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Archive for August, 2010

Over the summer, as Molly got more mobile and interested in things other than her own feet and hands, I resisted buying any new toys, knowing that her birthday was coming up (and knowing that we had no where to actually PUT the toys).  I had gotten her one new thing in the spring – that she was obsessed with at a friend’s house and then was utterly unimpressed by when it appeared at our house – and we made do with plastic food storage containers, her trusty Leapfrog table, and lots of books.  (For the record, books aren’t toys, so I buy many new books every week.)  Two weeks before her birthday, Jim and I went on a toy-shopping date (not as fun as it was supposed to be since I was developing dry sockets from my wisdom tooth extraction) and picked out the perfect gifts for our Peach.  She loves the play camera we got her, thinks the puzzles taste delicious, and finds it hilarious when she holds up a farm animal and I moo like a cow or baa like a sheep.

However, we could have saved a lot of money.  Because guess what we should have given her instead?

Dog bowls.  Especially one full of water.

She thinks those dog bowls are awesome.  And she’s starting to come around to the baby dolls that I keep forcing on her.  I have been trying to teach her how hug the dolls, so I hug the doll and then give the doll to her and say, “Give her some love.”  Molly usually just tosses the doll aside and heads straight for the dog bowls.  I finally decided to pick the bowls up from the floor when Allie’s not eating (Genius idea, you say?  Thanks.  It only took me two weeks to figure that one out!) so now Molly has to play with her toys or sit alone in the kitchen.  The other day, I pointed at one of her dolls and told her to give the doll some love.  Molly looked at me and then handed me the doll, as if to say, “YOU give her some love; I don’t want to.”

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My dear husband pointed out to me on Wednesday that I have already shared the Mexican Casserole with you.  So you can take that two ways:  1) we really, really like it   OR  2)  I don’t have a lot of recipes in my cooking arsenal.

Sorry for the repeat – I’ll try to come up with something NEW next time!

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Jim and I were doing so well for a while, making our meals during the week at home and looking at our coupons and grocery store ads to make our weekly menu and shopping list.  I also had a totally nifty notepad from MomAgenda that we used to post the menu on the fridge.  Well, the notepad ran out of paper and I started back to work in the spring and we’ve been terribly unoriginal about our meal planning ever since.  After noticing (yet again) how much money we spend on eating out and watching my waistline slowly expand, this week I decided was the week to get back on track making healthy meals at home.  Most of the time, anyway.  Monday, we had a yummy honey-soy glazed salmon; last night we had goat cheese and spinach stuffed chicken; and tonight we’re having Mexican casserole.  My neighbor, Merritt, brought this casserole to us after Peaches was born and I immediately emailed her for the recipe.  It’s so easy and it makes enough to share, freeze, or for leftovers.

So, without further ado, Merritt’s Mexican Casserole:

2 cups cooked brown rice

1 can corn, drained

1 can black beans, rinsed and drained

1 can tomatoes and green chiles (Rotel, anyone?)

1 8 oz container fat-free sour cream

1 8 oz jar salsa

2 cups fat free shredded cheddar cheese

1/4 tsp pepper

1 bunch green onions, chopped

1 small can sliced ripe olives

1 8 oz package fat free Monterey Jack shredded cheese

Combine the first 8 ingredients into a lightly greased 13 x 9 inch baking dish.  Sprinkle with remaining ingredients.  Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes.

*We use two 8 x8 pans and freeze one.  For just the two of us, one pan is still enough for two nights of dinner or dinner and lunch.  Add a green salad and some  tortilla chips for a complete meal!

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My sweet Molly is more of an observer than a jump-right-in kind of gal.  At playdates, she takes it all in, sometimes not leaving my side for 20 minutes before committing to an activity.  As her mother, I walk the line of wanting her to dive right in and being proud that she makes a decision before acting.  She’s also a very sensitive soul…a sharp voice (or loud bark), seeing an unexpected face, or a little tug of the hair from a playmate can open the flood gates.  When I first realized that Molly was quick to cry, I wanted her to toughen up.  She’s just going through a phase, everyone said.  She’s so calm and sweet, everyone else said.  The more I thought about it, the more I realized that maybe I wanted her to toughen up because I see a part of me in her – the part that cries at commercials, news stories, happy news, big and small disappointments, and when the wind changes directions.  I’ve spent the greater part of my life trying not to cry at the little things, at least not in public.  But as I’ve gotten older and more aware of myself, I’ve realized that that’s just who I am.  I always recover from disappointments and anger quicker than it takes my face to become less red and swollen.  And at least I can’t be accused of not feeling anything, or of not sharing my feelings.  I mean, I can’t help but share them through my quivering lip and red, teary eyes.

