Sunday, January 31, 2010

My New Babysitter


Have you ever had a paint with water book? My mom used to buy them for me all the time when I was little and I really really enjoyed them. I was looking for a mess-free craft that I could give Michaela to work on while nursing Rafael and so I started looking around for these. I remember them being EVERYWHERE as a little girl, but nowadays they are nowhere to be found. I finally scored at Target last week and bought a few of them for Michaela.


We spent a good 30 minutes playing together with them. I showed her how to dip her brush into the water, how to apply it to the page, how to be careful not to spill the water, and how to clean up the water if she did spill. I really enjoyed spending this time with her. But then Rafael had to nurse, so I left her playing with it by herself. It was perfect! She didn't make any messes (and even if she had, water is no problem to clean up!), and I kid you not, this kept her occupied for several hours. Oh she'd go play with something else for awhile, but she kept coming back to it. I think this is a new favorite in our house!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Good Intentions...

Yesterday at a MOMS Club meeting, a friend who is moving on Sunday was talking about how they are living out of boxes and off of pizza. I had a huge container full of chili left over from earlier in the week so I offered to bring it over for their dinner. I know, I'm so sweet right? Well here's how the conversation in my head went when it got to be dinner time:

"I think I'll put the chili in the crockpot to warm it up since their pans are probably already packed."

"Wow, I'm such a thoughtful person, etc, etc (other self righteous mumblings...)"

*Takes the container of chili from the fridge, opens it and looks inside*

"WTF!"

"Where did all the chili go! There's only half a container left! Nobody else in this house loved it, so where did it go?!?!"

"Ok, breathe. Think Andrea, think! Is this enough? Michaela wouldn't eat much, but they have three boys and I hear rumors that boys eat their weight in food, so this is definitely not enough!"

"Ok, lets take a look in the pantry and see if there's any more beans to bulk this up!"

"Nope. Oh look, a can of Hormel chili! Perfect!"

*Dumps it in*

"Hmmm. That doesn't look right. I'll mix it in really well and hopefully they'll never notice."

"Well, that's better, but I'm still not sure it's enough. I'll make some cornbread too."

*Rifles through pantry for a bit*

"Seriously, no cornmeal?!? Ok, corn tortillas? No. Cornstarch? No. Cornbread dressing? N...wait, I remember reading something online around Thanksgiving time about stuffing muffins, I can make those!"

"Shoot, I don't have time to search for that recipe online, who knows how much longer Rafael will be content in that swing?! Ok, how hard can it be?"

*Makes stuffing on stovetop. Puts finished stuffing in muffin pan. Bakes for 15 minutes.*

"Well, it's stuffing in the shape of a muffin, so I guess that works. Allright, I've got half a pot of chili and 7 stuffing 'muffins'. Is it enough? Aw, screw it, I'll take them a pizza from my freezer too and hope they learned their lesson about accepting food from neurotic mom friends!!!!"


If you're reading this, I'm really really sorry for the crappy dinner! Be safe while you're moving! We all love you and are going to miss you so much!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

One fell off and bumped her head...

My little monkey has a new habit of jumping on furniture.



Maybe I need to re-read her the story of the Ten Little Monkeys. :)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Mommy Guilt

I don't know how it happens, but mommy guilt always seems to interrupt my day and make me feel like an inadequate mother.

Like yesterday when I took Rafael for his wellcheck and found out he had a sinus infection. At the doctor last month, the doctor told me his stuffy nose was due to remaining amniotic fluid in his system, so I never really worried about it. At what point did it become a sinus infection and why didn't I notice the change? How long has my little guy been sick?

This morning I was nursing Rafael and Michaela was playing nearby when she came up to us and asked to be picked up. Usually I'll pick her up and snuggle, but since Rafael hasn't been feeling well he's been really restless while eating, so I was trying really hard to concentrate on getting some food in him. Michaela was NOT happy that I wasn't paying attention to her and decided to throw herself down on the ground in a tantrum. Later, I managed to get Rafael down for a nap so I ignored the fact that my house is in serious need of some cleaning and sat down to read some books with her.

Sometimes I think we were absolutely crazy to have kids this close in age, but I can't imagine my life without either of them in it. I love them both so much and although I know it's completely unrealistic, I want to always be there for both of them all the time. How do you deal with mommy guilt and knowing that some things are going to slip through the cracks?

