Wednesday, October 28, 2009


It was a big year for me. Putting together a resume and portfolio. Graduating from college. Getting my first apartment and living alone (well, you know, besides the cat). Getting my first real job. My first relationship that would last for more than a few months. Changing my legal residence to Pennsylvania. My first cell phone. The first time I got snowed out of Buffalo on my way there (Thanksgiving).

Really, the one big thing that could have happened that year and didn't was getting my first car. (Thank you public transportation, for all of the money you saved me!)

All of that makes 2009 a constant stream of "10 years ago" memories. I talked about my 10 year anniversary at work at the beginning of the summer. Now it is time for the other biggie.

10 years ago today was my first "official" date with my wonderful husband. (The unofficial first date happened a week earlier. Long story. :-P )

It's not something we really celebrate and I'm not looking to start. I probably wouldn't even remember what day in October it happened, except that it happens to fall on my BFF's birthday.

So, to the two most important R's in my life...
Happy ten years and Happy Birthday!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Almost Halloween

Sometimes, I want to be one of those bloggers that has one topic per post. The kind who writes about things in a timely manner and posts with pictures regularly. Maybe someday, but not right now...for now, I hope you are just all happy that I'm posting more than once a month. I know I am!

First of all, Todd is 6 months old today!

Yeah, it went fast for us, too. In fact, I would say that his first 6 months seemed to go by a lot faster than Heather's. The combination of two kids + knowing what we're doing (as much as a parent ever does) + a somewhat easy going baby = whoosh!

How can you resist that face? And it isn't just the face, he has a lot to say, too. He's just starting to use some consonants and he really seems to like playing with the sounds that he can make. Not sure if he wants to be heard along with his chatty sister or if he just likes hearing his own voice.

He's sitting up great with support and starting to sit on his own for longer stretches. He's not usually upset when he topples, but he was not a fan of a face plant he took in the leaves this weekend during picture time. Oops.

Speaking of pictures, we had a session with Seedlings Photography this weekend. I haven't seen the preview yet (trying to be patient, since it has only been two days...), but the weather was gorgeous and the kids looked adorable, so I'm confident we'll have lots of great shots to choose from. And as long as there is at least one family picture where we all have decent expressions I will be happy. Heather was much less interested in sitting for those, especially after some time on the playground.

I realized Sunday morning while sprinting around to straighten up the house that I really hadn't given our wardrobe any thought. Partially because I assumed that we'd have to wear coats and partially because I've been so focused on Heather's costume that it just hadn't crossed my mind. But I think I managed to throw together some good choices, which included handknits for Todd and me.

And before you have a chance to ask me where the pictures of my 2009 sweaters and vest are (sigh), I will distract you with the finished sea horse costume. Worn for approximately 8 minutes. (My fingers are crossed that it stays on longer for future costume opportunities. If it doesn't, I won't be counting the ratio of time that I spent working on it versus the amount of time it spends on her body. I'll always have the pictures, right? Maybe we can get some video and a few more photo angles during trick or treat, too.)

I'm interested to see how trick or treat will go. I have a few neighbors in mind that aren't on our street and a few on our block. It's hard to predict if Heather will think that it is cool or a bit overwhelming. I'm not sure how much to talk it up or just be more matter of fact about it. I suppose we shall see!

Now that the big Halloween project is done, I'm trying to get caught up on life - sleep, laundry, dishes, yadda yadda yadda. I'm also hoping for a big stash dive this weekend and a case of startitis!

For those keeping score, I finished the sea horse costume on the car...on the way to the party. Some things never change.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

"scr" evolution

And a note on Heather's evolving speech.

Sunscreen used to be "sun-skeen". Now it is "sun-skween".
Ice cream is now "ice kweem" instead of "ice keem".


Still kicking


Yesterday I opened a blogger window on my desktop and left it open all day so that when I thought of something to write I could jot it down. I only managed to think of things to write while I was upstairs pumping and when I returned to my desk whatever I had been thinking of was lost.

I'm not going to use this post to whine or vent or complain. Yes, I'm tired. Yes, I've got a lot on my plate. But I know that it is just the current situation and it will get better and worse and better again. Todd's sleep will improve (it already has a itty bitty bit), I will finish Heather's costume and the other "almost done" projects in my basket, I will (eventually) get caught up on laundry and dishes again, etc, etc.

I am mostly here to remind myself of why I do this. I want to document my life. Sure, it would be great to be the kind of blogger that posts every day and always has pictures and takes pictures of my projects as soon as I finish them...(for the curious, the vest is done and has been worn several times, but hasn't been photographed yet)...but at this moment in my life that isn't me. Maybe I can be that blogger someday, but for right now I want to document what I'm doing, what my kids are doing and how I'm "surviving" as a working mom of two.

