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Friday, November 30, 2012

Yes, I realize he is 2...

No, that doesn't automatically mean we're switching his car seat to forward facing. Yowzah, now that C is two years old, we've started getting the subtle (and not so subtle) side eye from people wondering, "When are you turning his car seat around?" and even a "Why are you torturing him like that?"

Does this cute face look tortured?

Sorry for the crappy cell phone pic - we were running late to daycare/work/life this morning.

About a year ago when C turned one, we got the same questions and wrote this post about car seat safety and I'm happy to update that our plans haven't changed and C is still happily rear facing in both of our cars (an '09 Nissan Versa and a '10 Dodge Grand Caravan).

Trust me, I understand that extended rear facing is going to be dependent on the size of the kid, the type of car seat, the type of car, etc. At 33 lbs (90% for weight) and 36" (80% for height), however, C not a tiny kid and this is a pretty typical, mid range car seat (Graco My Ride 65) - nothing super expensive or specialty. He can see plenty well out the side windows (especially in the van), loves putting his feet up on the seat, and its not any more of a struggle to get him strapped in than if he was facing forward.

How long will he be rear facing? We're fortunate that this car seat is rated to rear face up until 40 lbs. so he's got a little ways to go yet. Another 7 lbs. could be 6 months, could be a year - who knows. The seat then flips forward for up to 65 lbs., but the newer Graco Ride4Me seats go up to 70 lbs.

So, when your little one turns 2, definitely assess what is best for your family, but don't feel like forward facing is your only option. Even adults would be safer rear facing...if that was somehow possible.

As a bonus piece of unsolicited advice...when I was finishing this post, I saw this picture pop up on my Facebook news feed and thought it was perfect with winter coming. Despite knowing this information, these pictures shocked me!

No, they didn't adjust the straps in between pictures. In an accident, a soft puffy coat gets compressed, leaving a lot of room for the child to move within the straps. Now, this doesn't mean your kid can't wear a coat, but there is a huge difference between a ski jacket and a fitted coat. For little ones, a blanket is much safer than a head to toe bundle up outfit. Just food for thought as the winter approaches!

If you're interested in seeing other comparison pictures of car seat do's and don'ts, check out the Picture Guide to Car Seat Safety on the Daily Momtra.

Safe travels, little ones! :-)

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Tasty Thursday: White Chicken Chili

Another amazing recipe from the great mind of J. He knows how to keep this pregnant lady happy! Delicious, warm and cozy in your tummy chili. Mmmmm!

  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1/2" cubes
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp. canola oil
  • 2 cans (15 1/2 oz. each) navy beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 c. chicken broth
  • 1 can (4 oz.) chopped green chilies
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 c. sour cream
  • 1/2 c. heavy whipping cream
  1.  In a large saucepan, saute chicken, onion, and garlic powder in canola oil until chicken is no longer pink. 
  2. Add the beans, broth, chilies, and seasonings. 
  3. Bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes. 
  5. Remove from heat and stir in sour cream and heavy whipping cream. 
Makes about 6 servings. 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: I Feel Huge Already

Voila. A photo shoot in the bathroom at work. I feel huge already! The stretch marks are already making an appearance and my belly button is almost flat. I'm bigger at 22 weeks than I was at 24 weeks with C. I'm scared for the coming months!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Move Over Turkey....the Tree is Up!

We're already sick of Thanksgiving left overs, so it must be time to put up the Christmas tree! After digging out the boxes of decorations, realizing half our lights didn't work, and moving around a few toys and pieces of furniture - we were ready to decorate!

We have come to realize that its much easier and much less stressful to adapt whatever we're doing to include C rather than shooing him away and telling him "no, don't touch that!" a hundred times during the process. The same goes for the tree. We have two boxes of beautiful, mostly breakable ornaments, but for this year (and probably the next several years) are using mostly inexpensive, plastic ornaments from WalMart (the kind that come in a tube). Tied with ribbon instead of metal hooks, they are practically C proof and he can join us in the festivities. He had a blast!

Sure, the tree looks slightly top heavy with bigger ornaments, but C had so much fun putting his ornaments on the tree. He put them on very nicely.....and then I spread them out so they weren't all on the same branch. ;-) This Christmas is going to be so much fun; he is already in awe of the lights and the tree. The entire time we were decorating, he was letting out these soft, whisper quiet "wow!" sounds. I love that sweet boy.

Enjoying his new Christmas stickers and admiring the tree.

We also put up our advent calendar, bunting, window lights, and the ornament window decor I spied on Pinterest a few weeks ago. Looks pretty good, if I do say so myself! Its amazing what some plastic ornaments and fishing line can do for a big boring window.

