Saturday, March 31, 2012

Dining with a Toddler

Hubs' work hours are such that Sweets and I usually end up eating dinner without him. He gets home between 6:30 and 7 pm, and that's getting close to bathtime and our winding-down routine. So even though it bums me out that we don't sit down as a whole family every night, I always make a point of eating dinner with Sweets. I have to be honest, it's not the most relaxing of dining experiences. I mean I love spending time with him, don't get me wrong, but scarfing down my dinner in .7 seconds before he hits his sitting still threshold takes something away from the whole experience. Most nights it goes something like this:

The meal begins with many emphatic "mmmmmmmms!" and exclamations of "good macnoni!"

.25 seconds in, all is still well and Sweets has requested ketchup for dipping. Half my plate is probably inhaled at this point.

See that? That's Sweets saying "I'm about to add some entertainment to this meal!"

He will say "oops" when he deliberately drops something on the floor for the dog. We're working on the idea that "oops" is for when you do something by accident ;)

Nevertheless, the dog's no dummy. He never begged a day in his life until he realized how good life under the highchair is.

Then there's a little eating toast with a spoon...

...and a little meltdown to signal that the meal is

But it's amazing how fast his attitude improves when I offer him dessert. Hm, strange ;)

Well, look at that. At least the meal is ending with an "mmmmmm!"

In case you're wondering, that dessert in his bowl is one of my favorite warm weather treats - frozen yogurt pie. Super easy, super yummy, and relatively healthy. Just grab 3 containers of any flavor of yogurt you like, mix it up with a defrosted container of whipped topping, and toss in some fresh fruit (the fruit should correspond to your yogurt choice - peaches with peach yogurt, blueberries with blueberry, etc) and spread it in a graham cracker crust. Cover and pop in the freezer. It's a terrific, light way to end a meal on a hot summer (or March, if the weather is as wacky where you live as it is here) day!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Bedroom Mini Makeover

It's been awhile since I've done a house post! Our master bedroom is...well, it's quirky. It has this neat little nook on one side, which I think the former inhabitants used as a closet (how, I'll never know). When we first moved in, I put a dresser in there, and kept all of our bedroom linens in it, and our clothes closet was next door, in what is now the nursery. Shortly before Sweetie Pea was born, I (and by I, I mean my dad ;) transformed it into a mini closet with some wire racking, which was ok for storage, but it ended up being a disaster all the time. It was that space in our house where we put stuff when we didn't know where else to put it. Recently, I got kind of obsessed with transforming it yet again into a little home office. We really needed a way to tame the beast that is mail, bills, and paperwork, since most of that crap ends up on my kitchen table. Enter Pinterest! This became my inspiration:

 Here are some before pics:

I didn't change anything about our sleeping space, because I love it just the way it is. I find it soothing and relaxing. 

Now. You'll notice that I have the curtains drawn over that little nook. That's because hiding behind them is the closet apocalypse.

And this is the view when you walk in the door.

I love books. LOVE. I love to keep my books. But I had to face the cold, hard reality that a bookshelf full of books is wasted space in a small house :( That, and I wasn't digging the teeth marks from where Bighead chewed the bottom of the shelf (causing me a massive 8-and-a-half-months-pregnant meltdown, by the way).

The work begins. Isn't it weird how my dad is always around when I start a home improvement project? What a coincidence ;)

Moving the shelves and patching the walls.

The finished product! I'm so happy with how it turned out.

Close up of the work space.

Overhead organization.

Printer storage and a mail sorter.

Good bye bookshelf (sniff). In its place is a bureau that holds our linens and some other odds and ends.

I miss my books, but I do think this arrangement opens up that corner of the room.

My budget for this project was like zero dollars. Sweet. But I didn't end up doing too bad at all! Here's the breakdown:
New (old) dresser: already had! $0
Desk: thrifted from mom and dad. Thanks mom and dad! $0
Chair: Craigslist $20 + $6 in spraypaint to make it green = $26
Paint for the desk: already had! $0
Wire shelving: already had! $0
Printer storage unit: already had! $0
Corkboard: thrifted from my dad's office (and covered in scrap fabric) $0
Decorative odds and ends (chair cushion, picture frames, mail sorter, storage bins, striped curtain): approximately $30 from the Christmas Tree Shop

Total for this project: $56! It's not zero, but if you think about it, it's only $56 over my budget. Watch one of those shows on HGTV, they're like $5600 over budget. Hopefully that's the end of renovating that space for awhile! 

