Thursday, October 30, 2014

Day in the Life: October 28, 2014

I feel like I just hit Publish on my Summer 2014 DitL, but I can't pass up an opportunity to link up again with Laura from Navigating the Mothership.  Reading the other entries and getting a peek into others' lives makes my little creepy voyeur heart so happy.  You've got until November 2 to jump on the bandwagon, if you're so inclined. 

Disclaimer: I'm pissed I didn't choose to document yesterday {Wednesday}, as it was a lovely, not-perfect-but-realistic day and much more indicative of our Normal. Today was also pretty grand.  Tuesday was one of those Blah SAHM Days for me.  And it didn't end on a Parenting High Note {which is apparently a DitL tradition - Sarcastic Wahoo!}.  But I'd already logged the camera / notating time, sooooo... Here we go. 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Kate is 31
Evan is 32
L is 2.5
B is 3 days shy of 7 months


1:10 am -- B wakes up.  In the past several months, we've battled some sleep regression and some major bedtime drama.  I'm happy to report bedtime is now *usually* pretty easy {and sans CIOing} {which I'm not morally opposed to...we did stepping soothing with L and I've been brushing up on my Ferber science, but it'd be lovely to avoid it completely with B, if possible} but middle of the night wakeups are still somewhat unpredictable.  On a good night, B goes to bed between 7pm and 8pm, wakes up once, and sleeps until anywhere from 6am to 8:30am {usually it's on the earlier end of the spectrum}.  On a bad night, he wakes up for the first time around 2am or 3am and wakes up every hour thereafter until 7ish.  He's working on those two upper middle teeth righ tnow, and I'm a bit afraid tonight will be a bad night.  I nurse him for 15 minutes until he's back asleep.  While nursing, I read a little of Lena Dunham's memoir but mostly just zone out. I pop B back in the PNP next to me, plug my phone in, turn on my white noise app {we sleep with our own white noise machine, but sometimes doubling up helps keep the baby-beast asleep longer}, and pass back out. 


6:13am -- B is up.  I'm pretty surprised he slept that long of a stretch with the Teeth Situation.  I should be pleased but feel super tired and run down.  I change his diaper and nurse him, hoping he might fall back asleep for another hour or so.  I see Amazon emailed me to let me know Amy Poehler's memoir is now ready to read from a preorder a few months ago -- MAGIC!  Lots of smart, funny ladies on my Kindle; love it. 6:25am -- B seems sleepyish... I attempt to put him back in the PNP.  Lots of angry protestations.  I try a bit more nursing in the rocker and read my daily Skimm.  6:55am -- Say a Hail Mary and put him back in bed...


7:00am -- Nope, not gonna happen.  I saw E check the monitor a few minutes ago and go back to bed, so L must not be awake yet.  This is good news as she didn't nap at all at school yesterday, and she can use all the Zzzzzs she can get.  I grab B and head to the kitchen.  I lay out his blanket {where he will stay for approximately 4 minutes} and his toys {which he will ignore in favor of shoes or a barstool leg}, punch the coffee, and turn on Serial.  I start cleaning up the pots in the sink from last night's dinner and unloading the dishwasher. 


7:15am -- E goes upstairs to get L.  She's a bit cranky, and requests muffins for breakfast which we do not have.  I promise we can make some after school.  She settles for yogurt, grapes, toast, and a new Bandaid {Doc McStuffins}. 


7:25am -- The door subcontractors arrive to install our new patio doors.  I'm half impressed with their enthusiasm and half WTF THE SUN ISN'T EVEN UP YET WHY MUST I PUT ON PANTS.  I make L's lunch {almond butter and honey sandwich, carrots, grapes and blackberries}.  I reheat my coffee for the first time of the morning.  L is playing "go on the airplane."  We are flying to many exotic locales today, apparently {Trader Joe's, J & T-Pop's House, school, the gym}.  E is reading snippets about Vancouver to me from our new Lonely Planet guide {planning a late anniversary trip for May of next year}. 


