Tuesday, June 29, 2010


Did y'all know that there's actually a Broadway show comprised entirely of Green Day songs? I was watching a documentary about it the other day, and Billy Joel (the lead singer of Green Day) was talking about how he liked their version of 21 Guns better than Green Day's version, so Green Day invited the cast to perform at the Grammys with them (last year I think). Then they re-recorded the track with the cast.

He's right. This version gives me goosebumps every time I listen to it.

I know, I know...I don't often watch videos when people post them on blogs. This is worth it.

21 Guns - Green Day and American Idiot Cast from Marie B on Vimeo.

Grow, Baby!

Our garden is doing awesome, and I am so excited.

The orange strings show you one square foot. I put the piece of spinach inside to give you an idea of scale.

We have green little tomatoes!

Does anyone know what this is? It is EVERYWHERE. I am constantly pulling it up!

I also have some peppers growing, but unfortunately, most of them have little spots that are starting to rot: 
This happens to me every year with the peppers, and I don't know what's up. 
I am in love with sugar snap peas from the garden. They are SO SWEET!

Monday, June 28, 2010


-Justin's birthday was yesterday! Happy birthday babe! We had a party for him here at the house on Friday, where we gave him a pretty awesome present from the entire family--a shiny new BBQ. I was able to pay for my portion with photo shoots that I had done, and I was really excited about that. I'm really thankful that the whole family was on board with doing a group gift--I couldn't have done it without them.

-On Saturday, Justin's band played a concert at a local lake. The organizers gave us waterslide vouchers, and it was a ton of fun. I was really nervous about going, because it meant standing around in line in a bathing suit...but I did it, and even though it was really hard for me to do (and was not at all comfortable for me), I'm glad that I did because it was a lot of fun. Except for the time when the 5 year old girl ahead of me stopped herself and stood up in the slide. I came around a corner, saw her just standing up in the middle of the waterslide and thought "Crap....this could really be bad." I was worried that I'd knock her out of the waterslide! So, as I went by I grabbed her, sat her on my lap, and took her down the rest of the way with me. I didn't know what else to do!

- Lizzy is up on all fours and rocking. I can hardly believe it. Really though, she's far more interested in holding on to our hands and walking around the room. She is so pleased with herself when she's doing it.

-I am still plodding along at the Couch to 5k program. I didn't get any runs in last week, but I'm really wanting to get back on the horse this week, even though my confidence with running is at an all time low right now. This is something that I need to push through and do, even if I'm not good at it.

-I finished a bizarre book over the weekend--The Island of Lost Girls by Jennifer McMahon. It's about a little girl who was kidnapped by someone wearing a giant rabbit costume. There was a witness, but the witness was so shocked by the situation that she didn't do anything to stop the situation. It was bizarre, but not bad. I wouldn't buy it, but it was a decent library check-out.

-This morning, I picked a piece of spinach from our garden that was bigger than my head.

Friday, June 25, 2010

In the Photo Friday

I'm so excited that so many of you are going to participate in the "In the Photo Friday" photo challenge with me! To answer a few questions from the comments in the last post:

1- Yes, please feel free to use the badge, or make your own!
2- There are really no rules, except it must be a current picture. It doesn't HAVE to be of your face, but I would encourage it...the whole purpose is to actually have pictures of YOURSELF for once!

Without further ado...here's the photos for Week 1. My dad was kind enough to snap a couple of pictures before Justin and I headed out for our anniversary date on Wednesday night. And date night was glorious. 

It's awesome to have a family picture, even if my roots drive me nuts in the shot :) Now the next step is that I need to print some off and actually get them up in frames around the house...ya know, 'cause Lizzy does live here too! 

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Camera Shy.

The other night, Justin and I were talking about my body image right now. Let's just say that it's not great. I'm pretty darn frustrated with it, and just frustrated with myself in general, because when I look in the mirror, I don't like anything that I see.

Sure, my body just accomplished the incredible feat of giving birth. It has come a long way. But it's still really bizarre to look in the mirror and not recognize the person looking back.