Thursday, March 22, 2012


Ever since Sweetie Pea was an infant, counting has just been a normal part of my daily chatter to him. How many socks is Mommy putting on your feet? One, two! Two socks! How many doggies are on your shirt? How many eyes do you have? And so on. So he's had the concept of "two" down for awhile now, and recently he's been counting to four pretty predictably (we practice on snacks - he loves to count out his Gerber Fruit and Veggie Melts. He calls them "dots" and whenever he sees the package he exclaims "count dots!"). Today I was sitting on the floor folding some diapers and he was running around with one in each hand saying "two, two, two!" which I thought was really cute, so I grabbed my camera, hoping to capture the moment. I nearly fell over when he kept counting, and counting, and counting!

I'm not totally sure where my child learned to count to TEN. Yes, we've been working on counting and numbers, but in much smaller increments. It just goes to show you that he listens to everything we say and the crazy part is that he recalls it so easily! I have probably watched this video 47 times in a row, because it just astounds me!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


Everyone is allowed to be annoyed every now and then, right? Please allow me a few minutes to rant about life's minor annoyances that have got me down at the moment.

I'm annoyed that my kid has been getting up before 6 am this week. When you factor in the time change, that feels an awful lot like 5 am, and that is unacceptable. STOP IT.

I'm annoyed that at the ripe old age of 30, I have two chronic medical conditions that require my attention, and, eventually, a decision (possibly a surgical one). I'm annoyed that my immune system is attacking my thyroid gland, causing it to overproduce thyroid hormone as a defense mechanism, and I'm really annoyed that my endocrinologist is pushing me so hard to have it removed. I'm annoyed that no matter which decision I make I will always have to manage my thyroid hormone levels with medication. I'm annoyed that a work-related injury to my wrist like a million years ago has come back to haunt me and I can't lift, bathe, or dress my child without pain. I'm annoyed that my only treatment options are physical therapy (which I don't have time for, and which, for the record, didn't work the first time around), or surgery (again. blech). I've already had 3 cortizone injections so they can't give me any more, not that I'd want one, because OMG childbirth hurt less than those suckers. And I'm really annoyed that after wearing my big, clunky wrist brace all day, rubbing muscle cream into my wrist 3 times a day, popping ibuprofen like candy, and icing it every night, my wrist feels no better at the end of the day than it did at the start.

Oh, and I'm annoyed that toddler shoes are so expensive.

The End.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

What Child Is This?

This morning, Sweets did something so uncharateristic, so bizarre, so astoundingly unlike him that I momentarily questioned his identity. We've really been trying to be better about getting to church on a regular basis. It's important to us, we just find that at the end of a long week we're constantly battling the temptation to stay in bed as long as our toddler will let us, cook a big Sunday breakfast and veg out. Plus, our church streams all of their services live, so we often justify our laziness by watching it online. But with the gorgeous spring weather we've been having, it's been a lot easier to get up and at 'em, so this morning we managed to have our Sunday breakfast and get our butts out the door on time. Here's Sweets and Hubs right before we left:

OMG, the matching plaid button-downs!

Upon arriving at church, we signed Sweets in to the toddler room, but at the last minute decided to keep him with us for worship, since he loves the music. So there we are, enjoying the worship, when I look over at Hubs and Sweets and see that his eyes are heavy. Ok....what? It's only been a few hours since he woke up. Surely he's going to bounce back any second, I think. A minute later, his head falls onto Hubs shoulder and he's out.cold. Let me just say that our church really rocks workship - drums, electric guitars, keyboards, bass turned up, the whole shebang. And this is a child who won't fall asleep in the car, in our bed, in his stroller, or at someone else's house. I actually checked to make sure he was breathing. And as if that wasn't enough, he stayed asleep through the music stopping, Hubs sitting down, the pastor talking, and scattered applause and laughter. And he slept through almost the whole service. I am baffled. And I couldn't help but wonder if any other moms may have noticed my passed out child and thought "oh she's so lucky, her kid will sleep through anything" ('cause that's totally what I would have been thinking). Not true, my friend, not true at all!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Scoop Dirt!

This has been the wackiest weather winter ever - hardly any significant snow to speak of, and here we are in March and the forecast is calling for 80 degrees by next week! Whaaaat? Not that I'm complaining, of course. It's been the cure we need for cabin fever. Every day after work Sweets, the dog and I clomp outside to chase toys, chase each other, and point out every stick and piece of dirt in the yard. Seventeen times ;) This kid can't get enough of being "side" (outside), and I love that about him! This past weekend we spent some time trying to clean up our winter-ravaged yard:

Sweets is a boys' boy. He loves tractors, trucks, dirt, messes and his mama. We gave him this little green shovel and he seriously spent like a good half hour playing in a dirt pile. Whenever we asked him what he was doing, he'd say "scoop dirt!" 

