Monday, December 22, 2008

Cabin Fever and Sanity Saving

The plague and crazy weather-conditions have forced us to be homebound this week. We've had none of the usual, sanity-saving distractions for eight entire days ... no playdates, no trips to Target, no library storytime, no walks to Starbucks, no Tuesday at Sahara's house, ...

So what does a 17-month old do for an entire week while stuck inside the house?

She gets a serious case of Cabin Fever, and she ...

  • spends time on her new laptop; checking emails, updating her blog, BabyBrain ... in reality, she's just watching some silly monkey dance around, but the idea of her blogging is hilarious to me :)
  • catches up on a little light reading - Eric Carle is fascinating!
  • yells excitedly at the "big kids" playing in the snow outside her bedroom window.
  • gets into all sorts of mischief and finds some pretty interesting places to "play." Just this morning, while I was trying to catch a few seconds of the local news, she threw open both cabinet doors and proceeded to climb in and empty the contents all over the floor.

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Natalie has also grown obsessed with a video called "Elmo Saves Christmas," a DVD her cousins Caroline and Emily were so thoughtful to send her ... "when they were done with it." I have a feeling mom and dad had something to do with prompting that little "gift" because let me tell you it's on my last nerve! And like them, I am plotting a way to get it out of my house, too! Don't get me wrong, it's a cute little Sesame Street production with a delightful message about keeping the spirit of Christmas in your heart all year long. BUT enough is enough ... at this point, I am reciting lines and fast-forwarding through the creepy Christmas Bunny scene! Here's the second BUT ... but it has given me a few precious 10-15 minute chunks of sanity in the past eight days, and that dear friends, is why I must thank Elmo for not only saving Christmas but also saving my sanity!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Double Ear Infection

My sweet baby girl hasn't been too sweet these past few days ... and rightfully so I suppose. She woke up with a fever late Saturday night and cranked her way through Sunday. But Chad took her to see the doctor on Monday ... while I worked. After waiting an hour and a half to be seen - aaaarrrgggh - he left with the bad news of infection in both ears and a prescription for antibiotics and ear drops.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Santa's Little Elves ... a Wish Come True

If you haven't read my "wish post," it's probably a good idea to start there ...
So my complete and total lack of craftiness has seriously been semi-depressing me. I just can't let it go. Everywhere I look, I see craftiness. Craftiness that I can't have because well, I suck when it comes to all things craft ... except Mac and Cheese, I make seriously delicious Mac and Cheese ... but that's spelled with a K, so I don't think that counts :)
Anyway ...
As I sat nimbling my peanut butter and jelly sandwich the other day, I idly flipped through my Parents magazine, an issue that's been sitting on the table for weeks.
(Am I hungry or something? Hold on ... snack break ... )
When what to my wondering eyes should appear but an adorable holiday craft that seemed ... well, somewhat "doable" to me! Even just looking at the photo, I could feel my confidence, perhaps naively, growing. But when I flipped the page and found a list of materials and a set of clearly written directions ... well, the only way I know to describe it ... it was like the Grinch's heart - at the end of the movie - when it grows and breaks the little magnifying frame thingy. You know what I am saying, right?! This was my craft. The craft I had been wishing for. The craft that could potentially make me a little bit craftier.
And so, I gingerly tore the page from the magazine and high-tailed it on over to Michael's. That's where crafty people shop, right? My immediate response was ... "What the heck am I doing here?" And I almost turned right around and went back home to read a good book or type up a blog post. Who really needs to be crafty anyway? But a friendly employee must've spotted that look of defeat, and she offered to help me find what I was looking for. Well, I quickly explained that I am "craft illiterate" and I would need more than a little help. She graciously agreed to my terms and off we went to track down the beads, pipe cleaners, and felt I would need to make my very own troop of ... Santa's Little Elves.

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In fact, I made 16 in all. The felt and hot gluing almost put me over the edge, but I persevered.

I gave them as Christmas gifts to a few of the little ones in my neighborhood. And each of my nieces and nephews will be getting one, too. For my nuggets who are old enough to read/enjoy a good story, I printed personalized story to go along with their elves.

I think it's safe to say that I am feeling a little bit craftier ... and believing in the magic of Santa's little elves :)

Monday, December 8, 2008

I wish ...

I wish I was little bit taller
I wish I was a baller
I wish I had a girl who looked good I would call her
I wish I had a rabbit in a hat with a batand a '64 Impala

This is Skee-Lo's simple Wish List.

Mine is, well, even simpler ...

I wish I was a little bit craftier.

I peruse all these delightful and oh-so-crafty blogs out there, and I am green with envy.
Overcome by the desire to take raw materials and produce something out of them. Something that won't produce giggles and snickers or pity-inspired, "oh, that's nice." I want ooohs and aaaahs and "oh, you're so clever." I want the kind of satisfaction I imagine must come from a craft well-done.

I have no idea how to use a sewing machine. My art supplies consist of glue sticks, colored pencils and a stack of neon paper left over from a classroom project. I do own a glue gun but I avoid using it if at all possible; there's something about me and hot, stickiness that doesn't get along. I once tried to paint a large canvas ... just black and white ... I projected an image and traced it ... and it is now "decorating" my attic. I would love to be able to whip up a cute little curtain or throw pillow ... in my spare time.

But, alas, I am not crafty ... not even a smidge.

Thursday, December 4, 2008


Yes, I am alive and ... no, I did not run off with Nelly! :)

I have like 5 posts in-the-works ... hoping to finish at least three of them at some point today ... but in the meantime, occupy yourself at MommyDaze, the fabulous mommy message board / chit-chat forum of my dear friend and fellow blogger, Debby. First of all, Debby is SUPAH ... if you read her blog you get what I'm sayin' ... you're picking up what I'm throwin' down ...
And secondly, she has persuaded all these supah-fabO sponsors to GIVE her stuff so she can give it away ... but you've gotta visit her site and introduce yourself ... she'll explain the rest :)

Monday, November 10, 2008

Worth the Wait?

So the question of the past few days seems to be, "How was Nelly?" And I must admit, that's a good question. I must also apologize 'cause I have been s to the wamped since last week ... did 14 parent-teacher-student conferences yesterday and staring down the barrel of report cards to be written ... nothing fun about that ... but back to the excitement that was my life just 48 hours ago.

The ridiculously short version, for those of you with better things to do ... House Party '08 was awesome! Watching Nelly perform was all that I hoped it would be and more. One regret: wearing stiletto heels for five hours!

The "slightly" longer version ... I had it in my mind all week - since I won my tickets - that the House Party started at 8:00 pm. About 5:00 on Saturday evening, I decided to double-check the tickets and realized that the concert actually started at 7:00 pm. A quick and frantic call to Tammy put the wheels in motion and we both did our best to get showered, dressed, and looking ghetto-fabulous ... all in less than an hour ... while tending to our precious little ones!

