Baby M: 7 Months

Happy Sunday. We enjoyed a beautiful Saturday at the beach (while it rained torrentially at home) and are relaxing today (instead of “relaxing,” I should say “nursing what is most likely a mild quad strain” thanks to my own stupidity pushing through a really tough cardio barre class Thursday night). Baby M seemed to love the sunshine, breeze, and sand, but he was NOT a fan of the water. Baby steps, I guess…

Anyway, I’m a week late, but it’s time to catch up on Baby M’s 7 month update!

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Oh, this kid has so much personality!

He’s still the happiest baby 90% of the time–but he’s learning the concept of distance/separation now. Often when we’re getting ready in the morning for work, I’ll put him in his activity center. He’s happy, happy, happy—until I walk away to fix my hair or finish packing my lunch.

He still loves:

  • our cell phones
  • his remote control “I’ve got a remote, and I’m ready to roll!…”
  • Toby (his tiger wubbanub)
  • Sophie the giraffe
  • watching big brother, Iggy like a hawk
  • pulling my hair and necklace (I seriously need to invest in one of those teether necklaces, or else he’s going to break the chains of mine)
  • bouncing
  • standing up (with some help)
  • EATING

That’s right. After getting more serious with solids after last month’s check-up, Baby M has become a pretty good eater.

His favorite for the first couple weeks was homemade sweet potato puree (sometimes mixed with coconut oil), but now he’s tried pears, peaches, peas, green beans, prunes (due to some constipation issues the last week), squash, bananas, and a few veggie/bean blends (that actually taste pretty good!).

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We haven’t made any more of his food (besides the big batch of sweet potatoes), but I want to change that. It’s just so easy to steam veggies and blend them up! Seems like it will save money, too, although even the non-organic, run-of-the-mill baby food jars/packets are preservative-free and seem healthy enough.

Baby M’s not crawling, but he will scoot backward and sort of sway back-and-forth on his hands and knees. He’s fallen over a few times because he tries to STAND instead of crawl. He’s also pulled up a few times with very little help from us. I wouldn’t be surprised if he skips crawling and goes straight to standing/cruising, but we’ll wait and see.

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One of his biggest developments is: TEETH. Like his mommy, Baby M has gotten his canine teeth first—with a couple bottom teeth on their way. He looks like a little vampire right now—but the cutest vampire you’ve ever seen!

Despite his good appetite, he’s still a little string bean, but now I have NO doubts about his health. Even at his 7 month weight check, the pediatrician told us he’d accepted the fact that Baby M was going to be like his daddy—tall and lean. He told us his development is right on target—he’s just a little guy.

He’s continuing to be an awesome sleeper. I know it might prove to be more difficult when he weans from breastfeeding, but he usually falls asleep for an hour or so on us, gets a final breastfeed around 9:00, and will sleep until the following morning (between 5:30 and 6:30).

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For whatever reason, he still hates baths! He’d been doing better the last couple of months, but he usually cries when we bathe him. Maybe we need to move from the sling to letting him sit up in his tub?

He’s also not a fan of lying on his back (unless sleeping). Diaper changes are full of screaming and kicking, so much so that I dread changing him. Luckily he’ll calm down when we turn on his mobile or snow globe. I’m hoping this passes because he used to LOVE diaper changes!

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I absolutely love this age he’s in. It breaks my heart to know he’s becoming more independent and further from the newborn stage, but he’s such a riot when he giggles and makes his crazy faces. He’s so curious, always looking at his surroundings and scrutinizing things. I know all babies are pretty observant, but he seems to analyze every last detail! Maybe he’ll be our little scientist or researcher one day.

Happy 7 months, little bazooka man. We love you!

If you’re catching up, you can find Baby M’s other monthly updates on my Baby page.

Why I Hate The Terms “Cheat Meal” and “Cheat Day”

I’ve never been a yo-yo dieter, nor have I over-exercised myself to the point of exhaustion. Nevertheless, even with my own lax nutritional and fitness “rules,” I’ve felt guilt.

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I’ve felt guilty when I spent too many hours on the sofa watching a Breaking Bad marathon, or, once again, went an entire week without any real workouts.

