Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Noah News: Week 12

Here we are closing in on three months. I hear at three months it is like a light switch goes of in little ones and they become completely different kids. I have heard it called the end of the "4th trimester", where they stop being "infants" and become "babies". 

We can definitely already see some of these changes starting to happen. For instance last week he lost his swaddle and this week...well, let's go to the headlines.

Noah Scott Retchless, Class of 2012 - Noah graduated this week from his bassinet (sleeper) to his very own crib. In his very own room. Away from his mom. This sounds much more dramatic than it really was. It all came about the same way the swaddle did...he was just not happy any more so it was time to make a change (that, and he was getting a flat spot and we all know how I feel about those). We started the transition with naps throughout the day and decided to just go for it for bed time. It took a couple of extra trips for soothing but nothing agonizing. Apparently all of us were ready for the transition because I didn't even bat an eyelash about him not being in our room any more. I was sure I was going to have separation anxiety but I actually enjoyed not tiptoeing around our room or fearing rolling over just in case it would wake him. We have the Angel Care monitor and it is my blessing. Knowing that he is safely breathing in his crib is all the reassurance I need to sleep soundly with my baby down the hall from me. 
Good morning from my crib!
Trying times - I would lying if I said this past week was all crib ponies and rainbows. It has rounded out to be a bit more challenging. Noah is definitely changing (and possibly fighting a cold) and with that change is coming a new fussiness and demands (loud ones). I read far too much and consult way too many people on the topic of sleep/play/eating and I have found myself left confused and frustrated on many occasions. I am the happiest when I just go with my gut but I start to second guess myself and worry that I am doing Noah a disservice. What am I talking about?! Mainly sleep. I feel like it is time for him to start learning to soothe himself and get a schedule going. We are still working hard on our nighttime routine but our days are somewhat of a disaster. There are cat naps, no naps, cranky periods, happy moments, and general confusion by both of us. I started reading Twelve Hours of Sleep by 12 Weeks but stopped because it just seemed like too big a jump for us (me) right now. It requires massive changes to his current routine and I just don't feel ready to go there even with the promise of reliable daytime naps and 12 hours of sleep at night. I fall into the trap of wanting to make him happy and if it means another cat nap, so be it. So here I am...going with my gut and beating myself up about it every day. Hopefully I am not creating habits that will be even more painful to break later.
I am not sure where letting your baby nap on the floor at new parent group falls into sleep training.
Meet me in St. Louis - Other than sleep, this is where the rest of my attention is focused right now. I am still running lists (that continue to change daily) of what to pack and seeking out any advice I can on traveling with my little guy. With his new screaming development I am definitely beefing up my bag of tricks for the airplane (can you plug a hair dryer in on a plane?!). Overall I am just excited to be heading back to St. Louis for Noah(and me) to get some quality time with his Grandparents and meet A LOT of friends and family that mean the world to me and are excited to meet him. 
Practicing for our trip. He snoozed for about 45 minutes like this so I am hoping he will let me put him in it to simply board the plane. That's all I ask!
Dad of the year - This hands down goes to my husband. He should also get husband of the year. I cannot say enough about how much Scott does for us and how thankful we are each and every day. I am also extremely thankful for his flexible work hours. Some moms I talk to don't get a break until 8 o'clock each night and I am so fortunate to see Scott's smiling face between 5 and 6. Granted there is still work to be done, but he always jumps in and helps out the moment he hits the door. He also makes time for me to go to Bar Method, spends time at home during the day if there is going to be a work dinner, lets me get a few extra zzzzz's in the morning and just generally makes my job as a stay at home mom easier. I wish I could take on some of his work tasks to repay him but I think his clients might be a touch disappointed by my lack of "transponster" knowledge! Scott, I love you and cannot express how much I appreciate you each and every day. Every time I look at your mini-me, Noah, I smile knowing that he is going to grow up with the most incredible role model I could ask for. We are truly blessed to have you!

