Sunday, May 30, 2010

Re-fashion-ing

I have a new obsession. Grosgrain (as in ribbon). This woman is amazing with a sewing machine. She has impeccable style, and makes adorable clothing for herself and her girls. I was so inspired. I wish I had an eye like hers! And bonus? She often does giveaways for the stuff she has made! She is an inspiration to all who sew. And blog.

Anyway, after drooling over her site for a couple of weeks, I decided to go to the thrift store and see what I could possibly refashion into something cool. Unfortunately I'm not a great thrift shopper and I also don't have the imagination for creation that Grosgrain does. So I bought an already cool looking women's tunic and turned it into a cool looking dress for Lili. It took about an hour and a half.

Before

Shortened the sleeves, added a ribbon trimmed elastic waistband, cut the bottom and added another ribbon trim without hemming the bottom. Very. Very. Easy.


After!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Wow... 7 months and crawling!

Mira turns 7 months old tomorrow, and today marks the first day of crawling. Arm over arm on the belly dragging herself along the floor crawling! I never thought I'd be the one to say this, but they grow so fast!

I will admit that the first three months of Mira's life were hard. The hardest I've ever been through. The lack of sleep, the constant screaming, juggling two kids, it was all very overwhelming and it makes me so grateful for the sweet happy baby she is these days. Mira is off of her acid-reflux medication. She LOVES to eat, and handles finger foods already very well. She is tremendously ticklish. There are a few things about this little baby that I don't want to forget...

Little bird face - while being spoon fed her baby food. I'm also annoyed and amused by her blowing raspberries frequently right after a mouthful of food!

Piranha face - when she is particularly hungry for nursing, she can't even wait until latching on. She'll come at me with her mouth wide open, ready to get that milk!

How she buries her face in my shoulder upon being greeted by other people. She gives a big grin and then just nuzzles into me as hard as she can. I love it.

She wakes up often with a dadadada or blahblahbaba. No mmmmamama sounds yet!

Her first accidental word was "doggie". Just like Lili. We were at the park with some friends' dog and she said it, clear as day.

How she works so hard to get the attention of dogs in the neighborhood. She really can tell what is a canine and she really wants one.

Last thing I can think of... the pale portion of skin inside her fat folds - the stuff that doesn't see the light of day - is getting lighter as she tans... and I love to see those little folds!

They do, indeed, grow up fast!


PS... This week also marks the last day of Lili's first day of preschool! And... Mira pooped - on the toilet today! Let's just say... it can make a parent proud.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Chaiiiiiice Cream

About a year ago, we made some ice cream without an ice cream machine. It was good, but the flavor variations are limited, so...

After a neighbor re-inspired me to make my own ice cream (hers was cinnamon ice cream!), I broke out our ice cream maker and whipped up some Chai Ice Cream. The flavor is inspired by Keith, who made some Chaicecream in a food science class in college.

Chai Ice Cream

2c 2% milk
1c heavy cream
1/2 cup sugar
1 chai tea bag
pinch ground cardamom
dash nutmeg
dash allspice
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger

Heat the milk, and steep the tea bag in it for a few minutes. Our teabag broke in the mix and so there are flecks of tea in the ice cream. Not a bad thing, but if you don't want to eat tea don't let the teabag break. Add sugar, cream, and spices, and stir well (or in my case add it all to a quart jar and shake well). Refridgerate until cold. Add to your ice cream maker and follow the directions to freeze into ice cream.

Serve with ginger cookies!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Growing up

Despite the title of this post, it is not going to be about my children...

I don't feel like a grown-up most of the time. I'm already 30(+) but I just don't think of myself as old, like parenting old! My mom recently had her 60th birthday and my dad asked me what I thought of that. My response was to say that whenever I think my parents' age is old, suddenly I am that age and it doesn't feel so old anymore. So I don't think anything about age these days.

But there have been some milestones that I've noticed can make one feel more like a grown-up.

First, getting a real job. You know, one with a salary. And a 401K (which is still a scary word to me).

Second, getting a raise.

Going to a conference. Attending seminars. Having meetings!

Buying a house. Having homeowners insurance.

Buying a car! Probably buying a brand-new car will feel extra grown up, but I haven't done that yet so I'm not so sure.

Getting married (surprisingly, I don't include getting engaged. I guess that's too much like "going steady" to take seriously!)

Cleaning the bathroom. Maybe it's weird that I think of that as a grown up thing, but whenever I talk about it or hear that someone else is doing it, I think... wow, how grown up of you.

