Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Baby Antics #4

When babies are lying down their poop goes down, into their diapers. Once a baby is able to sit up, or enjoys playing in an exersaucer, jumperoo, or door jumper, their poop goes the only way possible, straight up their back.

Monday, August 26, 2013

50th Day of a Healthier Me

Today marks the 50th day of becoming a healthier me. Fifty days, that's a long time! I am really proud of myself for sticking with all of this exercise and healthier living.  I would like to share some of the motivation behind my Mommy Makeover.

The day before I gave birth, I was weighed in at 103kg, that is 226.6lbs! DISGUSTING. I was very pregnant, I had been on bed rest for nearly three months and at that point I was diagnosed with pre-eclampsia. I basically put on over five pounds of water weight in three days. Well, hello Michelin Woman! It was crazy. I gained 63 pounds during my pregnancy. That is the equivalent of what, an eight year old? After Alexa's birth I dropped an easy ten pounds. In the first two weeks that followed, the weight seemed to just fall off.

Around weeks 2-3 post birth is when I found chocolate. I ate my weight back up five kilos in just under a week. That is over ten pounds of chocolate weight! I started getting depressed because the weight wasn't dropping anymore. I was also really exhausted. Months of walking, eating alright, eating chocolate and (shockingly!) not seeing any more weight loss led me farther and farther away from any kind of motivation to do anything.

One day, my cousin, insane girl that she is, said that I was motivating her to start walking and try to lose some weight. I was motivating her?? How is that even possible? It was about three hours after she said that that I decided to start my own Mommy Makeover. I could not sit around, eating chocolate and doing nothing and become someone else's motivation to get healthy. So I got off the couch. At first I was so unmotivated, but after losing 1kg (2.2lb) that first week my mojo returned! The better I eat, the more energy I have, the more energy I have the further I can run, the more I run the happier I am. IT IS AN AWESOME CIRCLE!

At the start of Mommy Makeover I was at 92kg (202.4lb), still substantially heavier than I had ever been pre-pregnancy. I am happy to say that as of today I am at 86.6kg (190.5lb). In 8 weeks, 50 days, I have lost 5.4kg (11.88lb). I am working my way, slowly, but surely back to a healthy weight. I am 11.6kg, or 25.52lb from my pre-pregnancy weight. Losing weight is painfully slow. Very painfully slow at times, but I feel like I am doing it the right way. No crash diets, fad diets, pills or anything else crazy. I am just working out every day, I am making healthier food choices every day and I am moving around every day. It's the choice that I make every single day.

Happy 50th Day of a Healthier Me!

Mommy Makeover - Week 8

This past week has been exceptionally awesome! Michael was working in Linz all week, so I was able to run nearly every night. The running, plus my husband being home meant super chill Mommy all week long! It was so nice having help with Alexa. Michael often stays up later than I do, so he was on baby duty until he went to bed. He would also get her up and bring her in to me in the morning. This week has seriously been GREAT. I'm dreading the day he goes back to working away from home all week. I am feeling super spoiled right now.

Walking/Running. I ran every day this past week except for Friday. I kind of over did it on Thursday and so I needed a running rest day. Instead, I walked nearly 6k. As most of my friends and family can tell you, I am L-A-Z-Y! I would rather sit on the couch and do nothing over exercising. I hate the gym with a passion and I have always mocked all of my runner friends because their crazy butts are running all over town while I am leisurely and comfortably watching my favorite show on TV. Well, my attitude has done a full 180. I honestly never thought I would like running. Now, I look forward to running time. I was so disappointed when Michael came home late on Thursday night because I had gotten into my running clothes and was ready to roll at 5pm. Can you believe it, me liking running? There must have been a full moon!

Strength Training/Ab work out. I've been doing the strength training exercises just about every other day. However, I have been busting out those horrendous, ab killing Jackknife Crunches every day. I have even added the Pilates Leg Pulls.

Food diary. I'm starting to slack on the food diary. I haven't written in it since Monday. Yikes. Since I have seriously been making great food choices, I might try and phase the food diary out. If I start slipping (which I hope I will not do), then I'll get back into it. (I was working on this blog post on Friday, it's Monday morning and I'm here to tell you...the food diary will be 100% back in effect this week. Apparently, without the food diary I am like a small child sneaking into the cookie jar. Shame.)

