Friday, April 27, 2012

Hubris

Yesterday, the morning was a little dreary and rainy, and a cozy day inside sounded *just right* to me.

I (admittedly a little) smugly posted this status on my Facebook:


A nice little day of relaxation and yummy baking. I had been meaning to make those personalized oatmeal cups anyway, so why not make the best of the rain? If only I had stuck to my guns.

Enter hubris. 

"Hubris often indicates a loss of contact with reality and an overestimation of one's own competence or capabilities..."

My life, right?

***

A few weeks ago husband and I decided that since we are, you know, in charge of another being's vital records now, it was probably about time to get our filing in order that we had been putting off and invest in a fireproof/waterproof safe. So we did. And we bough a new filing cabinet. Look at us getting organized!

And since then it has been sitting in Evelyn's room.

Empty.

In the box.

Right.

***

So, yesterday right after I posted that status, I was walking by her room and thought, you know what? I should probably just figure out this situation first. Then I will bake. I am sick of looking at that thing. 

As I started emptying out Evelyn's closet, aka, the catch all, used to be storage closet before we had a baby, I realized that this might take slightly longer than an hour. "Hmm," I thought.

As the piles started creeping up closer and closer, confining the play area of my happily playing baby to about two square feet, I thought, "This might take all day."

As I was forced to move the baby into her crib for her own safety, and began toting things out into the hallway and our bedroom because I was out of room, I thought, "Damn."

***

And there it was, the rabbit hole. Soon enough Pinterest and Martha Stewart Living and Real Simple organization ideas were swirling around in my head and I was mentally calculating how much paint there was in the garage.

Soon thereafter I found myself setting up the Pack and Play in the guest room and calling my (laughing) husband to ask what he would need from "upstairs" because we would most certainly be sleeping in the guest room ourselves.

Le sigh.


The project continues today, and I am actually happy to report that I like what I am doing with the space, and ultimately it will be much more functional, and was something that desperately needed to be done, but I have definitely had a few of those standing-in-the-middle-of-the-piles-of-everything-everywhere moments where I think, 

"Couldn't I have just stuck to some baked oatmeal?"



Evelyn Rae is nine months old

...and we did still play music yesterday while doing this project. Thankfully, Evelyn thinks Momma's dancing is hilarious. Just like everyone else. 

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Pinterest Projects: Food

I avoided it for a really, really long time...but a few months ago I was finally sucked into the time-suck known as Pinterest.

Don't get me wrong. I lurve it. It's a great idea. My work computer used to be just filled with images I had downloaded and now, well, it's all online.

But, you can go a leetle crazy in there. Luckily, I haven't really felt all that bad about it, because I have actually done and made some of the things that I have pinned.

Plus, I don't spend a lot of time woe-is-me-ing about how some moms are awesome and make their kids full on watermarks in the backyard using only a hose and 99 cent foam pool noodles. If you *are* that mom, good for you.

But, I figured I would share what I have vetted for you, out of the goodness of my own heart. Cue applause.

Here is the food round up.



So, this recipe seemed like it had a LOT of cheese in it, even for me. I cut it waaaay back. I used this recipe as an inspiration because I had some roasted and pulled chicken left over from a dish earlier in the week. 

But, I made the b├ęchamel sauce from this lasagna instead of the sauce called for in the recipe and then layered the chicken and uncooked noodles with it and some shredded swiss and a little bit of mozzarella. 

Also, I didn't have ham on hand so I fried up some pancetta and crumbled it in instead. I only used like 4 oz. of it and my husband thought it was more than enough of the "ham" taste, but he isn't really a big ham lover, so you may want to up the amount from mine if you are! Oh, also, I skipped the parsley. Because I didn't have any on hand. No big loss.




Yeah, I didn't change a THING on this one. Yum.




Made these for Mardi Gras. Didn't love them. Sad faces.




TO DIE FOR. Not even kidding. Do it. Now. You will only thank me.


