Friday, April 30, 2010

Flashback Friday


Me (S), P, A, N

Exactly eleven year ago today, this was me and three of my friends in my freshman dorm room. It was the weekend before finals were going to begin and we were taking a moment to relax and as you can see we went all out. Us four girls were known (to each other) as S.N.A.P. we created this acronym/nickname for each other because we had been accused on our hall of 26 girls of being a click by a select few individuals and so we decided 'click' we didn't have enough people to spell that ;-) so we became SNAP - I still have the key chain with the little block letters spelling it out.

The real question... are we still friends? Well we are all Facebook friends now. N and SAP had a falling out our junior year, after a far too close living quarters with five girls. It was all very passive aggressive on all of our parts. Then P got married and slowly disappeared, after we graduated conversations were sporadic, she came to my wedding (as did A) and I literally did not hear from her until last year when she joined Facebook (five years time gone by.) A and I have stayed the closest. We lived together for three years, even moving into our first apartment together the summer before our senior year. After that A moved out on her own and we remained friends (better friends than roomies!) I ran into N at our 5 year reunion and we got to chatting again and through Facebook and blogging we've reconnected So are we still friends? We don't plan get togethers or send each other Christmas presents, but we do keep in touch and stay up to date with what is going on in each other's lives. And I certainly would not trade any of the memories we have from our freshman and sophomore year shenanigans. These girls truly made my college experience what it was: Amazing!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Power of a Purse

I love purses. In fact I love them more than shoes. Although shoes are a very close second. But I love myself a good handbag - and I have a few, ok a lot too many. Since having Ace though there are many that I just can't use. Sure I could break them out for the one afternoon I get a little freedom without the boy. Sure I could carry my cute purse and a diaper bag. Sure I could save them until I am through with the diaper carrying phase of life (and for a select few dozen, I am.) However, for 9 of my bags, it's time for them to find a new home. Last year I sold at least a dozen when I had a yard sale - and planned to do a similar purge again this summer at another yard sale - and then upon one of my strolls through the internet I happened across Mother's & More.

Every year they have a campain - Power of a Purse. According to their website:

The Power of a Purse Mother’s Day Campaign is designed to raise awareness of mothers’ economic issues through the act of collecting new or gently used purses for mothers in need. The purse symbolizes a woman's economic power, something we wish for all women, especially mothers in need. No matter where a mother is on the social ladder, there is “power in her purse” having money of her own to control, to buy things and provide for herself and her children. Mothers & More’s goal is to collect 10,000 purses for mothers in need this Mother’s Day.

Mothers & More chapters around the country are organizing Power of a Purse campaigns in their communities. Each chapter is collecting new or gently used purses this Mother’s Day season. Our chapters have partnered with organizations that directly impact the daily lives of mothers in need to receive the collected purses and, in some cases, items to go into those purses and events to celebrate the power of those purses.


And I thought what a great cause - my purses certainly can be loved by someone else less fortunate than me, and I don't need to recoop $1 at a yard sale for them because of it. Unfortunataly there is only one location in the Northwest, but it was worth the trek to deliver the bags. The bags that are donated for this campaign from this chapter will be going to benefit a center for battered women.

If you are interested in donating some of your purses to this cause, click here to find a chapter of Mother's & More near you.


Bye bye, purses! You will be missed!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

A Baby's Hat **UPDATED**

It's been a while since I've posted something crafty, so when better than a happy *sunny!* Sunday morning to do so? There are many many babies being born around me! In fact since 2010 began 2 have been born, 3 have continued to cook, 3 more have been announced! Yep seven of my friends are or have been recently pregnant (one friend, Dana is carrying twins.) Lots and lots of joy is all around - and I really like to make something personal for each of my friends. However, I also needed something that was a bit faster on the creation side of things. With 6 more babies on the way - goodness that's a lot of crafting. :)

So I went on the hunt for something cute and my first stop was Ravelry.com - which if you have not heard of this website - it is a must for every knitter and crocheter out there. There is a lot you can do with the site from storing project ideas, to posting progress of your own. I find that it is an excellent site to find GREAT free patterns - and so I went on the hunt for a baby hat. I wanted something a bit different than the standard beanie - and I found a fellow crocheter that had a great pattern. Sorry, I can't post it directly on here - because she asked nicely for us not to, but here is the link to her Ravelry page. I think you have to join to view it - but it is really worth it, I promise!

