Thursday, December 24, 2009

It's the Holiday Season, don't forget to hang up your sock

I wish I could post pictures of the gifts I'm making for the babies, but I want their mamas to be surprised, too, so it will have to wait until at least next week.  I'll just say that I'm hooked and that I'm seriously considering going into business doing this after the holidays.  I'm very fortunate in that I can stay at home with my precious baby and not work outside the home, but, wow, experiencing our first Christmas as a single income family has been a very eye-opening experience.  We thought we were living tight before - whew! - nothing compared to Christmas.

So, anyway, more on the newfound passion of mine and potential 2nd income in the coming week or so.

So, the sleeping hasn't gotten any better, but we've chosen to embrace it.  We still hope that she'll go down only once, but when she wakes up after an hour we bring her out to the living room with us.  We've tried letting her cry but the child can be a mule...very stubborn.  I don't know where in the world she gets that from.  She cries and cries and then she screams and screams.  Tonight she started flipping out so David went in to get her and even after he picked her up she continued to completely scream her head off - she even cried harder when he picked her up.  She would stop for a couple of seconds and consider her surroundings but then she would start the screaming again.  I've never heard her cry like that - it was awful.  She finally settled down and David put her on her play mat.  She laid there contently for about 30 minutes then I fed her and laid her back down.  She didn't make a peep and fell right to sleep.  So, the question is whether it's worth it to fight her on this or just to pretend that her 8pm bedtime is actually just a nap and let her play until she gets tired.  Whatever...I mean I can't really complain too much since she'll usually sleep through the night once she goes down.

I know I post about sleeping all of the time, but she's almost 6 months - it's our life right now.  I wouldn't want her looking back on my posts and thinking she never gave us any trouble.  I don't want to put a smiley face here but that's the spirit in which that comment was intended, so just imagine it's there.

I have a nasty cough but I'm fighting it.  Tomorrow we go to Lacey for David's extended family Christmas Eve celebration.  I managed to make a no-bake cranberry walnut cheesecake pie and a double batch of artichoke dip so that's my contribution.  Should be fun.  I don't imagine Amelia will be getting her required naps over the next couple of days, but hey, it's Christmas.  Couldn't get any worse than it is or than it has been, I would imagine.

Next week we head to Oregon to have Christmas with my family.  Well, they'll have Christmas on the 25th but since it's David's parents' turn to have us this year we'll celebrate with my side of the family next week.  On Christmas Day we'll head to David's parents' house for breakfast, gift opening, then dinner with his aunt and possibly a couple of other relatives.  My only wish would be for snow...or at least rain.  We're in Seattle, for crying out loud!  But no, we're supposed to get sun on Christmas!  It'll be a fun day either way!

Hmm, pictures.  Let me see what I have.

So this is David and Amelia playing on the floor.  You'll see the "Scat Mat" next to the chair which is supposed to give the cats something similar to an electric shock when they step on it.  This is to prevent them from scratching our furniture more than they already have.  I'm mumbling under my breath but you can't hear me.  The obvious Amazon box and Target bag are the few items I had left to wrap that I got wrapped tonight.  I put them by the tree so I would remember but then I got sick so they stayed there for 2 days.  That would drive my mom crazy.  It drove me crazy, too, I just didn't feel like doing anything about it.

And here's just a cute shot of Millie.  I have some pictures taken with the "Night" setting on my camera, but it looks like my baby is being engulfed in the flames of the fireplace which is very disturbing.

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Christmas fun?

Can someone please tell me why my child wakes up exactly one hour after being put to bed for the night?  I'm stumped.

So, it's been an interesting weekend.  On Friday night, David and I had a little gathering to go to and I had volunteered to bring a dessert.  I always volunteer to bring dessert - baking is fun, cooking is not (to me).  I did what never fails to drive David crazy...I tried a new recipe.  He has no objections to new recipes;  it's the making them for the first time and "trying them out" on non-family members that he doesn't understand.  Really, I don't understand it myself.  I should just make something tried and true when preparing dessert for other people.  I decided to make some little cookie cups and then fill them with cream cheese frosting.  Sounds good, right?  First off, I should have known nothing good could come from them when I was trying to squish the dough into my mini muffin tins and it kept sticking to my fingers and wouldn't mold into the pan.  The recipe called for store-bought refrigerated cookie dough but I don't think I've ever bought cookie dough - I always make it.  I figured it'd be the same thing.