Weigh in.  I have been looking forward to weighing in since last Monday. Last week's weigh in was such a shock that I have been oozing with anticipation about how this week will go. Since I have been running so often this past week, I have really high hopes for an awesome number this week. Annnnnnnnd the scale says that I lost .20kg (.44lb). Not nearly as dramatic or exciting as I was hoping for, but I still lost something, even if it was just a little bit!

Healthy snacks. I didn't even try to make almond butter like I said last week. HOWEVER, I made two really awesome things instead: Whole-Wheat Pumpkin Bread and Buckwheat Stuffed Squash.

Goals for Week 9:
Keep on running!!!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Friday, August 23, 2013

Blink and Time Flies

Today, my little queen bean turns 6 months old. SIX MONTHS OLD! How the heck did that happen?! I'm pretty sure she was just born like a week ago. The time has flown! Before I know it we will be celebrating her first birthday. She has grown so much in the past few months. She's sitting up and playing on her own these days. She can scoot backwards like a pro (even though she yells while she's doing it!). She's been getting up on her hands and knees a lot the last few days, but she's not sure what to do next. Crawling is going to be here before I know it. I swear, I remember rocking in the glider with her, my mom was laying on the bed in her room and we were talking about how much she had grown already...she was three weeks old at that point. I blinked. I blinked and now my girl is a sitting, scooting, growling, car eating, beef stew munching, sippy cup throwing, little girl! I am seriously amazed by her every day. I could not be more in love or more obsessed with this little doll baby! Here are a couple of pictures from our 6 month photo shoot. Annnnd a picture of her playing in the sandbox for the first time!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Ready, Set, Eat Healthy!

Since I've been on this Mommy Makeover health kick I have not only started exercising, but I've also taken notice to what my family is eating. We are not totally unhealthy, it's just that in the past we made poor food choices and portion size was not even in our vocabulary. The fact of the matter is this: I LOVE FOOD. Michael and I have really done a complete overhaul of our diets, our exercise routines and our lifestyle in general. We used to live a very sedentary lifestyle, especially for the area we live in. Now, we are both becoming very active. We do different activities during the week both alone and as a family. We've been out hiking, going for walks and swimming together as a family. Michael and I even went for a 6km run together the other night while my mother in law watched the baby.

As part of my Mommy Makeover, I have been keeping a food diary that has really let me see what I am eating and has allowed me to figure out ways to decrease the fatty or not-so-healthy items and increase the good-for-you foods. I've found lots of cool new recipes online, have increased the healthiness of good old recipes that we love and have even made up some of my own new recipes. Tonight for dinner, for example, we are having stuffed squash. We are trying not to eat meat every single night, so this is a veggie stuffed squash. I used mushrooms, garlic, and kasha (buckwheat) to fill it, plus seasonings.

Also, as part of my new healthiness kick, I have ordered bio (organic) fruits and veggies from the Biohof near us. It's a local, organic farm that provides fresh fruits, vegetables, meats, cheeses and herbs to the residents. It's super awesome not only because it's organic, but also because they deliver fresh to our door! It's surprisingly inexpensive as well. We are waiting on the arrival of our first crate! They have tons of different crates to choose from. I chose the "Mutter-Kind" (Mother-Child) crate because of this week's selection...lettuce, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, carrots, red beets, bananas, grapes and honeydew melon. How great does all that sound! I seriously can't wait until it arrives!

In addition to healthy lunches and dinners, I have been on a mission to discover tasty, healthy snacks. A friend recommended that I check out the 100 Days of Real Food blog for other healthy meal recipes and ideas. Last night my mother in law dropped by with two large yellow squashes, four cucumbers, four red beets, a ton of green beans and a pumpkin. My brain started swimming with ideas of what to make and my mouth was watering. After scoping out the blog this morning, I found an AWESOME healthy, pumpkin bread recipe. Let me just say, my apartment smells AMAZING! I cannot wait to taste this delicious mouth is watering as I type.

I'll keep posting and updating the recipe page as I come across new and delicious finds!

Until then, Happy Eating!

