Thursday, January 25, 2007

Moved to WordPress

So long, Blogger. Hello, WordPress.

Yep, I did it. I packed my bags and moved to WordPress. Like you all said, it was easy as pie. :)

Please note I'll no longer be posting on blogger. *Gasp* Did I just say that out loud? Change is difficult for me so this is pretty huge that I'm moving, er moved.

Please update your links, bookmarks, etc. to my new url:

Click here to go see me. :)

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Blogger limbo

I've been trying to switch over to the new version of Blogger for the past couple months now, but every time I try I get this response:

Could not switch you to the new Blogger

Thanks for your interest in the new version of Blogger! Unfortunately, we cannot switch your Blogger account at this time, because one or more of your blogs cannot be moved.

Then the "help article" says:
Why can't I switch to the new version of Blogger?

While the new version of Blogger is no longer in beta, some users with certain types of blogs will not immediately be able to switch to it. We'll be adding support for these blogs as soon as possible, so everyone can join in the fun. But for now, if you have a very large blog (more than a couple thousand posts + comments), you'll need to hold off for a bit.

Some help that is. I don't have more than a couple thousand posts + comments (I only have 400 posts), so why am I stuck here in old blogger limbo??? *Grumble, grumble* *Whine, whine*

Don't forget to come out of lurkdom below. I won't bite. ;)

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Happy 2 months!

Happy 2 months birthday to my little man today. Has it really been two months already?? Time sure goes by a lot faster the second time around.
In honor of his two months birthday, I made a "memory book" on Snapfish using pictures I converted to black and white from the day of his birth. I plan to order one for me and one to give him when he's older.

And here are the kids a week ago. :)

Monday, January 22, 2007

Late night grocery shopping

The nice thing about going grocery shopping at 10:30 at night is there's nobody there. Seriously. I got to Safeway at 10:15 tonight and there were maybe 3 other shoppers. By the time I left at 10:45, the place was empty.

The bad thing about going shopping that late at night is that I'd much rather be home watching a movie on the couch or asleep in bed. :oP Oh well, a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do.

Speaking of things I gotta do - I'm getting together with a bunch of friends tomorrow night and I can't wait! I had another mommy's night out with some friends last week and, even though I had Julian in tow (and will again tomorrow), it was wonderful to get out of the house and talk with other adults! With the ridiculous amount of snow and cold temps we've had this winter, the cabin fever has been hitting me big time. So I'm especially looking forward to another fun night out tomorrow. :-)

Thanks to those of you who've already come out of lurkdom. For those of you still hiding in the shadows, don't forget to comment on the post below to let me know you're here. ;)

Come out and play

I've been a bit wrapped up in this whole "having a new baby and caring for a 2 1/2 year old thing" lately, and as a result, totally missed "National Delurking Week" Jan. 8-12 (started by Paper Napkin).

So I've decided that I'm going to have my very own Unofficial Delurking Week this week - Jan. 22-26. (And I say feel free to designate your own delurking week too if you missed the official one.)

I know there are a lot of you who visit on a regular basis, but for one reason or another have not yet commented. This is your chance to say hello. :) Come out, come out, wherever you are.

P.S. I can't take credit for the buttons. I found them on the 'net.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

The Sears doctors chime in on CIO and other parenting topics

Ooh, just realized this is post #401 for me. Wow! That's a lot of posting over the past couple years!

I'm not a big fan of Dr. Phil, but was happy to learn he was having the Sears doctors (Dr. William Sears and sons, Dr. James Sears and Dr. Robert Sears) on a show on Friday called "Young Moms Ask the Experts." I didn't get a chance to watch the episode, but I did read about it on Dr. Phil's website and was happy with how it all unfolded.

The topics they covered ranged from PPD (postpartum depression) to discipline issues to bonding with your child to whether or not to let a baby CIO (cry it out) to SIDS to boosting children's immune systems to colic and more. In my opinion, there was a lot of helpful information provided.

As most of you know, we're a co-sleeping family and we don't believe in CIO for our kids. Here are some things they mentioned on these subjects that I feel are particularly noteworthy:

On whether or not to let a baby (in this case, a 4 1/2 month old) CIO (cry it out):
Dr. Phil turns to Dr. Bob Sears. “What about this?” he asks. “Do you let them cry or do you not?”

