Set your goals high but not your expectations. ~Dove

Monday, November 22, 2010

Just like Mommy

We sit on the floor together and have a snack.  I'm sitting on my knees and he's laying on his belly.  He and I are eating crackers with cream cheese & chives.  I tell him they are a new snack and pleased to see he enjoys them.  He's excited to share a snack with his Mommy while playing on the floor.  He decides to sit up and fold his legs under his bottom, just like Mommy.  He sits there and munches on a cracker and smiles at me.  Under his cracker filled lips he mumbles like Mommy.  He melts my heart and I've fallen in love all over again.

We play on the floor with a ball and toss back and forth to each other.  He sits there and inspects my position on the floor, I'm sitting Indian style, and he imitates me.  Just like Mommy he says.  I'm teaching him how to hold out his hands and keep them together.  We sit rather close because he's not a good catcher.  I toss the ball into his arms and he squeals with excitement for the fact that he did it by himself.  We play like this for what seems all afternoon, but really it's more like fifteen minutes.

He finds me in the kitchen while I'm putting food away from dinner.  He doesn't mind playing in the other room alone, he just prefers company with Mommy or Daddy.  He looks up at me while the kitchen light glares in his face.  He smiles a sleepy smirk and hums Mummmmy.  I answer him back and he gently places his head on my leg.  Awwwwww we say together.

I know these moments are rare and I know they won't always be there.  But for now, they're my little treasures and I'm thankful to have them.

Thursday, November 18, 2010


My silly putty is two today.

Where has the time gone?  He's grown so much in just two years, I cannot imagine what this next year holds for us, but I'm excited for it. 

Two years ago at 5:24pm my baby was born. 

A cesarean birth was decided around 5:00, due to the fact my unborn son's heart rate was not normal, and I had to lay in a specific direction for him to have a normal heart rate.  I had been in labor for about 8 hours and I could not dilate further than 8cm.  I was also nauseous and exhausted and had opted for the epidural earlier in the day, but by 2pm it had worn off.  The contractions were tolerable, however my nausea was not.  I'd go through hot and cold spells and it was as if I had a fever, but the nurses would continue to check my temperature and I was consistently normal. 

Once the decision was made around 5:00, I was prepped for surgery and I was whisked into the operating room.  I remember trying to haul myself onto the operating table "Can you move yourself over?" they asked me. 

Seriously?  I feel like a whale!  I was just given a dose of meds for surgery and I was numb to my neck.  There was no way I'd be moving anything myself.

Twenty-four minutes later, my silly putty was born.  It wasn't the dramatic scene you'd imagine a labor being because for me, I was more in shock for the quick turn in events. 

My husband left with our new baby and watched him get cleaned and weighed.  7lbs 16oz is what the nurse calculated.  Isn't that 8lbs then? he asked the nurse.  Oh yeah.

My hospital experience wasn't as bad as I had thought, although we do have some not-so-fond memories too.  Now two years later, I'm contemplating what my second birthing experience will be like.  Most likely I'll be having another cesarean but I'm wondering if I should change to a hospital closer to home.

Despite the sort of day I had while in labor with my son, he turned out to be extremely healthy and happy.  I couldn't have asked for a happier baby for my first child.

However, that happiness is fading in his personality as he sinks into his two-dom world.  The lack of communication leads to frustrations and moans and whines and tears.  We try hard to use our words and describe how we're feeling, but some days are harder than others.  And today was one of those days.

I'm sure we'll have many more teary days ahead, and I'm stocking up on my patience pills.  But for now I'll take each day as it comes and hope for more smiles in our future.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Just a salad...but it's heavenly!

I made a salad over the weekend, and I wish I had taken a picture of it.  It was a salad I tried recreating from a restaurant I went to recently, but I didn't have all the ingredients.  So I tried to recreate the earthiness of it.

