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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Hamming It Up

C has apparently discovered conveying expression with his eyebrows. I haven't laughed this hard in a long time.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Toddle Along Tuesday: C's Two Nurseries

Happy Toddle Along Tuesday! This week's topic comes from Libby at ELF: A Family Blog. The topic is.....nursery! What does your little one's room look like?

This topic got me thinking; I could be wrong, but I don't think I ever shared pictures of C's new room after we moved! In our old apartment, C's room was a gender neutral farm animal print.

I spent a good chunk of my pregnancy sewing/making all of the pieces and while it was cute and bright, once he was born I hated it. I wanted a boyish room! When we moved, it was my chance to start over.

While on one of my many prepping for baby Target trips, I perused their Dwell Studios bedding section. Nothing gender neutral that I liked, but a beautiful, almost geometric rocket ship pattern caught my eye. I begged J to let me buy it just in case, but it was pretty expensive considering I had originally planned to make it all myself. I was genuinely sad, but it was true - we had no idea what we were having and Target's return policy is horrible.

After C was born, the closest store to the hospital happened to be a Target. One of the first purchases we made was a set of three receiving blankets in the rocket ship pattern I loved. His crib in the NICU was so stark and bare - I was so excited to give it some color.

After he came home, we realized he wouldn't be sleeping much in his own room for a while. The farm animal nursery was an unfortunate waste. Oh well.

As time went on, I knew it would be harder and harder to find the pieces of the rocket ship bedding set. Luckily, friends of mine from various places found and sent us pieces we were missing! Bumpers and quilt from Georgia, sheets from was a wonderful surprise! C would have my his dream nursery!

When we moved, I was able to really put everything together and finish several projects I'd wanted to do to complete the room. In addition to the bedding set and a coordinating area rug, I made him wall art, a clock, growth chart, a memo board, and bunting to complete the look.

For book and toy storage, we bought an 8 cube shelf system with fabric drawers. At first, we had it laying down (4 across, 2 high) to make everything super accessible for C. Once he got a bit more mobile (and we needed more room for bigger toys), we turned it to standing (2 across, 4 high) and moved around some of the furniture. His crib moved across the room and we put the book case and glider under the bunting.

Its not a complete picture (I forgot to take pictures before C went to bed), but you get the idea. I'm hoping to paint soon to pull it all together. I want to make three walls light blue and one a slightly darker blue.

While it was fun designing and setting up two nurseries, when we have kid #2, we WILL be finding out the gender so hopefully we can settle on one nursery theme and stick with it. ;-)

Check out the Toddle Along Tuesday blog hop over at Growing Up Geeky to see lots of adorable nurseries!

Milestone Alert!

For the first time (and surprisingly without coercion by food) C tried to take a few steps! We've been trying to get him to walk between us sitting on the floor, but he would lunge at us face first instead of taking steps. He thought it was absolutely hysterical, but he wasn't really getting anywhere.

J was playing with him and put a toy he wanted up on the couch. Wouldn't ya know - he took two steps (and a lunge) towards it! We caught it on video (and put it on Facebook), but I haven't uploaded it to YouTube yet to post it here. I'll share tomorrow - promise! :-)

It must have tuckered him right out because he went to be shortly after. Hopefully, he gets the hang of it soon!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Did You Know That....

Back story: We bought a yummy fresh pineapple and gave C a little bowl of baby sized chunks with lunch every day last week. We were being good, responsible parents and including a healthy, fresh fruit in his lunch.


Did you know that if you feed your kid pineapple everyday for a week straight, they WILL wake up in the middle of the night screaming bloody murder with an acid burn rash on their ass?

Yeah, neither did I.

Poor C's butt. He woke up last night around 1am screaming like I've never heard. It was that unmistakeable, heart breaking, "I'm in pain - do something you stupid people!!" scream. Poop hurts, pee hurts, baby wipes hurt....I feel awful for him. Thankfully, a bath in Triple Wash and a healthy slathering of Triple Paste seems to be taking the edge off and helping it heal.

