Monday, December 28, 2009

Interview with Pea

Pea and I were enjoying some hot chocolate together yesterday as it snowed outside and we were talking about some of his favorite things. I grabbed the video camera to capture a little bit of our impromptu interview. I just love hearing what he has to say! And, don't worry, we do not give him tires for breakfast. :)

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Happy Holidays!!

Happy Holidays, everyone!! We had a very busy and FUN holiday season. So much so that the blog had to take a backseat for a little while. We did A LOT of baking at home and with family and friends, we gained some weight, we visited a train museum and rode a small steam engine train, we spent time with family, we went to the zoo to see the lights, watched Christmas shows, opened lots of presents, and just enjoyed being together. Here is a glimpse into our funfilled month. I hope you all had a wonderful holiday!


Thursday, December 10, 2009

Let the season begin!

Wow! We have been busy already this holiday season! This past weekend was full of holiday activities. We started off with a visit to Santa. Pea was not so sure about Santa this year! He would not sit on Santa's lap and wanted me right beside him. He did manage inform Santa that he wants a fire truck, ambulance, and police car for Christmas!

A quick pic of pea with Santa.

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After visiting with Santa, we headed out to the Christmas tree farm. This was a tradition in Jason's family when he was growing up so we are continuing that tradition with our family. We had a lot of fun trying to find the perfect tree.

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Pea decided it was more fun to race in and out of the trees...

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to play hide and seek with daddy.

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BOO!!! Pea LOVES hide and seek and wants to play it ALL the time! He just laughs and laughs.

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"Wait for me, daddy!" Or, as pea often says..."Daddy is getting away!"

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We had our little family tree decorating party on Sunday and it was more like a "who is the grumpiest" party! We were all feeling under the weather and nothing seemed to be going "right." But, the evening ended perfectly and I only need to replace one strand of lights on the tree...;)

Friday, December 4, 2009

FFF...Holiday Traditions

It's FRIDAY!!! Woohoo! And...that means FFF. This week's theme is Holiday Traditions! Check out more FFF on Hannah's blog HERE. So, to get in the spirit of the theme, I simply copied one of my holiday tradition posts from last year! Is that cheating?!?! Nahhhh!! It's TRADITION! :) Here it goes:

As some of you may remember from a post last year, I am CRAZY about Chex Mix! I have been since I was a kid. Growing up, we made Chex Mix every year around Christmas time and it is just one of those crazy, seemingly meaningless traditions that is so important to me! It is really less about the actual food, than it is the memories and feelings it evokes. (Though it is pretty darn deeeeee-lish!) Every year, we would dedicate an entire day to making Christmas goodies. My mom, sister, and I (sometimes my brother, too) would spend the entire day cooking, baking, and decorating cookies. The kitchen would be a disaster with flour, frosting, wax paper, and tiny cookie decorations everywhere! We had so much fun and those times together helped define the meaning of the holidays for our family. And, let me tell ya, my sister decorates a mean cookie!

At some point over the years, I became the official Chex Mix chef and thus began a lifelong, glutinous love affair that only comes around once a year! It is pretty much the staple of my diet from Thanksgiving through New Years. No joke! In fact, I am eating it right now. ;) I especially love it for breakfast! Now, I am talking about the homemade stuff, not that bagged crap that claims to be the original Chex Mix. And, I am a hardcore ORIGINAL Chex Mix recipe follower. None of this bagel chip, mixed nuts, and garlic & onion powder nonsense. I suppose you could call me a Chex Mix puritan or, well, maybe a Chex Mix snob. Call me what you will, but I stand strong and proud by the Original recipe. ;)

What is the original recipe you ask? Well, let me indulge you. Okay, I admit, the recipe may not be exactly like the original, but it is pretty darn close. And, I always double the recipe.

6 cups Rice Chex Mix
6 cups Corn Chex Mix
6 cups Wheat Chex Mix (NOT the multigrain. I made this mistake ONCE!)
1 or 2 cups pretzels
1/2 to 1 cup peanuts (I like dry roasted)
5 tbsp butter (the REAL stuff)
4 tbsp Lea & Perrins Worcestershire (the best brand)
3 tsp Seasoned Salt

Mix dry ingredients together in large bowl. Melt butter and combine with worcestershire and seasoned salt. Pour over cereal mixture and stir to coat evenly. You can bake it in the oven or the microwave. I use the microwave because that is what I have always done. :) Cook for 6 minutes in the microwave, stopping to stir mixture every 2 minutes. Lay out on paper towels to dry and then ENJOY!!!

