Wednesday, February 29, 2012

lala land

It's days like these I hope remain tucked safely into the folds of her memory forever.
That day when Lalaloopsy Land came to life.
When elephants drove buses and Lalas played in wooden block forests.
And everything was magic and real all at the same time.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

stomaching it

For years, I've harbored a deep and abiding fear of baking bread. Because, you see, it represents failure. Yeast is so finicky. Bread collapses if I look at it sideways. It's just a chance for me to mess up, and while I'm at it, waste time. I hate messing up almost as much as I hate wasting time. Unless I'm on Pinterest, and that my friends, is a productive waste of time.

And so year after year, I tell myself this is the year I'm going to bake bread. Well folks. THIS WAS THE YEAR. My mom practically forced me to do it while I was visiting. And because she was there to blame my failures on - like any self-respecting child would - I did it. We used Bosch foolproof whole wheat bread (second recipe here) because it uses zero white flour (many "wheat breads" are actually a mix of wheat and white flour, thus the reason they taste good) and it has no sugar (just honey). So we mixed up this little batch of bread, we both balked at the ridiculously sticky dough, we stuck it in a cold oven like instructed (no pre-heating), and a serious loaf of heaven came out twenty minutes later. No lie, this bread is impossible to resist. Even my husband, who prefers a gourmet meal of Skittles and Dorito's for dinner, likes - dare I say - ENJOYS this bread. And Belle prefers it bar none over store bought. And little Miss Lou? She loves it too. She eats tiny bit after tiny bit after tiny bit. I, on the other hand, eat huge slice followed by thicker slice. My only problem with this bread is that I can't stop eating it. Especially when it's fresh. And slathered with Nutella. Thus negating its health benefits. Yup, I fully partake of this chocolately irony several times a day. So seriously - give it a try. It's healthy and irresistible. And you may not have to buy store bought bread anymore (I don't!). (P.S. I half the recipe for three loafs. And I also usually do half red wheat flour and half white wheat flour both because my husband likes it more and because it seems to bake up softer. But no regular white flour.)

Speaking of Lou Lou, we're taking a much more organic approach to feeding her than we did with Belle. You see, feeding our children is generally a joke until they're two. Why? THEY HAVE NO TEETH. Belle cut her first tooth at nine months and by the time she turned a year old, was proudly sporting two half-teeth (seriously - they were half grown in for like six months). Annabelle did pretty well for a while with solid food. And then I think she was like, guys, I CAN'T CHEW. STOP IT WITH THIS FOOD JUNK AND HAND OVER THE MILK. I'd really like to avoid that debacle again, so basically, if it isn't laced with peanut butter or shrimp or egg or whatever the heck else they say will make my child's fingers fall off if she deigns to look at it (I also question this line of logic, if I'm being honest), we pretty much let her try it.

Last night she had this homemade broccoli mac and cheese. No lie. (For anyone who tries it, I use whole wheat noodles, but I use regular sharp cheese and 1% milk.) She asked for some, so why not? And by ask, I mean opened her mouth when I forked a noodle for myself, then screamed (she's going to be our drama queen if anyone was wondering) when it went into my mouth instead. And of course she loved it. It has flavor. (By the way, we don't give her candy, cake, cookies, any processed sugars.) She's doing much better this route than trying to force feed her liquid cardboard and string beans. Instead, we let her play with her food, sometimes help her and just generally make eating more of a fun experience than a nutritional one. Because she won't be able to properly chew for another year and a half anyhow. And isn't food supposed to be enjoyable?

As far as Annabelle goes, I have a big secret for all ya'll with a toddler. They will eat anything if it is dipped in either ranch dressing or Nutella. Guacamole if you're desperate. Seriously. Belle's rate of consumption has tripled in the last six months since we discovered the secret to getting a toddler to eat: dip. And there you have it.

One more thing: I'm doing really good at the no sugar, no white flour rule. Except for those dang Reeses eggs. I would like to put forth a motion that Reeses eggs be removed from the processed sugar pool and moved to the fruits and veggies category. All those in favor? I.

It's settled then.

