Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Abigail's New Room (Pt 1)

On January 10th Abigail's new bedroom furniture was delivered. We picked it out before Christmas but it couldn't be delivered until then. Abigail was very excited about her new bed. Well, she should be since she had been sleeping on an air mattress for almost a year!
We decided on bunk beds to best utilize the space of her room and chose the trundle drawer which be used when Abigail starts wanting sleepovers. Matt and I are so happy with this furniture from Rooms to Go Kids. Abigail has been sleeping GREAT on her new bed too. She usually takes naps on the top bunk while the bottom is for night time. As you can see there's plenty of room for Toby AND all of her little 'friends'.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

If you Give a Mouse a Cookie

Another mom posted this to our MOPS Facebook page a week or so ago. After we got home from our community group tonight and I started a couple tasks it came to mind...
"If you give a mom a muffin, she'll want a cup of coffee to go with it. She'll pour herself some. Her three-year-old will spill the coffee. She'll wipe it up. Wiping the floor, she will find dirty socks. She'll remember she has to do laundry. When she puts the laundry in the washer, she'll trip over boots and bump into the freezer. Bumping into the freezer will remind her she has to plan supper. She will get out a pound of hamburger. She'll look for her cookbook. (101 Things To Make With A Pound Of Hamburger.) The cookbook is sitting under a pile of mail. She will see the phone bill, which is due tomorrow. She will look for her checkbook. The checkbook is in her purse that is being dumped out by her two-year-old. She'll smell something funny. She'll change the two-year-old. While she is changing the two-year-old the phone will ring. Her five-year-old will answer and hang up. She'll remember that she wants to phone a friend to come for coffee. Thinking of coffee will remind her that she was going to have a cup. She will pour herself some. And chances are, if she has a cup of coffee, her kids will have eaten the muffin that went with it."
I started warming up Abigail's mac-n-cheese leftovers, she wanted to help. She brought the stepstool into he kitchen from the bathroom. I remind Abigail the stove is hot and she should not touch it. I reheated leftovers for myself. Since I was already cooking, I decided to prep our dinner for tomorrow night. A pot goes on the stove for boiling water. As I reach for Abigail's fork I remember the dishwasher is clean. Abigail's dinner is served. While the penne is cooking, I toss the other ingredients into a large bowl. I stir the ingredients and splash it all over the sleeve of my Auburn hoodie. I take off the hoodie and toss it by the washing machine. Standing next to the washer I notice Abigail playing instead of eating and I ask her to sit still while she eats. I see the dryer has finished and take the clean towels upstairs. While I'm upstairs, I grab the dirty whites to wash with the hoodie. I get the chicken to bake it for tomorrow's meal and see I forgot to put some cold items into the refrigerator. The chicken goes into the oven and the groceries into the fridge. I wash out the plastic containers and take them out to the recycling bin. This reminds me that if I finish the last glass of wine remaining in the refrigerator then that bottle can go out this week too. I pour myself the last glass. While sipping I see Abagail is again playing and not eating. I announce she does not get a special treat after dinner and will be going straight to bed. I mix the al dente noodles into the bowl and wait for the chicken. I start to wash dishes and remember the dishwasher needs to be unloaded. Some items are still wet, and the mat to let them dry has the coffee maker pieces. I put the coffee maker back together and set it for tomorrow morning. I resume unloading the dishwasher so I can proceed to load tonight's dishes in. Abigail announces she is finished, I hear a plate drop to the floor and Toby scurry over. I place her plate into the sink before moving it to the dishwasher. Realizing how much I multitask reminds me of the post from above and I decide I should blog about it.
Just typing it all out makes me exhausted. Of course I'm always multi-tasking...no wonder my days always seem like 18hr days instead of 24.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

All I Wanted Was Clean Carpets (Pt1)

Last Wednesday I worked through Abigail's nap to clear all the furniture out so we could steam clean the carpets. We decided to purchase a steam cleaner instead of renting or hiring since it was about the same cost to own as it was for a one time hire. Abigail's room was able to get steam cleaned before her furniture was delivered a couple weeks ago.

