You are currently browsing the monthly archive for January 2012.

  • I woke up feeling awful today. Headache, nausea, some dry heaving in between shooing Owen out of the bathroom. (I don’t like him to see me get sick.) While the stay-at-home-mom job is great, it doesn’t come with sick days, and Michael couldn’t stay home today leaving me in a suck it up situation. Luckily, a teeny bit of caffeine helped with the headache and after the dry heaving subsided, a egg and cheese bagel seemed to do the trick. I’m still not feeling 100% but I’m glad I’m back with the living and able to pay attention when Owen runs off down the hallway with a bag of cheese he stole from the fridge.
  • Baby is kicking now. I’m actually looking forward to them becoming strong and jabby. Of course, I say that now. Check back with me when s/he’s got a foot stuck under my ribs.
  • In keeping with my Pinterest challenge, I made homemade bagels the other day and they are YUM. They were smaller than I expected so I’ve been using them for sandwiches. I’ll definitely be making them again. The only downside to making homemade bagels is that then you have them in the house. I suppose I could have frozen some of them. But I didn’t…so I eat them. YUM.
  • I also made healthy sweet potato skins…which Michael and I didn’t like. At all. Turns out Owen LOVES them, though, so he’s been eating them up. I’ll make them for him in the future and omit the cream cheese and sour cream (which I didn’t use the first time) from the recipe, leaving him with a really healthy side that he seems to enjoy. So while it was a fail on one end, it was a win on the other.
  • Pregnancy is amazingly kind to my hair and ridiculously mean to my skin.
  • Crazy dog is gone!!!
  • I’m ready to figure out a color and paint my living room. Has anyone painted while pregnant? Does it HAVE to be low-VOC paint? A designer friend told me most paints are actually better than they used to be now. Will I be fine with just proper ventilation and breaks if I need it?
  • Jessica Alba is on Sesame Street teaching the word “scrumptious”. She’s saying it all sexy-like. This just seems wrong.

Last night he spent 15 minutes laughing while he farted in the bath. He says, “Hot, Mama!” and pats my butt. Speaking of butts, he fell down today and asked me to kiss his butt all better. He thinks poops are funny and stinky and likes to tell you as much.

Sometimes I think I birthed Bart Simpson, and he’s only 18 months old. I can’t imagine the boogers, toilet humor and general boy-ickiness in our future.


He shrieks with joy when he hears my footsteps coming up the stairs when I’ve been out. “MAMA!!!!”, I hear before even getting inside from the garage. And there he waits at the top of the stairs, a giant smile threatening to burst off his chubby cheeks.

He gives so many hugs and so many kisses. He climbs into my lap for an impromptu snuggle before another game of trucks or blocks. When he gets tired he tells me, “Night, night, Mama”, and curls up on the couch with me before bed.

Sometimes I think I birthed a perfect little angel baby, and he’s only 18 months old. I can’t imagine all the love, joy and fun times we have in our future.

Know what’s SUPER FRUSTRATING? Writing and scheduling a post, only to find out that only the title posted. Also, I have tried THREE TIMES to make this work with photos and WordPress is being a jerk today. Hear that, WordPress? GET IT TOGETHER.  Head —> Desk. So I guess I’ll write it again. If I can remember what I said. And you might not get photos. I’m sorry. Hm…I think it went something like this:

I adore Pinterest. (Find me here.) If asked to pick a favorite feature one might think it would be hard, but for me, it’s not. I love the recipes the most. I really like to cook and I love find variations on old favorites, brand new ideas and decadent looking desserts. Since I challenged myself to actually do some of the things I pinned, recipes have been the most frequent. Each time I sit down to write my grocery list/meal plan, I also open my Pinterest and try to use one new recipe each time. Some have been busts, but I’ve found some really great ones recently that are going into the arsenal. I especially like this since I find I tend to get into food ruts and make the same thing over and over.

