Monday, December 5, 2011

The Making of My Quiet Book Page! ***UPDATED***

***Since the other girls blogs about their parts of the quiet book are being posted by our organizer, Laura, on her blog, I will post links to each page here as they are added daily. Or you can just start following Laura's blog and not have to keep checking back here. Whichever you would prefer!

How to make a Quiet Book...

....Seasons Tree
....Barn and Finger Puppets
....Tent and Sleeping Bag with zippers
....Button Flowers
....Counting Flowers
....Alphabet Page
....Gumball Counting
....Dog with Buckle

My original post... otherwise called How to Make a Quiet Book Coloring Page!!! 

You might remember that I mentioned a while back that I was participating in a Quiet Book page swap... well... the swap was this evening and I am now the proud owner of a very full book of activities for Cadence! One of the requirements for participating in the swap was that we would need to submit a blog post about our page, so this blog will serve that purpose. Feel free to ask any questions, and I will post links to the blog pages that everyone else submits so that you can create a book just like ours if you would like!

My Quiet Book page is a coloring page with crayons and a notebook on it. The finished product looks like this: 
(sorry about the flash)

Supplies needed to make 20 pages like this (if you are only making one you won't need this much!): 

Hobby Lobby: 
  • Pellon Peltex 70 Ultra Firm Stabilizer cut into 8.5x10in pages
  • 5 sheets of red 9"x12" felt
  • 1 sheet of black 12"x18" stiffened felt
  • 1 spool red thread
  • 1 spool black thread
Dollar Store: 
  • 5 boxes of 48 crayons (I know that you don't need this many crayons, but 5 boxes allows you to choose nice colors instead of ugly ones, and 5 boxes of 48 was cheaper than 20 boxes of 8.) 
  • 5 packages of 4 spiral memo books
Page Assembly: 

  • Cut the Pellon into 8 1/2"x10" pages
  • Cut 20 rectangles out of the red felt to measure 2 1/2"x7" each. 
  • Cut 20 rectangles out of the black stiffened felt to measure 1 1/2"x 4 3/4" each. 
  • Pin a red rectangle onto your page 2" down from the top of the page and centered from left to right. 
  • Sew a straight line up and down in the middle of the rectangle to attach it to the page, and then remove the pins: 
  • Use a crayon to help you measure the pocket size. DO NOT sew the pockets flat, or when you put the crayons in, the page curves up into a semi-circle. If you were making the pages out of regular cloth, this would work, but on Pellon it does not. So you have to create a 3D pocket with the Pellon as the flat backing. For a regular sized crayon you need 1 1/16" of the red felt to make the pocket and you sew it onto the pellon 13/16" apart. If this is confusing, it will be helpful to use a crayon to measure and mark where you should sew: 

  • Then remove the crayon and sew a straight line. Repeat this until you have 6 pockets, 3 on each side of the center seam. 

  •  There should be a small amount of red felt remaining on each end. Switch your sewing machine to the zig-zag function and sew up and down over the extra bit of felt to help secure the pockets. 

  • Next, use your notebook as a measuring tool to mark where to sew. I used pink chalk on the first several, but after a while I knew where to sew without measuring. 

  •  Pin the black felt in place and sew a square on each end. (This picture is from a practice round, so excuse the messiness. Also ignore the zig-zag across the bottom of the pockets and the measurements written... none of them are correct, this was just a piece I was trying everything out on first. I used red thread so you could see the square, but on the real ones I used black to match the felt.) 

  • Then choose 6 crayon colors and place them and the notebook into their spots. 

Helpful Blogs: 
Skip to My Lou was a helpful blog for measurements, but again, you will have to modify the sewing methods in order to keep your page from curling. 
At Second Street was a great inspiration for a similar page, though they made smaller pages so the notebook and crayons were on separate pages. 
The Ricks Family was also useful, but similar to Skip to My Lou, they sewed a seam straight across the bottom of the pockets, which would have curled the page unless you used a regular cloth instead of the stiff Pellon. 

Friday, October 21, 2011


Hey guess what? It's the best day of the week! I know I've fallen off the face of the blog-earth, but what better day to make a come back than on a Thursday? This way everything you have missed out on in my life can be thrown in your face at once in one giant TVT.  I have a whole entire list of thoughts to vomit atcha today, but I'm also watching part 1 of the Project Runway season finale, so we'll see how long my attention span lasts. Also, in case you were wondering, Thought Vomit Thursdays are for everyone! Feel free to do your own TVT and you also can use the TVT picture above if you'd like. Here goes. 

