Saturday, May 29, 2010

WHAAAAAT?

Chocolate Formula!? Seriously!? I am in shock. It is marketed for toddlers. Just thinking about that makes my tummy hurt for all of those babies :-(

This has caused debate on my Baby Center Birth Club board about wether you would give your 1 year old chocolate milk or chocolate formula. Oh. My. God.

This also led to 'well, it (chocolate milk) is better than juice' from mothers with babies the same age as Lily Ruth... so I decided to look that up...

from NutritionData.com, I find that 1 cup commercial chocolate milk (whole milk) has:
208 calories (74 from fat)
8 g fat
30 mg cholesterol
150 mg sodium
24 g sugars

1 cup apple juice (unsweetened, w/ added ascorbic acid) has:
114 calories
0 g fat
0 mg cholesterol
10 mg sodium
24 g sugars

1 child cup (12 oz!) Sprite has:
103 calories
0 g fat
0 mg cholesterol
23 mg sodium
23 g sugars

Just as a reference point, whole milk has:
146 calories
8 g fat
24 mg cholesterol
98 mg sodium
13 g sugars

and that crazy Chocolate 'Toddler' Formula (1/4 cup dry powder - but it won't tell me how much that makes):
150 calories
4.5 g fat
20 mg cholesterol
85 mg sodium
19 g sugars

So, I guess that the formula is better than chocolate milk? Uuuuugh. BUT, juice and Sprite ARE NOT better than chocolate milk. That doesn't make me feel any better :-/

I SO wish that could put this on a spreadsheet. My nerd side is losing it's mind over how I can't compare this data at a glance.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Do You Know Your Dog?

Having a dog as part of your life is a responsibility. A HUGE one. One that I took on willingly and eagerly, but that I was unprepared for at the time. I had only had dogs as a child - when your parents really do all of the 'heavy lifting' of pet ownership, and you sit back and reap the rewards. Boy was I in for a surprise.

For one thing, I took in a German Shepherd when my largest dog to that point had been a mutt of approximately 40 lbs. For another, my new (already over 60 Lb) puppy was 7 or 8 months old, and had not had an easy life to that point. Add in the fact that she was sick, freaked out, growing REALLY quickly, and fast approaching 'womanhood', and you have a recipe for rough sailing. I was ready for daily walks and lots of play time, but I was unprepared for socialization issues, dog periods, heath complications and tummy trouble.

The first few months (year?) of our journey together were hard (and incredibly expensive). I was overwhelmed, but determined to make it work. I did a lot of work on myself. I learned a LOT about patience very quickly. Of course, what I learned has taken years to really sink in :-) I spent time learning about dogs in general and German Shepherds in specific. I also paid a lot of attention to my dogs' specific behaviors and issues. I feel good about the relationship that we have formed. I know for a fact that I have not done enough work with her on discipline, but I know her limitations intimately, and I don't put her in situations where she will fail in a way that could be harmful to others. For example, she doesn't play well with other dogs. She never learned proper play behaviors, so she interprets most playful overtures as threats. As a result, she is never allowed off-leash around dogs who jump and 'dominate' as play, nor is she turned loose into impromptu 'packs' at parties.

And now we come to my point: I have become more and more frustrated with people who seem to be oblivious to their dogs or the impact that their dogs have on the world around them. I've referred before to the boxer pup down the street who darts out of his house and bounces onto Keely and the random neighborhood dogs who follow us on walks because they're roaming free. Well, yesterday's incident makes those all feel like angel kisses in comparison.

(Preface: WE ARE ALL FINE) Yesterday, we were attacked. I had Lily Ruth in her stroller, and Keely on her leash. She wears a collar, a harness and a leash. Her harness is really only in case we stop somewhere and she needs to stay tethered. I walk her with her leash looped as a 'slip style lead' high on her neck (above her collar). I have found that she responds more readily to me this way. She can also slip out of a collar with minimal effort because her ruff is so thick that her neck is huge :-)

We passed a woman waking a pit bull. I noticed that the dog had multiple scars across her face and muzzle. She also had the abdomen of a dog who has had multiple litters of puppies. I actually thought 'wow, this lady took in a dog who has had a rough life and is treating her nicely'. I figured we were fine, because this woman let her dog sniff noses with Keely. We smiled at one another, and continued on our separate ways. Almost immediately, I heard her say something in a worried tone, and I looked back to see her dog give one full neck rotation and pull immediately out of it's (waaaayyyyy too loose) collar. The dog came directly and silently toward Keely.

