Friday, April 8, 2011

The state of our Union

It is a sad day when we face a shut down of our government. I don't want to get all political, so I won't because I can truly say that Republican, Democrat, Conservative, Liberal, Independent or whatever you want to call your political views, it is sad that we live in a country where we continue to push back what is needed to be done. Had the budget been finished when it was suppose to we would not be facing this scary time in American History that we are facing today. I am ashamed that no one is stepping up to the idea of a compromise, but rather focusing on pointing fingers and saying "It's not my fault." I only pray that our country learns from this, and creates backups so that this does not happen in the future.

As a military wife, who has a husband overseas, I am scared beyond measure. But I know in my heart that God will provide for me. He never gives us more than we can handle, and my hope is at the end of this dark moment in our history we will all step into the light stronger, resilient, and ready to face the future, with some new lessons learned.

I was reading many blogs, discussions boards, and friends Facebook statuses today. We all have lessons to learn, and for me the most profound post I read was found on the Wives of Faith Page (and in my inbox). So in answer to their request, I leave you all with this, and know that I will be praying for each and every person out there. That we may set aside our differences and come to a place where we can agree and compromise, to be able to take care of not only our military, but everyone who is affected by this shut down.

"And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Jesus Christ" Philippians 4:19

Monday, March 28, 2011

Meal Planning Monday, Week 2

Sorry it's been so long!! Here's what I'll be eating this week :)

Monday: Hot Wings with Broccoli (IF you want to make your wings at home, buy some wings, bake at 450 for 40 minutes turning once then coating in your hot sauce, I promise I won't stear you wrong, the wings are so tender and juicy this way).
Tuesday: Mannacotti
Wednesday: Chicken on a salad (You can use leftover wing meat)
Thursday: Salmon with sugar snap peas
Friday: Pizza (homemade or store bought)
Saturday: Burgers with fries
Sunday: Quiche (Toss in all your leftover veggies and meats from the week. This is a great clean the fridge meal).

Friday, March 25, 2011

Resolution Foods, #3 Chayote

What in the world is this crazy food I found? As I was walking through the produce section at my commissary I came across this vegetable, at least I assumed it was a vegetable it was sandwiched between the peppers and the cucumbers. For a whopping $0.69 and a resolution to keep, how could I resist? After google-ing, I learned that Chayote is a gourd that can be eaten raw or cooked. It is also full of amino acids and vitamin C. How could I go wrong? I elected to cook it after tasting it and finding it to be quite bland, though it would be a nice crunchy addition to any salad.
After cutting it open and slicing it up, I just had to taste it. I agree with the Internet on the bland flavor and would say that it has a texture of a pear and apple combined. IT wasn't bad, but I wouldn't want a bowl full of it either. After reading may recipes I decided to treat it like summer squash. I sauteed it up with some garlic, salt, pepper, and a little bit of red chili flakes for heat.

It was scrumptious! It had a slightly sweet taste to it and paired well with my salmon (even it my plate wasn't as colorful as I usually like). This may just become a more regular part of my diet!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Jamey Long book review

I can honestly say it is rare for me to ever win anything! And recently I won a free book from a local blog :)

Let me say that I LOVE books and am determined to foster a love of books into my son. So I was excited when I was allowed to pick any one of a series of books by author Jamey M. Long.

Long writes children's books, starring a possum named Opie. Opie introduces children to historical events and different holidays in a fun and creative way. It was difficult to pick a free book and I'll be honest I came home with 1 other book and intentions on picking up a few more (the books were autographed, how could I refuse).

I got the book pictured here as my free book and was excited to get home with Bubba and start to read. I loved how Opie overheard Noah talking with God, being told to build an ark. Opie decides to help Noah by gathering the animals in the forest. The pictures were wonderful and the story correlated well with the Bible.

And if Bible stories aren't for you, there were other adventures Opie went on as well. The 2nd book I picked up was A Possum's Pirate Tale and His Pieces of Eight (Pirates are huge in our house, more the Hubs than the Bubs). These are books that will grow with Bubba and are definitely worth the read!

Monday, March 21, 2011


My goodness time flies! You know that saying, time flies when you're having fun? Well, I'm convinced time flies whether you're having fun or not. Bubba and I have been keeping ourselves busy! He's wearing me out! Toddlers sure do have a lot of energy! Hubs is still stateside, which is a blessing and a curse (if you are a military momma I'm sure you understand that). We were all home on leave a few weeks ago, which was mostly good. My job hunt is going no where :( But I've decided that I am going to try my hand at selling Pampered Chef (why not right? What's not to love about earning free products, and can I just say that I desperately need some new frying pans).