I still need a few command hooks to hang our stockings, but we're pretty much set for the season. Only thing left to do is finish the shopping, do some wrapping, and make lots of Christmas cookies!

Friday, November 23, 2012

The Holiday Change Over

Happy (belated) Thanksgiving! Yesterday was a long day of family, cooking, cleaning, and eating. Today was a long day of family, cleaning, eating, and shopping. Pretty good two days, I'd say.

For the past two years, we've gotten together with friends of ours (who have an equally small family) and made one big dinner together. Its fancy - especially since they really know how to cook!

They made the turkey, dressing, yams, and gravy and we made the mashed potatoes, stuffing, green beans, and baked corn. Plus, my favorite apple pie for dessert. YUM. I am in pregnant lady fridge full of left overs heaven. C has already polished off the yams, but there are enough mashed potatoes left to feed an army.

We ate dinner at around 3pm, which is right at the end of nap time. This is the best picture of C (and his adorable turkey shirt) that I could get - the blank "I just woke up...someone had better feed me soon..." stare.

Despite my peeling/stirring/mashing arm still being sore, it was wonderful to see everyone and eat delicious food. Post food coma, came shopping!

Usually, we're the crazy people that go to Target at 9pm and stand outside freezing for a few hours before being unleashed into the store. This year, the sales were SO good online, we hardly had to go anywhere to get everything we wanted/needed.

For us, Kohl's was the clear winner this year. We got a new knife set, the Corning Ware bake ware I've wanted since we got married, and a few of those cute hooded kid towels for C. Everything was on sale, had a rebate, a coupon, free shipping, AND Kohl's cash. We paid maybe 25% retail cost. Woo! We stopped by the store today for kicks and I scored an armload of summer clothing for C and the baby on clearance for a whopping $25 after sales and coupons. Their sales are still going on and are still quite good, so definitely check it out.

Knowing we'd need them, I also stalked a few cloth diaper websites for deals on newborn diapers. I was able to get all of the covers, cloth wipes, and Snappi fasteners we'll need for the baby and the Aden & Anais swaddle blankets I've been eying. Coupled with Babies R Us having a BOGO on Tommee Tippee stuff, we're almost totally stocked and ready for this baby. Crazy, huh?

The only place I physically needed to go to was JoAnn Fabrics. Their sales were good, but not get up at 5am good. Its not like they were going to run out of fabric or something. I picked up the fat quarters I'll need for the baby's nursery decorations as well as the fabric for her baby quilt. I am absolutely in love and can't wait to start this blanket!

It was a busy few days, but a good few days. I'm so glad the weekend is still before us. Maybe we can get some relaxing (and crafting) in there! I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and a trample-free Black Friday!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Passing it On

I firmly believe in Momma Karma; you pass things on and things will be passed to you. Kid's clothes, shoes, and toys are entirely too expensive and are gone through so quickly, its ridiculous to be buying everything new all the time. Consignment is great, but you don't get a lot of money in return. Yard sales increase your profit, but who has the time? Just pass it on.

I finally got up the energy to go through all of C's baby clothes to pare down what we had in storage. We had three small boxes and one huge box (one of those big 25 gallon tubs) of clothes just sitting in the closet. I've gone through them in the past and given away a few bags of things, but this time I meant business. While we're not necessarily done having kids after this one, the odds of us having another boy born in the same season as C is just not worth the chance. We wouldn't have another until C was at least in kindergarten, so why hold on to boxes of clothes for 3+ years?

It was sad to see some things go, but refreshing at the same time. I sorted everything into piles for friends with little boys, consignment, donation, trash (some things were pretty stained) and things that would work with this little girl. There's no reason a girl can't wear "boy" denim, Christmas pajamas, and footed sleepers with elephants on them. Oh, and rocket ships and robots. She'll wear those too.

The earthy part of me is excited to see these clothes get yet another life; I bought many of them through consignment or received as hand me downs.

Now that we have more room, I can start collecting things for the baby and sorting through the girly hand me downs we've been generously given and lent. Of all the boxes of C's stuff, there is one small one left of things that don't yet fit him, out of season clothes that still fit, and baby things I just couldn't bear to part with - even if we never get to use them again.

Irrational? Probably. That's parenthood for you.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Dresser Revamp

I love refinishing furniture. I don't know why, but its just so much fun! We picked up a dresser from a friend's yard sale this past summer and it was so charming, I knew I wanted to rescue and refinish it. I had no idea at that point that I'd be doing it for my little girl; it was meant to be.