I’ve felt guilty when I lectured my parents on their eating habits days before I compulsively consumed handfuls of trail mix while at work.

I know I don’t always make the best decisions, but you know what? I’m human.

Some days I eat the “perfectly” balanced ratio of veggies, fruits, grains, fats, etc. (notice I put quotation marks around the word perfectly because, according to whose standards?) and other days I subsist on cereal, pizza, and other treats.

The thing is, those days—whether they fall twice a week, monthly, or just occasionally—are naturally balanced by days where I do eat a more nutritious diet.

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I think it’s dangerous to follow rules too rigidly and label foods or activities “good” or “bad,” which is why I don’t agree with the concept of “cheat days” or “cheat meals.”

I’d say on the surface, I follow a 80-20 diet, meaning I eat “healthy” 80% of the time and treat myself the other 20%. This isn’t something I do consciously, though. Some days are closer to 90-10, others are closer to 60-40. Around the holidays, they may be even more skewed in the other direction. But it works for me.

By following strict “clean-eating” rules Monday through Friday and allowing yourself to “cheat” on the weekend, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment, shame, or resentment if you suddenly join friends for drinks on a Tuesday or always give up a free donut in the office on Friday.

Likewise, you’re setting yourself up for injury, fatigue, or just plain boredom if you rigidly follow an exercise regimen that doesn’t allow for random rest days due to having an “off” day or simply wanting to catch up on sleep!

And then the guilt and self-criticism creep in, leading to feelings of failure, binges and other loss of control, or possibly something even worse—eating and exercise disorders.

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Treat your body well, but don’t deny it the spontaneous indulgence or relaxation. It’s not “cheating” if you take a slice of birthday cake when offered, even if it’s not in your “plan” for the week.

It’s not “cheating” if you decide to skip a run because you just don’t feel like getting sweaty or would rather get lost in a good book.

Our society feeds off the notion that we feel badly about ourselves if we’re not doing X or eating Y. Don’t fall prey to it! Treat your body and mind well—and, by all means, follow a routine or plan if it truly helps you focus—but remember that the best moments are usually spontaneous. And if you’re anything like me, they often include one-too-many margaritas or an extra cupcake.

[linking up for Thinking Out Loud]

For Two Fitness Mother’s Day (Week?) Giveaway!

I hope all you mothers and moms-to-be had a very special day yesterday.

Today, I am thrilled to partner with For Two Fitness for an amazing post-Mother’s Day giveaway. If you recall, I wore For Two Fitness apparel through my pregnancy with Baby M and fell in love with their style, comfort, and quality. For Two Fitness is running a phenomenal giveaway for the new mom or mom-to-be. Read below for the details!

This year, we are celebrating Mother’s Day all week! We are so thankful to YOU — our community, customers, friends, moms and moms-to-be. To express our thanks, we are hosting a huge giveaway this week in partnership with some amazing brands and our ambassadors. The Grand Prize is valued at more than $1000.  We have phenomenal prizes, from Joovy, Garmin, Feetures, Sara Haley and us, For Two Fitness – all facets of your fit mom lifestyle are in this prize pack!

Prizes are brought to you by our wonderful brand partners, sponsoring ambassadors and of course, us here at For Two Fitness. Here are more details about the grand prize – everything you see below:

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Grand Prize Giveaway items:

This contest runs from Monday, May 11th through midnight on Friday, May 15th.  Please follow all of our contest co-hosts on Instagram:

Visit For Two Fitness’ Blog to enter!

Thanks for celebrating Mother’s Week with us!  Good Luck!!

Mother’s Day + Weekly Links

I feel like this quote says everything, so I won’t even try.

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It’s been an incredible year since I got a taste of Mother’s Day a whole 12 months ago when I was pregnant with Baby M.

Happy Mother’s Day to my mom, mother-in-law, Grannie, and Grandma M. And also to my own Gee and Granny who are in Heaven.

May all the mothers, grandmothers, step-moms, aunts, nieces, sisters, godmothers, nannies, surrogates, and other caretakers who fill the role of “mother” and “nurturer” enjoy their special day.

Here are just a few recipes and reads for the week.

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.Recipes.

