Thursday, October 28, 2010

And another one bites the dust

Let's do bullet points today... that's all my brain can handle after Brynn's attempts last night to break the record on least sleep in one night. That'll teach me to praise her sleeping habits. Point taken, Universe.

* When Brynn finally did fall asleep last night, she was snuggled against me in our bed. Not the best sleep practice, but 1) we all finally got to sleep, and 2) she was snuggled against me. Sigh.

* Right now, I'm feeding Brynn 2 oz of white grape juice (the watered-down baby stuff) to help move some stuff through her little digestive system-- if you know what I mean. Apparently, carrots don't please her tummy.

* Not only is Brynn's tummy bothering her, but she also just cut her second bottom tooth. Yea and boo at the same time! By the way, if it is possible, that second, little tooth is even cuter than the first.

* Just recently, Brynn has started giving kisses when we ask for them. Big, open-mouthed, slobbery jobs that melt my heart every time. I've caught her trying to kiss the dog a few times in passing.

* When we put Hadley to bed at night, we hold Brynn up to Hadley, and Brynn gives Hadley the biggest, slobberiest kisses ever. Hadley then says, "She touches you!" and wipes her face off with her shirt.

* I bought Hadley "ruby slippers" to go with her Dorothy costume for Halloween. Since I tried them on her two days ago, she has only taken them off to sleep.

* Brynn is going to be a lion for Halloween. She's psyched about this choice.

* Hadley may refuse to wear any part of her Halloween costume except for the shoes. So, we may be trick-or-treating as "The Girl in the Red Shoes."

* Hadley just pointed to her banana and said she wanted more bacon. You and me both, kid.

* Last night, Hadley sang "Lullaby and Good Night" to my mom. We sing this song to Hadley at naptime and bedtime but had no idea she could sing it.

* In the car on the way to Target yesterday, Hadley sang, "I want playground" over and over and over again. Intermittently, she would stop and clap for herself and say, "Yea!!" We're headed to the playground now.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Sticker Shock

Sweet, chubby cheeks are definitely more fun to decorate than plain, old construction paper. Life lesson learned!!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Picture Perfect

The five o'clock hour comes much too early in this house. That time of day usually finds me rushing around trying to get dinner ready and straighten up the chaos from the day, all while trying to tame the little monkeys who are doing their best to break the sound barrier with their screeching. It's hectic, mad, and loud. It means that Daddy will soon be home, which is fun. But it also means a chaotic bout of trying to chop, measure, and stir while simultaneously entertaining the kiddos, which is so not fun.

Yesterday afternoon, just as Sean's car slid into the driveway at the end of the day, I looked down and realized that I was still wearing the hole-y yoga pants and old t-shirt I threw on when I jumped out of bed at 7 o'clock that morning. My hair was hastily tied up a in a messy bun, I had at some point amassed a giant spit-up stain on my shirt, and I was wearing no make-up and even less deodarant.

It was at that moment, when Sean was about to walk in the door, that I remembered an old newspaper clipping my grandmother used to keep on her refrigerator. My grandmother was raised in the Midwest and went to college in Iowa, where she graduated with a degree in home economics. She was a sorority rose queen and after graduation, she married my grandfather and became the consummate homemaker. My grandmother cooked homemade, delicious meals, including the best beef brisket and chocolate sheet cake I have ever tasted. She was a member of a sewing club and an ardent member of her church. She hand-made individualized Christmas stockings for everyone in the family and she catalogued and labeled the history of everything in her house. She was like Martha Stewart on steroids.

This newspaper article, which I remember my mom talking about, apparently provided tips for busy homemakers. One of those was that no matter how hard the day was, a good homemaker should always put a bow in her hair, apply lipstick, dress the kids in neat clothes, and greet her husband with a smile upon his arrival at the end of the day. Because his day was hard and he would wants to be greeted with a picture-perfect family when he came home. Umm, yeah.

Let's just say that I am about as far from that homemaker as I can possibly be. I'm even farther from the type of homemaker my grandmother was. I am lucky most days to get a shower, I don't do laundry until it threatens to bury me alive, and I can't remember the last time I tried to bake an actual cake from scratch. And you know what, I'm mostly okay with that.

I'd love to be Martha with the perfect house and coiffed hair, but I'm not. Even still, my kids are well-loved, happy children. We live in a happy house that is mostly neat and sometimes clean. And even though my husband doesn't come home to a picture-perfect house or family, he comes home to us, just as we are. Honestly, that's better than any fantasy you can create with lipstick and a bow.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Mexican Eggs

So, I promised to tell you how we use our leftover enchilada sauce, right? Okay, hold onto your hats 'cause this ones a little crazy. We made this recipe up one night on the fly when we needed a fast, easy, tasty dinner that would satisfy both the adults and the little one at our table. And, did it ever. This meal is so tasty and satisfying.