Here's what I used:
Spring greens
Grape tomatoes
Shaved carrots
Pumpkin Seeds
Goat Cheese
Ken's Olive Oil & Vinaigrette dressing

I made enough salad for about 30 guests, and I even have plenty of leftovers so I can enjoy more yummy salad the rest of this week.  I didn't make the greens as the star ingredient either.  Rather, every component was equally used, no favoritism's here!  If I had some extra time I would have enjoy adding hard boiled egg to the mix, but the salad still felt hearty as a side dish.

I've thought about making this mix again and wrapping it in a tortilla.  Maybe adding some more protein to make it more filling.  What do you think?

Dip Dip

I never realized how much food we eat that requires dip dip.  I've experimented on a few different meals to see which type of dip my son prefers.  He doesn't mind ketchup, and will even use salsa.  He won't touch sweet and sour sauce, and he's not the biggest fan of syrup.  He's accepted pumpkin butter, but he loves honey.

Dip dip is exactly what it sounds like, and we've even nicknamed one of our meals: Dip Dip.  All it is, is cheese quesadilla's that we use either marinara sauce or salsa.  I prefer salsa, my husband likes marinara.  For a while my son would use the salsa, I think because he liked saying the word: salsa.  It is quite fun to say, especially when you're learning new words every day. =)

Last night we had our traditional 'dip dip' meal and he asked for honey in a ball.  A ball?? I asked him again.  Yup, he's saying ball, but after a few attempts I realized he meant to say bowl.  Well that sounds a lot more appealing than honey on a ball!

Desert, when we have it, is typically cookies.  I like to buy the mini cookies that are in individual snack size bags.  And of course, dip dip needs to go with our cookies.  So we give our little man a shot glass that is half full with his milk.  Sometimes he likes to dip his cookies in the milk, and sometimes he just shoves them into his mouth.  But the best part is being able to drink the cookie flavored milk afterwards.  Smack the lips and say AHHHH.

My son goes through spurts of appetite.  Most days he just picks, and maybe once or twice a week he has a really good appetite.  So I try my hardest not to stress over how much he eats, and try to make eating fun... with dip dip!  He's working hard at telling me what he wants to eat, or how he wants to eat his food. 

We're still experiencing a battle ground over most of this 'table talk', so I'm curious to know how others are enjoying their meals?  Do you have a favorite dip too?

Friday, November 12, 2010

Is it worth it??

Since becoming a Mom, a lot has changed in my life.  A lot of good things seem to have blossomed in my life.  Since becoming a Mom, I have reflected on who I am, and how I want my son to know his mother.  I want to be a role model for him, and I would like him to have his first memories of me be solid memories about things we did together, or how he remembers my personality.

My first memory in my life is when I turned 2 years old.  I remember playing in my bedroom and my father walking down the hallway to tell me there was a surprise for me in the kitchen.  I remember toddling down the hallway (it was a split entry house) and into the kitchen, I climbed up into my metal high chair.  There was no tray and I could sit right up against the table.  On the table sat a small plate with a chocolate cupcake with chocolate frosting, and two candles.  My mother and father sang Happy Birthday to me and I blew out the candles.  I asked them where their cupcake was, but my mother said they weren't having any.  My mother turned and went back to doing the dishes and my father went back into the living room to watch tv.  I am an only child so there I sat and became very upset with my parents.  I wanted to share my cupcake with them.  It was my birthday after all, right?  But my special day didn't seem so special at that moment. 

That memory is so vivid, it's like it happened last weekend.  This happened over 30 years ago and today, my son is a week from turning 2.  I am struggling with how to portrait his future memory of his special day.  My husband and I have been talking Birthday Party talk all week long and my son is truly excited.  He cannot wait, and realistically, he has no idea what's in store for him.  The one thing that worries me is that part of this party will be a memory he'll keep forever, so I'm so stuck on the fact that I need to make sure I make it a good memory! 

My son has made me his rock, he has learned he can give me a hug anytime he pleases, yet he will clearly tell me No if he doesn't agree with me.  I like that about him and I hope he continues to show his independence. 

