Sunday, December 14, 2008

Sunday bits

I'm at the office working on copyediting. That seems to be my constant Sunday activity these days. My child is sick. Ugh. We just got through the Thanksgiving bought of diarrhea. Now it seems she has some sort of cold. But of course when she gets a cold, there is always a fever that goes w/it, i.e., no daycare. If I send her and the fever goes over 101, she can't go back the next day. Am I a horrible mother because I'm slightly irritated because I just simply cannot miss anymore work?!?! We are leaving for home on Friday, and this just doesn't fit into the plans. She slept a LOT the last two days, and by magic, after a dose of ibuprofen drops and her sleep this morning from 10 to 12:30, she woke up happy as always, flying around like a nut. Oh, I just pray it lasts. Ugh.

Must get back to my duties here. I did not get to go to the sing-fest at Red Canoe as I'd hoped :-( but I did at least stop at Starbucks. Some lady behind me was chatting to me, obviously not sensing that I'm not a people person. But I just tried to step into my mom's shoes (a people person) and be friendly. She was nice. She complimented my sweater (some 10-year-old thing that I miraculously can squash myself into that I wore because they don't heat the office on Sundays). She also tried to guess my age and guessed 33. Anyone who guesses an age BELOW the my actual age is fine by me. They were playing Love's Recovery by the Indigo Girls in Starbucks. I got a caramel macchiato-flavored biscotti. All in all, good trip.

And that would be it for the Sunday bits.

Friday, December 12, 2008

The End of an Era

I can't believe it. A piece of my childhood has been ripped away from me. The economy has claimed more than jobs, it has claimed a beloved Christmas tradition.

Archway Cookies is going out of business.

Every year I look forward to several things...egg nog (and all things egg-nog related), Christmas cards, hearing O Holy Night, and Archway Frosted Fingers.

I have eaten these cookies since I was a little girl. I have stolen them out of the bottom drawer in the kitchen and hid them in my room (sorry Mom). Mom has bought them for me year after year, even though I've been out of the house for over ten years. They are always waiting for me at Mom and Dad's house like a trusted friend. The sight of them makes my heart leap. There is nothing that even comes close.

What do I do now? Life will never be the same.

O Christmas Fairy, Hanukkah Armadillo, Festivus King...can you please make a little girl's dream come true this Christmas? PLEASE BRING BACK THE FROSTED FINGERS.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Winter haze

I'm blaming my recent bout of "unable to get it together" syndrome on the arrival of bitter cold air to my little world. Even as I type this, my fingers are numb and my pee has frozen in my bladder like a pee-sicle. Sorry for the graphic.

So let's see...I have thank you's written out for Claire's birthday party that haven't been sent. You know, that was only a month and a half ago. Grrr. Then there are the birthday cards...niece Holly (November 11), brother Greg (November 20), sister Beth (November 29)...all laid out on my desk. Addressed. Not sent. Double grrr.

I was also infamously known in the past for sending my Christmas greeting cards on December 1. Religiously on December 1. I've gotten as far as buying them and cutting the wallet-sized pictures of Claire that will be enclosed. I had planned on writing as many out tonight as possible. This plan may be affected by yet ANOTHER copyediting project. I feel like a jerk for's money I need. But geez. Aren't they aware how lazy I am?

Project Trainwreck from my previous blog is going to be a long-term project instead of the initially projected five nights. I have one corner of my bedroom cleaned. That's where it stands. I'd love to have a half decent apartment by the time I go home to Pennsylvania on December 19. We'll see.

Just a few scattered comments...if anyone has the opportunity in the next few weeks to visit the Garden of Lights...Seasons of Light tour at Brookside Gardens, PLEASE do so. Brant and I took Claire on Saturday night, and it was beautiful! We almost skipped the train exhibit but decided to go in to warm up a bit, and it was really amazing. Don't forget to stop at the conservatory for hot cider or hot chocolate! There was a small orchestra of flutes playing Christmas music while we were drinking our cider, and it was really nice. Claire really enjoyed that.

Oh, for anyone reading who has any baby equipment (high chair, Bumbo, pack and play, etc.) that you no longer have use for, I have one thing to say...CRAIGSLIST!!!! I have had great success in the past, and this morning I posted a Baby Einstein Musical Activity Jumper (think exersaucer that can also bouncer) that Claire has outgrown, and I sold it in under an hour!! I love it! Not only do I clear room in my apartment, I make $30 to boot!

