Thursday, February 26, 2009

I just can't HELP myself

I hate Albertsons. I also hate monopoly. For some reason I am still compelled to play the Albertson's monopoly game.

Maybe it's the valuable prizes....$500,000 for a mortgage, a $1,000 shopping spree, a whopping $2 cash prize (as in enough money to buy half a loaf of bread). Or maybe it's just the fact that Albertsons is literally 1/2 a mile away and the logical place to go when I'm in the middle of making dinner and realize I don't have a key ingredient because I can't plan out meals in advance to save my life. I suppose meal-planning would be more logical than running to Albertsons every other day.

Anyway, that's not the point.

It all started when I happened to buy a "high ticket" item and got 4 game pieces at once, so I figured, eh, what the heck. It seemed like a good start.

The problem is that now I'm slightly obsessed. I've wasted a considerable amount of my life licking and sticking game pieces to the board after searching for 5 minutes to figure out where each one goes. I get truly upset when I have duplicate pieces. I almost had a heart attack when Nicole nonchalantly mentioned that she hadn't taken her game pieces the other day because she didn't know what it was. DIDN'T KNOW???? She knows now.

I am 3/5 of the way toward winning a Chrysler Town and Country. Not that I would ever drive a minivan. Well, maybe a free one....

I even find myself choosing to go to Albertsons when I could go somewhere I like much better....just for the game pieces. A couple of nights ago I did legitimately need to go, I had to have a new lint roller, and I almost screamed "NO! Give them to MEEE!" when the man in line ahead of me told the cashier he didn't want his pieces because he wasn't playing the game. I did manage to summon up enough dignity to bite my tongue, but I don't think I'll be able to should the opportunity present itself again. The urge is just too great.

I won't win, I never win anything. With the exception of the free chiropractic visit I won in college. I still don't know how I ended up winning that because I don't remember entering my name into anything. As it turns out, it wasn't a prize at all and someone who hated me probably put my name in the drawing. It was an absolutely horrible experience in a sleazy little office with no customers. A tiny little woman with the most atrocious body odor EVER climbed onto my back and did horrible things to me. I left nauseated from her stench and in great pain. I literally ran back to my dorm and took a shower to get the stink off. While I'm sure she isn't the norm as far as chiropractors go, I've never been to one since, nor do I plan to ever go. All chiropractors are dead to me.

Okay, that was a little dramatic.

Anyway, this is my new hobby, sad as it is. I should be cleaning the bathroom right now. Instead I am wasting even more of my life blogging about how I'm wasting my life with Albertson's monopoly. Maybe when I win I'll hire a maid.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Growing up...

It's happening way too fast. Skylar will be a year old in less than 6 weeks. Where has the year gone? Here are some pictures I took today!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Yummy!

So I found this really easy recipe for Pizza Lasagna Cups, and they were so good that I have to share even though I don't usually post recipes. I changed it a little:

1 pound ground beef (I used white meat ground turkey)
1 onion
2 cloves of garlic minced
1 1/2 cups tomato sauce
Ricotta cheese
2 cans of buttermilk biscuits (I used the grand size)
Italian seasoning
Grated Mozzerella cheese (I also used romano and parmesan)

Brown the first three ingredients. Press the biscuits into muffin tins and up the sides to form cups. Fill with meat (about 1 1/2 Tablespoons), ricotta (about 1 1/2 teaspoons), sprinkle with a little italian seasoning, and cover with cheese. We like spicy food, so I sprinkled red pepper flakes on top. Bake at 375 for 16-20 minutes.

It makes 16, which probably serves 6-8 people or 4 big eaters. Micah ate 5 of them.

I used lowfat ricotta, low fat biscuits, ground turkey, and parmesan isn't as fattening as some cheeses, so all in all I think it was reasonably healthy. Bonus: It's a great leftover lunch. Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

A fun way to spend one of my least favorite holidays.....

A couple of things were brought to my attention this evening.

First of all, my post about the breast pump may have been TMI for some people's taste and my use of the term "engorgement" in particular (although as far as I know that is the term used by medical professionals) made some people uncomfortable as it is perhaps too.....descriptive.
So to my 10 or 12 readers out there, my intent was not to offend...but what can I say folks....this is my life....just keeping it real. On behalf of the squeamish I will hence forth put a disclaimer at the top of any questionable subject matter (like that really works, you'll read it anyway).
Secondly, I didn't realize I wasn't set up to accept comments from non-bloggers, so I changed the setting. So thanks for the feedback people!