Anyway, we discussed that the really bad part about this {aside from feeling badly about myself}, is that there are very few pictures of Lizzy and I together. I'm already usually the one behind the camera, and if I'm not, now I just tend to automatically delete any pictures that happen to be snapped of me because I hate how I look.

So, I've decided to embark upon a challenge. From now until September 1st, I pinky promise to post one picture of myself each week. Anyone want to play along?

They don't have to be well-composed shots. Or even in focus. It just has to be a current picture of you. We start tomorrow :)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Pizza on the Grill

I think that I've blogged about my absolute love of refrigerated biscuits and pizza dough before. I absolutely LOVE the stuff. I could eat an entire tube of the fridge biscuits, no sweat. So usually, when it comes to making pizza, I use a roll of the fridge stuff. Obviously.

However, before posting about her super secret pregnancy and delivery last week {was I the only one who had no idea?!}, Emily at Imperfect blogged about doing individual pizzas on the grill. She also posted Caroline's pizza dough recipe , and so I thought that I'd give it a shot.

See, Justin and I have different pizza tastes. He likes Pepperoni. Sometimes Meat-Lovers. Sometimes Bacon Cheeseburger Pizza (which is DELICIOUS by the way). On the other hand, I like things like roasted red peppers, spinach, and feta cheese. Personal home-made pizzas sounded like a great compromise.

Here's my pizza--home-grown spinach from our garden, tomato, and feta cheese. The pizza ended up a little bit burnt because Justin forgot about them on the grill, but it was still delicious.

And here's Justin's dinner. I'm not sure if you can tell the scale by the picture, but that is not a dinner plate--it is actually a platter. A platter that I've only broken out once or twice since we've been married {three years today!}, but apparently Justin thought it was the perfect size to house the three pepperoni pizzas that he ate for dinner.

Oh, and we naturally can't forget the Ranch dressing. What would pizza be without Ranch dressing?

Anyway, the moral of the story is to try Caroline's Pizza Dough recipe, and definitely try doing pizza on the grill. Heaven.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


  • Have y'all seen that movie Big Fish? It's one of my favorites. There's a part in it where Ed Bloom Sr. gets into the bathtub with all his clothes on, and says to his wife, "I was drying out." That is EXACTLY how I feel right now. I love water--lakes, rivers, the ocean, and I need to get in some badly. 
  • Good news: I took my last Mini Pill on Saturday night. I weighed myself this morning, and I am down 5 pounds. I haven't done anything else differently. I am hopeful that this will make a big difference for me. I haven't seen the scale this low since I gave birth, despite working out like a crazy woman. Bad News: When I picked up my packet of Ortho Tri Cyclen Lo on Saturday, I was shocked to learn that it's $50 for a one-month supply. The pharmacist told me that my insurance seems to think that there's a generic, but that it's no longer being made. Awesome. I guess that I need to call around. 
  • Our anniversary is tomorrow, and I am so looking forward to it. Justin is planning it, so I have no idea what we're doing, and I honestly wouldn't care if we went to Taco Bell. We have been in desperate need of a date night for a long time...things have just felt stagnant, and we've both been a little snippy with each other, probably because we really haven't spent any good quality time together recently.
  • Justin's birthday is on Friday, and I am SO, SO excited to give him his gift! I've been stashing away money from photo shoots and such for awhile to make it happen. 
  • I woke up this morning, and I can't turn my neck. I don't know if I pinched a nerve or what, but it is irritating. 
  • I think Lizzy is days/weeks away from crawling. She goes up on all fours, rocks, and then propels herself forward like a little rocket. She doesn't have the arm-leg coordination down yet, but I am sure that she will get there very very soon.
  • Also, I discovered over the weekend that she can totally sit up on her own, she just chooses not to. If I sit her up while she's leaning against me, and then slowly back away, she'll stay sitting up until she realizes that she's sitting up by herself. Then she'll cry and fall over. She is silly.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Sorry Jane

So, one of my 101 in 1001 tasks was to actually finish any of Jane Austen's books. For me, Jane Austen is the same as cilantro. They are something that I would love to love, but just can't stand the taste no matter how hard I try to make myself.

I would love to love Jane Austen. I like the ideas behind most of her novels. And I love the movie Jane Austen Book club, but I just have never been able to really get in to any of her books...going all the way back to high school. I think that Pride & Prejudice was the only book I ever used Sparknotes for instead of actually reading the book.