This hat, after I got the pattern down, takes only a few hours. I usually can complete it within one day - depending on Ace's independence. I made a prototype using not 'baby' yarn - and it turned out great. Here is Kyler modeling it for me in the 'newborn' or 'small' size. It actually worked really well to keep the sun out of his eyes. I call that a successful design!

After I established that I had made it 'long' enough for a newborn - I then moved onto the yarn that I had bought specifically for this project: Bernat Softee Baby Yarn in Mango - ultimately I would not use this again for this project. While it turned out ok - a denser yarn that I used for the prototype would be far superior - so that's my learned tip with this project. Find a thicker yarn!

I chose to make Carrie's little girl a 'medium' hat - since she'll be born in June in So Cal. Not much need for a hat in the summer months there. I also made a tiny newborn hat using the same pattern, but I left off the brim of the hat - and I used Bernat Soft Boucle Yarn in Soft Rose. This yarn worked out great for a little newborn beanie! I was actually happier with that hat than my originally intended project. However, I gave Carrie the brimmed hat anyway - although I think I'll make her another one with thicker yarn too :) The pattern also has instructions on how to make a little flower to add to it - and I find it to be just darling. My bear as a model looked pretty cute with it on.


Updated on 7/1/10 - Baby Avery sporting the 'Soft Rose' infant hat I made.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Twenty Months Old

 Ace is twenty months old today. He is an extremely happy boy, who likes to jump on his bed, point out airpeens (airplanes), and who surprises us daily with new words that he's learned.

Ace's vocabulary continues to surprise us on an almost daily basis. Words that he used to say with his own 'spin' to them like 'Booma' are almost completely formed now into 'bana' (banana.) In fact I technically missed that transformation. Yes, for the first time since Ace was born - I left the state - without him. He stayed with his dad for the weekend, while I went to Cali to surprise a friend for her baby shower. He did great and while I was missed, it was not a tragedy that I was gone. Also this past month he got to have his first sleepover at Gran and PopPop's house! We were all a bit unsure how he'd handle it - but he did great! He's growing up!

He has definitely started to eat better this month, but actual packing on the pounds seems to still elude him. Not sure if it cause for concern just yet, but we're watching him. He still seems healthy, happy and overly full of energy so we're not worried. :) But he's eating full force now and averages about 1000 calories a day - which is SO much better than he was doing. Some days we even near 1300, but those days are more rare. He loves bananas! And he also loves oatmeal. He's gotten so excited about oatmeal, it is often his first word when he awakens. One morning he got out of our bed, scampered downstairs and the husband and I listened as he opened the pantry door, slid the chair over to the pantry, got down the box of oatmeal and brought a packet upstairs to us - all the while chanting 'oatmeal' - apparently he wanted to eat some. ;-) He also is a HUGE fan of yogurt - and we buy the fattest that we can find.

Ace also weened from breastfeeding shortly after he turned 19 months old. It was a struggle for about a week - but afterwards he caught on that there was no more mama milk and now it doesn't even cross his mind... and I still feel loved - so I feel that we are successfully weened.

Sleep continues to improve bit by bit. He now consistently is sleeping at least 5 hours a night before waking and coming into our room - and has one other time slept through the night (9.25 hours) so he's doing better and I think is getting more comfortable sleeping in his own bed.

His canine teeth are nearly ready to come in and so that has been bothering him the last few weeks. One of them has broken through the surface and the other three aren't far behind.

Terrible Twos and the pushing of independent boundaries are in full force around here. While he seems to have mostly moved on from bashing his forehead into the ground when he's tantruming - he's gone a new route in order to seek trouble and that is destruction. Yes, yesterday he was in rare (thank the Lord!) form when he made several messes, and destroyed a strand of pearls. Nothing that's irreparably damaged but still it made for one icky morning yesterday.

Ace is doing really well playing with others and still loves his friend 'Bria' (Sabria) - they play well together - and Ace also loves to hug his new friend 'Bebe' (Kyler, Sabria's brother.) It's really cute to watch them all interact together. Ace also really likes kitchen things. He loves to cook, and help us cook. I found a good Craigslist find of the Little Tikes BBQ - and he's been having a blast with that (no worries, pictures to come soon!)