Having a "planner". You know, one of those daily planners, otherwise known as a calendar? That you write appointments and things into?

Having kids? I'm not so sure about that one. I don't think it makes me feel grown-up to have kids. The early wake up calls and exhausting days just make me feel old.

How about you? Was it your first wallet, your newest haircut? What makes you think "grownup"?

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Lil' camera

Lili goes through phases where she loves to use her camera. Her camera is an old old (like, first generation) digital camera that my brother handed down to her. It is ginormous and has no real monetary value and is perfect for a 3 year old.

Lately, she has been on a real photo kick and I've noticed that she has matured greatly in her picture taking abilities. The pictures are largely recognizable and she even sets up photo sessions for her stuffed animals, placing them just so before telling them to "say cheese".

I particularly love the pictures she takes of her artwork around the house, but my absolute favorites, the ones that make me laugh and laugh are her "self-portraits". She loves to experiment with faces and the most recent shots are very revealing as to her general mood as of late: rebellious.

this is a nice "arty" shot of Mira eating lunch. The baby food is in focus, the baby is not.


"see, i can be happy"

"i can also be pissed off as heck"

"and this is as bad-a** as i can get!"

Monday, May 17, 2010

on two(ish) wheels

Lili used to be utterly fearless. When we first moved to VT she was the little pint running and climbing on everything. I was the mom who held back and let her do her thing. Fast forward two(!) years and we have a rather timid biker. I think a little to her dad's chagrin, Lili is a bit afraid of riding her bike. I don't blame her much. A couple bad falls will cause anyone to shy away, but add in her stubbornness about it and we have a little bit of a dilemma on our hands. We'd love her to be on two wheels by the end of the summer but seeing as how she keeps her training wheels low it probably won't happen....

But for now, she's happy to ride the obstacle courses at the neighborhood bike party!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Tidbits

Get ready for some thought spewing - a bunch of stuff floating through my head lately that I just needed to write down.

Mira is ridiculously grabby lately. Way more than even a week ago. She will go to great lengths to reach anything and everything. I noticed this especially when giving her a bath with Lili - Mira sits in her baby tub in the big tub. She practically lunges out of the little tub to get at the toys in the big tub. It's funny and maddening.

A recent conversation with Lili which showcases her current level of comprehension. Note that the weather has been weird lately - warm then cold, so you really have to evaluate in the morning whether or not a jacket is necessary. On this particular morning, I was rushing around to get out the door and Lili got her shoes on and into the car on her own. After I got in the car I realized I didn't get a jacket for her...
Me: I forgot to get a jacket for you
Lili: Why? (always with the whys!)
Me: Well, um, I guess I wasn't thinking how cold out it is.
Lili: But you're wearing your jacket
Me: Yes
Lili: {pause} Well that shows me that you were thinking how cold out it is
Me: {dumbfounded} yes well i guess usually you don't like to wear your coat so i didn't think of it
Wow - my days of "just because" might be over

Lili is figuring out the concept of dreams. Her imagination runs wild as she is laying in bed and she jumps out to tell us her latest "dreams". Still can't figure out if this is a particularly vivid method of stalling for bed.

I gave Mira the faux-hawk because she had cradle cap. But I like it so much I'll probably keep doing it.

I realize how much I have been affected by motherhood when I knowingly leave the house with (baby) pee on my pants. It was just too much effort to change again.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Mira is...

a punk ROCKER!

yeah, don't mess with me!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

I've been cooking

Meal planning has never been my strong suit. And now that we live very close to a grocery store, it's so easy to pop out to the store to pick up something for dinner. Wait, scratch that, I have two kids and it takes us about half an hour to get ready to go anywhere, nevermind that the older now thinks it is quite the chore to go grocery shopping...

So, this week I did good. Made enough of good things to not have to cook one night, and staggered the meals so that we got to have new with old, which is great for more than the fact that it's not just "leftovers" - it also means less cooking all at once.

Sunday - Veggie Chili with chips and cheese
Monday - Veggie Chili with Quinoa salad (limed this time)
Tuesday - Quinoa Salad with Stuffed Portobellos
Wednesday - Some of all of the above
Thursday - Orzo Chicken
Friday - Hopefully leftover Orzo chicken, but we'll see.

Plus, apple crisp from yucky soft apples, and today homemade Tapioca Pudding! I'd never made pudding before so it should be interesting.

Anyway, a picture and a link for the mushrooms. They were an experiment that turned out pretty well and made me feel good for eating "healthy". Obviously, I put mozz cheese on top instead of parmesan...

