August 28, 2013

Quick Dinner

This is for real the one pot wonder.

I made this pasta last night. I changed it a tiny bit, but it's so easy and SO GOOD that I couldn't help but share. Oh and it was dinner last night, lunch today, and dinner tonight. It makes a ton!

My only actual "jobs" were to chop the onion and tomato. And to pluck the basil outside. Otherwise, you literally put all the ingredients listed into the pot and simmer for 10 minutes. Presto! Done!

In case you're too lazy busy to click the link and interested in my small changes:

One Pot Wonder Recipe
-One box pasta (I used thin spaghetti but the real recipe calls for linguini)
-One can diced tomatoes
-I added fresh tomatoes from our garden sliced up
-Three full sprigs of basil
-One large sweet onion chopped julienne style
-32 oz (a box) of veggie stock
-3 tablespoons olive oil
-Garlic cloves (we go easy on this but you can see what the real recipe calls for- I think it's 4 chopped)
-Dried oregano
-Salt and pepper
-Large handful of spinach (added 2 minutes before finished)

Pot with added ingredients coming to a boil.

-Put ingredients in pot
-Cover & Boil
-Bring to simmer for 10 minutes.
-Serve & add parmesan!

Finished product

Happy eating :)

August 26, 2013

The roller coaster of parenthood

I literally cannot tell you how many times I've seen the text/email "it gets better" from fellow parents. It may have been in throes of the 4 month sleep regression hell or when the 18th cold struck for the season, or when the unidentified fevers hit,  possibly covered in vomit at 1 am, or when the tantrums in the grocery store ensue. We all do it, right? We frantically take out our smart phones, hitting letters faster than our brain can function on our lack of sleep, asking friends to please tell us- For the love of God- let this be a (quick) phase. Hope they have an answer, that we can fix what's going wrong.

And it always seems to be that these things happen after a really wonderful time. You know, the 4 month sleep regression after learning to roll both ways. The 18th cold after a totally healthy week of activities, the fever after a nice quiet evening of playing, the tantrums after a morning of never hearing the child mutter the word no.

OF COURSE course, as if on cue, it happened again. Last week I was telling someone how easy my child is. Happy, laughing, sleeping like a charm. 12 hours + per night and good naps. I was feeling mildly rested. I was thinking we made it to a really lovely pinnacle of happy toddlerhood. Sure, there were mini tantrums, but all in all things were good.

And then.... last night struck. And my roller coaster plummeted down, taking with it that dropping out of the pit of my stomach feeling.  We knew S was overtired after a long weekend of bad night time sleep and a skipped nap. She's always been an excellent napper and if she misses them, it's a disaster. So 6:30 was bed time. We heard a scream so loud at 7:20pm that both J and I JUMPED out of bed. Ran into Sienna. In her footie pjs holding her blanket, she reached for me hysterical,  tears running down her face. She didnt want to be held, she didn't want to be put down. She didn't want her baba (lamby), she didn't want mama or dada. She finally settled after 10-15 minutes in our bed, with her lovey, half asleep. I rocked her, asked her what she wanted and she said "night night" and with that, a silent rest of our night began (Well silent is relative as a parent, am I right? A few cries or whine equals silent). It was so weird. And horrifying. I shook for about 10 minutes after putting her down. I was really upset that my poor girl had such a terrifying look on her face and was so distraught.

I began googling like mad while watching Miley Cyrus utterly embarrass herself on the VMAs and did a quick thankful prayer that S was not awake watching that horror. 

Was it night terrors? Nightmares? Gas? A tummy ache? Canine teeth? Second molars? Confused about being in our house after a night at grandmas? Overtired? Separation anxiety? 18 month sleep regression? Then the texting and emails to friends- had their kid done this? Does baby sleep ever stop being so crazy that it literally blows my mind?Am I going to lose my mind? Should we ever have another kid- how will I possibly survive?

"It gets better".

And of course, even the next 9 hours were better. They were pretty quiet. S woke up this morning with a voice so hoarse that she sounds like a 20 year smoker, but other than that she was happy as can be. My outrageous spiraling thoughts about never having another child calmed. I don't know the cause of last night's waking.  

I may never know.

But I know this-

The good parts of parenting are good- so good that there are days I find myself blindsided by the joy that she brings me. Her laugh can literally light up a room. I am thankful every day for her and when I see other toddlers when I'm at work or away I miss her like crazy.

The hard parts of parenting turn me into a crazed mama for a few hours (or days) and I think I am finally understanding that's normal. Normal! This roller coaster is how things will go.

