Monday, April 30, 2012

“They” are back…


So it looks like work is back to normal. I liked normal; moreover, I LIKE normal. Maybe I won’t sprint away from my computer 2.5 seconds after I’m done for the day, and that means…blog posts for you!!! Also I failed on the Stepping Out series…and it’s only week two. Next week…I promise.


With the many milestones a child reaches comes advice. Boatloads of advice. Luckily for me, my family is great about holding back unless asked. And I do ask. And then my mother laughs at me. Pretty much every time I ask her advice—laughter. But it’s ok, she has some good advice…and good perspective.

And then there’s the interweb world. The interweb world has lots and lots of advice. Sometimes it’s helpful. Sometimes it’s pretty harsh (read about some Natural birth advocates scorning C-sections…whew…nast-ay). Sometimes it’s funny…but usually it’s contradicting.

I’ve been contemplating about this post for a while. Since my child decided that she was going to grow up in the blink of an eye and not do anything on schedule—but rather mostly ahead of schedule…the milestone advice that “they” give per age category…yeah not so helpful.

The biggie that I’m running into now is centered around starting solids. My pediatrician indicated that the current timeframe is 6 months. For the munchkin that’s tomorrow (OMG RIGHT?!!), and she’s been eating solids for a couple weeks. “They” say four months. “They” say six months. “They” say when the child is sitting. “They” say when the child shows and interest. What’s a mother to do?

I decided I’d throw in a little common sense…if she wants food, I’ll see if she can handle it. And that’s what I did. I know neither of us (or our parents or siblings) have major food allergies, and I’m staying away from the major allergy culprits for the time being. Let’s see if I get yelled at tomorrow at Munchkin’s 6 month appointment…yay more shots (booo).

But it doesn’t end there. Now there’s tons of advice for first foods. What to eat at what age. How you should space the new foods out. On and on and on…I’m still muddling through that. Again…it’s a common sense (according to me) thing.

The newest advice “they” are coming out with deals with car seat recommendations. Instead of rear facing until age 1 or 20 pounds…it’s 2 and 40. Then in a forward facing seat/booster until age 10 or something crazy like that (I know if it’s the safest it’s not crazy)…supposedly car seats “expire” after 6 years…so, um, yeah.

But today I read this really well put together article, answering some very real questions. I myself was looking for an age guideline for using an umbrella stroller. And not only did it give the age requirements, it gave the logic behind it too. So this way, I can make an informed decision—disregarding the age guidelines, but following the realistic physical/mental suggestions. First time parents…this is for you.


And to counterbalance all that text….


…One day this was just the easiest way to clean the Munchkin up. Best. Smile. Ever!!!


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Next she’ll be asking for the keys…

So I’m forcing myself to sit here back at the computer for a blog post because HOLY COW IS MY LITTLE GIRL GROWING UP!!! (yes, caps were/are necessary). Work has been nothing short of a blast lately—ugh. Luckily the torment and hate is supposed to draw to a close soon (Please Please Please be true). Our department has been fielding calls for something separate from our normal routine and it’s awful. For someone who likes to avoid conflict, this just flings it in my face. And so every night…as my shift draws to a close…I run screaming and yelling (I mean I would if I had a voice) from my computer.

But it’s been one thing after another over here—as Marc says, one day we’re gonna tell her that she never wanted to cuddle because she’s always had stuff to do (I cleaned that up a little--hehe). And he’s not kidding.

First, we have this….


And this


And this


One day right before Easter the munchkin decided she was going to sit up on her own, and after that there was no stopping her. She’ll go for 45 minutes of play without falling over. What a big girl!

Then, we decided to try this…


Autumn kept trying to swipe my cup, so I decided to buy a sippy cup. I figured she wasn’t old enough for it, but since we’d need it eventually I wasn’t wasting money. Well…she took to it and has probably had a bottle three times since (she’s still nursing twice a day, but other than that it’s all sippy cup). And, honestly, I think she prefers the sippy.

