Monthly Archives: March 2017

3 Years!!

Lucille turned 3 last week. She woke up sick that morning, so it was a difficult day. It broke my heart to see my always happy and energetic love bug lethargic and unable to enjoy a celebration. She told me her mouth hurt, but she also puked. My poor girl!! We spent all day snuggled on the couch watching Sofia the First, Trolls and her newest obsession, Frozen! Though I would have preferred to take her out to the special birthday lunch we had planned, it was nice to have a full day of snuggling.

By evening she was back to her silly, joyful self and I was so grateful. I’m so obsessed with the tiny person she has become. I know I tend to go on and on about what a loving soul she is, but every day it becomes more and more so. The way she treats me, Peter and her brother so lovingly is just the tip of the iceberg. She treats everyone and everything with such kindness. I love watching her delicately care for our animals and her dolls. When she plays with her little people and similar toys she has them interact with each other so nicely. Complimenting each other, hugging, kissing, playing games. I’ve watched so many kids play with these kinds of toys and just constantly have them fight. But fighting isn’t who she is.

I love to watch her interests develop. As you’ve probably gathered from the post about her birthday cake, she loves unicorns. She’s also obsessed with mermaids and loves playing doctor. Her love for making and dancing to music continue, and her comedy routine is growing. She thinks herself to be a fashion expert…. maybe she’s just ahead of her time. Recently she’s also developed a love for photography.

Rockin a pink jacket, pink skirt, pink socks, a striped purse and… a Halloween headband!

Rockin’ that same pink skirt (it gets a lot of use), a purple skirted top with stars, yellow leggings, mismatched trolls socks, and a leopard print with hearts belt!

I can’t believe it’s been 3 years since Lucille came into my world and made me a mommy. I love who she is right now and I wish I could just stop time and enjoy her this way forever… but I would have said the same thing 1, 2, even 3 years ago. And then I wouldn’t have known the spunky little toddler she is today. So, keep growing baby girl. I can’t wait to see who you become and I’ll always treasure the memories of who you once were.




Name of the Day: Camilla

 

Well known in many cultures, but not terribly popular, Camilla is gorgeous without being overly frilly. Nicknames Milly and Cammie are sweet and feminine, while Cam is spunky and masculine. Milla and Mila make cute nicknames too.

Many people will associate this name with the Dutchess of Cornwall, for better or worse, but the truth is it had a long history before her. However, let’s focus on her first. Princess Diana was very loved around the world and as a result many see Camilla as the floozy other woman. I do not in ANY way approve of married couples having affairs, however, I think it’s very clear that the relationship between Charles and Camilla was quite complicated, as was the one with Charles and Diana. They all live in a very different world than I do, a world obsessed with social class, riches and the accomplishments of everyone’s ancestors. A world where, sadly, I don’t think marriage is often a result of love, but being a good fit in terms of boosting one’s social image or increasing one’s wealth… maybe that was Charles and Diana’s marriage, and maybe him and Camilla were truly in love. I don’t know. I’m not going to pretend to. I really don’t care too much about the royal family… but I will say that Camilla has done quite lot in terms of raising awareness for issues such as rape and poverty. And generally I approve of those who use their social influence to help the less fortunate.

Camilla Collett is considered the first Norwegian feminist. She believed women should have more roles in society, be prepared for success beyond an arranged marriage, should have a say in their own future and allowed to marry for love. These things may seem pretty obvious now but were radical ideas in the 1800s when she wrote of them, which is why she had to do so anonymously. I think she sounds like a total badass. (Funny how her beliefs can be related back to the Dutchess, yes?)

Camilla has not one but two strong literary associations. First she was a warrior in the Latin epic poem Aeneid. Raised by her father in the woods surrounded by shepherds, she was a huntress and another badass woman. She ran so fast that she didn’t break a blade of grass and could run across water without getting her feet wet.

In 1796 Frances Burney published Camilla:  A Picture of Youth. I haven’t researched much about this book because I want to read it and I didn’t want to accidentally stumble upon spoilers, but I think it is a love story and also a story about friendship and sisterhood. If I’m right it adds to the romantic vibe I get from this name.

So there you have it, totally badass, totally romantic, pretty and cute too! Camilla is an A+ in my book!




I Need to Get Out of the House!!

“I need to get out of the house!” is Lucille’s latest line. Girl friend is definitely suffering from cabin fever and though I wouldn’t say it’s here yet, nicer weather is coming. This weekend we bundled into our winter coats and took a nice walk to Peter’s parents house. Yesterday the kids and I went to park upon their insistence, the playground was all wet and slippery, but, we had it all to ourselves. Slowly, we’re starting our spring time activities, even though the weather hasn’t cooperated with our plans…I know the kids will be ecstatic when these trips are more frequent, and I will be too. This year they are so much more mobile and better able to understand instructions, so I’m expecting lots of fun times.