Think that's all that's going on in my head in the present moment. For anyone affected by my winter haze head, forgive me. I'll keep working to get things straight...just keep warm in the meantime.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Project Train Wreck

First, the breaking news...


Oh sweet Marie, I didn't think I'd EVER be finished with that thing. But alas, I e-mailed the files to the editorial coordinator this morning and I never want to read about clinical hematology again!

So I'm taking tonight OFF. I wish I had cable so I could watch a Christmas movie on the Family Channel. Maybe I'll watch a movie. Whatever, the point is, I do not have to sit in front of that computer and copyedit!

After tonight, however, there is an even bigger task to tackle.

My apartment.

Ugh. It's a disaster. It's a miserable place to come home to, and that is just not acceptable. I have let it go for a while because I've had back-to-back copyediting projects for so long. But now it's time to take a deep breath and dive in (someone please call in the search and rescue party if you hear muffled cries from a pile of clothes on my bed).

So as of Thursday evening begins Project Train Wreck. One room a night for five nights. At the end of those five nights, a clean apartment! Well, as clean as I can keep it with Tropical Storm Claire (who will soon be upgraded to Hurricane Claire). By the end of the night, there are random shoes and wipes and other such objects all awry. I looked down at her this morning and she had a knee-hi in one hand and a ladle in the other. That's my girl.

A clean place equals a more peaceful me. So after all those years of my mom saying, "Now wouldn't you feel better if your place was straightened?" I can finally answer yes, yes I would!! Now maintaining it? Yeah, we'll talk about that sometime in another blog.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

I Pity the Fool Quack! Quack!

I was looking online last night at bath toys. I want to get Claire something for the bath for Christmas, since she loves bathtime so much. I was on, and I came across the funniest rubber duck I've ever seen...

This is from a store called "Celebriducks" (I'm not joking). There are a lot of funny ones on there, but this was by far my favorite. I'm thinking Claire just might need a Mr. T. rubber duck.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Stuff and Nonsense

Stuff and Nonsense is a song by Split Enz, i.e., Neil Finn before Crowded House. I thought it was a good blog title because I have about 20 blogs running through my head, each containing about 2 lines. I am just throwing them out here, because I can't really form a complete blog out of any one or maybe I just don't want to put out the effort.

I was driving on Reisterstown Road today at lunch to go to the bank and card store. I saw CJ's Crabhouse. I've lived here almost 9 years and have passed that so many times. It is in such an odd place. It looks well kept. But I don't like seafood, so it's not somewhere I'd think to stop.

I need a break from my neverending copyediting (of which I was doing at 3:20 am after waking from a restless sleep with a nervous headache and the shakes). It is the thorn in my side, the weight on my shoulders. Two more chapters, cleanup of a few, acknowledgments. Long. Tedious.

I did go to the card store. Each year I relish the task of picking out boxed Christmas cards. I went to the Hallmark store and as it turns out, they were running a buy one box, get one half off special. I scanned the shelves. Lots of OK stuff, nothing that really grabbed me. But I did want the discount, so I settled on two boxes of the same design. They don't thrill me, but they're OK. I will whittle down my card list to 36 to accommodate, or else I'll be sending old cards to a few people.

I'm lonely. I've been lonely for a while, but I'm putting it out there officially. Hello world, I'm lonely. I don't particularly want a relationship. I just miss companionship. One day not long ago Brant was "flying" Claire through the air right over to my face where I'd kiss her. She'd laugh so hard. I had a knot in my stomach and a lump in my throat. This is the family I should have. This is the family I don't have.

It's sad that I hate weekends. Everyone at work waits and waits, and I pretend to be excited, too, but in truth, it's the loneliest time for me. I take Claire for walks and to Starbucks, sometimes to Target, but most of the day we spend in the apartment by ourselves. It's very quiet. I hear stories of friends with kids going to get a Christmas tree or just spending a day together. I do get sad. I try not to, but I do.

