Wednesday, January 30, 2013


I'm beginning to think Sophia's second favorite room in the house is the bathroom (first favorite when there's a bath involved).  I bring her in there when I need to use the facilities, and let her roam around.  She generally goes one of two places: the tub to pull up and "jump" or the drawers.  The bottom drawer, and most accessible one (duh!) holds washrags.  Completely unintentionally, mind you, because they have lived there for quite some time.  However, it worked out well, since the most baby-accessible drawer is already baby safe.  The second drawer is now becoming reachable, though, and it's not exactly baby proof.  We're not talking knives and lighters unsafe, but hair accessories, including bobby pins unsafe.  Chocking hazards and such.  

Examining the selection

Preparing to open the second drawer

Getting better leverage...
I try to stop her before she actually gets the drawer open so I don't have to fish anything out of her mouth.  Like her buckets, she likes excavating the washrags in the bottom drawer, so it's generally not too hard to distract her.

Another favorite activity of hers is to dive-bomb my keyboard whenever I have a computer out.  She loves the sound the keys make, and she is amazingly good at peeling the keys off on my keyboard.  Ugh.  When bonus sister the first and I have our skype dates, with Sophia's presence required unless she's sleeping, Sophia will send cryptic messages to bonus sister.  It's quite amusing from the video end, too, as you'll be watching her, and all of a sudden hear furious typing and just see the top of her head.  Messages generally look something like this: "DIndddddddddddddddddddddddddddd      ,,................lkm,mm,,m,,,,,,,,,"  Top secret code stuff.  And, yes, she can make capital letters.  And hang up on bonus sister by turning off my wireless.  Very smart, that one.  So, knowing this, I told Jordan that he should bring her a keyboard of her own.  Which he finally was able to do.  He even cut the cord and disinfected it for her.  Isn't he awesome?

Typing secret messages 

Checking the solid-ness of these keys.  Unfortunately they do not come off. (well, she's sad.  I'm not.)

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

A girl and her dog

Sophia is a very curious little girl, and with her increasing mobility, is increasingly able to get into stuff I don't want her in explore her surroundings.  She is also fiercely independent.  No clue where she got that from.....  Anyway, I keep toys she can play with (as opposed to, say, plastic bags and dust bunnies, which she thinks make awesome toys) in her baskets from Mimi on ground level.  I think half the fun for her is just pulling everything out, and not necessarily playing with what she pulled out.  Except her crinkle dollar!!  Holy bajeezus does she love her crinkle dollar.  It's a fabric dollar that has a plastic material inside that crinkles.  A baby-safe plastic bag noise!  She'll crawl around her room (and, let's be honest, down the hallway) with it in her hand, keep it in her hand when she pulls up on boxes, plays with it when you change get the idea.  

Excavating her basket

Notice the excavation around her. Intensely concentrating on that block...

I'm not supposed to eat my stacker snowman's head?  Why not?

Okay, fine.  Block it is.

However, with all her exploring and independence, she's got a very watchful shadow.  One that is always happy to see her (albeit a bit too excited for my liking sometimes), inspects anyone who comes to see her, and is never far from her side.  Her shadow has a special spot in Sophia's room, and she knows that it's her spot...she even brings her toys there so she can chew on them while she's watching Sophia.  I am, of course, talking about Priss, our pom rescue.

Her spot, watching over Sophia

We call her our sorry excuse of a dog, because I'm pretty sure at least two, if not three, of our cats outweigh her, and most of them can beat her up.  And, because our other two dogs are 75+ lbs.  However, don't let her size fool you...she forgets she's little.  On at least one occasion she has stood up to one of the big boys, preventing him from coming in the kitchen where Sophia was in her swing.  Jake (big boy #2) escaped Jordan when he was letting him in, and decided to run up to the kitchen.  Priss let him know that he would not be going in there, and he decided that was probably the best plan.

My nap buddies.

She may be little, and make me feel the need to refer to her as a "dog" rather than a dog, but I kinda like her.  Sophia does too.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Geek out moment

When you see this picture, what is the first thing that pops into your head:

For me, it was: "OMG!!  A shockwatch sticker!!  The green ones are 100G indicators, certain injury, probable death zone for humans!!"  followed quickly by "....I watch too much mythbusters....."

