Friday, April 22, 2011

Who Is this Big Boy?

How did he get so big?
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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Fake it Til You Make It?

I have to admit that I am a terrible baker. I can cook, but baking is just too tempermental and exact for the likes of me. Not ebing able to bake may be hereditary; my mom couldn't bake either. Whenever I'd bring her cupcakes or cookies to school parties, they'd always be leftover at the end. I was not going to continue the cycle. I would be super baker for Liam's daycare! That being said, I had the great idea to attmept orange bunny pretzel cookie things. I'd found the recipe online and it claimed to be "super easy." I dropped Liam off at daycare today intent on cleaning the house and making these fabulous bunny cookies. His teacher let me know there are fourteen kids in his room. I was planning to make twenty so there were enough for his teachers and a few extras.
The dough was easy enough. I'm pretty good at making dough.
Then it was time to actually make the bunnies. It looked simple enough. I've watched the pretzel girls at the mall do something similar. Not even close.
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They look like a hodgepoge group of reject bunnies.
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A little better.
I was very proud of my makeshift frosting bag. I've never attempted anything like that.
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I know less about making glaze than I do about making bunny treats.
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Second try
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I was supposed to use sprinkles for eyes. I didn't know that I was supposed to put them on before they went in the oven. Therefore, they eyes had nothing to stick to.
I broke out this icing that was abandonded after I chickened out on making Eagle's sugar cookie footbakks for Liam's first birthday.
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Giving the bunnies eyes did not help.
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My minimum amount needed was fourteen. I have fifteen that don't look too too bad. I haven't decided if I am going to attempt eyes on them. From here on out, I will be the mother who orders cookies or just makes a box of brownies and calls it good.
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Saturday, April 16, 2011

My Favorite New Picture

I was trying to get a picture of the two of them together. Liam started shaking his head side to side to tease me. Mike was trying to convince Liam to let Momma take a picture of them.
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Thursday, April 14, 2011

Working Momma Survery

I am totally (shamelessly) stealing this from another blog.
A little bit about us:
Mike and I have been married for almost three years and together for almost six. We knew instandly that this was right. We made the decision to move in together after nine months. In our pre baby life, we spent a lot of time going to Red Sox games, sitting in our backyard around the fire pit, and enjoying each other as much as possible. In our post baby life, we try to spand as much time as possible with the Boo and with each other.

The day-by-day:
4:30 ish Liam wakes up and we bring him to bed with us
5:30 Mike's alarm goes off
6:00 my alarm goes off
6:10-6:15 I get out of bed and let Liam sleep with in bed
7:00 out the door and drop Liam off at daycare
7:40-2:40 work. (I know I am incredibly lucky)
3:00-5:00 Pick Liam up at DC. During this time, we run errands, play, go to the park, etc. I try to get the house picked up, start dinner, and get things ready for the next day so when Mike gets home, we get more family time.
5:00- 7:30 dinner, get ready for the next day, play time as a family
7:30-8:30 night time routine for Liam
8:30-10 ish Mike and Kerri time. We talk, watch a movie or a game, share a beer, have ice cream, turn the TV off and talk, sit outside (with the monitor of course), have a fire in the backyard... The important thing is to make time for our relationship.

Do you & your husband work as a team?
We are an amazing team. I can not imagine doing this with anyone else. We manage time incredible well. We fell into a routine. Everythng gets done without having to make lists or deligate chores. We also make sure to give the other time to themselves.

What do your weekends look like?
One of the rewards of working to get things done during the week is that the weekends belong to us. We live near the ocrean so we pack Liam into his carseat around the time he takes his nap. While he's napping, we drive to the ocean, watch the water, and drink coffee. We take Liam to parks near us or go get lunch or ice cream by the water.

What is your secret to making things work?
Not having a choice. Ha! I don’t mean to be cheeky, but I don’t have the option of it not working. (I'm stealing this beginning.) Again, we are pretty much solo. I do like that we get to do what we would like and raise Liam as we'd like. It would be nice to help help, but we make get a sense of pride by doing it ourself and raising this incredible young man.

