Monday, January 30, 2012

First Trip to a Bookstore

In my 17 month post I talked about all the stuff Grant is saying these days. Trucks being the biggest topic of our toddler conversations. Since we had no plans yesterdays I decided to take Grant and wander around some craft stores and then I figured we'd stop at Barnes & Noble to find some truck books since Grant didn't have any books yet about trucks.

I love love love to read. And even though I have a Kindle now, I still love going to bookstores. When Grant was just a teeny tiny guy I started reading to him before bed and now, it seems, I've got a little book lover. So I knew he'd love Barnes & Noble. When we got back to the kids section, I started hunting for one book in particular: Richard Scarry's CARS and TRUCKS and THINGS THAT GO. My sister and I used to love the Richard Scarry books when we were kids and I've been  waiting to get them for Grant until he was old enough for books that are so busy. As soon as I showed him that book - in the very busy but very quiet kids section - he went "OOOOOOHH!! Truck!!" I couldn't help but laugh at him. He was so excited. So we got that one. And we also got a little story book (I don't really consider the Richard Scarry one a "story book") called Little Blue Truck. That's one of the ones we read before bed last night and it was a really cute story. But I think the Richard Scarry one is definitely his favorite right now:

Ooooh truck!

I had to limit myself because it would have been really easy to buy every book that Grant would have liked. BUT, I did make some mental notes and get some ideas for his Easter basket and it's always good (for me, at least) to be planning ahead!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

17 Months

17 Months Old - Taken yesterday while at the park for a walk
I feel like we have got a full-fledged toddler on our hands now. There is almost no trace of the baby I used to have. Grant is just such a big boy now.

He is talking more and more every day. It's all about the "truck" now. If there is a truck, Grant will find it and make you aware of it. And when he gets really excited it's a "big truck!" He says "Hi" all the time and now "bye-bye" to me every morning when Nate takes him to school. And that's how he says goodnight now too. He still says "Dada" a lot although he seems to be making the transition into "Daddy". But now I'm actually getting more "Mama"s out of him too and there's pretty much nothing I love hearing more than that. He says some other things too. He's much better at "thank you" but gets confused when I respond with "your welcome". "Ball" is something we here quite a bit and he's still working on Brodie's name. He's the "Br" part but when he tries to say it, it just sounds like "Bra". We're constantly trying to get him talking because it's just so cute to listen to him. It's more motivation to get rid of the pacifier - which we still have ups and downs with.

Husband got this sweatshirt for Grant around Christmas time but
he got it because he knew I'd love it. When I was a kid we used to
go on vacation in the Adirondack Mountains every summer.
Grant is still getting bitten at school although it hasn't happened as often as when he was first moved to the Toddler Room. Just this past week he was bitten on his forehead. I don't even know how that's possible but he came home with a big ol' bite mark right in the middle of his forehead. But maybe now he's getting used to the kids - and the pecking order - in the new room and it hopefully won't happen as much. So far Grant hasn't done anything, that we've been told about, to retaliate when he gets bitten.

I'm not sure what he's doing here but this picture cracks me up!
Grant is pretty much in the middle of everything. He is so curious. He loves to help unload the dishwasher and gets a little upset if he's in his highchair and I unload it by myself. He loves to be in the kitchen when I'm cooking and gets very excited when I let him help me stir what's on the stove. And if his Daddy is doing anything then he wants to stand there and watch (and try his very best to help).

I'm thinking there isn't much more to my monthly update. The talking is the biggest thing right now and he gets better and better at it every day. He's just doing so much growing up. Yesterday when we were at the park he climbed the slide - the big slide - all by himself (Ok, I was holding my hand behind him) and then went down all by himself. There really just doesn't seem to be any baby left in him. My tiny baby is all gone and has been replaced a by a sweet, adorable, stubborn, smart (sometimes too smart), very hard-headed, talkative toddler who can be very cuddly when he's tired...unless he's throwing a fit because he's tired. Then he's not cuddly at all. As a matter of fact, if you try to cuddle him at that point he'll let you know exactly how he feels about that.