Evelyn is nine months old

...and I have officially come to the point of parenting where I hear crashing in her room upstairs to tell me that she is awake from her nap. Lord help me.


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

What you want when...

...your baby needs help sleeping because there is so much snot in her little nose that she doesn't know how to blow out and you and she are both miserable.

Not that I would know from first hand experience.

I think I posted about this nifty contraption when I was registering and such, but I can't find it. So, here it is, the no holds barred, best snot sucking apparatus out there...

You can find this baby almost anywhere these days, and please, do not be grossed out by this thing. There is no way that snot will get in your mouth and please trust that this thing is SO MUCH better than those bulgy things. 

If you follow that link up there you can even see an instructional video on how it works, though admittedly it is pretty darn simple.


If Victoria Beckham can do it, you can too.



Evelyn is nine months old

...and thankfully we are not dealing with this issue right now, but I should probably get on some replacement filter orders just in case.

...also, if you live in Hampton Roads, they keep these suckers (ha! Get it? I got a pun in) in stock and on the shelves at the Silver Rattle in Ghent. 


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Baby Gage v. 2.0

No, they are not on the way...yet.

But here's the thing, he or she could be.

I mean, what?!

A few weeks ago, I posted a little tiny tidbit about a little joke played by Mother Nature, and most people in my real life have made a definite comment to me about it, so I guess my little sideways glance, drop it in here casually, tactic, was, well, not so subtle.

Yes, we had a pregnancy scare. ("Scare" isn't really the word I want to use here, because we would, of course, be happy about another one on the way...but there was a definite mix of emotions...and I can't think of a better word in this moment.) I will write more about that on another day.

But, how, you may be thinking, did that happen? Don't women get a grace period after giving birth and don't have ovulation, etc. for a while following a baby?

Well, some women do.

So, here is a post that I wrote months and months ago (in OCTOBER), but never hit the publish button on, I dunno why, but here it is, along with a few editing updates along the way.

*Warning: this post is going to be about female things, like menstruation. Feel free to stop reading if that sort of thing makes you uncomfortable...though if it does, I don't know how you've made it through a majority of posts on this blog.*

One of the agreed upon side benefits of pregnancy is undoubtedly, no periods. Amiright? No tampons to tote around in your purse, not having to worry about when you will wear certain clothes, all good stuff. One of the additional benefits of exclusively breastfeeding (for most people) is that you get to lengthen the time before Aunt Flo returns for a visit.

Unless you are me.

I got off pretty easily on the post-partum bleeding. After two weeks and a few days, I was back to normal. But then, about four weeks after giving birth, I started seeing secondary signs of fertility (read: changes in cervical fluid. gah. I know, I know, but this is the truth, yo).

I thought I must be losing it, there was no way, and then figured that it may just be due to normal hormonal shifts, etc. post baby. After all, I was exclusively breastfeeding, and my baby is gaining weight as she should be, etc. etc.

But then, two weeks later, exactly six weeks after giving birth, Aunt Flo came a knockin'.

I, of course, accepted this inevitable return with ALL the grace and decorum that I usually possess. In other words, I freaked out, ran to tell my husband, called my mom and then my midwife in a panic.

My husband looked at me and shrugged. "Didn't our childbirth classes say that your body would know that it can't support more than one baby at a a time?" THANK YOU HUSBAND.

My mom said, "Oh honey, I think that happened to me too." THANKS FOR THE HEADS UP MOM.

And my midwife said, "Well you have your six week appointment this Friday, so let's just check you out then." ::sigh::

What followed was the no holds barred worst period of my WHOLE LIFE. I mean, something that happens once a month since you were 12, you sort of get a handle on what your "normal" is like. This was not my normal. (In the six months since I wrote this, things have indeed returned to my normal, but those first few were ROUGH indeed.)

When I got to my appointment, my midwife checked me out and cheerily said, "Yup you are good, everything is healed and fine, and you are indeed having a period. You are just what we call 'fertile Myrtle' so be careful!"

"Be careful? I wasn't even cleared to get back in the saddle until this appointment!"

