Monday, December 7, 2009

Not Quite There Yet

I've been meaning to write, to update about how life with two kids has been this week. Rafael is such a great baby. He sleeps all the time, even through Michaela's loud laughter and talking. He's completely different than Michaela was as a fussy, colicky newborn. He is eating great and only waking up 2-3 times a night (yeah!).

Despite this, I have had a really rough week. Michaela is having a hard time getting used to the idea that she has to share Mommy's attention with somebody else. It is like somebody replaced my sweet good-natured little girl with somebody else's child while I was in the hospital with Rafael. This child ignores me, throws screaming-on-the-floor tantrums, and tries to smother or hit her brother every chance that she gets. Add to that the fact that we are used to being on the go and have stayed home all week to help us adjust to our new family before we try returning to our playgroups and field trips. Let's just say the week ended with me and Michaela both suffering from a severe case of cabin fever. The weekend was much easier with Daddy being home to help diffuse some of the tense situations. Philip is so good with Michaela and has really stepped up this week, taking over her bath and bedtimes, feeding her, changing her diapers and being her main entertainer. Not only that, but he is also making sure I am eating and taking care of myself. Yesterday was such a great day that I was all set to wake up this morning and write a glowing post about how quickly everyone is adjusting and how great everything was going.

And then this morning hit like a ton of bricks. Rafael, who has been a complete angel, woke up cranky and refused to be put down. Michaela woke up in a good mood, but things quickly went downhill as the morning progressed. The morning culminated in her climbing onto her little table in the kitchen and throwing herself, her lunch, and her cup of milk onto the floor in a screaming fit when I told her to get down. Meanwhile the dogs are scrambling to eat the fallen food, Michaela is screaming even louder because she wants to eat the food off the floor herself, and Rafael choose that moment to wake up hungry and with a dirty diaper. Let's just say Michaela went down a little early for her nap today.

I'm trying really hard not to complain. There is so much to be grateful for, especially that both kids are healthy and relatively happy. I'm also trying really hard to be sympathetic for Michaela. I know that things are really rough for her right now, and that's why she's acting out. I'm trying to spend as much one-on-one time with her as possible to show her that she is still important and loved. And I know that part of our problems are of my own making because I've been fairly lax on discipline before now, mostly because it's never really been an issue. But now, if only out of safety for herself and for her brother, there need to be boundaries and rules and consequences for breaking those rules. I just have no idea how to do it! I know after a few months we'll hit our stride and have a new normal and won't even remember what life was like before Rafael. We're just not quite there yet.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Rafael Wilbur Lucero-Watje

Welcome to the world little guy! Rafael Wilbur Lucero-Watje
Born Tuesday, November 24th @ 9:48pm
6lb 13.2 oz & 20 inches long
My induction started at 6am with a capsule to get things moving. I was progressing on my own till about 3pm, at which point my contractions had started to space out, so they started me on pitocin. Active labor really started kicking in around 5 or 6pm and by 9:30 pm I was feeling the need to push. I was only 9cm though and the baby was still fairly high so my midwife went to deliver another baby. By the time she came back to check on me, the baby was almost crowning and she didn't have enough time to put on a gown! (Which was really unfortunate for her since my water didn't break until Rafael was coming out!)
We had a nice relaxing time afterwards as got to meet each other and bond for a little bit. They didn't even take him from my arms to weigh him until about a half hour after he was born.
Then they wrapped him up and Philip spent some good daddy/son bonding time with him. We spent a fairly relaxing day recovering at the hospital and were able to get home for a potluck Thanksgiving dinner at our house on Thursday.
Michaela is definitely interested in her brother, but has had a few moments of anger when either me or Philip is holding him and we can't pick her up.
Tomorrow is Philip's last day home and I'm a little bit nervous about what this week has in store for us!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

40 Weeks Pregnant

Things that you can no longer do when you are 40 weeks pregnant:
*Tie your shoes
*Shave your legs
*Get up from a chair, couch, or floor, without help from someone or something else
*Eat an entire meal all at one time - there simply is not any room in your stomache which is being squished to the side by a 7-8 lb baby!
*Sleep
*Make any sort of permanent plans - everything is "maybe" or "if Rafael isn't born by then"
*Go without using the word "cervix" in at least one conversation a day
*Go without receiving a daily call from a family member asking "Is the baby here yet?" (P.S. I promise I will call as soon as something happens, ohmygoshpleasedon'taskthatagain!)