But look at that face!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

New Recipe: Pizza Casserole

I love a casserole. I am always on the prowl for a new and delicious casserole recipe. Sometimes they make me feel lazy. Even though they're not all as simple as throwing some ingredients into a 9 x 13 pan. This one was pretty easy by casserole standards. And it was tasty. Score! This Pizza Casserole recipe is another that I found on Pinterest. Besides the food blogs that I read, it's really my favorite place to find new recipes.

I sort of forgot to take a picture before we attacked it with the serving spoon.

Pizza Casserole
  • 1 bag of Egg Noodles (I think mine was a 16 oz bag)
  • 1 extra large can of Ragu sauce (or any tomato sauce you prefer)
  • 3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (or more depending on how much you like cheese!)
  • 1 1/2 lbs ground beef
  • 1 package pepperoni
  1. Boil the noodles according to package directions.
  2. While the noodles cook, brown the ground beef and drain it.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  4. Now you can start layering your casserole like this: Spread a thin layer of tomato sauce on the bottom of your casserole dish. Then layer half your noodles, then half the meat, then half your sauce. On top of that, layer the rest of your noodles, half of the cheese, the rest of your meat, the rest of your sauce, and then the rest of your cheese. Spread your pepperoni on top of that (However much or little of the package as you want. It depends on your pepperoni preference.)
  5. Cover the casserole dish with foil and bake for 30 minutes. After the 30 minutes, remove the foil and bake for another 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let sit for about 10 minutes before serving.
Recipe Source: For Mamas

Toddler tested. Toddler approved.
  • When re-typing the recipe I debated on what to put for the cooking temperature. She has 350 but this casserole is HUGE. I recommend 375 degrees. I did mine at 350 and took it out after about 25 minutes and some of the middle cheese hadn't even melted. So I turned up the oven after that and left the foil off (although the foil is necessary for most of the process). But after that it cooked fine and the pepperoni got nice and crispy :)
  • I added black olives to the one of the meat layers because all three of us (yes, Grant included) are black olive fans. Yum!
  • I used a little extra cheese. Ok, I used a whole cup of extra cheese. (So that's 4 cups instead of the original 3 cups.)
  • Lots of room with this recipe to be creative and make it your own. Anything you like on a pizza could pretty much be added to one of the layers. As long as you have a big enough casserole dish :)
  • Great weeknight meal because it doesn't take too much time to get together. It could even be put together the night before if you're feeling ambitious and then just throw it in the oven when you get home.
  • HUGE casserole. It makes a ton. So it's great for leftovers or to feed a crowd (hello potluck!).
This one was a big hit with the three of us. Even me and I'm really not a fan of spaghetti/pizza sauce. Grant, who isn't a big meat eater, couldn't get it in his mouth fast enough and never stopped to think about the hamburger meat. I'll definitely be making it again. I'd love to know how it turns out if anyone tries it. Enjoy!

Monday, January 23, 2012

New Recipe: White Chicken Enchiladas

Another new recipe? Hooray for me! It seems that I'm working my way out of the recipe rut that I had said I'd gotten into. Although, taking medicine that makes me feel like I've pounded three pots of coffee in a very short period of time is probably helping me in the motivation department. Who cares. I'll take it. After weeks of feeling like doing nothing more than anchoring myself to the couch it feels good to have some ambition.

This new recipe comes, once again, by way of Pinterest. If that's not a site you're familiar with then you should get familiar with it in a hurry! There are so many great things there. I saw this recipe just this past week and with the small ingredient list and very basic instructions, I knew it would work itself into our menu soon. So I made it last night.

White Chicken Enchiladas
with green chili sour cream sauce

  • 10 soft taco shells
  • 2 cups cooked, shredded chicken (I used a rotisserie chicken)
  • 2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 3 Tbsp. butter
  • 3 Tbsp. flour
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 (4 oz) can diced green chilies
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x13 pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Mix chicken and 1 cup cheese. Evenly distribute the chicken/cheese mixture and roll it up in the tortillas. Place them in the prepared pan.
  3. In a sauce pan over medium heat, melt butter. Stir in flour and cook 1 minute. Add broth and whisk until smooth. Heat until thick and bubbly.
  4. Stir in sour cream and chilies. Do not bring to a boil, you don't want curdled sour cream.
  5. Pour over enchiladas and top with remaining cheese.
  6. Bake 20-22 minutes and then broil on high for 2-3 minutes to brown the cheese. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting into it.
Recipe Source: Joyful Momma's Kitchen

