Friday, December 30, 2011


Hey, guess what? I'm having another baby! It hasn't all quite sunk in yet, even though I've known almost since the beginning. It feels like forever ago that I took that little bitty test and got those two little bitty lines that said "YES! BUN IN THE OVEN!" but at the same time, it doesn't quite feel "real" yet.

{11.11.11 - my lucky day}

I started having my morning sickness about 2 weeks after I found out. And man oh man, has it been brutal. My first pregnancy was a walk in the park compared to this one so far. It's not so much the vomiting (which is incredibly awesome, let me tell you), it's the non stop feeling like crud all day long. It seems I'm sick in the morning and then I can't quite seem to shake that crappy feeling all day. I'm getting nothing done. My kitchen looks like something out of hoarders half the time, there are toys all over the house, the laundry is backed up, it's bad. I just don't have the energy to get anything done.

I'm hoping this feeling passes soon. With Ben, it seems like I was sick just barely into the 2nd trimester, so I'm hoping that's also the case with this one. No inklings one way or the other as to gender. I don't seem to be craving anything the same - with Ben all I wanted was $1 cheeseburgers from McDonalds, fountain Cokes, non-stop Mexican food and chocolate milk at night (although, all other chocolate and sweets were grody to me). This time, I'm not into meat at all - I made meatloaf for dinner last night and had a bite. Chocolate milk (milk at all - not even on cereal) is grossing me out. I can't stand scrambled eggs. I'm digging saltines with peanut butter, tea and water. Those are about the only things I'm "craving". Well, I've had several intense cravings for watermelon but it's out of season... Mostly it seems all food is turning me off.

I'm feeling blah body image wise as well. I'm about 20 pounds lighter now than I was when I was carrying Ben (and I've only gained 1 pound so far in this journey) but already I feel frumpy and gross and my clothes aren't fitting right. I'm not quite at the stage where I need to bust out the prego pants (though I have indulged in a few maternity shirts simply for comfort around the house) but my non-prego clothes just feel uncomfortable.

No names on the horizon, either. We had only two names picked when we were expecting Ben: Benjamin Owen and Olivia Camille. Clearly we used our boy name on Ben and we've since eliminated Olivia as it's like #1 or #2 on the most popular list. There are a few girls names we like but nothing for boys yet. I guess we'll just have to wait and see what we're having. And no preference, either. I won't lie and say I wouldn't be absolutely thrilled with a girl (the pink, the hair bows, the tights and cute shoes) but we'd be delighted with a boy, too. Besides, I saved a TON of Ben's old things so we wouldn't need hardly anything for a boy (well, I planned ahead and tried to buy things we could reuse, in anticipation of another baby, so we wouldn't have to buy that much other for a girl, either).

{I can take no credit for the creativity of this photo. I found my inspiration here - I considered this one as well}

Here's how we announced it on Facebook. Poor Ben, I didn't realize I had set him in the time out chair for pictures (it's near the window so super good light) so if it looks like he's crying in the 1st picture - it's because he was. We bribed him with a sucker and Caillou to get the rest of the pictures.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011


Well this year we did something I haven't done since 1998. We traveled away from home for Christmas. My dad decided he was going to Portland to visit his parents and invited us and my brother's family along as well. We decided we'd go, my brother & his family stayed here to be with my grandma.

We had a nice time - we stayed with my aunt & her family and my dad stayed with his parents. We all got together on Sunday for Christmas dinner and a small gift exchange for the kids. Ben was quite smitten with my cousin Will's baby Mariah. She's about 3 months old and is super cute. Ben loved to give her lots & lots of kisses.

Although I brought my camera.... not one single photo was taken. Not one. Oops. I never even got it out of the bag.

Monday morning we packed up and headed home. Tuesday morning Ben woke up to discover Santa had made a special trip with his Christmas presents since we weren't here. Santa brought him a Thomas Train table, grandpa & Lisa got him a lot of tracks & mama & daddy got him extra tracks, some trains, cars, PJ's (he opened the bag, said "jamas!" and that was it). Aunt Susan got him some books, some new Cookie Monster jams, a Thomas bath toy and a Little People garage. :) It was a good Christmas indeed.

{here mama, have a present to the face}

Now we have to gear up to get our crud down by the 1st. Usually I'm raring to take it down the day after but this was a weird holiday this year. As long as it's down by the 1st, I'll be good. :)

Hope you all had a wonderful holiday!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Merry Bright

Merry Christmas from our home to yours! We hope you all have a special holiday season and may 2012 be the best yet!

Much love,
Nick, Sarah & Ben

Merry And Bright Holiday
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Tuesday, December 20, 2011


We didn't get Santa pictures with Ben the first year he was born - he was born the week before Christmas and it never occurred to me to take him in. Last year, I saw several newborns with Santa and they were precious - Santa laid back with baby on his chest so it looked like they were both taking a much needed nap. I believe those would have been the most peaceful photos with Santa to date.

