Monday, January 31, 2011

One-Hundred-Eighty-Four Days Happy, To You Baby C!

Carter Michael, hot diggity. You are six months old. You have the patience of your Mama and the stubborness of your Daddy. And you never miss a moment to showcase either of those traits. Boy, you are in for some trouble, that's for sure! It has been an absolute blast and a sheer gift to watch you grow this past month. Once again, you never cease to amaze your loving family, but for the love of all things baby, would you please stop growing so quickly? I think I may have sprouted a grey hair or two over these last thirty days.

I'll return here to fill in your measurements once we see your Pedi on the 10th, but until then, I would venture to say you're weighing in at around 19 pounds and are 29.5 inches in length. This places you in the 68th percentile for weight and the 97th percentile for height. Carter, you're the average size of a 10 month old. Holy smokes.

You're wearing 9month white onesies both shortsleeve and long. You're wearing 6-12 month tops and 9 and 12 month pants. Your nighttime stretchies (or jamjams) are being packed away at the speed of light. This month alone you outgrew all of your 9 month stretchies and fit perfectly into your 12 month ones. This means family, if you're reading this, we'll take some 12-18 month stretchies, please! Daddy would rather try and cut the feets off of all your jamjams, but thankfully Mama won't let him!

You wear size 3 diapers and thanks to one of mommie's blogfriends, you're wearing size 4's overnight. You're also wearing size 3 shoes, but who knows for how much longer! 

Speaking of overnight, for two weeks now you've been sleeping in your crib like a big boy. I know, I know. Hold the phone. You're no longer sleeping in your bassinet next to our bed and although that makes Mama a little bit sad, she was starting to worry that you'd be sleeping there until your 19th birthday!

You  go down for the night between 7 and 8pm and typically wake up for a short bit around 4am when we can hear you blowing raspberries and talking to puppy over the monitor. You easily put yourself back to sleep but then wake for the day around 7:30am.

Naps are either here nor there and there's no rhyme or reason as to when you'll take one. You've started taking a short one almost daily just these past couple of weeks but it's no guarantee. You're still the happiest baby on the block regardless of whether or not you've napped, but Mama would appreciate if this new nappage continues.  

Let's just hurry up and get to the fun stuff already, right? You celebrated your first New Year and both you and Mama were out before the ball dropped. It takes a lot to be that cool, Baby C!

You love taking your two hands, grabbing onto either side of my face and smushing your mouth and nose into mine. We're going to pretend that's you giving Mama "kisses" but we both know it's just you slobbering all over Mama's face.

You've started viciously shaking your head side to side when you're tired of something and ready to move onto the next new thing. For example, when you've decided that you're ready for milkies and finished eating fruits and veggies in your high chair (this doesn't mean Mama is done feeding you, but that's your Daddy's stubborness shining through) you shake your head side to side and refuse to open your mouth for your spoon. Awesome, Baby C. Just awesome.

You detest having your faced wiped. When Mama comes at you with a wipey or dampened towel, you stick out your tongue, blow raspberries and turn your head away. Such a stinker, you are.

This month, we've added apricots and greenbeans to your menu. And as usual, you love them both. Mama steams the apricots with organic pear juice and they're shaping up to be one of your faves.

You've also started eating mashed avocado with a hint of banana mixed in. It's so much tastier with that 'nana added! During the next few weeks, we're going to try butternut squash mashed with apple and maybe even some pumpkin! Maybe this will be the month that Mama starts adding a bit of cinnamon to the mix. We'll see! 

You're absolutely obsessed with faces. Noses, lips, ears. You name it. You love to grab, pull, twist and yank. Word to the wise? It's not very nice, Baby C and it hurts like the dickens!

This month you started storytime at the Library as well as Stroller Strides. Life is so much different now that we're getting out and about and making mom-and-baby friends. You're not too sure when all the attention is on you, but I know that'll change with time. You're such a feisty little ham at home, Baby C. It's inevitable!

You love being in your walker and will tolerate scooting around the kitchen for as long as thirty-five to forty minutes. Baby C, you have no idea how amazing that is. This allows Mama to prep dinner, fold laundry AND tweet/blog. Sheepie loves this time with you as well. He's constantly bringing you his toys and dropping them into the Jeep with you.

You've been sitting up entirely by yourself this month and are doing a great job at "catching" yourself as you start to topple over. Just within these last few days, you've started "rocking" back and forth in the direction of a toy that's just outside of your reach. Carter, Mama can't take you being mobile yet, so let's hold off on that for at least another month or so?

You've FINALLY started rolling belly to back and although it's very few and far between, I know it's happened because once you're in your crib, you're a rolling machine. Looks like you and your buddy Smith are truly growing to be mirror images of each other! Hopefully you'll get to meet him in May!

Carter, you love to make noise. Whether it's the screamies or banging things around, you are certainly not a quiet child. You love to bang measuring spoons and plastic cups and bowls when you sit in your high chair. Over and over and over again. Mama tried sitting you down with a wooden spoon and pot, but all you did was nom the spoon. Maybe you'll catch on in the next few weeks.

Speaking of high chair, you've done very well teaching your Mama how to "fetch." Spoons, bowls, toys, nunni's.. you name it, you've tossed it from your chair and yelled for Mama to pick it up. Sheepie loves this game as it as afforded him a handful of baby spoons to chew. Don't worry, we'll just add that to your ever-growing tab, Carter-ito.

Still a drool-machine. Still no teeth. If one more person asks Mama, "where's your teeth?" She's going to slap them. Your Daddy and I were both late teethers, so we don't expect any teefies for at least another month or two (or evern three). It's okay though, we're in no rush!