I've become unrecognizable as well. Who is the girl in the pictures? Her face resembles mine, but what happened? I should be happy I'm not in the throes of drug addiction or homelessness, but the food addiction has reached a dangerous point. I'm scared and feel out of control. I have promised myself to really reach out for help at the start of the new year. But right now my body feels so unhealthy. I have stopped tending to myself. My hair needs cut, my eyebrows need groomed. I used to love clothes and now I put on whatever I can get around me, which is not much. I have not felt within ten miles of attractive in what feels like years.

Not very uplifting is it. Hmm. The beauty of a blog...I write, you choose whether to read.

So I'm sort of not sure if there is even a path that I'm supposed to take. Right now it feels like I'm sitting in sort of a drizzly, cold place and am stagnant.

At least Christmas is coming. I want to get Claire a toy for the bathtub and a book and that will be it. Mom has given me the do not spend a lot of money speech. I don't have many people to buy for, and I've saved enough copyediting money to get what I need. I would just like for my mom and dad to be able to stay home with me while I'm home. I'm beyond wishing for any gifts. I really don't want a thing. It will just be nice to feel like I belong somewhere.

OK, all this stuff and nonsense is done now. Please everyone enjoy each day of this holiday season, because it is the best time of the year!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Confession on a Sunday Evening

Brant has Claire today. I am at the office working on my copyediting project that is due on Wednesday (that will never be done by Wednesday). The heat is turned WAY down, and my hands are numb.

I have "my station" playing on Yahoo LaunchCast, which was painstakingly created over months and months of me listening to song after song and choosing my favorites.

Right now "Set the Night to Music" by Roberta Flack is playing. That's right, you read it. Go ahead, make fun of me. I don't care. You're just jealous that my coolness isn't contagious.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

What a Wonderful World (ode to Nick and Rose)

I see trees of green........ red roses too

I see em bloom..... for me and for you

And I think to myself.... what a wonderful world.

I see skies of blue..... clouds of white

Bright blessed days...

dark sacred nights...

And I think to myself .....what a wonderful world.

The colors of a pretty the sky

Are also on the faces.....of people ..going by

I see friends shaking hands.....sayin.. how do you do

They're really sayin......i love you.

I hear babies cry...... I watch them grow

They'll learn much more.....than I'll never know

And I think to myself .....what a wonderful world

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Bibs and a Promise

I LOVE these bibs but ugh, they're so expensive. Now if they were FOUR bibs for $16, then we'd have something to talk about.

Oh, and I promise to give the full story on the exquisitely beautiful wedding of the magnificent Nick and Rose just as soon as I can. I don't want to rush through it, and trust me, there's a lot to tell!!

UPDATE: Jess tells the Rose and Nick wedding caper much better than I, so I'm referring you to her blog for the Florida adventure!!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

See you in the Sunshine State!

Nick and Rose are en route to Florida as I write this!

I hope those crazy kids enjoy their road trip and are fluent in Italian by the time I see them next!!!!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Books I Want

There are at least three books I still need to finish and haven't touched in months. However, this does not stop me from wanting MORE books. That's just the charm of Kara. Deal with it.

So my must-read list now includes:

Ask Supernanny: What Every Parent Wants to Know

Most of you know my obsession with Jo Frost, aka, Supernanny. I watch her show every Friday night and try to absorb a lot of her ideas.

Diving Bell and the Butterfly

I watched this French film this past weekend and was mesmerized. Now I MUST read the book. Jean-Dominique "Jean-Do" Bauby, French journalist and former editor of Elle magazine, lived a charmed life in the fast lane until one tragic day he experienced a massive cerebral hemorrhage, leaving him paralyzed from head to toe...this "locked-in" syndrome (i.e., mental faculties intact but unable to move) left him only able to move his left eye/eyelid. With the help of a very dedicated therapist, he learned a new way to convey language. I won't get into the alphabet system he used. Google it, it's worth it. But he managed to dictate a book of his life using this language, and this is the outcome. Tragically, he died ten days after its publication.

The "Barack" books

Yeah, I'm a little late. Last election I had the Kerry book dissected, highlighed, and worn out before the election. I also didn't have a one-year-old who likes to run around and get into everything she shouldn't. That doesn't mean I still don't want to read all of these books. I do. I will.

I'm not going to blog about the list of films I want to see. That would be way too long.

Basket Bingo

Apparently storing toys in the basket and pulling them out is boring. Playing IN the basket is much more fun!