BTW, we both looked SASSY! And I was rockin' the skinny jean ... thanks to my fashionista friend, Liza, who took me shopping :)

Our lame attempt at being gangsta :)

Okay, so back to the story ... there's much more to tell ...

The drive downtown was uneventful - so much so that I don't even really remember it. Oh, I do remember eating a handful of edamame and a granola bar ... we'll call that dinner.

Tammy's hubby hooked us up with some free parking at his office building. As we readied ourselves - checking to make sure we had ID, the tickets, lip gloss - I asked Tammy, "Which shoes should I wear? The comfy silver ballet slippers or the Steve Madden metallic stiletto?" Her response, the one question I could only answer by wearing the heels, "Which makes you feel sexier?" A decision I would come to regret.

To make sure we'd be able to get back in the building should the partying continue past the pumpkin hour, we tracked down a security guy ... guessing he hasn't carried on many conversations with two hotties 'cause he was not all that helpful, he was wearing a blazer meant for a man three times his size, and he mouth hung open in between responses.

Just outside the garage - and not entirely sure how to get to the theater - we stood waiting to cross the busy street. Which led us to a chance encounter with a 92.5 Insider. First, she complimented my shoes. She said something like, "Those are really great shoes." And I said, "Great but not comfortable." Major foreshadowing! And then she asked, "Are you going to the House Party?" And then she walked with us to the Paramount Theatre - lucky for us because I am not entirely convinced we would've found it on our own. She also had a little "inside" dish to share on the way ... like the fact that my decision to get floor tickets - clearly putting me closer to the stage - would also mean standing the entire time ... and that Nelly's performance wouldn't begin until 10:30.

Once inside, we were greeted by some random guys, who we totally blew-off ... only to discover later that they opened the show - had connections - and I can't fight the nagging feeling that perhaps they had the connections to get us backstage passes ... if only we hadn't ignored them!

We made our way to the stage in time to see the opening and a great performance by the Sugar Hill Gang ... some o-l-d guys ... most famous for a song called "Rapper's Delight" ... it starts with "i said a hip hop the hippie the hippie to the hip hip hop, a you don't stop the rock it to the bang bang boogie say up jumped the boogie to the rhythm of the boogie, the beat" ... you've heard it before, right? Their performance totally made me smile in the same way I can't help but grin when I see an old couple holding hands. We also stood fairly close to the stage and met two "old-schoolers" - he knew every lyric and she wasn't going to take no crap!

After just an hour of standing on those darn heels, we left our place near the front of the stage to make a trip to the little girls' room. Back in the lobby, I bought a very expensive and very disgusting vodka and pineapple juice ... and we found a place to sit for most of Kardinal Offishall's performance. We took our place back amongst the crowd near the stage and watched for a song or two. First of all, his name is stupid. Neither his reggae hip-hop style, nor his one recognizable song, Dangerous, were a highlight of the evening.

The party really got started when Ton-Loc took the stage. His voice, his swagger, his well-known songs and lyrics ... I laughed, I sang along, I cheered, ... I thoroughly enjoyed this part of the evening. And I was happy to witness one of Ton's famous $100 Rap Showdowns ... now I have an even better mental image of my pal B-dog's attempt to win said contest.

Ton-Loc ended his performance at 9:40 and DJ Mayhem took over spinning and mixing and scratching some decent songs. But the entire crowd was feeling impatient; we were more than ready for the headlining act ... my boy, Nelly! 50 very long minutes later - at 10:30, Nelly and his crew finally took the stage. And he was very much WORTH THE WAIT! He was wearing dark wash jeans, a gray Polo shirt - yummy arms bulging through the sleeves, a navy blue STL hat, diamond stud earrings (the carat amount I don't even dare to guess), serious bling on both wrists, and the perfect sunglasses. He looked seriously HOT ... and I couldn't stop screaming and jumping up and down. He sang everything I expected ... Hot in Herre, Country Grammar, Over and Over, Air Force Ones, Ride Wit Me, ... and some new stuff - I especially liked his duet with Avery Storm ... and his St. Lunatics had a little rap-off that was off-the-hook! Loved it, loved it, loved it! My boy, Nelly, did not disappoint!

Cameras were not allowed inside the House Party. Tammy did try to take a few shots with the camera on her phone, but the quality was pretty iffy ... so I borrowed a few images from the 92.5 website. (I hope that's okay.)

Our night ended with a trip through the BK drive-thru ... the combination of skipping dinner and shaking our little mommy booties for like 5 hours really took its toll on our appetite ... a Whopper Jr. and some fries later, and we had regained our composure :)

A huge thank you to my friend Tammy for going along with me and making the night even more fun!

Again, I apologize for withholding this post for a few days ... based on some of the comments and emails and facebook wall writings, I fear I nearly incited a blog-riot :) I hope it was worth the wait!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Can you say .... N E L L Y ? !

See that hottie over there? On Saturday night, I am going to be breathing the same air as him ... seeing him perform LIVE ... shaking my tiny butt (no apple bottom here) all night long! And my friend Tammy will be there to witness the whole thing :)

Woo Hoo! I won, I won, I won! After calling - and hearing lots of busy
tones - for the past three weeks, today I was caller 25. And I have the very distinct pleasure of seeing my boy, Nelly, next Saturday at the 92.5 House Party! I sounded like a very excited teenage girl on the radio, and the DJ thought I was hilarious ... when I get excited, I get funny :) To say I am excited would be a complete understatement. I mean, seriously, if you know me at all, you know that I am slightly obsessed with this hip-hop artist ... partly because "I'm from the 'Lou and I'm proud!" but also because I find his music delightful (doubt anyone else has ever used that word to describe Nelly's songs). I know it's not typical music for the 30+ SAHM-crowd but I just can't resist, and I am not even going to try! This mama likes to shake it :)

I also have to give serious props to my darling husband. He called all day - every hour - on Thursday and Friday. And he even went to a local mall parking lot after work on Friday to try to "Spin-and-Win" me a pair of tickets. All because he knows how much this means to me ... isn't he the sweetest? (I tried to get CPV to pose for a photo like Nelly's - thought that would be a nice addition to this post - but he declined ... something about not wanting to make Nelly look weak!)

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween

No "lion" we had a great Halloween! And Natalie made the cutest, sweetest little lioness :) Thanks to my wonderful SILs for the hand-me-down costume! I got all "super crafty" - which means I dug the hot glue gun out of the drawer - and added little pink bows - one to each ear and another on the tail.
She started out the day indulging me when I asked, "Natalie, what does a lion say?" But her adorable "ooooaaaaarrr" quickly faded ... sometimes she doesn't like to show-off her skillz, and that's all right. But I bet she'll be roaring all day tomorrow ... now that the costume is put away!