One of Mama's favorite games to play with you is to yell, "Yaaaaaaaay!" over and over and over again. Each time that she does it, you chime in with "Aaaaaaaaay!" Really, it's the cutest thing ever in the whole wide world and we even caught it on video. Don't ever stop that!

You love bathtime. When I say "love," I mean, you really, really love bathtime. Mama runs the water while we undress in your room and as soon as you hear that faucet filling up your duck tub, you get ten kinds of happy. Mama and Daddy can't wait to take you to the beach house this summer and show you the ocean! Don't worry. With your Daddy's fair and pale skin, you'll be wearing a turtleneck until you're 18.

You love Sheepie, Sophie, Blue Puppy, red Solo cups and Mortimer the Moose. Unfortunately, Morty had a run in with the Yuengling you knocked off the table and so he now smells like frathouse. Hopefully we'll replace him soon because he really is one of your favorites. 

Oh, right. Knocking things over. You are obsessed with pulling things off and over on the kitchen table. Coffee mugs, beer and most recently, the Brita water pitcher. While sitting on Mama's lap, she went to move her coffee mug out of your reach (see, she learns her lessons quickly!) and in the 8 seconds it took her to do that, you managed to pull the entire Brita off of the table and onto the floor.  

 Lil' squishy, you're just the most awesomest little guy in the whole world. We hope each day you know how loved you are and how happy you make your Daddy and me. Thanks for keeping us on our toes and for reminding us how lucky we are to be your parents. We love you much and lot's and bunches. Happy Six Months, to you!   

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Friday, January 28, 2011

"Get a Grip On Your Life."


I believe Sullivan is trying to tell me something. First it was baby hangers and then baby spoons. And today? It was the lid to the freaking Brita water pitcher. I sent the above picture to Husband who promptly responded with:
"Sounds like things are getting a bit out of hand.
 I think you need to get a grip on your life."
Me too, Hubs. Me too. Is it Happy Hour yet? Happy Friday, readers! Have a fantastical weekend. Anyone want to send me an extra Brita lid? Bueller? Anyone? Bueller...

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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Kahlua Chocolate Cake with Homemade Bailey's Infused Whipping Cream

If that title doesn't grab your attention, I don't know what will. If you follow me on Twitter then you already know that I baked this muy delicioso cake for my brother-in-law's 25th birthday over the weekend. Typically, I detest bringing first-time recipes to family functions because although they come with directions, I'm not usually very good at following them. What I mean to say is, I very loosely follow recipes when I bake. Often times, I look up two, three and sometimes four recipes for similar desserts and end up incorporating bits and pieces of each of them into the final product. Call it a recipe mash-up, if you will. Therefore, you never truly know what you're going to get the first time around. Needless to say, we lucked out this weekend. The cake was absolutely delicious- yummy, moist, cake-y.. all the things the perfect cake should be. If you're looking for a spicy, sweet decadent treat and you love both the Kahlua and Bailey's flavors, then darlings? This recipe is for you. 
Kahlua Chocolate Cake
1 c. butter
1/2 c. unsweetened cocoa (I used a bit less, more like 1/4c)
1 c. water
2 1/4 c. unsifted flour
1 1/2 c. sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. buttermilk
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla (I used a bit more, say 2 1/2tsp.)
1/3 c. Kahlua (Kahlua does not bake out as easily as other alcohols may. Do not use any  more Kahlua than the 1/3c. Just take my word for it)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In small sauce pan, melt 1 cup of butter, stir in cocoa plus water. Bring to boil and remove from heat. In large mixing bowl combine flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. Add cocoa mixture; beat well. Stir in buttermilk, eggs, vanilla, and kahlua. Pour into cake pan and bake 25 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched.  (I baked for thirty-five minutes which resulted in a super moist very dense cake, almost like the consistency of poundcake).

I searched high and low for the perfect frosting to compliment the cake. Initially I was thinking of doing a light Kahlua-infused whipped topping. Then I thought that perhaps a homemade vanilla buttercream might be tasty. After a bit of thinking and rummaging through our liquor cabinet, I decided on a Bailey's infused light whipping cream. In restrospect, I probably could have used more heavy whipping cream to make a thicker topping but because I used half whipping cream and half half-and-half, my cake was topped with more of a Bailey's infused whipping foam. Either case, very, very delicious. Here's the improvised recipe for the icing. And where the ingredients and the process become a bit hazy...

Bailey's Infused Whipping Cream

1c heavy whipping cream
1/2c half-and-half (thicker whipped cream? use additional heavy whipping cream)
2 tbsp. Bailey's Coffee Liquor (Hello, Bailey's! Once again, you do NOT need to play games here. Do not add any extra Bailey's. Believe me, you). Whew!
1 tsp unsweetened cocoa
2, maybe 3, sometimes 4 cups of confectioner's sugar (I know, I suck. But sometimes you just need to run with it and taste it after every cup. Start with one.. and just keep adding until you get your desired texture/sweetness).

I have a funny feeling this is the last time you guys are going to ask that I post my recipes on the ol' blog. Sorry, but I like to sort of just do my thang in the kitchen and not be tethered by exactness. This just reaffirms my love for baking and my utter loathe of cooking.

Beat on high heavy whipping cream/half-and-half and Bailey's until mixture appears thick and creamy. Add in cocoa and desired amount of confectioner's sugar. Continue to beat on high until desired texture is acheived. Be sure to wait until cake is fully cooled before icing! 



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Monday, January 24, 2011

You Know You're a Mom When...

