Saturday, June 30, 2007

questions for you

Why do I always worry about what other people think? I seriously have a complex. I am so envious of those people like Swistle (who can write about whoever she wants on her blog and doesn’t really care about how it sounds because she’s just being honest) or Beth (who writes with no censoring of her language, opinions, or life for that matter and certainly without caring who should stumble upon her posts) or even Erin (who was wise enough to have no RL family or friends who know her blog URL).

I constantly censor what I write on my blog. I guess I was always taught (by being shown) to care what others thought. I was taught to behave and be respectable and respectful. I worked at a Christian school where I was taught to be a role model, how to dress and act, and how to speak. Despite all of this, I was also taught to think for myself and make my own decisions. My parents’ number one goal in raising me, I believe, was to teach me how to think for myself. I believe they succeeded.

Still. Why is it so unbearably hard for me to be myself all of the time? Especially with my blog posts.

I haven’t written a lot this week mostly because I haven’t taken the time. Because by the time I got home from the hospital visiting my mom or home from a playgroup or gym class with the little girl I was beyond exhausted. Because by the time I sat down at the computer I was practically falling asleep, still trying to catch up from being sick last week. And because by the time I got around to posting I’d remember a load of laundry that had to be done by the next day or a special item that needed to be added to the diaper bag before the next morning or an important email that needed to be sent first or a snack that needed to be made for the next playgroup or....

Anyway, I’ve also just realized tonight that I’ve avoiding posting this week because I’ve been feeling pretty… well… negative. That’s just not something I’ve wanted to get on here and start writing about, complaining about this or sharing about how stressed I am about that. Whatever. I’m tired, but I know ya’ll don’t want to hear it. Plus I don’t want to disappoint people (family) or burden them with writing the things that have really been on my mind or complaining about people who I know will read this.

Why is that such a big deal for me? Why do I care who cares if I happen to like a song with a “bad word” or two in it? Why do I avoid mentioning a margarita on girls night out with the mom’s group? Why do I struggle with complaining on here about my husband not having the little girl ready to go as soon as I get home to pick them up to go to the Y? I think it's because I love the people who read this. But can't I love them and still be myself?

Now my question is this. If I can’t be myself in my own little space on the internet then where can I be myself? How do you own up to the fact that you aren’t always perfect and that even though you know better (and even feel guilty about it sometimes) you still occasionally misbehave sometimes? How do you find the line between TMI and not enough information? Most importantly, how do you blogging people learn to not care too much about what others think?

I guess the answer to all of this, for me at least, is to find the nice happy medium between 1) being open and honest on my blog/about my life/not worrying about hurting other people’s feeling and 2) intentionally hurting others with my statements, comments and thoughts. Any advice Oh Wise Internet People?

On a totally unrelated note, I bought a sling the other day from a girl in my mom’s group. I’ve always wanted one, but my cousin told me that if you didn’t start using them pretty early with the kids then sometimes they wouldn’t really “take” to them. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve considered buying one anyway to try with Julianna. Since they’re so expensive I just kept deciding to wait until a future baby came along.

Well, she had them out at a playgroup the other week and they were only twenty bucks so I impulsively had her measure me and then promptly ordered one. She had it ready early this week. I used it almost every day that I had to walk from the parking deck all the way around the construction site up to mom’s hospital room. It was a lifesaver! I had been using the stroller to carry the little girl and all the “stuff” (diaper bag, purse, flowers/magazines/snacks for mom, book for me, milkshakes, whatever) and the hospital room was just too small and crammed full of equipment to be able to accommodate the stroller and all of us very well. Once I got the sling it was wonderful. Julianna doesn’t seem to mind riding in it at all and she even brings it to me sometimes basically asking to get in it. I really feared that as independent as she is she wouldn’t really like it at all, but I guess she does. I like that it gives me free hands and doesn't feel awkward at all now that I've learned how to use it pretty well (at least in one position). I certainly look forward to using it if we have another baby and if I’m more successful with nursing I know it will come in handy.

Also, I ordered some shirts from Motherwear this week. I totally broke our Dave Ramsey goals and put the order on the credit card. Oops! It still felt good. I tried all of them on tonight though and they look like they’ll work great! I’m excited! Besides it’s been SO LONG since I bought clothes of any kind that I felt justified.