Last year, Ben was pretty clueless about Christmas. He liked Santa just fine, he was totally cool with sitting on his knee until he realized that mama & daddy were not right there with him. Then he lost it. Absolutely lost it. This remains one of my more favorite photos ever. The sheer misery on Ben's face coupled with the delight on Santa's is pure comedy:


This year, I honestly didn't expect much different. Part of me had hope,but... :) We got there on Sunday, somewhat early (I think around 10:30). My thought was we could do Santa while most every one was at church. It was a great plan, except Santa didn't come until 12:00 on Sunday's (probably because he was at church). So we wandered the mall, went to have lunch and then came back. The line was huge. Wrapped all the way around. We figured, what the heck. Ben's not ready for a nap yet, we're here, let's wait. We waited an hour. Ben did so great. He waited really patiently. Santa showed up at noon, walked around the line, saying hi to every one. Ben froze a little. Was interested, but didn't want to get to close. Then Santa sat down and they opened the gates for friends to visit. We moved up in line. Ben kept pointing and yelling "hi Santa!" and saying to me or Nick "Santa hug?"

Then it was our turn.

The steps got slower.

The steps stopped all together.

The crying started before we even put him on Santa's lap.

Now here's where I stop and wonder "I am terrible for making him take photos with Santa when he's so clearly distressed?"

And then I look at this picture and giggle:


I don't think he's scarred, though. He talks about Santa all the time. The other night I was out with friends and apparently he grabbed his shoes and told Nick "go. Santa." and he asks to give Santa a hug all the time. Now, were we to actually put that to the test... I think we'd get the same results. I wonder what next years photos will look like?

The side by side, though, is hilarious. They're almost identical:

Sharing my Santa photos today because Little Miss Momma did :)

Monday, December 19, 2011


Hey Ben,

Holy cow, little man! You turned two and are now apparently a "preschooler" rather than a "toddler". How did this happen? I swear just moments ago we were bringing you home from the hospital.

We had a small party for you on your birthday. I would have posted this a little sooner (but hey, a day late isn't too bad) but since your dad was out of town last week, I let some things slide. Okay, most things. I was very busy Saturday evening and Sunday morning!

On your big day, you woke up to the floor of your room littered with balloons. You thought this was lots of fun. We played in your room for probably a half hour, just chasing the balloons around, tossing them in the air and throwing them in your crib. Your patience with the balloons nearly blew me away. It's not easy grab them by the ends - they kept moving! But you never gave up or got mad. You just patiently chased them around until you'd finally get a hold.

Next you came out to the living room and saw the balloon banner that mama & daddy put together and the tissue pom's that mama had daddy hang over the table. You very softly whispered "ohhhh wow" as you looked around.

We played for a little while longer than then went out to have birthday breakfast at a place called the Griddle. We'd never been but heard fantastic things. You really loved your french toast and mama's eggs. :)

After you woke up from your nap, your family arrived! First to get here were Auntie Carin, GG and Connor, Hannah & Emma. Just after that came grandpa & Lisa. You were so happy to show your cousins your new kitchen and loved playing with them. Then it was time for presents. You were SO excited by all the cars your cousins gave you. In fact, you were not interested in opening grandpa & Lisa's present because you wanted to play with your cars. Once I showed you what you got, though, you were quite happy!

GG got you a tricycle and Auntie got you the helmet to go with. You're not too keen on the helmet and you aren't sure about the bike yet. You like it, but you haven't figured out the pedals yet, so you're content to push it around right now. We'll definitely work on that skill come spring and warmer weather.

For dinner I served one of your favorite meals: spaghetti! Then we had cake and ice cream. Again, you blew me away when you started blowing out the candles while we were still singing! Where did you figure that one out?!?

All in all, your birthday celebration was lots of fun. We had your 2 year check up today and that went really well! No shots - HOORAY! You're on the skinny side, just about 26 1/2 pounds (which puts you in the 30th percentile) but tall. You've grown 5 inches since June! You're 38" and apparently your head circumference is on par with your height so doctor thinks we'll see some weight gain here soon to balance out the growth spurt. She didn't tell me the percentile for height, but I looked it up online and it's over 95%. :) Tall & lean!

We talked a little about potty training and transitioning you to a big boy bed. Mama & daddy don't think you're ready for a big boy bed yet, but maybe this spring we'll re-evaluate. We plan to hit potty training hard after the new year and also say bye-bye to the binkie after the new year.

Your vocabulary continues to astound us. The words and phrases you say almost always take us by surprise. Mama's been working really hard on not saying so many potty words. :) You're just a little sponge and you repeat lots of things. We only want you to say the nice things. You've recently begun to refer to yourself as Ben. We had to drop daddy off at the airport today and you didn't want him to go. You insisted "coming Ben" but of course, you had to stay with mama.

I think daddy being gone these 2 weeks is what's causing some bad attitudes on your part. You've been very upset about about really anything lately. For example: bath time. You were mad and had a fit that I made you get in the tub. You didn't want to take your clothes off or anything. Then you got in the tub and were a happy little fish. We spend over a half hour every night in the tub and you get very mad when it's time to get out.

It's been stressful for mama to try to stay calm and reasonable when you're being the total opposite. I want to give in and have a fit with you (and I did lose my temper and yelled at you last week. Imagine how surprised I was when you burst into tears because I shouted. Learned my lesson, that's for sure).

We're just blown away by how grown up you've become these last few months. You answer questions, you can follow multi step instructions, you sing along with songs and you can count to 10. Lately you've only been doing 8-10 but you do know the numbers in between. :) You do have a favorite TV show (as much as that pains me to admit that my 2 year old has a favorite show). You absolutely adore Caillou. If I'd let you, I think you'd watch Caillou all day long. We're enjoying Tumble Time for the most part. You get a little... obstinate towards the end of class. I struggle with myself because I know the class is structured but part of me wants to just let you play and do your own thing. We get lots of structure at home. We do our best and we're getting better about listening during the 3rd set of instructions. :)

What else can I say, kiddo? We love you to bits & pieces and we can't wait to see how else you change and grow this next year!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Monday Musings.