And when the sleep eventually does get better permanently, something else will be absolutely insane in our house and I'll have to take that with a grain of salt too.

Oh ps when your kid is awake screaming and sweaty and disoriented, you will indeed give them a bottle to calm them even though they probably don't need it. Because, JUST MAKE THE SCREAMING STOP!

August 21, 2013

Conversations with a toddler: The Duck Version

In her crib, looking at her animal sheet

Sienna: DUCK!
Me: Sienna that's a giraffe.
Sienna: DUCK! No Duck! Duckkkkkk
Me: Okay, well maybe it looks like a duck but it's a giraffe.
Sienna: No. Mama! Mama! Baby duck.
Me: Sienna what's the next animal? Monkey?
Sienna: Ooo-oo- ahh ahhh. DUCK!

.... Apparently the duck obsession continues and ducks make monkey noises. At least she's talking, right?

August 19, 2013

One and a Half Years.

18 months.

Eighteen months. I sometimes feel like it was yesterday I was holding my newborn nursing 24 hours a day, keeping myself awake by scrolling through babycenter on my iphone as the 2 am hour passed. Other days I feel like it's a lifetime ago that I was pregnant, waiting for Sienna to arrive, and living in the surreal days of having a new baby. Either way, a year and a half later, here we are.

18 months seems like a huge milestone. The emergence into toddler from babyhood. We find ourselves sitting on the bed at night, reading a book to our little one or letting S watch a cartoon and just cracking up laughing because our talking toddler is making jokes or laughing hysterically at something she finds funny. I know I've said a few times that she's a person-- but now-- she is for real a person.  And thus far, I think we're doing okay at this parenting thing because we think she's pretty cool. We shoot each other a knowing approving look- she's an awesome kid. We still fall asleep at night after talking about the heart-melting thing she did that day. We're sort of hopelessly in love with her; parenting (despite its struggles) really works for us.

And here's the other wonderful thing: today I was chatting on the phone to my friend Kelly and she said "you and Jamie seem to really be enjoying wedding season this year!" And I found myself shaking my head yes as I replied. Because, it's true. Sienna's at an age where she is EXCITED to go to my parents for a night. She screams BAMPA and some form of grandma we can't quite pin down when she sees them. She squeals as they chase her around the house. I know that not only do J and I get quality us time, she gets quality (maybe more fun than us) time too. That tiny baby who clung to me all hours of the day? Gone. Do I miss them sometimes? Sure. But I rest assured that at 7 am when my little love wakes up she will want to cuddle in "mama bed! Bed! Mama!" for a little while before she starts her day. It's the best half hour of my day, every day.

The talking. Oh my goodness the talking. It is non stop and I am infinitely impressed. She has started to use adjectives (big, little, baby, occasionally colors when she happens to pick the right one) before words. Big duck, baby cat, little car. She also has been saying more than 2 word phrases which blows my mind. Sure they are sometimes still a little hard to understand, but the other day we walked outside and my girl said clear as day "rain rain go way" aka go away. Proud Mama. Speaking of proud, she knows so many words now and can tell me what she wants!

Mama, Dada, Mamadada (when excited these get combined), kitty cat (pronounced key cat), dog, hop
apple, bed, in, up, sit (but the s is rough, so sometimes this is "it"), this, that, water, milk,  ba ba (aka lamb), duck, big, little, baby, mickey (pronounced mick-me), no, yes, cake, snack, door, please, bear, whale, necklace (neck-nis), ear, beep, eyes, teeth, nail, paint, color, chalk, toes, belly, belly button, knee, hair, hat, hi, bye, hello, rain, go, block (bock), home, wee, wow, whoa, blue, yellow (yeyow), out, help, walk, down, tick tock, bird, poo poo, pee pee, bath, diaper, doll, night night, pop (as in ice pop), Elmo, nice, Hazel, Meem (Jamie's mom), Pop (Jamie's dad), Em, Stey-a (Stella), Nenna (her name for herself ha!)

 I'm sure there are more too but that rounds it out for now. Not all of those are super clear, but her communication is getting better and better.

She also knows just about every animal noise including "eee, eee" for the Flamingo. My favorite one is her cat noise which legitimately sounds like a cat since she hears our cat make noise every day.

