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My favorite part of the day is about 10 minutes after Owen wakes up. After we’ve chatted and changed his diaper, I stand him up on his changing table for a big hug. “Where’s my kiss?” I ask him, and he take my face in his hands and lays a big smooch on my lips.
There will be a time when he won’t do this anymore. When the thought of kissing his mother — and kissing his mother on the mouth — will be the last thing he wants to do. So I cherish those kisses now, storing away each one in a little box in my heart.
Yesterday, I was one of those mothers with one of those kids in the store. He was just off yesterday. He didn’t want to eat. He didn’t want to go for a walk. He certainly did not want to nap. By 4 o’clock I had an exhausted, screechy, irritable toddler on my hands and I was ready to throw in the towel. It was about that time that I discovered the needle-sharp tip of an incisor trying to push through his inflamed gums. I had suspected another tooth was coming (isn’t another tooth ALWAYS coming?), but hadn’t confirmed it until now.
Then I felt bad. No wonder he was a wreck. I wouldn’t be all that pleasant if a razor was trying to make its way through my mouth. I went in search of some relief for him, only to find we were out of everything from the homeopathic stuff to the big guns. Knowing the clock was rapidly ticking down before he would have a complete and total I-Did-Not-Nap-At-All Meltdown, I threw a coat on him and loaded him — protesting — into the car.
I’d like to know who is the “genius” who placed a giant display of matchbox cars at the end of the child aisle at the drugstore. Are they INSANE? Of course the minute Owen spotted them he was clambering to get out of my arms. I couldn’t let him — we were just running in the store and it would be a disaster if he got to the cars. There were a ton and they would be everywhere in 10 seconds flat.
Oh yeah, you try telling an exhausted, teething toddler that he can’t go play with the fabulous, shiny, vroom-vroom WALL OF AWESOME CARS, MAMA!!! display. Go on, I dare you.
He lost it. LOST. IT. Giant crocodile tears began streaming down his face as he WAILED and hurled himself backwards trying to get out of my arms. This was the first public tantrum I’ve experienced with him and let me tell you, had we not made a special trip to buy just one thing to give pain relief TO HIM (thanks for the appreciation, kid), I would have turned around and walked right out of the store. It was that bad.
Instead, I had to stand in line behind a woman making a boat load of returns while my child did his best Exorcist impression. While others patrons looked at me with…disgust? pity? relief it was me not them?…I did my best to dig my wallet out of my purse, pay for the medicine and leave the store with a little bit of dignity. Even if I did have Owen’s tears and snot on my sleeve.
He fell asleep early — just after 5 — lying on my chest as we snuggled on the couch. I let him stay there awhile, making sure he was good and sleeping and also relishing in the sweetness and quietness of the moment. It was hard to believe that this was the same child of just an hour ago.
This morning I awoke to him calling my name. “Mama! Maaaaaama!” I went into his room and began our day. And after we chatted and changed his diaper, I stood him up on his changing table and asked for a kiss.
Today, he gave me three.
– The vlog went over pretty well and some of you have asked that I make it a regular thing, so…ok. Only, I have no idea what to talk about vs. write about. Which means you guys get to pick what I talk about. Comment with whatever topic you’d like to hear me yammer about and I’ll do it next week!
– I thought when kids start walking there’s some sort of transition. Like, they wobble along for awhile getting their footing. No one told me that within a few weeks your kid might go from taking his first steps to running full speed through Lowe’s. So, that’s interesting.
– Speaking of Lowe’s, the one near us is closing and they are having a mega-sale, plus we had a coupon we got from the post office when we changed our address. We decided now would be a good time to replace the old coil-top stove that came with the house because I curse it daily and really wanted to go back to a gas range like we had before. As we started looking around, we discovered that with the sale and our coupon combined, the savings were ridiculous. Like, once in a blue moon ridiculous, and we would be foolish to pass up the opportunity to replace the appliances.
All…the appliances. While it certainly wasn’t in our immediate plans (or budget…eek), we did want to do it eventually and see it as a long-term investment. So we will install the new appliances in the coming weeks and it will give me some good blogging material as we slooooowly update the kitchen. You know you want to see pictures of the baby-pink countertops, don’t you?
– Michael and I went away last weekend for our anniversary. It was the first time we left Owen overnight. I know that seems a little crazy since he’s 16-months old, but really, we’ve wanted to bring him to most of the places we’ve been to since he was born. And early on, he was nursing so often that it would have been more of a hassle to leave him behind.
My mom and sister came for the weekend to watch him and I was a little apprehensive. Not about leaving him, but about him giving them a hard time at sleep time. He was so set in his routine — nurse before nap and bed — that I feared me not being there would turn him into a screaming banshee.
