Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Sandy's Top Ten Baby Items

I have seen so many baby announcements lately so I want to share my top ten baby items.  Everyone's opinion on what's needed or wanted varies in this department and may differ from baby to baby.  This post is my two cents and what worked for me and Hank.

1. Bouncy Seat.  Hank basically lived in his bouncy when he was an infant.  Ours played music and vibrated! 

2. White Onesies.  You either hate them or love them.  I love them.  They keep baby cool or warm depending on the season.  They are also that one item you won't be super pissed about throwing out when baby shits all over it.  

3. The Nose Frida.  This invention is simply amazing - looks and sounds disgusting, but during that first cold you'll be so glad you have it.  Imagine having a stuffy nose and not being able to blow it - poor babes. (PS: Need a laugh?  Read the Amazon reviews.) 

4. Inchbug labels.  I was having bottle confusion at our old daycare so I bought a package of these.  A lot of daycare centers make you label your bottles so these are a great alternative to stickers or sharpies that could rub off or ruin your bottles. 

5. An Extra Car Seat / Base.  There have been multiple times where Andy needed to pick Hank up at daycare unexpectedly.  It is so nice to have two car seats / bases so we don't  have to reinstall it each time.  Yes, it's expensive, but so worth it. 

6. Baby Bathtub.  We got a little tub with a seat as a gift .  It was so nice when Hank was itty bitty.  My biggest fear was giving baths, but with the baby tub it wasn't scary at all! 

7. Comfortable Nursing Bras and Tanks.  This is something I didn't think about until after the baby was born.  God, my boobs were huge!  These tanks and bras snap at the strap so it's easy to nurse right away and any where.  AND spend the money.  From my experience, us curvy gals need the good, expensive ones! My favorites were at Motherhood Maternity.  

8. Extra Bedding and Changing Table Sheets .... because you'll never know when baby will shit or piss all over them.  

9. Boppy Pillow.  This can be used before baby while you're sleeping, after baby while nursing, tummy time, and while baby learns how to sit!  Great, simple invention. 

10. Baby Monitor.  We had a really nice video one, but it broke.  We bought a cheap $20 one that's just sound while the video one was being fixed by Motorola ... Honestly, it's just as good.  Don't waste your money.  I recommend a monitor, but an expensive one is totally not needed (unless someone else buys it for ya!). 

Hope these tips help someone.  I know I Google'd and Google'd during my pregnancy.  But, I want to re-add that these are what worked for me and Hank, everyone's opinion differs and might even differ from baby to baby.  Happy New Year!


Sandy (and baby Hank!)

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Bad Moms

This particular blog post may be coming out of left field and might be extremely bitchy, but I am ok with that.  I am ok with defending myself and all the other mothers out there who have felt ashamed, saddened, beaten down, accused, and all the in-betweens due to MOM SHAMING.

Listen up!  I am so sick and tired of the shit talk that goes around the "mom universe" each and every day.  I know that I have only been a mom for a short 14 months, but in that short 14 months I have witnessed everything from, "You don't use organic sunscreen?" to "Shoes aren't good for babies."  Oh, yeah?  I am a bad mom for not spending $25 on an organic sunscreen, but instead buying an $8 bottle of Coppertone and using that extra money I saved on groceries?  Am I really a bad mom for trying to teach my child how to walk in shoes?  If you want to read about a bad mom, Google Stephanie Lopez.

A few nights ago a friend and I met to have a beer and discussed the way of living people are enduring these days, especially in Santa Fe.  Here, a lot of people tend to follow the hippie lifestyle  .... and GUESS WHAT?  That is OK.  I'm not judging these people!  Let me get that straight.  I don't care if you want to buy that $25 sunscreen.  Knock yourself out.  I just don't want people to tell ME that I should be using it on myself or members of my family.  If you are rocking this new and improved organic lifestyle, you have my blessing.  I will kiss the ground you walk on.  I am a wanna-be hippie.  I want to be natural, holistic, and healthy too, but do not have the funds to make it possible.  And to be completely honest, I have purchased the gluten, paraben, fragrance, and dye free mirror cleaner and it DID NOT WORK.  Pass me the Windex, please!  Forgive me for wanting a streak-free mirror while applying my organic, hypoallergenic mascara.  Yes, that is right!  I do use some natural products.