A lightning storm struck our cable/house phones router last week and they’ve been out. I’ve been using the cell phone a lot more than usual until we could replace the router and I ran out of minutes. (My sister and I share a plan.) We’d been needing to change our plan for a while now anyway, so we went today and got new cell phones. It is crazy different than my old phone so I should be learning how to use it instead of writing this now, but I’ll get to it. Plus it’s a camera phone so once I go back to the store and find out what I need to get some pictures uploaded from the phone to the blog I’ll hopefully be posting pictures more often.

Let’s see. What else? Oh yeah, we went and ran at the Y again today. It feels great to do something just for me and for no one else. Thanks to my dad for watching the little girl and playing with her in the pool so that I could run. I love my family! (I don’t love feeling guilty for taking advantage of them though.)

And finally, some entertainment tidbits for you. We’ve seen a couple of incredibly good movies lately. We’ve watched Pan’s Labyrinth and The Children of Men. I’d certainly recommend either one. You can read the hubby’s reviews here. In addition, Harry Potter Book 7 comes out in three weeks and I am so excited I could just wet my pants. Although I will admit that I have a bit of anxiety every time I think about it because it is the last book and I mean, my goodness people HARRY IS NOT GOING TO DIE!! But nevertheless… I’m biting my nails as I think of it. AND the next movie comes out in two weeks! So does anyone want to babysit so I can go to the movie matinee and see Harry Potter OotP when it comes out?

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

recipe Wednesday

A man up the street sells fresh squash and zucchini in his front yard under a shade tree near his garden. Fried squash is one of our most favorite foods so I'm going to stop and get a few this afternoon. I know I'll end up with so much and not have too many ways to cook it without using gobs of oil so I went ahead and got a few new recipes to try out. Here are the three recipes and I'll come back in a few days and add what I thought of them.


First Recipe
Green (Zucchini) Muffins

These are great for breakfast or as an afternoon snack

Prep time: 15 minutes
Bake time: 20 to 25 minutes
Yield: 16 muffins

Paper cupcake liners
3 cups flour - - I used 2 cups whole wheat flour and 1 cup white flour
1 Tbs baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
2 eggs
1/2 cup low-fat milk
1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil
1 cup sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
2 cups shredded zucchini (about 2 medium zucchini)

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and place paper liners in muffin tins.
2. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
3. In a medium bowl, beat eggs with an electric mixer for 1 minute. Beat in the milk, oil, and sugar. Stir in the zucchini until well blended. Add the flour mixture to batter a little at a time and stir to mix?it should be a little lumpy. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin tins. Sprinkle each muffin with 1/4 teaspoon sugar.
4. Bake for 20 minutes or until the muffin tops are golden brown and spring back when you touch them. Remove from tins and cool on a rack.

How kids can help: Put paper liners in muffin tins; measure ingredients; sprinkle sugar on muffins.
Per serving: 194 calories, 7 g fat (1 g saturated), 142 mg sodium, 24 mg cholesterol.

*Recipe by Rosemary Black


Second Recipe
Balsamic Zucchini With Pine Nuts

4 lb medium zucchini, cut diagonally into 3/4-inch-thick slices
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 oz finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (1/2 cup)
1/3 cup pine nuts (1 oz), toasted and finely chopped

Preheat broiler.
Toss zucchini with oil, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Arrange zucchini in 1 layer in 2 shallow baking pans (1 inch deep). Broil 1 pan of zucchini 3 to 5 inches from heat, without turning, until browned in spots and beginning to soften, 4 to 6 minutes. Drizzle 2 tablespoons vinegar over broiled zucchini and shake pan a few times, then continue to broil until most of vinegar is evaporated, about 2 minutes. Sprinkle 1/4 cup cheese over broiled zucchini and broil until cheese is melted, about 1 minute more. Cook remaining pan of zucchini in same manner. Cool to room temperature and serve sprinkled with pine nuts.

Cooks' note:
Balsamic zucchini (without pine nuts) can be made 3 hours ahead and kept at room temperature or chilled, covered. Sprinkle with pine nuts just before serving

*Sorry I don't have a source for this one. I got it from a friend.


Third Recipe
Zucchini Parmesan Fritters

Fritters are usually deep-fried, but a no-stick skillet and a small amount of butter or margarine make them golden and crispy with a lot less fat. For a main dish, serve the fritters with warm tomato sauce and side dishes of salad and bread.