7:55am -- Minor meltdown when L can't find her toy camera, and I tell her we can't look in the playroom because the workers are headed up there with another door.  Quick recovery, phew.  Potty break.  We reiterate that we're operating under a new reward system -- she will only get "two white things" {yogurt covered raisins} if she is accident-free all day.  She's been 100% day-time trained for 2 months now and it's time to cut the cord on the white things.  Plus I'm sick of remembering to buy them all the time, and those little fuckers melt in my bag when we're out.  We head into our bedroom, E helps L with a sticker book while I shower.  L claims to be sick and requests medicine, but that's only because she is a wannabe baby druggie and saw B getting delicious, sugary Advil for his teeth this past weekend. 


8:15am -- Coffee reheat #2.  I blowdry my hair, slap on some makeup, and survey my wardrobe situation.  I am so sick of my hot weather, postpartum wardrobe, I could scream.  This Indian summer needs to end so the fibers of my one pair of not-ridiculously-huge/not-uncomfortably-squished shorts don't permanently embed themselves into my skin. Begrudgingly pull on the shorts and a nursing tank.  I overhear E getting L dressed which should be interesting, because she needs to wear leggings today, and has been vehemently eschewing all pants.  No screaming yet, so maybe it won't be such a huge struggle today.  I make the bed.  L runs in, wearing leggings {Huzzah!}, requesting her "purple shoes" {Croc Mary Janes}.  I hate the purple shoes at this point {they are almost too small and stink to high heaven unless she wears them with socks which makes her look like an 84 year old grandpa which I don't really care about except OMG DIE CROCS DIE}.  I keep brainstorming ways to peacefully put the purple shoes out to pasture... In a perfect world, there would be a September Burning of the Summer Crocs, in which all families were encouraged to participate as a ritual farewell to summer and bad child footwear.  Alas, this is not a perfect world, and I fear there will be hell to pay on the day I just decide to bite the bullet and toss them.  But!  Today is not that day.  And all my purple shoe bitching is for naught, as she is somewhat easily convinced that silver sandals are a solid choice.  Another wardrobe score! 

The door installation is horribly loud.  This was not anticipated, and I am not pleased.  I do L's hair {little piggies with green clips}.  E reads one of B's books.  I change B's diaper, and L is my helper with the wipes. 


8:40 am -- Coffee reheating #3.  Solids for B while E showers and gets dressed.  He usually eats "real food" twice a day.  While I had every intention of doing Baby Led Weaning with him, he hasn't taken to self-feeding the way L did.  This child is HUNGRY and is really not content to doddle around with his meals while he gets all the mechanics figured out.  Put a piece of food in front of him, and he will scream in your face until you pick it up and put it in his mouth.  Sooooooo... that's where we are with BLW.  We are mostly feeding him table food in it's actual form; that is, not pureed.  Although we're doing a few purees as well for convenience.  B loves everything we offer him and eats with great gusto!  This morning, he dined on pears.  L climbs up and down on B's bouncer while he eats; it's a good spot from which to watch the subs work, and she knows it irritates me, so it's a toddler win-win.  Also irritating is the fact that half my living room wall is open and mosquitoes are now buzzing about.  They don't bother E and L, but they eat me alive and B must have inherited my blood, because they'll swarm him as well.  More coffee. 


9:00am -- E and L leave for school/work.  E taught her the phrase "catch you on the flip-flop," and it's a pretty adorable way to bid her adieu.  I clean up B's face and tray and take him upstairs to L's room to see if it's quieter for his nap than our room.  I think it will be with her white noise and our machine both humming.  He doesn't seem sleepy yet, so we head back downstairs.  I pull the bouncer into our room.  I drink my coffee, eat the heart-scraps from L's sandwich, and curse our need to have energy efficient doors -- seriously, this work is sooooooo loud.  I read the news, then read some books to B. 


9:40am -- I gather B's yaya, our noise machine, my nursing pillow, and zee bebe and head upstairs.  Give the poor subs the stink eye from above.  Nurse B and read my Kindle.  With both white noise machines on, it's like sitting in the middle of a wind turbine. 


