Sunday, March 31, 2013

Whoot!

   I don't get to sleep in. I'm not sure why. I'm a morning person, I guess, and the dog wakes me up to be let out even if I try, so sleeping in for me is *usually* no later than 9:30. Today I woke up at 9, let Ray out, got him some food, ate a snack, and whipped up some raspberry white chocolate meringues to take to the Easter potluck. They are in the oven drying out as I write this. I did two loads of dishes, and started getting ready to go. It's only 11 right now. Productive morning so far.
   Brandon is lucky, he is capable of sleeping in when he doesn't have to work. He's always been a night owl though. I much prefer to be in bed no later than 1am, and he'll stay up until dawn. Last night we were up until 3ish watching The Watch, which was awesome. It was so silly and just entertaining.
   Cooper is on his way home. We have a bunch of Easter goodness for him. We're not religious, but we celebrate the holidays for fun anyway. I love any excuse to spoil my baby. He is such a good baby, after all, and he deserves to be spoiled and doted on and loved to infinity and back. I feel like I can never give him enough good food, praise, hugs and kisses, or trips to the park.
   I just got back from welcoming my Cooper home. He ran up to me and said, "I missed you Mommy!" Then he plopped down on my lap in the middle of the walkway to the porch and told me all about his Easter at his grandparents and about Buzz Lightyear. When we finally made it inside he ran into the bedroom and started screaming, "Daddy, wake up! It's Easter Bunny! Wake up, Daddy! I missed you!" It was pretty much the perfect start to the day. We opened all of his Easter stuff and he sampled everything, and shot us with his new water gun. Now he and Brandon are in the shower getting all clean for the potluck. This may very well be the best Easter I've ever had. I'm so glad I have that little boy. He makes everything so fun and exciting. Cheap plastic eggs filled with candy and stickers? HOLY CRAP THEY ARE AMAZING! Hahaha!
   I'm going to go style my hair and do a little make-up. Winter is over and I feel so pretty in the sun, so I'm going to play on that today and just feel good and have a fantastic day with my boys.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

My most glorious cousin is easily the coolest person ever.

   She found me an actual gaming mouse, in a soft, girly pink, corded (important to me), made specifically for small hands. I think I am in love with her and we need to get married. Brandon is ordering my new mouse on Thursday.
   Now back to real life. Cooper is going to be home at some point today, and I have yet to do anything productive. That's how it's going to stay. I'm going to play some video games with my man, hang out in my underwear and t-shirt, and eat junk food.

Friday, March 29, 2013

I... AM A GIRL! *weeps softly*

   I really am though. I love bows, lace, ruffles, pearls, gold, and pink. That's not to say that's ALL I am. Realistically I am kind of a tomboy and a badass. I love going shooting and muddin', I grew up riding horses and four-wheelers, I can catch, gut, and properly cook fish, pluck, gut, and cook up birds, I love camping, and I LOVE playing video games. I like concerts, dive bars (even though I don't drink), playing in the dirt, hiking, and before Cooper was born my best friend and I would go long boarding once a week to get her dog out. I wasn't good at it, but it was fun and I liked it. I liked snowboarding, too, but I was dismal at that. All that being said, I am still a girly girl. I prefer dresses to pants any day of the week, like looking pretty, and just so happen to love the color pink. Which is where I have a problem.
   Finding pink stuff that isn't hideous hot pink is hard enough given my more masculine hobbies. I prefer petal pink, that soft, effervescent pink that is reminiscent of tutus and pink roses. The kind of pink that just looks... feminine. I go through these phases where I'm obsessed with a color and it has to be just right. For a solid year and a half it was mustard yellow. Now it's pink.
   Brandon and I are slowly working on upgrading our computers. I really want to start playing more competitively, and he just likes having nice things (who doesn't?), so to do that we need to start slowly upgrading one thing at a time. Right now while we're catching up on bills and saving for the baby, we're upgrading the small things. Peripherals. Brandon already got a really nice SteelSeries mouse, and I was supposed to get one next.Unfortunately, no one makes pink. There are a couple hot pink mice, and even petal pink mice from Logitech and Microsoft, but that's not an upgrade from what I have, and I wanted something really nice. I've never had anything really lovely that was mine first as far as electronics go. At least, not since the purple Gameboy Advance I got for my birthday when I was 13. I love the mouse Brandon got. It fits my teeny tiny little hands perfectly, it's weighted just right in the back, and it's very sleek. No excess buttons. Nothing close to it comes in the color I so desperately want. SteelSeries makes headphones in the color I'm looking for, so those are on my list, but it's just so frustrating.
   The closest I've found is a discontinued mouse on eBay called the Iron Lady, also SteelSeries. It's the color I want, but it's a bigger mouse, with an annoying contour, and extra buttons. It's MUCH bigger than this one. Almost an inch wider and half and inch longer. It's ugly, bulky, and I hate everything about it other than the color. I seriously do not understand how it's possible that I'm the only woman that plays video games, that also likes girly things. This is not ok.
   Ok. I'm done venting now. I just got really frustrated and don't really have a lot of people to talk to about it, so internet, you now get the brunt of my whining. Enjoy that.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Whiny butt!