So, since it is my turn to be mom at Christmas time now, I have the huge responsibility of passing on this sacred tradition to my family! And, well, I am so proud to say little pea may be just as crazy about Chex Mix as his mama., so proud. ;)


I have been stocking up on my supplies! Seriously, I was not kidding when I said this was an addiction!!! And, I just may need to replenish this supply of cereal to get through the season!

My official taste tester.


Thursday, December 3, 2009

Catching Up

Happy Belated Thanksgiving!!! We had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend with Jason's family in Pennsylvania. We had not seen them in a very long time so it was so great to relax and spend some time together with them. It is about a 6 hour drive (with breaks) and pea did amazing! No crying, no whining, no complaints at all! Any shred of guilt I had from plopping a portable DVD player in front of him for 6 hours is looooooooong gone! Bless you, DVD player! hehe!

And, it is not Thanksgiving in our family unless someone ends up getting sick. For several years, Jason and I took turns getting sick. Last year was pea's first Thanksgiving so he was initiated with this family tradition. This year, pea and I both ended up with colds. Compared to years past, this year was nuthin'!

In spite of our sore throats and sniffles, our weekend was jam packed with fun. Unfortunately, the batteries in my camera died so I don't have very many good pictures. And, can you believe I did not have any extra batteries???? Sheez!! Of course, I have a gazillion batteries at home, but did I think to take some extra ones with us? Noooooooo. Oh well. Jason's sister and dad took some great pictures at the firehouse that they both promised to send me (HINT! HINT!) and our friend, Sally, took Eli's picture with Santa that she also promised to send me (HINT!!!).

So, here are a few token pictures from some of our adventures in PA.

Playing football with daddy.

Playing on poppop's tractor thingy.

Riding the tractor at our friend, Mindy's house. Look at that view!

Waiting for Santa to arrive on the fire truck!

Visiting the fire house. Jason's dad is a volunteer firemen so he took pea and his cousins on a special tour of the firehouse. It was great!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Surgery update and FFF

Ugh! Today pea had a very ROUGH post surgery day. He was in a lot of pain and definitely not himself. Very weird since yesterday he was running around like crazy! He has a follow-up appointment with the surgeon today so hopefully he will be back on the upswing. My poor baby!

In the meantime, it's Friday! This weeks FFF theme is Oh Give Thanks. Check out Hannah's blog HERE.

Here is a pic from our hike in the woods a couple weeks ago. We had so much fun! Pea is definitely entering the pretend play phase. He was pretending this long stick was a horse and we all HAD to ride it together. Of course, I would sneak off the horse to take some pictures, but I was quickly told to "hop on board, mommy. come on. come on." I am sure we were quite a sight riding our horse through the woods! I just love this age and I am thankful that being a parent allows me to be a kid again, too!

And, the only adoption related news we have at this point is we have submitted our initial application and are waiting for the preliminary approval. Yes, I told you we are just at the beginning stages! This process is sooooo much different so we have a lot to learn.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Surgery Day

My little pea had surgery yesterday. Ya know, the boy surgery. :) (I am sure he is going to hate me one day for posting this! hehe!) He did soooo amazingly well. Much better than I did! They allowed me to go into the surgery room with him while the anesthesia was administered and he was so brave! I felt a little intimidated walking into the OR because there were about 6 or 7 doctors and nurses waiting for us in scrubs, but pea did not seem phased at all. The anesthesiologist even let him color on the sheets of the bed before she put him under. Even though it was a very minor surgery, I cried all the way out to the waiting room! But, all of the hospital staff were so, so wonderful and that definitely made it easier.

We spent most of yesterday afternoon watching movies, but pea was bursting with energy today running around like a wild child! I suppose he had a lot of pent up energy built up from our lazy day yesterday. He decided it was a good day to climb everything...the bookshelf, into his crib, the entertainment center, etc, etc. The nurse told us he would probably have some limited mobility for a little while...ha. Ya right.

On the car ride home. The nurses made sure Mr. Bear was properly dressed for the occasion.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

What I love - Day 7...the next chapter

I did it! I did all 7 days of Aimee's Adoption Awareness theme challenge! Woohoo! Okay, here is day 7!

