Monday, February 28, 2011

Encyclopedia of Moi: Volume E

Good morning friends! How are you guys? We had an excellent weekend, although we really didn't do much of anything. But I'm happy to say that we have an amazing sleeper on our hands once again. And bedtime keeps creeping up earlier and earlier, to about 7:30 pm. It's kinda cool because I could actually run to the store after he goes to bed if I wanted to or I can catch full episodes of my 8 o'clock shows. But it also means less lil buddy awake time. And he's a good time, so yeah, sads. Annnnyway, I'm back with another volume in my encyclopedia. It's time for E. And I just remembered my favorite E word... "eh?" as in the stereotypical Canadian interjection.

I know you hosers want to know more aboot me eh.

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Eavesdropping - Oh man, do I live for listening to other people's conversations. In fact, I'm pretty sure that for most of our relationship, John and I have spent our evenings dining out trying to see what other people are talking about.  It's not that we don't have things of our own to talk about, it's just a lot more fun listening to other people's drama. And when we can't hear exactly what's going on, we make it up. I'm pretty sure this all started when I was younger. I grew up in a rowhouse, which meant that there were houses directly on either sides of us. When I was about 10, a family moved in with a bunch of teenagers. Some lived there full time, others were step-kids and showed up on the weekend. They were public school kids, thus fascinating us and the rest of our neighborhood. Their house was filled with drama and parties and all sorts of shadiness. So we listened. We put our ears up to the walls. We tried the glass on the wall. Anything to catch a snippet of conversation. Yep, I believe that's where it all started.

Easter Eggs - But only these! These candy coated, Hershey's variety only show up at Easter and are my faaaaave. You keep your stale Peeps and your peanut butter cups, I'm taking this bag of eggs and hiding in my closet.

Erasure - I heart this band so so so much.  I first started listening to them when my brother and I went in on a Gateway computer in 1997.  We quickly got ourselves AOL and there went my weekends. I would listen to that screechy dial-up connect me to the interwebs while sitting in my brother's room.  As soon as it was connected, like 12 minutes later, I'd pop in whatever cd was laying around and get to chattin in the chat rooms. A/S/L? Anyway, my brother was a big Erasure fan and of course, I had heard Chains of Love but they had other songs! Awesome songs! So I learned every one of them. And now the band reminds me of my early days of the internet. It's a good memory.

Ellen - So obviously I've known who Ellen was for years but never gave her a second thought. But now that I'm a typical SAHM, I have the opportunity to watch her show every day. And it comes on after Nate B, so obvs. I'm watching already.  Anyway, I really enjoy her show. At first I thought her dancing was corny, but now I'm a fan. And even though her wardrobe leans heavily towards menswear, I happen to freaking love it. She always looks tailored and put-together yet comfy. Plus, her show gives away money and cars in a tad less ostentatious way than O and that makes me happy. I don't know if it's just for show, but it seems like she actually cares about the people and that it might not just be a publicity stunt. Who knows. I like her show though.

So that's me. How bout you?

Friday, February 25, 2011

Proof It Was a Good Week

Obviously Gabriel hit the big six months this past week. Obviously. I decided that we deserved cupcakes in return for keeping the boy alive and kicking this long. So we went down the street to the overpriced cupcake shop and ordered up a few. The entire time John was saying, yours are better than this. Sure, this place had yum flavor combos but they were nothing special and the icing work was kinda amateur. I had to agree with John, I coulda done a better job. Anyway, this post isn't about me being awesome (aren't they all though really?), it's about my week. And little buddy was none too happy that he didn't get a cupcake.

So he looked out the window and pouted. Can you believe this move, guys? I guess it's gonna be his highchair pose. Too friggin funny.

I had a Samoan cupcake. Good in theory.
and John took some pics of me and buddy even though I looked like shite. And my hair was in a french braid. Seriously. I know. This was the least offensive.

Anyway, everybody should get cupcakes on their half birthdays. But get good ones. 

I don't have a good transition here. So look at my new sneaks. Aren't they cute? They're olive green. And my new rug from Ikea that cost me 10 bucks. And it has a nice rubber backing so it doesn't slide all over the place. It's good stuff and makes me happier than a rug should.

