Image Map

Facebook Pinterest Twitter Instagram Email Family Home Crafty Recipes Goals Blog Roll PR

Monday, April 30, 2012

Happy 18 Months!

Wow, I suck. Correction, last week sucked and I'm awesome for surviving it. Everything was fine on the home front, work however was busy, busy, busy. Anyway, today marks a year and a half since my (not so) little man joined us!
Mickey Mouse Clubhouse induced daze.

Stats: 27lbs. 1oz & 32 1/2"

Clothing size: Every stitch of his 12 months clothes are put away and most of his 18 months clothes are on their way out too. He's in 24 months shirts for the most part and 18 months pants still have plenty of room. We just had to buy 2T/3T socks for those boats he's sporting.

Shoe size: Size 5/6

New Words: Night night, balloon, cupcake, taco, mouth, shoe

New tricks: Walking! He's walking almost exclusively now and has been doing a bit of climbing too. He can successfully get off the couch without tumbling and is generally all over the house. He also loves to sing songs with hand motions and tries to follow along. C has also learned a few new body parts (ears, foot, and mouth) and can point them out!

Teeth: Suddenly, he hates having his teeth brushed. Makes for a fun time.

Sleep: After an almost successful attempt to climb out of his crib, we took the side off and turned it into a...*gulp*...big boy bed! He loves it and can get in and out of it by himself. So far so good.
They don't make a rail for this crib, so we improvised.
Playing in his new super baby proofed big boy room.

Favorite toy: His rice box, the water table, and the cat's tail. We're trying to break him of that last one for the poor cat's sake.

Favorite food: He would eat a banana at every meal if we let him!

Things that make me all sad because he's getting so big: Between the walking and the big boy bed, I'm a crying mess.

Now and Then:

A year later and 15 lbs. heavier. How things change!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Saturday's Top 5 Laughs!

Its 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. For a while now, C has been calling J "Da" and will point to him when you ask, "Where is Dada?" He still won't do this for me and in general only says, "Mama" when he really wants something (in a kind of whining Mamamamama way). This week he started saying his name (Cha-ee) and Grandpa (bah-bah). When is it my turn?! :-)

4. I'm not sure if this is part of the whole bodily function awareness needed to potty train, but lately whenever we ask C if he pooped he just runs away laughing. Me thinks he knows what's going on...

3. When we run a bath for C, its his job to throw all of the toys in. This has translated to him pulling back the curtain and throwing toys in at our feet whenever J or I are in the shower. He's such a helpful little guy.

2. C has learned a new word: cupcake. Its funny, he seems to pick up food related words much faster than other words. The other night he wolfed down dinner, threw his plate on the ground, and screamed, "CUPCAKE!" Uh oh...

1. I took C to our local Relay for Life and he spent the entire time flirting with the cheerleaders and sorority girls. He would walk over to them, make a shy face, then try to play peek a boo. They ate it up. Working the ladies already. ::smh::

Friday, April 20, 2012

Parenting: Baby vs. Toddler

As C gets older and more independent, I've realized how much my parenting style has changed. It seems that many of the things you weren't supposed to do with a baby are perfectly normal and sometimes necessary with a toddler. I'm sure most of you have seen, if not own, this informative book.

They should make a toddler version with updates to correct their dirty, dirty lies.

 For instance, this one...

With an infant, you gently try to suck those little boogers out with a specially made bulb. With a toddler, you chase them around the room with a tissue, finger, sleeve, or whatever you can grab to try and get that nose gold off their face.

Or this one...
Infants get a gentle massaging bath with a soft, specially made wash cloth. For a toddler? I can think of several times where a garden hose would have been very helpful.

And finally...

C's favorite activity as an infant was being held by someone (anyone) 24/7. C's current favorite activity is being thrown up in the air, turned upside down, climbing on me and crushing my bladder, and diving on pillows. They train parents to be gentle with children, but what do you do when they turn violent?!

Additional, lies...
This is going to happen at some point anyway no matter what you do.