We’ve been stuck inside so much they’ve made a new game… rolling the bins of dog food and cat food into each other.

Lucille requested that we have a picnic at the park next time we go, which is such a great idea. Other things I’d like to do with the babies this spring are:

  • Go out for ice cream
  • Plant flowers together
  • Pick flowers for loved ones
  • Have a bonfire
  • Play in the jumpy castle my mom gave them for Christmas outside (have I mentioned how this was set up in my house a few weeks? They had fun but oy, we had no room to move!)
  • Visit a new park

And this doesn’t include the 8 day road trip we’re taking next month. I have no words to express how very excited I am for this trip. We have not taken any sort of vacation since Lennon was born. Taking annual family trips is a very high priority for me, but the last 2 years I realized I’d be doing it for my own benefit as the kids weren’t old enough to truly enjoy a vacation… so we skipped it. We did take a couple with Lucille pre-Lennon, she wasn’t old enough to enjoy them fully, but also not old enough to be bothered by the travel much. I think I’ll post pictures from those trips soon!




Super Easy Ham Steak

Growing up I loved ham. As an adult I loved it even more. Because ham steaks are so easy and quick to cook, plus they take up almost no room in your fridge or freezer! But, I think I’ve been lazy and resorted to them too many times because… I’ve become rather bored of ham. So I tried to spice it up with different seasonings. It turned out great, so I’m writing it down so I remember what I did. All I used was:

Equal part honey and dijon mustard

Lemon pepper seasoning

A Ham Steak

I mixed the honey and mustard, made just enough to spread on the ham steak. THen I seasoned it and baked it as normal… which for me is about 15 minutes at 350, flip it, and another 15 minutes.




Brown Sugar Asparagus

This recipe literally could not be any easier. Or tastier. Sure, it takes a healthy vegetable and makes it… not healthy… but, I’m going to be making it again anyways! All you need is:

About a pound of asparagus

About 2 tbs of butter

About 2 tbs of brown sugar

In a skillet melt the butter with the brown sugar. Then toss in the asparagus (cut off the yucky woody ends first) and sauté them up a couple minutes until they are your desired texture.

The asparagus didn’t soak up all the liquid so I poured it right on top of the asparagus, and the potatoes we happened to be eating that night too. YUM!




Name of the Day: Amos

Meaning “carried”, Amos is familiar but uncommon. In the Old Testament the book of Amos is one of the oldest of the books and is largely about greed, corruption and oppression of the poor. (Thank you behind the name for your always vast and helpful collection of name facts.) I find this to be particularly fitting in the current state of the world.

Besides the biblical Amos, Amos is also the birth name of Bronson Alcott, who went by his middle name and I wrote about in this post. It has musical ties through both Amos Lee and Tori Amos.

Known primarily for his Famous Amos cookies, Wallace Amos Jr. has also written 10 books, mostly  of the “self help” genre. Before starting his cookie business he was a talent agent, representing artists such as Marvin Gaye and Diana Ross and the Supremes. He has also worked to help adults learn to read through volunteering and through a television program he hosted in the 80s.

Other famous Amos’ include Olympians, inventors, actors and more. There are no nicknames I love for it… but that didn’t bother me since the name is only 2 syllables. It’s short, sophisticated but spunky and I also really like the way it looks!




My Favorite Christmas Gift Ever

Peter and I aren’t very materialistic people. When it comes to gifts, we don’t feel the need to spend a week’s paycheck. For any occasion I can usually expect a couple bottles of wine or pina colada mix. And he can usually expect some sort of musical accessory or maybe some exotic flavored jerky. But this year Peter got me the best gift, and it didn’t cost a dime.

Us back in July… because I don’t have a picture of us watching Friends together but I like to put pictures in my posts!

In the over 6 years we’ve been together I’ve always joked that our biggest obstacle we have to constantly work on is his poor taste in television shows. My 5 favorite shows of all time are Friends, Will and Grace, I Love Lucy, Boy Meets World and the Golden Girls. Of those he can only stomach I Love Lucy. I have always firmly believed that if he gave Friends and Will and Grace a chance, he would like them. I likely only love Boy Meets World and Golden Girls to due to my fond memories watching them in my youth, but the others I believe are great entertainment for all.

This Christmas in my stocking Peter wrote me a note promising to watch every single episode of Friends with me. I was thrilled!! I could tell he kind of dreaded it but knew how happy it would make me…. I almost felt bad making him go through with it. But guess what? He likes it!! And it’s been so nice to have that time with him. Almost every night we watch an episode together once the kids are in bed. It’s perfect. We’re typically too tired at that point to do much besides sit on the couch and snuggle. It’s really nice to share with him something that has brought me so much joy.