Hands-on time: 10 min
Unattended time: 20 min

3 cups shredded zucchini
1 egg
1/4 cup skim milk
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup whole-wheat pastry flour or unbleached flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon unsalted butter or margarine

Directions: Place the zucchini in a colander and sprinkle with salt. Set aside to drain for 20 minutes. Rinse well with cold water. Press to remove any excess liquid from the zucchini. Place the egg in a large bowl. Whisk lightly. Add the milk and Parmesan. Mix well. In a cup, combine the flour, baking powder, and pepper. Mix well and stir into the egg mixture. Stir in the zucchini. Coat a large no-stick skillet with no-stick spray and set over medium-high heat. Add the butter or margarine and allow to melt. Drop the batter into the skillet by rounded tablespoons. Smooth out the tops and cook for 2 to 4 minutes per side, or until lightly browned and cooked through.

Makes 15
Per fritter
34 calories
1.2 g. total fat
0.6 g. saturated fat
1.2 g. protein
4.1 g. carbohydrates
0.7 g. dietary fiber
16 mg. cholesterol
71 mg. sodium

*The Low-Fat Living Cookbook by Leslie L. Cooper, published by Rodale Press and available at the Rodale Bookstore.

Monday, June 25, 2007

fifteen months

Dear Julianna,

Your mama is tired! Lately you and I have been passing some germs back and forth and back and forth and it’s really no fun at all. I can’t imagine how it would be with other kids in the house. A never-ending cycle! Still, I have to admit I keep thinking about how good of a big sister you’d make. You’ve truly become “Mommy’s Little Helper.” You help me sweep the floor, put the laundry in the dryer, pick up the trash, push the stroller, and you even help me eat my ice cream!

Over the last few weeks you’ve become obsessed with books. You ask us to read the same books over and over and over again. You climb up in our laps, basically sitting wherever you can fit if we don’t move over for you (including our heads) and then sign the word “book”. If we don’t read to you at least twelve hundred times a day you are not happy. I have officially memorized my share of children’s books and you are only fifteen months old! We got you a step stool so that you could grab a book off the shelf and bring it over and climb up on the couch to read with us. You will do it all day if we let you.

One book we read about Peter Rabbits’ friends talks about Flopsy and Mopsy snuggling with Peter. I explained to you what snuggling was and now you do it to us/with us all the time. You are such a loving little girl! Sometimes you’ll hug us and lay your head on one of our shoulders or even pat us on the back. It’s adorable.

Your vocabulary is growing so rapidly these days. I can’t begin to count all of the words you’ve said once or twice. It’s got to be getting close to a hundred. Sometimes you say phrases now such as “Up, please!” and “All gone.” Occasionally you still mix up some gibberish and get a wee bit frustrated when we can’t understand you.

You did the most hilarious thing today. Nanna had her knee surgery and when we left the hospital to get you home for a nap we stopped to get some lunch on the way. We ordered you a grilled cheese sandwich and you were soooooo sleepy. We had to sit on the picnic tables outside because there weren’t any seats in the air-conditioned restaurant. Anyway, you picked up the grilled cheese and ate a few bites on your own. (You’re doing much better with that by the way. You no longer cram the entire sandwich in your mouth at once. And while you still take way-too-huge bites, you’re getting there.) So after a couple of bites of the sandwich at lunch today, you held it up and pressed it to your cheek, cocking your head gently to the side as if you were snuggling with it. Then you laid it down flat on the picnic table and laid your head down on it and said, “I love you!”

We’ve made some progress using the potty the past week or two. You definitely don’t tell us when you need to go, but you will willingly go when we ask you to. I know you like the positive attention we give you when you do. If you wake up from a nap with a dry diaper, we can take you to the potty and you will pee. You almost always poop there if we take you when you start trying to go. I don’t think it will be many more months before you are out of diapers altogether and that makes Mama very, very excited.