             No matter how you check, you're going to get poop on your hands one day. 

While hanging a huge TV over the crib is obviously not recommended, 
five fifteen minutes of Disney Channel so you can have a cup of coffee is okay.

Well there you have it folks. Once you think you've got this infant thing down, they throw you a curve ball and you're back at square one. Even now, C is throwing curve balls and will continue until I become too senile to notice. Good thing its fun. :-)

*This post is obviously meant to be humorous and the mere fact that I need to write this reminds me how this world has lost its sense of humor. ::shakes head::

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Sudden Onset Vegetarianism

What gives? C has gone from being a garbage disposal to being picky?!

Nooooooooooo!! ::runs away::

Since starting solid foods well over a year ago, there wasn't a thing C didn't love. Even spicy or super sour foods went right down the hatch. In the last two weeks, however, he's apparently been busy rebooting his pallet. He still devours fruits and veggies (and probably too many snacks), but has taken to spitting out anything meat related. Are we sure this is my kid?

On Sunday, we had a nice dinner on the patio and made steak, mac and cheese, and a side of peas and carrots. In a cunning attempt to trick him, we mixed up everything on his plate. Genius, right? He first picked out every single pea, then the carrots went, then the mac and cheese....leaving the steak behind. Any steak that accidentally got in his mouth was immediately spit out and thrown on the floor.

That is a crime against good steak that should never be committed. Ever.

It must be a texture thing because no matter what we put on it or how we serve it, nothing works. Even last night, we uncased Italian sausage and crumbled it into pasta sauce. The pieces were so small we thought for sure he'd miss them. Nope. Picked them all out, then ate his spaghetti.

We're at a loss. I figure we'll keep offering it when its on the menu in hopes he'll snap out of it, but we're concerned about his protein intake. He can't eat PB&J for ever meal, to his dismay.

He becomes more toddler and less baby every day. Stop it, kid. You're scaring me.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Two Peas Week Two - ISO & Shutter Speed

This week's lesson from Two Peas in a Bucket is about ISO and shutter speed. I haven't spent much time shooting in Tv (shutter priority mode) since Av (aperture priority mode) was so easy to understand. Turns out, playing with shutter speed is fun! For this week's homework, I had to capture water with various ISOs (film speed) and shutter speeds.

f/5.6    1/80    ISO 1600
A fairly standard exposure like you'd use taking an everyday shot indoors.

 f/1.8    1/1250    ISO 1600
A much faster speed to freeze the water as it bubbles and spills.

 f/14    1"    ISO 100
A much slower shutter speed (a full second) creates a smooth, blurred water look.

  f/1.8    1/1250    ISO 1600
A better example of "frozen" water spilling.

This week's lesson had a lot of good information about taking photos both inside and outdoors and how adjusting the film and shutter speed can help get well lit, clear shots. Hopefully, knowing more about shutter and film speed will help me get better indoor shots of my wiggly toddler!

Check back for next week's lesson on lighting, which is good is hard.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Toddle Along Tuesday: A Day in the Life

Happy Toddle Along Tuesday! This week's topic comes from Katie at Love, Lattes, and Lullabies (whose blog and little boy are super cute). The topic is....A Day in the Life! What does a day in your house typically look like?

Since J and I both work full time, a typical weekday is quite lame.

6:00 am - J gets up to shower and then gets C up (if he's not up already).
6:15 am - They both get dressed, eat breakfast, and get packed up.
6:45 am - I get kisses from my boys and they're off to work and school.

(Yes, you should all be incredible jealous of my amazing husband that lets me sleep in while he gets C ready to go. He is basically the best ever. Ever.)

Fortunately, my hours are flexible and if I have a late meeting one night, I go in a little late the next day. Most days I'm in around 8:00 am, but some days I can arrive at 9:00 am. Woo!

8:00/9:00 am - Meetings, meetings, and more meetings with a dash of email, phone calls, and walking back and forth across campus. Good thing I love my coworkers and students or this would be a very boring job.