It clamped down on the base of her tail and started to wool her around. When Keely turned to defend herself, it launched onto her neck. By then I had pushed Lily's stroller to the curb facing away from the fight, and was standing in the middle of the street screaming and trying to assist Keely without getting bitten. It seemed like hours, but was really only moments before the woman grabbed her dog. It was even less time before it broke free and threw itself onto my dog again. By then, Lily was crying, I was yelling for help - none was available. The woman was screaming 'why are you doing this' at the dog as she tried to contain it. It was then that I began to realize that she had no real understanding of that dog. She had the wrong collar on it. She didn't know not to let it sniff noses. She didn't know not to throw herself on top of a fighting dog. Well, thank goodness for that last one. She finally managed to tackle her dog and get it off of Keely.

I grabbed the stroller and RAN. She yelled 'is your dog o.k.' after us. I didn't stop. All I could think was that her dog could turn on her at any second, she would let go, and we'd be fighting for our lives again. I ran as far as I could... which was not far, but it was far enough. We were almost home.

I took my baby and my dog inside. I dropped to the floor and held my dog. I cried and ran my fingers all over her body again and again as I looked for wounds. Lily sat wide-eyed and silent. I didn't find any blood. Keely just shook. I called my husband in hysterics while I sponged the spit off her fur. I called my dad and asked him to come check over my dog. Then we headed into the nursery - the darkest and most quiet room in the house - to collect ourselves. Lily Ruth nursed, Keely and I just breathed.

- I had to take a break to go hug my dog just now. Then I sat on the floor with my baby and played silly games until that feeling passed again.

We're o.k. We're fine. I did eventually find one very small puncture wound in Keely's ruff. She is bruised and sore. She feels kinda tender-hearted.


Lily Ruth was clingy and prone to crying fits all day yesterday. She finally went totally manic, overbalanced, and hit her head on the coffee table. Then she cried herself into a nap. Today, she's worn out. I'm a mess. My neck hurts. My arm hurts. My head hurts. I had nightmares about dog attacks.

Pit bulls have a very strong bite, but relatively short teeth. German Shepherds have a relatively weak bite, but they have very long, sharp teeth. They are also built to protect themselves and others. Had this fight continued, and had Keely committed herself to the fray instead of trying to escape, it could have gone either way - quickly.

What I really need to say is GET TO KNOW YOUR DOG! It does not make you a noble person to 'rescue' a dog if you cannot keep them (and those around you) safe. It is not enough to want a dog. It is not enough to feed them. It is not enough to take them for yearly check ups. Learn about dogs in general and what they need. Learn about your breed and what it takes to keep them healthy and happy. Learn about YOUR DOG in particular. Find out what makes them tick. It makes a difference.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Summer Yum

Today's recipes: Lavender Marinade, Linguine with Tomatoes and Basil, Fruit Salad Combos

I'm feeling a bit better this week! Enough better that i want to cook!!! Oh, and I want to share!

I bought culinary lavender at the farmer's market, and got a great marinade recipe with it. I have (of course) tweaked it a bit...

Lavender Marinade

- works for pork or lamb, chops, roasts or tenderloins
1 Tbsp culinary lavender
1 Tbsp herbs de Provance blend (optional... but yummy)
1 tsp kosher salt
2 cloves garlic - crushed or pressed
juice of 1 lemon
olive oil

combine all ingredients in whatever container you are going to marinate your meat in. use enough olive oil to liberally coat the meat. let meat sit in mixture for at least 2 hours. cook & enjoy :-)

- I served Lavender Pork Tenderloin with rice and steamed broccoli... sooooooo nice :-)

This next recipe was given to me at Central Market a few years ago, and I LOOOOOOOOOVE it! Of course, it needed tweaking... my modifications are in parenthesis:

Linguine with Tomatoes and Basil

4 ripe large tomatoes cut into 1/2 inch cubes (I use roma, cherry or grape tomatoes - whatever looks better)
1 Lb Brie cheese, rind removed, cut/torn into 1 inch cubes - really cold brie is easier to handle
1 cup cleaned fresh basil leaves, cut into strips
3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely minced (I use WAY more garlic, and I slice it thinly)
Olive Oil - the recipe calls for 1 cup, I never use more than 1/2 cup
2 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 Lbs fresh linguine
freshly grated Parmesan Cheese (optional)

combine tomatoes, brie, basil, garlic, salt & pepper & oil (here's where I gauge the amount of oil needed - the mixture should be plenty 'gooshy', but does not need to swim in oil). cover and let sit @ room temperature for at least 2 hours



cook linguine, drain & toss w/ the tomato mixture. add parmesan if desired. serve immediately

makes 4-6 portions

- this time around, I'm serving this pasta with Parmesean Chicken Sausage from Central Market


and mango & avocado salad...


