Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Friday, December 23, 2011
Monday, December 19, 2011
The way Saturday morning started though, it wasn't looking good. T tends to be a super predictable little kid. I don't know if his super-duper internal clock is due to the fact that I'm a bit anal and we live and breathe "the schedule" - but you can set your watch by the time he wakes up, wants a meal, needs a drink, and goes to bed. Every day. Or, should I say, every day except Saturday. Go figure. Party day, he wakes up a little later than normal and refuses to nap. The timing of the party was chosen for no other reason other than the fact that he is always up at that time, always rested at that time, always happy at that time, and always ready to go down for a nap by the party-end time. Perfect right? Ahh, the best laid plans. Party finally starts and Birthday Boy is zonked out in his crib. Yup, the guest of honor is fast asleep. Which is actually fine by me, because happy...he was not. Nope, my typically happy little guy was turning into more and more of a crankpot as the minutes, then hours, past his nap he got, so I was envisioning full on grizzly mode in time for cake.
But once I stopped worrying about the lack of sleep and the random runny nose he woke up with (the jury is still out on if it's teething or daycare germs, since he's fine now...but what a lovely way to start party day, no?), momma managed to settle in and have a good time among all the crazy kiddo chaos. And T ended up having fun "playing" with his little friends.
Now I'm getting the hang of this birthday fun stuff...
"Why, thank you, A, I will gladly take that toy from you."
So, you ask, how did I celebrate surviving not only my first kiddo birthday party but my first year as a mom? That night, with the kiddo fast asleep, right on schedule, a good ole glass of vino (or two) and some Elmo cookies in hand. Gotta love it.
Thursday, December 15, 2011
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
- 13 or 16-inch foam wreath form
- about 200 push pins
- 1/2 yard muslin or plain white cotton fabric
- 2 yards of red canvas (or whatever color(s) you're doing)
You cut the muslin/white fabric into 4-inch strips, wrap them around the foam wreath form and pin them into place. Then you cut the red canas into 4x4 inch squares (whoever 'pinned' this neglected to mention what a huge pain-in-the-ass this part is, especially when your toddler is jumping all over the fabric - just fyi). Next you fold the red squares corner to corner twice, making a triangle, then pin each one to the wreath. I pinned them in rows leaving the back empty so the wreath would lie flat against the wall. One side ended up a little "thicker" than the other - oops - but overall I'm pretty happy with it. Here's the wreath just before I finished:
Here's the finished product:
Friday, December 9, 2011
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Saturday, December 3, 2011
But the Hubs? Not so much. He’s pure macho. No feelings on the sleeve for this guy! So how can I tell that he loves me? The random phone call while out on my nightly walk with T. He’s called to tell me that he sees a helicopter, possibly a police one, circling the nearby vicinity with a "searchlight" on. He suggests that I cut my walk short because he doesn’t know why a chopper would be circling, or who they must be looking for, but he thinks that it can’t be good. I kid you not. So, while I might have nightmares for the next few days about the random psychopath that **may** have escaped from prison and is now evading police, hiding in my neighbor’s driveway and waiting to attack me & T as we stroll on by, the mush in me has also gotten all warm and fuzzy that the Hubs called to protect me from the prison-break crazies out there. That's love, Hubs-style.
Thursday, December 1, 2011
Sunday, November 27, 2011
I did make an attempt to run outside with her in the jog stroller but then we moved to TX and encountered the HOTTEST.SUMMER.EVER. and that plan was shot to hell too. So, we decided to join the YMCA because they have...drumroll...free on-site childcare! Score, right? I immediately started fantasizing about the precious "me" time I would get at the gym, taking yoga and pilates classes and maybe even making a mom friend or two, until of course our first visit when the reality fairy showed up. I met new-friend Amanda, who has two kids of her own, for a quick workout. We dropped all the kids off at the childcare and started working out. I expected some tears from Audrey so didn't think much of it when she started wailing as I walked out the door. Fast forward 30 minutes and I look up to see a Y employee walking toward us. "Who's baby is Audrey?" she asked. "Mine," I replied. "Okay," she says, "she's been crying since you dropped her off so it's time for you to come get her." Is it bad that my first thought was, "can't you just keep her for 5 more minutes?!" Don't get me wrong, I don't WANT Audrey to scream and cry and be miserable while we're there, but I'm also DESPERATE for some "me" time, even if it is spent on a treadmill watching reruns of Who Wants to be a Millioniare on mute. So, our first visit was a bust. Subsequent visits over the past 2 months haven't improved too much. Audrey has been kicked out twice more for excessive crying and the hub is telling me to give.it.up. Since this was my get-back-in-shape grand plan I'm not ready to throw in the towel quite yet. What do all of you in-shape moms do?! (And don't say 'personal trainer' or' nanny' because we're poor, okay?)