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Thursday, October 30, 2008

And you think your life sucks ...

If life suckiness were a contest, which would be lots of fun, I have to tell you that in the past few weeks, my friend Laurie would've won the gold medal, the cheesy trophy, the bronzed piece of dog poop ... whatever the Life Sucks Contest organizers decided was an appropriate prize.

This isn't my story, but I feel compelled to tell it, and I hope to get most of the details right. Laurie hasn't been bitten by the blog bug yet, so if I don't tell this story, it won't get told to the masses ... besides my life hasn't been anywhere near this interesting as of late ... or sucky for that matter :) You should also know that this post is based on a series of phone conversations ... some tear-filled, others peppered with laughter - 'cause sometimes life sucks so bad you cry and when it gets worse, you can't help but laugh :)

A little background ... Laurie's husband, I'll call him PIMP 'cause he'll love that, took a new job in Chicago, which meant a move from the Lone Star State to the Windy City. A move they are excited about, despite the vast difference in weather conditions, primarily because it means that Laurie will get to be a full-time SAHM, and well, what's more delightful than that? The move also meant deciding to be separated for a month. With PIMP heading up to Chi-town to start his new job and enjoy a few weeks of bachelorhood, no doubt ... well, not literally, but you know what I mean! While Laurie and her darling 15-month old son staying behind to tie-up loose ends ... like selling the house, packing an entire house worth of stuff, ... you know, minor details.

Not surprisingly, Laurie handled the month of single parenthood like a rock star, and even managed to get packing down during naptimes ... impressive! And so the month was challenging but manageable, especially with a light at the end of the tunnel. Soon enough they would be together again as a family, in a new town, on a new adventure ... but this story takes a turn of misadventure.

Scratching the surface of suckiness ... the movers took 15 hours to load the truck, twice as long as estimated, which sucks because they were paid hourly ... ouch! The house didn't go to closing as expected because of an issue with the appraisal. Not devastating but an end left untied.

These are things you could deal with, right? I mean things like this happen during a move. But you have to admit, it sucks. And it gets worse ...

So the movers came on Sunday, and by Sunday night, Laurie and Benjamin were "homeless" but staying with friends in Texas until Tuesday when they were schedule to depart on a flight bound for Chicago. On Monday, Benjamin got the stomach flu. Do I need to get graphic here in order for you to fully appreciate the suckiness of his situation? Well, Benjamin puked all over Laurie's friend's house, had constant d-word (yuck!), and felt too crummy to sleep well. That's a tough combination even in the comfort of your own home, but when you're a guest in someone's house ... let's agree, that sucks!

In addition to the inconvenience of having your son puke all over someone else's house, Laurie was also facing a trip to the airport, through security, and on a plane to Chicago. A trip that had been her light at the end of the tunnel, they would finally be reunited with her husband and his daddy, had become a mommy's worst case scenario. A 15-month old puking, pooping machine confined in the cabin of an aircraft ... could she possibly pack enough plastic bags and changes of clothes? Should she even attempt such a feat? When we spoke on the phone, I could tell she was struggling to make a decision ... flying with a sick munchkin wasn't an appealing option, but the thought of staying in Texas - and away from her PIMP - until she could get booked on another flight was pushing her over the edge. She asked, "Would you take Natalie if it was you?" Without hesitation, I assured her that given the circumstances, I would risk the flight if the puking had stopped for at least 4 hours. The pooping could be dealt with ... and hopefully no one would get close enough to risk getting the stomach flu germs from her little man. And so, they did make the flight and at least their family was back together again.

But, the suckiness continued. The moving company was in an accident before the truck even got out of Texas, which delayed their boxes by two days. This especially sucks because Laurie and the PIMP and Benjamin are in their new place with a chair, an inflatable mattress, and a pack-n-play ... and a washing machine that isn't working. Oh, and the puking started again Wednesday morning. Benjamin managed to puke on the one piece of furniture in the house. Not to mention, their supply of clean clothing is dwindling to just about nothing.

I am sincerely hoping this is the end of Laurie's sucky-streak. I've said, "It can't get any worse," and been wrong too many times in this little tale. But for those of you who know Laurie and her family, they are alive and in Chicago ... and hoping for a puke-free day of unpacking tomorrow!

House Party

Every hour on the hour - between 7 am and 7 pm - I am neglecting my daughter, forgetting my responsibilities as a mommy, wife, friend, ... to call and try to win tickets to the 92.5 House Party 2008. My boy, Nelly, as I affectionately refer to him, is going to be here in Seattle on November 8th, and I must see him ... if even from afar. And you can't BUY tickets. They must be WON.

Caller 25. I just want to be caller 25. I've tried at 8, 9, and 10 this morning ... nothing but busy signals :( And yesterday when I was at the peak of discouragement, feeling like I was going to give up ... I was caller 21 at 11am ... so close! It totally sucked me right back into calling 13 times a day, listening to the awful busy tone, ... and when it actually rings, my heart rate goes off the charts. I want these tickets so badly!

Deb - Just to clarify, Nelly is my NKOTB ... are you feeling my pain?

Update: A huge thanks to my sweet hubby who is doubling my efforts by calling to win tickets . And he is having far better luck than I am today. He's been caller 5 and caller 12; you go, CPV!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Pumpkin Patch: Flashback

Last year at this time, Natalie was just three and a half months old. But the fall traditions took root ...
We made an effort to find a pumpkin patch, but the weather was crummy, our nursing schedule left us with very limited time for an outing, and we didn't think to get directions. So we drove around on some beautiful country roads and ended up stopping at a road-side market with a darling pumpkin display.
Natalie looked so cute in her Halloween onesie and too-big hat. We leaned her against a bail of hay and a few perfectly round pumpkins. She took her time considering this new scenery and then delighted us with her perfect baby grins. We picked a tiny pumpkin and called it a day.

Today's experience was very different, and yet in some ways not that much has changed. First of all, we actually went to a Pumpkin Patch, a local farm called Jubilee. And the weather was gorgeous; blue skies, sunshine and temperatures in the low 60's. I am willing to bet this type of weather for our future trips to the pumpkin patch will be rarity at best.

Most of the time, Natalie was very serious. She has this adorable way of taking in what's around her ... observing and considering and studying. And her smiles were accompanied with babbles and signs and requests. She sat atop a John Deere tractor; her grampy will be so proud! She walked and tripped through the rows of pumpkins. She squatted - with a determined look on her face - and tried to pick up pumpkins weighing at least as much as she does. She got ridiculously dirty, ate some dirt, and drooled on a few gourds, too. She said, "neigh, neigh" as the horse-drawn wagon passed by. She entertained a small crowd while dancing to the music of two acoustic guitar playing musicians. And she did get hungry; we shared a banana and a little apple cider.