Neither Matt nor I like the carpet in the Sunroom, but it's a necessary evil for now. It's still fine carpet and it's not near the top of the priority list to get it changed out. Instead, a good cleaning might help. I moved Abigail's easel and little table into what's become her room (the woodsy room), and the recliner too. The sofa fit perfectly under the kitchen island overhang and the breakfast table ON top the island (yes, Matt helped me flip the table). Here's the mess Abigail DID NOT make in her play room.
I was so pleased when Matt steam cleaned the carpets after Abigail went to bed. I love short time frame projects! Well, someone had to go and suggest painting. We sorta had a free Saturday ahead of us and after all our Birmingham house remodeling, we had all the tools. From Glidden's free quart event (Summer 2009) I racked up 6 FREE quarts of paint too. (PS: Thanks again to those of you to whom I shipped my free paint!)
Friday was spent taking down blinds, removing utility plates, starting to tape off the room and bringing in paint rollers, brushes and floor protectors. Matt finished sanding down a few patch spots in the walls and we were ready to go. His parents even drove up to help distract, I mean spend time with Abigail and give us a few extra hands.
You can barely tell by the photo, but if you're able to enlarge or squint your eyes really tight, you'll be able to see the crazy orange crayon colored all over the wall. Abigail's easel normally is to the right of this wall art - during a playdate, an unknown artist doodled this masterpiece. We're certain it wasn't Abigail but never figured who to "compliment" for this work of art. Needless to say, Matt and I were VERY happy to see it go. Abigail assisted in the first few strokes to hide the crayola.
Abigail must have thought painting the sunroom would have been as fun as painting at Imagine It!, the Atlanta Children's Museum. She really enjoyed painting but I think painting is a bit too messy for an indoor activity.
While I am not a fan of all the prep, clean up or trim (I couldn't do straight trim if my life depended on it), I am able to quickly roll a room. I guess it's from all the many walls of practice from our Pelham home. The picture doesn't do the color justice, it's name is 'Soothing Green Tea'. In this picture the color looks like puke or something nasty from baby's diaper. It's actually a muted lime green shade and it really brightens up the room.

We're now on Day 6 of this 'little project', when all I wanted was clean carpets. I hope the blinds will go back up today, Matt screwed the mounting brackets last night. One of us needs to make a trip to Home Depot to exchange some normal size electric face plate covers for an extra large size. (And the previous home owners and their crappy contractors score another point.) Maybe the room can get put back together tonight...until it does, I will continue to have a sofa in my kitchen.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Baking Closet Remodel

There are many places in my house that I feel could be organized much better. Spaces are not being used in the Rmost efficient ways AND because of the disorganization it's costing us money, especially in the baking cabinet. It's costing us money because it's difficult to see items and I forget what I have. Usually I'll end up with duplicate items because I cannot find what I need when I'm searching for it. This is the before picture.Through the fabulous inspiration that Pintrest.com is to me, I decided to make this would be a good easy task to accomplish easily. I purchased a little three tier staircase looking piece from Bed, Bath & Beyond for the bottom section. Now all the spices and seasonings can be viewed easily (and without an avalanche effect when searching).
The top section was going to be more of a challenge. There are taller bottles and lots of little sprinkle bottles all together. On the right side I went with a dual lazy susan piece with one riser in the back from Target.
This little re-organization cost about $40. That seems steep reflecting on it BUT I found two extra containers of black pepper and two extra bottles of vanilla that I didn't not know (remember) ever putting in there! I probably will have no need to buy sprinkles and/or cupcake liners for a couple years and now I can actually SEE what I have. I love it.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

My Old Man

Toby will be 11 this spring. I still clearly remember adopting him from that vet's office on College Street with Sarah Rawls (now Talley) and how he got car sick on the short drive home. I took him up to meet Matt at the Hotel & Conference center where Matt suggested calling him Toby and it stuck. Toby has lived with us in Alabama, Tennessee and Georgia, with a good few stays at Camp Nina & Woof in Florida.

After we moved to Marietta, but before Abigail was born, Toby was officially diagnosed with Pituitary Dependent Cushings Disease. That's a fancy way of saying there's a tumor near his pituitary gland and when the tumor is too big it shuts off the signals saying 'you are not hungry' and 'you are not thirsty', and with that came lots of tummy infections from all the non-food items he ate. (It reminded me a it of my Abuelo eating potpourri thinking it was potato chips but with all his health issues he couldn't actually taste any of it.) Toby's been on 3yrs worth of meds which will be a constant for the rest of his life in order to keep the tumor from regrowing.