   That is what I have been calling my child in my head. Outwardly, I'm normal and it's business as usual, but inside I'm contemplating eating my child. He's just been so discontent lately. He's been whining about everything. EVERYTHING. He wants a banana? He whines about wanting a banana. He is cold? He whines for a blanket. I keep asking him why he's so cross, but he doesn't know. It's been DAYS of this. It's getting to the point where I'm not acknowledging him until he speaks to me like my sane, reasonable baby. I know he's only 2, but he's never been a whiner, and I would really prefer to encourage good behavior, so when he's calm and asks nicely he gets rewarded with my attention and the things he is asking for.
   I've been wondering if he's tired or something, and have tried getting him down for his naps and to bed on time, but he just stays up and plays anyway. It's been frustrating. I'm seriously hoping it's just another weird phase.
   I'm sleepy. I'm really hoping Cooper takes a nap today so that I can as well. I stay up so late with Brandon and then wake up with Cooper, and I'm just pooped. My wonderful husband drinks Redbull at work, but I can't have a ton of caffeine, so I'm pretty much SOL. I should really just start going to bed without him at night so I get a reasonable amount of sleep. Cooper is back on a normal schedule, so he wakes up pretty early, around 8:30 most days. I stay up with Brandon until one or two AM most nights. Before I got pregnant, that was enough. Now it's not. Time to adjust.
   Allergy season is upon us! Seasonal allergies are the pits. On the plus side, that means the best season is right around the corner. I am so excited for summer. I want to go swimming and eat sno-cones. I want to take my kiddo to the park every day, at any given time of day. I want to go camping and fishing this year, since I don't start classes again until fall. I'm going to do a semester online so I can be home with my babies and still get stuff done to work for the future. It's going to be hard, but doable.
   Baby has been moving a lot lately. Still nothing like Cooper did. Brandon hasn't even been able to feel it yet, and we're at 24 weeks, 3 days. It's getting closer and closer, and we're so far behind where I wanted to be as far as being prepared. It's upsetting. I think for Brandon it's scary to start buying things and setting everything up. It becomes more real. We need to have everything ready, though. We need to save for the baby furniture and start planning on buying the big ticket items that I KNOW no one is going to get for the baby shower, assuming anyone gets anything. If they don't, that's ok, but I plan on waiting to get the little stuff until after just in case we do get some of the stuff on our registry. I'm getting pretty stressed out about having everything accomplished.
   I don't think I'm going to get to have a garden again this year. Which is unfortunate. It's not the end of the world, but it bums me out. I wanted to grow heirloom tomatoes and other veggies, strawberries, and maybe some melons, herbs, and lots of peppers. Not going to happen, I think. We need the money elsewhere, and I'm basically starting from scratch since I lost most of what little gardening stuff I had in all the moves. I'm hoping I can find some cheap planters and go for it anyway, since the last time I had a garden it just wasn't up to par and I need a fresh start and love making things grow. I've never been into flowers, but I LOVE growing things my boys can eat. We ARE getting a grill this year. And some patio furniture, probably from the Youth Ranch or something. I want to make use of the front porch. It is the house's best feature, and in the evenings it's cooler out there than inside, so having a little grill and place to sit will make dinner time a lot less painful. I see many a grilled chicken, kebab, burger, pizza, and other various delicious meals we can come up with in our future. I was thinking about hanging some mesh fabric over the open "windows" on our porch and getting a screen door from my dad to keep the flies off the porch. It wouldn't be difficult to do, and it would make summer much more pleasant.
   My son is being a cranky boy, so it's time for me to get off the computer and do something fun with him. I'm thinking make cookies or maybe color.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Because of farts.

