Thursday, February 28, 2008

This Weekend!

I'm very excited because this weekend I'm GOING SNOWBOARDING! Phil and I moved to Colorado for the snow and mountains and I have yet to play in either. Phil and I are going to our local mountain this weekend. I babysit two days a week for a 6 month old and her parents will be babysitting Taeya while Phil and I board. Looking forward to a fun day with my honey.

And here are some pictures of my beautiful (not always happy) baby just because.

One of her beautiful smiles!
I'm tasting a lot of things with my tongue these days.
Aren't I just gorgeous?
Mom, I'm MAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Would you stop taking pictures of me?
First Valentine's Day

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Two Months Old

This video is not super exciting but it shows what a happy baby Taeya is and some of the noises and faces she's making at two months.
Today, we took Taeya's two month pictures. We got some adorable shots and she smiled for quite a few of the pictures. Here's a few of my favorites.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Taeya's First Swimming Lesson

This morning, Taeya had her first swimming lesson in the bathtub. She practiced floating on her back and really liked it. She smiled a number of times and was very relaxed. She also practiced putting her face in the water two times and did very well. As a swim teacher and former lifeguard, it is very important to me that my children learn to swim at a young age. Infants CAN learn survival skills and the younger you start teaching them to swim the more comfortable they'll be in the water and the earlier they'll be water safe.

My youngest swim student started with me when she was 8 months old. She was swimming short distances in the water that season and the next year when she was 20 months old she could swim the length of the pool on her own using side breathing. It was pretty amazing to see. I would encourage any of you who have young children to consider putting them in swim lessons.

Watch this video of an 11 month old boy who was taught survival skills using ISR (Infant Swimming Resource) instruction.

You can also visit this webpage to learn more about ISR.

Many older children I taught swim lessons to were afraid of getting water on their face. This is usually because parents are very careful to wash out their children's hair without getting water on the face. Then, when it's time for lessons, the child is uncomfortable getting their face wet. It's okay to pour water over their face, even with infants. When I bathe Taeya in the sink, I spray her head and face with the spray hose and she just closes her mouth and opens it again when I'm done. Start early! It makes it easier.

Okay, I'll hop off my soapbox now.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Goodbye Grandpa Joe

I just found out this morning that my Grandpa Joe passed away yesterday. He was a very godly man and lived a good, long life. He will be greatly missed by many. It's so encouraging to know that he is free from pain and is with his Lord and Savior although we will miss his presence here on earth.

Please especially keep my Grandma Carol in your prayers along with his children.

Taeya was his last great-grandchild to be born and she born on his birthday, December 26th.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Fun Pictures

Enjoy the cute pictures of Taeya. The adorable striped outfit is still a bit large for her but one of Phil's and my favorites. :) We couldn't get over how cute she looked in it. Thank you Jennifer L!

Sweet and Asleep

Time with Mommy

Something's really funny.

Now we're both looking for it.

Mute Button thanks to Grandma & Grandpa Z.

The "poochie lip" that normally comes before a crying outburst.

Sucking my thumb (I don't do this very often)

I still make this face!

Look how chubby I'm getting!

Mom found this cute outfit at a thrift store.

Here's the outfit from Jennifer L. I look adorable!

Snuggle time (we do this a lot). Check out my cute smile.

Me just being cute.

Asleep with my sunshade

I make bubbles a lot when I blow raspberries.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Homemade Cream Puffs

For Valentine's Day, Phil and I always stay home and I just try to make an extra yummy meal. This year, I was looking for a dessert recipe and came across a cream puff and cream filling recipe in my Vita-Mix cookbook. I tried them and they turned out SOOOO yummy! They only took about 4 1/2 minutes to make because it's all done in a blender and then the puffs are baked in the oven.

I'm not sure if the cream puff part will work in anyone's blender or if it needs a Vita-Mix. (Vita-Mix's are so fast that they actually produce heat so by the time it was done mixing, the cream puff dough was warm). If anyone actually tries this w/o a Vita-Mix, please let me know if it worked.

Cream Puffs
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1 cup water
4 eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a cookie sheet lightly with cooking spray.

Place butter, water and eggs in Vita-Mix container. Secure lid and start at #1. Turn on machine and increase to speed #4. Run for 15 seconds. Stop. Add flour, salt and sugar. Secure lid. Turn on machine and increase speed to highest speed. Run for 4 minutes or until mixture has thickened. (Sound of motor will change when thickened). Drop dough by heaping tablespoons onto cookie sheet. Will make about 24. Leave 2 inches between puffs.

Bake for 35 minutes.* Puffs should be golden brown and crispy to the touch. Cool shells. Slice top off and fill with cream or other filling of your choice. Replace top. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.
*I found the cooking time too long. My puffs were getting pretty dark at 28 minutes so be careful to watch them.

Cream Filling
1 1/2 cups milk, skim
3.4 ounces of vanilla or chocolate instant pudding
3.4 ounces of Dream Whip powdered whipped topping mix*

Place all ingredients in blender. Start on lowest speed and increase speed to #3. Run for 10-15 seconds or until smooth. Filling will thicken as it sets.

*Dream Whip can be found in the pudding section of your grocery store. Mine came in a 4 packet box. I used 3 packets to get the 3.4 ounces needed.