Apparently not the same thing.

Something was burning.  I peeked into the oven and realized that the tins were overflowing and dripping (yes, apparently cookie dough can drip) onto the bottom of the oven.  I think my dough wasn't cold enough...maybe I overmixed it.  Either way, the stench was very potent.  I wasn't having a particularly uplifting day to begin with but this failed recipe really had me defeated.  We decided to just pick up some cookies on the way to the get-together instead.  I hate doing that, but I love that the option to buy yummy cookies from the grocery store bakery is there.

So, that night we got home from the get-together and I rushed to get the baby in bed.  For the last week or so she's been going to bed fine but then she'll wake up really mad about an hour later.  She won't go to sleep until around 11:30pm so I've been trying to get her on a schedule.  If she's anything like her father, she'll thrive on routine and structure.  We'll see.  Of course who really expects to stick to a schedule around the holidays?  Yeah, I'm a great mom.  Thanks to David, she's now sleeping again.  He went in and patted her bum until she went back out.  I don't know why she wakes up.  Oh, nope...she's awake.

Anyway, so on Friday night I got her in bed then decided to make some baby food.  We bought the big bag of frozen organic peas from Costco so I put some in a pan with a little bit of water and cooked them down.  Tried pureeing them in my small food processor - wasn't pureeing them well enough.  Tried them in my bigger food processor - still not working.  Then I got out my blender.  Realizing that they probably weren't liquifying because they were too hot, I threw in several ice cubes and, voila!, baby food!  It made a lot more than I anticipated...I filled my Baby Cubes and stuck them in the freezer and still had about 1/2 cup left which, in baby food terms, is a lot of food.

So, on Saturday, Amelia had peas.

I think she liked them but, wow, she made a mess!  The fingers had to go in her mouth after every bite then they went all over the Bumbo and then all over her pajamas.  They went in the wash and the baby got a bath. 

That night we had some friends over for our annual Christmas party.  I had decided to make some fudge and did a double batch.  Well, it took forever to boil...literally, like, an hour.  So I was in panic mode trying to get everything ready before people arrived.  It's a good thing I have such a wonderful husband.  He vacuumed, straightened, cleaned toilets, and took care of the baby while I baked the fudge, cooked the artichoke dip, and cleaned up the kitchen.

Good friends of ours have a sweet little boy named Max who is just 3 months older than Amelia.  Here are a few pictures.  They had a good time checking each other out.

Amelia tried to eat Max's ear and did a face plant into the sofa.

"Finally someone my size!"

I can't believe it's the week of Christmas already.  More than that, I can't believe that it's 11pm and, yet again, my child is still awake.  I fed her earlier when she first woke up and she didn't seem all that interested.  David just tried feeding her again and she didn't even drink everything he offered her.  I also gave her Tylenol and Hyland's Teething Tablets so who knows what's wrong.  Maybe 11:15pm is her real bedtime.  Seriously, we tried getting her up at 7 or 8 when she first wakes up no matter what time she goes to sleep at night then putting her down for only 2 naps, one around 10am and one around 2pm then 8pm for bed and she still won't sleep. 

Okay, enough about that.  It's Christmas already!  I haven't been in the mood to do much baking.  I think I have a bit of the baby blues or seasonal depression or something.  Probably shouldn't shout that out to the world, but it's how I feel.  Just...down. 

I should run errands tomorrow but I haven't been feeling so hot today and I need to make sure I'm not getting sick first.  Blech.

My baby is crying.  Still.  Crying.  She has to sleep some time, right?

Good night.  And wish me luck.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Babies Don't Keep

Can someone please hand me a beach towel?  I'm going to need it to mop up my tears.  I ran across this poem and had to share. 