   "That's part of why I love you! I can't fart around anyone but you, and I know you will love me even though I have stinky farts."
     -Brandon, my darling husband. And yes, that is an actual quote, right after he bent over and farted at the side of my face, inducing a minor asthma attack and my rage.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Sometimes I can't help it...

...I need to feed my addiction. Today I've eaten 3 oranges, a banana, 4 kiwis, some watermelon, and some blackberries. My mouth is numb from all the acid, but it was worth it.
   Not having dairy has been an adjustment, especially since we used to have root beer floats almost every night. Fruit is my replacement for my favorite dairy-based desserts, you know, the cheesecakes, chocolate and banana cream pies, milkshakes, floats, ice cream, Nutella... you get the idea. It's probably a LOT healthier for me. I'm craving sweets, and fruit keeps me from eating a ton of candy and cookies that I really don't need. Plus vitamin C helps with iron absorption.
   Cooper is all sorts of congested today. He's in a good mood though, and isn't acting as if he has a sore throat or anything, so I'm just keeping an eye on him and wiping his nose regularly and taking wipes to his face every now and then to keep it from getting goopy. He hasn't had much energy today, which had been nice. I didn't get much sleep last night. Starcraft 2: Heart of the Swarm came out a few days ago and my husband got the collector's edition. He's been staying up WAYYYY too late playing it. I usually fall asleep on the couch by about 1am waiting for him, then he moves me into bed whenever he's done. Between coughing all night, having to get up to pee all the time, and Cooper waking up at all hours getting me out of bed to tuck him back in, I'm pretty wiped out. I don't know what the deal is with him waking up in the middle of the night, but I'm not digging it.
   I'm thinking about letting Cooper go to my dad's for a night. He hasn't been over there in a long time. Brandon and I could use some extra sleep. I just don't like letting him stay there overnight. He comes back with a terrible attitude. He doesn't get that way when he stays with my mom, or Brandon's family. They love him, and I don't know if they are moving away this summer, but I want him to spend time with them if they do end up going. It's just frustrating to get my little boy back after a night or two and have him FLIP OUT for at least a day. Not sure what to do.
   I know we're out of milk and juice as of right now, so I have to walk Cooper to the store now. It's unfortunate the weather is so mucky today. I would have loved a bright and sunny day.
   Baby hasn't moved much today. That always gets to me a little bit. I'm hoping Baby gets more active today. I like feeling those healthy little movements. It's reassuring.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Holy illness!

   Whatever I caught is nasty! My voice is completely gone. I've gone through 2 boxes of Puffs Extra Soft and Strong. I've had a fever off and on for 2 days. Brandon and Cooper can both take stuff to help. I cannot. Brandon can chug Redbull and get through the day. I cannot. I want to crawl into bed and hide under the cover like a hibernating bear, but no. I get up, make breakfast, morning snuggles, play with Cooper, who got sick for all of 5 minutes, ate a few popsicles and was fine, make lunch, feed the dog, put Cooper down for a nap, do some dishes, work on the diapering project, throw together a craft or baking activity for when Cooper wakes up, make a snack for him, wake him up, play time, snack time, bath time, get Cooper dressed, start dinner, sit down for a few minutes with Cooper and wait for Brandon to get home, go for a nightly walk, eat dinner, help Cooper brush his teeth, change his clothes for bed, tuck in, kiss him and ALL of his stuffed toys and his light up sword, take care of the dog, play a game of LoL, and it's after midnight before I get to sleep.
   Moms everywhere deserve a certificate for busting tail when sick. Sometimes I decide to just take a lazy day and watch an episode of something during Cooper's nap, go to the bathroom without interruption, maybe take a shower and shave my legs without, "Momma, I wanna take it bath toooo. Momma wash my legs? Momma, find my Mater. Momma where's my cup?" Those days are nice. It was not one of those days. I am a sleepy lady.
   I'm going to bed now. I need the sleeps.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

