Mommy & Me Monday

Yesterday afternoon, Max and I took Parker in the backyard for some six-month photos. Max snapped a few pictures of me with Parker while we were out there... Six months is such a fun age! I'm loving every second with my sweet babe! 

My Everyday Love

5 on Friday

1. Where did September go?? I blinked and it was over. Looking back at our calendar, Parker, Max and I were in three different states (and daddy was on foreign business travel in between) so I suppose that has something to do with it!

2. Speaking of flying, we were lucky to fly first class three times this month! Have I mentioned my love for airplane food? Max thinks it's ridiculous, but I get very excited for meals on planes!

3. Parker had his six-month check-up this past week! Max has made it to every one of his well child visits (insert best dad trophy here!). 

4. Have you had an Amaretto Alexander? If not, you need one. Max found the recipe one night after googling drinks that featured Amaretto, using supplies that we already had on hand. Ingredients: one part Amaretto, one part Creme de Cacao. Top with cream (or milk). I prefer mine on the rocks with lots of whipped cream! 

5. I'm twelve kinds of excited about spending the weekend with my favorite boys! I'm one lucky mamma. Happy almost-October! 


Kid Tested, Mom Approved: Go-To Gear

I'm linking up with Vanessa at Sunflower State of Mind today to share the baby gear that has served us well from 0-6 months! These are all items that we have used consistently for the entire time, and that have made the past six months easier and more fun, for Parker and for Mom and Dad! 

1. Chicco Keyfit Caddy Stroller Frame
We have used the Chicco Keyfit Carseat from day one, and opted for this frame instead of using a full out stroller. I'm so glad that we did! I love that it's small and light. It takes up very little space in the trunk and when we're out and about, and needs just one hand to fold up. Of course we'll need an actual stroller when Parker transitions out of the infant carrier, which will be happening very soon...

2. Boppy Play Gym
Another item we have used from the beginning, this fun and colorful play mat! Parker used to lay on it like a little bean, not moving but staring at the colors and mirror while either on his back or his tummy. It's been so much fun watching him transition to batting at the hanging toys, to actually grabbing them and putting them in his mouth! Now at six months, Parker sits or stands up (assisted) and loves to play. This mat is how I get to shower most every day - I bring it into our Master Bath and it keeps Parker entertained long enough for a quick shower. These days, however, little man is such a wiggle worm that I pop my head out continuously just to check on him. I have a feeling that I'm going to have to switch my shower strategy in the near future!

3. Goodnight Moon Board Book
We started board books as soon as we took Parker home from the hospital, though it took a few months before he actually started focusing on the pages and following along. Although we go through a number of different ones every day (I suppose this happens when mom is a former teacher), the tried and true classic Goodnight Moon is Parker's favorite. He seriously kicks with excitement as soon as we bring it out. It's his very last book before bedtime always, and is usually read by dad. As a teacher, I know the importance of repetition for emergent readers, and though Parker is obviously not at that stage yet, I know that the consistency of something familiar should give a sense of security and routine. All we need to do is say the phrase "Goodnight, moon" and immediately little man is calm and focused.

4. Fisher-Price Cradle 'n Swing
We had this sweet swing set up for some weeks before little man ever arrived. We placed it in the kitchen, and I would look out at it as I was making dinner, imagining the baby that would soon be rocking inside. This swing has been perfect for our growing little man. It has adapted very well from cradling him as a newborn, to providing swing time as a six month old (yes, we are still using it!). When he was younger, he would take tons of naps in it. I use it more now as a fun distraction for him while I cook. I get to explain to him what I'm doing (I feel like I'm the host of a cooking show!), or we'll just listen to the classical tunes that the swing plays. As a bonus, it has a light show (which has always mesmerized him), and a mobile of lambs which he loves watching and grabbing at.

Find more baby recommendations here!


Happy HALF YEAR birthday, Parker Campbell Klein!

Parker Campbell Klein, today you turn SIX MONTHS old! 

We took Parker home from the hospital on the first day of spring. He has now experienced his first two seasons, and I can't wait for his first autumn beginning this Sunday! Here's our six month update on little man...

Height: 27.5 inches (80th percentile)

Weight: 16.5 lbs. (23rd percentile)

Hair: Parker is rocking a Mohawk! Though he was born with dark hair, he lost most of it fairly quickly. What’s growing back is a light brown color (in between my color and Max’s color) and is concentrated in a stripe running over the top of his head. It’s pretty comical.

Diapers: We have transitioned to size three diapers. We’ve been consistently using Huggies and it made me sad that instead of being called “Little Snugglers”, size threes and up are called “Little Movers”… time is flying by!