  • I want a pair of boots. I keep going back and forth about whether I want true "cowboy" boots or more fashion-ish boots, but I want them. I was thinking of picking out the exact pair that I want and then asking for them for Christmas, but the thing about that is that I want to wear them through the winter, because as soon as like, February hits it will, of course, be flip flop season again. It would be a shame to only get to wear them for 2 months this year, wouldn't it? 
  • Jon wants to go to the Texas State Fair this weekend. I'm skeptical. What do you all think? Is it worth the money? Take in to consideration the fact that we'll have Cadence with us and there is potential for it to be uncomfortably hot and/or cold. Hmmmm....
  • So, the reason I've disappeared off the face of the blog planet is because I've been crazy busy! For the record, it drives me crazy when people say "sorry, I've been super busy!" Um, shut up, we're all busy, stop making excuses. So in order to not be that person, I'll bring you up to speed with what's been going on. First I went on a big long trip! Cadence went with me, so it was quite an adventure. I flew from Dallas to Phoenix where I spent 4 days with my best friend Steph for her bridal shower. We had so much fun! I miss being able to hang out with her whenever I want to. Then I flew from Phoenix to Denver where I stayed with my parents for 6 lovely days so that I could attend my 10 year HS reunion. The day after we returned back to Dallas was me and Jonathon's second wedding anniversary! So we went out for a family dinner with Cadence to celebrate, but Jonathon wasn't feeling very well so we cut the evening's celebration short. Jon took the next day off from work so that he could moan and cry in bed all day get better, and then we got to have a real celebration on Saturday night! We got a babysitter and went to dinner at Kona Grill, which has historical value for us since it's the restaurant that we first met at and started talking and flirting and then that week we began dating! So we ate at Kona for some fabulous sushi, then walked around the mall for a while to kill some time before our movie! We went to see the new Footloose.... let me just tell you, we LOVED it. It was one of the best movies I've seen in a LOOOONG time. It was so fun and inspiring and just plain awesome. Part of why I loved it so much was because they gave it a big country twist, so if you're not into country you may not like it as much as Jon and I did, but I think you'd still love it. Highly recommend. So those are the highlights of my recent "busy-ness." I had so much fun, but I'm glad to be back! 
  • While I was in Colorado, I had a chance to meet up with my dear friend Natalie. Our moms met and became friends before we were around, so we've been friends since my birth (she's older than me by 7 months I think). Now we have babies that are also 7 months apart, and this was the first time they got to meet one another! I didn't take pictures (yet again) but Nat did. You can see them here
  • Today I got a new pair of jeans! This is very exciting, because, as it turns out, tall curvy girls don't fit into jeans very well, so it takes me forever to find a pair that fits right, and when I find the perfect pair it inevitably costs $296. Ok not really, but lets just say that my best friend can buy cute jeans at Ross for $15 a pair, and I'm jealous. Ross doesn't carry jeans in long sizes or with curvy fits. For the longest time I've been buying my jeans at GAP because they make jeans that fit... but they cost $80-$90 a pair when you add in taxes. So I was talking to my mom about my predicament and she said "why don't you buy jeans at New York & Co?" this is a genius suggestion. I have always bought my dress pants there for work, why wouldn't I buy my jeans there? But I didn't think they actually carried jeans. So my moms group meets in a mall each Wednesday, so while I was there yesterday I stopped in out of curiosity, and sure enough! They carry jeans. I went home empty handed though, thinking I'd add them to my wish list for Christmas, but Jon convinced me to go back today and buy them. I don't know if he was so adamant about this because a. he's a super sweet husband or b. my only other pair of jeans that I own and that fits well right now has a giant hole on the butt... but either way, I got a new pair of jeans today! Yay! 
  • I'm notorious for adding a bazillion projects to my to do list and then getting stressed over the amount of things I didn't have to do but chose to do anyway. So right now I'm trying to make halloween costumes for me and Jon, make curtains for our bedroom, and cross stitch a big project for Steph's wedding. So far the halloween costumes are ... in progress, the curtains are currently a roll of fabric that's been sitting in the corner of our room for about 2 months now, and the cross stitch is about 1/3 of the way done. I'll post pictures when they're all done! 
  • So, about 3 months ago I dyed my own hair. I love the color, but now I, of course, have roots... which I feel need to be fixed before I'm attacked by the crazy amount of pictures I'll be posing in for Steph's wedding in 17 days. So I'm trying to decide whether I should buy another kit and do it myself, or go in to a salon. The problem here is that we had a little mishap with the original kit used before. It was only supposed to highlight my hair, but we accidentally did all of my hair. It turned out to be a happy mistake since I love it, but now I don't know how to match the color for the roots. If I buy the same kit, it's a highlighting kit that comes with a cap. The box says not to dye your hair without the cap. But I just want to put it on my roots... do you think it will really hurt my scalp or anything if I ignore the box and just do what I want? My other option is to go to a salon and shell out $60+ to make sure it's matched properly. I want it to match right, but don't want to pay that much money.... dilemma. 
  • Cadence's sleep schedule has not improved. I'm going crazy. I will seriously try ANYTHING at this point. I'm so exhausted. But thank God Jonathon let me take a nap when he got home from work today, when is why I now have the energy to blog! Have I mentioned how wonderful my husband is???
  • Speaking of my wonderful husband, have I mentioned how hard he works for our family? And this week he interviewed and got a second job working at Starbucks to earn some supplementary income. I'm so proud of him! But also a little sad about losing my weekends with him. But we'll make it work! 
  • Our internet provider SUCKS. We currently use Clear. Don't use them. They require that you have your bills paid through auto pay, and today they pulled out more than we owed for the second time. If this is anything like the last time, it will be a huge fight to get it refunded, so that's what I have to look forward to tomorrow! Plus, our actual internet service blows. Half the time it doesn't work. Jon is convinced that it's an issue with my MacBook Pro, but I think he's just hatin' on my Mac on principal. =) Either way, Clear sucks. 
  • Cadence is now mobile enough that she's getting into EVERYTHING. So I think childproofing is another thing to add to the to do list, but I don't really know where to start. We've been able to put this off for quite a while since Cadence has developed mobility slower than the average baby, but now it's unavoidable. I have zero interest in trying to drill latches into all of our apartment rental drawers, cabinets, etc. so I was hoping to do the adhesive latches. Anyone know if they remove cleanly when we move out? And who has a recommendation for good baby proofing stuff that doesn't cost a fortune?
  • Last week I started a Pinterest account, and I'm LOVING it! Feel free to follow my pins if you'd like! One of my latest pins is a recipe for Pumpkin Short Bread, which I made earlier this week and not only is it a Lara-approved recipe (read: easy to make, hard to screw up), but it's also DELICIOUS! I recommend. 
  • My Bible study is currently reading a book called "Desire" by John Eldredge. It was formerly published as "Journey of Desire." I really love this book. It's probably the first Christ-centered book I've read in a long time that totally relates to me where I'm at. He makes a lot of bold statements, which I love. They are the exact type of statements that I have always felt in my heart, but are a bit too bold to just throw out there in the average conversation. I highly recommend reading this book. Next week instead of our regular study, we're going to a speaking event where we will get to hear John Eldredge speak. I'm really excited to hear what he'll have to say! 
I'll leave you all with one of my favorite (so far) parts of "Desire"... sorry it's kind of long, but I think it's good! 