And so I was on my own for din din on Wednesday so I ate dip. It consisted of cream cheese, chicken, nuts and teriyaki sauce and I came across this delicious concoction over at Project Shannon's. It was perfect for a night on your own. Well, a night with your baby and his pureed carrots.
So that's it. It was a good week.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Sleep Training Update

We're back to square one. Meh. Gabe came down with an upper respitory infection which produced the saddest little coughs you ever did hear. They started waking him up at night...and he wasn't going back down without a fight. Well there was no way in hell I was letting him cry it out at 2am when he was sick, so up he came from his crib and back to bed with me. There, he'd eat and go to sleep in my arms. I tried once or twice to move him back to the crib at that point but he kept waking up so there was no point. We both slept much better next to each other. This went on for about 5 nights and I was okay with it. He was going to sleep with no problem at his normal time without much (or any really) crying. I planned that as soon as his coughs were gone, back to sleep training it would be. It wouldn't be so bad I thought, it's only the middle of the night thing we need to work on. Then came the next night. He woke up about an hour after he went down and screamed bloody murder. He was still sick so I let him hang out with me for a little while, fed him again and put him down again. He woke up again around 4 and of course, I fed him.

The next day, I kept my ear glued to that boy. I listened for anything that could be construed as a cough. And I didn't hear anything all day. Besides being happy that he was most likely feeling better, I knew it was time to get down to business. We started the process all over again. He cried and cried and I wanted to lie down and cry too. John reassured me that this is exactly how it went down the last time btut I was convinced these cries were worse. Finally, after checking in on him every 5, then 10 minutes for about 35 minutes, he was asleep. He woke around 1:30 and we did it again for about another half hour. But I didn't pick him up and I didn't feed him. Tonight, he was asleep within minutes of putting him down. I'm praying that this whole thing goes as well as last time. And tomorrow I will be installing Gabe in a bubble. No more pesky illnesses waking up my boy! Sure, we'll look like freaks, but we won't have bags under our eyes, now will we?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

I Got a Tip for Ya...Never Pet a Burning Dog

What's a guy got to do to get a cup of coffee around here?

Hey hon, how boutcha slice me up a piece of that apple pie?

This was Gabe's first time sitting in a restaurant high chair. It's times like these that concern me. I'm so used to him being in his car seat or on my lap that I forget that he's getting bigger. I didn't realize, oh, he could probably sit in a high chair now.  The waitress suggested it.  I really am just winging this whole motherhood thing.  As long as I remember to enroll him in school one day, we should be good, right?

Monday, February 21, 2011

Gabraham Lincoln: A Lesson in History + Hilarity

                          You guys might recognize me from such monuments as...The Lincoln Memorial...

hahahaha my house is made out of logs you guys...logs!

If I hide under my hat, John Wilkes Booth can't see me! Boo-ya!

This is my lawyer face.

Don't distract me guys! They're taking my tintype photograph for the 5 dollar bill!

To quote the great Axl Rose, what's so civil about war anyway?

This is the big one peeps. 6 whole months of Gabealiciousness. He is so awesome, I have the best time with him. It's insane to think about the first few weeks of his life, how I knew nothing. When I questioned every move I made. I'm still slightly paranoid about things but my oh my how relaxed I've become. We've actually started discussing, gulp, another one? Shut up, no not in the immediate future but now that we have things slightly under control, we're starting to actually re-visit the thought of more kiddos. Trust me, I always wanted a big fam, but those first few months of sleeplessness can have you questioning your sanity when it comes to another one.

Anyway, last week we celebrated six phenomenal months of this sweet kiddo. And the past month has been ha-uuuuge in terms of new things happenin. So Gabriel, in the past month, you...

- Gobbled down rice cereal, oatmeal, squash and carrots. You also tried green beans but gave me the throw up face too many times to warrant any more feeding attempts.

- Get up on your hands and knees, rocking back and forth, wanting to go somewhere, anywhere. Don't worry, as soon as you're old enough, you'll be doing Wendy's runs for your hungover parents. I always thought children were meant to be tiny butlers...

- Sit up on your own like a champ for awhile now.  You can go from sitting to your belly without face planting. And even though face plants are kinda funny, we're always happy to avoid any crying.

- Test the durability of your Baby E exersaucer by banging on the piano like a madman. An-e-mallll!!!!!

- Realized that you have control over the noises your little toys make. You shake your keys to make them clickety-clack and bang your stuffed giraffe against anything to make it squeak.  Mama's choosing to think this is all progress and not just early signs of you being the playground bruiser...