Right now, I've been attempting to read Emma. I haven't ever seen the movie, but I am familiar with the story line...and still, I just CANNOT get into it. I have so many other books that I'd much rather be reading right now!

{PS- We were talking about this at my parent's house yesterday, and my dad looked at me totally straightfaced and said, "Who is Jane Austen?" Teehee!}

So convince me people--what's your favorite Jane Austen book, and why should I read it?

Friday, June 18, 2010

Photos on Friday


Lizzy thanks her aunt Kait for the first giraffe outfit she received...it's a 3-6mo onesie, and is just now starting to fit at almost 5.5 months, lol!



Burning Question of the Day: Vacation

Today's BQOD: If you could go anywhere on vacation for two weeks, where would you go?

I would go to Fiji, and stay in one of those little huts out over the water (like in Couple's Retreat). Man, do I ever miss the ocean. I would be totally content to lay around, swim, and snorkel for two weeks!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Why I'm Going Off the Mini Pill

First of all, I should say that this is NOT about having another baby...this post is strictly about the Mini Pill (i.e. Progestogen only birth control), and my experience taking it....

Basically, for a couple of months now, I've felt "off". Scratch that, I've felt pregnant. All the time. I have heart burn, I am constantly nauseous (especially when cooking meat), I have headaches all the time, and I am exhausted. Hello, Lizzy is basically sleeping through the night, I should not be this tired all the freaking time.  This led to middle-of the night pregnancy testing (which was negative). I've been anxious about nothing in general, and I absolutely cannot lose one single pound, despite working out consistently and eating well.

My gut was that this was related to the birth control pills that I was on, but I've also had people mention that it could be a thyroid issue. Either way, I had an appointment with my OB yesterday, and explained to him what was going on.

He agreed that this could definitely be related to the mini pill--turns out that the progestogen only pills mimic pregnancy, and he's had a number of patients report that while they're on it, they experience symptoms similar to their 1st trimester symptoms. He said that also, his patients have not reported a decrease in supply as far as nursing goes if they switch over after nursing is well established--five to six months in (worry about decreasing breastmilk supply is the reason that most women taking the pill after child birth are prescribed a progestogen only pill).

Also, we started talking about the side-effects for the mini pill. In my personal experience, the reported side effects from friends that have been on the mini pill vary greatly from the "official" side effects. My OB agreed. Here are negatives about the mini pill that we discussed. The starred items are not "official" side effects, but have oft been reported by users as side effects.
  • It's only 92% effective--less than a standard combination birth control pill
  • Increased anxiety
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue*
  • Nausea *
  • Weight Gain *
  • Acne *
  • Increased risk of ectopic pregnancy
  • Increased risk of ovarian cysts
Basically, numbers 2-7 are me in a nutshell right now. On Sunday, I'm switching back to the low-dose combo pill that I had success with for years. I'm hopeful that it will help. The point in writing this post was that I didn't know this was even an option while nursing, and I hope that if other mamas are having similar issues, you'll make an appointment with your OB to discuss further.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


Over the weekend, Justin presented me with this:

 It's okay, you can snicker a little bit. We did, 'cause it definitely looks like poop. 
But it's not. Instead, was Justin's first attempt at chocolate covered strawberries. 

This is a little known fact about Justin--he secretly loves to make cookies, brownies, and basically anything sweet. His mom says that he has loved it since he was little, and that he was always the MASTER helper when it came to making Christmas cookies. 

Like me, Justin doesn't always follow a recipe. 
However, when it comes to baking, sometimes it's a little more crucial to get your proportions right 
{hey, why do you think the cheftestants on Top Chef who gets stuck making dessert always loses?!}

And unfortunately, this creation fell prey to the no-recipe curse. See, Justin hadn't ever melted chocolate chips before...so he stuck a bag of them and a bit of butter directly on the stovetop. 
And pretty soon, I could smell chocolate burning. But Justin had explicitly ordered me out of the kitchen under all circumstances...so, I stayed put and let him do his thang. 