I also wish I was walking around with a tape recorder or a very convenient notebook. I hear Heather say something and think "I should post that"...and whoosh, the thought is gone as quickly as it came. I should probably look back at my facebook status updates and see if there are any gems in there that I should share here, too.

A few things:
- Todd is Very close to consistently sitting up on his own. He can sit pretty well in his new high chair (I took the leaves out of the table so we're all sitting around a circle instead of allowing half the table to be taken up with clutter) and we'll start offering a little food in a week or two.

- He's also going through some sort of developmental spurt that means he's eating every 3 hours around the clock and not staying asleep in his crib (mostly) even after being dead to the world in our arms. I'm waiting patiently for this to get better.

- Heather is looking and often sounding like a little adult, but she is 2 1/2 and no where NEAR adulthood. Trying to maintain patience with a child who looks like she should be totally rational and capable of following reasonable requests, but really isn't ready to do so 100% of the time is a challenge. Most of the time she is a pleasure and a lot of fun. When she isn't I try to put myself in her shoes and understand what part of our complicated adult world is giving her fits. Giving choices of the things she *can* do instead of telling her what she *can't* do has saved us from a tantrum more times than I can count.

- She asked to be a pink sea horse for Halloween. You can't buy a pink sea horse costume, so I'm making it. It is close to being done. I asked her to try it on Tuesday night and she refused for 30 minutes, claiming that she wants to be a butterfly instead. I'm proceeding with the sea horse costume. She's going to be that or nothing. She's got four chances to dress up...

- Heather is a constant observer of the world around her. She notices when other kids are crying. She notices when other kids are being unsafe. She watches older kids play. She occasionally jumps in without thinking, but is mostly somewhat cautious - feeling confident in her place in a situation before joining in. (Can't IMAGINE where she gets that...)

- Todd watches Heather, listens when we read and is generally a happy guy. He does get upset when he's hungry or overtired. But he is surprisingly happy to hang out while we are nearby. He is in the mouthing, grabbing, chewing stage, so I generally try to keep a toy available to him all the time.

- Heather loves to sing and listen to music. Reading books is a highlight of the day. And she loves being outside, swinging and climbing at the playground. The bike we have is still a little big, but I anticipate that it will be a big hit next spring when she has a little more length and strength.

- With few exceptions, Heather has only had her pacifier on the second floor of our house for the past couple of weeks, primarily in the crib. R suggested that we try for a week to keep it in the crib at all times. It took lots of reminding for a few days and several days after school I distracted her with a drink or a snack, but it seems to be easier now. She still comes out of the crib with it while she's still "waking up", but we leave it in her bed before we go downstairs. I don't think Todd is as dependent on it as Heather was, so maybe we will be a pacifier-free house sooner than I anticipated...

- Many of Heather's statements are "I'm going to do x, okay?". Sometimes this is said as she's already starting to do what she's said, not waiting for confirmation. Sometimes it is a confirmation of her strategy based on previous conversations. And sometimes is a statement about what she's pretending to be doing - what she's making in her kitchen, etc. The "okay" is said in a sweet, how-can-you-possibly-say-no tone of voice. Very similar to the "please" she uses when she's asking for a third serving of applesauce even though she hasn't touched the rest of her dinner.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Before I forget...

I want to write down what I did last night in the hope that I can do it again. It wasn't a whole-family favorite, but I thought it was super yummy and I know it is a healthy side dish. Thanks to Shelly for the inspiration!

Quinoa stuffed peppers

Cook 1 cup quinoa in 1 cup portabella mushroom soup and 1 cup water according to package directions. 2 to 3 minutes before cooking time is up, add in 1/2 can of tomato paste, 1/2 tsp basil, 1 cup shredded jack cheese and 1/2 cup breadcrumbs (approximately). Stir together and simmer for 5 minutes.

Clean, and cut the top and bottom off of 4 peppers (I used orange peppers). Drizzle a little olive oil in the bottom of your casserole dish and spread it around with one of your peppers to coat. Set peppers in casserole and fill with quinoa mixture. Sprinkle the top with more shredded jack cheese and cover the dish with foil.

Bake on 375 for 25(?) minutes. I baked them for 20 minutes. This was not quite enough cooking time. The peppers were cooked and still had a little crispness (I hate soggy peppers), but probably could have used 5 more minutes or so to make them a little easier to cut. Although not everyone has to eat left-handed because they're nursing a baby with their right arm, so 20 minutes might be just fine for your family.

(I briefly thought about taking a picture of the finished peppers as I pulled them out of the oven...but then both kids started whining to eat and any thought of taking a picture was dashed until I sat down to write this post...)