And what falls naturally into that progression is this…


Now pediatricians these days recommend that babies start solids after six months, but this girl was ready. Along with swiping mommy’s cup, the food was also a target. So I decided to see if Autumn wanted some applesauce…silly question. She loved it…and we have slowly been building up her menu options ever since.

To add to her growing resume, yesterday Autumn rolled over for the first time (I think she has her sitting and rolling backwards, but to each their own) from front to back. She’s not proficient yet, and still gets stuck on her stomach, but it’s only a matter of time before she is a rolling maniac. I’m so sure of this, the baby gates have been installed.

She falls asleep so easily and quickly (thanks to daddy’s genetics I’m sure) and just recently we’ve eliminated the swaddling from the nighttime routine. I think she falls asleep even faster without it now (but it was a saving grace for quite a while).


She’s so much fun right now; you’d never know mad baby ever existed. Ms. Crazy Personality—she shrieks and eats our faces and get so excited over kitties and the huge truck filling cracks on our street.  Everyday begins with a huge smile and is a new and awesome adventure. Stay tuned!

I leave you with the best expression ever. I don’t think she likes the grass in her face. What do you think?


Sunday, April 22, 2012

Stepping out Sunday…

So I’m going to try to link up with Mandy from Harpers Happenings for her Stepping out Saturdays, but I’m doing it Sunday style. Since I don’t even need to dress up for work anymore, the dress code around here rarely veers from jeans and tees and rompers. But since we head off to church on Sundays, we try to change it up a bit. And since Autumn’s looking so cute, daddy cooperates for a photo session. And so I present Stepping Out Sunday…


Normally, the munchkin isn’t a cuddler…but today she was. And I’ll take all the baby cuddles I can get


Some Spitting action


Even Salem got in on the action.

On Autumn--dress: Carters (hand me down Smile); Long sleeve tee: Carters (garage sale snag from one of Autumn’s great aunts);Tights: Gaps Kids. On Mommy -- top: Body Central (the deals, oh the deals…I’m currently browsing the Summer catalog…such temptations); Camisole: Old Navy; Skirt: Old Navy; Necklace: Esty Shop LanOCrystal (gift from the Bro, SIL and Monkey Butt)

So I will be attempting to link up weekly…emphasis being placed heavily on attempting. As for the promised update on the every growing Munchkin…it’s coming, eventually.


Sunday, April 15, 2012

Ea’ter Bunny Day

I realize it’s been a while since I’ve made a post…but we were busy.

We celebrated Ea’ter Bunny day, at Mark and Christine’s, with two of the cutest Ea’ter bunnies.


I love how we almost have a real smile from Autumn. At least she’s looking at the camera. Dylan sees a camera and knows he’s supposed to smile—even if it’s a cheesy smile (but it’s an awfully cute cheesy smile). Autumn sees a camera and very seriously and studiously stares at the camera.


(I love the fact that this picture captures the big wad of drool…yep, that’s how we roll. At least her eyes are smiling. )

We actually started Easter off with the Easter Vigil on Saturday at St. Leo’s where Peter was confirmed…and Wendy was baptized by Autumn (as was the kneeler and the floor). I’m so glad I decided to bring the entire diaper bag with the change of clothes; I had been debating on just throwing wipes and a diaper in my purse.

I didn’t plan the logistics of our Easter vigil outfits very well…froufrou slippery Autumn outfit plus slippery mommy outfit made the holding of the child a little more challenging than normal, but she was so cute it was worth it.

And since my family (Sarah…) feels the need to “borrow” my camera and be the paparazzi…there are some pictures to document the first family basketball I’ve participated in since 2009…it’s too dangerous to play with my family while pregnant. I managed to play a few games and not be sore the next day. I was shocked—and pleased!


But no doubt about it… Easter is an exhausting holiday.


There are so many big girl changes this week…that’ll just have to wait for the next post!

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Thursday, April 12, 2012

Aren’t babies hard enough to figure out?


Ok so I needed to “upgrade” Autumn’s t-shirt collection. Well, her entire drawer really. We’ve hit 5 months—she’s out of 6-9 month clothing. WHAT THE HECK CHILD?!!