Kasha (Buckwheat) Stuffed Squash

1 large yellow squash
Kasha (buckwheat) - precooked
4 medium mushrooms, diced
2 eggs
2 Tablespoons polenta
1 Tablespoon flour
1/2 clove garlic, minced
chili powder
garlic powder
Handful shredded mozzarella
2-4 Tablespoons of water
Olive Oil

In a large bowl combine the kasha (buckwheat), diced mushrooms, minced garlic, eggs, polenta, flour, salt, pepper, chili powder, garlic powder (I love garlic - you don't necessarily need the extra garlic powder, but I like it.) and the shredded mozzarella. Stir until the eggs are well mixed. Slice the yellow squash in half lengthwise and remove the seeds from the center. You'll end up with what looks like squash boats. Place the squash boats in an oven safe dish and fill the boats with the kasha mixture. Drizzle olive oil over the filled squash. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 35 minutes at 180C. After 35 minutes, remove the foil, pour a little water over the top of the stuffed squash and return to oven for another 15-20 minutes, uncovered. Squash should be tender and not hard. Enjoy!

Peanut Butter Pizza Recipe

2 Rice Cakes
2 teaspoons Peanut Butter

Spread the peanut butter on the rice cakes and top with the raisins.

This easy, delicious and healthy snack is also really fun to let kids make on their own! You can have tons of different toppings - chocolate chips, yogurt covered raisins, nuts. Whatever your heart desires.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Mommy Makeover - Week 7

If you asked me before leaving for vacation what the scale would say when I came back I most definitely would have said, "It might break after I eat all of the pierogi in Poland!" I most certainly did not expect to lose weight, but I did!!

Walking/Running. I walked and/or ran every single day while we were in Poland. Running daily was new for me and I ended up a bit sore by the third day. Walking around the city and by the lake was very nice. I especially appreciated the long walk we took after such a long drive up! I walked and ran a combination of 20 kilometers this week, not including the five hours we spent walking around the Wroclaw Zoo! Holy Moly, I have even impressed myself!

Strength Training/Ab work out.  I only did the Strength Training once this week, but I think I did enough additional walking and running that it is okay. This next week I would really like to work on some training exercises that will either help alleviate shin splints, or something that will make it less likely for me to get shin splints in the first place.

Food diary. As I predicted, my food diary was pierogi filled! I also snacked a lot more this past week. It was vacation though, so I think an ice cream or two and a little bit of chocolate is acceptable.

Weigh in. I was so afraid of what the scale would say when I got back from  Road Trip to Wroclaw 2013, that I immediately weighed myself when we walked in the door (what a freak!). I was beyond happy to see that not only did I not gain weight over vacation, but that I had lost a full kilo! Woot woot! As of this morning's weigh in, I have lost 1.7 kg (3.74 lb) this last week! For a grand total of 5.2 kg (11.44 lb). Slowly, but surely the baby weight is coming off and I am starting to feel so much better about myself, my body, and my eating habits.

Healthy snacks. This week I would really like to try and make almond butter. I haven't even looked up a recipe yet, but I think I might just try throwing a bunch of almonds into the food processor. Maybe it will be that simple?!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

We're baaaack!

Our Road Trip to Wroclaw was awesome! Alexa did such a great job on the car ride up (12 1/2 hours...ugh!). I can honestly say that I was amazed. She slept most of the way and when she did wake up we stopped to nurse and change her, played a little bit and got some fresh air and then were back on our way. The ride home was a little more challenging, but we still ended up only having to stop twice to calm her down. She did awesome!

We had a great time in Poland! I am pretty sure I can eat my way through that country...oh wait, I totally did. As soon as we crossed the border we stopped to get kielbasa...nothing like kielbasa for breakfast! We had pierogi like five times during our stay. You can never get enough pierogi. Somehow, Alexa wasn't feeling the pierogi, I don't know where this kid comes from!! Oh well, more for me. We also had stuffed cabbage at Michael's grandma'

After spending a few short days in Wroclaw and visiting Michael's family in another town, we headed up to the lake house. It was such a cool little wooden house with a gazebo in the yard. The mosquitoes gave us a warm welcome and we did our best to kill every single one of the little suckers before they ate us alive! The lake was just gorgeous. I'm pretty sure I could have sat staring at the lake for hours on end. We wanted to go paddle boating, but it was just a little too cold. Michael was able to go fishing a couple of times and Anja and I went running every day. Alexa is just like her Papa and loves the outdoors. She loved going for walks by the lake and just sitting and staring out at the water. We'd definitely like to go again maybe next year, but we'd skip the city and just head straight to the lake for a week (bug spray in hand!).

