Monday, January 30, 2012

All In a Row

Sweetie Pea has always had a thing for "organizing" his stuff (he is his mother's son, after all ;). He likes grouping things together, stacking items on top of one another, and most of all, he loves lining things up. He takes his lining up of things very seriously, too. If you watch him, he concentrates really hard, and he wants things in a very specific order. Heaven help you if you mess with his system. Meltdown city.

Here he is at work:

An organized little boy has been here!

Check out that face - he is seriously contemplating his next move.

This is a photo from my sitter's phone, accompanied by the following explanation: he lined up all the cars and then said "oh, stuck!" Guess it's morning rush hour!

I find it so fascinating to watch his personality unfold. Does it mean anything significant that he loves to line things up?

Thursday, January 26, 2012

What I'm Loving Right Now

I really love "favorite things" posts when I see them on other blogs, because I just really like knowing what other mamas like and find useful, both for their kids and themselves. I did my first round of favorite things for Sweetie Pea here, and for me here, but a lot has changed since then, so I figured I'd update :) Here is what this mama is loving right now:
Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion in Sin (ok, I don't love the name). At $20 a tube (!!!), this is my one beauty splurge. I initally fell in love with the original, nude shade of this product when I went to Sephora to have my wedding make-up done. Swipe it on your lids and your eyeshadow won't budge all day. Not one crease, smudge or smear. When I last went to restock, I discovered they had added a few shimmery colors to their collection. This one is a gorgeous, translucent champagne color that is perfect under shadow or all by itself. I mean really, if I'm going to take the time to put on eyeshadow in the morning, it may as well look as good at the end of the day as it did at the beginning, right? That's my rationale and I'm sticking to it.

Avon Pink Magnolia Bubble Bath. It's no secret that I love bubble baths. I think they are pretty much the most relaxing thing ever. This particular scent is so lovely - fragrant and floral and clean without being overwhelming. Just smelling it instantly helps me unwind. The bubbles last forever and it doesn't leave any residue in the tub.

This amazing granola recipe. I've always loved Ina Garten, and this is a recipe of hers that I use over and over again. It is awesome over Greek yogurt for breakfast or lunch. I know it's weird, but eating it always makes me think of the 2008 presidential primaries (SO weird, right?). That's when I first discovered this recipe and I pretty much ate granola around the clock while watching the coverage on the news.

My ipad 2. I'm just starting to warm up to this little gadget. I was issued one through work back in August and it's taken me a good 6 months to figure out what to do with it. Part of the problem is I'm just too busy to spend much time with it. But the more apps I am introduced to, the handier it's proving to be. And Sweets likes it too, there are so many fun kids books and apps out there! It kills me to see him sitting and playing with it - that an 18 month old would know how to use this technology blows my mind.

Is this picture too racy for my blog? I hope not. This is a PSA for all you post-nursing mamas out there. Run to Gap Body and buy yourself the Favorite Ultra push-up bra. Seriously, a year of nursing was not kind to the girls. This bra is the next best thing to a little cosmetic surgery ;)

I know, I'm late to the Pinterest party. But I was (way) late to the Facebook party as well, so I think it's appropriate. I always get nervous about inviting time-sucking social networks into my busy life. But I finally caved to the peer pressure and joined up and O.M.G. It's time-sucking, no doubt. But you can invest as much or as little time as you have to it. Got an hour in the evening? Pin away. Or just five minutes while you wait for the dentist? You can get a few quick pins in that way as well. I am so psyched to build my grocery list for next week - so many good recipes to try! And home projects, and kid crafts, and DIY ideas...amazing, I tell you.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Library Love

This is definitely the year that I have rediscovered my love of the public library. When I was young, I used to love going and picking out a huge stack of books, and then savoring the delicious anticipation of choosing which order to read them in. But along with high school, and then college, grad school, job hunting, job starting, marriage and home-ownership, I sorta forgot about the humble little library. In the last several months though, I have been lovin' on the library! It's so great! I get the same giddiness I used to feel when I took a stack of books to the checkout at Barnes and Noble except that a) I don't have time to go to B & N anymore and b) they're free! Aside from the children's books I've checked out for Sweets, this is what's currently on my nightstand:

I loved What to Expect When You're Expecting and What to Expect the First Year, so it only followed that I would go looking for this one as well. So far I've only read the section on picky eaters ;)

I subscribe to Parents magazine and I just read an article by the woman who wrote this book. It peaked my interest, so I picked it up on my last library run. I can't wait to read it! It got great reviews on Amazon.

A little fiction for Mama. I keep hearing about this series, so I figured I'd give it a go. I'm about 100 pages into this 700 page monster and so far? A little slutty, but definitely holds my interest!

If you haven't heard of this book, you are missing out. Delicious bread with virtually no effort. Enough said.

I haven't started this one yet, but I figured it would not be a bad idea to brush up on my Happiest Baby techniques now that Sweets is a very independent toddler who wants what he wants.