Bubba has been going back and forth between 1 and 2 nap days, which is driving me crazy! It's so hard to plan any activities when I can't predict what kind of day it's going to be. Example, today we were planning on going to a local bookstore for their story and craft time at 11. Well, wouldn't you know, Bubba decided at 1015 that it was nap time. I didn't have the heart to wake him, maybe we'll try on Friday.

I find that as we enter Toddler-dom I am yearning to start taking Bubba to more and more activities. Not to mention taking on a few myself (Pampered Chef Party anyone?). With summer around the corner I want to spend lots of time outside! I've been looking into Stroller Strides. I've attended a few classes when visiting family and I love it! There's a class offered twice a week about 25-30 minutes from me which I am seriously considering once MOPs ends...okay, I'm excited...maybe once the tax return hits. There's story times offered all the time at local libraries, and then there are a bunch of mommy groups I'd love to join. Nothing like keeping myself busy!

How do you balance the desire to get involved without over scheduling yourself?

Monday, March 7, 2011


Wow! Time really can run away with you when you get busy! I am sooo sorry!!! Bubba is doing much better now that the bug has passed, and now he has picked up a cold mixed with allergies and I'm sure some teething thrown in there!

We did family pictures today as we are starting to prepare for daddy's deployment :( So, if you don't see me around here for another few weeks I'm enjoying my husband. I hope you can forgive me! And if you do, don't be suprised if it's very sporadic (when Hubs is out working out, trying to lose weight for an upcoming weigh in).

So, some things I learned from Bubba's illness.
1. You can never push too many fluids.
2. Popsicles are wonderful! Though they do come out the same color that they go down.
3. Jello jigglers weren't my best idea (they count as a liquid and I though they would add some variety.
4. Pedialyte is not for every baby (and is super expensive).
5. Chair covers are great for washing out vomit.
6. Wash all vomit out of clothes, sheets, blankets, ect . at the END of the day, not as you go.
7. More than 2 sets of sheets would be nice.
8. There is nothing worse than baby vomitting and then wanting to cuddle up to you in the puddle of vomit on your shirt.
9. Showers and baths are wonderful!
10. Nothing is worse than watching your baby suffer!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Train him Early

Since I've already shared some of our dorkiness, I thought I'd share my husband's second proudest moment in the last few weeks.

Bubba discovered the PS3 remotes. He's even figured out how to turn on the machine.

I think it's more the buttons than anything, but he is fascintaed with the controller. Only a few more years and I'll be limiting the time he spends in front of the tube playing some Star Wars games with his father (Lego Star Wars anyone?)....I am so not ready for this!

Friday, February 18, 2011


Just wanted to stop by and say that we're alive. I apologize for the lack of posts, we've been fighting a virus that has Bubba going through about 3 outfits a day, mixed with a trip to the ER and doctor's office. My first priority is as mommy, so we've been enjoying the cuddles and trying to keep down fluids this week. Hope everyone is doing well.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Resolution Foods, #2 Curry

I'll be honest, curry is something that's always scared me. I can't explain why. I think it's because when I heard curry I always thought it would be spicy. And yet this month I decided to conquer my fear. I tackled curry...and without a recipe...

Okay, so it's not a true curry. I am well aware of this, but I really have been wanted to try out this spice (especially since I saw Ina Garten use it here). And Hubs can be a human food disposal (seriously, you should see the eggs he makes), so if I screwed up he'd eat it anyhow (probably over eggs).

Let me start by saying "IT WAS GOOD!" It wasn't spicy the way I'd envisioned it. It had a warm smell about it. But not a heat. When I opened my container, I was shocked at how good it smelled!

So I sauteed up some peppers and onions in some EVOO with a little S&P (salt and pepper).

And cheated when I made my rice.

Then added the Curry to my Chicken which I sauteed cut into little strips.
The chicken turned out tender, so I shared it with Bubba. He seemed to enjoy it too! Now maybe I'll have the courage to try that soup!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Seperation Anxiety

We have been dealing with a lot of separation anxiety since Bubba was about 7-8 months old. It seems that every time I leave him he screams (he is quite a mommy's boy). He would cry on and off the entire time I would be gone (or so I am told by the nursery workers at church and the MOPPETs volunteers). This anxiety has caused us many problems, to the extent of changing churches (another story entirely).

I read that this is just something that needs to pass. To deal with it with a lot of patience (and prayer) and love.