Random thoughts. No necessary order or importance.

  • my child has been having insomnia the last few nights. wide awake and ready to jabber the rest of the night away from about 2:30 on. yuck. no trick i've tried yet works to get him back to sleep.
  • flying solo most of this week and most of next. nick is off to san jose to work with a client.
  • broke out the narrated book my mom made for ben last christmas tonight. twas the night before christmas, as read by my mom. surprisingly, i didn't cry.
  • been thinking a lot about jacyee dugard's story. read her memoir this week and i can't stop comparing her life to mine - she's only a year older than me. i've been writing a blog post about it in my head since i finished the book. wonder if i'll ever type it up.
  • i'm behind on my christmas shopping. i started out early for once but ran out of steam. got some wrapping done today in any case.
  • christmas cards are almost all done and almost all out in the mail. nick's gotta write a blurb to his relations overseas and then those will go out as well. have only received one card so far. bah humbug. i hope they start trickling in soon!
  • been a bit of a flake on my mama's group this last month. sorry ladies. i'll get back into the swing of things after the new year.
  • barnes and noble sent ben a coupon for a complimentary cupcake or cookie in celebration of his birthday. i think we'll cash that in tomorrow. :)

well i guess that's all folks. i've fallen behind on blogging. life gets in the way of the things i want to do. :)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


Just a quick post to get down on record some of the funny things Ben's been up to lately:

  1. He's a diaper bandit. Ha ha! Just now, for example, I went in to tell him that it's nap time and he needed to go to sleep (he's been in there playing for about 45 minutes). I found him without pants and without diaper. He's been doing this a lot recently - we'll go in to get him in the morning (and some times when he wakes up in the middle of the night) and find him in various stages of undress.
  2. He refers to his nipples as buttons. We think this is because of his belly button. The other day he lifted up his shirt, poked himself in the nipples and said (very pleased) "buttons!" I almost peed my pants laughing.
  3. He's getting bossy. Gone are the days where he'd play quietly by himself for stretches of time. Now he tells me "mama. come. play." Or he'll tell me (or Sadie or Nick) to move if he wants where you are. At the park, he'll insist I come up the jungle gym with him "come" he says - very firmly.
  4. He's figuring out his name. We'll ask him where Ben is and he'll point to himself. I'm trying to get him to respond to "what's your name?" and he will with prompting but not on his own yet. Some times he'll try out his name when talking - "hungry, Ben". I love it.
  5. He things stoplights are sirens. When we're out driving and the lights turn red he'll say "oh no! siren!"
  6. He's very cuddly recently. He'll cuddle on the couch for a good 20 minutes. My very favorite thing he does is when he runs up to me spontaneously and hugs my legs. He gives very good hugs, big squeezes.
  7. He's very kissy. He kisses me, his reflection in the stove, Sadie (but he really didn't like it when Sadie kissed him back), his toys, his bed, his trucks, the wall....
  8. He waves bye to random cars. "Bye! see ya! day!" (the last one is "have a good day") and will blow kisses.
  9. "oh no! crash!" is something I hear a lot when he's playing with his cars. Crash sounds more like "srash" and I love it
  10. he's very climby. I keep taking things away from him but I'm not sure that's the right answer. First it was his step stool for the bathroom. He'd bring it out to the kitchen or really anywhere in the house and use it to reach things I'd rather he didn't have. So I put that away in my room. Then he was standing on this big truck. I took that away because I was afraid the wheels would move and he'd fall off. Today he was pushing around one of the totes of Christmas decorations and used it to stand up and get to stuff on the counter. I keep taking it away and he keeps finding new things. I guess I should just let him explore and maybe this is incentive to keep the island more cleaned off?
  11. He's also very "mama" right now. He broke my heart into a million little pieces last night. I was going out to my book club and went to get my shoes. He ran to his room and got his shoes and when I told him he couldn't come, he sobbed "go!" and clutched his little shoe. I felt so awful.

So there are just some random things about Ben right now. The buttons one is my favorite. Ha ha.

Monday, November 28, 2011


Life, this year, has been a trial. Things keep winging out of left field that I don't even know how to prepare for - things would never even expect to happen, just sort of... happen and I'm left reeling and trying to figure out how to muddle through this one and on to the next.

If I sat down and outlined my entire year, I think I might cry. It's overwhelming and frustrating and hard. So much of it I can't really talk about, so I haven't really had a lot of support getting through. My husband has been amazing. Not the best advise giver, necessarily, but a tremendous rock and an excellent shoulder to cry on. Susan has been another wonderful outlet. There's not a lot she can do, way out in Ohio, but I know I could count on her any time of the day to rage with me over the stupidities of my life this year. I know I have so many friends and family I could call on for the same things, but having these two this year has been amazing.

We are rapidly approaching the end of the year and I'm filled with so many conflicting emotions: Thrill that it's nearly over and such enormous hope that next year is a million gazillion times better than this year.
Dread because we're coming up on the year mark of my mom's passing and I know that'll be hard. Thanksgiving was brutal. I'm hoping Christmas isn't as dramatic and is more peaceful.
Awe that my little boy is going to be turning 2 in just a matter of weeks. Where has the time gone?