9:55am -- I put a sleeping buddy in L's crib.  He curls over on his side and manages to look like a tiny baby again.  SQUISH.  I head downstairs and take a big container of black beans out of the freezer to dethaw.  I had planned on starting the grits for tonight's supper, but the noise is defeaning in the kitchen, so I decide to work on our Halloween costumes in our bathroom. I spend a ridiculous amount of time locating pipe cleaners.  I get all set up in the bathroom and turn Serial back on.  


I've only made one set of pig ears when B rustles on the monitor at 10:25am.  That is not a long enough nap, buddy.  He isn't crying, so I hope he'll settle back down.  I manage to make two tails, a snout, and two more sets of ears before it's clear he's really awake at 11:00am.  My pig ears totally look like cartoon felt vaginas.  Awesome.  


I head upstairs to get B, who is obviously still quite tired.  I realize I probably should have given him a little Advil before naptime, but maybe with the noise, it wouldn't have mattered anyhow.  I rock and nurse him in L's glider, and he conks back out.  I snuggle him, knowing he'd wake right back up if I tried to put him down.  I don't hate it.  11:36am -- B wakes up... I was hoping for a longer stretch, because another at-home nap probably isn't in the cards today.  Se la vie.  We play for a while in L's room, which mostly consists of me moving him away from my phone charger and him dive-bombing back to gnaw on it. 


Noon -- We head downstairs.  I change B's diaper and contemplate non-PJ clothes for him, but figure the footie jams offer good protection from the mosquitoes {lazy mom win!}.  I decide to start supper for tonight as it appears the subs might be taking their lunch break.  Put on some old school Van and turn the grits on to boil.  The casserole takes about 30 minutes to prep, and B is pretty happy playing on the floor for the first 20.  Then he gets a little antsy and starts squawking.  I finish mixing everything together with him on my hip. 

12:30pm -- I heat up some leftovers for lunch.  I fixed a new pasta dish that I initially saw on Pinterest and it was mediocre.  It is still mediocre reheated, whattayaknow.  I eat half, then toss the rest and grab some almonds and carrots.  B seems super interested in my food {grabbing at it like a maniac}, so I offer him some banana.  The minute I actually allow him to grab at his own food, he acts like I've kicked his puppy... a familiar scene.  I feed him half of the banana, then grab a pea / pear puree since he's still acting hungry and we need to get a move on.  He actually grabs the pouch and seems to know what to do with it... nothing like instant gratification, right?  My previous Single Childed, BLW Purist Self is twitching, pinch-lipped somewhere in the Space-Time Continuum.  Poor lady.  She could probably use a drink.  

I pop an actual top on over my nursing tank and change B into proper clothes after a cursory wipe down.  We snap a little bathroom selfie. 


1:25pm -- L will demand an applesauce and either Piggie or Mickey when she gets in the car after pick-up, so I dig out an applesauce and toss it in my bag.  Piggie is nowhere to be seen and this morning L didn't specify who exactly should greet her, so Mickey it is.  I've probably guessed wrong, but that's just the way the cookie crumbles.  B and I load up into the car and head off to Gap to make a return.  I chat with my mom for a little bit on the drive over.  

1:50pm -- My quick return quickly morphs into I NEED THIS PUFFER VEST.  I decide B needs this slouchy bear ear hat, because: Cuteness.  Also: $40 off $100 purchase of outerwear and that damn vest was $95.  


2:15pm -- Head to get L.  B falls asleep at 2:22pm because, OF COURSE.  I attempt the Sleeping Baby / Preschool Pickup Two-Step with the aid of a makeshift sunshade and the white noise app.  L doesn't appear to be in the best of moods, although her little report card says she took a decent nap.  Apparently they decorated a treat bag, and she wants to bring it home.  I inquire as to the status of said treat bag and discover it's for the Fall Party on Thursday so it stays until then.  I also ask if the kiddos will be wearing costumes to the party, and am told they won't be.  {ASIDE: L was the only child in her class that showed up without a costume on.  I felt like the world's worst mom and cried, even though E said she was over it immediately.  WAY TO MAKE ME LOOK BAD, PRESCHOOL.  Not to mention my Vagina Pig Ears missed out on an additional social outing.}