So, I go to the store…I stand there staring up and down the rack.

Newborn? (heck no, never needed those)

0-3? (moved on from those in January)

3-6? (Not too long ago we upgraded from those)

6-9? (That’s what we just grew out of…)

9-12?….. Um….yeah. So apparently my child will be naked for this period…

Since we can’t figure out our children, the children’s clothing company decided they too would play with new parents.

Do you know what is even better? Some children’s clothing companies do have size 9M clothing. Some clothing companies make 9M clothing (or 9-12 mos) in some articles of clothing and not in others…you know…just for fun.

So while this mother is trying to figure out what fits—because you know you can’t just have a five month old try on clothing. (Wouldn’t that be fun?)—clothing companies are hiding behind the clothing racks laughing. I swear I heard them…Or maybe I’m just paranoid?


And because I know it’s required….I present my growing machine sitting all by herself!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The little ones meet the Easter Bunny…

…or the flowers next to the Easter Bunny I’d say. You have to stand a certain distance back to use your own camera to take pictures. And the lighting and angle were less than ideal. The pictures I got aren’t the best. But I got pictures.

And the evidence shows, that while the kiddos were less than impressed with the unknown, slightly creepy rabbit they were sitting on…they didn’t cry. Well there’s always next year. Ha ha. I’m such a bad mother. My child’s refusal to look at a camera (especially when such interesting flowers are right there) is is full swing.


The Monkey Butt looked at the camera eventually…he did look up to check out the creepy bunny, but wasn’t sufficiently concerned. He trusts his aunts and memere way too much. Unfortunately my camera first was on video and then I dunno, so the pics aren’t so great Confused smile


The best pictures actually are from Wendy’s phone…ugh. Somehow she captured the one second that munchkin was looking at us.

Hope everyone has a Hoppy Easter (or Passover) weekend (you know, in case I slack and don’t post again this week)!!!

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Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Artery Clogging Yumminess

So about a week ago, I promised to provide my recipes for what was promised to be the most awesome cupcake every made. Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes certainly sound yummy. But man o’mercy they are a ton of work! It took me a span of three days to produce this:


Granted the decorating added a bit of time, but this cupcake on its own is three steps. First you make the cookie dough—you will need to plan ahead because it needs to be frozen so it doesn’t cook with the cupcake. Then, you mix up the cupcake batter, place the cookie dough and batter in the cupcake pan (NOTE: These are very, very heavy cupcakes. Use the paper cupcake liners…otherwise you may not get them out of the pan). :Lastly you will make the frosting and frost the cake. And yes it took me two boxes (8 sticks/4 cups) of butter!

These are heavy. My family (including Eric) could not eat this in one sitting. They could be a meal of their own. I recommend eating them with a fork.

If you want to try making this goodness, CLICK HERE.

I’m not sure if I’d make these again. True, they were good, but not all of awesome—at least to me. And they took  a long, long time to make. However, my family very graciously volunteered to eat them anytime I wanted to make these cupcakes.  If you make them, let me know what you think.


Now for the bunny ears I made fondant from marshmallows. This recipe I’ll definitely make again. It was so easy and gave me a different way to decorate my cakes. The recipe suggests dyeing small potions for different colors individually, which I may do depending on how I plan on decorating the cake. In this instance though, I have Food coloring markers so I colored on the fondant. This is cheap and easy fondant—plus you can flavor it so it doesn’t taste like the nasty store bought stuff.

You can find the recipe HERE.

I used big marshmallows and my hand mixer. After mixing it, I kneaded it in the bowl. Saved on a big mess on my counter. I kept it in the fridge until I was ready to use it—I did take it out about an hour before I used it to soften. But it was super easy.

A recommendation for storing the fondant decorated cake: Even in my parents’ kitchen, which is not the warmest place (read that to say “often frigid”), the ears began to soften and droop. Next time I’ll store it in the fridge until I’m ready to serve it (or outside in the winter—biggest refrigerator in the world (doesn’t use any extra electricity either)).

I present my final product: A field of Bunnies


And my little helper. She taste tested the frosting and gave it her approval.