Sometime late summer Toby started with these ridiculous bloodshot eyes and produced nasty eye boogies. He seemed fine otherwise and our vet said maybe he was getting some allergies in his old age. Right before we were about to leave for Tampa before Abigail's birthday Toby gets diagnosed with a severe bladder infection (with possible stones). We headed south with his new script in hand - and fingers crossed that it wasn't stones because removal required surgery.

Fast forward through Christmas to last Monday. A couple symptoms came back and we went back to the vet. Urine results showed different results and she requested another test. Vet also gave Toby some eye drops that have been helping the redness and minimizing the boogies. Test results came back yesterday. Toby has a severe staph infection and will be on antibiotics for the next 2mo. On the positive side, these antibiotics are free at Publix. Vet also found small crystals in his bladder but those can be treated with a special food.

Toby started his new round of antibiotics yesterday and we picked up the food today. Abigail insisted on putting the food in his bowl, as she does most days. This food must be amazing because he started following her to get it and she gave in. He devoured the entire bowl while she held it and she was quite proud of herself.

Now as I type, a few hours after the photo was taken I'm listening for Toby's 'rescue me' bark. Abigail now insists on Toby sleeping with her in her big girl bed at night. He really is so sweet and patient with her. <3

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Missing Polish

Yesterday afternoon Abigail climbed into the chair yesterday saying something I couldn't really put together. When I looked at her she was showing me her nail polish was missing!
I about fell off my chair! Trying to remember if all 10 freshly polished nails were accounted for during baking and decorating I realized Matt was coming. I told Abigail to show Daddy the missing polish. We both decided, as to show we are excellent and mature parents, we would have her pose for pictures.

I hope you enjoy a laugh from this as much as we did (and still do).

Friday, January 6, 2012

Happy Birthday Mommy


Earlier this week I went grocery shopping with Mommy. In the cake aisle I decided Mommy wanted a pink cake with pink icing. I really wanted to pick out sprinkles but Mommy said we had plenty at home. Sprinkles are my favorite.

Today is her birthday and I cannot wait to make her cake. I brought my tall step stool into the kitchen (it's the one I use to wash my hands in the bathroom). The cake mix was on the counter and I was ready. I found my apron and Mommy helped me put it on, and I gave her apron to her (it's pretty, she got it yesterday in a big package from my Great-Aunt Sharon & Great-Uncle Ken). Mommy read me what I would need to make her cake and she got out a bowl, eggs, sprinkles, measuring cup and a bouncy thing that was really fun to pretend stir. I was ready!
 
Mommy helped me by starting with the eggs. I was careful to using the bouncy thing to stir the eggs. By the third egg, mommy help me do it myself.
When the eggs were all mixed it was time for the water and oil. I was very careful and poured it in all by myself. I stirred it some more then it was ready for the cake mix. I poured a little in and stirred, then poured a little in and stirred.
I really like stirring Mommy's cake. Mommy said it was ready to be baked but I said it needed sprinkles. It needed purple and pink sprinkles.
I watched as Mommy poured all the cake batter into a big pan. Then it needed more sprinkles.
I tried to pick up the big pan but it was too heavy so Mommy put it in the oven for me.
Mommy closed the oven door and set the timer. I was very excited. Every couple minutes I told Mommy the cake was done but she said no. She moved the step stool in front of the oven and showed me the timer and read the numbers to me. It still wasn't ready.
I was so excited when the oven beeped. Mommy opened the oven door and pulled out the rack so we could look at it. I was ready for more sprinkles. I got sad because Mommy explained the cake was too hot for sprinkles. I watched TinkerBelle movie to help pass the time. Then it time to decorate the cake!
The pink icing wasn't easy and I kept moving the spoon up and down into the cake, instead of side to side like Mommy showed me. I let Mommy help so I could get to the sprinkles faster.
I had lots of fun decorating Mommy's cake with the pink sprinkles, purple sprinkles and tiny heart sprinkles. When I didn't think Mommy was looking I would sample them! I was all done with each sprinkle shaker was empty!
Now the cake was ready for candles, fire and Happy Birthday.
I was very careful placing each candle one at a time. When I was finished I decided the candles might look better another way, so I rearranged them. It was almost time to sing Happy Birthday! I helped Mommy retrieve the fire from the kitchen drawer (I'm very observant!).
Daddy and I sang Happy Birthday to Mommy. She was sneaky and blew out all the candles so fast that I was only able to help her blow out one. I really wanted to blow the candles out for her.
Mommy's cake is super tasty! I think I did an excellent job on my very first cake. :)
-ABIGAIL-