2:45pm -- We make it all the way to the car with B still snoozing, despite Big Sister's best efforts at aggressive driving.  He wakes up as I try to put the car seat back into the car. Boo.  L and I start chatting about her day as she eats her applesauce.  She's kinda bummed Miss Jennifer didn't sing the Banana Song {Peel! Banana! Peel, peel banana! Go! Bananas! Go, go bananas!} in music today.  They did sing a song about "please" or "peace" or, maybe even "peas?"  My vote would usually be for the former two, but they've been talking about food all week so perhaps a little ditty about peas isn't too far-fetched.  Then I get a dictation on Mickey's day {"Mickey goes to a different school!  She no have Adair in her class.  Miss Leighton is her teacher! Mickey's dress a little wet!  Just a little -- it's an accident; that's okay!"}.  

I need a small time killer to avoid the racket at home.  I make the executive decision to hit up Yummilicious for frozen yogurt {"froyoyo! and a bottle of rum!"...that's appropriate, right?}, as L seems too tired for the park and the cold front that's around the corner is making things weirdly humid.


3:00pm -- We unload at froyoyo.  L requests "white yogurt, strawberries, sprinkles, and one-a dose pink amminal cookies!" I get coconut tart with cool whip, dark chocolate chips, and reeses. 


Curious George magically appears on the shop TV.  There goes the conversation.  B gets fussy and nurses.  He is distracted and pops on and off a ton; always fun. 


3:30 - I usher L to the potty and out the door before the next George episode begins {I know your tricks, PBS Kids Afternoon Lineup}.  Once home {after admiring our newly stained fence}, we take Boom for a quick stroll around the block to see our spider friend.  Poor Boom is trapped in her own personal hell these days -- locked in her crate while strangers make loud sounds in her house.  She's paying us back with extra hate-pee if we don't stretch her legs.  


Back at home, the subs are finished for the day!  Huzzah!  I unpack L's school bag, wash out her lunch containers, and replenish the "back up clothes" Ziploc {she came home in different leggings today due to, uh, "ricochet splatter"}.  L is distressed to see our living room swathed in plastic.  I ask if she'd like to make pumpkin muffins like she wanted this morning, and she declined {lame}. Potty break.  I try on my new puffer vest for the first time and realize I look like a marshmallow lady whose head is being attacked by a yeti.  I pop my head around the bathroom door at L, and she screams like the leading lady in a bad horror flick, then yells MOMMY TAKE THAT OFF.  Right, soooo... that's going back.  At least we scored the adorable hat.  I change B's diaper {after removing the vest} and L changes her shoes {to the blasted purple Crocs}. 


4:25pm -- The three of us head upstairs to the playroom where L chooses to watch her episode of TV first.  She selects Peppa Pig {sorry Daniel Tiger; there's a new champ in town}.  B chews on things he's not supposed to {L's toys} and revels in the fact that Big Sister is too taken with British swine to protest. I upload some photos to Blogger in preparation for this post.  I chat with my mom again for a bit.  


5:00pm -- Peppa is over.  L pretends to be a princess by draping herself in burp clothes {?}.  Potty break.  We play in her room with the noise makers {one is a birthday cake}.  We play Peekaboo with B and hide-and-seek.  L also plays a game that consists of screaming BOO BOO at the dog until she wigs out.  That's special. 


L seems to be running out of steam and lays down with her yayas for a bit.  She can only have her yayas in her room, and sometimes she'll come upstairs just to snuggle them for a second, which is pretty stinkin' cute.  B nurses. Then L tries to sneak her yaya out of her room and starts rolling all over the super dusty landing with it.  I hustle her back into her room, and she "reads" 4 Fly Guy books with startling accuracy


6:00pm -- I make L's dinner {super random: carrots, peanuts, cheese and pita crackers, black beans} while B bounces.  I clean up the kitchen from making the grits casserole earlier and load the dishwasher.  Grab the grits from the fridge so I don't pop the stoneware in the oven cold.  Portion out the black beans {some for tonight, some for quesadillas tomorrow, some for the kiddos, and a double portion to go back in the freezer}. 