But once he was almost 12 months old, it seems we have turned a corner. He still screams bloody murder when I leave (and clings to my shirt for all he's worth), but he then adapts. He is fine. At church this past week I didn't think we'd be able to leave him for 2 hours (Sunday School and the service). So after Sunday School, Hubs and I crept to the window of the nursery and peeked inside. What did we see?

Bubba playing with the other little boys, no tears, and no notice that we weren't there! What a relief that this phase might soon be over!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

First Light Saber

Okay, I'll admit it. Hubs and I have a touch of dork-dom in our lives. We are (read him more than me) big Star Wars fans. Hubs is so excited for Bubba to grow up so that he can share this passion with him. Actually, I am convinced that Hubs will be crushed if Bubba decides to like anything else (and if he ends up a Trekkie my husband's world will crumble). While I was off on some mommy time, Hubs took Bubba to Target. Of course he couldn't leave without buying something...

You would have thought it was a national holiday in my house.

I had to properly document the occasion.

At least Bubba seems to enjoy it :)

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


I guess I'm going to have to give up my 'bling' for at least a few more months. Bubba has officially broke his 4th chain (at least I haven't lost any of the charms).

I don't wear much jewelry, but like to wear the occasional necklace, especially when leaving the house. The only problem with this is the fact that Bubba enjoys when I wear necklaces too. Maybe a little too much.

Oh well, guess I'll just wait a few more months before breaking out the necklaces again. If this is the worst thing he breaks then I am one lucky momma! I guess this is one of my welcome to motherhood moments.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Meal Planning Monday, Week 1

Here goes! My first Meal Planning Monday, I hope you all enjoy. Leave me feedback and tell me what would be helpful. I'm not including a grocery list because I don't know what you have in your pantry or refridgerater or what path you are going to take, feel free to "Sandra Lee" it (a saying in my house referring to her show on the Food Network)


Spaghetti with Meatballs

Pulled Pork, green beans (fresh or frozen), corn bread (mix or homemade, I follow the recipe on the package of cornmeal)
Pulled pork:
Place pork shoulder in slow cooker, cover with water, add salt and pepper, 1 onion cut into wedges and 2-3 cloves of garlic, place on low cook all day (6 + hours).
When ready to serve pull out pork and shred (throw away the rest, they've served their purpose). Serve with favorite BBQ sauce or as is.
This freezes well for a later dinner

Salmon, Rice (Make extra for later in the week, check your recipe to see how much), Steamed Broccoli
Salmon: I usually just add salt, pepper, and EVOO and saute. Can also add honey or Agave Nectar for a sweet surprise

Chicken Breast marinaded in Italian dressing (make 1-2 extra cut into chunks), Corn, Side salad

Homemade Pizza
You'll need dough (store bought or homemade), cheese (Mozzarella or any Italian combos work great), pasta sauce (you used some on Monday), Toppers

Rice Balls (recipe in Deceptively Delicious cookbook or here)

Leftovers/fend for yourself
Growing up we always went out to eat after church. Because of this my mother didn't want to also make dinner for us because we would all be hungry at different times, so we would have a "fend for yourself night". I actually looked forward to these because I realized I could have Ice Cream and not get into trouble for it. Even your 5 year old can do this because Peanut Butter sandwiches aren't off limits here :) Enjoy and feel free to substitute at your wish!

Friday, February 4, 2011

The Sleep Diaries, Week 5

It's hard to believe how far we've come in the past 5 weeks! Little did I realize when we started this endeavor that we would not only be undertaking the adjustment from napping on me to also the adjustment to nap transitions. I am much more patient not than when I started, and we are having a lot less tears (both are definite positives).

Night time is much improved! Bubba actually has nights where he sleeps all the way until 7 AM! Success! Can you tell I'm a bit excited? Now if only the retraining of my body to not wake up was as easy. It seems that every time I get close, Bubba has a night where he wakes between 4 and 5. Oh well, still taking steps forward.

Nap time has made a few baby steps. We've cut 2 teeth this week. Additionally, we've both had snotty noses and I've needed naps as well, so I'll openly admit to having about 2 naps with Bubba this week, and both were delightful (until I woke up and he was still asleep, and mother nature called). We've fallen into a pattern on days we remain in the house, where Bubba falls asleep between 10 and 11 for 30-45 minutes, then takes a longer afternoon nap. Hopefully we continue to make progress and I can have a few more productive afternoons (one afternoon I baked a batch of cookies and made a pair of about productive).

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Menu Planning Mondays

A new series? Hmm...maybe.

