Wednesday, October 7, 2009


I have been against co-sleeping since the birth of our first son. My husband always rolls over onto me in the middle of the night, crushing my arm or punching me in the head (he says he has no idea...) so we didn't think putting a baby next to him would be a good idea. Also, we like our space while sleeping. I need to be able to move around and stretch about.

We are now 3 children happier. All have slept in cribs since 7 weeks old. This has worked well for us. We have remained happy. Our children have slept and kept ritualistic bedtimes. They are happy.

When we brought baby number three home it was just easier to have him sleep downstairs in the pack and play. The boys all share a room. There is no bathroom upstairs. The head of our bed abuts a slanted roof - it was almost impossible for me to nurse upright. And I am completely uncomfortable nursing lying down. I slept downstairs on the couch for two months until Silas started sleeping through the night.

Meanwhile, Odin, the wonderfully cuddly middle child, began creeping into bed with Daddy. Daddy thought it was terribly cute and did not discourage him. Two months later, I return to the scene and there is Odin. This was almost two months ago.

Every night we put him to bed in his own bed. And every night at approximately eleven o'clock, he wakes up. I put him back into his bed. Then, somewhere between one a.m. and 4 a.m. he creeps back out. Depending upon how tired I am, I return him back to his bed. Some nights it is three or four times. I figured the behavior would dissipate into nothingness. That's a negative.

Tonight I said, "screw it" and put him to bed in our bed. OUR bed. *groan*.

I have thought about putting up a gate at our door. But, I just can't block him, or his brother, from coming into our room. What if they really need me?

For now, I'll just enjoy that he wants to be near me...and enjoy the morning "massage" I get when he gently kicks my back and then "writes" the ABC's with his little finger between my shoulder blades.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Fall leaves, fall

Because it is Fall and because I am prepping for the birthday ridiculousness that is to come, I decided to rake the leaves, stuff old clothes with them and put them on display. I've actually never done this. When we were kids we'd make haunted houses in our basement and stuff clothes with things like stuffed animals and other clothes. This was more fun. Plus, it entertained my son and created wonderful memories.
I made the grumpiest child laugh when I showed him this picture and said, "why are your legs so big?!" ha ha ha ha ha! He looked down and started giggling, and then it erupted into ridiculous laughter, and then a wrestling match. In the beginning, we both were raking up a storm. By the end, it was just me, with a bossy kid yelling, "Momma, I need more leaves! Are you going to rake them, or what?!" Yeah, kid. I'm on it. But only because you're awesome and I love you. Luckily, it was a beautiful autumn day. He wanted to put faces on the "faces". Also, hair. So, I got the yarn. And a sharpie. I want to make memories, but I don't have the time to make professional scarecrow/fake people. He didn't quite understand why he couldn't draw a "perfect" face on it. Also, he put the hair underneath the hat so it could "be just like me". Goober. My leaf-person had a stitched-looking mouth. I was asked, "Momma, is yours scary?" A little. There was a little trepidation before sitting next to it, even though he sat there and watched me make it alongside his. Kids are funny like that. When we were done he asked if we could make chocolate covered bananas. I have no idea where that came from. Lucky for him we had dark chocolate and bananas on hand. I was in a good mood so I put a little marshmallow on the top of each. Nothing beats the smiles on a kid's face when he sees something he loves. Except, maybe, the look on his brother's face when he wakes up from a nap and sees something he loves.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Eli's Wolverine Birthday

Kid's birthday parties should be illegal. Those and high school, but that's another story. My darling little soon-to-be-four-years-old son has decided he wants a Wolverine birthday party. Wolverine, as of the X-Men, not simply the animal...that might be easier. It is not in my nature go out and buy mass produced Wolverine items. I can't. Although, I still might if time is of the essence and I feel stressed enough...I can't buy a cake with an edible picture of Wolverine on it. Plus, the Wolverine leader has decided he wants a blue-frosted cake with a chocolate-vanilla-honey cake inside. Um...yeah.

While organizing some kitchen cabinet space today I found a Pampered Chef checkerboard cake pan. Yay! Now, to find a Vanilla honey cake recipe. Maybe a pound cake? I had planned on doing cupcakes...that still might be do-able with a double batter. I'll have to make test ones soon.

Not only is the party Wolverine themed, it's Halloween themed as well. Halloween is easier and less monotonous. I think as long as I do a Wolverine theme for the boy's cake he'll be cool. The rest can be Halloweeny. I don't think I'll be able to keep this party thing up with 3 boys. I might have to go back to keeping the celebrations within the family while the kids are little. Especially with the other two boys having their birthdays less than a month apart. Oh, the trials and tribulations of motherhood...

Beef. Stew.

Beef Stew...mmmm I love a good, thick beef stew. I found this recipe in a magazine a long time ago. I can't recall which magazine, I wish I could so I could give a proper thanks.


4-5 slices bacon (I used the thickest, heartiest slices I could find)
1 1/2 lb strip steak - cubed
8oz pkg. baby bellas
salt and pepper
1/2 tsp thyme
1 tbs tomato paste
1/2 tsp dry mustard
2 tbs flour
2 c beef broth
2 carrots - sliced thinly
2 parsnips - sliced thinly
2-3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 cup red wine ( I used a Pinot Noir)
1/2 lb frozen pearl onions

In a large soup pot over med-high, cook and stir bacon until crispy. Add beef and cook until seared on most sides. With slotted spoon, remove bacon and beef and put aside. Add mushrooms, carrots, parsnips, garlic, salt, pepper and thyme. Cook over medium high, stirring occassionally, for about 10-15 minutes. If cooking too quickly, lower the heat to medium.

Whisk tomato paste, mustard, flour and broth in a bowl and set aside.

Add wine and onions to the pot. Cook about 5 - 10 minutes.

Add tomato paste mixture. Simmer until thickened. Return beef and bacon to pot, cook another 3 minutes or until beef is cooked through.

The first time I made this, I was pregnant and I swear I got tipsy off the wine. The husband loves this. My kids run away. But, they usually run from anything that is mixed together. They, apparently, need their food to be simple and separate. They are not my children. More for us, though.