I should just give up

on ever being able to sleep in. It doesn't matter that we let Cooper stay up SUPER later again last night, so he'll be sleeping until probably after 11. Or that Brandon is in bed and even the dog is being quiet now that I've let him out to go potty. I am awake. I've been awake since a little bit before 9. In spite of the fact that I think I'm honestly getting sicker after being a complete idiot and going out and being active yesterday instead of resting and getting fluids. It was my best friend's birthday and I suppose I must be a bit of a masochist. I'm now going out with my mother today to a spa party because I told her I would ages ago and I don't want to bail on her now at the last minute, so I'm going to take some Tylenol and drink some hot tea with mint on the way and buck up. It's not often my mom and I go do stuff together that doesn't involve Cooper or my midwives, so I'm looking forward to it. She and I have been talking pretty regularly, and it feels good.
   Cooper got to see a few of his favorite people last night. He was so excited. He loves his grandparents and uncles so much, and I figured since I was in Boise and had a reliable ride to and from, I would give Brandon's family a chance to spend time with him. Out of everyone it seems like they get substantially less time with him than anyone just because they don't have a super reliable vehicle for getting all the way out here to pick him up, and we still don't have a car. We were trying to buy one, but we just keep getting hit with extra expenses and it's put us back so far that now we're having to wait again. No van for this momma right now. I was really upset, but I guess we're just back to where we started, and haven't really lost anything, so really it just means I can still look forward to getting one this summer. Hopefully BEFORE Baby is born.
   More progress on the cloth diaper stuff. I am working on drafting a pattern for a fast-drying AIO, and a pattern for pockets. I'm thinking we'll start with OS and then IF we can turn a profit, move to fitteds as well depending on demand. I'll be in Boise on Tuesday for a midwife appointment, so I'm going to pop into BCD and find out what our options are there. If everything goes well, we've talked about HyenaCart, Etsy, and even this blog as possible venues for selling our stuff. I have all the math done for start-up costs, and Brandon has been really supportive and encouraging. Yesterday he said, "You're so overzealous, hyper-focused, and crazy competitive when you find something to throw yourself into that you invest yourself completely until you ARE successful. I know you can do it because you're weird like that." I'm not sure if it's a compliment, but I'm going to take it as one. He's either saying I'm selectively type-A, or that I'm awesome, but that either way I can be successful and do something that would be good for people while hopefully turning a profit.
   Drafting my own pattern has been interesting. I can't just use a pattern from elsewhere because I couldn't sell someone else's intellectual property, for both moral and legal reasons. So what I've done is extensively researched the two most popular types of diapers, found measurements of the most highly rated brands, gotten tips and advice from WAHMs that make and sell them, compiled a list of common traits in highly rated diapers and patterns, and taken qualities that I think will make the highest quality OS pattern that will fit a broad spectrum of body types, and have started working on my own pattern. It's funny, because even in OS diapers, the measurements are so vastly different from brand to brand and each one has it's die-hards and it's nay-sayers. I've come to the conclusion it's impossible to please everyone or make a universal OS diaper. My goal with this is to try to make a pattern that will fit the average 7 pound baby at it's smallest adjustment, up to my very-nearly-40 pound toddler. Morgan and I have great models for the viability of my pattern on different body types. Cooper has always been narrow. Even as a "chubby" baby, he was just small. I still have some of his old disposable dipes that I can take general measurements from, since he was 7 pounds 2 ounces, and his diapers pretty much fit like a dream, and I'll try to match the small adjustment to that as closely as possible, since newborn disposables fit up to 14-15 pounds, and that's what generally the range we want the small adjustment on the cloth to fit.
   Morgan's daughter is chunky. She's a healthy girl, but her body type is different, so she just happens to be larger than Coop was. Her birth weight was smaller, but she's grown a ton and is taller and broader than Cooper was. She's big enough now to try the medium size adjustment. Cooper is perfect for getting the right fit on the biggest adjustment of the diaper, but I want to make the side snaps adjust out wider than he is currently because he is SO narrow. I might see if my cousin will let me test them on her stocky little boy. He's bigger than Cooper, and broader. Poor Cooper just comes from tiny stock, I guess. He's a little thing.
   Speaking of my darling Cooper, I have a hilarious couple of pictures!