He went to sleep every time without a peep. Not even a fuss. Just, lay down. Went to sleep.
When we got back, I fully expected him to dive right down my shirt, but he didn’t ask to nurse at all. So I didn’t offer. And then he didn’t ask at night. Or the next day. And then at one point he came up to me, pointed at my chest laughing and said, “Noooo”, then walked away. And that was that. He officially weaned himself.
In terms of weaning, I’m glad it went down this way. I think I was really nursing more for me at this point than for him, mostly because it was such an easy way to wind him down to sleep. After he nursed, I’d just pop him in the crib and he’d go to sleep. I was reluctant to let that go. But clearly, he was ready to be done, and it was pain-free (at least for him. I had a couple days of engorgement where my boobs were all, hey! What happened? Why isn’t there a little monkey pawing at us?).
Sleep time has changed a little bit now. When I bring him to bed, he cries and doesn’t want to lie right now. It takes a little more time and a lot more back rubbing. But Michael has taken over a lot of the sleep time now and he goes down much faster for him than he does for me. I’m sure this is just a transition and soon enough he’ll go to sleep without a peep. I hope.
I was sad to see our breastfeeding relationship end, but I think we had a great run. And since there was no way I could have known that our last session was THE last, it’s not like I was mourning it all weekend.
I just hope the girls don’t deflate into pancakes now. That would really be a shame.
Another pin done! This time I decided to try out a recipe for Cookie Dough Dip.
Sounds amazing, right? Only here’s the secret: it’s made from chickpeas.
I’ll admit, that sounded pretty gross to me. While I like chickpeas (hummus? LOVE.), using them in a sweet dish didn’t seem all that appealing. But the recipe promised that it was a healthy recipe that didn’t taste healthy, and the comment section was filled with raves.
I had pretty much all the ingredients, so this was an affordable dish.
The original recipe comes from Chocolate Covered Katie and is as follows:
- 1 1/2 cups chickpeas (1 can, drained) (250g)
- 1/8 tsp plus 1/16 tsp salt
- tiny bit over 1/8 tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup nut butter (You can get away with using only 3 T. If you use peanut butter, it’ll have a very-slight “pb cookie dough” taste, so if you don’t want this, you can sub oil.)
- up to 1/4 cup nondairy milk (Start with 1 T, and add more as needed)
- Sweetener (see original post for notes on sweetner)
- 1/3 cup chocolate chips
- 2 to 3 T oats (or flaxmeal) (You can omit, but also omit the milk if you do)
Add all ingredients (except for chocolate chips) to a blender or food processor, and blend until very smooth. Then mix in the chocolate chips.
I had peanut butter in the house so I used that, and almond milk. I also followed Katie’s suggestion of using 2/3 cup brown sugar as the sweetner (see her post for other options.)
The verdict? Well, initially I didn’t really think it tasted anything like cookie dough. It was ok, but…eh. But I had made it, so I stuck it in the fridge to try again later. After about an hour, I gave it another shot and was pleasantly surprised. I definitely think this dip tastes better served cold. While it’s nothing like eating raw Tollhouse, it is very reminiscent of cold peanut butter cookie dough. If I make it again, I might try it with almond butter (if I can justify coughing up almost TEN DOLLARS for it) and light brown sugar (I used dark).
I’ve been eating it with a spoon, but it would probably be tasty on a variety of fruits/graham crackers/cookies. Michael is not a fan, but he doesn’t like chocolate, so I wouldn’t take his word for it.
Nearly a decade together, three years of marriage and one really wonderful little family.
Michael is my best friend, the best father, and the best husband I could ask for.
I am one incredibly lucky girl.
Photos by Scott Zuehlke Photography
– I am SO behind on the October photography challenge and, um, it’s almost the end of October. I guess I’m just going to have to get my butt in gear and do a couple round-up posts next week. The fact that I’m behind does not surprise me in the slightest. I am a world-class procrastinator.
– You guys heard me speak yesterday. (Also, I retract what I said about not having a way to address a group. As my lovely friend Darcie pointed out, apparently I say, “Hi, guys!”) I still think I was a little awkward, but you guys were sweet. I especially liked the comment about me sounding tougher than one of you expected. ROAR! However, after I looked at the stats from the post I kind of wanted to crawl under the table. There were…a lot of you. I never would have been able to talk in front of that many people had they been sitting in front of me. A public speaker I am not.