In the end, my sweet, wonderful husband dipped the strawberries into the burnt chocolate anyway. 
And of course, I ate one. 
Because the gesture was so, so sweet. 
{And let's be honest...he's probably choked down a bad creation of mine or two}

Strawberries with burnt chocolate are not the best dessert I've ever had, 
but it certainly did give us something to giggle about for the rest of the day.
And now that sweet Justin knows how to melt chocolate properly, 
I know he's going to rock the next batch out of the park!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Who's A Pest?

 Beans, I'm not a pest.
{PS- Justin, that was just for you}

But I have pests. One variety in particular, and they are a nasty bunch. Earwigs. Last summer, I blogged about how an earwig broke our air conditioning. I know, I wouldn't have believed it either. But it happened, because earwigs are AWFUL.

We're still battling them this year, and they are seriously on my naughty list for killing all my daisies. The ONE thing that I wanted to grow this year was daisies. Everyone looked at me like I was nuts and said, "Daisies are like a weed. You don't want to grow them!"  But I did. And I do. And I can't.

My parents had given me daisies to plant, and look what the earwigs did to them:

We've set lots of traps, and it seems like we catch hundreds every night, 
but there are more and more all the time!

I keep hearing that earwigs are beneficial because the eat snails, but we have snails too, so I'm not sure I'm buying that. They are disgusting, and I have a serious fear of them crawling into body orifices and laying eggs. Blech. 

I hate earwigs.


I started the weekend off with a little photo shoot for a friend of a friend. I spent a lot of time making silly faces and jumping up and down in an attempt to get the smiles and laughs. And I'm pretty happy with how things turned out.


But I have to say that my favorite picture of the day was actually an outtake. It totally cracks me up:

Casebeer (8)

Isn't this just the perfect picture of the typical brother/sister relationship? 'Ugh! Stop touching me!'

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Surprise ending.

Today, Justin and I decided that we were going to head to the lake. We asked Ryan and Renee if they wanted to come with, and off we went. It was a gorgeous, beautiful day. Beautiful enough to get this girl into a swim suit, and trust me, that's saying something. We got to the lake, and it was perfect weather--warm, but not blazing hot. The lake was full to the brim. All was right with the world.

We splashed around in the lake a bit, letting Lizzy splash the water with her feet. The lake is mountain run-off, so it was a little cold. We elected not to dunk her underwater, even though she's doing AWESOME with that in swim lessons.

After about a half an hour of playing in the water, we were all lounging on blankets. I left Lizzy with Justin, and went to stick my toes in the water. I had just dipped them into the cool sand when a little boy came running over to me yelling, "Liver damage! Out of the water! Liver damage! Come with me!"

I followed him about 45 yards away, to a half sheet of paper attached to a little stick. We had assumed that it was a simple "no camping" or "no littering" sign, like we often see at the lake. But no. It was a sign that read as follows:

Toxic algae can cause serious injury or death. Children and pets are particularly susceptible.

Crap. I started flipping out almost immediately. I called the number on the sign to make sure that the warning was still valid...because really, who thinks that a little half sheet of paper tacked to a little stick is sufficient signage to warn about death-inducing algae?! If there was really a death-inducing algae bloom, I would expect caution tape, balloons, forest rangers patrolling the shores, or at least full page signs all over the place. Like maybe, I don't know, at the park entrance.

Unfortunately, the warning was current, and the forest ranger kindly told me to watch for vomiting and respiratory distress. Absolutely fantastic. We immediately took wipes to every inch of Lizzy's skin, and packed everyone up to head home and bathe more sufficiently. On the way, I placed a frantic call in to the pediatrician, who told me that because Lizzy was just splashing her legs in the water, she really wasn't concerned--just to give her a good bath. Apparently, the real concern is when you're swimming with your head underwater and potentially ingesting the algae.

Still, I am thanking God for our Angelcare monitor tonight, because I am more than a little rattled about all this.

But more than anything, I'm really, really irritated about the lack of signage at the lake. I know some people look at the little sign and say, 'Eh, whatever.'  But we wouldn't have, had we actually known about the algae ahead of time...I just don't understand how anyone would think that a little half page piece of paper tacked to a stick would be sufficient for making sure that people don't swim in the toxic freaking algae...