I usually just serve it with bread and wine ;-)

I also used the LONGEST PASTA I'VE EVER SEEN! It looks like Ramen, only longer and spiral - Lily Ruth LOOOOOOVED it :-)


oh, I remembered that I wanted to share my current favorite fruit salad combos with you!

peach & blackberry with a tiny bit of lavender sugar
mango & avocado with lime and chili powder
watermelon and white grape with no adornment :-)

Welcome to Summer dining!!!! I'm feeling inspired!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Oh, Did I mention...

Today's Recipes: Chocolate Cake

... that it's our anniversary :-) 14 years, folks. I made this cake. I halved the recipe (yet forget and added all 4 eggs... oops... I'll let you know how it tastes), but instead of the frosting they made, I topped it with a half bag of melted Andes Creme de Menthe chips. mmmmmmm.


Oh, and also, OUR DAUGHTER CAN WALK!!!!!! I now have video proof.



:-0 best. anniversary present. ever.

Quite a bit different from last year... (please ignore the lack of hair product...)



yet no less wonderful.

Happy Anniversary, Husband! I love you.

*** Doyle family edit: Here's how my evening ended - um, we ate 1/4 to 1/3 of the cake... it was a bit dense and possibly 'eggy' (as if we could truly say what that is), yet still tasty. Now the hubby is asleep facing away from me (snoring issues), and the baby daughter is sprawled out taking up more than 1/3 of the bed. I am watching a 'Psych' rerun. Still mucho better than last year. No offense mom - I REALLY love our time at the ranch, but snoring bed-hogs beats out ridicu-preggo and lonely-sweaty-hot any day :-)

Nude Time

Every mother is a master of multi-tasking. If you're not, the young 'un(s) probably won't make it to adulthood... just sayin'...

One of my most frequently encountered multi-tasking sessions is bath time. I used to be able to put Lily Ruth in her bouncy seat when I was done with her portion of the bath (or if I just needed a quick spritz) but she's too big for that thing now, and she just climbs right out. I also employed the exersaucer on occasion if I needed solo tub time, but now she HATES the exersaucer, so that's out too.

Here's how it's been going: Lily Ruth and I get into the tub. She sits between my knees and we play with bath toys for a few minutes. Then I soap up and rinse off the baby. Then she sits on my tummy while I wash my hair - this gets interesting since there are all kinds of things that she is interested in grabbing :-/ THEN I wash my face really quickly before she freaks out. Done. This gets old. I've been experimenting with other solutions recently. The most popular, yet least successful is the 'Lily Ruth gains naked freedom whilst Mama finishes her ablutions'. This means that I set her little nudie self onto the bath mat while I rinse my hair/wash my face/shave my legs - one of those three, not all! It worked for a while. She would stand at the edge of the tub alternately playing with her bath toys and trying to climb back in. Whatever. She was content, and I had both hands free.

Last weekend saw a new leap in baby cognition as Lily realized that she wasn't in any way physically confined to the bathroom. I set her down as usual, and talked to her as I began to shave my legs. She glanced at me, then took off down the hall with the bath tub plug in one hand. I furiously shaved the rest of my leg so that I could chase after her.

Here's what I found when I rounded the corner:


She had used her highchair to corral all three pets into the corner by the door! Granted, they were all already milling about close to there waiting for me to let them out. Maybe they thought that since she has thumbs, she could be the one to let them out?

Sunday, May 23, 2010

*Trumpet Fanfare* Guess What Happened!

This has been a crazy weekend, and you'll just have to wade through it with me before I get to the good stuff :-D

I have been ridiculously sick, yet I have pushed forward instead of lying down. I got WORSE, ya'll! Aren't you supposed to feel better by your third day of antibiotics? Maybe I got the placebo :-/

Lily Ruth joined the fray with world's runniest nose (but no other symptoms). Gross. Just gross.

Our farmer's market trip was cut short by my need to sit down and also blow my nose, but since I feel so crappy, I probably won't be cooking much :-( Oh well, I still managed to get mushrooms, an eggplant, blackberries, peaches and some spiced peach butter for toast... mmmmmmmmmmmmm, toast...

