Mar 30, 2012

It's Friday and I'm Ready to Swing!

Hopefully this little chick will behave, as I am going out tonight!  This is her first time with a non-grandparent babysitter watching her sleep.  I am going to pump her a bottle for her middle of the night feeding because I am ready for a cocktail!  One will probably set me over the edge, but a ginger margarita from my favorite sushi place is calling to me.  Tequila might have an interesting effect on this sleep-deprived new mama. . .

Any margaritas in the weekend plans for y'all?

Mar 28, 2012

Pinterest Overdose and Ensuing Rant

  • I have obviously spent WAY too much time on Pinterest lately, because if I see another 
    • Cupcake,
    • mason jar craft, or
    • bookshelf styling tip,
I am going to vomit.

I don't like cupcakes- the icing ratio is way off for my tastes.  Plus, they are EVERYWHERE!  Eat regular cake, people!

Mason jars are useful containers.  However they do not need to be shellacked and dipped in glitter (that goes for pretty much anything after you are above the age of 8, really).

And finally, bookshelf styling.  Gah.  I hate empty bookshelves.  I hate bookshelves which are devoid of books, and filled with random stuff from Homegoods.  Fill your home with things that are special to you, and have meaning.  Not items purchased for an empty space by the truckload.  I feel the same about furniture, and "rooms to go" (the concept, not the store).

Okay, rant over.  Apologies to cupcake lovers, those with mason jar vases attached to their walls, and people with no books.

And I do love that curly hair tutorial!

  • Dell Harper is 2 months old today! Check out this grin!

  • Who watched Mad Men? I was enthralled, and feeling some kinship with Joan (although I'm not quite ready for the office yet- getting dressed somedays before lunchtime is still quite the hurdle).

  • We have a babysitter Friday night- first time someone besides my parents have watched Miss Priss.  I hope she behaves.  Hell, I hope I behave!  Watch out world!

Mar 26, 2012

Motherhood Myopia

Thank you for all of your advice and encouragement.  Much like the toothache which disappears after making the dentist appointment, or the engine which quits rattling when you take it to the shop, Miss Priss went down without a peep for the last few days since I wrote the last post.

Then she screamed for an hour straight tonight, while Morgan and I took turns rocking her (with a ten minute sanity break).  Ha! My child is not so good with the consistency, I suppose.

When she cries or gets off schedule or fusses, I have trouble remembering that it is just one instance of unhappiness.  Not a sentence of life-long dissatisfaction.  Ten minutes of fussing can seem eternal, but it is followed by hours of sheer bliss.  It's easy for me to become myopic about what is happening just that moment, instead of looking at that old cliche, the big picture.

An early awake time completely off schedule, or both of us oversleeping by an hour and a half off nap schedule are solitary events, not the end of the world.  That's when I need to take a breath, get into a dress and some makeup and socialize.  With wine.

 I've discovered that a night out is a very important aspect of motherhood.  And, thanks to my super low tolerance  for alcohol (thanks pregnancy sobriety) I have the added bonus of being an extremely cheap date!  Whoohoo!

Mar 23, 2012

Mad Men Mod World

Mad Men is back!  I am so thrilled to be watching Sunday night after 17 months of its absence.  Too bad Peggy isn't terrible into fashion- wouldn't you love to see her go Mod?

Mary Quant and Twiggy- I'm feeling quite inspired to go a little mod myself.  I think this look would be perfection, and the swingy style would hide any remaining post-baby lumps and bumps-

Who else is excited for their does of Don Draper?

Mar 22, 2012

Crying it Out

Tonight, while munching on an excellent BLT, on grilled sourdough with avocado mayonnaise (there is nothing in the world that will improve my mood like a homemade BLT), I mused about the various items and activities which have been pivotal to my survival of the last few weeks.

Said BLT and tater tots having fortified me immensely tonight.  Miss Priss is the light of my life.  However, she has decided that to go to sleep, the majority of the time she has to  cry herself to exhaustion.
Quite frankly, this sucks. For me mostly.  She will wail inconsolably for 10-15 minutes, then immediately shut her eyes and pass out.  Before children, I would not have considered this a big deal- fifteen minutes?  No time at all!