"Sin is the bottom line, and we have the cure.  Typically it is a system of knowledge or performance, or a mixture of both. Those in the knowledge camp put the emphasis on getting our doctrine in line. Right belief is seen as the means to life. Desire is irrelevant, content is what matters. But notice this- the Pharisees knew more about the Bible than most of us ever will, and it hardened their hearts. Knowledge just isn't all it's cracked up to be. If you are familiar with the biblical narrative, you will remember that there were two special trees in Eden- the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil and the Tree of Life. We got the wrong tree. We got knowledge, and it hasn't done us much good. (....) Christianity is often presented as essentially the transfer of a body of knowledge. We learn about where the Philistines were from, and how much a drachma would be worth today, and all sorts of things about the original Greek. The information presented could not seem more irrelevant to our deepest desires. Then there are the systems aimed at getting our behavior in line, one way or another. Regardless of where you go to church, there is nearly always an unspoken list of what you shouldn't do (tailored to your denomination and culture, but typically rather long) and a list of what you may do (usually much shorter- mostly religious activity that seems totally unrelated to our deepest desires and leaves us only exhausted). And this, we are told, is the good news. Know the right thing, do the right thing. This is life? When it doesn't strike us as something to get excited about, we feel we must not be spiritual enough. Perhaps once we have kept the list long enough, we will understand. We don't need more facts, and we certainly don't need more things to do. We need Life, and we've been looking for it ever since we lost Paradise. Jesus appeals to our desire because he came to speak to it. When we abandon desire, we no longer hear or understand what he is saying. But we have returned to the message of the synagogue; we are preaching the law. And desire is the enemy. After all, desire is the single major hindrance to the goal- getting us in line. We are told to kill desire and call it sanctification. Or as Jesus put it to the Pharisees, "You load people down with rules and regulations, nearly breaking their backs, but never lift even a finger to help" (Luke 11:46 The Message). " 

Good night, all! 

