Not Trash!

So….Amelia’s favorite thing these days is the trash can. I don’t want to complain too much about this because I think it’s awesome that after she’s done with a pudding cup, she gets up and puts it right in the trash……sometimes, however, in her eagerness to be helpful she discards things that, well….aren’t trash.

For example, when I dropped her off at school on Tuesday, her sippy cup was nowhere to be found. By Wednesday, we pretty much decided that Amelia disposed of her cup along with everything else after lunch on Monday. I don’t have any extras laying around the house because the extra one we DID have, she never liked so I just got in the habit of giving her small amounts in regular cups and she drinks water out of the bottles anyway. But, I had to find a replacement for her to use in school so we went up to Babies “R” Us this afternoon.

My intention was just to grab a pack of Take’n’Toss cups, but when I saw these
I just thought they were absolutely brilliant. No straw, no weird spout to get used to – it’s just a cup. There is a little hub with a silicon ring that prevents spills but it seriously works just like a regular cup – they tilt it up and drink….I love it and Amelia thought it was the coolest thing :^)

And yeah, I bought the two pack so we have an extra……just in case!

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Wicked Butternut Squash Casserole

I wasn’t planning on posting this recipe, because some things are just too good to share. But, my mom has been asking me for a couple of weeks to write it up for her so I figured I’d put it here, too.

To be fair, this is not *MY* recipe. I didn’t come up with it. My boss actually introduced me to this dish a few months ago and until that time, I had never actually even HAD butternut squash. Earlier in the summer, she got me addicted to “flying saucer” squash from her garden and then the butternut squash casserole.

I love my boss 🙂
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A Glutton For Punishment

I was thinking today that there actually was one more thing that I wanted to add to my list of intentions January……to go to bed earlier and get up (slightly) earlier during the week…..then I went and registered for a full roster for the spring.

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I probably won’t sleep till May.

On the plus side, once these classes are over I can be officially done for a while…..then I just have to study for my boards.

Ah, well……classes don’t start for a week and a half…..might as well get my snoozin’ done while I have the chance 😉

Another New Beginning

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Well, I had hoped to have the rest of my posts imported to the new host before writing anything new, but the importer is being an ass so I’m just going to go ahead and get started.

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The Queen of Mum

Guest Post: Dada’s Sentimentality

Sentimentality time… you’ve been warned…

Brittany visiting her dad at work, circa 2004.

You know, 12 years ago, we had our first child. Unfortunately for me, I don’t have many memories of that time, as, quite literally I was working around the clock to protect the world from the bad guys. I never gave her a bottle, never had much time holding her, never changed a diaper, or fed her food. It sucked.

You know, I don’t even know how SHE feels about being robbed of the experience. Never having a father for all of her “firsts”, or who was home on holidays, or was awake at 3 in the afternoon, or who regularly made an appearance at meals. And I have never wanted to ask her. I am not sure I want to know, because at THIS moment in our lives, she things I am pretty cool, and I’ll take that any day. I am sure this time next year, as a teenager I will be “past it” but right now, I like things the way they are.

Tonight, I watched my 1 year old, at her first big outing, at a rock concert. Watched her sing, and dance, and laugh and smile, and watch the concert with an awe that only a baby could have.

I made a promise when our 2nd child was born, that I would be there for her, for every minute of the important parts of her time of discovery.

Mr. Mom

I did everything I could, I changed diapers, I got up in the middle of the night to give her a bottle, or to rock her to sleep. Hell, when the wife went back to work *I* was the primary caregiver for about 4 or 5 months. To this day, I take on the chore of making sure everything is in order for her, for the next day. I’d like to think I did a pretty good job, but as a man, it’s hard to tell these things. She HAS acquired my tastes in food, music and TV, so that’s something, right? 😉

This is when it hit me… Getting her things ready for tomorrow, and… I no longer have to prepare baby bottles, because she has mastered the art of the sippy cup. Every night for the past year I have made up 8 baby bottles, by cleaning them inside out with a brush, cleaning the nipples out with a brush then steaming the whole batch in our steamer to sterilize it.

All of that.. gone now… she doesn’t need them anymore… then it sunk in.. she doesn’t need ME anymore.

Amelia and her dad in Star Wars mode.

She eats mainly regular food, and that organic junk (so no more mashing or grinding food). She can drink out of a cup (so no more preparing bottles), she can walk, and play, and sit, and stand… all on her own.  Suddenly I have gone from “caregiver” to being relegated to “spectator” in my child’s life.

Why am I saying all of this? All of those moments are special, if you are lucky enough to be part of them, treasure it…. if you are a husband, and the wife asks you to make up a bottle, or change a diaper, or hold the baby while she cries, do it, and be proud that you were part of it, because those moments come to an end all too soon.

