Monday, March 26, 2012

Two

Do you remember your first love? The desperate, can't study, work or be apart? Everything that person does is awesome and incredible, practically GENIUS. I feel that way about LO.  I started parenting being very mindful of "helicopter parenting," and "overreacting." Now I find it practically impossible not to helicopter, I prefer showering with love and attention.  She is so sweet, calm, smart and AMAZING AND ADORABLE that I have given in.  I think it has gotten worse lately with DH being gone all the time and the realization that there will probably be no more babies.   I have come to realize that I can't take care of two by myself.   This has made me want to keep her as a baby for as long as possible.  Ummm, she has started calling herself, Mama's baby.  Yeah, it's probably not healthy.  There was some thunder last night and she insisted on sleeping in my bed as she was scared.   Sleeping in my bed involves sleeping cheek on cheek with intermittent paci chewing.

There is some freedom in not having another baby.  Private school-why not? Traveling-where do you want to go? Better retirement savings! Work part time when she hits school-YES! No more pregnancies--YES, YES, YES!  It's a win except there would be no more babies and the very real possibility that I might drown LO with love.  And little known fact, DH and I are not in our 20s.  You do a little math about paying for college while asking about senior citizen discounts.  All of this has been weighing on my mind so much lately.  How do I keep my one child from becoming Veruca Sweetheart and deal with not being able to spread my claustrophobic love to another being.  Any suggestions?

This may be weighing heavily on my brain as LO is turning two tomorrow around 1:30am.  I don't remember the exact time similar to how I don't remember my actual wedding date (the one in the US).  I can't be bothered with exacts when MY BABY is turning two.   I will try in my horrible writing to describe her in this exact place in time. 

LO has her daddy's face and laughter with her mommy's eyes, toes and old soul.  She is cautious until she trusts you and then wants to know every detail about you.  She is easy going until you hurt her feelings.  She will give you an extra long turn but loses interest if you demand too much.  She loves her friends, her family and her car seat.  She likes to ask if they are sleeping when she sleeps or if they like ice cream likes she does.  She loves looking at albums even if there are no pics of her, receiving mail and picking out her clothes and shoes.  She is just as happy at the park or at her table doing her "work" and longs to wear wear high heels and go to the "office." She is a great singer and is often moved to dance when she hears music that she likes.  She loves her school and after a few minutes,  jumps down from my arms and runs onto the playground with her arms wide open and laughs with excitement.  She is a Mama's girl even though I was so sure she would be a Daddy's girl.  She is beautiful and perfect and I will claw your eyes out if you disagree. 

A few pics of my love:




























Thursday, March 22, 2012

M*t**r F**@*XX Jam

Yesterday, I had lunch with my old Bossman, drank a little wine and picked up my candy thermometer.  I made sure we were dining next to a Williams-Sonoma.  Always, multi-tasking! I started to have a sore throat around 4 and was feeling no bueno so I almost ditched the jam idea when I put LO to bed at 7:30 but then I spied my candy thermometer and decided to just do it.  Everyone said it was EASY.  The act of putting jam ingredients together is easy but HOT DAMN if the whole canning process isn't a major pain in the behind.  I decided to use a recipe without Pectin as I am all about the natural even though Pectin appears to be not harmful but my philosophy is, avoid additives when you don't need them.  I used this recipe and about a billion sites to learn how to sterilize the jars and what the F*@X is a water bath.  I only used three cups of sugar as some reviewers said four cups was too sweet.

At one point, I said to myself out LOUD after an hour into the process, "You live in a townhouse with immature trees WHY are you MAKING jam?"  A few things in case you live in an urban environment and feel like canning.  I pulverized the fruit in my Magic Bullet as I don't have a Cuisinart or a blender and I didn't want to mash the fruit by hand.  It made the jam a little runny in the end but that will work better for me for my oatmeal cookie bars and jelly sandwiches.  I have a feeling that the jam may set more so it shouldn't be an issue.  You absolutely need a thermometer as the mixture changes drastically at 215 degrees and then take a million years to reach the desired 220 degrees.  I almost gave up at 218 but the mixture boils down and changes again at 220. 