Things that you suprisingly CAN do when you are 40 weeks pregnant:
*Chase (and catch!) a toddler running full speed down the driveway and into the street.
*Pick up & comfort a 20 lb toddler who is crying because her toy was just stolen by another kid. *Hold a friends sleeping baby for an hour without it producing enough hormones to put you into labor (darn it!).
*Move and lift heavy boxes full of baby clothes and gear as you organize the new baby's room.
*Breathe comfortably since the baby is no longer pushing up against your ribs.

I honestly thought we would have our sweet little Rafael by now, but he is already shaping up to be a stubborn child with a mind of his own. My midwife has told me that sometimes when a woman has been induced with her first child, her body cannot go spontaneously into labor on its own. We have an induction scheduled for Tuesday, but I am really praying that I am able to go into labor before then. I have nothing to complain about my first birth experience, with a 5lb baby, you can't really complain! Yet Michaela's induction was medically necessary, and I was really hoping I would be able to avoid the restriction of an IV full of pitocin this time around. Oh well, at the least, by Thanksgiving we will have a new son to celebrate with!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

A Mother's Love

Just as many in our country are honoring our Veterans today, my heart is honoring my mother. It has been exactly a month since she passed away; a month that I have had to adjust to the fact that she is no longer just a phone call away. As I sit here feeling the soft movement of Rafael moving around in my belly and listening to the quiet wake-up noises coming from Michaela's room, I can't help but feel so tremendously greatful for the life that I live. The life that I wouldn't have if it weren't for my mother's love and sacrifices. Growing up, we knew that we were poor, but we never had to suffer the consequences. My mother always did everything she could to put food on the table, make the holidays cheerful, or celebrate our birthdays in a special way. Although she didn't always make the best decisions, I learned from her how strong a mothers love could be.

There were many times in my life when I was at odds with her and just didn't want to talk to her. Now that she is gone, I would give anything to take those times back and to forgive so that I could enjoy the time I had with her. It sounds cliche, but my mother's early death has been such an amazing lesson in living each day as if it were my last.

Recently this has helped with my anxiety over Rafael's birth. I had been so anxious and impatient to go into labor that I was missing out on enjoying my last bit of one-on-one time with Michaela. Now I am trying to enjoy every tiny little kiss and snuggle. I am trying not to be annoyed when she stops me in the middle of my cleaning and asks in her sweet little voice "Book mama?" I know that these moments are so very precious and that before I know it she will be running around terrorizing her baby brother, and too soon after that going to school and then leaving my nest forever. So for now, I'll put my dishrag down, sit on the floor with Michaela and read "There's a Monster at the End of this Book" for the millionth time. And I'll enjoy every minute of it!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Michaela's Favorite Games

We have a little cot set up temporarily in Rafael's room for naptimes when I watch my friend's or sister's kids. Michaela discovered it a while back and every time it gets a little quiet in the house, I know to go look for her there. At first she was just climbing up there to relax. Now she has made it her little fort and I always find random little items that she has pulled up there to play with.



Another current favorite is pushing her stroller all around the house. She puts her baby doll in there sometimes, but more often than not I find her monkey or an easter egg or even a piece of paper. As her own special little twist on this game, she tries to run over the dogs with the stroller as often as possible. When I say "gentle" she runs up to the dogs and pats their back gently...and then runs back to the stroller to try to run them over again.


And last, but not least, she enjoys playing with my purse and my keys. Sometimes she just pulls everything out of the purse onto the floor. Sometimes she brings me each and every item, like in the following picture:

Here she is clearly making an appointment in my appointment book:
And getting ready to put on my hands free set for a very important call:


Aren't I cute?


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Mmmm Oreos...

