Monday, January 31, 2011

I've Got You, Mr. Owl!

Somebody's developing some crazy new handling skills.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Elvis Lip

January Do

In addition to my 2011 List, Raf and I have started a monthly Do list. We'd like to keep it to just a handful of items, so that hopefully they'll actually get done! These aren't goals, rather tasks and projects that we need to move on.

We're not off to the best start ever, but I'll share our list anyway. Hopefully some accountability will help us do better in February!

January Do

  1. Get Focus ready to sell. Raf started to make progress on this one early in the month...then it stopped running! Back to square one. 
  2. Choose investment accounts for rollover of my retirement accounts into an IRA, for a college fund for Lana, and for idle cash. Discussed general plans and intend to make investments next month. Check.
  3. Buy doors and moulding. Tried yesterday, but store wasn't prepared for us! Still working on it....a year later!
  4. Add insulation above master bath (and get it out of the laundry room!) Not done...
  5. Make Maddy's doll. One arm done. I'm pathetic!
  6. Sew 2 belly blankets for Jill. Check.
  7. Organize fabric. Making excellent progress. Hallelujah! 
5 items in 2 days?? Not likely.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Friday, January 28, 2011

2011: The List

It's (well past) that time again, isn't it?! The list is quite lengthy, as usual, but I have a new plan that I'm hoping will make progress achievable. As this is a list of aspirations and goals for the year, my plan is to attack these bullets one at a time, month by month.

Most of these are things I'd like to be part of my daily routine; very few are project type goals. I'll focus on just one or two simple goals per month. My hope is that by giving these acts my full attention, by the end of said month, they will have become a habit; a normal part of my day to day.  Then, I can move right along to the next goal.

So, here's the list, in no particular order:
  1. Floss. Cuz I need to.
  2. Grow food. Cuz I want to! This is the year! 
  3. Moisturize. Cuz my arms and legs get so dry.
  4. Shine sink. Cuz it's the first step of the Fly Lady system and I want a clean house everyday!
  5. Swish & swipe (the Fly Lady's daily bathroom cleaning method). Cuz bathrooms are gross. 
  6. Learn camera. Cuz I'm tired of taking really crappy pictures with an expensive camera. 
  7. Floors. Cuz they're so big. And dark. And dirty! And someone is going to be mobile sooner than later!!
  8. Vitamins. Cuz I need to remember to just take them already!  
  9. Raf. His suggestion...ha! And no, I'm not thinking what you (or he!) are thinking!! But now that I have a mini me taking up 99.9% of my time and attention, I don't think it's a terrible idea to carve out some time everyday to be good to my man. Cuz I love him. 
  10. Craft. You know: Do Something Creative Everyday. Cuz it feels good! Can't wait to start that month! :)
  11. Keep in touch. Cuz I should do better. Call more. Send more cards. Get out of the house. 
  12. Eat local. Cuz it's important to me. And our local economy. And our culture. And our planet. And I want to keep it top of mind everyday. 
  13. Meal planning. Cuz it makes life SO much easier!
  14. Make bed. Cuz it feels good to have things in their place.
  15. Be presentable. Cuz it can be really easy to never leave your pjs when you're home with the babe 24/7. 
  16. Learn to curl my hair. Cuz it's a basic skill every girl should have. Especially by the age of 30!
  17. Generate less trash. Cuz we should. And it's really not that hard if we just commit. 
  18. No food waste. Cuz we hate throwing $ down the drain!
I'm sure this list will grow (and, let's be honest, shrink!) throughout the year, but these are things that have been top of mind for me lately. Wish me luck!!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Blowing Bubbles

Her latest talent. It's awesome because she not only entertains us with her bubbles, she entertains herself too! And let me tell you, every minute that she's able to entertain herself is a glorious, restful minute for mama!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

New Toy!

I can't even begin to estimate how many hours a day we spend trying to entertain this little girl. She's not super keen on playing alone and she gets bored really fast. So every 3-10 minutes she's being moved into a different position, to a different toy, a different room, a new song/dance/book, etc, etc.