  • I don't really "do" spicy so I was kind of a wuss about the green chilies. I didn't use a full 4 ounces and I also drained them considerably. Next time I'll be a little braver because I really couldn't tell they were there. So little heat from them, in fact, that I would have let Grant have it instead of the lasagna that he did have.
  • My sauce never got "thick and bubbly" while I was cooking it but after it cooked in the casserole pan and sat for a few minutes after I took it out of the oven I felt like it was the perfect consistency.
  • This is a fairly "naked" dish so it's got a lot of room for creativity if you feel like getting crazy. You could add all sorts of stuff in with the chicken & cheese mixture. Husband's first suggestion was and bacon.
  • The only adjustments I made were to the sauce. I added a little bit of salt because I use a very low sodium chicken broth and I like that I can control the amount of salt that goes into the sauce. I also added a little bit of onion powder. However, I did not use any extra cheese! I'm kinda proud of that.
  • Great dish for picky eaters! I can say that with confidence because I'm pretty picky. Also a good weeknight dish because it goes together very easily. Especially if you use a rotisserie chicken. I cooked a little bit of white rice to go with them but you could skip the rice and go for a side salad or vegetable too.
I'd love to know if anyone tries it. Enjoy!

Stay tuned in the next couple days for another new recipe! My kitchen is a busy place these days!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Boys Just Want to Have Fun

Like many others, I had this past Monday off from work. And I did something I never do. Even though I had the day off, I sent Grant to day care. I know, I'm a terrible mother. In my defense - these meds they have me on make me feel super wired and I was on a mission to get stuff done. I knew he'd have much more fun at day care with his friends than he would have with me at home trying to check off my to-do list and play with Grant.

So when Grant got home I was hit with an enormous guilt trip over not spending the day with him when I could have. And at that point it was too dark (and cold) to take him to a playground. But it had been laundry day. And Grant's crib mattress was still stripped and pulled out of his crib. So I put the mattress in the living room and let Grant experience just how much fun can be had on laundry day :)

He had a blast. If you've got the volume turned up then you could hear him wheezing from playing so hard. It was so much fun to watch him play like that. And the look on his face was nothing short of absolute happiness. Sometimes I would put a blanket under him and help him use the mattress as a slide but for the most part he just want to play on it (as you can see). It's the sort of indoor fun my sister and I used to have when we were little and I think kids just need to do stuff like this. I'll definitely be keeping this one in my back pocket for the next time Grant seems bored with the one million toys that are cluttered around our living room or we need some rainy day fun.

Lesson learned: I let him play too hard too close to bed time and that made for a rough night for all. Less rough for Grant since from 8-5 the next day he was in a place where he can lay down and take a nap at will. Not so much for Mama and Daddy.

Friday, January 20, 2012

New Recipe: Cinnamon M&M Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

This may come as a bit of a shock but...I love to bake. In case you couldn't tell. I don't actually eat much of what I bake, I tend to judge my efforts based on the reaction of others. But when I decide to bake cookies I like to taste those. And the way I usually feel about them is "eh". I just don't think I'm very good at cookies. I really need to learn to not over-bake them but even when I says "I will not over-bake this batch!" I take them out of the oven when the timer goes off, take one look at them and say "They need 2 more minutes." And so they become just a hair too crispy (although very few people complain about being a baked good guinea pig). So I've set out on a mission to become a better cookie baker.

This recipe comes by way of the blog Picky Palate that I've been following for a while now. I always want to try so many of her recipes and I just never seem to make time. But this one stuck out so I decided to try it.

