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Friday, September 28

Where I've Been

If you're my friend on FB, you probably understand my recent hiatus this past week or so.  I was busy throwing my stuff together for a spur of the moment mini-trip to Hawaii to see Allyse.  I'm not a spontaneous person by any stretch of the imagination, so this was good for me.  It was basically only two days in Ko Olina, but it was awesome, and I'll fill you all in with the pics and stories ASAP.  Even though it was a mini-trip, it was a rush to pack, love on O before I left, coordinate a bunch of baby photo shoots (everyone is having babies right now!! what was in the water 10 months ago??) and now get re-adjusted to pacific standard time.  

Funny how 5 hours on a plane is so much more appealing after you have children... 

While I was gone, Coco took over some photo duty for me, so I have a lot of pictures to edit, clothes to wash and unpack and my little love to smother with kisses and cuddles and a pineapple stuffed animal souvenir.  Be back soon with the good stuff..


Wednesday, September 19

17 Months. What?? I Almost Have A Year And Half Year Old


I know I've been saying it every month, but what the heck.  You're almost a year and a half.  You know what that means.  Once you're six months away from your next birthday, I'm not going to feel as crazy talking about your next Bday party.  Other people will still think I'm crazy, no doubt, but at least I won't feel it as much.

It's been another amazing month with you.  How is each month even better than the last?  This month, you have found really your rhythm.  You LOVE to dance, at commercials you hear, at theme songs or anytime you hear a jam you like playing on the iPad.  Your moves are not quite as smooth as mine, but in time, you will get there.  

You're still big, people still think you're a two year old (we've even gotten three year old, twice!!) We bought your first pair of size 7 shoes. Geez Louise.

You have 16 teeth.  I am relieved for you.

Mental Development:
This month you continued jabbering non-stop.  Your intonation has really stepped up this month.  I love answering your babbling questions with non-sensical answers.   You're going to think I'm so weird one day.  We've been working with blocks a ton this month to boost that impulse control.  You love your big Duplo blocks and your Haba blocks, stacking high towers and toppling them. 

Gross Motor Skill:
You learned to "stretch" this month.  I have to get a video of you stretching with me.

Fine Motor Skills:
You love using your fork and look for applause every time you successfully stab your green bean and get it in your pie hole.  It was really cute three days ago.  Now, I think you might be getting a complex and require constant applause. 

Some New Words This Month:
Up!
Banana
Ball
Moo (what you call your cow)
  Woof Woof
No No
Moooooom (different from Mama b/c you say it when I'm not bending to your "immediate" need fast enough..super drawn out like a whiney teenager)
Ta-Da! ( Grandma taught you to throw your hands up and say Ta-Da! after you do, like, anything you think is worthy of praise.
Tyler (which you say "Ty-Lah") is hands down my favorite.

My favorite thing this month, when you hear Dada come home, you run to the window and yell "Ty-Lah! Dada!" Your father doesn't find it quite as funny as I do.  If you can't see from a window and you hear a car come up the driveway or someone at the door you quickly yell out the names of your favorite people to greet, "Nana, Dada, Ty-Lah!" super quickly all strewn together.  I love it.

We've spent a lot of time hanging out with cousin Eli this month, he's taught you some fun tricks like how to throw the couch cushions on the ground to pad your inevitable leap. 

Personality:
I think we've laughed this month more than any other month.  You find joy in so much it amazes me.  The other day we were playing with Mrs. Potato Head (yeah, we have a girl one...it's what we had before you, deal with it) and you thought it was hilarious to try to put her glasses on yourself and then on me and then decided to put her hat and glasses on Chaucer.  Before I knew it, poor Chauc was covered in your shoes, diapers, books, binx...anything you could find.  I hope he doesn't hate you.

You have been the most liberal this month with your kisses, high fives and hugs.  Coming from two non overly affectionate parents, I am happy to see you express yourself this way.  But you don't have to give high fives to everyone at Trader Joe's that passes our cart.  Really, you don't.
 
Love you more than anything, baby.

xoxo


Tuesday, September 18

Lactation Cookies {AKA} Milk Makers {AKA} PURE MAGIC




You know what a freshly-baked batch of lactation cookies means...there's going to be a new baby here any day now. 

I made these for myself and my sister-in-law last year and they were amazing.  They tasted like heaven, totally satisfied that ravenous, breast-feeding hunger, and gave a definite boost in supply. Kindy's exact words were that they were magic and she doesn't lie!