We dive-bombed Old Navy for new attire. Daddy's swimsuits have all had it, and Mama's t-shirts alllllllll have holes rubbed in them from wearing/holding the world's most amazing baby. Then we cruised Carter's for sunsuits and baby p.j.s. Mission accomplished.

We got to visit with Don's good friend and his family. They were in from D.C., and there was pool side fun to be had out there! Lily Ruth was awesome. She laughed, ate, did all of her funniest tricks and played in the pool until her tiny teeth chattered. Then she had a meltdown and we left quickly. Nice timing, Lily Ruth ;-) I swear that I did not pinch her.



Oh yeah - there was this as well - Well, I assumed that my darling daughter would be so pooped from her day of fun that she would be a bit 'lounge-ish' this evening. I could not have been more wrong! She wound up for round two and STARTED WALKING all unassisted and everything! The first two times, Daddy tricked her into it by holding her toy up and away from her. She was so ticked that she just stood up, stepped forward (3 steps each time!!!!!), and took it... while yelling baby obscenities at Daddy... then she caught on and started trying it out all on her own! It was so incredible! At one point, she stood up facing me. I just looked at her and said 'Well, you had better just walk on over here' SO SHE TOOK 5 STEPS :-0 That kid is awesome. She did finally wear herself out. Daddy 'rocked her down' in record time. Fingers crossed that her stuffy nose doesn't wake her up!

Since I was so busy marveling at her, I did not have time for pictures or video, and the damn 'interweb' won't upload my video of her using her highchair as a walker, so we're all out of luck... dammit.

p.s. We have Netflix now, so I may be too busy streaming nonsense directly onto my laptop to ever blog again. We'll see.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

It's Official.

I'm exactly as sick as I thought that I was. Either that, or the nice man purporting to be a 'doctor' at the AH 'Doc-in-a-Box' was just humoring me.

Stupid Sinusitis - AGAIN. I had it in January/February (6 weeks, people!!!), and left it untreated because I felt bad about giving 6-month-old Lily Ruth all the antibiotics. I couldn't let it go this time. I feel like hammered dog poop. Every part of my body hurts a LOT*. The 'doctor' (I kid - he seemed very qualified and was exceedingly nice to Lily Ruth and I) didn't want me to breastfeed at all while on my z-pack & inhaled steroid (to make the z-pack more effective), but we compromised on nursing 1/2 of the time. I got the feeling that he thought I should be weaning her already. I stood my ground... for once. I happen to have a donation of milk all ready for the milk bank, so it will just have to stay in-house :-( I will nurse my angel in the overnight half of the day, and use stored milk and the old 'pump & dump' for the daylight half. I am so bummed to have to keep the donation, yet so thrilled to have it on hand. THANK GOODNESS I ran out of energy on Friday, and did not drop it off as planned!

Oh, here's something that freaked me out AND pissed me off - my prescription total was $175 for TWO ITEMS! My dad picked them up for me, and we both wigged out. Now, the clinic gave me a 'gift card' looking thing that will refund around $105 - hopefully - but they did not explain that I had to activate the damn card first, so we had to pony-up up front, and I will - again, hopefully - get the refund tomorrow. After I go through a ridiculous on-line process for a drug I will use for the next 5 days. Have you heard the This American Life report on prescription drugs? No? Click on the link to This American Life over in my side bar, and get yourself some knowledge. Apparently, my co-pay on this sucker will drop to 'as low as $11', but my insurance company will potentially be shelling out HUNDREDS of dollars. No wonder they screw us on everything else that they can... Don't even get me STARTED on the hearing test given to Lily Ruth in the hospital that I thought was mandatory, and we are now being charged almost $300 for!...

Enough for today. I have to do snort steroids into my nose then rescue my husband from baby-rocking purgatory (he's been in there a looooooong time!). I know. You totally wish that you were me.

here's how I feel :-(


*because of Allie over at Hyperbole and a Half (check my 'blogs I follow' window), I cannot type 'a lot' without thinking of her mythical creature called 'ALOT'. She did that on purpose.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Cooking for Two... or Three... or Forty...