Friday, November 7, 2008

The Sippy Cup Saga Continues

Well, it's day two. Apparently yesterday Claire refused the sippy cup at daycare. She took probably two swigs and wanted nothing more to do with it. Crap.

I decided to give her the sippy cup with milk at dinnertime instead of right before bed. She did drink a good bit of it then, but of course she doesn't drink it in the same way she drinks a bottle. With the bottle, she'd chug that milk down in one fell swoop. Now she drinks more like a regular person...little bit at a time. I just want to make sure she gets enough.

There was about half left when she went to bed. I gave it to her then and she drank it until there were two ounces left. So yesterday I'd say she had about 12 ounces of milk. My goal is 16 ounces a day. I've learned the trick is to keep offering it throughout the meal and then afterwards. I wrote this on my daycare sheet today, but I don't know if they're going to be able to comply because of course they have a whole bunch of kids to look after and it would be impossible to just sit there, like I do, and keep coaxing her to drink. We'll see.

This morning she took about 5 1/2 ounces. If she'd just take 5 ounces at daycare and then another five when she gets home, I would be happy with that.

On a mealtime note, the mashed potatoes with pureed spinach was NOT a hit!! lol She ate some, made the most hideous face, and then grabbed the lump of potatoes out of her mouth and threw it. All righty then!!! I'm not giving up on the spinach though...I think I'll just puree it into a scambled egg. I can pretty much blend anything in there and she'll eat it. I switched over to broccoli and she did eat some of that. It's all hit or miss!

I got my dress in the mail that I ordered for Rose's wedding. I LOVE the color. However, there is not one piece of clothing that looks good on me and it never will until I lose all of the 80 pounds I need to lose. I don't even know then though, because my body changed so drastically with the's very weird. My upper stomach muscles still act as though I'm pregnant. They're rounded. I hate it. I've always been so bottom heavy, but I could still wear some cute T-shirts and look OK because my waist wasn't terrible. So frustrating. Anyway, the dress (love the pink!)...

the shoes (for the fab backyard garden wedding!)...

and the purse...

Can't wait for this amazing day!!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Cold Turkey

My eyes are wide open
Cant get to sleep
One thing Im sure of
Im in at the deep freeze
Cold turkey has got me on the run
---John Lennon

I'm Momzilla.

I cut my child off the bottle cold turkey. I thought a lot about this, and with IMMENSE anxiety and guilt, I decided this is the best way. Pull the band-aid off in one yank instead of slowly pulling and dragging out the pain.

My decision was made after I sent a sippy cup with her milk in it to daycare yesterday. She was not interested and took the bottle. If I keep giving her the bottle option, of course she's going to take it. And my core belief is in consistency, whether it be for bedtime or anything else. And keep in mind, this "sippy cup" is the closest thing to a bottle I've ever seen.

This did NOT make this decision any easier. Last evening we did her dinner and bath, and then I knew the time was coming. I took her into her room and shut the light off. Normally that means she's going to sit in the glide rocker with Mommy and have her bah-bah. This time I sat on the floor and held the sippy cup up for her. She started taking swigs, then she took off for the bedroom door, hoping to get some more fun in before she had to lay down for the night. I caught her and took her over to the glide rocker. She got in position for her bottle and I still handed her the sippy cup. That is when she realized this was taking the place of her bedtime bottle. She did not cry. She simply shoved it away over and over. Finally I lifted her up and placed her in her crib and gave her Mr. Binky.

The outcome? My daughter slept all night, as she always does, and I tossed and turned and had nightmares that Child Protective Services was coming after me for being so cruel and that my child's bones turned to mush because she never would take a sippy cup and get milk again. But I knew there was no going back.

Fast forward to this morning. I got her up at 7:45 a.m. I calmly took her over to the glide rocker and handed her the sippy cup again. She looked at it, looked at me, then grabbed it and drank 6 ounces without blinking an eye.

I think my child is really the most amazing person ever. She doesn't realize that Mommy looks at her with such awe and pride.

The sippy cup went to daycare with her today for her midday milk. I did not send a bottle. I said she drinks this or she doesn't have milk. I'm praying she accepts it and this transition continues to progress.

