Tuesday, July 28, 2009


Today officially marks two weeks that we have been pacifier free! We did it!!! I am still shocked at how easy it was to wean Hadley of her pacifier. We simply stopped giving her her pacifier and she never once lost her mind, cried for the pacifier, or otherwise indicated that she couldn't go on without it. In fact, it was as if she completely forgot about the pacifier. I'm sure we got lucky and Hadley was just ready to give up her pacifier anyway. But still, I'm claiming this as a victory.

Next up, the bottle. We're going to start phasing it out at one year, which is in about a month. This one should be interesting-- as in, I expect the world to fall apart and much resistance to ensue. Stay tuned.

Best Friends

Hadley LOVES her dog, Bella. She simply cannot get enough of her. When Hadley sees or hears Bella enter a room, Hadley's whole face brightens and she squeals with delight. Then, she screams, "Bella!!!," and tears off in her direction as if she hasn't seen her in days. And, those two together are hilarious. Hadley tries to "pet" Bella by grabbing her fur and holding onto handfuls at a time. Bella tries to play with Hadley by crouching in front of her or by dangling a toy near her face. And, the kisses. That dog gets more kisses in a day than I get in a week. Bella gives her fair share of kisses to the baby, too.

If Hadley is within ten feet of Bella, Hadley will lean in with a big open mouth to kiss Bella on the top of her head or on her cheek or nose. And, in typical Bella fashion, Bella responds with great big licks to Hadley's face. Hadley could not be happier. I, on the other hand, would prefer that the licks not come into contact with Hadley's face or open mouth. We're working on that one.

For all of the fur pulling that Bella endures in Hadley's presence, she seems to genuinely love Hadley and enjoy being around her. Bella typically seeks Hadley out in the house and routinely joins me when I retrieve Hadley from her crib after naptime. I'm sure the treats that rain down from Hadley's highchair have a lot to do with Bella's continued and saint-like patience with Hadley. The fact that Hadley typcially offers to share her Cheerio's and dinner with Bella probably helps, too.

Monday, July 20, 2009

A difference in perception

At Hadley's Little Gym class last week, a little boy toddled over to Hadley and gave her a big, open-mouthed kiss on the top of her head. After much oohing and ahhing by the mommies, he leaned in and gave her another one. That time, Hadley tilted her head up and kissed him back.

My response: That was so sweet. Look at my baby returning kisses!!

Sean's response when I told him: She's way too young to be kissing boys.

And therein lies the difference in men and women. The end.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

My First Award!

Thanks to Cassie for so kindly giving me my first award! Cassie's websites, Cassie Craves and Life Ensues, are two of my new favorite places to stop each day for a read.

Thanks again, Cassie! And now, I am passing this award on to a few bloggers that I have recently discovered. Here are the rules:

1. Accept the award, post it on your blog along with the name of the person who has granted the award, and his or her blog link.
2. Pass the award to 15 other blogs that you’ve recently discovered.
3. Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award.

2. Finn's Garden

3. The Shooting Allens

4. The Kimmers

5. My Journey Through Motherhood

6. Sophie and Hannah's Big Adventure

7. Our Best Bites

8. Our Sweet Life

9. The Most Awesome Stuff Ever

10. The Higher Nest

11. Lime in the Coconut

12. Oh Brooke

13. Good Things Catered

14. Picky Palate

15. Noble Pig

Two Days and Counting...

I think we've kicked the habit! I'm probably jinxing myself by writing this, but Hadley has now gone two whole days, since Tuesday morning, without touching, looking at, or crying for her pacifier (her paci). She had only been using it when she was sleeping at naptime and at night, but still, she loved that thing. She would wake up in the middle of the night and search for it in her crib. And, she would play with it and sing to it when she woke up in the morning. I figured that taking her paci away would be akin to the world ending, but for some reason, she doesn't even seem to notice that it's gone. I think I'm a little more sad and sentimental than she is to see it go. But, at the same time, I am so happy that we don't have to worry about taking it away when she is old enough to really understand.