Everything Bagel Grilled Cheese Breakfast Sandwich

Quite possibly the most perfect savory breakfast—I would’ve been ALL OVER this during my pregnancy!

Chocolate Covered Coconut Smoothie with Banana Chip Powder

Whoa.

Honey Tofu Pad Thai

I’ve only make tofu once (and enjoyed it), but this looks amazing.

Fettuccine with Brown Butter Asparagus and Parmesan Fonduta

We really need to make more pasta dishes at home—so comforting.

.Food & Nutrition.

Fructose May Influence Cravings For High Calorie Foods

.Fitness.

Walking For An Extra 2 Minutes Per Hour Can Help You Live Longer

.Mental Health.

No One Talks About The Darkness: A Postpartum Conversation

This post is so important. If you’re a new mom, read it. And pass it on to other pregnant women and/or new moms.

.Parenting.

A Letter to My Future Daughters-in-Law: He Won’t Complete You

My Breastfeeding Journey

It still shocks me that it’s been almost 7 months since we welcomed Baby M into the world. I actually wrote this post roughly a month ago, but I wanted to share an update—one I originally thought I’d never achieve: 6 months of (nearly) exclusive breastfeeding!

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Early in my pregnancy, I knew I wanted to breastfeed. While I believe every mother has the right to choose how to feed her child, I do believe that breast milk is the better nutritional choice when possible. Emphasis on those last 2 words.

I’m not writing to criticize or imply that my choice is better than another mother’s. Each mother knows what’s best for her own child (and for herself). All I’m saying is that breastfeeding Baby M was very important to me, and I’m grateful I’m able to do it.

Having said that, let me tell you—it has not been a walk in the park. Pregnant women are always told that breastfeeding is hard work, but you don’t often hear (or maybe you filter it out) just how excruciatingly difficult it can be.

Right now, I am absolutely in love with nursing my son, but I definitely struggled—almost to the point of quitting altogether—in the beginning.

Baby M was only 6 lbs 1 oz at birth but was perfectly healthy. My hospital and nurses were very pro-breastfeeding, so I had the opportunity to breastfeed shortly after delivery and throughout my hospital stay. Things seemed to be going well (what did I know except that I was following “instructions” so to speak?) although I did have trouble getting him to latch occasionally and stay awake during feeds.

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Flash forward to our first weight check—5 days after birth—when we found out Baby M was only 5 lbs 6 oz. Although the nurse didn’t seem extremely concerned (most babies lose weight), I of course began to panic after she mentioned we’d need to think about supplementing if he hadn’t reached birth weight by 2 weeks.

There’s nothing, I repeat, nothing, wrong with supplementing, but being in that newborn-mom-stupor, all I heard was “failure.” I naively thought, since I had a perfect pregnancy and wanted to do “all the right things,” that I’d have no trouble breastfeeding. Later that evening, I lost it. I was putting so much pressure on myself and got so worried about his weight and how “I was starving him” that we went back to the pediatrician’s late night clinic to see an actual doctor.

Well, the doctor reassured us that he was fine and exactly where she’d expect him to be. She said he looked healthy and happy but did give us some sample formula and encouraged us to top him off after feedings.

Because I really wanted breastfeeding to work, I continued nursing Baby M while feeding him some formula, too. I had some breakdowns to be sure, but after talking it over with Mark, I’d finally reached a point of acceptance and peace. Once I realized it was about Baby M’s health and not about my success/failure, I felt at ease. I was open to whatever happened, but I wanted to meet with the LC the following Monday before throwing in the towel.

If you’re ever in the same boat as I was, please reach out to an LC! She was so comforting (even as she manhandled my boobs!) and encouraging—and an absolute godsend. Based on her before and after measurements, Baby M was drinking just shy of 2 ounces, which was a bit less than he needed. She encouraged me to continue breastfeeding and supplementing afterward.

Flash forward to Thursday—our 2nd weight check—where he had gained up to 5 lbs 15 oz, just 2 oz below his birth weight! I was ecstatic and felt so relieved.

