Tag Archives: Kids

St. Patrick’s Day Fun

17 Mar

When I was pregnant with my daughter I had this vision of the kind of parent I would be. I thought I would be the mom who never gave her child processed food, who would never use a TV as a babysitter for a moment, who was easy breezy and would let my children freely express themselves creatively regardless of the messes that would be created, etc. But things do not always go the way we invision them. Although the thought of my daughter painting anywhere on my property makes my skin crawl (yes, I’ve discovered I have a slight OCD issue with messes) and I just can’t seem to get around to making all my family’s food from scratch I have made a concerted effort to be a ‘fun mom’. Now note I don’t want to be a ‘cool mom’ i.e. a mom who lets their kids get away with everything and anything. I would like my kids to grow up and remember the fun and surprising things that I would do for them and with them. To that vein I have decided to make a big deal over all the holidays- even the silly ones.

For St. Patrick’s Day I decided that the leprechauns would come by to our house to bring something special to the kids- but I let my daughter know that leprechauns only come to bring treasures to little girls who wear green nail polish. So I picked up some forest green polish at Target (yay clearance).

Which she loved- she calls them ‘leprechaun nails’. I picked up a couple little things for the leprechauns to leave her, a green shirt, necklace, and a green My Little Pony. I did just a little decorating since I made them and I picked up some little gifts for my coworkers.

A lucky charm treat for my coworkers. I made little ‘rainbow seeds’ packs for my student workers and some white chocolate dipped pretzels with green sprinkles for my little munchkin. 

My mom used to always make Irish Soda bread for us when we were growing up so I decided to make some for my family. I cannot wait to try it tonight with the Irish Stew I have going in the crockpot!

Even though St. Patrick’s Day is not a major holiday for us, I still thought it would be fun to make a big deal and create some family traditions and memories. Maddie was so excited to wear her new green shirt and necklace and play with her pony- not to mention eat her treats!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

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The Journey Begins

28 Dec

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My lil snuggler is 3 months old now and my heart could not be full of more joy with my little family. But there is one thing that is weighing on me quite a bit and that is the extra 20 pounds I’m toting around with me. It is true that I just recently had a baby and that’s a great reason to have gained the weight and to still be carrying it around but it doesn’t make it any easier to look in the mirror or to fit in my jeans. I’m not planning on having any more kids in the future and I’m dreaming of the day when I’ll be back in my prepregnancy clothes.

I was pretty tired and frankly cold this afternoon and all I really wanted was to take a nap during the kids’ nap time but I was reminded that whether I went to the gym or took a nap- I would probably regret not doing the other, but if I went to the gym, I might wish I had taken the nap but would probably be happy I got a work out in. I took that gentle reminder to heart and laced up my new hot pink and black running shoes and hit the gym.

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The gym was delightfully empty so I had my pick of machines. It’s hard to admit just how out of shape I am, I was definitely moving at a much slower pace and had to shorten each of the times on all of the machines. Having a difficult pregnancy and skipping about 11 months worth of workouts will do that to you. I was definitely sweaty when I left and proud of it, it wasn’t the best workout or probably the most successful workout I’ve ever had but the time has come to reclaim my body and take action to improve my situation.

I’m setting new goals and am going to be implementing all the strategies that I have been successful with in the past. After recently turning 30, I know that it’s only going to get harder to stay in shape from here but I owe it to myself, my husband, and my kids to embody and promote a healthy and fit lifestyle.

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Beating my bad habits is going to be tough. As I type I’m reminding myself, ‘you’re not hungry, you’re just bored’ and resisting my very strong urge to go for the dark chip chocolate gelato that is calling my name from the freezer. I am an emotional eater, a boredom eater, an overeater, a salty food lover, a sweets lover, a carb lover, a veggie lover, a comfort food lover, you name it- I love it. So portion control and cutting out certain foods will help steer me in the right direction. I’m trying to avoid looking at this like a diet but as a lifestyle improvement. Because, let’s face it- diet is an ugly four letter word.

Gardening With The Lil’ Bear

7 Jun

I love gardening and I wish I was better at it. It’s a little tough being 6 months pregnant to get down and do all the things I want or need to do to maintain my little plants. Madeline has seen a lot of episodes of Curious George where growing things is the main topic, she also watched mommy with her ‘plant babies’. She started asking if she could get some seeds and grow some flowers so we took a little trip to Lowe’s to get some supplies. We came home and potted all our little plants along with the seeds that Madeline picked out.

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Two weeks later, I am proud to say we have not yet killed any of the plants and the seeds are starting to sprout! Madeline is very excited.

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Busy Busy Weekend

13 Nov

We have a lot of crazy busy weekends around my house with tons of family and friend’s birthdays, baby showers, errands, holidays, weddings, work obligations, etc. This weekend seemed pretty tame going into it, we had the opportunity to be invited to the YWCA Annual Gala at the Beverly Hills Hotel on Friday night and I had a hair appointment. Not too crazy for a three day weekend. Somehow between Thursday night and Friday afternoon my weekend blew up and became jam packed, but we made the most of our time and was able to get everything done.
On Thursday night I offered to watch my niece so my sister and brother in law could celebrate their anniversary this weekend. On Friday morning I got a text that my friend was in labor (two weeks early) and she had her baby that afternoon. On Friday afternoon one of my grad school girlfriends let me know she was coming out and wanted to get lunch. Suddenly things got a little more complicated!
On Friday we got all dressed up and took a little drive to Beverly Hills to attend the YWCA of Greater Los Angeles’ Annual Gala which my husband’s firm had purchased a table. I was able to learn more about the wonderful mission of this organization (empowering women and eliminating racism) and the great works that they are doing to achieve their mission in the Los Angeles community.
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On Saturday I had a hair appointment jammed into a bunch of errands, seeing my friend’s brand new baby Layla, and having a sleepover with my niece. We dropped Madeline off with my mom so we could go visit new baby Layla in the hospital, after we stopped to get the new parents some treats from my very favorite Italian delicatessen Cavaretta’s to get cannoli’s, sprinkle cookies, cream stuffed butter cookies, etc for them. We got to visit with the precious new miss for a while and the very tired new parents who were holding it together quite well. We picked up Madeline and my niece, watched Tangled, made homemade pizza, and had ice cream sundaes.