Monday, August 12, 2013

Mommy Makeover - Week 6

This past week was pretty decent. I started doing one of the  Scary, Hardcore Fat Busting Exercises, the jackknife crunch (um....OUCH!). I also really ran for the first time this week. I have been working my way up to running...or rather, I've been doing the run-walk: Run for 2 seconds, walk for 10 know, baby steps. On Thursday night I went for a mybrainisoverflowingicanthandleanythinganymoreifirunfastenoughmaybeiwillfly kind of run. It felt amazing.

Walking/Running. This week (Mon-Fri) I've walked and ran a total of 8.07km. I usually do an average of two kilometers, three times a week, so unless we go hiking, this week was an exception to the rule!

Strength Training/Ab work out.  Still busting out the strength training and ab exercises just about every other day. My legs and butt feel great, but I still haven't seen much improvement in my stomach. This whole getting in shape nonsense is hard work!

Food diary. This is my second chocolate free week which is amazing because I've been pmsing all week. No chocolate and no dead bodies?! I deserve a medal. :) I'm bringing my food diary on vacation with me to Poland. S-C-A-R-Y. I'm pretty sure every day will read: breakfast - Pierogies, lunch - Pierogies, dinner - Pierogies. Please don't let me gain too much weight!

Weigh in. Last week's weight loss was like my holy grail. I only hope that this week I have done well too. I had to weigh in on Friday because of our Road Trip to Wroclaw 2013. As of Friday afternoon (I know, what dope weighs themselves in the middle of the day?!?! Me.), I have LOST another 0.6 kg (1.32 lbs). I am so excited!! That brings my grand total weight loss to 3.5 kg or 7.7 lbs in 6 weeks. I could not be happier!

Healthy snacks. This week I went old school with the snacks and nibbled on granola bars and cheese and crackers. I even indulged on an UNhealthy snack: an ice cream cone with two scoops of deliciousness!

Do you have any weight loss tips or exercises that I can try? I have a touch of self-diagnosed exercise ADD so I get bored pretty quickly. What has worked for you in the past?

Friday, August 9, 2013

Road Trip to Wroclaw 2013

We're getting ready to go on our first hardcore road trip with Alexa today. After weeks of stressing out about what a terrible idea this was, I finally got a grip and got excited instead. I love road trips! Michael and I always end up having so much fun on the way to our destination (We have fun when we get there too!). The most ridiculous things always end up happening to us while we attempt to take a simple, relaxing vacation.....driving through cornfields, car breaking down on the highway, almost getting hit by a bus...the stories are endless! Well, this trip should be extra fun. Not only are we driving 600km (373mi) from Austria to Poland, but we are doing this with our 5 month old who hates the car and her car seat even more and my sister in law who, I'm pretty sure doesn't cry when she gets buckled in! Welcome to Road Trip to Wroclaw 2013! (And no, I do not speak Polish, so yes, I pronounce the city name Ro-claw.)

As of Thursday we weren't sure if our road trip car was going to be my in-laws 23 year old tank - the VW (pronounced Vee-Dub), or if we would have to rent a car. Both options had positive and negative aspects. The VW - comes free, has a cool box thing on top of the car for added storage, doesn't have air conditioning, is a tank. Rental Car - is the exact opposite of free, no cool box thing for extra storage, might be a larger car, will definitely have air conditioning. We ended up with the trusty VW.

Since Alexa is all of 25 inches long, it is clear that she will need approximately 98% of all the available storage in the car for her stuff: pack n play, pack n play mattress (oh yes, my in-laws bought her a tempurpedic pack n play can I squeeze in there too??), stroller, car seat, ginormous bag of clothes, bibs, burp clothes, baby carriers, bath stuff, food stuff, sleeping stuff, awake pretty much never ends, plus all of her toys to maybe keep her entertained and happy in the car vs. sad, crying baby.  She has so much stuff that Michael and I have to stuff our clothes into a back pack. (Just kidding!)

Anyway, I am super excited for this trip! We are going to visit the second oldest zoo in Europe and explore what looks like a really neat city in Poland. The food. Have you ever had Polish food? Oh.My.God. It's to die for. I can't wait for the food!! Plus, Alexa gets to meet her great-grandma and great-grandpa, and her great aunt and great uncle. After some family visits, we are heading out to Michael's uncle's lake house. Three glorious days, relaxing at the lake. It's going to be awesome!

So, wish us well. Michael's dad said it will take around 8 hours to get there (6 1/2 hours?!?! Google maps you lying piece of poo!), but it will more realistically take us 10-12 hours with nursing breaks, crying breaks and actual driver breaks.