I was having coffee with a few friends this past week and got inspired. We were talking about menu planning. They all stated that they liked the idea of menu planning, and that they had even subscribed to a few sites that planned for you, but that they didn't necessarily like the actual planning process.

I LOVE menu planning! I love trying out new recipes and keeping our dinners varied. Yes, I do repeat recipes (about once a month) but I try not to repeat my proteins during the week (except maybe chicken), and if I do I most definitely try to re purpose my protein later in the week, so you'd never know that the chicken was the same chicken I made earlier in the week :)

I'm thinking that I'll plan meals for a week and post them on Mondays and see how it goes. I won't necessarily include how to cook your chicken or pork so that you can spice it up any way you like, but will provide ideas for you to get your own culinary juices flowing.

Let me know if you'd be interested in this or if you have any ideas. This is meant to be fun, plus I'm already doing this for my household, why not share it with everyone else :)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Menu Planning

During our last PCS (that's military terms for moving), I came to a realization. I buy way too much food. Now it's nice to have a stocked pantry and refrigerator. However, I discovered that I was also throwing away a lot of food that would either expire or go bad. I was literally throwing money away (seriously, I would have furry oranges...disgusting).

When we settled, I decided I was going to start meal planning. Little did I realize that there were free services on the Internet that would do this for you, so I went out, bought a notebook and started making a list. I'd write down the days of the week, and underneath, what we'd be having for dinner that night.

Once I started this, I was able to cut my trips to the store down from weekly, to every other week. Yes, I do run out of milk or eggs every now and then, and yes I do have a few staples that I keep extras of in my pantry, but I started throwing away a lot less food! This meant I was tossing less money straight into the disposal.

Not only that, but I was also saving money by not going to the store as often and making less "extra" or "impulse" purchases. Before I was spending $100-120 a week on food, now I am spending about $200-$220 every 3 weeks. I was astounded at how much I was saving!

I highly encourage you to give it a try for a month, if you don't already plan. It not only saves me money, but also saves me some stress because I know that tonight I'll be making Salmon for dinner with a nice salad :)

Monday, January 31, 2011


I thought that by the end of my first year with Bubba that the teething would be mostly over. Boy was I wrong! We have spent many months with the ear rubbing and the wakeful nights and only have 3 teeth! He started teething around 4 months. Now 8 months later, what do we have to show for it...definitely not a mouth full of teeth.

It's funny how different children get their teeth at different times. Not only this, but how they react differently to getting the chompers! Bubba's cousin had 6 teeth by the time he was only 7 or 8 months old, and Bubba was still fighting out number 1! Not only this, but every time I talked to my in-laws I was told about how many teeth were through and asked about Bubba's (very much like a competition). They will come out when they are ready is what my mantra was/is, and I am still repeating it to this day. Not only this, but my SIL was surprised by the appearance of teeth, making me think that cousin handled it with much more sleep than Bubba, who reverts to waking every 2 hours at night, making for a very sleepy momma!

I just need to keep reminding myself that Bubba won't go to college with only 3 teeth...unless of course he decides to be a hockey player.

I am thankful for this late teething though. As it is, I am less hesitant to give medicine to my son now, than I was as a fresh, green momma. Plus, it allowed me to breast feed for much longer with less of the horror stories of him biting me with those chompers (though he has gotten me good a few times).

They will come when they are ready.

Sunday, January 30, 2011


Despite all the cold and snow that we on the east coast are receiving it is important to remember that every day is the Lords! Strive to bring Him all Glory and Honor!

"This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it."
Psalm 118:24

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Birthday Thank You Cards

As promised I'm sharing a tutorial on how to include your little one in the Thank You note process. I'm hoping that if I start with Bubba at a young age that it will be easier to keep him doing this as he gets older. What you'll need:

Nontoxic paint
Paint Brush (I used foam)
Cards (You can find blank white cards at your local craft store)

I started by putting a small dot of paint in my dish and then adding some water, figuring it would make it easier to clean Bubba up. Luckily the paint I used is water based and non-toxic, though Bubba didn't try to eat it (thankfully).

I handed Bubba the foam 'brush' and a card. He was amazed at the brush and even after being shown what to do didn't quite get it...
So, it turned into finger painting. He was so proud of himself seeing what was happening to the color as he moved his fingers around.
And each one turned out unique.
I used one of my drying racks to allow the cards to dry. That way they'd be out of the way of his little artistic fingers.
On the outside of the cards for his family that came to the party I wrote "I liked the cake and presents too, But my favorite thing was seeing you." On the inside is your basic Thank You note with a hand print from Bubba. I wasn't sure how to sign it, and after much thought decided to sign it from James with a PS stating that Mommy and Daddy say thank you too.
On the Thank Yous for people who just sent a gift they said "I'd like to thank you twice... Once for _____ and once for being nice." Signed again in the same manner. I figured that since it was mainly family giving the gifts to Bubba that they would all appreciate a little piece of artwork from him.