- Play catch with Daddy and Sebbi on the floor with your balls. Heh. Your toys, I should say.

- Sat up in your stroller facing forward (like a big boy!). Now you can see how annoying everyone is head-on. Sorry pal, I shielded you as long as I could.

- Got your 3rd chomper!  In addition to the 2 on the bottom, a top front tooth has made it's way through.

- Started sleeping through the night! All it took was a little gentle nudging from your mom and dad, along with a couple middle of the night interuptions and you were golden.  You must have finally realized how awesome sleeping is.

- Got sick for the first time. As soon as mom and dad got smacked with some viral infections, it was only a matter of time before you started the saddest little coughs. You woke up one day with a fever so we took you to the doctor. They told us you had an upper respitory infection and put you on antibiotics.  This was also on top of you teething, so those were a rough couple of days.

We love you buddy bear! Happy 1/2 Birthday!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Regular Recipes

I've had a ton of requests for a list of my go-to, favorite recipes.  I've mentioned before that I like to try a few new recipes a month and if we like it, it gets added to the mix.  Now keep in mind that I've only been conquering my kitchen for a little over a year so I'm still learning. But I've got a few gems that are sure to please. And if you make any of them, I'd love to know. And um, if you think they suck, then feel free to keep that to yourself :)

Left to Right

Lemon Glaze Chicken : I like this one because the only "special" ingredient I need to have on hand for it is a lemon. Nothing too fancy.

Steak Empanadas : I like this one because well, it's dough. But it's also super versatile. I've done ground beef & shredded chicken in place of the steak too.

Mini Meatloaves : I like this one because it's caaa-ute! And tasty.

Cheeseburger Pie : I like this one because it reminds me of being a kid. It's the ultimate comfort food.

Fiery Cashew Chicken : This is the recipe that started it all. I always made fake stir fries with jarred sauces and canned veggies. Ugghh gross. This is where it's at.

Chicken and Chive Bundles : Another dough-y fave. This is a good one to make ahead of time too.

And for a handy-dandy list of all the recipes that I give the green light, click on the Nom Nom Nom tab up above.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Making Babies Happy Since...Last Month

Apparently, as babies grow, they require new and different apparatuses (apparati?). Ok maybe require isn't the right word. Appreciate maybe?  In the past month, we've come across situations with Gabe where we realized we could use a little help. And luckily, someone has already come up with solutions and we have made them our own. So I present to you, Wee Babe Must-Haves V.6 Months.

NoseFrida: The Snotsucker -- Well this does exactly what it says it does. It sucks baby snot. Well maybe your husband's too if he's into that. This little Swedish number is a hell of a lot easier on those little noses than the standard blue bulb. With the bulb, you have to stick it up in there and I'm pretty sure you'd think I was hacking off limbs if you heard the racket Gabe made when doing so.  With the NoseFrida, you place the tube right at the end of the nostril and put the red mouthpiece in your mouth...and suck. Yeah I said it, you're sucking your child's snot. Have no fear, there is no way you will get snot in your mouth thanks to the filter. And you'd have to be a pretty strong sucker to even get it near the filter. And if you're that good a sucker, than perhaps your talent would be better suited to hussery.  Anyway, Gabe still cries but it's much faster a process to remove that congestion and plus, you see the goods right away. And if you're gross like me than you examine that stuff and call people over to see. Anyway, it runs like $15 and comes highly recommended from moi.

Cool Mist Humidifier -- Ok I know this isn't rocket science but this thing solved two problems in our house. First up, baby noses stay (mostly) congestion free and we have no dry patches or anything. Second and probably more important, it solves our white noise issue.  Since his bedroom is right at the top of our stairs and our living room TV is right at the bottom of those stairs, with the humidifier running, we can easily watch our shows and converse in a normal tone without having to worry bout waking the little bugger.

Target Dipes -- Again, this is purely a personal preference but in our house, we prefer Target dipes.  Of course, it wasn't until Gabe was about 3 months old that we even had to buy any diapers due to the generous onslaught at our baby showers.  So for months, we used all varieties of Pampers and Huggies but as soon as it was our money to spend, we went generic. And I prayed that Target's would be good because duh, I'm there every other day. And they delivered. They're a hell of a lot cheaper than the name brands.  There were reduced blowouts and no leaks to be found, even after sleeping all night long. And bonus, they have a cute polka dot pattern and not some stupid baby Elmo gracing them.  Polka dots win every time.

