Thursday, May 29, 2008

Hair...on...fire!!!...

When in college and sometimes in my pre-mommy career, I often found myself using the phrase "running around like my hair is on fire..." or something similar. That trusty phase continues to serve me well ...I'm feeling like my tresses are flaming during these crazy mom-to-a-two-year-old, trying-to-keep-my-act-together summer days!

...new freelance client...good, but ACK! lots of work to do!

...two year old child continues to have two year old attitude and does NOT NAP WELL!

...lack of naps cut into time for aforementioned freelance work!

...which means freelance work happens after E goes to bed, or early in the morning

...which means I am SO TIRED...

...at one point today, I was so fried, I couldn't remember if I'd swept the kitchen or not...the darn broom was out and leaning against the fridge, but had I used it yet, or not? hmmm...

In the midst of it all, today I did manage to clean the house really well, do a lot of baking, and after E was in bed, I caught up on work for the new guy. Tomorrow, I'm taking the day off! I emailed a ton of work to new client tonight, so tomorrow, E and I are going to have a fun play day...the rest of the world can just wait!


Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Another game of tag...

My college chum Kristin tagged me....so here goes!

Favorite person (outside family)? The dear friends God has given to me and to my family - they are like family to me, and are a blessing to me daily. There are too many to list!

Favorite food? Chocolate! Wine! Hot tea! Steak! Pizza! Tex-Mex! Macaroni Grill on date night with hubby! Fun lunches at girly tea rooms! There are so many answers to this - hey, I love food!

Quirks about you? Oh, there are too many to list...I am obsessive about list-making, and I hate to forget anything like bday or anniversaries of friends ... I even have a schedule for sending ecards and printed cards once a month to keep up with it all! There are various other compulsions - my husband could go on and on about this one...

How would the person who loves you most describe you in ten words or less?According to my husband--(I just asked my husband this question and there is a huge pause....he is in trouble...)caring, organized, excellent mother, supportive, beautiful, good multi-tasker...

Any regrets in life? Not too many, but I regret losing touch with some close friends or seeing friendships drift away due to time, life circumstances and geography...

Favorite Charity/ Cause? Nothing too specific, but if pressed, I'd say my church, the SPCA and PBS ... we are a family that does not have cable by choice - and PBS has some of the finest programming on TV...cable or otherwise!

Favorite Blog recently? www.pleasantviewschoolhouse.com and the blog at www.momadvice.com

Something you can’t get enough of? Time with my family ... and sleep!

Worst job you've ever had? Dressing up as Hello Kitty (completed with a padded costume, tail and HUGE stuffed head) and handing out candy at the local mall.

What job would you pay NOT to have? I'm thinking the aforementioned Helly Kitty gig might fit as an answer here, too...

If you could be a fly on the wall, where? (Copying Kristin's answer on this first one...) Anywhere or anytime that Jesus was on earth. Also, would love to have a glimpse into heaven to see sweet loved ones!

Favorite Bible verse right now? "I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength..." Phillipians 4:13

Guilty Pleasure? Chocolate, sweet treats in the afternoon when E is napping, with a cup of hot tea...

If you HAD to spend $1,000 on YOURSELF, how would you spend it? Something fun - an antique piece of furniture for the house - or maybe a big party of girlfriends - we'd all dress up and go to afternoon tea somewhere or hubby and I would have a vacation at a B&B...or a day at the spa. Something indulgent! (My instinct is to save it, but I know that's not the point of this question!)

Favorite thing about your house? We've done so much to make it our own -- I adore my home office - even though it's often a mess, it's a "me" space - baby gate keeps E out!

Least favorite thing about your house? I always wish for more storage (who doesn't?) and more square footage in general...

One thing you are bad at? Making time to exercise!

One thing you're good at? Multitasking!

If you could change something about your circumstances, what? To know and be at peace with the plan God has for my husband's job/career - and to squelch hubby's angst in that department

Who would you like to meet someday? My husband's grandparents - Mimi and Paps - who are with Jesus in heaven...

Who is your real life hero? My mom....a breast cancer survivor, a dedicated wife and mother, caregiver to my dimentia-ridden Granny....my mom is one of the strongest people I know. I admire her greatly and love her immeasureably. She has taught me how to be a mom and has made me grateful to be her daughter. I am lucky to have her.