I use this recipe from Noel Trujillo and I add in my own secret milk booster by emptying about 20 of these capsules into the batter before you add chocolate chips.  The capsules have a distinct maple taste, which makes the cookies amazing.  Seriously. To die for delicious.  Don't read the nutrition facts, in this rare instance, because you're doing a good thing by feeding your child with your body, I think not reading them means they don't exist.

You can buy the brewer's yeast at any health food or home brewing store {I use champagne/wine yeast} and no, it won't get you or your baby drunk.   

...Because there is no such thing as too much milk.

Enjoy {even when you're not nursing, they're that delicious, promise}.

xoxo

  




Thursday, September 13

O's Nursery {the ReMix} DIY's Feat. The Alphabet Wall


I haven't posted any recent updates to O's new room, so here's a sneak peak at some of my efforts.  

The room so far has received new wall color, new ceiling color and new crown molding.  That was the entire first season of Downton Abbey on Netflix in itself...which now, I need to re-watch since I was just listening to it while painting.  

Then there is my alphabet wall, that I have an irrational love/hate relationship with.
The special part about the wall is it's fastening.  I first tried nailing the letters, but O apparently has Samson strength (must be the curls, I bet Samson had curls) and would rip the letters off the wall and there were flying nails and drywall and shiz...you know, generally not good practice for toddlers.  Anyway, Ty, either jokingly or genius-ly, suggested I just attach the letters to the wall with hook and loop, instead.  

It totally worked.  Who freaking knew how strong that stuff is??? (apparently my husband)...

Not only that, but my decorative wall just turned into some sort of interactive tactile letter learning experience where O can rip off the letters, which is obviously really fun, and stick them back in the correct place.  I have to hold him up for some of the higher ones, which is a nice workout for me too, jackpot. jkflslfbwfeyuwf.  That's how excited I got when I realized this.  Love you, Alphabet wall.


I needed something on this wall, but I'm still not willing to commit to anything.  Temporary solution?  Fabric wrapped canvas.  I made these like three years ago for our guest room.  I needed something to match my super hipster Urban Outfitters duvet, and I realized after multiple trips to Home Goods that actual wall art doesn't match that crap.  

{Hipster duvet is now spending retirement as a toddler play date picnic blanket}

Anyway,  I figure when I can decide on some cute quotes or images, I'll paint or stencil onto the fabric, but for now, they give cute pops of color on their own.


One of my favorite DIY's in this room was made by my SIL, and given to O for his first birthday.  I'm completely obsessed with his growth chart.  I've been using colored pencils to document his growth every few months.  I seriously love this, and I'm keeping it 4eva.


Finally, that painted curtain rod pin got the best of me.  I love the green poking through the curtain, though.  Pretty easy for decent impact.


More coming soon...pending I'm not killing myself in the gym on pounding the pavement in the neighborhood, power walking, not running, of course.  Lucky for you, decorating is so much more fun than working out. 

Wednesday, September 12

Vacation Diet Fail

So my plan for kick starting that vacation beach body is off to a slow start.  I blame a lot of that on Jeff Lewis, the rest I blame on my poor decision making skills when I decided to make chicken carbonara for dinner tonight. 

I did work out this morning, so that's redeeming, but the rest of the day was a pms-ing, lazy day piece of crap day. Even O was judging me as I walked around with a bag of chocolate chips like it was okay while he snacked on an orange. Baby judgement is the worst. 

Back on the wagon tomorrow, promise...

Monday, September 10

It's Official. I Need To Get My Rear in Gear for Vacation!



It’s official. 

After talking about it for over a year now, and researching, and getting advice from friends, family and total strangers (hey, thanks random guy from Float at Hard Rock, who told me that Costa Rica is full of prostitutes at night!) looking at countless flights and resorts and hotel packages, and feeling slightly sick with mommy-guilt about laying down so much cash that could go in O's 529 plan...we booked our trip to ......

Belize.

We need this trip.  And a happy mommy and daddy make for a happy O.  Plus, I do NOT feel guilty at ALL leaving him behind in the amazing care of Gramma and Grandpa (my grandparents) during the day (which they call "day camp") and Nanny (aka Danna in O-speak) and Papa at night (my parents).  I don't even know how to write out how he says Papa.  It's like "Puh-pahhhhh".

See how the guilt makes me make everything about him???  Anyway, I was saying...