I’ve also struggled with you a lot this month. Every once in a while you’ll leave me feeling exasperated after you throw your food on the floor or throw a book or your juice cup. Sometimes you even hit at my face and then smile. In addition, I’ve seen a tantrum or two or fourteen. It’s so hard, Jules. Harder than I ever thought at times. I want to do the right thing, to teach you to behave properly, to show you you’re still loved, but also get you to stop embarrassing the living daylights out of me. I was almost to the point of tears one time this month in a restaurant bathroom with no changing table, poop overflowing your diaper all down your pants and you were just picking up stuff off the floor or grabbing at the toilet. These days though, it’s so much easier to see that all of that bad stuff is totally worth it. You’re worth it, Doodle. Your smile makes me giddy; your laugh is infectious; and your hugs give me the absolute bestest feeling in the world! I love you girl.


Sunday, June 24, 2007

list of the week

Ways in which I've failed over the past several days

  • I joined WW online and quit tracking and entering points values in less than two weeks.

  • I haven't balanced the checkbook in a week although I had been trying to do it daily.

  • I signed up for a 5k and then felt so bad that I didn't even go. In fact, I haven't run in I don't know how long.

  • I've had the same few things on my "to do" list every day and haven't done them (like schedule my next massage and buy a college present for a neighbor).

  • I've bought things I wanted but didn't need (like a patio table and chairs).

  • I haven't blogged (or caught up reading those posts in my google reader).

  • I've fussed at my husband and not given my daughter a lot of attention because I've been grumpy and sick and just plain MEAN.

  • I haven't returned two phone calls I should have because I'm just lazy.

There are many, many others to add to this list. But in true failure style, I'm not going to finish it.

I wish the weekend wasn't already over!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

recipe Wednesday

For the last 48 hours or so I've been feeling pretty crummy. This morning I actually felt so bad that I went begging to my mom's house for help with Julianna while I got some much needed rest. It is really a blessing to have grandparents nearby. Anyway, that's my reason for not posting.

Mom made this recipe today because I was craving the comfort of chocolate chip cookies and wanting a pity party, but trying to stick to my diet. They were pretty good.

Good enough I guess.

For me to eat half the pan.

Monday, June 18, 2007

good news, bad news

Good News
Julianna and I went to a backyard birthday party today for a little girl of a friend in the mom's group I joined. She had SO MUCH FUN. She ran around with the bigger kids and splashed in the pool to her heart's content. She even picked up the sprinkler at one point and aimed it at everyone nearby. She had no idea what she was doing. It was so funny. Also, I had no idea that she would know what to do with a pinata, but the kid has no fear and she jumped right in. (Even though you didn't want the candy, Julianna, and instead chose the bouncy balls, I'll forgive you.)

Bad News
She didn't sleep very well last night, came home for her nap a little late and overtired, and then didn't nap well either. Let's hope tonight is different.

Good News
We went to the new Y tonight to a water aerobics class. It was pretty fun. Everyone there was a first timer so the instructor spent most of the time just talking to us about what we would do in a real class and not really working us out too incredibly hard.

Bad News
Unfortunately, there is no child care set up at the Y yet so my dad had to play with Julianna the whole time and the baby pool/water park was closed so they didn't really get to do a lot. Also, the water was colder than an outdoor pool would have been. We were all blue and shaking by the time we got done.

Good News
My husband was supposed to fly to Iowa tonight for work. He left the house at 5pm and went to the airport and came back home two and a half hours later to tell me that the flight was canceled. I'm excited to have him home one more night.

Bad News
The bad news is that he won't make it to the plant he is supposed to tour tomorrow morning and will miss the whole thing. He has to now get up really early and take a different flight with no reimbursement for anything (his two hours spent at the airport, his missed seminar, not even his 2 hour parking pass) and will miss basically a whole day of the event he was supposed to be going to. And they gave him no reason for canceling the flight.

Good News
I'm getting to a point in the book I'm reading where I don't want to put it down anymore.

Bad News
I'm getting to a point in the book I'm reading where I don't want to put it down anymore.


Sunday, June 17, 2007

list of the week

Good things that happened this weekend:

  • Lots of time spent with family.

  • I successfully completed my first week on Weight Watchers. (5 pounds down! Yay!)

  • Had time to watch a movie (Pan's Labyrinth).

  • Made time to read a little.

  • Went to the Grand Opening Celebration at the new Y.

  • Took two naps. (Who doesn't love naps?)

  • Went to the Y again today and ran. It felt so good. I haven't run in so long.

I wish it weren't almost Monday already. But I'm thankful for a good weekend every now and then.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

she’s got potential

A couple of weeks ago I was sitting on the couch playing around on the computer and Julianna somehow picked up the digital camera when I wasn't paying attention AND TURNED IT ON. Here is the result.