Just as Natalie is bigger this year than last, so is her pumpkin. The one Chad searched many rows to find. It's round - my shape preference - and smattered with a little unripe greenness and has a perfectly trimmed stem.

What a beautiful day we spent together during our
2nd Annual Trip to the Pumpkin Patch :)

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Pumpkin Patch Spy Photos

It was another gorgeous day here in the NW. Seriously, I am beginning to fear for our reputation because the skies have been blue and rain-free for so many days :)
And what did we do to enjoy this particular beautiful day? We visited a local pumpkin patch and took lots and lots of photos of our sweet NHV. We also took these two pics - unbeknownst to the subjects ... for your blog-viewing pleasure.
Pumpkin wrestling, the only way to settle
a "hey-that's-my-pumpkin" dispute!

And, well, that's definitely one way to make
sure no one else takes your pumpkin.

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Thursday, October 16, 2008

Dear Milkman

Please make the milkman stop.
Do whatever you can.
Sleep with him if you have to.
We can't take anymore milk!

This was the note left by my husband as he hurried out the door to work this morning. As you can see, we have a problem, and I guess it's a "good" problem to have if there is such a thing.

About three weeks ago, I signed up for milk delivery service. Yes, I have a milkman.

I can't help but wonder if he's the same milkman that fathered my dear sister - tee hee!

I also can't help but make the comparison between this milk delivery service and the 11 months I spent providing this service to my darling NHV. Mine came on schedule and in an insulated container ... but I never "delivered" more than we needed!

Ummmm, so what's the problem? Glad you asked ...
It all started with an unexpected knock at the door; must be my month for those - remember the neighbor-needing-a-recipe story? Despite the "no solicitation" sign, he knocked and I answered. Clearly, there was some force of destiny at work. His sales pitch was convincing, and he offered to leave a half gallon of organic whole milk - free of charge. Facing a trip to the grocery store - in need of you guessed it, milk - Yeah, "you had me at free milk."

Thus began the delivery of 3 half gallons of organic whole milk ... every other week. Except, well, it's not every other week. It's every week. Every Friday three half gallons of milk are left in my handy-dandy insulated milk box on the front porch. "From, moo to you," indeed!

Oh, yeah, the problem ...
There's a surplus of milk in our fridge that would suggest perhaps our consumption to delivery ratio is way off! I've even been gifting whole milk; a gift my mommy friends are all too happy to receive, I might add. But the amount of milk in my fridge is borderline ridiculous ...

And now I am off to call the milkman ... again ... to explain my dilemma, offer sexual favors if it comes to that, and hope to put an end to this milk madness :)

Monday, September 29, 2008

Discipline with a Smile

A very wise, very wonderful elementary school guidance counselor once imparted on me and my fellow teammates this brilliant motto when dealing with tough, defiant kiddos ... "It doesn't count unless they cry."

I am wondering, darling, BB, does it count if you make them laugh?

Effective my discipline is not. Funny ... well, both Natalie and I usually end up giggling by the time all is said and done, so ... WHAT am I going to do?

Let me give you an example ...

Natalie has a darling little while rocking chair in her room. A gift from our favorite mom-of-triplets :) For quite some time, Natalie would just stand supporting her weight on the seat and stare at the letters written across the back. And I would spell, "N-A-T-A-L-I-E ... Natalie." Great fun. Occasionally she would pat the seat as if to say, "Hey, I'd like to sit here," and so I'd lift her and set her rear first in the chair where she would rock a little and then scoot to the edge and stand up ... looking all proud of herself. Oh, the good old days.

Now my sweet almost-15-month-old has figured out how to climb onto the chair ... not into but onto ... as in standing on the seat, holding on to the back, and rocking like she's on some sort of amusement ride done wrong! My reaction: a stern, "No, no, Natalie. We don't stand on the chair. We sit." followed by removing her from the precarious perch. Natalie's reaction: giggling, lots and lots of giggling, and more climbing back to that exact position. After we repeated this scenario a handful of times - and I was reduced to turning my back to her in order to giggle without being seen - I can't suck at discipline and be a bad role model - I put the rocker in the closet and closed the door. Not even that got a reaction, still no tears ... Apparently, my style of discipline involves putting things out of reach ... but in the future I should probably draw the line at putting my sassy, back-talking five year old in the closet ... don't ya think?

Well, that darling rocking chair simply could not STAY in the closet, which leads me to the next funny part of my tale. Every time Natalie approaches her chair, she looks over her shoulder, gestures with one hand, and says, "Naa, na. Naa, na." in this sarcastic and hilarious tone ... and then proceeds to climb onto the chair ... but she only "stands" on her knees. It seems we've reached a compromise, and that's something to smile about :)

An eebee Adventure of the PD Kind

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Today was a bit of controlled chaos and occasionally out-of-control. It was also a little messy but also a whole lot of FUN! You've had a chance to look at the photos. Can you guess what we did today? Oh, perhaps the title of this post gave it away ... we played! More specifically, I hosted a playdate - with 6 other moms and babies (ages 10-14 months). But not just any old PD (as we call them here in the SAHM world) with the babies corralled in the middle of the room with a bunch of toys and mamas catching up on a little adult conversation ... no, none of that ... which I definitely missed, by the way!

This was a PD with a "higher purpose."
This was a PD inspired by eebee's Adventures and focused on developmental play. I think the comment of one of the mom's pretty much sums it up, "Dana, you are such a teacher!" And a bit of a nerd, but I'm totally okay with that :)

So here's what I did ...
I set up three separate stations - one in the living room, one in the family room, and one in our little play niche - each one a different learning adventure.
  1. Pouring and Scooping - two big bins filled with uncooked rice, all kinds of scoops and cups, and a big blanket to cover the floor
  2. Building and Stacking - a big bin filled with all the blocks and cups I could find and a collection of empty boxes (cereal, shipping, diapers, ...)
  3. Rolling and Sliding - a board made into an inclined plane by propping it against the ottoman, balls of all shapes and sizes, and a set of random objects for sliding
When the mamas first arrived, I gave them a handout for each station - information I obtained from the website under Parent Info. Each handout defined the concepts this type of play teaches, explained the importance of learning the concept, and suggested ways for parents to be involved in the play (things to say and ask). I asked the mamas to take a minute to preview each activity while the babies played and "got to know each other." And I gave a little "talk" about my passion for teaching/learning and why I think eebee Adventures is such a good tool for moms and babies.

From there, we split into groups - two mamas and two babies - to rotate through the stations. Each station visit lasted about 10 minutes and then groups moved on to the next. The rice station was a big hit amongst the babies, but some moms seemed a little skeptical about making such a big mess. It did take me about 20 minutes to clean it all up after the PD, but I think it was totally worth it!

