Archive for December, 2008

Where are the brakes?!?

Thursday, December 11th, 2008

Ack! How can Christmas only be 2 weeks away?  I finally did a little shopping (online of course – I learned my lesson) yesterday but I feel completely blindsided by the holidays this year.  I know it is looming but the days just seem to speed by me.  I always imagined that when I was a stay at home mom I would have all of this time to do shopping and cooking.  I have a little time between feeding, bathing, and entertaining the tykes but seem to lack the energy.


I would love to freeze time at this age for Sabrina.  She is too cute for words.  She has started saying “thank you mommy” for everything and saying “bless you” when someone sneezes (including herself “bless you Nina”).  She wants to kiss everyone’s owie (aka boo boos) – this morning she declared the bear on her PJs had an owie and kept kissing it.  She is big on good night kisses and is a little put out if Tessa is asleep and therefore unavailable for her good night kiss.  She remembers extended family now and will call them on her play cell phone to tell them about her day.  She will also call them on her Desitin bottle or green bean – she is starting to use her imagination in such fun ways.  Everything to do with Christmas is “Santa” because Christmas is a tough word.  So we have a santa tree and santa presents.  And she has started coloring which I think is loads of fun.  I found the triangular crayons at Target – every mother of young children should have these so they aren’t picking crayons up off the floor:

Not that it is all cute and roses.  She is so stubborn.  I told her she had to finish her lunch yesterday before we went on a car ride (her favorite thing).  She held her last bite of food in her mouth for 10+ minutes despite the fact that she wanted to go.  I had to stick to what I said despite my need to get to the grocery store.  I yelled.  She and Tessa both cried.  Lovely.  And she never stops talking.  There are times I would buy her a pony for 5 minutes of silence.  She is too busy to cuddle much which makes me sad.  And her ability to express her desires can make things more difficult – she can say no to the banana and insist that I cook her eggs for breakfast (and not eat them anyway).  And she loves to misbehave when I am nursing Tessa because she knows I am trapped on the couch.  Every now and then I have to stop what I am doing and get up just to prove I will do it.


I am enjoying this age with Tessa but I probably wouldn’t freeze her age until she is sleeping through the night.  She still hasn’t returned to that.  We are getting some longer stretches of sleep now that she is taking the Zantac.  She apparently did have some reflux issues because we’ve seen some positive changes since starting the medicine.  She is sleeping better, much cuddlier, smiles more, and somewhat less crabby.  I am glad she is being cuddly again – since Sabrina isn’t so cuddly these days I need one of my kiddos to cuddle with me.

Sugar Mania

Monday, December 8th, 2008

Meredith was crazy enough kind enough to invite a couple of moms and small children over to decorate Christmas cookies.  I was lucky enough to be included in that invitation.  We basically turned the kiddos loose in Meredith’s family room with cookies, icing, and color sugar.  But the kids had fun and Sabrina managed to get almost as much sugar on the cookies as she consumed.

Tessa was draped in velvet and quite indignant about not getting to taste the cookies.

Sabrina’s sugar crash after 2 cookies, 2 lbs of colored sugar, and who knows how much icing licked off her fingers.

She perked up briefly for a snack at home and then crashed again.  It is a rare day that sees the car nap followed by a real one.

Tessa spent her time figuring out how to use both her hands and feet to play with the toy bar on her bouncy seat.

Thank you Meredith and I can’t believe I didn’t stick around to help clean up but perhaps saving you from witnessing the sugar peak and then crash was more helpful than wielding a dustpan.  And despite her behavior at your house, she talked non stop for the rest of the day.

The holidays are here!

Sunday, December 7th, 2008

How do I know? I was beaten about the head with Christmas yesterday.

My entire housing development decorated last weekend.  Except for us, of course, because of my “No Christmas decorations before Dec 1st” rule.  They probably decided their neighborhood was diverse now that there was a Jewish family with a Guatemalan child on their street.  No such luck.  The tree appeared in the window and the wreath was hung outside yesterday.

Then I dragged my terrified child to see Santa.  Fortunately, it was a more intimate setting than the mall.  My mom’s club hosted a brunch with Santa yesterday.  Santa read us all a story and then each family got to spend a couple of minutes with Santa individually.  Sabrina thought it was a fabulous idea until she was up close and personal with the big guy.  She wasn’t having any part of that and we weren’t going to force it.  She finally sat on the bench next to him while Steve held her hand.  After we left, she decided Santa was a cool dude because he gave her a candy cane.

Sabrina wouldn’t even make eye contact with him as though he was a feral dog and would attack if challenged. But we did the obligatory Santa photos so we can officially call it Christmas.