Would you stay home with your kid if given the opportunity?
I stayed home with Liam for the first seven months of his life. It is so weird to think that I've been a wokring momma as long as I've been a stay at home momma. Liam gets so much socialization and development from day care. I truly enjoy my career. I might be a bad mom for saying this, but I don't think I could stay home forever. The winters are long and we were both getting cabin fever during our snow days. I am also lucky to get a lot of vcations. I am very much looking forward to staying him with him over the summer.

When I really stop and think about it, we are an incredibly busy, lucky family.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Random Thoughts

I am going to take advantage of Mike shooting stuff on his video game to jot down a few random thoughts that have been rattling in my head that I don't want to forget.

I love that Liam raises his legs to me to get his baby massage after bath time. He looks at me while nonchalantly raising one leg or the other in a not so subtle hint. When I rub his legs and work on each of his feet, the moment his toes uncurl for me melts my heart. It is such an instinctive level of trust that he has for me. He knows who I am. He knows that "mama" is more than just a word he babbles. It is the word he calls in the middle of the night. It is a word he sings and giggles when he plays. He is what he squeals when I walk into his daycare room.

As much as I love Liam and Mike, I am so excited to take an afternoon next week on vacation, drop Liam off at daycare, head to one of the restaurants by the water in East Greenwich, have a glass of wine, and read the Sweet Valley as adults book. I usually don't start a book until I am finished with the one I am currently reading, but The Happiness Project can wait a few days. Besides, reading the Sweet Valley book in that setting is nostalgic and relaxing. Reading what is essentially a self help book over a drink in the middle of the afternoon screams problem.

I really want to work more on my writing. I wish I was able to take Dr. Brown's writing project this summer. Dang snow days over lap. I like having a record of who I am at this point in my life. Writing is my record of all the people I used to be. Lately, I have been dreaming about that ellusive perfect first line. Musicians dream of their first albulm art. I don't dream about the book cover or my (heavily airbrushed) author photo. Oh, no. I play around with the creating the perfect hook. When I teach writing, my students will sometimes sit for half a class at their desks staring at a naked piece of paper. When I check in, they'll tell me "I don't know how to start." I prompt them to jump in and go. We can work on the hook later. Sometimes, if I'm feeling silly, I'll even hold my nose and pretend I am jumping in. Once they start writing, when they get stuck, I ask them what Dory (from Nemo) does. As a class, we tell each other to "Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming." (I am rediculously lucky to have classes that embrace my silliness as part of the experience.) Anyway, I've had this collection of short stories in my head for ten years but can't get past finding the perfect hook. I am obsessed with first lines of books. I show them to Mike and make him pretend to me as enamored with them as I am. He was a good sport as I showed him the first line of The Happiness Project for the third time this past week. "I'd always vaguely thought I would outgrow my limitations." I don't know if it'll hold the same fondess in my heart as Catcher, Pride and Prejudice, and Annie John, but it is a great one.

It wasn't until my squeals of happiness in Stop and Shop upon discovering the new Sweet Valley book did I realize how much I truly love reading. Growing up, Jessica and Elizabeth, as well as the Baby-Sitters Club, were somewhat close friends of mine. I knew them. I understood their lives and how they reacted to things. It amazes me that I can read something that millions of other people have read over hundreds or thousands of years and get a real reaction to another humans' words. Even though I can't sit through a meeting, watch a movie, or do most things that require any sort of attention span, I can get lost for hours in a book. Maybe someone will do that with my words someday. It makes me so happy that Liam also loves books. He ignores his bath toys so we can read him one of his plastic bath books. He reaches for them at the doctor's office. Today, he went for a book as soon as I put him down at daycare.

I've reached a point in which I'm not sure if I'm making sense any more. Mike is in his last round of shooting stuff on TV. These are my random thoughts that I have been meaning to write separate posts for over the past few weeks. I hope my exhaustion hasn't destroyed them.