6:20pm -- Here's where things get a little dicey.  Bathtime.  B had a bath last night, so it's solo bathtime for L.  She wants to keep playing, but I know we need to get the bedtime show on the road.  Small freak-attack.  B plays on the floor.  I don't know when or why I put him on our bed {very middle; king sized}, but I do, and the minute I turn my back, he executes some sort of kamikaze maneuver off the bed.  The bed is low and our carpet is plush, but it's terrifying nonetheless, and it takes forever for him to calm down.  I feel like a huge asshole.  Why do these things always happen close to bedtime?!  E comes home and is rightfully annoyed with me for leaving B on the bed for a moment {when I act put out, he points out I'd be super pissed at him if he did the same thing... correct. and touche.}. We all go upstairs to put L to bed.  I'm still comforting B, but he's starting to smile and laugh.  His eyes aren't dilated, and it doesn't seem like anything on his body hurts.  I feel relieved but still horrible and will likely be anxious all night.  {Not anxious enough to wake him up every hour on the hour, though.  I'm mother hen-ish, but I'm not fucking crazy.}

E reads to L, but she isn't really listening; she's playing sweetly with her babies on the bed so we try to just stop and let her play.  She insists we read.  We repeat this scenario 3x until we finally just say "no more reading if you don't want to listen, but you can put your babies to bed." Cue massive freakout.  She kicks and screams through teeth brushing and just won't calm down.  She keeps trying to swat at E so we just put her in her bed and tell her we're skipping songs.  She calms down after we turn off the light.  I get kisses and hugs and then she requests E come back for extras.  Toddlers are so incredibly bipolar, it's insanity. 

We go downstairs and dress B for bed.  He's super tired but otherwise seems fine.  We nurse and rock and he falls asleep very quickly.  

7:37pm -- I pop the grits into the oven and turn the head on under the beans.  There's nothing else for me to do for dinner except cool my heels.  Since our living room looks like Dexter's kill room, he heads upstairs to the playroom.  I watch Brian and type these notes.  Write out the essential To Dos for the rest of the week.  Go upstairs to the playroom and help clean it up so the workers have a space to walk through tomorrow.  

8:25pm -- Back downstairs to check on the food.  The grits need an additional 10 minutes to get nice and brown on top, then 10 more minutes to rest.  I read Real Simple, pour some wine in a water glass with super classy ice, and flip Serial back on {again}{almost caught up, though!}. 

8:40pm -- Head upstairs with my plate {E prefers to graze at night}.  We watch Seinfeld reruns since we don't have Netflix or Amazon upstairs and there's nothing we both like on our DVR.  I text with a few friends and make plans to hit up a favorite park in the morning.  


10:00pm -- I kiss E goodnight, head back downstairs, put my plate away, and wipe down the kitchen.  I check on B and get ready for bed.  I read some blogs in my Feedly and a few more pages of Lena in the dark before quickly passing out. 

12:38am -- B is up.  Womp womp. 


Monday, October 27, 2014

NICELY!


L-Train is becoming quite the little sass.  We probably remind her to use good manners fifty-four times a day... Except now, when she makes a demand and we respond "can you ask us nicely," she happily shouts "NICELY!" 


I feel like I get lawyered by my preschooler on the regular -- both infuriating and hysterical, I tell ya.

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Our renovations are coming along nicely {NICELY!}.  Wallpaper removal, electrical work, regrouting, shower tile replacement, and inside paint jobs are all complete.  Exterior painting and staining rage on as I type.  And we're still waiting on new flooring and baseboards in the living room.  I hate all the dust and drop cloths and the fact that I can't walk around the house in just my britches during the day, but these are great first world problems to have.  And whenever I get too frustrated with the constant Swiffering {I do not recommend dry-walling with a newly mobile baby...if he comes down with a case of Black Lung, we'll all know it's because Mama selfishly couldn't deal with the massive 1990s era box-o-fluorescent-rods in her kitchen for one more second -- sorry, kid}, I just take a cleansing breath and flip on my new entry light fixture.


Ahhhhh, so much better. 