So, word of advice - no matter how much your kid loves deliciously acidic citrus fruit, take it easy on the intake.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Tasty Thursday: Chicken Corn Chowder

For this week's Tasty Thursday, I've decided to share yet another amazing recipe from J's collection. When we lived in Virginia, he worked in a bookstore and would spend some of his breaks perusing the cookbooks for recipes that intrigued him. This is one of them. A super easy crock pot meal, perfect for cold winter days!

Chicken Corn Chowder in a Bread Bowl


2 chicken breasts
1 onion, chopped
1 package of taco seasoning
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 can of creamed corn
20 oz. of chicken broth/stock
1 1/2 cups water
2 tbsp. flour
1 bell pepper, chopped
2 cups pepper jack cheese, shredded
6 red potatoes, diced into 1" cubes

  • Chicken can be precooked or raw (we usually throw it in raw and it comes out SO tender). 
  • Combine broth, water, flour, taco seasoning, and cheese in slow cooker and let the cheese melt. 
  • Add other ingredients and cook on low for 8 hours.
Seriously, that's it. When we make this, I usually throw in the first ingredients right when I wake up, then before I head out the door, throw in the rest (the cheese is melted by then).

After 8 hours, come home to your house smelling wonderful and dig in. We like eating it in a bread bowl; it really makes this into a meal. The chowder freezes well (if it lasts that long) and can be easily altered to your spicy taste.

Want to check out other yummy recipes? Check out the Tasty Thursday Recipe Swap blog hop over at The How to Mommy!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Seriously, Wednesday. WTF?

It's time for another riveting edition of....WTF Wednesday! While positivity is the way to go, once in a while its healthy (and fun) to just look around and think, "WTF?"

  • WTF baby toys taking over my living room? I clean you up thirty times a day. Are you capable of asexual reproduction? Because I swear, you are multiplying when I'm not looking.
  • WTF Keurig? Why do you have to make your delicious K-cups so darn expensive and at the same time dangerously addicting? I have ONE LEFT and need to get over the sticker shock to order more. 
  • WTF allergies/cold? I got ONE cold the entire three years I lived in Virginia. I'm back up north and have been sick since August. 
  • WTF thigh muscles? I scrubbed the kitchen floor four days ago and you're still sore. I'm not THAT out of shape. Thanks for making me feel like a lard ass.

What are your WTF's? Scream them from the rooftops! (Or, post them in the comments section). We can WTF together!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Toddle Along Tuesday & Call for Sponsors!

This post is pulling double duty. Firstly, its Tuesday meaning there is a new topic for Toddle Along Tuesday over at Growing Up Geeky! This week's post idea comes courtesy of Kacie at Chasing Fireflies.

This week's topic is babies and their daddies. A few weeks ago, I made a post of all of my favorite pictures of C and J, so check it out! There's only been one addition to the Charlie/Daddy hall of fame since then...

::sigh:: I love when they cuddle and read together. Melts my heart!

Check out the Toddle Along Tuesday blog hop to see lots of other cuddly baby and daddy pictures!

Secondly, its somehow almost March (not sure how that happened) and that means new monthly swap sponsors! If you're interested in having your button on my side bar and being part of my monthly sponsor shout out, email me at misscraftiepants (at) gmail (dot) com!

The idea is that we swap buttons and support each others blog free of charge for the month. Its a win-win situation for growing blogs. Let me know if you're interested!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Meal Planning: An Update

We've been meal planning/intentionally shopping for almost two months now and I've noticed something interesting. Dinner is a lot less stressful, but our grocery bill is higher than when we shopped all willy nilly! What is that all about?

I think the mystery of the growing bill is that we're eating much better than we ever have. We're eating more whole foods and complete meals instead of slapping things together last minute.

Here are some examples of our weekly plans (the ones I can remember)...