Well, that's just a few of them anyway. ;)

I've been doing a little technology related experiment this month and kind of laying off Facebook, Pinterest and all my other online distractions. I'm not posting as much on FB, I'm not pinning as much on Pinterest and I'm not spending as much time on my reader. I have missed it a little bit, but I'm not sure I've been missed. I'm not sure what to think about that. Ha!

Nick's doing well in his new job. It was slow going at first but now that he's actually been assigned a project, I think he's enjoying his work. He spent nearly 2 weeks in Arizona earlier this month and has spent several nights after work with his face glued to his work computer.

I've been in a slump. I haven't been participating in my mommy group much and I'm having a hard time staying motivated to attend the things I said I'd go to. I'm making myself stop that today. I'm going to bookclub tonight (even though I don't really want to). I've read the book, but it was years ago and I don't remember much about what happened. I'm going anyway. No excuses. If anything, it'll be good to get out of the house for a mommy night away.

We haven't put up our tree yet, which isn't like me. Usually the day after Thanksgiving, I've got Christmas all over the house. We've done a little - I decorated the mantle with our stockings and the outside of the house is pretty much done. I just need to slap myself silly and get on with life. These last few weeks have been hard at my house - harder than they've needed to be, but when you have several people with really strong opinions, it's not always roses & sunshine.

So that's life recently. :) I haven't been sharing all my bloggy posts on Facebook lately either. Some are boring (like my menu plan). It's all part of my little experiment, and I think I'll keep sticking with it. A lot of how I've been feeling about myself is due to what I see (or don't see) on Facebook and that's just silly. I'm 30 years old, it's time to start acting that way instead of 13.

So that's what's new in at the Beesley house recently. Not a whole lot (and it doesn't feel like a whole lot of positives to remark on, either), but we'll keep on keeping on. :)

Menu Plan Monday.

Monday: Hotdogs with grilled veggies (onions &, peppers), macaroni & cheese and beans
Tuesday: Lasagna with green beans and garlic toast
Wednesday: Pulled Chicken Sandwiches with fries & a steamed veggie
Thursday: Tuna Casserole
Friday: Hubby's work party
Saturday: Pulled Pork Sammies, Baked Beans, Corn
Sunday: No meal planned yet

Wahoo! I finally made the 15 Minute Vegetarian Chili! We had an odd week, things didn't go as planned but many of our meals did. I forgot to defrost the pork for Sunday's dinner, so we scrounged and came up with some spaghetti fixings instead and the pork got moved to Saturday.

I threw today's menu together in a hurry. I forgot to plan it last week and I just wasn't feeling it today. So it's an odd mix (that's what you get when you menu plan while you have zero desire for food) but it should work out!

Hope all of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 24, 2011


I am thankful for...

  1. ... my husband. he makes me laugh, he's my shoulder to cry on, he gets me like no one else
  2. ... my son. he has made the value of my own life increase by a thousand plus fold. he's my reason to better myself to be better for him.
  3. ... my family. our family both near and far are special and wonderful and while they may some times cause headache and drama, we love them all so very much.
  4. ... my house. we are rapidly outgrowing it, but it's a lovely roof over our heads and it's all ours (well, and the banks).
  5. ... my community. It's no secret that I'm not a fan overall of our experience in Idaho, but the location to raise a family is perfect. So much to do outdoors and so much of it is free or very inexpensive.
  6. ... my memories. reflecting on the past is often what gets me through today.
  7. ... my friends. some times you do get to choose your family and it's a wonderful thing when a friend is more than just a friend.
  8. ... Pinterest. :) I have gotten so many creative ideas from that site! I keep meaning to do a blog post of all the things I've created since Pinterest. Maybe I'll get around to that one day.
  9. ... my sense of humor. stepping away from the usual friends, family and material things - I really am grateful for my sense of humor. It keeps me sane.
  10. ... being able to lose myself in a book. I read and get so absorbed in the story, it feels like I really am there.
  11. ... I live in the US. We have our share of problems but there's no place else I'd rather live (well. Maybe New Zealand. ha ha one day)
  12. ... coffee. I adore coffee. there's no much better any morning than a fresh brewed cup of Starbuck's Sumatra blend with a lovely dose of hazelnut creamer swirled in.
  13. ... my health. I know I have some issues (namely my weight) but overall, I'm pretty healthy. Not a lot that troubles me and that's a good thing.
  14. ... naps. I heart naps.
  15. ... Google Reader. Gossip, news, random blogs and humor, all in one shot
  16. ... my cell phone.
  17. ... my car. I wish we had two working ones, but I love the one we have.
  18. ... friendly moms at the park who help catch my kid at the end of the slide because I'm trapped at the top
  19. ... Susan. I know I said a generic "friends" before but she helps me talk stuff through. Flabbergasted. :)
  20. ... being better about letting it go.
  21. ... Hobby Lobby. ha ha!
  22. ... people who take the time to ask "are you okay?" and are genuinely interested in the answer
  23. ... cute glasses since contacts & Sarah no longer seem to get along (I blame Ben for this. I didn't seem to have a problem with contacts til I had a baby)
  24. ... being able to find at least one thing in every day to be grateful for.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Menu Plan Monday.