This was a quick and easy way to include an almost 1 year old in writing Thank You notes. Bubba and I had fun our afternoon of making these and the family loved them (I hand delivered them to save on the postage).

Friday, January 28, 2011

Happy Birthday Bubba

It's hard to believe a year has passed and how much has changed. Becoming a mommy is the best thing that has ever happened in my life!

Happy Birthday Bubba!
I'll be spending the weekend with my boys and celebrating this milestone as a family...see you all on Monday!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

A Year Ago Today

Look at me... I was huge! But had you told me then all that I would learn over this past year I would have thought you were nuts!

A year ago today I was working my last day as an ER nurse, in a little community hospital. Do I miss it? Yes. Would I change this past year? Absolutely not! Watching my little man grow and change is the best experience of my life (don't tell my husband). I wouldn't trade it for all the money and jewels in the world!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Sleep Diaries, Week 4

I'm updating a day early due to the fact that I will be celebrating Bubba's Birthday over the next 2 days :) Hard to believe little man is going to be 1 on Friday!!!

This has definitely been a week of ups and downs in the nighttime sleep and napping category. For the weekend I ventured home to Pennsylvania with Bubba to celebrate Christmas with my extended family (yes, a bit late...just one of the quirks I love about my family). So, I knew that Saturday would be a late night and there would be no way of preserving bedtime. Unfortunately the whole time I was home (Thursday-Sunday) was an utter disaster in all areas regarding sleep! At night Bubba refused to sleep and needed nursed multiple times, and naps were just a no go. Not one, not two. He refused to nap for longer than 30 minutes a day, even while being held for a nap (I was getting desperate). Sunday, on my way home I planned the trip during nap time, thinking that this will definitely give Bubba a good nap...Nope. He decided to be awake for the entire car ride all 3 hours of it! Ughh!

But the week has rounded itself out nicely. For the past 2 days Bubba has taken a cat nap in the morning around 10 and a nice long nap starting around 1:30-2. I must say that I am quite pleased as I am typing this right now during a nap (a rarity for me as I usually write my update Wednesday night and schedule it to post on Thursday). Night times have also gotten better with being home and having Bubba sleep in his own crib. I don't want to count on it though, I know that these past 2 days could be a total fluke, but I am quite pleased with the results thus far. And on the positive, I think that Bubba has at least been broken of the need to be held while napping. Have to count every small victory ;)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Thank You notes

I was raised being told to write Thank You notes, however, my mother never really enforced the carry through of the notes. Most of the time I didn't write one because the resources (ie, note cards) were never available to me at the time. As I got older, she stopped asking, and I quite frankly wouldn't think twice about writing them.

That is until I got married. I hand wrote out what feels like hundreds of Thank You notes after that. And after I was done, and my hand was numb, I realized that I felt good. It felt good to thank people for their generosity. And that's when my obsession hit. I started making sure I always had a note card available to me so that I could write a quick little Thank You note.

I also realized that people like to get mail. I mean seriously, how many times do you get mail that doesn't classify as junk or a bill? It's nice to be appreciated, and it's nice to know that someone took the time and dropped the note in the mail :)

After Bubba's party I needed to figure out a way to include him in the Thank You note process, because I want to start him out early and make sure he never has the same excuse that I had to not write a Thank You note. Here's a little preview of a future craft idea that Grandma and Grandpa will love:

Monday, January 24, 2011

Deceptively Delicious

As a hostess gift my mother brought me a cookbook (she spent Martin Luther King, Jr. Weekend with us). She knows my love of cookbooks! Actually she bought it as a Christmas gift, but has this uncanny habit of hiding gifts so well that when it comes time to give them she can't find them. Yes, I did inherit this trait, drive Hubs nuts!

Well, I've had the chance to try the French Toast, and I'll say, it's good. I used some baby food I'd made Bubba (it's a puree right?) and I couldn't even tell there were sweet potatoes in it! Bubba liked it too...though it's rare for him to try a new food and not like it.

We were so inspired by this that for dinner Hubs made our Oven "Fried" Eggplant using some pesto I had stored in the fridge! It was awesome (and Bubba liked this as well).