Claire gets a big high-five today!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Dawn after the Darkest Hour

The sun rises up, I climb the ladder
A new day breaks and… I’m working on a dream
---Bruce Springsteen

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


I need a hero
I'm holding out for a hero 'til the morning light
He's gotta be sure
And it's gotta be soon
And he's gotta be larger than life

Monday, November 3, 2008


This is a total mish-mash of the million thoughts buzzing around my noggin.

The leaves are in full-out color frenzy now, and it's insanely beautiful. Do you remember Bob Ross, the painter on PBS that always was painting "happy little trees"? If not, Google him. I loved him. The trees look like he painted them. Bob Ross trees.

My child ate so well this weekend...I am giving myself a hearty pat on the back for that feat. Organic baby oatmeal mixed w/Gerber fruit and a handful of Cheerios for breakfast both mornings. Saturday supper (she slept through lunch) was Claire's first fish...tilapia! She had that w/steamed broccoli. She LOVED the fish. I was happy about that because Mommy hates it. Then she had fresh blueberries for dessert. Sunday lunch was sauteed organic squash and zuccini...loved it. She had her beloved applesauce as well. Then on Sunday for supper she had Annie's organic mac 'n cheese to which I added a half cup of pureed cauliflower and some organic shredded sharp cheddar (I ate the leftovers, and I will just say yummy!!). For dessert, organic kiwi...loved it! She also has transitioned totally to whole milk, of which I shell out the $$ for organic. I don't necessarily think everything has to be organic, but I feel strongly about milk and meat/poultry. But I'll admit, even that I can't do all the time, because tonight she's having non-organic chicken breast. I just do my best and am not sweating that kind of stuff.

The rest of her weekend was happy as well. Her dad and I took her to Loch Raven Reservoir on Saturday afternoon, an unseasonably balmy day. Daddy got this...

...and Claire LOVED it. She smiled the whole time and was so chill in that thing! We walked through the beautiful woods and showed her the geese and seagulls in the reservoir. She squealed when she saw a little dachshund running around near the water (that's my girl!!).

Sunday her Daddy and I went to Starbucks and Claire sat, good as gold, in her booster seat while Mommy inhaled her (surprise) pumpkin scone. She was happy with her Gerber banana puffs and was even happier getting to stare at everyone in the place (she's a bit nosy). We also carted her around to do errands, and baby girl loooooooves being in that shopping cart.

Before bed last night, I cleared out the living room entirely, and let her run loose with her walker...

...and I swear she spent 1/2 hour to an hour just walking back and forth having a great time.

I can't wait to get her pictures back. She had her Christmas pictures at JcPenney on Saturday and did great! I'm so happy that my baby is such a sweet little girl.

My daughter is JOYFUL. Her joy is infectious. I love being around her just because she makes me feel silly. I have really, really loved absorbing some of Nie Nie (see Nie Nie's blog, and please pray for her recovery), because she is the most beautiful person and this incredible mother, and I like to have my Nie Nie moments where I just let Claire be Claire and let her "make a joyful noise unto the Lord!!" When she screams, I don't "shush" her. I scream right back. We dance and act silly and I love it.

Her dad and I were laughing like crazy last night. He was playing songs on his iTunes and we were listening. Suddenly "Combat Baby" by Metric comes on and she is dancing around the room. My child was grooving to Metric. That is AWESOME!! lol

Hmmm...other randomness? Watched a Norwegian film shot in French New Wave style. The title was Reprise...was good but of course a little above my head. Bought some others to watch that I'll probably "review" in an upcoming blog.

We're LESS than two weeks from Rose's wedding...I can't wait!!! The dress I bought is to arrive tomorrow, the shoes are waiting for me to pick up at my apartment complex's leasing office, and the purse is hopefully on its way. I'm really looking forward to this for so many reasons.

I think this is enough randomness for now. But as always...more to come!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Happy Birthday, My Sweet Girl

One year ago right to this minute (12:44 p.m.), my child was born. That is when I became a mother. That is when I fell in love like I never have before.

I never thought I wanted to be a mother. I didn't think babies were anything great. I didn't think I could hand over my life to someone else.

Then one day as I lay on an operating table, I heard the cry of my daughter. From that moment on, there has never been anything more difficult and more easy than handing my life over to her.

Thank you, God, for knowing the plan all along, and sending me Claire.

I love you, my little fuzzy...



And Always

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

This Mama is Just as Proud

Been on my bazillionth baby Web site to research something, and for the bazillionth time I'm hit with someone who writes a comment and in their signature has...