Thursday, June 10, 2010


- Lizzy and I start a Mommy & Me swim class today. If we like it, it's only $30/ month for two lessons a week. Not bad at all, AND being in a bathing suit twice a week gives me serious motivation to keep exercising :)

-My photo shoot got rescheduled. Boo. I swear, any time I even mention a photo shoot on the blog, something happens that prevents it from happening!

-I HATE Justin's stupid iPhone right now. Actually, I hate the stupid sudoku puzzles on his stupid iPhone right now. We go out to dinner? Justin is playing Sudoku. Go to my parents or his parents house? Justin is playing sudoku. Go to visit friends? Justin is playing sudoku. When he's holding Lizzy? Justin is playing Sudoku. Try to go on a date? Justin tries to sneak in playing Sudoku when he thinks I'm not looking. I get that he works hard and needs a chance to relax by doing something that he enjoys...the problem is that once he starts playing sudoku, it's like a compulsion, and he CANNOT STOP. He literally plays for hours on end.

-Does anyone with Netflix know if Top Chef is one of the TV shows you can watch on demand? We no longer have Bravo, and with a new season about to start, I really miss Top Chef! I've been considering Netflix for awhile now, and I'm wondering if that would push us over.

- Blair (of Heir to Blair) recently posted about an article written by Rabbi Shmuley Boteach (of Shalom in the Home), which basically suggested that women should be cautious about breastfeeding their children around their husbands:

In the end, there are two effects of breast-feeding that we often refuse to acknowledge. One is the de-eroticization of a woman's body, as her husband witnesses one of the most attractive parts of her body serving a utilitarian rather than romantic purpose. This is not to say that breast-feeding isn't sexy. Indeed, the maternal dimension is a central part of womanliness. But public breast-feeding is profoundly de-eroticizing, and I believe that wives should cover up, even when they nurse their babies in their husband's presence.

He also suggests that husbands should not watch the actual birth of their children:

But I strongly agree with the advice of the ancient rabbis that husbands should not be staring at the actual delivery. That is just too erotic a part of a wife's anatomy for it to become a mere birth canal.

And lastly:

The erotic nature of a wife's body is one of the principal elements of attraction in marriage. When a husband ceases to see his wife as a woman, and begins to see her as "the mother of his children," a negative trend has begun in his mind that can only subvert his erotic interest.

Okay, I understand the underlying point of the article, which was that with kids, it's important to nurture your marriage. But other than that, I really think the article is incredibly misguided, and kind of offensive. And am I the only one who thinks that if the success of your marriage is so dependent on the wife's body being considered erotic, you've got deeper issues at hand?

ETA: This is apparently an old article from 2006. New to me though. The Rabbi has written a follow-up (I think his Twitter and email were blown up over the weekend), which you can find here, though it honestly didn't change my opinion much.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Kid Funnies

So, the church (where J's dad is the pastor) has a school that's attached to it. Every so often, the school administrator posts funny things that the kids say or do on Facebook. She posted two this morning that I had to share:

-PreKindergarten kids in chapel today. One didn't have any money for the offering. That's okay, her friend decided to share. She just ripped her dollar in half and handed part of it to her pal. Gotta love it.

-Asked in Kindergarten today: What did you learn about Jesus this year? One child's answer: God sent Jesus to die on the cross for our sins and then he took Dr. Seuss to heaven.

Letter to Lizzy- Five Months


Sweet Lizzy Girl,

As I write this, you're in your crib, not napping. I can hear that you've turned on both your jungle mirror, and your singing seahorse, and you're babbling away at both of them. This is a theme in our household--you absolutely hate to sleep. We all agree that it's probably because you're afraid to miss anything. You really are one of the most alert and inquisitive babies that I know. In fact, the only way I have been able to get you to sleep lately, is to lay sideways on the couch, lay you on my stomach, and turn on HGTV, or read whatever book I'm reading aloud to you.


In fact, the other day, someone asked your dad and I to each describe you in one word. I think that I said "stubborn" and your dad said "opinionated". And it's very true--you are both. You already have strong opinions about what you want to do and what you don't, and you throw royal fits (complete with stomping your feet) if we don't do things your way.