Because you’ve all been so patient

Friday, December 5th, 2008

I’ve gotten only a couple of nudges to remind me that I have been seriously slacking in the photo department so here is your reward:

A little Sabrina cuteness.

This is what i get when I say “smile for mommy”:

And a little Tessa cuteness.

And for those interested, Tessa had her 4 month check up earlier this week.  She was 11lb 6oz.  (That puts her in the 9th%tile for weight and she is in the 7th for height.)  The doctor doesn’t love her low numbers but since she is proportionate, he just wants to keep an eye on her.  Her spleen was enlarged but he felt it was a result of the virus she just got over.  And we discussed her excessive arching.  She almost never spits up so in that sense it doesn’t present like reflux but he thought that might be why she is always trying to touch her head to her butt.  We are trying Zantac for 10 days to see if that helps.  Giving a 4 month old medicine is like trying to bathe a cat – possible in theory but not pleasant in practice.  The first 4 doses she dribbled back out at me.  I think I finally figured it out – I have to quit being nice and shoot it in fast.  We go back in a month rather than 2 so that he can check her weight and spleen again.

Etsy love – On the first day of Christmas…

Thursday, December 4th, 2008

As I mentioned in my previous post, I am loving Etsy.  I adore unique handmade items.  So as we approach the big gift giving day…I will share some of the things I’ve come across because Etsy is chock full of cool things and it can be hard to find the little gems.  I bookmark all of the cool Etsy shops I come across so that I have a go-to spot when a gift giving occasion arrises.  Again, I stole all of the photos from the shops I am mentioning.  I don’t own any of these items so I can’t vouch for them beyond thinking they are cool.

I think Village Clayworks makes simply darling ceramic items.  Little vases, bowls, and mugs with birds and bugs on them.  Too sweet.

I am enchanted by Cynthia Callan’s watercolor ornaments. I wish they came in bigger sizes.

I love John Golden’s “By Order of Management” signs.  This no monsters sign cracks me up.

I love Lauren Alexander’s watercolors.  I had a tough time deciding what photo to steal because they are all so cute.  I think I am going to get one for each girls’ room.  The question is, which one?  Check out the darling owls too.

I covet these simple silver hoops from Kusu.

F is for Frank has neat pewter items.  I love this drawer pull:

This calendar from Jess Gonacha would make any cubicle wall a work of art (or maybe my kitchen?)

This bowl with fruit in it from Charity Elise would make me smile daily:

I couldn’t decide which mirror I liked better.  The one from New Life Artworks featuring soda cans:

Or the one from Red Crow Arts featuring pieces of broken dishes:

just plain cute stuff

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2008

I’m in love with Etsy.  I love unique, handmade items.  My main Etsy problem (aside from the fact that I can’t afford a new love) is that much like Ebay I find it overwhelming.  There is just so much stuff!  It is difficult to browse because of the sheer volume.  I do try to browse now and then because I can do it one handed (leaving the other hand free for baby holding).  I thought I would share some of the things I’ve come across that I thought were neat since it is the gift buying season and we all have sisters, friends, moms, aunts, etc for whom we want to find something neat.

FYI – I stole all photos from the sales sites without permission.  I’m going to split it into a few posts because it will be photo and link heavy.  The first is less Etsy love and more Guatemamas making some shoe money love.

Melanie, one of our own Guatemamas, has some super cute things.

Love the skull and crossbones fabric – girlie things with non-girlie elements give me a little thrill!

And this isn’t etsy love, but while throwing around some adoption momma love, Holly makes the best Kick Ass bows I’ve seen around.  I love the grinch:

And of course the Guatemalan flag bow:

But she will basically make anything your little heart desires.  Unfortunately, she can’t make your daughter KEEP the bows in her hair.  Sigh.

Lou makes some seriously cute outfits (and has some seriously cute kiddos).  I’m thinking the next professional photos we have done, I will save some extra pennies and get Sabrina and Tessa coordinating outfits from Lou.

And Tera is doing blog design and some of the cutest holiday card designs I’ve seen!  Really good looking stuff!  (And isn’t Emma the cutest?)

The one where I complain about something stupid

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2008

I lived all of my life in Ohio and PA (except 1 year in NJ but I’ve successfully blocked that out).  Every time I went to an unfamiliar grocery store, there was an adjustment period.  I would find slight variations in the way things were arranged but it wasn’t hard to adapt.  You never know if the peanut butter is in the bread aisle or the cereal aisle or the condiment aisle.  But you figure it out and move on, right?

These southern grocery stores have weird logic in item placement.  I’ve shopped regularly in 4 different grocery stores in 2 different towns.  I’m still struggling over a year later when I have to buy something that I don’t ordinarily buy.

