Wednesday, June 30, 2010


It's been a tough, looong week around these parts, so to lift my spirits a little, I thought I would show you some of my favorite spots around our house. And, stay tuned: I'm planning to post pics of Brynn's nursery a little later this week. It's beautacious (yep, that's a word), if I do say so myself.

This is our foyer, complete with our new front door (!!!). I love how light and airy this room is.

We found this piece at an antique store. It's an original 1950's TV cabinet and had the original (non-functioning) tv and record player in it when we bought it. Sean has since removed both and added a new record player and stereo system. This piece is housed in our "library," or what most people would call their "formal living room." Since we aren't formal, we didn't need one of those. This is the room where we keep all of our books, records, cd's, and games. We spend many hours in here listening to music, dancing, and reading books.

This rug in our library is my favorite rug in the house. It's also one of Hadley's favorite reading spots.

This is the other side of the library, which is wall-to-wall bookshelves. Sean built and installed these with his bare hands. And I love them. They make the room and also provide us a ton of storage space for our collection of books and records.

This is the dining room, which you can see from the library. I love this room in the afternoon light.

And this is one of my favorite pieces in the house. It's a mid-century-modern console that we picked up for a steal at an antique store. I use it to house most of my china. It also has the perfect drawer for organizing photographs and photography supplies.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

I guess this option beats the alternative, "Hooter Hiders"

Late yesterday afternoon, we found ourselves out and about so as to allow our contractor time to finish a project at our house without us underfoot. Unfortunately, we ran out of the house without so much as a sippy cup for Hadley or a blanket for Brynn. I think we left our brains at home, too. We didn't have anything planned and ended up just wandering around Target for a little while. Then, out of sheer boredom, we decided to grab an early dinner at a local restaurant.

Everything was going pretty well, i.e., Hadley was having a blast throwing macaroni and cheese on the floor and Sean and I were enjoying a meal without having to worry about mopping afterwards. Then it happened. Brynn decided she was hungry, too. And not just kind of hungry but REALLY FREAKING HUNGRY. She wasn't willing to wait, either, BY GOLLY!! If everyone else was going to eat, she was not going to be left out.

Amazingly, this has not happened to me yet. I am breastfeeding and so far, we have managed to plan things so that I am either home when Brynn is ready to eat or I take a pumped bottle if we are going to be out. But since we rushed out of the house, I didn't even think to grab a bottle. I just figured we would be somewhere breastfeeding friendly when it was time to feed Brynn. And the middle of a restaurant with people all around isn't really all that breastfeeding friendly. Especially since three young children were sitting at the table RIGHT NEXT TO US and had decided to talk to us throughout the meal.

That meant my options for feeding Brynn were really limited. I could breastfeed her at our table in full view of everyone in the tiny restaurant, or I could take her out to the car. I refuse, refuse, refuse to feed a baby in a public bathroom, so that wasn't even an option. As luck would have it, I didn't even have a blanket I could throw over us while I was feeding Brynn. As I said, I think I left my brain at home.

Luckily, the table next to us left pretty quickly. Then, I just bit the bullet and fed Brynn at our table. I had Sean give me his t-shirt (he had on two) to cover us up. And yes, I did get some looks from other patrons and waitstaff, and I think I made the manager a little uncomfortable when he came by to check on us. But, overall, the experience wasn't too bad. It was nowhere near as uncomfortable as the time I breastfed Brynn in the front seat of our car when we were stopped for four hours on the interstate due to a wreck. Feeding Brynn in the car was fine, but the guy who kept getting out of his car in front of us to wave at me was not. Seriously, what was that????

I was still thinking about our interesting meal this morning when I opened my email and saw an offer for a nursing cover gift set from "
Udder Covers" for $5. The gift sets are usually $37. I guess the universe was trying to tell me something: "Buy a damned nursing cover already!!! Stop flashing strange men when you forget to pack a blanket!!"