Room for one more - Noah has my feet (give me a break, I'll take what I can!). I will spare you a picture of my feet but the characteristic that makes us feet twins is that there is space for an extra digit if 6 toes ever becomes the fashion. You could just slide it in right in the gap between the big toe and second toe. This foot design is also ideal for flip flop wearing. That is all I have to say about feet.
Also, Noah has giant feet...has since he was born!
Visitors  - Noah is very lucky to have had lots of visitors over his short little life. This week he got to see a familiar face in Katie AND a first time visit from Mike. 
Noah and Tos

Noah with his stripey friends.
Kate got him this onesie before he was born and he insisted that we put it on before she came to visit!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Sunday Supper: Week 3, 4 & 5

No, we didn't abandon our Sunday suppers...I have just been less than great about blogging about them. So, without further ado, let's catch up.

 Week 3

Added to Cookbook?: Yes for ribs and potatoes but need a do-over on the mushrooms. The ribs were divine!
Thoughts, Tips & Tricks: We cut the mushroom recipe in half but failed to measure OR cut the portion in half for the lemon so these were not an edible piece of the meal.I bet they would be amazing though! 
The mushrooms look so sad back there. I am anxious to give them another try.
Recipe: Short Ribs


  • 4 English cut beef short ribs, trimmed (roughly 8 ounces each)
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 bottle full bodied red wine, such as Cabernet
  • 4 cups low-sodium vegetable stock
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed


Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Pat ribs dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper on all sides.

Heat 2 tablespoons of butter in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the ribs and brown on all sides. Transfer the ribs to a plate, then add the garlic and stir until softened but not brown, about 1 minute. Carefully pour in the wine, bring to a boil and cook until reduced to about 1 cup. Add the ribs and any juices they have released back to the pot along with the stock. Reduce the heat and bring to a simmer, then cover the pot and transfer it to the oven, to braise, until the meat easily falls off the bone, about 3 hours.

Transfer the ribs to a plate and tent with foil to keep warm. Strain the braising liquid through a fine mesh sieve into a saucepan set over medium-high heat. Simmer the liquid, skimming fat as necessary, until thickened, about 10 minutes.

Remove from the heat and whisk in the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter. Taste for seasoning and adjust, if necessary. Transfer the ribs and sauce to a serving dish and serve.

Recipe: Mushrooms



In a large skillet, heat the oil over high heat. Add the mushrooms. Do not move the mushrooms until they have caramelized on the bottom. If you toss them too soon, they will release their liquid and begin to steam. When the bottoms are caramelized, toss them and continue to cook for about 5 minutes.

Add the butter. Cook and toss for 5 minutes, until beautifully browned.

Season with salt and add the garlic. Saute another 2 minutes, and add the thyme, lemon juice, and white wine. Cook to evaporate the liquid.
Toss in the parsley and serve immediately.

Recipe: Potatoes


  • 3 1/2 pounds russet potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 16 fluid ounces (2 cups) half-and-half
  • 6 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 6 ounces grated Parmesan


Peel and dice potatoes, making sure all are relatively the same size. Place in a large saucepan, add the salt, and cover with water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and then reduce heat to maintain a rolling boil. Cook until potatoes fall apart when poked with a fork. 

Heat the half-and-half and the garlic in a medium saucepan over medium heat until simmering. Remove from heat and set aside.
Remove the potatoes from the heat and drain off the water. Mash and add the garlic-cream mixture and Parmesan; stir to combine. Let stand for 5 minutes so that mixture thickens and then serve.

Week 4

Added to Cookbook?: If there is ever a dire need for more squash soup we will revisit this recipe.
Thoughts, Tips & Tricks: The only reason we made this is that I was feeling a cold coming on and wanted something warm and cozy. We ended up adding a 1/4 cup of half and half and about a 1/4 cup of flour to thicken this up. 
A random picture of some of the ingredients.
Note: need a garnish for yellow soup in a white bowl


  • 1 (2 to 3 pound) butternut squash, peeled and seeded
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • Nutmeg
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Cut squash into 1-inch chunks. In large pot melt butter. Add onion and cook until translucent, about 8 minutes. Add squash and stock. Bring to a simmer and cook until squash is tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove squash chunks with slotted spoon and place in a blender and puree. Return blended squash to pot. Stir and season with nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Serve.

