Monday, July 30, 2012

Violet's Birthday Party

Violet is Bean's first friend. Sure, the children of MY friends are her friends because when we have gotten the kids together they play and have a good time, they give hugs and sometimes kissies when we leave, but they're only friends because their moms are friends. Violet is a friend Bean met at the library story time. Because they clicked so well in class, I asked Violet's mom for her phone number and suggested we meet up for play dates at the neighborhood park. That was 6ish months ago. Vi and Bean have become great friends since and thankfully Violet's mom, Tessa, and I have become friends too!

Yesterday afternoon was Vi-Vi's 2nd birthday party. There were quite a few people at the party, which made Bean a bit shy when we first showed up. She's proven over and over that she has her Daddy's personality when it comes to socializing. She would light up and smile when Vi came up to her, but otherwise was happy playing by herself. She didn't shy away from the other kids, but she didn't join in either. After some of the people left (after cupcakes, but still early-ish) Bean came out of her shell a bit more. Talking louder than a whisper and, in general, just being less of a wallflower - which was great to see. I watched her watching other people talking, and the other kids playing, and saw her take it all in, but she didn't feel the need to join in. When there were fewer people vying for Violet's attention she finally got a bit braver and started initiating play and baby-conversations.

It was a really nice party, complete with a party-favor scavenger hunt, cupcakes, blueberries and cheddar bunnies. (Among other snacks, but those were Bean's favorites!) The sock monster that I made for Violet was a huge hit and the two girlies had a blast throwing their monsters at each other and laughing hysterically about it. I got a few pretty nice pictures during the party, they'll make for good memories of the first birthday party Bean got invited to.

The sock monster I made for Violet
 My sweet Bean-Girl
playing house
showing me one of her scavenger hunt treasures - a ladybug

 Tessa giving Violet her cupcake!
 Mmmm!! Yummy cake!

 They were cracking up at themselves!

I'm so so so happy that Violet liked the sock monster - people seem to either love them or think they're weird -  and I'm so so so happy that Bean has Vi-Vi for a friend! It's so heartwarming to see her be her own little person, making her own friends, showing off her funny and loving personality - I look forward to seeing them grow together, hopefully becoming better friends as they get older!

I've got some big birthday party shoes to fill, I hope that Bean's birthday party (only TWO weeks away!!!! gulp) is as fun as Violet's was!! It'll be the first time that Bean has a party where she has other toddler-friends there and I'm still trying to figure what to do at the party as far as entertainment goes. I'll be on Pinterest between now and the day of her party looking for ideas!! Haha!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Sunday quickie

We're heading out the door to go to Bean's very first birthday party! The party is for her friend Violet's second birthday and I've been trying to talk it up all day. Obviously, she has no idea what a birthday party is, but I'm trying to get her pumped! Violet is a fellow-peanut-sized-toddler and she and Bean get along great! I'll try to remember to take some photos of the girls, they really are cute together!

Real quick: yesterday I was hit with the reality that 1.) my baby is a full blown toddler, on her way to being a 'big kid', and 2.) she's cooler than me.

Skinny jeans, Babiators, Native shoes... too cool, dude!

And, I'm not sure about the rest of you, but I LOVE the summer Olympics!! My fave sports are gymnastics and swimming/diving. I tried getting Emily and Bean pumped for them too, but they didn't seem to give a hoot. They did, however like making Olympics crafts.

Those are Emily's.... Bean did the same crafts, but they obviously don't look like 'USA' or Olympic rings. hahaha!

This past week Emily's classes started. Swimming M-Th, and then Ribbon Dance Fridays. We've been go-go-going and I've been extra wiped out after she goes home in the afternoon. When I get home tonight I'll post some pics of what we've been doing when we're not running to Em's classes!

Happy Sunday!

Monday, July 23, 2012

twenty seven

I've spent exactly one day in my 'late twenties' and I've got to tell you, they've been pretty great so far.

In lieu of a tangible gift, this year Jeff paid to have my Nugget fly to CO for my bday weekend.

What's a 'Nugget'? She's a best friend, a sister-from-another-mister, it's a term of endearment for my friend. Get with the program!

As always, the time spent with her was too short, but it was a great weekend and the best birthday present ever!!

She, my friend Tia Leah, fellow-mommy-friend Erika and I went out for my birthday and went 'bar-hopping' while Jeff stayed home while Bean was sleeping..... well, we only hopped to two bars, but it was still a fun night. We stayed out until the bar closed at 2am. (I have NEVER in my life witnessed a bar, closing, before this birthday. Growing up in Las Vegas has clearly warped my reality a bit.) We technically went out the day before my birthday so it was fun to count down till midnight and then "WOOOOOO" and yell about it being my birthday. Then quickly switch to drinking water for the next two hours so that I could drive home safely.

