Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Grateful for...

Today, I would like to take a second and be grateful. I am so grateful to have such an amazing family and caring friends. I am beyond grateful to have a wonderful and supportive husband, and a healthy and crazy little girl. I am grateful to live in a beautiful house with all the necessities we need and then a lot that make us happy and spoiled. And I am grateful to have this blog, a place to write about my days with my daughter, share my excitement of crafts and events, and have a place to vent.

Take a second today and love those around you, write something crazy online, eat some delicious food, and of course hum along to some Christmas tunes...

Daily Mom

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Burlap Wreath

Hark how the bells, sweet silver bells, all seem to say, throw cares away, Christmas is here, bringing good cheer, to young and old, meek and the bold, ding dong, ding-dong...

I decided to listen to the tunes that were floating out of my computer this afternoon and ignore the large pile of ungraded papers sitting on my desk. Instead, I looked through my recent Michael's purchase and decided to make a simple, yet beautiful, burlap Christmas card wreath for our kitchen. There is nothing better than buying supplies, crafting, and completing a project all in one day...and even better, all in one nap time!

So, papers, I will look at you later, but for now my heart is all focused on Christmas joy!

Daily Mom

ps...happy to let anyone know how to make the burlap wreath if you are interested, just post a comment and I will email you back the materials and instructions.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Monday Menu

Oops, I almost forgot!

Here is our weekly Menu...

Monday: Pesto Chicken (Rachael Ray's pesto-presto literally amazing and to die for! I am sure it is illegal but I snapped a shot of the page from my cookbook in case you want to try it! Sorry...too lazy to type it all up :)
Tuesday: Roast Chicken and roast mixed vegetables (potatoes, carrots, onions, and sweet potatoes) with a salad
Wednesday: Spaghetti and mozzarella stuffed turkey meatballs
Thursday: Homemade Chicken Soup with egg noodles
Friday: Cocktail party then Pampered Chef Party!
Saturday: Birthday Party then Christmas Party!

Here is the plan for A:
Monday: Pasta and Pesto is her favorite meal, and since I am making pesto today why not!  
Tuesday: Roast Chicken and roast mixed vegetables (potatoes, carrots, onions, and sweet potatoes..well she won't eat regular potatoes but everything else!)
Wednesday: Spaghetti and mozzarella stuffed turkey meatballs..messy but adorable!
Thursday: Homemade Chicken Soup with egg funny bunny loves soup!
Friday: leftovers
Saturday: Turkey hotdogs and pasta

Daily Mom

Shhh...don't tell :)

Back To Reality

Coming back to reality this morning was nothing like I expected. First of all, I was hearing up  for a few morning battles with A about everything from what she would be wearing to actually having to put her doll down and get dressed. But much to my surprise, this morning was much more like coming back from a vacation, in the sense you know you are home and everyone just falls back into routine. Hubby headed to the gym early this morning, I showered and got breakfast ready for A, and then we had a great time giggling over her "talking" rice krispies before heading upstairs to get ready for school.

And with the fear of reality out of my mind, I also snapped back into deal mode. The grocery list is ready for this afternoon, the kitchen is clean and ready for the next meal, and I have uploaded all my photos from this weekend. So sit back and enjoy a collection of shots of my little peanut and her nieces!
Biggest Cousin, E, showing A Jelly Bean

Daddy was making sure everything looked legit before he put his little girl on that pony!

"Here I go, Mom!"

Hey, put those heals down :)

Her first jump!

Then it was E's turn!

And because the youngest always wants to be just like the oldest, E's little sister gave it a whirl.

And landed...well, she landed.

My little peanut!

Playing ring-around-the-rosie with her cousins and Gigi

Mommy and A

A few days later, all the cousins hanging out in our backyard.

The oldest, escaping up a tree for a little peace and quiet.

Daily Mom

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thank You, Thanksgiving

Although a few days ago I was a strong advocate of skipping thanksgiving, I have changed my mind. Let me I was thinking back about my weekend, it dawned on me why thanksgiving is a national holiday. First it means the weekend starts on a Thursday, or Wednesday if you are really lucky, and lasts till Sunday night; and secondly, it is an opportunity to spend time with family and friends.

