Monday, January 30, 2012

I LOVE......MY NEW HAIR CUT!!!

I am not going to lie, the vain person in me was really nervous to get my hair cut shorter but it HAD to be done.  Between how unhealthy my hair was, how much hair I am losing, and how Henry has my hair all over him I just needed to suck it up and get it cut.  Plus, I needed a change...for me.

This was me before....(long and dull and no style)


And this is me today, right after the cut....cute hair cut!



Seriously, I am loving this cut. LOVING IT.  It feels SO light and my hair feels healthy and it seems to frame my face really nice.  I don't know exactly how much she cut, but it was a lot.

I am SO glad I did this and the vain person in me is so happy with the outcome!


I can't wait to play around with it!!  I think it will look great curly.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

HDH - 20 Weeks Old!!



 This last month has been CRAZY and AMAZING all in one….CRAMAZING!  Really, what a change your children take during this time and what is even more amazing is how quickly they change!  I mean one day he couldn't roll over and then the very next day he could and was a pro at it!  WHAT?! You just learned how to roll over my child and now you are rolling all over the living room! See, cramazing.  Honestly, I love it.


Our little man is just awesome.  I am certain he is going to be a really cool kid!  His personality is just fantastic.  Seriously, we say every day how lucky we are with him.  He is such a happy baby.  Yes, he gets grumpy when he needs/wants something but for the most part he is cool, calm and collected….just like his daddy! (Thank goodness he took after Terry and not me!)  He has this awesome laugh and a coy smile that gets us every time.  I guarantee when he smiles you will smile too.


Here is what is going on….

- As of 1/9/12 he weighed 16lbs 10oz and is 26” long! So I am certain, at the rate this child is growing, the boy is easily over 17lbs now!  We also think he has gotten longer as his PJ’s have gotten “shorter”.  He hates having his pjs on during the day...he prefers to be naked or at the least belly and legs free!


- He has been wearing 6 month clothes for over a month and is ready to move into 6-9 month PJ’s.  Did you read that…6-9 month clothes. What the heck child!!  It seems like he is barely staying in a size for longer than a few weeks. Cramazing.

- He is rolling over from back to tummy and tummy to back.  His little blanket on the floor is easily becoming too small of a space for him.  In part because he wants to move and also because he has so many damn toys! (He really did put those toys everywhere. He dumped out his toy basket and then grabs a toy, rolls to his back and leaves it on the other side of the blanket and goes back for another toy. Doubt he is doing it intentionally, just happens!) – VIDEOS HERE


- He sits up great assisted but folds in half like a taco when he sits unassisted.  He is learning.

- We started him on cereal.  He wasn’t so sure about it at first, but he now sticks his head out like a turtle while he is eating cereal to say “give me more”!  We will be starting veggies (sweet potatoes) in a week or so.
 first time with cereal...not sure what to expect.
"Hey guys, whatz iz I doings in this chair, besides chill'n."

"Uh, mummeez and daddeez whatz is dis?!"

I think this face says everything!
"Iz nots happiez"

Now, he is getting better at eating and wants to do it himself!

He loves cereal! And prefers to eat cereal naked.

-  He is “talking” to us way more and being very vocal.  He is also blowing bubbles (making raspberries) which is just the cutest thing.  He tries to mimic the sounds we make to him.  We also say “HI” to him all the time and he is trying to make that sound back.  It sounds like HI but I know he is not saying his first word yet, just making a similar sound based on the tones we use when we say hi.  But it is cool watching him imitate us. 

 Sticking his tongue out and making raspberries at Aunt K.!


- He also is starting to know what he wants.  For instance if he no longer wants his suck (pacifier) instead of just taking it out of his mouth he will turn his head and forcibly spit it out of his mouth and the thing goes flying as if saying dramatically…I do not want you anymore.  Nice.  He also gets frustrated when he wants a particular toy and can’t reach it and will let you know he is frustrated.

- We are fairly certain he is teething, especially based on the puddles of drool that come out of his mouth and the fact that EVERYTHING must go in his mouth.  And I mean EVERYTHING.  Toys, our clothes, hair, his feet (ha & kinda gross), our arms/fingers and tags.  The boy loves the tags on his toys/blankets more so then the actual toys themselves.