Did anyone else's little one use a pacifier?? If so, how did you phase it out/ wean your child from it? I'm half expecting our world to drop out from under us in a few days when Hadley remembers that thing. Keep your fingers crossed that that doesn't happen!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Sweet Corn and Cilantro Salad

Here it is, my recipe for Sweet Corn and Cilantro Salad-- finally! I promise that I have very good reasons for posting this so belatedly. The main one being that I wanted to re-make the salad and actually measure things out for you. Instead of just giving you rough directions, like add a little of this and a little of that, I wanted to actually give you a RECIPE. Imagine that. Unfortunately, I rarely measure when I cook. I just add ingredients until I get the dish the way I want it. I rarely have failures with this method, but I also rarely have specific recipes to share, either. So, I'm working on that.

Another reason I've been slow to post this? I'm just lazy-- er, busy. Really, we have been super busy this week with story times, Little Gym, play dates, and more. Who knew a baby could have this many social engagements?

Anyway, back to the recipe. I can't take full credit for this salad, or really much credit at all. My mom has been making this salad for years, and I simply tweaked it a bit after I claimed it as my own. My mom's version of this salad uses white shoepeg corn, yellow onion, and tomato. I like to jazz up the textures and flavors by mixing corns, like sweet golden and white corn . I also love the fresh flavor of cilantro in this salad and now add it every time I make it. For a kick, you can also add fresh jalapeno, pickled onions, or pickled jalapenos. Anything goes with this salad-- and it is always a hit. I love to take this to parties and cookouts since it is so easy, yet so tasty.

Sweet Corn and Cilantro Salad

2 cans corn (white shoepeg, sweet white, sweet golden), drained
1 small tomato, diced
1-2 tablespoons of yellow onion, finely diced (go easy on the onion in this... as the salad sits, the onion can get very strong)
handful of fresh cilantro, roughly torn
Up to 1/4 c. mayo (we use light)
salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Mix the drained corn, tomato, onions, cilantro, and mayo in bowl. I would add a little bit of mayo at a time to make sure that 1/4 c. is not too much mayo for you. I don't like a lot of mayo, so I usually add just under 1/4 c.

Salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate for about an hour prior to serving.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Sprinkle, Sprinkle, Little Star: Our Trip to the Sprinkler Park

Sprinkle, Sprinkle Litle Star,

How I wonder what you are.

Up above the world so high,

Like a diamond in the sky.

Sprinkle, Sprinkle Little Star,

How I wonder what you are!

What a fun day with my little Star (and our play group friends)!!

**Hadley is pictured with her Aunt Kacey in the first few pictures.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Dear Hadley: Month 10

Dear Hadley:

Happy 10 months, Sweet Pea! This was your first June with us and your first experience with our local summer weather. Let me just start by saying, I am so sorry. Summers here are tough-- we have temperatures reaching the low 100's and humidity so extreme that you melt the moment you step outside. But all of that aside, summers are also so much fun. There's swimming, picnics, parties, vacations, and of course, ice cream. And for me, summertime now makes me nostalgic. I spent last summer melting in this crazy heat while I was pregnant with you. Consequently, I will now forever associate summer with your pregnancy and the last few months before I met you.

I sometimes wonder if you realize that you have now experienced three seasons since your birth. Do you realize that it was cold just a few months ago and now it is so hot that going outside is almost unbearable?? Do you realize that you used to wear layers and layers of clothes and now you hardly wear even one? I'm betting you will tell me all about these crazy things when you start talking.

We're making the most of our summer together introducing you to lots of fun warm-weather firsts. We went on our first family vacation to Florida in June with your aunts, uncles, and cousins. We stayed at a cool resort and you swam in both a pool and the ocean for the first time. You loved the pool, but you were a little underwhelmed by the beach experience. We also bought you your own little pool for our back porch. It blows up to just big enough for Daddy and I to sit in it with you. And, you love it. You splash and kick and squeal with delight when we go swimming. I love to see you so happy.

