Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Launderer

I hate doing laundry.

Fortunately I am the sole victim of the consequences of this hatred, as Michael and I each do our own laundry. This means that Michael, a responsible launderer, always has nice clean clothes, whereas I sink into the dregs of fashion options as the days (and often weeks) go by. It is only when I am faced with committing major fashion faux pas when I finally break down and do a load. (What is the plural of 'faux pas'? Faux pass? Faux pases? Faux pi?)

The only time I don't hate laundry is...when there is a baby in my laundry.

I'm not sure if it was just her mood or my smell or what, but this baby was so content to lay back in this pile of clothes and point at stuff around the room.

Also: this little photoshoot gave me yet another way to put off doing laundry. Bonus!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Zoo

On Sunday we met our friends Lyndsey, Fabricio and Matteo at the Phoenix Zoo. This was June's first time going to to zoo and we knew she'd love it because a.) she loves animals, and b.) she loves pointing at things. i.e.:
So she got to show us all how she could point at every living and moving thing in the zoo, including but not limited to bushes, other people, garbage that got caught in the wind and of course elephants.

My favorite part of the day was the petting zoo, where June petted two goats and also one unsuspecting middle-aged woman.

No picture of the woman, sorry. But here's one of otters!



It was another long and active day for the Junebug, who enjoyed a car ride nap on the way home and even went back to sleep in her crib long enough to let Mommy and Daddy watch most of "Drive."
What an exhausting but fun weekend!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Fountain Hills Fair

On Saturday - with both of my parents in town - our little family split up for some adventuring. Michael went off with the menfolk to golf while I went to the Great Fair of Fountain Hills with my mom and an out-of-town guest. June and I matched in red skirts, and I'm pretty sure that matching her is about the most fun thing in the world.
That Great Fair really was great!
Hundreds - or at least what felt like hundreds - of booths with local art and festival food. I tell you, if I were in the market for turquoise jewelry or hand-crafted pottery or large metal art, I would have been in heaven. I was really hoping I'd find some beautiful, large, dramatic and affordable piece that reached out and grabbed my soul and said "YOU NEED ME" but it didn't happen.

Still, I had a great time walking around on this girls day!
At one point we stopped for a bite (and a nurse) and what a view we had.
That's my BBQ sandwich in the blurry foreground.


We went home and rested while we waited for the guys to be done with their game.
Look at those baby blues!
Later, we all went out to dinner. June was hamming it up for all the grownups, dancing to the live music and clapping her hands when we did.

We had plans to watch a movie that night but after a long, hot day out in the sun, we just wanted to go to bed early. June included.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Birthday Plans

June turns one in a little over a month…that one still hasn’t really sunk in yet. But come her birthday will, and I don’t know what to do about it.

The idea that first birthdays are more for the parents than the kid is nothing new. In the past I have rolled my eyes at parents who go over-the-top with first birthdays. We’ll get a bounce house! And rent an elephant! And go to Europe! I’m not sure if my annoyance stems more from my idea of wastefulness (spending so much time and energy on something that will not be remembered, but will – granted – be captured on film), or the general feeling I get that people are just trying to show off/up stage others.

June turns one in about a month…that one still hasn’t really sunk in yet. But come her birthday will, and I don’t know what to do about it.

However. However. Baby Girl is turning one and I want to do something. I think that both sets of grandparents will be in town, so should we just do a little dinner? We’ve even talked about trying for a little get together with June’s classmates and their parents, although I think that mostly stems from our desire to meet those other parents and con them into mutually-beneficial babysitting arrangements.

Should we have a little party with the family and a few friends? As soon as that happens I start to feel the compulsion to start making things. Themed decorations! Goodie bags! Bunting! An awesome cake! Which, of course, all has to be hand-made and DIY or you aren’t worth your Pinterest membership. And I just…don’t feel like I have the time to get all of that done.

In today’s age where everything is photographed and edited and posted on Facebook and Pinterest and blogs and countless other platforms, shared and compared, it feels like a competition. It’s tough for me because I genuinely like creating things. I need to create things, I need to have that outlet because Lord knows my job doesn’t provide that for me. But I also don’t want to get sucked into that black hole of admittedly self-inflicted stress by way of making individually decorated cake balls at 2:30am because each kid in attendance needs 3, but the hand-sewn table runner isn’t done yet and I can prove that I’m the best of the moms if I can slip into conversation that, of course the lemonade is organic, I only ever feed my baby organic.

