4.30.2011

a snapsnot saturday

I took these photos the other day after some serious Binky withdrawals. She screamed for about twenty minutes and then I heard silence. I went in and found her conked out and snoring like this:

(check out the home section for the new kitchen island!)


no Binky to throw out of the crib, so she throws her monkey.


4.29.2011

fashion friday


In celebration of the most gorgeous wedding gown and a new princess, here is some princess style for your little ones.
 (even though I want them all in my size!)


J. Crew $68.00



Petite Ming $42.00
Rare Editions Nautical Capri Set $24.99
J. Crew $39.00
J. Crew $59.50
Ralph Lauren Baby  $29.99

Ralph Lauren Baby cardigans $29.99
Old Navy Baby skirt $19.94
Tea. collection $69.00


Ralph Lauren Romper $35.00

Tea. collection cardigan $42.00


4.28.2011

how-to-shoot-a-gun-and-not-break-a-nail

Every now and then I am reminded that I am married to a logger. I suppose it has been more than two years now, so I've gotten used to the things that might have been new and peculiar to me in the beginning. 

When I think about it, I've been so devoted to motherhood that I have forgotten how silly my husband is. Why haven't I blogged how he reorganizes his hefty wood pile [see here] constantly like how a woman reorganizes her cabinets? I also haven't blogged about how he is now turning over to bow hunting and has created a target in the backyard with hay bales. 

Or how he brings home "treasures" from the woods. I've blogged about some of the decorative treasures, but the other day he brought home what looked like a rock, but indeed it was wood. He held it up to the window so proud. "You know what this is!?" "Looks like a rock," I said. "Petrified wood." "Cool," I replied. "Do you know what petrified wood is," he asked since my response clearly indicated I had no idea. He then told me about petrified wood and placed it in our walkway of wood treasures filled with some rusted thing and arrow heads.

My metropolitan side is rubbing off on him as well. He started cycling. Straight up spandex and tight jerseys. Hardly anyone cycles here. In the beginning, my hubs was so worried he would pass loggers on his ride. 

Hubs also started making beer. Boy, is it tasty! I reap the benefits of that one...well, I reap the benefits of his tight spandex too. 

Moral of the story is, hubs brought home this flier the other day: 
I love the painted nails.
Yes, that is right. Gun club. Hubs has brought me shooting once when we were dating. I liked it. Now because so-and-so's wife from work is taking a how-to-shoot-a-gun-and-not-break-a-nail class, he was going on and on about how I should take it. 

Funny thing is, I think I will. Marrying a logger or just in general, a conservative man, has opened my eyes to another world. Guns for instance. I like the feeling of protection since Chris leaves so early for work. However, it has been two years since I was shown how to shoot that pretty pistol in my closet. I doubt I would know how if need be.

And here I was wanting to sign up for a cooking class. Hmph.

4.27.2011

pulling the plug

Audrey never seemed really attached to her "plug" as we call it or pacifier. I popped one into her mouth the first night in the hospital and she was a sucker for that sucker. But it continually grew into something only used during bedtime or to literally plug her when she was crying. 

Wubbanub Pacifier - Yellow DuckThen we got the Wubbanub's. I love these little critters and would highly suggest them. A friend bought Audrey her first one and it was so long Soothie's and hello duck. 

It turned more into a fixation on the animal, not the actual pacifier. She would pet it, eat it, talk to it and most recently, she would have to lay the duck over her eyes to go to sleep. I would have to leave the room laughing every time. 

Chris and I (more dad than mom) have agreed on not letting her get attached to the plug. We've seen 2, 3 and sometimes 5-year-olds who can talk and ride bikes but have a constant pacifier in their mouth. 

Again, I wasn't too concerned about Audrey until recently. Still a bedtime user, she started walking up to her crib and grabbing her duck through the open bars when she was playing. She would start crying for it and immediately when I gave her it, she would be content. I knew she was growing quite attached to the plug. 

Chris has been saying for months to pull the plug, but maybe I was attached to it too. It was the one thing that made her relax when mommy needed her to.

And I knew my husband was right, but then I read an article in Parents that pushed me just enough over the edge to say "OK, that's it. Binky is gone." That is what always happens. You don't think YOU have it like other parents and that it will be easy for you or different for you. I was clearly avoiding that we had an attachment already.

