Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Christmas Came and Went

Well, Claire's first Christmas is over. I can't believe 2010 is literally hours away. I feel like this past year has inched and yet zoomed by. From the end of 2008 when I found out I was pregnant, until July 10th 2009 when Claire was born was the longest 8 months of my life - I couldn't believe how long it took to actually get from November to July. Now from July 10th to present day, I feel like it as flown. Truly when you become a mommy, time starts to go into hyper speed. Again, I can't believe Claire's first Christmas is over, done with. It's hard to believe that a year ago, I was sicker than a dog and this year I had a little girl to wake up on Christmas morning.

It was a very successful day.. We literally need a bigger house to store all of Claire's new toys. Everyone (including Santa) were very thoughtful. Claire loved to try and open her presents. She did a great job. Although it took us along time to get through her gifts, it was a very memorable day.

Our day started at 7:30am when we got up and did our first Widstrand family of three Christmas morning. Claire got to see what Santa left her, checked her stocking and unwrap all of her other gifts from her great nana, great aunt, and of course mommy and daddy. At 9:30 am we headed over to Claire's papa and nana's house. We had breakfast (which was very yummy) and then opened up gifts, hung out, and of course played with all of her new toys! It's great to experience Christmas out of a child's eyes! At 2:00pm we headed over to Claire grandma and grandpa's house. We were greet by her whole family from great aunts and grandparents to aunts, uncles, and cousins. We had a great dinner, followed by more gift opening. We hung out, played with toys, and sang some Christmas carols before heading back to Claire's papa and nana's house. There we just laid around, relaxed, and played wii. I can proudly say, Claire's first Christmas and our first Christmas as a family of three was a great success!

I really can't wait to see what Christmas 2010 will be like!

Wordless Wednesday

Eric, Lo, Claire, Kyle, and I - December 23 2009

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Once Upon A Monday

This weeks book is Hippos Go Berserk by Sandra Boynton.

Hippos Go Berserk is a simple, colorful, couting book. Page one starts out with one hippo and from there adds hippos in nurmerical order. The book hits it's climax when all the hippos are gathered and they "Go Berserk!". After the party, the hippos slowly start to leave until again there is only one hippo left.

Claire's (5 1/2 months) thinks the hippos are really funny and cute! I can hold the book because it's small. I even got a hippo stuffed animal to go with it! Thanks Carl and Brita!

Megan and Eric think that we like the way the book progresses and then regresses with the number of hippos. It's a good way of introducing numbers and counting without being boring. It's a small, infant friendly book with sturdy pages. Your child should not be able to demolish the book at this point. The illustrations are cute and enjoyable. We recommend this book.

M & E Rating - 5 out of 5 stars

Monday, December 28, 2009

Clogged Up

Yesterday I experienced my second clogged milk duct in my left boob. It sucked, plain and simple! The last time it only lasted for no longer then 5 hours. This time I realized my boob was hard as a rock and sensitive around 10:30pm. I tried everything I could to make Claire eat but she wanted nothing to do with food or my boob at that point. I tried to pump while Eric was massaging the top of my boob. Nope, that didn't clear it up. I decided to just try to relax and go to sleep. I warmed up my heating pad and massaged the crap out of my boob while trying to fall asleep. Luckily, Claire had a, "I want to eat night" so I was able to put her right to the left boob every time. Finally, during Claire's 2nd feeding at 4:30am, it slowly started to go away. When Claire wanted to eat again around 9am, it was completely gone, sensitive but gone!

Here is some more information from about clogged/blocked milk ducts:

What are they?

Clogged or plugged milk ducts are just what they sound like — ducts that have become blocked, inflamed, and sore.

The first sign of a plugged duct may be a small, hard lump that's sore to the touch, or a very tender spot in your breast. Some women also notice redness on their breast. You might also feel achy, run down, and feverish, which could be a sign that your clogged duct has become infected.

What causes them?

Ducts become plugged when milk fails to drain completely. This can happen because of a poorly fitted nursing bra, incomplete or skipped feedings, an inadequate pump, an illness such as a cold, stress brought on by the holidays or work, or simply out of the blue. Left untreated, a plugged duct can evolve into a full-blown breast infection known as mastitis, so don't ignore the symptoms.

What should I do?

Nurse, nurse, nurse! Frequent nursing is crucial to completely empty the breast, for comfort and to reduce inflammation.

Experts also recommend that you massage the sore area frequently and firmly, starting at the top of the breast and working your way toward the nipple. Applying warm compresses before nursing can help empty the breast.