Clothes: We are in nine to twelve month clothing! Baby is a big boy!

Health: We have a healthy little man! No illnesses so far in his six months of life.  

Firsts: Parker went on his first plane rides! We flew to California, only an hour and a half flight, however little man was so excited about the new experience that he channeled his outdoor voice and shrieked for a big chunk of the flight. Throw in the crying and mommy and daddy gave him a grade of “D” for his performance.  We flew first class on the way back. We were a bit worried to be in this cabin with Parker, but he did awesome! There was barely a peep for the entire flight! Perhaps baby was simply telling us that he prefers first class??

Sleep: Parker is sleeping through the night consistently now! He’ll go down around seven or eight and wake up around six or seven to eat. He’s continued to do well with a morning nap and two afternoon naps (each usually lasting from one to two hours).  

Diet: BIG news here! Parker has started solids!! Our pediatrician recommended beginning at 5 ½ months, and right around there we noticed Parker was obsessed with our food. We decided to start with avocado, which I pureed with water using the Baby Bullet blender from my mamma. Little man l-o-v-e-d his avocado. He was totally ready for it and even grabbed the spoon to feed himself. Since then, we’ve been doing a solid each night around dinnertime. Parker has also sampled sweet potato, baby oatmeal, banana, zucchini and apple. Sweet potato is his favorite, though he will pretty much eat anything on a spoon (and still not a thing out of a bottle). He continues to nurse every 2-4 hours during the day.

Baby Gear Love: The Bjorn has been getting lots of use this month, and Sophie continues to be little man’s favorite toy. He also likes to hug his Jelly Rabbit and stuffed giraffe whenever he’s getting a diaper or clothing change (he’s not a fan of either one).  

New Experiences: Whenever Parker is presented with something new, he looks up at me or Max. We think it’s his way of gauging how he should be reacting. For example, we had a daytime summer thunderstorm (monsoon) a few weeks ago and Max took Parker outside under the covered patio to look at the rain. They heard thunder and Parker looked at daddy like “Am I supposed to be afraid of this?” Max just smiled and said “thunder”, so Parker stayed happy and kept looking at the sky.

Likes: Much to daddy’s dismay, little man is a Taylor Swift fan just like mommy. If we’re in the car and Parker starts fussing, I know all I have to do is play a T-Swift song and he will calm right down! Parker also likes touching (and grabbing!) faces and hair, playing on his play mat, sucking on his index finger, and he always smiles when he sees himself in a mirror. He continues to love mommy’s singing, and all kinds of books!

Social: We started Tiny Tot time at our local library! It’s a free half hour program every Wednesday morning. Parker did an awesome job listening to the stories and songs the first time we went. We have moved up to the older class in Musicology and continue to sing, dance and focus on developmental skills there. Parker sees lots of other babies when we attend Mommy and Me Yoga and when our Boy’s Mommy Club meets.

Daddy Love: Max was away on a two-week business trip to London this month. We Facetimed every single day and Max even got to read Goodnight Moon to Parker this way. Little man would get excited to see daddy in the “little box” and especially liked when he made silly sounds. I was so not prepared, however, for how Parker would react when we picked Max up at the airport upon his return home. Parker and I were waiting in the International area and saw daddy walking through the security doors. As soon as he reached us Parker went right to him with the biggest smile and then started giggling. Over and over, little man could not. stop. giggling. Being so tiny, this is his best way of communicating that he’s happy. It was the most sincere, most honest and sweetest thing; it blew me away and brought tears to my eyes to see how much Parker loves his dada!

Milestones: Parker went from rolling over twice in his entire life to doing it six times in one day! He’s going from tummy to back mostly but can do back to tummy as well. He continues to be a wiggler and scoots his little toosh in the air when he’s on his belly; it’s adorable. He’s been sucking on his index finger on his right hand a lot, especially when I put him down to sleep. It’s the cutest thing! Parker started reaching for his Sophie the Giraffe if we hold her in front of him and squeak her. We can pull him from laying down on his back to standing upright! Little man has some strong legs! He’s beginning to sit on his own, but only for seconds at a time before he topples over. In verbal skills, Parker has recently added consonant sounds to his babbles! He will say “mamama” and “bababa.”