Oven "Fried" Eggplant:
Cut 1 Eggplant into 1 cm wide disks
Put Pesto on plate or in bowl
Put seasoned Breadcrumbs in other dishToss Eggplant disks in pesto then in breadcrumbs.
Place on foil lined and sprayed baking sheet then spray the tops with more cooking spray (a tip I learned from Sandra Lee).

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20-30 minutes or until soft to touch. Serve with Marinara sauce.

Oh...and there is nothing better than a man who cooks for his wife!

Sunday, January 23, 2011


Hubs and I have recently began our church hunt again. Turns out the church we were attending was not meeting our needs, in more ways than just one. Many Sundays I felt myself walking away not feeling full nor convicted. Entertained, yes, spiritually refueled, no. So, we began the hunt.

I'm almost confident that our hunt has ended, which is quite a relief. They are meeting not only my spiritual needs, but my needs to have childcare for Bubba that provides him with the safety he needs (he and the other church were not a match).

The past few Sundays a theme has emerged, and I'm not quite sure it was an intentional one. The theme of courage. Courage to take a stand. Courage to change the way we live. To fight against the messages the world sends. It only takes a few to start a revolution. I challenge you to have the courage to change something negative in your life.

Maybe you watch to many violent television programs, or play too many violent games in front of your young children. Maybe you use fowl language. Maybe you smoke. Maybe you have an addiction. God provides each one of us the tools we need to overcome these obstacles that the world puts in front of us. We just need the Courage to take the first stance against them.

Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the LORD your God, He is the One who goes with you. He shall not leave you nor forsake you. Deuteronomy 31:6

Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong. 1 Corinthians 16:13

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Barefoot is Best

"Why aren't his feet covered?!"

This is often the response I get from well meaning strangers at the grocery store when they look at Bubba's cute little feet. Many time, okay, almost all the time, I carry Bubba around without shoes or socks on, for quite a few reasons.

According to most experts, having babies wear shoes too early will actually impede mobility. As Bubba is learning to walk (and steadily becoming more steady on his feet) I feel that it is important to keep his feet bare, especially when indoors. Shoes serve to trip him up and make the learning process harder. Much of the research I've done actually encourages allowing baby to go bare (one article), unless allowing your child to walk outdoors, which when I'm shopping I do not allow (he's usually sitting pretty in a carrier).

If you are planning on outfitting your child with shoes it is recommended that the child wear soft soled shoes that allow the greatest flexibility and the closest thing to being barefoot and yet covered. Though after a quick Internet search I many sites stated that children who are learning to walk shouldn't wear these for prolonged periods of time, either.

When it all comes down to it I look at the cost of shoes, the fact that Bubba is growing quickly, and the fact that he pulls them off and may lose them, and I elect not to put shoes on him. I try to explain to well meaning family members that most research states that he doesn't need them indoors (many times to no avail).

Why don't I just put socks on him when we go out? Well...I'm glad you ask. 1. He pulls them off, and what can I make out of 1 baby sock? 2. He chews on them. How much warmer is a wet sock to being barefoot?

So what do I say to those well meaning grandma strangers?

"Because I'm his Mommy and I choose not to."

It's so much easier than going into my rant, and hey I don't have to explain my reasoning to uneducated (in the new developments of baby) strangers (actual grandparents are a different story, and we still butt heads from time to time).

Friday, January 21, 2011

Sock Creatures

My mother gave me a book for Christmas. Not surprising as I adore books. This book was an instructional guide on how to use old socks (or new ones) to create creatures. I have become addicted to these little guys! They are so easy and fun, and dang adorable!

I find myself longing to go to Target and raid their dollar aisle for socks that I can transform into these little monsters. I plan on giving them to my nieces and nephew as a Easter gift and Bubba is getting one for Valentine's Day. Actually I'm giving one away this weekend at my family Christmas Party (yes, my family celebrates Christmas well into January).

The best part about them? There are no rules! The sky is the limit when creating these little puppies and nothing goes to waste. Save your scraps and put them all together on another creature. The imperfections are what give the little guy character.

Here are my first 2 attempts (the OXOX one is for Bubba and the Striped one is party of my Dirty Santa gift):

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Sleep Diaries, Week 3

Small victories! This week has been much less stressful on the sleep front. Words can not express the excitement I am experiencing (imagine me doing a funky chicken dance now).

After accepting that Bubba may be transitioning from 2 naps to 1, life has become much less stressful. It has made me accept a slightly more lenient stance on when Bubba settles down for a nap. There are days when he desires to nap around 9:30, and on those days I run with it. Allowing him to nap at 9:30, and depending on how long that nap lasts I either try for an afternoon nap around 2:30ish or I forgo it and plan for an early bedtime. Two-three times I've actually had to wake Bubba from his afternoon nap at 5, solely so he'd sleep through the night.