  • you receive a $100 giftcard and instead of jumping to spend it on a new pair of Reva's you serious contemplate putting it towards your child's Britax.
  • leaving the house with pureed yams/peas/pears on your t-shirt/yoga pants/Uggs is a perfectly acceptable accessory.
  • you've mastered the art of juggling the diaper bag, the infant carseat containing your 19lb baby, 27 toys, a fountain soda and the day's mail on the walk from the driveway into the house and you've even managed not to trip and fall over the herding sheepdog or wake the sleeping baby.
  • walking around with two soggy shoulders from Drooly McDroolerson no longer phases you. In fact, despite that little draft you constantly feel, you barely even notice.
  • your once impeccably decorated brand new house looks like the inside of a bargain Toys R Us, the week before Christmas.
  • that outfit I described earlier? The t-shirt, yoga pants and Uggs get-up? It's become your new uniform. Occasionally you swap out tennies for your Uggs, but everything else remains the same.
  • you've finally learned what it means to put everyone before yourself and you don't think twice about doing it. 
  • on the rare occasion that you're out running errands sans baby, you manage to still stand in every single checkout line and sway back and forth, as if you're holding and rocking the baby.
  • you hear a crying baby, whether it's in the mall, at the doctor's office or on the TV and immediately your heart starts aching and you want console him.
  • you do things you thought you'd never do before. For example, a nunni falls on the ground? You pop it in your mouth for a little disinfecting. You co-sleep. You babywear. You make your own baby food. You delay vaccines. You're absolutely, no holds barred, addicted to your baby.
  • you do whatever it takes just to get through the day. Even if that means drinking a glass of wine while the baby naps at 2pm.
  • you've become your mother in every sense of a good way.
  • you view strangers and small children as giant walking germies and will, in fact, turn and walk the other way when you sense one coming in for the, "let-me-touch-his-face-and-tell-you-how-cute-he-is!"
  • you cannot remember your life before your child nor could you ever imagine a minute without him.
  • you group your friends into two distinct categories, mom-friends and non-mom-friends and neither group will ever understand the conversations that go on over a casual lunch.
  • you have no problem letting the vacuum run while the baby naps just so that you can empty the dishwasher, clean the kitchen and fold some laundry without the fear of waking him up... and sit on the couch, deep breathing without feeling like you're needed right this very second.
  • you've actually contemplated when Sheepie is old enough to become a perfectly acceptable play partner.

  • you've actually contemplated having another because being a Mom is the greatest job in the world.


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Thursday, January 20, 2011

Are You A First-Time Diapers.Com User? You Should Be. Here's Why And A Discount Code!

If you're anything like me, you stumbled through the first few weeks of your baby's life sleep deprived and half-numbed by your sudden dazzling status as a parental unit. It was weeks before I was introduced to the amazingness that is and I'm writing today in the hopes that I can save at least one of you out there from suffering the same unknowing fate as I. I'm fairly certain that I've raved about this website time and time again and this time is no different. was started by two super smart Dads who were sick and tired of running out in the middle of the night for a pack of diapers because SOMEBODY (::coughcough:: Hubs) used the last diaper in the stack and forgot to tell someone (yours truly, if you're catching my drift) before it hit dark o' clock and the only store open was the seedy 24-hour convenience store/pharmacy located over the river and through the woods.  
Almost out of diapers? Need a new box of teething biscuits? Is Little Johnny bored of his brand new swing and you're in the market for a new jumperoo? Perhaps Little Susie was just invited to the coolest kid on the block's birthday party and she needs a new outfit to wear. Heck, maybe you're pregnant, patiently waiting for your little one to arrive and you need to stock up on fun things like nursing pads and nipple cream and you don't feel like showing your face in public to purchase those items. Well, look no further. It's all available on Along with about 657,897 other items that I've left out.
Did I mention that it's FREE 2-day shipping on orders over $49 dollars? Wait, it gets even better. I'll fill you in on a little secret. If you order something from their affiliate site,, your order ships for free over $25 dollars. We're talking something as small as a bar of soap or a bottle of hairspray. Just add that sucker to your shopping cart with an order totaling $25 and booyah. Free shipping. That's like, pretty freaking awesome if you ask me.
Order Monday before 3pm and it's on your doorstep in the prettiest little cardboard box you've ever seen the following day. I can't tell you guys how many times I've ordered from this place. How many trips to the drugstore, the supermarket, to Babies R Us, this website has saved me. It has truly been a godsend. And you know a box arrives on my doorstep at the beginning (and middle.. and end) of every month.
AND IT GET'S BETTER. You can mail in your Manufacturer Coupons. Yes, you read that correctly. Mail in your coupons for diapers, wipes, formula, etc. and will save it to your account and apply it to your order.  I know, you're thinking it's too good to be true.
But it gets better. I feel like Oprah all of a sudden. (Unfortunately, I'm not giving away cars or trips to Australia. Sorry kids, I'm just not that popular of a blogger yet!) As a member, I have a membership code to share with all of you FIRST-TIME USERS that is good for 15% off of your FIRST order as well as 30% cashback on all diaper orders. Do you know how amazing that is?
For example, I order a $40 jumbo box of diapers on the first of every month. That's $12 dollars that I get back, credited to my account to put towards anything else I may need. In my book? That's like 12 free dollars screaming, "SPEND ME ON FUN THINGS LIKE TOYS AND BOOKS FOR CARTER!" It's amazeballs. And right up this SAHMama's alley.
The discount code is: ILYMTCBlog. Heck, here's a pretty little banner that you can click directly on. If you don't feel like shopping now, you can always refer to my sidebar where you'll find the discount code in a tinier banner, but just as pretty. discounts
use code:ILYMTCBlog
Buy Baby Items at
Baby Items
Not valid for existing, or customers. Some restrictions apply.