The baby was kicking, and Cooper was being a goofball about it.


 He found one of my tank tops, and decided to put it on and practice being a cool dude.


Now he's trying to imitate mommy doing the gangster and ever classy "duck" face. 


More of him trying to be like mommy.


This is what he was trying to copy. Gorgeous, right? I am all sorts of photogenic. Ha!

   Oh! My husband's mother also found her sewing machine and has offered to let me use it for a while. I am pretty excited because Morgan's still hasn't been repaired, and this way we can start making our practice diapers and refining the pattern to perfection, and then make our first couple batches for selling! I'm pretty stoked right now. One less thing to have to wonder about.
   The more I research and work on this little project, the more determined I am to succeed. I just hope Morgan is really as invested in it as I am. I'm not sure I can do it on my own with Cooper, and soon another baby. I'm going to need another hand. Heck, we could probably BOTH use another person to help out with this, but I don't know anyone in the area that would be interested and can actually do the work involved. We're going to have to draw and cut patterns, organize materials, keep track of costs and hopefully profits, sew diapers, inserts, and doublers, add snap, aplix, tags, and any appliques, make dryer balls and crochet covers for them, all while taking care of the kiddos.
   I'm off to shower and continue to think about the logistics of my latest obsessive project. LET'S DO THIS!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Well, Sicky Sickerton, aren't you looking lovely today?

   Last night I went to bed feeling fine. A bit of an itchy throat, but nothing serious. I woke up in the middle of the night feeling like I was dying. Today, I am sick. So I'm in jammies, eating breakfast for every meal, being lazy as can be. Brandon is home today, so he's taken over most of my daily responsibilities. He's already done laundry and dishes. It feels good to be able to sit on my butt and hydrate. I still feel sick, but at least I'm not having to run around like a chicken with my head cut off, trying to get everything done while feeling like a big squishy poop.
   I hate being sick. Right now it hurts to swallow, my glands are so swollen it's making my neck all stiff, my sinuses are beating my face up, and I've had a fever off and on all day, which I've been taking Tylenol for. I don't really get to take anything else right now, so Dayquil and Emeren-C are out, which is unfortunate since I live on that stuff when I'm sick, normally. Oh well. Apple juice and scrambled eggs are good for now. I'm just hoping it isn't something icky like strep. I get it almost every year, and I haven't this year, but that's what it feels like. I'm SERIOUSLY hoping this is just some nasty viral thing that I need to sleep off for a few days. Fingers crossed, eh?
   Morgan and I have been talking about making and selling cloth diapers together as a little WAHM project for extra cash. She's been talking to some local distributors that are interested in carrying locally-made products, and we could make decent money, enough to fund fun activities for the kiddos. We both sew really well, and can read patterns, and all that jazz, and I've been talking to a lot of the moms I know that make them for their Etsy stores, and have gotten a lot of encouragement and help getting started. We could make dryer balls, pail liners, wet bags, and diapers, all for relatively little, and then turn around and sell them for a reasonable profit while still keeping cost down. I think it's gross how expensive cloth diapers are, and I've been looking into the material costs and time it takes to make them, and charging $18 a diaper is just not ok. Heck, Goodmama diapers are $45 a piece and up! It's crazy. I'd much rather make cloth diapering as easy to dive into as possible for people just starting to look into it, and prices can be one of the most overwhelming things.
   I just think it would be a productive way to spend time with my friend, and benefit the community while doing something that allowed me a little income while spending all day with my kiddo. I think it would be really great. We're going to work out the details and decide if it's something we want to do in the next couple weeks. I'm kind of nervous about investing time and money into it if it's not going to work out, since I could easily use the money to buy extras for Cooper and Baby. I don't know. I guess I'll look for more encouragement or advice before diving in.
   I'm off to watch the last season of Being Human (the UK version) on Netflix. Cooper will be up soon and then I need to figure out dinner. I'm guessing they don't want eggs and potatoes. :)

