Saturday, July 30, 2011

The First Birthday Extravaganza is Almost Upon Us

I can't quite put my finger on it, but for some reason, today Josephine seems really ... old.  Like, every day Jeremy and I look at each other in amazement at LEAST once and say something like, "Holy crap!  When did she get so BIG?" and strangers have been calling her a "big girl" instead of "such a sweet little thing," and I KNOW she's almost one, but today?  Today it is hitting me all at once.  

Maybe it has something to do with the fact that she finally convinced me that she really isn't going to tolerate the "two-nap" schedule anymore and if I want a moment's rest I better just let her switch to one long afternoon nap.  We did it today and she ACTUALLY SLEPT.  FOR MORE THAN THIRTY CONSECUTIVE MINUTES!!!!!  And then even went to bed a half an hour earlier than usual.  Yeah.  Big time stuff.  

Or maybe it was because after she woke up from her nap, I put some toys out on the floor and she just happily sat and played, and just looked back at me every once in a while to make sure I saw her do something that she deemed especially funny. 

Or maybe it is because she will just stand in the middle of the room, all sturdy and then will slowly squat down, pick something up, then slowly stand back up, without any wobbling or falling or even acting like it is a big deal.

Or maybe it was how I just turned on Yo Gabba Gabba, and the EXACT SECOND she heard the little intro Nick Jr. plays (something about teaching children something something something), she WHIPPED her head around and stared at the TV, laughing and squealing with delight.  The TV had been totally uninteresting until she heard one of her two favorite shows (that makes it sound like she watches a lot of TV ... I swear, she only watches that and Sesame Street).

OR maybe it is because she now says a LIST of words and DEFINITELY connects them to things.  Get this:
"Da-DEEEE" is "daddy" (duh) -- in fact, she has been pointing at things that are Jeremy's (like his cell phone and his guitar) and saying Da-DEEEE over and over, looking at me for confirmation, and every time she sees a picture of him (even one of him when he was little!!).
"Mumma" is "mama" (double duh)
"Bay" is "baby" (she LOVES babies)
"Da" is "that" (we think)
She also says "Gi-go" a lot.  I think it might be "giggle" because she has an Elmo doll she is ape over that says "giggle with Elmo!"
Also, I swear she says "Em-mo" while reading her Elmo book.  However, she has only ever done it in front of me, so it has not been verified.

Yeah, I get it, she is turning one in ten days; I SHOULD be feeling like she is old, and no, I shouldn't feel like this has snuck up on me, but I do.  I do.  And every time I think about her birthday party (coming up in EIGHT days!) I get a little twinge of an ulcer.

I had a way to make this not just a ridiculous post, but I've forgotten how I was going to accomplish that.  Instead, I'll leave you with this:

I can't believe my baby turned into this.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Funny Stuff My Husband Says, Vol. XIII

My husband is like the funniest guy on the planet.  So, every once and a while, I salute him.  Like today. To see all volumes of Funny Stuff My Husband Says, click here.

Veronica:  Look!  It came out perfectly, even though the tag said dry-clean only!
Jeremy:  They're clearly in cahoots with the dry-cleaning industry!

Jeremy:  Oh, man, I wish we had a Frosty machine in our kitchen.  NO!  WAIT!  I take that back.  A SLURPEE machine.  Yeah, Slurpee, all the way.
Veronica:  Hmmm, I'd rather have a Frosty machine than a Slurpee machine.
Jeremy:  Are you SERIOUS???  God, sometimes it's like I don't even know you.

Jeremy:  Smell the armpits.  
Veronica:  *Quizzical look*
Jeremy:  Trust me.
Veronica:  Whaaa??!?!??!!  The armpits only have a slight scent of deodorant!  No sweat!  How is that possible?
Jeremy:  Because I'm a dainty little flower.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Book Review of The Kid and a Tantalizing Offer

A few weeks ago, Penguin Publishing sent me a copy of Sapphire's new book, The Kid, to read and review through the BlogHer Book Club.  Remember Push, the book made into the film Precious?  This book follows the life of Precious' son.

You can find my review HERE, and lots of other reviews HERE.

ALSO -- Jeremy does an awesome "PRECIOUS!" shout (like Monique does in the film).  If I get at least fifteen comments on this post asking for it, I will take a video of Jeremy shouting and post it here.  

