and free event to attend, headed to San Francisco, ready for a fun time. It was a pretty day and warm, for January, each of us comfortable with a fleece or sweatshirt (as opposed to the parkas we'll want when the baseball season begins).

You know what though? Ugh, what a total let-down the Fan Fest was! Too many people and not enough organization. I started to type up everything that was wrong, but it just sounded like a major rant and I don't feel like being so negative this morning! Suffice it to say that we didn't bother waiting in any of the lines for autographs or self-guided tours, though we would have liked to have gone in the club house, dugout and batting cages. Oh well!

After the experience that was Fan Fest, we headed along the Embarcadero to stop outside the Ferry Building. I jumped out of the car and ran in to Acme Bread to pick up a few cheese wheels (omg good) and a sourdough baguette. We then headed towards the Golden Gate Bridge to head back to Marin, with plans on hitting Amici's Pizza in San Rafael for lunch, on the way home. Turns out, however, that there was a big anti-abortion march (and a counter-march by pro-choice as well) that we didn't know about... directly in front of us. After a while I said, "Hey, didn't the Uno's Pizza on Lombard change in to an Amici's? Let's go there." So we did! 1-1/2 hours after we left the parking lot at AT&T Park, we were in Amici's, on Lombard. PHEW!! Good pizza though. :-)

By the time we got home, we were pooped! But at least we all got out and about, Davey was a total trooper and was in a good mood most of the time and Prescott was a totally great kid all day.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Just too darned cute

Today we realized that, with thin socks, Davey could wear his smallest pair of shoes. These were a gift from Grandpa Mick and Grandma Julia, who picked them up in Paris last Summer. The shirt he's wearing also came from Paris. A very chic baby. And he knows it; you can tell by the smile on his face! He's recently developed a cute little dimple on his right cheek. Awww.

Update on sleeping habits: Two nights ago, Davey crashed out in our laps by 9, so we put him in his crib and considered him "out for the night" by 9:15. He didn't wake up for another 5 hours, at which time I fed him and put him bac in his crib. And he slept for another 3-1/2 hours. Yes, progress! Minimal fuss, sleeping in his own crib... excellent!


Last night was a very different story. Again, he started falling asleep in our laps at 9, so we tried going for the same process as the night before. Unfortunately, he was very fussy and not appreciating the crib quite as much as the night before. That said, we let him cry a bit, checked in on him after 20 minutes to rub his tummy, whisper that everything's okay, that we love him, etc. and then left the room. Eventually he fell asleep. However, he was up and crying for food every two hours throughout the night. Thankfully he went back to sleep in his crib, without fuss, after each feeding. At the feeding around 6, I brought him to bed with us, as I needed to be up and out for pilates at 7:30. Foof!

Here's to a peaceful sleep tonight... for us all...

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Menu for Hope III - I won!

In December I purchased 5 raffle tickets in the Menu for Hope raffle, not truly expecting to win anything, but happy to donate money to the UN world food programme. But I actually won BOTH prizes for which I'd entered. Wow! I've contacted the bloggers that offered both prizes and, at some point in the future, will have some tasty treats! Here's what we'll be getting fom Ms Adventures in Italy:

Olio di Tartufo Bianco - White Truffle infused Oil
Drizzle a bit in your favorite potato soup, on fresh focaccia, drizzled on white bean puree crostini, or as a simple condiment for a spinach salad.

Crema di Pistacchio: - Pistachio cream
Use it on Pandoro - a traditional Christmas bread, in a crepe or on a waffle, on ice cream, or paired with cheese for an interesting contrast - gorgonzola, provolone or ricotta!

Nduja - Salame and hot pepper mix
Spread on toasted bread with cream cheese, or mixed directly into hot pasta, it’s spicy hot and exhilarating, and your sinuses will thank you!

Pate di Olive - Olive tapenade
Spread inside your favorite piadina with turkey and arugula/rocket, or on a crusty slice of bread topped with sundried tomatoes!

Ragu’ di Cinghiale - Wild Boar Meat Sauce
Served with fresh pappardelle and grated Parmigiano Reggiano on top or in the middle of an arancina- a Sicilian rice ball!

Olio di olive - Olive oil
Do I really need to give you ideas? Drizzled over bruschetta or as the base for a vinaigrette or by itself!

