Thursday, May 27, 2010

Happy 1/2 Year, Ella Marlene!!!

Ella is SIX months old today.  I remember (barely!) when Breckin turned six months old and it seemed like an eternity from the day he was born until Nov 11, 2005.  So, how did this one fly by so fast?  Blink- she was born.  Blink- she's 1/2 year old.  What happened?

Ella is our missing puzzle piece.  She is the yang to Breckin's yin.  She is what was missing in our lives before we even knew about her.  Ella has a beautiful temperment, addictive giggle, sweet-as-honey smile, and endless love for her big brother.  Whenever she hears his voice- whether she's grumpy or happy, eating or sleeping- she looks for him.  As soon as she spies him, she grins.  She has her Daddy completely wrapped around her tiny finger. 

Here are the things that Ella can do:
  • Sit up all by herself until she decides it's time to chew on her toes- then down she goes!
  • Chew on her toes.  (Jos, you need to come teach her about stinktooth)
  • Roll from back to tummy.
  • Eat liquified veggies from a spoon- we've tried green beans, peas, carrots, sweet potatoes, yams, and squash, and yogurt.  She wants nothing to do with liquid fruits or rice cereal.
  • Scream.  Squeal.  Babble.  Laugh loudly and get hiccups.
  • Hug her baby doll.
  • Suck her thumb.
  • Get whiplash looking for Elmo as soon as she hears La la, la la.
  • Reach for me, Dustin, Breckin, Grandma, Baba, and Denise.
  • Eat apple slices from the food net.... greatest invention since disposable diapers.
  • Turn the pages in a book.  Ok, so it's involuntary but I hand her the page and she turns it.
  • Kick her feet wildly and destructively in the bathtub thus washing the kitchen (she is bathed in the sink).
I'm so glad that I keep up with this blog because her baby book is seriously lacking.  We got a ridiculously cool journal from our fantastic neighbors ::Hi, Dicolas!!!::  that tells me what she should be doing/learning day by day with little margins for notes.  I keep up on it better than I thought I would but it's nothing cutesy. 

And, I would LOVE to include a video of her squealing at her baby doll but I am inept.  I don't know how to capture said event and even if I did, I wouldn't know how to post it.  I'm offering Starbucks money for anyone who wants to volunteer.  Seriously.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

There are two things I'm good at making.

People and food.  I make pretty dang good people (with the help of my lovely husband, Dustin).  And, sometimes, I make pretty rockin good food.  I like making food- baking, trying new recipes for dinner, finding new things Breckin will eat, etc.  And now I can add pureed vegetables to my repertoire. 

Here's the chain of events:  My mom bought us some cool Beaba spoons for Ella.  She thought about buying us the Beaba babyfood maker.  We found one on craigslist- new in package- for 1/2 price.  I bought carrots, sweet potatoes, mangoes, and peas.

And, for about $8 and made enough baby food to last a month. 
$8 in baby food from the grocery store will last about a week.  This Beaba thing is so frickin easy to use.  The lady I bought it from got it at a baby shower and didn't want to keep it cause- get this- she couldn't get the blending bucket off the stand.  She said the lid was too tough.  Her laziness is my good fortune!  All I have to is dice the food.  This thing steams it, reserves enough liquid (that retains the vitamins), blends it, and is easy washed in the dishwasher.  (Do I sound like an infomercial yet?) 

Heck, Dustin even used it the other night to make some Salsa Yogurt Dip.  Here's my stash so far. 

And, Ella is starting to LOVE eating.  We started pureed goodness almost a month ago and every day she would eat about four bites and look at us like we were trying to kill her.  But, if I walked around with food, she would grab it and try to eat it.  Technically, her first food was chocolate cause she snagged a cookie from me and teethed on the chocolate chip.  Now, she gobbles down an entire 4 oz serving and squeals about it.  I actually like making this stuff.   We'll see what happens when it's time for pureed chicken....  that stuff is so nasty in the Gerber jars- I hope I can make something delish in the Beaba.