Fifteen minutes of your darling little baby screaming and bawling?  An absolute eternity.  An eternity which is the only way she will actually go to sleep.  So I dutifully set my kitchen timer for ten minutes, put on my headphones and ignore her (gasp!).  It's awful.  9 times to of 10, by the ding of the timer, my baby is asleep.  And she sleeps great!  She is a champ, especially for an exclusively breast-fed little baby.

So crying it out- also never knew that this was such a hot topic pre-baby.  If I didn't let Dell Harper cry, neither one of us would ever sleep for more than 25 minutes at a time.  I have no desire to sleep with a baby in my bed, as I would be paralyzed with fear that I would smother her in the night.  However, I would love enlightenment on what cry it out opponents would do in my situation, because I am never going to lose these seven pounds if I have to resort to tater tots and bacon daily due to the fussy afternoons and wailing bedtimes.  Help!

Or crying it out advocates, please let me know if this will stop!  She is 7.5 weeks old, and was a week early, so I think she is hitting that fussiness peak.

What do y'all think?  Cry or not?  I apparently don't have much choice in the matter with Miss Priss, unfortunately.

Updated to add-  I'm not sure if crying it out is the right term to use- basically when I can't get her to stop crying at nap time (usually because she is super-pooped, but wants to look around instead of sleeping), I take a 10 minutes break and let her cry in her rock and play sleeper.  After about 5-10 minutes of crying on her own, she abruptly passes out, then snoozes away for a great nap!

Mar 20, 2012

My Essential Baby Gear

Just got back from visiting Paige in the hospital, where she delivered a healthy precious little boy last night.

Before my visit, I ran to Babies R Us to pick her up My Brest friend nursing pillow, as she ended up having to have a c-section.  It's a must for any new mama who has had a Cesarean, because it keeps the baby from resting on your incision.

I didn't use it tons at first, but once I got the hang of it, I am hooked.

Another must if you have had a c-section is a compression band.    Mine was called the Belly Bandit.  Not only did it help shrink my stomach, but it helps you feel secure, and less like your insides are going to fall out (disgusting but true).

Now, insofar as baby gear, a few things that were not on my radar pre-Miss Priss-

The Fisher Price Rock and Play Sleeper- Margaret let us borrow this, and I thought I would use it occasionally.  After all, Miss Priss was sleeping in her crib.  Then we got the reflux.  This contraption is a MUST HAVE if your baby has reflux.  It keeps her super elevated, and when she fusses, she can gently rock herself a bit.  Not only that, it is super light weight, and folds up like a charm.  Perfect for transporting.

It has a harness, which we do not use because it's so deep, and I like to have her swaddled in that godsend for active babies who are light sleepers.  THE MIRACLE BLANKET!

All swaddled in her "baby sleeping bag".  I idly picked this during her first week while picking up a few things at the local children's store. Two moms stopped and told me how great it was, so I purchased.  Then I couldn't figure the damn thing out.  I am a doctor of jurisprudence, but couldn't work the miracle blanket.  Then after trying to wrap a squirmy little worm of a baby at 3 o'clock in the morning in a flannel swaddle blanket, only to have her wail thirty minutes later when she inevitably broke free, I youtubed how to work it, and have since purchased a couple more.  It's fantastic!

Another purchase which has been made multiple times is the little zip-up "sleep and play" footies from Target.  She has been living in these things, and looks so cute in them.  Plus, not having to try and do buttons during a diaper change meltdown is so clutch. 

Her hat is just HUGE!  But it was super bright outside, so her sunhat just had to do.

That's about it of my random product discoveries.  I'm sure y'all have some great ones for me!  Please share.  If you have something that prevents or cures that late afternoon early evening meltdown, please let me know! Hee- better yet market it and make a fortune!

Outside v. Inside

I am an outside kind of gal.  Even as a bookish child, my preferred reading spot was on a wooden seat nailed high up in a maple tree in front of our house.  When that maple tree died, I mourned and was racked with guilt, thinking that my little bench had hastened its demise (which it probably did).

