Thursday, September 30, 2010

Gettin' Back in the Kitch

Hey! The CSN Stores giveaway ends tonight! Get in on that!

Well folks, the time has come for me to rid myself of the milkshake-induced pregnancy pounds that I slowly added over 9 months. I gained more than I wanted to but I knew what I was doing the entire time. And they were delicious.  Although I'm down 28 lbs so far, there's more to go.  So now that the ready-made meals that were so generously given to us after Gabriel was born are starting to wane, it's back to menu-planning for me. I'm pretty excited about it too since October means I can get back to trying the soups and stews we've been missing all these months. Oh and if someone could get the fall weather memo to Pennsylvania's weather, that'd be greeeeat. Not so sure if a big bowl of chili really meshes that well with a 93 degree day.

So I stumbled across Eating Well's website and realized I'd never tried anything from them, so I picked a few recipes and we'll see how they go.

Beef & Bean Chile Verde

Wait. I made this last one. 'Cept I omitted both the red peppers cause I didn't have them (used green instead) and the beans because Gabe's having tummy issues and I was advised to avoid fiberous foods. It was tasty anyway. I never bought green salsa before so that was fun. Got it Target in case you need to know. 

Random recipe irritation...when you're looking at recipe reviews online and people say things like " This recipe was terrible! I omitted this and that and used this instead of this and pretty much made a completely different dish but no one at my house would eat it!"  Um, why did you bother using a recipe then if you were just going to throw some shit in a pan?

1 pound 93%-lean ground beef
1 large red bell pepper, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
1 16-ounce jar green salsa, green enchilada sauce or taco sauce
1/4 cup water
1 15-ounce can pinto or kidney beans, rinsed

1. Cook beef, bell pepper and onion in a large saucepan over medium heat, crumbling the meat with a wooden spoon, until the meat is browned, 8 to 10 minutes.

2. Add garlic, chili powder, cumin and cayenne; cook until fragrant, about 15 seconds.

3. Stir in salsa (or sauce) and water; bring to a simmer.

4. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in beans and cook until heated through, about 1 minute.

5. Top with cheese (or sour cream & cilantro if ya got em).

Got any healthy yet tasty recipes to share? Hook a girl up.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Reunited...and It Feels So Good

Hot dogs are one of those "iffy" things they warn you to steer clear of when you get knocked up. Can't imagine why. As I tend to do, I ignored a lot of those warnings. But after a late night encounter with my toilet after knocking back a dog or two, I decided that I could go without for a few months. But man, it was tough! Hot dogs are everywhere in the summer. And for good reason. Look at these babies.

John and I realized there was a trifecta of good reasons for heading to the Last Stand.

1. It was about freaking time for me to get myself a hot dog
2. We're getting back on the weight-loss horse this week so we had to have a last hurrah
3. Little Buddy had to be introduced to this joint

All three of us thoroughly enjoyed our dogs. They were just as good as I remembered.

In other Gabe-related news, he is all about the smiles and coos these days. And let me tell you, they can make your day. You really do think he's trying to talk to you. Meanwhile, he just let something loose in his diaper but noooo, he's clearly trying to communicate.

We've also realized how much this little guy is a carbon copy of his dad, starting with the snoring. I've got one dude on either side of me at night and it's like I'm sleeping in a logging community. And somehow, even though John is what, 20 times the size of Gabe? Gabe keeps up in the volume department.  So to thwart this, I started handing Gabe off to John at 10:30 and heading to bed, leaving them to fend for themselves until bedtime, thus missing the snorefest. This is now backfiring on me. Come 4 a.m. when Gabe is up for an early breakfast, he decides he doesn't want to go back to sleep. I snuggle him, bounce him around, walk him back and forth, everything. He just won't settle. I blame it on the smell of the milk distracting him. (Men everywhere are under my control!) So I wake John up, plop the little guy on his chest and within 5 minutes, they're both out cold. This papa-son bond thrills me to no end. It's everything I always imagined.

Sooo, how bout those hot dogs?

