Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Happy Anniversary - To Me!

Yesterday was my 10 year anniversary of moving to North Carolina.

Hooray for me! The day I left I was told by someone I was close to at the time she wouldn't hug me goodbye because I'd be moving back in two weeks. I can't say I never thought about it, but obviously never serious enough to do it. I'm still here.

I really put almost no thought into moving, very unlike me. It was an impulse and I know now that had I waited until I was a little older I probably would have over-thought the situation so much that I never would have left. I don't remember my parents really giving me too much grief over it. Honestly, I don't think my mom thought I'd stay either. But stay I did, even when I was faced with situations that probably should have made me go back.

Ten years is a long time and it has changed me considerably. It's amazing how much can happen in that amount of time (or even in the last 5 years really). A decision that took me probably 30 seconds to make has made some really interesting people part of my life. I met my husband here, I started my family here, and I've made some really great friends. It would be a much more difficult decision to leave here than it was for me to leave Norwood, NY.

Things I've learned from my move:
  • Sweet tea generally so sweet that it needs to be chewed. I have gotten to a point where I can drink sweet tea but it's not my drink of choice.
  • I don't know how I went the first 20 years of my life without having experienced pimento cheese. It is amazing. If you have never had homemade pimento cheese you must do so immediately.
  • They have sayings here. Sayings that people just seem to know that I've never in my life heard before but was immediately entertained by them. My favorites starting with the best one I've ever heard:
  1. I'm just as busy as a cat covering up shit. (I have seriously heard this used in normal conversation)
  2. He doesn't know me from Adam's house cat. (His house cat, really?)
  3. Who licked the red off your candy?
  • Southern dialect creeps up on you. You will eventually say "Y'all". It happens even if you try to rebel against it. And I was recently called out on my use of the word "holler".
  • Barbecue is something you eat, not something you do. And it's delicious.
My last thing to share before I end this super long post. This is my favorite news story since I've been an NC resident:

Last year I learned about Knobby. Knobby is a Bigfoot-like creature who resides in Cleveland County, NC...and he has beautiful hair. He apparently likes to torment a man named Tim Peeler. Mr. Peeler made the news last year when he called 911 to report Knobby trespassing on his property. He keeps his dogs in a pen outside his home and they were making some noise. Thinking that some coyotes were messing with the dogs he went out to have a look. But "instead o' them...it was him". Meaning Knobby, of course. Mr. Peeler "rough talk 'im and run 'im off". He instructed Knobby to "Get away from 'ere! Git!" which apparently did the trick because he was no where to be found when the authorities showed up. But they did file a suspicious person report. Check out the video below for Mr. Peeler's "amateur sketch". This story continues to amuse me every time I think about it. When I first saw the video I laughed so hard I cried.

I have made such a big deal about Knobby that I have, at times, irritated the absolute mess out of my family and co-workers. As it turns out, someone I work with went to school with Tim Peeler. I've been told that in that video he was not drunk on moonshine like I had originally thought but that he is an enormous pothead. Well, surprise surprise. At our annual work conference last year that same co-worker who knows Tim Peeler presented me with this shirt and it's quite possibly one of my favorite things. Ever.



Monday, June 27, 2011

Ten Months

My baby is...well, not such a baby anymore. And less baby-like every day it seems. With toddlerhood fast approaching Grant seems eager to speed things up.

10 months old. He doesn't even look like a baby anymore.
Grant is all about some walking now. And he's quite good at it. Of course, he still falls on his bum. And he still reverts to crawling when he needs to or he's really tired. But it's pretty obvious that his preferred method of transportation (aside from being carried) is to walk where he wants to go. He's gone very quickly from only walking when he's already pulled up on something to just getting up from a sitting position and walking away. He's also able to bend over and pick something up without toppling over...most of the time. Sometimes - and this is happening more frequently, especially outside - he tries to run. This never works out in his favor.

He always falls when he tries to run. Sometimes he just falls forward and lands on his belly looking like he's not to sure how he got down there so fast. Sometimes he falls forward and lands on his face and is completely sure he didn't like it.