The next few weeks are foggy, but I followed the LC’s advice religiously, and almost 7 months later, I’m nursing and pumping regularly. Because the pediatrician advised us at Baby M’s 4 month appointment to increase his bottle size from around 4 oz to 5-6 oz (as much as he’ll take—just short of “popping” basically!) while I’m at work, we’re also giving him a few ounces to one bottle of formula, since I pump just shy of that recommended amount. I will say that pumping is an absolute drag (though it does break up the day!), but as long as I eat well, stay hydrated, avoid stress, and remind myself that this is temporary and is 100% for Baby M, it continues to go well.

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Below are the things that ultimately enabled me to breastfeed my son.

1. Support from my family and medical team

If you don’t have a support system in place, then forget about successfully breastfeeding! Some women have easier times than others, but for those who do struggle, you’ve got to have encouragement. If your loved ones don’t understand why breastfeeding is good for the baby or question whether you’re providing enough nourishment for your child, then your supply will suffer. Luckily my husband has been my champion and friends with similar struggles have offered great advice and encouragement.

2. Pumping to stimulate

When I first tried my breast pump, I literally produced droplets. Of course I panicked and thought that Baby M was drinking the same, which was not the case. Babies are usually much more efficient at removing milk, and some women never respond well to pumps. I’m able to pump enough milk for most of my son’s feedings while I’m at work, but it took a lot of practice to get there. Keep at it. My best recommendation is to pump for about 10 minutes after feedings (just a couple a day) to tell your body to produce more milk. In time, it will help, and you can freeze whatever small amounts (even if it’s barely an ounce) you do produce. While I used the Medela Pump In Style Advanced, I’d recommend renting a hospital-grade pump if you’re really serious about pumping.

3. Galactagogues

From the beginning, I’ve been eating oatmeal, flax, and brewer’s yeast to increase my supply. I often eat oats for breakfast and snack on lactation cookies during the day. For whatever reason, these foods—as well as a host of others like fennel—help stimulate milk production. I also drank Mother’s Milk tea and took fenugreek capsules daily. It helped tremendously.

4. Hydration

I drank—and continue to drink—around 90 ounces of water a day. I also drink coconut water and limit my caffeine and alcohol consumption (never feed your baby while drunk, but it is ok to strategically have a glass or wine or a beer so long as you time your feedings right) so I don’t risk lowering my supply.

5. Rest

In the beginning, I was not sleeping at all. Couple that with my stress/blame, and you have a recipe for disaster. It’s crucial to relax and allow your body to work how it should. If possible, take a “nursing vacation” on the weekend; stay in bed with your baby close by and nurse him on demand while relaxing. I never did this, but I can imagine how helpful it would be.

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Once I accepted that all would be fine even if I had to switch to formula, I began to stress less and enjoy feeding my son. Eventually, my milk came in with abundance (over-supply!), and I’m now taking things day-by-day, week-by-week. I’ve met my official goal of 6 months, but I think we’ll continue nursing and introducing various solids on a week-by-week basis, for as long as he’s interested. 9 months or even a year would be incredible, but I don’t want to stress over it. In fact, I’ve already noticed he seems to be drinking less since he’s started eating more solids.

I never realized how much I’d truly enjoy nursing—the bonding, the closeness, the feeling of being able to comfort and nourish my son—so much. There’s nothing like hearing his sweet little gulp and having him fall asleep on my chest.

Breastfeeding is difficult, but it’s also natural and normal and something most women can do with determination and will. I’m so glad to have this relationship with Baby M, and I’m so grateful that I stuck with it despite the challenges and frustration.

The absolute most important thing, though, is that I’m feeding my son and taking care of us both. If you struggle with breastfeeding/pumping due to low supply and/or stress or if you simply choose to feed your child formula from the beginning, my hats off to you! You should never feel guilty for your choices because you’re doing one of the most difficult, important, and rewarding jobs in the world!

Scenes from the Weekend + Meal Plan Monday

Happy Monday!

I hope everybody had as lovely a weekend as we did. The weather was absolutely perfect, and a good bit of our time was spent outdoors (fighting off the giant Alabama mosquitoes, but outside nonetheless).

Saturday morning we woke up bright and early so I could run the Lions Club Tunnel Vision 5K. It was freezing when we got there, but by the time we exited the tunnel (not even a mile into the race), it was blazing hot.

