Thursday, February 27, 2014

adventures in babysitting

i have an embarrassing - - maybe funny - - story to tell.
the language used is rate R - just so you know.
now, the back story...
[i mentioned that i wanted to leave brette more and more.
get her used to being with other people besides me.
so i went to st. louis for the day and went out with the girls one night.
and left b with ronnie. she not only lived, but had no issues.
i thought it was time to get a babysitter in the mix so
ronnie and i could actually leave the house together.
we've had so many people offer to watch her.
(both my sister-n-laws, cousin, aunts, and my parents)
but i feel bad always dumping her on family
especially when everyone has jobs and kids of their own, or is driving from out of town.
so when my old boss offered her twelve year old daughter, (going to be 13 this spring)
i jumped at the chance. but she's never babysat before.
i wanted to give her a chance to get to know brette
and get comfortable doing day to day things, like changing diapers,
before i took off and left her alone.
so we decided to have her come over every thursday
afternoon after school for an hour or two.
it gives me a little freedom, but i'm still nearby in case she has questions.
once she feels good about it, i can start calling her
when ronnie and i want to have a dinner date
that lasts later than 6:30 and she'll know just what to do.
the perfect plan.]
last thursday was our first time together.
i went and picked her up and helped her through
her first diaper change.
after, i set her and brette up with some toys and
took the opportunity to get on the treadmill in the basement
and left b upstairs with our new friend.
unfortunately, ronnie forgot that we were having a guest.
he barges in after work singing/yelling something...
really bad.
really really bad.
and scared the. shit. out of our new babysitter.
holy first impression, ronnie.
but i can't really b l a m e  him
because that's the way we roll.
oh sure, i knew we'd have to clean up our language
once brette got a little older,
but we haven't quite started that project yet.
so there i am in the basement innocently running,
and ronnie comes down with the reddest face ever.
i'm like - what happened?
ronnie - i said something bad.
me - how bad?
ronnie - pretty bad. and then i didn't know what to do so i turned around and went right back out to the garage.
me - so you just left her there? what did she do?
ronnie - she jumped up, but when she realized who it was she smiled. i was shocked so i just turned around and left, but when i came back in i told her i was singing to my dogs.
me - what??!  did you say sorry?
ronnie - yeah, i mean, she was smiling.
me - oh my god, but what did you say??!
(i will save you from his actual words. 
my family reads this blog and they still like ronnie.
go figure.)
at this point we are both dying laughing, whispering in the basement like kids.
horrible, filthy mouth kids who are kind of scared to go back upstairs and face the sitter.
me - oh my god. did she understand you?
ronnie - i don't think so. it was so fast and high-pitched.  and when i came back in i sat down and played with brette and offered her a drink.  she seemed fine.
cheese 'n rice.
when i went upstairs it was time to take her home
so i apologized for my husband,
made a joke about singing to our dogs
and called it a day.
dear lord.
i don't know how we plan on raising a daughter.
we can't even make it through an hour
with a twelve year old babysitter
without seriously fucking shit up.
(and yes, it was worse than that.) 
happy friday!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

love you like a sister

we're still debating over here whether or not
brette should be an only child.
for the last two months i have been p-o-s-i-t-i-v-e
that we should have another baby.
and soon.

i know your jaw probably just hit the floor
since i've always said i'm ONLY having ONE!
especially with how miserable i was pregnant.
i told ronnie over and over that he better love this kid
because its the only one he's ever getting.
but christmas made me want a sibling for brette.
someone to sneak around the house with and
try to catch santa claus.
someone to play with.
someone she can hang out with on vacation.
to ride rides.
to sit next to in a booth.
someone to complain about her parents to.

but then i go back.
how easy and simple for ronnie and i.
especially since brette and eden
are only 9.5 months apart.
she will grow up with her cousins...
like sisters.
and they are already showing the love.
we recently went out to dinner for my brother's birthday
and sat brette and eden in highchairs next to each other.
such big girls!
i loved every second of it.
especially when eden started feeding brette black beans.
a favorite moment of mine thus far.

mimi and her grandgirls.
i guess this means,
whatever ronnie and i decide,
brette will always have a big family.

what are your thoughts on siblings?
my aunt only had one child and
she's a big advocate to have more kids.
but then i've talked to others that said having one kid was not hard,
but having two kids is a constant struggle.
i guess the right answer is
the one ronnie and i will decide.
 ps- happy bday, brian

