Tuesday, July 29, 2008

First of Many

We went to the zoo today, a first for the little flower. We met up with some new Madison friends, so the little flower had kids her own age along for the experience.

The little flower and Pippy (a permanent fixture these days) took in the sights (and smells) together:

She faded fast after the giraffes, but was unable to fall asleep. So she drank her juice and smiled for mommy (note the crazed, pre-crash twinkle in her eyes):

We regrouped and headed over to visit the otters:

These are pictures of the little flower and one of her new Madison friends enjoying the otters together, it's so cute to watch kids this age together:

and lastly, no post about a trip to the zoo would be complete without at least one animal photo:

That was our day, short and sweet and lots of fun. I must go wash Pippy while the little flower sleeps, I don't even want to think about how many germs she picked up today!

Monday, July 28, 2008

30 Days

When we moved from California (say it like Arnold), my husband thought it would be a good idea to give up television in our new home. It would be our own little social experiment, he said. I thought it was a great idea, this man is perfect for me I thought. We were moving to a new city, in a new state, and we wanted to explore and take advantage of the summer season. Not having a television would force us to get out of the house. The little flower doesn't watch television and we'd like to keep it that way for as long as possible. Not having to pay for cable was another bonus. In short, we wanted to simplify, and we thought this was the perfect catalyst.

We lasted thirty days. We went out and bought a television Saturday night. And a DVD player. And then rented two movies. Now, if you were to ask my husband he would say I "nagged him for days" until he finally gave in to my wishes because he loves me and wants to make me happy. But don't be fooled, he wanted that television as much as I did. He missed "Jon and Kate plus 8" as much as I did.

Now we're having trouble deciding where we should put the television. For now it is in our bedroom, but neither of us likes the idea of having a television in the bedroom. It's just our thing, we've always said we didn't want that, we should read or talk instead. The problem is we also don't want it in our main living area. We want to encourage conversation, and game playing, and thinking. Our basement isn't finished yet, so that's not an option.

So here we are with a television that we couldn't live without, for which we can't seem to find the perfect spot. So much for our simple life. I have to go call the cable company now...

Friday, July 25, 2008

My "little flower", Genus: Narcissus.

Remember a little while back when I told you about how in love the little flower was with her new toy? Well, it turns out, it was more like a crush. She still plays with it and all, she's just not as obsessed as she once was. Two things have taken over as the objects of her affection (besides Mommy and Daddy). This puppy, "Pippy":

And...I think the pictures say it all:

and my favorite of this series, I like to call it,

"Who's the most beautiful little flower in the whole wide world?"

I'm taking this mirror with me now wherever I go. I'm not kidding. It should buy me a good hour. Or two.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

I've never looked so forward to naptimes.

My sweet little flower has become quite a handful. To the outside observer a "brat". The thing is, she's not a brat. I would know, I can't stand bratty kids. Uh-Oh.

She's always been very easy. I've taken her practically everywhere with me since she was about 4 months old (prior to that I was afraid if I took her out in public she would die of RSV). Looking back, I think part of what made it so easy the first year was that I was breastfeeding. If we were out and she started to fuss, I could find the nearest private area- my favorite was the lounge at Nordstrom- and breastfeed her until she fell asleep.

After she stopped breastfeeding, I was able to satisfy her with a cup. As long as she had a sippy cup, we were good. When the novelty of the sippy cup went away, I moved on to bigger and better things like snacks. And up until...oh...YESTERDAY those bought me a good ten minutes or so.

We recently switched cell phone companies and got new phones. My old cell phone was missing most of the numbers on the keypad because I made the mistake of letting the little one play with it once (to buy some time to finish doing something important I'm sure)- and that was the beginning of the end for that phone. We'll recycle my husband's old phone, but since mine has seen better days, I use it as a last resort just-need-a-few-more-minutes-to finish-doing-whatever-it-is-I'm-doing toy. It still has that kind of power, missing buttons and all. It's only a matter of time though.

My hubby thinks it makes the situation worse if I give into her fussing and take her out of her stroller*, for instance. But, the only alternative is to leave her strapped into her stroller, crying, as I calmly concentrate on whatever it is I'm supposed to be doing. Yeah, right. His suggestion is to simply leave the store (or wherever we are) if she starts to fuss, wait until she calms down, and then try again. In theory-sounds great. In reality-not so much. I think if she were 2 1/2 to 3 that might work. But she's 20 months. She basically wants to walk/run wherever she wants, whenever she wants, especially in stores.

We went to a friend's house last weekend for dinner and it was pretty much a disaster. She wanted to run around and touch plasma televisions and things of that sort. We had to leave shortly after the meal. We cringed together all the way home realizing, we're that couple. With that kid.

The point of this rambling post is for me to find out- how do/did you do it? Does this phase go away? Quickly? Please? I love that she is developing normally, that she is curious and wants to explore the world around her. I really am thankful for this every day, every moment. I do and will continue to remind myself of this. It's just that I'm having a hard time getting anything done around here!

*I recently purchased an ERGO carrier (which I love and would highly recommend for a child of her size) thinking she would prefer being close to me over sitting in the stroller, however, my sweet little flower will have none of it...I will definitely try and utilize it more if/when the next little one comes along...

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Fun trumps blogging. Sometimes.

When I started this blog, my intent was to publish a post every day. Then when I realized that for one reason or another that wasn't going to happen, I planned to post on weekdays. To make a long story short, I now pretty much post whenever I have the time. This week turned out to be a slow week for me in terms of posting and I should probably get on with it so I can complete this post before something comes up.

We keep seeing this little bunny, right outside our front door. We look for him/her every morning now as we make our way to the bottom of the stairs. The little flower loves to stand quietly at the window and watch:


I should have written she discovered sidewalk chalk-- with her mouth (see the evidence around her mouth in the picture below)!