Week 5

Added to Cookbook?: Yes, BUT...
Thoughts, Tips & Tricks: this should be a side dish. It is so thick, creamy, & heavy that it definitely does not need to be consumed as a meal on its own. It would be great with some BBQ ribs! 
Other tip...I used slightly less cheese than the recipe called for and 2% milk instead of whole and it was still plenty creamy to be a heart attack in a bowl. 
It is taking some serious will power not to eat ALL the leftovers for lunch!
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups whole milk
7 ounces Flagship cheese, grated (about 1 3/4 cups)
1 ounce Just Jack cheese, grated (1/4 cup)
½ teaspoon coarse salt
¼ to ½ teaspoon chipotle chili powder
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
6 ounces penne pasta (about 3 ¼ cups)
1 ounce (1/4 cup) Flagship cheese, grated
1 ounce (1/4 cup) Just Jack cheese, grated
¼ to ½ teaspoon chipotle chili powder Instructions

To prepare sauce, melt butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat and whisk in the flour. Continue whisking and cook for 2 minutes. Slowly add milk, whisking constantly. Cook until sauce thickens, about 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat. Add cheeses, salt, chili powder and garlic powder. Stir until cheese is melted and all ingredients are incorporated, about 3 minutes. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 350F. Butter or oil an 8-inch baking dish. Cook penne 2 minutes less than package directions. (It will finish cooking in the oven.) Rinse pasta in cold water and drain well.
Combine pasta and sauce in a medium bowl; mix carefully but thoroughly. Scrape the pasta into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle top with cheeses and then the chili powder.

Bake, uncovered, 20 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Noah News: Week 11

Thank God for this blog or I would forget how old Noah is! Obviously I know he is 2 and a half months but I get hung up on weeks when put on the spot.
Don't you just want to eat him up?!
Martha Stewart comes to Menlo Park - Noah loves to look at things hanging above him so I decided he needed a mobile in his room. I couldn't really find any that I loved so I decided to DIY a solution. Yes, those are what many would consider party decorations but I sure to like them as a new permanent addition to the nursery. Well, until Noah decides he is over them!

Reach for the stars - Noah's coordination with his hands is progressing amazingly. Each day he seems more deliberate with his movements and seems to actually hit/touch/grab whatever he is going for. Of course, he is only 11 weeks old so he is still pretty flaily but it is so fun to watch him develop before our eyes.
What you lookin' at? - This is one of my favorite looks Noah gives us. Every time he is giving us big smiles and telling stories I bust out the camera and immediately I am met with this look as if to say, "Why are you pointing that thing at me again?!". He is definitely trying to figure out his world and his little brow is playing a huge role in understanding just what the heck we are all doing all the time!
Big smiles during story time....
Realizes that crazy phone/camera has appeared again!
I think he likes the little animals on the back of my phone. I like that little bear bottom!

Hands Free Sleeping - This one was a surprise! There were a few times throughout the week that he seemed to be fighting sleep a bit more than normal (as soon as we put him in his swaddle) but Saturday night was the true breaking point. Starting at about 4pm he pretty much lost his mind whenever we tried to put our clearly exhausted little boy in his swaddle and lay him down (by 9:30 he had maybe slept 15 minutes). Noah is not really a crier and we actually thought that something was really wrong a couple of times. There were strip downs to make sure nothing on his clothes were bothering him, diaper changes, offering more food, Happiest Baby on the Block, rocking, swaying, snuggling, burping...you get the idea. We pulled out all our tricks and nothing was making him happy. EXCEPT, his hands. He would repeatedly fall asleep in our arms without his swaddle on. Finally, mom and dad got the hint that he didn't want to sleep in his baby straight jacket any more. Of course, hands free means no more blankets (a fact that was driven home when I found him sucking on his blanket that I covered only his toes with!) and our house does not hold heat well so we needed a back up solution and fast! I managed to dig up a hand-me-down sleep sack and snuggled our little guy in for the night. He did pretty well, only one extra wake up at 1:30am. He definitely wiggles more than usual and sucks on his hands to soothe himself but as long as I didn't intervene he would work himself back to sleep.
Look mom, my hands are out!
You know you're a ___________ - There are so many fantastic ways to fill in this blank based on the following picture. I prefer "responsible breastfeeding mom". In my preemptive defense, I haven't used any yet...just figured better safe than sorry if there is ever a question.
I will also add the inventor of this is a genius and I was quite happy to stumble upon this at my local Target.