This afternoon, I was throwing together another batch of the lasagne recipe that I made up recently, and it struck me - next week, I will have been married for FOURTEEN YEARS, and I have never figured out how to cook for just two people! When I started that recipe, I was genuinely trying to make a small pan of lasagne for 2 people and a tiny baby. I ended up with a 11 X 7 pan that fed 6 adults & 1 baby and I still had leftovers for 3 lunches. Sadly, that was one of my better efforts at cutting back. I would have normally ended up with a 9 X 13 pan PLUS either an 11 X 7 pan or a loaf pan. Oh dear.

Obviously, this is not a new issue. It goes back (waaaay back) to my childhood. My mama is an excellent cook (as is my grandmother). She can take what a lot of people would see as an empty fridge/pantry, and make a tasty meal. By the time I was old enough to really help in the kitchen, there were five people in our family, and two of them were young boys who were growing like weeds. So while I was learning how to cook, everything that my mama and I made was whipped up in fairly large quantities. When I moved out on my own, I seemed to have cooking for one down to a science, but it was because I was so limited on funds and that it sort-of happened on it's own. When Don & I married, and I started to really cook, our portion sizes spiraled out of control very quickly. By choosing to stay home most nights - eating in instead of out - we each put on (at least) 20 pounds in the first year or so of our union. Our fridge was constantly full of leftovers... a trend that has not abated over the years...

*le sigh* It's just that I love to eat, and I love to cook. It pleases me enormously to see large quantities of fresh, beautiful foods become meals for the people I love under my hands.

I think that maybe I need to learn other ways to express my deep and abiding love for my family. The absolute LAST behavior that I would want to model for my daughter is a poor body image/low self esteem. So this is it. Time to put up or shut up. Time to either lose weight and stay there, or become completely comfortable where I am so that Lily Ruth never sees me panic when I put on clothes. Oi, the responsibility!

You know, I started this post with a very different twist to this theme in mind. I can't even fit it in now. It just won't go... I'm just so very tired. I even made myself sick - anyone want to join me for one of my semi-bi-annual sinus infections? I feel a bit overwhelmed. When I feel like this, it's easy to lose sight of what's important. Like the fact that my husband is NOT abandoning me so he can go party like a rock star out of town every week. He is, in fact, working his ass off so that I can stay home to raise our daughter. Or the fact that I am incredibly lucky to have this time in my life, with this family, in this house, in this body. Or even the fact that Lily Ruth will not always want to sleep with me. It feels like an imposition on my time, good will and sleep to have her want so desperately to be near me, but there will come a day when she will want nothing more than to sleep alone in her own space and I will idealize this time in my memories.

It's time again to step back, center, breathe and give thanks. Even if the best take on this that I can manage tonight is 30 minutes to myself with a small glass of wine and a 'hug' from my dog. It'll be enough... and tomorrow I will manage more.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

well...

Last night was truly torturous, but today has just been a regular good day. Since I'm trying to ack. cent. u. ate. the positive, what I have is a blurb followed by some fun pictures and even a video!

Lily Ruth's Daddy was out of town for two nights in a row. For a Mama who hasn't slept more than 2 hours consecutively in several weeks, that was just awful. The first night was bad enough - trying to keep an exhausted baby quiet because her grandparents were trying to sleep in the next room was no fun at all - but last night was a true test of my tenuous patience. Lily Ruth was exhausted when we left my parent's house at 8 pm. By 11:00, she was still awake, fighting sleep like a champ, flopping around on the bed and acting like there was no way on God's green earth that she could get comfortable. There was rocking, flopping, flipping, flapping, flailing and pitiful crying. Then she gave up, sat straight up, and began vocalizing as though she and I were in the middle of a lighthearted lunch conversation. I gave her a 'lay down, Boo' so she threw herself down and screamed. It was downhill from there. We finally got to sleep around midnight.

Now for the good part :-)

We woke up, ate nutrigrain waffles then took a nice walk. When we got home, we played with toys for a little while. I decided that I wanted to go out for lunch, so I took a quick bath (Lily spent the whole time trying to get into the tub with me and grabbing for my arms/face/hair as they came near the edge of the tub). Then I started to get ready. Just as I was almost presentable, Lily Ruth tanked and fell asleep. For the first time in a long while, I was able to lay her on my bed (surrounded by a pillow fort), and leave the room. I scrounged enough food from the fridge for lunch, then hung out ALONE until she woke up. Good stuff. Once she woke up, we went for frozen yogurt then cruised Central Market for yummy dinner ideas and ingredients. Not really an interesting day, but a good one.