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I didn’t run the whole time, but I did a lot of fast walking and finished in 35:46. Not speedy to any of you seasoned runners, but I enjoyed myself. I also randomly met up with some friends who were also racing, so that made it much more fun. The red beans & rice and free beer at Ralph & Kacoo’s were welcomed, too, even if it was 9 AM.

Later we cleaned up and went to lunch at a new(ish) restaurant, Sunset Pointe at Fly Creek Marina in Fairhope. It’s owned by local chef Pete Blohme (of Panini Pete’s) and everything on the menu was tempting. I’ll do a review later this week, but it was a really nice place (a little pricey, though, for lunch).

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We stopped by a new-to-us park in Daphne—which was a bit disappointing. It’s mostly just a boat launch (with a zig-zag of a boardwalk), and I thought it had a walking trail for some reason. Oh well…at least it was a pretty view.

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Sunday was spent running errands and relaxing. And trying to soothe a super fussy (teething!) baby. :-(

And now that it’s Monday, I’m sharing last week’s meals instead of what we’re planning for this week. Since our meal plan often changes, I feel like this makes more sense.

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Sunday: Mark fired up the grill and we had some hamburgers, grilled veggies, mac & cheese, and chicken sausage (leftovers served as several lunches during the week).

Monday: Chicken and black bean enchiladas. We’ve never made enchiladas before, but this was easy and just kind of thrown together. Mark sautéed onion and bell pepper, tossed in some shredded rotisserie chicken and black beans, and then stuffed whole wheat tortillas with the mixture, some shredded cheese, and a topping of store-bought sauce. Not bad.

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Tuesday: Eggplant parmesan over angel hair pasta and my mom’s meat sauce that she kindly brought to us. This time we fried (instead of baked) the eggplant, and it was a little over-cooked.

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Wednesday: “BLT salads” with mixed greens, bacon, grape tomatoes, and mozzarella

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Thursday: We’d planned on a grain bowl of some sort, but I was feeling carby and trashy, so we pulled out a frozen pizza from the freezer. It was ok.

Friday: I want to say we had “brinner?” I think we ate fried egg sandwiches, but I seriously can’t remember! #foodblogfail

Saturday: After a big lunch, we just opted for giant bowls of cereal. The best choice? No, but sometimes is necessary.

I think I’ll do this again next week. Maybe this will give you some ideas for relatively quick and easy weeknight meals.

Thinking Out Loud: Integrity in the Health & Wellness Industry

Back when I talked about food and fitness all the time and actually posted recipes (yep, I actually did those things!), you could say I was, or at least tried to be, a healthy living blogger.

I firmly believe that how and what I eat directly influence my health and overall feelings of wellness. I don’t believe in demonizing foods (refined sugar, white flour, conventional produce, etc.), but I also think it’s in our best interest to limit foods that are heavily processed. I also believe Hippocrates had a good thing going when he said “let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”

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Nevertheless, we’ve become a society that puts too much stock in so-called “miracle foods.” Although I feel better and more energetic when I choose the salad over the nachos (and I swear by my apple cider vinegar and honey concoction to ward off colds!), I don’t think cheese is poison and I know my kale doesn’t actually have super powers.

Case in point: the recent news about wellness blogger and app developer, Belle Gibson, and her complete fabrication about her terminal brain cancer and “all-natural” healing methods.

I’ve seen many family members and friends succumb to cancer or other terminal illness; I’ve also seen many family and friends undergo successful treatment and kick their cancer/illness in the butt. I’m floored by modern medicine and the options we have today.

While healthy eating and exercise doubtlessly have positive impact on our lives, it’s dangerous, irresponsible, and downright fraudulent—criminal, even—to make health claims of the same nature Gibson did.

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Although we should know better than to take a nonprofessional’s advice over our physicians’ (hello, personal responsibility), it’s sickening to consider how many people possibly derailed their chances of successful treatment by believing a diet free of gluten and sugar could heal them over chemotherapy and radiation!

It’s cruel to those who struggled and were not able to conquer their illness despite trying everything they could.

We’re responsible for our own decisions, but those in the spotlight are responsible for the messages they send to impressionable—desperate, even—followers.