Planning. Planning. Planning. - Next week I will share my insane list I have put together for my trip to St. Louis but this week we accidentally did a little airline seat practicing.
Crashed out on my lap after eating. We are crossing our fingers for a bit of this cute snoozing on the plane!

A few week 11 randoms (and a few that I missed from week 10):
Just a typical Sunday...toy, Baby Sleep Book, paci, two monitors, timer, water, and beer for Dad.
Noah got a visit from his Great Great Aunt Kay!
We also had a girl's night at the house. Plus Scott, Noah & a late arrival of Kirk. BUT, it was fun to catch up. Jess, we missed you but Hoffy was a great stand in!
Pam and Noah

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Noah News: Week 10

**Serious failure to take many pictures this week. More next week I promise.** 

Got the magic feather? - Our boy has sprouted some serious ears in the past few weeks. When he was born I made the comment that he had the tiniest ears...famous last words. All of a sudden his ears seem to be growing at an alarming rate. Of course, we love every little bit of them and figure the rest of him will catch up one day...or not...either way, he is the cutest little boy around!
Just playing in the bjorn. See those cute ears peeking out on the side?!
One tall decaf coffee - Yep. Decaf. About a month ago I was at Bar Method and lost a decent amount of my vision. It wasn't totally gone but sort of a cross between tunnel vision and really blurry in one eye (think of looking right at an illuminated light bulb and not being able to get rid of that bright spot for another 45 minutes). I wrote it off as taking on too much with sleep deprivation, exercise and probably dehydration. That was until this past week. After a month without caffeine I decided I needed a cup of coffee. I inhaled a 12 oz. from the Warming Hut and loved every last drop. About 45 minutes later the crazy vision started happening again. That and a ton of anxiety. I have had an aura before (precedes a migraine) and it sort of felt like that but I never lost my ability to speak (thank God). I am going to chock this one up to caffeine and lay off it for the remainder of my nursing days and monitor the situation.

Noah will have the Vente, please - No, not coffee...this kid is a 100% breastmilk baby. That said, he wants more and more of it as he grows so we had to increase the size of his bottles. We had been using the 4 oz. but switched to an 11 oz. There was an in between size but that seemed like a waste of money considering he will likely need the jumbo size at some point. Right now he takes about 6 oz. before bed. I will say, the bottles are about as big as he is but much easier than having to make a bottle twice to get through a feeding.
Look at that belly!
"A jug fills drop by drop", Buddha - This could not be more fitting for our little Buddha. Day by day, feeding by feeding, our little boy is growing. This week he sprouted quite the Buddha belly. It is amazing how these things happen seemingly overnight! Up until now he seemed to just be growing longer but he is finally starting to fill out some outfits (and outgrow them as quickly as he gets into them)!

Bachin' it, round 2 - (for the record it is bach like batch, or bachelor...not the composer). On Tuesday everyone, including Scott, cleared out of the house leaving Noah and I for two nights alone. All in all, it wasn't so bad. I was simply more tired but it wasn't the end of the world. It does get a little challenging to not get a break but when Scott did get home and took Noah I kind of didn't know what to do with myself.

