Monday, August 29, 2011

My Noisy Mind

After a really stressful morning of work (and a pretty meager lunch), I decided I deserved a short walk to quiet my mind and get rid of some of the stress.  I was sure a dose of Vitamin D via the sun and some fresh air would really help.

You see, my brain doesn't get quiet very often.  I've always got multiple to-do lists swimming around in there as well as detailed thoughts about the more important topics.  My work has really, really picked up (which explains my lack of blogging) with a very large project going live one week from tomorrow.  I'm finalizing testing, taking screenshots, and preparing training materials and records.  I get overwhelmed very easily and find myself needing a break from the sheer noise of it all.  Thus, the walk.

I stepped out the door and was greeted by more noise than I was experiencing inside my office.  There was a loud roar overhead and when I looked up, I saw the Goodyear Blimp.  Once I started to block that noise out, I heard the passing cars, then people on cell phones, then jack hammers in the construction zones, and then those damned cicadas.  A quiet walk?  I wish.  It still helped me relax a bit and the sun was refreshing, but it definitely wasn't any quieter than my mind!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

At 2 Years

At 2 years, Baby Girl can:

Say her ABCs
Count to 20 (sometimes missing 13 and sometimes missing 16)
Sometimes count to 29
Speak in full sentences (longest word count I've had is 7 words, but I don't count most of the time)
Spell her whole first name
Spell the names of most of her daycare friends
Write her first initial
Recognize some letters (I don't know which ones or how many at this point)
Sing lots of songs--her best ones are Jesus Loves Me, ABCs, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Baa Baa Black Sheep, Mary Had a Little Lamb, and most of Carmen Ohio
Go up stairs without holding on
Go down stairs without holding on (very recent development closer to 25 months)
Ask many, many questions: "What you doing here, Daddy?"  "What's that?"  "What's that sound?" (while holding her hand out like she's trying to listen, only with her hand in front of her ear)
Know that green means go and red means stop
Know that a red hand means don't walk
Do extended pretend play
Go potty all day with few accidents (2-3 per week)

At 2 years, Baby Girl loves....

Mommy at bedtime
Daddy at playtime
Baby dolls
Her doll house
Being tickled, so much that she asks for it
Mimicking Mommy and Daddy (putting babies in timeout, etc.)
Being polite--she says "excuse me", "thank you" (which is now turning into "thanks"), "I'm sorry", "please"
Food--she's still a great eater (knock on wood)
Singing with Mommy
Mickey Mouse Clubhouse
Special Agent Oso
Marching bands
Goldfish crackers
Anything sweet
Wearing big girl panties
Daddy's iPhone
Rough housing with Daddy
Drinking milk
Jelly toast

At 2 years, Baby Girl dislikes...

Going to bed (although it's getting better)
Taking time out to go pee
Being told "no"
Anytime she feels like she isn't independent
Listening (I'm sure I say "Are you listening to Mommy?" at least 10 times per day)
Time out
Sitting still
Riding in the car

At 2 years, Baby Girl is:

28 lbs (60th percentile (!))
33.25 in (40th percentile)

(Letter to Baby Girl forthcoming...)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

I Love You

These three words are really common in our house.  The Hubby and I say "I love you" every time we hang up the phone, whenever we part ways for the day, and sometimes just whenever.  We tell Baby Girl that we love her all the time.  

And now she's telling us back.

For awhile, it was "I you" whenever we said it first.  But now she's giving us hugs and looking up at us, unprompted, and saying, "I love you, Mommy".  And my heart melts every single time.

The other day I was crying because I was frustrated with her TWO-ness and she looked at me and said, "Mommy sad?"  I told her that I was frustrated and a little sad.  She wrapped her little arms around my neck and said, "I love you, Mommy" and my tears turned to tears of joy.  I gave her a big smile through my tears and told her that I loved her, too.  

I know someday she's going to tell me that she hates me and when that moment comes, I'm going to remember these moments, this little voice, saying "I love you, Mommy".

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Meal Plan: 8/14-8/20

Let's face it, blogging has officially been pushed to the back burner in my life.  Work has been worse than I think anyone could imagine, making me stressed out every moment that I'm awake (thankfully I'm not one of those people whose sleep suffers when they're stressed).  I have been wanting to tell you all about Baby Girl and how wonderful she is--because she really is--her official 2-year-old posts, and now to tell you about our vacation that we returned from Friday the 12th.  I wish I could say vacation was a great way to recharge my batteries, but it really wasn't the case.  But it was nice to get away and it was priceless to spend that much time with Baby Girl.

Anyway, something that remains constant is my meal planning.  I may not stick to it all week, but money has had me pretty stressed out recently, so we've been making a more concerted effort to eat the food we've already bought.  I made this plan this morning while Baby Girl played (almost a first, honestly) and then she and I went to the grocery.  She was a big help, counting green peppers and corn on the cob with me.  I was actually happy to have her along.

So even if I can't make the time to post about all the other things I want to, I can post my already-made weekly meal list so you all know I'm still around.  I don't really know what night we'll have each thing, but know that I want to do a lot of grilling to have cooked chicken for a couple of the dishes when we have grilled chicken for dinner. 

BBQ Chicken Pizza (the basis for this recipe is this but I don't get that complicated anymore--this is a meal we need pre-cooked chicken for)

Smoked Sausage Pierogi Bake:  I'm going to lighten this up with smoked turkey sausage, fat free cream cheese, and reduced fat cheese.  It honestly shouldn't be nearly as unhealthy as it looks :)  And it looks delicious.  In fact, we might have it tonight.

Unstuffed Pepper Skillet: I have some steamer bags of rice that will work well for this recipe and I saw that my grocery had green peppers for $0.50 apiece (plus I have a few that might come out of my own garden soon).  Now I just need to see if all of my frozen ground turkey applies to the recall...

Grilled Chicken and Corn on the Cob w/ rice: Simple and yummy.  I have some marinade that I'll use on the chicken that we'll eat that night and then grill some extra for other meals.

Chicken Pasta Primavera: a recipe that uses some of the veggies I'm growing (summer and zucchini squashes), some of the many boxes of pasta I've got in my basement, and chicken that was on sale for $1.88/lb this week.

Smoked Sausage Pizza: When I saw that the Smoked Sausage Pierogi Bake didn't use a whole package of smoked sausage and realized that I'd have an extra pizza crust (I buy the Kroger brand pre-baked crusts that come two to a package and are still cheaper than Boboli's one crust), I knew I needed to find something that used those ingredients.  And when I realized that this recipe also used green peppers, I was sold.  Never tried it before, but it looks yummy and my whole family will eat any type of pizza.