Drool monster!

Chill'n with daddy

This boy loves tags!

- He is very into playing with toys and grabbing for the particular one he wants.  He will see something he wants and try to go after it.  He is also getting stronger and therefore pulls over his toy basket and spills all the toys out and can now move some of his “heavier” toys around.  It is fun seeing him play with his toys.  He is also very exploratory.  Loves really looking at his toys and people and those big blue eyes are always looking around. 

He loves Sophie...she is french. 

"May I haves the flashy thing dat hurtz my eyes, pleaze!"

- Without jinxing it too much, the boy is an amazing sleeper.  Oh we are so lucky.  Granted, he has his nights where he wakes up every couple hours or doesn’t want to fall asleep…but overall he loves his sleep at night.  We have also started just putting him in his crib after his evening bottle to let him fall asleep on his own.  Right now it is a 50% success rate.  Some nights he coos and puts himself right to sleep in 10 minutes.  Other nights, because he is either too tired or uncomfortable, he has a harder time putting himself to sleep and needs to be rocked.  Either way, he is doing FANTASTIC!  And the best part is when he wakes up, he will lay in his bed talking or playing for 45 minutes and when you go and get him out of bed he is ALL SMILES! Love it.


Seriously, what a sweet boy!

- He is also really good at being adorable.  We just kiss his cheeks, what seems like ALL day long.  This child has Terry and I (especially Terry) wrapped around those pudgy little fingers.  How can we stay mad at a face like this?!



Henry is turning into such a sweet boy.  He loves to be hugged and still wants you to cuddle with him during his daytime naps.  When I rock him to sleep he reaches to my face and puts his hand gently on my mouth and I will kiss his hand.  He just leaves his hand there so I can keep kissing his little fingers.   He also reaches out for my face and wants to hold my face.  *heart melting*  He really is such a sweet sweet boy!











With Grandma & Grandpa!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Wordless Wednesday.....Fun With Words?!

Found this on Facebook.  While I don't put any value in these, they are still fun to do and to see what others pick!  And be honest, don't go looking for different words to add your list!  Mine have to be my honest answers....see below.




The first four I saw in the order I saw them are:
- Witty
- Peaceful
- Honest
- Sweet

Ok, maybe this is 100% true ;)

Please share yours

Monday, January 23, 2012

Getting Soup-y With It (Two Easy, Inexpensive and Delicious Soup Recipes!)


I am ALL about soup in the winter especially when the soup is easy, inexpensive, and very tasty! 

I have made the following recipes this month and I have to say they both turned out amazingly.  Soup-a-licious if you will.  I also like that they were both reasonably priced to make and took very little time.

I did make slight alterations, which I point out in red, but I am horrible at sticking to recipes so I don't know if my suggestions are better or worse!!  I also like leftovers as T & I eat this during the week for lunches, so I tend to make more than what the recipe calls for.

The first soup is really healthy and satisfying!  Oh yeah, and it tastes awesome. (Seriously folks, this is my new favorite soup. I LOVE it.)


Turkey, Kale and Brown Rice Soup
Giada DeLaurentiis
Recipe HERE

Ingredients
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
5 to 6 large shallots, chopped (I used two medium onions)
3 medium carrots, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 large red bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
8 ounces ground white turkey meat (Next time I may add a little more, but I like turkey)
1 tablespoon herbes de Provence (Did not have so added pinches of dried thyme, basil and rosemary)
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth, plus more as needed (I needed a little more)
One 15-ounce can diced tomatoes in juice, drained (I used a 28oz can because that is what I had and I would use that much again.  Plus I didn’t drain them and got more of a tomato flavor which I loved)
1 cup cooked brown rice (1 ½ cups)
1 small bunch kale, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (Bought but forgot to add. Didn’t miss it)
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan, optional

Directions
Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the shallots, carrots and bell pepper and saute, stirring frequently, until the vegetables begin to brown and soften slightly, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the ground turkey and stir until the meat turns white and begins to color very slightly around the edges, 5 to 7 minutes. (I cooked the turkey thoroughly before adding the broth)  Add the herbes de Provence and stir, 1 minute. Add 4 cups broth, tomatoes and rice. Bring to a boil. Stir in the kale and season with 3/4 teaspoon salt and the freshly ground black pepper. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes. Season with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt.