Cinnamon M&M Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 2 sticks softened unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 10 ounce bag chocolate chips
  • 1 9.90 ounce bag Cinnamon M&M's
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper (or a silpat liner).
  2. In a stand or electric mixer, beat butter and sugars until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add eggs and vanilla mixing until well combined.
  3. Place flour, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl, mix to combine then add slowly to mixing bowl, mixing on low speed. Add cinnamon, rolled oats and chocolate chips. Mix until just combined. With a medium cookie scoop, scoop dough onto prepared baking sheet, about 1 inch apart. Press cookie down about 1/2 inch to flaten slightly. Press 5 Cinnamon M&M's onto each cookie. Bake for 9-12 minutes, until baked to your liking. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes on baking sheet before removing to cooling rack.                                            Makes 3 dozen cookies
Recipe Source: Picky Palate

  • Once again, I over-baked them. The first batch, anyway. If I make them again I'd probably go with 9 minutes in the oven and go from there.
  • If you can't find Cinnamon M&M's you could use regular ones. I couldn't tell a big cinnamon flavor from the M&Ms and I might even skip them altogether if I decide to make these cookies again.
  • One 9.90 ounce bag of Cinnamon M&M's wasn't enough and I ran out. It was fine, though, because the cookies were fine without them.
  • Everyone at work who tried the cookies said they were good but Husband says they weren't the best recipe I've tried. He's not a big cinnamon fan anyway but I love cinnamon and I agree with him they weren't spectacular. But they were good.
If you try out the recipe I hope you enjoy them! If there is anything you do differently and you love the outcome, I'd love to hear about what you did.

The Pity Purse just gotta splurge. And the past few weeks, for me, have been littered with tiny pity parties for myself. Please know that I try very hard, no matter what I'm going through, to avoid pity parties. Especially because I'm not big on sharing my my pity parties end up putting me in kind of a dark place. Which makes me not so fun to be around. I try to be tolerable. I try to remind myself that even though I'm the sick one, that I have plenty of people that are going through this with me (and on the days when I'm not bitchy and feeling sorry for myself, I very much appreciate them). Last week, after my fake diagnosis but also after giving myself some time to process some of the information, I had a moment of complete weakness and I splurged on myself. I call it my Pity Purse.

For those that are near Raleigh, NC...have you ever been downtown to the purse shop Stitch? If you haven't been and you are a lover of bags...make a trip. My friend, Elizabeth, and I saw the space 3 years ago when we worked downtown together (possibly closer to 4 years). The shop was empty then and Elizabeth commented that I should open up a bakery there - which would be a great space for that as well, just not for me. And one day on one of our lunch outtings (Hey Elizabeth, I miss those by the way!) we saw what went into the space. And since that day I have been lusting after a Holly Aiken bag. And now, ladies and germs, guess what? I have one :)

Behold...The Pity Purse. Ain't it purdy?
I walked into the shop last week knowing the design I liked and wanted. But I didn't see the colors I wanted. So I asked. None were in stock but..."We can make one for you" said the girl in the cute outfit that looked like she's supposed to work in a shop like that. Make one for me? How long will it take? Right about two weeks. Ugh. Oh well, it's the one I wanted. So I ordered it. I didn't get the instant gratification that came with walking out of there with that great bag right then and there. But I left knowing that they were making a bag just for ME :) And did it take two weeks? NOPE! I got to pick it up yesterday! A whole week early. And It's perfect. I love it. Already. And I haven't even really used it yet. But I love it.

P.S. My very understandng Hubby didn't give me one ounce of grief over my indulgence. He can be pretty awesome that way.

(Even if you're not near the Raleigh, NC area you can still check out the Stitch/Holly Aiken website. Most of her stuff is available on her site. I love that she went to school here, set up shop here, and that all her bags are made here. She has some really great stuff and it's so unique. It's a great splurge on a local product if you feel the need to spoil someone or yourself - like I did.)

Thursday, January 19, 2012

An Update

Because of the medical problems I've had since the beginning of December, I'm now going every week for blood work to check my liver function. Still operating on the assumption that problems were related to a drug reaction I've been going back and forth between periods of feeling pretty good and periods of wanting to lay around the house and do nothing. Two weeks ago, after my weekly blood tests, I got a call from the nurse. My levels, that had been declining, had gone back up. I told her I was feeling ok, a little under the weather, but nothing too terrible but that I had been told by two different people that my yellowness was coming back. This being a Friday afternoon, she named off every severe symptom I could possibly have and then told me if I have any of those that I need to get to the ER at UNC (which is no less than an hour from my house) and not to go to any other ER. So what happened then? I had a stomach ache as soon as I got off the phone with her and I felt like crap. I was worried and tired of being worried and tired of not knowing what was wrong with me. So I pretty much laid around the house in a vegetative state all weekend - being asked several times by Husband if I just wanted to go to the hospital and he was serious (he was pretty worried too).