This fancy little piece started out a beige/yellow color with bronze colored accents and a shiny lacquer top coat. The paint was in need of some love and had its fair share of chips and scuffs. It also had, however, beautiful drawer pulls with a nice patina (or antique schmutz, as J jokingly called it) that were certainly going to stay as is.

After a bit of exploring, we discovered that it came from Sears in the 40's or 50's as part of their Harmony House collection. Given its age, we decided to prime and paint rather than sand and strip to avoid the chance of finding lead based paint. Thanks to the helpful employees at Lowe's for pointing that out!

The first obstacle was going to be getting paint to stick to the shiny lacquer top coat. We couldn't/didn't want to sand, so we went with Bulls Eye Water-based Primer and Sealer by Zissner. It was about $7 for a quart size can (which was plenty) and it worked great. It went on well, dried super fast, and after two coats, completely covered the color underneath. It says its guaranteed to stick to any surface and I believe it. This stuff could properly prime laminate if need be!

After two good coats of primer and lots of filling in the design grooves, I let it sit over night to dry. Plus, I was tired. Second trimester nesting energy can only go so far.

After that, we chose Olympic ONE paint in true white. A little pricier than the primer at about $12 a quart, it is paint and primer in one can, making for a smooth coat the first time. Its scrubbable, durable, and dries with an almost enamel finish - perfect for anything in a kid's room.

I painted all of the primer after C went to bed last night, so it was a quiet, uninterrupted project. I knew I wouldn't get all of the paint done tonight so I bit the bullet and started while he was awake. Thankfully, I found a tiny trim roller set in the closet and let him help me "paint." It kept him occupied the entire time it took me to paint the dresser body! I underestimated his interest in helping, apparently.

Once the body was done in white, I used a sample size can of Olympic ONE (in the same shade as the bedroom walls) to paint the drawers. How Pinteresty, right? The drawer fronts and sides were all done in pink, then I hand painted the detail grooves on the front in the True White. I forgot how relaxing painting was. Once everything was dry and I reattached the hardware, I knew I'd made the right decision in leaving pulls as is. Though the paint looks fresh, they are charming proof of its history.

I absolutely love how this piece turned out and I can't wait to see it as part of the overall room. I can't believe I considered getting rid of it when I found out we couldn't sand it. I will never doubt the potential of an antique again!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Nursery Time!

It seems like only yesterday that I was putting together C's nursery in our old apartment. Well, now that I'm over the half way mark, its time to get started on this little girl's nursery! Don't get me wrong, doing C's nursery was fun, but I'm secretly ridiculously excited to put together a girly room. I've been pinning lots of ideas based on a great theme idea J had and things are coming together nicely!

Once we paint walls, I'll paint the tree mural. Then come the birdhouses and other decorations. We chose a light pink for the walls and a light green for the tree. I know the whole pink and green thing is pretty over done at this point, but I love it and think it will seriously brighten this small room.

One of the bigger projects on the list is painting a dresser we picked up from friends at a yard sale. It was $15 and freaking adorable. We bought it with plans to strip and stain it to match the walnut nursery furniture, but finding out its from the 1940's/1950's means a high chance of lead paint. Etching primer and paint it is! I'm thinking white with some light colored accents, but I'm not sure just yet.

This is totally the second time Mom in me coming out, but we are forgoing a bedding set this time. We loved C's bedding set, but truth be told we only used the sheet and the bumper for about 18 months. He's only recently started using his blanket (and dragging it around the house with him). This time we're going with pink breathable bumpers and coordinating crib sheets. Done and done. I plan to make a crib sized quilt for her as well - ya know, whenever I finish my nephew's and C's.

The bird houses were easier to find than I thought they would be. Michael's had them for $5 and under. Coupled with a 25% off purchase coupon and it will be a pretty inexpensive project! The paints are more muted, pastel colors to match the walls and mural. Another thing I found at Michael's that honestly stopped me in my tracks was this beautiful 11" x 14" laser cut wood frame. Its going to go above the crib with the first letter of her name in it. Which is....V!

Have I piqued your curiosity yet? We're going to make her name "public" soon. :-) In the meantime, we're moving furniture, painting, and reorganizing all of our baby stuff. Thanks to some incredibly generous friends, we have lots and lots of baby girl stuff to sort through! Thanks, ladies! Its funny, when we all used to get together it was just to hang out, drink, play a few board games, go we trade baby stuff. How times change. ;-)

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Teeny Tiny Cloth

Yeah.....not gonna fit for a while.
After much research and price comparison, we've picked out cloth diapers for the baby! Excitement! With C, we only bought a stash of bumGenius 3.0 and 4.0 diapers thinking they would fit. He was so tiny for so long, however, they didn't fit until he was about 3 months old! Preemie and newborn disposable diapers are expensive, dude. We are not playing that game again.