I was going to skip the water bath which is putting the jars back in boiling water but I am all about  finishing the project.  I have to tell you that when I heard a little pop that the jars were sealed I felt like a JAM QUEEN.  It took me a good 45 minutes to clean up as the stickiness was everywhere.  My only heavy bottom pan was a small Le Creuset that overflowed when the jam reached 215 but I see why you need a heavy bottom pan as even the Le Creuset burned a titch at the bottom.  I let the jam cool and set overnight and LO and I tried the jam this morning.  I was pleasantly surprised and excited to use it for the party.  DH refused to try the jam as he didn't see me slaving away for HOURS.  He got home just as everything was cleaned and I was turning the dishwasher on.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Party Hats & Soul Glo

Thanks to everyone that said they were ENJOYING my posts on the birthday party!  Last night, I bought all of my supplies to make jam.  Strawberries are in season and on sale--hurray!  After evaluating the recipe, I decided I needed a thermometer and I didn't have time to buy one.  So, I decided to use up my oats from the failed granola bars and see if I could make something more edible.  I also knew that I would have a lot of jam on hand in a few days so I wanted to find a recipe that would use jam as well.  I gave these raspberry oatmeal cookies a try.   I wish that I took beautiful pictures of my food like so many other blogs but I tend to forget until we have given them a try and before I put them on a plate.
These are reallllllly good.  I didn't realize that we were missing our 8x8 pan so these are in a larger pan and I think would have been better a little thicker.  I am going to double the recipe for LO's party and keep the same pan.  You really need to get the mixture pressed into the pan and pressed on top to avoid them being crumbly.  The jam was surprisingly hard to spread and resulted in a few areas that were too jammy.  LO AND DH loved them.  They are similar to brownies in that the edges are delicious when they first come out of the oven and then the middle is better once they set and cool. 

DH came home and we got started on our hat project.  Andrea sent me a file for these hats that I printed, so we cut, put them together and then started decorating.  We still need to tie ribbons and finish decorating and there were a few grumbles about the ease of just BUYING hats BUT so much fun.  I am going to use them as the centerpiece for the kid's table.  I fully expect them to fall apart within second of the kids messing with them.  I could have used super glue but I feared that someone would put a ball in their mouth so I used non-toxic glue.

Lastly, do you ever get songs in your head when you are doing certain activities.  I am not talking about hearing a Miley Cryus tune and then it is stuck with you.  For example, when I am cutting something I always hear, "The first cut is the deepest."  Then when I am really busy at work or late to fit it all in, I hear, "Every day I'm hustling." When LO is talking about putting colors in the bathtub at night I hear, "I see your true colors shining through," but it is the jingle version for Soul Glo from Coming to America.  How about you??

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Birthday Post - Are you bored yet?

I know that you are bored with my birthday posts and I am OK with that feeling.  I am NOT bored at ALL and LO is getting more excited EVERY day.  I told her that we would have jelly beans at the party and she could barely stand it. So I apologize for all the posts.  We have turned the recipes into LO and I baking together and it makes a fun after-work activity.  I canceled the truck much to DH's dismay.  I am scaling her party back a bit.  I thought back to this post where I discussed saving money for a house.  We really want to move and going crazy on the party doesn't exactly jive with my whole saving money thing.   Unfortunately,  my semi-annual balance the checkbook and look at money going in and coming out was yesterday and we need to reign ourselves in.  I mean a little reigning not too much.  Like maybe avoiding school auctions and the such.  Also, we have a little girl coming that has a severe peanut allergy so I think that making everything is a great way to have everything nut free.

Sadly, I have been unable to find a pink baby pig as well.  I really think a little Babe-esque pig would complete the party.  I think I was compensating for my lack of Babe with the food truck.  So I am back to my menu.  We made the German pancakes last night from this recipe using no orange zest.  I made them in mini muffin cups.  LO called them muffin cookies and licked the jam out of them. The bummer was that they stuck to the muffin wrappers so I am going to try to use wrappers with silver in them.  Are those supposed to be non-stick?  I have also decided to try my hand at making jam tonight.   DH is home tonight and he is making all the party hats.  His design efforts may differ from mine but that is what makes homemade stuff great.  I am fulfilling all of my Pinterest and Etsy dreams with this party.  I have gotten a lot of assistance on the paper goods and ideas from Andrea at  Sweet Bambinos.