After 30 minutes of rotating, I brought everyone back together for snacks and conversation about what happened at each station, what observations the moms made, what ideas they would take back home with them ... that sort of thing. Oh, and while the adults talked, I popped in our eebee DVD and the babies got to watch other babies playing just the way they did at the stations!

Play can be fun and meaningful, and I am so glad eebee has taught me that lesson, and I enjoyed sharing it with other moms, too!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Beautiful Weather Park Tour

Our reputation here in the NW proceeds us ... and it really does rain its fair share here in the Evergreen State. However, you should also know that when the weather is nice, it's is reeeaallly beautiful ... and based on the month of September, plentiful, too.
As a result, we have been frequenting the local parks ... OFTEN ... like just about every single day, sometimes twice a day. And we've branched out beyond the parks right here in our 'hood - although in a time crunch, they are still our favorite - we've been on a bit of a park tour right here in the 'Quah.
The swing is no longer NHV's favorite - in her pre-walking days, she would sit in that swing for like 20 minutes, especially when there were kids playing ... it was equivalent to sitting on the couch watching your favorite show! Now, she'll ask to swing - I taught her the sign - but she signs "all done" long before the swing ever reaches a decent height/speed. She longs to be where the action is, and really who can blame her? My time at the park is spent following her up the stairs and down the slide ... under the "choo-choo" train and out the other side - this one requires me to crawl through the mulch ... oh, and on the days I forget to bring her ball with us, I spend a significant amount of time asking kids if she may play with their ball or chasing her down to return a ball to a disgruntled kid and removing a visibly upset Natalie from the eyes of other mommies. That girls loves the B-A-L-L-S!

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And I love spending sunny days at the park with my baby girl!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Chocolate, Anyone?

A neighbor knocked on my door this morning. Now, this is a rare occurrence here in suburbia ... I don't know why exactly, but it is. So I was a little shocked to begin with and a bit embarrassed because at 9:30 am, when I heard that knock, I was curled up in bed on the verge of falling asleep. It doesn't happen very often - really, dear hubby, it doesn't - but some mornings I just have to go back to bed when NHV goes down for her morning nap, and today happened to be one of those days. Of course ... my neighbor who witnessed me stumbling to the door in my bunny pajamas probably thinks I am a class-A, #1 slacker of the year, but whatev ... I am totally secure in my need for a morning nap :)

So ... why did this neighbor knock on my door and interrupt what promised to be a delightful morning snooze? To ask for "Chad's recipe for Texas sheet cake. The one he made for the 4th of July party." I immediately knew which sheet cake he was referring to - my mom's freakin' awesome, out-of-this-world, chocolate Texas sheet cake - the one I made and brought to our neighborhood 4th of July celebration this year. But I let the Chad comment slide ... until he said it again, "My wife and I have been talking about Chad's cake since the 4th." Let me be clear, Chad had absolutely nothing to do with the baking of said cake and the recipe is my mom's, one she is famous for at family gatherings. Wait, I take that back. Chad did carry the sheet cake to the party. I have yet to hear Chad's side of the story on this, but I assume there is one ... in the meantime, enjoy my mom's recipe, we like to call it Grammy's Incredible Sheet Cake:

The Cake
2 c. flour
2 c. sugar
1 cup of butter
1 c. water
1/2 c. buttermilk*
4 tbsp. cocoa
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
*Grammy suggests using 1 cup milk + 1 tsp. vinegar and let it sit for 5 minutes. You need another 1/2 cup for the frosting.
Mix flour and sugar in mixing bowl. In a saucepan, bring to a rapid boil butter, buttermilk, water and cocoa. Pour over flour mixture and blend well. Stir in eggs, vanilla, baking soda, and salt and blend well. Pour batter onto ungreased cookie sheet (with sides). Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until done - I actually check mine at about 17 minutes.

The Frosting
1/2 c. butter
1/2 c. buttermilk
4 tbsp. cocoa
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. chopped pecans
3 cups of powdered sugar
Bring butter, milk and cocoa to rapid boil. Pour ingredients into mixing bowl; add vanilla and powdered sugar; mix well. Add pecans and mix well. Spread on Texas Sheet Cake as soon as removed from oven. Make frosting about 5 minutes before cake comes out of oven.

Disclaimer: I do not recommend making this cake during a PMS episode ... you will eat the entire thing ... and that's 3 sticks of butter and like 5 cups of sugar!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Black & White Photos

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Time Flies ...

How in the H-E-double hockey sticks is it September already? Seriously, the last month is a complete blur! I haven't even downloaded photos from my camera in almost 4 weeks; now, that's a true testament to just how busy I've been! Not to worry, I've managed to take 150 photos and video snips in that time, but they remain trapped on my digital camera ... not doing all my faraway friends and family any good. I recognize that, and I apologize, and I will move that item to the top of my never-ending To Do List. A list that has now been compartmentalized into three parts: At home, For School, and For my Mom's Group. Oh, and I should probably add For Me to the list, but I doubt that will happen anytime soon ... my naked nails, unruly eyebrows, and overgrown haircut will just have to wait :)

So what is causing all this mayhem? This complete BLUR of the past month? I've gone from an in-my-jammies-til-noon-if-I-want-to, playdate-attending, Stay At Home Mom to a part-time lesson-planning-meeting-attending-parent-pleasing ... seems like there's never time for everything I want/need to do crazy lady!
Anyway, I will do my best to stop neglecting the few of you that actually read my blog :) Miss you!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Welcome to a Goddess

Hip, hip hooray! My little sister, an amazing and freakin' crazy momma of three, has decided to join the blogging world! You simply must click here to read her first few posts: Mom of 3 / Goddess ... and then add it to your favorites or your blog roll or whatever ... you are going to want to stay tuned to read what she has to say! Oh, and give her a little encouragement with a comment or two. I especially love her post defining a "goddess," a truly wonderful interpretation of the word, and her superpowers make me chuckle ... because I can totally relate!

Welcome little sis! I am so glad you're here :)

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Nothing but ... Bs Flattened

Okay here's totally random ... as advertised ... you know what you're getting on this blog after reading the tag line under that fabulous title up there ... so no whining ... head shakes, grins, and belly laughs welcome :)

Nothing but ... Bananas Flattened
It seems like I think about food ... a lot ... lately. And my brain is not usually preoccupied for the sake of my own nourishment. No, I am constantly thinking about what to feed Natalie, especially when we leave the house for an extended period of time. There's nothing worse than a hungry baby melting down in public! Even if she isn't particularly hungry, it seems like food can slay the fussy monster before it rears it's terribly ugly little head. And before we leave the house, I arm myself with an easy-to-transport snack. Something like Gerber's Puffs; I like to pack a variety in the little container that once held three bottles worth of formula. Isn't that a clever re-purposing? I thought so, too. It has three sections and a little spout for pouring those puffs out in small "doses."

