Monday, August 13, 2012

No excuses

Y'all, as of last Saturday I have an eighteen month old. That's a six months away from a two year old. And I'm pretty sure I can count on one hand the number of posts I've done to help record the past six months of her life. I'm also pretty sure I can count on two hands the number of times I've broken my camera out to take pictures of said eighteen month old in the past six months.

I suppose that's life though, right?

I really wish I could come back with the "well I've been living life instead of recording it" excuse.

But I can't. 

Because honestly, the last six months have been pretty shitty. And the last two have been, well, they've been the cherry on top.

It hasn't been one thing in particular over another, and I suppose I could just say that it's life. But again, that's and excuse. And it's not like they have been consistently shitty, it's kinda like the hiccups just as soon as you think they are gone, one sneeks back up on you.

I feel like my house is a disaster because it's so cluttered. I'm sure if the average person walking into my house they would say I am crazy. But I see the clutter and it's all I see! There are just piles of crap that needs someplace to go but I don't have anywhere to put it and all I feel like I do is move one pile of junk around and arou d and never really DO anything with it.

Work has been work. It's been busy, which is good, I would rather be busy than not busy, but there have been a few weeks of straight up I can't do anything right to save my life moments. I feel like it is time for a change but I have no idea what kind of change. In general I am very happy where I am, but sometimes it's hard playing second fiddle everyfuckingday. I am totally aware I bring a lot of it on myself by what people misconceive as a bitchy attitude when it's actually I am incredibly insecure and incredidablly afraid of rejection.

Which brings me to all my personal issues that seem to of come to a head over the past few months. I'm not really sure I'm ready to delve into all that yet though. Basically it comes down to I need to work on my image issues and how I see myself. And I'm not talking about how I see myself in the mirror.

Robert and I have had our own turmoil to work through (still working through). A lot of it which I think comes from trying to figure out who and what we are beyond being Sadie's parents. I think it's just a season of change for us. We both know what our weak areas are and all they do is make our relationship weak. So, we're both working on strengthening those areas to strengthen our relationship. Which I hope makes us even stronger than before.

One of my favorite Pat Green songs says "life would be awfully boring if the good times were all that we had."

I hope that someday soon I can look back on these past few months and say, "wow, those really were some shitty times, but man look at the good that came out of it all."

Throughout all of this the one consistent I have had has been Sadie. She hasn't given me a hard time with much lately, maybe she realized her momma needed a break.

Just keeping it real, folks.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Chocolate Chip Banana Oat Muffins

I made these back when I made the zucchini muffins and never posted the recipe for them. But one of the ladies at Sadie's daycare asked for it, so I figured I would post it here so I would remember it too!

Adapted from All Recipes
1.5 cups all-purpose flour 
1.5 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups oats
.5 cup sugar
.5 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda 
1 teaspoon salt
2 egg
1.5 cups almond milk
.5 cup melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1.5-2 cups mashed banana
.5-1 cup mini chocolate chip

Step One
Combine flour, oats, sugar, baking powder, soda, and salt.

Step Two 
In a large bowl, beat the egg lightly. Stir in the milk, butter, and vanilla. Add the mashed banana, and combine thoroughly.

Step Three
Stir the flour mixture into the banana mixture until just combined.

Step Four
Fill muffin cups 3/4 way and bake at 350 for 16 minutes, turning half way. Done when the top center is a tiny gooey still and a toothpick comes out with some crumbs attached, if it comes out clean the muffins will be too dry. Makes 24ish muffins.

I stuck most of these in my freezer on a baking sheet to flash freeze and then transferred them to a big ziploc bag. To defrost, I cook them on time defrost for 2 minutes in my microwave. 

  1. You can use all whole wheat flour or all all purpose flour.
  2. Quick cooking or old fashion oats will both work, whatever you have.
  3. There isn't a ton of sugar in these because of the sweetness of the chocolate chips, add more if you like sweeter things.
  4. Regular, soy, coconut milk would be fine too.
  5. Substitute the butter with applesauce for less fat.
  6. Add bananas and chocolate chips based on how bananay and chocolatey you want the muffins!

    Tuesday, June 19, 2012

    Zucchini Oat Muffins

     I over-bought zucchini at the farmer's market this weekend, and I noticed I had two tubs of oats in the pantry so I made these muffins from Betty Crocker, with a little adaptation, so that's why I am posting it here, they turned out really good!