He continues to enjoy swim lessons, those started back up this week. He's graduated into the next class level - and once again is the only boy. Although this session he's one of the youngest rather than being one of the older kids. He's still having a blast! He also enjoys his trips to the library, and now that he's a little older, we might even try Toddler Reading Time. Regardless though, he really loves the computer that is there for him to play with.
We are all looking forward to the sun being out more and allowing Ace some good outside run around time. He's going to be a very busy boy this summer.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Flashback Friday


Four years ago Carrie moved from one place to another over her birthday weekend and I drove from So Cal to help her. I also bought and paid for her birthday present! Yep for her birthday, I got Carrie her tattoo! :) I had mine for three years at this point and she had been wanting the one she got for nearly as long, so after lots of moving and all sorts of other weekend fun - she got her tattoo! Yep I'm contribuiting to the delinquency of my friends. :) We had a great time even though we were WORN OUT! So in honor of a new decade that is rapidly approaching: Happy Birthday, Carrie! (a tad early)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

My baby boy

It is hard to believe that my son on Saturday will be 20 months old. Only a mere four months away from his second birthday! How did this happen? Where does the time go? Wasn't he just four months old snoozing in his sling?

I've been doing some spring cleaning around here slowly but surely and return some borrowed items that I used while Ace was a baby. Although when Ace saw the sling he repeated over and over "in, in, in" and then he finally got his way when he signed "please" - how can I argue with that... and well look how happy he was!


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

There are no words...







For more Wordless Wednesdays click and visit, Jolly Mom, Two of A Kind, 5 Minutes for Mom, and Country Girl, City Life!

Knothole Eggs

These are quickly becoming a staple in our house - my MIL makes a mean one! In fact when she was visiting Easter weekend she made them, and then the other night my husband made them again for dinner. Our son took to them right away - and if I can get him to eat egg that's GREAT! That's good protein!

Ingredients:
butter
1 slice of bread (I find potato bread works great!)
1 egg
garlic salt

Directions:
  • Butter both sides of the bread and then cut a circle about 1-2 inch(es) in diameter
  • Place a dollop of butter in the frying pan over a medium heat, place bread in and cook bread on both sides for a short time (starting to get it toasted, but not quite)
  • Then crack the egg into the hole. I like to stir the yolk a bit so it's more 'scrambled'
  • Cook on each side for as long as you like to get the egg consistency you want (over easy, medium, etc.)
  • Sprinkle with garlic salt and serve


    They are super easy, pretty quick and not very much clean up. For my son I serve it with ketchup and let him 'dip' - which he is quite fond of. He ususally will eat one piece of bread and one whole egg this way - and that is great!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Steaming

Again - I swear our family is eating - my endeavour to cook all year long however seems to be lacking serious momentum towards the goal of 150 recipes in 2010. Lots going on and well... with a toddler it's really hard to get elaborate with the helper. However, ever since I started making these goals I have yet to fail to meet one - so don't count me out just yet!

I love to steam veggies. Tonight that was what I did for dinner. I took inventory of what we had in our fridge and got to work. I did things a tad backwards and thus why our meat ended up being hot dog - because I started steaming the veggies first. :) Oh well it turned out great and my son ate it! That is what is key!

Ingredients:
2 cups of broccoli
10 cherry tomatoes halved
1/2 an onion chopped
1 hot dog

I steamed everything individually and then tossed it all together - the hot dog I just tossed in the microwave. It was yummy and super easy.

Father & Son Weekend

Yep, I boarded a plane on Friday afternoon and said goodbye to my guys! I was gone from 1pm on Friday until around 9:30am on Sunday morning. I had a blast. And so did the guys. This was Ace's first 'weekend' away from his mom. He's never been away from me for 24+ hours. Two weeks ago he got close when he stayed overnight with his grandparents while mom and dad went away, but this past weekend was a definite first. He had two nights that he was away from his momma, and while he said my name repeatedly over the weekend I'm told he had a great time.

Ace and his dad spent Friday afternoon playing in the backyard and learning how to blow dandelions! He also enjoyed 'painting' them on his face - and I'm told only tried to eat them a handful of times. Excellent!