Saying this was my favorite present is not an exaggeration. I am valuing this time so much. Maybe for my birthday he’ll agree to watch Will and Grace! (Hint hint)




Potty Training Continued

After I posted my article about taking it slow something remarkable happened. We took it fast. Completely on accident! I followed Lucille’s lead and she was ready to hit the ground running! But then… there was regression…and more progress… and more regression. It was a bumpy road, but only think we made it!

Days 1 & 2 were a blur and were what I spoke about in the above article.

Day 3 we moved a child’s potty into the living room and continued trying to go every 20-30 minutes, without a timer telling us we needed to go that very second. It was much more relaxing this way as Lennon was being entertained and Lucille could watch TV, talk to her brother, even play with little people while sitting on the potty. She’d sometimes sit there for quite awhile before she actually went, but she didn’t seem to mind being there. We had several accidents but also many successes!

Day 4 accidents continued. After one accident I was bringing her dirty clothes to the laundry and she put herself on the potty and actually peed. She was so happy when I walked back in the room. She was yelling “Mommy I did it! I did it!” Then she stood up and started dancing around the potty. Then after every accident I started putting her on the potty and found she usually stopped herself mid-accident and still had plenty for the potty.

Day 5: She didn’t want anything to do with the potty first thing in the morning, so I let her wear a diaper for a little bit. We tried to go up to every 45 minutes in the morning, had a couple small accidents. So, we decided to drop it back down to every 30-35 minutes and we were accident free noon until bedtime.

Day 6: Lucille woke up with a barely wet diaper. She was ready to pee right away! We started going potty upstairs again in a toilet seat that sits on our toilet. She went every 45 minutes in the morning, every hour in the afternoon. At quarter to 2, 15 minutes before I was going to set her on the potty, SHE ASKED TO GO! And peed as soon as I put her on the potty. This was one of the proudest moments of my life! We ventured outside of the house for a walk around the block. She didn’t have any accidents until evening time when she was exhausted!! (If you don’t count the tiny bit of pee from night time, she made it about 32 hours without an accident.)

Day 7: We enjoyed another walk around the block but were still too scared to take her too far away from home. At this point I realized every single accident she’s had in the past couple days had been when no adults were in the room. She will ask to go potty if an adult is nearby, but she doesn’t care enough to track one down. Obviously, I decided that I would not be leaving her side anymore.

Day 8: We spent all day at her grandparent’s house. No accidents there!! (Though had some in the morning when I was out of the room again… so much for never leaving her side, eh?)

Day 9: No accidents all day! Holy cow, we did this!!

Day 10: In the morning she tried to poop on the potty and it wouldn’t come. About 10 minutes later she pooped her pants. I think she honestly thought she was tooting. This happened again in the afternoon. However, she also went on two 45 minute car rides, and had a trip to the park where there was no bathroom, and no accidents resulting from this! I chalked it up to not being able to tell the difference between toots and poops yet.

Day 11: I woke up with an upset tummy and I’m quite certain Lucille did too. She had more accidents on Day 11 than any of the 5 previous days. I’m not going to lie, it’s frustrating to feel like you’re going backwards. But the girl just learned the potty basics, how is she supposed to keep her shit together (literally) when her stomach starts acting crazy. I saw this day as a reminder that we’ve come really far, but she’s still learning, and there will still be difficult days. Even on this day, we went and played with cousins for several hours, and even though she was running around playing, having a blast, she only had one accident in the time she was there. And no accidents after we left there, which is great considering how exhausted she was.

Since Day 11 she has had only 1 pee pee accident, but she continued pooping in her pants until Day 28. It was a long few weeks changing poopy underwear. And it was confusing because days 1-9 she would always poop on the potty, it was the pees she was having trouble controlling. But I knew it was a common problem. I tried to be understanding but consistent. “That’s okay, you just had an accident. next time if you tell Mommy you need to poopy, you can do it on the potty and it won’t be so messy!” I tried to look on the bright side instead of dwelling on the poop set back. Day 15, for example, was huge! That’s the day she started calling for me from the other room to tell me she had to go, aka the day I got my life back!

YAY!! No accidents for over a week!!

Lucille has worn underwear throughout almost all of this process. At night I still put her in a diaper, and in the first week of potty training I tried to put her in one if I thought she was about to take a nap. There are 2 reasons we switched to underwear right away. 1. I thought big girl undies would be exciting for her. and 2. I thought the feel of a wet diaper would bother enough to encourage her going on the toilet.