What's on YOUR plate tonight? I need more ideas for next week!


Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

I'd kind of like to title this "Happy Freakin' Mother's Day" but I feel that might be a disservice to my husband and kids. But it's been that kind of low energy BAD weather day that makes me get up on the very opposite of the right side of bed.

So here's what I've been thinking today. The irony of Mother's day is that it's the day most mother's don't want to do any mothering. No butt wiping, no snack prepping, no clothing, bathing, reading, etc etc etc. It is the one day where we feel we can ask for a break and dance around the house (or, you know, take a long nap). It makes sense and seems wrong all at the same time!

To that end, I decided I would do the anti-mothering thing and install a towel bar. Very handy-manish. So I leveled, and drilled, and totally messed in up with big holes in the wrong places in the bathroom. I called to Keith for HELP. Keith, who had been {fathering} the children while I anti-mothered. So we switched. I handed him the drill while he handed me the baby. Thirty seconds later I hear a groan from the bathroom: "What did you do?!". Two minutes later, a gasp of indignation from me: "What didn't you do?!". A big gross sitting in it poopy diaper. So he fixed the bathroom while I bathed the baby, and we both forgive each other for the fact that we'll never learn :)

So, you know, Happy Mother's Day. There's no one like her!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Game changing

Children are anything but sedentary. They are always a-changin' and it can be hard to keep up, especially when they tag team waking (you) up all through the night only to arise at 5 o'clock in the morning.

Mira's naps have been anything but regular, but I have usually been able to get her to sleep for a short time while I shower in the morning. That "schedule" seems to be flying out the window, so this morning I broke out the jumperoo and Lili entertained Mira in the doorway of the bathroom while I showered. I'll jump through just about any hoop, I guess.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Yeah Right

5 minutes after "I'm not tired at all"...

Saturday, May 1, 2010

This stuff is awesome

Mira, being the second child, gets a lot of hand-me-downs. She has Lili's old car seat, old stroller, old clothes, old diapers (cloth ones, before you get all grossed out), old toys, you get the picture.

BUT, there have been a few things we have purchased especially for Mira. Things we have learned about from other parents, things that promised to make our lives easier. And we'll take all we can get in that department.

Of the new things we've tried, these are the things that passed the "magic" test. Mira liked it immediately, or it really did make our lives much easier, and we continue to use it. As in, it's cost-per-use has decreased significantly. You know what I mean... you spent $50 on it, and only used it ONCE = $50 per use (or pretty darn expensive). But if you spent $50 on it and used it 100 times??? $0.50 per use (or, pretty darn cheap!). I'm all about the math. So see here, the good value items that we have purchased for baby #2 - tried and true!

Teething oil, otherwise known as "Lindsay's Magic Stuff", from a local essential oil apothecary, is amazing stuff. It's mostly organic, and works wonders on Mira (and several other babies we know. Sometimes I wonder if it is just a placebo effect, but either way, it beats pumping tylenol into her system if we don't need to!



Zutano booties. Wonderful. They're cute, and they stay on. And they're cheaper than Robeez. If I had known about the fleece version before winter started I totally would've bought those too. But I only endorse these for way pre-walker. As in... 0-9 months. Because they don't have any tread on them, so they're just for warmth (and, you know, fashion).

OMG, the pacifiers! A total godsend. Mira uses hers very appropriately when she needs to, and also uses it as a teether toy when she is particularly fussy about her teeth. The ones we have are extra cool because they are encapsulated and have no grooves to get all gross and wash up really easily. Plus you can see her tongue sucking through it, which is pretty neat.

The food sock! We just discovered this, and Mira figured it out right away. It's really cool because you can tell she really wants "real" food, and this way she won't choke on it while she's figuring out the whole swallowing thing. Plus, it keeps her occupied (sort of) while we try to eat (aka scarf down our food).



I love the Moby wrap. After the initial learning curve of figuring out the best way to put it on, it has been fabulous. It's WAY more comfortable than the baby bjorn, and continues to distribute the baby's weight really well over my back and shoulders. It packs up small, washes really easily, and is easy to wear even then the baby isn't in it. Even Keith prefers this one over the other carriers we have. And that's a big endorsement!




The Phil&Ted stroller is definitely my must have for 2 kids. Even though Lili can walk on her own, a lot of the time it is easier just to stroller her. Plus, this way I can get a real walk in - instead of walking at a 3 yo's snail pace.



And I must add - I might've paid almost anything for the items listed above, because they really work, and they really have made our lives easier. But luckily for me, many of these items were from craigslist.