And for those of you who are too closed minded and don't want to maaaaaybe, accidentally see a nipple in public because I need to feed my child .... via my breasts .... what the big man created them for .....  Stop staring!  YOU are the one making it awkward.  Someone legitimately asked me, "Are you allowed to do that in public?"  Umm, what?  Feed my child?  Are you allowed to eat that burger in front of me?

Being a mom is the greatest job I have ever had.  I absolutely know that I am kicking ass at it too.  I am a full-time working mom and hit the gym at least three times a week, making it to daycare on time at 5:30 for pick.  I have an amazing husband that gets the babe ready in the morning and cooks us dinner every night.  And we both tag team bath/bed time.  (Brag much? Yep, you bet!)

All I am trying to get across is we, as parents, have our own ways of doing things.  We want to raise our children better than what we were raised and hope that our children raise their children even better.  There are so many other things going on in this world, hurricanes, race wars, two criminals running for president, and clowns ... OMG CLOWNS!

I love my child with all my heart, but I am putting my foot down.  The next person who voices their opinion about how I should raise MY son (without me asking for their opinion first) will seriously get a mental beating.  Enough is enough.  We are ALL doing our best.  Girl, just keep doing what you are doing and stop listening to the haters.

Mic drop.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Mustache Bash Birthday Party

It's been over a month since Henry's Mustache Bash.  We had such a blast celebrating this little man with all our Santa Fe friends, new and old.  I have meet an array of wonderful families through the Santa Fe Mommy Meetup Group (A mommy group that it legit with over 200 members and a leadership team!).

Henry's guests and friends and family from afar complimented me on my planning skills so I wanted to share with everyone exactly how I planned this stress free party.  You can use my checklist below for other party themes by tweaking it just a tad.

I also created the signs you see in the images below with PowerPoint and downloaded a funny font named "Sanchez Mustache" - Just don't tell my graphic designer friends ;)

Sunday, August 14, 2016


What the hell? When did this happen? I have a one year old!  Well one year, two week, and five day old.  Sorry, late blog!  I seriously feel like he changed into a toddler over night.  But as much as I miss having a little baby in the house (and no, I am not ready to have another one), I am excited for the next year.  While working at the daycare the toddler ages were my favorite.  

Henry is one smart kid!  He started walking just before his birthday and now can can walk about eight to ten steps at a time.  It's more like "toddling" ... but basically walking.  He gets so excited too.  I knew he would walk right before his birthday and made a bet with Andy that he would do so.  I won! 

Henry also likes to "do art" ... we bought him some stickers and crayons!  He is getting the hang of it and seems to enjoy it.  He thinks he is a goat and eats the stickers, but we're reminding him he is not one.  He likes sidewalk chalk too, but we don't have much he can draw on here at home.  We're creative  - our house walls are adobe.  I wonder if our landlord would approve toddler art on the outside house walls. ;) 

Lastly, Henry pretty much eats anything.  He is completely done with baby food and enjoys mostly everything we have him try.  So far his favorites are turkey dogs, green beans, edamame, strawberries, yogurt, and french fries!  

Check out Henry's growth progression below.  I will post a birthday party blog soon too! 