Thursday, January 24, 2013


I have a confession: I love food (except beans.  Beans are not food....they are icky poo poo).  I enjoy eating food, and I particularly love to eat good food.  I am quite fortunate to be married to someone who enjoys baking, because I have negative patience for it.  "I have to add stuff to my box mix?!  What the heck?"  or, "Why does it matter what order I add the ingredients, or who gets mixed with who first?  They're all getting mixed together anyway!"  or, "Ugh!  I have to bake 2 more batches of these?  That's, like, 20 whole minutes!"  See?  Not very patient.  Cooking, however, I love to do.  Especially grilling.  I am also lucky to have a grill master in my family (anything my dad puts on the grill comes out ah-mazing).  

So, I have decided to do an upgrade to my Susie Homemaker skills, and start cooking more.  Because, let's face it, food is good, good food is better, and good food at home is best and cheaper!  So, thank you Pinterest for giving me ideas!  I have a few staples I make, and I'll play around a little bit (Balsamic venison over fettuccine with an alfredo sauce anyone?).   But, I am generally unwilling to get obscure ingredients (nutmeg from the jar is just fine, thank you very much), so I have found pinterest to be a better source of recipes than, say, Food Network.  What I find on Food Network I'll generally modify a bit prior to cooking to suit my ingredient list/time/attention span.

So, without further ado, recipe numero uno:  Breakfast burritos!  I followed this one pretty much exactly, using 8 eggs and "burrito size" tortillas.  I was quite surprised at how little grease the sausage gave...I actually had to add a little oil for the hashbrowns.  And, I'll let you in on a hint:  don't make these before you've eaten'll want to eat everything RIGHT THEN rather than making your burritos to freeze.  Anywho, I managed to get 9 decent-sized burritos out of the batch, and they are quite the tasty!  They freeze well (wrap in plastic wrap, then put in freezer bags) and heat up again handily, and quickly!  I've been doing much better about eating breakfast with these (that's another goal of cooking more...making sure I eat more regularly!), and I'm not starving a few hours later.  One thing I will change is to add some onions the next time, but that's personal taste.  Sorry I don't have any pictures (the link has some pictures, just imagine me doing that)....I can barely remember to take regular pictures of Sophia, much less my food.  If you'd like pretty pictures of food, check out bonus seester's blog....she has pretty food pictures, funny posts, and some yummy sounding ideas.

Speaking of child photos, more nakie pictures to embarrass her with when she brings her first boyfriend home at 30.  She's been on an antibiotic for an ear infection, which led (the antibiotic, not the ear infection) to her getting a yeast infection and quite the sore butt.  So, since nakie time is not allowed at daycare (understandably so), we've been having nakie time at home to air out the region.  It's generally advisable to give little ones nakie time anyway, but especially with sore butts.  We just lay down a towel on her floor, and let her play as usual.  

Fresh out of the bath!

Kinda blurry, but love the curl!

Washed out (darn you camera flash!).  Loving her cup.  

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

New favorite noise and other assorted newish items

Sophia's new favorite noise is "pthbbb."  Or, as we call it, blowing raspberries.  She also really enjoys making the "farting" noise by putting her open mouth on exposed skin and blowing.  Always a guaranteed giggle.  Also, a wonderful sleep-stalling technique.  And, since little miss difficult has been clingy and quick to pop back up once I put her down, we've been doing some co-sleeping if she gets up in the middle of the night.  It's just easier on all parties involved....she gets buffet access and mommy cuddles, I get my sleep and extra baby cuddles, we both win.

Sound (haven't caught her face yet) of raspberries.  She now knows what a camera is, and that it's really fun to reach for and try to play with.  I will get it one of these days, though. CAUTION: you will see my belly.  Watch at your own risk, and be advised that by reading this agreement, you hereby forfeit your right to sue me because my glow-in-the-dark belly blinded you.