Next month, we’re headed to the island of Ambergris Caye for a week of white sand and aqua water.  We found a perfect resort, and thanks to off-season pricing, got a semi-good deal. 

If you are like me two years ago and are wondering where is Belize and why I'm dying to go there...see below.

photo: orbitz

And if you watch The Bachelor, remember this??

photo: wetpaint

Or this?? Ben/Courtney...gross.



Now, all I need to do is get my butt into vacation gear and work out that much harder. Blah.  I hope that makes the time go by quick, because I'm beyond excited!!

xoxo

Saturday, September 8

Dapper Day

A few months ago when we were in Palm Springs, my friend Allison told me about an event called Dapper Day they hold twice a year at DL, WDW in Orlando and DL Paris.  It reminded her of Ty, naturally.  Since he works in high-end haberdashery, he dresses like it. All the time.  Yeah, it's cute, except not when you just want to wear your Zella leggings and your husband is in three pieces and a bowtie.  Bowtie Friday?  It's Bowtie Monday-thru-Friday in this house.  It makes me completely fashion insecure.  I was intrigued by the idea of being able to go to DL and Ty NOT be confused for a Dapper Dan or a French Market cast member.  

Dapper Day was inspired by the original artist renderings for Disney, where the sketches showed extremely well dressed families attending the parks.  Inspired by that nostalgia, the event is not associated with the mouse officially, but is merely organized by those desiring to mingle in style.  The party includes the Dapper Derby and goes way into the night at Trader Sam's Enchanted Tiki bar.  Also awesome is that the organizers arrange special ticket rates, so attendees could get into to DL for only $45.  Unheard of these days...we have annual passes, but still, that's less than 1/2 a regular ticket! 

Let me tell you, Dapper Day was LEGIT.  There were 5,000 RSVP's on Facebook alone, and the crowd was flooded with the well dressed. Most people went a little retro (based on the artists drawings, surely, or the time period when DL was opened)...but there was a wide variety of ensembles.  What makes me want to go back now everytime is how NICE everyone was.  Every guy we passed literally tipped their hats, girls complimented us...just think, how often do people tell you you look lovely as you pass them in the street, especially other girls??? Everyone was wishing you a Happy Dapper Day..it was genuinely such a happy freaking atmosphere.

I'm in for life. 
Even though Ty got WAY more attention than he ever needed,  I'm still proud to be on his arm.

Now for some photos...

Dinner at Ralph Brennen's Jazz Kitchen.  I'm obsessed with Brennen's since I went to the one in NOLA. We go here far too often.





I assumed it would be mainly a younger crowd attending, but I loved seeing so many middle-aged adults and grandparents dressing up and toting their grandchildren along in penny loafers and boaters.


I particularly enjoyed this Grandpa who attached ears to his Havana hat.





Loved seeing younger kids involved..I can't wait to take O.  He's going to be the baby Dapper king.












































Get your outfits ready, Dapper Day Spring 2013 will be here in February.

Friday, September 7

Three Ingredient Chocolate Truffles

 I got this recipe a few years back from our friend Jeremy, and have been making truffles a few times a year ever since.  I'm obsessed with them, and they are a total hit with everyone that I give them too.  Ty's boss frequently texts me asking to send them to work with Ty.  Last Christmas, I mixed it up and made a peppermint variety and ended up dropping off more to friends the same day I gave them to them. See what I mean?  Totally addictive.

All you need are three ingredients:

One bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips
One package of Oreo cookies (I use Jo Jo's from TJ's, Peppermint Jo Jo's in the winter)
One brick of cream cheese
Sprinkles or other topping (optional)

In a food processor, combine the cookies and cream cheese.  You could smash the cookies and combine cream cheese yourself, but you might hate me after a few minutes.  It gets tedious doing it be hand, trust me.  

Your dough should look like this, kind of like a poor mans caviar.


Roll the dough into bite-sized balls and set on a pan.


Pop the pan into the freezer for about half an hour to harden up a bit.  While in the freezer, melt chocolate chips.  I recommend using a double broiler or one these fabulous little chocolatiers because chocolate burns so easily, but you can microwave in increments if you wish.  



Dip the balls  into the melted chocolate and let dry on a cookie sheet.  I decorate mine with a Trader Joe's "Elegant Cocoa Pearls" for extra fanciness (and they add a nice crunch) !


Keep refrigerated until serving and enjoy!