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Baby Whisperer.... Or Something...

For all eternity many months now, Cadence has been on a SUPER late schedule. Which means our day looks something like this:

9:30 or 10am ish: Cadence wakes up and effectively wakes me up. She's quite a good alarm clock.
10:00am: Frantically run around getting myself and Cadence ready to bolt out the door to head to whatever mom's group event is going on that day that inevitably started at 10.
11:00am: Arrive at the activity of the day horribly late with a cranky and unfed baby, which of course means that I spend the next 20 minutes of the activity feeding the baby rather than participating in the activity...
1:00 or 2:00pm ish: Arrive back home exhausted from the morning's craziness and pray that Cadence will take a bottle and go down for even a short nap like a normal baby.
5:00pm: Finally give in to the fact that no nap will be happening.
7:00pm: Cadence surprises me with a mini-nap. A mini-nap is NOT the same thing as a nap. A mini-nap means that she is only SORT OF sleeping. Just enough to keep her laying still on the couch next to me, but not enough for me to move her to her crib, do dishes, clean up... really not even enough for me to stand up off of the couch. This leaves me with no choice but to sit in my paralyzed state on the couch and catch up on my DVR.
7:25ish: Mini-Nap time ends and we're back at it full force!
10:00 or 11:00pm: Cadence FINALLY crashes for the night.

Here are some really awesome things about this schedule:

  1. I get to sleep in every day. The way life should be! 
  2. She sleeps 11 to 12 hours STRAIGHT through the night, every night. Which is basically unheard of in the baby world. 
  3. I get to catch up on my DVR.
More recently though, the schedule has been inching later and later. The worst night was when Cadence didn't go to bed for the night until 1:30am! And then she wanted to sleep in the next day until past noon! Well, this schedule simply does not work! 

Here are the reasons why it actually is sort of a sucky schedule: 

Jonathon typically needs to go to bed at around 9pm ish in order to get enough sleep for his work day the following morning, which means that I stay up late with Cadence, he goes to bed alone, I finally get her to bed, join my snore machine loving husband in bed, and try to get some sleep. Jon's alarm goes off at like, 2am or something ungodly like that (probably more like 5am), and he proceeds to get up and get ready for work. He is not loud about this process, but I am an extremely light sleeper, so I am awake through the entire getting ready process. And I'm typically super excited to be awake really early after staying up late with Munchkin. After Jon leaves for work, I try to go back to sleep, and I usually am able to finally fall asleep right around 8:30 or 9, giving me about an hour or so more of sleep. 

Now, I know that there are many different beliefs out there about sleep and how it works... I however am a firm believer in the importance of REM cycles. I don't want to get all scientifical on you about this, because in order to do that I would need to have research and facts and other crap that are just not worth my time, but the basic idea I'm getting at here is that your body goes through REM (Rapid Eye Movement) cycles, which affect the deepness of your sleep. In the middle of a cycle, you typically are deep into your best resting time, but in between cycles your body is a little more awakeish. If you were to sleep uninterrupted for as long as you could, your body would naturally wake up at some point, and that natural waking point is always at the end of a REM cycle. So, if you wake up in the middle of a REM cycle, you wake up feeling really tired and unrested. And when someone tells you "sorry I woke you up, go back to sleep," what they don't get is that going back to sleep is great, but when you go back to sleep you are starting all over at the beginning of your REM cycle, so you really won't be any more rested unless you have the ability to go back to sleep for an entire new cycle. If you happen to be a person who is not a parent, let me please express to you that this idea is simply IMPOSSIBLE with a baby under the same roof. Anyway...

Reasons why a late sleep schedule sucks: 
  1. Jon and I both go to bed alone and never get any parent only and baby-free time.
  2. My schedule is so opposite from Jon's, which means my sleep is always interrupted, leaving me feeling worn down and tired all the time
  3. Our mornings are always stressful and crazy since most mommy and baby activities start at 10 or 10:30
  4. Since Cadence doesn't really take a decent nap, I feel incredibly unproductive at the end of the day, which prompts me to stay up even later after she finally goes down for the night in order to get dishes or laundry or whatever done, which of course intensifies the problem. 
Despite the fact that I LOVE sleeping in late, I have finally come to terms with the fact that this arrangement is simply not working for us. Therefore, for the past 2 weeksish I have been desperately trying to move Cadence's bedtime earlier. I thought this would be easy. I figured, one morning I'll just set my alarm for early, go wake her up, entertain her like crazy all day so she doesn't fall asleep, and come 8pm she'll be so ready to crash for the night, and VOILA! New schedule. 

