July 28, 2012

Sixteen months and more beach pictures

Our little girl is sixteen months old today! She has been starting to take off in a lot of ways and it's so fun to see her connect the dots. She remains a quiet observer and has the most gentle, loving personality. I am so proud of how well she listens and her patience at this age! I feel like all the teaching and consistency is really starting to pay off. 

Sometimes I am amazed when I look at her now and then think back to her first six months and how unsettled and unhappy she was. I am certain a majority of her colicky symptoms were from nursing with food sensitivity issues, which was so hard because nothing would fix it except when I stopped nursing altogether. Praying that our new little one will have a pain-free infanthood!

Anna is really into loving on her baby doll or stuffed animals right now- she likes to give them lots of hugs and kisses! She loves to sit and look at the pictures in her books, her favorite being Pat the Bunny. She's getting better at eating with a spoon which frees us up to enjoy our meal a little more. She continues to get better with her leg, though it's a slow process. I can't wait for the day when she can walk.

We use a silicone sleeve to keep her leg from falling off while she crawls.

My brother-in-law Jon is the official family photographer and I love that he snaps so many memories of family time. I prefer not to take a million pictures so it's great for someone who enjoys it to take on that role. Here are some more cute pics from the beach. Good luck telling Ben and his two brothers apart!

 The big-wave days kind of freaked Anna out, lol.

Which of these hair colors doesn't belong?
Ben's whole family minus middle sister Jessica.

A funny video from the beach of Anna and her baby that she loves soo much and can't sleep without. 

July 23, 2012

Yummy spaghetti sauce

I tried my hand at homemade pasta sauce this week since I couldn't find any store brands without garlic in them. I sort of combined two different recipes from friends, and it turned out sooo yummy. Anna and I were lapping it off the spoon on the stove while it cooked! It makes about 14 cups so plenty to freeze (you can half it as well). Delicious, easy, cheap, and healthy!

Marinara Sauce

8 T olive oil
4 28oz cans of crushed tomatoes in heavy puree (the plain stuff)
2 onions, diced or 2 tsp onion powder
2 tsp sea salt
2 tsp black pepper
2 tsp oregano
2 tsp thyme
2 tsp parsley
2 tsp basil
2 T sugar (optional)
4 cloves of garlic (except for Anna :)

In a big pot heat the oil and lightly cook the garlic and onions for a minute or so (if you are using garlic :). Then basically just add all the other ingredients and simmer on low for 2 hours. I added a pound of cooked ground Italian sausage to this one, but I almost liked it better without it. Next time I am going to add 3-4 grated zuchini to get some more veggies in there (Anna won't eat chunks in sauce, lol).

July 22, 2012

Beach Baby

17 weeks preggo.

Uncle Tim

Anna and her Papa after the most killer sandstorm. She was so brave!

July 14, 2012

Two Annas, Two Leggys, Too Cute

Are those not the cutest faces ever? Such a great time with these two peas in a pod.

Oh, and we figured out the food allergy monster. After the last reaction posted below, we had bloodwork run on a million and one different foods. The positives we didn't know about? Black beans, kiwi fruit, lentils, garbanzo beans, and.... GARLIC!

Yes, garlic. Only the most commonly used spice in America after salt.

Garlic is the secret culprit, not eggplant. When her face broke out like that it was probably the first time she's ever had a piece of straight garlic in her mouth. But she has had bits of garlic consistently and we think it's the most likely source of her ongoing eczema. It is in tons of food like all spaghetti sauce, ketcup, barbeque sauce, chili powder, deli meat, hot dogs, almost anything with any source of spice (if it says "spice" or "natural flavoring" in the ingredients it could very well contain garlic). I didn't know whether to rejoice that I knew or cry. Ok, actually I did cry (um bawl) when I realized how much food has garlic in it (forget eating out). It seems I will have to be make absolutely every sauce or recipe component from scratch. I guess I'm glad to finally know. The saga continues, *sigh.

We are off to the beach with family on Tuesday. Will be sure to post some pictures when we get back.

Now excuse me while I go find some homemade spaghetti sauce recipes.

July 8, 2012

The last month in pictures

I know I have been kind of slack on the posting lately. The majority of my energy has gone into dealing with Anna's food allergies, skin, and the use of her leg plus trying to help Ben with research on future job opportunities. Since he's doing surgery right now and working in the burn unit, he works long hours and doesn't have much time for those extra things. Regarding Anna's  allergies, I have become a little discouraged and very exhausted! She dropped completely off the growth curve at her last appointment and the doctor was concerned. Usually I don't worry about that kind of thing, but feeding my family in a healthy way with the limited options we have has become so hard. Many times I wonder how on earth I will be able to manage another baby on top of these special needs. I really need to get this dairy-free, nut-free, egg-free, bean-free, berry-free, everything-free healthy cooking in more of a groove.

We took Anna to the Columbia Riverbanks Zoo for Father's Day. Both Ben and Anna got in free!

The giraffes were a little too close for Anna's comfort.

We had the opportunity to go see the Lion King in Greenville. It was wonderful.


One of those rare days where I resorted to a short video for my sanity. The Snowman is perfect for that.

Another new, scary reaction. Just. One. Bite. Eggplant, onion, olive oil, or garlic? Don't know.
This was soon after her back broke out in hives cause Ben was holding her after eating something with mayonnaise in it.
Before our 4th of July festivities. We had a Latin American feast with a friend from Costa Rica, complete with my favorite, fried yucca!

Anna couldn't eat this cake but the rest of us enjoyed it!

I've been thinking and anticipating what the gender of our little one will be. I should find out next month (or maybe earlier if I can convince Doc T to check for it at the next appointment). I feel like God has been speaking to me about naming so I have a bit of a hunch what the gender is but am still not completely sure.