January 31, 2013


After months of "mama" "mamamamama" and "moooom" when she wants us to come get her (I say us because I'm not convinced that mama means me- I think it means "hey you, parent,come get me!), tonight Sienna started saying "dada" with meaning.

J walked out of the room. She yelled "DA DA DA!" He came back in. She laughed and smiled. He walked out, she yelled "DA DA DA DA DA DA!" He came in, she laughed.

So here you are, Jamie, 11 months in and she's certainly a dada's girl. Yay!

January 29, 2013

Next Up: Kitchen Table

I've wanted a new kitchen table for awhile. Our was a hand me down, but worked just fine for awhile. Now it's harder to sit more than six people, four without the end chairsr. And the benches. They are good in theory, but NOT in real life.

So I am putting this out here to motivate us. We bought tools. We bought lumber. We are J is building a table. I will not pretend that I'll be a major part of this. I will cheer him on. I will pick out the stain color. Otherwise I don't think I'll be too involved. I'll be on S duty.

Here are some examples of what we are hoping to have this bad boy look like when it's all finished. We are still debating what finish, but are still looking around.

*images mostly taken from Ana White's wonderful website full of furniture plans.

Love all of these. I think I want to switch it up with the chairs. No matching dark wood. I want light chairs, maybe with a cool design on them. Here are some (of many) I've been eyeing up. Most are from Target! A few are from Home Decorators.

I am all over the place. But it's in the works. I can't wait to have a gorgeous new table to complete our refinished kitchen officially. Anyone have opinions on these chairs??
Finally back to renos and DIY projects...


We have a favorite diner down the road. 4 minute drive to comfort food. J gets the same thing almost every time we go. I switch it up. We order kids mac n cheese for S, then feed her the fruit & veggie packets, melon, and bread. We let her try new things. J and I eat most of her mac n cheese (it's so good- the baked kind).
Our 5:30 pm dinners with the grandparent aged folks make me smile.  
The waitresses who talk to S like they're having a real little convo make me smile.
And S getting sick of her high chair and wanting to sit with mama (but by all means don't stop feeding her!) makes me smile.

January 28, 2013

Bachelor Week 4 (ps next week has two nights woohoo!)

Oh goodness, I laughed a LOT this week. But the thing that made me laugh most? The bloopers from Selma's date when Sean kept stalling the Jeep. Hilarious.  Also Selma is a trooper. I think the no kissing ever is going to eventually do her in, but she's pretty and has a good attitude. She reminded me of Eva Longoria in this episode.

Other things that make me laugh include... Lindsay. Just in general. She is funny. I think she's quirky and weird but goodness I laugh every time she's on camera getting interviewed. She says the weirdest things! She may move up my list further once we see more of her.

Catherine, I am just sort of obsessed with her. I may have a rush crush (sorority vocab). She sits in my top place for a few reasons. One is because of the things Sean says to her. Two is because she's so cute and I have not heard anything not a single thing negative about her. She seems grounded and sweet.

Other random thoughts:
  •  AshLee moved way up in my book this week with her sweet words to Sarah during the roller derby date. She is actually a kind person. Points.
  • Leslie was going home before Sean ever took her on that date.
  • But did she have to pick the ugliest dress ever?
  • I would have ran with that necklace!
  • Dramatic moment: When Sean drops the rose on the floor post Leslie leaving and says he isn't sure he will ever find his wife.
  • And why did they have the guy sing to just Sean? Awkward.
  • Tierra. Good lord. YOUR EARRINGS ARE THE WORST. Please get new ones.
  • Also you are a bit nutty. We are not your fans.
  • Sean was just getting a nice ego boost and thinking with his you know what when talking to Tierra post freak out. No guy likes that kind of drama.
  • Poor Lindsay when Tierra stole away Sean. Fail.
  • Amanda's outfit and messy bird nest hair style at the rose ceremony- no wonder he sent her home.
  • Oh btw ABC, roller derby dates- not good.
  • I wish Jen and I were sitting in the sorority suite eating take out food from our commons watching this together (that is not show related but personal related and super true.)
 Here are the rankings. Top 5 in order now.
1. Catherine
2. AshLee
3. Lesley
4. Desiree
5. Lindsay
6. Selma
7. Sarah
8. Tierra
9. Jackie
10. Robyn
11. Daniella

Happy Bacheloring ;) xo

January 25, 2013

Bachelor Rankings: Week 3

Okay we've been a little too serious around here with the bachelor blogs. There were some hilarious moments in episode three and I couldn't stop laughing.  Let's start this off by saying this: When you are on national tv, your dress should probably cover your ass and other private parts. Lesley and AshLee, I like you both. You're pretty. But I saw more of you than (self-proclaimed Christian goodie goodie) Sean will see on your fantasty suite nights.