Some of the things that you like right now are:
-being burped with your pacifier in your mouth
-swinging (either in an actual swing, or being held upside down by your legs)
-watching your dad play guitar
-baths in the kitchen sink (but not the tub)
-clucking noises
-holding onto our hands and "walking" around the room
-eskimo kisses
-licking our shoes


You aren't actually crawling yet, but you have the army crawl mastered. I can't believe how mobile you are already--you really can get around almost anywhere you want to go, but sometimes you get frustrated that you can't get there as fast as your cousins.


I haven't seen any teeth break through, yet, but you have literally been acting like you're teething for MONTHS. You chew on everything, are constantly drooling, and sometimes let out these super high pitched hysterical screams out of nowhere. You've also been much more grumpy than usual, though you're still pretty darn quick to smile (especially for your dad). I hope for your sake that if you are teething, you get a few to pop through soon!


Love you forever and for always,

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Photos and Snippets

 -On Friday, we threw a wedding shower for Justin's youngest sister. One of the games was the toilet paper dress game. The boys decided to play, and ended up dressing (the other) Justin up like a mummy...but I thought that he looked a lot like Lady Gaga.

-Later that weekend, we went to a birthday party for our friends whose daughter just turned one. I can't believe she's so big already! Love birthday parties at parks...so much fun!

(I really want to convince her momma to let me do a full on cake smash photo session with her!)

Payton's expression in this one cracked me up!

-Our garden is coming together really well despite battling earwigs and snails. We harvested our first crop yesterday--radishes. They are huge.

- I have a family photo shoot this afternoon. I am nervous! I always am before photo shoots--it's like presentations at school.

- I think I'm just about ready to drop another pants size, which is awesome. HOWEVER, I cannot seem to actually lose any weight, which is weird because I'm definitely getting smaller. And its irritating because I have to go into the doctor here in a couple weeks, and I'm dreading it, because he's going to just look at the scale, and we're going to have the following conversation, which plays over and over in my head: 

Dr: Meredith, you weigh the same now as you did at your six week postpartum appointment. 
Me: I know, but I've been running three to five days a week, and I've dropped three pants sizes. 
Dr: But by your BMI, you are considered obese. We need to get your BMI lower.
Me: I just don't know what else to do--I'm eating healthily, not tons of junk. Watching portions. I'm exercising three to five days a week. 

And then the doctor will give me the side eye, because if I'm doing that, I SHOULD be losing weight, but I am not. So he is not going to believe me, even though it's true.

Can I say again how people say, "Oh, if you breastfeed, the weight will just melt right off!" are liars. Because I cannot seem to lose a pound.

Monday, June 7, 2010

#4- 50 Questions That Will Free Your Mind (1-10)

One of my 101 in 1001 tasks was to complete a series of questions called "50 Questions That Will Free Your Mind". I just thought they were an interesting series of questions, and someday, it will be interesting to look back and see my answers. Today, I'm going to do 1-10, and try to answer with the first thing that comes to mind. I may or may not explain my answers, because I'm the boss, and I get to do what I want ;)  Feel free to play along if you like

1. How old would you be if you didn't know how old you are? - 27
2. Which is worse: failing or never trying? -Failing
3. If life is so short, why do we do so many things we don't like, and like so many things we don't do? -It's usually a money issue. I'd love to spend all day relaxing on a beach in Tahiti, but I don't really have the funds to support that lifestyle.
4. When it's all said and done, will you have said more than you've done? -By the fact that I'm a blogger alone, I'll say yes. But I've done a whole heck of a lot too.
5. What is the one thing you'd most like to change about the world? -For everyone to really understand understand the meaning of grace.
6. If happiness was the national currency, what kind of work would make you rich? -Mostly doing exactly what I already do, maybe with a bit more photography sprinkled in, and a LOT more wakeboarding.
7. Are you doing what you believe in, or are you settling for what you're doing? -I'm doing what I believe in. Justin and I made the conscious choice for me to be a stay at home mom even though it would mean less money because it is something that we believe in 100%.
8. If the average human life span were 40 years, how would you live your life differently? -Well, we probably wouldn't be trying to save for retirement.
9. To what degree have you actually controlled the course your life has taken? - Interesting question. I believe that I've made countless choices that have shaped the path my life has taken. Sometimes I can almost see an "alternate" me--what my life would have been like had I made a different choice at specific moments. But, I don't wish for that "alternate" life at all.
10. Are you more worried about doing things right, or doing the right thing?- Doing the right thing. But, I worry about both...a lot.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Mom of the Year.