Didn't work that way. Apparently I have an incredibly resistant kid. But for some completely unknown reason (my best guess is divine intervention), after staying up late Monday night in typical fashion, she inexplicably woke up at 7am on Tuesday morning. Sometimes she does this because her diaper is soaked and she wakes up uncomfortable. I can always tell right away whether she's waking up for reals or waking up our of discomfort. The discomfort wake up is always accompanied by uncontrollable screaming. The awake for the day wake up is always sweet and babbly and happy. On discomfort mornings, I can usually change her diaper, give her an ounce or 2 of milk, and she goes back to sleep. But Tuesday morning at 7am she woke up for the day! So.... I was exhausted and surprised and also anxious to see how the day would go as a result. 

Tuesday afternoon we met some friends at the Village Fountain. Cadence wore herself out splashing in the cool water. Then we went and enjoyed some lunch at the Purple Cow restaurant with one of our mommy friends and her sweet baby girl. I was estimating that Cadence would probably begin to come unglued from exhaustion in the restaurant, but she sat sweetly and ate her lunch while my mommy friend and I talked for nearly 2 hours! Then we came home and I thought for sure Cadence would crash for a nap, which I was dreading since a late nap can sometimes translate into a late bed time all over again, but no! She played and babbled and laughed and ate dinner and was wide awake and HAPPY until she finally crashed at 7:30! 

I put her in her crib and she spent the next THIRTEEN AND A HALF HOURS in dreamland! So this morning I was thinking, "wow, with 13 1/2 hours of sleep, she'll probably be good to go for an exceptionally long time today, so it was probably just a fluke thing." But tonight she went down at 8:30! I'm so excited I could cry. Now the only problem is that my body is SOOOOO not used to falling asleep early, so I keep staying up really late despite the fact that I finally CAN go to bed early, so I'm even more exhausted since Cadence is waking up earlier now, but I'm sure I'll adjust. And it would figure that the first two nights in FOREVER that she has gone down early are when Jon is out of town, so still no mommy and daddy time, but maybe, just maybe, this schedule is here to stay! 

Now what are the odds that I just wrote all of this exciting news out for my bloggies (like homies... no? ok.) only for it to not last? Don't jinx it, Lara! 

Anyway, if any of you super moms out there have suggestions for how to help a child maintain a certain schedule, I would certainly welcome suggestions! However, I don't believe in the "cry it out" method, which typically means I get to hang out with her until whenever she's finally ready for bed. Hmmmm.... What has worked for you guys?

And finally, here's are some cute and completely unrelated pictures of Cadence, since no good blog post is complete without a dash of adorable.
This is her latest sign of affection: she holds her body up on hands and knees and rests her head on my knee. It looks incredibly strange, but it's actually really sweet and cuddle-ish! I think she likes doing it because it's easier for her to kneel on her knees when she's got me for added support and also because she can rest her head on me rather than hold it up. Too funny! 

And this is my sweet fall fairy at the Dallas Arboretum during their fall pumpkin display: 

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Friends to Spare

So, for the past 14 months ish, I've been living in a brand new state, working in a brand new job (SAHM) with a brand new baby. So this left me in an uncomfortable position. I'm a very social person, and I'm the type of girl who needs to have 1 or 2 friends who really get me, who I can totally be myself around without needing to offer any explanations at all. I have been incredibly blessed in my life to have found friends like this at different times, but most important of all of them is definitely my best friend Steph.

Here's why I love Steph. She's the kind of girl who I can be honest about my faith with, we can ask each other to pray for things, and we both love God. But she is also the kind of girl that I can say things like "badass" to and we can both have about 4 too many drinks together and do really stupid things together... and it's still all good. We belt out lame songs from the 90's and laugh till we hurt. We're basically awesome. As much as I have come to love my life in McKinney, I miss Steph every single day.

We have helped each other through difficult break ups, celebrated engagements, Steph was Maid of Honor in my wedding, and in less that 2 months, I'll be a bridesmaid, and Cadence will be her flowergirl in her wedding! 