Her hair isn't really that red, although I must say I wouldn't mind a bit if it were. It always looks redder in pictures. I thought it looked good with her coloring so I went with it...she wasn't sure what to think after she realized chalk isn't suitable for eating. I think at 19 months old she might still be a little too young for sidewalk chalk:

but I had fun!

Yesterday we received two packages from my Mom, one of which contained this:

which contained these:

Fabric remnants (among other things- Thanks Mom!). I couldn't open the package fast enough...she loves small pieces of fabric. She's been infatuated with my kitchen towels up until now, but this? Oh, be still her heart!

She covered herself:

She covered Mommy (while I held the camera as far away as possible with my left hand to take this shot- quite the arm workout I must say- pathetic I know, but true):

Then I covered her. Have you ever seen such a cute little babushka?

Then this happened:

Uh-oh, it's not looking good for the babushka:

Look at the sheer joy of accomplishment on her face:

Babushka be gone!

On the surface, this is just a toddler (and her Mom) having fun with pieces of cloth, but look closer and you'll see:

There's a lot of learning going on in that little brain, and it's hard work!

May your weekend be filled with fabric remnants and sidewalk chalk...

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Too cute.

We are trying to teach the little flower to greet someone on the telephone. We often will ask her to "say hi" to whomever we are speaking to on the phone. This morning after we tripped our alarm system accidentally (for the 4th time- at least) the alarm company called. After I hung up the little flower grabbed the phone and put it to her ear and said "bla-da-do-wa-wa" or something similar. I asked if she could "say hi" to her imaginary phone friend. She waved at the phone. I then asked her if she could "say hi" into the phone. She turned the phone towards her free hand and waved into the phone. If only we had a video phone...

Thanks to everyone for your design expertise!

I FINALLY added a list of my favorite blogs/sites- go see for yourself!

Apparently, it's an exclamation point kind of day!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Opinions please!

This is the room we need help with:

We have a very open floor plan so the foyer, kitchen, and living room all feed into this area. We would like it to be a comfortable space with two chairs, a table, and an ottoman:

I thought swivel chairs would be nice so that one could sit facing the fireplace but also turn and face the kitchen/eating area. Something like this.

Chris is not a huge fan of the whole swivel chair idea. He would prefer a basic armchair.

I prefer a skirted look.

He prefers a non-skirted look.

Then there's the whole fabric choice thing. Our house came with window treatments and paint colors we like. Eventually we may change the window treatments in the kitchen/dining area and the paint color in the hearth and dining rooms (the wine-ish red walls) but they're staying for now- so we must work with what we have. We narrowed it down to these four choices with the help of a very patient designer at the furniture store:





And that is as far as we got. I'm leaning towards choice (c) but I have no idea what I'm doing. Chris can't make up his mind either. We're in fabric/chair decision limbo. Please vote (over there on the left) and let me know what you're thinking. I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Back to Reality

Chris started his new job today so it's back to my daily routine with the little one. I would love nothing more than to put her down for a nap and sit at the computer and blog/read blogs. Today however, I have an appt., the house needs some cleaning, I need a shower, she still needs a nap.

As soon as I have some time though, I will be posting a poll. We can not agree on two chairs for our "hearth room". It is an area off of our kitchen with a fireplace. It has a built-in window seat and as of now nothing else. We thought this would be a good room to start with in terms of furnishing. So, I'm hoping to get some opinions on not only which chairs you all like but some fabrics as well. We need help, and some place to sit besides our bar stools! Please stay tuned...

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Fun-due night.

My father-in-law and his wife gave us a fondue set a few years ago. I don't think we ever used it, so we decided we would try it out last night. We used a recipe from this book:

I would give you the specific recipe, but truth be told it didn't turn out that great. We chose a cheddar, roasted garlic, and Zinfandel fondue. The Zinfandel was red, so it made the fondue a very unappetizing shade of pinkish-red. I thought I would spare you a picture of the finished product. I think next time we will try a more basic three cheese recipe. We used an aged cheddar that we picked up at the farmers' market last Saturday- VERY tasty:

Unfortunately for my backside (and frontside, and middle, and top, and bottom) I love cheese. And I now live in Wisconsin. Ay dios.

I roasted two garlic bulbs. In the movie "Sophie's Choice", Meryl Streep's (best actress ever in the best role ever) character, Sophie, talks about wine as being what she pictures the angels in heaven drinking (or something like that, it's been awhile). Whenever I taste something really, I mean REALLY good, I think of that scene in the movie. This is how I feel about roasted garlic. Truly heavenly. It turns into a sweet, soft mass of goodness. If you've never tasted it, you must try it- soon. You'll thank me.

We cut up potatoes, broccoli, and of course bread. Not exactly the most well balanced and nutritious meal, I'll admit. I also wanted to have red bell pepper, they didn't have any at the grocery store which I thought was rather strange. Are they not in season or something? I don't recall seeing any at the farmers' market.

I don't think we'll ever break out the fondue pot for a weeknight dinner again, but occasionally on the weekends I think it will be fun. Especially as the little flower becomes more interested in helping mommy cook. Oooohh, and we could melt chocolate for dessert. Now that would be fun. Am I right?

After dinner, we played in the yard with our dog. This is a fun new part of our daily routine. Do/did any of you let your babies run around in just a diaper in the summertime? I think it's totally fine. My husband questioned whether it made us unfit parents- only half joking.

We took a long drive after changing the little one into her PJ's. This is a wildlife preservation area not too far from our house:

I could go for a drive every night and never get tired of the views around here. Farm after farm as far as the eye can see...mixed with fireflies at dusk and this beautiful thing in the backseat,

it's almost too much for a girl to take...