Saturday, they went to a park and spent three hours running around the park, chasing birds and having a good time. Then they did some grocery shopping and stopped by Jamba Juice for a snack. After that it started to rain buckets (not sad I missed that!) and so they played inside with his car.

He went to sleep really well both nights and even slept pretty decent through them.

Sunday morning, Loving Husband and Ace parked and came inside the airport to await my arrival. After I met them, I gave LH a hug and went to hug Ace who smiled at me and then continued to be fascinated by the baggage claim area and went about running around. It was like 'oh there you are... check!' and then off and running. :)

He had a great time and so did his dad! I'm glad he did so well, and while I missed them both - I enjoyed my time in San Diego - and look forward to going again over Memorial Weekend to see the Sex and the City movie!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Carrie's Baby Shower

Carrie and I have been friends since 2002, we lived together since 2001. :) Yes it's true we really didn't speak for the first several months we lived together. We didn't like each other. Seems some of my best friendships begin with a bit of opposition from both parties. God has funny ways of bringing friends together. After the first few months of living together and not speaking, we slowly began to socialize and realized that we had a lot of fun together. Over the years we have had many adventures: (lots of fun pictures in these links!) road trips, weddings, champagne nights, Disneyland, New Years Eve parties, a Sex and The City Movie weekend, and many more!

Four years ago this June I moved to the NW and of course Carrie was there to be a part of that transition for me. We took a road trip to the NW and I was so glad that I could have that fun experience with her (again!) Even though we live states apart we still manage to get together for some girl time. We have been present at all the important events of our lives thus far - and I was hell bent to make sure I didn't miss the latest one: her baby shower.

However, I had convinced her that I wasn't able to come, and that made for a great surprise! Our friend Lys helped me pull off the surprise - and her and I had an excellent Friday evening out and enjoying white sauce from Miguels! YUM!


The three of us headed to LA to her shower, sitting in the infamous never-ending traffic and even arriving a tad late - but we had the guest of honor so no party starts without her! She had a great time and got LOTS of great stuff for Baby Avery!





After the shower we headed out to dinner with her sister, niece, and Sandy to meet their dad! It was nice to see him and we enjoyed dinner at Bob's Big Boy and enjoyed a few random pictures with Bob himself. :)


We headed back to San Diego and stopped by Lys' place and picked up James, the dog she was watching and he joined me in the back of her car and we headed over to Carrie's place. He looks like a giant, and while he is a large chocolate lab, he's not 3xs my size. Maybe only 2xs ;-) We then opened a birthday present Carrie received... and that's all I'm going to say about that. I also had a good laugh - and haven't laughed that hard in a long long time. I'm just sayin'! It was a great trip and was not a huge fan of having to get up at 4am to leave - but I was super excited to get home to my guys. Check back tomorrow on a post about that.


Saturday, April 17, 2010

Where am I?

Why I'm in San Diego! Yes, I flew down yesterday and today I am surprising my friend (by the time this posts, I will have surprised her) for her baby shower. She thinks that I was unable to make it. As it turns out... that was a lie :) And for the first time since Ace was born I have flown on a plane and gone to California without him! I will be gone for 45 hours. Since this was a prescheduled post - his status and dad's will be updated at a later time. However, I am sure they will do just fine. I plan on having a grand ol' time! :) My flight however leaves at 6am tomorrow... that is less than grand. Stay tuned for exciting updates upon my return to the Northwest!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Flashback Friday

Last year on this day, Ace was 7.5 months old. He had just two days prior had his first swimming lesson, he had been standing for a few weeks at this point, a few weeks earlier he signed his first word. He was well on his way! He loved this toy (in fact he still plays with it from time to time.) However, it's legs were removed a few short months after this picture was taken when he started to use it to climb onto it. He was a busy boy then - and he's just as busy now. :)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

I couldn't be happier if it was my own news!

One year and 27 days ago, I blogged about optimism and I had faith then that everything would work out just as it should. I wrote then about my friend Lori and her family's who carried that same faith and optimism headstrong through the ordeal of the contested adoption of their son, Matthew. It has been a long and testing thirteen months for their family - and today it is finished. Matthew has been adopted by Lori, Troy, and Garrett - not only in their hearts and souls where he's been since the moment they knew he was growing inside a mother's womb, but in the court system as well. Praise the Lord! As I said - I could not be happier if it was my own news!!! Congratulations family of four!!