I love morning nap snuggles. Have to soak them in now before it is going to mess with his sleep.
Hindsight is 20/20 - I wanted to acknowledge my baby blues so that one day, a long long time from now, when we have Baby #2 I can remember this. For the first week or so that I was home from the hospital I got weepy every.single.night. It was usually right around dinner time and I just couldn't hold it together. The smallest comments or thoughts would set it off. Most of the time I just excused myself, sat in the bathroom, cried it out, and got on with it. At the time I was sure I was "just tired" but looking back I believe that it was all due to my hormones adjusting to not having a baby inside my body any more. Fortunately the feelings were never overwhelming and once I gave in to the cry I felt immensely better and could carry on. I haven't had the same feelings since those first couple weeks and so I will go ahead and say that post partum was a pretty easy transition for me.

Woof Woof - Does the fact that you haven't heard anything about the pomeranians in a few weeks give you any indication about how things have changed? My poor furry little friends have gone from babies to dogs. I swore up and down that this would never happen but unfortunately they have taken a back seat to Noah. We get out on walks 4-5 times a week and I really try to give them special attention but they have both been left outside for a little too long once or twice and have been pushed out of the way more times than I can count. I am SO happy they have each other and I often find them snuggling one another on the couch. For the record, right now it just me and my poms on the couch soaking up a little time together :-).
A common sight around here. They love to find our clothes and snuggle up with them!

A side note: In February Noah and I will be heading to St. Louis to visit friends & family. I will be flying alone with the little guy so this is my public cry for any and all advice anyone might have for traveling with a 3 month old. I have the whole luggage, gear situation all sorted out but the getting through security without being a total train wreck, gate checking stroller, 4 hour plane ride part is where I am looking for help!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Sunday Supper: Week 1 & 2

Week 1

Added to Cookbook?: Yes

Thoughts, Tips & Tricks: First, Noah and asparagus don't mix so we will be holding off on this until after I finish nursing. 
He does look cute as a helper though!
We really enjoyed making this meal. I didn't think the amount of asparagus that was called for was going to be enough but it did the trick. I was also wondering if it needed to be cooked before we put it in the food processor but there was no need, it pureed perfectly.
Showing off my cute apron "Santa" brought me in my stocking.
Scott was in charge of chopping up the full chicken. I was impressed with his butchering skills.
We didn't have a cast iron pan so we went with our Le Creuset dutch oven.
The asparagus beautifully pureed.
After baking. We probably added more spices than it called for but we wanted to make sure it was flavored and it was perfect!
Next time the only thing we would change is to go with 2 cloves of garlic instead of 3. Otherwise we were happy with the end result. 
The finished product.

serves 4

1 whole chicken cut up
2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup dry white wine (or chicken broth)
2 sprigs fresh oregano
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 tsp coarse salt
1 tsp freshly ground pepper
juice from half a lemon
1 pound brown rice spaghetti (or whatever you have on hand)
1/2 bunch asparagus
3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes
1/2 tsp coarse salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Coat the bottom of a cast iron skillet with a little oil, along with coating all sides of the chicken. 
Nestle the chicken pieces in the pan. Pour the wine over the chicken. Top with the fresh oregano and thyme leaves, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Roast for 40 minutes. Change the oven to broil, and broil 5 more minutes. Bring it out of the oven and spritz with lemon. Let rest for 5 minutes.

In the meantime, give the asparagus a rough chop and throw it into a food processor. Add the garlic and blitz until finely chopped. Add the cream, broth, a good pinch of salt and pepper. Blitz a bit more until everything is combined and creamy.

Pour sauce into a small saucepan and simmer lightly while the pasta cooks.

Cook the pasta until it reaches al dente. Drain and add to the saucepan. Toss to coat with the cream sauce. Toss in the sun-dried tomatoes. 

Serve creamy asparagus pasta topped with a piece of roasted chicken.

**click on recipe name to be directed to original recipe source.

Week 2

Recipe: BBQ Pulled Chicken, Asian Slaw & Cornbread

Added to recipe book?: Yes on the Asian Slaw, not necessarily on the chicken and cornbread.

Thoughts, tips and tricks: We made this because I wanted pulled pork but it was Sunday so that wasn't allowed since we needed to try a new recipe. The reason we aren't adding this to the recipe book is because we prefer the pork over the chicken but it was quite tasty. 