So while I try not to pick  Molly up every time she pulls a chair over on her or soothe her every time she is startled, I don’t mind the crying as much anymore.  I recognize it as who she is – someone who is sensitive and will hopefully be sensitive towards others’ needs and feelings as she grows.

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Last week, the fall semester started but Molly’s preschool hadn’t, so for three weeks we’re depending on the kindness of family and friends (and complete strangers, if need be) to take care of Molly while I’m teaching.  She cried every morning last week when I left the house {I bet you didn’t expect that!} and was perfectly fine every day when I came home.  I would usually text the sitter/friend/my mom when I got to the stop sign and most mornings, she had already stopped crying by then.  However, today, Molly couldn’t be bothered to even acknowledge that I was leaving, much less be upset about it.  While I was glad that she was content and happy, I thought it would have been nice of her to at least let me hug her good-bye.

Guess who was crying at the stop sign today?

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Today is my niece’s first birthday and we are so excited to celebrate with her later today.  Even though we just celebrated Molly’s first birthday two weeks ago, it’s still hard to believe that a year has gone by. I remember waiting anxiously for my sister and her husband to announce whether their third child was a girl or a boy…I adore my nephews – they are the coolest guys around – but knowing that I was having a daughter and that my sister was having a daughter at the same time?  That was really neat.  I love my sisters beyond words and I hope Addison and Molly will have a sister-like bond.  I mean, the girls are practically twins.  Besides the fact they have different moms and are 15 days apart.

The girls' Aunt Whitney took this picture the week Addi came home from the hospital.

Addison’s brothers think she hung the moon, and they just might be right.  She’s a sweet, spunky girl and she perfectly completes her family.

Happy Birthday, Addi bird!  I love you!

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"More ketchup, please. And hold the veggie burger."

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Molly had her first salon experience over the weekend.  Yes, we finally decided it was time to get rid of the mullet.  Or the mud flap, as we lovingly called it.  We patiently waited until she woke up from her afternoon nap, deciding not to battle the morning crowds, and hoping that Peaches would be in a pleasant mood.

Poor girl didn’t know what was coming.

We walked in the door, put our name on the list and Molly amused herself by pulling boxes and bins of toys {really?  I thought this was a place to get your HAIR cut!} off the shelves.  When the stylist called her name, Molly’s head whipped around and Jim picked her up from her pile of sidewalk chalk.  {Did you know they sell sidewalk chalk with a nifty dispenser so that you don’t have to get your hands dirty?  Me either.}  The screaming started then and didn’t stop until we picked her up out of the firetruck chair.  Snacks couldn’t even entertain her, she was so upset.  She gagged on a yogurt melt {aka baby crack} and then refused to let me even bring the bag of melts near her.  It’s a good thing Molly’s super-smart and wonderfully doting dad carries a pacifier in his pocket.  {Meanwhile, I’m the scrooge of a mom who makes her leave the pacifiers in the crib.  Maybe Jim is on to something?}

But now she has a super cute bob haircut that I’m totally jealous of!  If only my hair looked that cute.  It’s unfortunate that she didn’t enjoy it more; getting my hair cut is one of my favorite things.

Isn't she lovely?

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Molly had a wonderful birthday weekend!  In addition family and friends that live in town, Grandma and Grandpa, Aunt Lindsay and Uncle Geoff, Aunt Alisha and Uncle John, and my college roommate Julia and her family drove to Charlotte to celebrate with us!  I got to meet Julia’s twin girls for the first time, which was so fun.  Thanks, everyone, for making the trip.  It means a lot to us!

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Do you want to see the details from Molly’s super-fun first birthday party?  I know you do!  Visit Sweet Birdie’s Nest to check it out!

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Molly had her one year check up yesterday morning.  She weighs in at 21 lbs 12 oz and is 29 3/4 in tall!  Everything looks great and we are so grateful for a healthy and happy baby girl!

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