Since we didn't leave the bar until it closed at 2am, I didn't get to bed till 3am, and when I woke up with Bean later in the morning I quickly realized that 27 year old me doesn't recover from a night of "Woohoo"ing, drinking, dancing, and yelling over extremely loud music quite as well as 22 year old me did. (Please note that 22 year old me would have never even noticed the volume of the music at the bar, but 27 year old me definitely did. It definitely gave me a headache. Because I'm old.) Needless to say I took a nap when Bean did.

After our nap we got dressed and went to dinner before met up with my extended family at the Chocolate Cafe for birthday dessert.

Yes, those are chocolate raviolis. Yes, they were delish. Yes, I ate them all.

Despite the fact that we are 27 year old mothers, my Nugget and I made suuuuuuuuuuper awesome tie-dye shirts - which we wore out to dinner and dessert on my birthday. Because we're classy. And awesome.

Dontcha wish you were THIS awesome?

Other super amazing bday gifts were my Sex and the City COMPLETE SET - all 10 television seasons, PLUS both theater-released movies - that came from my dear Rib. (Another nickname, for another great friend!) 

As well as 2 pairs of TOMS shoes. One pair from my Nugget:

And the second pair from Jeff's grandparents:

Technically, they gave me cash and instead of paying a bill with it I actually bought something for myself. That's a big deal. I usually don't. I'm really stoked on my new shoes and can't wait to parade them around.

I also got a giftcard to Old Navy from one branch of family, a gift card to Barnes and Noble Bookstore from another branch of family, a giftcard to The Human Bean (an amazingly delicious coffee shop) as well as a griddle/grill for on the stove from my mom, and a suuuuuuuuuuuper sweet card from Jeff and Bean Girl. My mom also babysat so that Jeff, Nugget and I could go to the movies - which was super nice of her. (We saw Snow White and the Huntsman, which I liked despite Kristin Stewart's awkward facial expressions and man-hands.)

The rest of the time spent with my Nugget was doing pretty mundane stuff, but really, that's my favorite stuff to do with her. I wish we lived closer (she lives in Northern California) so that we could meet up for park dates, coffee talks, Target shopping, etc more often. The doing-nothing days are what I miss most about not living near her anymore. That and her boys. I miss watching them grow up. I wish our kids could grow up playing together. BUT, since that' not reality, I'll just be so super thankful that I get to see her once or twice a year and make the best of it. 

This birthday weekend has been amazing. Tomorrow I get back to the daily grind. I've got to drive Emily to her swim class, I've got to clean my house, I've got to get back to normal.... I had a great weekend. I hope everyone else did too.

**This weekend the horrible movie-theater shooting in Aurora, CO happened and while I'm thankful that it didn't happen here, and didn't effect anyone I personally know, my heart goes out to the victims of that horrible crime and their families. Sometimes in the midst of our own lives (or bday celebrations) it's hard to look outside of ourselves and at what others are going through, but it weighed heavily on my mind and my heart from the minute I heard about it, and I thought about the victims multiple times throughout the weekend. I realize that my birthday weekend seems fun and carefree, and it was for me, but it wasn't for those 62 people injured or killed at the movie theater that night, or their families, and I don't mean to be insensitive or disrespectful by gushing about my weekend and not mentioning the tragedy that happened there.**

After the fact edit:
In my sleep deprived state last night when I was writing this post I forgot to mention the giftcard to Michael's craft store from Tia Leah (so I can make another wreath! Yipee!), as well as two gifts I got the month before my birthday. My mother in law got me a new pair of Birkenstocks since the ones I was wearing were 5+ years old and falling apart. Rest assured they're 'hip' hippie shoes, not the Jesus styled Birks. I get compliments on them all the time!

And while I was out in San Francisco when my friends, The Leavitts, came up to see us Jaynie made a wonderful ice cream cake for my birthday! Not to mention my flight there, the toll-road and parking fees and lunch at Source that were my gifts from Larissa. I've recieved many cards in the mail (which I LOVE, by the way! Mail that ISN'T a bill is the best kind!) and a ton of Facebook comments - all of which made me smile.

I've had a wonderful birthday MONTH! I really am a lucky girl woman!!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


The first week of my watching Emily, Bean was just enamored with her. She followed her everywhere, copying everything she did, watching in awe when Emily'd play with her toys.

The second week Bean was beginning to be 'over it' and became quite whiny whenever Emily would touch her toys or stuffed animals. She'd come over to me and whine and point in Emily's direction as if she was tattling on her. "Mooooooom..... she's touching my stufffffffff!!" or something like that. She'd run to me, lip pouting and make whiny noises and put her head on my chest, hugging me tight with her arms. She didn't like what was happening, but didn't know how to fix it.

This week she has learned a new word: Mine! Accompanied with her other new favorite word: Hey! I'm pretty sure that I hear Bean exclaim, "Heeeeeeeyyyy!!!" and "MINE!" more often than anything else.