Ladle the soup into bowls. Sprinkle each serving with parsley and Parmesan, if using, and serve.




Lamb (or Beef) Stew with Tomatoes and Bacon
Rachael Ray Magazine
Recipe HERE

*I have made this twice, once with beef and once with lamb.  Both were really good.  Both times I served over mashed potatoes and that is why I added more liquid, so there would be a broth to go over the potatoes.  I think the next time we make this instead of eating with mashed potatoes (which is awesome) I am going to add less liquid and add some carrots, mushrooms and pieces of potato into the stew to make it even more hearty.

INGREDIENTS
3 slices bacon, cut 1/2 inch thick (I added 6 slices)
1 1/2 lbs. boneless lamb shoulder, cut into 1/2 -inch pieces (Or Beef)
Salt and pepper
1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced (Minced garlic)
1 sprig fresh rosemary plus more for garnishing
1 cup chicken broth (1 ½ cups*)
1 can (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes (1- 28 oz can*)

DIRECTIONS:
In a 6-qt. dutch oven, cook the bacon over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a medium bowl. Season the lamb with salt and pepper. Working in 2 batches, add the lamb to the pot and brown on all sides, about 5 minutes per batch; transfer to the bowl with the bacon.

Add the onion, garlic and rosemary to the pot and season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the broth, bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook until nearly evaporated, about 5 minutes. Add the lamb, bacon and tomatoes to the pot and press a piece of parchment on top. Cover and cook over low heat until very tender, about 2 1/2 hours. Garnish each serving with a rosemary sprig.


I have made this once with the parchment and once without it.  Apparently the parchment paper reduces the amount of liquid that drips back down into the stew during cooking and makes it thicker. Both times I needed to add a little cornstarch to thicken it up but when we did use the parchment there was liquid caught ontop of the paper….don’t know if I would use parchment again though.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Talk to Me – Video Monitors (And a Sorta Review)



 Terry and I bought the summer Infant Day and Night Video Monitor from Babies R Us (HERE) right around the time Henry was born.  It had night vision, a large screen and was $99 (which was nearly half the price of other video monitors).  We bought the warranty with it as it was only $15…and thank goodness we did!

We didn’t start using the monitor until he was about 6 weeks old, when we moved him into his room.  About 6 weeks after we started using it we started having issues with it and the final straw was when in the middle of the night I woke up and the monitor had shut itself off (I may have peed the bed while also having a mild panic attack as I flew into Henry's room!).  Terry went to Walmart and got a standard monitor just so we could have something and over the next couple days the video monitor would randomly turn itself off until one day the picture became distorted, it turned off, and never turned on again.

Thank goodness for the warranty!

Oh wait…, what did you just say.  You can’t just take it to the store with the warranty and get a new one?!  You have to talk to the warranty place, then get a UPS sticker, package up the monitor, send the monitor back to the company, and THEN in 6-8 weeks they will send you a gift card to Babies R Us.  Uh, ok.  That is convenient.

We used the standard monitor for awhile, but let’s be honest…I am too much of a nut job to not be able to see if my son is ok after every little noise he makes. I NEEDED a visual of him!  So we headed up to Babies R Us and got the same monitor again, hoping this monitor would be better and we would have a different outcome. (What is the definition of insanity again?  Hint...look for my picture.)

I shit you not, less than ONE WEEK later the monitor started acting up again.  The screen started flashing whenever we turned the video part off and then it started going to black and white “snow” and we would have to turn it off and turn it back on again.

I called the manufacture, Summer Infant, and they said that it is interference.  Yeah, I am not buying that, but apparently I am buying your crappy product – TWICE.  They said they would replace the monitor but, like the warranty, they would have to mail me a UPS label and then we would send it back and get a new one in 6-8 weeks.  At that rate we should have a monitor right before Henry’s first birthday.

Luckily it is within the 45 days so we can return it to Babies R Us (no questions asked) and get a new one.

So here is the question.  We can either do an even exchange and get the same one and try for a THIRD time or we upgrade to one of those fancy but expensive digital video monitors. 

IF we go digital we were possibly looking at this one. And yes, I know it is the same company but I have heard good things about it.