That wasn't fun.
We're getting more actual words out of him now. Dada more than Mama but he knows who he's talking to or about and he knows the one he calls with come running. Over the weekend I kept saying banana to him as he was eating his banana cereal puffs and he started saying "Nana nananana" so I'm going to assume my clever little guy was trying to say banana.

He's loving his stage 3 foods. Most of them. Some have gone over better than others. The self-feeding thing...eh. I need to push it but I don't. He loves the cereal puffs and Cheerios. But when it comes to real foods like cut up fruit or green beans he'll have nothing to do with them in his mouth. LOVES to squish them in his hands and giggles while he does it. But they're not going in the mouth. And if I try to put a piece of fruit in his mouth? No ma'am! If it's not on a spoon then Grant is the only person that's putting food in his mouth. It makes things ever so slightly difficult. Oh, and we discovered that instant mashed potatoes (yes, I'm that lazy) make his belly swell up so bad that he looks like one of those mail order kids that Sally Struthers is always trying to help.

Most recently Grant has discovered that his new-found mobility makes it much easier to torment poor Brodie. So for now, I'll leave you with this:

(Don't worry, Brodie frequently gets rewarded for choosing not to eat the baby.)

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Dog Poop

I am, to put it mildly, slightly irritated. I took Grant outside today to take some 10 month pictures of him (post coming soon!). I decided to try some next to a holly tree at the end of our driveway. Grant was less than cooperative so picked him up to move him to a shadier spot. When I bent down I noticed a pile of small dog turds not too far from where I had planted Grant's bum. Looking at that pile, I knew it wasn't a job done by our dog. Not only because, even as a puppy, he's never had a poop that small but also because he only poops in the backyard. Even when we walk him on his leash. I feel certain that I know who's dog did the doody (get it?) and I think that our neighbor is quite rude and inconsiderate.

 This woman - who's name I don't know because we aren't friendly with any of our neighbors - has two very small dogs that resemble dust mops. That kind that I like to refer to as "barking handbags". I love dogs...almost all dogs. These dogs serve no purpose except to annoy. She's the kind of dog owner that thinks it's funny that her dogs growl and bark at any person except her. Like it's charming that her dogs would nip at me if I got too close. They aren't even cute. And they're even less cute now that I know they're crapping in our yard. I've even seen her allowing them to pee on our mailbox post. I feel it's necessary to point out that we don't allow Brodie to pee on things like that in our neighborhood (but there is a stop sign that he likes to pee on and I let him do that). A lot of people plant flowers and things around these posts and I can't believe that people let their dogs ruin them like that. And we don't allow him to poop on anyones property except our own within that neighborhood. When we walk him he does it on the side of the road when we get outside the subdivision.

So I had an idea that I thought would make this neighbor and others aware that we find their actions rude, if not remedy the situation. I want to put a sign in the front yard that says something like (I know I'd have to cut down the verbage a little):

Dear Neighbors,
We have found dog poop left in
our yard that does not belong
to our dog. Please clean up after
your pet if when you let them
crap our yard. We have a small child
who plays here. If you keep leaving
your dogs poop on our property we
will pick it up and kindly bring
 it back to you.
-The Williams Family

Husband said no.

Friday, June 24, 2011

New Recipe: Oreo & Fudge Ice Cream Cake

I decided to try another new recipe for our Father's Day cookout. Husband is not a big fan of ice cream cake. This I do not, and never will, understand. I loooove ice cream cake. It's my favorite kind of cake :) Since it was going to be a warm day I was on the hunt for a cool dessert. I remembered a recipe that I'd seen years ago in a Kraft Food & Family magazine (love that magazine, by the way!). It's called Oreo & Fudge Ice Cream Cake (click it for recipe - there's even a how to video if my pictures don't do it for you). How much easier does it get than an ice cream cake made with ice cream sandwiches??