Untitled from c525600 on Vimeo

Friday, June 15, 2007

only fifteen days left

The June contest ends in about two weeks. Here's a preview of the prize.


a note from Jules

Dear Aunt Wa Wa,
I know that your teeth are hurt. I hope you feel better soon. Thanks for going with me to the Children's Museum yesterday! I love you!


Thursday, June 14, 2007

he’s a tough audience

She said, "Up, please!" [Except it sounded more like "Up, peace!"] Usually she says "Up" and signs "please" but today she spoke both words. This morning she said it again for Jonathan to hear. It seems she adds a new word to her spoken vocabulary every day.

I told Jonathan what she'd said after he got home last night and he laughed at me for being so excited. I said, "But it's a sentence! She's talking in sentences now!" He argued with me saying that it wasn't a sentence because there's no subject, yadda yadda and then claimed he'd wait and get excited when she told him that one plus one equals two.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

love this song

The path that I'm walking
I must go alone
I must take the baby steps until I'm full grown
Fairytales don't always have a happy ending, do they
And i foresee the dark ahead if i stay

I hope you know, I hope you know
That this has nothing to with you
It's personal, myself and I
We've got some straightenin' out to do
And i'm gonna miss you like a child misses their blanket
But i've got to get a move on with my life
Its time to be a big girl now
And big girls don't cry

i told you she liked motor vehicle sounds

As if the motorcycle, "rrmmmmmm, rrrmmmmm" wasn't enough.


Today I was reading Christmas in the Manger for the gazillionth time. [Yes, I know that it is not Christmas time, but my daughter obviously doesn't care.] Julianna was in my lap listening patiently, which can be rare these days.

"I am the star that shines in the east, I light the stable for man and beast," I read calmly and trying hard not to sound exasperated.

"I am the donkey, soft and gray, I carried his mother from far away." She turned the page.

"I am the ram, with my curly horn I guard the stall where the child is born."

Julianna prompty put her arm up at a 90 degree angle, fist clenched by her head and exclaimed, "TOOT! TOOT!!"

recipe Wednesday

I tried both of these recipes this past week from the Kraft Food and Family Magazine. I love that magazine first because it is free, and second because it is usually full of fun, EASY ideas.

I didn't actually make the potatoes, my sister did. The Blueberry-Cheese Rolls however, were really easy to make. Unfortunately, the husband didn't care too much for either recipe although I loved them both. He said the scalloped potatoes didn't have enough flavor and the Blueberry-Cheese Rolls were too rich for him (of course, the exact reason I loved them). Nevertheless, I would make both again and I would definitely recommend subscribing to the Kraft F&F Magazine if you don't already. Anyway, if you make either of these recipes, I hope you enjoy them!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

I hope the people at the Little Gym didn’t look at my arm and think I had a drug habit.

I've been spending the evening uploading new pictures and trying not to eat myself out of house and home. What have you been up to?

Jules had her first Little Gym class today. It was pretty funny. There were only two other kids there (summer vacation or something I guess). Anyway, one of them was very timid and stayed near his mom while the other little girl was very energetic and more outgoing. Julianna immediately started following the little girl around everywhere that she went. If this little girl climbed on a mat, Jules climbed on that mat. If the girl went over to the bars, Julianna went to the bars. If the girl played with the balls, Julianna played with the balls (or tried to take hers).

Julianna participated more in this class than she did in the class that we previewed. I guess it will grow on her and she will do more and more as she becomes used to it. They worked on depth perception with the kids today. Each kid got to practice doing a forward roll. She walked on the beam pretty well with just a little bit of assistance. She loved the bubbles being blown on her belly and she also really enjoyed this one part of the class where they got to play with musical instruments. The sticks that you rub or tap together to make rhythms and noises were her favorite especially when the teacher asked them to hammer their nails (I told you she's into "boy" things!).

Of course, she was wiped out in the car. I tried talking to her all the way home to keep her awake for lunch, but no such luck. (My husband can probably totally relate to her not being able to keep her eyes open during my long, one-way conversations.) When she woke up getting out of the car I decided she'd better eat before her nap so I put her in the high chair while I got out the milk and by the time I'd turned around her head was slumped back over! My sweet precious girl!