So having gone back to my less-than-appealing yellow color, I had my weekly blood tests done last week knowing that the follow-up phone call wasn't going to be great news. And it wasn't. My levels had shot up at a crazy rate in only a week. The doctor made the decision to put me on Prednisone on the chance that I have autoimmune hepatitis but also because he really just needed to do something to treat me. The way the nurse put it, she made it sound like he was diagnosing me with autoimmune hepatitis. So I started googling (which I try not to do with medical stuff but I couldn't help it) and immediately convinced myself that I was probably going to die. After that I had several conversations with people about how much I hate the doctor I go to and how the medical system in this country is so awful (I know...blah, blah, blah).

Having managed to finagle an appointment for this week, I started plotting all the ways I could make this doctor sorry I ever walked into his office! I talk a big game. I had said I was going to go in there with tons of questions and he is going to answer them, damn it. I think I had five questions total. And all of my desire for confrontation was gone by the time I sat down in that exam room yesterday. But the good news is, I feel better after talking with the doctor - who was much slightly less of a condescending douche bag than he was upon our first meeting. Contrary to what the nurse led me to believe, he is not convinced I have autoimmune hepatitis but felt very much like he needed to treat me with medication so my liver wouldn't burn itself out while it waits for a diagnosis. Because of the Prednisone, my levels have come down significantly (which he said would have happened even if I don't have autoimmune hepatitis) and I'm feeling really good. I have to try to stay away from sick people because this stuff weakens my immune system but it also gives me an INSANE appetite and I don't think I've ever had this much energy in my life. This past weekend I felt like I'd had 2 whole pots of coffee and was just plowing through some housework...and I'd not had one bit of caffeine. It was nuts! They're decreasing my dosage each week...which is good because I'd really like more than 4 hours sleep in a night and my hands shake in a way that makes nervous to shave my armpits in the morning. And I'll be happy when my appetite goes back to normal, too, because I'm about to eat anything that isn't nailed down. But hopefully I'll start feeling a little more normal in the next week or so. And that's really all I have to say about that. (Forrest Gump...anybody?)

*Side Note: Remember when I said that my meds weaken my immune system? Well, must be Grant realized how I've not been feeling very well and he decided to bring me home a present from daycare. Pink eye! Hooray for me! Next time I think I'd just like a finger painting or a macaroni necklace.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Eating Habits

We've been joking lately about how snack time at day care must be a little bit like feeding time at the zoo. They do have regular meal times, of course, but in between meals (like when the kids get there before breakfast or between 3:00 snack time and when the kids get picked up) they put out little snacks on the table for the kids. Some cheez-its, or fruit loops, or something like that they can just pick up and snack on. Husband has seen it when the snacks get put out and the vultures descend upon the table. We sort of do the same with Grant between meals - crackers to munch on while dinner is getting ready or some cereal to snack on before he goes to school.

Lately Grant has become pretty territorial with his food. Not with us...but with Brodie. Apparently he doesn't feel that we pose much threat to his snack time but seems to have realized that Brodie is very much aware and ready to pounce on opportunity enjoy the snack as well. 

The other morning I put out a handful of fruit loops on the coffee table for Grant in the living room while we got ready for the day. If Brodie moved a muscle Grant would yell "Ooooh!" and go running for the pile and then put his arms around it so Brodie couldn't get them. And he's even started telling Brodie "No!" when he tries to get at his food. But the other day I guess he decided to just set up camp to protect his snack. I put out the cereal and gave him his sippy cup with milk. Grant immediately went to get his little stool (that came with his drum set), plopped it in front of the coffee table, and enjoyed his pre-day care snack while warding off Brodie's attempted thievery.