Mix up your "filling"

Assemble your layers, wrap it, and stick it in the freezer.
When it's been in the freezer long enough to set, take it out and put it on a serving plate. Spread on the rest of the whipped cream and I threw a couple of crushed Oreos on top to make it pretty. Then cover it up and stick it back in the freezer until you're ready to serve it. 
Looky there! A homemade ice cream cake!

  • You could mix it up a little bit if you wanted a different flavor. I want to try to make it with the birthday cake ice cream sandwiches. And use caramel in the filling instead of fudge and vanilla pudding instead of chocolate. And maybe the vanilla Oreos in place of the regular ones. YUM.
  • No need to let it sit before serving. It cuts great straight from the freezer.
  • If you can find reduced fat sandwiches that come in boxes of 12 you could do a lower fat version. Using reduced fat Oreos and light or fat free whipped cream.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Learning Good Habits

I was advised at our nine month check up to start getting Grant used to a toothbrush (or a finger brush or whatever). She said we should brush his teeth after his nighttime bottle before we put him in his crib. And to her I say: HA! YOU do it!

Grant has never minded when I put that little finger brush on and give his tiny teeth a brushing. But he VERY MUCH minds it when he's in a food coma and ready for bed. I do try. And my theory is that he'll get used to it. But I don't try every night. It's just not worth it. He starts to pout when I lay him on the changing table and I just about have to man-handle him just to get his hands away from his face while he is doing everything in his power to get me to stop trying to shove my finger in his mouth. Good times. But with a top front tooth about to come through any day, I really need to put forth more effort with the nighttime teeth cleaning.

But while he is awake and happy we're trying to get him used to the toothbrush that Husband's dentist gave us. She said just to let him chew on it. Which he is very happy to do (actually his little face lights up when he sees it)!

Side note: Can we please talk about how ridiculously cute he is in his new PJs?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

New Recipe: Grilled Buttermilk Chicken

For our Father's Day cookout, I decided to try out a chicken recipe that I've had my eye on for a few weeks now. I got the recipe from myrecipes.com and it's called Grilled Buttermilk Chicken (click it for the recipe). It was so good and so simple to make, I'm so glad I tried it! Basically you make a brine with all the ingredients. Trim up your chicken and let it soak in the brine for a day (4 hours is the least amount of soaking time recommended). When you're ready to cook it take the chicken out of the brine, wipe it off and throw it on the grill! Super easy.


Chicken soaking in the brine. I forgot to take a picture before
I put the plastic wrap on my bowl. Oops.

Voila! Yummy Grilled Buttermilk Chicken! (I know it looks like
your run-of-the-mill grilled chicken but it doesn't taste like it!)
  • The recipe calls for chicken thighs and drumsticks but I used a large package of boneless skinless chicken breasts in an attempt to be healthier. They were delicious. I'm sure if you decide to use the thighs and drumsticks they would be good too. But I think I'll continue to make it with the chicken breasts.
  • FYI: The chicken breasts were super thick so I had to cut them in half so they'd be thinner and not take so long to cook. Plus it cuts out the possibility of cutting into it and realizing it hasn't cooked all the way through. Yuck.
  • The recipe only says "buttermilk" so I used non-fat buttermilk. I'm not sure if there are other kinds of buttermilk but I thought the non-fat worked great.
  • I had to use garlic powder in place of fresh garlic because Husband threw out my garlic and I was not about to trek out to the grocery store. It tasted good but I look forward to using fresh garlic next time.
  • Leftovers are so good (can you say yummy lunch?) and the chicken even tastes good cold. It would be good for a picnic if you cook it ahead of time.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Husband's First Father's Day

I had been looking forward to Nate's first Father's Day almost (stress almost) as much as my first Mother's Day. I wanted him to have a good day and I think he did. We started the day off with some breakfast. I love to cook breakfast on the weekends anyway so Husband requested bacon, egg, and cheese bagel sandwiches and hash browns. Then, after breakfast there was some morning mischief (nothing unusual there):

After that, some Father's Day naps were in order:

As you can see in the background...I sacrificed my nap to do laundry.
But I think Husband got to nap for a little bit.
After the naps we got ready for our Father's Day cookout (will be posting a few recipes soon!). Nate's mom, step dad, and brother came over for a yummy dinner and some playtime with Grant. But, as usual, Grant had to see what he could get away with. And I, as usual, had to be the bad guy. This is what "No" looks like:

And this is what "No" looks like if you don't immediately pick him up and tell him it's ok (which it's not, so I didn't...that just encourages, right?)