“No, I don't think you should let a baby cry it out,” says Dr. Sears, “and the most important thing is, Robert, who's getting up with the baby during the night, anyway? Wendy is. So what do you care what she does? Let her go in there. Wendy, I applaud you for listening to your instincts and your intuition and going to your baby.”

Dr. Phil asks Dr. William Sears if he agrees.

“If your baby could talk, Wendy and Robert, here's what he would say. 'Hey, Mom and Dad, this is not working. I'm in a dark, quiet room, alone, behind bars*. I need to get close to you. I need to be in your bed, in a co-sleeper next to your bed, in your room somewhere,’” he says.

Next, Dr. Phil asks the Sears doctors to address a myth. “The myth is that if you let the child scream it out, it really develops their lungs,” he says.

“Absolutely wrong,” says Dr. William Sears.

Something I thought was particularly interesting to note:
“When a baby screams for 10, 20 minutes, or a half-hour night after night, what actually happens to the baby's brain?" asks Dr. Bob Sears. "The blood pressure goes up. The pressure gets so high, new blood with oxygen can't flow into the brain. So the brain can be deprived of oxygen, you guys. And that's not all. It gets worse. The brain can be flooded with stress hormones, and we know that stress hormones can damage sensitive developing nerve tissue. So, night after night, weeks and weeks of crying can actually harm a baby's brain. That's why we encourage you both to respond to your maternal intuition. Robert, develop your fatherly intuition, so you can both really thrive as a family. Respond to your baby."
Like I said, I felt like there was a lot of good information provided in this episode, but I don't have the time to go into all of it. However, I am curious if anyone here (my readers) watched the episode? What are your thoughts?

Of course, I was happy to see the Searses suggest many of the things I believe in and choose to do with my children (which all really comes down to following my instincts). I think one of the most important things I've learned about parenting over the past 2 1/2 years is to follow my instincts whether it's regarding sleep/CIO, feeding, discipline, health care, etc. If I trust myself to know what's best for my child (whom I know better than anyone else), I usually feel good about my choices. :)

*For the record, the part about the baby being behind bars wasn't meant that all babies that sleep in cribs feel like that way. It was meant in the context of if a baby is crying and crying and no one is coming to them, then it could feel like a prison. The Searses believe in whatever gets the whole family the most sleep (whether it be in a crib, in a co-sleeper or in a family bed). I think the main point they were trying to get across was that parents should respond to their babies.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

"Farm livin' is the life for me"

Accompanied by my sister, Ava, Julian and I, along with some friends, went to check out a preschool program at a farm located a few miles from our house yesterday. The woman who owns the farm met with us and gave us a tour while explaining some of the basics about the program and filling us in on the various animals we saw along the way.
Here's a blurb about the program from their website:
Every day is an adventure, designed to inspire wonder and growth and give your young child a sense of rural lifestyle. Even on cold days we will bundle up, climb in the wagon and tour the farm, feed animals, collect eggs, climb the giant treehouse, catch toads, follow bugs, or simply play together in the playhouse. Outdoor activities as well as indoor activities such as art projects, music, games and stories are all part of this program.
I really liked what I saw and heard and am seriously considering enrolling Ava in a one day (well, one morning really) a week spot starting in either the summer or the fall. I think it would be an amazing experience for her to spend a day on a working farm once a week.

While there yesterday we saw a mommy goat and her brand new baby that was smaller than a cat, a baby horse (who's mom died) that was rescued from another farm during the December blizzard, peacocks, sheep, dogs and cats and chickens. Ava even held a rooster all by herself! (Wish I would've had a camera with me.) She really seemed at home as she walked around the barn, petting animals, picking up hay to try to feed them, etc. We also peeked in on the "class" which was 8 kids and two "teachers." Ava seemed really comfortable and interested then as well. I'm quite sure she would've been fine with me dropping her off for the day. ;) She threw quite a fit when it was time to go home (ahhh, 2 1/2 year olds), but that's another story.