Our journey to family has certainly had a significant impact on the ways in which we live our lives and view the world. Our struggle to build a family is definitely not something we focus on anymore, but we learned so much through that experience. We learned to never give up on love, never give up on our greatest dream, and never give up when it seems like there is nothing left to give. And, most importantly for me, it helped me find new sources of strength I didn't realize I had. Part of the experience of infertility for me was that sense of shame and self-doubt. I went through a period in which I questioned what Jason and I could possibly have done wrong to "deserve" this. I questioned my faith and, quite honestly, questioned whether or not I even deserved to be a mother. It was a very painful time for me. I felt like I lost a sense of who I was for awhile in trying to understand why something so amazing and miraculous came so easily to everyone but us. Yes, it was a very tough time!

As I worked through these issues and started to open my heart to other possibilities for our family, I also started to develop a new and stronger sense of myself. A stronger self that refused to give up on the dream of being a mom and raising a family with my wonderful husband. I realized that this was a dream worth fighting for, no matter what, and I decided that not having a family was just not negotiable! I started to realize that there was another plan for our family. It wasn't a Plan B or the last resort, as so many people often think of adoption. Infertility led us to adoption, it was part of our journey to finding our son. I never thought there would be a day when I would be so grateful for our infertility, but I am! So grateful.

I remember very clearly the day we learned that our last attempt at having a baby had failed and we decided that was enough. In leading up to that day, I was so unsure of how I would feel letting go of that dream. But, when that day arrived and we made the decision to pursue adoption, I felt this HUGE weight lifted from my heart and suddenly everything felt RIGHT. We closed a door that day and it seemed like the whole world opened up to us as a result.

Adoption has brought so much to our lives, more than what I can possibly express, even in daily posts like these! So, after much soul searching, we have decided that our family is not complete. What does this mean?

We are pursuing another adoption!!!!!

We are at the very beginning stages for a domestic adoption, but we are so excited!! Who knows where this next journey will lead, but I am sure it will be another roller coaster ride! I hope you all decide to ride along with us this time, too!

Friday, November 13, 2009

FFF...Beautiful Gifts and Day 6

It's FRIDAY!!! Woohoo!!! And, the FFF theme for this week is Beautiful Gifts. What a perfect theme to go along with Adoption Awareness Month! Check out more FFF HERE.

My most precious and beautiful gift came to me through adoption.

Another thing I have learned through adoption is that my greatest gift, my greatest source of joy was so connected to another woman's significant loss. I will never, ever fully comprehend the significant loss undoubtably experienced by pea's birth mother. I will never fully understand how pea will be affected by his adoption it will shape his identity and his sense of self. And, until we were in the airplane ready to leave Guatemala with pea in our arms, I never truly felt the impact of my joy being so intricately connected to the significant loss and grief of another woman. I vividly remember those last moments in Guatemala looking out the plane window across the skyline of Guatemala City wondering where pea's birthmother was at that moment. Wondering if she somehow knew that something was different that day.

Sitting on that plane (crying my eyes out, of course!), I was overwhelmed with relief , joy, and disbelief that we were finally bringing our son home. At the same time, I was also overwhelmed sadness and and a sense of loss knowing we were taking pea away from everything he had known up until that point. We were taking him away from his birth country and culture, something we would never, ever be able to provide for him in the same way. It was such a complicated mix of emotions as we started to taxi down the runaway, saying goodbye to Guatemala, while also preparing ourselves for a new beginning at home.

As we settled in for the long journey home, I was lastly overwhelmed with honor and gratitude for this amazing gift asleep in my arms, at last. This amazing gift of adoption is full of complicated emotions, but most importantly...full of love, joy, and hope. Adoption was a gift for all of us. A gift we all wanted and needed: family.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

What I Love - Day 5

I fell in love with Guatemala 16 years ago when I first stepped foot in the country. It left an imprint on my heart and, at the time, I really wasn't sure exactly why I felt this incredibly strong connection to Guatemala. But, I left the country in tears at the age of 19, knowing I would be back someday. Jason and I had only been dating for a few months at that time, but I knew he would be coming back with me. This was one thing I knew for SURE, with every fiber of my being. Little did I realize at the time what that really meant! I had no idea that Guatemala would be a source of life for our family.