(Side note: I had to take a public speaking class in high school and do a speech on something we were obsessed with. I did mine on lip gloss [tangent: I used to have a THING for lip gloss. Like, couldn’t go anywhere/do anything without applying some. It was weird.] and for a prop, I cleaned out my car before class and brought in a zip lock bag FILLED with glosses just from my car. I don’t know where I was going with this, but there you go. I also gave a speech on dance and quoted Madonna’s “Get Into the Groove”. Face —> Palm.)
– Owen is an official walker now, but I still don’t expect him to come walking into a room. Every time he rounds the corner doing that Franken-baby walk (hands in front, walking kind of with a side-to-side sway) I can’t help but laugh and think, whoa. Toddler. It’s super funny when he’s naked, though.
– Want to know how to annoy my husband? Leave these all over the house:
In my defense, I don’t do it on purpose. Half the time I don’t even know I’ve left them somewhere. Maybe one fell out when I was changing, or got tossed in a bag, or whatever. I swear, whenever I need a bobby pin I can never find one, yet he seems to come across them daily, then threaten to throw them away. I don’t think he’s made good on that threat, though. Yet…
I’ve never done a vlog before, mostly because I thought I would sound like an idiot (does anyone like themselves on camera?), but I’ve seen that accent one floating around lately and figured, why not? I did sound a little bit like an idiot, but that’s ok.
I’ve included the prompts if you want to follow along/post your own. Do I sound like what you thought I would???
Say these words:
Aunt, route, wash, oil, theatre, iron, salmon, caramel, fire, water, sure, data, ruin, crayon, toilet, New Orleans, pecan, both, again, probably, spitting image, Alabama, lawyer, coupon, mayonnaise, syrup, pajamas, caught
And answer these questions:
What is it called when you throw toilet paper on a house?
What is the bug that curls into a ball when you touch it?
What is the bubbly carbonated drink called?
What do you call gym shoes?
What do you say to address a group of people?
What do you call the kind of spider that has an oval-shaped body and extremely long legs?
What do you call your grandparents?
What do you call the wheeled contraption in which you carry groceries at the supermarket?
What do you call it when rain falls while the sun is shining?
What is the thing you use to change the TV channel?
– This. At Starbucks.
No. No, no, no, no, NO. All of it NO. Shiny leggings not technically as pants because the shirt did cover her butt, however it was cut really high on the sides. So, leggings as pseud0-pants. Still a NO in my book.
And then. The shoes. The gold…what are those? Sandals? Loafters? Sloafers. Landals.
One of you is going to comment that you own that very outfit, aren’t you? And you are going to unfollow me because I am mean about your shoes.
Well, your Sloafers are ugly. They look like cheese graters from space.
– Now that our living room isn’t the size of a postage stamp, we finally got with the times and upgraded to a flat screen TV. Do you know what that means? Elmo is now LIFE SIZE. I’m pretty sure Owen’s mind was sufficiently blown this morning.
Gahhh creepy blurry Elmo! (Also, the dog bed? Apparently is also Owen’s lounge chair.)
– I’m having company soon and my kitchen really needs to be cleaned. At yet…I’m blogging instead. Anyone want to come clean it for me? I can offer you some leftover chicken and dumplings and some slightly snot-covered toddler kisses. I mean, how could you turn that down?
The These Little Moments house is currently under quarantine, as This Little Toddler battles whatever virus he contracted that makes his nose ooze green and his demeanor to go from adorable to grumpapottomus. While we wait for his fever to disappear and our sweet little munchkin to return, I thought I’d share with you some interesting tidbits that have been shared with me lately. The stories are not my own, but these people don’t have a blog to share them on and these stories are definitely worth sharing.
Story One, from my sister:
Last week my sister walked into her kitchen and found a disgusting little cloud of fruit flies near her counter. Grossed out, she went hunting for the source and found a banana that had somehow gotten lost behind some things on her counter. She threw out the offending fruit, sprayed the flies with some cleaner for good measure, and seemed to eliminate the problem.
This past weekend she came to visit us, and when she returned to her apartment on Sunday, she said something felt…off. She turned the corner, walked into the kitchen, and…
…HUNDREDS of fruit flies met her at the door. Clouds and clouds of them in the air, covering every surface of her kitchen. Stunned, she began to open windows and started to clean, all before so much as going to the bathroom after the three-hour drive. She told me she just started to cry as soon as she saw them. They were every. where. And every time she moved they would fly up into the air in a mass before settling somewhere else.
The most frustrating part of it was, she could find no source from which they came. No left out food, no dirty dishes. Just fruit flies by the bucket full. Frantic Googling found her some at-home remedies, but the process is slow and she continues to find them throughout the house, including her bedroom. She is understandably not sleeping well.