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Flowers & Polka Dots

Tomorrow, 28yrs ago, I turned three. Today I took Abigail in for her 3yr well check. Last week her dentist appt (her 2nd ever) didn't go so great but I still had higher expectations for this check. Over the last year she has accompanied me to the doctor or known I was going, heard daddy is going to or coming from the doctor and we've taken Toby to the doctor. Since she doesn't see her Pediatrician often, I'm completely okay with her getting shy and being a little leery of 'a strange man'. This morning started out not so great. Abigail wasn't interested in eating much breakfast AND she pitched a royal 'don't want see doctor' fit when I said it was time to go without the Dora episode being finished. I packed my purse full of bribes: goldfish, gummies and THREE candycanes.

Once on our way, the whining continued. Half-way there she asked for her chocolate milk. Why wouldn't she ask for it, I had forgotten it on the kitchen counter as I rushed out the door. I started telling her that after her appointment we could go pick out a toy and what did she want. This was a lame attempt in trying to distract her.

Abigail did great with the nurse around asking questions and taking her blood pressure (94/51). (I was disappointed with Abigail's stats as they were less than she weighed on my parent's scale and shorter than the IKEA measuring tape for their playground.) As expected, she got shy with Dr. Clements. I was shocked when she opened her mouth really big so he could see her throat since she refused to do this for her dentist last week. So far so good.

Me @2yrs 19.5lbs & 31.25in @3yrs 24lbs & 34.75in
Abigail @2yrs 19.5lbs & 33.5in @3yrs 23.5lbs & 36in

Miss Angie arrived with the pricks. One thumb prick to test her hemoglobin and another in the left thigh for HepA vaccine. Abigail was shocked and cried with the thumb prick. I gave her a piece of peppermint stick to suck on for the HepA...she cried so hard it drooled right down her shirt. Poor girl. I think this was the first time it hurt ME. It's been 24mo since she's had any vaccines (diagnosed with Strep at her 2yr well check) and it did not go over well at all.

I had to carry Abigail out of the office. She told me she couldn't walk. Once she settled we talked about her toy and the apple juice she wanted. Abs told me she wanted to hold her toy "in this hand" (showing me her right) and explained how her left hand was hurt. We arrived at the mall and she had me carry her some more...to "the coffee place" for apple juice. She was able to walk a bit but goodness, she's going to work all angles, SHE WAS LIMPING. She managed to walk all the way to 'The Mickey-Minnie Store' and select a tiny Lady and tiny Roo. This really made her feel better.
We could have come home but I still felt bad, the limping continued and she couldn't hold Lady or Roo with the left hand. I've been wanting to check out this place in East Cobb that has a little girl's pedicure chair. With Abigail needing some extra pampering and my birthday being tomorrow, I decided we'd give it a try.
Abigail very quickly selected her PINK polish and enjoyed putting her toes in the water with bubbles. She was shy in the beginning but overcame that quickly. The "boy" as she later referred to the man washed her feet off, removed the polish remnants and then clipped her toenails. The lady seemed to get back from break and swapped out. Abigail got her feet rubbed and her little calves. Her toes were finished up with two little daisies, one on each big toe. Then she stayed very still, like she does at home when getting her fingers painted. The lady offered polka dots and Abigail eagerly accepted. She's so tiny she was able to get a mani-pedi in a shorter time than I just got a pedi (me = jealous!). Abigail was over the moon with her pampering.
Once we were in the car on the way home Abigail told me she did 'not like the boy washing her toes'. It took me a while to realize what she said because it came out of no where. She definitely keeps me laughing. Overall, the flowers and polka dots ended up being the highlight of the day never once mentioning the little ouchies when Matt got home. As her Tia advised, pampering did the trick!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

I HEART Pinterest Recipes

What have you been doing lately? Anything new and exciting? I'm addicted to Pinterest. This is not new. What is new is that I'm actually using it to create....exactly what the site is for!

A couple night ago I attempted Carrabba's Bread Dipping Spices. I was lazy and didn't get out the mini food processor, nor did I have all the ingredients. Attempt #2 tonight was amazing, and had more of a kick from the red pepper flakes. It was tasty (my mouth was on fire at first). In the end I realized I forgot the garlic but it was delicious anyway. I will be making this again.