Considering her strong desire to hang out in an upright position, we thought some obnoxious new plastic monstrosity might be in order. Hence, the Jumperoo! She can't handle more than 10-15 minutes in it before getting overwhelmed, but she sure finds it entertaining while it lasts! This video is her very first time trying it out. It's now found it's home taking up half our kitchen floor. Which means Raf gets to make coffee and I get to do dishes and cook much more regularly. Woo hoo!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Turbo Roll

Lana taught herself to roll over a good month ago, but has been pretty lazy about it since. Her entire focus has been on sitting up.

However, Raf--being the good dad he is--still makes her do tummy time a couple times a day. She's finally figured out how to win that battle, though...just roll over! Immediately! It's pretty entertaining. Enjoy!


Have an iPhone? Looking for a way to make your sweet, but lackluster, photos a little more interesting? Check out the Instagram app. There are 11 free filters that you can apply to your shots to jazz them up and the interface is super quick and easy to use. I love the vintage vibe it adds--it reminds me of photos from when I was a kid. 

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Sign Language Final

I just discovered this video via my sister's blog. It's too awesome not to keep sharing. It's a girl's final for her college sign language class. Love!

(Btw, don't watch with your kids in the room!)

Best. Costume. Ever.

My friend Jenn's best friend has an adorable son who's obviously a pretty good sport. Is this not the best costume EVER?! I'm totally going to use this one someday. Though I may have trouble convincing Lana to sport the beard...


Disregard the creepy flash--this is the only one where you can see their adorable faces! Solana and Eden--best buds already!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Chatter & Crunch

I figured my 700th post should probably be something special. So I'm finally going to figure out how to get a video posted on this darn blog!

Soon after conquering the roll, the Bit moved quickly on to attempts to sit up. Basically, she does cute little baby crunches. Grunting included, as well as crying if she's been trying long enough and wants your fingers so that she can actually get up. She's also quite the chatter box. Or at least she was, before she figured out how to put her hands in her mouth. We had a couple weeks of the silent treatment due to said hands, but now that the newness has worn off of the digits, she's back to chattering on occasion.

Anyway, I don't expect you to watch the whole thing (there's nothing exciting at the end), I just wanted to share a bit of the little one in action. Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Pumpkin Bread

A few weeks ago, I stumbled across a recipe for Pumpkin Bread on the eighteen25 blog. (Love this blog, btw. I need to purchase a 16x20" frame so I can start taking advantage of their sweet subway art and Costco's super affordable poster printing!)

Anyway, I'm not much of a pumpkin fan so normally I'd skip this, but I'm getting desperate for tasty, filling, dairy-free finger foods, so after a quick glance at the ingredient list, I decided to give it a shot. Oh my goodness, it's SO yummy. Especially with my $7 bag of organic dairy-free chocolate chips. Yes, I said $7. For one bag. And frankly, it's worth every penny to get to taste chocolate again!!! (Rumor has it that Trader Joe's chocolate chips are dairy free...anyone know for sure??)

It occurred to me that you can almost make 2 batches of the dough with one big can of pumpkin, so that's what I did last week. This way I could use up some chocolate chips in the cupboard that I can't eat, and share a few loaves with the neighbors.  A note on the recipe: it says it makes 2 large loaves. They are REALLY large loaves. As in, incredibly tall. I decided to make 3 loaves per batch instead, and they turned out the size of a normal loaf. I've also decided that I need to get a collection of mini-loaf pans for bread gifting purposes. Because who doesn't love things that are little?! And that way I can really spread the love around.

And while we're on the subject of dairy-free dining, I decided I have to get hyper-diligent once again. The poor Bit has been back to icky green poo (which her doctor doesn't see as a problem, btw...ugh!) for the past few weeks with all of my eating away from home. So I went through our cupboards with a fine tooth comb, pulling out anything that contains dairy products. This is what I came up with:
SERIOUSLY!!! 6 bags worth of food. And this doesn't even count the refrigerator or freezer, people! You know--the places you EXPECT to find dairy products!! Our bread has dairy. Our pancake mix has dairy. Our curry sauces have dairy (not just coconut milk)!! Even half of our spaghetti sauces have dairy (and no, they're not cheese flavored)! SO FREAKING FRUSTRATING!!