Someone discovered Oreos this week....
But she only wanted to eat the inside. What a weird little girl I have. :)




Sunday, August 2, 2009

How to Keep a 1 year old Entertained on a Road Trip

This past week we drove out to San Antonio to visit Philip's family for a week. While we often used to make the 13 hour drive in just one day, we knew that there was no way we could do that with Michaela. Even with an overnight stop though, it is an awful long time to keep a newly mobile 1 year old locked up in a car seat and we knew we would have to get creative in order to keep her relatively content. Here's the toy that kept her happiest for the longest:


I just bought a very small baking sheet from the dollar store, along with several sets of chipboard magnets. The baking sheet was small enough for her to hold in her lap while in the car seat and she loved moving the magnets around and taking them on and off the sheet. I didn't, but if you are a very creative person, you could also tell stories with the magnets.


Along with this, I also packed a little container full of cards, books, small toys, and a drawing pad with crayons. Every time she got fussy I would try changing out what she was playing with and if that didn't work, we would give her a small snack (fig newton, graham cracker, etc) that would keep her occupied for a little bit. We also played lots of "Patty Cake" and "This Little Piggy."

We took turns driving and sitting in the back seat with her. With one of us in the back seat to hand her food, play with her, and talk to her, she was kept much happier than if she was all by herself in the back.

If you've got a long drive with a little one coming up, good luck! It takes a whole lot of distraction to keep them happy! Also, make sure to stop every couple of hours to let those little legs stretch out and get some activity!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Life

How do you start to write a post when it seems like years have passed since the last one? When life has changed so much in so little time and it feels almost impossible to catch your bearings? In my last post the most pressing thing on my plate was my excitement over being pregnant with baby #2 and looking forward to the new life that I would be bringing into this world. And while I am even more exstatic over this these days, especially since we found out yesterday afternoon that we will be having a little boy, my life is also now tinged with a bittersweetness that it didn't used to have.

About a month ago, my mom was diagnosed with stage 4 Lung Cancer. The doctors have given her months to live, though not a specific number. I have been handling it fairly well; have been able to cry with my husband and be strong for my sisters and my mom. But now that a month has already past, I can't help wondering if the "months" that they give her is 2, 3, 4? Do I have just another short month with my mom to try to say all that I've wanted to tell her, and do all that I've wanted to do with her? Am I going to know when the end is near, or is she going to pass in her sleep without me having the chance to truly tell her goodbye? How am I going to be able to bear it when she is gone? Who will I call when I am trying to sing my kids a song that my mom used to sing me, but I can't remember the words? Or when I am trying to make one of my favorite meals from growing up, and I can't get it exactly right? Or the times when I just want to hear her voice and tell her that I love her, despite all the differences that we have had in the past?

I don't want to think about the fact that very soon, possibly before my baby is born, I will have to deal with the death of my mom. I know that I need to take advantage of every moment that God has given us together. I am so thankful that she moved back to Albuquerque and that I can share my time and my love with her as much as possible. And more than anything, I pray that when it is her time to go, I won't have any regrets about the things I haven't said or the moments that we haven't spent together.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Thanksgiving Baby

Well I guess we are a little bit more pregnant than we thought. Baby #2 is going to be a Thanksgiving baby instead of a Christmas baby! :)

Thursday, May 7, 2009

MOM's Club & Monkey Mischief

I have been completely neglecting my blog lately, not to mention my reader. At the beginning of April I joined a local MOM's Club and it has definitely been keeping me and Michaela busy. If you've never heard of a MOM's Club, find one in your area, they are great! It is basically a support group for stay-at-home moms (although there are a few work-at-home and part-time working moms involved). We get together and do different activities throughout the week. It's great because not only do the kids get to have socialization and playtime with other kids, but us moms get to have adult conversation and advice and understanding from other moms.

Michaela has been getting into everything lately. It is ridiculous how fast this little girl can crawl! I literally will have my attention diverted for 2 seconds, look up and realize she is no longer in the room! Her new favorite game is hide and seek. I will go into a different room and call her name and her job is to come find me. She gets so excited when she turns a corner and sees me standing in front of her. Here are some pictures of the mischief she's been getting into lately.
She decided that she loves hanging out on the dog bed. I might just use one of these instead of a toddler bed. :)

Her latest thing is climbing into boxes. Everytime I turn around she is inside a box or crate.

We are still working on using forks and spoons, but more often than not, she ditches the utensils and uses her fingers (and face!)