Michaela's "Babies"

Michaela was fairly indifferent to her baby dolls before Rafael came along. Then all of a sudden she became a little mommy. She is always feeding them, wrapping them in blankets to put them to sleep, and carrying them around with her everywhere. Everytime I go to put Rafael down somewhere, one of her babies is already there.






What a little sponge!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Shopping Superwoman

There's nothing like completing an uneventful shopping trip with two kids under 2 in under 30 minutes to make you feel like Superwoman. So since I am such an amazing domestic diva, here are some tips on how you too can have a melt-down free trip to the grocery store.

1. Stuff your children like a pinata before you go to the store so that they have absolutely no reason to beg for food. We try to go right after breakfast and I nurse Rafael immediately before we leave so that their tummies are full and happy. I used to take graham crackers to the store but since Michaela's tummy is a bottomless pit when it comes to anything with carbs, we would inevitably run out and she would scream "more, more, more". So now, no food in the store. Period.

2. Keep them locked up as long as you can. I have never ever let Michaela walk freely in any store that has a cart. She sits in the front of the cart and is perfectly content because she knows nothing about the knocking displays over, running away from me possibilities that come with being free. She will stay sitting in the cart until she is too big for it to contain her, which, with her rate of growth may be never. I carry Rafael in the sling and will do so as long as my back can handle it.

3. Be prepared. I make a grocery list before I leave and have it completely categorized in the order in which I walk through the store so that nothing gets forgotten. I also put everything I need (diaper bag, cup of coffee, etc.) into the car before I nurse Rafael so that I don't spend twenty minutes running back in and out of the house for the various items I forgot.

That last one is a biggie. Otherwise you may end up driving all the way to the grocery store before realizing that you left your credit card at home and your entire trip was in vain. Only your credit card was really in the pocket of your jacket in the trunk, which you only find out after searching the entire house after you get home. So really, you did have your credit card and could have bought groceries after all. Not that that's ever happened* to me or anything.

*Yesterday.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

101 in 1001

Have you ever heard of the 101 in 1001 project? I just discovered this amazing idea a few weeks ago and decided I have to try it. I am so horrible with following through on things that I want to do, but I think keeping this list will really help keep me accountable.

Here's the skinny: You have 1001 days to accomplish 101 goals. The goals have to be specific, from many areas of your life, realistic, measurable, and self-stretching. The question I kept asking myself as I added goals was "Will this make you happier in the long run?" My start date is February 1st and I'll try to update everyone periodicallyon how I'm doing. If any of you start a list, I'd love to hear about it!

I have:
1001 days
143 weeks
33 months
2.75 years

and will end on:
Sunday, October 28, 2012

Here are my goals:

Personal
1. Get a professional massage
2. Write a funeral service for self (I know this seems morbid, but what a help it would be for family if anything ever happened to me!)
3. Get a very short haircut
4. Get sized and invest in very good (supportive) bras

Technology
5. Download music for a travel CD
6. Don’t use any technology (computer/tv/radio) 1 day a week (0/143)
7. Watch TV only 5 hours a week while kids are awake for 6 months (0/6) (0/33)
8. Scan and put all important documents/photos/etc on dvd or usb drive
9. Transfer all important things off gray laptop
10. Don’t watch soaps for a month and use time for more productive things (0/30)

Family
11. Talk to Ivana about dad
12. Try to do a family game night once a month (0/33)
13. Throw Philip a kick ass 30th bday party

Romantic
14. Go away for a weekend on our own.
15. Date night at least every other month (0/17)
16. Have sex at least 3 times a month (0/99) - don't laugh if you have a fabulous 3 times a night sex life. Try having two back to back kids and sleep schedules that don't line up and THEN tell me how often you have sex. If it's still 3 times a night...well...how nice.
17. Read 5 Love Languages
18. Make Philip a boudoir calendar

Travel & Entertainment
19. Go on a cruise
20. Go to a movie in the theater - haven't been to one in THREE years!
21. Ride the tram to the top of Sandia
22. Watch all seasons of Lost
23. Watch all seasons of Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman - shut up, I love them but they are an hour each so they take forever!