Salsa Tartufata Estiva - Summer Truffle Sauce from Campania - a mix of wood mushrooms and truffles

Condimento Cime di Rapa - Turnip Greens - a traditional Pugliese pasta sauce be served with orecchiette, ear-shaped pasta

And here's what we'll be getting from Cook Sister:
"A copy of Rainbow Cuisine. This is a lavishly illustrated, A4 size, 224 page hardcover cookbook containing the multicultural dishes that make up the Rainbow Nation's cuisine (including koeksisters!). The book is by renowned South African food writer Lannice Snyman and photographer Andrzej Sawa and contains not only traditional recipes, but also beautiful photographs and descriptions of the provinces that make up South Africa. And to get you in the mood, I'll throw in a few South African goodies too. While you're reading, you'll need a nice cup of tea in your hand, so why not try some lemon-flavoured Rooibos tea. And to snack on, you could try my favourite and unique South African chocolate bar Peppermint Crisp - I've put in a two as they're very moreish... For healthier tastes, there are two dried fruit rolls (guava and fig) - a standard of South African school lunchboxes. And for when you next get the urge to braai, I'll send you some Ina Paarman black olive and rosemary seasoning."

So when the weather warms up this year -- let's set a date in the Spring -- I'll finally host a braai! I've got the grinder and sausage stuffing attachments for my Kitchenaid, so I'll even make sausages!

Monday, January 15, 2007


Trying to roll over, but he's out of space (and only rolls one way so far).

The first 100 days

Originally uploaded by jessicafm.
Wow, hard to believe it's been 100 days since Davey joined us. It's impossible to imagine life without him now.

His latest trick: Davey has figured out how to roll over from his back to his stomach. He's quite adept at it. However, rolling the opposite way isn't quite in his repertoire yet.

Anyway, he seems to have figured it out last night, his second night of trying to sleep alone, in his crib, in his own room. When I heard the tone of his cry change to being more muffled, Mark and I both jumped up. Needless to say, we put him back in his (getting cramped) bassinet for the remainder of the night.

As we're supposed to keep him sleeping on his back, not his stomach, we're a little perplexed. Any tips from you, who may have been through this before?

*UPDATE: I spoke with our pediatrician's office today and they said, "You can't fight nature. " Basically, if he's figured out rolling over and that's what he wants to do, and he's strong and healthy (he is), then don't worry about it. Relax and let him roll if he wants to roll. Which is pretty much what Jocelyn said (thanks!).

Friday, January 12, 2007

Dulce de Leche Brownies

I was inspired today to get back in to baking. Woo hoo! So I went for it with an incredible recipe by David Lebovitz: Dulce de Leche brownies. The first step was to make dulce de leche, which turned out to be quite easy. Then, once Mark was home for the evening, I made the brownies. They don't even require that many dishes...

When I went to the pantry to get out the ingredients, I saw I had a package of dried, tart cherries. I thought they couldn't be a bad addition, so in they went, after a bit of chopping, along with some toasted, chopped pecans. Oh, these brownies are so rich and delicious... come on over and have one!

Our little drummer boy

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Fussy von Fusserstein

FUSSSSS! 94 days old
Originally uploaded by jessicafm.
The past few nights have been a real challenge with our beautiful little boy. He's been really fussy every night, mostly wanting to eat, be held and sleep... but once put down, he starts crying. And boy does he have lungs!

Not sure why he's going through this phase. He doesn't appear to be ill, he doesn't have any rashes, he eats until he's full and doesn't want to eat any more, he doesn't have gas...

The past couple nights we gave up on trying to get him to sleep in his bassinet (which was never a problem until very recently) and let him either sleep ON me or in between us in bed (placed there carefully after he'd fallen asleep on me). Plus he's waking up every two to three hours, when he'd gotten to 5-1/2 hours a little over a week ago.

It's really heart-wrenching to let him cry, hoping he'll "cry it out," and fall asleep. We're trying it right now, with him in his bassinet, in his room. He was asleep and I got him moved in to the bassinet at 10 tonight, but at 10:30 he started crying. So far, 20 minutes later, he's still crying, though he seems to be getting quieter now... fingers crossed that he'll get to sleep and won't be scarred by this. Boo hoooo.... :'-(

Monday, January 8, 2007

The boy's got distance!

As Mark and I rushed around to get all three of us ready to go to the dentist this morning (Mark and I had check-ups and cleanings), Mark attempted to change Davey's diaper. For whatever reason, Mark wasn't as prepared as usual and Davey peed on Mark. THREE TIMES. The boy had distance, that's for sure! Pee on the floor, carpet, on three sides of the changing table... and yes, that wet spot next to his head is a spot of pee. Yes, he peed on his own face... ewww... aww... Haahahahahaha. So, of course, Davey got popped in the shower with Mark. Not that the pee bothered Davey as much as the thought of it bothered Mark and I. Plus we didn't want the dentist to think Davey smelled of pee. :-p

A fun note: The dentist and his hygienist have been taking care of Mark's teeth since Mark was four or five years old. They were so excited to meet Davey for the first time. Aww.