Lastly, Jen emailed me and was like, "hey my mom has a house that she may want to sell." Which is crazy because we would like to BUY it.  So it sparked a little flicker of hope in the house department.  Link me your best jam recipes, pretty please!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Birthday Party FOOD Edition

I was so excited to rent the buttermilk truck for LO's party and it was going to be a big surprise, Yeah!! Last year we did crepes and it was so much fun, so I wanted to have a different breakfasty, cool food.  Then I didn't hear from them for a few days and I started thinking about making the food for the party instead of the truck.  I love making breakfasty platters and it is only 40ish people.   The food truck is back online but I may CANCEL the truck and make this menu.  Whaddya think? Am I pushing the limits by making the cakes and desserts and making the other food?? Here is a suggested menu and I need to start trying out recipes if we are a GO on this idea.  Also, the party is 10:30-12:30 so a tiny bit of a tweener menu.

Foodie
Asparagus and cheese quiches
Mini German pancakes with fruit filling
Mini blueberry muffins
Fruit platter
Vanilla berry parfait or Strawberry/pound cake skewers
Pig-shaped jelly sandwiches
Bagels and Lox? (In case everything sucks?)
Also, a white donut hole tree is appealing to me--see below

Desserty
Candy bar
Cupcakes in a cone and regular cupcakes
2 cakes


Rain and Old Men

LO and I are not beach/sand people.  We like to look at the beach and ocean in a nice restaurant with clean restrooms and a glass of wine.  There is always some guilt about not taking advantage of the ocean while living in So CA or doing something OUTSIDE.  I love being outside like the next person but sometimes I need a break and that break came this weekend in the form of RAIN.  It was awesome. 

We read the paper.

Ate some cake.

Danced.

Challenged our friends to a game of air hockey.

I was singing Rain, Rain, Go away, Please come back some other day to LO but is the second verse about the old man snoring and he bumped his head and didn't wake up in the morning?  It seemed a bit morbid. 

Friday, March 16, 2012

Girl on Girl Crime with Fake Nails

Our photo shoot was thwarted by the stomach flu BUT the blue polka dot dress that I cut two inches off the bottom looks so awesome now.  It may be a titch too short for any bending over but she has bloomers and I love the look.  Keeping it slutty for the two year olds.  We are all set for next Friday.  As she was vomiting and yelling at us Wednesday night in SPANISH which was crazy, I was still holding out hope but after she vomited on me at 4 am, I knew our photo session was lost.  To keep her from walking around the house and vomiting at will, we let her watch Elmo on the iPad ALL DAY.  I can see the appeal of TV is all I am going to say on that subject--I get it. 

Back on subject--girl on girl crime.  So on Wednesday, I was skimming Facebook and came across the most controversial post ever to hit my FB stream from a regular non-celebrity person. I know this single friend with no kids who lives in Indy from my last job when I used to do events.  She has a really dry, funny sense of humor.  We used to spend 18 hours a day together for a week and then not see each other for eight months and then spend another crazy week together.  One time, we were having a musical guest perform who had a rider. A rider is a list of things that has to be done for the person to be able to perform at an event.  The rider is probably the most annoying and hilarious part of having anyone "famous" come to your event.  The bigger the star, the more expensive and outrageous the rider.  So we were having a musical act and the star had to have his clothes and underwear folded a certain way in his dressing room.  Um, there was no way on Earth, I was touching or folding underwear when I don't even fold mine.  So she volunteered for the job and took a picture to show everyone the fold.  It was hilarious and I still laugh thinking about the folded tighty whiteys.

So she posted, "I'm loving all the status updates today about the weather by those who stay at home! I will make sure to have an equally sickening post when I get my next paycheck." I can assume that winter in Indy sucks, it was a gorgeous day and it was Wednesday which can really suck when you are in an office.  Busy week and you feel rushed to get stuff done, slow week and it feels so far from the weekend.  One of her friends had made a funny response and I wrote a quick note and then didn't think much about it.  When I got back on FB later, my updates thing was on fire telling me about people commenting on that post. I have posted some of them below:

"No paycheck could keep me from enjoying days like this and enjoying my kids. It isn't worth it. The memories I have with my kids are priceless. You can say what you want and make fun of me all you want xxx for the decision that I as a mother made."

"Stay-at-home moms are given a lot of crap for an extremely tough decision (giving up that paycheck is seriously hard)."