This is her "helping" mommy as I cleaned out the refrigerator.

She is fascinated with the dog crate and tries to climb in there whenever I turn my back.

A fool proof way to keep her busy while I cook dinner. The only problem is that I have to reorganize the tupperware after every time.

I have no idea what she was thinking, but she found the bag of potatoes and proceeded to bite or lick every single one.
She is definitely a handful these days! I don't have much news on the baby front. I went to my first pre-natal appointment, but the baby is measuring so small (and I still haven't had a menstrual cycle since Michaela was born), so there was no way to tell how far along I am. We are doing an ultrasound in a couple of weeks to check. My midwife said I felt like I was around 6-8wks, but I always measured several weeks small with Michaela so we really need to double check with the ultrasound. We still plan on not finding out the sex of the baby until it's born. We are trying to get Michaela to understand the concept of "gentle" so that she can be careful around the baby. We also bought her a little baby doll to start taking care of. Does anyone have any advice on how to prepare a 1 year old for a new baby?

Thursday, April 16, 2009

And Baby Makes Four...

Thank you all for your warm congratulations, we are so excited about this new baby! I'm feeling pretty good. I didn't have any morning sickness or other issues with Michaela and it looks like I won't with this one either *keeping fingers crossed*. The only thing is that I feel a little more tired than usual, but that is to be expected in the first trimester with a little toddler running around. Philip has been fantastic. This weekend when our schedule was a little off and I felt really really exhausted, he had me lay down for a nap in the other room while he entertained Michaela.

This week I have really started thinking about the logistics of having another baby in our home. What room will we put it* in, do we need to buy any more baby things or do we still have all of Michaela's, how in the world am I going to find time to clean with a baby and a toddler! I'm super excited, and now I know from experience that the more I get organized before this baby comes, the easier the transition will be. I'll be heading to Walmart at some point today to figure out a better organizing system for all of Michaela's toys and other misc. junk that resides all over the floor of the front room! Anyone have any good toy organizing tips?

*We don't plan on finding out the sex of the baby until it is born, but Philip is really hoping for a little boy. I don't mind either way, but I have much more experience with little girls!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Coming Soon.....


Thursday, April 2, 2009

I don't usually get political, but....

President Obama is currently taking comments to help him decide whether or not to rescind federal regulations that allow doctors to opt out of performing procedures or prescribing drugs that are against their personal, moral, or religious convictions. Regardless of whether or not you support abortion, no doctor should be forced to perform one under penalty of job loss or other forms of discrimination. This may lead to fewer health care providers as objecting doctors are fired, and as religious and faith-based hospitals shut down in order to prevent having to perform procedures they are against. There are seven days left to let President Obama know that we do not want government control over our doctor's freedom of choice. Please visit one of the websites below to voice your opposition. Thanks. :)

http://actions.nchla.org/Core.aspx?Screen=compose2&SessionID=$AID=970:SITEID=-1:VV_CULTURE=en-us:APP=GAC:ISSUEID=16808$

http://www.adoctorsright.com/

Monday, March 30, 2009

No More Breastfeeding

Oh, my aching breasts! After steadily decreasing her feedings throughout the last couple of weeks, on Saturday Michaela started getting upset every time I tried to breastfeed her. So yesterday on Sunday I decided to try the "don't offer, don't refuse routine." I didn't offer to breastfeed her at all the entire day, and I never had to refuse because she didn't even think about asking for it. Although this is a little bittersweet, I'm actually quite happy about it. I wanted to have her self-wean, but at the same time, I'm not sure I would have felt comfortable breastfeeding her past her second year. So I am incredibly relieved to find that at 13 months she was more than ready to self-wean. The only problem now is how to relieve my poor overfull breasts that just feel ready to explode!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

And so it starts...

Do you know what this is?
It's a white hair.
From my head.


I'm only 24 years old! What the heck?

Friday, March 20, 2009

Thank You Notes for Pre-Writers

As I sat down to make thank you notes for all of Michaela's birthday gifts, I came up with a pretty neat idea. I wanted to make it more personal so I was thinking of adding a little imprint of her foot or hand. Unfortunately, she is very active and won't sit still for more than a couple of seconds so I knew this wouldn't work. Then it came to me, picture thank you's! We basically just set her up with the toy, book, or outfit that was given to her and had her sit next to or under a set of her blocks with the words "Thank You" spelled out. I thought this was great because then each person could see her enjoying the gift. Some were better than others which is inevitable with a small child, but all in all I think this is a great way to personalize a thank you note if they can't write one on their own yet.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Happy Anniversary!

