Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Flower Child

OK Jennifer, I know you probably have some young girls in your family who would love to be your flower girl, but are they as skilled or dedicated as our Little Miss Claire? It's still over a year a way and she's already practicing! 

What actually happened was I was out front watering the sod and turned my back on Claire for just a second. During that time she managed to pluck every single flower from one of the plants in our front bed. At first I was a little frustrated at her naughtiness,  but then she proceeded to pick up all the flowers and fill her shoes up with them. Come on, that's adorable. In fact, it was so cute that those dang shoes are still sitting on my counter filled with flowers because I couldn't bring myself to throw them out. I might actually get this picture printed and hang it on my wall. I'm smitten.

Friday, April 12, 2013

The New E Ticket Ride

Thank God for the simple pleasures in life. A leaky hose connection is Claire's water park, empty pain cans make the perfect new drum set and the carts at Home Depot beat anything this fabled Disneyland has to offer her. The longer we can keep this illusion going the happier, and less poor, we shall be.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Potting Shed: The Final Fix Up

Since the early days of this blog I have talked about my potting shed. For years I had planned to fix it up, and it would be the envy of all the other potting sheds in the land. The reality is it didn't get done. In fact, it only got worse. Last winter (Yes you read that right, and not the one we just came out of, the one before that) the roof got a leak in it which made the ceiling start to sort of cave in in one spot. Jeff pulled off the drywall and all summer the roof sat there waiting for us to decide whether we were going to hire someone or do it ourselves. After several attempts Jeff was able to patch the roof successfully  We let it go through a couple of storms this winter to make sure it wasn't going to leak before we put a new sheet of drywall on the ceiling. All I have to say about that experience is drywalling a ceiling sucks and I don't recommend it. I thought one of us was going to die.

Once the drywall was in place it was my turn to take over the project. There was a lot of mudding and sanding to get the new drywall to blend with the old, and Jeff did a pretty good job with the texture to make it look like the rest of the ceiling. I then (with a little assistance from my mom) painted the walls and the supports of the shelves. Those suckers took a while. Luckily since it was white on white it all only needed one coat. I also sanded down the front of the drawers because there was weird glue and who knows what else stuck on their faces. Once that was all done Jeff and I worked together to get the old floor tiles up and then I scraped down and sanded the sub floor. This floor is anything but level, but there was only so much I could do about that. Mostly I just evened out the seams between boards with a leveling agent and then sanded it down to make a smooth transition. Laying the linoleum tiles was mostly fun. It got a little harry around the shelves, but for the most part I'm proud of how it turned out. At the end of the day I had to just keep reminding myself that it's only a shed.

So here it is folks, my newly redone shed with no collapsed ceiling  no weird peeling up tiles and a fresh coat of paint. If you want some reference to what it used to look like you can click here and here to see my previous shed posts.

Saturday, April 6, 2013


Earlier this week Claire had a really rough day. She was teething and was sick with a fever that topped out at 102.3. Not the end of the world, but she sure thought it was. I think she cried more tears that day than all the other tears she's shed combined. I finally went to the store after Jeff got home and bought every teething remedy I could find. The tooth still hasn't broken the skin, but whatever bug she had has passed and she's back to being a happy baby.

I just had to share the like mother like daughter moment this picture captured. We both cope through the trials of life with a little woe is me and A LOT of cuddles with Jeffry. Even the roughest day doesn't seem so bad when he's around.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Easter 2013

We had a wonderful Easter this year filled with food, family and an egg hunt that Claire actually got to participate in!! Honestly, I didn't really think this year would be that different than last year since Claire still isn't running around, but I was pleasantly surprised when she was able to collect a few eggs. OK, so we helped a little bit by leading her to where the eggs were. It was all her doing however, to decide what she was suppose to be picking up and putting in her basket. OK, so we practiced at home a little bit before the big day, but still, she did awesome. The biggest distraction for her were the eggs she'd already collected. She kept wanting to pull them out and inspect them instead of looking for more.

We didn't let her dye eggs, but she had fun trying to put stickers on them.
Easter baskets for everyone!

I love how her little skirt poofed out when she'd squat.

Claire can't decide which egg she likes best.
The rest of the day was spent eating tasty food and hanging out with our family and friends. We ate a delicious ham lunch, played Ticket to Ride and drank more wine than one should on a religious holiday! I can't wait for next year when Claire can be running around the yard carrying her own little basket, but this Easter still proved to be a lot of fun and pretty darn cute to watch.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

14 Months

In keeping with the randomness of my updates one Claire, here is one for her very important 14th month.