Saturday, November 26, 2011
The Salvation Army Angel Tree went up the other day and I have to make a little plug for it. This is my fourth year to participate in it through work - and I completely love it. Basically, you just pick a needy kid and buy their Santa's Wish List. How cool is that? Not only can you satisfy your own shopping compulsion but you get to make a random kid happy in the process.
So when you're out shopping to spoil your own kids this holiday season (and by all means, go nuts!*), spoil someone else's kid who wouldn't otherwise get that flying-off-the-shelves Doggie Doo under the tree without your help. (Seriously people, did we REALLY have to invent a pooping dog for kids to play with? And do we really think it has to be a must-have toy?)
*Especially you, mom. :)
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
So, I managed to dry and straighten my hair for 2 weekend days and the Hubs managed to put on a non-t-shirt shirt for 2 weekend days so that we’d have a collection of pictures (and outfits) to choose from. And the result?
I think we’re just going to have to aspire to be THAT family, you know, the one whose holiday card you just stick on the fridge for the pure entertainment
Sunday, November 20, 2011
I really need to stop going into Michael's and Hobby Lobby because for some reason whenever I do I get amensia, forget that I don't have a crafty bone in my body, and get the ridiculous idea that I can do things like re-cover gliders or sand and stain IKEA particle-board bookcases. (And the bookcase has been collecting dust in the hallway for a month.) Anyway, I decided to push on with re-covering the glider, mostly because it's navy blue and really throwing off my pink, orange and green color scheme. Us type-A's like everything 'just so.' I decided on this fabric and of course ordered too little I see, once I spread it out on the floor and started working.
Nevertheless I forced the hubs to help me re-cover the ottoman tonight since that is by far the easiest part and at least makes me feel like I have half a chance of ever doing the rest. Here's the before:
And the after:
Not bad, right? Just don't look underneath :)
Check back next year and I may have even done a cushion or two (*gasp!*). And who knows, maybe I'll have the whole thing done by the time Audrey's off to college...
Saturday, November 19, 2011
I meant to take a totally quick trip to Target before lunchtime to try to get a few little things and exchange some baby food that seems to be wreaking havoc on my little guy. SInce I'm very proficient in the art of shopping, I am in and done in about 20 minutes. That's when the fun starts. I start to do the little "walk and dig around" for the car keys dance as I'm getting closer to the car. Hmmm. I don't feel them. So, I dig more and more in my bag in front of the car. Still don't seem them. I empty what is now my mess of a diaper bag into the shopping cart, with T (and some fellow shoppers) looking on curiously. Still. Not. There. So, we take a trip back inside. I go to customer service, where I exchanged the baby food. Nope. The girl was even nice enough to look through the plastic bag trash to see if they got mixed in with a bag I got rid of. No dice. Did I leave them at the check out? No. I retrace my steps through the entire store. Now, T is starting to get majorly unhappy with me. I mean, it's past lunch time and we're doing the same exact shopping route we did 30 minutes before. I check back with customer service to see if in the past 45 minutes, anyone has turned in keys to lost and found. Another no. So I call the hubby to give him a glimpse into my activities at the moment. Every the helpful man, he offers suggestions like "Did you check your bag?" "Check the grocery bags too." Thanks, honey.