I like to walk outside, soak up the sunshine and read a book, and play in the dirt.  Winter is tough for me.  When I lived in Africa I loved that the majority of life was spent outdoors.  My "mama" there would just haul the table and chairs outside, and we would eat our lunch and have out tea under the shade of the avocado tree.  It was absolutely lovely, and something that I need to incorporate into my fluorescent lit life more often.

Apparently my daughter is her mother's child.  Yesterday evening, while Hubs was out of town for work, Miss Priss, as is her wont when I am alone, was having a fussy day.  Lord! That child was either eating, sleeping or crying!  I tried to get her to sleep.  I fed her.  I rocked her.  I sang to her.  All to no avail.

Then, covered in spit-up, clad in shorts, a hoodie and my slippers (me- pretty much the same outfit as these pictures, but even rougher) and rather filthy footie (Miss Priss), I sat her down in my lap on the front stoop. Buddy sat by our side, and I sipped a cup of hot, sweet milky tea, like I drank in Tanzania.

We watched the honeybees zoom around my pansies, and talked about the cars driving by.  Buddy licked away some remaining tears, and protected his girls.  As I discussed with my daughter what I would plant in my front beds this spring, her fussiness dissolved into smiles.  She and I just relaxed, and my day went from tense to joyful.  It's amazing what a little fresh air will do.

This weekend I dressed her in one of my old dresses, soft from wear and just laid on a quilt under the shade of the blooming Bradford Pears.  Hubs joined us, and shaped away.  I would have put on some different clothes and some makeup if I had known, but Miss Priss looks too sweet not to share with y'all.

So are you an inside our an outside type?  I think Hubs is more inside, except for restaurant patios!  Haha- he will kill me for saying that!

Mar 18, 2012

Mini Freezer Frittatas

We have been so blessed to have friends and and church folk bring us dinner three times a week since the baby made her debut.  It has been incredibly helpful, since somedays just leaving the house to get to the grocery store seems like an insurmountable challenge.

The first time (and only time so far) we took Dell Harper to the store, I set her in her car seat in the buggy, covered her with a lightweight blanket, and hoped for the best.  It started out well, but as is the tendency in our locally owned nearby store, we ran into someone on every single aisle we knew.   I honestly do not know what I was thinking, taking her on a Sunday afternoon to B&B.  Plus they are doing some renovation, so it was loud and tight quarters.  To compound matters further, my addled brain miscounted the hours since her last feeding, so instead of having 30 minutes to spare, her meal was 30 minutes overdue.

She started screaming her little head off by the third aisle! I was sooo flustered and embarrassed.  Hubs hustled her off, and drove around in circles while I wandered the aisles and spent a fortune and the most random food possible- none of which would make a meal.  So, the meal delivery has been delightful!

Now, I am starting to get in my groove more, and try my hand at some cooking and going to the grocery store.  One thing that is always tough is breakfast.  Between feeding her, my current state of exhasution, and constant level of HUNGER (thanks breast-feeding) I am befuddled as to what to eat.  I bought some Fiber One bars thinking that would be an excellent solution- just keep the box in the nursery and eat when she eats.

Lesson learned.  Miss Priss does not like Fiber One bars (also has an extreme aversion to raw kale and beans, especially black beans).  I have been eating cereal (Kashi GoLean, one of the few I like), but I am starving 20 minutes later.  I need eggs!

So, now that I am a bit more on my feet, I played around with something I could just pop in the microwave and pop in my mouth- voila, mini fritattas were born!

There are endless variations to the base recipe, so get creative with your vegetable, meat and cheeses.