What is the hardest part of your job? Staying on top of it all - mom, wife and freelance PR gal - always a balancing act.

When are you most relaxed? Whe all or most of the items are crossed off the to-do list, and I feel like I had an accomplished day that was a great blend of family time, me time and work time. (Can I tell you how often this does NOT happen?)

What stresses you out? My daughter is two. This is new territory for me! ... also, when I misplace something it drives me NUTS. For an OCD person like me, losing things is just not allowed!

What can you not live without?My Savior, my family, my friends, coffee, hot tea, my computer, the public library, my planner/organizer and chocolate.

Why do you blog? To indulge the writer in me, to keep up with family and friends....

Who Am I Tagging? Kim, Brit, and Ames

Bloggy friends? there are many! see the sidebar on our blog...which needs to be updated!

Bloggers you’d like to get to know better? R -- we've never met in person, but are kindred spirits nonetheless. We were introduced through Kim's blog.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Friday, May 23, 2008

Sleep?

We're in the middle of a full-blown Elmo obsession around here. E got these pj's and socks for her bday (as well as a stuffed Elmo, an Elmo balloon, an Elmo water sprinkler for the yard...and more...)


Despite the fact that E loves these pj's, sleep has not been going so well around here for the past two weeks - namely naps. Sweet E used to sleep 12 hours at night and nap about 2 - 2.5 hours per day...now, she's barely napping one hour. I would believe that she might need shorter naps, but she's crabby when she wakes up, and by dinner time....well, let's just say things aren't pretty around here!

Attitude? Teething? Who knows! It does look like E is ready to pop about 6 more teeth (she got six at once in January...in about 5 days...so it's highly possible we'll do this again...)

I'm hoping it's a phase that we will pass through - eventually - like so many others. I know E needs more mid-day rest than that....hopefully she'll resettle into a good routine again soon. She is still sleeping through the night, for the most part, so I'm very thankful for that!!!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Mommy needs a time out...

I remember several weeks ago when my best friend told me she had to take a "time out" from her kids -- she has three children, ages 8, 4 and a 5 month old ... and she was having a trying day. She told me about taking a "time out" from them in her bedroom after her hubby came home from work one day. I thought it was a cute idea, and definitely understood how such a thing could be needed.

Today, I was the one that needed a time out! There were good things about today, but there were also very bad things about today...

The good...
...E slept until 8 a.m.!
...E slept all night!
...Hubby had jury duty today, but was dismissed after 20 minutes, giving him a freebie day off work (they told him not to come in...really!)
...Hubby worked on his honey-do list, but also got to relax
...E, Gramma and I ran some errands this morning, fun!
...I found adorable hairbows for E in the clearance bin at this wonderful store
...I found some cute wedding shower guest favors for sis-in-law's shower that I am throwing late this summer
...We had lunch at this yummy place - one of my new faves
...We had leftovers for dinner - I didn't have to cook!
...E ate aforementioned leftovers without complaint

The bad...
...E was SO poorly behaved when I went in to try on my bridesmaid dress for sis-in-law's wedding....I mean SO poorly behaved. Mom was with me and it took both of us to keep her contained
...Sizing of aforementioned bridesmaid dress -- I mean honestly, why do these dresses end up being two sizes larger than what you wear in normal clothes? If I am paying that much for a dress, could you please make the label say "size 2"? (But I will say, the dress is gorgeous and very flattering...sis-in-law has amazing taste...)
...E was also very poorly behaved at lunch and refused to eat most of her food
...E only napped a little over an hour
...and woke up in a crabby mood
...and it was so hot in our backyard this afternoon, I couldn't take her out to play to burn off energy
...it was at least 96 degrees here today....already!
...E managed to swipe a container of baby powder and "decorate" her room with it this afternoon
...and my vacuum is in the shop for repairs, so clean up of aforementioned baby powder was interesting
...vacuum being in the shop is its own tragedy (power cord needs to be re-attached)...I am a chronic vacuum-er - like at least 4 times per week....anyone else with me here? C'mon, show me some love...

It's been a Monday, for certain, and this Mommy needs a time out. After a glass of wine and some relaxation, I'm heading to bed. After all, tomorrow is another day!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Sunday afternoon stroll...