The Asian slaw took home the gold medal in my opinion. Crick & Kyle had made this for us once before and I am happy we took it on for Sunday Supper.

I don't eat cornbread (it's a texture thing) but I hear it was just ok.
Bon Appetit!
Serves 4-6
1 and 1/2 lbs. skinned and deboned chicken thighs (use dark meat here for most flavor!)
1 T olive oil
1 cup ketchup
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 T Worcestershire sauce
1 T cider vinegar
1 T yellow mustard
1 tsp ground red pepper
1/2 tsp garlic salt
Brown chicken for four minutes on each side in one tablespoon of hot oil in a large skillet over med-high heat. Remove from heat and place in a slow cooker.

Combine ketchup and next six ingredients. Pour over chicken.

Cover and cook on high for one hour. Reduce heat to low, and cook five to six hours.

Remove chicken from sauce and then shred it into a large bowl, using your hands. Stir shredded chicken into the sauce. Spoon mixture onto buns, serve over a salad, or coleslaw.

Green Chili Cheddar Cheese Cornbread (we didn't use the chilies since spicy + breastfeeding aren't always a good mix).
Adapted from Epicurious.com
serves 10-12 

1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup sugar
1 (heaping) cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
1 4-oz can diced green chilies
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 stick butter, melted

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

Whisk together the cornmeal, flour, cheese, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar. Add the chilies, buttermilk, eggs and melted butter and mix well to combine.

Pour batter into a greased 9 inch casserole dish and bake for 30 minutes until golden brown.

Serve warm with honey.

Red Cabbage Slaw with Lemon-Ginger Vinaigrette (from Raising the Salad Bar cookbook)
Serves 6-8

4 cups thinly sliced red cabbage (approx. 1/2 head)
1 red bell pepper cut into very thin strips
1 large carrot, peeled and shredded or cut into matchsticks
1 cup snow peas, strings removed
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds

Lemon-Ginger Vinaigrette
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon finely minced fresh ginger
4 teaspoons maple syrup
3 tablespoons canola oil (we used Smart Balance oil)
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil

In a serving bowl combine the cabbage, red bell pepper and carrots. 

Blanch snow peas in boiling water for one minute then run under cold water to stop the cooking (we missed this step and it was still delicious). Slice each snow pea lengthwise into 3 thin strips and add to bowl.
In small bowl whisk together all dressing ingredients. Dress salad just before serving and add sesame seeds for garnish.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Noah News: Week 9

Noah turned two months this week! He is up to 11 lbs and it is starting to show. I think we are going to have to go up a onesie size next month.
You've Got a Friend in Me - Most of this week's news comes from a visit from the Reppy family. Hard to believe we were once just two little girls taking Pine Run by storm and now we have our own families we are responsible for. More on our visit after the headlines.
I'm sure this is a first day of school picture but I have no idea what grade.
All grown up!
Halloween...one of many.
If you're happy and you know it clap your hands - Noah has officially discovered his hands this week. He clasps them together, sucks on them like crazy, and even played with his buckles on his car seat. Ok, play might be an overstatement but he is definitely becoming aware of his hands and all the wonderful things they can do.