Below are three of my more recent favorites. All photos are credit of the original poster. I’d love to be one of those bloggers who take pretty photos of their food, but I never remember to take them until I’m about halfway through and by then…meh. I just want to eat.

Spicy Honey-Brushed Chicken Thighs by Handle the Heat


This simple meal was quick, easy, and the perfect balance of spicy and sweet. My only recommendations would be to double the spice mix if you’re making a large amount of chicken. I made five thighs and just barely had enough spice to cover the last one. I also suggest using the cooking time as just a loose guide, and use your eyes and nose as the real timer. The original recipes calls for a seven-minute cook time, but mine took more like 15. Once you’ve unsuspectingly taken a bite of raw chicken, you try not to do it again. On top of being good, this was a really affordable meal. I bought seven thighs on sale for under $4. Yum!

Corn Cakes with Tomato Avocado Relish by Annie’s Eats


I made these as a side to go with the spicy honey-brushed chicken, and I’m so glad I did. They are delicious! I used 2.5 cups frozen corn (thawed) instead of off the ear and regular milk instead of buttermilk because that’s what I had on hand. The result was a perfectly portioned cake of yum that paired really well with the relish. A relish that is so tasty, you could eat it straight out the bowl with a spoon…which I did! The cakes are a bit dense, so they are super filling and would work equally well as a side or a light lunch/dinner. I yielded about 11 cakes, so Owen and I finished the rest of lunch the next day. He liked it all, too! (Toddler approved!) I didn’t put any ranch dressing on top, as I don’t think it needs it.

Crock Pot Teriyaki Chicken by Lake Lure Cottage Kitchen


I’m a big fan of slow cooker meals in the winter. With minimal work, you have a healthy meal that makes the house smell good all day. This one is no exception. The recipe calls for chicken thighs, but I had 1.5 pounds of chicken breasts in the freezer so I used those instead and halved the sauce recipe. Since breasts have less fat than other cuts of meat, I also cooked them closer to seven hours in the hopes that they would be come super tender. While they still turned out really yummy, they never reached that pull-apart goodness I hoped they would. If that matters to you, I would follow the recipe exactly and use the thighs. I served this along side couscous and broccoli and Michael mmm’d his way through it, requesting I make it again in the future.

So there you have it, some of my recent favorite food pins. I’ll do another round up in a few weeks because I truly believe good food is to be shared. Happy eating…and pinning! (PS – if you’re on Pinterest and I don’t follow you, please leave your user name in the comments so I can. Especially if you have a food board!)

We’re dog sitting for my mother-in-law while she’s in Florida. For 10 days. She goes a few times a year and in the past we’ve driven back and forth to her house to let her dog out, or alternated with a neighbor to save us a trip or two. She lives about 20 minutes away, though, so the back and forth three times a day is just too much and too inconvenient now that we have Owen.

There was something lost in translation this time, though, because we didn’t quite understand that we had agreed to dog sit for a week and a half…until we were. So we are.

Lucy is a lab and just over a year or so old. I think. She was rescued from a “kill shelter” down south and brought up here. She is sweet, but also nuts and skittish and while I completely understand that given her unknown background, and the fact that she’s basically a puppy and not at all like the giant breed we’re used to…she’s driving me crazy.

She knows “sit”, but barely. Other than that, she responds to no other commands. Owen has started mimicking me and now runs around yelling, “DOWNNNN, U-CEE!”, which I must say a hundred times. She’s house-trained, but pees whenever Michael comes in the house.

Kodiak…well, he’s being a really good sport. But Lucy is like the little annoying sister he never had, and probably never wanted. She climbs all over him and trips him up, and while he basically sits there and takes it…

“W T EFFFFF is this crap?”

he has certainly lost his patience a time or two and knocked her around a little.

Owen alternates between thinking U-Cee is hilarious, and outright yelling AHHHHH in her face when she comes near him. I guess he’s used to our big lump of Newfie and doesn’t know what to make of the crazy either.

We’re got six days left with Lucy. It’s really too bad I can’t open a bottle of wine right now.