Now for a few Valentine pics. Nicole generously watched Skylar for the day so that Micah and I could go skiing/snowboarding alone. We've never left her for 10 hours before, but she didn't even know we were gone. We came home to a sleeping baby, a Valentine's dinner, flowers, and the best homemade chocolate cake (with ganache frosting!) we have ever eaten. Nicole out did herself, it was a true culinary masterpeice.
It was FREEZING on the mountain...18 degrees at the bottom, so probably below zero at the top with the wind chill. I really hate to be cold. Fortunately, Micah got me some new cozy mittens for Valentine's day. So we had a great time in spite of the artic weather!
I realized that as long as I turn off my brain with the word "Danger" flashing through it, I can conquer much steeper terrain than I think I can. I just have to get in my groove....which was much easier in my pre-Skylar life. These days the thought of taking care of her while wearing a full-body cast is kind of daunting.

I bought Skylar this little Valentine onsie at Old Navy on clearance last year. At the time I was 8 months pregnant, and a 6-12 month onsie looked enormous....but it fits her perfectly. She's getting so big! I can't believe she'll be one in about 6 more weeks.


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

My 3 Step Plan

During my 5 years working in early childhood (not including all those summers at spring canyon...does that really count???) I came into contact with many an upset parent or disgruntled staffer. This has taught me what kind of parent I DON'T want to be....and also what kind of people could possibly be watching my child....scary.

Needless to say, when I first took Skylar to the church nursery at 10 weeks old I was a little worried based on what I'd seen over the years. Don't get me wrong, there are many professional daycare workers, but something about a volunteer setting worries me because of the lack of training and professionalism. Then again, at least volunteers are there because they want to be and aren't just collecting a paycheck.

So I devised a 3 step plan for ensuring that Skylar is well taken care of in the nursery based upon my extensive research and experience (and by research I mean my personal opinion). I will share these little gems with you....not that they are rocket science by any means...and you too can ensure that you're child receives optimum levels of attention in a group setting:)

1. SHE MUST LOOK EXTRA CUTE. Obviously I know that she is the most adorable child to ever live--and clearly gifted--but I can't assume a stranger will recognize or appreciate this. It may sound superficial, judge me if you want, but nobody likes a crusty, dirty child in stained clothes that smells like a port-a-potty and/or sour milk.
Think about it, if you are in a room filled with other people's children which one appeals to you more? The cute one in the adorable outfit with the little bow in her hair that smells like lavender, or the one with green slime coming out of her pasty little nose and dripping onto her big brother's enormous shirt that she is wearing because their mother just grabbed the first thing she saw? No-brainer.
I know a true professional would show no preference, but we all have our biases, and really why risk it?

I find it also helps if she has memorable accessories. Like her fluffy pink bunny coat, her sparkly silver Mary Janes, a designer bib or a custom burp clothe. For some reason they seem to set her apart from the competition and ensure her a permanent spot in someone's lap, which of course is what she likes best.

2. THE DIAPER BAG MUST BE WELL STOCKED. You just don't want to be THAT parent. If you forget a snack, then your kid is the one crying while it watches the others eat. If you forget a change of clothes when they have that big blow-out then you are definitely not scoring any points with the caregivers. Either they are scrambling around looking for hand-me-downs in the closet thereby leaving the other kids unattended, or worse, they make you come get them and do the walk of shame back to the car with your poopy child in their poopy clothes.....make that a poopy car seat too.
Heaven forbid you forget a diaper or bottle. They know it isn't your child's fault, but they will still subconsciously project their opinion of you onto your child. It's just so preventable. I don't care if it makes me 5 minutes late, I have to double-check the diaper bag.

*Bonus points for carefully labeling everything in it.
**Extra bonus points for customized designer labels (refer to "memorable accessories" above).

3. FEED THE NURSERY WORKERS. I cannot stress this enough. You can do the above things faithfully, but if you really want your child to be the Golden Child, you must go above and beyond. You will quickly win the hearts of everyone with your tasty homemade delicacies.

I'm not just talking christmas cookies and valentines here....just random goodness for no apparent reason except to show gratitude. This will ensure that when they project their opinion of you onto your child it will be only good. Whatever you do, don't give them any peanut products. Though well intentioned, this will show your ignorance about food allergies. This morning I gave them chocolate chip muffins with crumble topping. Granted, they were leftovers, but whatever....it's the thought that counts.

*Bonus points for giving them thank-you gifts when your child moves or graduates to the next age group.

