A little update

I haven’t blogged since … September I think.  I stopped blogging and focused on making a little website for my tiny baking business. http://www.sweetpotatobakeshop.com.  I’ve been mostly making decorated sugar cookies and though I really like doing it, they are SUPER time consuming and I’m not sure if they’re worth the time.  I have a couple orders coming up and I’m doing all the desserts for my future sister-in-law’s bridal shower in May.  I’m going to make a tiered cake!  I’ve never done that.  We’ll see how it goes.

Sam is now 20 months old and I’m 15 weeks pregnant with baby #2.  We’ve been keeping busy and now that it’s getting warmer, spending as much time outside as possible.  Sam loves to be outside.  He cries every time I bring him inside.  Every time.  Sam is wearing size 2t or 3t clothes and is starting to say lots of words.  His newest word is Obama.  His hair is LONG and grows so fast.  He’s had four haircuts so far and definitely needs one now.  He loves rocks, balls, dirt, anything with wheels, climbing, dancing, silverware, drumming and throwing his food on the floor.  He doesn’t like eating much in one sitting, staying home, being confined to a shopping cart, being held/carried or being inside.  He wakes up around 6:30 am and takes one nap a day at about noon for two hours.  Bed time is now 8 pm.

Aaron has been at his new job as a property manager since December.  He really likes it and he’s able to come home for lunch almost every day which is nice.  He’s been working on the never ending baseboard replacement in our house as well as various other house projects.

As far as the blog goes,  there are a few things that I’ve been wanting to write about so I’m hoping to do a couple of those posts soon.  It’s kid consignment sale season so I thought I would write a post about all the sales I’ve been to because I think it’s useful info and a lot of people probably don’t know they’re out there.  I might also throw in some of my thoughts on local thrift stores.

I also want to write a post about things that we’ve been doing in the area.  Kid-friendly activities in the South Hills.  Maybe park reviews if we venture to other parks than just the Mt. Lebo main park.

Have a good afternoon!

Baby Skinny Jeans

Hello!

It’s Thursday night.  Sam is sleeping and Aaron went to the gym.  I haven’t had much to write about lately so I haven’t posted.  I could have written a third post about sippy cups but I decided against it (though that saga continues..).

We’ve had a pretty low key week.  Sam has a little cold so we’ve stayed in a little more than usual.  Sam slept from 7 pm last night to 8 am this morning!  He did have his usual 5 am nursing session but that’s 13 hours!  So we had a bit of a late start to the day but we left the house around 930 and headed over to a consignment sale in a volunteer fire department in Scott Twp.  I had never been to this one before but unfortunately, it was lame.  Like really lame.  We didn’t buy anything and were in and out of there in about 5 minutes.  Since we still had many hours until nap time, I decided we’d hit up another consignment sale at the Washington County Fairgrounds.

We live south of the city so Washington County isn’t all that far.  It took us about a half an hour or so to get there.  I didn’t have the stroller with me unfortunately so I strapped Sam in the Ergo and we walked in.  This one was called Little Blessings Dressings.  It’s still going on throughout the weekend.

We ended up finding quite a few things.  They don’t have as much stuff as Snugglebugs (another twice yearly consignment sale) but you can find some different things at this one and it’s not as crazy, insane as Snugglebugs.

Here’s what we ended up with:

  • Brown thermal shirt $3
  • Baby Gap skinny jeans $2
  • Zara red corduroy skinny jeans $2
  • Lands End snow pants $3.50
  • Osh Gosh vest $3
  • 3 sets of Children’s Place pajamas $2-3/each

I’m pretty excited about the vest and the corduroy pants.

After we got out of the sale, I let Sam play outside for a bit before we got back in the car since he’d been cooped up all morning.

We saw some horses then I gave Sam a snack and we headed home.

We got home around 1230 and Sam went down for a nap at about 1.  His naps (just one a day) have been only a little over an hour each day this whole week but today’s lasted 1 hour 45 minutes!