14-week belly says get out of the way, dog! You’re blocking the mac and cheese. (I can blame her for the dirty mirror too, right?)

I’m not a bad driver. I’m actually a really good driver. But I have one big problem: getting in and out of  the garage. You may remember that I backed into the edge of it a few months ago (no? You forgot? That’s good for me.), but what I didn’t tell you was that one rainy night on the way to Lowe’s I scraped the bottom edge of my car on the retaining wall next to the driveway because I was…I don’t know. Over correcting or something. Of course Michael was in the car with me and was telling me to just back out straight! Just straighten out the wheels!

Only, my brain didn’t get what that meant. I didn’t know HOW to make it go straight. I mean, I was already to the right…and…? My parents are banging their head into the wall reading this, I’m sure. What with the hours of driving instruction they provided more than a decade ago.

I’m not an idiot, I swear. I just…didn’t understand the words coming out of his mouth. Until he said, why don’t, you know, just make the wheel straight.

Oh. That. Right.

Shut up.

At least now I back out of the garage perfectly.


Speaking of garages, someone needs to explain to me the thought process behind leaving your garage door open all day. Our last house didn’t have a garage, nor did most of the houses on the street, so I didn’t notice it as much. But now that we’re in our new neighborhood I see it all the time. Garage doors left open all day, sometimes with a car in it, sometimes not, but no people around. So what is it? Laziness? The idea that it’s just a little bit easier not to have to use the garage door opener? I DON’T GET IT.


There is a set of twins that jog on the main road by my house and they always startle me. Before you yell at me for hating on twins (I don’t! Yay twins! I have twin nieces!), let me explain. They’re identical twins; adult women with long blond hair that they wear in ponytails that bounce in unison. To see two of the exact same-looking person doing the exact same thing in just a flash as I drive by is just…surprising. (Troll comment to come: I’m an identical twin! What gives you the right to be surprised by me, you judgmental beyotch? You’re just a mother who can’t drive. H8TR UNFOLLOW GAHHHH!!!!”)


The baby wants a sausage, egg and cheese on a garlic bagel. I must do what the baby wants.



(There’s a picture of Owen planking at the end of this post. Feel free to scroll down if pregnancy and toddler poop aren’t your cup of tea.)

– This pregnancy has been pretty run-of-the-mill. So far it’s pretty similar to how it was the first time, only my stomach is way bigger and I have less time to think about it. Also, I’m exhausted. I keep telling myself it’s because I don’t have the luxury of lying around all day, but I’m going to mention it to my doctor at my visit this week anyway. I figure it can’t hurt, and maybe she’ll write me a note to get out of work for the day. Oh, wait. Right.

I don’t want this baby to read here one day and think that I could care less about being pregnant with them. That’s not even the case at all. (You hear that, kid? I love you to the moon and back and will continue to smother you with love until you are begging me to stop hugging you in front of the school bus because GOD, MOM. YOU ARE SO EMBARRASSING.)

I think it’s just second time around syndrome. This feels natural, old hat, normal. And unlike with Owen, where early spotting was cause for a few extra and early ultrasounds, we’ve only seen this baby once around 8 weeks, when it was no bigger than a bean and resembled a manatee. I haven’t even heard the heartbeat on the doppler yet. (Friday!)

One notably cool thing though, is that I can already feel this one. Not kicking, not yet, but those early flutters that for awhile you confuse with gas. Only it’s not gas, and it makes me laugh and prompts me to stop for a minute and focus on the pregnancy and say, “Hi in there! We can’t wait to meet you!”

(And we really can’t, baby. I’m so excited!)

– Parents, when did you start potty training? (I’m going to talk about poop now. You’re welcome.) Owen turned 18 months old right after Christmas. I’m not in any rush to get him out of diapers (I wouldn’t mind, of course, but I figured he’s still on the younger end), but lately he’s been really good about letting us know when he has to poop. 99% of the time he tells us before he goes, so I was thinking maybe it would be a good idea to start guiding him towards a potty when he makes that announcement.