Adopting internationally not only united us with our son, but also with a country, a culture, a new view of the world and our place in it. It is life changing to experience another culture, especially one that is so completely different than our own and in a third world country. The experience of being in a different culture combined with the experience of adoption enabled us to step back and view our lives through a different lens. To take stock, in a sense. Our fight and struggle to have a family and our journey across the boundaries of country and culture, embedded a deep appreciation and perspective on what is really important in life. It shapes how we think and see the world now and it has inspired us to be more giving in many ways, affecting so much of what we do. Having this connection makes the world feel so much smaller and makes it feel like what we all do as individuals and communities really does matter.

This year, Jason decided to carry some of these life lessons into his classroom in his attempt to develop his curriculum around character education and giving back. Jason teaches high school special education in a struggling, urban school with kids who often do not feel deserving of an education or feel like they have anything to contribute to society. Jason decided to involve the kids in a project to sponsor a student through Safe Passages in Guatemala. Click HERE to check out Safe Passages. What started out as a seemingly ambitious project has turned into a life changing experience for some of his students. Jason was able to have his students participate in a video conference (along with some other US & Canadian high schools) with a school in San Marcos, Guatemala. His students were able to interact directly with students in Guatemala and learn more about their life. After the video conference, Jason showed the movie, Recycled Life, which is an award winning documentary about the people who live and work in the Guatemala City Dump. (Click HERE to watch a trailer of the documentary. It is worth 2 minutes of your time.)The impact on these kids has been astounding and they have suddenly developed ownership over this project. Jason told me he has never seen his students work so hard. He has never seen his students work so well together, as a team, for a common goal. He has never seen his students have so much purpose and feel like what they are doing matters. Isn't that amazing and inspiring? Here are a couple pictures of their growing project that Jason took with his phone.



Obviously, their project has nothing to do with adoption, but I love that our adoption has opened our world and has influenced so much of what we do and how we live our lives. I love that adoption can bring people together across cultures, class, race, ethnicity, and more to make us all feel more connected rather than divided.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

What I have learned - Day 4

Like many of you who have adopted transracially, we often get a lot of stares. It usually doesn't bother me because I know people are just genuinely curious and interested and, well, I am guilty of being one of those people, too! I admit that I attempt to stare discreetly if I see a family that looks a bit like ours! It's just part of human nature to be curious about others. And, sometimes I wonder if one of those people staring is feeling the call to adoption and wanting to make a connection. But, there are those who cross the boundaries, like the guy in Wal-Mart who stopped dead in his tracks in the middle of an aisle to unabashedly stare at us for several minutes. We have also had our share of crazy comments and questions like "does he speak English" or "who could ever give him up?" or "Oh, you couldn't have kids of your own?" And, everyone is always interested in how pea is "adjusting." I usually don't mind answering people's questions and I can certainly talk for hours about our adoption process because I am so proud of how my family was created. But, there are times when it is a little annoying and tiring.

What I really want people to realize is that we are like any other family. I have learned that there are people who don't see us that way. Sometimes I feel like there is an extra layer of judgment placed upon us. Sometimes I feel like people are looking for something to be wrong with pea just because he was adopted. And, there are some people who feel we have no right to raise a child of color and he is bound to have a major identity crisis as a result. The hardest part is when some of these attitudes come from within the adoption community. Consequently, I have learned that it is so easy to get caught up in that adoption paranoia and self-doubt. Of course I think about how adoption affects our parenting and how our conversations about adoption will evolve as pea develops and asks more questions. Of course I think a lot about how to raise a Latino son in a very racist society. But, this doesn't define everything about our family. In fact, we're actually pretty boring!

Every family has something. Something extraordinary. Special. Unique. And, we are all just trying to do our best to raise happy, healthy, confident, and strong kids. Ultimately, how we became parents is not as important as how we choose to parent our extraordinary, special, and unique children.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

What I Love - Day 3

We witness a miracle every time a child enters into life.
But those who make their journey across time and miles,
growing within the hearts of those who wait to love them,
are carried on the wings of destiny and placed among us
by God's very own hands.
-Kristi Larson

One thing I love about adoption...about our that it has renewed and strengthened my faith. I don't really like to discuss my religious and spiritual beliefs very often because it is very personal for me, something I prefer to keep to myself. But one thing is for sure, I believe 1000% that pea was meant to be our son and we were meant to be his parents. I believe that there was a "plan" for our family and there are so many events in our lives that just HAD to happen in order to bring our family together. It's quite amazing, really. I think of events like when our homestudy agency submitted our homestudy to the USCIS office without a signature and it delayed us being placed on the waiting list for a month! At the time, I was so upset! Now, I realize that delay was crucial to finding our sweet pea. It feels like nothing short of a miracle. I love these stories and all of the adventures that led to our family being together forever. These stories and adventures are uniquely our own and are woven together so perfectly by the hands of the spirit.