Inflatable Tub - Since he was born, we've been using the same blue plastic molded tub and it worked just fine. Until recently. Gabe had to fold up his legs just to get his tootsies in the water. And since he's sitting up on his own all the time now, I figured it was time for a bigger tub. But I didn't want to go right to the big tub because 1) that's a big space for a slippery baby and 2) that's a big waste of water. So I bought a $12 tub that fits perfectly into our regular tub and will hold Gabe perfectly for a few more months. 
Breathable Bumpers -- And leaving the best for last, I proclaim my love for these mesh bumpers.  As soon as we got Gabe sleeping in his crib, he started boot scootin around, falling asleep with various limbs hanging out between the crib bars.  By the way, we never bought or planned to use any bumpers whatsoever due to the clear and present suffocating danger. Yeah they might look cute but it's not worth it. Ok, off my soapbox.  Anyway, soon he'd be scooting a little further each time, essentially becoming stuck.  Waking up and realizing you can't move your leg sucks, I'd imagine. So we sprung for the $29.99 breathable bumpers from Babies R Us. They wrap tightly around the inside of the crib and get tucked down and fasten with a super strong velcro. These things work. There's no more getting stuck. There's no fear of suffocation and there's no way to stand on them as he gets older. Thumbs up from me.

So there you have it, the stuff that has made me a little saner lately. And although I'd be thrilled if any of these companies padded my wallet in exchange for these glowing reviews, they didn't. Just my opinions. Hope it helps.  And as usual, I wanna know if anyone else has any other good ideas? Hollla atcha baby.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Encyclopedia of Moi : Volume D

Morning peeps. I loooooved your responses to my flashback annoyance on Friday. That beyotch still deserves a knuckle sandwich, doesn't she?  Maybe my brother will leave her name and address in the comments and we can all get together and storm her neighborhood, you know, angry mob style...torches, molotov cocktails and the like.  I love that you guys were just as pissed off as I was. That's why we're buds. You got my virtual back. I appreciate it.  And moving right along...hey, Happy Valentine's Day! I hope you've surrounded yourself with lots of pink and red shit and stuck your finger into the bottom of every Russel Stover candy to find the good ones. And since it's Monday, it's time for another installment of...

We've made it to D. And while I didn't do a google image search for the "words" duh and derrrrr, they're probably my favorite D words. But I feel like it makes me look really dumb when I type them out. Of course, they probably make me sound dumb too but I choose to ignore that. Duh.
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Doughnuts! - Can one ever really turn down a doughnut? A freshly opened box of doughnuts? Even the crappy cinnamon ones that get picked over in the breakroom can look good in a moment of desperation. But oh doughnuts, my love for you rivals a certain cartoon dad. You have no nutritional value whatsoever...only my 3 favorite food groups: dough, icing and jimmies. You have a billion calories. You don't even fill me up at all. But you are oh so tasty.  On days when I'm watching what I eat, I choose you, blueberry cake doughnut. On days when I need a pick-me-up, it's pink frosted that's coming home with me. And when I throw caution to the wind, it's a delicious sour cream doughnut that's sent down my gullet. Oh and on this Valentine's day, I can't forget about old chocolate frosted Entenmann's, he was my first love. I love you doughnuts. Forever and ever.

Dirty Dancing - While the movie is a fantastic piece of 80's cinema, what really butters my bread is the soundtrack.  The music from this movie is killer. Give me a little Hungry Eyes, or She's Like the Wind, or even a Heyyyyyyyy Hey Ba-by, (boom pow)...I wanna know oh oh...if you'll be my girl. And the most amazing of all, which ended my wedding I've...had...the time of my life...and I owe it to youuuuuu *breaks out in mom dance* Anyway, my mom was a big fan of the Swayze, and what woman wasn't, so we had Dirty Dancing on VHS as soon as it came out. I used to watch it with the tender age of 7. Totally kid-appropriate material right? Come to think of it, this is the same woman who took me for a tattoo at 16. But I wasn't allowed to watch Married with Children or Madonna. There seems to be some contradictions here, I'll have to follow up with her on where she drew the line on smut!