Girlfriend is all about sharing and playing with other kids when it's an occasional occurrence. Playdate? No prob! Playtime after storytime? She rocks at sharing! Interacting with kids at the park? She's the queen of taking turns.

But all day, every day, in her own house? She's OVER it.

 playing next to each other
Momma!!!! Mine!!!

I know part of the issue is that she's gonna be 2 in less than a month. The other part of it is that up until I started watching Emily it was just me and Bean all day (save for Library Storytime and playdates). She is used to me being there at her disposal, she's used to her toys being her toys, she's used to doing her thing on her schedule.

I try to remind her, every 5 minutes, that she needs to share. That she can play with Emily. That it'll be fun to play with Em. I reassure her that her toys are fine, that Emily is allowed to play with them, that she has 200 other toys to pick from. When all else fails I just rub her back and tell her that it's ok, while I wait for that melt down to pass.

It's all just a big adjustment and I'm sure she'll get the hang of sharing me and her things just about the time that Emily starts school and then Bean will complain about being bored. Ha!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Happy Birthday Grandpa

Today would have been my Grandpa's 85 birthday if he were still alive. I wish he was. I wish I could call him and poorly sing into the phone. He would have chuckled and brushed it off, making some comment about how old he was. I would have insisted that it was a big deal. He would have argued. I wish Bean and I could Skype with him today. When he was sick my mom set Skype up on his computer so that we could 'see' each other from opposite sides of the country. He got to 'see' Bean when she was a little bity baby thanks to Skype. I tell her stories about him all the time, but sadly she'll never remember him. I'm thankful for the memories I have of him. I miss him like crazy. I wish I could tell him Happy Birthday and have him respond in his gruff manor. I wish he was turning 85 today.

This picture is from my wedding ♥

I love you, Grandpa! I'll be thinking about you all day today. xoxo

Monday, July 16, 2012

I've become a working stiff

Ok, not really, since I don't leave the house and punch in and out on my time card, but I have started working - hence my lack of posts.

Today is the beginning of the 3rd week where I'm watching my cousin Emily. Emily is 5.5 years old and until she starts Kindergarten at the end of September I watch her from 7:30a-5:30p while her mama is at work. We've been keeping very busy and by the time her mama picks her up in the evening I'm busy with dinnertime, then bath time, then bedtime and THEN I'm too pooped to get on the compy and write out a blog post. To summarize we've been doing as of late; we go to story time at the library every Monday, swimming in the apartment complex's pool at least 2-4 times a week, doing arts and crafts projects like making sun-catchers, painting bird houses, making bracelets, doing 4th of July crafts like making red white and blue place-mats, bald eagles and fireworks from hand prints, reading stories, building with blocks, etc etc etc. Not to mention, just the daily stuff like meal time, nap time, and running errands is a lot more work with two kids!

Here are some pictures of what we've been doing while I've been watching Em during the week.

I wish I had more pictures to show, but alas, another thing that falls by the wayside now that I'm caring for two kids (besides my hair and makeup) is the picture-taking. I'm much more worried about making sure no one is running into the street, every one is buckled in, no on is choking, WHY IS SHE CRYING?!, making sure no one is losing an eye from toys being tossed across the room, no one is harassing my dogs, making lunch, cleaning up from lunch, cleaning up glitter, DON'T EAT THE GLUE!, making sure naptime happens, etc., to pull out my good camera and snap pictures. I also just got Emily signed up for activities through the city's parks and rec department so next week things will be a lot busier with driving here and there to her dance, swim and theater activities!

I suppose, if Jeff and I were to have any more kids Bean would be about Emily's age when we had a toddler running around, so if nothing else this is good practice!!

It's naptime now, if I don't get Cars or Tangled playing soon the older chickadee will never fall asleep - gotta go!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Vegan Bean Burger

Tonight we tried a new recipe. I was impressed! Vegetarian burgers are expensive, and usually really disappointing. I had been searching Pinterest for a couple weeks for a good recipe to try as my very first homemade veggie burger, one that my cheeseburger-loving hubby would at least try and possibly, hopefully, even like. This recipe succeeded!!

The recipe I used was found on Daily Garnish and has an insane number of good reviews. I made a few adjustments in order to use ingredients I already had in the fridge/pantry, and it was good as I made it. Next time I'll try to have the ingredients that she calls for on hand so that I can compare the original recipe vs. the one I came up with tonight.

