IMG_7159This is a dish my friend Chris introduced me to. It’s one of those church potluck dishes that the recipe is occasionally hard to track down. It’s simple, delicious and looks far more involved than it really is.

Ingredients:
1 pre-packaged Graham Cracker Pie Crust
1 can of Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 container of Cool Whip
1 package of cherry Kool-Aid (store brand is fine!)

Directions:
Mix the Sweetened Condensed Milk and Cool Whip together in a mixing bowl with a hand mixer (this makes it easier). The stir in the Kool Aid. Top the pie crust and chill for at least an hour. Longer is better.

My opinion:
A few bittersweet chocolate or dark chocolate chips help to cut the sweetness of the dessert, but if you like sweet desserts, this is perfect for you!

When A was a little over two months old, I posted this:
My child is not a dollThat sparked quite the conversation on Facebook. At the time, she was not at all interested in onesies. She fought J and I each time we tried to put one on her. Then after watching me pull a blown out onesie off over her feet, J discovered that we could also put the onesies on that way too. Let that sink in for a minute, because it was LIFE CHANGING for us. From then on we could dress her in onesies and she wouldn’t scream.

My daughter is not a doll

Fast forward four more months and A is now super mobile (rolling and army crawling and pulling herself to standing) J and I are even more aware of what we dress her in. If you haven’t read this post from Willow Mom, please do. It sums up how we feel in the most articulate way.

You won’t be seeing A in super frilly dresses, except for the occasional church outfit, like this one for Easter. She wore it for all of two hours and had three blow outs.
Frilly Dress

We, like Willow Mom, will follow this advice from The Bump and dress our daughter in outfits she can move in and that won’t be ruined if she has a blow out. As we are also nearing the summer months, we will be opting for outfits of breathable material that won’t stick to her. We will also be dressing her in ways that protect her skin. The carseat gets just as hot as a regular car seats and we don’t want her to get burned because she wore a backless sundress.

Which brings me to the most important part of this post: I am SO TIRED of clothing companies creating baby clothes for girls that inhibit movement, are pink-ified and glittery. It’s like the designers have never met a baby before. If it looks like it would get stuck on a slide or hurt to lay on, I walk right past it. If it’s covered in glitter that will only get in her eyes, I won’t even consider dressing her in it. I want her to know there are more colors than pink. And if she doesn’t want to like pink, she doesn’t have to. My favorite color is blue.

I rarely buy new items for A. We’ve been blessed with lots of hand me downs from friends who have littles bigger than A. That includes boy clothes. Actually, most of the outfits she seems happiest in are boy clothes and pants. (Since most “girl” pants have that stupid ruffle butt.) She does have a few “dresses” that she likes, but if she has a blow out the entire outfit has to change. So we reserve those for special occasions and rarely wear them to school.

With A dressed most often in boy clothes, we are always getting the question of whether she’s a boy or a girl. This doesn’t bother us in any way, but it does make other people uncomfortable. So I’ve developed a trick. When someone continuously refers to A as a girl, I find a way to add in something like, “silly girl! Where did your headband (or hair bow) go!” Most often, that does the trick.

It’s interesting to me how not knowing if she’s a boy or a girl by looking at her makes people uncomfortable. Then we some people find out she is a girl, they get irritated that we didn’t dress her to be easily identifiable as a girl. I’ve talked to moms of boys and somehow they don’t encounter the same thing. I’m sure there’s a psychology experiment to be done about this.

Where's your headband?

Now, don’t get me started on older ladies (and younger ones!) accosting me in the grocery store…

It’s Teacher Appreciation Week and thanks to my office, I’m super on top of it this year. Since A is still little, there isn’t a room mother to organize a teacher appreciation week gift from all the students. So another mom and I got together and made these:

Teacher Appreciation Week Idea

The Infant A Teachers can’t wear shoes in the classroom so we bought nine pairs of socks with the rubber on the bottom. Then we divided them by three and attached the note with a ribbon.

Screen Shot 2015-05-04 at 9.55.02 AM

I just made the note in Word with some clip art.

We also attached a $5 Panera gift card.

