Thursday, September 20, 2012

"Looka Mama!", Bella said as she grew up at warp speed

It's been a really difficult past couple of weeks for me. But I don't want to post about that tonight.

I'm going to be positive and write more about how borderline obsessed I am with my baby (ies). I'll write about how much Bella is growing up.

How she's saying new things everyday that either break my heart or crack me up.
(Speaking of cracking me up...)
How she loves to play and love her baby sister already. She blows bubbles at my tummy and laughs like it's the funniest thing she's experienced yet in her 2 years of life.

She wants to kiss my belly often and has a sweet little smile as she leans in for the kiss. She loves to run up at random times and tickle my belly, too. She likes to talk about her sister and we like to joke about how silly baby is already.

Today she actually saw baby kick twice and I wish I could put her reaction into words better than I know I will. After the first kick, she quickly looked at me with a surprised expression, like she was asking, "Was that supposed to happen??" then we watched again and after baby kicked a second time, she laughed and said, "See Baabaa!" (She wanted Baabaa to see.) So she ran to her room to get Baabaa, but sadly baby stopped kicking after that so Baabaa didn't get to see this time. I'm so glad Bella got to experience that though. I have no idea what she thinks about it. Surprisingly, the whole pregnancy doesn't seem too terribly puzzling to her. She very quickly accepted the idea that there was a baby in my belly even before I was showing. Let alone that she's in there kicking around.
She has remarkable manners that seemed to have developed themselves overnight; I'm totally amazed most of the time. She's quick to say sorry - even through tears as I'm getting onto her for being naughty. I'll accidentally bump her head and say, "Oh, sorry baby." and she'll usually respond, "Sorry, too, Mama." I explain that she doesn't need to be sorry but I don't think she really pays attention to that part.

I see this little lady in her more and more and it brings me to tears at times.

And no, that's not just the hormones. She's hit a point that most people must be referring to when they longingly say, "They grow up so fast". She's hit an all time record of speed now.

I mean, she's basically potty trained. WHAT?? I have to say that again, but in bold: She's potty trained. She only wears diapers when she sleeps and has no accidents during the day. We even ran errands this morning and she wore her underwear the whole time. Damn, I am so proud of that girl I have to swear.
She's also grasping and sharing emotions more now. She will tell you when she's happy, sad or mad. It's fantastic! She's communicating! No more random fits where I'm rattling off unanswered questions like a turret gun. What's funny is she sees "happy" and "sleepy" as opposites. Conversations about bedtime a lot of times go like,
"Bella, it's time to get ready to read a book and lay down."
"No bed. Me happy" (she says with a smile and her head cocked to the side - she's really good at selling the "no bed time" idea with that pitch.) 
"You can be happy and sleepy, honey"
"No, me happy. No sleepy."
And eventually when we're heading upstairs to bed, she sighs and says, "Me sad. No bed."
Oh, my dearest.

Her love of the moon also totally breaks my heart. I may have already mentioned this in another post, but one night a few weeks ago she was asking to sleep with the light on so that the moon could see her as she slept.
Melt. My. Heart.
Tonight she talked to the moon and even called to it to come to her the way we call to our cats.
  "Come hewe, boon! PSS PSS!"

Update on Little Baby: She is almost ALWAYS moving and kicking! She is way more active than I remember Bella being! It makes me a little nervous, I'll be honest. Does this mean she is going to be up at all hours of the night? Have ADHD? Be colicky? You know, all the insane tangents pregnant brains go on. But more than that I'm happy to always know she's healthy and strong already. At my 23 week appointment the nurse had the little doppler to my belly to listen for her heartbeat and she kicked the microphone directly two times. The nurse looked at me and said, "Those are some really strong kicks for only being 23 weeks!" I wasn't even surprised to hear her say that. My response was, "Tell me about it!" I'm almost 26 weeks now and I'm wondering how her movements are going to change as she gets bigger. Will they be less frequent and fierce as her space gets more and more cramped? Or will she be karate chopping her way out? I guess we'll see!

It's refreshing how much more ready we feel this time around. You know, most of the time. I still have my panic moments of WHAT AM I THINKING?! But most of the time, we're truly excited to add a new little baby into the mix. Imagining how different our lives will be and anticipating the big sister Bella will be is actually really exciting. (Most of the time) The rest of the time is spent worrying about our daily routine, doing this on my own while Palmer is at work, already mourning the presumed loss of sleep and whether I can be a good mom to more than one child.

A good mom. It's the most intimidating thing I've ever had to live up to. And it's nearly impossible. But these little girls deserve my every ounce of effort.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Winning recipes of the last week

I only made one new dinner recipe last week but it was better than I anticipated it to be. It was filling and really easy, I mean easy like - wrap up chicken, stuffing and a veggie with foil and bake it - easy.