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Updates, Crafts, Promises, Blog Love

Y'all, I have been crafting up a frickin' STORM over here in preparation for Josephine's first birthday!  Since I don't have a craft room (*ahem*), I have taken over the dining room.  My husband is very excited about this new development.

I have been making TONS of decoration goodness for the big bash (it's at a park, in a pavilion, so I need to try to make it look as cute as possible, the cheapest way possible.  Let's put it this way: I was saying to Jeremy, "But I just want her birthday to be as FABULOUS as possible on our shoestring budget!!" and he replied, "Shoestring budget?  That's overstating it ... a lot.").  So, I have been trying to be creative. 

I have ALSO been making a lot of gifts for Josephine.  We bought her one big toy, but I had a whole list of things I had been wanting to make her, so I have been working my butt off, and only have ONE project left!!!  The one I thought would be the easiest is giving me the most trouble.  Isn't that always the way?  I figure this is the birthday to do lots of handmade gifts, because she's not old enough to complain about not getting specific toys she wanted (heh heh) AND I will be able to look back and be proud of the love I put into all of it.  And, depending on how old she is when she does the reminiscing, she might also think it is heartwarming ... or, of course, she might shout something like, "Way to cheap out on my first birthday, MOM!!!"  I am totally looking forward to the teen years.

Well, it took a long time to say it, but the point of this post was to tell you I am crafting my a$$ off, get you all excited about seeing pictures (and some tutorials!!) after the big birthday bash, AND to tell you about some new craft blogs I am loving.  After getting some inspirations online, I got into some serious craft-blog loving, so I thought I would share some with you.

Prudent Baby

Prudent Baby

A haven for baby and toddler clothes (and so much more)!  Tons of tutorials, free patterns, and inspiration galore!

I can't wait to try this dress:

And I wish I had found this pattern before my little one arrived.  

Although, she only allowed us to swaddle her for two days ... well, I could make some for "normal" babies!  Whether you are just starting out or are a professional seamstress, this site will be your favorite, I promise!

A Little of This, A Little of That

a little of this, a little of that
Just what it sounds like, this site has it all in terms of crafting inspiration.  Sewing, decorating, organizing, refurbishing furniture -- you name it, she does it.

I'm loving her mod quilt:

She has great ideas, gives excellent instructions, and I think I spent two hours reading her blog last night before I realized I should be sleeping.  D'oh! 

Sweet Verbena

Sweet Verbena

This blog is like 2 months old, and already has over 400 followers because of tutorials like this:

Love it.  Can't wait to make one!

Mad Mim

You Are Now At Mad Mim's Website

That crazy Mim has great ideas, like this maternity dress:

Turn About the Room5 Sewing for a Belly over at DIY Maternity

I WILL make one when (if?) I get pregnant again!!  She is an excellent seamstress, includes very detailed and helpful tutorials, has great ideas, AND also just had a beautiful little girl, Harper, who I just want to hold and smell.  

Harpsy 1v Discovering Eachother

Is that creepy?  Sorry.

Alright, if you are a crafty lady or gentleman (or wish to be one) head on over and give them some blog love!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

I'm Getting Really Good at This "Writing" Thing

I don't know what the deal is, but things are really falling apart around here.  It started with my trusty old friend ...

Yes, the hot glue gun.  Can you believe it?  It even had some pink embellishments.  I used that sucker so much I often considered just keeping it in my purse in case I needed to use it on the run.  Seriously.

Then, I tried to make a pot of coffee, like I do EVERY morning, and .... I waited FIVE HOURS.  I unplugged and replugged, pressed buttons frantically, and cried, all to no avail.  I finally gave up and pouted, only to hear it kick on hours later and S-L-O-W-L-Y start brewing.  Not helpful.

Just when I thought nothing else could fall apart that day, I grabbed the upstairs laundry basket to take downstairs.  As I reached in to pull out the laundry, I saw THIS:

Yes, a metal pokey-thing that tried to KILL me.  I told Jeremy we needed to fix it IMMEDIATELY, because what if Josephine pulled the laundry basket over onto herself and the metal thing poked out her eye?!?!?!!?!!  