Last night, Justin was putting Lizzy down to sleep. Lately, every once in awhile, she throws an absolute fit about being laid down in her crib. At the suggestion of Justin's mom, we've started putting something that smells like me in her crib (she has a half bear half blanket that I lay on my pillow once a week or so while I'm sleeping), and that has helped a TON.

However, last night, she was having a hard time going down. Justin had gone in two or three times when she started fussing to rub her belly (we try not to talk to her or pick her up, because that wakes her up even more). She started fussing again, and I started to get up, but Justin said, "Sit down, I've got it." He went back in and rubbed her belly, and she fell asleep.

About a half an hour later, we heard her start to cry. Justin got up, headed back towards her room. I heard the door open and close.

Two minutes later, Lizzy was still crying. I was tempted to get up and take over, but I have really been trying not to be that helicopter mom who takes the baby away from her husband as soon as the baby starts to cry. Justin is a completely competent and capable father, and he can handle a crying baby. Lizzy calmed down, and just when I was sure that she was out cold, she started screaming again.

Again, I had to convince myself to stay on the couch, and let Justin handle the situation. I kept reminding myself how irritated I get when people tell me that what I'm doing with Lizzy is wrong, and by going in to swoop Lizzy out of Justin's arms, I'm doing the same thing. If he was feeling overwhelmed, he would come out and tell me that he needed a break.

I tried to distract myself, but I couldn't help but watch the clock.

Two minutes passed.

Three minutes. Still crying.

Four minutes, and she's really starting to get mad. Again, I reminded myself that she's not alone, and Justin can handle this.

Five minutes passed, and I had to go back into our bedroom to try and distract myself fully. This mamma's heart just couldn't take it anymore, even though I kept telling myself that Justin would be doing everything he could to calm her down. So, I headed back into the bedroom, tried to get myself settled in bed with a book. All of a sudden, I heard Justin cough. From inside the master bathroom. I let out a string of expletives because JUSTIN IS NOT IN WITH LIZZY. HE IS IN THE FREAKING BATHROOM.

I ran into Lizzy's bedroom, and swooped her up from the weird position she had gotten herself into. Once she was in my arms, I teared up and kept telling her that we love her and we were so sorry. My poor snot-covered baby just curled up in my arms and whimpered. Within a minute, she was out cold, but I think my heart kept breaking for another hour.

I felt so, so terrible. We do let Lizzy fuss it out on occasion, but she hasn't completely mastered the self-soothing thing yet, so as soon as she starts to really get worked up, we go in and rub her belly or her head to make sure she knows we haven't abandoned her. Ugh. I hate that she was full on crying for so long without us there.

Once Justin came out of the bathroom, I told him what happened, and he just hugged me. I still feel awful.

And now I am considering going back to 4th grade and making bathroom passes for our house, so that the other one KNOWS they are on baby duty in the event that it's needed.

Friday Funny

So yesterday Payton and Logan were playing dress up at band practice.They decided to include their cousin--I walked out of the kitchen to see this:

It was SO one of those spontaneous moments where I wished I had more than my Blackberry to snap a picture with!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Mom Talk

Sigh. If you would have asked me a year ago if I planned to write an entire blog post about car seats, I would have told you that you were off your rocker. But here I am, about to do it. Fair warning. If you don't care about car seats, please just go ahead and back slowly out of the blog.

Anyone still here?


Yes? No? Maybe so? 

So. Today I measured Lizzy, and realized that she is about 25 inches long. The maximum height for her infant seat is 29 inches...so we're good for awhile, but for the first time since she was born, it occurred to me that we'll eventually need to buy a convertible car seat.