Mini Freezer Frittatas
  • 1 lb sausage (I used Italian, but bulk sausage would also be delicious)
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • I dozen eggs
  • 1 lb grated extra sharp cheddar
  • I bag frozen chopped leaf spinach
  • 1 bag frozen artichoke hearts
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1/2 tablespoon baking powder
  •  olive oil
  •  salt and pepper
1.  Preheat your oven to 400 degrees, and spray 2 muffin tins with cooking spray. 
2.  Throw the frozen artichokes on a rimmed baking sheet, toss with a splash of olive oil, and sprinkle with salt.  Roast for about 20-25 minutes.  (You can skip this step and thaw in the microwave if you like)
3.  While the chokes are roasting, sauté the chopped onion in a large skillet with a tablespoon of olive oil for a couple minutes.  Add the sausage and cook until there is no pink left and the sausage is crumbly.
4.  Thaw the entire bag of frozen spinach and drain well.  I like to press the water out with a tea towel or bunch of paper towels- get that spinach dry!
5.  Whisk together the eggs, milk, flour and baking powder until well blended.  Add 2 teaspoons of salt, and a pinch of pepper.
6.  Chop the artichokes once cool, and turn the oven down to 350 degrees.
7.  In a large bowl, mix the spinach, sausage and onion, artichokes and cheese.  If you have let it cool, then pour in your egg mixture and mix well.  (If the veggies are still warm to hot, be sure to temper your eggs)
8.  Spoon the egg mixture into the prepared muffin tin.  I used a 1/3 dry measuring cup as my scoop, and it was perfect.  This will make 24 mini frittatas, so use 2 muffin tins or do 2 batches.
9.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes until the eggs are set, and golden on top.
10.  Let cool.  For freezer storage, I just threw them in a big freezer ziploc, and will remove them a couple at a time for breakfasts or dinners.

These are healthy, easy and tasty.  They would be a perfect thing to bring a new mama, since they are easily eaten on the go, and can go in the freezer.  If you freeze them, just  nuke for 30-60 seconds to de-thaw and reheat.  Enjoy!

Mar 14, 2012

Miss Priss Framed!

So you know those super cute frames one sees on Pinterest?  Someone suggested buying wooden plaques at the craft store and basically decoupaging them with a picture to replicate the look.  I thought this was an excellent suggestion, and waddled to AC Moore while preggo to start this fabulous project.  That AC Moore bag sat there for a couple months.

But during a nap break, I shuffled through all the darling new pictures I have of little Miss Priss, and decided to take action.  This is a super quick project- done in three to four 20 minute (or less) increments.  And they turned out just darling!

Of course, their cuteness is significantly aided by that little sweetie in the pictures.

I didn't take pictures before and after (nap time is a precarious window), but the process was super easy.

1.  Lightly sand down the plaques (I didn't do much of this, because I was lazy and rushed).

2.  I didn't prime the plaques, but in retrospect I would, with a coat of white acrylic paint.  Let dry.

3.  Paint the plaques with the color of your choosing- brighter the better in my book.  Let dry.

4.  Paint a light layer of either acrylic gel stain, or brown acrylic paint watered down.  Then rub off with a damp paper towel or lightly wetted sponge.  Play with the level of stain until you get the look you are going for.  This will dry quickly, so you can go ahead and sand away once dry.  Pay special attention to the  edges- if you primed the plaques, I would take it down to the white on the edges for a distressed look.

5.  Center (if you are hanging a grouping of these please measure so each one is even and identical) your picture on the plaque, and pencil off where you want it to go.  Or trust your eye and be slap dash like I did-  all up to you.  Cover the back of the picture with Modge Podge and carefully place it on the plaque.  Then cover the whole she-bang with a layer of Modge Podge- take extra care to tamp down the corners of the picture.  Let dry.

6.  An optional final step that I recommend is doing a layer of acrylic varnish to seal everything and give it a glossy finish. Or you could use matte varnish, but the final layer will protect your beautiful creation!

These are destined for her nursery- I will be sure to show the finished product once I finally get everything hung in there! And her clothes up all the floor, and my empty water bottles of the side table. . .

Mar 13, 2012

Easy New Mama Enchilada Bake

Normally recipes like this are not my cup of tea.  Biscuits in a can are not biscuits at all, and scare me when I try to get the can to pop (I have the same dread with opening crescent rolls, but their deliciousness outweighs the fearful anticipation factor).

I don't don't if it's the sleep deprivation, a hormone imbalance, or what, but I was overpowered by a desire to try these "Bubble Up Enchiladas" from Pinterest.

I followed the recipe, except didn't use reduced fat products, and added more cheese (thank goodness nursing burns so many calories.   Now, these things are not remotely enchilada like at all, and Hubs was quite baffled when I told him what we were having, then pulled these out of the oven.  His review?  "I can't decide whether I like them or not"


Not the best review of a recipe, but I knew what he meant. Canned biscuits create confusion.