So, what seems like a zillion hours later (but actually more like 2), I'm feeding T food I just bought with a random spoon found in my diaper bag (go me!), my aunt is almost to the parking lot to deliver the spare set she got from my house, and the Target security guard who is zipping up and down the parking lanes starts to mosey along by me. (Yes, I'm waiting by the car with a child and melting frozen foods rather than inside because that little cynical side of me was waiting for someone to "find" my keys and plan to drive off in my car. I don't really believe in this southern hospitality stuff) Turns out, security guard man on the segue is my hero! He found my car keys, somewhere in the parking lot. Called them shiny. Of course, he didn't report them as missing because he doesn't seem to believe in this southern hospitality stuff either and was afraid some good samaritan would put the keys to good use and keep the car. So instead of anyone at customer service knowing that the store did, in fact, have my set of car keys, they were locked in his office. I'm thinking that if I hadn't run into him in the parking aisle, there's a pretty good likelihood that I wouldn't have ever gotten these keys back - but the crisis was averted. And within 5 minutes of one another, I had not 1 but both sets of keys back in my hand. Now, mommy just needs some wine for her troubles and all will be better.
Thursday, November 17, 2011
Sunday, November 13, 2011
- Cradle Swing
Some of T's best naps were in this contraption. I'd pay a million bucks for it, that's how amazing it was for us.
- Fisher-Price Rock and Play Sleeper
Because T moved around way too much in his sleep I needed to confine him so I wouldn't have to wake up every 2 minutes to make sure his swaddle wasn't suffocating him. We tied a string to it so that we could rock it from the comfort of our bed when he seemed like he was stirring. Plus, it was really easy to move this sleeper everywhere we were, so he wasn't more than 2 feet from his brand spankin' new parents at any given moment. A new parents' dream.
- Soundspa Sound Machine
I heart this thing. I admit that I might have a teeny addiction to it since I'm so used to hearing it on the baby monitor - and I might just travel with one for myself these days.
- The Sleep Sack
Once we realized our swaddling skills were no match for T's acrobatics, this blanket gave us some peace of mind with the suffocating fear too. Not that he didn't break out of it, but at least we wouldn't fear it getting stuck over his cute little nose in the process.
- Happiest Baby on the Block and On Becoming Baby Wise Two of my favorite sleep books. Do you sense a sleep trend here?
- Baby Bjorn
Sometimes you just need a little break from holding the little munchkin.
- The Kindle
I know this is a mommy-tool and not a baby-tool...but momma needs something to do during those late night feedings when HGTV gets old. And Castle. And NCIS. And Bones. (And mommy loves herself some Bones). Holding a book AND flipping the page with one hand = pure awesomeness, especially at 3AM.
These wonderful little drops came directly to my door on some excellent advice from Erika - and I couldn't sing their praises more. They really seemed to help T's sensitive tummy - more than the standard Mylicon and Gripe Water did.
- Burp Cloths
One of those things I didn't really understand the importance of until T was born and then I really couldn't have enough of. My little man was a happy little spitter. All. The. Time.
New baby tush. 'Nuff said.
And as an aside - sorry about those annoying white boxes. In my need to try to be helpful and show you visuals for my Top 10....I added an annoyance factor. Oops. Pretend you don't see them.
Saturday, November 12, 2011
1.) She waves "bye bye" when we flush the toilet (crucial social skill)
2.) She intentionally farts, looks around the room for a reaction, then bursts out laughing (comic genius - 'nuff said)
3.) She's renamed all animals "gongahs," and really, why do we need "bird," "cat," "dog," and so on? This is SO much easier.
4.) Yesterday I found her digging the remains of a strawberry out of the trashcan and eating it (#momfail, although she could be the next [female] Bear Grylls, right?)
5.) She thinks Sonic tator tots are awesome. AND THEY ARE.
Harvard, here we come!
Wednesday, November 9, 2011
I'm thinking this.
Yes, they're pet toys. But T seems to gravitate towards anything that the cats and dog might carry around in their mouths. He literally runs (ok, crawls) with a purpose directly for the cat toy collection (which incidentally, is at his eye level in the family room).
