20 July 2009


It's been a while, I know. And to be honest, it's going to be a much longer while. I very much need to make life simple, and obviously, blogging is not high on the priority list. I may be around, I'll always be reading your blogs. But I won't be back to this one for a while, at least until serious inspiration strikes. Hope you all don't mind...

29 May 2009

Help A Mama Out

Quick question for you all (mamas, babysitters, people who are otherwise brilliant with children, etc....).

What did your kids eat for snacks at around age 18 months? Or, what suggestions do you have for healthy, yummy, creative, toddler-friendly snacks?

We're running out of ideas and getting a little bored around here with our regular snack times and I'm looking for new ideas!

I know my *many* loyal readers (snicker) all either have kids and/or love cooking so I thought I'd ask you all first!


UPDATED: I'll take meal time suggestions, too, not just snacks!

26 May 2009

Elmo pees.

Sorry for the title...I'll explain, I promise.

Brian and I have been singing to Liam since his birth, and very early in his life certain songs seemed to calm him more than others. The monotone and repetition of songs like "Old MacDonald" and the alphabet song were particularly soothing, especially when riding in the carseat. So Liam heard these songs very, very often. And we've realized as he has gotten older that he was listening and absorbing a lot of what we were singing to him.  One of his first words was "E-I-E-I-O," in fact. We'd stopped using that song as a calming technique as he got older and needed less soothing, but suddenly probably months after hearing the song the last time, he started singing it back to us. We were stunned and thrilled that he remembered.

After that, it is not entirely surprising that Liam has begun singing the alphabet to us. He heard it many times when he was very small, and even has a Leapfrog toy that sings his alphabet to him as well.  So several times in the last few days I have heard him going about the house singing, "ABCD.....e..c...d.... ."  He's got the first part down, and the tune is pretty close, but after that he jumbles a little. Well, yesterday afternoon he added a bit more.

"ABCD..e..c...d...*pause*......elmo peeeee..."

Perhaps I should suggest that as the next "must-have toy" this year....Go Potty Elmo?

12 May 2009

Trader's Joes and other thoughts

A funny thing happens whenever Brian and I move to somewhere new.

The place we left seems to get...cooler.

We lived in downtown Rome, Georgia for the first year of our marriage, right on Broad Street in an old and rundown but pretty cool little loft apartment. We spent our evenings wandering up and down Broad Street, which is the heart of downtown Rome, eating at Schroeder's New Deli and window shopping. Then we moved to North Carolina. And Rome got STUFF. Like gourmet food shops and bakeries on Broad Street. And a Ru San's - our very favorite Atlanta sushi place, the sushi place where we had our first date. And Starbucks in the Kroger that we shopped at. Meh.

But we lived in Charlotte which was pretty cool. And then we moved to Shelby, NC. And guess what happened? Our road in Charlotte got STUFF. The very road that we lived on for TWO WHOLE YEARS now has a SUPER Target, a Mimi's Café, and A STINKIN' IKEA. An Ikea, people. Now. After we're gone. Why, oh why???

Ok, so the point. We've discovered something else that our old neighborhood in Charlotte has now that it did not before. A Trader Joe's. And boy, do we love Trader Joe's. Have you ever heard of them? Been to one? If not - GO!  Check out the locations, find one near you, and go!  Trader Joe's is a great little grocery store that people in California are lucky enough to get to shop at all the time. They carry lots of organic and all natural products, gourmet and hard to find foods, and their own product brand which is well priced and delicious!!  So far we've tried Trader Joe's brand cookies (yum), Korean short ribs - a must buy, and several other items including Israeli couscous (large pearls of couscous instead of very small), cheese, pizza dough, and French onion soup.  The only thing we have not been crazy about so far was the soup - Brian thought it was a little bland. Trader Joe's is also home to Charles Shaw wines, better known as "Two-Buck Chuck."  We've tried a couple of bottles with some of our dinners, and for cheap wine it's pretty good!

One of my very favorite Trader Joe's purchases of late has to be the pizza dough. They sell fresh made pizza dough in little bags. You take it home, roll it out (which includes tossing it in the air if you are brave like my husband), top it, and bake!  We made two, one with olives, peppers, and mushrooms and one with fresh mozzarella, pepperoni, and mushrooms (hey, we like mushrooms).  It turned out like fancy artisan pizza that you get at overpriced pizza places but cheaper and made at home!