Vegan Bean Burgers
Ingredients: (makes 6 burgers)
  • 2 cans black beans (rinsed and drained) I used one can black beans and one can great northern beans
  • 2 carrots, grated I used 1.5 zucchinis 
  • 1/2 cup dry rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds) I used walnuts
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon I think next time I'll use less cinnamon, it was good but strong tasting
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp coriander I used cumin
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder I used garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
To Prepare:  Preheat oven to 300 degrees.  Next, add the oats and pepitas to your food processor and grind until coarsely chopped.  Let it run for roughly 10 seconds.  Grate the carrots (I sliced the zuccs really thin with a knife, leaving the skin on, and then tossed them in the processor), and then add to your mixture in the food processor.  Add 3/4 of the beans, all spices, and the olive oil.  Once all of this is in the food processor, give it a whir and mix it all together. (My food processor is super tiny, so I mixed all the ingredients in a bowl and then put them in the processor in 4 batches.)
Spoon mixture into a mixing bowl and then fold in the rest of the whole, reserved beans.  Wet your hands and then form into 6 medium sized patties.  Place patties on a non-stick baking sheet (on tin foil with non-stick spray), and bake at 300 degrees for 40 minutes, turning once in the middle  (I tried turning them after 20 mins, but they were still way too soft. I flipped them at 30 mins and then it took another 20 mins before they were done. All ovens vary, so start with her original cooking times and go from there.).  If you want to grill these, pre-bake them for 30 minutes at 300, and then throw them on the grill to reheat and get a little extra browning.

I didn't even think to try to take 'real' pictures, but I did take a cell phone picture to send to a friend. I'm posting it so that you can see the burger isn't some crazy weird color, thanks to the beans and walnuts it is actually colored sort like meat. Thanks to the food processor there wasn't lumps of veggies for my hubby to grimace at and pick out. No, it doesn't taste like a hamburger, but it's still a really good bean burger full of protein and low in fat for a summertime meal alternative.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Birthday Wreath

I made another new wreath!!!

My birthday is July 22, Bean's birthday is August 9, so I thought it'd be fun to make a birthday wreath that could go up right after the 4th of July wreath comes down, and stay up until the Halloween wreath goes up.  (Patriotic Wreath I made)

I really like making different wreaths for different occasions and holidays. I like that I can personalize them for my tastes, and I like that they're relatively inexpensive. I think the most expensive wreath I've made cost just under $30 for all the materials.

This birthday wreath was extremely easy to make (it was a bit time consuming though), cost about $24 for all the materials, and I really love how it turned out.

That beauty has approximately 480 balloons pinned on it. It's by FAR the heaviest of all the wreaths I've made, but I love that I have it now. I'll be putting it up the week of Jeff's birthday in January as well; everyone in the fam should get special birthday decorations to make them smile, right? Right!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Bedtime tradtions

I would imagine that most moms/parents have a set bedtime routine for their littles. Every night since forever I've done the same routine at Bean's bedtime.

Bathtime. (some days if we're running late or if we didn't DO anything we'll skip this)
Brush teeth.
Put diaper and PJs on.
Snuggle on the couch while having her bedtime bottle.
Go to her room where she kisses her Daddy goodnight.
She and I sit in the glider and I recite from memory her bedtime story:

I Love You Through and Through
I love you through and through.
I love your top side, and your bottom side.
Your inside and your outside.
Your happy side, and your sad side.
Your silly side, and your mad side.
I love your fingers and toes.
Your ears and nose.
I love your hair and your eyes.
Your giggles and cries.
I love you running and walking.
Silent and talking.
I love you through and through,
and Tomorrow, too.

Then I tell her, from the book, The Help:
You is kind.
You is smart.
You is important.

I know the grammar isn't correct, but the message is truer than true.

Then we give kissies and I lay her down in bed.

Lately it's been more and more obvious how big she's getting. When we started this routine my baby's head was cradled in my right elbow and her feet were draped over my left hip. Now she sits straddling and facing me. Her knees are bent, she lays her head on my chest and the top of it touches my collar-bone. She moves her hands to demonstrate the words in the bedtime story, she agrees with each line from The Help quote by 'uh-huh!'ing out loud. She will be two years old in 5 short weeks. My baby is slipping away from me and is being replaced with a kid. I hope that she'll want to continue on our bedtime routine even after she gets moved into a big girl bed. Even when she's too big to snuggle on my lap. Even when she starts school.

Her first year felt like it took a long time to come to a close, but this second year has literally flown by. I'm afraid that if I blink she'll be grown. She won't want me to recite I Love You Through and Through or kiss her in front of her friends. I'm having a serious case of 'where did my baby go'-itis.

For now I'll cherish our bedtime routine. I'll smile and laugh as she acts out the story while I tell it. I'll soak in her kissies and let her linger as long as she wants with her head on my chest. I love our routine, and my sweet Bean. I just can't focus on the fact that she'll be a big kid before I'm ready for her to be.

4th of July was today. We had a good day having a family BBQ at my aunt and uncle's house. It was HOT outside and because of how hot and dry it's been (and all the fires around Colorado) fireworks were forbidden. It was a fun day and a quiet night. I hope everyone had a fun, safe holiday as well!