She has also added a new favorite food from our favorite restaurant (A&Ts chicken....Ah-mazing!): Yucas!  Yucas, for those of you who don't know, are like a starchier potato, and super yummy.  They are fried (I know, bad mommy award right here, giving fried foods to my little one already), but in my defense, they are not greasy and the way she eats them she ends up just getting to the juicy centers rather than too much of the fried outside.  Yucas, however, do not work as well as leftovers, as the cold versions break off pieces that are large enough to make me nervous.  I am going to try roasting some carrots tonight and seeing what she thinks of those.  So far, she has enjoyed anything she can hold on to and feed herself, so I'm hopeful.  Maybe we can add some veggies to her diet finally!  

Yummy yuca!  And, look: perfect size for little hands to hold.  Especially little hands that don't have the fine motor skills of a pincer grasp yet.

I like this. 

om nom nom

And! Super excited to have finally been able to start selling some of the arts-and-crafts I make.  A wonderful local photographer (Gitchell's photography) has been ordering some, and a few people at work have asked for custom things, too.  Yay!

My stressed out co-traveller.  

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Shelf (finally!)

I am proud to announce that I have FINALLY finished the shelf I have been intending to make for, oh, 3 months now.  It goes above Sophia's dresser to prevent a squirmy, curious baby from shoving her lotion/wipes/cream/etc onto the floor.  I originally saw the design on pinterest for a laundry room, and thought that I could make that for her room rather than going out and buying one, or at least the brackets for one.  I already had the scrap lumber laying around.  And, added bonus!  I got to use my new router/router table.  Which, of course, meant I had to get that set up.  

In case anyone had a burning desire to know how exactly I made said shelf, here ya go:

Step 1: cut wood for brackets/supports.  I had two, so double the pieces seen here.  The diagonal cuts are 45 degrees (yay miter saw!)

Step 2: Paint (or stain if you'd rather) the bracket pieces.  See?  Two.  I advise painting/staining first, since once they're together you'll have icky angles to try and shove your color into.

Step 3: Drill pilot holes.  Especially necessary at the top.  Maybe not so much in the middle, but helpful anyway.  The two at the top are for joining the two legs into the 90 degree angle part.

Step 4: Start your screws.  Okay, so this step is optional, but I think it makes things easier.

Step 5: Finish screwing pieces together.  That's why it makes it easier.  Try balancing those suckers together and putting a screw through them.  Not easy.

Step 6: Attach "legs" to shelf (shelf is upside down here...and I suppose I should have mentioned earlier to cut/edge a board for a shelf....whoopsie)  I also started the screws for the wall "legs."  Again, because it's easier.

Step 7:  Make sure shelf is level, and attach to wall!  Mr. Monkey is helping hold this one up.

Step 8: Attach extra support pieces.  I waited until now so I wouldn't be fighting weird spaces when trying to attach bracket to shelf/wall

Still step 8, just a different shot.  And a pretty sweet shot of the edging on the shelf.

Step 9: Accessorize!  Baby stuff safely out of reach, and shelf is high enough that Sophia can't reach/whack her head on it.  Yet.  

Voila!  A shelf!  It really shouldn't have taken as long as it did, but I am just now figuring out how to do stuff while the only adult at home.  Only took me 7.5 months....  And, the draw to snuggle and/or play with the little one is pretty strong.  But, luckily, she can self entertain, so I may have done most of the putting-together of this (okay, all of it) in her room while she played.  Hey, whatever works, right?  She wasn't allowed to play with the sharp pointy things, so I figure we're good.

Sophia "helping" by playing with the bag the screws are in.  I swear, that girl is magnetically attracted to the sound of plastic bags.

Oh, hey need these?  Are you sure about that?

Friday, January 18, 2013

Snow is pretty and all that, and I don't mind driving in it when it's just me.  I abhor driving in it when there are other drivers on the road, even more on the highway, and mostest of all in/near drivers who have no clue how to drive in the snow.  Lucky me, I got to experience all of this the other day.  But, I also got to experience gignormous snowflakes (seriously, they were 2" big), pretty sure I saw lightning snow, and had a really pretty part of my commute this morning.  So I can only complain but snow much (hehe...see what I did there?)