Dana Carvey - I think he's my all time favorite. Yeah, I think so. I'm sure I've mentioned once or 13 times how Wayne's World is my favorite movie to date. And while Mike Myers is kinda funny, Garth is where it's at. And not just Garth, he's got the Church Lady, and the Chopping Broccoli piano player and Massive Headwound Harry and Ross Perot and Johnny Carson and Hans and Frans. They're all just so good.

Directions - I love giving people directions. I love making my brain work to remember the area, the landmarks, how many stoplights, all of it. I love being able to give them specific things to look for and sometimes I think I give out TMI.  I'm sure people are like, ok, I got it, shut up now.  But with the birth of the GPS, my services are needed a lot less.And that's just sad.

So there you have it, another dose of things you really didn't care to know about me. So what's your favorite doughnut? If you say jelly, you're dead to me. Kidding. We'd get along really well because we wouldn't be fighting over the same doughnut. And now if you'll excuse me, I need to go practice my dirty dancing.


Friday, February 11, 2011

Flashback Friday: Still Annoyed After All These Years

I used to write letters to people and things that annoyed me. But now I am irritant free mostly due to the fact that I don't get out much. Of course, when I do, I curse out most drivers and my fellow customers for being idiots but for the most part, I haven't had to rail against anyone in awhile. But I always enjoy a good bitch session so I'm going to tell you about some crap that has pissed me off in the past. Sit back and enjoy.

About 10 years ago, my brother's ex-wife was pregnant (with his first son) and her mother was throwing her a shower. I was there with my mom and the rest of the womenfolk in my family, shooting the shit, drinking some punch, cheating at baby bingo...all the things I normally do. Anyway, my mom asks me to go outside and help my aunt bring in some, food, whatever. So I go outside to see my aunt's car stopped outside the entrance, waiting for me. I walk over to the passenger side and open the door when I see another car coming up the narrow driveway. Because I'm a polite sonofabitch, I stopped what I was doing, stood up straight and closed the door so that there would be plenty of room for the other car to get by. Before I know it, this car is driving past us, at a good clip for being in a parking lot, inches away from my aunt's car. The car is so close, the driver's side mirror actually hits my side and scrapes across my back. It threw me a little bit and I stumbled into the hood of my aunt's car. I was shocked. Not hurt too bad really, mostly just shocked.  They kept right on driving and actually pulled into a parking spot. Out pops this chick with a big present and a bow and starts prancing towards the entrance...and us. Coming towards us but not looking at me. I am livid. My aunt and I are in amazement that this just happened and she seems to be ignoring us. 

So, me being me, I say something like, "maybe you should watch where you're driving next time. You hit me with your car...if you didn't notice." Expecting an apology, I am dumbstruck when she looks at me and says that I should have moved out of her way! What the eff? She procedes inside and disappears. I follow suit with my aunt and find my brother to explain what had just happened. He brushed me off. I found my dad and told him what just happened. He brushed me off too. I mean, I know this is a shower and everything and I don't want to make a scene, but I JUST GOT HIT WITH AN EFFING CAR! And the perp is sitting RIGHT OVER THERE! I could not for the life of me understand why no one was as pissed as I was. So I went and huffed and puffed in the corner and refused to guess which candy bar was melted into a dipe. No one ever said anything to this chick, I never got an apology, never nothin. There is no awesome ending to this story. I didn't go and key her car or follow her home and leave a bag of melted candy bar on fire on her front step. I should have though. Regrets.  So whatever, I'm still pissed.

Who's annoyed you lately? Or are you psychologically "sound" and able to "let go" of things? ha!

Happy weekending guys!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Fans of Baked Potatoes

Muchas gracias for all the sleep-training support, guys. While some of you are going through the same thing, some of you have been there and lived to tell and others are nowhere near ever having to experience it. But you all had something awesome to say, so thanks. It was definitely a difficult decision but oh my, how things have changed. We've got two more 11 hour sleeps under our belt. Picture me sitting on my couch with a glass of wine at 9pm, and not falling asleep because that's what's happening. And it's saaaa-weet!

In return for your words of encouragement, I encourage you to change up your dinnertime tater routine. Anyone can make a baked potato. And anyone can mash them. But who slices them *almost* all the way through, throws a little butter, chives and cheese on them and bakes them til bubbly and delicious? This girl. (Now picture me pointing at myself with my two thumbs.) Speaking of bubbly, I've got a split of champagne in my fridge ...I think I'm gonna go drink that now. Celebrate for life is short but sweet for certain. And life is well-rested! Woot! Potatoes!