One of the few pictures I was able to get this week without hands in his mouth.
"Bachin It" - When my dad used to go out of town my mom used to tell me we were "bachin it". I had absolutely no idea what that meant but I sure did love it (I got to sleep in their bed)! This past week Noah and I bached it for the first time. We survived Scott's first work travel slightly more tired than normal, but no worse for wear.
We wore this shirt so Dad knew how much we missed him!
Mommy and Noah time. This was the day the Reppy family left. We pretty much vegged alllllll day in recovery from our jam packed weekend.
Bend it like Beckham - We have a kicker on our hands! While he is enjoying learning how to use his hands, his feet are getting an equal work out. When he lays on his activity mat he not only bats at the toys, he kicks them too. He loves to push against my hands and pretty much anything that lets those cute little legs move and groove.
Happy little boy. I get this face a lot when his little legs are flailing around.
Who are you...who who, who who - Ok, we all know by now that Noah is a spitting image of his dad. BUT, I would like to share the following picture that I ran across. I think you can definitely see a resemblance between me as a one month old and my little boy...
I see a resemblance, do you?
When all else fails, snuggle - This is pretty much my motto with Noah. We try the conventional ways of getting to sleep and 95% of the time they work. But there are those days when a little boy just needs his mom and I happily oblige.
Mornings in bed are the best!
Cat Scratch Fever - Luckily Noah doesn't have a fever but he has taken to cat napping. He feels that a handful of 30 minute naps throughout the day are perfectly acceptable. I am reallllly hoping we can turn these into three solid naps soon as it pretty much seems like no sooner do I get him down then we are waking up making it hard to get anything done around the house.
Who me? I am clearly a big boy and don't need real naps.
I LOVE this outfit.

Ok, I am clearly stretching to come up with news this week. Our week was FILLED with fun and we were on the go pretty much non stop which made news other than Allison's visit hard to come by.

First stop was Happy Hollow. Crick and the kids came down to meet us and we had a blast taking in the animals, rides, and playground. The kids also rode their first roller coaster. It was a pretty decent little first drop!
Eli "driving" this ride.
Waving from Danny the Dragon
Noah was psyched.
The next day we took in a little San Francisco sight seeing. Normally I drive people all over the city but with three under three we decided to abbreviate the driving and just hit the highlights. We spent some time rolling in the sand and grass at Crissy Field and then made our way to Chestnut street for some lunch.
Golden Gate Bridge from Crissy Field
Lunch at Squat & Gobble
Scott and I had to head back south a bit early for Aimee and Andrea's baby shower. It was a great shower and we are VERY excited for the arrival of Valentino!
Mamma to be and I.
Sunday the Retchless Family flaked out and took a day of rest. I don't know how Allison keeps the pace she keeps with two  little ones but Scott and I were beat from the previous activities so we stayed home with the Reppy family took in more SF fun.
Bath time! We did take out the sling in the bath this week and I am liking it MUCH better.
Of course, we couldn't skip out on our Sunday Supper (that is the official name now) resolution. I swear I am going to post both meals we have prepared so far this week! 
Good thing I had Eli to clean up after me in the kitchen!
Monday I was back in action and we all headed south for a visit to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. When I was a working woman, the Aquarium was a client of mine so I had been a handful of times. However, this was my first visit as a true visitor and I enjoyed soaking up all exhibits at my leisure. I did miss the behind the scenes perks though!! 
The Open Sea.
One very funny thing about having two nursing mammas traveling all over the Bay is that we pretty much made every place we went a DayOne center! Luckily our kids were pretty much on the same schedule so we were able to nurse and carry on our merry little way! 

As you can see, we had an amazing time hosting Allie and her family. It really makes me sad to have them so far away. The cottage seems like a great distance to be from them on a regular basis! It was priceless having Eli come in every morning and say, "Hi, can I touch baby Noah?". Then with our ok he would climb up onto the bed and say good morning to Noah in the cutest little voice. It is amazing how fast they change and grow and I wish we could share more moments with our kids together. I guess Skype will have to suffice :-(.
There are a zillion more pictures and a ton of great things to say but I am exhausted. To all my blog readers, you're welcome...I opted to blog instead of nap!! Here's to an early bedtime!!
Ok, one more.

A quick anecdote about the above:

Steph sees Eli carrying in a handful of jackets/hats:

Steph: Is that Jillian's coat?
Eli: No, it's my baby's suit.

I gave a puzzled glance but I just kind of dismissed it. Then I see Allison getting it ready to put in the car:

Steph: WHAT is THAT?
Al: Jillian's suit. You don't think she'll need it?

I broke out in hysterical laughter. We were having between 60 and 70 degree days!!! I guess if there was an earthquake that shifted the weather patterns for the US and we ended up in a blizzard she would be prepared.

The end.