On days where Bubba passed up the morning nap I tried to lay him down around 1. Most of the time he would then sleep until 4. Have there been tears? Yes. Have I doubted myself? Yes. Am I glad now for all the tears the previous weeks, well, I'm never happy I made my Bubba cry, but I am glad I stuck to my guns.

On the bedtime front, other than a minor setback, when Bubba got sick, we've had a healthy bit of success with Bubba only waking once at 4 or 5 AM. My only complaint is that with the 2-1 transition I am needing much more coffee as Bubba has some mighty early mornings. I'm hoping that these go away soon, I miss sleeping until 7!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Capturing Memories

Have you ever gotten home from an event, only to think to yourself the next day 'I wish I had pictures to remember?' I do this all the time! It never fails. I go to a party and wish I had brought my camera. I'm at a family picnic with camera in my bag and wish I had taken more pictures. It's frustrating.

My other vice when it comes to my camera, is that in this age of digital images I am horrible and I do mean HORRIBLE at printing the pictures that I take. I go through spurts where I'll print off some pictures, put them into an album, and never look at them again. Then I'll look at my camera a few months later and see that there are about 1,000 or more pictures (Bubba's a first child, can you tell?) that I don't even get to enjoy because they are stored on my camera SD card. It's very much like the old Kodak commercial.

I do have a solution, which since Bubba has been born has worked to a degree (I still haven't printed my photos). Shutterfly. It's my photo saviour! I'm able to upload my photos (with the intention of printing them, and I will someday soon) to a free server. I'm even able to publish and enjoy them on a free share site. I set one up a few years ago, while living in Kentucky, to keep the family connected. I try my best to update it once a month.

It is only during this update that I am able to enjoy the old photos I've taken. I must order some soon...Bubba is now 11 months old and I haven't updated his baby album since he was 2 weeks old..oops...

Now if only I had a solution to the remembering my camera issue...

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Resolution Foods, #1 Quinoa

Remember how I said that for the New Year I wanted to try a new food a month? Well, I've done it. My new food for the month of January was QUINOA! What is it you say? Well, that's a good question. Quinoa is a grain. Actually it's the seeds from a grain, cooked much the same way as rice. It's full of fiber, protein, amino acids, and other good for you stuff. And the best part? The family LOVED it. Hubs stated it was a "repeatable" dish, which in our house where we try new recipes like you change your undies, is high praise!

It's cooked in boiling water or stock for about 15 minutes. The liquid absorbs into the grain and it becomes almost translucent. The germ separates from the seed and looks like little worms, unappetizing I know, but I tell you this so you don't freak out. When I made it I almost threw out what I had thinking it had gone bad, but the germ looks like little spiral-y worms in with the grain. It's okay. I promise.

Quinoa salad:

Diced Veggies sauteed in EVOO
1 T Vinegar (Red Wine or Balsamic)
1 -2 C. cooked Quinoa
Toss and serve. Top with leftover chicken if you like (yet one more use for my Rotisserie Chicken).

And if you have a little man in your life who likes to eat what mommy and daddy are, it's good for them too! I mixed his in with some baby food (great way to get a baby who eats solids to finish up some of the purees you have for him).

Bubba loved it!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Party Sucess

Bubba's Birthday party was wonderful! It went off without a hitch! Even though it was only grandparents and great-grandparents. It was so nice for them to travel to us for the day, and we enjoyed them tremendously!

We played 2 games. Guess the gift (with a hint) and Guess how Many. In a box wrapped with brown paper and staples (Hubs wrapped it) we put a few books and asked the guests to guess what was inside, telling them only that it was Bubba's favorite thing. Well, only 2 people guessed, my sister's boyfriend and my Step Mother (it's good to know someone listens to me, as I've been saying for a long time how much Bubba loves books). For the second game I put some Gerber Puffs in a sippy cup and asked that they guess how many were in it. The answer: 175, and I could have kept going! Father-in-law guessed closest to that one with his guess of 116. We also asked that each guest write a little note to Bubba, but more on that in a later post.

Instead of cake we did Cupcake balls (from here), which were a huge hit! Everyone loved them. We did 2 flavors, red velvet with cream cheese frosting and cinnamon swirl with a butter cream frosting. Bubba got a cupcake and enjoyed every last crumb, seriously!