So when I moved here, I was lonely and scared. I didn't know anyone at all. So I made an effort right away to try to make friends with everyone I met. I now realize that this may have been a mistake. The people I tried so hard to be great friends with ARE wonderful people, but many of them are probably not the BFFs I was looking for. My mistake was that I was so desperate to find people to be friends with that I didn't take the time to find out enough about people to test the waters first. I jumped in with both feet. This left me in an awkward position of realizing later that I didn't really want to maintain some relationships, but that the other people wanted to maintain their relationship with me. Probably because I threw myself at them so whole-heartedly... some might call this "leading them on." My B.

Anyway, recently several events have unfolded with a couple different "friends" and I finally decided to be straight up honest with them about my feelings, with the knowledge that this could effectively end the relationship. Jonathon told me that he thought this was a major accomplishment, because it meant that I had finally reached a place socially where I had good friends who I cared about and therefore could be honest with the others since I had friends to spare. Hahaha.

So, next week is going to rock my face off because I'm going back to Colorado to visit my family, which rocks, but also while I'm there Steph will be visiting with her band and staying with my parents, which means I get a whole week of my Stephie. I'm so excited! And I'm also glad that I've reached a point where I don't need to make an effort to be friends with people I'm not interested in being friends with anymore. Because, if we're being honest... I just don't care. I don't want to have to be someone I'm not to make someone else feel comfortable around me. From this moment on, I'm only going to be myself. And ya'll can take it or leave it. I won't be hurt.  =)

And now, here's one of the first pictures of me and Stephanie together ever. The kind you wish you could forget ever happened, but instead you post it everywhere to remember just how awesome you were back then...

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Baby Grilled Cheese and Mashed Potatoes!

Ok, so I am sort of trying to make it so that my baby girl can eat some super yummy classic kid foods without becoming America's newest gordita... You may remember my recent post about my new healthier way to make Mac 'n Cheese... well here's a couple more ideas! I can't claim the Grilled Cheese idea... that came from my friend Amanda. But it's awesome. And Cadence went berzerk over it. And to be honest, I try all of Cadence's food and I really liked it too. So yay Amanda! Here's what you do:

Baby Grilled Cheese

Butter your whole wheat bread with unsalted butter. Then put one slice down on the pan butter side down and spread pureed carrot baby food on the inside part... I did this pretty thick, like how you'd spread jelly. Then put a handful of shredded mozzarella cheese on top of that (I used shredded because it breaks apart easier once melted, which means Cadence isn't as likely to choke on it.) Then add the top slice of bread and cook just like any other grilled cheese, flipping at the perfect time. =) I let it cool and then broke it apart into small pieces to give to Munchkin, and removed the crusts since she is somewhat gag and choke prone. I'll have to add a picture another time... she ate the whole thing up!

Baby Mashed Potatoes

Make your mashed potatoes in a normal way... and then rather than gravy or butter, add a couple of spoonfulls of pureed veggies. Cadence's favorite remains the zucchini and broccoli medley from Earth's Best, but you could probably use any veggie flavor. Then I added in a handful of cubed steamed butternut squash... these are conveniently sold in bags, pre-cubed and microwave steamable in the refrigerated produce section at Walmart for $2. Amazing! Warm the whole shebang up for a few seconds and then stir and serve! And really, I promise, pictures will be soon to come!

Friday, August 26, 2011

The Mac 'n Cheese Solution!

I've figured it out! How to give munchkin her beloved mac 'n cheese in a healthy (er) way without having to (God forbid) cook from scratch. Who does that anyway??? Here's what you do.

Buy this new super awesome Veggie Pasta Mac 'n Cheese! How great is this? I can still buy my blue box!

Cook it as directed, using UNSALTED butter. When you go to add the cheese packet, only use about half of it. Then add 3-5 spoonfulls of this beauty:

Mix it up and serve to Munchkin, who will probably show you her appreciation like this:


Aren't you glad we solved that problem???

Call Nine-Whine-Whine

That's what my dad told me I should do last night. He's right. I'm a big time whiner at the moment. But I have good reason. Everything hurrrrrrts (insert whiney voice here for comedic effect)!