Terrible, isn't it? I'm not as heartless as I sound! I do pick him up! I just have to let him know what he's not supposed to do. It does break my heart, for the record.

But, overall, Nate said he had a good day which was what I hoped for. I did manage to snap ONE picture of Grant and Husband right before Grant's nap. Nate said a couple weeks ago that he can't really remember how small Grant used to be. And he was a scrawny little thing! But these two side by side show how big he's getting. And Husband still looks tired!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Raising the Daycare Bully?

Today Grant started his second full week at his new daycare. He only did a partial week for his first week because of his eye infection which made last week is first Monday-Friday. So far - YAY! - it's going well. The people seem really nice and the set up is so SO much better than his previous daycare. However, Nate was part of a conversation one morning last week about biters (we had to sign a form about children biting). I know it's normal. Little kids bite. But one of the owners of the daycare made the comment that "Grant doesn't have hardly any teeth and he's already a biter". Uh oh. And then, last week and possibly the same day, Nate was there to pick up Grant and he was sitting on the floor crying. Why, you ask? He was trying to steal a little girl's pacifier - OUT OF HER MOUTH! He was crying because she wouldn't let him take it. Are we raising the daycare bully?

Perhaps this is how kids play, I don't know. I didn't do much babysitting as a teenager and I never had much experience with babies/small children before having my own. It's probably not helping that I let Grant wrestle his stuffed animals and, on occasion, me. But it was the biting that really worried me. Obviously not so worried that I couldn't find humor in the situation. I've literally had this song stuck in my head since Nate told me about the biting conversation (and I've been fighting the urge to sing it out loud in the office all day!):

I love Modern Family and I'm totally singing this to Grant tonight!

Friday, June 17, 2011

I Scream, You Scream

Brodie screams for ice cream. He really does. He gets so excited over his ice cream that he sounds like he's screaming. Yes, we are terrible doggie parents...we give him real ice cream (not every day). In my family we've always given our dogs real ice cream. There's something weird about those Frosty Paws and I can't see how they're any better for them than actual ice cream. But also, the little ice cream cups cost the same as Frosty Paws and you get three times as many. Sometimes I switch it up and buy him the sundae cups (yes, he even eats the chocolate) instead of plain vanilla. I've even come across sherbet cups. He's not picky. He'll eat any of it. We ran out of ice cream one day after he'd been promised it (you know, because he remembers stuff like that) so I froze some apple juice. Loved it.

Last week after Grant's check-up when we got home I let Brodie out as usual. He ended up staying out a little too long. I know this because he rarely "asks" to come inside. But it was apparently hot enough for him to come to the back door looking kind ragged and I could tell that hanging out under the deck wasn't cool enough that day. He deserved an ice cream (Ok, it was out of guilt - I may have forgotten he was outside) and he wagged his tail the entire time he was eating it.

After some playtime Grant ended up going down for a good nap. And with his belly full of a chocolate sundae Brodie enjoyed some baby-free peace and quiet relaxing in the sunny spot.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

I Don't Swim In Your Toilet, So Please Don't Pee In My...Bathtub?