Since we'll only be using them for a few months, I wanted to be as frugal as possible with our newborn stash. The cheapest way to do cloth is prefolds and covers. I heard about a seconds sale at Green Mountain Diapers and couldn't resist! I got on the list and got my private link to the sale this morning. Woo! I was able to score 2 dozen newborn orange edge prefolds and 2 dozen small yellow edge prefolds for $66 - a savings of $38. That's enough to buy at two covers and a few Snappis

Speaking of covers, that's been the hard part. There are so many out there its hard to decide! The good part is that when using covers and prefolds, you only need 5-6 covers as opposed to using pockets or AIOs where you need a completely new diaper at every diaper change (approx. 24-30 diapers total). You can use them a few times (unless they are subject to a poo-splosion) before switching to a new cover. Less laundry, less cost - I love it.

After much searching and review reading, I think we're going to go with Thirsties Snap Duo Wraps. They are highly reviewed, but it was the prints that really sold me. I mean, seriously, look at these adorable prints. PINK ARGYLE!!

I'm hoping and praying that they'll fit right away; I think I was traumatized by C's surprisingly small stature. The size 1 fits from 6lbs to 18lbs which is plenty to get us from newborn to fitting into C's bumGenius diapers. The trick is going to be potty training C by the time the baby needs his diapers! Ahhh not going to be fun.

If you want to get on the Green Mountain Diaper seconds email list, email them at I'm not sure how long the waiting list is, but its worth a shot for a great deal.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Christmas is Coming!

Yeah, yeah, yeah, respect the turkey and all that jazz, but CHRISTMAS IS COMING! After Halloween, Christmas is our favorite holiday of the year. Basically, the end of the year is one big celebration in our house and that's cool in my book.

I started looking through my Pinterest boards and made a list of what projects I want to get started - I forgot how many fun ideas I found throughout the year for the holidays.
Original credit to

In an attempt to create a C-proof holiday this year, I'm going to make him a Felt Toddler Christmas Tree. It looks cute, its cheap, and hopefully it will distract him from taking all of the ornaments off the big tree.

Another random decoration project I'm excited about is this Ornament Window Decoration. We have the perfect window in our apartment for this and we even have a tension rod laying around. All we need to pick up is some fishing line and a box of plastic balls. I can't wait!

Here are a few holiday projects/recipes that I've done in the past and hope to do again this year. Some of these are tutorials I've done and some are simple projects recreated from Pinterest that don't really need a tutorial.

Salt Dough Ornaments
Handmade Christmas Stockings
Reversible Holiday Placemats
Iced Gingerbread Cookies
Hot Cocoa Cones
Greeting Card Bunting
Glass Glitter Ornaments

Truthfully, I'm trying really hard to keep the Christmas decorations at bay until Black Friday, but its getting really hard. What if I put a turkey on top of my tree? Does that count?

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Gender Prediction?

Now that we know for sure a little girl is on the way, it was fun to look back on all of the gender prediction quizzes and old wives tales to see if they were right. Here are various predictions

Prediction Quizzes/Methods:

Chinese Gender Chart ( Girl
Lunar Calendar Gender Chart: Boy
Shettles Method (like you wanted to know): Girl

Old Wives Tales:

Heartbeat (in the 160's): Girl
Morning Sickness (ugh, yes): Girl
Cravings (salty, savory foods): Boy
Weight Gain (hardly any so far): Boy
Carrying in the front vs. all around (eh, a bit of a spare tire): Girl
Carrying high/low (a little early to tell): ??
Skin (clear, normal): Boy
Husband gaining sympathy pounds (not really): Boy

While the "prediction" methods seem to have a better accuracy rate than the old wives tales in my case, its always neat to see just how many ways there are to "predict" what you are having. With C, almost all of these methods were dead on from cravings to how I was carrying. Interesting stuff.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Rock Star

I'm not sure where he got it from, but C turns anything remotely resembling a guitar into one and rocks away on it. Last night, he made this "guitar" out of Legos all by himself! ::proud Momma::

This is his rock face.

Monday, November 5, 2012

19 Weeks

I'm 19 weeks along and.....

It's healthy baby girl! We are thrilled. She was awesomely photogenic for the ultrasound technician and we were able to get some really good shots of her. 

Say hello to the inside of my uterus and the little person residing there at the moment. She was so adorable all curled up in there; sucking her thumb and rubbing her little face. That's so weird to say....her. I'm going to have a daughter. Wow. 