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On Sunday once the sleepover was over, we rushed around to get some errands done so I could get out to lunch with Madeline and my friend and Dan could go see his grandfather. All while trying to get home in time to make sides for the brisket that Dan was smoking and get ready for the week.

I barely left 30 minutes of time to make lunch on Saturday before dashing off to continue my scheduled activities. I definitely wanted to get a homemade meal on the table for my husband and myself to avoid the default of fast food. I had some salmon in the fridge and decided to throw together one of the quickest things I could think of: Salmon with sauteed veggies over ramen noodles. I wanted to make something light but tasty and this fit the bill.
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Ingredients:
1 Salmon filet
dash salt
dash freshly ground black pepper
dash garlic powder
1 lemon
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 yellow onion sliced thinly
1 red bell pepper sliced thinly
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 tablespoons soysauce
2 packets of top ramen (uncooked, unbroken)
1 cup shredded carrots

Directions: 

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Place salmon filet skin side down, sprinkle with salt, pepper, and lightly with garlic powder. Squeeze lemon juice over salmon and place in the oven for 12-15 minutes until salmon is cooked through. Slice salmon into individual servings.
In a small sauce pan heat vegetable oil over high heat and saute vegetables for about 4 minutes, add garlic and soy sauce. Cook an additional 2-3 minutes. Vegetables should be just tender but with some bite.
In a large pot bring a couple cups of water to a boil, when salmon and vegetables are cooked add the ramen noodles without breaking (do not add seasoning packet) boil for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain noodles and serve meal by layering noodles, veggies, and then salmon. Serve with additional soy sauce, if desired.

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Madeline’s First Trick-or-Treat

31 Oct

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This Halloween fairy is pretty excited to go trick or treating but this momma is even more excited to take my candy surcharge, lol.

From The Mouths Of Babes

25 Sep

Kids say the darnedest things… or so we think? When you’re talking about a two and a half year old sometimes you aren’t quite sure exactly what is being conveyed. Most parents and care takers tend to have a magic decoder for most of their young speaker’s uttering but even the most keen ear sometimes have plainly no idea what their child is talking about.
In my case, I generally can understand most things that come out of my daughters mouth, I would say about 80% of the time I can figure it out. Then there are the times that no matter how hard I try and how many guesses I take I simply haven’t the foggiest, like my daughter’s use of a word that sounds a lot like ‘taco-bell-tuba’ (but all as one mushed word). I have tried to guess other words she is trying to say or even understand by using context to no avail. The funny thing is that she is very insistent that I should understand what she’s saying and yet I have no idea, which kind of leads me to feel a little foolish, like despite the fact that she’s the one just learning English- I should know this word.
We almost exclusively speak to our daughter with correct adult terms and words while trying to avoid using baby talk. My husband and I use large adult words around our daughter and she is surprisingly perceptive and understands words and phrases in their contexts and will correctly utilize them at later times. Recently she began asking “what does (fill in the blank) mean?” And that goes for EVERYTHING from “what does ‘go fast’ mean?” (Which she asks us to do regularly in shopping carts) to “what does ‘yucky’ mean?” (even though she has been using that term correctly in context for months). And I have come to realize that it is EXTREMELY difficult to explain what things mean to a two year old because all of the explanations I have for words and terms are more lengthily and complex than the word itself, which clearly is a problem.
We have now entered the time of repeating everything she hears, which for me means a LOT more censoring of what mommy says than I am used to. This is everything from curse words to impolite commentary I wouldn’t want repeated to concerned parties, all the way to even spelling-out words. I was having a ‘over her head’ discussion with my husband while sitting near my daughter who was coloring quietly and not participating in any part of our conversation. I spelled a three letter word in the middle of my sentence and Maddie promptly repeated my three letter spelling. Oy vey is all I can say about that.
In the past couple nights Maddie has woken up in the middle of the night crying. This is not the most uncommon circumstance for a toddler, except that when we go into her room she has been saying things like- (immediately stops crying, looks at my pj shorts) “mommy, you wearing Minnie pants?” (they were pink with white polka dots) “Uh yea, I guess yea”, I responded. “Oh the pants are beautiful” she said and then rolled over and went back to sleep. Last night she woke up calling me at 10 pm and when I came in she is holding up her monkey doll and says, “I have monkey!”- that’s all. I’m thinking, uh what? Why are you awake hours after you went to bed and why are we having this discussion right now?
Whenever I prepare a meal or snack for my daughter and I ask her how it is and she replies “it’s good” I usually reply “oh good, I’m so glad”. One day a couple weeks ago I replied, “that’s good honey”. She stops eating her sandwich and looks at me, “say I’m glad” I clarified what she was saying and she was requesting that I say “oh good, I’m so glad”. I now make sure to avoid omitting the phrase since its clearly required.
Although challenging, watching my daughter’s growth and ability to better express herself has been an awesome and sometimes quite humorous process.

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Maddie’s Art

22 Jun

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Although Maddie has made quite a few pictures, this heart is her first shape/recognizable object. I was so proud!