Sunday: Grilled chicken Caesar salad
Monday: Eggs, bacon, and pancakes
Tuesday: Chicken fajitas and cilantro lime rice
Wednesday: Black and bleu burgers and sweet potato fries
Thursday: Marinated steak with sauteed onions and mashed potatoes
Friday: Spaghetti, salad, and garlic bread
Saturday: Left overs

Sunday: Eggs, bacon, and waffles
Monday: Chicken enchiladas and spicy black bean soup
Tuesday: Gruyere/Jarlsberg fondue dipping smorgasbord (for Valentine's Day)
Wednesday: French dip sandwiches, coleslaw, and french fries
Thursday: Left overs
Friday: Pizza
Saturday: Lasagna cups, caprese salad, and garlic bread

And this week's menu is...

Sunday: Left overs
Monday: Pulled chicken sandwiches, mac and cheese, and asparagus
Tuesday: Chicken corn chowder in bread bowls
Wednesday: Pot roast, veggies, and mashed potatoes
Thursday: Turkey meatballs, spaghetti, and garlic bread
Friday: French toast and hash browns
Saturday: Pizza

One thing that I have found very helpful in saving money is buying whole chicken (usually $.99/lb.). After roasting it in the oven or crock pot, I pull off the breasts whole for cutlets, fajitas, chicken salad, etc. and then shred the dark meat for pulled chicken, enchiladas, and other yummy dishes. Then, all of the bones and skin go back into the juices and turns into about 8 cups of chicken stock for soups, stews, mashed potatoes - you name it. It makes everything taste so much better! I freeze the stock in a silicone muffin tin (so I can easily pop them out) and store them in a zip top bag for when I need them.

We also coupon like crazy, take advantage of BOGO and manager's specials for meat, and keep our eyes peeled for which stores have the best prices. Most of all, we only shop for what we need that week meaning less food goes to waste. We haven't thrown out forgotten/unused food since starting this....which is a huge savings!

Overall, we're really enjoying the good food and since many of these meals are made in the crock pot or freezer dishes, we're able to come home and make dinner without much thought or energy. A MUST after a long day of work and school.

Do you meal plan? What are your go to dishes?

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Saturday's Top Five Laughs

PhotobucketIts Saturday! That means I'm linking up with The Mommyhood Chronicles for Saturday's Top Five Laughs Blog Hop -- a culmination of the week's funny/cute kid moments!

Be sure to swing by the blog hop and check out other top five laughs!

5.We recently taught C the word "cookie." After dinner, we break out the animal crackers and if he says, "cookie" he can have one. Only problem is, he now things the word cookie will get him whatever food he wants as if its the word "please." Whoops!

4. C has begun identifying when he's doing something he shouldn't be. He's also learned the word, "uh oh." Therefore, he's begun trying to convince us something is an "uh oh" when its not. Pulled all the DVDs off the shelves and got caught? "Uh oh!" Threw your cup from your high chair? "Uh oh!" Definitely cute, but certainly not an uh oh!

3. I am currently in a community production of The Vagina Monologues. The typical dress for this show is black and red, giving me the perfect reason to break out my lipstick red, 4" pumps. Whenever they're out, C is attracted to them like a magnet! At first, he tried to chew on them and fill them with little toys, but since seeing them on me, all he wants to do is try to put them on. He thinks they're as awesome as I do!

2. C has learned to give the side eye. I don't think he knows what he's doing, but its hysterical none the less. Last night at dinner, I was trying to get him to eat his pizza and talking to him in a funny voice. He gave me this squinty eyed look like, "WTF?" and started slowly picking up pieces of pizza. Don't give me sass already, baby boy!

1. I decided to give C some naked time the other night to help air out some lingering diaper rash. He loves being naked. He was sitting on the living room floor with a toy pot and spoon "cooking," like usual, just naked this time. I look over and not only is he peeing, but he's trying to catch it in his little toy pot and then proceeds to stir it. ::sigh:: I really do have a little boy, don't I?

C is bringing the Saturday morning sass.