Moving on... The breaking the guinness world record was comical to me. I couldn't watch the tv for a whole 3 minutes and 15 seconds of kissing. I just kept telling J how weird it was, and then giggling like a five year old would. And umm... if Sean doesn't choose Lesley in the end (I don't think he will) he better break that record with the winner on the After the Final Rose show or else he might be in big trouble with his fiancee.

Overall, I like Lesley. Not sure she will get to the winner's circle, but she's a solid choice.

The group date. Anyone else love Catherine's spunky attitude? Or think Des looks like someone you know but you can't figure out who or is that just me? Who does she look like? Someone help me? Katie Holmes circa Dawson's Creek years is the only person I can think of but it's not quite right.

Kristy, Kristy, Kristy, you cried over losing a volleyball game- but I guess rightfully so since you ended up going home anyway. Also your bun on the top of your head later on was the biggest thing ever. Were you hiding a dead animal in there?

Kacie was going home from the moment she started talking about drama. And while she was edited to say that she was going to use it in her favor, she's no dummy. I actualy think she may have wanted to go home. But watching her and Sean converse during those moments was like watching a delusional person tell their paranoid stories. So confusing. Also can we talk about Kacie's matching dress and (lime green) hair tie at the rose ceremony? WHAT was she thinking? Nice body, Kacie but bad combo.

Ummm I don't even remember who got a rose at the group date. Couldn't have been that impressed by it. Oops.

AshLee's date to me was a total mix. I think AshLee and Sean had more "fun" than we saw because who doesn't have fun on an amusement park date? But her dress... the short dress high heels were killing me. I do have to say that Sean and the Bachelor show get an A for doing something for others- but if they really cared about those girls vs caring about the ratings/viewers they would have done that behind the scenes. While it was awesome, I can't imagine those girls want their lives displayed on TV. Also I think Sean is enamored with AshLee (she's quite pretty) but not positive how great of a spark they have yet. Her story is sad and I am glad she has a positive outlook, but I could also see the whole background scaring Sean off a bit. Just being honest. I'm getting to serious agian. let's talk about Tierra's earrings instead. 

Tierra, your damn earrings. FOR REAL. Could you have at least gone with current trends instead of plastic cheapy chandelier style if you were going to buy all your jewelry for the show at Claire's?

Rose ceremony was straight up drama and girls pulling Sean all over. Word on the street (aka the bachelor alum blogs) is that those rose ceremonies can last allll night until 2am or 4 am, so they have way more time than we see on TV. Makes sense. Not surprised he sent home Kacie... or Taryn or Kristy. Maybe he was afraid Kristy's hair was going to fall on him and crush him.

And that's it for this week. I can't wait for next week. Also do you know that in two weeks Bachelor is on Monday AND Tuesday?

Updated Ranking: 
Leslie H.

PS this is the last week my top 5 will just be my "top 5". After next week's episode (assuming they all are still present) I will actually rank them.

PPS My friend Jen and I combined our two rankings together to get the final outcome; we each had a few girls in a few different places originally.

January 22, 2013


S has this blanket. It's blue and green and yellow and white. It's an afgan style with holes in it. It is the only one I feel safe putting her down with in her crib.

Today, she cuddled in. Breathed it in. Pulled it up a little more. And drifted off to dreamland.

There's something about this blanket. It was made with two hands by a person who loves both me and S in a way only certain people can love you. It is uneven, and it has a few pulls. I can't quite fold it over her crib without it sliding one way or the other in or out. But it's more meaningful than any perfectly square blanket ever was.

The blanket is sort of like life with a baby. It's cuddly and warm, it's full of love-the most beautiful kind of love. It has life knit into it. It is comfortable. It's unpredictable- sometimes we use it for sleep, sometimes for hide and seek. It's not always perfect. Nothing that's this precious ever is.

