Days 10 and 11 – bottles and balls

Even though I’m not working during maternity leave, weekends are extra special because David is home with us. He i so good with her, such an amazing father, I love watching them together.

Day 10, Saturday July 12
We’ve been exclusively breast feeding and plan on continuing to do so for quite a while. However we will have to introduce pumped milk in a bottle when I go to work or if we ever want a date night again. On Saturday, I pumped a little to try out the bottle and to mix with her vitamin drops. She doesn’t like the drops straight from the syringe. David gave her the bottle. It was magical to watch him have that experience and bond with her in a new way. As for Annabelle, she was trying to take it all in. It seemed to confuse her that she was getting her familiar food from a different person and in a different method. I love breast feeding so much, it’s an incredible experience, but I’m glad someone else gets to have the joy of feeding her too.

David gives Annabelle her first bottle. The cats observe.

David gives Annabelle her first bottle. The cats observe.

Day 11, Sunday July 13
During the first two weeks at home we got to watch lots of World Cup. I’ve never paid much attention to soccer (excuse me Futbol) but David loves it. And it was a lot of fun to watch with him. We watched the first US game during my labor and most of the games that were on when he was home. Only during US games did we determine it was best if he didn’t hold the baby. I even watched the last US game when he was at work because I’d gotten into the entire thing. Sunday was the finale and we watched Argentina and Germany play. For David it was a perfect day, he got to hold his baby, have a beer, watch soccer.

Beer, baby, soccer. Perfect Sunday for David.

Beer, baby, soccer. Perfect Sunday for David.

I also made us some soft pretzels (one of my favorite things to bake) in support of Germany. Someday soon, I’ll post my recipe. I love to bake, especially breads, and I hadn’t done any baking since Annabelle was born. It felt good to be baking again even if it did take a lot of energy and planning around a newborn feeding schedule!

Yummy pretzels. I made these with whole wheat flour.

Yummy pretzels. I made these with whole wheat flour.

Four more years until the next World Cup. But there’s women’s World Cup next year in Canada!

Days 7, 8, and 9

I was just posting my 100 happy days one day behind, and then more behind. But I don’t feel guilty or obligated because I have a newborn. It’s helping me focus on my many blessings and that is the point.

Day 7 (Wednesday July 9th)

We got our beautiful prints, birth announcements, and digital images from our newborn session. One is here, the rest you can see on our photo page.

SV Annabelle newborn-28

Day 8 (Thursday July 10th)

We went to Annabelle’s three week appointment. After the difficulty she had gaining weight the first week, we were so relieved that she had grown one inch from birth (up to 22 inches) and now weighs 9 lbs 1 oz! She’s too long for all her newborn outfits and most of her 0 to 3 month outfits even though she isn’t too wide for them. Apparently our little girl is going to be tall. Here’s a photo of her in a 3 month outfit. It’s a little too wide but none too long.

Day 9 (Friday July 11th, today)

It’s been a calmer, quieter day today. Just the two of us hanging out at home which I needed. It’s been a busy busy week. This parenting thing for a new baby is no joke. I’m exhausted and can only really accomplish one thing a day. So today what is making me happy is a freezer full of food. I prepared some meals before Annabelle was born and our friends also brought us food. It’s saving our bacon because the most complicated thing I’ve cooked since she was born is one batch of banana bread and boiling pasta and adding already prepared sauce.

Pictured is some salmon pot pies. Chicken pot pies have been my specialty and go to food for when I took freezer meals to friends who had babies. For this batch of salmon pot pies, I took David’s favorite salmon chowder recipe, did a bunch of modifications, and voila these. ┬áSuper yummy. At one point we had about 10 in the freezer, but we have been eating them since then. Ignore the crust, I was having a bad crust day.


Day 6: Aunt Ellie and a Picnic

On day six of my 100 happy days, Eliana, David’s youngest sister, came into town and got to meet Annabelle for the first time.

Aunt Ellie meets her niece Annabelle for the first time.

Aunt Ellie meets her niece Annabelle for the first time.

Then Ellie, Annabelle, and I met David’s parents and David downtown on the park strip for a lunch time picnic during Dave’s lunch break.