*Side Note: I realize some of my posts lately sound a little anti-day care and I'm not trying to sound that way at all. We are both quite happy with the facility that we use and we, so far, have had no problems with how they run things. They are so much more involved and helpful and I, for one, am so glad we decided to switch from the place we started out in. I really am amused by the thought of what snack time must be like there. But I do know that they make them sit down for the real meals (breakfast & lunch) at a little table and all eat together. We've been trying to do that more often at home too (rather than the "shift eating" we've become accustomed to) and I think that's part of the reason Grant now feels the need to pull a chair up to the coffee table. That, and we have a very greedy dog who will steal anything you're eating if you're not careful about it. Grant may only be 1, but he's not stupid.

Monday, January 16, 2012

New Recipe: Mini M&M Shortbread

This was my first newly tried recipe of the new year. I happened to have most of the stuff at home to make it which included some holiday baking supplies I bought but never used because I was sick most of December (update on that later - they're changing their minds on my "diagnosis"). I actually made this a couple weeks ago and I'm just late posting it. I picked an easy one because I was feeling kind of crappy again but I had butter softening on my counter and I just had to make something with it! So I found a chocolate chip shortbread recipe and subbed mini holiday M&Ms for the mini chocolate chips.

Mini M&M Shortbread
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup mini M&Ms
(or mini semisweet chocolate chips)
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Beat butter and sugar in large bowl with electric mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla. Add flour and salt; beat at low speed. Stir in M&Ms (or chocolate chips).
  3. Divide dough in half. Press each half into ungreased 8-inch round cake pans.
  4. Bake 12 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Score shortbread with sharp knife, taking care not to cut completely through shortbread. Make 8 wedges per pan.
  5. Let pans stand on wire racks 10 minutes. Invert shortbread onto wire racks; cool completely. Break into triangles.                   Makes 16 cookies
Recipe source/adapted from: Best Loved Cookies cookbook

  • Watch your cooking time! I ended up letting them go the full 12 minutes and in my oven it was just a touch too long and I thought the cookies were a little too crunchy (even for shortbread). Husband, who ate the majority of them, had no complaints however.
  • The candy coating on the M&Ms made it a little hard to keep the dough together at first but you can make it work. And the results are yummy!
  • Really quick recipe. Definitely what I needed to squash my craving to bake but I didn't need a ton of motivation and energy.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Mama's Kitchen Helper

Where my sister works they have a small store front with various sewn crafts. I love many of the things they make there and try to make at least one trip to the store when ever I visit. For Christmas I asked her for a new apron that they make. Not only did I get one, but Grant did too! My sister said it's so he can be "legit" when he's in the kitchen with me. I like to let him play in the kitchen when ever I'm doing anything in there because, when he's big enough, I do plan to get him involved in meal making. The other night I was getting his dinner ready and he was particularly I tied on his apron and let him run around while I finished what I was doing.

So adorable in his tiny apron!

He loves the washer and dryer because when I do laundry it's
his job to push the buttons and then close the door.

Playing with the alphabet magnets he got for Christmas.

And, of course, playing in "his" cupboard - which is
also my "baking" cupboard.
Grant loves being in the kitchen with me which I love because my sister and I used to love helping my mom in the kitchen. The only job he can help with right now is unloading the dishwasher. And he's surprisingly good at it. It takes a little bit longer, of course, but he gets so excited about it :)

Friday, January 13, 2012

My Son the Chew Toy

All parents hear at some point about the biting stage that toddlers go through. I get it, it's how they get their point across to each other. And I've seen my child be bossy enough times to expect that behavior from him. And I've been given some advice on how to deal with your own child biting you (and it sounds like it works).

Grant has been bitten at day care. First, in his old room, the waddler room. Nate came home with "I had to sign an accident report. Some kid bit him today." He seemed a little upset about it. I told him it's going to happen. And I'm glad I took that attitude about it because it turns out that it was Grant's fault. He was sticking his whole hand in the kids mouth! Talk about asking for it. Now, in the toddler room, he's been bitten four more times in the past two weeks. And the marks left behind are getting worse.

This one happened Wednesday. I didn't take a picture of the one
on his back from the day before.

Dont' get me wrong. I'm still of the mindset that this will happen. But I'm gonna need Grant to start biting back. Wednesday morning before school (we call daycare school) I heard Nate telling Grant "Don't get into any fights today over toys. If another kid wants the toy you have just give it to them, don't get bit today." WHAT? No sir, not cool. I said "Don't tell him that! [Hello, like he understands either one of us] We can't teach him to just roll over and get picked on! Grant, if someone wants your toy and bites you then you do this." And I grabbed his arm and bit him lightly. It must have tickled because he laughed. And then Husband kind of agreed and told him he should also kick them in the diaper. Clearly, no lesson was learned because he was bitten again that day. So he got the same lesson yesterday morning and there were no biting occurrences.

Again, I'm not upset that it's being done to him. It happens and I know that. But c'mon, Grant! Stick up for yourself! I thought for sure he'd have caused a problem by now! (He can be kind of a bossy pants sometimes.)

Friday, January 6, 2012

Goals for the New Year

Last year's post about the new year seems like much longer than a year ago. I did ok with some of my goals, others changed as the year went by. One was to become a "stay-at-home" mom for Grant but that's been put on hold. We've gotten into a routine with work and day care and we've realized that it works for us right now. If we ever have another child (Husband says never but I keep telling him that we probably need one more) then I'm sure we'll re-evaluate the situation, but for now things are good the way they are. That was really the biggest one.

I had also challenged myself to try new recipes. And I did pretty well with that one. I didn't always post about them - and they didn't always turn out great - but I enjoyed trying new recipes and I need to keep it up because lately I've gotten rather lazy in the kitchen.

My goals for 2012:
  • If there is anything I've learned in the past few years it's that life is short. Too short to take everything seriously. And way too short to be an "all work and no play" sort of person. So this year I'm going to have more fun and I'm going to force Husband (who can be very "all work and no play") to have fun with me.
  • I'd like to take at least two vacations this year. Even if one ends up having to be a long weekend. We need to take a trip up to NY to visit my family. And I'd like us to have at least a long weekend in the mountains or even the beach.
  • I will excersize more. Not really to lose weight, but just because I feel better when I do it. Even if it's just getting outside with the stroller for walks. I need to do more of it.
  • Keep up my recipe challenge. My search for new recipes was a little frustrating at times but I enjoyed getting out of my recipe rut. And I like that Husband was very honest when trying my new stuff.
  • My frivolous goal: to either buy and learn to use a sewing machine OR get myself a new camera. Maybe I'll even be crazy and do both. They're both fun and neither one is necessary but I really want them.
Happy New Year everyone!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

16 Months

Morning snack and cartoons while Mama and Daddy
get ready for work.
I know what you're thinking. Is that really the best picture she could post? The answer is: Yes. Yes it is. It seems as if the only time this child is still is when he's sleeping. I have tried a couple times since he "turned 16 months" to take pictures of him. I may still manage a good one or two to post at a later date but what you see is what you get. If you want a better one check out the one I posted on Christmas Day.

It's funny how a month changes things. My last update said he was doing some talking. He still gabs all the time like he did when I posted that but we're getting more real words out of him now. Just the other morning he told me "thank you" when I gave him his breakfast and even shouted "nana!" and pointed when he saw me cutting his banana. He says "ball" now and says "hey" and "hi" quite often (he loves to greet people in the grocery store) and even says "bye" sometimes. Recently we've noticed that it seems like he's trying to say "big truck" and will point to a truck when he's trying to say it. He's been gabbing so much for the past few months that we've said several times that when he starts using more real words he'll probably never shut up. 

He still loves his books and any toys that he can stack and is really into music. He loooves to dance (and by "dance" I mean sway back and forth when he hears a song). Its so funny to see him run around like crazy and then stop to dance. And he'll generally clap when the song is over.

We've been noticing that Grant lets us know when he's has poopy pants. Ok, so sometimes it's fairly obvious with the grunting. But sometimes...not so much so we ask him and he'll point down toward his diaper. And it's also pretty obvious that he knows what the toilet is for. So probably in the next month or so when our schedules all get back to normal we're going to start getting him used to the potty. Not really hardcore potty training but just to see how he does with it and if he's really ready.

Grant has been forward facing in the car for about a month now and seems pretty happy with it. I know we are. Besides it just being more convenient, it's so nice to be able to glance back and see what's going on. And Grant seems to enjoy it more too, I think it's easier for him to look out the window with the new angle of the seat (and I think he likes that he can see us too).

I think that about wraps it up. He seems to be doing everything he's supposed to be doing - as well as plenty of things he's not supposed to be doing.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Christmas 2011

Our family had a great Christmas. Like last year, we had a little get-together on Christmas Eve (my goal is to keep this up because we always used to do it in our family growing up). And my sister came again this year to spend the holiday with us. We got up early on Christmas morning, had a less than yummy breakfast (I tried a new breakfast casserole recipe that I will never make again), and opened our stockings and presents. I don't have a too many pictures because we used the video camera a lot but also because I tried to put down the camera some and enjoy the day. Grant got up later than the rest of us so the three of us opened our presents and then Grant did his.

After Santa came - the big red bag is Grant's basketball set. I'm not
a fan of unwrapped presents "under" the tree so Husband and I
compromised. He put it together so Grant could play with it
immediately and I got to throw a big bag over it and call it wrapped.

It was the best one I could get of Grant by
the tree. He wasn't much for smiling
at that point.
My sister has been "threatening" to get Grant a drum set. And, in
cahoots with my mother-in-law, she did. However, it's pretty adorable
and has yet to become annoying.

Husband likes it too.

Grant loves his new little chair
What I wish I'd gotten a picture of is my sister opening one of her presents. I'd been teasing her about it for almost two months and she wanted so bad to know what it was. Right before she opened it I told her to not get excited about the box because it wasn't what was actually in there. So she starts to open it and she pays no attention to it being a box for a Kindle knowing that I have one. So she starts to look for the box opening and I said "No, I'm just kidding. That's what's really in there." She flipped out! I guess she wanted one more than I thought she would :)

After all that we went to my Mother-in-law's for Christmas lunch. (FYI: the camera got left behind - by accident - so all these were taken with my phone. Sorry for the quality but there's no amount of editing that would help.)

Grant's cute Santa plate!
Grant and Robbie. Grant loves how little she is!

More presents!

After lunch, present opening, dessert, and talking about how we shouldn't have eaten as much as we did we headed back home so Grant would take a nap. He seemed to be refusing to nap at Grandma's. I think he just didn't want to miss anything. After a good nap - which meant the three of us could rest too - Grant got up to play some more with all his new toys.

Along with the new toys (and the clothes that went
unnoticed) Santa brought some fun new books!
And a pre-bath escape that led to...

A Lego explosion.
It probably doesn't look like it, but we tried to go small with Christmas. Everyone gets excited about presents - and I am no exception - but I really want to raise Grant to care less about the presents and more about spending time with family at Christmas. To know that it's not about getting everything you put on your list but about feeling fortunate for what you have and who you get to spend it with.

We had a really great Christmas Eve and Christmas Day and I hope everyone reading this did too!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Santa Came to Town...

Actually, Santa came to day care. And I'll bet he was hiding a flask in that big red suit. Grant's last day of day care before Christmas was Thursday (I kept him home Friday so we could go pick up my sister from the airport and spend the day together). That day was "pajama day". Apparently they have Santa come to day care and they have the kids dress in their PJ's for pictures. I had wanted to take Grant to see Santa this year but with how crappy I felt from being sick I just never had the time. So I got over my jealousy that I wasn't going to be there the first time Grant saw Santa and hoped they'd send home a picture.

And they did.

And I laughed myself silly.

I've seen pictures over the last month of other people's kids with Santa and I got kind of sad knowing we wouldn't have a picture like that from this year. Then I saw the day care picture. I'm totally convinced that my liver attacked me so that I wouldn't take Grant to see Santa. He is that kid.

I was informed by Husband that "It's not funny. It looks like they tortured him!" But I thought it was hysterical. Poor Santa.

Maybe next year.

*Side Note: I want to point out that, although it doesn't seem like it here, I love that they do this stuff at day care. In addition to the above picture of my terrified child they also sent home several Christmas crafts that they helped Grant make for us. My favorite is a reindeer made from his hand prints and a footprint. So so cute. I feel like he's learning a lot from them and this new room that he's moved into is going to be even more fun for him.
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