Hubby had a meeting at church this afternoon (which we knew was going to be several hours long), so after E's way-too-short afternoon nap (teething, will it never end?) E and I loaded the stroller with drinks and snacks and set out for an afternoon stroll.

There is a "creek" near our house (I use that term very loosely - it's more like a very pretty storm drain?!) that sometimes had ducks paddling about in one area, so we took along some stale bread, too, in hopes of feeding them. Well, that didn't work...no quackers there today... and then the trail that we were walking on dead-ended into an apartment complex, so we had to do a lot of back-tracking, but eventually we ended up at the park in our neighborhood.


I was surprised to find that we were the only people there! I know it was a little warm out today, but figured there would still be kids playing. At any rate, it was nice to have the park to ourselves. After checking out the swings, E wanted to tackle the big-kid play structure. She is still unsteady enough on her feet, that I was climbing around after her to make sure she didn't fall - and the scale of the structure was definitely a little large for her, but that didn't deter her at all. She and I made several duo trips down the swirly slide, much to her delight! She cried when it was time to go home, but we were both hot and sweaty and in need of shade, water and rest!


I foresee many trips to the neighborhood park in our future this summer! We're so lucky to have something so close - within walking distance!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Tea for two...


Sometimes, the most important thing to do on a Saturday morning
is play dress up and have a tea party...

Friday, May 16, 2008

Not so sure about ice cream...

My child does not seem to like sweets very much!? I am not sure how this is possible - in fact, it's genetically improbable! I come from a long line of chocoholics, and hubby loves treats, especially pie! But E is learning to like ice creams - especially vanilla based ones....we went out for ice cream the night of her birthday, and after watching me eat about half of my cup, she helped me finish the rest....sweet cream with crushed Reeses cups...yum!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Domestic Diva Experiment: Cashew Chicken Lettuce Wraps

I have been in such a cooking rut, especially with grocery prices the way they are...we've been eating b-o-r-i-n-g (but healthy!) fare. Inspired by a recent issue of Real Simple magazine, I tried the below recipe tonight for dinner - with excellent results! Yum! This one's a keeper!

Cashew Chicken Lettuce Wraps

2 Tbsp. canola oil (I used olive oil).

3-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts- diced into 1 inch pieces (I used chicken pieces pulled from a whole chicken I’d cooked earlier in the week)

pepper

3 Tbsp. low sodium soy sauce (I used 4 or more)

3 Tbsp. honey (I used 4 or more)

2 cloves garlic- minced (I used 3)

1 heaping Tbsp fresh ginger- minced (I used dried)

1 5 oz. can sliced water chessnuts- rinsed and drained

1/4 cup unsalted cashews (I bought salted on accident)

4-6 leaves of butter, bib or boston lettuce - rinsed and patted dry.



Directions:
Season cubed chicken with pepper.In a small bowl whisk together the soy sauce and honey. Set aside. In a large skillet or wok, heat the oil over high heat. Place chicken in skillet and sear all sides. Takes about 3 minutes…or less if you use pre-cooked chicken. Add garlic and ginger. Reduce heat to medium high and cook additional minute. Add about half of the soy mixture and water chesnuts. Simmer until chicken is cooked through. About 6-8 minutes.Add cashews and mix until combined. Spoon chicken mix onto rinsed butter lettuce leaves. Use remaining honey soy mixture to drizzle.

This would also be good with a dash of red pepper flakes, if you like heat!


Recipe from Real Simple magazine

Happy Birthday Uncle Alan!


Hubby's sister's fiance celebrates a birthday today! Happy Birthday to you, "Uncle" Alan!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Mommy and Me Monday...




Yesterday, E and I took Gramma to the local arborteum for "Mommy and Me" Monday. Such fun! A petting zoo, beautiful flowers, fun kids activities and wide open spaces to run and play!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Birthday Fun...

Since it was raining on the morning of E's actual birthday, we had some good, clean fun playing with her new bubble gun (thanks Gramma and Grampa!) in the house on the tile....

(And yes, I got to mop the floors afterwards....but it was worth it to have some silly fun with my sweet girl on her birthday!)

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day to me...