We call this meal "Mexican Eggs," and essentially it is eggs fried with salsa and enchilada sauce and served with creamy refried beans or black beans and warm, fluffy tortillas. I also top mine with baby spinach or broccoli slaw for some veggie power. This is my all-time favorite easy meal. Try it. You won't be disappointed!

Mexican Eggs
by Sean
serves 2-3

4-5 eggs
1 cup salsa
leftover enchilada sauce (about 1/2 cup)
1 can refried beans or 1 can black beans (drained and rinsed)
1/2 to 1 cup shredded cheese (cheddar or pepper jack works well)
4-5 warm flour tortillas

optional toppings:
baby spinach
broccoli slaw
black olives
chopped green onions

Heat refried beans or black beans. Spray a skillet with nonstick spray. Break eggs into the skillet and cook over medium heat until set. Flip the eggs and immediately pour salsa over the top (we like Herdez salsa for this). Then, drizzle enchilada sauce over the salsa. Put a lid over the eggs and cook eggs to your preference. Serve the eggs over the refried beans (or plate the eggs and serve black beans on top). Sprinkle on cheese and optional toppings of choice. Serve with warm tortillas.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

NEWS FLASH: Poopy on da Poddy!!!

We have poopy on the potty! Whoo hoo!!! And since we rewarded this behavior with (lots of) chocolate chips, Hadley has since insisted every 20 minutes that she has to go "poopy on da poddy." I fell for it the first three times and plopped her up there. She loves it. She sits, sings, plays with the shower curtain, and of course, tears up toilet paper to drop into the toilet. Hooray for new games!

Actually, I have very little idea where to go from here with the whole potty training thing. Unlike every other milestone and baby/ toddler issue, I haven't stressed/obsessed/ overly researched this one. I think it's my subconscious way of trying to ignore the fact that very soon, a little person is going to be running around my house sans diaper with the ability and likely desire to pee and poop on everything in sight. Things I like to not have pee and poop on them. Maybe I should invest in some plastic tarps to cover everything in until we have mastered this little lesson?? Yeah, that'll match the decor.

En-chee-ladas, Baby!

Okay, so I've posted about enchiladas before. And I just posted about tacos. I'm pretty sure I have a problem with Mexican food. If given the choice, I would gladly eat Mexican food every day for the rest of my life. That's normal, though, right?

I recently discovered this enchilada sauce recipe and it is now my forever go-to sauce. I really love the sauce I posted about before, but it can be a little heavy and gravy-esque. That's fine sometimes, but sometimes I crave a lighter, more tomato-y sauce. This is it. It's an Emeril recipe, and since discovering it, I make it ALL THE TIME. It contains ingredients I always have on hand and the process could not be simpler. I usually whip up cheese enchiladas with this sacue, but it is equally good with shredded beef, chicken, pork, or ground beef. Gotta love a little versatility in life, huh? And, the recipe makes a ton. We usually have at least a cup leftover. I'll show you what I do with that next time.

Try this sauce for me, please. You will be so glad you did! (Note: I substitute 8 oz tomato sauce for tomato paste.)

Monday, October 18, 2010

Finally: Fall!

It's finally cooling off a little bit here-- as in, the weatherman is no longer estimating the high for the day by frying eggs on the sidewalk outside the news station. Ahhh, fall in the South. I love the smell, feel, and sounds of fall: football games in the distance, cool air, chimney smoke, cinnamon, apple cider, and mums and pumpkins in every yard. It's exhilirating and makes me want to curl up under a comfy cableknit throw, sip hot tea, and nibble on pumpkin bread. Oh, and eat chili. Lots and lots of chili. We've been doing that lately.

Last weekend, I was inspired to pull out all of my fall decor. You know, since the temps only spiked in the 80's. I love how cozy and warm our house feels right now. And, as an added bonus: Hadley loves (LOVES) "Haddoeeeen" and "punkins" right now. Yesterday, we had to make a trip to Lowe's specifically so that Hadley could pet the punkins. She would have it no other way.

Here's a little peek at our fall living this year:

My little skeleton helper. We baked chocolate chip blondies yesterday and decorated them with halloween sprinkles for Daddy.

Yummy-- and so festive, too! (Don't you love my fork marks?)

This year, I pulled out our creepy tree, raven, and black feathers to "spookify" the foyer. Hadley loves it and constantly runs into the foyer to say "hi" to the birdie.

Hi birdie!

For a fun, little craft project for Hadley, I cut out some ghost and bats for her to decorate with her glitter markers. She also likes to say "hi" to the bats at least three times an hour.

Our dining room table dolled up for the season.