Let's do this!!

What was the farthest you've ever driven with your infant/child? Where did you go? How did you keep them entertained along the way?

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

My skin is sweating

I used to love summer. The heat. The sun. The beach. The smell of suntan lotion and that gorgeous copper color of my skin come August. Summer meant freedom, no school, no homework and best of all summer meant vacation and friends! oops I guess that was a while ago (like 20 years). Now, as I sit here at 9:40pm, twenty years post summer lovin', I am sweating in my third set of clothes since this afternoon. Why? Because here in Austria we are having a brutal heatwave and at nearly 10pm, the thermometer on my balcony reads 31 C (87.8 F) and the thermometer in the apartment reads 28.4 C (82.4 F). Where oh where is my beloved air conditioning?? That's right, I left it in America with all those other cool things. Alas, my complaining must come to an end and I have the perfect "cool" solution...

Yup, this is an awesome sweaty picture of me, but the delightfully delicious iced alcoholic beverage in my hand makes me not care!

Sad, Sick Baby

Yesterday was vaccine day. I don't particularly love vaccine day, nor do I hate it. All except one of her vaccines (prior to yesterday) were oral, liquid big deal. In May, we had our first round of injectible vaccines. She had to have two shots and let me tell you, she did not like it at all. I mean, seriously, who likes a needle? No one. Alexa took it to a whole new level...she cried, no, screamed during the injection and continued on all the way home and didn't stop until we had been safely home for more than ten minutes. It was traumatizing! I held up fine, I am not one of those moms that crumbles to pieces when their baby gets vaccinated. I think it's because I've been through it before with the babies that I nannied for. I was sad she was upset, but what could I really do? We snuggled until she was ready to face the world and then carried on with our day. Anyhow, knowing what happened a few months ago I was prepared for the epic meltdown that was going to ensue. I brought the Baby Bjorn carrier instead of the stroller so that I'd have both hands free to really snuggle her well. I shoved any little extras we might need into my purse instead of dragging along the ninety pound diaper bag. I was prepared with lovies, extra binkies, the works! When the doctor and the nurse administered the first shot her face turned bright red, by the time the second shot was in her leg she let out a "wah, wah" and I squeaked a rubber ducky in her face. She laughed. That was it. Two little cries and then a laugh. AWESOME!!

We headed home, silly laughing baby in tow. I couldn't believe the difference. I was definitely not anticipating such a great reaction. And then we got home...

Per usual, she took an awesome post-vaccine nap. She was a little clingy when she woke up, but happily played on her own on her play mat for a little bit. She was even excited that her friend came over to play. After our play date, things went downhill very quickly.  I'm not sure that I actually was able to put her down at all from dinner time until we finally passed out, in my bed, together, at 10:30pm.

She got her first fever. When the thermometer hit 38.5 C (101.3F), I knew it was going to be a long night. She was sad and just laying on me. She wasn't crying or complaining, which somehow made it even worse. We rocked, she didn't sleep, we walked, no sleeping, watched a little tv, she didn't even blink. Finally, almost two hours after I gave her medicine the fever started to break. I pulled her in bed with me and turned out the lights, praying that we would both be able to sleep. She tossed and turned and took up the entire bed all night long. She was hot, the fever was back, but it was too early to give her any more medicine so I nursed her. She slept, she nursed. I dozed here and there, but kept waking up to check on her. It was a long night. I finally passed out hardcore just after 4am. When I woke up to a babbling little cutie sucking on my arm, I knew she was feeling better! Fingers crossed the fever stays away today.

It's so hard to see her not feeling well. She's so little and she can't tell me exactly what hurts or if she's cold or hungry or just wants a snuggle. It was a rough night, not because she was a tough patient, but because I was a worried mom.

**As I took a baby play break from writing this post my little bundle of giggling joy projectile vomited all over me, herself, the couch and the floor...twice. Still no fever (thank God!), but it looks like today will be a stay at home and get better kind of day.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Mommy Makeover - Week 5

Week 4 was awesome! I have been "thinking thin" and feeling thin all week. Michael even noticed and commented on my weight loss this weekend. Talk about a total self confidence boost! Of course, after gaining weight last week I couldn't wait to see what the scale would say on I weighed myself on Saturday - down 1.6 kg (3.52 lbs)!! And again today...