Kluski noodles – This is a type of noodle, not a brand.  I use it to make chicken noodle soup.  All of my life, I have found these noodle in the pasta aisle with the rest of the noodles.  I haven’t been able to find it in any of the stores I’ve shopped in here.  While searching for something else, I stumbled across the kluski noodles in the ethnic aisle next to the matzo balls.  Apparently segregation is alive and well in the south – these Polish noodles can’t reside next to the “regular” noodles.

Canned pumpkin – While easily found on the end caps in the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving, the rest of the year it isn’t so visible.  I’m used to finding it in the baking aisle because that is what everyone uses it for – not here.  I finally found it with the canned fruit and applesauce.  They carry 1 brand, 1 size can.  And they usually only have 1 or 2 cans at a time.

Evaporated milk/condensed milk – Again, has always been in the baking aisle because that is normally what you use it for.  While trying to gather my ingredients for pumpkin pie, I couldn’t find evaporated milk anywhere.  I asked an employee.  He looked at me like I was stupid and told me it was in the cereal aisle.  Of course!  Because milk and cereal go together, right?

Ground chicken – While 15 years ago it wasn’t often seen, ground chicken and turkey have become common place in the northern grocery stores.  Here, 1 store I shop in doesn’t carry ground chicken at all (they have suggested I buy ground turkey because it is essentially the same thing) and the other carries it only in the organic meat section (meaning a larger price tag) and only some of the time.

Sauerkraut – Up north, I had my pick of canned, jarred or fresh in addition to different brands and sizes.  Here, there is 1 brand and 1 size can.

Ham loaf – I’ll admit this one must be regional to Ohio because I couldn’t find it in Pittsburgh either.  It is like meatloaf but made with ground pork and ground ham with a sticky pineapple juice/brown sugar glaze.  It is yummy and I miss it.

And I would rant about not being able to find my favorite stadium mustard for hot dogs but I bought 2 bottles last time we were home so I’m in good place now, mustard-wise.

Does your grocery store have any weird (to you at least) product placement?

Monday Mash

Monday, December 1st, 2008

MizFit has a post up today about Good Tired versus plain old Tired Tired.  I might have mentioned it once or twice – I am constantly tired these days.  I forgot that there is a good tired.  The kind of tired from accomplishing something or working hard or exercise.  I’m just sleep deprived tired these days.  I haven’t motivated myself to exercise to get rid of this baby weight because I am too tired to make myself do anything.  I know that if I get moving I will have more energy but it is difficult to convince my very sleepy self of that when I have a few minutes of quiet.  I was trying to take the girls for a walk most days but the weather has turned too cold for that.  So I am going to get my butt on my treadmill for a few minutes every day.  I have to – I hate looking in the mirror and Tessa is 4 months old so my excuse of just giving birth has slipped away.  It is sad when I want to shave weeks off my baby’s age so that I don’t feel like people are judging me for not losing the baby weight yet.


Am I the only one out there who doesn’t put up any Christmas decorations until December?  I refuse to put up a tree or a wreath or lights until the calendar officially says December – usually the first weekend in December.  I was reading on blogs and Twitter all weekend about people decorating.  My entire neighborhood was out on Friday hanging lights and wreaths and I saw trees popping up in windows.  And just for the record – it all has to be down before January 1st at my house.


Tessa is rolling.  She has been able to go from her tummy to her back for a couple of weeks and this weekend she finally figured out how to get all of the way over from her back to her tummy.  She is also giggling.  I have to work hard to get giggles but when she does it, it is pretty darn cute.

I predict Tessa will start a toddler’s ultimate fight club in pre-school.  She likes to sit with her back to my stomach is constantly swinging back and punching with her arms – I have to dodge or reposition her so that I don’t end up with a black eye.


Sabrina has started saying “thank you”.  It is too cute to hear her say “thank you mommy”.

We bought her a play cell phone yesterday and she has been calling her Grandma, Abuella, and Aunt Lulu ever since.  She called them all and narrated our trip through Target last night.

Anytime we tell her “no” about something, she decides we mean just not right now.  If she asks for crayons and I say no, she will announce “Crayons soon.”  If I tell her no cookie, she will say “Cookie soon.”  You have to love the optimism.

Sabrina has also turned the tantrums up a notch.  Saturday night we had one of epic proportions – I dare say the biggest we have seen in this house.  It went on for 15 minutes downstairs and another 15 minutes in her room.  The screaming.  The sobbing.  The drama.  It was impressive.


I was busy enjoying the long weekend with Steve and the girls – I neglected to take any photos after Thanksgiving dinner so I don’t have any to share.  Hope everyone enjoyed the long weekend.

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