Vary your nursing position. For example, if you use the cradle hold, try the football hold or nurse lying down. Also, many women swear by this trick: Position the baby at your breast with his chin pointed toward the sore spot. This directs suction at the plugged duct and seems to promote healing.

Some women also report success using herbal remedies such as echinacea, lecithin, and vitamin C. Taking ibuprofen may help relieve pain and inflammation, but ask your doctor first.

Next to nursing, the most important thing is rest. This may seem difficult or impossible with a baby to care for, especially if you have other children, but it's an important element of recovery. To get a bit more shut-eye, consider keeping your baby with you in bed. Put a stash of things you'll need nearby, such as diapers, toys, books, and drinks, to minimize trips out of bed. If possible, ask someone to help you for a few hours a day so you can get some sleep.

To help prevent future plugged ducts, avoid long stretches between feedings. A poorly fitting or constrictive bra may also contribute to plugged ducts, so buy nursing bras that really fit.

Will they affect my baby?

Sometimes your milk flow on the affected side is slower than usual and your baby may become fussy when nursing on that breast.

Can I still nurse? 

Yes. The antibacterial properties of human milk keep your baby safe from bacteria that may be present as the result of an infection.

What if home remedies don't work?
If you have a fever after 24 hours and continue to feel pain after trying rest, heat, massage, and frequent nursing, you should visit your healthcare provider. You may have an infection and need medication.

Recipe Sunday

 I know this recipe is a day late but I was not feeling too well yesterday. My mother-in-law made me, dairy free lasagna for Christmas Eve. It was SO good. No one could tell that it was dairy free!!! It will definitely be a recipe I use again!! 

This lasagna recipe is quick to make and easy to prepare in advance. For a quick weeknight meal, the lasagna can be prepared through step 3, frozen and baked another day, as it will keep in the freezer for up to 1 month. (If you decide to do this, just be sure to let your lasagna return to room temperature before baking.)
This dairy-free ricotta is easy and healthy to make, and it adds just the right amount of texture to the casserole.
Makes one 9" x 13" lasagna

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes


  • ¼ cup flour
  • 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 t. salt
  • 2 cups almond milk or other non-dairy milk alternative
  • 1 ½ t. cider vinegar
  • 1 ½ t. olive oil (optional, but I prefer it!)
  • 2 cups warm pasta sauce, either store-bought or homemade
  • 1 9-ounce package no-boil lasagna noodles
  • 1 Recipe Dairy-free Ricotta Cheese


1. Preheat the oven to 400 F.
2. Make the cheese sauce. Combine the flour, nutritional yeast and salt in a small saucepan off-heat. Add ¼ cup of the almond milk, stirring with a wooden spoon until mixture is well combined. Add the remaining almond milk, vinegar and oil, stirring until smooth. Place the saucepan over medium heat and cook, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens, about 4-5 minutes. Remove the pan from heat and set aside.
3. Assemble the lasagna. Pour about ½ cup of the pasta sauce in the bottom of a 9” x 13” casserole dish, followed by a layer of noodles, followed by some of the dairy-free ricotta, followed by some of the cheese sauce, followed by another layer of noodles. Repeat, alternating the pasta sauce with the cheese sauce, reserving the last ½ cup of cheese sauce to top the lasagna.
4. Bake for 40 minutes, or until lasagna is golden brown. Serve warm.

Recipe from

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas Everyone!!
Eric, Megan, and Claire

Thursday, December 24, 2009

You Better Watch Out...

Santa Claus is Coming to Town
You better watch out,
You better not cry,
Better not pout,
I'm telling you why:
Santa Claus is coming to town.
He's making a list,
And checking it twice;
Gonna find out
Who's naughty and nice.
Santa Claus is coming to town.
He sees you when you're sleeping.
He knows when you're awake.
He knows if you've been bad or good,
So be good for goodness sake!
Oh, you better watch out!
You better not cry.
Better not pout,
I'm telling you why:
Santa Claus is coming to town.
Santa Claus is coming to town!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

At First Bite

Claire's first bite of Gerber's rice cereal was when she was 21 weeks 1 day old.  At first she made the, "wtf" face, she slowly  became okay with what was going into her mouth. For a week she had cereal every morning (to watch for any allergic reaction). Now she gets her rice cereal in the morning and before bed. She eats her cereal way better before bed. The last two nights, she ate all 1 tablespoon! In a couple weeks we will be moving onto veggies - peas to be exact! She will be getting Gerbers organic peas to start (because everyone is telling me they are a bitch to puree). After she has successfully master the peas, we will be moving onto homemade green beans. That's right, I plan on making all of Claire's baby food! Go New Mom!!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Once Upon A Monday

I will be reviewing a children's book that we read to Claire every Monday, hence "Once Upon A Monday". I will discuss Claire's reactions to the book, as well as Eric and My thoughts. We have read to Claire ever since she was born. We feel it is very important for a child, no matter what their age to be read to. Give the books we review at try, you never now when you will find your child's favorite new read!