One piece of information we learned was that my placenta is anterior; its along the front and cushions her kicks and movement from me feeling. No wonder I haven't felt much as of yet! The doctor said in another month I'll definitely be feeling more, which is good - that's the fun part!

Anyway, here are the stats for 19 weeks!

Baby is the size of! About 

Weight: No real change over the past few weeks. Staying steady around 5 lbs. gain. 

Sleep/Energy: The sciatic pain is ramping up, but laying with a body pillow seems to be helping. Thankfully, I've gotten my energy back during the day. A nap in the afternoon still makes me most productive, but I think anyone could say that. lol 

Cravings/Aversions: No aversions, but I'm never really in the mood for sweets. All I want is salty and savory food. Needless to say, I am PUMPED for Thanksgiving!!

General Symptoms: Heartburn is starting to rear its ugly head, but thankfully Tums is working. I have plenty of Zantac on deck for when it gets worse. Not if....when. Otherwise, the chiropractor really helped with the headaches and they've gone away almost completely. Its so nice. Seriously - if you are pregnancy, find yourself a prenatal chiro. It will change your life!

Movement: Eh, getting there. I can feel a bump once in a blue moon, but nothing consistent. 

Appointments: Aside from an itchy ass, the 17P shots have been going very well. The only side effect is the itching, which doesn't seem to really go away, unfortunately. I'm still itching the spot from last week while now itching this week's. ::sigh:: Just don't judge me for scratching my ass all day. 

Best Moment of the Week: Finding out she's a girl! Now to think of a name.... Hmmmmm.....

Today's Agenda

On today's agenda....

1:00 pm - 19 week OB appointment (and my 4th 17P shot)

2:00 pm - Our anatomy scan at the imaging center!!

Immediately followed by...

A trip to Target to buy something ridiculously cute and gender specific for the baby!

I'm ecstatic that we're finding out the sex today and even more excited that J was able to take off work and come with me. He hasn't been able to come to any of my appointments thus far, so this one is most certainly special.

Updates later! :-)

Friday, November 2, 2012

Charlie is Two!

Its a few days late, but I finally got around to taking his official 2 year pictures. Its been a busy week full of Halloween, anniversary, and birthday celebrations! October 31st is my favorite day of the year - its the day I became a wife and a year later, a mother. You can't really ask for something more special than that.

 October 31st, 2009       &      October 31st, 2010

C is growing and learning every single day and we are constantly in awe of him and his little personality. He's gone from our tiny little preemie to a funny, silly, loving little boy. There's no more baby in this face!
Here are his 24 month stats!

Stats: 32lbs. 6oz., 35 1/4" - He is 90% for weight, 73% for height, which makes me so happy after such a long time under the growth chart. I'd say he has definitely caught up.

Clothing: 2T everything and a 3T winter coat!

New words: Too many to count! He's learning his manners (please, thank you, bless you), the names of his favorite characters, and lots of body parts, clothes, toys, foods - you name it. He's been talking up a storm and even starting some two work "sentences." Its so funny what he comes up with sometimes!

New tricks: He's been walking up and down the stairs holding onto the rail very well, completing puzzles, and beginning to put toys away and help clean up.

Sleep: Since moving to his big boy room, he's been happily sleeping in his big boy bed (a twin). Still getting up at 6am, but what can you do.

Favorite toys: Blocks, cars, puzzles, and anything Mickey Mouse.

Favorite food: He asks for apples and milk by name most often. They're his favorite!

Now and then...
October 31st, 2010
October 31st, 2011
October 31st, 2012

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Tasty Thursday: Apple Banana Oatmeal Cookies

I found this recipe somewhere online (I genuinely forget where) and after some tweaking really love it. These cookies are perfect for little ones who don't need a ton of sugar, but want a yummy treat. I made these yesterday for C's daycare class and the teachers definitely appreciated a lower sugar treat for the already hyper kiddos. ;-)

Even when they're cooled, these cookies stay soft with a muffin top type texture. Feel free to add nuts, dried fruit, chocolate chips - whatever your fancy!


1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 cups quick oats
1 cup over ripe banana, mashed
1 apple, skinned and grated


Sift together the flour, baking soda, and cinnamon in a medium bowl.
Cream together the butter, sugar, and egg in a separate small bowl.
Blend the creamed butter mixture into the medium bowl with the dry ingredients.
Add the oatmeal, mashed banana, and grated apple - fold together. Blend until mixed, do not over beat the mixture.

Drop a scoop of batter (about a 2" sized glob) onto a greased cookie sheet (parchment paper works well too) and bake at 400 degrees for about 11 minutes. Cool and store in an air tight container. Enjoy!

Makes about 3 dozen cookies.