To the man who makes my heart beat a little faster...
To the man who brings out my silliness...
To the man who is so ridiculously stubborn...
To the man who randomly breaks into song and dance which makes me smile every time...
To the man who turns me on just by wearing a tight pair of pants...
To the man who loves my food...
To the man who always knows how to make me feel better when I've had a bad day...
To the man who likes to hum while he eats...
To the man who uses his handyman magic to make our house a home...
To the man who understands that it's more important to work through problems to make our relationship stronger than to never argue...
To the man who feeds my book addiction every chance he gets...
To the man who supports me when I'm trying to lose weight and yet manages to never make me feel fat...
To the man who shares my love of board games...
To the man who is just as happy as I am to play miniature golf on our child-free date nights...
To the man who I know I can trust to protect our daughter and me...
To the man who is such a wonderful daddy...
To the man who shares my faith and helps me to grow in my relationship with God...
To the man who works so hard so that I am able to stay home with our daughter...

You are the love of my life and every day I am married to you is a blessing from God. Te quiero mucho.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Dear Michaela

Dear Michaela,
Happy Birthday! In many ways it is hard to believe that it has only been a year since you were born. I already can't remember what life was like before your constant presence. Yet I can still remember those first few hazy days with you. The joy I felt when I held you for the first time and when I recognized some of your daddy's features in your smushed little newborn face. The feeling of complete helplessness when I was unable to breastfeed you for the first few days (thank goodness we finally got the hang of it!). The anticipation of finally taking you home from the hospital and the terror when we realized that we were completely on our own and had to figure out our way as parents as best we could.

The first 6 months of your life you gave us a trial by fire in parenting. By the time you stopped being colicky I knew every calming technique in the book and already felt like a veteran parent. You always have had plenty of personality, but when you finally stopped crying all day it was amazing to see the little quirks we had missed before. And now, 6 months later, a little bit of your babyness is shedding away every day and I can start to see the toddler and child that you are becoming. I am so glad that I am able to stay home with you so that I can witness this constant transformation and enjoy all the little moments that I will look back on with love many years from now. I can't imaging being unable to share all the little smiles and giggles or witness the milestones as you become a fully mobile little girl.

In case I ever forget to tell you enough, know that I love you mijita, now and forever.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Birth Story

It was on this day last year (ok, technically it was Feb. 29th) that I went in to the hospital to have my labor induced. My little baby had been measuring small throughout my entire pregnancy, so we had been having weekly ultrasounds to make sure that she/he was still ok. (We had decided not to find out the sex of the baby). That day we discovered that the baby had not grown at all from the previous week, meaning that my placenta was no longer delivering to it the nutrients that it needed. I knew all along that there was a possibility of induction, but when it became clear that an induction was the only option and that it had to happen that very day, 3 weeks ahead of my due date, my heart broke just a little bit. This was my first pregnancy, I wanted to do it my way, all natural, with minimal hospital intervention.

In any case, after my 4pm appointment my midwife told me to be at the hospital by 8pm. I rushed home, calling my husband to update him on the situation. My dad's suprise 50th birthday party was the following day and I had volunteered to make all the food.....all the food that I hadn't started making yet! As soon as I got home, I rushed to get some of the food made, so that they could at least reheat it the next day. When my husband arrived home from work, he found me in the kitchen sweating over several enchilada casseroles. Never mind that the baby's room was unfinished, there were still a few things missing from my hospital bag, and I should seriously consider eating something and taking a shower before we left, I had to get that food ready!