Recently, we enrolled you in a class at The Little Gym. I wanted to make sure you had plenty of educational and physical stimulation and the social interaction is just icing on the cake. You are in a class called the "Birds," which is for babies 10 months to 19 months. You are the youngest in your class, but you are giving the big kids a run for their money. At our class last week, you bested all of the babies by hanging unassisted on the parallel bars, something that completely amazed your teacher. I kept telling her that you have a crazy, monkey grip and that such feat did not surprise me at all. She, however, could not get over how strong you were and kept asking me where you were hiding all of those muscles. When I told Daddy about your athletic feats, he immediately declared that he was going to enter you in the Strong Man competition. He was so proud of you. And he wasn't really surprised, either. We've both had to pry too many things out of that crazy grasp to not think it is entirely possible that you can suspend your weight from those little hands and arms.

Just before Melissa let go to see if you could hang on your own. You did!!

We are also in a playgroup with about six babies and this week, we went to the local sprinkler park for the first time. All of the kids loved it, especially your cousin Ayden, and you had fun letting Aunt Kacey run you through the sprinklers. The best part was that once the sprinklers turned off, you could sit on the ground and splash in the water. It was just like your bath but without the drama of having your hair washed.

You reached a few more important developmental milestones this last month, too. You are now almost entirely transitioned to "finger foods" and love trying new things. You get excited when Daddy and I are eating and reach eagerly for the food on our plates. One of your new favorite foods is blueberry pancakes. Yummy. You also now have two new teeth (the second bottom tooth and one top tooth) and are working on the third (the second top tooth). That top tooth should be in any day now. That means that you have effectively gotten all four front teeth in the span of about five weeks. When you decide to do something, you go all the way, kiddo! You have also mastered standing on your own, cruising on furniture like a champ, clapping, dancing, and walking with assistance. You are such a big girl!

You tend to think you are too big sometimes, though. You have decided in the last month or so that you no longer want us to change your diaper or dress you. The moment we lay you down on your changing table, you flip over and try to crawl away or you just sit up. That makes changing you such a delight-- and changing you by myself is always an adventure. Your grandparents, Maggie and Pop, babysat you last weekend and they had the unfortunate experience of having to change your diaper. They are convinced that it takes four people at a minimum to do this job. I just laughed because you and I know that I manage to do it on my own. At least, most of the time.

GG, Maggie's mother and your great-grandmother, said that Maggie did the exact same thing as a baby. GG would start changing Maggie on one side of the bed and would end up at the other side of the bed before she got the new diaper on. And apparently, I was exactly the same way, too. At least you got it honestly, sweetie.

You have learned a few new "tricks" lately, too. You love to hide your face and then pop out to look at us. You laugh so hard when you do this. You mimic Daddy and I when we raise our hands or hit our hands on the table. You love to be the leader, too, and usually get us to copy you. You also have recently started shaking your head no when we ask for kisses. Then, you usually give us kisses anyway. And, you have started walking around your little activity table, over and over again, bopping to the music. It's like you have to see how many times you can go around without sitting down. We love to watch you play, Sweet Pea. It's so fun to watch the wheels spin and to see you learn new things.

I love you, Sweet Pea, and am having so much fun with you. I can't wait to see what new adventures we have in July.

Your Mommy

Monday, July 6, 2009


I had the best intentions to take pictures of our Fourth of July party, the beautiful and delicious food, the pretty lights Sean strung up on the back porch, and all of our family and friends enjoying themselves. I failed, however, to follow through. I didn't take a single picture of the food and the few pictures I did take were taken before most of the guests arrived. Oh well. At least I managed to relax a little and enjoy the party.

And enjoy, I did. We had the best time visiting and eating. Most of our friends have babies now, so there were lots of little ones in attendance for Hadley to play with. Hadley shared all of her toys, her walker, her exersaucer, and her jump-n-go. One little guy even fell asleep in the jump-n-go. Hadley patted his arm as his mommy and daddy got him ready to go home.

And the food was fabulous. I love big parties with lots of different foods. Our guests were kind enough to bring all kinds of yummy dishes, like a sinfully good artichoke dip, my mom's marinated slaw, pies, cookies, and lots of bevarages, including a mojito. Yum. I'm still full.