The good news is, since I did the cupboard purge, her poo has been wonderfully yellow and perfectly normal! I've come to the conclusion that she's just super sensitive and one little slip is all it takes to mess with her system. And being a girl with a less than fabulous system myself, I know how uncomfortable and cranky that can make a person, so I'm willing to do whatever it takes to feed Lana only things that keep her feeling good.

Bet you're super excited about all this new poo talk on the blog, aren't you?? ;)

Photo Shoot Fun

Aww. Sweetest smile ever. And this is what a sneeze looks like. (It's a full body event.)
Somebody's learning to grasp things...for the sole purpose of having something to chew on, of course.
I didn't put it there, but I sure laughed as I snapped photo after photo of it sitting on her face! (She was trying to figure out how to chew on it without having to use her hands...lazy girl!)

Monday, January 10, 2011

Football with Dad

We've been kinda crazy about not wanting Lana to watch TV. Which means, of course, it's the one thing that will calm her down, and the one thing in the room that actually seems to be of interest to her.

So, the past few days I've been trying to repeat the "everything in moderation" mantra to myself as she strains her neck to flip around backwards and see the screen. I figure, the most destructive thing I can do is freak out every time she turns toward it...because we all know that just means it'll become the one thing she REALLY wants as she gets older. So instead, we just keep it off for the most part, and if it does catch her eye on occasion, I'm realizing that most times she loses interest in it after a few minutes--like everything else. (She has to be the most challenging baby to keep entertained EVER!)

Anyway, Raf was playing with Lana while watching football before bath time the other night, and she had started fussing so he picked her up and put her on his lap. This is what I walked in the room to find. As much as both TV and football season annoy me...this has to be one of the cutest things I've ever seen. Love them.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

The Hunger Games

For my birthday, my "neighbor" friends Bryn & Lisa got me The Hunger Games trilogy. Goodness knows that I need a break from reading baby books, and they thought these would be good because they're easy, fast (young adult) reads that do a great job keeping your attention. 

I finished the trilogy today and OMG they were SO SO SO good. I would liken it to the dark books of Harry Potter, mixed with a PG version of the love saga from Twilight. They're definitely not light, happy reads, but if I can get through them in a couple weeks when I can't even feed myself on a consistent basis, they must be good! (And it only took that long because I didn't take books 2 and 3 to Oregon with me...STUPID!)

If you're interested in learning a bit about the plot, check out Bryn's blog here, or Jordan's review here

Side note: I LOVE young adult series, so please feel free to refer me on to other fabulous finds. However, please note that I WILL NOT start reading a series until the final book has been written. I can't stand the waiting. It KILLS me. Plus, I have a pretty terrible long term memory, so a year from now, I couldn't even tell you basic details about these books (which is kind of awesome for re-reading purposes).

Thanks for such an awesome gift, ladies! It was perfect!!

Because I know you're already having withdrawals...

She waits about 15 minutes before falling asleep on walks these days. She battles the drowsiness in order to take in the trees.
Kicking it with Mr. Owl. 
I think she looks like a little superhero when her bibs get turned around backwards!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Slow Cooker Chili

The only way I can find to feed us these days is if I manage to get something thrown into the slow cooker during a morning nap. (Which, of course, means I get us fed approximately twice per week!) Today, I made this chili and it was so, SO good!

A few notes on the recipe:
  • A commenter mentioned only leaving one can of beans undrained, rather than two. I took this advice and am glad I did. The consistency is perfect--not too thick, not too thin. 
  • We couldn't find 10.75 oz. cans of tomato puree--only the honkin' 29 oz can. I was tempted to use the whole thing, but refrained. I think a lot of homemade chili recipes end up tasting too tomato-ey and mild. This didn't. So throw the extra in some leftover pasta instead!
  • 1/8 tsp of hot sauce is a joke. Unless you only have crappy hot sauce. I poured in a nice little dollop of our favorite sauce and it made the chili flavor awesome. 
This one is definitely a wintertime keeper in our house! Enjoy!