Growing up with an only-child dad and a mom, whose only sister lived in Alaska, meant a lot of close knit family gatherings were just that...close. But now, having my parents, two sisters, two brother-in-laws, husband, four nieces and a daughter all in this immediate area means a lot of wild and crazy family get-togethers. We started with us all at thanksgiving dinner, kids running wild, stealing each others sippy cups and coming dangerously close to Gigi's antiques...which personally scared the life out of me, but only raised an eyebrow on Gigi when she thought one of the girls was hurt. After we ate enough food to last us for days, we waddled home to sleep it off, before starting all over again the next day.

After waking up hungry (who thought that was possible!?!?) we headed to my big sister's farm, I mean house, for some pony rides, cousin fun, laughter, and leftovers!

The next three days were spent in the same spirit. Taking long walks with the dog and A, meeting up with family and friends, and being thankful for all we have this year.

So like I said, in my attempt to come back to reality, I realized I have been completely focused on playing, laughing, family, and eating...and that is what thanksgiving is all about. Bringing you closer to the ones you love as you drift further away from reality.

Tomorrow I will download the adorable pictures from this weekend, make a real trip to the grocery store, grade some papers, and get back on my daily schedule...but for now, I am going to sneak into A's room and hum along with Christmas carols as I watch my little girl sleep, and cherish the last four days of utter perfection.

Daily Mom

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

A's first time eating Rice Krispie's was a snap, crackle, and poping success!

Daily Mom

ps...currently watching Bieber on the Today show, singing CHRISTMAS CAROLS!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Happy 200!

Dear Thanksgiving,

I guess you don't totally suck. In my attempt to skip Thanksgiving and go right to Christmas, I found myself drawn to the similarities between the two, like the crafts, laughter, and of course cooking! So, A and I hunkered down in this miserable rain and went to town on Thanksgiving! Enjoy some shots of my attempt to make the most out of a dying holiday...hehe, okay fine, so it is not really a dying holiday but get excited, only 48 hours till it is Christmas all the time!
Cranberry-Pear Sauce for Thanksgiving

A turkey A and I made at school this week

My sweet little girl, not sure how we were going to make turkey rice krispie treats

Our finished product!

My little baby learning how delicious candy corns really are... 

Merry...Thanksgiving :)

Daily Mom

Ps...Since I just realized this is my 200th post I thought I would add some random thoughts, so you would get your money's worth!
1. First, why do people always hold their phones in the air when they are trying to get service? I mean do the three extra feet of height really get you closer to the satellite?
2. Did you know there are 7 body parts that have only three letters? Eye, ear, arm, leg, hip, toe, lip.
3. La Bamba is my hubby's new favorite movie, and I think it is a bit weird and creepy :)
4. No word in the English dictionary rhymes with "month"
5. In Cleveland, Ohio it is illegal to catch mice without a hunting license
6. And in case you forgot, I LOVE Christmas :)

Monday, November 21, 2011

Happy Monday!

This weekend was all about family. Friday, as you know, was hubby's birthday and we headed out for a yummy dinner to celebrate. Then after an early wake-up on Saturday morning, we took A to Story Time at the library.

As you know, I love taking A to countless events all around our city, trying to expose her to everything and anything; but weekends we tend to lay low, spending time walking, laughing, and running errands with Daddy. This weekend though we only had one errand to run, Target, which was right next to the library, so we decided to let Daddy see what we do all week.

 I think he was a little intimidated by the mass amounts of children running all over a tiny room with a little old lady buzzing along to a bee song as she went around asking each kid's name, but he handled it really well! After about 15 minutes though it was clear that A...well really Daddy...need to jail-brake from story time and hit the Children's Section to look for books and play with the toys.

A few minutes later we continued on our way with a very tired little girl, a pretty overwhelmed Daddy, and a big bag of books. We quickly made our way thorough Target, trying desperately not to spend over $100 on who knows what, and then trekked home for lunch and nap time.

After a family power-nap, I got a call from my sisters asking if we wanted to scrounge together whatever we had and come over for a playdate and impromptu dinner. Of course! I love being with my sisters and our kids, and believe it or not, we rarely get just the three of us together with husbands and kids. We had an absolute blast watching all 5 kids tear around the house while the husbands looked on nervously, and the three of us caught up on gossip in the kitchen.