Walking. It has been so incredibly hot this past week that I really didn't get in as much walking time as I had originally planned. However, I had an awesome run on Sunday and was so pumped after it. Holy adrenaline, Bean!

Strength Training/Ab work out. I'm really proud of how well I've been doing with both the Strength Training and the Ab work out. I also found a new round of exercises that are hardcore and terrifying looking, but I think I might give them a try this week. (Key word, might.)

Here's the link to the new exercises: Scary, Hardcore Fat Busting Exercises
(Just scroll down and then you'll see the list. Each exercise has it's own video to show you the proper way to do it.)

Food diary. I am really proud to say that I did NOT eat a single piece of chocolate this week!!!!!!!!! Hallelujah! I also have noticed an awesome new pattern emerge in my food diary. If I eat a good breakfast, a small mid-morning snack (or not), a later lunch, an afternoon snack (this definitely) and dinner, then I am not hungry after dinner. I think before I was eating so sporadically and such random sized meals that I was constantly hungry.

Chocolate. This category is outta here!!!!!

Weigh in. I was so excited about my weight loss this week! So, since I just had to see what was up (or down) I weighed myself on Saturday and was down 1.6 kg (3.52 lbs), I wonder what this mornings weigh in will bring...that's right folks, I've lost a whopping 1.9 kg (4.18 lbs) this week! Woot woot!

Healthy snacks. I have been eating an apple or a pear almost every day as my afternoon snack. It is sweet, healthy and fills me up until dinner time. If I find myself hungry enough to have a snack after dinner, I've been trying to have 1-2 rice cakes with peanut butter. Many of you probably grimaced and groaned "ewww rice cakes". I'm one of the few weirdos on the planet that actually like the taste of rice cakes. Go figure! You could probably also do peanut butter and crackers or cheese and crackers for a good night time snack.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Summer Lovin'

We went on an adventure the other day...Alexa, Tante Maja and I. We went all the way up the mountain to the Linz Zoo...the non-stroller friendly tram and way to the zoo was a workout in and of itself! Alexa slept through the majority of our adventure, but Maja and I had a blast! Then we leisurely strolled back down the death ramp back to the tram to travel back down the mountain and back into the city where we got the most delicious sorbet in Linz! Of course, Alexa woke up for ice cream and eyed my yummy homemade waffle cone until I gave her a taste. I think it's safe to say that she really liked it...

(Unfortunately I am not very skilled when it comes to messing with and changing or modifying videos on the computer, so if the picture is sideways...sorry!)

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Veggie Risotto - Baby Food Recipe

Today, my little sous-chef and I set out to make a yummy new dinner: Veggie Risotto. It was really easy and Alexa had fun helping!

Ingredients: (for the Veggie Risotto)
1 tsp. butter
1/2 small onion finely chopped
1/4 tsp. minced garlic
1 carrot, washed, peeled and shredded
1/2 small zucchini, washed and shredded
1/2 cup cooked peas (you might be able to use frozen peas, but ours were fresh from the garden so I boiled them beforehand)
1 cup risotto
1/4 veggie stock cube or diluted veggie/chicken broth
3 cups boiling water
2 Tablespoons Parmesan cheese
(for the Puree)
1 1/2 cups cooked Veggie Risotto
1/2 cup diluted broth
2 Tablespoons water

Saute the onion and garlic in the butter for 2-3 minutes. Add the peas, carrots and zucchini. The shredded zucchini and carrots should equal approximately 1 cup of veggies combined, you can use whatever other veggies your little one likes. Saute the veggies for 2 minutes, stirring often. Add the risotto and let cook for 2 minutes, stirring often. Add the stock cube and boiling water. Lower the heat and simmer covered for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once the risotto is cooked add the Parmesan cheese and stir well. As is, this risotto is perfect for older infants and toddlers. For the little ones, a puree it is!

For the Puree, I removed 1 1/2 cups of the cooked risotto and added it to my mixer (you can also use a food processor), plus 1/2 cup of diluted broth (which I forgot I had in the freezer...4 baby cubes of diluted broth = 1/2 cup) and pureed. The puree wasVERY thick, so I added an additional 2 Tablespoons of warm water and pureed again. At this point, it was still a thick puree, but Alexa likes a thicker puree. You may need to continue adding warm water until it becomes the thickness you desire. This made a full tray of baby cubes, plus two full servings and there is still enough for my husband and I to have as a side dish with dinner!

Guten Appetit!