Once Aaron got home, we took a family trip to Goodwill because today was apparently all about shopping second hand.  We both love thrift stores/yard sales/estate sales/flea markets.  Sam wore his new jeans thrift shopping.

And that’s Thursday.

A Second Sippy Cup Post

Yesterday I wrote about our sippy cup problems.  Today I’m writing about it again!

Yesterday afternoon, Sam and I headed out to Target to return the first set of sippy cups and bought a kid’s camel bak instead.  Brought it home and filled it up and it seemed to be working great!  Here is Sam with the Camel Bak.  It’s a little hard to hold (no handles or ergonomic shape) but he seemed to like it.

And then Sam left it lying on it’s side on the floor and a pool of water formed around it.  I picked it up, messed with the “spill proof” mechanism and it stopped leaking.  But then after some more drinking later, it started leaking again.  Not just leaking, like pouring out water when it was tilted on it’s side.  So I dug the packaging out of the trash to return this one too.

Today… we made our third pilgrimage in three days to Target to return the Camel Bak and get a new sippy cup.

Target seemed to have replenished their sippy cup supply and they had a new option today.  It’s the Playtex Lil’Gripper.  It’s like the older kid version of the one with handles that worked really well until the handle broke off.  No handles on these ones!  The Amazon reviews on these are mixed so we’ll see how it goes.

We also hung out at the mall for a bit before our Target trip.  (Our Target is in the mall).  Sam played in the kid’s play area there for a while.  That place always stresses me out.  There’s always one kid whose parents are not paying attention to what they’re doing at all and the kid is running wild, knocking over little kids or picking on them or jumping off the tops of things wildly.

Of course Sam loves to walk over to these kids and smile and try to pat them or something.  One day we were there and there was the mad hugger.  It seems cute.  This little girl was obsessed with hugging Sam.  Except Sam could barely walk at the time so she knocked him over like 10 times.  He was getting upset and the mom was no where to be seen.

Then one day we were there and some kid kept pushing Sam and then he kicked Sam!  The dad was on his laptop not paying attention.  Today was pretty mild.  There was a family of kids there that were WILD and one was definitely way too old to be climbing on those things (like teenager) but they didn’t really bug Sam.

Though I’m ranting about the situation, Sam seems to like playing there and looking at the other kids so we keep going back.

Sam is napping now.  Nap #2 today.  Yesterday he just had one really long nap.  His longest nap ever.  2.5 hours!

Sippy Cup Problems. Seriously.

Back to two naps again yesterday. Two decently long naps too.  The second one lasted until 5:20 pm… which pushed Sam’s bed time back to 8 pm.  Aaron went golfing yesterday and was gone until like 9 last night so we were on our own.  This led to Sam and I watching Jeopardy together.  He was surprisingly interested in it.

We took a trip to Target yesterday afternoon to get a new sippy cup.  The first sippy cup we had was the playtex lil’ sipster.

These cups were okay but I got so annoyed with having to tip it back for Sam to drink.  He didn’t really grasp that concept yet and so he couldn’t really get much out of them.  They were easy to clean and didn’t leak but I didn’t like that there was no cover for the spout.

So then I bought a Playtex Baby First Lil’ Gripper Twist n’ Click Straw Trainer Cup.  Sam learned how to drink out of the straw right away and I loved this cup.  It has the little cover for the straw and handles for Sam to hold.  Plus it’s supposed to be leak proof.  Well after about a week, the handle broke after one too many throws off the high chair.  It leaks now too.  I liked this cup enough though that I was just going to buy another one of the same but Target was out of them yesterday.

(Source)

So I ended up buying these instead.  Munchkin Insulated Straw Cups.

These are TERRIBLE!  First of all, the first time I tried to cover the straw with the cover, the straw got stuck underneath and I had to pull it out.  Then I tried to drink out of it and it’s nearly impossible.  The leak proof mechanism is way too strong.  I could barely get any water out, let alone Sam so I’m returning them.  I can’t believe it’s so hard to find a sippy cup!