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

the weaning machine

i'm in the middle week six of our weaning calendar.
this means i am now nursing three times a day
and giving her a bottle twice a day.
6:00am - nurse
9:00am - bottle
12:15pm - nurse
3:30pm - nurse
7:00pm - bottle
so here are a few things i've found that have helped.
first - helped ME.
since the goal is to produce less milk
i want to gradually drop my supply,
but i have had clogged milked ducts TWICE
so i wanted to make sure and avoid that.
i found a good way to do this is
by reducing the amount of time i pump per week.
my schedule goes a little something like this:
7 mins the first week
5 mins the second week
2 mins the third week
no pumping the forth week
after that i'm ready to add another bottle to our schedule
and so i start all over.
so far, so good.
and i like that i at least get one week with no pumping.
my hat is off to all you working mammas.
if i had to pump for the last 8 months
i don't know if we would still be nursing.
it sucks.
now - helped HER.
two things.
one - i changed up her feeding routine.
i found that if i sat in the same chair i used to nurse her
with the boppy and gave her a bottle,
she was a little fussy when the bottle was finished.
i think she had a connection with those things and nursing.
now i don't use either and she is much more content.
two - the nighttime bottle started off way more challenging.
i was getting her all ready for bed and handing her off to ronnie.
after the bottle was done she would scream.
like crazy, i will kill you, give me my mom scream.
ronnie was not pleased
and it was taking him awhile to get her calmed down and finally asleep.
we were ready to wave the white flag.
after a few nights of this,
i wanted to try something new.
since it worked so well on the night i went out,
i thought that i should just removed myself from all bedtime routines
for awhile so she doesn't even see me or know i'm around.
so now after dinner, ronnie pretty much takes over.
he does everything and she has gone right down with no tears.
well... the majority of the time she goes right down.
we've still had a couple hard nights,
but i'm blaming her teeth for that.
big points for ronnie.
he has been super about taking charge.
especially since he gets off work and
can't just come home and call it a day. 
it's nice that he gets what it means to be a dad.
here he is getting her ready for a bath.

and yes, for ronnie, that requires a beer.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

good eats

its not news that i have been trying to cook
more and more at home.
i have a goal to make dinner four times a week,
leftovers twice
and eat out once.
i have to share a couple of recipes i've made over the last week
that were the bomb.
seriously, this was so freaking good.
it makes a lot, but we had ronnie's mom and gma in
town so they helped us eat it and i love leftovers,
so i didn't mind.
i'm telling you.  make it.
especially the sauce on top.
so good.
my mom makes this and ronnie really liked it
so we thought we could make some up ourselves.
i love that it made enough that i froze half of it,
so now we have dinner for another night.
these looked good and i thought ronnie
would like them.
i was right.
(ps- i just bought frozen meatballs and made the sauce
instead of messing with making meatballs from scratch.)
semi-homemade.  works for me.
any recipes you think you should tell me about?
i always need new ideas.
 marge - what was that chicken parm recipe?

eat up.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

will the real slim shady...

please stand up.
i know what you're thinking.
maybe not the right word,
but standing nonetheless.
i talked about brette's lack of movement
with two of my bff's.
marge and shannon.
marge has a tornado for a son.
he was seriously on the move from day one.
and shannon had a kiddo that would. not. move.
i thought getting both their ideas would be helpful
when working with brette to get stronger.
first, marge.
she told me to give brette what she can't have.
instead of trying to get her to crawl to toys,
try something that she really wants but i normally wouldn't give her.
like my phone.
or the remote.
it worked like a charm.
i was mopping the floors so i laid brette down
and put my phone out of reach on the floor.
she was instantly scrambling to get to it.
10 mins later...

next, shannon.
her suggestion was to take the couch cushions off
and set b's toys on the seat.
it gives her a lower and sturdier place to play.
and its the perfect height to practice standing.
loved it.
we now do this everyday.
she not pulling up yet,
but once i get her there,
she's good to go.


thanks girls.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

day break

on sunday i made my way to st. louis
but just for the day.
i thought it would be cruel to make brette
ride in a car for 6 hours so i left her with ronnie.
it was our first day apart.
and ronnie's first full day of dad duty. 
i actually wasn't that nervous.
ronnie can feed her and put her down for nap.
what more does she really need?
i left at 6:30am and got home at 6:30pm.
twelve hours.
and it was really really nice.
i got to spend the morning with marge and her boys
and then i spent the afternoon with my sorority sisters
celebrating another one of us joining the mom club.
(congratulations, com buddy!
can't wait to meet your new little man.
 and ps- the baby shower was immaculate.
like seriously, out of a magazine.)
i will admit,
i was a bit anxious that last hour in the car.
i was just really ready to hold my baby.
which was also nice.
normally i'm ready for ronnie to take her
and give me a break.
it was actually a great feeling to miss her.
i never get to.
i guess that just means i love my girl.
and can you blame me?
just look at this face.