And I have to admit - this just makes Trader Joe's even cooler.  They use proper grammar.

I can't help but wonder what will come to Shelby after Brian and I move, and what we will miss from this town when we move on to the next.

30 March 2009

They Tried to Make Me Go to Rehab...

I said no, no, no..

I've been thinking more thoughts about my baby crush and wanted to share.  In all seriousness, I'm loving having a one -year-old around.  I have to be honest that having an infant was at times painfully difficult for me, moreso that I ever imagined it would be.  I think this is partially due to the fact that we brought Liam home into a bit of an upheaval (having just moved and having no family close and having Brian in school the day after we came home from the hospital, etc.).  The first two weeks were a cloud of sleep deprivation and serious baby blues (which thankfully did not descend further into postpartum depression as we feared) and I spent a significant amount of time very worried over my "bond" with my infant. Much is made of  "bonding" in a lot of parenting circles and some doctors/authors/so-called experts put a lot of pressure and guilt on mothers to have a perfect birth and home and bonding experience, and I knew better than to get too sucked into that kind of thinking, but nevertheless I knew the feelings that I was struggling with and knew how at times Liam seemed to respond to those feelings. I had anger and resentment and literal chest-crushing anxiety for a while; in those first two weeks I often had trouble going to sleep when I got the chance because my anxiety became so severe that I would drift off to sleep and stop breathing and then wake up to breathe again. I wish I was kidding.  Luckily that passed after the first two weeks at home. Do I need to mention that I don't do well with sleep deprivation?   The worry over bonding with Liam did not pass, however, until I tucked him into our bed and slept with him close to me all during the night and sensed an immediate change in our relationship.

Now Liam is no longer a tiny infant, but a walking, talking, tantruming motorboat. Maybe it comes from getting used to this mothering thing, or maybe it comes from his ever-emerging personality, or maybe a combination of so many different things. Probably I'm the last mom on the planet to figure this out.  The older Liam gets, the more I fall in love with him. He's becoming affectionate - he kisses and hugs and I think even says something resembling I love you (when prompted, of course). He's got a ridiculous sense of humor.  He understands so much, and perhaps it helps that I understand so much more of him now than ever before. The wild tantrums in which he bangs his head on the floor don't rattle me at all like the tiny, undecipherable baby cries did.  Don't get me wrong, I'd love to be able to eat at a restaurant in peace like I could when he slept in his baby sling for the whole meal, but getting to know this little person makes up for all of the toddler antics.  Getting to watch his emerging independence, his eagerness for learning, his longing to be helpful, his little mischievous grins - getting to do all of this is giving me a serious baby crush.

Well, that and he sleeps (mostly) all night in his own bed again. A good night's sleep always helps!

Love Affair

I guess it's time I confessed.

I'm in love. My heart has been stolen and I'm head over heels. All the clichés apply.

His name is Liam and he is a dashing little gent who has swept me completely off my feet.

Ok, so there's a bit of an age difference, I'll admit. But never you mind, I'm convinced this 15 -month-old is the one for me. He only has to take my face in his hands and kiss me and I swoon.

Wouldn't you?

Just this morning at around 6:30 he nuzzled next to me as I slumbered, curved his little back against my belly, and snuggled happily until 9:00 a.m.  When he finally drifted awake, he sat up next to me all chicken hair and blinking eyes and matter-of-factly declared,"Apple pie."    Which I believe was not as much a request for breakfast as a statement of his philosophy for the day. The sun is shining, we've had a good night's sleep, therefore, apple pie. 

Who wouldn't fall in love with a fellow who thinks like that?

29 March 2009

It's not a habit, it's cool, I feel alive....

I'm not an addict...maybe that's a lie....*

I decided recently to go through all of the pages that I have bookmarked and add them to my blog. I thought that it would make it easier to keep up with blogs and sites I like to look at but sometimes forget about, not to mention that my bookmarks are getting quite numerous. I thought you all might be interested in some of them, too. I thought that my reading habits were not getting out of hand.

I was wrong.

The links that I have added are only a portion of the pages that I have bookmarked. Of course, most of the time I see something that I want to look at later and I bookmark it and forget about it. But a lot of these pages I visit on a regular basis.

Is there such a thing as blogger rehab?

*Bonus points if you can name the song and band referenced above. Bonus points for what, you say? Um..I'll get back to you on that one.