Monday: Oatmeal with fruit
Tuesday: Toast with butter & jam & yogurt
Wednesday: Waffles/Pancakes
Thursday: Cereal with sliced banana
Friday: French Toast & yogurt
Saturday: Scrambled eggs, bacon & toast
Sunday: Waffles

Monday: PB&J with a fruit cup
Tuesday: Ham & Pineapple skewers with cottage cheese
Wednesday: toast, cottage cheese, apple sauce & carrots w/ dip
Thursday: sliced strawberries, steamed carrots & cauliflower, kidney beans & cheese
Friday: peanut butter banana dogs with fruit cup
Saturday: Subway
Sunday: Chicken nuggets, steamed carrots & applesauce


Monday: Eggrolls, White Rice, Steamed Carrots
Tuesday: Waffles, Eggs, Hashbrowns
Wednesday: Burritos, Chips & Salsa
Thursday: Thanksgiving
Friday: Leftovers
Saturday: Rummage
Sunday: Pulled Pork Sammies, Baked Beans, Corn

I recycled last weeks breakfast & lunch menus. Those ideas worked out fairly well (I didn't actually make what was on the menu that given day necessarily, but I did refer back to my blog several times over that week to see what we should have for lunch).

In anticipation of Thanksgiving this week, I tried to plan light meals with little to no left overs. I'm assuming we'll have left overs to rummage through, which is why I left Friday & Saturday as unplanned meals. At the very least we can forage for sandwiches & soup. :) Happy Thanksgiving!!

{Ben: First Thanksgiving last year}

Friday, November 18, 2011

23 Months.

I can't believe that a month from today, this little guy is going to be 2 years old. It seems like just yesterday we were anxiously awaiting his arrival!! It was around this time 2 years ago that my doctor said it could be any day and talked about what we'd do if I went into labor over the Thanksgiving holiday. It turns out that he didn't come for another month and we ended up kicking him out via inducement, but still, I can remember those feelings of anticipation and frustration and excitement over meeting our little boy.

{1 day old}

He continues to delight our days. He's surprising me every single day with new words he's picked up. He has favorites that he likes to say over and over ("cycle" for "motorcycle", "hippo", etc) but he's always adding new ones that blows our socks off. He knows so much more than he can communicate and it never fails to amaze me. For example, the other day I was brushing my teeth and I said to him (with a mouthful of foamy spit, mind you) "go get your sweatshirt, it's on the dining room table" - he said okay and ran off down the hall. I finished brushing my teeth and came out to see if he needed help, and what do I find? Ben, racing back down the hall, sweatshirt in hand. :)

{helping me make cookies}

We've started potty training again with more enthusiasm. He was making really great progress until we went to Chicago when we had a major setback. He refused to use the toilet there, so for nearly 2 weeks, we had no training. I didn't have the desire to get back in to it when we came home. We've been doing it here and there since then, but not as diligently as we could. He's really good about going and doesn't have a lot of accidents, so the lack of training really falls on me. I've been motivated to get back on it, so we're working on it some more.

{to sit on the potty, he must first touch his head to the floor - makes me laugh every time}

He's still napping about 3 hours every day, which I love. emailed me earlier in the week and said I might want to start limiting his afternoon nap, so it doesn't interfere with night time sleep. I told that email to take a hike. HA! I love my 3+ hour windows of ME time in the middle of the day. I can read, I can scrapbook, I can clean, I can have a nap - it doesn't matter, it's MY time and I look forward to it every day.

{he loves to play the piano}

I decided to scrap the party I was planning for his birthday. I was disappointed in the response I got from friends that might want to come. It feels like an awful lot of work for just one or two little friends that might come. Added to that, I just couldn't find the excitement within myself to plan it. So I decided to save myself the expense and the work of a party. While he may have enjoyed it, he definitely won't remember and it's just not worth the trouble if no one wants to come. We had a great time at his party of just family last year, so I know we'll have just as much fun this year.

Anyway, this month saw Ben's first hair cut. It was long over due and he looks so very cute and grown up. He handled it very well and I hope future haircuts go as smoothly. :) Maybe if there are always suckers involved...

{first haircut!}

The tantrums are getting better and the hitting/biting is subsiding some what. He still gets a little crazy when he's all mad, but not as bad as it used to be. We've got a time out chair in the dining room that we've used occasionally and I think it's really effective.

So I think that's it for what's new with Ben this month. He's still in a 2T and a 7 shoe. I had to take him in to the doctor for a little sinus/ear infection earlier in the month and I know he's about 26 lbs. He's working on getting the rest of his teeth, he's got 1 new one and about 5 others that are waiting to poke through. Boy, will I be glad when that's over.


Thursday, November 17, 2011


I’m weird because…
I play with my hair: twirl it, wave it under my nose like a mustache, sniff it, etc
I'll straighten the shelves at a store while I'm shopping
I don't like to touch paper after I've just washed my hands
I can't stand the sound of paper being creased
I would rather change a million stinky poopy diapers than scrub my toilet
I hate turkey
I could eat cheese & crackers for lunch every day
I love the way Ben's drool smells (that sounds so gross to even type out, but it's true, I love it)

I’m a bad friend because…
I have good intentions of mailing you that package I said I would (I even go as far as boxing it up and labeling it, only to have it sit on my counter, waiting to go out for months), but I fail 90% of the time.
I get wrapped up in my own life and no longer feel like doing the play date I said I would do

I’m a good friend because…
I don't judge.
I'll tell you that you can call me any time of the night to talk and I absolutely mean it (though no one has taken me up on this)
I'm reasonable and will try to help you through any problem with the best advice I can give
I have a wonderful sense of the wacky :)
I (try really hard) not to gossip

I’m sad because…
I miss my mama. I went to visit her today. Ben said hi. :)
Thanksgiving is next week. I'm not going to lie - I'm completely dreading it
I have big dreams that I can't fulfill (yet)
All I got in the mail today was bills and junk. How come no one ever wants to send me free money?