ps- ronnie sent me pictures through the day,
which i loved.
he also had his family over for lunch,
so he also had a super duper back-up helper.
his sister.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

cupid's aim

did you have a nice valentine's day?
mine started out fine.
i made ronnie coffee
(first time ever)
and sent him off to work with a card at 6am.
then i went back to bed
and when i got up i found a card
and a reese's peanut butter heart on the counter.
yesssssss, breakfast.
yay us.
very romantic.
but brette had a hard day and
i ended up having a huge headache by the afternoon.
oh, and then ronnie decided to work late
and didn't get home until 5:45.
i asked him if he thought working late was a good idea since
it was a friday and also valentine's day...
he said, well do we have big plans?
more proof that men don't get valentine's day.
(the card i wish i bought him)
i had soup made and i was planning on making
heart-shaped grilled cheeses,
but my head hurt too bad,
brette sucked
and ronnie annoyed me.
so i threw a frozen pizza in the oven,
put brette to sleep
and crawled into bed with my laptop.
yay us.
very romantic.
but on sweeter note,
we've actually been celebrating the day of love all week.
brette had a bunch of vday clothes from madeline
so everyday she's been wearing lots of pink, red and hearts.
happy valentine's day

 valentine's day pasts:

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

brette: eight months

ronnie weighed her the other day
and our scale said 18lbs.
not sure on her length,
i guess we  need to bust out our tape measure.
her next doctor appointment isn't for another month
so we'll have to go off our numbers.
she wears size 3 diapers and
is in 6-9 month clothing.
so far she still only has her two bottom teeth
but i think she's working on her next one
because she's starting drooling again.
we had a screening done and she is on target in her development.
she was tested on her
personal/social, fine motor, language, gross motor and problem solving skills.
b was perfection and on target in all areas, but
she got her lowest scores in her gross motor skills,
which is no surprise.
gross motor skills are:
 sitting without support, crawling, scooting, standing, beginning to walk.
so far, she can only sit without support.
we've been working hard over here to have her stand up
which means more time in her jumperoo and excersaucer.
i can already tell a difference,
but since she hates being on her tummy,
its hard to get her to even think about crawling. 
i'm interested to see how she decides to start moving around.

brette is back to sleeping through the night just like always.
i think her teething last month has run its course.
the one thing i can complain about is that
every night i put her down around 7:30 and
every night she wakes up about 15 minutes later
and i have to put her back down.
talk about annoying.
i'm really excited for next week
because we're going to start something new
and i hope that it takes care of this little issue.
(more on that under the eats topic)
she is still taking two naps a day.
one is long and the other is short.
sometimes her morning nap is 2 hours
and her afternoon nap is 45 minutes.
then other days, she reverses it and
her longer nap is in the afternoon.
she is definitely not consistent,
which makes it hard on me to plan out our days.
i never know when she'll be asleep.
but as long as she's napping,
i won't complain.
watching brette eat is so much fun.
she feeds herself so well
and it makes mealtime an adventure.
she has already moved past baby food
so i stopped making it.
she is able to pick up and eat almost anything with her fingers,
so that's the majority of what we do.
we can cut up veggies and fruit and she goes to town.
her favorite right now?  black beans.
she goes crazy for black beans.
i haven't given her meat, diary or berries yet,
but i think we decided to start meat this month
and start diary and berries when she's nine months old.
i give her food two to three times a day (depending on her naps),
nurse her four times a day
and give her a bottle once a day.
we've started weaning her,
 so starting monday she will be ready to add another bottle
and give up another time with me nursing.
we are going to try to replace her 7:00pm feeding
and have ronnie put her down.
(when i went out with my girlfriends he did a trial run of this and she past out so fast and never woke back up.  hopefully this takes care of her little wake period that i'm experiencing now.)

i added a new little segment here
brette is quite the talker
and i'm pretty sure i'm going to be making lists
of the words she is trying to say.
she is always yelling and making noises.
her favorite thing to say right now?
i'm pretty sure she's calling out her favorite parent.
what. the. hell.
new project:

one thing that was suggested by the lady that did her screening
was to not give brette toys.
instead, lay them around her and make her squirm and drag herself
to them to help her gross motor skills.
brette is not a fan of this,
but its what we've started to do.
i used to she sit her down and give her a toy and let her play.
now she is constantly a little frustrated at  t r y i n g  to get to her toys
but not quite making it.
i've also started putting small toys inside bowls
so that she has to work at getting them out.
she's really good at it,
so now i'm working at getting her to put the toy back in the bowl.
we haven't quite mastered that yet.
her favorite toys right now are bath toys.
she plays with them all time
and they are always in her mouth.

she fed herself with her fingers.
she can stand and put all her weight on her legs.
she had her first dentist appointment.
she had her first month pacifier-free.

time is flying
and miss brette annaleigh is exceeding
all our expectations.

and for the first time...
all of brette's outtakes
and what i think she's saying.

you will be punished.

 i know, i'm shocked too.

do you smell something?