However, I liked them (and think the pizza version would be preferable).  If you are crunched for time, and craving comfort, this would be perfect.

1 pound lean ground beef
1 (10 ounce) can enchilada sauce
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 16 oz can refrigerated biscuits
2 cups shredded Mexican Cheese
Extra Ingredients
Green Onions, Sour Cream and lots of salsa!
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brown ground beef and drain. Mix in a can of enchilada sauce and tomato sauce and half of the cheese. Cut the refrigerated biscuits into eighths and stir them in the meat mixture. Then you just dump it all in a greased casserole (I use 8 X 11) and bake for 30 minutes until the biscuits are cooked through. Take out of oven and sprinkle the remaining cheese on top. Bake an additional 10 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Mar 12, 2012

So Fresh and So Clean Hostess Gift

So I was just tickled to death when my friend AK popped in the other day and exclaimed how fabulous my house felt- she couldn't quite put her finger on why it was so welcoming. I immediately dragged her to my stove and showed her the above pot simmering away.   It makes your house smell fresh and delicious!

Another Pinterest idea- found here

Super simple- fill a small pot with water, add a sliced lemon, 2-3 sprigs of rosemary, and 3 tablespoons of vanilla extract.  Bring it to a simmer, and sit and sniff like I did!

Another idea? Wrapping the ingredients up in a little pot and bringing them as a hostess gift to the next party you attend!  Add a cute little tag with instructions, and that hostess will have a lovely day cleaning and airing out her house the next day post party!

Mar 7, 2012

Looking Forward Towards. . .

Hubs brought Dell Harper some adorable summer outfits from his trip to Asheville this week- she will be the cutest baby on the beach in her new sunsuit and swimsuit-

It's got me dreaming of packing this bag-

With the following-

Source: via Samma on Pinterest

Source: via Samma on Pinterest

While parading around in this

And drinking lots of margaritas!
What's on your summer wish list?

Mar 6, 2012

This and That

  • I am laying in bed, watching Cougar Town- unusual as we don't have a TV in the bedroom.  However,  I have temporarily relocated to the guest bedroom with the advent of Dell Harper and her middle of the night feedings.  Hubs can't nurse her in the middle of the night, and I prefer a well-rested and happy husband as opposed to company in the middle of the night.

  • I really enjoy Cougar Town, as well as Happy Endings.  Do y'all watch either?  Hubs thinks they are a bit too silly, but I catch him chuckling when I make him watch.

  • Just a gratuitous Dell Harper picture-
By the way, if you are dealing with a baby with reflux,  I highly recommend the Fisher Price Rock and Play Sleeper that Miss Priss is laying in- it keeps her elevated, so has replaced her crib as her bed for now.  We tried elevated her crib mattress with a wedge, but it did not raise her enough, and she kept sliding down.

  • Okay, so more curly hair pics.  Please excuse my wrinkled pjs, and makeup-less face.  I must really love y'all to allow this curly hair instruction to overcome my tremendous vanity.

Okay, so blot your hair with a t-shirt.  I don't know why I look frightened.  It's not a scary process.  Maybe I saw the bags under my eyes.  Props to Dell Harper for giving me those.

Next a pump or two of this stuff.  Here's a secret- if you have straightening balm, but not curl enhancer, don't fret.  I think they do the same thing- i.e. fight frizz by coating the hair with silicone.

My hair dryer is just a cheapo that I picked up at Tar-jay the other day on sale.  It met my requirement of having a diffuser.  It cost $13 and said it was professional, which is doubtful, but it works.

Flip upside down and blow-dry as you normally would.

If you get sick of being upside down, feel free to flip up for a while.

Now, straightening my hair with a round brush, sectioned off, etc. take at least 45 minutes.  New curly mess, although  slightly unkempt in appearance?  About 25 minutes of dry time.  And such time is far less arduous. Totally worth the slightly wild woman look.


  • On a far more somber note, there were 4 Thin Mints left in my freezer.  I ate them all this afternoon, as a reward for cleaning kitchen and doing laundry.  Now I want another one. Hmmm, to break into Hubs' Samoa stash or not?  He is out of town. . . but I am not particularly fond of those.  It would be a poor substitute for a frozen Thin Mint indeed.  Sigh.