Here are some of the really fun things that my adorable offspring has been doing recently :-)

Using her high chair as a 'walker'


Wearing her bubbles as a necklace almost constantly - she can even put them on all by herself! Here she is STANDING, wearing her bubbles necklace and playing with her fridge magnet toys! Little Superstar!


She wore one of her new swimsuits to a birthday party


and got her first large dose of artificial coloring. She was OBSESSED with the blue frosting off the cake. She licked the plate!


all of the kids ended up looking like cyanotic crack-heads - little blue fingertips and lips and running around all hopped up on sugar. It was a hoot.

She learned how to say 'no' this weekend, but she's not great with context yet - thank goodness! She has also been saying/singing 'dgwah, dgwah, dgwah' almost non-stop for several days. Apparently, it's an all-purpose phrase. It's hilarious.

So, to sum up: I'm still a zombie, but some of my good humor has returned (along with my husband). I can do this... right?

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Today's Random Tidbits - 4

Ahhhhhhhhhhh, Family! That's not sarcasm, Folks. I genuinely love to spend time with the people that I'm related to.

My aunt, uncle & cousins watched a tired and pissed off Lily Ruth for us while we went to the Cowboy Mouth show on Wednesday night. Not exactly 'together time', but it definitely deserves a shout-out.

We had a wonderful dinner last night with my parents. I made a Chicken, Rosemary, Mushroom, Veggie & Pasta Soup with cheese quesadillas on multi-grain tortillas and peach & blackberry fruit salad. If I get enough sleep tonight, I'll add the soup recipe... don't hold your breath...

My grandmother, aunt, daughter & I went to the Farmer's Market this morning. I bought squash, onions, pinto beans, culinary lavender and yukon gold potatoes. I also managed to send my grandmother into a mild (yet good-natured) tizy by allowing Lily Ruth to chew on a squash while we walked around. As Grandmother Ruth tells it, when her kids dropped something, it had to be BOILED before you gave it back to them (per Dr. Spock). Side note - she also LOATHES it when the dogs kiss the baby :-)

And last but not least, my in-laws arrived this afternoon! My mother-in-law and I bought Lily Ruth 2 new bathing suits - one for cute and one with the SPF 50 3/4 sleeve top. Then she jumped on board the tiny-fridge-magnet-toy train with me and we went CRAZY! SInce the 3 I already made were DUDS (the magnets were too weak to stick to the fridge), I sent them to live with the tiny cat (he's been playing with/ruining them anyway)... correction - I sent two of them with the kitten. The other one is MIA. So far, we've made a (new) fish, a star, a pear, an eggplant and a crook-neck squash. Side note - here's a sign that you're slightly OCD: you creep out of bed at oh, 11:00 at night to finish blanket-stitching a felt squash because you couldn't leave it undone and still fall asleep...



p.s. The tiny cat found a new home! It was harder than I thought it would be to hand him over. I kept telling them stupid stuff about how to take care of him even though they have their own cats already. Even though internet courtesy dictates that I delete their e-dress and never contact them again, I plan to e-mail them later and ask how he's doing.


p.p.s. My daughter is awesome.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Dear So & So... take 10

Dear So and So...
I haven't participated in Dear So & So Friday lately, and I miss it! So here we go... oh, if you want to play too, pop over to Kat's at 3 Bedroom Bungalow, grab the button, write yourself some letters, and then link up!

◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊

Dear Rain,

WOW! Um, you filled the pool to overflowing in just a few short hours of deluge. I'm so glad that you're here, but you brought too many friends. Please ask those jerks Surface Street Flooding and Super Slick Streets to please leave. They were not invited. You may stay as long as you behave yourself.

Yours,
Miss Wet Head

☁☂☁☂☁☂☁☂☁☂☁☂☁☂

Dear Keely Monkey Dog,

I'm so sorry, Honey. I know that you hate the rain. Would you like a treat?

I love you,
Mama Dog


❖❖❖❖❖❖❖❖❖❖❖❖❖

Dear Tiny Cat,

I really really really really really need to find a home for you. You have kept me awake for most of every night that you have been here by either chewing/scratching me or attempting to chew/claw on my baby daughter and waking her up in the process. I'm not sorry that I took you in, but I am sorry that you are still here. YOU ARE DRIVING ME CRAZY. It's a good thing that you're so cute. Fingers crossed that the lady I've been e-mailing comes to get you tomorrow!