Monday, May 24, 2010

I'm avoiding Monday

Ok, so it's my fault that I stayed up til 1:15 to finish the FOUR AND A HALF HOURS of Lost.  I know that.  It's also my fault that I had ZERO motivation to work on my McFatty Monday project of cleaning the craft room.  I literally put nothing away, sorting nothing, didn't even really walk in there all week.  In fact, I am working on a painting for Ella's room and I took a bottle of paint out and didn't put it away.  Yep, that's negative progress.  So, why?  Why can I not find enough time or energy to clean up one small room?  Maybe I don't even care if the room is clean?  No, that's not it.  It drives me bonkers that the entire house looks like a tornado hit it. 

Oh, wait.  Here's a clue. 
  • Tuesday- Dustin goes to bowling and I'm chillin with the kids til bedtime. 
  • Wednesday- I take some me time and go to the gym for an hour.  Right at dinner time.  And, Breckin comes with me so he needs to eat first cause he can't wait til 7:15 to have dinner so I spend time making 2 dinners.
  • Thursday- We have Tball from 5-6 so I have to drive home to Maple Valley, pick up Ella, drive back to Kent/Auburn for practice, then come home at 6:30 to do dinner/bedtime.
  • Friday- Who the hell wants to do work on Friday?
  • Saturday- TBall game and Dustin works outside and some sort of birthday party/bbq/movie night/errand running combination
  • Sunday- Maybe a few hours to work but I feel guilty that I haven't played with my kids all week so we pretty much just play all day Sunday and I do all meal planning/grocery shopping on Sundays.
  • Monday-  Ah, crap.  I didn't do any cleaning.  And, it's Monday again.
I really need a wife.  One that will stay home and do all the things that I can't seem to do.  Someone to bathe the kids, clean up the backyard, and do the laundry.  Or- even better- one that will go to work for me so I can stay home and do all the things I can never manage to do. 

I would have really loved to post a picture of that craft room with sparkling clean surfaces and nice little tidy rows of boxed-up paper and stickers.  Instead, I start my McStuff Mondays with a let down.  No clean craft room. 

But, you know what?  I drew a crazy good hopscotch game on the sidewalk and made six jars of pureed yams.  I lost this week's battle but I still have a chance of winning the war. 

Monday, May 17, 2010

McFatty Monday

There is a tradition/routine/copy-catty-ness among the Mommy Blogging World to acknowledge McFatty Monday.  It happens every Monday and usually involves some sort of personal goal re: getting the body back to pre-baby status.  Or, as close as Mother Nature will allow after the hip-realigning, foot-spreading, pelvic-wrecking, rib-pushing, general sagginessing 9 month period of life called pregnancy.

Some try to lose every pound gained.  Some try to put muscles where sag exists.  Some just aim for better overall health.  I fully support, and stand in awe of those those that conquer, these goals.  I admit:  I gained over 65 pounds with each pregnancy, lost it all the first time fairly quickly, and will work on this round as life allows.  I'm down to about 10 El Bees left to go and I feel pretty good. 

My McFatty Monday is about something totally other than weight.  It is a personal goal of mine and, to me, it's much harder to acheive than body health.  It was a problem before we had kids but with the addition of Breckin and Ella, it's gotten worse.  To solve this problem would lift a weight off my shoulders and- I'm guessing- make me a happier person all around. 

If you know us, and most people that read this thing do, you know the state of our house.  It's not pretty.  I am fully aware that we have way too much stuff for any one family.  I don't know where half of it came from and I don't know what to do with about 90% of it.  Dustin and I aren't good at getting rid of, putting away, or dealing with our stuff.  We have invested our time and money in storage for this stuff but what I really want is simple.

I want everything to have a place and I want everything to be in it's place. 

I know we have toys.  I know we have dishes.  I know we have clothes.  I just want less of all of it and I only want as much as will fit nicely into the lovely closets and cupboards and shelves that we currently own.  So.... my McFatty Monday will revolve around the stuff factor.  I'll call it the McStuff Monday. 

Here we have my side of the office. 