Babies Don't Keep

Mother, oh Mother,
come shake out your cloth,
empty the dustpan,
poison the moth,
hang out the washing
and butter the bread,
sew on a button and make up a bed.
Where is the mother whose house
is so shocking?
She's up in the nursery,
blissfully rocking.
Oh, I've grown shiftless as Little Boy Blue
(lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo).
Dishes are waiting and bills are past due
(pat-a-cake, darling, and peek, peekaboo).
The shopping's not done
and there's nothing for stew
and out in the yard there's a hullabaloo
but I'm playing Kanga and this is my Roo.
Look! Aren't her eyes the most wonderful hue?
(lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo).
The cleaning and scrubbing
will wait till tomorrow,
for Children grow up,
as I've learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down, cobwebs.
Dust go to sleep.
I'm rocking my baby and babies don't keep.

~author unknown~

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

It's that time of year...

I'm not going to change the url for my blog.  How's that for indecisiveness?  My dad is probably smirking - some things never change.  Right, Dad?

How's your Christmas "to-do" list coming? 

Shopping is done, wrapping is done, but baking is eluding me this year.  I plan to get started (and hopefully finished) this year weekend.  Yes, I actually typed "year" without realizing it.  That's what I get for multi-tasking.  My sweet baby has been laying in her crib playing with her bunny for the last hour.  She's just now starting to whine.  I don't know why she's still consuming excessive amounts of chocolate, perhaps (thanks to a dear friend who knows me all too well and sent a 2 lb box of See's Candies for Christmas)?  Hope not.

Anyway, I bought some little festive cartons from Oriental Trading Co. and plan to stuff them with the following and give away as gifts:

- Shortbread or sugar cookies (I have a cookie press that I use exactly once a year)
- Peanut butter popcorn
- Chocolate covered pretzels
- Almond roca

I think that's all I'm going to do.  Maybe fudge.  Okay, definitely fudge.  What's Christmas without fudge?

I was going to take a photo of the baby in front of our tree tonight but, well, I forgot.  It happens.  Frequently.

Well, the baby finally fell asleep.  For one hour.  Then she started crying, then screaming, and we let her cry for about 15 minutes.  David went in to check on her and determined that she sounded "gurgly" and was probably hungry.  I caved and picked her up yet she continued to cry.  When I nursed her she dove at my chest and ate heartily, so she was obviously hungry.  After I burped her she did what she always does and started cooing and talking to me, grabbing my cheeks and unintentionally sticking her chubby fingers up my nostrils.  She buried her face into my face and attempted to suck my nose off, all the while happily squeaking.  I kissed her plump little cheeks and put her back in her crib.  She started crying again but stopped for about 10 minutes to play with her pacifier.  I kept looking at her on the video monitor and she looked wide awake.  Still on her back which meant she had no intention of falling asleep.  It's been 30 minutes and she's been crying for probably the last 15 minutes, but at least now she's on her belly.  I'm not going to pick her up.  I did that last night and ended up being up with her until 1am.  I love that baby and it pains me soo much to listen to her cry, but she's fine.  Deep breath.

Just for fun, I put together this little photo collage.

Have a wonderful Wednesday!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Tired of hearing about sleeping? There's a recipe, too.

Don't forget...
I've decided to change the name of my blog to Bungalow Bee for privacy reasons. 

The new url is  I will make the change on Wednesday, so if links on your page are pointing to the old blog, please change it after Wednesday.  Sorry this is such a hassle.  If you know a less crazy way to do this, PLEASE let me know.  It says that 34 people are still following me so I assume that it will correct itself on your blog if you didn't enter it manually.

The good news is that the swaddle is history.  The bad news is that Amelia is still waking up every 2 1/2 - 3 hours. 

Friday night was rough.  The baby woke us up every 2 hours (!!!) wanting to eat.  David and I were both really frustrated and extremely exhausted, but more importantly how could this baby be functioning on so little sleep?  For the last week or so Amelia has become much more mobile.  She can very easily and fluidly roll from tummy to back and from back to tummy, although she isn't rolling around the room yet.  So, now she always winds up on her tummy or on her side for naps and seems to be sleeping longer.  If she can find a comfortable position during naptime and it's not on her back, then it probably doesn't make sense to swaddle her and stick her on her back anymore.  So, Saturday night we put her to bed swaddleless.  I'll spare you all the details, but she was awake again soon after and I called my mom and sister, Carrie, asking for advice. 