But who needs bikes and trucks when he can have squeaky toys and feathered catnip?
Thursday, November 3, 2011
Saturday, October 29, 2011
Now, full disclosure. It isn't just the baby I had 10 MONTHS* ago that has kept me from the gym. No joke, I broke a bone in my foot from the sheer weight of trying to look cute in heels when prego (lesson learned). That little faux pas has kept me from jumping around on my feet for months. In the meantime, I've been attempting to keep my muffin top in check with stroller walks around the neighborhood after work every day. While I'm probably not burning the Halloween candy calories, these strolls do help me kill a few birds with one stone on the balance-quest - I socialize with a fellow neighbor-mommy-friend, spend time with T-man, AND get some exercise in.
However, I miss the gym. And the classes. And the cute yoga pants I had a good excuse to wear. It was definitely time. This was the week to take the plunge. It's a little embarrassing to think of swiping my membership card and seeing ZERO historical attendance in the past, uh, year - but hopefully they didn't judge me too much.
Finding a class was harder than you might expect. I wanted to time it so that I could manage to pick up T at daycare, get him home before the Hubs got home from work, and be back home again before bathtime. My old step class? Gone (yes, I know this fad went out with the 1990s, but I'm still a holdover, ok? Shoot me.). My old cardio kickboxing class? Gone. Zumba. Hmm...now this is something I figured I could work with! I danced for years and years and took exercise classes pretty consistently - so a dancey aerobics class is right up my alley. Or was. It appears momma's got no rhythm. And she's limping today from tweaking her knee while trying to shake her booty. I'm not sure how the two are connected either. Don't judge. Obviously, momma needs some
*Uh, that means my little newborn is 10 months old already. How does that happen?
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
And let me just take this opportunity to say "yay" we have zero blog readers! And I think we've accidentally been tracking our own page views and thinking we have followers. Awesome.
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Preheat oven to 375 degrees
12 ounces ground beef, ground pork, or sausage
1 cup chopped onion
2 gloves garlic, minced
1 7.5-ounce can tomatoes, cut up
1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
2 teaspoons dried basil, crushed
1 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
1 teaspoon fennel seed, crushed (optional)
6 dried lasagna noodles (I use 9 and do a third layer)
1 beaten egg
1 15-ounce container of ricotta cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
3 tablespoons snipped fresh parsley (I leave this out because I'm cheap and fresh herbs are expensive)
6 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
1.) For the sauce, in a medium saucepan cook the meat, onion, and garlic until the meat is brown. Drain the fat.
2.) Stir in the undrained tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, basil, oregano, fennel seed (if using) and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Cover and simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3.) Meanwhile, cook the lasagna noodles for 10-12 minutes or until tender but firm. Drain the noodles; rinse with cold water. Drain well. (I lay them out on a cookie sheet so they don't get all stuck together before assembly.)
4.) For the filling, combine the egg, ricotta cheese, 1/4 cup parmesan or romano cheese and the parsley (if using).
5.) Layer half the cooked noodles in a 2-quart rectangular dish. Spread with half the filling. Top with half the meat sauce and half the mozzarella cheese. Repeat layers. If desired, sprinkle additional parmesan cheese on top.
6.) Bake at 375 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes or until heated through. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving. Makes 8 servings.
You can also make this ahead and refridgerate for up to 24 hours, you just need to bake it a little longer.
*So who doesn't like lasagna? That would be Audrey, who gave it one sniff and promptly chucked it off her highchair table and onto the floor for the dog to eat. Sigh. And so she remains in the 15th percentile for weight...
Sunday, October 23, 2011
And he's trying. Of course he is. I've said it once, I'm sure I'll say it until he's at least a pre-teen and his parents are no longer "cool." Daddy does it, T imitates it. Only, of course, it's his own take on the "dinosaur roar." Instead of an adorable little-kid-copying-animal-noises sound, T makes the universal sign for "I'm choking." We had to warn our daycare provider that when T isn't making crazy faces, he is now crawling about looking and sounding like he's gagging on marbles.