It's my new craft room since the addition of Baby Girl.  My hubby built me some fantastic bookshelves that I would love to show you but can't.  I have too much stuff.  This is my 1st project.  I will tackle this like excess poundage and attempt to reduce my stuff factor.  I am embarrassed to show you how bad it is but I'm hoping that the accountability of the upcoming Monday will be the motivation I need. 

Wouldn't it be swell if I could use that table?   

Thursday, May 13, 2010

He's 5

I can't believe I didn't post on May 11th.  My mind has been swimming with the fact that I have a 5 year old.  We've signed up for kindergarten.  We've cruised through all the early years stuff: first teeth, first steps, first words, potty training, sleeping through the night.  He told Daddy he doesn't need to be carried up to bed anymore cause now he's 5.  He doesn't need a toy when he's tucked in cause he's 5.  Soon he'll get a loose tooth and I'll cringe and send him to a neighbor cause I HATE loose teeth.  He prefers to walk into preschool by himself rather than with me.  He dresses and undresses himself.  He is reading.  Yep, like seeing words on signs and posters and sounding out the letters and reading.  He can hear Dustin and I spell stuff and knows what we are talking about.  (That game plan is out the window)  So, in honor of my little baby boy getting too big for little kid stuff, here's one of my favorite pics.  He was about 18 mos old and eating spaghetti.  This expression sums him up nicely.  Happy 5th Birthday, Buddy.  We love you.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Screaming Kids and a Smart Mom

I am patting myself on the back.  I don't do it very often but today, I deserve it.  After attending one of Breckin's little buddy's birthday party at a local, generic Small People's Gym Class Place, we decided to have Breckin's 5th Birthday Party just like his.  I can bring my over-excited, nearly-fainting-from-anxiety wild man to an air-conditioned, gated facility.  They will provide paper plates, napkins, party bags, and bubbles.  They will also provide a FANTASTIC, energetic, enthusiastic young adult to run my kid ragged while singing as many train songs as the world holds.  He will dump buckets of oddly shaped foam things on their heads, give them drumming sticks to hit on whatever they please, shove them into giant barrels, knock them off of a bouncy air log, encourage them to jump wildly into a pit of inner tubes, and lead them in a parade of idiots.

At one point, I glanced out from my cushy bench to see four boys with bright red faces and soggy hair laughing hysterically at how many times they could fall over, two girls chasing each other over a bridge, a 1 yr old playing basketball, some kid stuck in a stack of innertubes with his legs flailing above him, and a little boy being rolled- much to his delight- inside of a brightly colored barrel like he was going over Niagara.  Ok, there were 2 kids who weren't so sure of this madness and chose to sit quietly and play their DS but, hey, they were 10 and clearly much too cool for this kind of nonsense.  Except when I caught them chasing mini bubbles and flipping on the giant sofa cushiony landing pad.  Mmmm hmmm.  The best part?  The parachute.  Remember when you were a kid and someone hauled out that huge parachute with the handles and the jerk across from you yanked that thing so hard that your arms fell off?  Oh. yeah.  Pile those kids on top, have parents yank that sucker up and down, and the ripples are sure fire giggle-makers. 

Then- because there are no rules- all the kids sit down on the floor.  Quietly.  The first time they were asked.  And given cupcakes and juice/water.  They could make a mess and I didn't have to clean it up.  They could yell as loud as they wanted and they weren't told to quiet down.  They could bang on stuff, jump off stuff, land on their heads, tackle each other, and throw things and it was OK.  It was worth every penny to go to someone else's place and let them go hog wild.  I left with my brain intact, a smile on my face, a tired kid, and happy friends.  Pat pat pat.  Right on my back.  Happy Birthday, Breckin!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

No Words Needed

Here's some photos.  Thought they deserved their own post.

The Simplest Lessons

Breckin's Lesson:
So, it turns out, when you're almost 5 you can not- under any circumstance- sit in a chair.  There are butt-repelling bug monsters that live in chairs and REQUIRE you to NEVER sit still on your rear end.  Please don't ever even attempt to sit in a chair if you are almost 5.  I promise horrible results if you try. 