Month Eleven

Dislikes: ... being dropped off at daycare, buts gets over it fast and he doesn't like his hat.
Likes: his dump-truck, Horton blanket, and SWIMMING!!!
Weight: 23 pounds
Length: 32.5 inches

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Want, Need, Wear, Read

About two months ago I started to make a list of everything I thought Henry MUST HAVE for his first birthday.  After a couple weeks the list got ridiculous and I remembered a gift tip I heard on a morning news program over the holiday.  It was that moment when I deleted the entire list and decided to throw a party instead of buying a shitload of useless gifts a one year old will grow out of  or would be donated in a month.  Not to mention, I knew the grandparents, Aunt Natalie, and other friends and family members would send gifts from Michigan.  Soooo in celebration of Henry's birthday I share my gift tip:

For holidays and birthdays, simply buy your child(ren) four things ... something they WANT, something they NEED, something to WEAR, and something to READ.

Following this tip not only simplified my shopping trip, but forced me to put more thought into the items I bought.  This also allowed me to buy quality items over quantity, something Andy has been pushing on me since we got married six years ago. 

As a child, I remember circling every toy in Toys'R'Us' The Great Big Christmas Book during the holidays for my grandma.  (She bought every single thing I circled too!  Didn't take me long to figure that out.)  also remember my mom and dad yelling at my grandma after the gifts had been opened telling her she bought us kids too much "damn crap" once again.  

As an adult, I don't remember these gifts.  What I remember are parties and family trips and vacations. 

And as a mother,  I want to celebrate with my baby.  I will teach him to be grateful for the gifts he does receive (and to write a thank you cards. I'm a huge TYC advocate!).  He doesn't need too many tangible items to feel loved or to be happy, although sometimes he will get those.  What he needs are celebrations and memories to cherish forever. <3 

Monday, June 27, 2016

Eleven Months

This past month was great!  Henry took his THIRD plane ride - we went "home" for our cousin's wedding celebration and to visit.  It was really nice to be in Michigan during the summer.  My parents made sure their pool was open so we were able to spend a couple days soaking the rays and dipping our toes.  It's hard to say goodbye after seeing Henry bond with his grandparents, but coming home to New Mexico was great because Grandma Ricci flew back with us!  She is staying until the 4th of July while Henry's daycare is closed.  They are having quite the time together, watching movies, playing with all his toys, singing songs, and .... cleaning my house (lol).  Andy and I even got to go on TWO date nights and are hoping for one more while Grandma is here.

Henry's development increases every day!  His word like sounds are now spilling out of him.  Though his vocabulary consists of only a couple of words like "ma" and "da," he babbles short, fully inflected sentences that sounds like he's speaking a foreign language.  We act as though we understand his statements and requests so he doesn't get embarrassed. ;)

Another thing I have noticed is that it is harder for him to say goodbye / get passed off to Andy, Maria, or the Grandparents - he knows who I am now and wants me all the time.  I try really hard to give him independence, but its hard when he cries for me with outstretched arms.  It IS very rewarding at the same time. I love me some Hank Cuddles <3

Henry hasn't taken his first steps yet, but I think it is coming soon.  He is a maniac in his walker and loved the push walker toy Grandpa Joe and Grandma Deb had.  He can walk the length of his playard and while holding onto the couch or our hands, but that first unassisted step hasn't happened yet.  Not sure I am ready for that!

Lastly, Henry is starting to play more and more.  He has an attention span of two to five minutes, but nonetheless he is interested in most of his toys.  He thinks it is fun to push, throw, and knock things down, especially throwing things down from our loft.

Taking his growth picture are harder and harder.  This was the best I could do this month.

I couldn't not get a non-blurry picture.  These will have to do! 

Here ma ... I don't want this. 
Month Eleven

Milestones: See above :) SO MANY
Dislikes: Bananas (loved them last month!) and the boob - we are pretty much done nursing.  His attention span is an issue while nursing.  He likes to see what is going on around him.  Eleven months isn't bad though!  I went eleven months longer than I thought I would!
Likes: Playing Peek-a-Boo, Feeding mommy or daddy from his high chair tray, and still loves bathtime
Weight: not 'til next month
Length: not 'til next month

Michigan (early) Birthday:

With Great Grandpa Morello
I used to babysit these two! 