We left for the hospital at 7:30pm with most of the food done, and my sisters planning to finish what I hadn't. When we got there, all of the rooms were full, but most of the women had already given birth, so within an hour we were escorted to our own room. When they checked me, they found that my body was in no way ready to have this baby. I wasn't dilated in the slightest, my cervix was not ripened at all, and the baby hadn't really even dropped! I told them from the very beginning that I did not want to have my water broken unless it was the last possible option. I didn't want to be forced into a C-Section situation. Let me skip most of that weekend and let you know that by Monday afternoon, after trying every possible induction method, my midwife told me gently that if I didn't want to stay another week in the hospital, I should probably have my waters broken. At this point I was 3cm dilated and my cervix was very high, so I decided to go with it.

At 2pm my water was broken. By 4pm I was seriously considering changing my stance on no pain medication, but I held out and just convinced myself after each contraction to just get through one more. I had planned to move around and try different positions to help with the pain and help get the baby into position, but at every contraction I just wanted to curl up into a little ball on the bed until it was over. By the time they checked me at 8pm I was only 6cm dilated and my arms and shoulders were sore from squeezing the bed rail during every contraction. At this point, Philip and I realized that I might be in labor for the rest of the night so he went down to the lobby to grab something to eat. Right after he left I got incredibly nauseous and threw up all over my sisters bag (she was with me while Philip was eating). After they finished cleaning it up I felt like I had to push. I told them and they said they would check me again even though they had just checked me. Philip came back into the room at this point and was there when they told me I was almost at 10cm and if I wanted to push to go right ahead. After about 30 minutes of pushing, our sweet little Michaela came into the world at 9:18pm. A whopping 5lb 1.4oz, Philip and I fell in love with this little angel and knew our lives would be forever changed. I love you, my little monkey!


I'd love to hear your birth story(ies)! If you've already written one, let me know if the comments! :)

Friday, February 20, 2009

Picture Updates

Since I haven't been blogging much, here is a little picture update of the little monkey.

Michaela refuses to let me feed her anymore, she is all about being an independent eater! Here she is eating some banana coated in Cheerios (makes it easier for her to grab). She is on the road to walking! She can cruise along furniture, and uses her little car to zip around the house.

She discovered the joys of balloons at a friends birthday party last week. I wrapped the balloon around her waist and she had a blast grabbing at it and playing with it.

She starting to show tendencies toward OCD. She always lines up her bath toys neatly like this, and is starting to seperate them into categories (ducks, turtles, crocodiles, and letter toys).


I finally attempted using my MobyWrap as a back carrier. I was terrified I would drop her, but I found an easy way to get her on there that feels much safer than the other ways I had tried.

She has started pulling up in her crib, and I'm terrified she's going to fall out! I can't put the gate up because it makes soooo much noise and always wakes her up. I can't just leave the gate up because I'm too short to put her down. I think it is time to buy a new crib, any suggestions?

Her first birthday is coming up! Since she is my little monkey, the party will be monkey themed. Aren't the invitations I made cute?


That's all folks!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Valentines Schmalintines

I've never really been a fan of Valentines Day. It seems like such a silly day to have to force yourself to be extra lovey dovey and mushy with your loved one. I love celebrating our anniversary, but VD has no meaning behind it, nothing to truly mark it as a special day, other than the fact that our calenders say so. Philip & I don't celebrate it at all, and to be honest it just seems like a waste of money.

That being said, I always secretly hope just a little bit that Philip will come home with something cute and simple like a single stem rose or a box of chocolates. And then I will say something along the lines of "You're so silly, you know we don't do Valentines Day!" But really I will be super pleased and he will probably get a little action that night.

The other day (like a couple of weeks ago) we were at Sam's Club and noticed an older man buy a rose to take home. I thought it was the cutest thing in the world. But then later that day, I was in the crabbiest mood in the world. My dinner had not turned out the way I wanted it to, my daughter had been teething and screaming all day, I hadn't finished the cleaning, and I was just feeling like a failure as a wife and a mom. So when I put Michaela in the bath to get her ready for bed and heard the clanking noises that usually indicates dishes are being washed, I almost broke into tears. My husband hates washing dishes. Plus it was the night before he started work again after his break and he wanted to be in bed early. So this was a big, important, romantic guesture, even though it was such a tiny little thing. These are the things that really matter to me, not some rinky dinky little rose he picks up at the gas station on the way home.

To conclude, Philip: I love you very much, and am glad that we are able to show our love for each other every day of the year, not just the day that the card companies want us to. P.S. A chocolate bar is always appreciated. :P

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Seriously?