4:00 pm - C and J get home and stop by my office to say hi. My favorite part of the day! J starts dinner while C winds down from the day.

4:30/5:00 pm - I come home if I don't have any late afternoon obligations. C and I play and clean up the living room while J finishes dinner.

5:30 pm - We have dinner, clean up, and pack lunches for the next day.

6:00 pm - If we have quick errands to run, we would do it now, but much prefer to stay at home and play with C before bed.

7:30 pm - C's bed time. J brushes his teeth and I read him a story before bed. Lately, he's been staying up later for some reason, but generally he's pooped by 7:30.

8:00 pm - Time to tidy up the house, do laundry, and/or generally veg on the couch until bed time (between 10:00/11:00pm)

The weekends, are a very different story. Though we do end up traveling a lot to see family and friends, we cherish our weekends and try our hardest to do things together. This past weekend was a nice quiet few days at home doing some spring cleaning and working on the back

On Sunday, I took a turn waking up with C so J could sleep in (See? I repay the favor!) We got up around 6:00 am, had breakfast, and played until around 8:00 am when J was awoken by the worst kind of alarm clock...

"I think you need a diaper change, C. Oh....dear.....God....its....everywhere!! 
I can't even get your pants off safely! You need a bath...."

In his half asleep stupor, he got up and turned on the water for us before I even made it to the bathroom. What a great Dad. After that was all figured out, we headed out to Lowe's to pick up the rest of the gardening supplies we needed.

After lunch, C took a three hour nap (I know, crazy, right?) and we worked on the back patio. I spray painted some ugly old pots we had, planted some flowers, and set up our shoe rack herb garden. Hopefully, stuff grows this year. ::fingers crossed::

C joined us in the late afternoon and it was so beautiful outside, he played in his water table as we sat on the porch swing sipping iced coffee. Doesn't get much more perfect than that.We even ate dinner outside and enjoyed the amazing summer-esque breeze. Why can't every weekend be like that?

Once we get rid of a few stray cinder blocks, sweep, and set up the grill and C's baby pool, we'll have our own little pavement paradise.

What is a typical day like in your house? Head over to Growing Up Geeky and join today's blog hop to share your story and read about some others!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Why are There So Many Sippy Cups?!

Soft spouts, hard spouts, straws, flip tops, insulated, disposable.....there are so many kinds of sippy cups! It took several months and lots of trial and error, but we found sippy cups we absolutely love.

When I was growing up, I'm like 99% sure we had these or nothing and if you spilled it, you got wet. That was it. When my little brother was younger, I remember them coming out with spill proof cups and it revolutionized the sippy cup world. Now, 15 years later there have been so many sippy cup "advances" it blows my mind. For many, its a bunch of empty promises and wasted money. For others, C just didn't like them. Here is the evolution of our sippy cup trials.

Over the past year, we've tried...

Tommee Tippee Explora Trainer Cups 
We bought these since we used TT bottles and they were apparently the best "orthodontic" spouts out there. Right. The spout was too hard for him to figure out at first (you had to bite it to open the valve) and when he finally did, it pretty much poured water all over him. Not good.

Playtex First Sipster
Maybe the first spout was too soft and too much water came out? The harder spout was no better. We realized that with his huge noggin, he couldn't tip the cup back to drink without falling over. On to the straw.

Munchkin Might Grip Flip Straw
Some people swear by Munchkin as good quality for the price, but I remain unimpressed. We bought this cup because it was inexpensive and we had already purchased other failure cups. As our first attempt at a straw cup, we realized it was impossible to show C how to suck through a straw and he would get too frustrated. In comes the squeeze sippy...

Playtex Lil' Gripper Twist and Click Straw Sippy
(And no, we didn't pay what Amazon has listed. Whoa.) This worked much better since we could squeeze the cup to show C that there was liquid in it. Once he figured out the straw thing, however, it didn't let liquid through fast enough for him and he would get frustrated. Next cup.