Annnnd because I've now got a lot more time on my hands, I've got this handy dandy little recipe for you to print up. Ain't it cute?

This recipe was found in my BHG Cookbook, the red and white gingham one.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Kicking Him Outta Bed

At 3 months old, I attempted to move Gabe from his bassinet in our room to the crib in his room. It worked for a few days.  However, I had to nurse him to sleep, wait for him to be in a deep sleep then try to move him to the crib and place him in it without moving any muscles in my upper body, for fear of waking him. If he woke up, the whole process would need to be repeated and it sucked.  This process also took about an hour. An hour that I used to spend watching HIMYM. Somewhere along the line, he decided to wake up as soon as he hit the crib mattress. And cry like a banshee. He'd do this whole routine multiple times a night.  And even though I don't work anymore, I still enjoy functioning as a human. Being awake all night does not a functioning human make.  It was killing me. I couldn't shut my brain off as soon as he napped during the day to "sleep when he sleeps". BTW, no mom wants to hear this advice...none! Long story short, I was exhausted. And cranky.

Anyway, in order to get some sleep, I started doing what I always thought I'd never I never had anything against it really, I just never thought I'd feel the urge to do it.  But soon enough, I was bringing him into bed with me and boom, we were both sleeping like ummm...babies.  He could nurse on demand and I could dream about vacationing alone and long showers and buckets of ice cold beers on back porches. Of course, for the first week or so, I was terrified of him getting rolled over on or somehow scooted under the pillow. But he didn't. He stayed where he was and the 3 of us managed to get comfy.  In the back of my mind though, I knew I didn't want this to continue. I didn't want to have a 5 year old sleeping with me.  I wanted my bed back. I wanted to be able to stretch out. More importantly, I wanted him to get used to his own bed and sleep there. So I kicked him outta bed.   

Sleep training seemed to be the only way to go. I didn't do a ton of research and couldn't tell you one method versus another. I just had a basic idea of the Ferber method so that was the direction we were heading though. I'm sure you've heard of "crying it out"...sounds cruel but when you think about it, the baby needs to learn how to fall asleep in the proper place and if he wakes up, to know where he is and soothe himself back to sleep.  He's had his mama at his beck and call for over 5 months and now we need to change that up a bit. Now, I don't condone letting the baby cry it out for an hour or anything like that or listening to his choke on his tears or get sick, that's just mean. Sure, Gabe gets all red-faced and sweaty and he's definitely not a happy camper during this process but I'm keeping an eye on him and reassuring him every few minutes that I'm still here and that everything is okay.

I started by feeding him, then burping him and putting him in his crib.  Even if he was falling asleep while nursing, the burp and movement immediately wake him. I put him in the crib and he immediately flips over and gets on his hands and knees. I rub his back and let him grab my hand and ssshhhh him and tell him I love him. Then I have to walk out of the room. It's heartbreaking to hear his cries but I know I have to do it. So I leave and wait. He wails so a few minutes later, I go back in. He actually reaches his one arm up for me. Stab me in the eyes please because I can't take this! But I do somehow, repeat the process and leave. I'm prepared to do this for as long as it takes.  Our first night, he's asleep in under 35 minutes. Amazing.

We're used to him waking one or two more times during the night and I usually nurse him back to sleep, half-asleep myself. I realize that if and when he wakes up in the middle of the night, we're gonna have to let him cry it out then too...which is the worst.  Everything is always magnified at 2am. So we go to sleep and I hear him fussing around 2am, I plan to wait 5 minutes then send John in. But he settles and we all go back to sleep. Same thing happens around 4:30am. We wake up to him making noise around 7:30. We all but threw him a ticker tape parade. We're so proud of you!, we yelled in his tiny face. And we were. It was so much better than we expected.

The next night came around and once again, I prepared for the worst. It couldn't be this easy, right? Same thing, he cried for about 20 minutes while I went in and comforted him every so often, then he started sputtering out, which is actually a pretty funny noise. It's like he has no energy to cry but still wants to make sure we hear him. He was out cold in about 40 minutes total. We couldn't believe this was happening. Well guess what? That boy slept the entire night. He woke us up again around 7:30, happy as a clam. This time we did throw him a parade. He could have gotten a puppy or a pony or anything he wanted, if he was able to tell us what he wanted.