    The original recipe called for 2.5 cups oatmeal, but that seemed weird to me, for it to call for ACTUAL oatmeal and not just oats. Anyways, I made a few other changes and I accidentally combined my wet ingredients into the flour before they were mixed together, but eh, it all turned out delicious!

    Zucchini Oatmeal Muffins
    Adapted from Betty Crocker

    1/2 cup butter, melted
    8 oz apple sauce
    4 teaspoons vanilla extract
    1 cup sugar
    1 cup brown sugar
    3 eggs
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    3 cups grated zucchini
    1 teaspoon cinnamon
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1 cup all purpose flour
    1 cup whole wheat flour
    2 cups oats (I used one cup quick cooking and 1 cup old fashion, just because that's what I had.)

    Step One
    Cream together butter, apple sauce, vanilla, and sugar. Add eggs. (Or be like me and accidentally add the butter and apple sauce to the flour.)

    Step Two 
    Add dry ingredients to the above wet ones. Mix to combine.

    Step Three
    Mix in zucchini.

    Step Four
    Fill muffin cups 3/4 way and bake at 350 for 16 minutes, turning half way. Done when the top center is a tiny gooey still and a toothpick comes out with some crumbs attached, if it comes out clean the muffins will be too dry. Makes 30 muffins.

    I stuck most of these in my freezer on a baking sheet to flash freeze and then transferred them to a big ziploc bag. Quick breakfast for Sadie and me? Yes, please!

    Tuesday, April 24, 2012

    You're taking your baby where?

    This is the response I get most of the time when I mention I've started taking Sadie to a chiropractor. I started doing a ton of research on home/alternative remedies for ear infections. Some of the things I ran into, didn't sound too fun to me. Can you imagine holding half of a warm onion under a baby's ear for 20 minutes? Sounds like lots of tears, both from the onion and frustration, to me! Or trying to put homemade garlic oil drops in a baby's ears? But one thing I kept running into over and over again was chiropractic care. Sometimes all a baby needs is a little adjustment to get his/her nervous system all in order and to allow the ears to drain properly.

    As it happens one of our clients is a chiropractors office, so I emailed my contact over there (the wife of the owner and main chiropractor) and asked her what they thought about working on babies and helping with ear infections. She emailed me right back and said yes, that they love working on babies and have had great results with avoiding ear tubes! Fantastic, right? Right.

    So, Sadie and I went in for a consultation last Wednesday. (Oh, and Robert was totally on board with this, which surprised me for some reason. Maybe he is just getting used to me googling the shit out of everything!) Anyways, last Wednesday. We had a bit of a long wait in the waiting room, which is typical for any afternoon doctors appointment, but Sadie and I kept occupied, mostly with her trying to crawl behind the receptionists desk and me chasing her out, which she thought was great fun of course. Once we were taken back, I was just asked some pretty typical questions about why we were there and all that. We were placed in the "family room" which had toys, books and puzzles while we waited just a little bit longer for the chiropractor.

    I was a little nervous about the chiropractor being a man. Sadie is kind of going through a stranger danger phase right now, especially around men. The only man she is ever really around is her dad, it's women all day at day and if Robert has any friends over it's usually after she's gone to bed. I had no reason to be nervous though. The chiropractor came in and sat down with us while Sadie played and talked to me and told me his thoughts and experiences with ear infections and tubes. He has two kids, when the oldest started showing sign of ear infections he kept her adjusted and all was great, she never had infections never had to go on antibiotics etc. With his youngest, adjustments just weren't enough, he would still have fluid in his ears and infections. Instead of putting him on an antibiotic they went straight to tubes. So, I was happy to hear all that and that he wasn't all "oh, I can guarantee you wont need tubes, I don't believe in them".

    After all of that talking I decided to go on and give it all a shot. If t works great, maybe we can avoid tubes and surgery, if not no big deal, we'll proceed with tubes if that's what Sadie's main doctor recommends at our next appointment.