Then yesterday it was all about the Ravens! We watched them teeter on the brink of a win for four quarters before making it official; and we even got to see George Clooney who was at the game. Yeah, don't get too excited, it was from a distance. But supposedly he is dating a Baltimore girl! Lucky!

And finally, when we didn't think it was possible to find any more energy, A's godparents came over for dinner last night, making the perfect end to a great weekend!

(You know it is a great weekend when I have zero pictures to show from it!)

Here is this week's Menu...nothing too special since it is almost Thanksgiving. Which, in case you are wondering, I am getting a little more excited for as I have been searching Pinterest for cute crafts to do with A!

Monday: Grilled chicken breasts (marinated in Greek dressing...sooo good) with ancient grain rolls and a simple salad
Tuesday: Turkey meatballs on the ancient grain rolls (got a nice big bag of them!) and salad
Wednesday: Thanksgiving! No, I am not crazy, but since the Ravens have a home game on Thanksgiving night we moved our Thanksgiving till Wednesday so we could do it all out.
Thursday: Ravens Game
Friday: Water and saltines...since I will probably still be so full I will want to puke :)

A's Menu:
Monday: Pizza bagels...I use the whole wheat bagels, some yummy pizza sauce, and slice up some mozz for the cheese...with roasted sweet potato on the side
Tuesday: Turkey meatballs with sauce and cucumbers on the side
Wednesday: Thanksgiving!
Thursday: Sleep over at my sister's house, so whatever she has!  
Friday: Leftovers, since making any more food might again send me to the toilet!

Daily Mom

Friday, November 18, 2011

Happy Birthday, Daddy!

Today is hubby's birthday and to celebrate he had a breakfast meeting, followed by a long day in the office. But we have high hopes he gets to escape a little early today to come home and play with us!

This year, since men are really the most impossible people to buy for, A and I decided he need a more "homemade" gift. So this morning we had a nice cup of piping hot tea waiting for him after his shower, some delicious homemade carrot muffins, a few cards, and a beautifully wrapped present just for him.

Now, most holidays and birthdays he opens his present and gives the typical male "grunt" thank you. But this morning was different, he actually gasped when he saw what A and I had made just for him! So, to my amazing, caring, supportive hubby...we love you and happy birthday!
Daddy's birthday present was A holding letters to spell out "DAD" in a beautiful picture frame for his new office! Trust me, I tried to get A to flip the D around, but for some reason she liked it backwards better :)

Daily Mom & A

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Let's Talk Turkey

So to be completely honest with you, I do not like Thanksgiving. Sure, it is fun to watch the parade on TV for a little bit in the morning but as whole I am not a huge fan. I think my main reason is there are not a lot of fun activities to get ready for Thanksgiving. You don't get to decorate your bike with red, white, and blue streamers, you can't run through hay mazes, pick out pumpkins, or pick out costumes, you certainly don't decorate a tree, get to buy present, sing carols, or spend hours making cookies. In fact, you don't really do anything but make a few turkey crafts to hang on the fridge and cook a big dinner. It probably doesn't help that I am not a fan of turkey, most potato products, or stuffing...I know what kind of sick freak am I?

I guess that is why after Halloween I start making list of presents, humming carols under my breath all day, and plan out when I will bake, decorate, and make everything Christmas! I love Christmas. Not just for the presents, because, as lame as it seems each year I have actually looked forward to giving presents rather than receiving them, but for the memories, smells, sounds, and lights that can make even a dreary day, into something magical.

So with my "indifference to Thanksgiving" mindset I am in now, I decided it would be most productive to just focus on Christmas! Not only am I currently singing along, a little too loudly, to It's The Most Wonderful Time of Year but I am also simultaneously online shopping, making Christmas lists, blogging, and searching each website for the perfect Christmas card background. And that my friends, bring me to the purpose of this post. Gee, I guess it was a long time coming...but here it is the big reveal...