I think I’m going to continue putting a diaper on her at night for quite some time. 75% of mornings she wakes up totally dry… but I don’t care about trying to stop the accidents the other 25% of the time. She wakes up at night a lot, and I know when I wake in the night it makes me have to pee. Call me crazy, but when she wakes in the night, I want her back to sleep ASAP. (Perhaps because I have another little one waking up several times a night.) I currently don’t feel the need to wake her up further by stripping her clothes off and making her sit on a porcelain toilet seat. I’ll get her night trained by college though, don’t you worry! 😉

The last thing we need to work on is her fear of “falling in”. The children’s potties we’ve been using have been a great training tool… but her dependence on them makes her scared of regular sized toilets. We are going on an 8 day road trip in about a month so… the sooner she gets over this fear, the better. Otherwise I’ll be carrying around a princess potty our whole vacation.




No Cut Unicorn Cake

I gave Lucille several options for her birthday cake this year and as soon as the word “unicorn” left my mouth, she wouldn’t settle for anything else. Then I thought “well, shit, why’d I offer that? I have no idea how to make a unicorn…”

My mom offered to come over the night before the party so we could do the cake together. We went back and forth about ways to cut the cake in the shape of a unicorn that would look the best, be the easiest, and give us the maximum amount of cake for people to eat. We spent so much time changing plans it was getting too late to do any of them. Then I thought about how it was a cake for a 3 year old’s birthday. She wanted a pink unicorn. She didn’t care how sculpted it was. We weren’t entering it in a contest… so we decided to just draw the unicorn on the cake and not do any cutting.

We used 1 funfetti cake in a rectangular pan, 1 tub of white frosting, pink food coloring, black gel, sparkly blue gel and a thick spiralling yellow candle.

We drew a horse’s head on paper, cut it out and placed it on the cake. Then we frosted white all around it. We set aside a tiny bit of white frosting for the eye and used food coloring to turn the rest pink and frosted the entire area that was below the paper. Then we used the white frosting and frosted on an eye with blue sparkle gel in the center. With the black gel we drew the inside of the ear, a nostril and a smile. Place a thick yellow candle at the top of the head to make a horn. Then it’s time for the mane… we just put a bunch of blue lines coming out of the head and then took a toothpick to blur the individual lines together.

A cake artist I will never be… but this was good enough for Lucille, so it’s good enough for me! And I hope it’ll help someone else make a cake if their child is also easily impressed.




My Ideal Schedule

My kids have no sort of daily schedule. I consider this one of my biggest accomplishments and failures as a mother, depending on the day you ask me. I like that my kids don’t have such a strict schedule that it makes it hard to conform to other’s schedules in regards to play dates and such. “Noah naps 10-12 so we can meet anytime after that.” Oh, Olivia goes down at noon, she’ll be up by 2, maybe we can meet then?” “Well, actually 2 is bath time, then Noah goes down for his afternoon nap around quarter to 3…” I love not having to feel like I’m solving a riddle to make a time for a play date.

BUT, admittedly, I feel like if my kids were on a schedule, I would be able to get a lot more done, in terms of radio station work (so that I don’t have to stay up until midnight doing it), housework and fun activities with them throughout the day. Right now we just wing it everyday. Will they nap today? Who knows. Will they have 3 meals? Hopefully… with a couple healthy snacks in between would be ideal. Lennon is 20 months old and in many ways I feel like we’re still in survival mode, where my goal is just for us all to make it through another day alive. I don’t think it needs to be that way anymore, it’s just what we’re used to.

In theory it’d be great to have my kids be on a schedule, but not so strictly that they become hot messes when the schedule is changed. Why can’t kids be more resilient to change? Haha. I think they may be old enough now that I can make this work, get them slightly scheduled. Here’s what I’m going to try for:

6 am: I wake up, shower, do some cleaning or meal prep to start my day productively

7 am: kids wake up, get ready for their day, breakfast

Play, snuggle, read, dance parties, etc. together

10 am: snack time

Kids play independently while I do radio work

Noon: lunch

1 pm: nap time, Lennon until about 3:00, Lucille until about 2:00. Cleaning time for me.

2 pm: craft time with Lucille while Lennon naps

3 pm: snack time

More playing, snuggling, reading, dance parties together

5:30 pm: dinner

Cleaning, organizing, or grocery shopping while Peter plays with kids

7:30 pm: bath time every other night

Wind down as a family, watch a show and then read a book

8:30: bed time

Catch up on anything that can’t wait until the next day and quality time with Peter

10 pm: bed time for me

I am not going to get super obsessed with this schedule and force snack at 10 am or anything like that. But I thought if I could make a visual list of what I’d like our day to look like, it’ll be easier to achieve something resembling it.