Monday, November 9, 2009

Adoption Awareness Day 2

I had no idea that when we started on our adoption journey we would not only become a family, but also become part of a community. I had no idea that adoption would bring so many wonderful and generous people into my life, both in the US and in Guatemala. I had no idea that I would NEED this community. I had no idea that adoption would inspire me to be a better person.

Our last dinner with pea's foster family...who we now consider part of our family.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

National Adoption Awareness Month

As most of us already know, November is National Adoption Awareness Month! The original intent of this month was to raise awareness all the children in foster care in the United States waiting for a family, but it has grown to include all children and families touched by adoption.

My friend, Aimee, has challenged everyone to post ONE thing everyday this week on what you love or have learned from adoption. Visit her blog HERE. I am going to do my best so here goes my first thought...

One of the greatest things I have learned through being an adoptive mother is the power of letting go of fear and opening the heart in a million ways, but more specifically concerning pea's birth mother. When we started our adoption journey and were not quite sure which path we would choose, I certainly had some insecurities about having a relationship with my child's birthmother and fears that my role as mom would be always be inferior. But, now, I think of pea's birthmother daily and long for her to know how much her child is loved, that he is smart, funny, and full of joy. I long for her to know that he has her eyes and her nose. I feel a deep sadness that she cannot share in our joy of loving pea everyday. I hope that someday our paths will cross, but until that time my heart will always carry deep gratitude and grief for the woman who gave my son life. Adoption requires you to open your heart wide open, even when it feels uncomfortable, scary, and full of unknowns. Aimee also posted this poem a few days ago and it speaks beautifully to what it means, and feels like, to be an adoptive mother:

Being an Adoptive Mother…
Being an adoptive mother is not for every woman.
She must possess not only the natural mother instinct but an understanding and appreciation of the situation that brought a child into her arms making her a mother.
The adoptive family came to be by choices made, choices made by the first parents and by the adoptive parents.
This bond the adoptive mother has with her child grows over time, like the child did within his first mother’s womb.
Day by day, touch by touch, with each tear, kiss, and memory made they became a family.
Adoptive mothers have that special knack to let love grow.
Adoptive mothers know that she’s a mender of wounds, not just of the physical skinned knees with a band-aid and a kiss, but of the heart.
She gives love, acceptance, and permission to ask and talk about the day he was born and of his first parents.
Adoptive mothers are embracers, not only of the child with many hugs and kisses, but of the child’s heritage and history.
She embraces the facts of her child’s past with strength for herself and the child.
She’s not only a memory maker planning family vacations, activities, and birthday parties, but also a memory keeper.
Details of a birth, photos of the hospital, and of the parents who brought her into the world are kept along side the newspaper clipping that announced it all. All these things are kept in a special book that tells the whole story.
She’s a tier of shoelaces and of hearts.
She weaves lives together into a tapestry of a new family, with many different brightly, colored threads showcasing their individualities and family origins. Together they create one unit attached to each other.
Adoptive mothers are experts at finding lost objects, but understand and validate the profound, deep loss left by adoption.
She allows the tears to fall and grief to be felt, allowing the mourning of the mom not there.
She is secure in knowing that she’s not a replacement, but a finisher of a race for someone who, for whatever reason, could not run any longer.
This role is not for the weak of spirit, or the easily wounded.
Loving a child not born to her but calling him her own, but this is what she does, it is her calling. She is a mother.

Friday, November 6, 2009

FFF...Black and White

I haven't participated in FFF for quite awhile so I thought I would join in the fun this week!

This is absolutely one of my favorite photos of pea. The sweetness of his face and those gorgeous black eyes just makes my heart swell. I took this photo on our first visit trip when pea was 4 months old. It brings back so many emotions and memories of holding my sweet boy for the first time. It was pure joy and I feel so blessed that we have these memories with him during the time we were waiting for him to come home.

For more FFF, visit Hannah's blog HERE.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Captain Underpants

There's a big boy in da house! Give it up for Lil' Pea! Whoot! Whoot!