Spring Fever

First of all, I need to brag about my big boy who eats with forks. He is trying so hard to get it. Sometimes, he has to pull the bites off the fork and put them in his mouth.
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Here is Liam last weekend, sitting in a diaper box and drinking from his sippy.
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This weekend was perfect. The weather was nice. We were able to open the windows and let the fresh air in. Mike went flying Saturday morning. Liam and I hit a few yard sales and went to the library to play. Liam finally realized there's a tarantula in the tank with the cool lamp. He tried to bang the fish tank. This lead me to believe that there is a special circle of hell in which souls become library tank fish. Those poor fish. Mike and I put Liam in his car seat for his nap and headed down to Jamestown. We sat at Beaver Tail and watched the water while Liam slept. How lucky are we that this is twenty minutes from our house?
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We stopped at an awesome playground. Liam had so much fun. We headed home and stopped at another spot of the bay for lunch. I love these weekends because the weather is perfect and the tourists haven't arrived. Parking and crowds aren't an issue. We didn't even have to wait for a table to eat our sandwiches outside.
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We walked by the boat dock and made friends with a dog. It was just such a perfect day. I love taking Liam on adventures.

Tonight, we discovered another joy of having a toddler: sidewalk chalk. Once he got the hang of it, he was hooked.
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He tried to color the dog.
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Jake did not want to be colored. Of course, Mike made an airplane. Liam helped him color it in.

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We had to stop to look at each plane as it flew over. If having Mike for a dad didn't ensure that Liam would love airplanes, living three blocks from the airport confirmed it. He stops whatever he is doing, looks up, points, and asks "What's that?" He is his father's son. That is a good thing.
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Eventually, Liam decided he was done playing outside.
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As I am writing, Liam is stacking his blocks up and making a tower. It seems like he will randomly grow a month in a week. This was one of those week.

Friday, April 8, 2011

My Happiness Project

Vacation has always meant one big thing to me: I can read what I want. Less than 20 pages into Things Fall Apart, I decided to begin my vacation book early. The Happiness Project had me intrigued on my last few trips to Borders. Since I had a coupon, I picked it up. It is about a woman who, on paper, has a life similar to mine: husband, home, kids, career, etc. She conciders herself but things she could be happier. Thus the happiness project is created. She makes a list of her own goals and breaks them into monthly goals. January includes energize and organize. She begins going to bed early and exercising. She organizes and declutters her NYC apartment. Her description of cleaning her closets was almost Zen like.

I am inspired. I want my own happiness project. So here I go.
I keep my house pretty tidy. Over the years, I have lost my pack rat ways. I used to keep such crazy things as notes my girlfriends wrote me in science class and a "lucky" pennies given to me by boys I liked. Maybe it was growing up that made me throw it out. Maybe it was moving yearly after college to upgraded apartments. Maybe it was the post-flood awaking that I did not need all this "stuff" that couldn't swim in 22 inches of water last spring. My point it, I get into frenzies and get rid of "stuff."

I had just cleaned through our stuff. Liam's clothing in his room is all current. I gave away my old maternity clothes and I'm slowing getting rid of pre pregnancy clothes that will never get over my hips, things I haven't worn, and things I have no use for.

Mike was at a party for work tonight and I was home due to a sick babysitter. Liam played upstairs while I went through the bedroom one more time. Among the items gone:
Three of the four black dressed hidden in the back. I have one that fits really well. I don't need the other three. I've moved some of them 3-4 times since last I've worn them.
Concert T-shirts. I kept some of my high school ones nut got rid of some that had no use still being out of the landfill. (I don't think I'll ever get rid of my They Might Be Giants T.)
Things that don't fit.
Half a laundry basket of undies. I hoard and stockpile underwear. I've had some for years. I got rid of almost half a laundry basket full of undies. Some were just old. Some were delicate, pre baby undies that now look like a tourniquet over my post baby hips. A few were given to me by Mike's well meaning aunt. And, well, nothing sets a mood quite like "Your aunt thought you'd like to get it on with me while I was wearing these."
Half of my socks. I still had socks that I kept for sentimental reasons. They had to go.
Shopping bags. I also hoard these bad boys. I had bags from Motherhood Maternity that I had to keep because I'd never shop there again, bags from Disney I kept because I never know when I'll get back there, etc.

I also got rid of a bunch of books I haven't opened since college. I will have so much less stuff to dust.

I am hoping as the book continues, I can work on such things as lightening up, not taking things personally, accepting things as they are, and making time for the people who are most important to me. I'll think of more later. Mike is home. He is part of my happiness project.