I’m happy because…
I have a sweet little boy who is giving me loads of cuddles recently
I'm arranging crafty time with some mama's in my mama group
It rained today. I love it when it rains.

I’m excited for…
Christmas. I'm looking forward to watching Ben open his presents on Christmas Eve and be delighted the next morning by Santa's gifts
The New Year. New possibilities, hopes & dreams. A chance to start fresh.
The parade on Saturday.

Sharing my "fill in the blanks" today because Little Miss Momma did :)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Do you have moments where you know you're being completely irrational but you can't seem to make yourself stop?

I have been in this state for about a week now and it's getting steadily worse.

It's all because a certain little kid is turning 2 and his mother is putting this stupid and unnecessary pressure on herself to throw him this fabulous party with fun, friends and good times. A party he will likely not remember. A party those attend will likely forget after awhile.

Why am I doing this to myself?

I have no idea. I can tell you the thought has crossed my mind many times to just call the whole thing off and have a simple and fun party with just the family.

On the other hand... I have all these fun ideas that I think he'd really enjoy. Ideas that work better with a small crowd of friends than by himself. Plus, I had a good time planning for his party last year and I want to do it again.

My biggest UGH at the moment is this stupid invitation. I am in this mood right now where I feel completely uncreative. Like, if I can't find something that I can copy step by step and have an exact replica in my hand, then I don't want to do it. If it requires any sort of creative input on my part, I feel like I can't do it and therefore it won't be done.

I'm not finding very much inspiration and I have googled and pinterest-ed to my very best abilities. Susan took pity on me and tried to send me some ideas, only to have me fire back a "meh" at her hard work.

By that same measure, I want something C-R-E-A-T-I-V-E. I don't want a plain flat square (or rectangle) card. I want something fun and clever and unique. I want to look back on it in several years time and go "oh, wow, that was a cool card!"

Doesn't work very well with the whole not feeling creative thing.


I'm such a brat. And I know it. Which makes it even worse.

Wordless Wednesday.

Linking up with the Paper Mama for my first Wordless Wednesday:
The Paper Mama

Monday, November 14, 2011

Menu Plan Monday

I finally did it! I've been pinning lunches on Pinterest for a few weeks now and I finally remembered to plan for both lunch and breakfast in addition to my routinely planned dinner menu. Yay me! :)

Monday: Oatmeal with fruit
Tuesday: Toast with butter & jam & yogurt
Wednesday: Waffles/Pancakes
Thursday: Cereal with sliced banana
Friday: French Toast & yogurt
Saturday: Scrambled eggs, bacon & toast
Sunday: Waffles

Monday: PB&J with a fruit cup
Tuesday: Ham & Pineapple skewers with cottage cheese
Wednesday: toast, cottage cheese, apple sauce & carrots w/ dip
Thursday: sliced strawberries, steamed carrots & cauliflower, kidney beans & cheese
Friday: peanut butter banana dogs with fruit cup
Saturday: left over calzones with cottage cheese
Sunday: left over lasagna soup


Monday: Packer's Game ~ Dad's bringing dinner
Tuesday: Beef Stew with biscuits
Wednesday: Stroganoff with steamed broccoli
Thursday: Bruschetta Chicken with salad & steamed veggie
Friday: Easy Calzones with salad & steamed veggie
Saturday: Lasagna Soup with French Bread
Sunday: 15 Minute Vegetarian Chili with corn bread

  • That dang 15 Minute Chili keeps getting moved back and back. :) It's all canned goods, so it's an easy meal to push back til later when you get a sudden & fierce craving for Chinese food (that your husband is oh so very happy to indulge, since I don't often want to eat Chinese).
  • Isn't it funny how after you plan a menu you see what sort of a mood you're in? I had no idea I planned so many Italian-style dishes until I was writing this post. 3 meals in a row! :)
  • The beef stew I linked to is a similar recipe to how my mom made hers - I haven't tried this version yet, but since I've had my mom's before, I'm hoping it's good!
  • The Bruschetta Chicken is a bit of a time commitment to make but it's so absolutely worth it. This is one that I can prepare ahead of time during nap time, so it's a great fit for our family.

Friday, November 11, 2011


Well, I finally did it. I finally decided Ben's hair was too long and needed to be cut. Other people in my family *ahem, every one else* has been asking me when I was going to cut it.

It just seems we waited so long for our bald baby to get some dang hair and now every one wanted me to cut it off!! Ha ha, no, I was just being sentimental. I loved his sweet little crazy hair over his left ear from where he'd play with it. A sign Ben is tired? He twirls his hair. He plays with it to soothe himself (and mine as well). :)

But in any case. We did it. Took the plunge. There's a great kids hair salon right around the corner from our house that we've driven past so many times. Several friends of ours had already done first haircuts there and it came well recommended. If you're local, it's called 2 B A Kid and they specialize in little kid cuts. The "chairs" are all animals or vehicles and the stylists are used to cutting squirmy kids hair.