Headed up the mountain

Blurry view of snow/ice out my window

Ice covered trees!

Quite the lovely.  

On a totally unrelated note, Sophia says she really likes the bread bonus seester served with dinner last night.  So, I sent some to daycare with her.  We'll see how that goes.  She's getting quite good at eating what she serves herself.  Still no luck with me feeding her.  What I will probably end up doing is smearing baby food on bread and letting her eat it.  Tricksy, tricksy mommy....

And, if you haven't laughed yet today, here's a funny article on sleep training (babies are people, not dogs.  Don't sleep train them!!!  They cry at night for a reason, not to be evil, manipulative little beings)

And, done with my ADD article....Squirrel!...for the day.  Sorry.

Furniture safety

I read a blog post recently, that someone had posted the link to on facebook, and by the time I was, oh, two paragraphs in, there were tears.  It was one of the hardest things I had to read: a mom losing her 3 year old daughter after she pulled her dresser over on herself.  In this post, 8 years after the fact, she speaks about her passion for educating others to secure their furniture  even the pieces that you don't think can be pulled over.  It's not only toddlers that can die via falling furniture, kids can, too.  And, physics is a cruel master ("Gravity, it's the law! ~Adam Savage, mythbuster extraordinaire): levers are wonderful things when you want something to move (think crowbars....or butter knives improperly used).  However, they work both ways: they can help move things you'd rather not want moved.  Some famous dead dude (Archimedes) said given a long enough lever, he could move the world.  So, even though little ones are little, it's amazing what the leverage of a pulled out drawer can do.

The author went on to say that she gets quite annoyed when people who know of her story still have the "it can't happen to me" attitude, and have unsecured furniture.  After reading this, I vowed to go home (we were in Charlotte at the time) and bolt all movable furniture to the walls: her dresser, the entertainment center, her bookshelf (the big ones are already bolted to the walls), etc.  However, I have to admit it didn't happen immediately.  Life got in the way.  But, she's pulling up on everything, and I was afraid she'd try her dresser sooner than later, with potential bad things happening.  So, I am proud to report that her dresser is now secure!  I tested it with my full weight, on the far edge, and no movement occurred   I am happy with that (I'm no featherweight, so supporting my full weight means something).

Here's how we chose to do it, anybody that has bitties in their house NEEDS to secure their furniture (yes, even if it's too big/tall/short/heavy to fall over).

Step one:  go to a hardware store (or, I'm sure your local Wally World may have these) and purchase 1.5" (minimum) "L" shaped brackets.  Depending on your needs, get one or more bracket per side.  Luckily, these suckers generally come in packs of two.  Also depending on needs, you may want to get longer sides.  But, be careful that there's not an inner "curve", otherwise it may not sit flush with your furniture (see exhibit A, side the left below...if the inner side was curved, I couldn't sit the dresser flush with the bracket)

Side the left: Attached this way due to location of dresser and molding for the closet.

Side the right: attached this way for two reasons: less measuring for me, and I could.

It's easier to attach both brackets to the furniture first, then shove it up against the wall and attach to the wall.  However, due to space restrictions, you may have to attach to the wall first, then to furniture.  Measure carefully if this is the case.  Also, be aware of any sharp corners when placing the brackets.  Lastly, aim for studs if possible, or get drywall anchors if not.  And use more brackets if they're just in drywall.

Finished product:

Side the right, attached to the wall.  Neither picture is amazing, but you get the idea:  nice, secure dresser.

There are also commercially available straps/kits you can use.  It all depends on your comfort level.  The above project took a whopping 15 minutes and the most advanced tool I used was a screwdriver (I could have gotten the drill out, but that would have been more work than it saved).  Don't forget about your TVs if they're on tables or anything that can be tipped....there's straps and such for that.  I don't advise screwing a bracket into your TV....

Next up, screwing her bookshelf to the wall, and bolting the living daylights out of the entertainment center.  I think that thing would kill me if it fell on's a beast.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Here and there

I would like to start off saying I cannot believe I didn't put the first two pictures up earlier!!  Gah!  While in Charlotte, we went to a super fancy mall (it has a Burberry's and a Tiffany's, and other snobby high-dollar brand stores that I don't remember the names of).  What did we end up purchasing at said fancy mall?  A 99-cents pair of sunglasses for Sophia.  Duh.