Monday, February 27, 2012

it's been said

Belle: Where is Daddy?
Me: At work still. He should be home soon.
Belle: Maybe I'll go get him. How does that sound?
{after a rousing rendition of "I love you mosts" between us}
I love you the cock a doodle doo!
I'm gonna go to Target and then some random type stores.
{to her bald doll}
OH, your hair is so gorgeous.
{during dinner}
Essentially, I want some potatoes.
{to a hairspray bottle}
Baby! Why did you call me baby? Why did you call me!??
{overheard while she was in her bed before naptime, note who is speaking in both instances}
Belle: Are you asleep Annabelle?
Belle: Nope! Not yet!
{while Daddy naps, we play in the TV room}
Belle: I'm letting Daddy have a nap.
Me: Yep, we're letting Daddy have a nap.
Belle: And I'm letting you NOT have a nap.
{what's new?}
Once upon a time there were three La La Loopsies! And once upon a time there was a La La Loopsy with orange hair! And once upon a time they were shorter!
Are you eating candy Daddy? That's kind of random.
{when Daddy started losing his grip on her as he locked the door}
Daddy, hold me some more!
Belle: Hey, where did my stamps go?
{the librarian gave her some stamps on her hands}
Me: Oh, they wash away when you wash your hands.
Belle: Sooo...are they in the sink den?
I'm gonna leave my baby in the car, K? She can have a great rest.
Do you have a Barbie pin in your hair?
{after she uses the restroom and proceeds to serenade us with songs for five minutes, an interruption}
Belle: Mommm? Will you come get my clippy?
Me: Where is it?
Belle: Um...It's in the toilet.
Me: How'd it get there?
Belle: I dropped it in there!
{Jess goes to check out the situation - he discovers that not only is the clippy in the toilet,
but so are some extra presents}
Jess: I am so not touching that!
Belle: Um...maybe you could get a marker? To get it?
I wanna play the Kindle, that game where I chase letters. {trace letters}
{while playing on our bed}
I wish I could have a no-bar bed when I get much bigger.
Daddy's having some meat-love. {meatloaf}
The wheels on the bus go round and round, all through the blunders!
Me: Guess what? I love you!
Belle: Well, I love Don Don!
{awesome :) }
{while sniffing bottles of product}
I'm smelling these out...seein' if they're good.
Me: What are you eating?
Belle: I dunno.
Me: Is it candy?
Belle: Um, yeah.
Me: Where did you get it?
Belle: Um, out on the deck.
{while on the phone with my mom}
Me: Well, have fun at Danielle's concert.
{from the back seat}
Me: Don Don is going to sing in a concert, and Grandma Lichelle's going to go watch.
{from Sound of Music, NATURALLY}

Monday, February 20, 2012

seven months


At seven months, you:

* Are a huge mama's girl. You have a really really hard time if anyone else holds you. Or breathes on you. This both makes me so happy (because you love me so much) and breaks my heart (because sometimes I can't hold you).

* Finally got to try food! First try was an epic fail. But you're warming up. You like: baby oatmeal with fruit, bananas, avocados, yogurt puffs, bread. And you like to "feed yourself," which means essentially that you feed the floor.
* Make this really funny humming sound when you're eating something you like.
* Started sitting regularly, without pillows or assistance, and can scoot around like nobody's business.

* Don't sleep awesome. You wake up once or twice at night (sometimes more - to eat or just whine). I blame the Pack N' Play that you're still trapped in. (I'm sorry. :( )
* Turn your head upside down to the corner of your Pack N' Play, the one that faces your door, when you wake up, just waiting for someone to come rescue you.
* Are getting ready to crawl. You prop up your body on those skinny arms and legs, and then fall. But you're close.

* Play peek-a-boo with your blankets.
* Say "mamammamama" regularly, which usually just means you want someone to pick you up. You also say "numnumnum" when you're hungry sometimes.
* Can clap, sometimes even on command, but mostly just because you're mimicking me.

* Get really stressed out when you think your sister is hurt (she's actually just laughing really hard).
* Survived four very long plane rides to Hawaii. You also experienced your first beach vacation. You were not a fan of sand or ocean. You did, however, love the stroller.
* Are still the happiest baby on the block. You only get the cranks when you're hungry, tired, or I'm not in your vision and/or holding you.

* Wear 12 month clothes for the most part. Although your dress last Sunday was seriously size 18 months. You're just so darn tall.
* Loooove to play with your sister's toys. When she willingly gives you something of hers, especially one of her babies, your face lights up like you just won a million dollars.

* Get really big eyes when you see something new, as though you're cataloguing information before determining appropriate action.
* Reach for what you want, including me, Daddy, toys, food.
* Crane your head up to look at me when sitting on my lap every few minutes, just to make sure I'm still there.

* Melt our hearts more and more every day. It's a pretty cheesy thing to say, I realize. But it's pretty much all there is to it. You're the most lovable thing I know. And I love your little guts.


Here she is at one month.
Here she is at two months.
Here she is at three months.
Here she is at four months.
Here she is at five months.
Here she is at six months.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

not wasted

We have this bad habit of letting Saturdays turn into those black holes of days, where suddenly all time is sucked into nowhere and you're left worn out at 8 p.m. with absolutely nothing to show for yourself except sweater teeth and an empty can of Diet Dr Pepper. Yesterday, we were determined to fight our lazy selves and be up and at 'em. And so we were. We headed to Midway, UT, home of HGTV's current "dream home," which I'm sorry to tell you all, but we're going to win. According to my very optimistic husband. So without further ado, our future home:

Yup, the cost to heat that thing - when we win it, of course - will be more than our current monthly rent. But no matter, WE WILL HAVE WON. They were doing "private, scheduled tours," of which we weren't a part. So we just stalked it. Which will be so much easier to do when we live in it.
We stopped at The Store to pick up some sugar cookies (they're like heaven, with frosting), of which I'm proud to say I consumed only one. (Seriously. Major accomplishment. Still wearing the golden star on my forehead.) And we also stopped at Gram's Special House to use the facilities. Annabelle went and visited her favorite field, which was quite a different sight compared to last summer when she ran around practically naked. Remember?
And then we grabbed some greasy goodness at Dairy Keen, home of the train? (Annabelle was a huge fan, not of the food, although it is good in it's local diner kind of way, but of the train that runs on a track through the restaurant's ceiling, and of the outdoor table train. Where we visited and froze our tooshies off.
This is me artistically concealing my belly fat.
This is me not artistically concealing my belly fat.
All in all, a not wasted Saturday. And I say hurrah.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

adventures in eating :: spaghetti squash

So Lou Lou still isn't a fan of food. Which is astonishing to me as food and I are pretty much going steady. These photos are exactly the order they came off the camera. I'm pretty sure if I just gave her some Diet Dr Pepper and a spoonful of Nutella, she'd change her mind about things. But as it turns out, my major food groups are frowned upon in infant circles. Darn shame.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

my heart

It seems that there is a lot of heartbreak going on around the world these days. I'm just constantly struck with the intense desire to hold a baby on each knee and hunker down somewhere safe with some Diet Dr Pepper, some chocolate, and of course, some baby formula. Because WHAT ELSE IS THERE? My heart is continually tender, especially when I take a real moment to let it all sink in. How much I have. How full my heart is.

Weeks ago, while trolling Pinterest, I came across this. I'd pinned the quote before, but it really hit me in that moment. The way I carry those that I love in my heart so literally, the way sometimes my heart aches with happiness, because it's so very full. And of course, then I look at my babies. And my heart practically weeps. Sometimes my eyes do. I look at all the hurt that happens in this world, and I know I've had some and will have more, but right now, these moments filled with baby slobber kisses and toddler sentences, they're precious and fragile and I want to box them up and keep them in my heart forever. And so I do. I carry them in my heart. I hope to always carry them - and those that I love so dear - in my heart. And I want them to know that.
I sent this card to family members this year. And Annabelle helped me assemble some simple bracelets made out of felt and jute twine. For Annabelle, inspired by this pin, I made a simple puffy heart.

And I pulled her onto my lap and I explained to her, as I have a million times before, that she and little Lou Lou are my heart. And that when she sees this heart, she can remember that, she can remember how much I love her. She took the heart with big eyes, held it to her own heart, closed her eyes, and squeezed it tight. And I almost cried. She's been carrying it around all day, a simple reminder of how much I love her.

My heart is full. I carry so much loveliness in it these days. And for that I'm so very grateful.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

it's been said

I want two braids and two phone-ee tails!
{after putting her bear down for a nap}
Okay, she's going to sleep in here, okay? DON'T go in there! And be quiet okay!?
Me: Where's Lydia's toy?
Belle: Um...I think she ate it.
Lydia! You're a crap up!
Me: What did you learn in Nursery today?
Belle: Of eating snaaacccks...
Me: Here you go Hon.
Belle: I'm not Hon.
Me: You're not?
Belle: No, Daddy's your Hon.
Don't eat this! Don't eat my ganilla bar! {granola bar}
{and The Sound of Music interpretation continues...}
...when the dog bites, when the pee stings...
{I die}
{after I attempted to retrieve a box of Lydia's clothes that Jess has wedged into a closet}
Belle: Did you get Lydia's clothes?
Me: No, I think we'll need Daddy to get it.
Belle: Yeah. Cuz Daddy is STRONG...And he's tall tall TALL.
{and he rearranges my storage...but that's another story...
and we're actually the same height...}
{after snuggling up with me and Lou Lou}
Belle: I wish you could get another sister out of your tummy...
Me: How about a brother? Would that be okay?
{this is by no means an announcement of any sort!}
Belle: Um...if the brudder is a sister.
Belle: And when you got married you weared a white dress!
Me: Yes, I had a white dress when I married Daddy.
Belle: And where is your white dress?
Me: My white dress is in St. George at Grandma Lichelle's. I'm saving it for you if you want to wear it when you get married.
Belle: And when I get married my daddy is going to marry ME!!
When I get much bigger my head will be BIG. And my tummy will be BIG. And I'll have a baby sister in it!
Belle: I want jammies that have no toes and are long and dey-re not on my legs...
Me: What do you mean? Like Maria's nightgown?
Look! He's playing the jello! {cello}
When I get a bigger head, I be a mom and play the jello?
When Lydia was little, she had a hat on. And you were at the doctor's....AND YOU CAME BACK!
{to her dolls, pretending to cross a street}
It's okay! The street's not stressable!
Me: I love you the most!
Belle: I love you the...toast!


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