They suggested filling Amelia up then just laying her in her crib and letting her fall asleep on her own.  I don't want any hate comments about "crying it out".  As a matter of fact, if you take issue with "crying it out" (otherwise known as the Ferber Method), you might want to read this article

Anyway, so we stuffed her full of rice cereal which she ate happily, made sure she had a clean diaper, put Baby Orajel on her bottom gums where she's getting a couple of teeth, and suctioned her stuffy nose.  Then we put her to bed.  And she cried.  So after 5 minutes I went in, patted her bottom, gave her back the paci, and left.  Ten minutes later it was David's turn.  He apparently hadn't read the method.  He stayed in there and rubbed her back until she fell asleep.  I really didn't care, I just appreciated that she was finally asleep at 11:30!  She didn't wake up until 5:30 at which point I fed her and put her back in bed.  Unfortunately she woke up again at 7 and I made the decision to keep her home from church because of how stuffy she has been and because it started to seem more like a cold coming on rather than teething issues.  She was back in bed by 7:30 and she slept until 11am.

So, Saturday night wasn't too bad at all.  But then there was Sunday night.

The child would not go to sleep.  We tried to let her cry.  After 30 minutes the whining/fussing turned into a full blown wail.  We decided she must be hungry so she got fed again.  Oops - she stopped crying right when we picked her up and didn't end up eating too much.  Amelia - 1,  Mom & Dad - 0

She's fed, she's changed, her nose is suctioned and she has Baby Rub on her chest since the crying made her nose even more stuffy.  We laid her back down...more crying.  An hour goes by and we're still going in and checking on her and rubbing her back for a second and leaving.  Only it isn't really working.  She turns on her back when we walk in and cries harder when she realizes we aren't going to pick her up.  We finally decide to give in and David brings her to me so I can try rocking her.  She isn't interested and instead arches her back to look at her dad and "talk" to him.  I laid her next to me on our bed thinking maybe eventually she'd calm down and start to look even a little sleepy.  She smiles, coos, laughs, grabs my face, and rolls around.  Amelia - 2, Mom & Dad - 0

It's now 11:30pm and David has to get up at 5am for work.  This is ridiculous.  I put her back in her crib and leave the room, but the crying started before I even put her down.  She's overtired...way overtired.  Huh, that sounds familiar...I'm overtired, too.  Can I scream and throw a fit, please?  After 10 minutes I picked her up and rocked her to sleep.  Amelia - 3, Mom & Dad - 0

She was up every 3 hours.  I realize I'm a sucker and I know the kid will continue to sleep in 2-3 hour incriments until I put the proverbial parental pants on and let her learn how to sleep on her own.  She does great at naptimes...she only really fusses for 5-10 minutes before rolling around into a comfortable position and falling asleep.  On the days that she fusses and whines for 20 minutes, I don't even go in there and eventually she falls asleep.  She'll even sleep an hour or more at naptime now, whereas before it was 30 minutes every single time.

So, we're learning.  I really want to let her learn how to fall asleep on her own and, in turn, have her sleep for longer stretches of time.  I'm not worried about me as much as I'm worried about her not getting the sleep she needs at her young age.

Moving on. 
I  need to wrap gifts.  I need to bake.  I need to finish the babies' Christmas gifts (which, I'm really excited about).  I know I'm a pansy, but I still don't like getting out with the baby by myself.  It's not that I can't...I do and have.  I just don't like it.  When I can pull her out of her car seat and have her sit up in a cart all by herself then I will be a lot more comfortable with it.  Right now I lug her seat in with me (she doesn't like to be worn, although admittedly I haven't tried it too much because my back is terrible) and oftentimes carts don't allow the car seat to fit easily or at all.  Or I get the car seat on the cart and I can't see where I'm going.  Anyway, my point is that I don't enjoy getting out with the baby by myself.  I need to get over it.