It started out with me waking up Tuesday morning with my right leg about to fall off. (Yes, I'm being dramatic.... duh) I had these weird shooting pains through my thigh muscles, but it wasn't the kind of thing where I could figure out where a knot or cramp was that was causing it. It was a painful mystery. But Tuesday evening Jonathon and I had child care time scheduled at our gym so that we could go to spin class together. Child care time is somewhat difficult to get at the time you want it for, so I didn't want to pass up this opportunity. So I went to spin! And quickly found that it hurt even worse to spin with my right leg. So I did what anyone in my situation would do... I biked with my left leg only. For the whole hour long class. So of course by the time I got home my left hip was all screwey. All of that added up to me not sleeping well, so I've been super exhausted and had some pretty nasty headaches as a result of lack of sleep. But all of that was mostly fading until yesterday when I made my dumbest move yet... I was driving home from retrieving my latest freecycle score, and Cadence was playing with a rattle in her car seat. She accidentally dropped her rattle and it rolled onto the seat behind me. This was, of course, the end of her little world as she knew it, so she began to scream. Being the awesome mommy that I am, I decided that I should probably fix the problem by, you know, getting the rattle for her. Obviously. So I placed my left hand firmly on the wheel, glanced backwards to make sure I know where the rattle was located, and then reached back for it with my right hand. While driving. As it turns out, our awesome Ford Edge has a lot of wonderful, super comfortable leg room. Which means that my super long swimmer arms just weren't super long enough. So in a moment of genius, I decided that if I just push back against the seat I'll be able to reach the rattle. (at this point, Cadence was basically over the loss of the rattle, but Mommy was determined to solve the no-longer-existant problem) So I push... and then I push a little harder... and then POP! Turns out the car is stronger than my shoulder. It wasn't an audible pop, just a feel-able one. Yes, feel-able is totally a word. I'm not sure what I did exactly, but it hurts. My shoulder is still usable. I can hold things like a baby or a box of books (yes, of COURSE you should try to clean out your storage closet after an incident like this!) but if I push in the right spots, I pretty much want to die, and I have a constant aching pain that has spread all the way up my neck to about my ear, and clear down through my hip. I also have sharp discomfort and joint stiffness through my elbow and into my fingers all as a result.

So clearly, I wasn't going to be able to sleep any better after that than I had been before. My oh-so-wise father recommended alcohol... way ahead of you pops. But about 5 hours after the beer (which, by the way, was an Oktoberfest brew, which means fall is coming, which makes me happy!) I was still in pain and still wide awake at 2am. So I went fishing in the medicine cabinet. Aha! The vicodin left over from my c-section should do the trick! So I popped my pill and went back to bed. Two more hours later, still wide awake and in just as much pain as before, (perhaps year old vicodin is not as effective as brand new vicodin... who knew?) I pulled out my phone and started playing Word Mole. Because that's almost as good as seeing a doctor. An hour after that I got up and went out to the couch. Sometimes you just need something different to sleep on. While I didn't fall asleep, I did manage to get a little bit more comfortable. Then my husband's alarm went off and I got up and showered with him and then decided it would be a stellar idea to blog about how I'm not sleeping and how completely ridiculous it is that I injured myself by getting a freaking rattle... it's 7:42 now and I still didn't sleep for even a minute. Cadence will probably wake up in the next hour or two. Should be an interesting day. I'll probably have to do what my dad recommended and call Nine-Whine-Whine to ask for a WHAAAAmbulance. Which is his not-so-subtle way of saying to quitcherbitchin and deal with it. And now that I've spewed out all of my complaints (for the time being of course. Let's not get too crazy here) in one blog, that's exactly what I plan to do.

I will stop complaining, try to get an hour or so of sleep, and then start my Friday off by watching this epic video to warm my heart with good cheer. The end.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Thought Vomit Thursday

It's Wednesday, not Thursday, but my thoughts overfloweth so deal. 

  • My whole freaking body hurts and I have no idea why. I thought I was getting sick, but I seem to be fairly healthy... aside from the can't sleep, horrible headache, and body aching... so I don't get it. Probably an increase in caffeine intake would be the answer, right? Or perhaps alcohol? Or perhaps caffeine and alcohol? 
  • In case you were wondering, my finger mentioned in last week's TVT is still numb. Not as numb, but still numbish. 
  • Yesterday my baby bro was in that DC earthquake. In his 11th story apartment. Freaky freakin freak out. Oh and that hurricane is headed right to him next. Welcome to the big city, bro. 
  • Steve Jobs just resigned from Apple. You heard it here first. You're welcome. 
  • I am in serious need of a few good brews and some good hearty laughs. I have high hopes for the dinner outing scheduled tonight with a friend of ours... we'll see. 
  • I just watched a documentary called "The Lottery" and it got me all fired up about the state of our education system in America, and also made me want to start listing Cadence on the wait list for charter schools like, now. 
  • My husband's new job requires that he help airports prepare for oncoming disaster, so guess who is on standby to fly straight into hurricane territory tomorrow? Yep. I'm a little freaked out about it, but it should mostly just be exciting. I wish he were flying into Baltimore for a different reason, because I'd really love to tag along and visit my bro in his new digs and check some east coast states off my bucket list. Oh well. Next time. 
  • I thought I had a lot more thoughts... but my brain seems to have gone numb along with my fore finger. So you may end up with a TVT part 2 on actual TVT. Wouldn't that be lucky?