So there you have it. I plan on publishing this in pamphlet form and passing it out in Starbucks. Except if everyone started applying these principles Skylar would no longer stand out in the crowd. And we can't have that.

***By the way, if you think these principles don't apply to you because you don't have kids, you are wrong. The same criteria apply to dropping your dog off at the kennel, doggy daycare, Camp Bow Wow, or what have you. Jack's pink polo shirt and sparkling personality ensure that he will always be the most popular pooch wherever he goes. Not that he's ever been to a kennel. He's not that kind of dog.

Monday, February 16, 2009

It's a Girl!!!

Congratulations to Marie, Devin and Addison!!!!

Ainsley Nicole Riley
6 lbs, 11 oz
2/15/18 10:43 pm

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Uh-oh.....

Something bad happened today......not quite earth-shattering bad....but it could have been.

I dropped and broke my best friend today. Or should I say breast friend. Pun intended.

That's right, my trusty medela swing pump crashed to the floor for the 200th time, except this time the plastic on the side of it broke, exposing it's wire-y inards. I thought for sure it wasn't going to turn on again. I was seized with panic, thinking I would either have to buy another one to get through the next 7 weeks and 4 days or endure horrible engorgement.

I held my breathe, hit the button, and was ecstatic to hear the steady "whir, whir, whir" that has become my theme song. So familiar in fact, that the sound of it magically lures Skylar to sleep, because "mommy" and "motorized whirring" have become synonymous in her short life.

It's endured quite a beating, especially considering it's intended for use 2-3 times a day, and it was used 8 times a day for the first 6 months of Skylar's life. Which is why it's my best friend. Next to Skylar, I've spent more quality time with it than any person, let alone appliance. In fact, when I did the math it came out to 1106 hours--46 Days-- I've spent with my pump thus far....and that's a very conservative estimate, it's actually way more than that.

I am happy to report I am down to 3 times a day now....oh the freedom. I know I told you I'd send it your way Marie, but I'm not sure it's going to make it.......or that you'll want it after I duct tape it back together:)

Here is a very low-quality picture of the damage done to Leonidas. Yep, that's right, my breast pump has a name...you know, as a sign of respect for all the hard work it's done. Nicole and I decided it was the perfect name, especially since my brother Josh wants to buy a snake and name it Leonidas and now he can't because I stole the name and gave it to my breast pump and that will totally gross him out.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Heartbreak

Several days ago I mentioned the McClenahan's and baby Cora who has been very sick. This morning I saw that Cora lost her fight with cancer. There are no words......

Friday, February 6, 2009

A few clips....

Skylar is doing lots of cute stuff these days, which kind of helps counteract her extreme neediness. If I so much as turn my back to her she bursts into tears. The entire time Micah or Nicole hold her she is reaching for me, whining, fussing, etc. She's perfectly happy being carried around in the sling all day....not so fun for me. I'm sure this stage will pass quickly. So to remind myself of how cute she is even though she is making me crazy, here are some video clips. (Just go to the very bottom and pause the music so you can hear).
Swim lessons: She took to the water like a minnow:)

video

Smacking her lips is the new thing. Anytime she eats or drinks anything she has to smack afterward and sometimes says "mmmm" along with it. Even in the middle of the night, half asleep, she smacks her lips when I feed her:)
video

Skylar loves to sing! She sings along and dances to whatever is playing.

video

Monday, February 2, 2009

Family fun

Jenn and Russell came and visited this weekend from New Mexico where Russell is taking a month long course. They are stationed in Hawaii, so we won't be seeing them much for awhile. Skylar had a great time with the endless attention she recieved from her gloating Aunts and Uncle! We got to see Kristy and Andy as well--they came down for dinner on saturday night along with other friends from Jenn and Russell's wedding that recently moved to town. It was a fun, busy weekend!
If you live in the area get thee to a Safeway ASAP. Pints of blueberries and blackberrries are only $.88, and the deli bagels (which I personally like better than panera) are $.25 right now. Sale ends tomorrow on the bagels, load up the freezer while you can!

On a far more serious note, please pray for this family whose 10 month old daughter Cora is battling cancer. They are friends of my friends Amanda and Marie from K-state, and I've been following their story for the past week or so. They went to the doctor to follow-up on an ear infection and mentioned a few strange things they had noticed. Within hours they found out their daughter has stage four cancer. She is the cutest thing ever! So even though I don't know them personally I have been thinking about them all week and the more people praying the better!



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