Unknown to me, my son has become my rock.  My son has added an extra hop in my step and extra pep in my personality.  He's made me feel stronger about my opinions and more vocal about my decisions.  My son has taught me to make quicker decisions and I've learned how to stop being too passive.  After all, I have a kid who needs someone to have his back, keep him healthy, and support his every move.  He's not yet two, so he really needs me just about 98% of the time.  And I don't mind that.  I enjoy being his rock, he's my soul. 

So when it's time to speak my mind, I do it.  I want to be the mother who is willing to stand up for her kid, any time.  My son deserves that.  He's turning 2 very soon and I feel I need to make a good impression on my son.  Call me crazy, but I am haunted by my own 2 year old memory.  So yes, he's worth it, even if I have to fight for it.

What are your earliest memories?  And do they haunt you too?  Have you made irrational decisions in order to become a better role model for your kids?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


I recently received a new pair of glasses.  I've owned glasses for a few years now, but I rarely wore them.  I wasn't blind, and I felt I could make due by squinting.  It really wasn't an issue.  Until I couldn't squint hard enough, my vision remained blurry. 

I find that I don't need my glasses while sitting at my computer while working.  Although I do feel my eyes are feeling strained, I can still see clearly, so I assume that strained feeling is associated with sitting infront of the computer screen for 9 hours a day.  It can create quite the headache.

I like the glasses, although this picture is kind of goofy.  I felt awkward taking a picture of myself while sitting at my desk.  I find myself putting them on throughout the day because I do wonder if I should be wearing them more often than I am.  At least to try and eliminate my headaches.

I find a huge difference while driving lately.  I cannot believe I was driving around without them.  Even though I knew where I was going, I really wasn't seeing where I was going.  Scary.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

He makes me laugh

We're in his bedroom getting ready for bed.  He's had a bath and I'm working on getting his pj's on his chilly little body.  I notice his has a small scab on the back of his calf.  I ask him if he has a boo-boo.  He says yah.

How did you get it?

Big Bear over there.

You got a boo-boo from Big Bear?

No.  The bed.

You were on the bed?

Bumped my head. Taps head.

You were jumping on the bed and you hit your head?

Momma called doctor and doctor said (points finger) NO more monkeys jumping on bed!


How did my conversation about a boo-boo lead into that song?  He was so proud of himself and when I picked him up to finish zipping his pj's he laughs and says: Silly Goose!

Yes, you are a silly goose... You are my silly putty.

Monday, November 8, 2010


We spent the morning at the photographers studio.  The studio is private, it's actually in a condo specifically rented for photography.  She specializes in weddings and newborn photos.  But she takes all sorts of pictures.  I really enjoy her work and I like her patience with my son. 

This was our 2nd visit.  The first one, six months ago, was not so pleasant.  My son didn't want to be there.  He didn't care for the big fancy shmancy camera, or the photographer.  As nice as she was, she spent the whole hour with us trying to convince my son that he would enjoy getting his picture taken.  But that particular day, not so much.

Today was a different story.  I spent most of our weekend discussing the big fancy shmancy camera.  I talked about the silly faces we'd make.  I mentioned the big fancy shmancy camera would also 'click', just like Dora's did. 

We watch Dora, I'm sure like most kids, my son is obsessed with this chick.  I don't know what it is about Dora that he loves, or maybe he just loves Boots.  Two reasons, 1-he's a monkey, and 2-he wears boots!  Well, there is a particular episode where Dora travels through the forest looking for animals.  When she spots an animal everyone says CLICK.  She snaps the picture and enters her photos in a contest.

Since my son loves cameras and picture taking (only by me), I thought this would be a fun episode to watch since we'd be visiting the studio today with the big fancy shmancy camera.  And it would "click".  Just like Dora's does... is what he'd say.  He seemed a little weary, but I was convinced he was ready for a 2nd visit in the studio.  I wanted his 2 year old pictures done, so I was committed to making this work.  He ended up surprising me.