Claire is 28.7 inches tall and weights about 21 pounds. She still only has three teeth all of which are on the
bottom but her fourth is working at coming in now.

Claire has a real word! Jeff and I differ on what her first word was, but this is my blog so I'm claiming it as kitty. Whenever she sees Blanket and gets excited she sounds just like Boo from Monster's Inc. That is the only word she regularly uses in its proper context right now, but she understands a decent number of basic instructions. Of these the most important is that she reliably understands and responds to being told no.

I think we are now officially sleeping through the night folks. Hallelujah thank you Jesus. Whew. I mean, you really do just get used to being tired, and that truth isn't as depressing as I thought it was before I had a kid. I do seem to have amnesia about Claire's first summer though and keep getting excited thinking that this coming summer will be her first. Then of course I remember that we already had a summer with her in which we did all the fun water and outdoorsy things that I'm looking forward to doing again. My only explanation for this amnesia is that I was even more tired than I realized!

Claire can be a little bit of a stinker these days and can throw a tantrum when she gets frustrated,  but as long as I'm not asking her to wait for food she is a pretty happy girl. She enjoys having people over to the house and showing off her new skills as she walks from one person to the next. Of course she still is pretty attached to Jeff and I but as long as we're near by she likes to visit with new folks too.

Movin' & a Groovin':
Claire doesn't appreciate people who don't share.
Claire is getting more and more confident in her walking abilities these days. She's still most comfortable crawling, but she is now choosing to walk to get somewhere close instead of crawling. Her limit of unassisted walking is somewhere around 10-12 steps but she gets a little farther every day, and she's picking up speed. She still likes to use her walkers to go long distances, and if she can't find a real walker she'll make one out of anything that's handy. So far boxes, desk chairs, TV trays and high chairs have all been turned into improvised walkers.

Favorite Things:

Claire is still madly in love with her puppy dog. Her new favorite thing to do is to sit on top of him while he's laying down. Prince is pretty understanding with her but one of these days he's going to decide to get up while she's on top of him. That is going to be remembered as either the day she learned how to ride a dog or the day she got a giant goose egg on her head. It will most likely be the latter.

The new thing Claire seems most fond of doing is hanging out in the front yard. Since we put in the new sod the weather has been really nice, so I've been taking her out with me when I go to water the yard. She plays in the puddle created by a leak in the hose while I get my chores done. We've stained a few pants this way, but she couldn't be happier so it's a sacrifice I can live with. I'm really looking forward to more water related activities this summer and getting one of those water splash tables for her to play with.

Claire has expanded her TV palate and now also gets excited to watch Sesame Street. I am very happy with this new development since I can probably recite most of the first two seasons of Yo Gabba Gabba by heart. Also, Sesame Street is sooooo much quieter to have on. This mama is pleased. In preparation for our Disneyland trip in September we've started showing her some Disney movies as well. She's enjoyed Lilo and Stitch, Tarzan, Pocahontas and WALL-E so far.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

2 Ingredient Pancakes

My daughter doesn't like eggs, and if ya'll know me you know that I am a rather big fan. I couldn't allow my child to continue down the dark path of egg hatery, so I've tried them in every form I could think of. Despite all the variety I presented her with she would not be moved to eat them. This left me with only one option, get sneaky.
I got this recipe passed on to me from a friend, and it has been the secret to getting Claire to eat eggs. Drizzle them with just a touch of maple syrup if a grown up is eating them (but just a touch, they are suppose to be healthy) and you almost can't even tell they aren't real pancakes. I won't lie, they aren't 100% there, but they are REALLY close.  I think for me it also helps that I always add a banana to my normal pancakes so the banana flavor isn't new to me. The greek yogurt wasn't in the original recipe, but I feel it cuts a little of the intensity of the banana flavor and makes them taste more like traditional pancakes. If you don't have it or don't want dairy in your pancakes you can leave it out.

No Cake Pancakes
original recipe here

4 eggs
2 bananas
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 large spoonful of greek yogurt
cinnamon to taste

1) Add all your ingredients to a bowl and whirl them with an emulsion blender or other mixer of your choice until smooth.

2) Heat a pan over medium low heat with some butter and pour silver dollar sized pancakes into the pan. Cook for about a minute on each side until brown.

3) Arrange artfully on a plate and enjoy!

This recipe serves two but can easily be halved for one.

Keep your pancakes small and use a thin metal spatula to turn them or you'll have a heck of a time flipping them. They are more delicate than normal pancakes and will tear if you aren't careful.

Keep the heat lower than you would for normal pancakes or you'll burn them.

If you want to add some more heft to them you could also try adding a little peanut butter.