I'll still love you even if you don't shop, but I'll love you a billion times more if you do. Take my word for it, have I ever led you astray before? Happy Shopping!
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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

I Love Me A Good Life Shortcut.

I know we all have those products that make our lives ten times easier. Whether it be fashion-oriented or a handy-dandy household product, I've recently some across a couple that I thought I would share. Mommies, wives, single gals, I know you'll all appreciate at least one of these fabulous shortcuts to life! Of course, it must be said that I was not contacted by either of these companies, nor was I offered compensation from them for a review of their product. It's simply one busy, fabulous Mama sharing some new found minute-savers! I am a fabulous Mama, right?
Salon Grafix Dry Shampoo

We all know I consider the day a raging success if I'm able to squeeze in a shower. Some days, the boss just doesn't allow any extra time for that. On those days, I'm all about this dry shampoo. Before stumbling upon this product, I was a dry shampoo virgin and in the market for a brand that wouldn't break the bank. Let me tell you, this stuff is No jokesies. It's available in an array of shades to match your hair color, sprays on easy and brushes right out. There's no oily or powdery residue which is a major bonus and it truly looks like I've just showered and blowdryed my hair. I can easily go a whole other day with dirrty-girl unwashed hair. And in this Mama's world? That's just fantastic. I'm fairly certain this product is available in local markets, ie: Wal mart, CVS, Rite Aid, etc. I, of course, wouldn't have the foggiest since I do most of my shopping from the comforts of my cushy couch with a super cute babe by my side. Now? I'm a dry shampoo addict! You can be too. Just click on the product and it's yours direct from Amazon at that ridiculously low price! How frickin' neat is that?

 Mr. Clean Magic Erasers

I have very little to say in regards to this product, other than it's abso-freakin-lutely amazing and if you haven't already been using these, you must leave your house now and immediately purchase them. Scratch that. I'll make it even easier. Just click on that product picture above and order them! I'm pretty sure you can use them to clean all sorts of surfaces, including the family dog, but I use them primarily in the bathroom. On that rare occasion when I can sneak in a shower? I'm Magic Eraser-ing while I'm in there. I wish I was kidding. This Mama is all about the multi-tasking. No harsh odor, easy on your hands and holymotherofgod, these things clean like no other. A little elbow grease on the grimy bathtub floor, a few swipes over the scummy shower door and these things leave the shower/bathtub combo looking squeaky, sparkley clean. They also leave extra time in your day for more important things like watching Ellen and Oprah.

For reals, for reals. Each of these products has helped shave minutes from my day spent doing time-consuming, monotonous things like.. showering and cleaning. In return, I can spend those extra minutes doing much more fun things like snuggling all over Baby C and blogging!

(For the record, this post should have been posted Wednesday, LIKE IT WAS SCHEDULED TO, thankyouverymuchblogger). Stay tuned for Wee One Wednesday! As promised, it's bound to be a cute afternoon!

PS. Many thanks to my bloggymomma friend Katie for kindly pointing out that today is, in fact, NOT Wednesday. I can always count on you, Mama!

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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Bouncies AND The Screamies? Hold the Phone!

Ladies and gentlemen, we have a bouncing, screaming fool on our hands! Carter just loves him some Jumperoo time and after patiently waiting (and some Chinese torture-stretching.. I kid, I kid!) C's little footsies finally touch the floor. I can't say for sure whether he loves his Jumperoo more than his Jeep, but it sure is a close call!

Excuse me while I go rig his Johnny Jump-Up up in one of the doorways upstairs... Talk about baby-toy takeover!

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Monday, January 17, 2011

Irrational Fears? I'll Take Two, Please...

 As I was pulling my car into our garage yesterday morning, I was thinking about the host of irrational fears that I harbor. Some are lame and make me giggle and some are so ridiculous, I stop and think to myself, "Really, AP? How old are you?" Do you have any idea what I'm talking about? It's those silly little things that when you think of them, your heart beats just a little faster and your palms start to sweat a bit, despite knowing in your heart of hearts that those situations would probably never happen?

After a little introspection, I'm fairly certain I have my parents to blame for a few of these fears or perhaps, a lifetime of watching horror/thriller movies. Some of them stem as far back as my childhood and have since wained, but I will always remember them. So, readers, I know you're dying to know. What am I ridiculously worried about happening? Or afraid of? Here goes:

- Backing my car out of our garage. I've never had to worry about this one, until I became a homeowner, at the ripe old age of twenty-seven. Now? I'm always worried while I'm backing out of the garage. I have visions of either snapping a side mirror off or dragging the side of my car alongside the metal frame of the door creating that blood-curdling squeal that often accompanies the scratching of the side of one's car and the paint peeling off. This explains why I inch back out of our garage, constantly checking where I am in relation to the side of the garage. I also love my car a whole big bunch and would absolutely die a little inside if I ever dinged it up that bad.

- Someone living in our basement and/or hiding in that crawlspace beneath the cellar stairs. For the first time in my entire life, I live in a house with a walkout basement. We have beautiful french doors in our basement which open up to a fairly sizeable fenced-in yard. What does this mean? Sure, it's great for parties and entertaining and whatnot, but it's also impeccable access for a creepy stranger to enter into our house. Once entered, where would they hide? Clearly in that space beneath the cellar stairs. You know, right alongside our wine fridge and boxes upon boxes of Christmas ornaments and wedding china. Obviously.