I agree that our society as a whole is somewhat responsible for these bullshit claims, too. We’re always seeking a miracle cure rather than admitting we could change our habits and work hard to achieve better health. We worship at the feet of money-hungry pseudo-celebrities like Dr. Oz and Gibson and then get angry when the miracle cure isn’t so miraculous.

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This has to stop. In my opinion, Gibson is clearly a sick individual who needs professional help from a therapist. She needs to take care of herself before she does even more harm to others.

I’m sure she’s inspired and helped some individuals, but even if just one terminally ill person refused potentially life-saving treatment because of her “claims,” then she’s got to live with that responsibility. And so does every other “wellness guru” who deceives us with “too good to be true” claims.

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For the love of God, take care of yourselves. It’s in our best interest to fill our diets with vibrant vegetables and fruits, lean meats, and whole grains, but don’t forget the incredible gifts of modern medicine. Some things from a laboratory are in fact better than their “natural” counterparts growing in the field.

[Linking up for some Thinking Out Loud today.]

7th Anniversary at The Melting Pot

This past Sunday was Mark’s and my 7th anniversary. It’s crazy how fast time has flown since we said our vows, danced the night away, and nearly suffocated on wedding cake thanks to a photographer who was really awful at giving instructions. Good times!

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Since we’re old folk who like to relax on Sunday evenings, we opted to celebrate by going to dinner on Saturday night.

I know fondue and The Melting Pot are nothing new, but our local restaurant didn’t open until last year—and I’ve been sitting on a gift card for more than twice that long.

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So, fondue it was!

Since Mark noted it was our anniversary when making the reservation, we were nestled in a quiet corner of the restaurant and greeted with a signed card. Nice personal touch.

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After chatting with our waiter about our options, we started out with some wine. I went with La Crema Chardonnay (I’m on a white wine kick lately after avoiding it for years) and Mark had the 14 Hands Cabernet Sauvignon.

We decided to share a 4-course entrée—and I’m glad we did. It was plenty of food for the both of us.

We chose the Alpine cheese fondue, which included Gruyere, Raclette, and fontina cheeses. It was definitely strong, but we do love our cheese so we handled it well.

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I opted for the California salad with candied pecans, gorgonzola, tomatoes, and tangy raspberry-walnut vinaigrette; Mark chose the strawberry caprese topped with fresh strawberries, mozzarella, honey-roasted almonds, and a white balsamic dressing. Both were fresh and delicious.

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We got a bit of everything with our “fondue delight” main course: filet mignon, Pacific white shrimp, lobster tail, chicken, wild mushroom sacchetti, and veggies (potato, broccoli, and mushrooms) with a variety of dipping sauces.

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I’ll admit that the raw chicken was super sketchy, but we let it cook a bit longer than recommended and are still alive today. :-)

For dessert, we chose the flaming turtle. It was quite decadent but a little too sweet for me with the caramel mixed in. I wish we’d gone with a simple dark chocolate, but it was fun dipping the strawberries and other treats in the pot.

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I’m glad we finally experienced what The Melting Pot is all about, but I don’t think we’ll be in a hurry to return. The food was good, but I feel like once you’ve experienced the novelty of cooking and dipping your own food, then the quality is just ordinary. It was still pretty expensive despite our sharing an entrée, but we enjoyed ourselves and left satisfied. There are many other restaurants I’d love to try next, but I’d keep The Melting Pot on the radar for another special occasion.

The Weekend {Sentence per Picture}

Hello! How was your weekend?…

I’ve got a couple of mom/baby-related posts that I want to post soon, but I don’t want those to be the only thing I share. I really, really miss experimenting in the kitchen, but when I have free time, I want to spend it resting or cuddling with Baby M. You can’t blame me, right?

Anyway, this weekend was relaxing and great—in a different way. We barely left the house (we went to Sam’s on Saturday and I went to Target Sunday (no Lilly, huge bummer!), after a family neighborhood walk and trip to the snoball stand), but it was wonderful spending time with our sweet, sweet baby.

Here’s a summary of our weekend—1 sentence per picture style (even though I now realize I didn’t take very many pictures!).

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Friday night dinner; the only type of “bugs” I like to see in my house!