Ummm ... what does that have to do with Bananas Flattened? I'm not entirely sure ... but hey consider that an unexpected tip from me to you :) Anyway, back to the NBBF, a fantastic treat for on-the-go ... hiking, errands, trips to the park, ... you name it. And you can get your Bananas Flattened at Trader Joe's for about $1.29. It's a flat package that weighs just ounces, but the contents provide a plethora of nutrition and entertainment. The ingredient list is: Bananas. No crazy chemicals or coloring agents or crap you and your baby don't need. Just bananas. It is completely mind-boggling to me how they manage to process, flatten, and package those bananas in such a way to make them delicious and long-lasting (without chemicals) - the package I just bought doesn't expire until June 2009! How do they get those delicious bananas flattened and fresh for so long?! If you know, please tell me :) But the answer or lack of answer isn't going to keep me from buying and enjoying this delightful treat. You just peel off a slice and chew, chew, chew ... it is somewhat reminiscent of Fruit Roll-Ups from back in the day ... only it doesn't stick to the roof of your mouth or turn your tongue/teeth weird colors. I can't remember what else I wanted to tell you about the Flattened Bananas ... mainly because part two of this post has been floating around my brain ...

Nothing but ... Bs Flattened
Along those same lines, but definitely not edible ... Natalie has been completely weaned for six weeks now, and boy, did the girls pay the price for that little 11-month work load. When I look down - where my once perky size C rack formerly resided - all I see are Bs Flattened! I mean the flattened part is bad enough, terrible actually. But how the heck did I lose a cup size? Something about that just isn't right! But is does explain why so many of my mommy friends with babies the same age as Natalie are thinking about and even trying to have a second child ... they all want their voluptuous ta-tas back. And I can't blame them. I may even join them! Definitely something to consider ...

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Pa ... another one's got the fever.

The title of this post is a rather obscure quote from the movie Unforgiven, a western that is not usually my type of movie, but it was one of my first dates with my now hubby, so we still quote from it occasionally.

So what's that have to do with anything? Good question. Well, Natalie has been running a fever for three days now - this is day three. She felt kind of warm to me during the day on Tuesday, but I never bothered getting out the thermometer because a) she hates to have that thing under her arm for the two minutes it takes to register ... and if she hates the underarm, imagine how she'd feel about the other option, which really isn't an option because it gives me the heebee-geebees hardcore and b) she was acting like her usual, high-energy self. And then at 1:00 am, she woke up crying, something she hasn't done in a very long time. At this point I did break out the thermometer; she felt hot rather than warm. The thermometer read 99.9, which I guess is really 100.9 after you add the degree ... so confusing ... especially when you're doing this stuff with one eye open! She got a dose of baby Motrin and a 30-minute snuggle with me and back to sleep she went. Same deal on Wednesday; she felt warm all day, I dosed her with Tylenol, and then we hung out again around midnight.

Today - day three - she still had plenty of energy and no other symptoms ... well, there were a few disgusting diapers, but she was eating, drinking, playing, and sleeping like normal. However,
her fussiness has reached an all-time high and my tolerance has sunk to an all-time low. Hoping this fever takes a hike ... like soon!

"... damn pigs."

Update: No fever today, Friday ... woo hoo! Have heard from several other moms in my Mom's Group that this sort of thing seems to be going around - fever for three days with no other symptoms. Well, we're done with it ... on to the next baby with you, darn fussy-inducing fever!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Lucky Number 13

My baby girl is 13 months old today! Woo Hoo! Last night, just before midnight, I sat in Natalie's room while she slept and tried to remember as much as I could about the past 13 months. And I cried - a lot - good happy tears. I swear each month I mourn, just a little, the baby that she'll never be again but I also fall in love with the little person she is right now!

And here's a list of 13 things I currently love about my 13-month old!
  1. My sweet baby girl says, "Hi!" all the time to me, to Chad, to Louie, to the flowers, ... but never in response to a stranger saying "hi" first.
  2. Natalie has been making some rather messy attempts at spoon-feeding, and she really loves to hold the bowl! Also, she signs eat, more, and all done with much zeal and pride. She can also drink from a Camelback bottle - bite valve, straw, and all.
  3. I am completely in love with her ridiculous snaggle tooth - no front teeth at this point, just the one snaggle. (But I could do without the baby mullet; wishing the front of her hair would grow in already!)
  4. It is so cute the way she bends over and looks at me from between her legs - where did she get that idea? Just looking for a new view of the world, I suppose!
  5. She drops her binky and lovey into her crib when we get her up; I know it isn't easy to leave those security items behind, but she handles it well and gets rewarded with lots of smooches!
  6. She adores her kitty cat lovey that I've named "Meow" - she chats with him and lights up when she sees him ... it's adorable!
  7. File this under random ... Chad and I have been saying letter names to her when we play with the blocks or foam letters, and when we say the letter "L," she totally cracks up ... why is that funny?
  8. I love her voice from her random babbles complete with highs and lows to her mimic singing of Aye, Aye, Aye and La, La, La.
  9. Her obsession with "balls" continues; too bad she always takes them from her playmates. We play "roll the ball" with her, and she really likes to sit between us while Chad and I volley a beach ball back and forth ... simple pleasures :)
  10. Taking things OUT is a well-honed skill ... books off of shelves, clothes out of baskets, plasticware out of cabinets, everything out of her diaper bag, ... yeah, she's got it figured OUT ... IN, not so much. I just love to watch how determined she is to empty whatever it is she's working on.
  11. This girl has some serious dancing ability. Gone is the nonchalant rocking back and forth, instead she's up on her feet bouncing up and down and shaking it ... as my sister might say, "She gets it from her mama." All those afternoon dance sessions are paying off ... thanks MTV online!
  12. Natalie loves the water. We frequent the neighborhood baby pool, and she splashes like she means it! Not mention how stinkin' cute she looks in her little baby bathing suit and sun hat. Seriously, it should be illegal to be this cute :)
  13. She is WALKING everywhere ... she does laps around the bottom level of our house. She takes off from the family room, walks into the living room, runs the corner to the dining room, and then heads into the kitchen ... and does it all over again. I want to strap a pedometer on her little waistband :)

Yes, this blogger is so very happy to be the mommy of an amazing 13-month old!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Flying Cross-Country ...

... with a One Year Old and a Layover ... in Newark ... what the heck was I thinking? I was thinking that it would be nice to visit my dear friends in Northern Virginia. That's what I was thinking. And I was so right about that part! Aside from the almost debilitating heat and humidity, it was awesome to be back amongst friends :)

But the actual traveling part ... pretty much sucked! Oh, by the way, it was my brilliant idea, or at least my conscious choice to fly with a connecting flight ... no one to blame but myself for this little misadventure!