Actually, I am not sure whether I should be excited or sad that we are done with diapers (other than pull-ups at night.) I suppose it is a mix of both! Pea is doing amazingly well in his big boy underpants and it is definitely exciting to see him learning, growing, and finding his own sense of independence. His little personality is just blossoming, too. He has always been a little comedian, but lately EVERYTHING is funny and silly. He will do something silly and just crack himself up saying "that's funny!" Even when he is not trying to be funny, he is constantly cracking us up! He talks nonstop and the craziest things come out of his mouth! I just love it! For example, the other night Jason shaved off his moustache and pea said (in a very serious tone), "did you eat it, daddy?"

Here is silly pea showing off his new underpants. This picture is almost shocking to me...he looks so much older.

Daddy had to get in on the fun...(no, he did not coordinate the undies with his eyes!)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Elmo in a Sock

Pea has been developing a strong affection for Elmo lately. It started at the babysitter's house with the movie, Elmo in Grouchland (or something like that). Everyday, pea often says, "that man took Elmo's blankie!" (In reference to the movie) We also own Elmo potty (which, by the way, we have not changed a poopy diaper in WEEKS!!! Yes, he mastered poo before pee) and we also own Elmo visits the Firehouse. With this new affection, he has been carrying around the only Elmo toy he owns...a 3" plastic Elmo.

The other night, pea decided that Elmo needed to go poopy and pea on the potty and that Elmo needed to wear jammies. Pea started pulling out his PJ's for Elmo, but of course they were too big! So, mommy came to the rescue and found some jammies for the sock drawer. Pea was very excited and has been carrying Elmo around in a sock for about 3 days now! It is hilarious!




Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Little Chef

Pea was particularly needy and whiny tonight as I was trying to get dinner ready so I decided to ask him to help me make dinner. He LOVES "helping" in the kitchen. His newest thing pull a chair up to the counter and try to "help" by grabbing everything in sight saying "what's this?" or "what are you making, mommy?" Over and over and over...:) I usually don't mind until he starts grabbing the knives...

So, I thought he could help me make dinner by stirring something on the stove, then I decided that was a really bad idea with mr. grabby even under the closest supervision and with my haste to get dinner done. So, instead, I put him to work making his own dinner. I grabbed a bag of dried 10 bean soup that has been in the cupboard forever, gave him some measuring cups, tupperware, measuring spoons, and let him have at it. He had a blast "making dinner." He was out of my way while also feeling like he was helping me.

Starting the soup.

Carefully measuring.


Transferring from one bowl to the next with the measuring cups.

Forget the measuring cups...

Okay, so somewhere in there, pea decided his hands were sticky so he needed to move his chair over to the sink. Now, he LOVES playing with the water in the sink. So, he got a bit distracted from his soup while getting himself wet at the sink. Actually, I was shocked to discover there was hardly any water on the floor! It all ended up on his shirt. Sooooo....

off with the shirt and back to the soup (note the wet shirt draped over the chair!).

Somehow he snuck his sippy cup of water over to the soup station, opened it up, and dumped all the water into the soup (and put some beans in his cup). Well, OF COURSE! You gotta have water for soup, right?!

Amazingly, there really were not that many beans on the floor! It was pretty fun watching him play and explore while I cooked dinner. I admit, I am not really that great at coming up with creative ideas like this so I felt like a brilliant mom tonight. hehehe! No, seriously, it is hard to balance working all day while also dealing with all of the other day to day responsibilities like cooking dinner, paying bills, etc while still fitting in quality time and activities. I sometimes have those mommy guilt moments feeling like I should be providing more structured and stimulating activities for pea at home. Anyone else feel like that sometimes? What activities do you do with your toddler?

Monday, October 5, 2009

What's for dinner tonight?

Savory Crescent Chicken Squares! I scored a great deal on Pillsbury crescent rolls a few weeks ago (like FREE) with fond memories of chicken crescent rolls my mom used to make when we were growing up. I found a similar recipe online and decided to give it my own little personal spin. They are extremely easy and quick. I think they turned out pretty yummy, too!