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 3/4 cup diced onion
  • 3/4 cup diced celery
  • 3/4 cup diced green bell pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 (10.75 ounce) cans tomato puree
  • 1 (15 ounce) can kidney beans with liquid
  • 1 (15 ounce) can kidney beans, drained
  • 1 (15 ounce) can cannellini beans with liquid
  • 1/2 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried basil
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon hot pepper sauce


  1. Place the beef in a skillet over medium heat, and cook until evenly brown. Drain grease.
  2. Place the beef in a slow cooker, and mix in onion, celery, green bell pepper, garlic, tomato puree, kidney beans, and cannellini beans. Season with chili powder, parsley, salt, basil, oregano, black pepper, and hot pepper sauce.
  3. Cover, and cook 8 hours on Low.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Cutest Duet of All Time

My sister sent me a link to this video. It's so sweet it makes my heart hurt.

Raf and I aren't musically inclined, so Jamie: we'll be expecting Michael and Eden to carry this torch!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

End of a Year, End of a Project

I can hardly believe a full year has passed. When I began the 365 Project, I had hoped that it would motivate me to post a bit about our life on a daily basis. Clearly the "daily" part of that goal went out the window quickly, and once the Little Bit joined us, you were lucky to hear from me weekly monthly!

It also baffles my mind that as I was launching this project to share with you, I was already (unknowingly) pregnant. And just one year later, our lives have changed completely. My daily photos went from house projects, crafts, and food, to Lana, Lana, Lana! What can I say, we don't have time for much else these days--and she's too cute to not share with you!

It's been a fun project, but I'm ready to move on. Daily posting is a bit more than I have the energy for these days, and I'm looking forward to getting back to more substantive posts about our lives, my interests, our projects, or things I'm lusting after on the internet. I do pledge to do my best to keep giving you a very regular dose of baby cuteness and my own randomness; who knows, maybe it'll be even more consistent, now that I know longer have the pressure of the Project! (Isn't that just the way life works?!)

I hope you've enjoyed this peek into our daily lives over the past year. I've enjoyed sharing it with you, and love hearing from you here. Remember, your comments keep me motivated! I know there's a ton of you out there reading (you tell me all about it when we're together!), so drop me a line here every once in a while to keep me posting!

Happy New Year, everyone! Wishing you all the best in 2011.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

The 365 Project: Day, I mean 365?! (Dec 31)

Watch out, someone accomplished the back to belly roll today! Not a bad way to close out the year, eh?! 

So, I'm pretty sure the completed roll was all in an attempt to see the television that her mean parents deprive her of. Check out that look on her face. Freaking girl. 

And then she realizes that she's on her belly, and even TV isn't interesting enough to compete with her hatred of tummy time!
Raf and I snuck out for a few hours tonight to check out the final night of Christmas lights at Shore Acres. They were as beautiful as ever and I was so excited to share them with Raf. It finally felt like Christmas.
Happy New Year, friends!!

The 365 Project: Day 363 (Dec 30)

Guess who rolled over for the first time today!! Amusingly, it was belly to back, while all her hard practice has been back to front. I guess when you hate tummy time enough, you'll do anything to get out of it...even roll over! So glad Raf, my mom, and I were all there to see it!

The 365 Project: Day 362 (Dec 29)

Lana is trying REALLY hard to roll over. It started with the repetitive side rolls. Today she added rolling to the right to her repertoire--and look at that head tuck! So much effort. It's pretty cute. Especially the way everyone in the family gets so excited and cheers her on with every attempt.
She didn't make it all the way over, but she's still pretty happy with herself. Love her!

The 365 Project: Day 361 (Dec 28)

Little Miss Sunshine.

The 365 Project: Day 360 (Dec 27)

My loves.

The 365 Project: Day 359 (Dec 26)

Long day on the road, headed north to spend the week with Pau Pau!