{on the menu}

Here is one of Pepper Mae's favorite meals lately for dinner.  We have been trying to implement at least one "finger food" each meal so she will gradually start switching to table food.  Here is what is pictured {all completely organic and homemade by me}:

  • Top Left: Peaches... sometimes mango or plums.
  • Top Right: A mixture of baby yellow potatoes, butternut squash {peeled and seeded}, and fuji apple {one cup of each, sautéed in 1 tbsp. of olive oil, then brought to a boil and simmered in 1 1/2 cups baby stock for approx. 30 min. until tender.} Somedays this might be just butternut squash because after I make it I'm left with so many frozen cubes of butternut I have to use it!
  • Lower: Baby Peas 

For breakfast,  she usually has some pear and oatmeal, and for lunch, she will have some type of pureed fruit like prunes, banana or blueberry and then some organic "super puffs", along with small cut up fruit.

I have been having difficulty figuring out how to mix her foods and our foods together in meals.  I'm sure it will come once she's solely on solid foods,  but Joe and I will definitely have to start eating ALOT healthier!  


{a slight confession}

look at those upper teeth

Hi,  my name is Lauren Ustad, and I need to make a confession.  This is silly, really... I just need to get it off my chest.  So, I have a neighbor {in her 50s}, who a few weeks ago offered to "take pictures of my baby with her really nice camera".  She doesn't know I am a professional children's photographer {obviously}.  So what do I say?  "Oh, sure!" I mean what could I say?  I felt bad and tend to say "yes" at any given moment when put on the spot.  YEAH,  I told her she could... even though I have so many professional pictures of my baby she is going to grow up thinking I have a camera for a face.  Well,  I decided to just not mention it and hoped she would forget about it and not bring it up again.  I should have come clean at the very first, right?  Well... now it's too late.  She ran into me today again and really pushed the taking pictures thing hard this time.  She said she has a professional camera and has "done weddings and models dressed really nice".  That really peaked my curiosity and gave me an excuse to ask... "Oh really? What kinda camera?" haha.  She replies she has a "Nikon D70".  Don't get me wrong.  That's a nice camera... the 2nd best nonprofessional  DSLR on the market.  A whopping $1000.  Very good quality images {with a decent lens of course}.  But notice I said nonprofessional... big difference.  So what do I do?  Keep a straight face, of course, and say "Oh great!  We can do the pics next weekend!"  YES,  I just booked a session with my neighbor and her "professional" camera.  This really cracks me up.  To be honest,  I'm kinda curious to see the results.  I guess I will find out how it goes next weekend!  I'll keep you posted.  Moral of the story?  Always come clean in the beginning before you get too deep into it not to...

Of course,  what is a post without my pics of our baby.  She is getting in her two top teeth,  and I really hope thats the reason she's been getting up at 6 am every morning for the past week.  Looooove her to death!


{love this}

for just one day I'd like to be...

that someone special

I absolutely love this... book! {and I hope Pepper Mae does too...}  Right now it's our favorite to read together.  I just love the story and the illustrations are great and have a vintage feel to them.  This is my favorite quote from the book and sums it up well:

For just one day, one single day,
I'd like to live a different way.
I think it would be fun to fly
and spend the day up in the sky,
or dangle from the highest tree,
or dive into the deepest sea.

And what if I had pointy claws,
floppy ears, or furry paws?
I'd like to have some jagged jaws,
but only for one day, because...

the other days I'd want to be
that someone special, that is...



{nine months}

getting into everything

I can't believe we've had Pepper Mae almost as long as I was pregnant with her.  Time definately does fly.  This is a week late or so,  but here is some of what we know about Pepper Mae in the first nine months of her life:

- Most recently,  she has reveled a great fear {not kidding} of the "I Love Lucy" collector barbies.  Like,  she's completely and utterly terrified.  She acts like it could come alive at an moment.  It's funny but she's so scared you can't laugh about it,  it's so pitiful!

-She has perfected "dada"... but to no avail has she said "mama" yet.

-She is still very affectionate,  and loves giving kisses to everyone.  Jackson was getting his diaper changed the other day and she crawled up and gave him two big whoppers on the forehead.  So sweet.  She has also started showing affection by kissing more specifically... toes.  

-There is something about the car that makes her go poo every time we set foot in it.  I don't know what it is about the car,  but it's hilarious.  It might be because she has nothing better to do so she figures she might as well.  It has become a routine to bring a change of clothes every time we go somewhere,  knowing she is going to have a blow out.  

-She is pulling up on everything!  She will pull up and all of the sudden just let go and stand there for a few seconds without holding onto anything.  I think she's a little dare devil!

-She LOVES dogs.  Big and small... all the way from her 2 lb. yorkie to my sister's 50 lb German Shepherd.  She just crawls around with her mouth wide open trying to get to them to kiss them.

-She has learned the art of showing her charm to get what she wants.  When I'm washing dishes and she wants me to pick her up,  she crawls over and lays big ones on my legs until I pick her up.

-She's in the "pterodactyl" stage,  and you can hear this girl coming from a mile away.  

-The wind blowing on her face makes her smile.

-At her nine month appointment she was above average on height, and below average in weight.

-She is picking up finger foods and putting them in her mouth, such as puffs and little pieces of kiwi.

-She is still the clone of her daddy in every way.


{cousin love}

cousin love.

snack break

she's amused by jesalyn's button

really hard to get them all to look at the camera

first apple not pureed 

mimi love.

apple love.

Today we had a surprise visit (well,  surprise to most of my family) from my older brother Brandon,  his wife Jessica,  and my niece Jesalyn.  My mom's birthday is tomorrow and they thought it would be a good way to celebrate with her.  We ended up spending most of the day at the pool... and they swam their little hearts out! (including Pepper Mae!).  It's not often we get ALL three Mollica cousins at the same place,  so it was fun to snap some pictures of them together.  This was also PM's first time in a "big" pool,  so she loved just watching all the other kiddos play and jump in.  Sweet way to end a great weekend! Miss PM was pooped,  and passed out 30 minutes before her normal bedtime.  We might make this an every day affair!