I'm also looking into other preschool programs (am just starting to learn about Waldorf and Montessori) and would welcome any insight those of you with preschool-aged children (now or in the past) can share. :) I'm really looking for something that's fun and play-based, but still educational to a degree. I'm not worried about her learning letters, numbers, colors, etc. at preschool because she knows most of that already and can learn at home. I really just want her to spend some time around other kids her age (because she is such a social creature) and have a good time.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Vegetarian recipes?

I'm looking for relatively quick and easy to make vegetarian recipes. Anyone have any links or recipes to share? If you'd rather not leave a comment, you can always email them to me too at Thanks! :)

Sunday, January 14, 2007

What a difference a day makes

First off, thanks so much for all of the encouraging comments in the post below. You ladies are so sweet. :)

What a difference a day makes! We slept in on Friday (which was glorious in and of itself), then the TV was on significantly less throughout the day. Ava watched Laurie Berkner in the morning and "The Snowman" in the afternoon and that was it. Yay!

And this is what 5 p.m. looked like at our house:

Both kids were napping at the same time! This never happens because it's a cold day in hell when Ava takes a nap anymore. (She stopped napping months ago. Waaaaah. :( ) So while the napping was going on, I had some time to do this:

No, I didn't take a shower, do my hair or put on make-up, but I did make dinner without interruptions! :) Woohoo!

Just for kicks, here's another shot of the kids. :)

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Feeling guilty

I'm feeling guilty about the way I parented (or rather, didn't) today.

Julian was being particularly needy (I say "needy" in the most loving way - I mean the kid is only 7 weeks old, of course he's needy) and maybe going through a growth spurt (Is that possible?? He weighed in at 13 lbs., 14 oz. on Tuesday.) because he was nursing a LOT and just needing a lot of mommy time today. And because I didn't have my hands free and was pretty much tied to the Boppy or the bouncy exercise ball (which he loves to bounce on), I let Ava watch a crapload quite a bit of TV. And then when I told her she'd watched enough and we needed to find something else to do, she turned it back on and said she "needed" to watch something else. Ugh.

I don't mind her watching some TV, but since Julian was born, she's watching more than I would really like. Pre-Julian she'd watch Sesame Street on some mornings and that was usually it. That was cool with me because she was learning things and it was only an hour of TV time. Now she watches Sesame Street as well as Teletubbies and Barney, which is two-hours' worth total, and that's pretty much every week day. Some days she also watches a 30-minute DVD (Laurie Berkner or LeapFrog Letter Factory) too. *gulp*

I don't want her to turn into a TV junkie and her turning the TV back on today and saying she "needed" to watch something else scared me a bit. Maybe things will get better once Julian is a bit older and doesn't command so much of my time or once the weather warms up and she can play outside again. But it certainly is easy to flip the tube on, knowing she'll be occupied for the next 30 minutes or whatever, while I tend to Julian, throw in a load of laundry, wash some dishes, make lunch, or whatever.

And that's another thing, if I don't have time to spend with Ava, I really don't have time to take care of all the necessary household chores. Making dinner is a colossal effort most evenings. Tonight I had every intention of making a decent dinner, but then Julian couldn't be set down and wasn't happy in the Moby (*gasp*), so I had to wait until Jody got home and could hold him, and then Ava just wanted Mommy time so I had to hold her for a while. At 7 o'clock I finally made banana pancakes for dinner (with Miss Ava's help). Oy.

I should add we did have a couple nice outings this week. One day we went to the library (my first time taking both kids out by myself) and yesterday, since the weather was warmer, we went for a walk and then Ava played out in the snow in the backyard. It was good, for all of us I think, to get out of the house. :)

I need to wrap this up now because I have things I need to get to before bed. Just wanted to vent a bit. Tomorrow is another day. I can only strive to do better.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Say cheese ;)

