About Me

Hi! My name is Lexy Briest. I am a teacher, artist, wife, and best of all mom to Delilah Poppy. This blog is meant to document what I love and discover along the way of becoming a mommy, which to me is a never ending journey. Hope you enjoy!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Sharing is Caring

I feel so blessed that Delilah is an adventurous eater. I am very proud of the fact that she is very disciplined in her food education thus far. Lately she has been eyeing my plate in a different way, noticing how my food looks different than hers (i.e. it is not cut into tiny bite size pieces!). Though they are the same foods on each of our plates, now she wants her food to look like mine.

Tonight she decided to go for the 3-4 inch long string bean from my plate and found that it was in fact too difficult for her to chew herself. Again, I am so proud that this moment of frustration did not result in a tantrum.  Rather, she choose to explore her options, and after a few tries, settled on feeding the sting bean to me up until the last half-inch at which point I handed the rest back to her. That was an acceptable form of compromise according to Delilah, and me, too! Now what to do about a favorite summer time treat, crabs....... :)

Sunday, April 27, 2014

First Kiss

Little girls think about their first kiss very early on. There are many kinds of first kisses.  Like the one at your 5th birthday party when your prince charming wakes you from your pretend slumber at your princess themed festivity (yes, I have cool parents!).  Or the one on the playground in elementary school. Then there is the one that you were dared to do in middle school. And of course the one from your first boyfriend in high school.  All those kisses only have one thing on the big smoocher I recently got tonight: they were sloppy and wet!

As we continue to experience many firsts with our darling 13 month old, I have never been caught as surprised as I was when Delilah planted one huge open mouthed kiss in my mouth/chin region at the end of our bedtime routine.  After a long week of trying to keep up with the tiny energizer bunny/food guzzler/ diaper hoarder/only-wants-to-go-outsider, this was the best first kiss I have ever had (sorry, Bryan).  It took all I had not to cry but to carry forth my loving mini-me to her crib where she ravenously scooped up her second and third paci, cuddled up to her lovey and sat up to graciously accept my nightly kiss on her precious little head.



Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Cuddle Love

There is nothing quite like the cuddles of your baby in your arms.  In the first months of her life, that is all we did outside of feedings, diaper changes and sleeping.  Those cuddle moments are precious, and everyone warns you how one day they won't want to cuddle. But before that future tragic strikes, I am relishing in having Delilah leave her toy to rush over into my arms, often on her own accord but occasionally when I ask, "Mama, Love?" with outreached arms.  

We have a nightly routine that has been the same since she was 3 months old: we get changed for the night, lotioned up and hair brushed while daddy prepares her room for slumber and selects three books. Then Delilah sits in Bryan's lap while I read. The past few weeks Delilah has taken to stacking the books in her lap and browsing through them on her own for a few minutes when I am done reading. Tonight was the first night that, when finished her book hoarding, she climbed out of Bryan's lap and laid down across me for a body hug. She looked up at me with her piercing blue eyes and snuggled me tighter. My heart just melted.  

A few months ago Bryan and I felt like we were drawing sticks for who was going to put her to bed because it was such a long affair of rocking and feeding. Now, we skip the rocking chair, carry her to her crib, singing one round of our nightly song (which we use to sing for 5-10 minutes!!) and lay her down on her back, placing her extra paci in one hand and her lovey in the other. She looks up and says something through her paci-plugged mouth in gibberish that I am pretty sure is "I love you, too" and we leave the room. It truly is magical! I have been looking forward to these sort of reciprocated and random cuddles as well as the easy bed time since my head came out of its hormone induced cloud at 2 weeks post-natal. 

And though I am happy she is tucked in her crib for the night, I still miss holding her cuteness and will stalk photos and videos of her on my phone for the rest of the night. 


Sunday, April 6, 2014

Finding the Time

I often think about things I want to write, to remember, to be able to share with Delilah when she is older. Finding the time to do so is incredibly hard.  All moms know this. And I use to feel bad about not blogging. But now I feel zero guilt. I am a working mom. I am a wife. And I am creating memories by spending the time not blogging with my beautiful daughter.

Speaking of, Delilah has settled into the most amazing sleeping pattern. She sleeps 6-6:30pm-6:30-7am (except for this morning when she woke up at 7:45!). This has led to me being able to take the time to take care of me and also to be a wife to my husband. I have recently been eating a mostly clean diet with regular meal planning and going to the gym. I have attained my pre-pregnancy weight and with that gained my confidence back. I feel like myself both physically and emotionally. I feel more able to live in the moment when I am playing and holding my daughter because I know I have other things in order for later: I cook on certain nights after she goes to sleep for a few days at a time; I plan ahead when I will go to the gym so my husband will pick up Delilah from daycare; I split household chores with my husband which we do during her naps on the weekends and when she is a sleep in the evenings.

I am very lucky to have a husband who shares these tasks with me (he was taught well by his parents:) ). I am very lucky to have a wonderful woman that helps us raise our daughter while we are at work. And I am blessed with an extraordinary daughter to which I dedicate this blog to so that she may one day see what her life was like when she was so young.

Friday, January 10, 2014

A Case of Formula

When my daughter decided to wean around 4 1/2 months I had to jump into high gear way before I thought I would need to find out what formula would be a right fit for us. I already knew that she would be getting something organic. I have read too much about GMO's, reproductive/hormone disruptive ingredients found in generic, non-organic foods and their effects on behavior.

However, I am also aware that not all organic labels are equal. For example, arsenic is a common chemical found in the natural world, including our food,  but that doesn't mean you want to feed it to anyone! A lot of organic foods have rice or apple in it, two foods which often contain higher levels of arsenic. There are other naturally occurring harmful chemicals in other foods as well, organic or not.