But when I pick up my sweet, gorgeous baby girl and envelope her in hugs with this blanket, I am reminded of how masterfully my friendships are woven together and how inevitably lucky I am that to have friends who are so connected to my heart.

[From one S to another, thanks for the sweet love Aunt Sarah. You're quite simply the best.]


Oh Sienna. We missed the 10 month post I think. We are so busy lately, I don't know how to keep up. Between 10 months (Dec 20) and 11 months, we've celebrated Christmas, mommy and daddy had a stomach flu, celebrated New Year's, and have been on the move constantly!!

The big developmental updates are important (you started to stand and cruise on your own, you are pushing walking toys, you are "talking" up a storm), but the small ones are even better. You continue to be the sweetest little munchkin we know. You are a loud screaching screamer at dinner when I don't get your food to you fast enough. You are a thoughtful little one. You study toys before you make your move. You effortlessly pick up new tasks. You are kind, I can already tell. You crawl to me or daddy for hugs and kisses if you are sleepy or just need some love. You're an explorer. An animal lover- cats, dogs, horses.

You smile for the camera, on command. Yes, you oversmile and squint and face your head up in the air but it's hilarious. You loooove bath time. The other night we tried to skip bath and you crawled right into the bathroom, stood up at the tub, and tried to climb in on your own. We laughed, and then gave in. You splashed up a storm and were tired out for bed time.

Oh! Bed time. So between six and ten months your sleep was really sporadic. Sometimes you were up at 6 am with no wake ups, sometimes 4:30 am screaming. It was hard to get you on track. Especially because your mama kept giving in if you woke at 5 ("I'll just nurse quickly to get 2 more hours of sleep in!"). But sometime between the 10 and 11 month mark your quality of sleep changed. No more random wake ups. No more whining at night. Just straight 11-13 hours and a smile in the morning.  It's a huge success for all of us.

We are starting to see signs of baby fade and toddler emerrge. You whine when you want something, and reach to things to show us you want it. You actively go exploring. You seek out other babie! Your days of snoozing after nursing are few and far between, but occasionally on the weekends you still take cuddly naps with me on the couch and I live for those moments.

You're the best baby girl. A perfect mix of mama and dada if you ask me. We love you.


PS the blog won't let me upload photos today for some reason, so the monthly photo dump will have to come later....

January 17, 2013

The Switch

Anyone have any brilliant advice on weaning from breastmilk to regular milk once we pass the one year mark?

As much as freedom sounds great, I think S and I will continue past her first birthday at least for bedtime for awhile.

But we are reading and hearing from mom friends and want to make this the least traumatic we possibly can for both of us.

Thanks mamas!

January 15, 2013

Sienna + Sienna

My girl met her first name twin today! We were waiting in line at the starbucks in Target (hello suburban SAHM world) and there was a four week old little peanut in her carseat waiting in line with her mama behind us. Sienna was doing her normal flirty smile, look away, smile, wave, look away. Other mom called S a Gerber baby.

We chatted for a few (I miss the tiny fingers and toes and cuddles, other mom can't wait for more smiles and a tooth or two to show up).  Target was our normal trip when baby S was just a little darling too, she hopes that it will continue to be theirs.

As I grabbed my decaf latte, we waved goodbye, and I said "say see ya later to your friend, Sienna"

The (newby) mom said "WHAT?! What's her name??" I repeated sweet girl's moniker. She stared back for a second and said, "That's her name too!!"

Sienna clapped, as if on cue. Name twins!!! First one we've ever met. A good day, indeed.

Overheard: In our Kitchen

Me: How do you think babies know what's food and what's not?

J: They are like sharks. Food good. L key from the keyboard, yuck.

(Meaning, sharks bite to taste and see if it's worth it. And last week Sienna tried to eat the L key)

January 14, 2013

Bachelor Episode 2: Updates to the Rankings

Ummm Amanda acted so weird and got herself kicked out of my top five really quickly last night. And Selma moved up the ranks. This was all during the show pre rose ceremony.

So I'm knocking Amanda down a bit and pulling some others up. That's the beauty of reality tv vs. fantasy football. I can change my rankings and it has no impact on anyone. Plus, since Sean sends home a few girls each week I can at least cut down my rankings by that many!