However, when the sub-paragraph topic is "Reality Bites" and right under it is written, "...the downside of life with Binky surfaces. Maybe your child cries every time the pacifier falls out of her mouth and onto the floor, which means you're bumbling around in the dark at 4 a.m., searching for the one thing that will soothe her."

Dang it. That was us almost every night. Audrey actually started playing a game where she would throw it out of the crib to get us to go in her room and give it back to her, only for her to throw it out again. 

I knew that the older a child gets, the harder it is to take anything away or introduce new things. I was thinking by age one I would take it away, but seeing that I had an already very smart daughter who plays me like a fool, I decided now would be better than later. 

Yesterday was the first day and I did OK. Of course this is more about me than Audrey. I am the one who has to listen to her cry and I'm just yearning for peace and quiet. Temptation is pulling me closer and closer to just giving in. 

For the first nap, she cried for about 30 minutes. The second nap, she cried for about 20 minutes. At bedtime, I gave in, but she wasn't too interested in the plug. 

We will work at it again today. Bye-bye Binky...it is kind of sad.




4.26.2011

educate me

 There is so much to start thinking about. As soon as Audrey came into the world, we were working on her development and education. The older she gets, the more we find ourselves talking about college, homeschooling, tutors, etc...  It is mind boggling. Join in on the conversation and tell me what you think.
 --
Educational programs to "advance" your child start as early as infancy. I've spoken before about Your Baby Can Read , a program claiming that your 8-month-old will start reading. Chris and I doubted that, but saw Audrey had a strong liking to the pictures, colors and songs in the videos. The program is now being sued for misleading claims. 

While my husband and I agree that Audrey probably won't start reading extra early from watching the videos, we don't find that having her watch a little bit at a time is harmful. She has learned waving, clapping  and singing/dancing from the videos. That isn't a bad thing. But we do agree that television can be harmful when it is used as distraction. I am guilty of it, but trying my best to just have her watch the short 30 min. film every day or other day.

Another topic at large here in my town is homeschooling. Homeschooling wasn't too popular when I was growing up in the suburbs, but now with the poor educational system filling way too many children in the classroom and most of the time not living up to teaching our children what needs to be taught, homeschooling is booming. I know a number of children that were or are being homeschooled. They are all very intelligent and mature for their age. But the large responsibility falls on the parent teaching. I don't know how good I would be at that. 

The only thing I argue against homeschooling is that the child is missing the social aspect (which for me, was a fundamental to the shaping of who I am today). Extra curricular activities, friendships, passing notes, watching games, makeups and breakups, the outfits and peer pressure. All those things I find vital to growing up.

Chris and I have talked about charter schools. We both love the idea. Basically a private school without the tuition. That is our favorite choice. 

Other topic is tutoring. A number of private tutoring, test preparation and college planning companies have come about since my high school years. I took part in a program which assisted with those things, as well as assistance in getting scholarships. An example would be StudyPoint, which provides in-home, one-on-one tutoring  for grades K-12, as well as test prep, free college information, etc... StudyPoint has been growing immensely with clients and all over the news including being one of Inc.'s 5000 fastest growing companies for the last four years
I didn't have the best luck with the program that I did, but they were new then and it seems now parents are doing whatever they can to ensure a good education for their children (again, because they don't feel like their children are getting the one-on-one education they need).

That is what is in the topic hole for education. So many things to think about. We're not obsessing about having a genius child (OK, maybe just a little), but we want to provide the best education for her. 

4.25.2011

four generations

It is true that most of us women turn out to be like our mothers. We may not acquire all of their traits, but whether we like it or not - we will slowly develop more of them and most of the time, not notice it. 