I'm watching you,
Lady Who is Holding You by the Back of the Neck


☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺

Dear Baby Daughter,

Oh my GOODNESS! You are getting so BIG! Great work on the whole standing thing. The fact that you now mimic the animals and sing 'ee-EYE-oh' when I sing 'Old MacDonald' seriously cracks me up. You are amazing and I love you so much that it hurts.

Your Biggest Fan,
Lily Ruth's Mama


♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

Dear Self,

Get some damn sleep! This is ridiculous. Deep cleansing breaths. Let it all GO. Rest. Be good to yourself.

Love you!
me

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Are you WITH me?

Last night was AWESOME. Don & I got to do one of our favorite shared pastimes. No, not that you pervert... although we would have if we'd had any time to spare... We went to a Cowboy Mouth show! Cowboy Mouth are a fantastic rock band out of New Orleans. The show is always energy-filled, loud and FUN.


The drummer (Fred) is the lead singer, so the drum kit is front and center. He's a powerhouse of big, positive energy, and he never stops moving, so he's a blur in my crappy cell phone picture. The entire show is 'full audience participation required'. Everyone is exhorted to be on their feet, hollering, clapping, jumping and singing for the duration of the set. Occasionally, Fred will halt a song until the noise level meets his standard. You just feel GOOD during a Cowboy Mouth show. He often asks 'ISN'T IT GREAT TO BE ALIVE!!!?'

Oh, I'm still riding along on the wave of feel-good fun from last night! Also, as I write this, I'm looking for a video to post with it, and Lily Ruth is dancing and clapping on the bed next to me - too cute!


Now, fingers crossed that the lady I've been e-mailing all day really wants the tiny cat! If so, he may be in his new home by tonight!!!

I found a video on youtube. It's not my favorite song of all time. That honor goes to 'Love of My Life', but there is no official video for that one... they spend too much time touring to make videos ;-), but I like it!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Regular Days

I feel like I blog a lot about Lily Ruth's (and therefore my) lack of sleep and the days that are so hard. Maybe that's because the tough days lead to a pent-up feeling and a need to vent whereas the regular and even the good days are simply lived and enjoyed. Whatever the reason, I'm vowing to re-hash more of the good along with the bad. Of course, this will have to wait until I find a new home for tiny kitty and get some damn sleep. I am a zombie. A zombie who loves you.


A zombie who would prefer it if her loving husband never took another picture of her from that angle ever again.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Tiny Kitty Update *edited*

Ya'll, there is still a tiny kitten in my house! I felt certain that his family would be searching high and low for him. I just KNEW that he'd be reunited (and it feels so GOOD) with them by now. Well, they're not, and he isn't. He's asleep on my pillow.

Last night, he woke me up twice to give him a snack and a sip of water. Today, he peed on my leg as I sat on my bed. Tonight, he played 'blanket monster' with Lily Ruth's roving toes as she attempted to nurse herself back to sleep, *EDIT* played 'lion on the savannah' with her HAIR while she slept, and WOKE HER UP TWICE (4 am - up for 2 hours & 8:15 am - up for the day.... no nap yet and it's 2 pm...)!!!! Mama is NOT happy. He is SOOOOOOOOO outta here!

I contacted my two friends who take in every kitten they see. They're each way over their kitten quota. One didn't even giggle when I suggested that there might be a kitten smuggling operation being run out of my folding massage table (without my knowledge), and not to be surprised if her was 'one up' after my next visit to his house. He suggested that I NOT leave an extra cat, but he did schedule a massage.

COME ON Craig's List - pull through for me!

Just to reiterate - I DO NOT HAVE A NEW CAT. I have a foster kitten who will either be reunited with his original family or placed with a new, very loving family (other than us) in the very near future... but check this out :-)


ah. door. ah. ble

dulce sueƱos

One of Those Days

It was just one of those days. You know. The kind of day that makes you feel like you are doing everything wrong. You know intellectually that you cannot be doing EVERYTHING wrong, but it still feels that way.

Since Lily Ruth had been sick, our routine (HA!) was slightly disrupted. I was sure that she felt better, so we were attempting to go about our normal day. That was fine until nap time. At that point, she gave in to her exhaustion, and began yelling at me... and she didn't stop for 2 1/2 hours. She just threw her head back and howled. I patted, soothed, shushed, bounced, jiggled, sang, nursed, rocked and begged. Some of it worked for a minute or two, some just made it worse. In the end, I set her in her crib, and walked away. I switched out the laundry, and put bottles in the sink to soak. Then I went back in to her room, picked her up and took her in to my bed. Her tiny face was red and wet. Her long eyelashes were damp, inky points. Her breath came in gulps and sobs. We laid down, nursed AGAIN, and she finally passed out. She continued to sob in her sleep for 30 minutes or so, then she settled into a deep and dreamy sleep.