Well, here's the good news:  I bought a new hot glue gun (it's pink!), Jeremy fixed the laundry basket, AND I had a physical yesterday, and the doctor said I was in EXCELLENT physical condition*.  I know that's totally unrelated, but the coffee maker isn't fixed yet, and my body is one thing that apparently is NOT falling apart in this crap-shack.

*Apparently he chose to ignore the state of my stomach.  He's quite a guy, that doctor.  Also, ALSO, he did NOT tell me that I was a bit over my ideal body weight, so SUCK ON THAT, old doctor!!!!  Yeah, you wanna know why?  Oh, just because my blood pressure, cholesterol, and glucose are all STELLAR.  So, you know, I'm healthy even though I weigh more than 140 pounds.  GASP.  Is that possible?  YES, yes it is.  

Now I don't know how to end this.  I've gone slightly off-track.  Am I right?  Ha.  HA HA.  Okay, so laughing didn't fix it.  Or give me an idea.  Crap.  I thought it might distract you and I could just duck out.  Nope?  Okay.  How about this?  Leave me a comment and tell me one of the following:

1.  Are things falling apart at your house too? 
2.  Did you recently fix something you are really proud of?
3.  Did you recently get good news that you wanted to shove in a medical health professional's face?
4.  Do you want to comment on my lack of focus?  (Well, DON'T)

And there you have it.  Interaction.  Everyone loves that.  Comment away!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Making an Effort Monday: Loaded Mashed Potato Casserole

In an effort to make more of the things I love -- good food, pretty things, and organized spaces -- I bring you Making An Effort Monday!  It's not a huge effort, but it's an effort nonetheless!

This week I tried out a new recipe, and it was AWESOME.  I found this recipe for loaded mashed potato casserole over at Do They Have Salsa in China? (great blog!  Head over!), and I changed it to lighten it up, fat-wise, and took out the green onions (BLECH).  So, if this version seems like it needs to be heavier/creamier for your taste, you can head over and check out her original version.

Loaded Mashed Potato Casserole

9 medium peeled and cubed potatoes 
1 package (8 ounces) reduced fat cream cheese
1/2 cup light sour cream
1/2 cup butter substitute
1/4 cup fat free milk
a dash garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
6 strips turkey bacon
1 cup (4 ounces) fat free shredded cheddar cheese

1.  Bring potato cubes to a boil, reduce heat, cover and cook for 10-15 minutes until tender, drain.  (I let mine sit for a while to let the water evaporate) 
2.  Cook bacon until crisp, set aside to drain on paper towels.
3.  Mash potatoes with cream cheese, sour cream and butter. (I actually used a hand mixer.) Stir in milk and seasonings.
4.  Add potato mixture to a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish; sprinkle with cheese and bacon.
5.  Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 40-50 minutes or until heated through.


The only changes I would make would be making the potatoes a little thicker -- maybe my potatoes were not as "medium" as I thought they were, and therefore I didn't have enough potato in the ratio?  Who knows? -- and I might try putting down half the potato mixture, then half the cheese and bacon, then the rest of the potatoes, and the rest of the bacon and cheese on top?  I wonder if that would make it cheesier or if I'm thinking too much into it?

In any case, it was DEEElicious.  Loved it.  AND, the leftovers taste great reheated, too.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

T-minus One Month Till My Nervous Breakdown

Holy crap.  I have an 11-month old kid.  The BIG ONE is right around the corner.  Don't you worry, I have been panicking and crying and planning for the birthday extravaganza like a crazy person.  I'll just be over here, rocking back and forth in my corner.

That little Josie really is growing up fast.  In fact, she hit a darling milestone the other day: The "You Can Never Take Me Into a Store Ever Again" milestone.  Awww.  Isn't that adorable?

Grocery shopping the other day was a TWO AND A HALF HOUR brain-pain.  As I was putting the last grocery away, I heard Jeremy pull up, so I opened the door and said screamed "Thanks GOD you're home."  He loves it when I do that.