Foil-Pack Chicken and Broccoli Dinner (15)
The Recipe
I didn't have the broccoli it called for so I used spinach which still turned out well. It wasn't the best thing I've ever had, but what can go wrong with chicken and stuffing??

The other recipes I tried this week were for breakfasts and snacks but hands down were my favorites!
First up, Breakfasts:
I tried Pancake Squares first. BAKED pancakes. I know, really sketch, but they turned out much better than my pancakes on a griddle ever turn out.

The Recipe

I would suggest adding a little bit of vanilla extract to the batter, but other than that I was really happy with them. Bella asked for thirds...that says enough!

This morning we made "Puffins" - (a cute word for pancake muffins). I am tempted to package them up and sell them - they were fantastic. And I am a self proclaimed TERRIBLE baker.

Mini chocolate chip pancake muffins
The Recipe

I added butterscotch chips to them which is HIGHLY recommended!

Now for snacks:
I hosted a Pampered Chef party this last week that I had made two different snacks for. First I made, oh I wish I could find another name for them, Pretzel Hugs.

The Recipe

They tasted like chocolate covered pretzels but were easier and less messy. Glorious.

I also made a White Pizza Dip which by itself probably equaled my calorie limit for the week...but was amazing so I didn't care about that for very long.

The Recipe

Aaaand you're welcome!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

I've been looking forward to fall until...

I started seeing pictures of what is "in style this fall"! Literal oversized grandmother sweaters with collars and prints that look good on only 10% of the population of the world. More prints and patterns found on pants (which I remembered Clinton and Stacy from What Not To Wear scolding people for) and blouses that have been met with revulsion until a cute model wears it under a headline that reads "What's Hot!".

(Comments on this picture most favored the sweater, which reminds me of something from Napoleon Dynamite) mom had this chain print on several garments in the early 90's. I bet she regrets giving those to Goodwill all those years ago.

It's why I can't take fashion as seriously as I used to. I love fashion in general and experimenting in style. I love seeing artists take clothing and make it more and make it beautiful. I love what fashion has done for my self esteem on the worst of days. Who needs a fairy godmother when you have an astounding ensemble?
I guess it's more "trends" that end up frustrating me. How something that is a total "fashion no-no" can turn out being the "Fall Look" if you wait it out long enough. How wearing something that people can look down on you for can later cost everyone else quadruple the amount to replicate because it's what's on the mannequin at H&M or Forever 21. 
I wish I had saved it, but I couldn't help but take a picture of a mannequin from Forever 21 that astounded me. It was adorned with a white winged (meaning the middle of the sleeve connected to the torso at the waist, I don't know a proper word for it) shirt that had 6" long fringe running the span of the "wing". Worn over it were denim overall shorts. 
(This but without the floral print)

Demin overalls have been made fun of for the past 10 years. 
These guys were the last ones I remember wearing overalls when it was only borderline okay.

 GIANT FRINGE has not been okay for the past 20 years, so I understood. But if I knew anything about anything, I should have been prancing in there to pay $80 for it. I am probably just fashion stupid or completely unstylish, but I'm finding this stuff more and more ridiculous as the seasons come and go. I went from confused at the 80's zipper stuff from 2 years ago to angry about collared penguin sweaters.

*EDIT: I found the picture!!

I do NOT mean this to be offensive or mean! If you happen to be reading this and love the idea of wearing overall shorts, that's wonderful. I'll bet you wear them really well. If you have a Peter Pan collared sweatshirt you've been wearing around since 1986, that's wonderful too. If you bought a Peter Pan collared sweatshirt 2 weeks ago because the mannequin was wearing it and you liked it, great. I absolutely don't think any differently of anyone who follows any trend, no matter how ridiculous I think it is. I just had to point out, well, how ridiculous I'm finding them. Just please don't think less of me when I'm still wearing stuff with birds on them and vintagey finds when they're no longer cool. I had vintage purple heels with painted on birds and lyrics to a Bright Eyes song before it was cool. (Why yes, I truly am/was that hipster.)
(I was also wearing zipper legged pants and oversized nature t-shirts all through elementary school. I have mixed feelings about that fact, but there it is.) 

My love/hate relationship with fashion continues into this fall. So while the stylish portion of the population enjoys the fall festivals with patterned and printed butts, I'll be in my jeans and sweater from 2 seasons ago I still love. And either way, as long as you feel great in what you're wearing, it's all good. 

Just know I'll probably be staring wide eyed at your geometric butt.