Julian flashed us his first smirk on Christmas day and has been smiling a bit more from each day forward. He's now (at 6 weeks) pretty much a pro at it and we get to see his smile and adorable dimple on a regular basis. This past week I was finally able to catch a few smiles with my camera.
He is a happy baby for the most part, as well as a great nurser and good sleeper (whatever that means).
I have my 6-week postpartum appointment with my midwife this week. Traditionally, she would weigh him, but since he's over 13 lbs. (which is all her scale goes up to), we can't get an accurate measurement. So I may swing by a maternity/breastfeeding boutique that has an infant scale so I can weigh the chubby bunny because I'm curious how much he's up to. When I held him with me on our scale a week or so ago, he was at least 13 lbs.
Life with two kids is interesting and challenging, yet also fun and rewarding. This past week was the first time I had to take care of both kids together by myself for the whole day. (I'm so thankful I had help from Jody and my parents for basically the first month plus of Julian's life.) It went pretty well, but it takes a lot of energy. I'm sure it will continue to get easier as we all adjust. (Right??) I do love watching Ava interact with Julian (when she's not smothering him with hugs) and, now that he's a bit older, watching him flash smiles back at her. They are pretty darn sweet and special little people. :)

Friday, January 05, 2007

She's crafty

After Ava has expressed an interest in art and, thus, received a bunch of art supplies for Christmas, I've been inspired to start doing more crafty-type projects with her. It gives me a chance to spend some good quality time with her while Julian sleeps in the Moby Wrap. (Have I mentioned how much I LOVE that thing?? I'll have to devote another post to the Moby. hehe) It's also been handy to have several indoor things to do since we've been having soooo much snow this winter. We got another 7 inches last night!

Here are some of the things we've been up to lately (after getting suggestions from a friend, reading ideas online and thinking some of them up myself). :)

Playing in cornmeal. It's cheap, easy to sweep or vacuum up and provides a good deal of entertainment. :)

Ava with the indoor snowman we made:

Getting messy with her fingerpaints:

Stringing together pasta (which we painted) to make a necklace:

A paper plate snowman that Ava glued together. Do you sense a theme here?:

A drawing of our family. I drew the circles (though she does nice circles herself) and Ava did all the rest, including making eyes, noses, mouths, ears, hair and chins on some. I was really impressed!:

And when she's not doing crafts with mommy, she's coming up with her own art projects. Ah, the joys of having a 2 1/2 year old! ;)
She was pretending to sleep with a bunch of her dolls (one of which also got pen tattoos):

Yep, even in her belly button. The ink was literally everywhere. And I mean EVERYWHERE.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Yummy appetizers

I made a couple of appetizers - broccoli tarts and artichoke spinach dip - to go along with the California Pizza Kitchen pizza and mini veggie eggrolls (both of the frozen variety) we had for New Year's Eve. Since it's been a long time since I shared any recipes and/or food pics, here ya go. :) Both things were delicious and I'd certainly make them again.

Broccoli Tarts
1 C. cooked broccoli
1/4 lb. Swiss cheese, shredded
3 green onions, minced
1 C. light cream
3 eggs, beaten
1 tsp. salt
1 stick soft butter
3 oz. soft cream cheese
1 C. flour

Chop broccoli. Mix the next 5 ingredients, then add broccoli.
Blend together the butter and cream cheese. Add flour and mix well.
Roll into balls the size of walnuts. Press into very lightly greased mini muffin tins to form shells. (I used regular sized muffin tins.) Fill shells to the top with broccoli mixture.
Bake at 400 degrees about 20 minutes until golden. Cool about 10 minutes, then turn out.
Serve hot.
Makes 2 1/2 dozen mini muffins or 1 dozen regular sized muffins.

Artichoke Spinach Dip
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, partially thawed
1/2 (14 ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 (16 ounce) container sour cream
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
1 can water chestnuts (optional - I added them to the recipe because I wanted something crunchy in the dip)
garlic salt/powder to taste

Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the spinach and artichoke hearts. Cook until tender, about 5 minutes.
Mix cream cheese and sour cream into the spinach mixture. Stir in Parmesan cheese and garlic salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, 10 to 15 minutes. Serve warm.
We had ours with cucumbers, baby carrots and Triscuits.

And, just for kicks, I thought I'd also share a pic of our backyard after we got those additional 5 or so inches of snow on 12/28. The trees were beautiful with all of that snow on them. Now that it's melted a bit on the trees and is only snowy in patches, it looks like they are growing cotton.