I want to enjoy this special time for June. I want to take pictures of her and be able to show her them down the line and have her smile. To look at the pictures of her and me and us and think, “It looked nice, even if there wasn’t an elephant.”

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Standing

Tonight June was all about standing up with no hands. As if to show of her independence, she would pull herself up on me or the furniture and immediately throw her hands in the air, like "Look, Ma, no hands!

When I started celebrating each time she started clapping for herself while standing and even got so self-congratulatory as to start bobbing up and down until she splatted back on her bum.p

I got ready thinking that she'll be walking soon. Slow down, little one.

Monday, February 20, 2012

My Silly One

Apparently there is nothing funnier in the world than peeking over a large wooden bowl at your Mommy.


She's my favorite.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Poacher

You know how one minute you're reading a perfectly respectable online news article and three clicks later you suddenly find yourself reading about the back stories to Pokemon characters? That's not just me, right? Well just such a series of events led me to a tutorial on making poached eggs.

I've never made a poached egg. I've never eaten a poached egg. I'm not entirely sure I've ever seen a poached egg in person. But suddenly I'm seeing pictures and... I'm pretty sure that...I need...to put that...in my belly.

So this was my first try making poached eggs and I'm pretty sure I'm hooked. (If you didn't know, poaching an egg is a way of cooking it in simmering water that solidifies the whites but keeps a luscious creamy yellow yolk for your buttery enjoyment. I'm not going to try to give a step-by-step, but if you're interested in tutorials there are a bazillion if you Google it.)

It might not be picture perfect but I don't think it's too bad for my first try. And you can used any broken yolk eggs to make scrambled eggs for your baby!
Holy egg yolk. I could have eaten 17 of these.
Everyone's invited to my house for breakfast next weekend!

Have you ever poached an egg?
Do you have any tips?

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Saturday Mornings

Saturday mornings are my favorite part of the week.

June sleeps all night in her crib but will wake up and want to be nursed some time in the morning. This could be at 4:30 am and then I feed her and put her back in her crib to sleep a little more. If, like this morning, she sleeps until 6:30 or so, Michael brings her into bed with us. She usually nurses and then plays in bed while Michael and I try to cling to that sleepy blissfulness while June climbs on our heads and sticks her fingers in our nostrils.

This morning she did play for a little while. Then she crawled down the bed and was quite happy to nuzzle her body up against Michael and play with his fingers. I closed my eyes, content and woke up to this sight:
We slept until 8:30.
Saturday mornings are my favorite part of the week.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Independent Eater

Question: What do you do when your baby is being a fussy eater?

Answer: Give her broccoli.
Spoon-feeding June has been stressful lately. She goes from one extreme to the other in one feeding session...seeming to be frustrated that I'm not feeding her fast enough and then not wanting to eat at all and back again. What I've found to be the solution is to just let her feed herself. No purees, just well-cooked bits of food.
We've found that she will eat literally anything as long as we're eating it too. She's had pork, salmon, beef, chicken, yogurt and all kinds of fruits and veggies.One thing is for sure: this strange girl loves some broccoli (and even brussels sprouts)!
I hope that we can continue to adapt and find things that work for us. I don't want meals to be stressful for her or for me and they have been lately.

Maybe I just stock up on broccoli?

Monday, February 13, 2012

Ah-So

When I heard that JP wanted to go to Ah-So for dinner - a teppanyaki restaurant where they cook the food in front of you - I got pretty excited. And since I'd recently seen a makeup tutorial on Youtube, I wanted to try out a new eyeliner trick. With new makeup comes dressing cute, so that was also attempted. I guess the problem comes in that not everyone feels that Ah-So necessitates a quasi-dress up, which meant that just about everyone in the restaurant was dressed like this:
While I dressed like this:
Michael and June were more moderately dressed, like this:
Having the food cooked in front of you was great because it gave June some entertainment all night long.
The chef guy gave each of us a shot at catching a little rice ball in our mouths. Each of the adults caught theirs!
And we might or might not have celebrated over-enthusiastically.



Birthday Sake Bombs, naturally.


Since Ah-So's definition of a birthday dessert is some orange pieces, we headed over to Freddy's for some ice cream to finish the night.
Happy Birthday, JP!