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We’re slightly neurotic and had to spell out something when we moved part of this alphabet mat into the TV room; of the candidates announced so far, I think Baby M has a pretty good shot!

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Baby M was too young to get a membership at Sam’s Club, but he had a good time riding around in the cart anyway.

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I love, love, LOVE my steamed and puréed sweet potatoes; eat THAT, pediatrician!

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It might have been 80 degrees outside IN APRIL, but this snowball held up pretty well (and was quite tasty, too).

That’s all I’ve got. I told you we didn’t do much (unless you count grocery shopping, watching too much TV, and making baby food as “busy”).

I’m so absolutely excited for this week because we’re finally getting some sunshine! Even though I’m in the office most of the day, I’m looking forward to walking during lunch. Have a fantastic week, everyone—and congrats to everybody who ran the Boston Marathon today.

Baby M: 6 Months

Hey—and happy Friday!

It’s been almost 1 week since Baby M turned 6 months, but I still want to share his monthly update. I decided to write this one in letter form like I did at 4 months.

My dear, sweet son:

Last Saturday we celebrated two very important birthdays—your Gigi’s 60th and your 6-month—or “half”—birthday. 

Each and every day you continue to amaze me and fill me with such joy. Your sweet, electric smile brightens the darkest of rooms, and your endless energy is contagious.

Month 6 brings quite a few developments and milestones. For one, you’re sitting up by yourself! You do a great job sitting on our laps while we’re in our chairs, and if we place you on the floor in a seated position, you’ll hold it for a few seconds. Sometimes you topple over, but you’re getting so strong! Pretty soon I think you’ll start realizing that you can use those arms of yours for balance—and then you’ll sit for days.

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You’re still not very interested in rolling over, but you’ve proven to us a few times that you can do it. I think you’re more interested in moving. You can hold your chest up for a long time when on your tummy, and you even hold yourself up on all fours—the precursor to crawling!

While crawling won’t happen for a while (we hope!), you decided to shimmy and scoot yourself—backward!—while on your tummy. I think it frustrated you when you were moving further away from your toy, so you’ve only done it a couple times.

Sometime last month you finally took immense interest in your feet. You’ve loved your hands for months, but those little feet were always covered in socks! Now you hold on to them—or try to eat them—socks or not.

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You still love to laugh at your big brother, Iggy—although you need to learn not to grab handfuls of his hair or pull on his ears. And, please, don’t try to eat his tail!

You’ve started doing the cutest thing—sucking on your bottom lip. I don’t know if it’s because you’re teething (lots of drool—but no teeth yet!), but you go to town on that little lip and have the most intense look of deep concentration on your face. You’re like your mama when she’s focused on something!

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You’re still so tiny—and while mama’s gut tells her you’re healthy and thriving, she can’t help but worry. I think you’re just so full of energy that you burn through every single calorie you ingest. As much as you love bouncing in your jumper swing (or simply on our laps), we may have to take a break sometimes.

You have a new friend—Sophie the Giraffe. You weren’t a big fan at first, but now you love to gnaw on her. You also have discovered a new “toy,” mama and daddy’s iPhones—and you fuss and cry when we take it from you. It’s not actually an apple, sweetie!

You continue to breastfeed well and usually drink a bottle of formula while staying with Mimi and Papa. Even though you loved your oatmeal last month, you lost interest and still haven’t quite warmed up to other solids yet. We keep trying to feed you sweet potato, squash, banana, and avocado, but you just don’t seem to care for being spoon fed. Go figure that you have an independent streak—I think you’re more interested in feeding yourself when the time’s right (since you love to grab the spoon). We’ll just keep trying.

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While you’ve always been a great sleeper, you’ve been waking up more lately. Maybe this is a 6-month rather than 4-month sleep regression? You had your first cold or bout with allergies early this month, so that runny nose and cough of yours kept you awake. Mama doesn’t mind feeding you twice during the night, but she’s getting awfully tired!

Daddy and I cannot believe you’re already 6 months old. The time has flown by, but every day is a new and exciting adventure that’s better than the last. We love you dearly, and we cherish our morning cuddles in the bed each weekend.

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Happy half-birthday, bright eyes!

If you’re catching up, you can find Baby M’s other monthly updates on my Baby page.