I think I am going to switch back to saying a Christmas greeting on our cards this year. Sure they are holiday cards to some, and I appreciate and respect each person's beliefs, but you know what...we celebrate Christmas, and I am wishing you all a Merry Christmas. For the past many years we have always done a non-denominational greeting...but after reading an article my sister sent me which Ben Stein wrote about the "holiday tree" at the White House, I think he has a point. I don't think it will offend my non-Christmas-practicing friends to receive a card from our family that wishes them a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. So My Only Wish This Year is that everyone has a great holiday, no matter what they believe...and maybe if I really get to be picky, can we just skip Thanksgiving and move to Christmas?

Daily Mom  

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Welcome Home

Sorry, this is a day late, but our internet was down yesterday so no chance to post :(

NYC was a blast! We got up there Friday night, just in time to put A down and relax a little, before our bright and busy Saturday morning. We wanted to head to the Central Park Zoo, but when hubby looked it up on his phone we learned that it is currently closed for construction, and the only other "must do" was getting a soft pretzel and showing A around so we had a perfectly open day.

We started with a mandatory bagel breakfast, because how can you not get bagels in NYC for breakfast? Then we headed towards Central Park. Since we don't get up to NYC as much as we would like we thought we would just buzz around and see what we happened to fall upon. Well, we lucked out. Around 9:52 we walked by FAO Schwartz, just in time to hear the manager say the "special presentation" would begin soon. So we stuck around, and were loving everything FAO had to offer!

Then, since it was super crowded we thought we were head to the Park and then come back to FAO Schwartz after it had been open for a while to look around. At the Park we ran around the grass, checked out the ice skaters, and rode the carousel!


 Then we followed our plan and headed back to FAO Schwartz. Well, that plan backfired since by the time we got back, it was even more packed than before. But A had a blast rushing around the whole store, grabbing all the brightly colored candy off the shelves and even suckered daddy into buying her the perfect size baby doll and stroller!

Before we knew it, it was time to head back for lunch (NYC pizza of course for A, and my favorite soup place ever, Hale and Hearty) and nap, before mommy and daddy had to get ready and head out for the wedding.

Sunday, although it was an early start too, since hubby and I were staying in the same room as A and she woke me up by grabbing my toe, that was conveniently sticking out from the covers with her hand, exclaiming "Mommy, toe!" at 6:20am, was another great morning. We met up with our friends and headed to a playground to let the kids run around and have fun. Then around 11:45 we loaded an exhausted little girl into her stroller and headed back to find our car for the trip home.

I have to say, although NYC is huge and completely overwhelming at time, we made it so nice and "small" feeling for our weekend get away!

Daily Mom

Oh, I almost is our menu for the week!
Ps...still haven't made one of these yet :(

Monday: grilled chicken sandwiches with avocado, bacon, and roasted plum tomatoes
Tuesday: Barefoot Contessa four cheese penne with chicken sausage and a simple salad
Wednesday: Chicken fajitas
Thursday: turkey meatball grinders and a simple salad
Friday: out for Hubby's birthday!

and A's menu
Monday: grilled chicken and avocado chunks with roasted tomatoes on the side
Tuesday: Barefoot Contessa four cheese penne
Wednesday: chicken quesadillas with tomatoes and avocado
Thursday: Barefoot Contessa four cheese penne
Friday: turkey meatballs with butternut squash on the side

Friday, November 11, 2011

Short and Sweet

Little Cousin, C got dropped off this morning to play with A for an hour so her mommy and daddy could get some things done without a little one getting in the way. A and C had a blast playing with toys, climbing stairs, tattling on each other, and enjoying some "sharing" time!
"Hi, C. I am glad you are here!"

"Haha, look mommy, we are big girls on the stairs!"

"Ah, mommy, C is climbing."

", no A."

C making sure A is not going to tackle her for playing with her kitchen...

Keeping a close eye on A while enjoying a rest in A's chair.

"Mommy, get TT on the phone. I want C to go bye-bye."

Well, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em!

"Bye C, time to go bye-bye."

I have to let my post do the talking through the pictures since we are heading to NYC with A in a few hours, I have nothing packed for anyone, and we have an open house while we are gone! Off to clean, pack, and chug some caffeine!

Daily Mom