Her motor skills are crazy. We no longer go on walks, we go on runs. We look for the cats and dogs in the neighborhood. This kid should live in Spain or Italy where the homeless pets run the streets. She'd be in heaven. At gym class she is doing things like jumping up a little bit to grab the bars and swing. I can't stop her if I try. She loves gym class, the pool at the Y, and the Children's Museum this summer. She likes to try to do a front roll on her own, but mostly just falls on her side. She lifts her legs up and down and laughs. She sometimes ends up in yoga-like poses that leave us laughing. She just wants to be on the go constantly.

She thinks she is funny (and she is) and tries to make us laugh by doing things like putting a box on her head and saying "Nenna! Hat! HAHA!" She loves petting our cat (saying nice while she does it), she loves brushing her hair. Books line our shelves and we've read them all tons of times.  She loves to watch Curious George for a half hour before we actually get her out of our bed in the morning. She loves to learn and for us to sit with her as she figures things out. She wants to do things on her own though- especially put on her shoes. She hates sitting at dinner for more then 7 minutes. But, she does know how to go to the freezer, open it, take out a pop and hand it to us. Thank goodness they are still those pedialyte pops and all they do is hydrate her. She runs at full speed to the front door when J gets home yelling DADAAAA!!! Her smile is infectious, her personality is a solid mix of mama and dada. Her little personality shines more each day.

We just love watching S grow and turn into such a cute and friendly little person.

Happy 18 month birthday week, sweetest girl! Onto the photos, the best part of these posts anyway, am I right?


Snoozing on mama's bed

Painting outside.

August 5, 2013

Hand Foot Mouth Virus: AKA Real Life Hell

Sienna spiked a fever after her nap last Tuesday (yes, let's just real quick note that this thing has been going on a week). She was fussy, crying, and her sleep was disrupted. 101, 102, then back down to 99 or 100, not so bad. I thought maybe it was molar teething.

Wednesday morning she was up early and cranky. I went to work and left her with my mom. By noon she was up from her very short nap and screaming. Screaming so inconsolably I got a call at work to come home. I scooped her up, and brought her to the doctor where he confirmed what I was afraid of: hand foot and mouth virus. He said the sores on her throat and mouth were some of the worst he's seen.

We were sent on the way with an empathetic look and some advice: Tylenol around the clock, benedryl to help with the sleep when absolutely necessary, and Maalox/benedryl magic mouthwash on the sores in her mouth.

We should have been sent home with an rx for significantly decreased sleep for five nights. My poor girl did almost nothing but cry, whine, watch Curious George, and revert back to mostly bottles for her milk (it hurt her mouth to even use her hard tipped sippy cups! How sad!). We are finally starting to emerge from this but we survived a couple of ways.

We made sure to put on her loosest shoes that were extra wide when we went outside as to not squeeze her blisters. We tried really hard to have popsicles in the house so that if she wanted something to eat and it hurt to have other things, that was our go to. Pedialyte makes pops which make me feel better since they aren't just a bunch of fake color and sugar. We also stocked up on plain vanilla ice cream which served as dinner a few nights. You do what you have to.  Some mostly frozen yogurt did the trick as well. Luckily the little one's hands were not too bad so we tried to amuse her with things that included sitting: crayons, paints, stickers. A new baby doll. We gave Tylenol every 4 hours (we can't give motrin because J is allergic), benedryl for bed time, and extra snuggles too. We did the magic mouthwash every 4 hours through a syringe in the front and sides of her cheeks.  Oh, and THIS! organic Calendula Baby Butter seems to be helping to heal the sores on her feet, even though we were told nothing would. Organic all natural healing FTW.

The foot blisters, 7 days later, are still hanging in. The mouth blisters are better but still there. We're surviving. Last night we were only awake once for 15 minutes- a huge improvement from the most intense crying we've ever heard from Sienna a few days ago.

This is all we did. Popsicles, blankeys, mama & dada's bed.

And this- is rare. Baby on my bed and doesn't even care if I'm there. Just wants to rest.

Day 3: Trying to eat. 1/2 of this melted ice cream was eaten.

And on day 5 (August 2), despite being SO sick, she peed in the potty for the first time!! YAY!

Sores day 4

Sores day 4

Sores day 4

Sores day 5

Just when I thought we were improving, on day 5 we had some more laying around.

I think (THINK) we are on the upswing. We went to target today! We went to starbucks! We saw human life other than each other. Tonight I am escaping for drinks and dinner with a friend and it's just in time: a little break is welcome after a house-bound week. Then I'll tuck myself in bed for the bachelorette season finale. A good rest of the day ahead!
I do not wish this virus on ANYONE. But if you get it: pedialyte pops, benedryl, Tylenol/motrin, magic mouthwash, ice cream, and TONS of extra love!
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