- That a truck will drive itself off of the overpass that I'm currently situated beneath, whether due to a red light or a crossing train, at the exact moment that my car is situated beneath it. I do not have this fear if I'm one of the cars that has stopped shortly before the overpass. Weird? Most definitely. I blame this on watching too many "Final Destination-type" movies.

- Back when my husband was traveling for business four to five days a week and it was just Sheepie and I alone in the house, before falling asleep at night, I would always contemplate where I would hide (with Sheepie) if someone broke into our house and tried to steal us. There was only a very tiny closet in our master bedroom in our old house and an attached bathroom. I knew the closet and the tub would be dead giveaways, but I always assumed I would try and hide in the closet behind all of my clothes. I always wondered how I would keep Sheepie quiet. I would also lay in bed contemplating the jump from our second story bedroom window onto our deck. With the dog. Crazy? Probably.

- Growing up, I used to have this unimaginable fear that as soon as I fell asleep, someone or something would enter my house and the only way I could prevent it from finding me was if I laid perfectly, perfectly still. I would do just that, lay as still as I could, barely breathing. Behind a wall of pillows that I built, hoping that the someone or something would mistake the wall of pillows for my little body. I never worried about that someone or something finding anyone in my house other than myself. Haha, I swear I'm not as crazy as this makes me sound!

As a sidenote, I have absolutely no idea why so many of my "fears" revolve around someone breaking into our house. I've never lived in a house that was broken into, nor have I ever known anyone personally whose house has been broken into. However, I'm pretty sure I have a lifetime of scary movies and an overactive imagination to thank for that.

And lastly...

- I absolutely cannot for the life of me, stand in a small bathroom, such as a powder room, with the door shut and the lights off. And yes, I am twenty-seven years old and the thought of this happening makes me slightly hyperventilate. Why? Because I played that stupid game in junior high school where you locked yourself in the bathroom, turned the lights off, looked into the mirror and said "Blood Mary" three or four or five or ten times, to summon the ghost of Blood Mary into the room. Why in heaven's name would you EVER take part in this game, I have no idea. As a matter of fact, I can't remember how many times you were supposed to say her name, but I know that I never said it that many times because I was dealthy afraid of Mary's ghost coming crashing through the mirror and snatching me up. To this day. I simply cannot stand in a dark powder room. Gives me the heebie jeebies, like woah. Go ahead, laugh your socks off.

But please tell me I'm not alone? So, do you have any irrational fears?

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Friday, January 14, 2011

My Little One Trick Pony

Okay, so that title makes zero sense because Carter is clearly not a one trick pony, but my creative title-naming capabilities were sorely lacking for this post. Perhaps it's because I'm writing sans coffee this morning. All I really wanted to do was show you come cute pictures of our five-and-a-half-month milestone. Sitting up! Who cares if I can only rollover in one direction? I can sit up all on my own! We'll take it.


Does wearing 12-month stretchies count as a milestone, too? If so, count us in for that one, too. No wonder we can't save any money for your college education, Carter. You're outgrowing your clothes at the speed of light!

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Thursday, January 13, 2011

Wee One Thursday Just Doesn't Have The Same Ring To It...

Enjoying a banana Mum-Mum

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The Screamies Are Back.. With An Attitude?

Remember when The Screamies were cute and funny and I actually encouraged Carter to do them because I loved them so much? Well, eventually he grew tired of doing them and moved onto a new trick. The Screamies became a distant memory. Until these past few weeks. The Screamies were resurrected and they are back with a vengeance. They are back and they are far from cute. Here's why.

Carter now does The Screamies when he's bored. And they're really, really mean Screamies. Vicious, even. Carter does The Screamies when he no longer wants to partake in whatever activity he's currently involved in. Be it the swing, the walker, the Bumbo, blanket time, etc. Fifteen minutes in and he's a bored Screamies mess.

The Screamies also rear their ugly head when Mr. Impatient is sitting in his high chair waiting for his morning fruit and oatmeal. I can't wait to capture this on film/video and show you how the son-of-a-gun wrinkles up his little nose, closes his eyes, clenches his little fists and shrieks. He's such a little stinker, I can't even stand it. And I won't lie. Sometimes, we have Screamies contests. We try to see who can scream louder.

Hey, I never said I was perfect. I wonder what the neighbors are thinking...


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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Mission Mom-Friends? ... Kicking My Butt! Literally!

We all know I've been on the quest for mom friends. Remember this post? The one where I described some friendly "mom-e-tition" at Gymboree? Well, two months later, I'm excited to announce that I've finally found some mommy friends. And it feels fan-freaking-tastic. And no, I didn't find them at "my-baby-is-sleeping-better-than-your-baby-oree."

How did I do it? I ventured out of my comfort zone. My little ball of cozies right here in my house. I threw that ball by the wayside. I busted outta those comfies. Why? I suddenly realized that if I didn't continue to put myself out there, then there was no way on god's green earth that I was going to make any friends. I mean, isn't that what they teach you in Kindergarten or something? Mommy friends certainly weren't walking up my driveway banging down my front door to hang out with me, so I knew I had to keep truckin'.

It all started with storytime at the local library. Carter and I love storytime. No, really. We love it. So much that I want to marry it. We're talking that kind of luuuuurve. It's full of old school nursery rhymes and Wee-Sing songs. The "teacher" reads a variety of children's books each week and leads the class in interactive songs. There's also unstructured "free play" at the end of the class where babies and mommies get  the chance to mingle. That's where I met my first mom-friend. Her name is B and her son, B is just one month older than Carter. We knew they would be the best of friends when, at the end of the first class, B reached out to Carter and gave him a big ol' squishy hug. Score 1 for mom-friends!