Friday, February 17, 2012

The Cleaning Frenzy

What else do you do on a day off - how about clean the whole house? We've been so crazy busy lately that the house has, unfortunately, taken a back seat. Not a huge issue if you ask me, but we're having guests stay the next three weekends, so its about time to get down to scrubbing.

The main areas of ick were the bathroom and the kitchen. Why is that always the case? To be fair, the bathtub and the kitchen floor were pretty dirty when we moved in from what I can only assume were years and years of bare bones cleaning by the previous occupants. There is no other logical reason for the permanent ring around the tub or black tile grout. Gross.

This was the perfect opportunity to try out some of my new home made cleaning remedies! For the tub, I tried the grapfruit salt scrub from Apartment Therapy. It was super easy and ridiculously cheap, plus it smelled amazing! It didn't get rid of the permanent ring, but it did scrub away any other grime and soap scum around the tub. J was happy with it, but mostly because he got to eat the other half of the grapefruit. Definitely something I'll do again.

For the kitchen floor, I used a paste of Borax, baking soda, and water along with a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser and a toothbrush. Oh, and plenty of elbow grease.

Two hours later, the floor went from this...

 To this...

Not earth shattering, but a huge improvement if you ask me. The kicker is that after the scrub down, I ran the Shark mop over it and the mop head STILL turned black. ::sigh:: I'm doomed to a dirty kitchen floor.

After additional dusting, vacuuming, and vinegar/water wipe downs, the house is arguably cleaner than it has ever been without using one single chemical. Woo!

Another project motivated by my no chemical kick and, of course, Pinterest is homemade dish washing detergent. Not only detergent, but pre-measured little soap biscuits - like the kind you'd pay $6 for a bag of 16-20. Using the recipe and tutorial at Lady with the Red Rocker, I made detergent with Borax, washing soda, Kosher salt, and Lemi Shine then slowly spritzed it with a water bottle until it became the consistency of wet sand. Then, I packed it into a tablespoon to create pre-measured little soaps.

In the tutorial, it calls for putting each soap biscuit into a little paper cup as it dries and for storage, but I found that tapping the table spoon out onto parchment paper until it hardened (about an hour) worked well. I then took one of those plastic shoe bins (WalMart - $.97) and layered parchment paper and soap biscuits. I doubled the recipe found on the tutorial and got over 70 biscuits! Its very dry right now because of the heat, they hardened really well. I can imagine in the middle of the summer it may be a little different, but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.

So far, so good! The detergent biscuits fit in our soap dispenser perfectly and it works better than the store bought stuff! Our plastic doesn't have a film anymore and everything rinses so clean.

The awesome part about this recipe is that you can adjust the amount of Lemi Shine according to the hardness of your water. We've got middle of the road water, so a 1/2 cup of Lemi Shine works perfectly. Harder water, add more to the mix; softer water, add less. Nothing beats being able to customize a product until its exactly what you need.

Now we've got dish detergent for over two months (at a cost of about $4) and a clean house. I could get used to this.

What are your favorite homemade cleaning tips/tricks?

Thursday, February 16, 2012

I Miss Sewing

::insert sad face here::

You know you're busy when you don't even have time for your favorite hobbies anymore. Between trying to squeeze in some QT with the family, work, being tired and sick with this unending cold, and keeping up with stuff at home, I feel like I haven't done anything crafty/fun in weeks! My last big project was the iSpy blanket back in December.

I spent my lunch hour cleaning up and organizing my craft room and it made me realize how long it had been since I really did anything in there. 

I've got a long list of things I want to do, but lack time and motivation. C'mon spring break...get here already!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Relationship Reboot

Ahem, already married people out there - when was someone going to let us in on this whole "marriage takes work, especially post-baby" information?

Lately, J and I have been trying to take more time out to remember, ya know, all that love stuff and as it turns out its a lot harder than you'd think. The days go by so quickly - we work, we come home, we clean up, make dinner, put C to bed, then crash on the couch for an hour or two before bed. Rinse and repeat.

Wooooo exciting, isn't it?