This week's book is My Nose, My Toes, and Me!An Interactive Book for Little Ones Written by Frida Bing.

My Nose, My Toes, and Me! is a very infant friendly book. It's short, colorful, and interactive; everything that is perfect for your little one. As you go through the story, each page asks a question like, "What is behind the bright sunglasses?" On the opposite page is a fold down picture that answers the question like, "My eyes!" As your child gets older, he/she will be able to find out the answer all by themselves, as they learn their body parts. My Nose, My Toes, and Me! is a very durable book that a child of any age should not be able to destroy!

Claire (5 months) thinks, "My Nose, My Toes, and Me! is a very colorful, big book. I love how it tastes but even  more how it sounds."

Eric and I think this a good book for an infant under a year. The colorful pages and cartoon characters really capture Claire's attention. She even loves to flip the pages herself!

M and E Rating - 4 out of 5 stars

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Trial and Error

Eric and I have decided to give cloth diapers a trail run. We went to the baby boutique yesterday, where the owner gave Eric the 411 on cloth diapering. He asked a lot of question and the owner came back and answered each and everyone to the best of her abilities. I let Eric decide on what diapers we would try out. He really liked the all in one, one size fits all diapers - exactly the ones I liked (all though they are a little bit more expensive, he liked that you could size them to fit your baby and that we wouldn't have to buy new sized diapers every couple months.) We went with the Happy Hiney micro-fiber brand.

The owner explained exactly how to take care of them:

  1. Wash the diapers (only diapers) on warm or hot (with a 2nd rinse).
  2. Use a tablespoon of "special" detergent. ( for a full load - around 18/20 diapers) or regular powder Tide. (no Dreft or All and Clear detergents)
  3. If the diapers ever smell like pee - we can use little bit of vinegar.
  4. If they ever stain (which they are not suppose to at all) because of a really "good" poop - we are suppose to wash it and then put the diaper in the sun, which will take out the stain.
  1. dry diapers on low (so they don't lose their elasticity).
(They are never suppose to leak, if they do, it is because we use too much detergent. Which is causing the micro-fiber not to soak up the "waste". If this happens, we have to "strip" the cloth diapers.)

Stripping Diapers - from

Build up refers to residue left by detergents, fabric softeners, and other substances used to clean diapers. In rare instances, baking soda will react with certain minerals in water and also cause build up. If you notice a decrease in the absorbency of your diapers, build up may be the culprit.
Stripping is the process of removing residue from your diapers. To strip diapers:
  • Hand wash your diaper with regular dish soap to remove any oils.
  • Put a small amount of dish soap on the fleece layer.
  • Rub vigorously or use a medium bristle scrubbing brush to scrub the fleece.
  • Turn the diaper inside out and repeat.
  • Rinse thoroughly until the water runs clear.
You may use this method at any time you notice repelling or as a preventative measure once a week. If you are still having problems, try these special cleaning agents to strip your diapers:
  • 2 scoops of Oxyclean in a very hot wash
  • 1 ball of RLR (found at Wal-Mart in the laundry aisle hanging on a clip) in a hot wash

Claire new Happy Hineys are currently in the drier, so they will be going on her shortly. Wish us luck!!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Claire's First Encounter

Claire meet Santa for the first time Dec. 2009, downtown Chicago @ 900 N. Michigan Ave. stores. For being a "good girl" Santa gave Claire a very cute penguin stuffed animal!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Thinking About Making Claire's Hiney a Happy One