I also warmed up the library a little with a touch of red. Love red this time of year!

Do you guys decorate for Fall/ Halloween???

Friday, October 15, 2010

Six Months!

My littlest pea,

I am having the hardest time coming to terms with the fact that you are six months old already. Seriously, I just gave birth to you yesterday. And already you are babbling away, almost sitting up, and trying to army crawl (!). At your six month checkup, you weighed in at 14.8 pounds (40th percentile). I guess all of those feedings are working, huh? Our appointment pretty much epitomized your sweet personality. We saw a new doctor in the group this time, and you immediately made friends with him. You squealed when he came in the room, played with his hands and stethoscope, and gave him a giant hug when he picked you up. So far, you haven't met a stranger. As we were leaving, the doctor even joked that if we were giving you away, he'd gladly take you. Um, I said "no."

Good, thing, too. He would have surely regretted that decision. You see, apparently, you were teething pretty hard this week. Daddy and I just didn't get the memo. You tried to tell us with all of the screaming, crying, kicking, refusing to sleep, and, oh yeah, the fever for two days, but we still didn't get it. Then, last night, when your fever had finally broken and you were back to your usual happy self, I noticed the tiniest, little sliver of a tooth had popped through your bottom gums. Oh, the inhumanity! That tooth nearly killed us all, kid. I can only imagine how fun the next few teeth are going to be. Let's hope we get a little breather before they come in, okay?

Despite the pain that little tooth caused, it is the cutest, tiniest, little tooth I have ever seen. Daddy and I had to exclaim over it for most of the night. You know what else is the cutest? The way you stroke my face and hold my hands when you eat. You get settled in, close your eyes, sigh, and reach for my hands. If you aren't holding my hands, you reach up and place your tiny hands on my face. I love it. Most mornings, as soon as you wake up, I scoop you out of your bed and we settle into mine for your first feeding. We get all comfy, pull the covers up around us, and stay cocooned and warm until your little tummy is full. I'll miss those mornings when you are no longer nursing.

For the record, you should know that you are the easiest baby I have ever met. You rarely cry or pitch a fit, you sleep through the night (and have since you were 1 1/2 months old), you smile at everyone, and you eat like a champ. We couldn't have asked for a better complement to our family. And your sister, oh how she loves you. You two are going to be thick as thieves one day. Hadley still calls you "Minnie" (as do Mommy and Daddy) and she loves to give you kisses and hugs. You crack up when she is playing with you and even as Daddy and I are saying, "gentle, Hadley!" you just laugh and laugh. That doesn't really help, kiddo:-)!

Recently, you started eating solid foods. We started with rice cereal, which you like, and have since moved on to sweet potatoes, squash, green peas, and green beans. You love it all! You open your mouth wide and wait for the next bite like you haven't eaten in weeks. And you gobble up every bit we make for you. I have a feeling that you will be a little foodie like your mama.

I want you to know how very much you mean to me and your Daddy, Brynn. You have added so much happiness, light, and love to our lives. I can't wait to see what the next six months will bring-- more teeth (ouch), crawling, talking, and walking. It's sure to be an adventure. And one I can't wait to take with you.


Thursday, October 7, 2010

Five Things

Five things I can't live without this week:

1) tissues;
2) gallons of orange juice (I'd take some rum or vodka, too, if I thought Brynn would appreciate it);
3) my all-time favorite chicken soup (Mexican-style, natch), loaded up with jack cheese, avocados, and broccoli slaw;
4) my favorite pillow and down blankie;
5) the girls' nap times.

If you haven't guessed, I'm siiiiiiick. I was just fine Monday when I took Brynn to the doctor for her six month well-baby checkup (she's doing great!!). At the appointment, I asked for a flu shot so I could avoid having to come back to get one. Our doctor agreed but only had the flu mist available. That's what I got and since Tuesday night, I've felt like I have the flu. Coincidence?? Supposedly, the flu mist isn't supposed to give you the flu but can have side effects like a runny nose and fever. Hmmm. I've never had any side effects from the flu shot, and if this is what the flu mist is like, I'm not a fan!!

Apparently, bambinos can sense weakness. The kiddos have been so cranky the past two days. Either they aren't feeling well or they are purposefully trying to torture me while I'm down. This morning, Brynn cried the entire time Hadley and I ate breakfast. Hadley, in a move that is all her, decided she would rather paint with her oatmeal than eat it. While I was trying to soothe Brynn and control the never-ending flow of snot coming out of my nose, Hadley managed to smear oatmeal from her head to her toes. Literally. It took me half an hour to scrape dried oatmeal off of the table and floor. Live and learn, people. You can't turn your back to even blow your nose!

I'll write about Brynn's stats in my next post
when I'm not thinking through a fog.

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