I notice more and more the little things that I have started doing following my mom. Furthermore, I see her evolving more into my grandma. So, sorry Audrey. Whether you like it or not, you'll turn out a little like your momma. Here is a little list of family "traditions" carried on through the women of three generations (and coming up on four). 



like grandmother, like mother, like daughter

  • Loudness. I never realized that my volume of voice or the volume I prefer the television or music to be was considered loud. It isn't loud when I am with my gaggle of family members. Once my husband and others said, "You're talking so loud," I now realize how loud my family is and keep my volume down.  TRAIT DISMISSED.
  • Giving. My grandmother and mother will always put other people first. No matter how tired they are, they will always take care of others needs without grumbling. I like to think I inherited this trait. TRAIT INHERITED.
  • Non-confrontational: All of us women would really prefer to cop out of an argument or sticky situation, but have no problem telling our husband's how we feel. TRAIT INHERITED.
  • Fake clean. My grandma and mother clean with a sponge. The same sponge they just used to wipe the dirty dishes cleans the counter. Sorry to spill the secret, mom. I think through generations, women have gotten more OCD and more OCD. My mom is far more OCD than my grandmother, and I am just growing in how obsessive I am about cleaning. But I think we all have a little dirt under the rug, our window tracks are not spotless and there is dust in the places people don't look. I do not use a sponge, but my house is not as clean as it looks. TRAIT INHERITED
  • Planners. My mother and I love to make plans. We continually have a full calendar. By the time we get our new year calendar at Christmas, it is already filling up. I can't really wait until the week before and decide to go somewhere...it must be on the calendar and planned. TRAIT INHERITED
  • Deciders. Yesterday while my mother was making my grandparents' plans, my dad was telling my mom to chill out and that she didn't need to take care of my grandparents and decide everything for them. I was laughing silently in the kitchen because just the night before Chris and I had a discussion about how I decide everything. We just know we have the best decisions! =) TRAIT INHERITED but I'm working on dismissing it.
  • Shhh, don't tell dad. Complimentary to the giving trait, my mom loved to spoil my sister and I. However, it came with, "Shhh, don't tell dad." When Chris and I got married, we decided I would be in charge of the budget. There were definitely some mountains to climb because some of my over-budget expenditures (oops, new shoes!), I did the same thing: "Shhh, don't tell ." However, I've gotten much better. TRAIT DISMISSED...however, Audrey isn't a teenager yet. Eek. 
  • Stubborn. This skipped a generation because my mom isn't stubborn, but my grandmother and I sure are. TRAIT INHERITED
  • Nostalgic. All three women love learning about our family history, where things or people came from and taking good care of family antiques and historical stories. TRAIT INHERITED
  • Dishes: There are never dirty dishes left in the sink for more than thirty minutes. Furthermore, if someone else puts dishes in the dishwasher, I think we all re-organize it afterward. 
  • The hub. My mom's house and now my house are the hubs for family and friend gatherings. TRAIT INHERITED
  • There are a bunch of little things I've noticed such as how my mother and I will both leave to-be donated bags or bottles/cans in the back of our cars for weeks/months; we are both a little "clumsy" or "flighty"; my mother and I both don't really bake (Costco pies are just dandy!); No matter how tired our husband's are, I guarantee that my mother and I are far more exhausted (and we will let you know). TRAITS INHERITED
  • Closeness. My mom talks to her mom everyday at least once and I talk to my mom everyday. We share everything and enjoy talking about the smallest things. I hope Audrey does the same with me. 

4.24.2011

He is risen and so did my cake!

He is risen. What a wonderful day! And my lemon-ginger bundt cake turned out fabulous (first cake from scratch!)

The ABC family was blessed to have both families and close friends join in for an Easter celebration in our little cottage. We've got the smallest house and I'm always the one wanting to throw the biggest parties. 

Typical spring weather had the sun popping in and out, but mostly spring showers which kept us all inside. Eh, we're all family pretty much, so the closer the better =)

Audrey was adorned in her Janie & Jack navy dress and headband made my friend, Terra. She loved Easter. She ate a whole bunch of deviled eggs and bundt cake, got a ton of books and movies, and then settled down for her second long nap. Audrey especially loves spending time with her family. She stole the show.

Although I am exhausted and have way too many high calorie, yummy leftovers, I've still got champagne in my glass and a smile on my face. How blessed are we? Not only that He is risen, completely taken care of us and knows us so well (even if we don't know Him). Furthermore, to have such wonderful family and friends! It is special when you can get pretty much everyone you care about the most in one room. 

Hope you all had a wonderful Easter. 
 Love, ABC



Strawberry Crepes

Eggs Benedict Casserole

Watch out Martha...but thanks for the recipe! Lemon-Ginger Bundt Cake

 
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