Seriously though, aside from her trying to take away the joy that is shopping, she is doing crazy awesome and grown-up things.  Let me number them thusly (I wish I had pictures to accompany all of them, but alas, only a precious few have been documented so far):

1.  She is a CHAMPION waver.  And she doesn't just wave when people wave at her or someone says "bye-bye" or something.  No, she is much smarter than that.  The other day, I scooped her up, grabbed my bag, and told the dog, "Cleo, don't worry, we'll be back soon," and Josephine started waving good-bye to Cleo!  Then, THEN, she WAVED AT THE HOUSE as I backed out of the driveway.  Genius.

2.  She is starting to REALLY love her stuffed animals and dolls, and she "gets" the concept of them now.  She hugs her animals, and I SWEAR she was burping a baby doll the other night.

I really wish this one weren't so blurry, because she is g-d adorable in it.
But this one is pretty cute, too.
See???  Burping the baby!!

3.  She has begun the classic "open mouth kiss."  But mostly only on my mouth.  My daughter french kisses me.  Not sure what to do with that one.

4.  She is interested in "big girl" things, like puzzles.

I'm telling you, GENIUS.

5.  She has SEVEN teeth.  Come on, she's practically an adult.

6.  She grabs my wallet whenever it is visible and will NOT LET GO.  Oh dear ...

7.  She has mastered the bear crawl.  She could totally walk, but this is way more fun.

8.  She can get through every single safety gate in the house.  Crap.

9.  Today I said "Nuh uh, kid."  She said, "Yaaaaaaah."  Oh dear again.

God, I love this kid.

Pinterest Inspirations: Crafts

Okay, I'm officially addicted to Pinterest, and I am not ashamed at ALL.  So far, it has given me some awesome craft inspiration, and I am working on a bunch of these to hopefully get done in time for Josephine's birthday!  Fingers crossed!  

Here is what I am loving this week:

I've also gotten some great party ideas, but I've gotta keep those a SECRET until after the big shindig in August!  I am collecting kid's crafts and activity ideas as well.  Lovin' this Pinterest.

If you have an account, leave me a link and I'll follow you like whoa. (I'm not exactly sure what I meant by that, but I stand by it anyway.)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Funtivities for the Fourth

Lord above, did we have a long list of fun-tivities for this long weekend!

1.  Josephine WENT SWIMMING IN A REAL POOL FOR THE VERY FIRST TIME EVER!!  She and I drove up to Treetops Resort in Gaylord, Michigan to visit with my parents, who were staying there for an event, and we checked out the pool situation.

She took a little while to decide how she felt about the gigantic bathtub ...
 But eventually she got into it and was swimming like a pro!

2.  We stayed and partied with Grandpa and Grandma 
 This was the same party as last year when I looked like THIS:

3.  We did a little fist-pumpin'

4.  We learned that helium balloons are awesome-sauce, and it is especially fun when you bash them into the floor over and over again.  Obviously.  

5.  We had to re-arrange and cancel some weekend plans due to an emergency animal situation.  Our sweet baby Cleo had some stomach issues and after I cried my eyes out for the three days and two nights she was in the hospital, we narrowly escaped a surgery, and GOT OUR SWEET GIRL BACK!
She went right back to her job of taking care of her baby.  AND, we only had to pay the vet eleventy-million dollars, so ... awesome.  But worth it.  We are so lucky she is home safe and sound.

6.  We decided the best way to view Elmo's World is in the utmost leisure.  Why sit when you can lounge?

7.  We took another day trip, this time to Jeremy's parents', and Jeremy (and Cleo) got to come too.

8.  While there, Josephine taught her Gramps how to properly use tools.

8.  We went in ANOTHER POOL!!!!!  This time, at Great-Gran's house, and in a FLOATY!  It was the bee's knees.

9.  We learned that Josephine laughs so hard she chokes a little when her cousin Harrison jumps over plants.  Because, you know, that is the COOLEST THING EVER, much like ANYTHING Harrison does.

10.  I spent hours and HOURS calming Cleo and assuring her that the fireworks would not harm her, while her head was thrust under my bed and she got so nervous she farted.  

11.  I discovered that while the dog is terrified of the fireworks, MoJo the cat now loves them.  He checked every window until he found the best view, and sat there all night watching them.  
This is much like how MoJo used to be afraid of the vacuum, but when he saw that Cleo was afraid of the vacuum, that cat has never once flinched at the sight or sound of the vacuum.  

11.  We had lots of fun, and hope you did too. 

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