"He can pee standing up! He learned that a lot faster than I did. He's going to be ready to pee in a toilet soon." said Husband with excitement. Oh yes, came my reply - dripping with sarcasm, let's potty train our 9 month old! Obviously he is by no means ready to pee in a toilet. The reason for Husband's excitement is because EVERY time I put Grant in the bathtub in the past week he stood at the side of the tub and peed. Without fail every time. When I take off his diaper there is not the slightest indication that he has to go. Maybe it's the warm water? Who knows. But it makes him happy because he's grinning the whole time. Then he sits down and starts playing and I'm left standing there saying "Great, now you're playing in pee water." What to do? Change the water? I'm sure he's peed in the water before without my knowledge, yes? And it was only a little.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

What Makes My Job Fun

I am a state employee. I tend to make light-hearted jokes about state employees when people ask me what I do because people have two expectations of "state employees". They expect us to be lazy and they expect us to be fat. I feel like only one of those applies to me, but I prefer the term "pleasantly plump". I don't know what the rules are about me writing about my job online so I'll refrain from telling you my department and division. What I will tell you is that the main part of my job deals with the health paperwork of almost all "livestock" (this covers a lot of species!) moving in and out of our state and some poultry (I know that way more poultry/avian species are being moved that I don't get paperwork for - but really, that applies to a lot of animals). That's slightly telling, isn't it? I do other things too but it's mostly the health paperwork. I can also say that most of the people I work with aren't your typical lazy state employees and some of us actually enjoy helping the general public. Don't get me wrong. We have got some lazy, unhelpful people. And some that are just unenjoyable to work with or they feel like the rules don't apply to them so they get their way with everything. And the [insert name of elected official here] that department works for is a giant douche bag.

However, the people I work directly with are fun. Including me it's a group of five women so you can imagine the gossip flying around the office. There is a large room with three of us in it and then a smaller office with two more. We talk over the cubicles at each other which is apparently bad cubicle etiquette because we were given a handout by a co-worker detailing all the ways that we disrupt the work environment. But he or she no longer works in that room so we don't have to worry about cubicle etiquette and we happily shredded his or her handout.

Our boss is pretty laid back. He knows we cut up a lot but he knows we get our work done so he's ok with it. He and my co-workers put up with a lot from me. I joke around a lot in the office. And I'm constantly reading out loud the stuff on my paperwork that makes me laugh. For instance:

I know, my maturity level has reached a new low.
Doesn't that make you want a ground hog named Big Mamma?
That one is on my "Wall of Fame".

This one requires more explanation. This is a health paper on a horse. And EVERY TIME
I see a horse paper and it says the horse is for "pleasure" it makes me giggle. I know
what they mean, but I just can't help it. I find it funny!

 There are a million more examples that make me laugh. I get to see all the names that people give to their horses. Most are quite stupid (but that also sums up my feelings about the owners of the horses) but my favorite is and always will be Banana Pancakes. Or the vet who writes health papers for a traveling petting zoo type thing and every time he writes one for the porcupines he spells it "Porky Pine". But this is the same vet who wrote one for a Donkey and marked his species as "other" and then wrote in Assine. Even with my minimal animal knowledge I knew that wasn't real (Apparently a lot of people I work with know this vet and said he went to vet school out of the country. They said that's what you do when you can't get into vet school in the US.). We also get all kinds of crazy phone calls from people that make our days interesting. The crazier, the better because at least it gives us something to laugh at ("Um...hi. I found a dead bird on the street outside my office. So I brought it in and put it in our freezer. My boss is really mad at me and she wants it out of there. She says I have to clean the freezer. Do you guys have somewhere I can take it to be tested for the bird flu?" Hahahahaha!) So, yes, we're state employees who have some fun at work. But we get do get our work done and, for the most part, I think we try to be helpful to people.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Nine Month Check-up

Today Grant had his nine month check-up! He weighs 18 pounds 3 ounces and he's 28 inches long. And he despises having his ears looked at. I was looking forward to this appointment because he I knew he didn't have to have shots but with the way he carried on for the ear exams (she did it twice because I was concerned about another possible ear infection - all clear there!) you would think that he was having shots. But the doc said he's doing really well and that his eyes look like they're clearing up. Those eye drops suck, but at least they're working.

Grant's going to start on some stage 3 foods and she gave us ideas for other finger foods to try. I haven't really been pushy with other kinds of finger foods. He's loving the Gerber puffs but we haven't really gone beyond those (except for the one time we tried cut up banana but I don't think it counts if we're not positive he got any in his mouth). She also told us to start trying cups with straws! That should be entertaining.