First lunchtime picnic as a family!

First lunchtime picnic as a family!

After lunch was some less than happy times as my car would not start. However instead of being a very expensive repair as we thought (an alternator for example), it was fixed with just a new battery after being towed to an auto repair shop. Still, breastfeeding my crying daughter in the back of a broken car in the middle of downtown as all of my husband’s coworkers walked by on their lunch breaks was not my finest hour. The car is slated/budgeted to be replaced in the next year or so, but I am really glad not to have our hand forced by deciding between an expensive repair and an immediate replacement. Not fun, but ultimately a good outcome and therefore a happy.

Day 5: Pimento Cheese

To me pimento cheese is one of the perfect summer foods. I loved a big huge thick schmear of it between slices of bread as a sandwich, on crackers, spread in celery, or eaten straight. It’s the southern in me, but it’s nearly a perfect food. However it isn’t that good for you so I don’t make it all that often.

Yesterday I made a batch to take to a play date/BBQ with Dave’s high school friends. (Parties have changed a lot in the three years I’ve known this group because nearly all the couples have had kids. It’s a fun change.) everyone seemed to enjoy it even if as Alaskans they didn’t gave the immediate recognition of what it was that occurs south of the Mason-Dixon Line. It’s so ubiquitous therei once ate dome from a gas station on a road trip and miraculously didn’t get sick.

I make my pimento cheese a bit different than my parents did growing up because I don’t accept velveeta as a food and chose a real cheese. I also don’t really measure so it’s hard to give a recipe on a gut thing, but here you go.


Pimento Cheese Spread

Extra-sharp cheddar cheese (60% of your total cheese) shredded, approximately 12 oz
Cheddar cheese (40% of your cheese) shredded, approx 8-10 oz
Pimentos, 8 oz jar, drained
8 oz cream cheese softened
Mayo (or miracle whip) as needed, approx 2/3rds cup, I never measure this, just keep adding spoonfuls until it’s the right consistency
Salt and pepper to taste
Other seasonings (I used Nature’s Seasonings instead of salt and pepper which has some onion and garlic powder in it
I added a smidge of cayenne pepper this time, quite yummy

Mix it up. Chill and eat. Even better the second day after sitting in the fridge.

Day 4: Josh the webmaster

Day four of things that make me happy are all of our friends. We went up to a friends BBQ and got to introduce Annabelle to more of our friends. We also got to see Josh again. Josh is the guy who hosts our website and fixes all the things that go wrong. In addition to being a great webmaster, he’s a great friend. He’s the first to volunteer if you need help painting a nursery or moving house.

And here’s a fun picture of him meeting Annabelle a few weeks ago (June 21st – I’m cheating with an old photo for today). He was one of the first to bike over to our house and see the new baby.

Good friends and friends like Josh make us happy today.


Day3: Forest Fair Redux

Forest Fair was so much fun we happily went back today with Hilary and Arthur. More yummy food choices. David used Arthur as an excuse to buy lots of junk food to share with the toddler.

Arthur and Annabelle in the back of the car. Arthur tried to share his cheezits with Annabelle. Good instincts, but a little too early.

It would be wrong to arrange their marriage right?

David fits right in with the hippies as a baby wearing dad.


Arthur, happy, worn out, covered in dirt and junk food. Basically all the hallmarks of a really good day.


It was a really good day for all of us.

Day 2 Forest Fair

Today we went down to the Forest Fair with Dave’s parent and his Aunt Mary and Uncle Tom. It’s always a great time, fun booths, yummy food, good music, and you run into a ton of people. It was another gorgeous almost too warm day. Annabelle slept through the entire thing in her sling.



Day 2 of 100 Happy Days

Day 1 of 100 happy days

The 100 happy days movement challenges people to find and celebrate something happy every day for 100 days. I thought I’d try it and start with this.

My husband is man enough to babywear. We went through all the fabric choices until we found one David would wear that I also liked. It’s 75, far too hot by Alaskan standards. So far Annabelle is taking after her Dad and her Native heritage and runs on the heat generating side. Babywearing is so far a success except you shouldn’t wrap the two hottest people, my two Eskimos, together in wool on a crazy hot day.

Still a great walk.