Seattle to Dulles International via Newark
The flight from Seattle to Newark was long - as long as expected - and somewhat delightful because I had an extra (free) seat for Natalie and her infant carseat (the one that she really doesn't fit in anymore but I brought to the airport just in case, and it paid off). She fell asleep right after take-off. I attempted to watch a movie ... the one with Reese Witherspoon and a girl who looks like a pig ... can't remember the name. I even paid a dollar for the headphones. Well, the movie was kind of lame, and Natalie woke up after just an hour of napping ... probably because the captain and flight attendants kept making the loudest stupid announcements ... but whatever. And wouldn't you know it, the drink cart and meal (greasy cheeseburger - heated in a plastic bag) arrived just as Natalie got restless. Balancing a drink and meal box on a tiny tray while keeping a one year old at bay is no easy task ... thankfully I had a container of Veggie Booty just for such an occasion! Anyway, I managed to entertain her for the rest of the flight ... I had a stockpile of toys and books, but she preferred the disposable plasticware from our meal - the plastic cup, the plastic salad plate, the little plastic tray to keep my two cookies from being reduced to crumbs, ...

And so delightfulness ensued until we landed in Newark. Our connecting flight was a considerably smaller plane, which doesn't bother me in the least, in fact, Chad use to fly 50-seater jets, so that is not an issue. The issue was getting to the "tiny plane" terminal. God-forbid these freakin' airport builders, architects, morons would give a thought to how passengers with a baby and stroller might get from one terminal to the next. I can't imagine how people in wheel chairs must feel about this predicament; it is so infuriating! First we waiting in this tiny, disgusting room for a bus to arrive. Then I was shown to a freight elevator that hadn't seen a mop in a very long time. I somehow managed to get Natalie out of her infant seat, fold my stroller, and get everything on board the darn bus without so much as a mention of help from the driver or fellow passengers ... hello, rude! After a short ride, I again juggled all my crap plus Natalie off the bus only to discover 16 concrete steps. Huh?!? I mean, I can manage a backpack, a stroller, an infant carseat, a 22 pound baby, and my sanity when not faced with 16 stairs and no elevator! I just about lost it! Thankfully a baggage handler noticed my dilemma and rescued us ... and the many witnesses to my potential breakdown. He carried my stroller ... at arms length from this body ... as if it contained dead animal carcass or something ... but at least he took it all the way to the top.

Once inside the "tiny plane" terminal, things did not get any better. On the contrary, things just kept getting worse. Keep in mind that Natalie had only slept for a grand total of one hour at this point. Let's see ... how do I make this long story just a smidge shorter ... our one hour layover ended up to last a grand total of FOUR hours. And I could only keep Natalie up off that FILTHY, DISGUSTING, GERM-RIDDEN airport terminal carpet for so long. Eventually I had to concede and let her .... crawl around for a little while. Oh, it makes me sick just thinking about it! What makes it even worse is the fact that she constantly sought out and crawled to every trash can she could spot! We made many, many, many trips to the restroom to wash hands with soap and water - after the anti-bacterial wipes were all gone. Her cute little pants were absolutely black - or at least a very dark gray - from cuff to just above the knee ... YUCK! But we did meet a wonderful mom and her teenage son from Texas, and they kept us company during the long wait ... and gave Natalie a new object of her flirting affections.

The flight included an hour long sit on the taxi way before take-off, which sucked, but we finally arrived in Virginia ... at midnight. And my poor friend Heather had to roll out of bed to come pick us up. At least we didn't even have to think about airline travel for another 6 days.

The Return Trip: Dulles International to Seattle via Newark
The return trip was just as awful ... no really, it was ... perhaps even a little worse. But I'll spare you a big long, detailed recounting. Here are the highlights:
Our travels began at 3:00 pm, when we left Heather's house - this information will be important toward the end of my tale. Our flight leaving Dulles was delayed for more than an hour, and we had another connection through Newark. Repeated the awful process - in reverse - of getting from the "tiny plane" terminal to the main terminal ... again, those 16 steps do not come with the option of an elevator. Thanks to a kind and somewhat beefy guy, I managed to get us and all our stuff on the bus. Only to discover that our light from Newark to Seattle was ... you guessed it ... delayed ... for hours! Again, Natalie got the chance to crawl on some of the dirtiest carpet I have ever laid foot on! The flight was beyond full, which meant no empty seat for Natalie. Which also meant I had the distinct privilege of holding my 22 pound baby girl ... on my lap ... for many, many hours. We spent almost two hours on the plane before take-off. Two hours of squirming and fussing because it was bedtime for NHV. We finally departed, and Natalie fell asleep almost immediately and stayed that way. So began my battle to sit comfortably in a window seat while holding 22 pounds of dead weight. Grand total, I did this for seven hours, and let me assure you I never did get comfortable. My arms and back and legs hurt so badly I wanted to cry on several occasions ... part of that could've been shear exhaustion, too. At Seattle airport, I had a terrible time finding elevators. When I asked for directions to the nearest elevator, people looked at me like I had asked for a unicorn or something ... with this slightly bemused look on their faces! By this point it was after midnight - or 3 am east coast time - and I was pretty much anything but amused. Anyway, just another point of frustration. We then took a taxi to our car which Chad parked at a friend's house about 5 miles from the airport. We pulled into our driveway at almost 2 am - or 5 am east coast time. Must give mad props to my baby girl. She maintained her composure through it all. I guarantee I would never even attempt this type of travel if she wasn't the amazing little person that she is!

Phew! That was a lot of typing and a lot of reading if you stuck with it. But I am blogging about this so I can remember the pain - I don't want to forget it like childbirth and foolishly decide to do it again!
P.S. We actually got back from this trip - almost a week ago to the hour - but I am just now writing about it because I wasn't ready to relive it until now :)

Monday, August 11, 2008

12-Month Check-up

Natalie is nearly 13 months old, but today was her 12-month check-up. I thought we had an appointment for the middle of July, but apparently I was temporarily insane. And then I booked a flight to VA and had to reschedule my rescheduled appointment. So today was the day ... but the type A in me is bothered to be "late."