Dearest Son,

Happy six-month birthday! You become more and more fun each and every day! Mommy and daddy can’t get enough of you. We love playing with you, reading to you, and making you giggle. You are already beginning to show traits of being like both mommy and daddy. You are a thinker and observer like dad: sometimes you will watch people and objects intently with your tiny brows furrowed on your serious face. Other times, you get super happy and excited about things like mommy: you will squeal and kick your legs over and over. You like to do this in music class and when we put you in your high chair (you love to eat!). This was a month of first for you: you had your first solid food (avocado) and your first plane ride (to mommy’s home state of California). You must be getting longer by the second because every time we turn around you have outgrown another outfit or set of pajamas! You have been sleeping through the night, which means it’s time for you to move out of mommy and daddy’s room and upstairs into your own room! We are going to miss seeing your little head pop up in your cradle with your smiling face to wake us up in the morning, but to tell you the truth you are getting too big for your cradle now anyway! Parker, we love you more than words can say. You have brought us so much happiness, laughter and sheer joy in these past six months. Heaven blew every trumpet and played every horn, on the wonderful, marvelous night you were born.

Love, Mom and Dad


Mommy & Me Monday

I've been a San Francisco 49ers fan for as long as I can remember. When I was younger, I thought that they always won the Superbowl, and that Joe Montana was the best football player ever (the latter is still true!). My sweet mom sent Parker his first Niners jersey in the mail this past week. I was twelve kinds of excited. We donned them for yesterday's Sunday Night Football! 

My Everyday Love


5 on Friday

1. Prinstagram is my new best friend. These little guys arrived in the mail the other day - each book has fifty of my Instagram photos. It's so much fun having them printed and handy like this! The website also does loose prints and stickers! I'm in love. 

2. We've been loving our desert rain this week! Rain = cooler temperatures, which means mamma gets to go on walks. This is how we roll: 

 Apparently desert tortoises like post-rain walks as well!

3. Happy football season! We have a new 49ers fan in the house. I love that the football is almost as big as he is. 

4. Put this French Toast Bake on you must-make list for fall. My mom made the recipe last holiday season (find it here). I served it as one of the dishes at the Boy's Mommy Club brunch I hosted this week and it was super delicious. Plus, it's a make-ahead dish so I prepped it the night before while P was sleeping, then just popped it in the oven the next morning. Perfect!

5. Mealtime at the Klein house is getting exponentially messier. And I'm loving it. 

Happy Weekend! 


Baby's First Solids and My Foray into Homemade Baby Food

At Parker's four month appointment, our pediatrician gave us the green light to start Parker on solids beginning at five and a half months. The official stance of the American Academy of Pediatrics is to start solids at six months, so we really weren't in a hurry. We thought we'd wait until Parker's six month birthday. Starting at around five months, however, Parker became really interested in our food. Really interested. And daddy started sneaking little man food to "taste" (like a green bean to suck on). By five and a half months we decided little man was ready. When we finally decided that we were going to officially start, we were so excited about his first feeding. Like, giddy excited. There was just something about introducing our child to something new that was so special and amazing. 

We decided to start little man on purées, which meant it was time for mamma to cook! (Kind of - we chose avocado for his first food so there was no actual cooking but I did get to blend the avocado with a little bit of water until it was nice and whipped, kind of like whipped avocado air!)

We set up our tri-pod to record the event. Yes, we are those parents ; ) We started by showing Parker how we eat off a spoon, and then Max held the spoon in front of Parker. Little man took a taste, made a face, then totally wanted more. He gobbled up a ton of avocado for it being his first feeding. This confirmed in our heads that he really was ready for the transition. 

Number one eater! 

Parker even started grabbing for the spoon to feed himself! Feeding him for the first time will rank up there as one of the most amazing things Max and I have been able to do. It was all we could chat about the rest of the night! 
Parker let us know he was done by blowing with his cheeks puffed out, and by this point there was avocado everywhere, so into the bath went precious P. 

After avocado, we tried sweet potato! 

 Little man couldn't get enough. It's hands down his favorite. 

Since then we've also done zucchini, baby oatmeal and banana. He has yet to meet a food he doesn't like. 

I was lucky to have been given both a Baby Bullet blender (from my mom) and Beaba Baby Cook (from my aunt) which have made preparing Parker's food so easy and so much fun. 

The Beaba is awesome in that it's self contained - I can steam and blend in the same container and the steaming is on a timer (which is so nice, especially if you have a five and a half month old and might not be able to keep an eye on the steaming process the entire time).   

The Baby Bullet has been great for blending things I don't need to cook (avocado, banana), plus it came with nifty accessories like these single serving containers to store the food in the refrigerator (the twisty part on top locks on a date so you can check back later to see when you made it), and these silicone containers for freezing food. 

After they freeze, I simply pop them out and store them in ziplock freezer bags. Voilà! Single servings at the ready! 

Right now we are doing one purée a night around dinnertime. As a bonus, little man has been consistently sleeping through the night since he started, wahoo! 

I highly recommend the silicone Beaba spoons we are using. Parker loves to grab them and chew on them, plus I think they're super cute. 

Not as cute as Parker, of course! 

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