Food
24. Make homemade sandwich bread
25. Preserve fruit
26. Make a pie crust from scratch
27. Make chili
28. Make tamales
29. Perfect a malt recipe
30. Make a delicious dish with red chile and chocolate
31. Create a signature cocktail
32. Try 101 new recipes (0/101)

Crafty
33. Make a scrapbook for each year of Michaela’s life
34. Make a scrapbook for each year of Rafael’s life
35. Make wedding scrapbook
36. Copy pics from moms picture albums & give to girls
37. Make & sell items in a craft fair
38. Make iron pad
39. Make Michaela kitchen
40. Turn old cards into new ones
41. Print all craft/recipes
42. Organize all craft/recipes
43. Make a quiet/fine motor skills book
44. Make 101 different things (0/101)

Holidays
45. Make Advent calendar
46. Make every gift that I give for Christmas

Health
47. Get down to 145 and keep weight 5lb within that for at least 6 months (0/6) (0/33)
48. Walk the run for the zoo or other charity walk - not ready to take on running yet, maybe after I finish this list I'll start a new one!
49. Go to the dentist - haven't been since I got my braces off, eek!
50. Get records on mole that was removed
51. Take a multivitamin every day for 6 months (0/6) (0/1001)
52. Find a family doctor
53. Get a complete physical every year (0/3)
54. Buy and use a pedometer
55. Do cardio at least 3 times a week for six months (0/72) (0/429)

Education
56. Read all Jane Austen books again
57. Re-teach self Spanish
58. Read histories of Catholicism books
59. Teach Philip Spanish
60. Read 101 new books (0/101)

Kids
61. Write a will
62. Designate guardians
63. Potty train Michaela before she is 3
64. Open savings account for Rafael
65. Wean Rafael from pacifier and boob before 15 months
66. Potty Train Rafael before he is 3
67. Do 101 crafts with kids (0/101)

Home
68. Paint living room & kitchen ceiling
69. Decorate Michaela’s room
70. Decorate Rafael’s room
71. Paint hallway
72. Decorate bathroom
73. Order and hang up pictures
74. Get St. Anne from Eddie
75. Buy a St. Rafael & St. Michael
76. Clean out/ replenish wardrobe
77. Trim trees in front
78. Remove tree in back
79. Landscape back yard
80. Start and maintain a garden
81. Update and Follow cleaning lists
82. Buy fireproof safe
83. Make my own cleaning products
84. Buy blinds

Religion/Faith
85. Say the rosary every day
86. Read 1 book of the bible a month until have read the entire bible (0/33)
87. Family prayer every day
88. Go to confession at least once a month (0/33)
89. Read the entire Catechism

Professional
90. Write a book
91. Complete 365 days of one minute writer (0/365)
92. Write something for money

Financial
93. Set up and follow a monthly budget (0/33)
94. Tithe every month (0/33)
95. Go an entire month without spending money on non-essentials (0/30)
96. Enter receipts at least once a week (0/143)

To Be Determined
97.
98.
99.
100.
101.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

I owe you one George

When Rafael was born, we started seating Michaela at her own small table to eat since I couldn't lift her into her high chair until I recovered. She loooooved sitting there right from the very beginning, but always wanted company. It wasn't enough for someone to sit at the big table right next to her. She would pull out the empty extra chair and point to the seat with such a pitiful face until one of us would give in and sit on the teeny tiny chair next to her.

A couple mornings ago, I was holding a sleeping Rafael in my arms and I just did not feel like squeezing into that little chair. That's when I glanced across the room and this little guy fixed all of my problems.

Apparently she just wanted the chair to be occupied, not necessarily by a human.

Play Time!

With the help of Philip's handyman skills, our office/playroom/craft room is all finished. Here are some pictures of the playroom part.:
All of Michaela's smaller toys are in these clear plastic shoeboxes up out of her reach. When she wants to play with something I'll pull down one or two boxes at a time. If she wants to play with something else, all the toys have to go back in the box and back on the shelf before we get a new box down for her. This helps contain the mess and fixes our problem of having all the toys scattered all over the living room floor. It also helps that it's up out of her reach!
On the top shelf are all her craft supplies (pipe cleaners, fingerpaints, etc.).
On the other top shelf are large canvas bins full of all her big toys that won't fit into the shoeboxes.
I'll show you my crafting part tomorrow!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Michaela's Words

My little sponge was a slow starter for talking, but lately has been picking up words right and left. Here are some of the words Michaela can say now:


knee-yo - cheerios or any cereal
knee- cheese, snake
awa - agua (water)
puppy
mowe-more, mouth
bow - ball, bird, brother, or bigo (belly button)
poe - poop
guy - Rafael
mao- mouse
rawr - dinosaur, bear, tiger, lion, etc
nigh- night
mummy- mommy
daddy
eye
know-nose
ewe- ear
hi
bye
baa - bad
ha - hot
appow - apple, elbow, red
no
boo- book
ti ti - chi chi (boobs)


It may not be much but I'm a quiet person and I can tell that her verbal skills are fine in other ways. She understands pretty much everything and is able to follow two or three step commands or instructions. She's also starting to put together two words at a time to form simple sentances. Soon she'll be chattering away like crazy, so I need to write this down now so I can remember her sweet little voice and her first attempts at communication.