He doesn’t tell us if he has to pee, but I guess one step at a time? Anyway, I don’t want it to become a THING that he feels pressured about and blows up in our face, but has anyone started potting training this early with success? This is one of those parenting milestones I have no idea how to go about. Training Someone to Use the Toilet isn’t one of those fantasies I had while dreaming about children.

– My son has taken up planking:

I’m pretty sure the toilet was clean. At least, I hope so. He refused to NOT wear the hat in the house that day, insisting “Hat on! Hat on!” I think it just adds to it, no?

Dear Owen,

You are 18 months old! A  year and a half as flown by since you were born. I always say that whatever age you currently are is my favorite, but I really, REALLY mean it this time. This age is just so much fun, and you have such a personality.

I feel like I should say this in hushed tones so as not to jinx myself, but Owen, you’re just so good. Parenting is a hard job, but really, these last few months have been, dare I say it…pretty easy. Save for a small sleep regression a few weeks ago, you go to bed between 7 and 7:30 every night, and we don’t hear from you again until 7:30 the next morning. Sometimes even 8! (Although, that’s rare.) You start the day with kisses for Mama, and as soon as we’re done changing your diaper, you run into my room to kiss Dada good morning. And then immediately, you tell me it’s time to “eeeaaaattt!!!”

Because you DO tell me that. A lot. You love to eat, and would do it all day if I let you. You’ve become really proficient at using a fork and spoon, and it still surprises me to see you eating something like cereal and blueberries like a big kid. You will eat almost anything I give you, although your distaste for green beans remains. You do however love zucchini and broccoli, which I hope continues.

Your language has just exploded over the last few months and you never stop talking. You have so many words! Sometimes we can only understand them in the context of a situation, but most of the time we know exactly what you’re saying. Of course, you’re still learning, and sometimes get frustrated with me when I don’t know what you’re asking for. Most of the time a request to “show me” will solve the problem, but on at least one occasion you were repeating a word over and over with no solution. Learning to talk is hard!

Your first sentence was “Oh, my Dada!”, which has expanded to “Oh, my Mama (or any of your relatives)” and most recently, “Oh, my cheese.” I wasn’t kidding about you liking to eat. When we go to the grocery store you point out all the foods as we pass them by. You say please (“mease”) when you want something, although still have to be asked, “how do you ask?” to get you to do it sometimes. Recently you’ve discovered that asking of me specifically gets a much faster response, so many requests now sound like, “Open, Mama!” or “More, Mama!” You love animals and can name so many obscure ones (ostrich, dolphin, ram), but you don’t really like many in real life and tend to shy away from them. Except for Kodiak, of course. You LOVE Kodiak, and have recently discovered that you can feed him things like Goldfish crackers, much as we don’t want you to. I think Kodiak loves you even more now!

You’ve inherited the music gene and love to shake your stuff to any beat, play the piano at grandma’s house, and love the toy xylophone, drum and guitar. I hear you singing to yourself in the morning, and recently you’ve begun to sing “Five Little Monkeys” and “Ba Ba Black Sheep”. You can count to ten…sort of. It goes like this: “1, 2, 3, 4…gibberish…8, 9, 10…yay!” You can also recognize some letters, especially the letters O and E. You are obsessed with trucks and buses and tractors and can already decipher between things like a backhoe vs. a tractor vs. a dump truck. Mama is in trouble, because I would basically just call them all trucks.

You’re going to be a big brother this summer. If we ask you where the baby is you will pull up my shirt and kiss my belly, but I don’t think you really know what that means. If we ask if you want a brother or a sister, you’ll answer a broda-sisser. I think you’re going to be a really fantastic big brother.

Mostly, Owen, you are just so happy and loving, always offering a kiss and a hug, playing with your toys or sitting in your room surrounded by books, paging through them happily. You fill our hearts with joy every day and I can’t wait to see how you continue to grow.

I love you, little boy.




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