Case in point:  My damn-near 5 year old even remotely attempted to sit his hiney down on a nice, comfortable blue chair in my living room and BLAM- out you go.  All he was doing was trying to watch Curious George after finishing his cereal.  He just wanted to have a seat.  But those Monster Bug Hiney Biters attacked, made him wiggle like a spazoid (instead of sitting so nicely), and threw him out of the chair where he promptly HIT HIS FACE ON A TABLE.  REALLY HARD.  Hard enough to instantly leave a purple line on his cheek.  We'll see what it looks like when I pick him up from preschool.  Maybe it'll match the black eye he has from the bike incident. 

Do I blame him?  Heck no.  I know as well as you do that it was not his fault.  Do I blame myself for having NEVER told him to just sit down on my furniture rather than shake like a belly dancer everywhere he goes?  Nope.  I blame the bugs, too.   At this point, I have to.  If I have to say "Just sit on the chair like a normal person" one more time, my lips might fall off. 

Ella's Lesson:
When Mommy watches Soundstage on PBS before going to bed then turns the TV on at 7:30 in the morning, there is a small, fuzzy, red monster to greet you.  He has a funny voice.  He sings long songs that only have one word.  He has a pet goldfish.  He is the most HILARIOUS thing on the planet.  Also, his fur is made out of BABY CRACK.  You cannot look away.  You must stare at the TV with your mouth open and your eyes bugged out of your head until the last note of "la, la, la, la Elmo's Song" is over.  And then grab your Mommy's shirt and lick her face.  That's how you say Thanks I'll Take Sesame Street Every Morning From Now On when you're 5 months old.  Lesson learned, Ella.  Elmo is the coolest thing on the planet for all people under 3 ft tall.  You're welcome.

Monday, May 3, 2010

The 10 Bad Words

Breckin is starting to learn that sometimes we do stuff even if we don't like to or want to.  It's a hard concept for adults, I'm surprised he's catching on so fast and does stuff when he doesn't want to.  The most common "Don't Want To" things are TBall (cause he thinks he's not good!!!), the dentist, the doctor, washing his hair, and standing in line at stores.  But, he also thinks bad words are the greatest things on Earth, even though he knows he can't say them.  It's never made the blog before but, Breckin used to have an issue with blurting the F word out just to get a reaction.  It's pretty hard not to laugh at a small, just-turned-3 yr old who murmurs f*** at the end of story time while he's wearing Thomas the Tank Engine jammies and cuddling with his stuffed zebra.  Somehow, Dustin and I managed to keep our stern faces and remind him that words like that are ugly and they hurt Jesus's feelings.  He loves going to chapel so it worked.  We haven't heard it from him in almost 2 years.....

And, then.  This conversation. 

Breckin:  Mommy, I had this marble maze at school and it has a pink flusher on the top and Chase and I had five marbles and when we stood up and dropped them, they funked down through.  (Funk is his new fav sound/not-so-word when stuff falls)  Funk.  They funked down through.  F***.  Sheepishly looks up at me.
Me:  Hey.  You know better.  That word is not ok in this house and it's just one of those words that we don't say.
Breckin:  Mommy, wouldn't it be cool if bad words were good words and good words were bad words?
Me:  No way, dude, cause there are loads more good words than bad words and then we'd be stuck with not much to say.
Breckin:  Like how many?
Me:  Well, there are 50 Hundred (it's the biggest number when you're 4) good words and only, like, 10 bad ones.
Breckin:  Holds out his fingers to count them and quietly whispers   Stupid, Hell, Shut Up, Dumb, F***,
Me:  Ok, whoa buddy, we don't need to say them to know what they are.  Let's just use the good ones, ok?

He was really going to count the ten worst things he could think of.  Why can't Daddy handle some of these conversations?  How else can I tell him that those words are not good- is there really a reason why that kids would understand?  All I can say to him is they just aren't good.  Anyone have a better reason?