Thursday, September 6

Pipe Cleaners Are My Besties Today

It was just one of those days. We headed out to the Wild Animal Park to meet up with Amanda and Quinn this morning.  I would normally have pictures except Amanda and I had some serious stuff to discuss (well, not really "serious", but we hadn't met up in awhile, so there was lots of updating) and O decided to run and trip 20 times and suicide dive out of the playground jeeps over and over again and lose his mind when I wouldn't let him get close to the fighting goats in the petting zoo. 

As always happens though, he makes up for his shenanigans with taking a four and a half hour nap (!) , which prompted me to nap a little. Daytime naps always leave me groggy, so when we woke up and I needed to finish putting together the guest/craft room, I needed a quick baby activity, as my energy fading fast. 

Enter a $1 pack of pipecleaners.  All I did was curl and scrunch a few and toss them in a box.  It was such an easy, new tactile experience.  O spent thirty minutes manipulating them, throwing them in the air, trying to figure out why they would stick together, and putting them back in the box one by one.  And repeat.


It was just what I needed to allow me to get a few things done. Loved it. 


For everyone that messaged with travel advice and tips, we are booking our reservations tonight and will spend upwards of 3 hours tomorrow at the walk-in post office in temecula getting expedited updated passports.  I never thought I would be so excited to spend 3 hours sitting anywhere. 



Off to celebrate with some white pizza and Sofia Reisling.  



XOXO

Monday, September 3

To Labor or Not to Labor Today

My head wanted to work today, but my heart wanted nothing more than to veg.  I thought I would at least share about the delish truffles I made last night, and the mexican feast we had yesterday thanks to the Pioneer Woman....but all that went out the window when I realized Secret Life was streaming on netflix.  4 seasons.   So now, all you're going to get is me telling you what I will be working on during naptime the next few days while I soak in a lot of  middle-aged Bo Duke (or is that Luke Duke??) and Molly Ringwald in the background while I research for the following.  

Vacation Planning:  
Ty just found out he has 18 days vacation we have to use in the next two months.  It's a use it or lose it situation.  We're big travel lovers, and haven't been able to take a real vacation since before we got pregnant when we went to NYC.  I'm dying to go somewhere.  Sans toddler.  Not because I want to  escape from O, but more because Ty and I desperately need the time away, just the two of us.  And despite traveling to countless cities and I think 16 or 17 countries together, and twice that apart, we've never taken a relaxing vacation together.  Instead, we insist on taking a 12-hour tour of ancient ruins,   hike in the rainforest to swim in freaking freezing cold water, and have extremely unsettling massages in Turkish bath houses {Warming: Despite their deceptive name, there are NO bath tubs at Turkish Bathes. Don't make the same mistake as me.  That's a story for another day, though} 

The point is, it's been a rough year or so, we need this.  I wrote out all the stressful events that had taken place in the past year (health probs I've shared about, and many I haven't, surgeries, deaths, selling our first house, hunting for our next one all the while not knowing where Ty's job is going to take us, ect..) and it literally stressed me out remembering it all.  I don't share a lot of my strife because I'm not one of those people who gets anything out of sharing, other than feeling bad that other people now feel bad for me.  Also, I feel incredibly lucky to have a sexy husband and an adorable, hilarious son I spend all day laughing with, so I hate complaining.  Ty will laugh at that, because he thinks I'm a master complainer, but I also just called him sexy two sentences ago, so I'm hoping he remembers that.  But yikes. There's been a LOT of physical and mental stress.  

We need to get away. 

So, now where to go??
 I want pretty clear water, and with options of things to do IF we decide to be adventurous.  The current options are Hawaii, Belize and Cancun.  Give me any feedback you should have to help me make a decision!!  I need to narrow this down and book things ASAP!  

Hope you all had a lovely and relaxing long weekend!



Saturday, September 1

Danielle's Pink Elephant Baby Shower!

I've been friends with Danielle for like nine years now, which makes me feel super old.  But this isn't about me, this is about her, and celebrating her new little baby girl that's coming soon!  

Her Elephant-themed baby shower was adorable and it's always a good time getting to mingle again with sisters I haven't seen in a while, all the while taking in the cuteness overload.  




I want to cover my entire bedroom ceiling with pom poms.  One day...poor, poor Ty.



This was delish...


Gotta love the mimosas...and the tiny elephants tied to the bottom of the glasses!



Love this pic, mainly because it shows Peyton's Minnie and headband in the background. #reallifewithatoddler