We were tired, we were cranky, and we weren't being super supportive/nice to each other at times. It was time for a change. Less time going through the motions and more time actually enjoying them - even if its just cooking dinner or cleaning up the house. We're young, we've got a wonderful little boy, and we've got each other. What is there to be blah about?

One of the "projects" we've been working on is going through this list of 50 Questions to Ask Your Spouse on a Date Night and its been a lot of fun! The questions range from simple (What is your favorite color?) to more involved (What things can I do to show my appreciation of you?) It has a religious focus and some questions definitely tickle my feminist funny bone (see questions 26, 27, & 41), but its overall a good list of conversation starters.

I feel like we've talked more lately than we have in a long time. We've also made more time for kind words and acts that we "didn't have time for" before. Its not about utility or what is logical - its about connecting and making a home in this other person.

It took quite a bit of pride swallowing to finally admit that we've been stubborn and sacrificing what should be the best parts of our relationship, but the results are too wonderful to care.

Tonight, for Valentine's Day, we enjoyed dinner....ALONE. Crazy, right? Don't get me wrong, I love my little C, but if you have a little one and haven't eaten a quiet dinner after your kid(s) have gone to bed, try it. Its like you're young and dating again. Our V-Day dinner consisted of a little surf and turf fondue.

So. much. good. cheese. And the company. He was cute too. ;-)

We've also planned a C-free weekend away in March that we are both very much looking forward to. It took a long time to get to this point, but IT IS OKAY to enjoy being husband and wife and not always Mom and Dad.

So for all of you unmarried people, here is the warning that we never got. The work isn't over when you bag a guy/gal and get hitched. Oh, the contrary - the work is just beginning. Marriage is a constant cycle of forgetting and rediscovering why you love someone more than life its self. The forgetting part will happen from time to time and there is no shame in that. The important part is that second half - going out of your way to remind that person why you are their one and only. No slacking allowed. Don't worry, its worth it.

Happy Valentine's Day, everyone!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Saturday's Top Five Laughs

PhotobucketToday I'm linking up with The Mommyhood Chronicles for Saturday's Top Five Laughs Blog Hop - a culmination of the week's funny/cute kid moments.

5. For the past few weeks, C has been able to point out where his nose is when asked. Yesterday, however, he came up to me and touched his nose (unprompted) and said "no" (how he says nose). I thought that was cute - then he touched my nose and said, "Mama. No." While I'm not counting that as a two word "sentence" - it definitely melted my heart.

4. This week we realized that the kitchen towels on the oven handle aren't safe from the C monster. He pulls them down and puts them on his head like a baby babushka.

3. Yesterday, I pulled some toys into the bathroom and hoped C would occupy himself while I took the fastest shower ever. Instead, he spent the whole time playing peek-a-boo with the shower curtain. Cute. Slightly awkward, but cute. 

2. Mama was C's first word. Apparently he's gotten it all out of his system. This is the conversation we had the other night. "Say Mama!" "Dada." "Mama." "Dada." "Ma." "Da." He thinks he's just hysterical.

1. We're trying to teach C to color without putting the crayons in his mouth. Thursday night, we were sitting on the floor coloring and anytime I'd look away, he'd slowly move a crayon to his mouth - with his eyes on me the whole time. When I'd look at him, he'd pull it away. Little stinker.

Friday, February 3, 2012

I Think My Kid Has Iatrophobia

Iatrophobia. The fear of doctors, also known as white coat syndrome or white coat phobia. Can a 15 month old even have a phobia? I don't know, but I have my suspicions.

Today I took C for his 15 month check up at the pediatrician. I get it - he's been there a lot over the past six months, but I did not expect this kind of reaction. He was fine in the waiting room - played with toys, flirted with other babies, normal stuff. The second we walked into the patient room and he saw the nurse he absolutely. lost. his. shit.

Screaming, (real) tears, turning red, and clawing to me for dear life.