We are going this weekend but I wanted to see what video monitors you all had and if you liked yours and if it worked for longer than 2 months?! That last one is a HUGE selling point for us.

As for the product itself, I am not impressed.  I wanted to like it.  I mean really like it. I liked the night vision, I liked the larger screen (a whopping 5” – eh, oh!), I liked that you could turn the video off at night and just have the sound, and I liked that you could hook up multiple monitors if you need too….but of course I would have liked even more if it WORKED!  It had so much potential.

Thoughts?


I did not get paid for this review....but by gosh I should have as we have spent so much money on stupid monitors!!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Talk to Me – I Need A New Hair Style



 So after I had Henry I noticed I was shedding a bit more than normal.  However, it keeps getting worse and now it seems my hair is falling out by the handful.  I take a shower and it looks like we have an animal in the shower**.  And there are hair balls/clumps (ew) all over me, the house, and Henry!

What sucks, besides the fact that my hair is noticeably thinner, is that Henry seems to get my really long hair stuck in his hands, and we don’t want that. Every night before bed it is an appendage check. Any hairs wrapped around his fingers, wrists, toes, penis….because he had a hair tightly wrapped around his thumb once and it scared us so we check everything!

So I am seriously thinking of cutting my hair shorter.  Not really short, just shorter than what it is now (which is probably still a good 6+ inches).  I don’t know what I am hoping to accomplish by this, maybe I think that a shorter cut will make my hair healthy again or maybe it is just that I am sick of my long hair.  I am always pulling my hair back and have yet to find a style I just love with my longer hair.  Seriously, it just feels like if hangs there…ok, yes that is what it is suppose to do, but look how sad my hair looks:

I am leaning towards a medium length bob-ish cut or some variation of that. I like it because it is not too far out of my comfort zone and not a drastic change.  I think I do need some change and this may very well be just the right amount of change.  Plus I can still pull it back.

Examples:
 (Except not with short bangs)



What are your thoughts: long or short?  Any other suggestions for hair styles? Any products/supplements I can use to stop/reduce all this damn shedding?!?!


**only a slight exaggeration


Thursday, January 12, 2012

Could You Please Pass The Giant Gummy Bear?



One of the things Terry got me for Christmas was a 1 pound package (two half pound) of Reese’s peanut butter cups. These things are HUGE, half pound huge at that.  A few years ago he got me ½ lb Sugar Daddy candy bar that is still sitting in the kitchen. (Seriously, the thought of eating that makes my teeth hurt.)

Now, there is a part of me that would really like to dig in to those peanut butter cups but I wonder (1) how will they taste being that the ratio of peanut butter to chocolate in a standard cup is near perfection and have they recreated that ratio in these cups? and (2) how do you even begin to eat one?  Do I cut it like a pie?  Just take a bite out of it?  I seriously don’t know which way seems less ridiculous and which is the least glutton-ess way of eating these.

In general, I don’t know how I feel about this whole giant candy craze that seems to be going on, and yes I realize that the person saying this is currently in possession of two ½ lb peanut butter cups. 

At Christmas giant marshmallows, giant gummy bears, and other giant sugary products were really popular gifts (hence me receiving my peanut butter cups).  But what do you do with a giant 5 lb gummy bear?  (Buy it here from Amazon for a mere $26.95 is what you do) Would I take that into work and sit it on my desk and whenever I am in the mood for some Cherry flavored, red dye, high fructose corn syrup deliciousness just lean over and take a bite out of my bear, whose name would be Sam by the way.  It just doesn’t seem right. 
 Or how about serving up a 2lb gourmet marshmallow at your next dinner party. (Buy one here for $28.)  Nothing says you love your friends and family more than putting them in a sugar coma after eating a slice of gourmet marshmallow.  

These giant treats just don’t seem right, and are the epitome of the type of overindulgent society we currently live in. Or maybe it is just a representation of our desire to always be a kid at heart.  Or maybe it is just people who figured they can make a quick buck off gimmicky items such as these.  Or maybe, just maybe, Willy Wonka is real and he is letting us know. 

Now pass me a knife and a large glass of milk, I have a 1/2lb peanut butter cup to eat! 

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Guess Who is Mobile?!?!