Monday, March 4, 2013

My son... **EDIT**

   My glorious son is absolutely the beginning and end of my world. He wakes me up every morning by crawling into bed with me and telling me stories until he is hungry for breakfast. He puts his cold little feet on my back and giggles and I tickle him until he gives me a big fat smooch on good days. On his cranky days he just wants a hug and for me to rub his hair while he curls under the blanket with Ray until he feels better. Then we get out of bed and have breakfast together. It's so hard to get out of bed on the wrong foot when I've got my warm, snuggle-y lump of little boy shaking me awake to tell me all sorts of nonsense. I have off days just like everyone else, and I am tired a lot of the time, but my little boy makes it hard to spend more than .25 seconds thinking about it before I'm hopping up and feeding the dog and cooking breakfast with my dude.
   Weekends are a little different. Brandon's home, so Cooper wakes us up by tackling him. It's funny. I get up and make them both breakfast while Brandon sleeps a few more minutes and enjoys his mornings off. I LOVE having my boys home in the mornings. I used to get up and make Brandon breakfast during the week, but he would rather grab something fast and get to sleep for 10 extra minutes and let me sleep since being pregnant makes me so tired. He's sweet that way.
   The point of all of this being, it occurred to me last night that I'm not going to have these mornings forever. It's only a short matter of time before my baby is too old to want to hop into bed and cuddle and be tickled and tell me stories. He is getting so big, so very fast. It's exciting and bittersweet and terrifying and beautiful. I'm so proud of him.
   There was another bump in the road to getting a car (see what I did there?), so we're going to have to wait yet again. So we decided to take some money and buy something really special for our baby that we weren't able to get him for Christmas or his birthday. We got him an Innotab 2. He adores his "computer" and has already figured out how to open all the games and apps he likes, it's helped him learn his colors substantially faster than learning them with just mom. We got a bunch of educational games for him, but his favorite thing about it is the music. We got him a keyboard app, and downloaded a TON of music videos he likes, and he jams out constantly. I'm going to upload a video. Please ignore the linoleum though. I had literally just mopped, but it's so old and beat up it looks nasty. There are so many things I would do to this house if it was mine. ANYWAY, enjoy this!
video
   And just in case that wasn't enough cuteness for you, here are some pictures.
He was playing with it on the floor while I cooked.
He had it in the car right after we got it and was figuring it all out before we even had time to read the manual. Techy kid. :D
   I'm going to go back in time a little bit, to earlier in the day. We did a lot. We got up and got dressed and cleaned up the house a little bit, and then hopped in the car with our friend and went in to Boise to meet Morgan and Allison at the park and get lunch. Cooper loves the park, and there's a park in Boise we particularly love. It's quite and off the main street. It has nice restrooms and a newer playground that it extremely toddler friendly, lots of old trees, a HUGE field, and nice sports courts. It's easily my favorite park in the area. It's part of the reason I want to live in the neighborhood I so desperately want to move to. There is a lot more than the park, but the park is certainly a perk I take into account for my kiddo.
The bandaid was intentional. I let him pick his outfit, and he picked the entire ensemble, bandaid included. He got upset when I tried to take it off because he said it was his sticker.

SOMEONE found an instrument on the park equipment. He played on them for a long time.


"I'm gonna getcha!"

We were racing. I was letting him win, but also I was out of breath from lugging around extra boob and baby belly, so he kind of won for real, too.

Brandon had the camera all day, so he got one or two of me that aren't bad, but I didn't get to get any of him. Next time it's happening. It's. Happening.
   After the park we went to the mall and tried some tea samples at the Teavana I was unaware we had. Delicious. I know where I'm getting tea for my new tea set! I love their white teas. Soooo light and delicate. Yummy. It's expensive, but I feel like it's worth it. We stopped by Hot Topic because they have a whole MLP section and Cooper flipped out of it. I want to get him the hat that says Brony, and he really wanted all the little figures. The girl in the store was shocked and thought he was so cute when he booked it into the store and was friendly to the people with rainbow hair and piercings and was talking a mile a minute about Fluttershy and Rainbow Dash and Spike. It was pretty funny. Then he got to play at the play center in the mall, and had a blast. Afterwards we went to Petsmart to look into getting Brandon a lizard this year now that he has really good income. He decided on a chameleon and is going to be putting a little bit of money out of every check into savings for everything he'll need. He's pretty excited. I told him as long as we have everything we need for the baby and Cooper, and the bills are paid, and we can get a car by June, I don't care what he spends the extra on.
   He wants a veiled chameleon, and we've been learning all about their care and habitat requirements so when we get it, he can provide the best care possible. He's always wanted a chameleon, and we've both had lizards in the past, so we understand the level of care reptiles need. We were thinking of getting Cooper a puppy when he turns 3. The more I think about it, though, the more I want to wait until he's old enough to really participate in it's care and training, and I don't want a puppy chewing up the new baby's stuff, so I've been considering waiting until Cooper is starting kindergarten. By that age he can be responsible for a lot more with some guidance, and I feel like the dog will actually BE Cooper's, not mommy's that Cooper calls his. He can help pick the breed he wants and Baby will be 3 and old enough that I won't be changing diapers on top of cleaning up puppy accidents.
   Finally at the end of the day we went to Toys R Us and got him his tablet. He had fun looking at everything, but was getting tired and cranky, so he cried when we had to leave. He crashed HARD when we got home, after eating dinner and playing with his tablet for about an hour. He had to unwind a little bit, but man he slept hard. It was great. Such a good day.