As soon as we walked in the door, Ben saw the jars of candy and demanded a yummy. Sucker firmly in his mouth, truck clutched in one hand, we loaded him up on the red four wheeler and he was a happy camper.

He didn't mind the cape or the girl cutting his hair. Being sprayed with the water bothered him a little, but no so much that he cried or tried to get away. He did so good during the cut, I was so happy and proud of him.

We're going through a difficult phase with Ben and I fully expected this to be a nightmare. I was so pleased that he did so great! I totally thought I was gonna have to strap on a cape and sit with him to get the job done. I'm glad I didn't. :)

I do miss my baby boy's silky hair. This new, cut hair feels different. Ha ha. He looks so grown up, it takes my breath away some times. And, poor little boy keeps trying to twirl his hair and he doesn't have enough left to play with! Sigh. You just can't keep 'em little.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


Some recent cell phone pictures:

1. Helping me carry the grocery bags into the store
2. Elmo slippers!
3. (3 & 4 are swapped and I just noticed and I'm not going back to fix it) - fell asleep in my arms after a morning of throwing up :(
4. Sick, cuddly boy
5. Thomas big boy under-roo's! This didn't work out well, they're too snug like a diaper and he peed his pants. But still, how adorable?!?!?

6. Drooly mess after he'd finished a sucker
7. Playing hide & seek with Miss Calista at Tumble Time - he was counting *swoon*
8. Just before nap time, I was cleaning up after lunch and peeked to see what he was doing after I noticed it was quiet. Just laying on the ground, watching TV
9. Made cookies with mama and naughty, naughty mama let him lick the spoon
10. Enjoying a fresh baked cookie that he helped make!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

2 On Tuesday

2 on Tuesday

I'm a huge fan of this blog, My Chihuahua Bites. Andrea never fails to either make me laugh, or agree 100% or very often both at the same time.

She started up (or restarted?) this 2 on Tuesday deal awhile ago and I've never participated. But you know... ha ha, the holidays are right around the corner. Her topic this week are two things on your Christmas wishlist. I thought hey... people read my blog (not a lot, but you know, the kind that might be inclined to get me a gift)... maybe they'll be inspired!

I actually have a small wishlist going on Amazon and I also have a few boards set up on Pinterest (here & here) with things I love (not everything on either of those boards are things you can actually purchase. You know... like Leonardo DiCaprio).

In the mean time:
What’s your Christmas wish list? What do you hope to receive from Santa?

First and foremost, I want the big kahuna Cricut. I started out with the little one (that cuts on 6x12 paper) to see if it was something I'd even use or if I'd lose interest in 3 months. I actually use it a lot. Not every day, but at least once a week.

My next big wishlist item is a stand mixer. I don't know if this is something I'd use a lot but I know I've been wanting one F-O-R-E-V-E-R. Like this one:

Of course, I know those are expensive items (the Cricut is over $200 and the mixer is over $300) so they're more "man, wouldn't that be nice to get???" items than ones I actually expect to get. **however, if you are inclined to buy me something more than $200 (or perhaps, several of you wish to go in on it together), I want the Cricut more than the mixer ;)**

Monday, November 7, 2011

Menu Plan Monday

Monday: Cranberry Chicken with rice & steamed broccoli
Tuesday: Quick & Easy Pasta Primavera with garlic toast & green beans
Wednesday: Ravioli with green beans
Thursday: Caribbean Jerk Chicken with Cinnamon Yam Mash
Friday: Meatloaf & mashed potatoes
Saturday: Pulled Pork with BBQ beans & corn
Sunday: 15 Minute Vegetarian Chili with corn bread

You might notice some repeats from last week on here - I found out that my husband was going to be out of down for most of 2 weeks (starting last week) plus we were invited to dinner one night, so I rearranged our meals to make sense for just my son (23 months) and I and pushed back to accommodate our dinner date.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


I've never done a monthly wrap up before, but we had so much fun in our October, I want to make sure I don't forget a moment.
  • celebrating my dad's birthday {a few days late}
  • participating in a recipe exchange {must do this again}
  • enjoying the scarecrow stroll at the botanical gardens
  • breaking my camera lens at the botanical gardens {so no pictures :( }
  • moved my granny out of one apartment and into another
  • discovering the discovery center {all over again}
  • visiting the pumpkin patch
  • attending a cake decorating class
  • partying with family for Emma's birthday
  • winning scariest costume at my mommy group halloween themed bunco
  • taking Ben to Boo at the Zoo
  • first time trick or treating!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Menu Plan Monday.

Monday: PW's Corn & Cheese Chowder in bread bowls
Tuesday: Mexican Lasagna
Wednesday: Ham & {home made} Scalloped Potatoes
Thursday: Penne Pizza Bake with garlic toast
Friday: 15 Minute Vegetarian Chili with corn bread
Saturday: Tortellini Soup with french bread
Sunday: Caribbean Jerk Chicken with Cinnamon Yam Mash

What's your favorite fall food? My comfort dish is my mom's Chicken & Wine Sauce. It's sinfully rich & delicious and loaded with fat & calories (and a pound of swiss cheese makes it spendy, so it's not a dish we make often).

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Menu Anniversary.