Random notes from last night:
  • I think Des was drunk during the prank on her, she didn't even seem upset just giggling.
  • Tierra is an oddball and needs better accessory choices.
  • Amanda WHAT were you doing? So weird.
  • Go Robyn for asking the tough race questions, and go Sean for answering it straight without getting red or embarassed or awkward.
  • Selma looked SO MUCH prettier in episode 1 than 2.
  • Not surprised Katie left. She looked like a fish out of water.
  • Loved Catherine's sparkly bow earrings.
  • Sean is enamored with Lindsay. His giggling = so cute.
  • I wish they would make part of this show having old contestants watching new episodes in the bottom right/left corner of the screen. Imagine Emily Maynard giving her impression of Sean's season? That would be awesome. Hire me, Chris Harrison. I'll help you make things dramatic-er.
Here's the newest list. Still unsure aout where the top 7ish fall, but here's the ranking. My personal fav after tonight is Desiree closely followed by Catherine, but not sure those are Sean's top two!

Kacie B

This was a MUCH more timely posting than last week's episode. Thanks Jen for the ranking help again. Love Love Love. Wine. Bachelor. Gmail. FOREVER.  

January 13, 2013

Bachelor Rankings for Public Viewing

My friend Jen and I are o.b.s.e.s.s.e.d. with the Bachelor. I know it's cheesy and corny and probably provoked by the producers. I know the relationships don't last. But I'm glued to the drunk single ladies wooing one man and I can't help but get the chills during every proposal (which may be due to the 4 carat rings and not the romance, but I digress).

Anyway, we ranked the women after night one. We may not be even close to guessing them but here are our general thoughts of where the ladies will fall and who will be in it for the long haul. I have to say I'm more confident about the top and bottom than the middle 10 or so...

**Editors note: The top 5, highlighted in pink, are just that for now- the top 5; we don't have a "winner" picked. I'm including pics of the top 5 because ummm week one who knows their names? Not even me without a cheat sheet.

Desiree (down to earth, first one)

Ashlee (hair stylist, organizer but gorgeous)

Catherine (exotic looking, pantene pro v hair)

Amanda (cute outfit in the photos, silent awkward moment with Sean)

Lindsay (wore a wedding dress to entrance)

Lesley (lives in DC, youngish, political consultant)
Tierra (frou frou dog and weird BUT GOT FIRST IMPRESSION ROSE)
Kacie B (from ben's season)
Taryn (short blue dress, blonde)
Sarah (born with one arm missing, loves her job)
Diana (salon owner, has 2 kids)
Robyn (fell walking in, gymnastics in her apt)
Jackie (kiss with lipstick on the cheek)
Lacey (grad student, blah personality but he thinks she's pretty)
Selma (people are saying she looks like Ashley Greene from twilight)
Kristy (model. blah i usually hate the "models")
Daniella (blah, blonde/pretty NGB)
Leslie (man voice, told Sean handsome, gold dress)
Katie (very frizzy hair, yoga teacher)
Brooke (in first episode looked like black marilyn monroe)

In parentheses are how we are remembering these girls.They are really random things. We moved Tierra up after we saw her in so many of the previews. We don't actually think she's a good match.

Thank goodness I got this posted before tomorrow night rolls around and the next episode happens. The blog wasn't letting me post photos for a few days. Crisis averted ;) 

Happy reality tv-ing!

January 7, 2013

Overheard: Via Text

[Oh... Just turned on the TV and saw that the bachelor was on... Guess I won't hear from you tonight!!!]

She knows me well.

January 6, 2013

Lovely Little Family Weekend

We had a low key weekend. The first one in quite awhile with no plans. All three of us are on the mend from a major cold/sinus/bronchitis thing [We've never been more sick than this winter- what is going on?!] and decided to spend some time relaxing during naps, playing during awake times, and spending some quality time together without making phone calls or other plans.

First of all, S has curls. They are adorably adorable. In the morning when she wakes up they are most prominent, part of her bedhead look I suppose. I can't get enough of them. Also she now laughs every time the camera flash goes off. Hilarious. I am overdue on a 10 month posting, too. Oops.

Saturday morning we started off the day with home-made play dough. It's so easy to make. I can't remember if I've ever blogged about it before... but it's 1 cup four, 1/2 cup salt, 1/2 cup water, and a teaspoon of oil. So easy and so fun. S sat in her high chair while we made coffee and did the dishes.