Look who is rolling over now!!!

 The top video was a couple weeks ago when he rolled over from his belly to his back for the first time. Unfortunately Daddy wasn't there so we sent him a video right away.  He has that down but has been working hard to figure out how to get from his back to belly. He did that today for the first time and Daddy was there to see it!! As you can tell in the second video, we are rather proud and excited about his new accomplishment :)  And yes, our son hates wearing pants.

 Way to go Henry!
video
video


Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Dear 2011....


(This is sort of my year in review for 2011)

Exactly one year ago today we found out that our lives would change forever.  I was pregnant. (Post here) Seriously, what a way to kick off the new year!

It truly seems like it was just yesterday and yet SO much has happened this last year.  Seriously, a whole year has gone by like that. (insert dramatic finger snap)  I still remember holding that test, crying because I was both happy and scared. I anxiously waited for Terry, thinking of how to tell him and as soon as he walked in the door all I could do was cry.  He hugged me and said it would be all right and that this was good news.  He was and has always been my strength, and it has never been as evident as it has been this last year.

From the very beginning, 2011 was all up in our grill saying: “guess what, this year is going to blow your mind…hope you are ready for it!” and we were all like “chill out 2011, I am still writing 2010 on my checks” and it was like “well you have no choice lady, you are pregnant” and we were all like “HOLY SHIT!” silence “Ok, you win 2011. We are ready for this, so BRING IT.”

And 2011 totally brought it.  ALL of it.

It brought the excitement, fears, worries, tears, smiles, and overall feelings of love & uncertainty that come with having a child. 

It brought the thrill of seeing a picture of your child for the first time and the relief that comes with every ultrasound and heartbeat you get to hear.


It brought the worries of being pregnant and making sure that you are taking care of this precious little life the best you can; while also bringing the happiness of seeing your baby bump grow and the amazement of feeling the first kicks (and all of the kicks) of your little one.

It brought tears as you wonder how you are going to do this and if you are going to be good parents.

And it brought smiles thinking about your new life with this new little person.

It brought excitement finding out the gender of your child and preparing for the birth of your SON!

It brought overwhelming feelings of love and support from all the people who wanted to shower us and Henry with their kindness and generosity.

It brought uncertainties and constant questions as you try to figure out exactly what you are “suppose” to do now and after the child is born.

It brought up personal fears but also a comfort and love you had never felt before.

It brought us the anticipation of waiting to finally see our son as we count down those final days followed by pure joy & love as we held our son for the very first time





It brought us very late nights and a tiredness that made us wonder if we could really keep going like this.

It brought us the thrill of seeing our child change with each passing week for the last 16 weeks, as well as the belief that – yes, it does get easier.





It brought us seeing our child smile for the first time and the feeling of pure love every single time he laughs or smiles.



It brought us late nights of crying and the frustration of having no idea what to do and how to comfort him.  And it brought us relief when we finally soothed our crying child.


It brought feelings of sadness and despair, as you question this new reality.  And it brought a feeling of comfort knowing you are not alone in this and that you CAN do this.

It brought many many many hours of starring peacefully at our beautiful and extraordinary baby boy.

And it brought us a love we had never ever felt before.

Yes, 2011 brought it all....and then some.  It gave us good times, some bad times, and absolutely remarkable and life changing times.

And this journey all started for us exactly one year ago today.  Seriously, one year.  It seems so long yet in a blink of an eye it is gone and it in its wake has left what feels like a lifetime of memories.


So Dear 2011;

Thank you. 

Thank you for giving us one of the best (if not best) years of our lives with the most precious and life changing gift we could ever imagine receiving.  We were ready, even though we may not have known it  a year ago.  He was always meant to be OURS, at THIS time in our lives and I cannot imagine our life without Henry.  

And to 2012; we embrace you with open arms (not to be confused with arms wide open…blech, Creed)  We are truly looking forward to what is to come and this journey we are about to take with our son, as a family.  Sitting up, eating food, crawling, walking, talking, first birthdays.....and soooo much more.  I am excited and ready for 2012 and anxious to see where this next year takes us, together.  One year ago today, I had no idea what to expect and I was scared. Now, I still have no idea what to expect but I am excited for what is to come!


One year from today.....????