The third night, he went down quick and was asleep within 7 minutes.  He woke at 4:15 and cried out. After 5 minutes, John went in and tried to comfort him.  Well baby was clearly not happy. He cried for about an hour, with John going in every 5 minutes then every 10 minutes. This was what we had expected from the beginning, so it didn't really bother us. He went back to sleep and woke up at 7:30 as usual.

The fourth night, he went down easy, asleep within 10 minutes and slept through the night again.  Could it be this was actually working?  We actually sat there wondering why we hadn't started this sooner. Again, every babe is different and he could be singing a different tune at any time and make me eat my words. But until then, I'm celebrating. And I'd like to thank Jennifer from A Jenerek Life for posting her sleeptraining experience.  Her compassionate but consistent method motivated us to just do it. And we couldn't be happier.  But ya know what, a little piece of me realizes that he's just getting bigger and I don't get to snuggle in bed with him and have his sweet little head fall asleep on me every night. And I know naptime is the next step. Wah Wah.  A sleeping baby on your lap is pretty much the cutest, heart-warmiest thing ever.  Awww, sap sap sap. Ok, I'm pretty sure no one is reading this by now.  I'm out.

Let's Review

So remember when I mentioned that CSN Stores was generously allowing me to review a product of my choosing?  Well, seriously, the decision of what to review has been on my mind for months. Do I go practical and check out some baby-proofing supplies, which guys, we totally need now. Little buddy is army crawling all over this joint. Or do I go selfish and pick out some new cushy new bath towels? I love how selfish these days is bath towels, don't you? I must be a real grown-up.  Anyway, decisions, decisions.  It doesn't help that CSN Stores sells everything on the planet, like if you need a LCD TV stand, they've got em. Or maybe you need your very own chalkboard? They've got those too. What would you get?

Monday, February 7, 2011

Chalk City

After years and years of watching everyone and their mother slather chalkboard paint on every available surface and never having the gumption to do it myself, I finally came across this. Michael's amazingly creative use of a chalkboard wall convinced me that this is what I needed to do. Go big or go home. Wait, I'm already home. Go big AND go home then. So we did. I picked this wall in our breakfast room.

Over the course of two weeks, John removed the shelves that were hanging there, patched and sanded the holes then carefully applied 3 coats of the paint. Dude, I've never been so impatient in my life. Well maybe except for when I was waiting to birth a baby but right after that comes this. In my head, this whole process took forEVER. But alas, the night came when I could finally write. And if you follow me on twitter or facebook (like I'd love you to do :) then you'll know that I got chalker's block. I had this huge blank canvas, what would I create?

So I made this...

It's nowhere in particular. And I'm no draw-er. But I like it. And my childhood dreams of having my very own giant chalkboard came alive. I had so much fun doodling. And I can change it whenever I want. And I will. And I'll share. Dude, the possibilities are endless. I'll even let you guys write on it when you visit. You'd like that, wouldn't ya?

Friday, February 4, 2011

Snow Day Wreath and Giveaway Winner!

Thank you all for sharing your favorite love songs with me. While I have to vote for my bff's answer of Feel Like Making Love as my true favorite, you guys had some good ones too. So anyway, according to, the winner is comment # 28 which is Jenna!

Congrats Jenna, email me your address at so I can get the goods out to you. Thanks for playing guys...and feel free to say hi on days I'm not bribing you :) But no pressure, no big whoop.

A few people emailed me asking about the Rosette Wreath from the giveaway so I thought I'd share a little how-to. I refer to this as my Snow Day wreath simply because I wanted to make something but the weather was shit. So I grabbed stuff I had on-hand. Whenever we get a set of sheets, the top sheet gets cast aside. We have no use for it and don't use them.

So I took a queen size white jersey sheet I had lying around, as well as a hot pink tank top from my purge pile and went to town. I started cutting circles. The easiest way to do this is to cut squares, fold them in half, then in half again and cut a half-moon shape. Then when you unfold it, you have a nice even circle. If this part is confusing, let me know and I'll take pics and show you.  At this point, I direct you to this tutorial for making flowers. At this point, I also direct you to refrain from your nightly half bottle of chardonnay because this project involves scissors. And because we're worried about you. We think you have a problem.  Actually, this is an intervention. Wait, no, wrong blog post. Sorry.