Wait, did you enter the CSN Stores Giveaway? Do it!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Whiny, Cranky Babies Rule

Well lucky me, my baby boy has learned how to throw fits. For his first few weeks, he pretty much cried when one of the top 3 was wrong. If the diaper was spic 'n span, his belly was full and he didn't need a nap then we were smooth sailing. This ain't so bad, we thought.

Ohhh but now, we've moved onto the legend, the crying for no reason, the "sometimes babies just need to cry" situation.   And it's not so much fun. It's one thing when it's in the middle of the afternoon. It's a WHOLE nother when it's 4 am and he just ate. Any time of day though, it's the same... the beet red face, the shaking of the fists, the stiff as a board body. On one hand you want to scream, what's wrong baby?!?!? On the other, you feel so bad, you just want to comfort the lil bugger.

My son already needs a haircut. Unless we're going with Cousin It for Halloween. Who knows.

So um, when in doubt, ignore your screaming infant and take pictures of their temper tantrum.

And let me now just direct your attention to his outfit.  I'm gonna put this out there, I don't like clothes with words on them. Like the above. But when you get perfectly good lil outfits as gifts, I've realized you can't return them all.  Anyway, while my son may some day be his daddy's little helper, it won't be in the construction business. My husband has never and will never be operating a front end loader tractor thing so there is no "helping" to be done. What we need to do is replace those little cartoon tractors with calculators, or a teeny Excel spreadsheet.  Why do daddies have to do manual labor?  What about the poor white collar dads? They need onesie representation too!

And now it has me there a mommy's little helper onesie? Does it have little vacuum cleaners and pots on the stove?  Aprons and pies in the window?  Clearly my new calling in life is to rail against the baby clothes manufacturers for perpetuating these gender stereotypes. Who's with me?!?!

Don't forget my giveaway!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

CSN Stores Giveway!

So if you haven't been living under a rock recently, you've definitely heard of CSN Stores. They are popping up all over the blogosphere with reviews and giveaways for products from the over 200 stores they carry. And it's all things you want too like...

Ottoman Coffee Table-- the only kind I'll buy. Comfy for my feet and safe for the lil ones.

Pie Plates -- I, myself, was the lucky recipient of a giveaway last month and picked up this sweet little pie plate, which I'll be using for Gabe's baptism party.

Bedding -- because um, who doesn't need more bedding options?

CSN Stores is generously offering one lucky reader of Shannanigans a $45 gift certificate redeemable at any of their 200+ their online stores!

Main Entry: Be or become a follower of Shannanigans then visit the CSN Stores website and leave a comment letting me know something that you'd like to pick up from one of their stores.

Bonus Entry: Blog about this giveaway on your blog and let me know!

Please leave a separate comment for each entry!

This giveaway will end on September 30, 2010 at 11:59 PM EST. Open to US & Canadian readers only. Good luck!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

When Irish Eyes Are Smilin'...and Being Pervy

Wait, how is it Tuesday already? Of course, I don't have "weekends" anymore. All my days just kinda run into each other. This weekend however was a little out of the ordinary for me lately. The norm being feed kid, wash bottles, change dipes, pop ibuprofen for headaches & daydream about napping. Anyway, this weekend was all focused on one of my bests, Lisa. See, she's getting married in November so she deserved a shower of some sort. So we gave her one. And because she's Irish, her fiance is Irish and they both love drinking, we gave her an Irish themed shower.

at an old favorite of ours, The Plough and the Stars in Philly...

I baked 80 cupcakes the day before. Then they fell over in my backseat on the way to the shower. What are ya gonna do?

Lisa looooooves all things traditional including bow hats.
This is why we're friends.

Other shower highlights included getting proposed to by this off-the-boat Irishman, who was apparently a bar regular who snuck into our shower to steal cupcakes. He liked my cupcakes so much he could "hang a wet coat from his nipple." Not sure if that's an old Irish proverb or what ;)

- we also had an impromptu after-party at the bar downstairs where I *may* have imbibed quite a few Dirty Ho's...which oh man, did I miss. Hoegaarden plus raspberry Lambic beer equals heaaaven. I had an awesome time hanging out with my friends while John stayed home with Gabe all day. However, after being gone for 10 hours, I may have had a booze-induced breakdown when I got home, feeling guilty for being gone and just wanting to hold my lil guy.  Luckily John just gave me a bottle of water, some ibuprofen and sent me to bed before it got any worse. I suppose these things are to be expected, right?