With this knowledge I went forth to conquer the realm of formula and came across this lovely article which helped me make my decision: http://foodbabe.com/2013/05/28/how-to-find-the-safest-organic-infant-formula/. One other deciding factor: a miss Delilah Poppy's taste approval. It took her a month to fully wean so we tried a few different kinds in those early weeks. I finally settled on Baby's Only Organic Dairy Formula by Nature's Way. Based on what I read about how they choose their ingredients, and that fact that their DHA Formula comes from eggs, not Fish Oil (which contains mercury), I feel comfortable giving Delilah this necessary item.

We get it ordered by the case from VitaCost but I have also bought it singly at Wegman's, My Organic Market, and Common Market. I have yet to see it available in the other superstores and grocery stores in my area.

As I said earlier, I did not plan on having formula in our house for a very long time, if ever: I thought  wanted hoped she would breastfeed till I had to wean her. That said, we are very happy with this formula.


Sunday, December 8, 2013

Relaxation through Risotto

 There is something so relaxing about making risotto. Risotto has a meditative quality to it. There is structure involved in preparing and cutting your accompanying ingredients. In stirring and ladling the stock, watching it be absorbed and repeating the process. It is a quiet process, with a saucepan of simmering stock on a back burner, the slow hiss of vegetables being sauteed in luxurious olive oil and a pad of organic butter.

The key to good great risotto is exceptional ingredients. There aren't that many so it is worth it to be choosy. After that, you can combine it with anything on hand. I had a few select ingredients tucked away in the freezer from a recent Trader Joe's adventure calling my name.

I recommend making a risotto earlier in the day- a weekend for most of us. It does take about 30 minutes if you are a speedster and can be done after work. But if you want to reveal in its glory and enjoy the process give yourself 45 minutes of stress free "me time." The payoff is this lusciously rich yet light dish that tickles your taste-buds and soothes your mind, body and soul. I'm on cloud 9 just thinking about having it over 19 hours ago. The most difficult part is not eating it all. I can't wait to puree it for Delilah and watch her eyes roll back in her head at the flavor profiles. Enjoy!

Late Autumn Risotto                                        

Basic Risotto:
10 sage leaves, stems discarded
1 sprig rosemary
1 qt good quality low sodium vegetable stock
Olive oil
3 tbsp organic unsalted butter
1/2 a onion, chopped
1 cup arborio rice
1/2 cup semi-dry or dry white wine (that you would enjoy drinking)
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

Autumn Topping:
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 a onion, chopped
1 lb sliced mushrooms (cremini and shitakie)
1/2 cup sliced leek, white and light green only                          
10-12 frozen artichoke hearts, thawed
roasted brussel sprouts, optional                                            

salt and pepper


Heat 1 tbsp olive oil and 1/2 tbsp butter in a large, heavy skillet on medium-high. Fry the sage leaves and rosemary sprig, 2-3 minutes per side, then remove and drain on paper towel. Add 1/4 of the onion to the pan till fragrant, 2-3 minutes. Add the mushrooms to sautee till tender. Season with salt and pepper to taste then remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. If needed, add more oil or butter before sauteing leeks and artichokes till lightly browned. Season with salt and pepper then remove from the pan and set aside.

Meanwhile, simmer the stock in a saucepan on medium-low. If needed, pour a glug of the wine to deglaze the pan and remove burnt bits. Heat 1 tbsp each of olive oil and butter. Saute the remaining onion 2-3 minutes before adding the garlic, 1-2 minutes more. Add the rice to the pan to toast the grains till fragrant, 1 minute. Add the wine, stirring as the rice absorbs the liquid. Once the wine has been absorbed, add one ladle  of stock, stirring until it has been absorbed, about 2 minutes. Then repeat, adding stock one ladle at a time, stirring until the rice has absorbed it, about 2 minutes each time before repeating. Make sure to stay nearby to stir almost constantly.  This process takes about 20 minutes for the rice to become tender and release its starches. You may have a ladle of stock leftover or you may need to add water at the end if you run out of the stock- it depends on the rice. Once the rice has absorbed as much liquid as it will, turn the heat off and add 1 tbsp more of butter and the Parmesan cheese.  Spoon the risotto into your bowl. Top with sauteed vegetables. Lay a sage leaf or two on top and break up with fork when ready to eat. And then savor it! For some extra protein you can add sauteed cannellini beans or crisp pancetta.




Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Ammunition

 

I started out making baby food combinations based on recipes I found from favorite chefs, blogs and websites. Some of my favorites are Tyler FlorenceFrench Foodie BabyWholesomeBaby and Weelicious. Now that I have been at it for a few months I have started developing my own recipes. 

It appeared that I was running low on my freezer supply so I gathered leftover ingredients from the past two weeks of holiday recipes to create a flavorful, fresh and seasonal Delilah approved puree. This recipe would be a delicious accompaniment to a poultry dish, as well!

Carrot-Cranberry Apricot Puree with Citrus

3 medium Organic Carrots, chopped into 1" pieces
 (I used a combination of Red and Yellow locally grown beauties)
1/2 cup cranberries
5 dried apricots
1/2 water
zest of one clementine (or 1/2 of an orange. Grapefruit zest would be great, too!)

In a medium saucepan combine all the ingredients except the zest. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer and cover until carrots are tender, apricots have plumped up and cranberries have burst, about 30 minutes. Remove from heat and puree using an immersion blender or transfer to a blender. Once pureed fold in zest. Divide portions. Enjoy!

She didn't give me a chance to snap a photo while she was eating, she scarfed this down so fast! She had a sweet potato-coconut milk with cinnamon puree by Weelicious along side this burgundy delicacy as well as goat cheese. I will definitely be using these photos and this blog as ammo for when she is older and claims she doesn't like such and such foods!