Once my flowers were done, I went off in search of a piece of cardboard. I found it on some baby toy packaging, along with about 3000 plastic zip ties....but that's a story for another day. I cut out a circle, then a smaller circle...and ta-da! A teeny wreath shape! Then I cut a strip of sheet a couple inches wide, no need to be exact but make it at least a few feet long. Then wrap your cardboard wreath with it, sealing the end with some glue.

Next I cut off one of the straps of the tank top. (And Jenna, don't worry, I never wore this top, that would be kinda skeevy of me). I then glued the ends of the strap to the wreath to act as the hanger. Annnnnd thennn, glue your sheet flowers around the wreath and you, my incredibly sober friend, are done. You could mix the colors up for the holidays or whatev, it's the incredible super-versatile SNOW DAY WREATH! You can see that I am in no way exact or neat. I just throw it together and if it looks good from the front, then that project is D-O-N-E.

Happy weekending campers!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Should Have Ordered a Full Carafe

So we called in our reinforcements again this weekend to duck out for some birthday celebratin'. After our original sitter cancelled on us, my super amazing mom filled in. Have I told you lately how much I love my mom? I'd shout it from rooftops if they weren't covered in ice and snow. She rules. Anyway, we nixed my original plan to take John for hot dogs and decided to have a leisurely din din at our favorite mexican place. First up was a beer for him and a half carafe of sangria for me. It is so good. I could, and do, drink it like water.

We caught up on conversations that had previously been cut short during the week due to things like babies crying and pesky coworkers. We laughed, we (I) took stupid pictures because the early evening lighting was perfect, we ate our weight in chips and salsa and we eavesdropped on other tables, as we are prone to do. In case you were wondering, the family behind him was discussing drugs and hanging out with the wrong crowd with their teen boy and tween girl.  Meanwhile, the kids were facing me and looked bored to tears. I gotta give points to the parents though...the big issues go easier when you've got a few margaritas in ya.

Did I mention we took stupid pictures?

So yeah, it was nice. It was low-key and nice. Thanks again mom, you saved the (birth)day!

Then the next day, on his actual birthday, I baked him a cake. And man, it took forever. Remember that saying about having a baby changes everything? Spot.On.  But it got done, even if it took me all day. And we sliced up a piece of that strawberry cake with strawberry icing and blew out candles for his 41st year, with his little buddy in his arms. It's a little pink overload isn't it? But the man likes his strawberry so I aim to please. If I had my druthers, I'd choose yellow cake with chocolate frosting. What's your preference? I love a good ice cream cake too but I always vote homemade when it comes to cake.
And just because...

Did you enter my superfantabulous giveaway yet? Did you like me on Facebook? Twitterize me? Do you like how I try to bribe you to do things I want? Do I have any shame?

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

VD Giveaway!

I know your thinking I want to give you a veneral disease. But I don't have any, so I have none to give. What I do have is some Valentine's Day treats to send to one extremely lucky reader. Extremely. Why? Because I love you. Or at least like very much. You guys are awesome. You stroke my ego every day with your compliments on my house, my clothes & shoes and most importantly, my wee babe. So thank you. Would you like to win something in return for being nice? Here's what I got...

I tried running with a little theme here so go with me...

1. Decorate for your valentine with a little homemade Rosette Wreath I made out of an un-used flat sheet. I don't use those things, do you?
2. Make a mixed tape for your valentine with an Itunes Gift Card in the amount of $15. Be sure to include lots of Journey and Chicago. That's romantic stuff.
3. Give your valentine a sloppy kiss with Too Faced Lip Gloss in the I'm Perfect shade. And the light blush color really is perfect for anyone.
4. Get your glue out and make your valentine a Homemade Card with random supplies like a pink notecard and envelope, red bakers twine and some other random junk.
5. Bake up something tasty for your valentine with the Short and Sweet Dessert Deck, which is a cute little box holding 50 yum lookin' recipes.

Pretty sweet, eh? So if you want to win, you can do the following...
1) Make sure you're a follower and leave a comment telling me your favorite love song (If it's Heard it in a Love Song you get bonus awesome points from me)

and for additional entries you can do the following
1) Like Shannanigans on Facebook then leave a seperate comment letting me know
2) Follow ohshannanigans on Twitter and leave a seperate comment letting me know
3) Blog, Fb or tweet about the giveaway and let me know by leaving a link

 The giveaway will end 2/3 Thursday night at midnight EST so I can get the goods out in time for VD. Good luck guys!

Oh and I can only ship to the US!


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