Pool Time

Me and Henry with my second cousin and her son  <3
Four Generations of Morello Men 

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Ten Months

Ok. I'm over twos weeks late for this post, but we have good reason.  This past month Henry had visitors! His Great Uncle T, Auntie G (sorry T), and second cousins, Gwendolyn, Violet, and Eliza were ALL in New Mexico! We are overjoyed that they were able to come see The Land of Enchantment.  Henry was able to show them many things and our very last weekend with them was spent relaxing by the pool.

As for Henry's development he is truly on cruise control.  This kid doesn't stop moving, eating, or talking.  Before we know it he'll be walking! We have already planned an early birthday party for him this month in Michigan and I just started thinking about his Santa Fe party.  I cannot believe my baby is almost ONE!  

Also, we're still nursing.  This is a big deal for me as I didn't think I would be successful at breastfeeding.  I'm planning on starting to wean him after our Michigan trip so wish us luck! 

Milestones: crawls, stands up with assistance, and can clap his hands 
Dislikes: his bath seat
Likes: French fries and to cuddle with mom 
Weight: 18 lbs 1 oz
Length: 28 inches long 

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Nine Months

Once again I'm late on Henry's monthly blog updates.  This mom thing is hard!

Henry is still at that fun age.  He still hasn't mastered crawling, but is starting to pull himself up on things now.  He loves going to daycare to play with his friends and gets excited when I set him down to play, its so cute.  We are finally getting the hang of our routine, but I know "they" say to not get too comfortable.  Routines will change every three months.

So every month on the 15th while I was pregnant Andy took a photograph of me in the same dress.  By the last month it barely fit, but I'm super happy he got that last shot.  Check out the comparison!

Month Nine

Milestones: Can pull himself up and reaches for mommy or daddy when he wants them
Dislikes: Getting PJs on
Likes: Food
Weight: 18 lbs 1 oz
Length: 28 inches long

Monday, April 25, 2016

Poblano, Mushroom and Potato Tacos

It has been awhile since I posted a recipe.  Sorry.  So this one is an oldie, but a goodie and a GREAT meatless meal option for Meatless Monday!

I absolutely love roasted poblanos.  Not many people know what they are as I remember shopping in Wisconsin and a cashier at Festival Foods asked me how to ring it up ... Basically a poblano is a mild chile pepper.  They are prefect for stuffing, like in chile rellenos or roasted and cut up, like in these tacos!  AND they have just the right amount of heat.

Poblano, Mushroom and Potato Tacos
adapted from The Food Network Magazine 

4 poblano chile peppers
3 yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 tbs olive oil
1 tbs chopped cilantro
1 tbs chopped parsley
1 tbs unsalted butter
1 onion, thinly sliced
12 oz portabella (or button) mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup sour cream
2 limes, juiced
salt and pepper, to taste

Roast peppers directly over flame of a gas burner (or under the broiler), turning with tongs until charred all over.  Transfer peppers to a plastic bag to steam until cool enough to handle.  Scrape off the charred skin with a paring knife then remove the stems and seeds.  Cut poblanos into strips and set aside.

Place potatoes in nonstick skillet and cover with cold water; season with salt.  Bring to simmer over medium-high heat and cook until just tender; drain.  Wipe skillet dry.

Heat  olive oil in skillet over medium-high heat.  Add potatoes and cook until golden and crisp. Remove with slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.  While still hot, sprinkle with half of the herbs and salt.  Discard excess oil and wipe out  skillet.

Heat butter in skillet over medium-high heat.  Add onion stirring occasionally, until golden.  Add mushrooms stirring occasionally.  Stir in remaining herbs and the garlic.  Add the roasted poblanos, sour cream, lime juice; stir until warm.  Season with salt and pepper.  Serve potatoes and mushroom mixture in tortillas with assorted toppings like hot sauce, sour cream, or cheese ...

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Eight Months

I have an eight month old.  (Well, eight month, one week, and one day old!  Little late at posting this blog updated.  Sorry.)