After only a few minutes of researching, I saw that the big hype about car seats is trying to keep kids in a 5 point harness for as long as possible, which is why now a lot of convertible car seats go up to 65 pounds. I kept reading how you NEED a car seat with a 65 pound weight limit. The whole selling point is that you'll only really have to buy one car seat (some of them convert to booster seats too).

I'll admit it. I was sold. I was totally prepared to tell Justin that we NEEDED a car seat with a maximum weight of 65 pounds. After all, I had read the stories of mamas who lost precious babies in car accidents, and they were all convinced that if their children had been in a 5 point harness, they would still be alive today. It was heartbreaking. Absolutely heartbreaking.

But then I whipped out my trusty copy of Baby Bargains, wherein they mentioned that the problem with the 65 pound weight limit car seats is that they often expire before the child actually reaches 65 pounds (I'm not sure if this is the "official" answer, but I have read from multiple sources that car seats should only be used for 5 years after the manufacture date printed on the car seat). And if they don't, the child is usually too tall for the car seat long before they reach 65 pounds.

For example, in looking at the growth charts, if Lizzy stays on the growth curve that she's on, she'll weigh less than 30 pounds by the time she's 3. And by my rough calculations, by the time she reaches 65 pounds, she'll be in 4th grade. Is it really practical to assume that I'll be strapping my 4th grader into a forward facing car seat every day after school? And hello, even if I could swing that, the car seat would LONG be expired.

Don't get me wrong, the 65 pound feature is probably nice for some families and some kiddos, but after looking at things a little more closely, I'm just not sold that it is a necessity for everyone.

For all you mommas out there, how did/will you handle the car seat situation?

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The Motherlode

Over the weekend, we went to a BBQ with some of Justin's family, and I decided to make some dessert bars. I thought about telling everyone that they were a secret family recipe. 'Cause it would be kind of fun to have a secret family recipe that everyone always wanted. But even if I told everyone that, I'm sure I'd end up giving them the "secret" recipe anyway....'cause I feel like recipes are for sharing. And share I will...

Let me introduce you to the "Motherlode Layered Cookie Bar" from Picky Palate. Man, I wish my layers looked as good as hers do! But mine don't, probably because I didn't follow her recipe exactly. Basically, the idea is that you take four different kinds of cookie dough, layer 'em, and bake 'em. We have a peanut allergy in the family, so I did Sugar Cookie, Chocolate Chip, Double Chocolate, and Oreo Cookies. We had to bake ours for about 47 minutes, with foil over the pan for the last 20 minutes.

I did use refrigerated dough for two of the layers, and I found it hard to get the dough to spread over the entire 9 x 13 pan. The two other layers had the little extra melty fudge pieces, which probably contributed to the indistinguishable layers. Either way, they were good. Really good. So good that I begged Justin to take the leftovers to work, so that they would not be here to tempt me. He did not. And now the one bar that you see is all that is left.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Read This Book.

Over the weekend, I read the book "Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet" by Jamie Ford.

My mom had given it to me to borrow and said it was great. I'm not usually a fan of war-time novels, but this book was spectacular. And by now, you guys have probably gathered that I'm pretty picky about the books that I read and recommend. This was one of those books that I just couldn't put down.

It's Seattle in the 1940's, and Henry is the American born son of Chinese immigrants. Henry wears a button stating "I Am Chinese" so as not to be confused with his Japanese neighbors who are currently being shipped off to internment camps after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Henry's family clings to the fact that they are Chinese, NOT Japanese, and are fiercely disapproving of Henry's best friend Keiko, the American born daughter of Japanese immigrants. Still, when Keiko's family is sent to an internment camp, Henry defies his father to store some of Keiko's possessions. The rest were boarded up in the Panama Hotel in Seattle. Forty years later, a new owner of the Panama Hotel uncovers the basement, still full of treasured possessions. Henry ventures to the hotel, in search of Keiko's belongings, and a long-lost treasure that he has never stopped thinking about...

Seriously you guys. It's a great book. By FAR the best book I've read this year.

And here's something really interesting--after talking to my mom about the book, I learned that she actually used to work in the restaurant that the author's parents owned, and she remembers Mr. Ford as a 4-year-old boy running around the restaurant. Small world, no?
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