that outfit is not cute, mom.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

more than just a hamburger

when my friends and i get together
its normally for a play date.
which means there are lots of interrupted convos
and spelling words out.
when can we get d-r-u-n-k?
hahahah - just kidding.
kind of.
so during the super bowl
while the boys were laid back upstairs
and the girls were rallying the troops downstairs,
we decided we needed a night out.
without kids
or husbands.
and what's funny is,
we ended up at the one "safe" place for any married gal.
a gay bar.
hamburger mary's
we needed a little bit of
liquid courage to really enjoy ourselves
because we walked into a
drag queen game show
and everything that you think might be
said or done... was.  times 20.
i might even have a picture of a guy
in his skivvies
on stage.
a couple of us might have graced the stage too.
all in good, clean dirty-minded fun.
lots and lots of fun.

our team name and a little tribute to shannon long.

the host of the game show.
and yes, we lost.

our team

kass and i playing paper, rock, scissors to see who had to go on stage.
i lost.
me and shan at the end of the night.
loved it.
thanks girls.
can't wait till next time.

Friday, February 7, 2014

the joys of chicken

we've been snowed in this week.
ronnie even had tuesday and wednesday off.
you would think that means i would have been blogging a lot.
but no.
i actually found myself watching
a lot of food network.
who else is in love with the pioneer woman?
ronnie even asked me to start recording it.
he is so jealous of their lives.
he would give his first born to own their ranch.
but watching the food network
is actually rubbing off on me.
i am making dinner all the time.
we branched out from from our same ol' recipe routine.
i even told ronnie that i need a lemon zester.
that's right, people.
a lemon zester.
i'm pretty much professional.
tonight made ina's lemon chicken.
here's the recipe:
1/4 C olive oil
3 Tbls minced garlic
1/3 C dry white wine (i used chicken stock)
1 Tbls grated lemon zest
2 Tbls lemon juice (freshly squeezed)
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp minced thyme
salt and pepper
4 boneless chicken breasts, skin on
2 lemons
preheat the oven to 400.
warm the olive oil over medium-low heat, add the garlic, and cook for just 1 minute. turn off the heat, add the white wine, lemon zest, lemon juice, oregano, thyme, and 1 tsp salt and pour into a 9x12 dish.
place the chicken skin side up over the sauce. brush the chicken breasts with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. cut the lemon in 8 wedges and tuck it among the pieces of chicken.
bake for 40 minutes. sprinkle with salt and serve hot with the pan juices.

after i took this picture,
i decided to broil it for a few minutes
to make it more brown and crispy.
i think that helped make it look prettier.

snowed in, but well fed.


Thursday, February 6, 2014

football party

we had a few friends over
for superbowl sunday.
ronnie busted out our smoker
mid-winter and made some awesome
pulled pork and ribs.
everyone brought lots of food
and we all settled in for the worst game ever.
i mean really.
so i wasn't that bummed that all the girls
and five kids made the basement our home
while the boys watched the game in peace upstairs.
we vowed to switch the roles next time.
i miss seeing my friends.
ronnie and i are way better at hosting
little get-togethers when its nice out.
we have lots of deck nights.
but in the winter we go way too long
without seeing them.
it was so fun to sit around and catch up.
in fact, i'm pretty sure the girls
decided to meet up again this weekend.
now its the boys' turn to have the kiddos.
mamma's headed out.
this is cale after three pieces of chocolate cake.  i think i'm just jealous.

must have been nice.

our room was much more chaotic.
but more fun too.

 and cuter.
and since its thursday,
how about a throwback?

Monday, February 3, 2014

weighing in

i know most people start their weight loss journey on january 1st.
(doesn't the word "journey" remind you of biggest loser?  me too.)
but i decided i was too fat a month prior to that.
look at this picture.
it was taken black friday - november 29th.
two days before my big health kick.
look at my beautiful baby girl and my hot, skinny (ain't that a bitch) husband.
and then me.  the chunk.
[insert the music]
wah. wah. wah.
i mean, i look god-damn pregnant.

so i'm thrilled to report
that as of saturday morning, two months to the day after i started my diet,
i have lost seventeen pounds.
i now weigh in at 145,
back to my old self.
its been two full months of being really careful of what i eat
and i'm back on my treadmill every other day.
(love those girls and their programs - - this is my third one with them.) 
this is two days after the challenge. 
 i think you can see the difference in my face.
i took a week break for christmas and new year's
and then got right back to it for another month.
its been hard
and easy at the same time.
the food i eat is really pretty good.
and its really quick to prepare,
which is huge for me.
but yeah, do i want some french fries and a chocolate chip cookie?
...make that a dozen...
of course!
so it's still a battle
and i'm not done,
but i just wanted to give a little update.
17 down,
10 to go.
say goodbye to chunk.