(I don't really say "back in the saddle" in real life, btw. But I said something equivalent..ish.)

She also assured me that it was "totally normal" to have a heavy first period back in the swing of things.

"..."



I guess this is how Irish twins happen?




Evelyn Rae is three months old nine months old

...and we do want more babies...you know...eventually.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Happy Friday/Photo Bomb

Happy Friday everyone! We are super, super excited to be celebrating some friends on their big wedding day this weekend, and to have some non-baby grown up time with some old college friends at the festivities!

Since we have people coming to stay with us, I am running around like the crazy person I become when visitors are on their way...even though I love playing hostess...so, here are some photos of what has been happening recently.


4-17-12: Ev attended her first baseball game at Harbor Park - Norfolk State University v. Old Dominion University. Even though we are Monarchs at heart, we were there to support Uncle Drew and NSU.



4-14-12: Ev rocked her new sunglasses while Mom and Dad did some yard work.


Easter Saturday we got to get together with A's Dad and soon-to-be wife to take some family photos! Jeremy Grieff was our photographer, and will be photographing the wedding. He was such a nice guy and here are some of the previews of my favorite images, even though they were all amazing.







Do you see little Ev holding her own? So cute!



Such a beautiful shot of the happy, soon to be wedded couple! 



This one may be coming soon to a Father's Day gift near you...



Love.



A and I both LOVE this one of Evelyn and Uncle Justin.


Evelyn is nine months old

...and we will probably miss being away from her for all afternoon, night and bedtime on Saturday. But, man do I plan on having some fun.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Tempted.

Welp, I had to go and do it. I had to go and proclaim my child a "champion sleeper" in her nine month post and tempt fate.

She is! For the most part, or was. I swear.

Yesterday however, she woke up at 5:30. Then the damn dog woke her up from her nap because he busted into her room to get into her trashcan. Grumble, grumble, grumble. Our house is OLD and that means her door sometimes all the time makes a  sound similar to a shotgun if opened the wrong way.

She had been sleeping for 15 minutes.

She took a great afternoon nap and went down for bed so easily last night and was so, so sleepy. So sleepy in fat that I thought we were going to get one of those pictures where a kiddo falls asleep into their dinner.

Then today she was up at 5:30 am. Again. And took a 20 minute morning nap. Again.

Le sigh.

I do feel better about the fact that she is still being a super happy baby when she is awake, but, argh.

We need to stop the cycle, so Mommy can get some rings done around here. The nap time race to get things done is intense when you only have 20 minutes.

I had great plans to update you guys on cloth diapers, the free times, solid poop, etc. and let you know about The Great Cloth Diaper Change that is going on this weekend...maybe tomorrow! Stupid grocery shopping and house cleaning and straightening. Getting in the way of all my fun blog plans.

Until then, if ever, you can read more about cloth diapering on the Eco Chic Blog Hop!


Evelyn Rae is nine months old

...and if you are a cloth diapering Momma in Hampton Roads, you should totally be at Diaper Junction on Saturday for the event! Sadly, I won't be there because we are booked.

P.S. their new store set up is amazing. Super amazing.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Nine Months






My little ladybug,

Well, here we are, another clothing size bigger. You have actually slowed down in the growth department, which is totally normal for a kiddo your age, so we are sort of in the clothes we should be in right now! What a change. We still have had you in 9 month pajamas since you were about 7 months though. Your legs are too long for those footed things!

This has been a big month for you. You have made such developmental changes and strides and we are so thrilled to see all the fun things you are now doing - even though it makes me realize just how soon you will truly be a little girl and not a baby. Towards the end of your seventh month (when you were about to turn 8 months) you started really 'getting' your toys, but in this last month, you started to get them in a big way. 

The first thing we noticed was that you take the funnel top off of your little ball drop toy to put the balls in the smaller tube, rather than use the funnel attachment. You do it with such precision and intention that it makes us laugh about your determined little personality. I can see your little brain working as you pick up toys here or there and realize that they "go" somewhere. We got you a shape drop toy for Easter, so I am excited to see you develop with that.