Tomorrow I am thinking that we'll go to the Y for a little bit and maybe do a walk outside if it's not too hot. Thursday we're going to the Children's Museum for story time and then to the Rib Festival. Happy summer!

Oh! One more thing! Here's a picture of my arm after giving blood yesterday. Since I know you were curious and all.

Monday, June 11, 2007

nuggets from my mind

Here's a random list of things that have been running through my mind.

  • I joined Weight Watchers Online this morning. So basically I have lots of food on my mind.

  • I gave blood today and the dumb lady really screwed up my arm. My blood actually started clotting in the vein and they had to stop it early. It took forever and they probably can't even use the amount I donated and besides I now have a huge, painful bruise on my arm. Wah!

  • No one has yet to join my mom's running group yet and it has been three weeks since I started the group. That makes me sad.

  • Thinking about beginning to potty train the little girl. She's almost 15 months and I know that seems young. I firmly believe that she really understands what's going on though. She has done #2 on the big potty three times now with one of us holding her up. One of those times was after she started going in the shower and on another occasion we didn't quite make it from the shower to the potty in time. The only concern is that she hasn't started telling me or acting like she needs to go right then. By that I mean that she doesn't really mind if she does go in her diaper. She does show every other sign of readiness (she stays dry 2 hours or more, she follows instructions, she can take her diaper off herself, likes to sit on the potty chair, and often wakes up from naps dry). Just thinking it all over.

  • I need a running mantra. Something along the lines of "push hard", "I think I can", or "Every day, in every way, I'm getting better and better and better". But those aren’t “just right”. Anyone have any other suggestions?

  • I joined a local Mom's Group a couple of months ago and I am really excited about it. So many activities on the calendar and so many fun people to meet. I've only been to one playgroup so far, a day at the zoo, and one mom's night out dinner, but it seems to be a really great group of people. Now I've got to get started reading my book for next month's book club!

  • I was trying to sing this song to Jules today but couldn't remember the words. So I just looked it up. Love that song.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

list of the week

Top Ten Things I Enjoyed About the Beach

  1. Seeing Julianna get excited about the garbage truck and playing with her cousin

  2. Lots of yummy food and beverages

  3. Having fun without spending a lot of money

  4. Playing in the water (duh)

  5. Staying up late

  6. Being able to read a very good book

  7. Getting a "Gingy" toy from McDonald's (Come on! You know you love to hear him say "Don't worry! Not my gumdrop button!" a dozen fifteen hundred times.) and a cool hat from Steak 'n Shake (are you jealous yet?)

  8. Walks on the beach and around the plantation

  9. Getting a tan without sunburn

  10. Riding in our new car

YAY! for vacations

Thursday, June 7, 2007

fun at the beach


are you smarter than a 5th grader?

For your entertainment this fine Thursday morning:

Are you smarter than a 5th grader?

  1. True or False? A polygon with eight sides is an octagon.

  2. True or False? There are over one million miles of blood vessels in the human body.

  3. True or False? The world is now thought to be about 4.55 billion years old.

  4. What is the adjective in this sentence? Sam has a blue bicycle that he races.

  5. You must be at least how many years old in order to become President of the United States? A. 35 B. 40 C. 45

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

the secret of the terrible two’s

Julianna has officially learned to test me and misbehave. She has been a royal pain in the patooty ever since Sunday. At first I thought it was because our trip to the beach was rough on Sunday when we screwed up her schedule, but now I think it's just that she's learning to control whatever situation she may be in and she's trying to become more independent. I do know for certain that she is testing me and pushing my patience.

She's started screaming whenever she wants something instead of signing for it like she usually does. I've tried encouraging her to sign again and prompting her by asking questions like, "you want to eat this hot dog?" but it doesn't help much. She is also protesting loudly anything she doesn't want such as diaper changes, car seats, high chairs, etc more violently than she ever has. She runs away from me in stores, out on the beach, and all through the condo. She also throws things across the room and I cannot exaggerate enough the extreme messiness she's adopted in her eating habits - smearing banana in her hair, throwing food on the floor, and mashing peas with her fingers. She's never been too much of a messy eater and now she is clearly doing this because it invokes emotion and reaction from me.