{For those who asked on IG, the fixture is the Crystorama Solaris 6 Light Chandelier in English Bronze. We found it for less than half the price of the Restoration Hardware version at a local shop.}

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Our Fall days keep trucking along nicely {NICELY!}, although I do wish the highs weren't back to pushing 90.   We are spending loads of time outdoors at the park and on power walking tours of neighborhood blow-up lawn ornaments.  It'd be nice to do so in my new huge-ass Zara knock-off scarf from Old Navy {that I'm awkwardly modeling atop a tank top and shorts in our still-very-much air-conditioned house} {couldn't find the link online but I purchased it in-store last Thursday}.


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Each night when I cook supper, I like to hang with Brian, but he only lasts 20ish minutes on the DVR.  The Serial podcasts are currently keeping me nicely {NICELY!} enthralled post-news.  Are you addicted, too?  I can't get enough! 

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Gratuitous photography of the meatloaves playing - you guessed it - nicely {NICELY!} together... Talk about simple pleasures -- I was partially worried this day would never come after all the initial animosity L expressed toward B.


There are still moments where I fear she might strangle him with a Doc McStuffins stethoscope, but they are fewer and further between.  

Happy Monday!  Hope it treats you nicely {NICELY!}. 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

"Our State Fair..." + Roasted Corn Chowder

I know exactly what you're thinking right now... I really wish I could see even more photos of Kate's offspring commingling with livestock.  Well, my friends, you're in luck, as this past weekend, we loaded up on hand-sanitizer and antacids, threw the kidlets in the double stroller, and hit up the State Fair!  


Since I like to fancy myself Ann-Margret circa 1962, my very patient family endured many rounds of Rogers & Hammerstein {although, after all the Fletcher's and assorted fair-fare, I likely resembled Blue Boy over the lovely Emily Porter}... but such is tradition!


Per usual, the Children's Medical Petting Zoo was a huge hit -- camels and giraffes and zebras and longhorns and llamas {no red pajamas, though} and donkeys and itty bitty baby piglets, oh my!  


L was none too impressed by Big Tex {he is quite loud, but...SOB!}; this was about as close as we were able to get without audible protestations {and she still looks pretty perturbed by his instructional interruptions to her brisket taco eating}: 


B was generally unimpressed.  Given he was unable to pet or eat or ride anything, I'll give him a pass this year. 


After doing our darndest to contract tapeworms and then eating our faces off, we took a spin on the mini Midway.  Sadly, L is still too young to ride anything legit {re: makes you want to puke}, but the race cars, airplanes, and carousel thrilled her... and this fat bear in pink overalls sufficiently traumatized her.


Yearly Fair Bucket List: COMPLETED.

From the 3rd Most Wonderful Time of the Year to a recipe inspired by the 2nd Most Wonderful Time of the Year {Texas State Fair < Hatch Chile Season < Christmas}, this corn chowder is perfect for a chile night* -- thick and comforting, but without all that heavy cream weighing you down.  Do all your prep work wherever you can grab a spare 15 minutes, and this comes together in two shakes of a blue-ribbon lamb's tail, with only 30 minutes - max - of simmering. 


Hatch Corn Chowder with Potatoes & Carrots
adapted from Damn Delicious

Ingredients
- 2 T. butter
- 1 large leek; halved, then thinly sliced {white and light green parts only}
- 3 Hatch chiles; roated, then de-stemmed and de-seeded {poblanos or Anaheims work great, too} 
- 2 cups milk {I used 1.5 cups of skim and 1/2 cup half&half}
- 3 T. flour
- 3 cups chicken broth 
- 1 pound small potatoes; halved or quartered {I used a mix of purple, red, and creamer}
- 1 pound carrots; sliced 
- 1 pound roasted corn kernels {one bag from the frozen section}
- 1.5 T. creole seasoning 
- 3/4 tsp. thyme 
- 3/4 tsp. salt 
- chopped chives, for garnish

Melt butter in large stock pot or Dutch oven. At Medium heat, saute leeks and chiles until tender, about 5 minutes.  Sprinkle flour over leek-chile mixture.  Slowly whisk in milk, one 1/2 cup at a time, until completely incorporated and starting to thicken -- about 3 minutes.  Stir in chicken broth, potatoes, carrots, corn kernels, and spices.  

Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to Low.  Simmer until potatoes and carrots are tender, about 20-30 minutes. 

*PUN!