A Mess

It began with silence. Mommy upstairs, Ace on the midlevel. I called for him. Nothing, not even feet scurrying... that's when you know something is really going on. No noise and no movement. Bad combo. So I ventured downstairs and I found this....

... for a split second I thought it was lots and lots of vomit and utter dread washed over me. I am sick of vomit! I would have demanded new carpet rather than cleaning it up. What it actually was became clear after that sheer moment of panic: a half of a box of granola. Good stuff too, I was kind of sad it was all over the floor. Upon my arrival (prior to grabbing the camera) in the midst of the sea of granola sat my son with his cheeks stuffed to the brim and we had the following conversation:

Me: Ace what are you doing?
A: (as bits fly out of his overly stuffed mouth) Eatum, Mom
Me: (chocking back laughter) Oh, I see. Do you realize you made quite of a mess?
A: (looking and pointing at his created sea) Mess! Messy! Piggy!
Me: (nearly dying from not laughing) It's not nice to throw food on the floor that is why we use a bowl.
A: (looks at me, looks at the mess, gets up scampers off to his toy pile, rummages, finds a bowl, goes back to the sea of granola) BOWL!

Ace then starts putting the granola into his bowl and I go to find my camera, I'm laughing hysterically because really it's just a little half of a bag of granola. The vacuum will get it. As you can see he had been pretty busy already with terrorizing the midlevel. There was stuff EVERYWHERE. So he got to help clean up so that the vacuum could even find the floor. Everything worked out fine, and then we got Ace something else to eat... because clearly he was hungry.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Ace at the library earlier this week.
Ace at the library
seven months ago.

For more Wordless Wednesday click here

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Just Us

Sometimes it is hard to remember life before Ace. I certainly remember more disposable income... we both worked and weren't paying $45 a pop for boxes of diapers. I remember getting more restful sleep. Note I didn't say more sleep. I've never been much of a sleeper. I also faintly recall going away with my husband and getting some time away from the office and everyday life... and Thursday night that is just what we did. Yes, we packed ourselves and Ace up, dropped Ace at his grandparents for his first overnight adventure and we headed to our favorite Northwest spot.

The view from our balcony of the falls
We had the most bizarre April weather that day. Prior to even leaving to head to the lodge we were pelted with slushy hail/snow mix off and on - cycling between black skies with the icy mixture pelting down on us, to bright blue clear skies with the sun shining brightly albeit not warmly. In fact we had to take the back way to the lodge because the DOT had closed the freeway. So as we set out - it was a bit of an adventure for ourselves. Although there wasn't anything too exciting - our drive was uneventful although still weatherful and we made good time. We had a bit of time before we checked in so we went in to town and sat down and did a wine tasting.


After we enjoyed our wine and a delicious late afternoon pre-dinner mouse pie dessert, we headed to check in. The rooms had recently been remodeled and so it was nice to take some time to look around and see what was different from the last time we had been there. The rooms were beautiful as usual. After relaxing for a while we headed out to see the falls. With all the weather it was just beautiful. The sun was shining and it was so nice to just spend some time just Loving Husband and I. We headed from there onto dinner at a local Italian place. Which was delicious.



After dinner we headed back to our room. Loving Husband lit a fire and then we looked at the room service wine menu... HA! No way. So LH left me to enjoy the fire and he went back out to the wine bar we had been at to buy a more reasonably priced wine that we had sampled during our wine tasting. Upon his return we watched a movie - uninterrupted!! - and then around 1am fell asleep... but not before putting out the room service tag for breakfast.

We awoke at 9:30am to room service arriving. Both of us had chosen that time assuming that there's no way we wouldn't be awake yet! Ha! Guess we were both wrong. It was blissful to sleep in so long. After we enjoyed breakfast in bed, we ran a bath in the gianormous tub. We got in... and not 2 seconds after being in the tub - water started leaking from the ceiling... ummm not good. So sadly we got out of the really nice tub and packed up our stuff, called maintenance, and headed to check out. We explained our bath tub experience and our $50 room service bill was comped for our trouble.

It was a wonderful overnight time with my husband. I look forward to being able to do more of these now that Ace is a little older and able to handle being away from us.