Part of it has got to be stranger anxiety because he is well, 15 months old, but he does great when random people talk to him or wave at him. Unless you have scrubs on, apparently. All she did was weigh him and take his height and you would have thought she was amputating a limb.

Then the doctor walked in. Holy crap.

I tried giving him cookies, toys, even my cell phone - no dice. It took two of us to hold him down to check his ears and I have no earthly idea how she heard anything useful when she tried listening to his heart. He was legitimately trying to get away from her the entire time.

Apparently, his social development (aka age appropriate stranger anxiety) is excellent. Thanks, doc.

My phobia theory was solidified this afternoon. I had to go to the doctor because I feel like death. Well, even when my doctor (who he had never met) came in and tried to check MY ears and MY throat and listen to MY chest, he was going ballistic.

Though I still feel like death, the good news from today was C is healthy, putting on weight and inches, and still has a massive 3 year old sized noggin'. Seriously, that thing is 20 1/2 inches around. Huge.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

One and One Quarter Year

Or 15 months. However you want to say it. Despite my greatest efforts to have the first bonsai baby, C is growing like a weed.

Stats: 23lbs. 13oz and 31 1/2"

Clothing size: 12 -18 months depending on the brand, but getting closer to just 18 months. And these PJs in these pictures? 24 months. Whoa.

Shoe size: Size 5

New Words: Ball, cookie, hello (on the phone), and we're pretty sure he said Charlie the other day.

New tricks: Pretending to talk on his toy phone, getting better eating with a fork and spoon, and pointing to J in pictures and saying "Dada"

Teeth: No new ones, but then again, I think the next possible set are his 2 year old molars. We may be good for a while.

Sleep: He is starting to have what I can only imagine are nightmares. He'll "wake up" screaming, but still have his eyes closed. Poor guy.

Favorite toy: His toy kitchen and all the play food and dishes are still ranking way up at the top.

Favorite food: He goes absolutely bonkers for Goldfish crackers

Things that make me all sad because he's getting so big: He's sleeping on a nap cot at daycare like a big boy! They said the transition from crib to cot was super easy, which blows my mind.

Here are some pictures from last night...

And a year ago at 3 months old...

Its killin' me how big he's getting. I want to remember every single thing about him at this age. Every silly sound he makes, the little curls of hair on the back of his head, the way he laughs and laughs in the bathtub, how he puts his head on my shoulder and says "awwwwwww" when I get home from work. Can I bottle this? Please?

One More Sponsor!

I've got one more sponsor to add for this month...

Tales of Two Girls

Tales Of Two GirlsHi, I'm Tessa from Tales of Two Girls.  I married my high school sweetheart {insert awwww here} and am the momma to 2 adorable little girls.  In my infinite knowledge of motherhood that I've accumulated in the last three years, I've learned that it's a toddler's world, and we're just living in it.  

You can also check out Tessa on Twitter and  Facebook!

Share the love and stop by!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

February Sponsor Love

February is the month of love, so why not send some to this month's sponsors by stopping by!

Building Our Story

My name is Censie (said like Kenzie).  I am the author of Building Our Story, this blog started as a journal for myself back in September 2009. Pretty soon it turned into a Trying to Conceive blog, then a pregnancy blog and then a parenting blog – and soon we hope a Trying to Conceive #2 blog! This website has become a great part of my life. I love updating it and using it to track all of our family’s big events and milestones.

We love doing fun reviews and giveaways too so make sure you stop by and say hi!

Courtious Curtis and The Parents

Our blog is about journal about family memories, sharing recipes, trails of trying to conceive baby #2, sprinkled in with some random (and most likely embarrassing) stories of my attempt at being a stay at home Mom.



Her world. My blog. Our life.
Although it may be Leilaland, I am not just along for the ride. Join me as I conquer my role as stay-at-home Momma. I’m learning to live in the moment, appreciate the small things, and laugh at myself along the way.  

Want to be jump in and be a swap sponsor for February (or another month)? Email me at misscraftiepants (at) gmail (dot) com!