Anyway, after all that waiting, we waited some more. Within minutes of arriving we were escorted to the exam room, and Natalie was measured and weighed*. But we waited for almost an hour to see the doctor. An hour of entertaining a half-naked baby (wearing just a diaper and her striped Baby Legs) in a tiny room with just a few toys and books. An hour that included the consumption of two apple wagon wheels, a handful of Veggie Booty, and 4 ounces of formula. An hour of my entire repertoire of silly songs. Even with Chad there to share in the "fun," I was more than a little frazzled by the time Dr. Maplethorpe came in. But I quickly forgave her because I love Dr. Maplethorpe! She took care of me through my entire pregnancy - and even forgave me when I ignored her bedrest treatment plan. She delivered Natalie and helped me figure out how to breastfeed. She continues to treat our entire family with the assistance of her wonderful nurses and super-friendly office staff. I guess what I am trying to say is ... Dr. Maplethorpe is worth the wait :)

Natalie had only a mild case of stranger anxiety during the exam and cooperated with most of the doctor's request. She was most disgruntled when having her ears checked ... and the vaccinations were awful - at least for me. Chad held her, and I turned my back and shed a few tears for her. Sitting on daddy's lap, clutching her lovey, Natalie was unbelievably brave and calm. She cried - hard - during the injections but then recovered within a minute or two. My sweet girl was even smiling by the time I got her dressed and out to the reception area. Overall, a very successful check-up :)

*Check out these stats:
Weight: 22 lbs. 4 oz.

Height: 31 inches

Crepes: One of the Many Reasons I love CPV

What an awesome morning! First of all, I got to sleep in! My sweet Chad Patrick got up with Natalie at 7:00 am, fed her breakfast, and played all his fun daddy games. They woke me up just after 8:00 with a good snuggle in bed, my favorite way to greet the day. I left the two of them playing while I walked to Starbucks with my neighbor, friend, and new mommy, Jessica. We had a wonderful conversation while I sipped my chai tea latte. I returned home to find Natalie down for her morning nap, and Chad heating up the pan to make a batch of his now highly requested CREPES! Seriously, does it get any better than this?

Crepes are a new treat around here. Just this summer CPV expanded his culinary repertoire to include this decadent breakfast option. Crepes were an occasional childhood treat for him, but my tastebuds were crepe virgins ... I've had plenty of pancakes, waffles, and french toast in my day, but never a crepe ... and after three samplings, I am totally hooked! Anyway, a co-worker recently reminded him of their deliciousness during one of many non-work related conversations and gave him a recipe to try.

Crepe Batter
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons water
1/2 cup milk
3 large eggs
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1/2 teaspoon salt

Combine all ingredients in large bowl. Use hand mixer to blend until liquid consistency. Let the batter stand, covered, for 1 hour. (The batter may be made up to 1 day in advance and kept covered and chilled.)

To Make Crepes:
  1. Start with a heated a 9 inch skillet. Chad sprays the pan - just one - with cooking spray.
  2. Once the pan is hot (but not smoking), remove it from the heat.
  3. Stir the batter, fill a 1/4 cup measuring scoop with batter.
  4. Pour the batter into the pan. Tilt and rotate that pan quickly to cover the bottom with a thin layer of batter and then return the pan to the heat.
  5. Loosen the edge of the crepe until the underside is browned lightly.
  6. Flip the crepe - you can even get fancy about it - and brown the other side.
  7. Transfer the crepe to a plate.
  8. Serve with strawberries and whip cream, berries and powdered sugar, just powdered sugar, or maple syrup - these are the toppings we've tried thus far :)

This was most certainly the kind of breakfast you "write home about" ... or at least post on my blog. I somehow managed to eat 3 crepes ... all filled with strawberries and a sprinkling of powdered sugar.
My husband is the best, and I love him for his crepes :)

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Mobility: That Baby Gets Around!

This past year has been jam-packed with milestones, and most of them have involved mobility - getting somewhere, especially places where I'd rather Natalie not go ... like between the wall and the toilet, behind the couch, to the doormats, to the cat's food dish, ...

Rolling: Natalie rolled from back to tummy first, and she did this for a good long while before figuring out the other direction. Once she unlocked this little mystery, she spent a lot of time practicing in her crib ... when she was suppose to be sleeping! All that rolling led to our first "doctor's office" injury. Natalie dislocated her elbow, which sounds worse that it actually is - click here to read the story:
Elbow Injury. Anyway, rolling didn't "change my life" but it did prompt a note to self: Don’t leave NHV unattended on raised surface.

Crawling: This was the next big "leap" in mobility, and I must admit, it rocked my world. It happened about a week after she turned 9 months. I couldn’t believe how tired we both were when Natalie first started locomotting on all fours. As evidence, her naps suddenly extended to a solid two, sometimes three, hours. And often times, I joined her for at least one of those naps! Clearly, the naps were a major benefit. But it also came with more than a few drawbacks. Gone were the days of plopping her down with a basket of toys and expecting to find her there three seconds later. Gone were the days of going to the bathroom by myself - although it does crack me up when she crawls around the corner and seems surprised to see me sitting there on the toilet! And I have never vacuumed, swept, and mopped more in my life. Now that we were spending so much time moving around on the floors, I couldn't help but notice how dirty they seemed - all the time. No wonder I was so tired, when I wasn't chasing Natalie everywhere, or
resetting her to a safer, cleaner place, I was doing my best impersonation of Cinder-freakin'-ella!

Pulling Up: Pulling up brought a whole new set of surprises as well as a strong desire to climb the stairs to our second floor. Suddenly a quick diaper change took 10 minutes because we had to scale the mountain of 16 steps to get to the nursery and her changing table! Why didn't I change her diaper downstairs you ask? Well, that's because changing the diaper of my proficiently mobile baby girl while she lies on the floor is like wrestling, and sometimes chasing, a slippery pig.

Taking Steps: Natalie's most recent "claim to fame," her stumble from ottoman to couch.

Ballet of Movement: Today I sat and watched as Natalie entertained me with a baby ballet of her very own blend of mobility. She started in the middle of her room. Full-on crawled to the window, pulled herself up, shifted weight from one foot to the other while holding on to the sill, side stepped to the toy basket where she dropped to her knees to investigate. When she found one of her favorite bunnies, she grabbed it in her right hand and cuddled it near her cheek, while "gimping" on her left hand and left knee to the bookcase. With bunny still clutched in one hand, she pulled up on the book display but quickly decided using only one hand was not effective in her attempts to empty the bookcase. So she squatted - both knees bend but rear end suspended a few inches from the floor - to ponder the situation. It was a tough decision, but she decided to ditch the bunny. She stood back up without holding on to anything and proceeded to throw books to the floor - what fun :) The empty bookcase prompted her to look over her shoulder to find me sitting on the floor with a silly grin on my face, which was all the motivation she needed to take off "walking" toward me. After about 8 steps and lots of giggling, she gave up on her own two feet, crawled over, and pulled up on me to receive the big hug I had waiting for her.

Walking: I can't say that she is officially walking because more often than not, she resorts to one of the many other forms of mobility in her repertoire. But I also know it is only a matter of time - a very short amount of time - before she's off and RUNNING!
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