My patriotic trifle also turned out beautiful and delish, although I failed to get a single picture of it. Maybe next time. I will follow up this post with the recipe for my corn salad, which is a fabulous party dish.

I hope your holiday was fun and relaxing!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Happy Fourth of July!!

I hope yours is great-- full of great food, friends, and family!

I know this post is a little early, but we're having a big cook-out tomorrow for some friends and family, so I'll likely be too busy cleaning/ prepping/ freaking out tomorrow to post. I have so much to do and with a baby in the house, so little time to do any of it. Actually, I'm trying very hard to not over-plan or stress in preparation for this little party. I want to host a laid-back and fun dinner and not care if my house isn't perfectly clean for it. We'll still have fun and we'll all be okay.

Yeah, that isn't really how I work, so that's what I'm trying to do. I don't think it's working. I spent tonight after Hadley went to bed sweeping the garage, back patio, and front porch. Then, I cleaned the kitchen to an inch of its life and was about to start vacuuming when Sean forced me to sit down. I acquiesced but only because I haven't sat down yet today. I'm really not good at the whole laid-back thing.

I do have a pretty yummy menu planned out, though. Here's what we have planned:

Tortilla chips and homemade pico de gallo
Various types of grilled sausages and hot dogs (chicken and apple sausage, spicy smoked sausages, etc.)
Marinated cole slaw
Sweet corn and cilantro salad (I'll post the recipe in a few days)
Baked beans with brown sugar and bacon

And for dessert, a Red, White, and Blue Trifle made with layers of strawberry cake, whipped cream, blueberries, and strawberries. I got the recipe here (and am modifying it slightly) and I can't wait to try it. Yum!!

Enjoy the holiday!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Cry It Out

I hate the "cry it out" method. I hate it, hate it, hate it. Hadley apparently does, too. Right now, she is crying herself to sleep for nap time for the third day in a row and really, I can't tell a difference. She doesn't seem to be going to sleep any easier or crying for shorter periods of time. And, when I go in to calm her, she only gets more upset and wails when I leave again. Right now, she is wailing, "nah, nah, nah," which is her "no, no, no." Ugh. Just UGH.

Pretty Baby

I love this picture. It's so Hadley: her cute, mussed hair, pretty eyes, and quirky smile. And that tongue. She has recently started sticking it out at us all the time. It's her newest thing. This picture also amuses me because it completely belies the fact that a few minutes after I took this picture, I picked Hadley up to snuggle and she managed to both head butt me and pull my hair. Good times. Unfortunately, Hadley tends to be quite the painful, little one to be around. She is amazingly adept at unwittingly causing pain.
I think I have mentioned that we are working on re-sleep training Hadley. We managed to completely un-sleep train her on vacation a couple of weeks ago and are now having to suffer through the process of teaching her to put herself to sleep again. If this doesn't work, I foresee us having to drive to Hadley's dorm room every night when she is in college because she needs me to pat her back until she falls asleep. That might be a little embarassing. For all of us.
So far, sleep training is going okay. We have good nights and bad. Last night was REALLY bad. Hadley woke us up three times from 1:30 to 6:00. By 6:00, I was a zombie and gave in and put her in bed with us so we could try to get a FEW MORE MINUTES of sleep. Usually, if I put Hadley in bed with us in the morning, she goes right back to sleep with her little hands behind her head and her little legs tucked up like a frog.
But this morning, she was wired. She crawled around our heads, stood up on the headboard and danced, and played a game where she sat up and then threw herself backwards onto the pillow. I knew that that game was ill-advised and could end in pain for someone, but I was so sluggish and half in and out of sleep, that I let her do it one more time. That one time, Hadley mis-aimed and slammed her head into my nose. I saw stars, like the ones that cartoon characters see when they get bonked in the head. Then, I may have said a few words I shouldn't have. I am still in pain some three hours later and I am predicting that by tomorrow, I will look like I tussled with Mike Tyson.
What is that saying, "Love is blind?" Yep, I might be blind, bruised, and bandaged by the time Hadley is grown, but I'll love the journey nonetheless.

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