Playtex Insulated Twist and Click Straw Cup
At first, these cups were the answer to our prayers. The straw was wide enough where C could drink (or guzzle as is sometimes the case), but were spill proof and insulated. Plus, the pieces were relatively easy to clean and keep track of. After a while, however, we realized they began to leak. Whether that's because of the dishwasher or what, but leaky cups aren't cool. We still use them, but if they leak much worse, we may need to toss the older ones.

The First Year's Take and Toss Cups
When we first got these, they were absolutely awesome - and still are to an extent. We can throw one in the diaper bag as a back up and it doesn't really matter if it gets lost. The issue came in when C figured out how to pull the straw out (they're not spill proof) and pour water out of the straw hole. We still use these, but only under supervision. 

Gerber Graduates Insulated Straw Cup
These are our newest cups and we absolutely LOVE them. The pieces are easy to clean, there are no leaks, and they are super cute. Hopefully they hold up against the C monster.

Munchkin Click Lock Straw Sippy
In a bout of amnesia and with a coupon in hand, I bought another Munchkin sippy. Why?! I hoped their new "Click Lock" system would yield a better cup. I'll admit its nice to hear that "click" and know for sure its closed, but C still seems to get liquid out of the straw when he turns it upside down. Yuck. I've heard wonderful things about the spout version of this cup, but he doesn't do spouts. Oh well.

Depending on the brand, sippy cups can be pricey so keep your eye out for coupons and sales. Target is especially good at this and will often have a coupon on their website or a BOGO 50% off sale. Though their selection is usually 75% girl colors and 25% boy colors, there is usually something for us to get when the sale comes up.

When it comes to sippy cups, remember - every kid is different and is going to like different things. C is a straw sippy cup kid and will probably go right to an open cup never using a spout. To each their own. The important thing is to try different things, borrow cups from friends to try, and when you find something that works, buy a million* of them.

*Okay, not a million, but several so you have enough on hand. ;-)

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Saturday's Top Five Laughs

”Photobucket”Its 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 took C to his first amusement part this past Sunday (yes, on Easter) and we hope to make it an Easter tradition! He wasn't too sure about the rides, but enjoyed napping in his stroller as we walked around the park.

4. Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words...and a caption. This is J and my brother in law enjoying big kid play time at the go kart track.

3. C has decided play cooking is not good enough. He's taken to adding his snacks and trying to pour out his sippy into his play cookware to make something. He'll bring us his "creation" and hold out the spoon while making lip smacking noises indicating we should taste it. He's such a good sharer.

2. My nephew is 6 months older than C, so when we all get together, they are best buds. They spent a surprisingly long time on Saturday afternoon entertaining themselves by giving each other rides in my nephew's gigantic dump truck up and down the hallway. Oh boys!

1. C's favorite book has always been Peek-a-Who? He loves when we read it to him and emphasize the BOO! Out of nowhere, he's started to "read" it to us - turning the pages and everything. He's a great "reader," but every page seems to be "peeka......BOO!" ;-)

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Two Peas Week One - Aperture

Week one of the Two Peas in a Bucket photography course is about aperture. Since getting my 50mm lens, I've been playing around in Av mode a lot and really love changing the depth of field to change the picture. Here is my "homework" from this week's lesson.

f/1.8 (left)         f/3 (right)

 f/11 (left)         f/22 (right)

I should have grabbed my tripod to take these, but truth be told, I was feeding a toddler at the same time and used the flower as my subject because it was on the kitchen table. I think I have a pretty good grasp on aperture; its keeping the lighting correct as you increase the f stop that gets me. As you can see, the bottom pictures get more yellow because of the aperture closing and letting in less light. I'll figure it out eventually. Hopefully.

Next week's lesson is ISO and shutter speed. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Easter Weekend (and Another Ear Infection)

Sorry for the posting lapse - while we were away for Easter weekend, C came down with his third ear infection in a row. Whomp whomp. :-( Amoxicillin didn't work, Omnicef didn't work, so on to Rocephin shots we went. I hate seeing him get these shots because the needle is huge and the medicine is thick and slow to push, but it helps so much when other things don't. It was the only thing that knocked out his fever and upper respiratory gunk back in December.