You have begun to really move around this month, much more quickly that I would have thought possible considering that, much to your Momma's (mocking) dismay, you refuse to crawl with your belly off the ground. Yet. You scootch on your butt, or roll around or army crawl everywhere you need and want to go. Usually after regarding the object that you want for a while and thinking about it. It seems to those watching that you take something in, contemplate it for a little while, formulate a plan, and then use whichever means of travel you deem best...save actually getting your belly off the floor and doing a legitimate crawl.

Your problem solving skills are already impressing me when I see you work something out. We have been spending a lot of time outside because it has been just so flipping nice lately, and you always want to eat the grass. So, I plop you in the middle of the blanket and think smugly to myself, "Well, she will just have to crawl for it if she wants it, won't she?" Within a few minutes of turning my back to check on my herbs, I turned around to see you still in the middle of the blanket, but with the blanket gathered all up around you, looking at me and grinning, with a fistful of grass that had been previously covered by said blanket. Outsmarted by a 9 month old.

You already seem to be very similar to your Mom in that you like to achieve your goals expediently, which is all well and good, but take it from someone who knows first hand - your seventh grade math teacher will still want you to "show your work" on math problems - regardless of the shortcuts your Grandpa John may teach you. "Work smarter, not harder" is unfortunately not a valid argument when learning algebra. 





You have been doing the sitting and reaching thing that is supposed to proceed crawling (according to the 'experts') for like two months now. You are such a flexible little thing that you usually reach what you want without having to actually move. Unless I move it away from you, of course, because I am a mean mom.  Much like this calendar. 

Though you have slowed your growth a bit, I am shocked, because you are eating like a horse. We used to split an egg for breakfast (amongst other things), but now you can eat a whole one on your own. Plus veggies. You eat crazy amounts of food! This morning you had a few grapes, some veggie puffs, broccoli, a half cup of oatmeal, applesauce and a little bit of toast. Just for breakfast. And that was after nursing! Even your Nana is shocked at how much you are able to put away (she measures everything in cc's since she is in the medical field), and she just marvels at it.

I am still breastfeeding you about 4 times a day, sometimes more, sometimes less, depending on what you want. You don't really love to drink water, but you have really gotten the hang of your sippy cups. Mostly the ones with the straws because I suspect you don't like to tilt your head back enough for the non-straw ones. 






I tend to underestimate the amount of food that you will want, so you get many small portions throughout a meal. I know that you understand the sign for "More" though you don't yet do it, because you get a huge grin on your face and get really excited when I sign and ask, "More?" You have started signing "All Done" at the end of meals, and lately I have caught you doing it a few times when you are ready for a different toy.




Your little personality cracks me up on a daily basis. You go from the most curious baby in the world to a serious and contemplative one, to one who scrunches her face all up in the cheesiest grin ever. You are super independent, already, preferring to try to do most things on your own, but you love people. What a flirt you are when we are out in public. You have been quite interactive for a while now, but now that you have some "tricks" up your sleeves you really love to show off for people. 

Towards the end of last month you started waving at people, furiously, and clapping. I thought it was sort of a fluke, but then you kept doing it. And then when we started saying "Can you say hi?" or "bye" you would just start waving. And whenever anyone, anyone, says "Yay!" or begins clapping, so do you. Pretty adorable. You also do "So Big" where you throw your hands up over your head and stretch out those little arms as high as you possibly can. Also pretty adorable. Now you have started throwing your hands up like that and wanting us to say "So Big" after the fact, which is funny...the first 8 times in a row or so. 





You are possibly the loudest baby...ever. You love to scream and shout and make loud shrieks and giggles, and just to hear yourself. Usually in inappropriate places, like church. Don't get me wrong, I love to hear your cute happy noises, but you are hitting crazy levels of volume! Luckily, most of the time other parents look around to find you and then smile at us and you (usually because we are cracking up and trying to shh you). Every time we put shoes on you, you have to thump your heels against the floor to see if you can make a louder and louder and louder noise. And every time you encounter a new table, you slap your palms against it to see how loud of a noise you can make.