Henry's daycare was closed last week so Grandma Deb and Aunt Natalie came to New Mexico to help us out.  Henry was such a good boy for them and we did some pretty awesome things!

This week Grandma Ricci is here on her spring break.  (Yeah, free childcare!)  I am taking Friday off to have a fun filled mom and me and Henry day.  I can't wait!

Henry is at such a fun age.  He still hasn't mastered crawling, but arm scoots super fast now.  He knows who I am and who Andy is and gets way too excited when he sees one of us enter a room.  He is just starting to reach his hands and arms out to us when he wants one of us.  Makes me feel super special.  He is such a joy to be around.  I am just so lucky!

Month Eight

Milestones: says ma, ba, and da ...
Dislikes: getting his face wiped after meals
Likes: people (He makes friends with strangers all the time!  Must get that from my dad!)
Weight: 18 lbs 1 oz
Length: 28 inches long (at last apt, doesn't go back until nine months)

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Seven Months

Wow!  Life sure is different with a mobile baby.  Andy and I have somewhat figured out our new day to day schedules with our little man.  Reality hit over the weekend when we tried going out to dinner as a family.  We learned fast that this probably won't happen much anymore.  We had to ask the server to box up our food to go.

As much as I miss being able to come and go as I please, I wouldn't change a thing about this new life of mine.  Being a working mommy is hard.  (And I know if I wasn't working, it would be even harder.)  I feel like I have no time to do anything (like update my blog), but on the flipside, I don't want to do anything else.  When I get home from work the last thing I want to do is throw a load of laundry in - I just want to hug, kiss, and play with Henry.

With that said, besides our new schedules and Henry becoming mobile, nothing major has changed since last month.

Month Seven

Milestones: army crawls and eats everything
Dislikes: waking up from naps
Likes: getting tickled and our phones
Weight: 17 lbs 2 oz (at last apt, doesn't go back until nine months)
Length: 28 inches long (at last apt, doesn't go back until nine months)

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Six Months

If you're like me every six months you might go to the dentist, pay your car insurance, and/or get a haircut.  But, this last round of (six) months has just flown by!  I don't remember my last haircut, or going to the dentist, and I really hope we paid our car insurance.  I seriously cannot believe my little Henry is six months old!

With that said, I am so in love with this guy.  The amount of joy that explodes within every time I see his squishy thighs, smiling face, and pudgy cheeks makes me want to cry tears of happiness.  The other day, for example, he was in his car seat and Tikka was sitting right next to him.  I opened the car door to get them both out and saw him grin from ear to ear as he pet Tikka.  It was such a simple, but magical moment.  It brought me to tears.

This guy has me do the craziest things too.  I talk in "Henry's" voice all the time, sing to him when I should be talking (everything turns into a song), and I make the strangest faces (in public too) because I know it makes him laugh.  I am that mom at the grocery store talking to her baby who doesn't talk yet, but, I don't care ... my kid will know what a parsnip is before yours 😉

So six months marks Henry's first vacation off the Firsts list.  I was 18 when I took my first plane ride, Henry has already been on TWO!  Andy had a conference in Orlando and I didn't want to be alone with the baby all week so we decided to fly in the day before the conference ended to spend some quality family time with each other.  We had to fly just the two of us, but surprisingly it went really well.  We did just fine.  Nursing helped and other passengers were so kind.  AND Aunt Natalie was able to come!  We went out for some pretty amazing meals, went to a wax museum, Disney's Animal Kingdom, Disney Springs, and HAM even swam for the first time.  It was a great way to break up our winter and get Henry used to unusual surroundings.  This kid is going to fly at least once a year to Michigan and then again for a vacation or two, starting him young!

Month Six

Milestones: Eats "step two" baby foods now and kinda says ma and dada
Dislikes: Blueberries
Likes: Cuddling with mommy and tummy time
Weight: 17 lbs 2 oz
Length: 28 inches long