Thursday, October 20, 2011
Anyway, as we were enjoying all this family fun I noticed that every other person at the zoo was pulling their kids around in a wagon. As in, those big plastic red wagons, you know the ones I'm talking about? Or the more traditional wooden ones with slats and a metal base. I thought I was having deja-vu after seeing the exact same thing at the Aquarium about a month ago. What is up with that? Is this some kind of TX thing? This is definitely not something I remember seeing on the East Coast, except maybe here and there on a sidewalk in a cul-de-sac. And I couldn't help thinking - is it really practical? I saw several parents trying to maneuver them up and down stairs (usually by asking all the kids to get out, walk up/down the stairs, and then pile back into the wagon) and in general they just look heavy and bulky. I'm thinking I'll stick with a stroller but feel free to enlighten me, fellow Texans.
Monday, October 17, 2011
Sunday, October 16, 2011
Anyway, to celebrate I decided to make pumpkin bread, one of my fave fall treats. I wish I could say I used raw pumpkin that I carved myself and organic cage-free eggs...but canned by WalMart is more like it. For anyone interested, here is the recipe:
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 Tbs baking powder
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp ground ginger or ground cloves (I used ginger)
- 1 cup canned pumpkin
- 1/2 cup milk
- 2 eggs
- 1/3 cup shortening
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
- 1/2 cup raisins (optional)
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease the bottom and 1/2 inch up the sides of a 9x5x3-inch loaf pan; set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, combine 1 cup flour, the brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, baking soda, nutmeg, and ginger or cloves. Add pumpkin, milk, eggs, and shortening. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed till blended. Beat on medium to high speed for 2 minutes. Add the 1 cup flour; beat until blended. Fold in the walnuts and raisins. Spoon batter into prepared pan. Bake for 60 to 65 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove loaf from pan. Cool completely on a wire rack.
And yes, I will likely eat the entire loaf by myself. Don't judge.
Friday, October 14, 2011
Babies really do take note of everything we do. And every reaction we make because of what they do. I'm pretty certain it's gonna be real interesting when T starts to learn to talk!
T watches his dad. Like, uber carefully. I don't rank nearly as highly in terms of the "must copy everything this cool person does" but that's ok, I'm not holding too strong of a grudge. The Hubs doesn't seem to quite realize the power he holds, so he's not always the most careful with his baby interactions. Case in point is his version of a laugh. He makes this funky looking squashed-up nose thing. It's endearing on a grown up. It might be a little funny looking, I know, but hey, it's not like the Hubs is laughing hysterically very often. (Surprising right, because he's married to me and I constantly remind him that I am the best joke-teller of all time...riiight). So anyway...all of the sudden, voila! T is making this weird imitation of his dad, complete with funky sound effects and everything. So we laugh at him. How could we not? He's downright funny looking when he does it and it's pretty obvious what he's trying to do. Parenting A-ha#1: BIG MISTAKE. Don't laugh at what you don't want to encourage! T is now convinced that the way to our hearts is through this terrible looking and sounding expression. He does it and does it and does it. NON-STOP.
Did we permanently block his chances of being voted "best smile" in high school at the tender age of 8 1/2 months? Is my future daughter-in-law going to cringe at her otherwise completely perfect husband's wedding pictures? How in the world can we unteach this damage to his cute face?!
See for yourself....It's bad, people!
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Now comes the funny/awkward part. Because we live in a heavily Indian part of town, 99% of the other parents/kids in the class are Indian. Nothing wrong with this, however, as part of every class we go around the room and sing everyone's name out loud. Guess who can't understand anyone else's name and has to mumble through them all under her breath? Uh, that would be me. And it doesn't seem to get easier as the weeks go by. Although this past week I discovered that the misunderstanding runs both ways when one of the other parents asked me, "Is Audrey a boy or a girl?" (Um, for reals?) Maybe I need to up the girl factor with her or something. I thought the hot pink pants and matching onesie were a dead giveaway but said parent seemed rather shocked at my reply ("Oh!"). Time to dig out the barrettes? Well, judge for yourself.