We train them young around here.

Rock star.

Sophia thinks that socks were put on her feet for the sole purpose of her entertainment while pulling them off.   When she's in her car seat, that's the first thing she goes for.  She's also gotten into the habit, while in said seat, of putting un-wanted items out of her way.  Exhibit A is below.

I count 3 pairs of socks and a toy.

One sock got pulled off before nap time took over.

The best thing?  She'll sometimes decide that she actually wasn't quite done with the toy she disposed of, and ask for it back.  Thank goodness I was blessed with long monkey arms, and can usually oblige.  When she tosses stuff off the other side (not as often, interestingly), she's outta luck.  I got monkey arms, not inspector gadget arms.

Her other favorite thing to do now is play with shoes.  Especially "Croc" brand shoes.  Just ask my BIL...she chased him around for his shoes.  And then looked for the shoes when he took them off and threw them partially behind a chair.  I'm fine with her playing with them (they're not covered in dog poo or anything).  I am not fine, however, with her trying to eat them.  Disclaimer: I own a pair because I work in aquatics.  I do not wear them out in public otherwise.

Deep in play.

Oh, hey mom.  What's that?  Don't eat what?

Oh!  This? I wouldn't dream of it.

Video updates

I was going to go back and put these in the posts where they belong, but I figured I'd just do a video post.  These are from the drive to Charlotte, the science museum there, and some "talking" in the morning.

1) "Talking", and general active time on mom and dad's bed.
2) During the drive down to Charlotte: playing with her soda bottle.
3) Playing (or being tortured by, your pick) in the wind blowers with seester
4) Fish videos:  looking at them and trying to catch them.


Saturday, January 12, 2013

A photo Christmas

I realized going through these that we only have pictures from Christmas morning with Jordan's family, and none from lunch or when my family fail!  But, I think mom may have gotten some pictures, and maybe, if she'll send them to me (hint, hint), I can put them up here, too!  I have also learned that hints delivered via the blog get very nice results, as I got these pictures soon after I put up the Christmas post, but it's my fault they are late in going slipped my mind with all the traveling/working/school-ing I've been doing.  Blog-fail.

PopPop: the hander-outer of the presents 

Bree, quite excited about the presents.

Which to choose first....

Helping Nana open hers

Helping Bree open her present that Jordan TAPED shut.  Jerkface.  But, please notice my rocking bracelet made by Bree.  Love it!

Nail polish!  And, quick-drying! (you're welcome mom)

Barn toy

Trying to get those animals out

Bree wanted to help her play.  Sophia loves Bree.

No, my child is not drugged.  But, notice the toy of choice: my bag of almond hershey kisses.  Not her barn. not the cups, or blocks.  Hershey kisses.  That child...

Yup...still playing with my chocolate
Trying to interest her in helping to open up a present.  Not having any of it.  That girl loves chocolate as much as her dad, it would seem.

Did I hear a plastic bag in there?

Clothes!  (and my awesome bracelet!)

This bag is cool, Nana!

Trying to interest her in an age-appropriate toy.  Or, something that is intended to be a toy.

Box with books!  The box is clearly a toy!

Again with the chocolate....

Really cool book!  You move the plastic pieces at the top from one side to the other as the story progresses.  Can't wait to read that one with her when she's older and can move the pieces.  We still read, but now it's a game of how fast can mommy read before I turn the page.  Mommy likes the books with one word per page....

Santa (aka, Nana and PopPop) was generous!


...but thinking of checking out this box again.

Close the lid...

Open the lid!


Bree came over to play

Catching sight of Bree...

Hey, where ya goin'?

Toys are out, and being played with!  Yummy cow...


Here, get a close-up

Closer....let me help with that focus
Still not right..

Finally!  A shot of daddy and Sophia!

Looking at the pull-the-handle-and-hear-the-noises toy.

And the cow from the barn

Family picture! (Sophia poo'd herself and was asleep here)