Taking a break from all that scooping by sitting on the trailer with Dada in their matching work pants and rubber boots. How did my little baby get SO big?

He ended up with a splinter from sitting on the wooden bed of the trailer, but I didn't even see it. Two days later at his sitter's, he kept wiping his hand on his shirt and saying "ooochie!" She realized he had an ouchie in his hand, removed it, and doctored him up with some Neosporin. At dinner that night, he repeatedly held his "ooochie" out to me for kisses and I died from the adorableness.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

10 Things

Back when all I knew of the internet was the clanging dial-up of AOL (which you paid for by the minute) I was a sucker for those email surveys that all my friends used to send out. You know the ones - where you delete all of the previous person's answers, type your own, and then forward it on to a bunch of people who were probably like "why are you sending me this?" So imagine my delight when this 10 Things survey swept the blogosphere - an excuse to tell you random things about myself and recapture the glory of those pre-wireless days ;)

I'm supposed to start with a photo of myself. And as I looked for one I realized that I have very few photos of just me. I did find this one, which was pre-marriage and pre-baby:

Now I'm supposed to tell you 10 random facts about me:

1. When I was little, my life's ambition was to be a waitress. I thought they were so glamorous.
2. I think dishes have a weird smell when they first come out of the dishwasher.
3. The sound of people biting their nails makes my skin crawl.
4. I love to eat Frosted Mini Wheats for breakfast, but only if they are all frosting side up.
5. My favorite TV show of all time is Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman. And yes, I have the DVD set.
6. I suck at exercising my democratic right to vote.
7. I once had horse poop shoved in my mouth. No lie. I got into a manure fight at the stables where I used to volunteer and let's just say I lost.
8. I really, really, really hate and am paranoid of dealing with vomit (I know, you're probably like, girlfriend had horse crap in her mouth and she's afraid of a little barf? It is what it is.)
9. I have a very serious love of dill pickles.
10. I have never been drunk. Like, never ever.

And lastly, I'm to answer the following 10 questions: 

1. Have you ever met someone famous?
No. But I recently dreamed about attending some function with the Obamas and that was pretty cool.

2. What is your happiest childhood memory?
Our family vacations to Disney World. Just thinking back on them makes me feel all giddy - they were so special!

3. Favorite album of all time?
I don't have one. I can't listen to one artist for an entire album because I get bored. However there was a time in middle school when I had a pretty serious obsession with the Phantom of the Opera soundtrack.

4. Are you a salty or sweet lover?
Sweet, definitely! I loooooove dessert.

5. Favorite guilty pleasure TV show?
Hmmm, this is a toss-up between The Bachelor (I hate to even admit to this) and 16 and Pregnant/Teen Mom. I get so sucked in.

6. Describe your favorite sandwich.
The chicken ceasar pita from The Pita Pit. OMG so good.

7. What was your first pet?
My parents had a dog when I was little. She was a Black Lab mix named Sheba. But MY own first pet was a green parakeet named Zeke.

8. What is your biggest accomplishment thus far in life?
My amazing son!

9. What is the first blog you started reading?
I think it was Urban Squirrel Girl. I can't even remember how I found that one, but I think the author has fallen off the blogging earth.

10. If you had to choose one dessert for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Cheesecake! No, brownies! No, cheesecake! Um....cheesecake brownies?

Well that was fun!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Perfection in a Mug

New Pinterest addict that I am, I couldn't help but notice all the 5 Minute Chocolate Cake recipes floating around out there. Chocolate cake? In 5 minutes? Yes, please! Imagine my disappointment when the first few ones I tried tasted like a mug full of nasty. I almost gave up completely...until I found this:

It's actually a 5 minute mug brownie and it's addictive. I tweaked it slightly, and I now believe this is the world's most perfect dessert. A warm, chewy brownie topped with ice cream that gets all melty...I'm warning you, you will want to make out with this. Check it out:

1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons cocoa powder
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
2 Tablespoons milk
Splash of vanilla
Pinch of salt

Important to note: NO egg. The recipes I tried with egg were disgustingly spongey and the texture was all I can't truly enjoy a molten center if I'm worried about getting salmonella. Mix it all up with a fork and zap it in the microwave for about a minute (mine actually takes a minute and 20 seconds) until it's puffy, but still a bit gooey in the middle. Slap some ice cream on that sucker (mint chocolate chip is my flavor of choice) and pig.out.