The peeing on Mark was his way of dishing it out to Daddy... the night before, Davey refused to sleep on his back and insisted on only sleeping if chest to chest on me. We ended up sleeping that way together on the couch through the night. And by the time I gave up trying to get him to sleep on his own, it was past midnight. So we didn't get a lot of sleep (he woke up every 3 hours to eat), and I wasn't exactly feeling very chipper when Mark came in and said, "Hey, aren't you supposed to be in Pilates class now?" D'oh! Oh well... On the one hand, I'd love to get a full night's sleep, with the ability to change positions with impunity. On the other hand, I love the closeness of holding and loving him and I recognize that it won't be like this forever (and it'll feel like no time before he's too big). So I remind myself that this is a time where life is about him -- not about my convenience. And I'm enjoying him for all he's worth. Though I did let him fuss himself to sleep for 40 minutes tonight, determined to see if he could put himself to sleep, on his back (and he did).

Saturday, January 6, 2007

Friday, January 5, 2007

The rattle tastes good! 90 days old

Davey's starting to enjoy his rattle (when we prompt him of its existence) and his inchworm. And the booties are almost fitting him, but not quite. He can still easily kick them off.

Can you believe he'll be 13 weeks old tomorrow? And officially 3 months old on Sunday? Holy cr*p!

How YOU doin'? 90 days old

How YOU doin'? 90 days old
Originally uploaded by jessicafm.
Good thing he's so cute, 'cause he's been making sleep difficult for the last couple nights.

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Happy birthday Linda!

This evening we celebrated (Grandma) Linda's birthday with a small dinner at Dad and Linda's house. The last several years her birthday was celebrated with big parties, but this year she just wanted a small gathering. So Dad made a delicious dinner spaghetti and meatballs, prawn pesto pasta, caesar salad and garlic bread. Polly brought her famous beet salad as well as fudge and some date cookies, while Jon brought the ubiquitous hummus and crackers. Yum -- quite the feast!

Davey cooperated really well, enjoying being held by all the family members and letting Mark and I eat without too much fuss. He seemed to really enjoy the evening and showed that Laureen truly has the touch when it comes to rocking and soothing a baby.

Today was also the birthday for two other good friends of ours: Grant BlahaErath, now living in Washington, and Marcus Lobo. Happy birthday you lovely Capricorns.

R.I.P. Wooh!

Happy Cat in the Sun
Originally uploaded by jessicafm.
March 17, 1990 - January 2, 2007

I met Wooh! when he was five days old and chose him out of his litter. He showed his sweet, but shy temperament, even then. He was given his name because he was, "Such a little woooooo." And yes, the exclamation point at the end was part of his name.

Together we went through seven apartments, three houses, numerous bad dates, one job layoff... through it all, he stayed true to his nature, purring for me and running from strangers.

May he find the perfect sunny window in kitty heaven.

Monday, January 1, 2007

Happy New Year!

Merz Men - 85 days old
Originally uploaded by jessicafm.
We had a lovely, if quiet, New Year's Eve to close out 2006. Dave and Dee Merz and Garrie Nicoll came over to have a little dinner party with us. I made boeuf bourgignon and set out yummy cheeses, crackers and olives. Garrie brought his famous, and fabulous, "Garrie's Scary Potatoes," and Dee brought a delicious salad and berries to heat and serve over vanilla ice cream... and a bottle of champagne.

Earlier in the day our neighbor, Nelson, brought over the cutest little Santa suit for Davey. So, in honor of the last event of the 2006 holidays, Davey became our very own tiny Santa. Too cute -- thank you Nelson!

All aspects of the dinner were delicious and the company was just perfect. After food we exchanged Christmas presents with Dave and Dee, as we hadn't had a chance earlier in the week. Mark was thrilled with the Porsche accessories his father found for him and I was quite pleased with a new Calphalon pan so thoughtfully chosen by Dee. Davey will love his new hat from his great-aunt Karen, as well as the ultra-cozy sleep sack from Grandma and Grandpa. Great stuff and thank you!

Everyone left before midnight, and before the really drunk folks got on the road.

Davey fell asleep around 11, so he didn't quite make the ball drop. Mark and I, however, stayed up to kiss in 2007 and then got hooked on the Discovery Channel, watching back to back episodes of "Everest." I fell asleep before finding out if the LA motorcycle designer turned back, while Mark stayed up until 3am to find out the fates of all.

Now here we are on January 1, 2007, contemplating what wonders this new year will bring. We're feeling incredibly lucky to look forward to being with Davey through the coming year (and years!).

Now it's time to get those black-eyed peas cooked, y'all.

Happy new year!