The other great thing about borrowing books? They don't end up cluttering up our continually shrinking house ;)

Sunday, January 22, 2012

The One Where I Pull My Hair Out

Ok, right now I am just frustrated. Like really, really, seriously annoyed by the level of Sweetie Pea's pickiness. When I was pregnant with him (oh, glorious naivete!) I always said I didn't want to raise a picky eater. Well, that part hasn't changed, I still don't want to raise a picky eater, but right now I'm finding I don't have a choice. When he first started on purees, I offered him everything I could think of, and he gobbled it all up. Ok, I thought, I've done my part. He's a great eater. Ha ha...NOT. He has gotten so picky it's driving me insane.

At present, here is a list of things he deems acceptable: any kind of fruit (thank heavens for small favors), scrambled eggs, cheese (obsessed), peanut butter and jelly, grilled cheese, chicken nuggets (but no other forms of chicken), macaroni and cheese, pasta with tomato sauce, bread/bagels/waffles/pancakes, turkey meatloaf, yogurt, cottage cheese, oatmeal, tilapia/salmon/tuna (depending on the day). Under no circumstances do vegetables make it onto the list. I have fallen into the trap of making him his own little meal at dinnertime because he usually flat out refuses to eat what I've made for us, which is exactly what I said I wasn't going to do. But he's too young to understand "you eat what mommy made for dinner or you don't eat," or "just try it," or "if you finish your beans, you may have dessert." And I need him to eat a decent dinner because he doesn't need one more reason to be up during the night.

Somebody help me. I tried the whole pureeing-veggies-and-hiding-them routine and it was a fairly effective way to sneak some vegetables in, but let's face it, I don't have all kinds of time for that lengthly process every week. Plus, I don't want to hide veggies, I just want him to eat them. He doesn't come from picky genes; in fact, I know no one on either side of our families who is a picky eater. It is so frustrating to put a nutritious meal in front of him and have him act like I'm trying to coerce him into eating a plate of sewage. Seriously, he makes awful faces and pushes the fork away, and sometimes, for added effect, he gags. GAGS. 

Is this just a phase? Until it passes, I've been trying to remember to at least offer him what I've prepared for our dinner, though he almost always rejects it, before giving him something else. I am so.annoyed.

Any suggestions or advice are appreciated!   

Friday, January 20, 2012

Dear Walmart,

Bad news. I'm breaking up with you. I know, I know. I used to love you. But then this interaction occurred today:

Cashier: Hm. That's weird. The system won't scan your bottle returns. Sorry about that. (Hands them back to me.)
Me: Um, could you look into that, maybe?
Cashier: (Sigh.) Oh, it's because they're from a different Walmart. We can't take them at this store.
Me: Really?
Cashier: (Chews gum, blank stare.)
Me: Ok well, could you ask your manager? Because I'd really rather not go all the way back to the other store to use these.
Manager: Yeah, you can't use these here. They're from a different store.
Me: Could you override that, please?
Manager: No. If I were to do that, this store wouldn't get credit for that three dollars and eighty-three cents.
Me: But this isn't about three dollars and eighty-three cents. It's about customer service.
Manager and Cashier: (Blank stares.)
Me: Fine. I'm sure Walmart won't survive without this three dollars and eighty-three cents. Thanks for your help.

So Wally, I guess you've shown your true colors. And I guess I get what I pay for. I thought we had a good thing going on, but apparently I was wrong. This is about principle, my old friend. I don't need you anyway. We're getting a Super Target.


Monday, January 16, 2012

Winter Fun

What a kooky winter it's been around here. For the most part it's been mild and dry, but this week we did get a dose of normal January weather for our neck of the woods. I had forgotten what a pain freezing temps and inches of snow can be - it takes forever to get out the door after bundling everyone up! Boo, so annoying. But, you have to make the best of it!

The house was toasty warm thanks to our woodstove, so Sweets was running around in his diaper and Hubs' hat and he looked over-the-top adorable.

That's a Blueberry deluxe pocket diaper, in case you wondered, and it is awe.some. Clearly Sweets thinks that cheese stick is awesome too.

First time sledding! He had no idea what to make of the experience. He gave us no signs of enjoying it, but every time he got to the bottom of the hill, he would point right back to the top.

See? Does that look like the face of a child who's having fun?

This would have been a cute picture if I wasn't looking like a dorkity dork dork.

With Pa-Pa...this was as close as we got to a smile (but I think it's more like "Hey Mama I'm frickin' freezing, would you take the stupid picture     already?")

Then we all went inside to celebrate Grandpa's birthday with lasagna and key lime pie. Oh, and the yummiest martinis EVer. Thank you, Bonefish Grill, for making your Winter White martini a matter of public record ;) Sweets was a total pie mooch. He'd get a bite from Pa-Pa, and then point at Ga-Ga...

...and get another bite! He rarely gets dessert so he was lovin' life.