Bubba made out like a bandit with lots of Little People and a few stuffed animals. And of course a few articles of clothing. All in all, I couldn't have asked for a better day to celebrate my little boy turning 1.

Saturday, January 15, 2011


I was recently inspired to buy my first box of Borax. I was sold on the many uses and thought why not give it a try? So I bit and picked up my first box.

Why not? There are so many uses I contemplated buying a box for the bathroom, kitchen, and laundry room. Hubs put his foot down and said I needed to see if I liked it first. But I'm all about simplifying my life a little, and this will not only do that, but it could save me some money too. Then I can indulge in my latte later in the week.

Friday, January 14, 2011

1st Birthday Party

Crazy to think how much my baby is growing up! I've been thinking about his 1st Birthday Party since he's been about 5 months old, but nothing definite. Crazy how things evolve. It started out as a Pooh Party, then morphed into a "Library Party" (as Bubba adores his books). Then we decided to narrow books down to Seuss. But...

Do you know how hard it is to find Seuss-y invites? Yeah...pretty hard. And by the time that I was looking for them (I can be a serious procrastinator) it was too late to order them off the Internet. I couldn't even find any stickers (well...except for the Grinch, but somehow he doesn't scream Birthday to me). So, we made our own. Had I been a good mommy and prepared I would have started on this adventure way sooner. But the slacker and frugal part of me won out. The invites turned out okay, but they definitely did not scream Seuss. The outside stated:
Bubba is One
Today is his Day,
He makes his first wish
On his 1st Birthday!
While the inside stated:
January's the month,
The 15th the Day
From 1-4 is when we will play.
Cute right, just not Seuss-y without the direct reference to some characters. So we're going with it. No theme. Just Baby.
Our family's are coming down to visit for the day (Hubs just couldn't get off and we really didn't want to transplant his party to Pennsylvania if we didn't have to). Bless them. But because of the 3+ hour drive we aren't really going to have a boatload of people, just family willing to make the drive.
Side note: My grandmother, who can't make it sent a card with a check...or should I say 2 checks. One for Bubba and one for Hubs and I as a late wedding gift...we've only been married 5 years :) Better late than never!
I'll update with pictures when I can and a party re-cap.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Sleep Diaries, Week 2

I'm beginning to feel as though I've lost my mind.

I had thought nighttime sleep had improved. Maybe I was being overly ambitious, because we're back to 2 consistent wakings at night. Once at 1, when Hubs will tend to Bubba's needs, and again at 3, where there isn't much he can do. I've tried letting Bubba cry, but after the 15 minute wait it breaks my heart. And the worse part is, I've come to the conclusion that checking in on him seems to do more harm than good. Sounds strange, but he cries louder and harder if we go in to reassure him. On top of that he has adopted a 6 am wake up time, as opposed to the 7, which I was much happier about.

Naps are another disaster in themselves. While Bubba is more easily laid down, he's not napping consistently. I'm beginning to believe that we are making a transition to one nap. I'm hoping that once his napping is sorted out then nights will follow. He goes down easily for a nap around 9:30, sleeps until 10:15, then wants to cuddle and continues to sleep until 11. Then he refuses to go down for a second nap. I'm hoping I can get his nap time to be a little later in the morning, actually I'd love for it to be after lunch, but will settle for later in the morning.

What happened to my book? It's hard to have time to read when I'm constantly did the millions of mothers before me get through this stage?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


I know I mentioned at least once before that I have a crazy passion. It's a passion for cloth and all things cloth related. Cloth Diapers that is. Yes! In a world of throw away, instant gratification, and taking the easy way, I have a love of the old. Why?

I always knew I wanted to use cloth diapers. When I got pregnant I mentioned it to Hubs who refused. Outright. me, being the strong willed, pigheaded woman he married, started to research. Then I found YouTube and some of the videos of how easy the diapers are now to use. That's how I hooked him. Now, he loves it just as much as I do. Not only that but we only own 7 of the ones I sold him on, and he actually prefers the old fashioned, economical choice we use most days: Prefolds.

I wish it were more mainstream as many people from the cloth diapering community catch a lot of flack for their choice to use cloth diapers (whether it be financially, environmentally, or crunch-ily motivated). My motivation came down to the all mighty dollar. I couldn't fathom spending money on garbage. Plus I didn't want to worry about running out of diapers, and being that parent who is running to Walmart at 1 am because she's out of diapers.

Do I know anyone else in real life who uses them? No. Do I catch a lot of flack from the family? Yes. Am I good with my decision? Absolutely.

What it all boils down to is parenting how you are comfortable.