"I'm proud to be a twice babyfitting, breastfeeding, babywearing, cloth diapering mama!"

Geez. And what the heck is babyfitting?

Fine, then for the record...

"I'm proud to be a once bottle feeding, baby-in-the-bouncy-seat, baby-slept-in-the-crib from day one, Pampers diapering mama!"

Monday, October 27, 2008

I Don't Want Your Stinking Pink Puffball!

It really was supposed to be simple. I needed to get a winter coat for Claire.

Claire's dad had her on Sunday, which gave me the rarest of occasions..A DAY TO MYSELF!!!!

Oh, how I relished the idea of this day. What to do? I envisioned sitting at the Red Canoe sipping one of their amazing chai lattes and browsing through a new book. I had thoughts of me sitting alone in the Charles, watching a wonderful film that I had picked on my own, not having to worry if it suited anyone else's taste. Finally, I saw myself curled up on my couch, some forbidden food in hand, wrapped in my comforter enjoying the new Sex and the City Movie DVD I treated myself to in honor of Claire's birthday (hey, I made it through the first year, too!!).

Um, none of the above. Sigh.

I planned on making a quick stop at Toys R Us to pick up Mommy's birthday gift to Claire (whose real birthday is on Wednesday the 29th). I also wanted to make a quick stop at L.L. Bean in Columbia, because I had seen a lovely violet and aqua winter coat I wanted to get for Claire.

I hopped in my car and headed down to Route 29 to the mecca of Columbia. I trotted through Toys R Us and picked out a gift for Claire. Jumping ahead in this story, I have since discovered it really wasn't the thing I was looking for, and I have to haul it back this week. Grrrr.

After Toys R Us, I made my way down Patuxent Parkway to the mall. I have a love/hate relationship with the Columbia Mall. It's a beautiful mall with the best of stores. It's also ALWAYS ridiculously busy with notoriously shoddy parking. BUT it was a beautiful day and I was happy to park two counties away and jaunt to L.L. Bean. After what felt like the parting of the Red Sea, I made my way through the masses of people to the kids section. There was the coat! Yay! every size but Claire's...grrrrrr.

This began the arduous quest for Claire's winter coat. I hit EVERY store in that mall that carries children's clothing, and the results were always the same:

There's nothing wrong with the coat; I simply did not want a pink bubble coat.

I searched high and low and kept seeing that coat. By the time the day was over, I wanted to rip it to shreds in every store. I finally found a wonderful coat at Nordstrom, but OF COURSE, they were toddler size (2T and up).

By this time, it's nearly 3 pm, and my feet are KILLING ME. I hobbled back to my car and traveled to the Long Gate plaza in Columbia to the Old Navy and Kohl's. Old Navy held promise, but no Claire sizes. Kohl's? Pink puffball.

My story ends in the unlikeliest of places: (I need a)Security (guard to survive) Mall. I walked through a sea of pink puffballs in Burlington Coat Factory and made my way to Old Navy. I finally settled on a coat that they actually had in Claire's size. Yes, it's still a puffball, which wasn't my plan. BUT it wasn't pink!!! It's a lovely ivory color.

As I pulled it from the rack, I heard my mother's voice..."It will show dirt!" And I replied OUT LOUD, "I DON'T CARE if it shows dirt, I'm tired of looking for coats!" Luckily most of the other people at the Security Mall were either too strung out to notice me talking out loud or didn't care.

I drove back to Owings Mills, coat in hand but not feeling victorious, and surrendered myself to a chai tea at Starbucks (not nearly as good as Red Canoe, but it would do).

There are definitely days where it's very tiring being me.

Celebrating Claire...the Maryland Story!

Birthday party number 2 for Miss Claire took place this past Saturday. This time we were at our home in Maryland. Claire was joined by many wonderful friends...Miss In-Sung and Minhae the Penguin; Miss Laura, Mr. Greg, and Victoria the Care Bear; Miss Jodi and Ava; Mr. Mark, Miss Christa, Caroline, and Isaac; and Princess Rose and Nick.

The weather left a lot to be desired (tsunami!!), but everyone piled into our tiny apartment to share some appetizers, cake, and baby fun!