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Thought Vomit Thursday

Thought Vomit Thursdays now have an official button. It's basically awesome. My friend Nat is also basically awesome for inventing such a wonderful thing as Thought Vomit Thursdays. So in case you missed my blog introduction to TVTs, here's how it works: I tell you everything on my mind all at once. There are no rules. My first TVT was not formatted at all, which I felt added a comedic element to the vomit-ness, but also felt that it made it more difficult to read. So, this week, my thoughts are attacking you in the form of bullet points. Try to keep up.

  • Today Cadence ate an entire kids order of cheese ravioli at an awesome Italian restaurant we found in McKinney. The kid seems to just shovel the food in with no end in sight... apparently turning 1 makes you extra hungry.
  • Cadence turned ONE! My parents came out to join us in the celebration, and we had an awesome birthday party for her on Saturday. If you happen to live in North Texas, check out the Old Settler's Aquatic Center. We had the most wonderful pool party there, it was just the perfect location for babies and kids and adults alike. Brace yourself for the photos. 

This one isn't from the party itself, it's from the next morning when she got to play with all her new toys for the first time! She was so excited! (Sorry my pics uploaded out of order. oops.)

A few things that made the party extra awesome: I brought the mattress pad from our pack 'n play and put it on one of the picnic tables. BAM! Changing table. Super helpful for the 7 other babies that were at the party! We also brought our high chair that clips onto our table. I grabbed 2 wood blocks out of my teaching boxes from the kindergarten days and put them under the table so that the clips could appropriately latch onto the picnic table. It was so nice for Cadence to be able to sit somewhere comfortably and celebrate at table level with the rest of us! And the pool had a zero-depth entry area with spray fountains, which made playing with the babies PERFECT! 

  • In related party news, remember those 3 birthday cakes?

I baked and decorated them myself. But here's the issue. I used these beauties to ice the cakes: 

The problem? To use these things, you have to press on the nozzle with your finger. It's now been 6 DAYS since I decorated the cakes, and the aforementioned finger is still COMPLETELY NUMB! Ummm... is this a problem? What do I do? And why isn't there a user warning on the cans??? Oh well... it was worth it... right?
  • Cadence completed her first 2 week swim lesson session through the city of McKinney this morning! I'm a proud mama. We had a lot of fun having a scheduled activity planned each morning for 2 weeks, and Cadence has definitely developed a love for the water. However, the class was definitely lacking in the area of structure. The instructors tried to introduce a new skill each day, but considering that this class is supposed to be for babies 6 months to 2 years, most of the skills were too advanced, so we just bounced and splashed around for most of the time. They did have us circle up for a couple of songs to sing throughout the class, but in 8 half hour lessons, we only learned 3 songs. We had so much fun, but I just feel like there was so much more that they could have done! 

  • Apparently, our daughter's name is not only difficult to read, but also difficult to spell! I was unaware of these difficulties until the first time a receptionist in one of our doctor's offices called her Candace at about 2 weeks old, and since then I've been correcting and correcting and correcting.... so imagine my surprise when Cadence's birthday card arrives in the mail from her Great Grandmother spelled wrong! Here's why I'm willing to let it slide, despite the fact that it was misspelled in FOUR different places on the card, packaging, etc: she's 89 years old and blind. But there's no excuse for her swim lesson instructors who only had to copy her name from the registration form that I filled out for them! Seriously? 

  • Today I had the pleasure of going to the County Clerk to re-register our car. We realized this week that we had let the registration expire, so we were expecting to have to pay a penalty fee. I waited in a surprisingly short line for my turn. When I told the woman that the registration was expired, she asked me if we had gotten any tickets for it. I told her no. She said "you're lucky!" and after I signed a form that stated that I hadn't received any tickets with an expired registration, only charged me the regular registration fee! So, on the one hand, I'm psyched that we didn't have to pay a penalty fee... but on the other hand, I'm confused by this policy. She told me that if you get a ticket, you have to pay up to a 20% fine. So basically they're telling you that it's not illegal if you don't get caught. Awesome. 
  • You will maybe find it sad or else amusing to know that I make lists of my thoughts so that I don't forget what I wanted to vomit on Thought Vomit Thursday. How completely Type A is that? =)
  • And finally, I found this video hiding in a friend's blog and loved it and am re-sharing it! Enjoy and have a great week!