I think this time I’m just going to buy a kid’s Camelbak water bottle.  I have a big one and Sam drinks out of it all the time and it’s hit the floor MANY times and is still holding up.  They’re in the sporting goods section of Target if you happen to be looking.

Also, I gave in and bought one of those Snack Traps  which has been great so far.  I put some Puffs and raisins in it and he was able to figure it out but only get one or two out at a time which was perfect.

Yesterday I was googling “best sippy cup” which prompted me to write this little post.

It’s going to be HOT today.  Sam is napping right now.  We took a walk down the street this morning.  Sam and I both walking.  I’m not sure what’s in store for the rest of the day.

The Nap Thing and Stuffed Peppers

Sunday and yesterday we were back to two naps again.  Sunday, we had some of Aaron’s family over for lunch and so Sam got lots of play time and took two 1.5 hour naps.  Then we headed to church at 430 and that wore him out too.  He was having a bit of a rough day/weekend.  I think he might have been feeling a little sick or maybe teething because he was really grumpy and didn’t sleep very well Friday night.

Yesterday, we were pretty low key.  We ran to Office Depot in the morning (bad plan..back to school time.  I didn’t realize there was ever a line at Office Depot).  Then we pretty much hung out around here the rest of the day with a short stroller trip to the post office.  Aaron was at work until like 7 last night but that worked out well because Sam’s second nap went until 5 pm last night so he was up until 8.

Today… we took a walk to the main park in Mt. Lebanon this morning.  I thought it was only a mile but turns out it’s more like 2 so it took us about 40 minutes each way.  The way there is mostly down hill but then the way back is mostly uphill.  We played at the park for a bit, had a park bench diaper change where Sam opened the container of wipes and threw the whole thing on the ground… then we headed home.  I just put him down for a nap at 11:15 so we’ll see how the day goes.

At the park, possibly licking that spinning thing.

Last night for dinner, I made stuffed peppers.  I bought gypsy peppers at the farmer’s market last week and finally got to make them.  The original recipe is here but I altered quite a few things so what I did is below.

Turkey Stuffed Peppers

Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 6 gypsy peppers or other bell peppers
  • 1 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large chopped onion
  • 3/4 of a 28 oz can (about 20 oz) tomato sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon dried leaf oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried leaf basil
  • 2 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, divided
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 1/2 pounds lean ground turkey breast (uncooked)
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked long-grain rice (I used brown jasmine)

Preparation:

Cut tops off peppers; remove seeds and membranes. Chop edible part of tops and set aside. Rinse peppers under cold water. Place peppers in a large pot; cover with salted water. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 5 minutes. Drain peppers and set aside.Heat olive oil and butter in a large skillet over medium heat until hot. Sauté chopped pepper (from tops) and chopped onion for about 8 minutes, or until vegetables are tender. Add tomato sauce, crushed garlic, oregano, basil, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper. Simmer for about 10 minutes.In a large mixing bowl, combine egg with remaining 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and Worcestershire sauce. Gently stir to blend; add ground turkey, cooked rice, and 1 cup of the tomato mixture. Mix well. Stuff peppers with meat mixture and place in a 2-3-quart baking dish. Pour remaining tomato mixture over the stuffed peppers. Bake at 350° for 55 to 65 minutes.

Here they are straight out of the oven.  I had extra turkey mixture left over so I just put it on top of the stuffed peppers.

They turned out really well!  Maybe a bit on the salty side so maybe I would cut down 1/2 a teaspoon on the salt next time but I would definitely make them again.  They’re easy to make.  The only thing that was annoying is that it dirtied quite a few pots and pans.