"I know xxx was just being funny and I've always appreciated her sense of humor. Being a SAHM myself, I wanted xxx (who I don't know) to feel a little love, because it's super easy to be sensitive about this job because -- believe it or not -- people make fun of it. I've been asked how many soaps I've watched and bon-bons I've eaten in a day...and really, nothing makes you want to go postal more than that kind of comment, especially when you've been up to your elbows in poo and laundry and dishes and dust bunnies. And all because you want your kids to have the security and happiness of their home environment -- worth the sacrifice? Absolutely. But a little quick to be defensive? You bet. So...kumbayah, kids. It's all good."

My single, childless friend had ignited some sort of SAHM fury on FB with 45 comments.  45! I think the most I have ever had was 30 when LO was BORN! To me, it makes no difference if you stay home with your kids or work, we all make choices and in the end we all want, what is best for our children.  I felt myself get a little riled up by the "security and happiness of the home environment," and then I took a step back and saw a lot of women/moms that didn't feel appreciated.   At the base of most of their comments seemed to be the trend of too much work and not enough appreciation. 

So my question is why do women strike out at OTHER WOMEN when they feel under appreciated.   In my opinion, working women are not the reason stay at home women feel unappreciated.  Just like stay at home women are not the reason working moms feel the guilt.  Why are all women quick to get defensive at other women? Is this not similar to the crazy women on Jerry Springer who claw at each other over some lame guy who cheats on them.  Why are we mad at each other?  Clearly, there is an easy solution to this whole issue.  Let's turn against the men.  Why do we feel so righteous and angry at other women.  Over and over again, we hear that we have an unfair share of the responsibilities compared to our male counterparts.  Why strike out at someone else that feels the same way? I say stop the fisticuffs as you are going to get WAY more help from another woman when you are in a pinch.  I could say "than a man" but I am not a male basher as I feel like they have a lot of other pressure that we don't understand.  Baldness, sports ability, shoe size, drinking capacity  I don't really experience any sort of woman war over here in So CA or maybe I just don't engage in it.  What are your thoughts, do you participate in the war?  Do you have a war room in your basement? Can I see a picture?

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Dresses and Vomit and Dresses that Make Me Vomit

I went to look at every single dress yesterday and all of them were too long.  Wayyyyyyy too long.  Janie and Jack told me that they make their dresses long on purpose.  What about the small kids, J&J??? I liked the idea of this look from Princess Nebraska but was a bit worried about pouf.  I took LO to Nordstroms at night and the only dresses that fit her were:

 
The purple dress fits her really well but is so blah and I am just really unsure about that lace vest.  The green dress is the same dress as the red one from my last post as they didn't have the red version.  The kicker is the red shoes that I already ordered to arrive today.
WARNING-VOMIT AHEAD I had planned to try on the blue with white polka dot dress when we got home from Nordstroms BUT she started vomiting on the CARPET when we got home.  Similar to the cat.   She was eating a cracker and I think she choked a little bit and then started vomiting and couldn't stop?? I have seen her vomit while trying to sneeze too.  It was a real bummer as she has started refusing to bathe this week too.  So, it was scream city while taking a bath.  Poor thing.  I sometimes forget when she is giving me the sass that she is only two years old and still just a baby.  She looked like a newborn when she was screaming and naked. 

This morning I dropped the blue and white polka dot dress off at the dry cleaner and told them to hack two inches off the 12-18 month size dress.  We are going to go for it.  When did this style go out of fashion anyway?  I love little knobby knees and legs showing.

This is what she picked out as in put it on me immediately and we NEED to buy it. We compromised and bought the purse. 

I just don't always agree with her accessory choices.



Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Choices

We are on a strict photo schedule around these parts.  LO gets her birthday photos done solo, we have action shots at her party and family photos in the Fall that translate into our holiday cards unless DH doesn't LOOK at the camera then it is just LO.  Suddenly, buying TWO photo sessions at the auction doesn't seem like such a bad idea!

For LO's birthday shots, I like a casual shot and I am adding a "dress" shot this year.  We will be repeating this shirt with an updated color and number.
Then I am trying to decide on a dress.  The problem with most dresses is that they are too long and wide.  I own the first dress in size 12-18 months and it is still a titch too big.  Let me know which dresses you like for the photo shoot and her party.  The party has a lot of red, should she coordinate? These thrilling questions keep me up at night.  Also, suggest another dress that you have seen preferably on the short side.




I am holding my breath waiting for your opinion.