She knew from one of our sick visits that Grant's been crawling so she asked how he's doing with that. I mentioned his walking toy and that he's taken some step on his own. "So you've baby proofed, right?" she said. To which I answered with a very confident yes even thought it should have been ummmm sorta. "And you've got his crib lowered, I'm sure" which we did do a while ago. "And there's no bumper or anything like that in there, right? Not even a thin one?" But I could not tell a lie. I know how people feel these days about bumpers and I know what's been written about them. But, honestly, I don't care. There are somethings that, for me, modern day over-protectiveness will not change. It has saved Grant's noggin from so many head bumps that we can't even count them. This kid has been moving since long before he was actually crawling and that bumper gave us all a little sense of security. But now, the thought of him using that bumper to hoist himself out of his crib (he does try to climb things in the living room - eek!) makes me a little sick to think about. So out it came. It really makes the crib look less cute and comfy and much more prison-like.

Before we left I had to make his ONE YEAR CHECK-UP! Hard to believe.

His eyes still look a little red underneath but are clearing up nicely.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The Eye Infection

I'm going to try to make this as quick as possible. Because I'm beyond exhausted and Grant is, for the moment, asleep. As I said in my previous post, on Saturday Grant's eyes started having this nasty, green gunk coming out of them. It literally looked like he was crying boogers. Husband said it was pink eye but the pharmacist I called thought it was allergies...bascially (what she said was that it sounded like his sinus' were backing up into his tear ducts - yum). Well, Husband sort of wins that one. While not technically pink eye, it is an eye infection. A contagious one. Good stuff. The pediatrician didn't even need to see him, she just called in some eye drops for us. Trying to get eye drops into Grant's eyes is a party and a half. He cries ("Mama!"), I cry, Husband misses his eye because Grant keeps turning his head and everyone ends up frustrated. Last night I lost it. Partly because I felt like Grant was mad at me but also because I'm so damn tired of this child being sick. I can remember more times in the last 9 months when he's been sick than well. It is always something: A virus that landed us in the ER, and upper respiratory thing around Christmas, repeat of the repiratory thing when we went to NY in February, countless colds and fevers, his first bloody nose, and now a nasty eye infection. I can handle a lot. I have handled a lot. I helped hold Grant down for blood work, I held him still for x-rays, I sat in the room while they gave him a spinal tap...but apparently I reached my limit at the eye drops. Maybe it's because of the new Mama cry. Maybe I'm just tired.

Day one of the eye drops (but day three of the infection). He looks pretty bad. Like he's
 been in some juice bar brawl or something. But he still managed a smile for us :)

Thankfully tonight was easier with the drops. I had planned to stay out of the room but guilt won that one. So I grabbed a toy and headed for Grants room/torture chamber. I managed to distract him quite well so Husband could get the drops in his eyes and they definitely went in well. Did I mention it's two drops per eye twice a day? I'll be glad when this crap is gone. However, day two of the drops did leave Grant looking much improved and more "himself". So we're all hoping that he keeps getting better. And Husband and I would really like some sleep (and our bed back).

I'm not entirely sure what's up with the face in the bottom
picture. He looks like he's been caught doing something wrong.

Monday, June 6, 2011

First Steps, First Word...and Some Green Gunk

It was a huge weekend for big firsts. Saturday Grant took his first steps! He is, by no means, full out walking. But he did take actual unassisted steps on Saturday. I thought I'd be sad when it happened but I have to say, I'm pretty excited. We've tried to get him to do it again but his walking toy is always nearby and he gets distracted by it. He's doing so well with that now! We've been playing a game where I sit at one side of the living room and husband goes to the other end and Grant walks between us with his toy. He just keeps going! Which ever one of us he walks to turns him around and he goes back the other way with the biggest grin.