B lovingly took me in and added me to her mom's group email list and it's been rainbows and lollipops and botox ever since. Storytime meets every Tuesday for forty-five minutes and we're pretty much signed up to attend through February. Oh, and did I mention it's free? It's The Husband's favorite activity, too. Obviously.

Once we fell into our snazzy little Tuesday routine, I knew it was time to add another activity to the list. I researched high and low to find the perfect mom-friend venue. Gulp. I found it. In the form of some serious butt-kicking working-out-ness.

Stroller Strides.

Mommies, if you're looking for a great workout and an even better bonding opportunity for both you and your baby, this is it. Luckily, I found a fantabulous group of Mommies at the local Stroller Strides group for our county.

We meet three times per week at the local mall, early in the morning before it even opens, and we get in a serious workout. I mean, this isn't for sissies. I had anticipated a group of out of shape mommies, much like myself, huffing and puffing their way through some Richard Simmons. Boy, was I wrong!

With the use of strength bands and various objects throughout the mall, we're a bunch of singing, working out fools. Yes, I said singing. While doing tri's and bi's with our bands, we're singing The Wheels on The Bus to adorable gaggle of on-lookers in strollers. While doing high-knees and butt-kicks, we're singing Here We Go 'Round the Mulberry Bush to our biggest fans.

We run, we plank, we push-up, we Zumba. We crunch, we jump. We do it all. And it's freaking awesome.

Errrm. Yeah. Have you ever tried singing while your heartrate is creeping closer and closer to 190? Let's just say it's not easy and I end up mouthing more words than singing them!

Once it warms up, we'll move out little workout group to the great outdoors and continue to run, plank, push-up and pretty much become serious MILF's. A girl can dream, right?

So, we meet 3x per week. At the ungodly hour of 9am. Granted, the group tends to change a bit, depending on the day. Depending on who's older kids are in school and who's working part-time this day or that. Who's hungover or who's sleeping in. Who's darling little one slept like a monster the night before and refused to cooperate before leaving the house.

We pretty much maintain a constant 5-8 mommies per class. These mommies rock. We hold each other accountable and encourage each other as we're running lap number 4 up and down the mall stairs. Needless to say I'll never look at the inside of the mall the same ever again. I will admit, however, it's great motivation.

As you're running your extra baby-weight saggies around the mall and you're passing Victoria Secret and it's scantily clad models in the window, you're thinking to yourself, "Hey, there's hope!" Granted, I will never be the next postpartum Heidi Klum, but I can at least say I tried.

Score 2 for mom-friends.

So, the moral of the story? Get out there, mommies. Be bold. Ask that new mommy if she'd like to grab a coffee. Exercise with her. Even if you haven't run in over 10 years. And you're a huffing, puffing hot mess. And you spend more time laughing at yourselves than actually running and planking and pushing up. Nine times out of ten, she's hoping to ask you the same thing...

Mission Mom-Friends? Completed.

Happy Wednesday! Wee One Wednesday will be up later this evening. Don't forget to follow me on Twitter if you haven't followed me already! You can tweet me at LvdMoreThnCrrts! Thanks for the warm welcome to Twitterville. Twitterland. Twittermania. You know.

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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Honey, What Happened to The Baby's Head?

It's a typical Friday night in the M household. I just pulled two homemade pizzas out of the oven as my husband pops in the Netflix movie du jour. We convene on the couch with the munchkin sandwhiched between us. On a normal night, we're wolfing down our dinner while playing "hot potato" with our child. This night is no different. With only one bite left, my husband scoops Carter up, as we both know the rule, "If you finish your dinner first and the other still has food on their plate, you win the baby!" I can't help it that my husband is a chowhound and always manages to finish his plate first! Or can I? 
That's neither here nor there. The husband scoops the baby up. They play for a bit and as the fire starts to wain, the husband passes off the baby so that he can better stoke the fire. Cute collective, "awww, how responsible!" Hey, we do what we can! 
As my husband is stoking the fire, I glance down at the top of my son's baldy head. Granted, I wouldn't be surprised to see that he had once again managed to scratch himself with his razor sharp talons, but a splotch on his forehead caught me off guard. Seriously, does anything in this world grow as fast as baby nails? I don't think so.  

I say to my husband, "Did Carter scratch himself while you were holding him?"
And as nonchalantly as ever and without barely even turning around, the husbands says...
"Oh, no. He didn't scratch himself. That's pizza sauce."
Duh. I should have known.
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Mother Nature... You're All Talk...

... and I'm patiently waiting for a little action. It seems as if almost weekly the sweet weatherwomen are predicting apocalyptic amounts of snow and yet in reality? Nada. Zip. Zilch. Nothing. Okay, fine. Maybe one morning we woke up to a dusting. But if you're going to have me thinking that I need to make an emergent run to the grocer with the rest of the Eastern seabord, knocking over innocent bystanders with my stroller just to grab one of the last gallons of milk, you'd better come through and drop a decent 4-5 inches of that white stuff on my doorstep. Carter said he'd really like to have a snowday with Daddy. And you don't want to mess with Carter. Just sayin'...

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Monday, January 10, 2011

I'm Such a Twit! Erm.. A Tweeter? WTF. I Have Twitter.

Hey, hey! Happy Monday, kids. I know it's rare that I'm posting twice in one day, but I thought it paramount that I introduce you to a different side of me, my ultra-cool Twitter side. Granted,  I have absolutely no idea what I am doing, so if you tweet, please be nice, follow me and welcome me to Twitterville with open arms. Deal?
Spanks a million. This kinda feels like AOL Instant Messenger a la my grade school days. So, here's goes nothing...