Dog Lives With Leopard. And Piglet.


Is there anything cuter than this?

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

In case I had any doubts that my daughter knows what to do with a cup...

They all went out the window the other night when Michaela filled her bath cup with bath water (grime, suds and all) and poured it down her throat. And then squirted the water from her ducky's tummy into her mouth when I took the cup away. And then proceeded to lap water from the tub like a dog when I took her duck away. Is it weird for an 11 month old to like drinking water so much?

Monday, January 26, 2009

Chinese New Years Resolutions

I was being a very lazy blogger over New Years and never got my resolutions out. So being that this weekend was Chinese New Year, I think it is ok for me to publish them now. :) In no particular order:

*Get our budget back on track. Philip and I pretend to be healthy spenders, but really, when it comes to something we really want, we are like ADD children in a candy store. As I was looking at our spending from last year, the biggest problems were groceries, eating out, and buying gifts for friends and family. We are going to try to eat out less, and share meals when we do. I plan on making menus every week to help streamline my grocery spending. And I want to make gifts as much as possible, or really take advantage of after-holiday sales for the upcoming years presents.

*Spend less time on the blogosphere. I know, this seems crazy, but it seems like I am constantly checking my Reader. As much as I love reading my favorite blogs, if I can keep my habit down to one time a day, I will have so much more time for other things I have been putting on the backburner, like making a baby book, writing my novel, or planning menus.

*Spend more time in the present. I seem to always be planning ahead and looking to the future. I put off projects because I think next week or next month will be a better time. I need to start paying more attention to the things that are here in now in my life, including my husband and my daughter. I need to appreciate the little things and spend that extra time playing or listening instead of trying to get something else done.

*Work on my relationship with God. I need to stop taking our relationship for granted and really start behaving like the Christian that I am. I want to spend more time in prayer, both structured and through my actions and thoughts towards other people.

*Treat my body more kindly. I want to stop shoving bad and harmful food into my body. I want to stop lying around on the couch and letting my muscles turn to pudding. I want to stop criticizing my body and blaming it for all the bad things in my life. I am going to treat my body the way I treat Michaela's. I give her good healthy food, it is time to be just as nice to myself. I have her walking and moving around all day. It is time that I follow her lead and do the same. I adore every little hair on her head and every adorable little fold of skin on her body. It is time that I learn to love myself that much.

Wish me luck with my resolutions! I hope to re-evaluate in the summer and see how I am doing.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Operation Baby #2

Yeah! My Aunt Flow is visiting! Now normally, I am not such a huge fan. But she hasn't visited for almost 2 years and Philip and I have been wanting to try for baby #2 (we want our kids spaced closely together). I don't think I have been this excited over one of her visits since she visited me the very first time. Yes, this is probably so much more information than you ever wanted to know from me, but I am so happy, I just had to shout it out to the world! Operation Baby #2 can now commence!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Thank you Reynolds...

Dear Reynolds,
I hate you. I know hate is such a strong word, but in this case it is completely applicable. I know we used to have such a good relationship, I mean I use your products several times a week for cooking, storing, and even cleaning purposes.

But yesterday I decided to cook the extra turkey that I bought at Thanksgiving so that I would have turkey instead of chicken for my recipes the rest of this week. I decided to use your famous turkey cooking bags so that I wouldn't have to be continually checking and basting it. I am not a stupid girl. I know that my roaster is metal and that plastic and heated metal do not belong together. But for some reason I thought that this would have been taken into account with this product. I mean, I'm sure that a large majority of turkey roasting pans are metal right? And there was no warning anywhere on the box or on the instructions! I just assumed that this was magic plastic, you know the kind that would have been specially designed to not melt to a still-new favorite metal turkey roasting pan in under 30 seconds. I guess I was wrong.

To conclude, I hate you Reynolds. For messing up my pan, for making me spend an hour trying to clean the burned, melted plastic off, and for making me spend my day continually basting my turkey while my pissed-off, teething daughter screamed in the background. Grrrr.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Chocolate Mousse & Tuiles

Motherhood for Dummies hosts Family Moment Mondays, check her out to get more ideas on how to spend time together as a family!