Happy shower LL! I hope you had an amazing time and got all the leopard print lingerie you could ever want!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Too Cool for School

Our little buddy is one month tomorrow! And as you can expect, I CANNOT believe he's been around for an entire month. He's gone from teeny helpless thing that does nothing but eat and sleep to being a fun little guy with an awesome personality. We've been out and about running errands to Target and the mall, taking walks in our neighborhood and watching Saved by the Bell re-runs during our 7:30 am feeding. Life is good.

So in honor of back to school September, our little buddy put his thinking cap on for his one month photo shoot.  Please to enjoy.

I die. Over and over again.
And here are some mucho hilarious outtakes.

I know, I know. Awesomest kid ever. And I'm going to try really hard not to post pictures of him every day. That's gonna get boring real quick.  Wish me luck.

Oh! And lest I forget...the lovely Mrs. Kinne from The Unstoppable Mrs. Kinne thought I deserved this award. Isn't that nice of her? She thinks I'm versatile! And she's right. I am totally versatile :)

So here's the deal:

The Award Rules

1. Thank the person who gave you this award.
Thannnnnk you Mrsssss. Kinne (Mrs. Kinne's a teacher so that's my elementary school kid voice)

2. Share seven things about yourself.

1 - When I was little I wanted to be a UPS man -- I think it was the truck with the full size door.

2 - I think kids should pay their own way through college, it makes em appreciate it more I think.

3 - I get very anxious before going to new places, whether it's a store, restaurant or vacation destination.  I get what my friends and I have termed "the nervous burps".

4 - Long toenails skeeve me. As do french manicures on toes. Double skeeve because toenails have to be long enough to achieve that look.

5 - I really enjoy all things concerning laundry, the warm clothes out of the dryer, the smell, the folding and the ironing. It relaxes me. However, things like spa days and massages put me on-edge and I want to head for the hills.

6 - I have a million ideas for small businesses I think I should run. I need to pick one and go with it. For reals.

7 - I am the laziest person ever when it comes to my hair. I get it cut about twice a year because I like to avoid the small talk you have to have with stylists. So my hair suffers the consequences....I can never dye, highlight or style it because I won't maintain it. I'll have dead ends for months. I just tell myself I'm saving money. I apparently like lying to myself.

3. Pass the award along to 5 bloggers who you've recently discovered and think are awesome (and be sure to let them know).

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Baby Brain Dump

So in the months leading up to Gabe's birth, I had it in my head that I would be one of those chicks who doesn't allow any cameras near her until the hair and makeup have been attended to. I wanted good looking pictures, so sue me. I had my brush and makeup packed, all ready to go. Then I went through over 35 hours of labor. It wasn't a pretty sight. After 2 days of the most intense pain I've ever felt, where I spent hours being hot then cold, writhing in pain in an uncomfortable hospital bed, I was worse for the wear. Gabe arrived at 11 at night. There was no desire to pull out the makeup bag. In fact, I didn't pull it out the entire hospital stay. Therefore, all my hospital pictures look like this. Wait, there aren't even that many of me. My son is barely a month old, and I already regret this.  My own freaking vanity leaves me with limited pics of us in the hospital. So meh to that.

We were in the hospital for a long time. We went in Tuesday morning and left on Saturday. During that time, I had to give up my lil Gabe multiple times to the nursery nurses. Beause of the fever I developed late in labor, they had to do bloodtest upon bloodtest to make sure nothing had passed through to him. His poor little heels still have the needlemarks. He passed with flying colors though. We thought we were good. Until they realized he was jaundiced. Here we thought he was just really tan. Anyway, in order to work out all the jaundice heebie jeebies, he had to spent the entire day and night under the blue light. Praise Jesus that John had seen him in this situation first and had come to warn me, otherwise I would have probably cried seeing my newb looking like this. But John did what he always does to make me laugh, he referenced Family Guy. Gabe was just Tan Stewie being Tan Stewie.  It was simultaneously pathetically sad and hilarious.