That's probably the most fun that we had this weekend considering that, also on Saturday, Grants eyes started spewing thick, green eye boogers. Which it turns out is a highly contagious eye infection! He was supposed to start a new daycare this week (Can I get an amen?) but now he can't until the drops we have to give him are in his system for 24 hours. We are sooo looking forward to putting drops in his eyes considering he starts screaming bloody murder if you get near him with a tissue, washcloth, or *gasp* the booger snatcher snot sucker.

Which brings me to big first number two. We discovered this weekend that Grant can say a very clear "Mama". It surprised me that this was his first word. He really hasn't made any "M" sounds. Lots of "bababababa" (but never while looking at a bottle) and he's come very close to some things that sounds like "Dada". Unfortunately, the way we found out is because of several crying fits Grant had this weekend while we were trying to clean his eyes and nose. He would cry so hard and then say "Mama" while he was crying. Or he just wanted to be picked up and would stand up in his pack-n-play and cry "Mama". The worst, though, was while we were cleaning his eyes. It's hard to hear him cry my name when I'm the one who is causing him to cry. It made me cry! I guess he had to start somewhere and it will, at the very least, be a story to tell him later. Husband wasn't surprised at all that "Mama" came first...because he's been trying to get him to say it since he was about a month old!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Greased Lightning

Ha! Ok, so while he doesn't really qualify as greased lightning Grant is making some serious moves towards walking. For a while now he's been walking along the couch balancing himself with his hands. In the past couple weeks he's been standing unassisted for a second or two then losing his balance and ending up on his bum. But now he's getting much better at regaining his balance when standing and will even grab onto the couch (or ottoman, coffee table, chair, etc.) to keep from falling. We decided to try a walking toy with him and I'd say he did pretty well with it. (FYI: crappy picture quality due to still using my camera phone!)

So that first night when we were playing with the walking toy, Grant would start out walking but he had a hard time keeping up and would end up on his knees. But that didn't stop him...and neither did the living room full of toys.

Since he seemed to have such a good time with the walking toy, we played with it last night too. And he managed to stay on his feet for longer. It's not a super long video but you get the idea.

It's very exciting that he's close to walking but it makes me sad too. It doesn't seem so long ago that Grant was that tiny little guy that used to lay underneath his baby gym. Then almost overnight he was crawling and pulling up. And now he's almost walking. I knew when I was pregnant that he was going to keep us on our toes. It seemed like he was always moving. There was a doctor at one of our OB check-ups that told us to "get our running shoes ready" and she was soooo right. Grant has very much kept us on our toes. Lord help us when he starts walking for real!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Sugar and Spice

A very good friend of mine, Jen, is having a baby girl and I could not be more excited for her! Because she lives back home I won't be able to attend her baby shower. But I did get to make sugar cookie favors for the occasion! I adore sugar cookies as party favors and I love making them. Well, that's not quite right. As with any cake/cookie item I make it's truly the decorating that I love to do. I'd like to skip the baking and frosting making and get right to the decorating part of it. So, her shower is this Sunday and I hope she has a great time and gets lots of things she needs for her little princess that we are all so excited to meet! (By the way, these aren't great pictures because I had to take them with my phone. The batteries in our camera died last weekend and I can never remember to get more. To use the camera I'd have to steal batteries from baby toys and I haven't resorted to that yet.)

You have no idea (or maybe you do) how hard it is to decorate these cookies
while having to smell them the whole time. They smell so good!
I packaged them individually and even found "It's a Girl"
ribbon to tie them with :)

I made a special cookie just for the Mommy-to-be. Each
petal is a separate cookie attached with icing. It weighs a ton!
  This isn't the first time I've made cookies for Jen...but I didn't have to make as many this time! I also made wedding cake shaped cookie favors for her wedding in September of 2009. That time I had to make roughly 175 cookies. And to this day I have no idea how I managed to do that in my tiny kitchen. (Although my friend Elizabeth did sacrifice a weekend afternoon to come help me decorate!)

My dining room table turned cookie decorating workspace!

A few of cookies all packaged up
One of my cookies in action

By the way, I was forced to eat a few of my mistakes (I had to experiment with the "message" on the cookie). I like when I make tasty mistakes.
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