I am almost 100% sure that I want to switch to cloth diapers. I was in Orland Park a couple days ago and came across a very cute baby boutique - Cutie Poops and Bottoms. As soon as I walked through the doors, I was amazed at what I saw. It was the cutest store ever. On the wall to the left when you walk in, were all these Pamper diapers (like 5 stacks of 20 or more) and then next to those were a couple cloth diapers. The sign above the display, ask if you know how much money you can save by switching to cloth diapers. I could not believe the answer...over $2,000 from birth to potty training! As I walked through the store, looking at all the cloth diapers and natural baby items, the owner asked if I wanted a cloth diaper demonstration. I excepted her offer and was really happy with what she was showing me. At her store there are 4 different types of cloth diapers to choose from. There were ones that had pre folds, all in one, one size fits all, etc. I really liked the all in one diapers by Happy Hineys. The Happy Hiney diapers were a little more expensive but they were so amazingly soft (made of micro fibers). I also liked the fact that they were one size fits all (from birth to potty training). The lady recommended buying 2 days worth of diapers (any where from 15 - 20) so you would only be doing laundry every other day, instead of every day.

I am taking Eric back on Saturday (he is still very unsure about the whole cloth diaper idea) and let the owner give him the demnostration, that way Eric can ask all the question he wants too. His biggest fear is that we put all this money (any where from $200- $400 depending on the diaper) into cloth and that they fall apart, stain, or just plain suck. He doesn't want our money to go down the toliet by switching over. I told him everything the lady told me about cloth, even that they are resaleable (as long as they are taken care of) and reuseable (so we could use these diapers for ALL of our kids).

We will see how Saturday goes. If all goes as planned, we will be a "greener" family starting this weekend!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

I Would Like To Thank... My First Blog Award!

Rules For Happy 101 Award:
List 10 things that make you happy, try to do at least one of them today, and tag 10 bloggers that brighten your day. For those 10 bloggers who get the award, you then link back to my blog and create your makes you happy list.

Things That Make Me Happy:

My Claire - aka Bug
2. Being around my hubby
3. Spending time with my family
4. The love I get from my fur babies - Lucy and Penny
5. Singing in the shower
6. Shopping for others
7. Taking pictures
8. Traveling
9. Great conversation
10. Mexican food

Ten Bloggers I Pass This Award On To:

1. Melisa @ Camp Family Memories and Milestones
2. Joanna @ My Life as a Mommy
3. Heather @ 3 under 3
4. Kaitlin @ Ah...My Married Life
5. Kate @ Busted Plumbing
6. Spearmint Baby @ Spearmint Baby
7. Mindy @ The Inquisitive Mom
8. Natalie @ Hope Springs Eternal
9. Katie @ Baby Bumble B
10. Future Mama @ Baby Making Machine

This is so exciting, my first ever blog award!
I received this award from Natalie at Hope Springs Eternal
Thank you so much for this award Natalie, it means a lot to me!

Wordless Wednesday

Monday, December 14, 2009

Merry Christmas Baby Claire

This is Claire's first Christmas and of course we wanted to go "gift crazy" but we didn't. We realized that she would get so much from her grandparents and she wouldn't even remember this Christmas because she will only be 5 1/2 months old. Next year will be a whole other story but knowing us, she will love the wrapping paper and boxes better then her gifts! Kids are silly like that. Here are a few things we got Miss. Claire for her first Christmas.

1. The Jitterbug by Fisher Price - You can stack the pieces and it wiggles to the music.
2. "Your Pal Violet" by Leap Frog - You can program Violet to learn Claire's name, her favorite songs. She sings songs, does ABC's, numbers, colors. Plus as Claire gets older and her likes change, we can change Violet to fit her needs.
3. 2 in 1 - sit'n'play and walker by Fisher Price

Her stocking gifts are a lot of play mat toys: links, balls, teething rings, etc...

Sunday, December 13, 2009

I'm a Partial Vegan

Since Claire has a dairy sensitivity, I had to eliminate all dairy from my diet. At first it was a little difficult but now since months have gone by, I am pretty well adjusted to my partial vegan life style. I have found some great dairy free recipes online so I figured I would try to post one recipe a week (Recipe Sunday). Give them a try, they are surprisingly not too bad!

Recipe of the week: Pecan Pie
(Recipe from - - Dairy Free Cooking)

I prefer to use this dairy-free pie dough, but any dairy-free pie dough recipe or store-bought dairy-free crust will work.
Makes one 9" pie

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes


  • 1 Recipe Dairy-Free Pie Crust (see Head Note)
  • 1 egg white, for brushing
  • sugar, for sprinkling
  • ------------------------------------------------------
  • 2 T. flour
  • 2 T. plain almond milk or soy milk
  • 1 t. vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup and 1 T. white sugar
  • 1/3 cup dairy-free soy margarine, melted
  • 1 ½ cup chopped pecans