I want to very highly recommend Carrie Shelley, who runs Enchanted Cakes and Treats, who did Claire's beautiful pumpkin cake and cupcakes.

Claire received many wonderful gifts, including this HANDMADE winter hat from Miss Laura...

My little place was brimming with babies!!! What a wonderful life Claire has to be surrounded by these great friends! I already know this, because their parents are special people in my life. This was a celebration for all of us, and I hope to see you all at her party for years to come!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Dinnertime Deception

I can see already that my daughter is favoring my preferences at mealtime. That is, heck with these stupid vegetables, where's the good stuff??? As you can see from my last blog, that birthday cake went down easy!

I, however, am hell bent that my child will eat vegetables. The only real "sweets" I give her are fruit, which she loves, and some puffs or animal crackers. I don't think for right now that this is denying her, because she's never had the junk food to begin with, so she has no idea that she is missing it.

I try to give her a variety. I had noticed for a while that I was giving her only the vegetables I liked, not even thinking to give her other things. It was just a natural reaction. But while at In-Sung's for our play date, I tried to give her a tomato. That was spit right out. Mommy doesn't like tomatoes either. She doesn't seem to like green beans, but I love them!

I steamed some frozen green beans the other night. I then cut them up into small, bite-size pieces. I cut off a square of cheddar and melted that over the beans, hoping that would entice her. She slowly picked up a bean and cautiously held it to her mouth...she always looks at me while she does this, which I find to be funny. She then put it in her mouth and began chewing. I felt triumphant. That was short lived. She proceeds to spit the bean out, but has managed to suck the cheese off of it. She continues this pattern with the rest of the beans. Sigh.

My next good plan was to offer her the steamed veggies that Green Giant makes that steam in the microwave and that are seasoned. I prepared the broccoli and carrot combo in its seasoned sauce and cut some up into tiny Claire-sized bites. She took some, spit it out. Took more, spit it out. She normally does pretty well with carrots and broccoli. It didn't help that she was overtired. Then she just wanted to fling it all off of her tray. That was the end of that meal.

FINALLY I scored...puree them and mix them into something she likes. I know this is a fairly common trick, but I was hoping she'd just like the vegetables by themselves. No such luck. So last night I steamed some more Green Giant veggies..edamame, snap peas, white beans, carrots. I threw them into the baby food processor with a little water and buzzed them into puree. I cracked an egg into a bowl (I like Eggland's Best), added the puree, and beat it slightly. I sprinkled a little organic shredded mild cheddar into this mix and scrambled the egg on the stove. Claire really likes eggs. She gobbled almost all of her veggie egg up! Now I'm inspired. I think tonight I'm going feed her some chicken breast (another Claire favorite), which she loves, and use the puree as a "sauce." I can also start pureeing cauliflower and squash and other such vegetables and mixing them into mac and cheese and mashed potatoes.

Hey, Mom's gotta do what a Mom's gotta do.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Celebrating Claire---Part II: The Gifts

The cake was just the first of the treats for Miss Claire. We took her into our family room and she was handed her birthday gifts. She looked at them but wasn't sure what to do. Her cousins tried to encourage her to rip open the paper. Of course she ripped one piece and was then fascinated with it.

Eventually (and with some help from Mommy) we opened her Pop-up!!!

Claire loves this! She hasn't mastered actually pushing the buttons to make the animals pop up, but she loves to watch them pop up and she wants to yank them OUT. And she loves pushing them back down. Thank you, Mishlers!

Next Claire opened her dump truck!

Claire especially like the little man who drives the truck. We've named him Leroy. She likes to take him out (occasionally chew on him) and put him back in the truck. I show her how to drive it around and put her blocks and other toys in the back and dump them out. She still prefers Leroy. Thanks, Grandma and Grandpa!

Next came the corn popper!

This is about twice the height of Claire, but she still wants to try and push it around. And she is one determined little girl!! Thank you, Grandma and Grandpa!!!

Uncle Greg and Aunt Jen and cousins Zach, Ben, and Seth were kind enough to give Claire money, which Mommy put in her piggy bank to save for a rainy day. Thank you, Wingards!

And Grandma and Grandpa blessed Claire with the most beautiful little rocking chair I've ever seen...

(Picture To Come)

So all in all, this was a very joyous day for Claire. She is extremely blessed to be loved so much by so many.