He's a little shy about people knowing his name, especially when he doesn't know the person at all.  So it took a few minutes to warm up to the studio.  But a few minutes is all he needed.  He was running around, and cooperating with the photographer faster than I had imagined.  He sang his ABC's, played peekaboo, jumped on the couch, stood on a chair, roared like a dinosaur, and plopped into the bean bag... and all doing it on queue!  I was stunned.  He really did enjoy the sound of the "click".

Friday, November 5, 2010

Comfort Food

I'm not the typical wife.  I don't necessarily cook, clean, sew, or do laundry regularly.  I am not the sort of person who is regimented on a schedule.  I loathe routines, for myself that is.  I do my best, try to pick up as I go, and make sure everyone is clean, loved, and happy.  I'm a procrastinator at it's finest.  I don't think I've every talked about my procrastination issues.  Maybe someday I'll post something about that.  I'll try not to procrastinate.  =)

I came across a recipe the other day and it was one that I fell in love with.  As soon as I tasted it, I knew I would be making it again.  I don't find too many recipes where I feel this way, so I felt compelled to share it in this post.  Here goes...

Butternut Squash Risotto.  I've never attempted risotto before, never mind how I even learned how to handle a butternut squash.  I opted for fresh because they were on sale at 79 cents a pound.  So I bought one that was just under two pounds.  I will copy the recipe I followed here, but please note I did make some alterations, however the alterations were strictly because I just didn't have enough ingredients.

  • 7 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 2 Tbs. minced fresh sage
  • 6 cups vegetable or chicken stock (Used 4 cups, I didn't have enough)
  • 2 cups butternut squash puree
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 2/3 cup caramelized onions (Used 1 large onion)
  • 2 cups Arborio rice
  • 1 tsp. minced fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (Used a little less as I ran out)
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt 4 Tbs. of the butter. Add 1 Tbs. of the sage and heat until the butter browns. Strain the butter into a small bowl and discard the sage. Cover the bowl to keep the butter warm.

In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, whisk together the stock and squash puree. Bring just to a simmer, 8 to 10 minutes; maintain over low heat.

In a large saucepan or risotto pan over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the caramelized onions and rice and stir until the grains are well coated with the oil and are nearly translucent with a white dot in the center, about 3 minutes. Stir in the remaining 1 Tbs. sage and the rosemary. Add the wine and stir until it is absorbed.

Add the simmering stock mixture a ladleful at a time, stirring frequently after each addition. Wait until the stock is almost completely absorbed before adding more.

When the rice is tender to the bite but slightly firm in the center and looks creamy, after about 30 minutes, stir in the remaining 3 Tbs. butter, the cheese, salt and pepper. Add more stock if needed so the rice is thick and creamy. Let stand for 2 minutes. Drizzle with the reserved sage butter and serve immediately. Serves 6.

I wish I took a picture of the finished dish.  To be honest, it didn't look all that pretty, but looks were deceiving, and it was delicious!  I've been eating it for 3 days and I still have way too much!  I would definitely cut this recipe in half next time, or make this the way it is for a holiday party.  Wholesome, comfort food is what this is for me.  I would even try substituting the butternut squash for pumpkin and maybe add some nutmeg or all spice seasoning.

Have you attempted a dish you wouldn't dream yourself making?  Did you surprise yourself like I did?

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Toy Story

It's quite popular in our home.  We watch Buzz-Woody so frequently, I keep one of the dvds in the dvd player.  My little guy isn't even 2 and he's obsessed with the characters.  I think it's funny to see the types of toys, themes, and characters that hook themselves into my sons heart.  He has a hard time letting go of them.

Dressed up as Buzz-Woody for trick or treating

It's quite funny actually.  I decided to let him play the part of his hero, Buzz.  He ran around the neighborhood for the whole hour and half that we were outside.  There was no stopping him.  He was Buzz of course!

But after 3 parties as Buzz, we decided to let Woody join the crowds.  He had as much fun, if not more.  I actually don't know which character my son enjoyed more.  He loves them both equally, it's hard to pick one.

Woody's ready for the next party!

Do you let your kids decide what to dress up for Halloween?  Or is everyday Halloween in your home?


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