The good news is that he's feeling better and his ears are clearing up. Hopefully, they continue to stay clear because one more infection means a consult with the ENT.

Anyway, here are some pictures from our Easter extravaganza weekend pre-ear infection melt down.

C colored Easter eggs for the first time and loved it. He was completely unimpressed last year (see picture on the right) and refused to participate.

He got to hang out with some of his favorite people.

And got bubbles in his Easter basket, which pretty much made his weekend. 

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter from my little bunny. :-) We hope you have a wonderful day!



Thursday, April 5, 2012

Two Peas in a Bucket

Since getting my DSLR last summer, I've been tinkering around with it and learning as I go. Though I consider it a personal accomplishment to have never shot a single picture in auto, one of my goals for this year is to buckle down and take an online course to learn the ins and outs of my camera before getting into bad habits or guessing at using features.

Fortunately, there is a free online "course" that you can read through and learn features and practice various techniques from Two Peas in a Bucket.

The course goes over: 

Week 1: Aperture Basic Training
Week 2: Advanced Aperture
Week 3: Light
Week 4: Flash
Week 5: Composition & Framing
Week 6: Shooting Indoors
Week 7: Shooting Outdoors
Week 8: On the Go
Week 9: Portraits
Week 10: Landscapes
Week 11: Your Daily Environment
Week 12: Lenses, Filters & Accessories

You can find the links to each of the courses here.

Each week comes with homework and things to try out. I'm going to be participating in the course on a photography message board over the next few months and will also post my "homework" here! Hopefully, I can learn more about what my camera can do because I am absolutely certain that I haven't gotten the hang of it all just yet. 

In the meantime, I'm going to keep practicing and pinning fun tutorials and photo ideas on my Pinterest "I want to be good at photography" board. If you're interested in taking the Two Peas course with me, let me know! We can do a weekly check in and show and tell!

And while we're talking about pictures, I leave you with another J & C favorite. :-) Something about pictures of them makes me want to make them black and white...

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

My Name is MommaM and I am Addicted to iSpy Quilts

J has his Magic the Gathering cards and I have my fabric. Its a mutual agreement of I don't ask about what he spends on his hobby and he doesn't ask about mine - as long as its within reason of course. Whenever he buys new cards or I get fabric back from an iSpy Swap, its the same reaction. We sit there going through our stash ooh-ing and ahh-ing our collection leaving the other person wondering what the heck the big deal is. Cracks me up.

I recently participated in another iSpy fabric swap with Linnea over at Flynn 'n Fabric and got my fabric back on Friday. So much awesome stuff!

I sent in 20 squares each of 10 different fabrics (conversation hearts, shamrocks, chili peppers, alphabet, cooking supplies, Mardi Gras, dinosaurs, sparkly cupcakes, butterflies, and states) and got back 200 distinctly different 4"x4" fabric squares.

Even more exciting was that I now have enough to make C's all black iSpy blanket! Here is the one I'm using as inspiration made by Care over at Obsessively Stitching. I absolutely love the pop of the colors on the black background and especially love the bright teal border. I can't wait to get started!

I also recently came into possession of a beautiful collection of Spoonflower Fabric squares from Crafterhours Shop that are to die for. Mustaches, fire hydrants, rainbows, watermelons, sushi, smiley teeth...the most random, cool iSpy fabrics I've ever seen. Though beautiful and very high quality, Spoonflower Fabrics are crazy expensive (upwards of $16/yd.) and when you only need a small square can be seriously out of price range. A huge thanks to Crafterhours for buying yardage and cutting it into these little kits. Saves money and time!

One of these days, I'll stop collecting and actually start the twin sized blanket I intend to make for C's "big boy bed." Hopefully, it'll be done by the time he actually gets into said big boy bed. I've got to have over 500 squares at this point! How do I know when to stop collecting and start sewing?!