**Edited to add this recipe for Veronica, since Brandon tells me you read this**
Boiled cream cheese frosting (MUCH healthier than regular with substantially less sugar and no butter, and extra tasty, and so smooth you won't believe it!)
16 oz cream cheese at room temp
1/4 cup flour
2 cups sugar
1 cup full fat milk
pinch salt
vanilla to taste
any spices you may want (I used cinnamon for the frosting on top of the banana cake I made for Brandon. orange zest would be good with carrot cake, I think.)

Whip the cream cheese for days. I mean, I set my mixer on almost high and let it whip the crap out of the cream cheese while I made the rest, and ignored it except to scrape my bowl until it was so light and fluffy and sticky looking it looked like frosting as it was. Then set it aside in a separate bowl and ignore it some more.

Meanwhile mix the flour, sugar, milk, salt, and spices in a sauce pan with a whisk until smooth, then apply it to medium high heat until it comes to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium low and let it simmer to thicken a lot. A lot a lot. It should come together and be thicker than gravy, but not like dough. It will thicken more as it cools.

Dump that into a bowl with the vanilla and whip it for about 12 minutes until it's cool and light and fluffy. It won't be super fluffy, but it should increase in thickness and volume as it cools. I have a stand mixer, so it's easy on my arm, and once I get a powder blue one you can have my red one. Holding a hand mixer for that long is a pain. Get Blake to do it. Bribe him with frosting.

Once it's cooled to room temp, whip in the cream cheese and let them mellow. Chill it for at least 10 minutes before frosting just so it will finish thickening. 

This frosting has no oil it it, and about 1/4th the sugar, and it's so much yummier. Brandon said you had started baking and cooking, and I figured this would be something you should try. Carrot cake happens to be super easy to make. Good luck!

Friday, March 1, 2013

It's here!

   I love my postman today. My tea set came a day before the estimated arrival date, which I love, and the postman gave Raymond a treat when he delivered it.
   Seriously, this thing is everything I had hoped for and more. It's so much cuter than the pictures online. I wish we had a working camera so I could get pictures that do it justice. Cooper and I had a tea party as soon as I washed it. He had fun and likes tea a lot, so it was nice. I was a little bit terrified he would break it, but he was very careful.
   I am so excited to make tea with breakfast tomorrow. Brandon got me an infuser for the pot, which is awesome. Now I just need some great tea. I might go pick some up with Cooper at Albertsons today to get me by until I can order some really spectacular tea. Lately I've been drinking green and white teas because I am very particular about my black teas, and almond milk is just not the same as a splash of creamy full fat milk. Plus for whatever reason the almond milk separates funny. Not a fan. I'm sure I'll find something good to substitute with. I love iced white tea. It's delightful. I'm going to make it a lot this summer, I think, since it's low in caffeine and has a few great benefits on top of being really refreshing. There are some awesome flavors, too.
   I've loved tea since I was a kid. It's gotten me through early morning classes, late night feedings, breakfast hangovers after concerts with my best friend, and was something I had with my husband over cream of wheat and a game of chess every morning at our first apartment. It good stuff. I'm so stoked to have a lovely little tea set.
   Brandon's off for the weekend tomorrow, so we're going to have tea and French toast, and then take Cooper to the park. Life is good, in spite of the bumps, and in my case partially BECAUSE of a bump. :)