So finally his jaundice numbers were appropriate and they let us take him home. Three days later though, we hit up the pediatrician's office for his well baby visit.

My boy thinks he's Wolverine, trying to intimidate us with the claw hand and spiky black umbilical cord.
We ain't scared buddy.

You're just a teeny lil guy in a monkey suit! 
Speaking of said monkey suit, it's a Newborn size. Everyone always says, don't buy Newborn size, it probably won't fit and if it does, they don't wear them for very long. Well um, I had a good size babe and the Carter's NB size was perfect. And just because they don't wear them for very long doesn't mean they still don't need clothes for the first few days/weeks. So if your preg, go buy some Newb size stuff. We're at 3.5 weeks and still rocking them. And by rocking them, I kinda mean stretching to the limit. But still...
Family portrait at the doctors office! My poor husband with his nine o'clock shadow. If we don't exemplify sleep-deprived parents, I dont know who does.
And Gigi was there of course!

Then Gabe got to meet his future godfather. This is my most favorite cousin Chris. I stll call him Little Chris even though he's only one year younger than me (29) and probably half a foot taller than me. He'll always be my Little Chris. (I have another cousin Chris too, who was aptly named Big Chris...we're nothing if not clever in this family).  And before you go accusing me of dressing my son in nothing but monkey suits, check out the picture below.


And seriously...going to sleep every night, looking at this? My favorite.
Wellll except for maybe waking up to this. How do I chooooooose?
This is what is strewn across my house these days. Footie pj's. Animal foots. I think we have a sleeper with every animal known to man. 'Cept emus, they gross me out.

Oh and hey look! We had our first bath. It was surprisingly pleasant. And I promised him that there would be no gratuitous naked shots of him on the internet to find when he's 15. Sure there will be plently of other embarrassing, black-mailable tidbits about him but we'll deal with that when the time comes

And any baby wrapped up like a burrito is the bees knees in my book. I love burrito babies.

Annnnd because I'm a sucker...

The hospital is contracted with a photography company that comes around and plops your babe in a basket and does a mini photoshoot. They then give you the slideshow for free and DARE you not to buy any photos of your preshussss.

I may be responsible for the gene that causes giant space between toes. Sorry Gabe.

 Ohhh, you're tired, are you? Who just went through 2 days of labor buddy boy? Your mama, that's who. I'm the only one allowed to be yawnin round here.

Oh it's ok, you do whatever you want. Because you're adorbs. And someday I'll remind you of how much I paid for the rights to these pictures. Probably the day you ask me why the bathroom is wallpapered in pictures of your baby feet.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Look at This Face!

This baby of mine makes me so happy. I only have to stare at him for 2 seconds and he whips out one of his (already trademarked) faces.

His dark dark hair is already being replaced by a lighter version. This is no surprise really as John was a blondie as a babe/toddler and apparently so was I. But then I think I turned 3 and I automatically had long, dark hair. It just showed up overnight. But Gabe's hair is a hot topic round these parts. People are shocked at the amount he has. I know it makes him look like a little man guy.
We've had to majorly keep up on this kid's grooming. His nails grow like gangbusters! So if this kid turns out to be gay or metrosexual, we can trace his impeccable grooming habits back to the tiny emory board sessions we have around here.
And just to let you know what we've been up to for the past 3 weeks, we basically just sit around saying to each other "oh my god, you have to see this face!". It doesn't get old, at least to us.
I always assumed I'd have an entertaining baby. Why? Because I don't produce boring babies! ha. For reals, he is super animated and makes sitting around doing nothing the best thing in the world. Loves him.
LOVE him. And peep his crazy hangnail! Mama better whip out her emory board again!

And a big Birthday Shout-Out to Gabe's Uncle Josh today! Happy Birthday BPP!


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