This deal at "Udder Covers" was just too good to pass up. The three-piece nursing cover gift sets include a nursing cover, Milk Bands breastfeeding bracelet, and two pairs of washable breast pads. I ordered the "Maria," which is pretty darn cute. It'll provide a little modesty, too, when I end up feeding Brynn in the middle of Target next time.

*** To get this deal, type "babies" in the "promo code" box at checkout. And nope, I have no affiliation with Udder Covers and was not compensated in any way for mentioning the company or its products in this post.

Hopefully she's going for an encore

Brynn did her typical eat-every-hour routine last night. Except unlike most nights, she started eating at 5:00 p.m. She normally doesn't start this until 7:00 p.m. at the earliest. And she fell asleep for the night at 8:00 p.m. Usually she falls asleep for the night at 10:00 p.m. and sleeps until the next morning at about 7:00. I was sure that since she fell asleep so early she was going to wake up in the middle of the night to eat. I even contemplated waking her to feed her one more time before we went to bed. But, in the end, I was lazy and tired and just went to sleep.

And hallelujah! My child slept until 7:00 this morning. That's 11 whole hours for a 3-month-old!! As Sean just said, "She's utterly delicious!"

Friday, June 25, 2010


We have apparently entered a new phase in which everything belongs to Hadley. When Hadley wanted a bite of my sandwich at lunch, she yelled, "MINE!!!" When she wanted to kiss Brynn last night, she yelled, "MINE!!!" And, when I went to put on my shoes this morning, she yelled, "MINE!!!" To my utter horror and disbelief, she even exclaimed, "MINE, MINE, MINE!!!" while pointing to my cup of coffee this morning. Uh no. That would be MINE, dear child.

And oddly, it wasn't the fact that Hadley wanted to drink coffee that horrified me so much. It was that she actually used that dreaded two-year-old-having-a-tantrum-phrase that got me. Oh God, kill me now please.

I'm not exactly sure where Hadley picked up this fabulous word -- or its meaning-- but I'm thinking that this little piece of literary magic didn't help:

This little gem is about a dinosaur who snatches up all of the toys and yells, "MINE, MINE, MINE!!!" Sound familiar to anyone? Yeah, Daddy thought it was really cute when he read Hadley this book and she immediately repeated the dreaded phrase. Somehow, it took her months to actually call me "Mommy," but she learned "MINE" in seconds. Figures.

And no, we didn't buy "Mine-o-Saur" for Hadley. She received it as part of a book program our state has initiated in which every child receives a book a month from birth until the child reaches age 5. Child experts in education and psychology choose the books, and it truly is an amazing program. In fact, some of Hadley's favorite books have been ones she received in this program.

But, "Mine-o-Saur" is just too mature for her right now. The moral of the story may be that you are supposed to share, but all Hadley got out of it was, "MINE!!!!!!" Apparently we are going to have to hide this one for a little while. And buy Mommy some ear plugs.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Five Things

Five things I never want to forget:

1) How hard Sean works for our family. He spent most of his Father's Day weekend in a tiny hole in our hot attic prepping it for insulation. We currently have very little insulation on our second floor and that area gets as hot as Hades in the afternoons. Sean had to contort himself into a pretzel and squeeze into a teeny, tiny little space to get the prep work done. He is willing to go to great lengths to accomplish things that make our lives better.

2) How Brynn sucks on two fingers on her left hand right now. It's immensely adorable, but we are nevertheless trying to curb this before she resorts to thumb sucking. I spend most of the day replacing her fingers with her paci. So far, she's not falling for it.

3) How Hadley now calls for "Momma" and "Da-tty" when she wants us. She ran down the hall yesterday afternoon calling "Da-tty," "Da-tty" for Sean. It was heartmelting.

4) How lucky we are to have my family so close. My parents and brother live right around the corner from us and my sister and her family live about 15 minutes away. We also have loads of cousins, aunts, and uncles nearby. Our family spends so much time together on holidays, birthdays, and just for dinners, picnics, and parties. I love that my kids will grow up with lots of family nearby.