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A Tweak and A Lift... A Bloglift, That Is!

If you're reading I Love You More Than Carrots in Google Reader, please exit immediately and check out my way, way, way overdue facelift. I know it's annoying to open a new browser on your iPhone or open a new tab if you're using a computer, but I promise you, it's well worth it. You like?
Be honest. Is it easy to navigate? Is it overwhelming? You see those tabbity tabs up there? Yeah, well I learned that they're not really called tabbity tabs and they actually have a real name like "navigation items." But nonethless, click through them! Remind me how I'm such an awful mother that I forgot to upload C's 1 month photo into the "babylove" tab. At this rate, if it's anything like the Emissions Testing on my car, I won't get around to doing it for about a month or so! Shhh, don't tell anyone.
May-jah props to my sweet friend Aliya, over at Aliya Rinaldi Designs, for pimping out my blog. Not only did she take my navy, grey and yellow palette and run with it, she listened to my inner OCD as I pretty much nit-picked the size and placement of, oh, everything. Seriously, she's a saint and super fabulous to work with. If you're in the market for a little upgrade, heck, even an overhaul, please get in touch with her. She works wonders with HTML. 
Happy Monday, readers! Stay tuned for some delish recipies this week, darling photos of Baby C and hopefully a good laugh, or two!    
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Friday, January 7, 2011

Meep Meep in my Jeep Jeep... On the Move!

Swings are for babies, he thinks.
And his activity station didn't take him anywhere.

He was ready to be on the move,
and we knew it was time for a walker!

His Uncles J and Woobs both drive Big Boy Jeeps.
C told me he wanted to be just like them.

He loves his "Meep Meep" walker,
As he shuffles himself all over the kitchen!

Baby steps, Mama, he says.
I'd rather push the horn with my tongue
than with my hands!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

We Missed the Boat- Er.. Plane? Er.. Bandwagon?

Long story short, Hubs and I were laying on the couch Monday night flipping mindlessly through sucky nighttime television programming. None of our staple faves were on so we thought we'd peruse Net.flix to see if we could find any "instant queues" worth watching. That's when I spotted it and jokingly asked my husband, "hey, do you think we should start watching LOST now that the six seasons are over and we never hopped on that cultbandwagon?" And when I say never, I mean we've never, ever seen a single episode.

Long story short, the answer was a resounding "yes." And we didn't watch just one episode. Or two episodes. Or even three episodes. We drank a bottle of wine, stayed up far too late beyond our bedtime and watched four episodes back to back.

Long story short? I'm so addicted it's not even funny. Looks like I know what we'll be doing this weekend over the next few weeks.

For all you Losties out there, here's a chuckle from the one and only huband when Kate, Locke and Michael decide they're going into the jungle to hunt boar:

Hubs: Oh my god. Do you KNOW how hard it is to hunt wild boar? Have you seen Old Yeller?

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Everyone Loves Wee-One-Wednesday!


Images are unedited. GaspChortleGaspSighSayWhat!?. Bear with me. It's been a day. The good news is I didn't burn the kitchen down or lose the dog. It's just been a day full of laundry stroller-striding cleaning napping playing loving singing everything that doesn't allow time for editing!

Many, many thanks for your awesome words on yesterday's post. You guys rock my frickin' world. Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

My New Full-Time Job and Why I Stay At Home. It's Hard Work!

Sometimes I lose sight of why I wanted so badly to stay at home with Carter. It happens most often during a "trying" day or when JCrew emails me for the four-hundred-and-seventy-sixth time telling me about their latest arrivals and how much they miss me or wondering where have I been hiding and trying to lure me back with discount coupons. 

Life is so much different now. Let's take a look back and compare the "old" Ashley Paige to the "new" Ashley Paige, shall we?

5:30am: Wake up, shower.
6:00am: Walk Sheepie.
6:30am: Drive the sometimes miserable commute into work. Holla, I-76. I don't miss you a bit!
7:00am: Grab a hot tea and croissant and let's say I'm scheduled to open the clinic this day. I'm unlocking rooms, turning on lights, stocking drawers and cabinets with supplies for the day and maybe I even take a crack at writing out the schedule of which nurse assumes responsibility for which rooms that day.

For approximately the next nine hours, I'm caring for patients. Starting IV's, embracing teachable moments, hanging chemo, hanging blood products, taking vital signs. Helping my coworkers. Putting out small fires and I'm sure on an occasion or two, starting a few too. Consoling my patients. Admitting patients to the hospital. Discharging patients from the clinic. Changing dressings. Holding hands. Wiping tears. Fielding phone calls and paging doctors. Writing orders. Checking, double checking and even triple checking things. Charting. Of course, if you knew my old coworkers (hi girls!) you would know that the days were also undoubtedly filled with lot's of laughter. 

5:30: Report off to a "closing" nurse. Pack up and begin the sometimes miserable commute home.

(Addendum: I'm sure there's a few things I'm leaving out. It breaks my heart a bit to admit that I've truly forgotten pretty much most of my life before Carter).

6:30pm: Arrive home, read the note left by my favorite dog walker. Write her back (Hi Karen!!). Walk Sheepie.
7:30pm: Begin some semblance of dinner. Watch a little TV. Do a little laundry, fold some laundry. 
Typically in bed around 10. Ready to do it all again the next day. For those of you wondering where Husband is in all this, he was traveling for business. Something he did five days per week for the last five years. Every week. Every year. Monday through Friday, it was just me and Sheepie.