Before I forget, here's a recipe I made today that is really, really good.  It's Tyler Florence's Banana Nut Muffins.  Wow, they're good.  I added chocolate chips and used walnuts instead of pecans.  I made a few muffins for a week's worth of breakfasts then I made 4 tins of mini-muffins for David to take to work tomorrow.  I think you'll like these muffins...I've never eaten a better banana nut muffin...made by myself.  I'm sure there are better ones out there.  I baked mine for 17 minutes and that was plenty.  Anyway, here's the recipe in case you don't feel like going to the website:


2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 overripe bananas
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup pecans, chopped

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and lightly butter 2 muffin tins.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside. Mash 2 of the bananas with a fork in a small bowl so they still have a bit of texture. With an electric mixer fitted with a wire whisk, whip the remaining bananas and sugar together like you mean it, for a good 3 minutes. Add the melted butter, eggs, and vanilla and beat well, scraping down the sides of the bowl once or twice. Mix in the dry ingredients just until incorporated. Fold in the nuts and the mashed bananas with a rubber spatula. Spoon the batter into the muffin tins to fill them about halfway. Give them a rap on the counter to get any air bubbles out.

Bake until a toothpick stuck in the muffins comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes before turning the muffins out. Serve warm or at room temperature.

I need to go make dinner.  My baby's still's been almost 2 hours...nice! 

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Blog Changes

I have a lot to say but tonight I'll keep it to one announcement.

I've decided to change the name of my blog to Bungalow Bee for privacy reasons. 

The new url is  I will make the change on Wednesday, so if links on your page are pointing to the old blog, please change it after Wednesday.  Sorry this is such a hassle.  If you know a less crazy way to do this, PLEASE let me know.  It says that 34 people are still following me so I assume that it will correct itself on your blog if you didn't enter it manually.

I don't know the extent to which Blogger notifies the followers of my blog, so if the transition doesn't happen smoothly then I might have to go back and forth or create a new blog and leave the other behind. 

Does that even make sense?   My kid is not sleeping much lately which means I'm not sleeping, either, which means my mental capacity is minimal.

The holidays are a busy time of year which is my excuse for not keeping up with my baby's life in print.

My friend, Sarah, took pictures of my family for our Christmas cards.  Fortunately, I have my head on straight enough to have just today sent out said cards so that's done.  Well, I take that back.  I sent out the first 75.  We just ordered 25 more so I'll have a few more to do.  I'm excited about them because the photos are great and I designed the cards.  I'll post a photo of the card next week (it's really nothing special), but in the meantime, here's one of my favorites that didn't make it on the card:

Speaking of design, I'm now a published book cover artist.  As with the card, it's nothing special.  The content is great because it's the cover for a workbook that our preacher did for the book of 1 Corinthians.  He wanted something very simple so that's what I gave him...

I'll have a better update next week.  I have a lot of projects planned to get done before Christmas, but I feel like my goals are a little lofty.  Baking is becoming more of a chore than it is a pleasure, only for the reason that I'd rather be playing with my baby than be in the kitchen.  Oh, and because Christmas treats somehow seem to always necessitate melting chocolate, I've been trying to get better at melting chocolate.  I'm failing.  It really shouldn't be this difficult, but I think my chocolate is old.

Amelia's an angel, she really is...I'm amazed at how patient and good she is when we're in public and when we're at home and need her to play alone for a little bit.  Tonight we went to a white elephant Christmas party.  There were probably 50 people there and it was loud at times and got a little warm temperature-wise.  She was perfect, even while a few people held her and she went without a nap for 3 1/2 hours.  She got a little cranky at the very end while we were bundling her up to head home, but she fell asleep in the car.

The only complaint I have (which, I'm a parent, I signed up for this!) is that she isn't sleeping well and hasn't for the last month or so.  I'm 99% sure it's her teeth...she must be getting some.  Last night she didn't fall asleep until 11:30pm.  The max amount of time she'll stay asleep is 4 hours, but most of the time it's only 3 1/2.

Finally, here's Amelia when she turned 5 months old on December 3rd.  The pig is a stuffed animal that my dad won for me when I was 2 years old.  I loved that thing when I was little - I hope Amelia loves it as much as I did!

It's bedtime.  Goodnight!