She heard from a neighbor that they too have an abundance of fruit flies, so either they laid eggs somewhere near by, or the plague has apparently descended on upstate New York.
Story Two, from my friend A, a massage therapist:
A was massaging a new client recently, and when she got down to her feet, she felt something. Something that shouldn’t be there. She described it to me as a tiny lump underneath the toes where they met the foot. A bunion, a blister, she thought for sure. Being a professional who comes across lumps and bumps of all sorts daily, she ignored it and moved on. Only, when she got to the other foot, she felt the same thing. How odd, she thought.
Later on, the client now lying on her stomach, my friend made her way back down to the feet ready to investigate. And what did she find?
Extra toes! Tucked in all cozy under their brothers and sisters!
Now ok, fine, no big deal. Well, a little bit of a big deal. I asked her, let’s say I was the one with extra toes. Is that something you would like a heads-up about before I got on the table? Her answer was a resounding YES. She doesn’t care if you have four or fourteen toes, she said. Just let her know if some extras are hiding below so she’s not surprised by them. Even more uncomfortable than telling her about them, she said, would be if she inadvertently gasped or something because she didn’t know they were there.
This reminded her of the time she was massaging a guy with long hair, when suddenly her finger slipped into…something. An abyss.
Because HE DIDN’T HAVE AN EAR.
You guys, I’m sorry. The thought of my finger just slipping INTO SOMEONE’S HEAD is enough to give me the willies.
So just as a courtesy, if you’re getting a massage and don’t have an ear, please tell your masseuse.
Thank you and goodnight.
Oh, Pinterest. What did we do without you? A virtual pinboard where I can save everything from paint colors, to living room inspiration, to recipes, hair tutorials and pictures of pretty, pretty wreaths. There are SO MANY WREATHS on Pinterest, have you noticed that? And I never once had a desire to make one until I started seeing them all lined up pretty, taunting me with their DIY-ness.
For the record, I don’t DIY. I mean, I didn’t. Until Pinterest. Because of Pinterest, I decide that my new mantle needed to be autumn-ized and so, I went out in the yard and collected acorns. And sticks. And put them in glass. With pinecones. That are spray painted gold. All next to teeny tiny pumpkins.
ZOMG, I’M ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE. And what’s worse? I LIKED IT.
So yeah, Pinterest is a total time-suck of wonderfulness and I love it. You can follow me on it here if you’d like.
I started to wonder, though, how much of what I pinned were things I would actually do, versus things I just thought were cool? I mean, how many wreaths can one person make? (Don’t answer that. I don’t want to know.) So I decided it was time to actually put my pin where my mouth is (what?) and pick one.
I picked this one: A smoky eye tutorial.
I’ve attempted the smoky eye thing in the past with not much luck, but this made it seem super easy. As pretty as it is, I decided to do a day version, as the pinned version is really more evening and less afternoon at the playground. Mine came out definitely NOT as glam as hers, but for a little mom-glam during the day, I think it worked out well.
Yeah, just ignore the awesomness of these photos. I don’t know how the girl in the tutorial got such great eye pictures on her own. I could not. Where’s the pin for how to do that, hmm?
Anyway, I deem this pin a SUCCESS! I’m definitely going to try a fancier version next time we go out, but for what this is, I’m happy.
Have any of you actually done something you pinned? I think I’m going to make this a semi-regular feature when (if) (no, really. When.) I actually do another pin.
I’m participating in the October 2011 Photography Challenge hosted by Our Wired Lives. Each day during the month of October, participants are challenged to take a photo. There is a different subject for each day, and they range from easy, to…well, I’m going to have to think about them a little bit before clicking away.
There are more than 90 bloggers participating, and you can still join along if you want to (you just have to catch up!). Participants are encouraged to share their photos either daily, or in groups. I’m going to do three photos at a time so every couple days you can see how I’ve been playing along. No photography skills are required — you can even use you cell phone to take the pictures. It’s just something fun to do!
Day 1 – Self Portrait
Ugh, self portraits are so awkward! There are some ridiculous outtakes from this batch, let me tell you. In the end, I settled on this one, although I still think it’s mega-cheesy.
Day 2 – What you wore today
I’m trying to be honest to the process, so I didn’t get “dressed” for this photo. Actually, when I remembered I had to take it, I felt a little disappointed that I hadn’t put on something cute. This is just so…standard. Skinny jeans, boat-neck striped 3/4 tee. It served me well for running to the grocery store, I suppose.
Day 3 – Clouds
Taken from our deck. I like how the shades of blue changed as you look downwards to the bottom of the photo.
Next batch in a few days! If you’re participating, let me know so I can follow along!