Yesterday marked my 1 year anniversary of menu planning.
Okay, that's not quite right.
I've menu planned for ages. I just used to be really sporadic and haphazard about it.
One year ago yesterday, I started a new way to menu plan and I've stuck with it.
Some times I menu plan for a week. Some times for a month.
Which ever way I do it, I think it saves us big time money.
I don't wander aimlessly through the stores anymore, stocking up on stuff at random.
Gone are the days of eating spaghetti and burritos every single week.

{I don't take pictures of my food. Here's a picture of Ben eating an apple. You're welcome.}

I menu plan in an Excel spreadsheet and I keep adding to the same sheet.
Planning this way has really diversified our menu.
I pay attention to how many nights a week we eat ground beef and work in more chicken dishes and even better, more meatless dishes.
I pay attention to what we're eating and when we last had those burritos and I don't plan them weekly anymore.
I'm loving Pinterest to keep track of the meals I want to try (rather than my really long list of bookmarks I had before).

Our menu has had some hits (Bacon Wrapped Teriyaki Chicken) and some misses (Orange Chicken in the crock pot). I'm trying loads of new recipes. I try at least one, if not two, new recipes as week.

I'm not strict with when we eat our meals. I shuffle them around and eat them out of order, but I almost always cook the meals I've planned. If we happen to eat out or go to family's for dinner, the meal that would have fallen on that day gets either pushed back a day or added to next weeks menu.

My next goal is to start planning for lunches. See, I grocery shop from my menu plan.
I plan my menu, I type out (under the meal name) every single ingredient that goes into that dish.
When I go to make my list, I compile the ingredients and check to make sure I'm not out of something (like a random spice I only use for one dish).
That list gets copied over to Cozi (where I keep my household calendar and our shopping list).

{feel free to click this guy and make it bigger - the purple fields are meals I've made, so I know where I am. This isn't actually quite accurate - tonight I made the tortellini dish instead of the BBQ Cowboy Beans dish but I haven't marked it off yet.}

Unfortunately, the only grocery items that make the list are those needed to make dinners. And since I only buy what's needed to cook my menu (I don't stockpile - couponers gasp now!) this doesn't leave a lot of options for lunch items, unless we have leftovers.

My friend Susan and I have started a challenge and we invite you to join us.
For 30 days (ours started Monday) we're on a No Dining Out Challenge.
We want to see if we can go one whole month of eating from our own kitchens.
It should save us big bucks + it should be a lot more healthy for us.
So, I'm striving to take my menu planning to the next level (oh yeah, this just got real lol) and plan for lunch.

I know several of you menu plan. What method do you use? Do you plan by the week or the month? Do you batch cook or cook daily? Do you plan for all meals or just dinner?

Thursday, October 20, 2011

22 Months.

Now that Ben is 22 months, I'm seeing more and more of the terrible two's in him. He's been showing some symptoms (ha ha) for several months now, but the tantrums are more frequent. Added to them are genuine sad tears when he doesn't get his way. The other day we took him to the park and he's decided he likes the big roller coaster chair swings (I think they must make him feel more secure) and he wanted to swing. Unfortunately, they were being used. We tried directing his attention some where else and he went into full meltdown complete with slapping (it's so charming to be slapped by your child in front of witnesses...), so I said "okay, let's go" and man oh man did the water works start when he realized we were really leaving.

Ben's gotten tall enough that he can't scoot under the overhang on our island (in the kitchen) anymore. He bashes his head. He forgets and so there are at least one set of tears related to that a day.

I figured out that 24 month clothes and 2T clothes are the same size, which answers my question of "why can't I find hardly anything in 24 month size??". It seems his legs are finally catching up to his torso and is wearing either 24 months or 2T on (most) everything now. He's zoomed up to a size 7 shoe (dang, we just bought 6's in September that were too big!).

Naps have been insane lately. For about the last month, Ben's been rocking a 3 1/2 to 4 hour nap every day. He must be growing. He goes through these periods of eating everything that isn't nailed down and then not eating hardly anything at all.

His vocabulary continues to explode. He's picking up new words non stop and can sing along with many songs now (not all the words, but several words here and there). He loves to play chase, hide & seek and ring around the rosie.

"Walk" is the almost always the word choice non-stop, all day. From the moment he wakes up, to as we're walking back in the door from a walk, he wants to take a walk. And walk. And walk. And I tell ya, you find out just how much patience you really do have when you go for a walk with a toddler. I've heard it over and over from others - he is a busy child. He stops to explore everything - examining rocks, leaves, bugs, dirt, pointing out poop (and then saying "icky"), watching other kids play, pointing at planes, admiring trucks, etc, etc, etc.

All colors are green. All letters are A. But he will say his name and we're working on getting him to respond with "Ben" when we ask him what his name is. He can count to 3 and sing along with the ABC's (he doesn't say all the letters but he has the tune), in fact he can sing along with lots of songs. He may only know a word or two but he gets them in the right spot. It never fails to make me smile when I hear him singing along.

I need advice, if any of you can spring it, about how to handle him when he's feeling mean. If he's not getting his way (or is overly tired), this little boy gets mad and violent. He hits, he pinches, he bites and he pulls hair. I'm doing time outs but it doesn't seem to be getting through to him. I know some of this is simply his age, but I need to encourage him to express his anger in other ways than hurting others. Any help? Any one? Any one? Bueller? Bueller?