Typical Thursday

We had a bit of a failure on the switching to one nap thing Thursday. (I started writing this Thursday night but never got it posted). Sam woke up a bit before 7 like normal.  He had breakfast around 8 then we headed to the gym.  Sam went into the daycare there (and I didn’t get a page to come get him!) for about 45 minutes then we headed home.  It was about 10 when we got home.  I managed to keep him up until 11 again before putting him down for a nap but he was pretty exhausted and miserable by that point.  He went to sleep with no problem but then only slept for an hour and 20 minutes so he was up shortly after noon.  That puts A LOT of time between then and bed time at 7.

He played a little until 1.  Had lunch at 1 then we played some more.  Typical day around here.  I try to clean and also be an interactive mom but also let him have independent play.  Was “independent play” even a phrase 50 years ago?  I’m thinking not.   Ah well.

Wedged between the couch and ottoman.

Around 230 we ventured out in the stroller for a walk to the library.  Sam played there for a while with some other kids and opened and closed the doors of the play kitchen a million times.

Aaron texted me while we were there saying he was on his way home.  woo!  So we strolled back home then Skyped with my parents.  First skype!  Then Aaron had to head out to give a seminar.  Sooo Sam and I were on our own from 5 until 630 when the bed time routine begins.  At this point, Sam was getting pretty tired and grumpy..  I fed him dinner around 515 and he refused to eat anything but bread and puffs.  Normally he’ll eat the other items too but just the bread first.  Not tonight.  So… bread for dinner.

After dinner, we went outside so the neighbor’s dog could distract him until bed time.  We made it until 620 then headed upstairs.  Bath, pjs, nurse, teeth brush (if  you could call Sam’s nightly battle with the tooth brush “brushing”) and then bed at 650.  YES!

And that’s day 2 of 1 nap.  I could have probably tried a second nap Thursday but if he did actually fall asleep, bed time would have been pushed back and I wasn’t having that last night since I was on my own.

Sam’s Birthday Party

Sam’s birthday party.  It ended up being quite a bit of work and planning but turned out great!  Everyone seemed to have fun and there were no major catastrophes.  My grandparents came into town (from Florida) a week before the party and my parents came into town (also from Florida) a few days before.  Most of the food prep was done the day before the party by my mom and grandma.  For the food, we had pasta salad (this one), regular salad, fruit kabobs, veggies and dip and tabouli (courtesy of my in-laws), and burgers and hot dogs plus veggie burgers and vegan hot dogs for our vegan friends.

I didn’t take any pictures of the actual party at all!  My friend Gina took some and is going to send them over.  In the meantime… all I have are pictures of the desserts.

Sam was not into the cupcake we gave him at all.  People started singing happy birthday to him and he started crying hysterically and wouldn’t even try the cupcake.  Poor kid.  He relaxed after and played in the grass and then really got into opening the presents.  He now has TONS of toys. Tons.

We had lots of desserts.  I’m still eating the cupcakes (we froze the leftovers after the party).

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My grandma came over a few days before the party and helped me make the chocolate chip cookies and the thumbprints and they went into the freezer until the party.  I made the sugar cookie star toppers a few days before the party too.  It was good practice to make a million little stars and decorate with royal icing.  I really want to get good at making decorated cookies.  The S cookies and the little tulips were made a few days before the party too.

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The day right before the party, I made the vanilla and chocolate cupcakes and left them unfrosted until the morning of the party.  I would have probably frosted them the day before too but we had no room in the fridge for them.  I made vanilla cream cheese frosting for the cupcakes which I loved.  It was a recipe from Glorious Treats.  Here’s a link to it.  Lastly, the brownies were a mix!   They were vegan and gluten-free because we had some vegan friends coming and some gluten intolerant friends and I didn’t want them to be dessert-less.  It’s a Trader Joe’s gluten free mix that is actually really good.  I replaced the egg with a flax egg (flaxseed meal + water) to make them vegan.20130803_111246

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I made the little flags for the brownies out of toothpicks and washi tape.  I’m newly obsessed with washi tape.  It’s awesome.  I made little flags for the straws too.
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I wish I had pictures to post of the actual party.  Sigh.  But here are a couple of Sam with some of his gifts.