5) How sweet my girls are to each other. It is so much fun to watch Hadley with Brynn. She gives her Minnie all of her kisses right now and loves to pat Brynn's back or hand and give her big hugs. And Brynn is fascinated by Hadley, too. Brynn watches Hadley constantly and smiles in her direction. I just love these kids

Friday, June 18, 2010

Granola Lust

This post is off subject and really rather dull, but I can't get this little gem out of my head.

Chobani Strawberry greek yogurt topped with this:
Oh yeah!

I usually eat this little treat as a snack when the kiddos are napping in the afternoons. I like to close my eyes, sip my iced coffee, and enjoy the few minutes of quiet with something that feels like a decadent treat. This totally fits the bill!

So, what does it say about me if I'm this excited about yogurt??

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The trees

On the day Brynn was born, Sean's step-father, Jim, planted two trees along the brick walkway that leads to his front porch. He named the trees "Hadley" and "Brynn." We love that Jim dedicated the trees to our girls and plan to take pictures of the girls with their trees on each of our visits.

Here is our first round of pictures taken during our Memorial
Day visit:

Brynn's Tree: 2 Months

Hadley's Tree: 21 months

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

I baked!

Well, I kind of baked. Isn't it beautiful??

It's a Blueberry Cream Cheese Galette. I'm so stinking proud of this thing because typically, I don't bake. And when I do, it doesn't always end well. There are a few things I do really well but following directions is not one of them. Therefore, baking and I don't always get along. This recipe, though, was foolproof. I used a store-bought crust and had the whole thing ready to pop in the oven in less than 10 minutes.

I based my galette off of this recipe but modified it slightly (see, I told you I can't follow directions). I didn't use cornstarch because I didn't want the fruit to break down too much (and I didn't have any), and I layered cream cheese under the berry mixture. The cream cheese was Sean's idea and made the tart so decadent and yummy. We both loved this dessert! And, it is so simple, yet so elegant and pretty, that I will definitely be making this the next time we entertain.

Blueberry Cream Cheese Galette

Adapted from For the Love of Cooking

1 pie crust
about 3 cups of blueberries, rinsed and dried
1-2 Tbsp white sugar (I only used one because it seemed like plenty)

2-3 Tbsp cream cheese, sliced

1 egg, beaten
Raw sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare your baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper and lightly spraying it with cooking spray. Unroll the pie crust on the parchment paper. Lay slices of cream cheese in the center of the pie crust. Gently mix the berries and sugar in a small bowl and pour/ heap on top of the cream cheese. Fold the pie crust to just cover the berries, leaving plenty of berries showing at the center.

Brush the outside of the pie crust with egg and sprinkle with raw sugar. Bake for 35-40 minutes. Let cool for 5-10 minutes and serve warm with vanilla bean ice cream or whipped cream.


Friday, June 11, 2010

The poop

Yesterday was interesting. I was in the middle of feeding Brynn in the living room when Her Highness Hadley demanded my attention in the kitchen. Apparently, she had deemed it snack time. I diligently popped Brynn into her swing and assisted Hadley in getting her snack ready.

Once Hadley was settled, I scooped Brynn back up and sat back down so that we could finish her meal. That's when I felt it... a warm, oozy, stickiness rolling down my arm. Let's just say that I wasn't really prepared for that sensation. I jumped up and looked at Brynn's back only to see that the entirety of her clothing was COVERED in poop. Her back, her side, her hair, all of it was covered. Her swing wasn't spared, either. I ran to the back of the house, plopped Brynn on her changing table and undressed her as fast as I could. Of course, she squirmed like crazy and smeared poop all over me and the changing table. Then, as if on command, Brynn started pooping again. So, I'm standing there trying to catch poop on the open, already poopy, diaper and Hadley starts calling me, i.e., crying/ whining from the kitchen. She wanted more graham crackers. Of course.

Somehow, I got everyone and everything cleaned up and both girls fed, but really, I'm not sure how. It was all a blur and ended with me running around the house in my skivvies trying to get everyone calm, clean, and happy. If nothing else, parenting has taught me that juggling is crucial. As long as I can keep all the balls in the air, I'm usually okay. It's when the balls are covered in poop that I'm in trouble.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Toddler Speak

Me: Hadley, can you tell me how old you are?