Savory Crescent Chicken Squares

6oz of cream cheese (I used the lowfat version), softened
1tbsp butter, softened
2c. cubed cooked chicken
1/2c. frozen spinach (thawed with water squeezed out)
1/2c. chopped artichoke hearts
1/4tsp salt
1/8tsp pepper
2tbsp milk
2 cans refrigerated crescent rolls (8oz)
1tbsp butter, melted
3/4c. crushed ritz crackers

1. Heat oven to 350.
2. In medium bowl, mix cream cheese and 1tbsp of butter; beat until smooth. Add chicken, spinach, artichokes, salt, pepper, and milk. Mix well.
3. Separate dough into eight rectangles. (Firmly press the perforations of the crescents together to seal.) Spoon approximately 1/2c. of chicken into the center of each rectangle. Pull corners of dough to center of chicken mixture; twist firmly. Pinch edges to seal. Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Brush tops of squares with 1tbsp of butter; sprinkle with crushed ritz crackers.
4. Bake 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.





Sunday, October 4, 2009

Mr. Independent

Pea has officially decided that he is the boss of the house and that he can do everything himself. It's been a lot of fun at our house! "Come here, mommy." "Do this, mommy." "Go to timeout, daddy." "Nooooooooo!! I don't want to do XYZ!" For example:

Pea: I am hungry.
Me: Okay, I will fix you some lunch.
Pea: NOOOOO!! I DON'T WANT LUNCH. (crying starts)
Me: Oh! Are you hungry?
Pea: Yes.
Me: Okay. I will get you something to eat.
Pea: NOOOOO!! I DON'T WANT SOMETHING TO EAT. (more crying and some throwing to mix it up a little.)

He then kicked it up a notch with the crying and threw something across the kitchen so he had to sit in his room for a little bit. We recently started having him go to his room when he gets mad (to the point of throwing things) to calm down. It is so funny because he just runs right into his room crying and sits in the middle of the floor. AND, he will not get up until we tell him it's okay. He will just sit there and cry until it's all out of his system and then he is fine.

On the flip side, all of his sweetness far outweighs the other stuff. One of his newest things is to run in the room saying "Look who's here, mommy?" Of course, I say "Who's here?" Pea: "It's ELI!" A couple weeks ago he asked where the sun went after it went behind the clouds so I asked him where he thought the sun went. He said "It's playing hide and seek."

A couple weeks ago Pea and I had a "mommy and Eli day." These days are very rare and I really miss them! We had a lot of fun playing at the park. And, of course, Mr. Independent was not really interested in the toddler area of the park and instead had to try out the big kid area. That is so much more fun!

Walking on the ropes.

Full steam ahead!



Sunday, September 27, 2009

10 Years...then and now

Friday, 9/25, was our 10 year wedding anniversary! It's hard to believe it has already been ten years, though that time in our lives also seems like a lifetime ago. We were living in Asheville, North Carolina at the time so we were married in the mountains right outside of Asheville. It was perfect. It was very important to us that our wedding ceremony and celebration reflected who we were as a couple and as individuals so we wrote our own ceremony and vows, which made it so much more meaningful for us....and, I think, for our friends and family, too. The entire day was just perfect and it was exactly what we had dreamed about. We had a great celebration after the ceremony that was complete with a bonfire and a beautiful full moon. Who could ask for anything more?!?!

Ten years ago

Jason and I have actually been together 16 years as of this November. (Wow. Where has the time gone?) We met during my sophomore year of college. Jason had just transferred to the school that year and lived in the same dorm as me. In fact, he lived directly below me! I knew from the instant I saw him walking through our dorm that I just HAD to meet him. No if's, ands, or buts about it. I had to meet this guy! Our first conversation lasted about two hours and after our first "date" I knew he was the guy I was meant to marry. No joke! I have it documented in my journal! hehehe!

I am so lucky to be married to my best someone who understands me better than I understand myself, to someone who puts up with all of my craziness, and to someone who still makes me laugh everyday.


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

A Perfect Moment

Everyday, God gives us the sun - and also one moment in which we have
the ability to change everything...
-Paulo Coelho


Monday, September 14, 2009

I scream, You scream...

We all scream for ice cream! Pea finally discovered what the ice cream truck is all about this past weekend. He is very familiar with hearing and seeing the truck and knows that it is an ice cream truck, but...he had no idea what that really meant! The truck comes through our neighborhood regularly so we figured it was close enough to the end of summer to get a dose of the ice cream truck. (We deliberately did not do this at the beginning of summer. No need to create an ice cream truck monster too early!)

Notice the shadow? My attempt to be in the picture!


Shadow Family

Dora ice cream. Pea loves Dora. I think more than Diego, but not as much as the Backyardigans!


Trying to get some of daddy's ice cream.