I added two chocolate hearts on top for decoration. Enjoy!
Nutrition Info:
64 cal and 4.6 g fat/cream puff
41 cal and 0.7 g fat/cream filling

Craft Idea for Kids

When my sister and I were in Kindergarten, we each got to make our own Christmas plate. The teacher gave us a piece of round paper that we drew a Christmas scene on and then she mailed it off somewhere where it got turned into a hard plastic plate. Each year around Christmas, our family would pull out these treasures and use them as cookie plates for the holidays. My parents still have the plates to this day and they are still special to our family.

I've been cleaning out and organizing around the house and came across a box of 50 of these papers that can be made into plates. I was wondering what I should do with them and how I could use them. I came up with an idea that I think is great!

I'm going to have Taeya (and my other kids) make a plate each year that we will use on special occasions. I got a stamp pad and put her handprint in the middle of the paper with a stamp above it that says "tiny miracle" (Thanks Aunt Jennifer!) and I wrote Taeya Brynn Camp and her birthday under that. Each year, I'm going to put her handprint in the middle and allow her to decorate the rest of the plate however she wants. It'll be fun to see the progression as she develops over time.

The best part is, these really aren't that expensive to make. A whole pack of 50 papers costs just $5.95. Each plate when ordered costs $3.95 (plus you have to pay for shipping). My sister is going to do this with me every year.

The picture above is what Taeya's plates will look like. (Do you have ANY idea how difficult it is to get a good handprint from a baby who loves to clench her fists?) We managed to get a couple good prints. It was very difficult not to get ink on everything! It got most of the ink cleaned off of Taeya but she still has some embeded around her fingernails. I was happy with the finished product.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Tummy Time & Valentine's Day

Taeya started "tummy time" this week and for the most part enjoys it. She LOVES listening to music so that's always on during tummy time. Here's some pictures of her first tummy times and Valentine's Day.

Check out how big she's grown since we took her home from the hospital! I weighed her at work a week ago and fully dressed she was 8.12 lbs so she's now over 8 lbs!

Li'l Bugger

When my mom was shopping for baby clothes, she came across a cute little onsie that said Li'l Bugger on it. Since my mom is so artistic, she went home and made Taeya a onsie just like it. I put her in it the other day and took pictures and of course Taeya decided that would be a perfect time to throw a fit. Here's my Li'l Bugger being a Li'l Bugger.

Monday, February 11, 2008

An Amazing Dinner!

After I had Taeya my church family brought meals over for Phil and I. The meals were all delicious but one was especially so. I asked for the recipe and made it this week. It's a crockpot dish, healthy and costs very little per person to make. If you like flavorful food you'll love this! You end up with a whole cooked chicken and gravy. It tastes great served over rice.

Disclaimer: I don't like onions OR green peppers but I LOVE this dish which has a good amount of both. Even if you don't like those ingredients, try it out because you taste FLAVOR not onions or green peppers.

This recipe is from: Fix it and Forget It Recipes for Entertaining. The recipe is called "Sunday Roast Chicken" and was created by Ruth A Feister.

Edit: I couldn't find savory at the store so I made do without. The original recipe also calls for 1 Tbsp. of salt but it was a tad too salty for me so I lessoned it to 1 1/2 tsp. salt.

Sunday Roast Chicken
Makes 4-5 servings

Seasoning Mix:
2 tsp. paprika
2 tsp. pepper
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. onion powder
1 1/2 tsp. garlic
1 1/2 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. dry mustard
1 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. savory

2 Tbsp. butter
2 cups chopped onions
1 cup chopped green pepper
1 roasting chicken
1/4 cup flour
1-2 cups chicken stock

1. Combine seasoning mix ingredients in a small bowl.
2. Melt butter over high heat in skillet. When butterstarts to sizzle, add chopped onions and peppers, and 3 Tbsp. seasoning mix. Cook until onions are golden brown. Cool.
3. Stuff cavity of chicken with cooled vegetables.
4. Sprinkle outside of chicken with1 Tbsp. seasoning mix. Rub in well.
5. Place chicken in large slow cooker.
6. Cover. Cook on low 6 hours. (I cooked on Medium about 3 hours and it turned out perfect).
7. Remove chicken from slow cooker and debone. (Mine fell apart removing it so I had to debone it. You can serve it whole if you'd prefer).
8. Empty vegetable stuffing into juices at the bottom of the slow cooker (or saucepan). Whisk in flour and 1 cup stock. Cook over high heat until thickened. Add more stock if you prefer a thinner gravy.

I served this over rice with peas and it was delicious! The book suggests mashed potatoes and green beans.

Future Time Savers & Tips: I had 4 cups of stock so I used one and froze the other three individually. You need 1 green pepper and 1 medium/large onion for the amount needed in this recipe. I had two green peppers so I cut up the extra and froze it. When I mixed my spices, I actually measured each spice out three different times so the next two times I make this I won't have to measure the spices, it'll already be done for me. I do hope someone out there tries this recipe out. It's REALLY good!

Saturday, February 09, 2008

My Snow Angel

Tonight, Phil and I took Taeya for her first walk in the stroller. It was cool outside but not freezing. We received a very cute snowsuit from Grandma Terry. We didn't know if Taeya would be big enough to wear it this year but wear it she did. She looked adorable! As you can see, she still has some room to grow. :) It was so nice walking as a family. I hope to do it more frequently. On the way back, Phil and I decided that Taeya should make her first snow angel. I wish I had taken a video of it. Taeya lay in the snow and Phil moved her arms and legs back and forth. She made the smallest snow angel I've ever seen.

Hopefully this is the first walk of many more to come.