After what I USED to do for a living, I quite enjoyed the Mr Mom duties, and I am quite sad because in a little over a year, it has practically all come to an end.

I guess, what I am saying is, I wish she would have stayed “helpless” just a little while longer. Part to make up for lost time with my first child, part because it’s been a long time since I felt “needed” it was nice to be the most important person in someone’s life again, and part because I just didn’t want to let go. I didn’t know what to expect coming into this, but she has evolved soooo quickly, I don’t know how to feel about it, and suddenly… here I am, the permanently disabled, ex-lawman, who 3 times this week had a migraine brought on by his bad neck that totally immobilizes him… and nobody needs me…

Don’t feel bad though, it’s all good, I am proud of my accomplishments, both out in the world, and here at home… it’s just an observation of how fast the world moves.

Quality time with the girls at Barnes & Noble

We have to start somewhere….

Earlier this year, I mentioned somewhere in some post that I’m not going to link to because it’s chock full of things I had planned to do this year that I haven’t found the time to do because…..well, because I like sleep…….um, I mentioned that I wanted to minimize a bit.

A lot actually.

So it’s somewhat slow going….for a few reasons. The main one being……I like sleep. Really, I can’t blame it on the fact that I have a 1 year old because lots of moms with 1 year olds do lots of things that I don’t do. But I work full time, every day and when my 1 year old goes to sleep, so do I. I regret it if I don’t. Last night for example….I decided to do something stupid on my computer after Amelia went to sleep and two hours later finally climbed in to bed. 20 minutes later, Amelia was awake. An hour later, she was awake again, An hour and a half after that, awake again…..for an hour.

So yeah, today I feel like a total moron.

Anyway…..it’s slow going. When I do wash, I put things that I really don’t love in a bag and this past weekend actually dropped two bags off at the Salvation Army. I have many more bags to fill. I also have a storage unit to empty but that’s a whooooooole other adventure.

The more pressing need right now is Brittany’s room.

It took me a while to figure out how a 12 year old could amass such a ridiculous amount of crap….because I don’t buy her all this stuff!! I had no idea where it all was coming from…..until I was actually home one day when my mom dropped her off….

See, Brittany goes to spend some time with my mom and dad usually on Tuesdays….that was her choir day during the school year so it just became their day. Brittany would spend Tuesday night there and they would take her to school the next day. Nice, right?

So, now it’s summer….no school the next day……so they’ve just been dropping her home on Wednesdays, usually after I’m home….usually after dinner. And almost every time, Brittany comes in with two or three bags of……CRAP!! From trips to the dollar store, craft fairs, A.C.Moore, the library, the movies…..and every single bag – because I know that she would just drop it all in the middle of the living room and leave it there if left to her own devices! – goes straight into her room…..apparently never to re-emerge.

But this room needs to get organized NOW because this school year is going to be waaaaaaay different for Brittany. No more getting up at the butt-crack of dawn (like her crazy mother) to go wait for the school bus on those lovely 2 degree February-in-Philly mornings.

Oh no!

This year, she’s registered with an online charter school 🙂

Yes, this is our first venture in to the world of homeschooling because I never thought it would be possible with me working full time. Brittany is very excited and now that we’re making some progress on her room I think it’s really settling in that her room is going to be her new classroom!

So we’re quickly minimizing in her room. I’m actually very proud of her because she’s really making a dent in there when I’m not around and I come home to find quite a few bags that she’s put together of things that we can donate and things that can just get trashed. We might just have this whole space under control before her first day of school!!

It really is looking good, but she doesn’t want me to post any more pics until it’s done so everyone can see the total transformation.

It won’t be long!!

So how did you and your child prepare to make the switch from traditional schools to homeschooling?

Where’s my kettle drum….?

Who’s excited for the Olympics????

I’m usually not a huge fan of the summer games, I much prefer the winter events…..for the summer, I only really dig swimming and diving. I feel a little guilty saying that because Brittany runs cross country…but really….I just don’t need to watch 3 hours worth of people running on TV. She swims too, though, so at least we have that – lol!

Bill is just an Olympic-hag and that’s pretty much all that’s on our TV for the duration…..I’m sure if there was an Olympic sport that involved watching paint dry, he’d watch it……well, if there wasn’t anything else on at 4 in the morning….on his 3rd straight day of Olympic insomnia…….

This year, though…..where I am usually completely uninterested in the pomp of the opening ceremonies I am soooooooo excited to see this one!! Why, you ask…? Because it’s in London!!! I am a total Anglophile – as I may have mentioned before – and I can’t wait to see what the Brit’s have in store for us ;^)

Only 3 more days!!!!