We played inside all day Saturday; it was COLD out there. We did venture out for burritos and quesadillas at Moe's Saturday evening- you know, at 5pm, just like the 80-year-olds.

Sunday rolled around and mama was having some stir crazy fever. Because we've all been feeling under the weather lately, we've spent tons of time inside at home. I quickly googled and realized that the  Brandywine Zoo is open every day, all year long. It's gorgeous here today in the mid forties and bright and sunny so we all bundled up and took off to visit the animals.

Mama, that cat is way bigger than my cat. Can we take her home?

Sienna loved staring at the animals, the cougar (not pictured) was her favorite. We stopped for pizza at Ciao Pizza on our way home, and S was thrilled to get to eat some pieces of cheese. Who wouldn't be excited for cheese, right?!

We ended the afternoon perfectly- a quiet nap for S and then a bonus 25+minutes of snoozing with mama on the couch after she got up.

Did I mention I love this family of mine? Just the three of us. Just around town. Happy Weekend!

January 5, 2013

I finally figured it out...

Today during nap time (Sienna's not mine) I was reading one of my fav blogs, Modgblog. This post got slayed by readers. People telling this new mama, well second time mama to new baby, to stop breastfeeding because it's easier/more convenient/healthier to formula feed when baby is having a bad reaction to mama's milk. Her response was pretty brilliant- if you formula fed, would you switch to breastfeeding if your baby had an issue or would you just switch formulas? So why on earth, if a mom wants to breastfeed would someone tell her to "just switch to formula" when instead she could change her diet and keep up with her choice?

And in reading her responses, I finally figured it out. I figured out why I sometimes feel like I have a small chip on my shoulder about nursing or feel like breastfeeding moms have it more difficult.

Here's why. Breastfeeding is HARD. Hard hard work. And if you complain, people say "just formula feed". If you say it's hard people say it's your choice. If you so much as peep that your body hurts, you're tired, and your husband can't feed at night because you nurse, people eye roll and say that's what you chose to do. No one high fives you (except fellow bf-ers or bf advocates). No one says "you are a superhero for supplying nutrients to your child for an entire year". So the secret is to keep quiet? That's just bs if you ask me.

When you speak the hardships, people tell you to quit. WHY? Why is it that breastfeeding is one of the only choices that is related to health that you are told to quit? Why do pediatricians tell you to give up if your milk is taking awhile to come in? Why do well-meaning friends and relatives always want to give you an out? Research says breastfeeding is the healthiest choice. And most healthy choices in life ARE hard.

We don't tell people to give up on other healthy choices. We support exercise, healthy eating for children and adults, safe environments. But we get it, we know those things are hard. It's why there are weight loss programs and tons of money poured into motivating people to stick with it each year. It's why we fight to have healthy food available. And what do we do most of all? We empathize. Yes, it is hard to work on losing weight and exercising. Yes, it's horribly difficult to choose veggies over sweets some days. Let's help you with that, let's support you so you can be healthier.

And guess what? At 3 am when you're dead tired and the baby is crying again, of course it is also really difficult to drag yourself out of bed and sit in the glider for 45 minutes while you try to keep your newborn awake to nurse instead of snoozing. But that doesn't mean you have to quit.

To me, it's worth it. It's the beauty of being able to hold my sweet 10 month old on my lap to cuddle up together under a blanket on the couch while we nurse. It's the way that it goes from time consuming and painful to really meaningful and a welcomed break on a busy day.

But it is hard. So stop telling moms to give up because it's hard or because it's "hurting the baby" if they are intolerant to a food. Some women are willing to change a diet, drink more water, build supply, cut down on oversupply. It's not easy, but many times it is possible. And for those of us who are determined to breastfeed, it's a choice we stick to even on the bad days. We don't tell people to give up on anything else that's healthy but hard. If someone didn't want to go to the gym one day, you wouldn't tell them to give up working out forever. Instead, next time you see or hear of a mom who is breastfeeding (especially in the early days) give her a hug, send her a sweet note, or bring her a meal. Even better? Let her complain a little. It's not an easy job, but she's chosen it for her child.  Instead of judging her or telling her she could switch to formula which is only frustrating, give her a pat on the back.

{PS this is about the choice and determination to breastfeed, if it's not for you and formula feeding is your thing that's fine with me; this post is about moms who do make the choice to bf.}
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