There have been a few times this month that have made both your Dad and I turn to look at you because we thought you had audibly said "Mama" or "Dada" or a few other much used phrases. But, usually you refuse to do a repeat performance of anything, especially when we try to capture said event on film, so we won't admit just yet that you have said your first words, though lately when you see me it is all, "Mamamamamamamamaamama". We shall see if that changes anytime soon into a more distinct beginning and end. I am a tough girl to impress, I know.

As much as you love people, sometimes when you get a little fussy, all I need to do is set you down with one of your many beloved books and you will happily settle in to leaf through the pages. Inevitably you start giggling to yourself, which makes my heart just swell. I can't wait until I can get a peek inside that little mind of yours. You are most often perfectly content playing on your own and amusing yourself, though you are fascinated by other kids when they are around, and I love that so much about you.




You continue to be a sleeping champion, and rock out two solid naps a day plus about 10-11 hours at night. Generally. There are always days of exception to the rule. You still prefer to be nursed to sleep and get so mad when I wake you up if you fall asleep nursing. Here's the secret that you won't admit to anyone though - you do just fine going to sleep on your own. A few times you have actually audibly sighed in what seems like relief when I put you into your crib for the night.

I love you so much baby girl. This has been a huge month for you, and I cannot wait to see what the future brings. 

All my love,

Momma.

Evelyn Rae is nine months old

...and she did finally grab that calendar before I could.





Monday, April 16, 2012

How?

Just how am I supposed to be a good and productive grown up when my new office setting looks like this?


Our mudroom, etc. is still under construction, so excuse the drywall, etc.

But seriously.

How?

I know that part of this whole stay at home mom deal is to be responsible and keep the house clean and try to cook dinner at a reasonable hour every night...blah blah blah.

But isn't part of the reason I am staying at home so that I can go hang and play outside with my daughter instead of a daycare provider getting those moments? So that we can stock those memories together, instead of someone else? (who is probably super loving and caring, but has those memories with dozens of kiddos by now...)

Isn't this the reward in the cost benefit analysis of me no longer bringing home the bacon?

I think so.

So, when there are days like this...my cleaning schedule may slip the tracks. But you know what? I don't think anyone in this family really minds that. 

And I really like that it leads to scenes like this, through that same door, when Daddy comes home.







Evelyn Rae is nine months old

...and I don't know what is going to happen to my house when summer actually arrives in its full-fledged glory. But I suspect we will have lots of fun regardless. After all, Babies Don't Keep.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

A Puppy's Birthday

You know, I actually have a portion of morning nap time set aside for email, blogging etc. every morning on my "schedule" and yet...it never seems to happen then. Hrm.

Moving on.

Yesterday our little puppy turned 5 years old. In people years that means he is 35 and outranks all the humans in the house. Though, really he has always thought he was the leader of the pack anyway.

We made the pup a cake, a puppy friendly cake with peanut butter and carrots and such, and since our little girl loves her puppy ohsomuch, we decided after bath she could come back down to be witness to the birthday fun for the pup.

Pictures ensue.




Um, so, I am being really good and staying. 
Can I have that cake already lady?



Why'd ya move it up there? Look how CUTE I AM.



Oh, now the BABY has to be in MY BIRTHDAY PICTURES? 



You're um, not gonna let her have any cake though, right? 
She's getting pretty close. 





Come on now. This is ridiculous. I have been so good. 



Oh my gosh! This is it. Readyy...



GO!













Hey Bings, um, so, you eat my crumbs all the time, so I think I will just reach over here and... 



Not a chance kiddo.



Wait, where did he go?



Yay! Mom! Look, he finished the whole thing! 



Look! He's doing his crazy running thing! HERE HE COMES!









Yay! Puppy Birthdays are the best.



Fin.

Evelyn Rae is nine months old

...and she loves that damn dog more than anyone else. He is starting to notice that she exists.