I would be a huge liar if I said I didn't miss those days. Not the days when my husband was hudreds of miles away from me, eating a hotel dinner by himself on his hotel bed surrounded by paperwork and his laptop, but the days when I was a nurse. Working my first ever dream job. Making a difference.

More than that, however, I miss the people. Nearly ten months has passed and not a day goes by that I don't think of how much I truly loved living in that Main Line suburb, waking up and spending each day with the best coworkers and the greatest patients a girl could ask for.

Being a Hematology/Oncology Head, Neck and Lung Chemotherapy Infusion nurse defined so much of who I am as a person, that I believe I'm still mourning the loss of my previous self. The passion and compassion with which I practiced is so very me and although I care for Carter, my husband and our house with that same passion and compassion, it's still so very different.

Being a nurse is such a rewarding profession. I've gotten to witness miracles. I've held the hands of the dying and prayed with them. I've made friendships with patients and their families that have truly changed my life. The five years that I spent working full-time as a nurse have changed me. Have changed my outlook on life and the human condition. I've been so blessed.

I always knew in my heart of hearts that I would stay home with my babies. I would make any and all sacrifices necessary to make that hope a reality. And with a full heart, I'm happy to say that I'm currently living yet another dream job. My dream of staying at home with my baby, at least. Everything else? Well, those are just minor details. But it hasn't been easy. Is anything every easy, for that matter?

Without getting too specific, financially and emotionally it has been a struggle. On the very materialisic surface, to go from a dual-income household, taking tropical vacations multiple times a year, jet-setting at the drop of a hat, immersing myself in the prospect of immediate gratification in all things JCrew and Nordstrom to barely having enough money in the budget to order a pizza one night a week, let alone indulge in anything remotely frivolous, has truly rocked my world. At first it frustrated me. In fact, it still does. But it's also forced me to appreciate the things I already have. Even if most of them fit differently and awkwardly and cardigans and sweater shawls are my new best friends. 

The decision to stay home has created stress beyond my wildest imagination. The kind of stress that comes with counting pennies. Saving receipts. Fearing the negative numbers on the Excel spreadsheet. Dreading "family finance meetings." The kind of stress that is truly trying for any marriage. What has helped the most, however, has been my husband. The husband that works his ever-loving behind off to provide for our family and to allow for me to stay home and do what I know I'm meant to do in my heart of hearts.

I am not writing this post to gain pity points. I'm writing this post to share my experience. And to remind myself that this is a choice that I've made. A choice that my husband and I have chosen for ourselves. And to remind myself what I've given up for what I do every day. 

I find myself sometimes losing sight of that. Especially on the trying days. And days when JCrew emailes me out the whazoo. And days when I'd much rather be sitting on the beaches of Turks and Caicos rather than in the family room of my home in Country Bumbletown, Maryland. 

Here's a gander at my new full-time schedule:

6:30am: Wake up to a smiley, happy raspberry-blowing Carter. On a rare occasion, it's a cranky, angry, whiney Carter. Change a diaper, sing a song. Head downstairs to start breakfast.
7:00am: Start coffee for Husband. A bottle for C. 
8:00am: Settle in on the couch for some Mickey time. There's a 50% chance Carter will actually watch Mickey and on a lucky day, this allows me time to drink my coffee and start a load of laundry.

For the next nine hours, depending on the day, I'm out running errands with Carter in tow. Depending on the day, I'm cleaning one room of the house. Every day I'm doing what feels like endless amounts of laundry. Sometimes it's the same load that's been dried and dried and dried again to rid itself of days worth of wrinkles that finally makes its way out for folding. Rarely, I'm able to put a load away. I'm prepping dinner. I'm singing songs. I'm playing games. I'm reading books. I'm making bottles, doing dishes, loading and unloading the dishwasher. I'm changing diapers. Changing clothes. Making baby food. I'm putting out small meltdowns and on some days, creating others. I'm taking Sheepie out to pee because I've finally noticed that he's crossing all four legs and hasn't moved from the rug in front of the front door. I'm playing "Musical Baby Equipment" as I try to pacify the prince into allowing me a free minute to blog or use the restroom. 

5:30pm: I attempt to have dinner ready for my husband as he walks through the door, an action that I know he sincerely appreciates, but I can only hope he sees the blaring underlying message that screams, "thank you for EVERYTHING that you do, the least I can do for you is love you unconditionally have dinner on the table for you each night."
6:30pm: Share dinner with our family.
7:30pm: Start the "bedtime routine" for Carter. This typically involves a bottle and some walking/rocking around the house. It's often done by my darling husband. Sometimes I'll clean the kitchen now. Most times I sit on the couch and breathe.
8:30pm: Catch one of our favorite TV shows with Husband. Maybe catch up on our day. Show him the 45,783 pictures that I've recently taken of Carter and uploaded to or Sometimes we just sit together. So exhausted, it takes too much energy to talk. Sometimes we fold laundry.
10pm: Get into bed. Thank God for what we've been blessed with and prepare for another day.

It's different. It's exhausting. It's work. Every day I work to keep a happy, healthy baby. Every day I work to keep a happy husband. Every day I work to keep a sort of clean house. Some days it looks as if a tornado has ripped it's way through our first floor. But every day, I work.

And I am rewarded differently. I am rewarded in laughter and smiles. In watching the small, minute changes in my son that I may not have caught otherwise. I am rewarded by an appreciative husband. Sure, I don't have the trendiest clothes any more. Honestly? I'm too disgusted by my post-baby body to care. Hopefully I'll learn to embrace the new "me" even if it makes me want to throw-up sometimes. 

Sure, there's no paycheck. But the reward for all of my hardwork?

Is priceless.
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