Check out my beautiful artwork filled card my from sweet girl...

Happy Mother's Day!


To my mom, my mother in law, my Granny, all of the moms who have "adopted" me and all of my friends that are moms....Happy Mother's Day!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Four generations...


I am blessed that my Granny (my mom's mother) is still on this earth. She is my only living grandparent, as my Grandaddy (her husband) died when I was three, and my dad's parents both went to be with Jesus the year that hubby and I got married. They knew that we were engaged, but they both passed on to glory before the big day.
Over the years, Granny's health and mind have steadily failed, but there are many days that she still knows who we are and is interested in what we are doing. She always asks about "baby" (meaning our sweet E) and loves to see her whenever we visit. So it was very special to me to be able to have Granny at E's family birthday party this weekend. I cherish these moments more and more....Granny is almost 90. And I know that the days of having four generations of "the girls" all together will probably not happen too many more times. So I thank God for the time we do have with Granny, until God sees fit to take her to heaven. I love you, Granny!

Monday, May 5, 2008

My sweet girl...


I had the sweetest Mommy moment at E's family birthday party on Sunday...

My parents gave E a beautiful antique doll cradle for a present, and inside was a stuffed Elmo. E had been running around playing with her new toys and was getting pretty nutty, when she suddenly settled down next to Elmo, picked up him, hugged on him, patted his back, then folded his hands (paws?) together and said "prayers! prayers!"....and proceeded to pray a little E-speak baby talk prayer with him. Then she picked him up, hugged him again, put him in his bed and said "I love you! Night night!"

It brought tears to my eyes to see my little girl mimicking our sweet, special bedtime routine with her little stuffed friend. So sweet and so special. A great gift to me as a mom!

Of course, after this sweet little moment, E took another look at Elmo, pointed at him, and demanded "Sleep!" I wonder if that would work on E at bed time or for middle-of the-night wakings? Ha!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Birthday fun...





We had such a fun, big weekend! Hubby's parents and hubby's sister and her fiance came to visit for E's birthday. We had a fun day playing on Saturday, and Sunday, everyone came over for a big lunch, presents, cake and ice cream! E enjoy snitching cake from grampa, opening all of her presents and visiting with everyone...she had such a big time! It's hard to believe our baby girl is two years old!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Domestic Diva Experiment: Pasta Frittata


I made this wonderful, fast dish for dinner in my grandmother's old cast iron skillet - so delicious! I would have added even more sun-dried tomatoes....mushrooms would have been a nice addition, as well. This is a fun one to play with and add and subtract ingredients to your heart's content!

Ingredients
• 9 large or 10 medium-size eggs
• 1 cup packed spinach leaves, stemmed (I used a box of frozen spinach)
• 2 scallions, trimmed and sliced
• 3 strips cooked bacon, chopped - or more, to taste
• 4 tablespoons sun-dried tomatoes - or more, to taste
• 1 cup cooked spaghetti - I used more than this - what I had leftover - no problem
• ½ cup grated Monterey jack, Havarti or Muenster cheese - I used cheddar, which I had on hand
• 1 tablespoon butter
• 1 tablespoon light olive oil
• 2 tablespoons grated parmesan - again, I used cheddar

Directions
Preheat oven to 375 F. Beat the eggs in a medium-large bowl until frothy. Add spinach, scallions, bacon, sun-dried tomatoes, spaghetti and cheese, and mix well. Place an oven-safe 10-inch skillet with sides as least 1 ½ to 2 inches high over medium-high heat. Add butter and oil. When hot, add the egg mixture, reduce the heat to medium-low and set the timer for 8 minutes. (If you have an electric element, remove the skillet from the heat for a few seconds while the burner adjusts to a lower heat.) Once the eggs begin to firm, run a spatula around the edges of the frittata to loosen. After 8 minutes, top the frittata with parmesan cheese and place it (in the skillet) on the middle rack of the oven. Cook for 7 to 8 minutes, or until the eggs are set and the top is lightly browned. Using a potholder, remove the skillet from the oven. Cut into wedges and serve immediately. Accompany with salsa or a tomato sauce, if desired. Makes 4 very generous servings.

Source: Anne Greer McCann, Take Home Miracles
Published in The Dallas Morning News on April 22, 2008