Today I was off for MLK Day, and Sweets slept in until 8:00 am!!! And then he took a wait for it, wait for it...2 hour nap! We hung out in our warm and cozy house, baked cookies and had a fun playdate with our friends J and Baby B. Now that's a great day :)

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Time, time ticking on me

Ok, this being a mom thing, it's turned me into an obsessive clock-watcher. But it's almost more than simply watching the clock. Time is no longer my friend (although we never really were that tight to begin with). Sometimes I feel like everything in my day is about time. There is never enough of it, and it's always nipping at my heels.

6:00 am - Alarm goes off. I have 90 minutes to get myself and Sweets out the door. 20 of those are gone right off the top because I hit snooze twice. I seriously don't think I could face my day without my snooze habit. I cross my fingers every day that Sweets doesn't wake up before 6:30, because having a toddler clinging to my legs while I'm trying to get ready really slows me down. If we hit 6:45 and he's not up yet, I call it a good day.

8:00 am - Arrive at school. Make a list of things I want to accomplish that day, meetings, presentations, phone conferences, etc. By 8:45 am the list is crap and I may as well throw it away because there's a good chance 2 crises have already walked into my office that are going to take me until lunchtime to sort out.

And speaking of lunchtime, by the time noon rolls around, I'm wondering how Sweet's morning at the sitter's was, and whether he's going to take a decent nap (answer: probably not). I try to carve out 20 minutes to cram down a sandwich and balance my checkbook or make a grocery list because I know I won't have the time or energy to do it in the evening.

3:00 pm - Students are dismissed, but my day is not over. This part of the day is so difficult for me because I am itching to get home to Sweetie Pea, but I often have a parent meeting, a committee meeting, or a tutoring program to oversee. I feel a constant, obsessive need to know what time it is, and totally torn between being a working mama and just a mama.

5:00 pm - til I fall into bed: It's go time, people. Pick up Sweets, and simultaneously make dinner, entertain him, unpack his bag, toss in some laundry and do a general pick-up of the house. Feed him dinner, eat some dinner, clean up some dinner - what time is it? Shoot! Time for bath. Bath, books, bed by 7:30. Survey the landscape: so much more to do. Pick up toys. Pack Sweets' daycare bag and lunch for the following day. Grab a shower (saves precious time in the a.m.). Fold laundry. Pick out outfit for tomorrow (saves even more time in the morning). Pack my own lunch. I'm so tired, what time is it? 9:30. Finish whatever I'm doing and go to bed. Read 4 sentances of whatever book I'm reading and pass out. Lather, rinse, repeat. Time, you are evil.  

Monday, January 9, 2012


We happen to live in an area of the country where winter usually sucks. This winter, I have to say, has been unusually mild with like 1/4 of the snow we're used to. Even still, it's hard to find things to keep kiddos occupied for the many long, cold, dark months that make up the end of autumn/all of winter/beginning of spring around here. Which is why we are so lucky to have a national kids museum right in our backyard! We got a membership for Christmas, and I plan to make gooooood use of it this year. We had gone for the first time this past summer with our friends C and Baby A, and while Sweets definitely enjoyed it, he wasn't yet walking and I was looking forward to going back when he was. Well, be careful what you wish for! When we went over Christmas break with GaGa (Sweetie Pea's name for my mom) he was It was so fun....and so exhausting!

He loved the Sesame Street exhibit...

...especially this cab with Elmo and Cookie in the backseat. Notice how Elmo is buckled into a carseat? Safety first, people.

Our hometown supermarket chain sponsors the kids' market exhibit where the little ones can go shopping with tiny carts, and then unload their selections onto kid-sized checkout lanes, scan their "purchases" and print up a receipt! Sweets made a beeline for the cheese section, where he promptly filled his cart with "chiz." Too cute.

Sweets' selections: Gouda, Gouda, Cheddar, Brie, 3 packages of pudding and Egg Beaters. Ha!

I know he looks terrified, but he loved the kids' train ride (so much he kicked and cried when it was time to get off). 

The rotating exhibit right now is about football. It's a little old for Sweets, but we did get this super cute photo.

He really loved this area with the rocks and dump trucks. I did not love that the other mom whose kids were playing here was letting them throw rocks right under the sign that said "please do not throw the rocks."

We are looking forward to going back often!

Monday, January 2, 2012

So long... my long-awaited Christmas break :(

So long to eating Christmas cookies for breakfast.

So long to that delicious feeling of knowing there is nowhere we have to be today.

So long to "sleeping in" (until 7 am, woot!).

So long to not making lunches at night.

So long to not rushing out the door in the morning.

So long to afternoon naps spent with my book (Curtis Sittenfeld's American Wife - excellent) and a mug of tea.

So long to dinner at Grandma and Grandpa's house 3 times a week.

So long to grocery shopping on weekday mornings.

So long to bubble baths almost every night.

So long to 12 glorious days of being a stay at home mama.........I love it so much.