Last night I was feeling really down from the stress of having to deal with her on my own over the past couple of days. I've heard so much about the "terrible two's" and never known what to believe - everything from "it wasn't that bad" to "they start around 18 months and last until 36 months" to "it's all a part of growing up and it's what you make of it." Well, Julianna is only 14 1/2 months old but I can already tell a huge difference in her behavior.

I know that I feel a lot of pressure from myself. I feel like my actions in response to her are so important. I know that the way we treat her now sets the stage for discipline later and I don't want her to be like so many other children you see misbehaving everywhere else. That's why she's been bothering me so much the past few days. I just want to do what's best for her in the long run.

Thank God, I woke up feeling much more positive and energized this morning. Jonathan will be here to help with her tonight and we'll be able to have a somewhat decent vacation. I'm sure my attitude adjustment will help when dealing with Julianna today. I want to be able to enjoy the fun things that she's experiencing now in addition to being able to deal with the challenges she presents me with as well.

So any advice from anyone? What's your take on the big secret of the terrible two's?

recipe Wednesday

I haven't tried this recipe yet, but it sounds similar to one that I made at Dream Dinners a while back. If it is, then I will tell you that it is fabulous! Since they don't really give you the recipes to take home at Dream Dinners, I can't tell exactly how close this recipe is though. I know that their recipes uses corn and black beans instead of the bell pepper and peas, but this still sounds good. I am going to try this one soon - probably after we get back from the beach.

Arroz con Pollo

from River Road Recipes...
The Textbook of Louisiana Cuisine


1 large fryer (at DD we used 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts)
1 cup salad oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
6-ounce can tomatoes (drained, but save juice)
1-1/2 quarts water
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons salt
Pinch of saffron
1/2 medium-sized bell pepper, sliced
1-3/4 cups long grain rice
6-ounce can peas
1 small pimento, sliced


Cut chicken into quarters and fry in salad oil. When chicken is well browned, add onion, garlic, and drained tomatoes. Use the liquid from the tomatoes to make up the 1-1/2 quarts water. Add the water, bay leaf, salt, saffron, and green pepper. Stir thoroughly and let cook slowly for 20 minutes.
Place chicken in a covered baking pan, add liquid and rice, and cook in 350-degree oven for about 20 minutes or until rice is tender. Heat peas and serve over rice. Garnish with pimento.

Copyright 1959 The Junior League of Baton Rouge, Inc.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

two updates from around the web

First up, this month's Small Change Challenge is going to be an easy one! YAY! Last month I managed to sign up for the National Bone Marrow Donor Registry and made my regular blood donation appointment. This month I'll just need to clean up a local park. Should be a piece of cake!

Next, go visit this site to win a pair of Vincent shoes for your little one! I just entered and I'm hoping to win either the Orvar's or the Oskar's for Julianna.

Monday, June 4, 2007

a note from Jules

Dear Mama,

What are you thinking?! How in the world can you expect a 14 month old to be able to skip her lunch, then skip her afternoon nap, and then ride four hours in the car through the middle of nowhere with no snacks and only water to drink? Are you out of your mind?!

Next time you plan a trip like this, let me know so I can arrange my own babysitter wouldya?

The summer has officially begun. Hope you enjoy your trip to the beach. Thanks for at least bringing my lamb.

[At least I now know how to guarantee that I get to eat an entire Happy Meal! Wink. Wink.]


Sunday, June 3, 2007

list of the week

Things I'm going to miss about my husband over the next three days:

  • his help putting the little girl to bed

  • his cold feet

  • telling him the stories of the day (about Julianna) and seeing his reaction

  • running my fingers through his hair and vice versa

  • his undivided attention (it's harder to get that on the phone)

  • having him to help make miscellaneous decisions about the little girl

  • someone there to immediately know when I'm stressed to a breaking point, need someone to just hear me complain, or just an extra pair of hands right as I need them

I miss you, Booger.

Saturday, June 2, 2007


...the contest of the month!

With actual prizes!

This month's contest is to come up with a creative caption to go with the picture below. Post your caption in the comments. Whoever comes up with the best caption will win three handmade greeting cards (created by me). You have until June 30th to enter.

Ok, go!


Friday, June 1, 2007

what do you recommend?

The hubby and I are going to the movies tomorrow night. Anyone have a good recommendation about what to see? We haven't been to the movies in forever.

i’m still not sure

Since no one sent me picture links I had to decide for myself.

What do you think? I'm still not sure. At least it will be cool for the summer.



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