My FMM today is a delicious recipe that I tried out this weekend. We were invited to a friends house for dinner and asked to bring a dessert. I sat racking my brain trying to come up with something that would be easy and fast, and finally turned to Kraft, my go-to website for quick food. I found this delicious recipe for chocolate mousse using Toblerone candy bars. This was super easy and super quick to put together. With your supervision, a child could easily make this. If not, your kids will love licking the mixing spoon with this dessert.
The only problem was that this mousse was a little bit rich. I started thinking of ways to balance the richness of the chocolate, and decided to try making some mild cookies to go along with the mousse. I decided to make a tuile- a thin, mildly sweet cookie that can be shaped however you like while still warm from the oven. I found this particular recipe here. Your kids will love making these cookies into little cups, rolling them into little cylinders, making them look like waffle cones, or simply draping them along a rolling pin to create a pringle shape like I did. If you want to go one step further, you can dip, or drizzle the cookies in melted chocolate once they are shaped.
Toblerone Chocolate Mousse
Ingredients:
· 8 triangles (2.5 oz) Toblerone Chocolate
· 2.5 cups Cool Whip, thawed [I used about 4 cups, it made it a little less rich.]

Directions:
· Microwave chocolate about 1 minute or until mostly melted and let cool about 30 seconds.
· Add in Cool Whip and stir until well blended.
· Chill in refrigerator for at least 1.5 hours. [The longer it chills, the better it tastes, and the more mousse-like a consistency it becomes.]
Belgian Tuile Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1/2 c butter, softened [I used margarine]
  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 c all-purpose flour
Directions
  • Preheat oven to 375, grease cookie sheets.
  • Beat butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
  • Add egg white, vanilla, and salt
  • Gradually add flour until well blended.
  • Drop rounded teaspoonfuls onto cookie sheet, and flatten slightly with a spatula. [These spread when they cook. The original directions say to place them 4 inches apart on the cookie sheet, but I did them about 1 inch apart and they were fine.]
  • Bake 6-8 minutes, or until golden brown.
  • Pull them out of the oven, as soon as you are comfortable handling them, take them and place them over a rolling pin to create "pringle" shape.
  • Let cool about 1 minute before removing from rolling pin.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Sleep, glorious sleep...

I have not fallen off the face of the planet. We were in San Antonio last week visiting my husbands family and although I had my computer with me, I was lazy and didn't bother to post anything or really keep up with my google reader. I think I've pretty much given up on doing too much more to my page, but I will try to keep updating my blogroll, it takes forever to add blogs via html!

In other news, Michaela started sleeping in her very own crib in her very own room this week. She has been sleeping in my bed pretty much since the day she came home from the hospital. I tried reading The No-Cry Sleep Solution, and while it did have alot of great ideas, none of them seemed to work very well on Michaela. I know alot of parents let their children sleep in their beds for years, but it was not working well for our family any more. Philip is such a light sleeper that he tosses and turns, and would wake the baby up, so he has been sleeping on the couch for a long time now. For the health of my marriage, Michaela needed to go into her own room!

It hasn't been too too bad so far. I've started doing a better bedtime routine with her, and now I nurse her until she is drowsy, then put her in her crib. The first two nights daddy rubbed her tummy and her head until she fell asleep, and then would do the same whenever she woke up in the middle of the night. I would wake up to feed her after she had slept for 5 or 6 hours and then put her back in her crib. Last night daddy did not go to her when she woke up, we let her try to get back to sleep on her own. I would be lying if I said that this has been a smooth, cry-less situation, but there has definitely been less tears than I expected.

The first night I had a really hard time sleeping without Michaela tucked into my arms. Last night I slept like a rock. So although I will miss Michaelas little night noises, and the feeling I get when her little hand brushes against my arm as she turns over, I know this is the right thing to do right now. Daddy is happy to have his bed back and I am happy to have him back as well. :)

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Being defeated by technology...

My redesign is not going as well as I would have liked it to. I have some good changes so far (spiffy new header, 3 columns and a scrolling blogroll!) but I am having problems with changing my background and putting pictures in my sidebar headers. I do not know html very well so this is all a lot of experimenting. If anyone does know how to do that, please please please help me out! I am strangely computer illiterate for my generation! :(