So c’mon – are you excited this year, could you care less? Take my poll and then comment here with what your favorite event is and whether you like the winter games or summer games better 🙂

How Do I Stop?!?!?

I started back to work at the beginning of September last year, after 7.5 weeks of maternity leave – waaaaaay to short in the grand scheme of things but especially considering the fact that I had a c-section…..but the bills have to get paid, right?  So at this point…..I’ve been pumping at work (and a little at home) for almost 11 months.

I’m done.

To be honest, I was done 3 months ago when I decided that I officially hated pumping.

See, this is not me……

Never was.  I mean, yeah, at first I kind of welcomed the breaks………but now it’s more like this……

However……..I wanted to at least make sure that Amelia had breastmilk to drink at the daycare until she hit the one year mark….so I kept at it and we started introducing rice milk and coconut milk because I felt they were more acceptable snack-time drinks at this point than plain old whole milk.  And my grand plan was that once Amelia was officially one year old, I would hang up my horns – leave the pump at home and never ever look at it again……until next time.

But…..I don’t know how!

I intended to get up on Wednesday morning after my little vacation and just nurse Amelia and head off to work, kicking my pump bag as I walked past it and start sending my freezer stash with her for as long as that would last…..it wouldn’t be long.……maybe two weeks.

Amelia wasn’t really interested in nursing much Wednesday morning, though.  She’s pretty well reverse cycled so she had nursed a good bit during the night….but not enough……so I picked up my pump bag and walked out the door.  Yesterday morning, she was a little more interested…..but I brought the pump just in case and I didn’t use it.  By the time bed time rolled around, she had managed to nurse a good bit of the over-abundance but I was a little tempted to pump before I went to sleep……again she nursed well during the night, but I felt over-full on one side this morning and she only wanted the other side so I dragged the pump along with me and took a break again………

I just don’t know what to do here.

And honestly, at this point it’s not even a matter of me just not wanting to do it anymore…..my employer only provides for lactating mothers for 12 months after birth.  I’m officially past the 12 month mark.  If I hadn’t changed jobs back in February, I’m sure that I would not be having this dilemma, it would have been a non-issue…..not that they could tell me I can’t pump on my lunch or anything, but I would be doing so either in my car or in some remote public bathroom.  Thankfully, my new boss is much cooler, having breastfed all four of her own children for at least 2 years….two of whom are currently breastfeeding their own children!!  But…..should something unforeseen happen, policy could come and slap me in the face :-\

I only pump once during my 7.5 hour shift and then nurse on demand the other 16.5 hours…..but I have no idea how to cut out that pumping break and A) not be completely miserable and uncomfortable and B) not eff up my “weekend” nursing – lol :^)  I would really love to hear from any other working mama’s that have weaned from pumping but continued to nurse – any and all tips, tricks and whines (and wines!) welcome!!

Birthday Girl!!!

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Unbelievable as it is, Amelia’s first birthday was Thursday!!  Her FIRST birthday – that means a whole year has gone by since this little beauty made her appearance…..that first year is a funny thing and I remember thinking the same thing around Brittany’s first birthday……..

……it is both the longest and shortest year of my life :^)

And I’ve gone through it twice!!

More than a decade apart – lol!

I wonder if it’s different for people who have multiple children close together…..

In any case, I wanted to have a simpler party for her birthday than we did for her Baptism in May – no renting a room, no days getting food together…..just a nice picnic at the playground with some meats on the grill….is there anything better for a summer birthday?

So we grabbed a kick-bottom cupcake cake from ShopRite and hauled up to our family’s favorite playground in Tullytown, PA with some family and good friends to celebrate my baby girl’s big Numero Uno ;^)

Everyone had a great time, especially Amelia….now that she’s motoring, she made her way around all the tables stopping to visit everyone on the way…..that is, of course, until her Godmother arrived and pretty much handed her the keys to the car – lol :^)

She’s spent more time with this than pretty much any other gift she got…..and she got some pretty cool gifts!!

I’m also ALWAYS looking for new board books for Amelia….I have a ton of Brittany’s still, but there are some that I never had for her that I’m looking for now.   One of my good friends picked up Where’s Spot – only the cutest pop-up book I’ve seen in a long time, even after reading it 7 times in 25 minutes…..and one page an extra 3 times – as well as On The Night You Were Born which is simply beautiful and really just about sums up what I would say happened on the nights BOTH my girls were born ;^)

It was a great afternoon for everyone and I’m so happy that our family and friends could share it with us.

What did you do for your little one’s special day?