Hadley: no

Me: Can you say one?

Hadley: Two!!

Me: Two??

Hadley: Threeeeee!

Me: Can you say 1, 2, 3?

Hadley: (in sing-song) two,three, two, threeeee, two, THREE!!!

Yep, she's definitely got this counting thing down.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

And then there were four.... (!!)

You know, I've been meaning to sit down for weeks... okay, months... and write an introductory post for our new little love, but for so many reasons I have been putting it off. For one, my little bean eats NONSTOP from about 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. every night. It's like she knows she needs to stock up before bed. Unfortunately, that time at night is when I used to get things accomplished, including writing blog posts. Now, I feed Brynn and then crash as soon as she falls asleep.

And second, I just don't want to waste a single minute during the day that I could be spending with my two little girls. They are just that amazing-- and that all-encompassing. They literally keep me going every minute of every day. But, I've never been happier!!

Despite the fact that I have two babies under two (I know, I'm nuts), I'm determined to get this blog back off the ground. That means that I am making a commitment to myself and to all three of my readers (two being closely related to me) to post at least three times a week. I'm just stubborn enough to make it happen. Even if it means making myself post late at night when I'm half-asleep. Should make for some interesting reading, huh??

Okay, enough of that. I know I left you guys hanging after my last post, but I actually did give birth about two months ago. My little Brynn Penelope was born on March 30 and weighed a whopping 8 pounds, 5 ounces. Her birth was relatively easy with the only hitch being that I pushed for about 15 hours. Okay, not really, but those two hours were the longest two hours of my life. It was all worth it, though. Our little Brynn is a doll and is the easiest baby I have ever met.

Brynn captured my heart the moment I laid eyes on her. She loves to hold my hands while I feed her. She gives Sean giant, gummy grins, and she watches Hadley as if she is soaking up every little move so that she can replicate it in a few months. Brynn is also, to my great relief, breastfeeding like a champ. She has had no issues whatsoever latching or getting enough to eat. And, amazingly, she is already sleeping through the night. She started sleeping 5-6 hours at night when she was about three weeks old and in the last few weeks, she started sleeping 8-9 hours at night, from about 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. Instead of crying when she is tired, hungry, or bored, Brynn "grumbles." It's the sweetest little gremlin sound that is so much easier on the ears than crying. She loves chewing on her fist and will only sometimes tolerate her paci. And, she is cooing up a storm. At her two-month check-up, she spent the entire time saying, "hiiii" to our pediatrician. Just think-- I can tell people Brynn said her first word at two months:-).

And most importantly, Hadley ADORES Brynn. Hadley can't get enough of her little sister and is happy just kissing, hugging, and patting Brynn. I'm so happy that Hadley isn't jealous or angry that we have a new little one around. To the contrary, Hadley treats Brynn like Brynn is her little baby. She "helps" burp Brynn and will try to give Brynn her paci. A few days ago, I put Brynn in her carseat and turned around to grab a blanket to drape over her. When I looked back, Hadley was already tucking a blanket around Brynn's waist. I have no idea where Hadley got the blanket, but it was amazing to see her mimicking the way I tuck Brynn into her seat.

When we first brought Brynn home from the hospital, Hadley started calling her something that sounded like "Dee-Boo." She would say it every time she saw Brynn. We couldn't figure out what she was saying until we realized that it sounded an awful lot like "gentle," a word we used almost constantly when Hadley would pat or kiss Brynn. Apparently, Hadley thought our new baby was named "gentle." We seem to have cleared up that confusion, though. Now Hadley can say "Brynn," but she usually chooses to call her little sister, "Minn-eee," her version of "Brynnie." I'm loving watching my little girls interact and hope that Hadley keeps her nickname for her sister.

Alright, you guys have to hold me to my 3-posts-a-week promise. I've got lots to update you on, including pics of our new front door, Brynn's nursery, and the playroom.

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