In less than $10 minutes and for less than $25 total we had a useful gift for our wonderful teachers.

Ultimate Baby List

A few friends are super excited to welcome their new additions and have requested I share my list. Six months in with A and I can absolutely tell you what we’ve used and what we haven’t. So without further ado, the must have list is below followed by my specific recommendations.

  • crib
  • crib mattress
  • Changing pad
  • 3-4 fitted crib sheets
  • Sleep Sack (we have a few to try out and see what works best try out a few and see below for my specific suggestions)
  • Ultimate Crib Sheet/Quick Zip Crib Sheet from Clouds and Stars/ Summer Infant Ultimate Crib Sheet (read the reviews see what might work best for you). These can go over the fitted sheet to make late night messes easier
  • waterproof mattress pad (you want two)
  • humidifier
  • carbon monoxide detector specifically for baby’s room
  • 6 t shirts (side snap)
  • 4-6 sleepers/sleep and play
  • 1 sweater
  • 3 hats
  • 1 snowsuit/bunting for a winter baby (honestly, we just got a Car Seat Canopy)
  • 3 sets of washcloths and towels
  • 6 onesies (you’ll likely get these as gifts! and for the first two months A would not wear them)
  • 6 pants
  • 4 pairs of socks
  • 6 receiving and/or swaddling blankets
  • monitor
  • diaper pail (or a trash can with a lid)
  • Baby bath (there are a million kinds out there so pick one that will work for you)
  • feeding pillow
  • car seat – find one that will fit in your car and not make your front passenger have no leg room. I have a corolla so this was a bit more difficult than I imagined. A very smart friend suggested getting two bases so that the car seat could automatically go in either car. Then getting two rear to forward facing when she’s big enough.
  • diaper bag or tote bag for baby stuff and nursing stuff. You can go as fancy as you want.
  • Some sort of play mat
  • pack and play and/or rock and play sleeper
  • Swing

Now for the specifics of what we specifically loved and what we hardly used:
Nursery Needs

Clothes and Sleep essentials

Car Needs

Bath needs

Nursing needs

Misc

Babyproofing and Safety

Things we use occasionally or for a very limited time

Things we thought we would use more but actually didn’t (mostly because A let us know what her preferences were early on)

AB Crockpot Pork Loin
I haven’t been shy about my love for all of AB’s recipes (for example our Christmas ham, gyro meat and a peach buckle). This one started out as a delicious grilled summer meal, but quickly morphed into a scrumptious year round crock pot meal. Extra bonus, we make it ahead and freeze it so it’s super simple to just pop into the crockpot!

Ingredients:
1 whole pork tenderloin, approximately 1 pound
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (concentrate is also fine!)
1/4 cup honey
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder (we actually use regular minced garlic)
1 chipotle chile pepper in adobo sauce (out of the can, we use about three or four chipotles and half of the sauce)

From the original recipe we omit (but you can feel free to add!)
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro leaves

Directions:
Place the lime juice, honey and garlic powder in a ziptop bag and shake to combine. Add the chipotle pepper (s) and squish together to combine. Add the pork tenderloin to the bag and seal, removing as much air as possible and squish to coat the tenderloin. At this point, we usually freeze this mixture together.
IMG_5193

If not freezing, marinate in the refrigerator for 6 to 24 hours (we like overnight). When you’re ready to cook, dump the entire mixture into the crockpot, marinade and all. Cook on low for 8 to 10 hours. (Always double-check your specific crockpot settings for correct cooking times).

Crockpot Pork Loin

If you can, flip it once, but if you can’t it’s ok. When you’re ready to eat, remove the pork loin. Make sure to reserve the juices! We enjoy pouring it over rice to go with the pork.
IMG_5199

My opinion:
Like I said above, this is great year round. It’s just as good with a salad as it is over rice. Enjoy!

About Aurora

My father named me after Sleeping Beauty. The princess theme stuck. Unfortunately, the only castle I can claim is the one in Disney Land. These are the musings of a princess without minions, knights or fairy tales. I have to do my own bidding.

The views in this blog are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of my employer or clients.

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