Michaela Likes Boots and Rafael Thinks We're Boring

Michaela has decided her new hobby is walking around in huge mens boots. Here she is walking around in her daddy's:
And here she is with her Grampa, fitting into his:Meanwhile Rafael has recently started being more active and awake and was starting to be more fussy. Since we were so obviously boring him, I pulled out Michaela's old tummy time mat and gave it a try. He loved it! Well, for about 5 minutes before he decided he'd rather have boob. Oh well.Here's a bonus picture of Michaela helping my dad vacuum. I don't know why, but my kids really love vacuums! By the way, she's bent over because my dad was bent over so that's how she thought you were supposed to vacuum!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Ignoring Responsabilities

It's a slow morning. Rafael and I have been up for a couple hours already, and nothing is accomplished. Usually I rush to take a shower before Rafael gets tired of being by himself and starts screaming at the top of his lungs. This usually wakes up Michaela so I have to rush to get her up, get her diaper changed and her breakfast made as fast as humanly possible so that I can go get Rafael who is still screaming at the top of his lungs and is so worked up at this point that only a 20 minute nursing session will calm him down. By the time he is finally starting to calm down, Michaela is done with her breakfast and comes wandering into the living room with her smoothie cup in hand even though I tell her every single morning to leave it in the kitchen so that she doesn't ruin my carpets (any more than they are already ruined!). Then I attempt to put Rafael in the bassinet or swing while I get Michaela dressed and after 5 minutes he starts screaming again so I have to go nurse him again. And thus proceeds my day, nursing, paying attention to Michaela, screaming and nursing again.

But not this morning. Rafael and I woke up, played quietly a bit, and then came and sat on the rocker in the living room where I've been web surfing and he's been cat-napping for almost 2 hours. I can hear Michaela talking to herself in her room, so I know all the craziness is going to start up pretty soon, but for now I'm going to stretch this quiet peaceful moment just a tiny bit longer because who knows when the next one will come?

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Resolutions

Everyone has to have a New Years post, right? Here are some things I hope to accomplish this year.

1. Lose the baby weight from both babies - I never really lost the baby weight from Michaela before I got pregnant again, so I have pretty much spent the last 2 1/2 years buried in maternity clothes. This year I am determined to get down to the point where I don't look pregnant anymore. My whole family is working on losing weight this year, so hopefully we can help keep each other motivated.

2. Be a more adventurous cook - This sort of relates to my first goal. More than just wanting to lose weight, I want to learn to cook more healthy meals so that all my family can benefit. You can follow along on my adventures on this front at my new blog "A Taste of the Blogosphere."

3. Play more with Michaela - She is a very independent girl and is usually content playing on her own and coming to me occasionally to read her a book or take part in her play. I think she's getting to the age now where she can start to appreciate crafting, so I'd like to try doing one project a day with her. I think this will also help me set aside one-on-one time with her now that the baby takes up so much.

4. Keep the TV off - I like to have the TV on during the day as background noise, but I know it's not very healthy for the kids. We moved the radio into the kitchen, so now I can use talk radio as the filler. We have also decided to limit the amount of time the TV is on while the kids are awake to 5 hours. This means our we have to be intentional about what we want to watch instead of mindlessly watching whatever program is on.

5. Be more organized - Ah organization, the bane of my existence! If I could just stay organized, my house would be cleaner, I would cook more, I would have more free time and I would stop being chronically late. This is something I try to work on every year, but this year I really want to step it up and make it happen.

5 goals for 2010. I'll try to check in once a month on these to make sure that I am on the right track. If you have also set goals, I hope that both yours and mine last throughout the year instead of ending at the end of January!

Christmas Break

One of the nice things about having a husband who is a teacher is the time off he gets for holidays and summer. We've really been enjoying ourselves these past couple of weeks and it has been really nice to have him home during the tough newborn stage. He is such a great hubby and daddy and has really stepped up in taking over Michaela's care so that I can tend to the baby's needs. Other than adjusting to being a family of four and spending time with extended family, some of the highlights have been taking the kids to the local kids science museum, Rafael getting to play Jesus at the Christmas Eve Mass, and Michaela getting into a jar of Nutella! Here are some pics from his time at home: