Saturday, February 28, 2009

Blogging Buddies and Body Parts

C'mon now - you knew I couldn't blog about something without referencing the baby, right?

Last night we ventured out to Second Chance Saloon in Oakland Mills Village Center for a bad. sweater. party. It was great to hang out with some fellow HoCo bloggers and meet them in person for the first time. And it was really cool to get invited to Ladies Night Out the following night! I think that perhaps John and I were the only ones wearing bad sweaters, and the jury's out on whether or not my selection was in fact, a BAD sweater. I'll do a poll with a picture this weekend and let you bloggers decide.

I headed back to Second Chance tonight for Ladies Night Out (after I made dinner and put the baby to bed...lest you think I'm neglecting my motherly duties...). A fantastic time was had by all (I assume - there must have been 40-50 chicas there), and especially by me! Thank you so much for inviting me Mary Kate!

Oh, yeah, the body parts! Jillian can successfully identify her belly and her head without us showing her where they are. The only thin is, if we start with the belly, she gets fascinated with her belly button! So we have to remember to ask her about her HEAD first!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Ash Wednesday

Today is Ash Wednesday.

I'm usually not one for giving up something for Lent, but I did a lot of thinking this time around and made a Lenten plan. I'm going to give up fast food (Taco Bell, Burger King, Chick-Fil-A, McDonald's, etc.). Those of you who know me well, know that I'm a HUGE fast food junkie. Although I only usually eat it for lunch, the Burger King closest to my house knows which sauce I like with my chicken tenders and how many of them. Years ago, I frequented a Burger King for breakfast so often that as soon as the drive through order-taker heard my voice, he asked if I wanted "the usual". Yes, I love fast food. I'm being realistic though. I'm not going cold turkey. I will cut out one fast food meal per week for each week of Lent. This week, it'll be Friday, since I'll be grocery shopping that morning. Next week, I will eat lunch at home two days during the week, the following week three days, etc. What this also means for me is saving some money. And eating a little better. It will also help me start getting in the habit of eating lunch at home rather than on the go. Which will be a huge help once Jillian fully transitions to one long midday nap. I haven't been in the habit of eating lunch at home since, well, I can't remember. I'll probably start out with simple lunches. Like peanut butter and banana toast. Or a bagel with cream cheese. I'm not the biggest fan of cold cut sandwiches. I also abhor leftovers most of the time. Maybe I'll buy some tortillas, cheese and sour cream. Even leftovers are good wrapped in a tortilla.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Lower Standards?

Not really. I've been thinking a lot lately about the "little" things that I can do to make me feel good. Then I wondered if I'm lowering my standards by counting things that wouldn't have previously be considered "wins" as "wins" now. I don't think so. I'm just looking at things differently now that I have a baby.

Before baby:
Culinary masterpiece = going to grocery store with an exotic recipe and buying fancy ingredients, cooking for an hour or so, and making an awesome dinner. Or baking an super tasty dessert just for fun. All recipes included at least ten ingredients.

After baby:
Culinary masterpiece = cooking an edible dinner. Bonus for multiple dishes and trying new things. Like lentils or tofu. Extra bonus for cooking something that is remotely healthy and that all of us can enjoy eating. Trying anything new that requires minimal shopping and ingredients. Like baking bread, which I tried today for the first time. Thanks for the bread encouragement Emily!

I've also been trying to do nice things for myself that don't take a lot of time or money that somehow I got out of the habit of doing. Loofah-ing in the shower every day (or most days), reading fiction books for pleasure, shopping (at thrift stores!), and working out at home (well, I haven't actually started doing this yet, but I am thinking about checking out some of the yoga programs on tv). So I'm not lowering my standards, I'm just adjusting my perspective.

And a couple obligatory baby thoughts for the day:

I bought Jillian her own baseball cap at the thrift store.

Jillian enjoyed the bread I made, too.

A close-up of the first molar to emerge; it's almost all the way through the gum and the tops are almost as far in. I swear it looks like there's a LOT of room for that canine to come in.

Here's Jillian saying "all done" with her hands. Notice that she figured out how to get her arm out of the sleeved bib. Monkey.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Mommy's Little Helper

Now I'm no domestic diva, but I do wipe up spills and do some spot cleaning when needed. Jillian saw me wiping up the water she spilled out of her sippy cup today. She promptly took the cloth diaper from me and did a little cleaning up of her own.

That's right ladies and gents, I'm getting her started early!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Hat's Off to Me!

I found this awesome winter hat at a thrift store a couple weeks ago, and Jillian has taken to wearing it around the house. It's quite amusing, really.

This evening I had a culinary "win". I cooked rice and it didn't suck! (A little background - any time I cook rice by itself, I either burn it or it's miserably underdone, like crunchy and inedible.)

Friday, February 20, 2009

Photo-less Friday

This morning we went to Columbia Mall and met up with a friend from high school (with whom we recently reconnected on Facebook) and her two daughters. The girls played in the play area while we caught up. Between catching up with Steph and running after Jillian who kept trying to escape into the mall, I didn't take any pictures.

Jillian got a little fussy before we wrapped up playtime to get lunch. While she was cranking out, I noticed something white on her top gum. Lo and behold, another molar. And another. Both top ones have emerged. I had checked her right bottom when I noticed the left bottom peek through, but I didn't think to check the top gums (definitely another not-mother-of-the-year moment)! So our little toothy has had her last bottom front tooth and three molars come in over the past week or so. Guess that explains her pre-sickness moodiness, huh?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

We Heart Ikea

This afternoon we took a quick trip to Ikea (sorry we missed each other for this trip, Emily, next time!). I'd seen the awesome bibs with sleeves they sell and had to get some for my messy baby.

I do wish they had come in some "girly" colors, too.

She wasn't so sure about them, but mommy is!

Although we only wanted to pick up the bibs, we ended up picking up a couple other things, including this awesome barn and farm animal set.

Jillian loved playing with it when we got home. I could have sworn that she was trying to make the animal sounds while she played with them.

Then she decided to try to play in the barn. Guess it reminds her of her Peapod tent that she has in her room.

The cat wanted a go at it too.

Gus did fit inside much better than Jillian did.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Jack and Jill...

...climbed into a table.

Today we hosted playgroup and Jack, Amedeo and Leora came over to play with us. It was relatively un-chaotic, and fun was had by all sharing Jillian's toys.

The discovery cube was a big hit with all the little ones.

On an unrelated note, I incorporated tofu into our dinner tonight. I've never done anything successfully with tofu, so this was a step into expanding my culinary horizons.

Monday, February 16, 2009


Jillian is feeling much better, so I figured it was time to attempt capturing a picture of her molar. This is the best I could do. You can see it peeking out of her bottom left gum and the rest of it is pushing through too. She has been quite the champ - I had heard that molars were awful coming in, and maybe being sick was a little blessing so that we didn't do much focusing on teething pain.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Feeling Under the Weather

Well, thinking we were almost over this tummy bug, we're clearly not. Again, I'll spare the gory details, but outside of the actual being sick, Jilly is just sleepy. I'm sure it's because she's not eating well and keeping food down, but it's still sad. We watched some movies today and laid low.

She did some cuddling with her baby.

Playing with the cat still makes her smile.

Sad, sleepy baby chilling with the kitty in the La-Z-Boy.

Oh, and I almost forgot to mention...with all this tummy bug fighting, sometime in the past couple days, Jillian cut her first molar! Who knew? She doesn't even have all four bottom front teeth, much less her canines, but there it was this morning, a molar! No pictures of it yet, though.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

She's Crafty!

I'll skip the icky details of Jillian and her stomach bug here. She's recovering and actually asked for food tonight (although she hardly ate any of it...). It seems she has zippy appetite. After she ate a little dinner and threw most of the rest of it on the kitchen floor, I needed to occupy her while our dinner finished cooking and we ate.

I remembered John telling me that Josh's aunt used to mix up "paint" for him to play with in his high chair. She mixed marshmallow creme with food coloring and put the "paint" on his high chair tray palette style. So a-mixing I went. I heated the marshmallow creme in the microwave for five seconds to make it a little softer for mixing, then I mixed up some red, yellow and blue "paint".

She wasn't so sure about it at first...

...then she dug in and did some finger painting.

She tasted it (this is where it's awesome that it's just marshmallow creme!).

She blew some paint kisses.

And then she was over it.

I decided to try some hand prints while her hands were covered in paint. They turned out ok, but I'm not sure how well marshmallow creme paint dries.

Here's the best part though - I cleaned up both the baby and the high chair with just two paper towels and water!!!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Books and Buddies

While daddy was getting his wisdom teeth out this morning, Jillian and I made our first trip into the library to check out some books. You'll notice our virtual bookshelf on the right hand side, displaying the books we're reading. Emily1 gave me the idea, and I love it!

This afternoon, we went to Emily2 and Jack's house to play.

Cady modeled her awesome 'do.

Jocelyn was all smiles.

Brooks still hammed it up for the camera, despite his boo-boo.

Jack spent some time reading a book.

Jillian found a new teether.

When she needed a break, she found a quiet corner and relaxed on Jack's bear mat with his teddy bear. You can just barely see the Sprite can that she's still holding. She carried it around all afternoon!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Washington Auto Show

For years, John has gone to the Washington Auto Show. Ever since I've known him, I've gone along and we've taken his son Josh (except last year when we had a very newborn at home...). The last year we went, 2007, it was so crowded that we had just about sworn off the show for good. But since the weather was so nice today, we braved it and headed to DC, thinking that if it was crazy busy, it was beautiful enough to tool around the District and find something else to do. I am SO glad we went. Perhaps the economy is bad enough to have kept people away, or perhaps it's because we went on the last day instead of on a Saturday, but I've never seen it so NOT crowded. Not good for the show, but good for us to walk around!

Green was clearly the theme (as expected) and alternative fuel vehicles and concept cars abounded. Here's a glimpse of some of what we saw today:

Mitsubishi's MiEV, concept car.

Josh wishing he was of driving age.

Ford had quite the setup for their Flex.

Saturn is getting on the "green" wagon, too, with their Vue.

The Dodge Grand Caravan was my favorite minivan. For an SUV, I liked the Chevy Trailblazer SS, too. Of course, neither of those is especially green.


We let Jillian out of her stroller for a little walk - she isn't thrilled with her backpack harness/leash yet, but I think she was happy to get out and walk around a bit.

Karma by Fisker - by far the nicest paint job at the show.

Josh posing with the "real" VW Bug - the one from the commercials. Oh how I miss my '71 Bug convertible!