Because her naps are so unpredictable, I usually can't relax enough to nap with her and/or I finally start to unwind and close my eyes 5 or 10 minutes before she wakes up. Since that's so much fun, I just stuck with it.

When she woke up, she was in a pretty good mood. At first. Then she got a look at her toys, and her mood went downhill - I think she's bored with her selection. In my infinite Mama wisdom, I gave up on staying home. We jumped up, threw on dresses, and ran out the door. We went to get frozen yogurt. Then we went to Central Market. That was one errand too many. I just couldn't catch a break.

Back at the house, negotiations began anew. We tried books, toys, bubbles, Sprout, nursing (AGAIN!!!), and 'walking' endlessly up and down the front room. None were exactly what she wanted. In desperation, I took her out to the front yard. I decided that she could eat grass until she felt better... it works for the dog... we had just barely planted our butts on the lawn when Lily's favorite thing happened - DADDY CAME HOME! I felt certain that my luck had changed, and the rest of my day would be cake.

I was right up to a point. She was thrilled that we were all together, and had silly, noisy fun until bedtime. Then she lost it again. Wailing, flailing, hitting, biting... oh my GOODNESS! She finally passed out around 1 a.m. No lie. My nerves are shot. My patience is drained, and my eyes are soooo very heavy.

The upside? The only way out is forward. Square your shoulders, take a deep breath and keeeeeeep on movin'. This too shall pass... right?

Sunday, May 9, 2010

My Very First Mother's Day by Rachel

Today's Recipe: Electric Flapjacks

Today just keeps bringing me around the amazing women in my life.

I woke up to my amazing Lily Ruth's smile.


We took a walk. I found a kitten. Not a metaphor - a real, tiny, freaked out kitten... who looks almost EXACTLY like Bing did at that size. If, when I return to that location later today without my dog and my infant, said kitten is still there, I will take him/her in until a home can be found that is NOT OURS :-) My Mama's best friend (since they were 3 & 4) has rescued animals my whole life.

**EDIT - Ya'll already knew I was going to end up bringing that kitten home, right?...


He's too cute for words - I just know that somebody is missing him terribly. I will find them! Craig's List and Kinko's, here I come...

I made Electric Flapjacks for brunch. This is a great recipe from my childhood. Here it is in it's original format:


I could also hear my Mama and my Grandmother in my head while I cooked - 'the pan is ready when water droplets dance on it's surface' and 'pancakes are ready to flip when tiny bubbles pop through the top'.

I used the hand mixer passed on to me by my friend Crystal when she got an awesome stand mixer so she could make Monster Cookies in a more efficient manner.

I made tiny, baby-sized pancakes and even an 'L' for Lily just like my Mama used to for us.


I listened to the Spice Girls and 'shook it' in honor of my Kittyn.

I made tiny fridge magnet toys using Samster Mommy's idea


It's been pretty great :-)

Did I mention how awesome my husband is?


Well, he is. He and Lily Ruth bought me tiny speakers and a 'desk' for my laptop. He claims to be feeding my internet addiction. Enabler.

I AM LOVING MY LIFE, YA'LL! Feeling pretty thankful.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Oh, Poop.

The day has arrived. Lily Ruth has contracted her first virus - Hand, Foot and Mouth. As first viruses go, it really could be a lot worse. She feels vaguely crummy, is covered in a rash that doesn't bother her, and has a low-grade fever. An itchy rash and awful mouth sores are possible before this is over, but she may make it through with no other symptoms.

For now, we're holed up at home sleeping in,


nursing a lot, and sucking on ice cubes in the mesh feeder. Ice water in the sippy cup has also been in high demand. When Daddy gets home, we'll procure frozen yogurt and more fresh tangerine & orange juice to freeze into cubes.

Poor Baby Girl.

In happier news, Lily has been practicing free standing!


She's also obsessed with bubbles. So much so that she actually said 'ba-boo' at LEAST 6 times at the pediatrician's office. I dove into the diaper bag for my phone, and fumbled with the camcorder setting like I had flippers instead of thumbs. By the time I figured it out, she was done talking about bubbles, and had moved on to waving and making 'giggle stick' noises. I'll be ready next time...