Originally I wanted to make some of Mac&Cheese Balls like the ones from The Cheesecake Factory for New Years Eve. I bought all the ingredients but didn't read all the instructions. Major oops. These bad boys have a couple days of prep. Tonight I made Mac & Cheese using the same recipe but without all the frying. The Gouda made it so creamy! Unfortunately, Abigail didn't care for it. Not sure if it was due to being 3 and full of disagreement, I mean independence, or if she didn't care for the Gouda.

This Chinese Honey Chicken recipe was tasty, made on 12/30. The flavors in the sauce were tasty but I think I either need to double the measurements or cook it last next time. There didn't seem to be nearly enough sauce for the crazy amt of chicken it called for in the recipe. I'm anxious to try this one again.

For New Year's Eve I tried a few new recipes. The biggest hit was the Peanut Butter "Cheese Ball", adults and kids both enjoyed. Abigail enjoyed picking the chocolate chips off the ball the most. The other Pinterest winner of the night as the Cheddar Bacon Ranch Pulls. I probably could have made it much cheesier and I used Hormel's Peppered Bacon crumbles, it's my favorite pre-cooked bacon. I even flubbed the recipe by using an Italian dressing packet instead of Ranch (another oops) but no one complained! The Brown Sugar Fruit Dip was super tasty. It's a crazy mix of brown sugar, cream cheese, sour cream, cool whip, vanilla and Bailey's. Sadly enough, this sweet dip was next to carrots and celery so most seem turned off. It was definitely best with strawberries.

A few weeks back I made BBQ Crockpot Chicken and Oven Baked Brown Rice, both turned out excellent! I even made Brown Butter Pumpkin Spice Krispy Treats for Thanksgiving. They were tasty and everyone was a fan.

I even tried out a few new Christmas Cookie Recipes: Hot Chocolate Cookies, Peppermint Crunch Milk Chocolate Chip Cookies, and Colorful Swirl Cookies. Overall, the Hot Chocolate Cookies seemed to be the overall favorite - they truly tasted like hot chocolate in the form of a cookie. Abigail's favorite was the Peppermint Crunch, although my version was really an Andes Mint Chocolate Chip Cookie. Instead of the peppermint crunch I used crushed Andes mint (like the free dessert you get when you pay at Olive Garden). My favorite was the Colorful Swirls. It wasn't super sweet like a sugar cookie. The recipe didn't call for egg, so it seemed more shortbread to me. I had lots of fun making them and they looked fabulous when finished.

I have lots of fun ideas for the house and Abigail's room pinned too. I hope I'll be able to get to some ideas soon. I'm very excited, tomorrow I'm making Neverending Vanilla Extract!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Hello Again

Hello Blog Readers,

I cannot believe it's been over a year since either of us have blogged. Well, let's see if I can appease Alyssa with an attempt to start blogging again. Ha. I got pretty burnt out around Summer 2010 so please lower any expectations, uploading photos to too many sites is exhausting & I've learned I flat out cannot do it all.

Abigail 2011 Highlights
-Got her first haircut in February and two more throughout the year.
-Attended her first Strawberry Festival.
-100% potty trained in under 3wks and she's been wearing the cutest panties since June.
-Had her first pediatric dentist appt in July.
-Started taking Gymnastics classes.
-Mommy allowed a babysitter that was not family to watch Abigail.
-Visited Disney World four times, including 1st Chef Mickey's dining in October.
-Got to love on two new baby girl cousins! (Avery in July & Reagan in September)
-She turned THREE! We think she's almost 37" & about 25#.
-Santa brought her a pink bicycle and a lion, just as she requested.
-Is a great singer! ABC's, Twinkle, Part of Your World, I Can Go the Distance...
-Mommy & Daddy ordered her big girl furniture, it will arrive January 10th.

The Crazy 2012 Ahead
-Baby Shower for my sister-in-law, Hayley, in February.
-We will celebrate our 6th wedding anniversary in Orlando (Disney & Braves Spring Training)
-Easter in Tampa and meeting our newest nephew Will in April.
-The long Memorial Weekend will be full of birthday cake & meeting another new baby cousin.
-Abs will get to meet the Atlantic Ocean in June as we travel to a wedding in Hilton Head.

I hope everyone (or everyone that used to read this blog) had a wonderful 2011 and an amazing first day to 2012. Happy New Year!