1. Preheat the oven to 400 F. Lightly oil a 9” pie plate, roll out the prepared dairy-free pie crust and fit into the pan. Brush the crust with egg white and sprinkle with sugar. Place the pie plate in the refrigerator while preparing the filling.
2. Prepare the filling. In a small cup or bowl, mix together the flour and non-dairy milk substitute until smooth. Mix in vanilla and set aside.
3. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, beat the eggs until pale yellow and frothy. Add the sugars and melted soy margarine and whisk until well combined. Add the flour mixture and pecans, mixing until evenly incorporated.
4. Pour the filling into the prepared pie crust and bake for 5 minutes at 400 F, then reduce the oven temperature to 350 F, and continue baking for about 35-40 minutes, or until the middle is no longer liquid (it should still jiggle, but just slightly).

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Duggars give birth to number 19...

The Duggars from the TLC, television show: 18 Kids and Counting, had their 19th baby, 3 months early. No matter if they are on a realty television show or not, they deserve our thoughts and prayers over the next couple months. Those months might be filled with many ups and downs. I pray, that little Josie Duggar will be a strong little preemie and fight all the obstacles that may come her way.

Duggars Welcome Baby 19


Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar welcomed baby 19 earlier than expected on Thursday, December 10, at University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.
Michelle, who has been in the hospital recovering from a gallstone, was taken to the OR for an emergency c-section. Daughter Josie Brooklyn was born at 6:27 p.m. weighing 1lb., 6 oz.
Michelle is resting comfortably and baby is stable and in the NICU for extended care. The most important thing right now is for Mom and baby Josie to get as much rest as possible. The family is grateful for all the prayers and well wishes during their recovery.

Article is from -

I'll Stand By You

There are two pages in Claire's memory book that are labeled "notes from mommy and daddy." Instead of writing notes, Eric and I have decided to find a song, that represents how we feel about our relationship with our little Claire. Her is the song I have chosen:

I'll Stand By You - By: The Pretenders

Oh, why you look so sad? Tears are in your eyes
Come on and come to me now.
Don't be ashamed to cry, let me see you through
Cause I've seen the dark side too.
When the night falls on you, you don't know what to do,
Nothing you confess could make me love you less
I'll stand by you, I'll stand by you, won't let nobody hurt you,
I'll stand by you.
So, if you're mad get mad, don't hold it all inside,
Come on and talk to me now.
And hey, what you got to hide? I get angry too
But I'm alot like you.
When you're standing at the crossroads, don't know which path to choose,
Let me come along, cause even if your wrong
I'll stand by you, I'll stand by you, won't let nobody hurt you,
I'll stand by you.
Take me into your darkest hour, and I'll never desert you.
I'll stand by you.
And when, when the night falls on you baby, you're feeling all alone,
You won't be on your own, I'll stand by you. I'll stand by you
I'll stand by you, won't let nobody hurt you. I'll stand by you
Take me in into your darkest hour and I'll never desert you
I'll stand by you.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Claire's 5 Month Stats

5 Months 1 day - 13lbs 8oz and 24.25 inches long (birth - 6lbs 7oz and 20 inches long)

Claire is doing wonderful! She has started rice cereal in the mornings (now today, she will start rice cereal in the mornings and at night!) The first couple of days were a little rough. She kept giving us the "wth"(what the hell) face, every time we would put the spoon in her mouth. She never had a screaming episode, so all in all rice cereal was and still is a success! She will continue on demand breastfeeding and rice cereal in the a.m. and p.m. until January when we will start to introduce her to veggies! I am almost positive I will be making her baby food. We will start with the green veggies (peas and green beans), then we will move on to the orange veggies (carrots, sweet potatoes, and squash). Once she has been introduced to all her stage 1 veggies, she will start fruits! Our doctor recommends we introduce one food at a time in the morning (so we can watch for any reaction) for 7 days. With introducing all the veggies and fruit should take us well in to month 8. When everything is introduced she will get: rice cereal and fruit for breakfast, veggie and fruit for lunch, rice cereal and veggie for dinner, along with on demand breastfeeding.

Milestones: She has started to sit up by herself, she pass toys from one hand to the next, she looks for an object she drops, she is talking, whispering, laughing, and screaming up a storm, She loves to stand up, she will sit up from a laying down position all by herself, when she holds your hands., She is doing baby pushes (she lifts her body up with her hands), she turns the pages of her story books when she is read to, she loves to reach for objects that are out of reach.

Professional Pictures by Kirstin LaRoche

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