    By this time Sadie had warmed up a little so she let the chiropractor pick her up without flipping out. And then I swear all he did was hold her under her arms and jiggle her a little bit! But, I know he did more than that, that's just all it looked like to me! She was fine, no crying or anything like that. Next he had me go sit in the table and hold Sadie on my lap while he showed us this crazy tool:
    It makes a popping noise when the top flat part is pushed down, but it doesn't really feel like anything. He put it on my hand a popped it a few times, in his hand and popped it, then finally in Sadie's hand. She was baffled! So he did it a few more times, she finally go to where she was holding her palm out for it! Once she was used to it, the chiropractor used it on each side of her neck under her ears. Finally he had me lay down on the table with Sadie on my chest and he rubbed her back some, I'm sure it was more than rubbing it, but that's all it seemed like to me!

    We were sent home with instructions to come back two more times in the next week.

    Sigh, here is where I run into my biggest issue with this path. My work isn't that flexible with me taking time off. Working though lunch to make up for an hour isn't generally allowed, and our time off is done in half day increments. Chiropractic care is a preventive medicine, and at the beginning it seems to require a lot of close visits in order to get everything aligned. Thankfully my boss has been pretty understanding so far with this and is allowing me to work though lunch as long as I am in the office by 9am or don't leave until 4pm. But if this is something I will have to do every week, that generosity might go away. So, for now, I'm planning on taking Sadie once a week for the next few weeks until her 15 month check up. At her 15 month check up we'll see how her ears are doing and evaluate from there.

    So far I have not noticed any difference, other than the fact Sadie decided to walk. Haha, but I am not going to give credit for that to the chiropractor, at least not yet! We probably wont really know if it's been working until the 15 month check up since the chiropractor does not check her ears or anything like that. So, I'll keep yall posted on what happens over the next few weeks!


    It's a crappy, blurry iPhone video, but it works right? I love Robert at the end of it.

    Thursday, April 19, 2012

    Bay of Play

    A few weekends ago we decided to take Sadie to Sea World for the first time. With any ticket purchase you can get in free for the rest of the year, so it's a pretty good deal considering we live so close. They are opening a waterpark called Aquatica in May so we went on an upped our season pass to include that for the hot summer months. I was a little worried Sadie would still be too young to get the most out of Sea World, but kids two and under are free, so it's not like we are really losing any money on her, plus it give us a fun family option for the weekends. Turns out Sadie had a blast, she loved Shamu! Honestly, I think she loved all the oohing and aahing the crowd does, and the clapping, but still counts!

    The first thing we did was go see this Sesame Street 4D show. Sadie has only watched Sesame Street once, so it's not like she knows who the characters are, but we figured it would be a good show geared for younger kids.
    Putting her 3D glasses on.
    No, daddy, like this.
    This show freaked Sadie out a little though. The 4D part was water shooting out of the seat back in front of you. Holy cow, you should of heard her scream the first time that happened! So needless to say Robert spent the rest of the show with Sadie in his lap and his hands covering the water (and wind) vents on the back of the seat in front of him.

    Then we went and saw some alligators. We are, embarrassingly, big Swamp People fans over here, so this we pretty neat to see.
    There were close to 20 alligators in this exhibit!
    Sadie "ooohing" and yes, she did carry a purse almost the whole time.
    Perhaps the best part of Sea World is the Bay of Play area they have. It's this whole Sesame Street themed play area. There are rides, a stage with shows, nets and tubes for climbing and crawling, splash pads, etc. We only ventured into one of the splash pads since it's specifically for tots under 3 and since Sadie isn't walking yet, we figured that was safer anyways. She was very unsure of it all to begin with, but I think seeing this other little boy running and SITTING on water geyser convinced her it was ok. I put together this fun little animated gif of her and Robert running though one:
    Sorry for the kind of crappy quality, not sure if there is a better way to save it! Here are a few of my favorite shots from it:

     Here she is inspecting the geyser beforehand, she is obsessed with the faucet in the bathtub and trying to figure out where that water comes from, so I figured she'd love this!

    Then Sadie and Robert stomped over to play under a waterfall.

    Finally, it was time for the main event... SHAMU! Like I said, she did really good with Shamu. She loved clapping for him and pointing at the big screens. Whenever I was ask her "where's Shamu?" she'd cover her eyes and start playing peak-a-boo with me. Love that girl.
    Mom, are we done yet? I'm tired.
    Pointing at Shamu.
    She passed out before we even got to the parking lot and slept the whole way home! We've only gone one other time so far, and that was for the night shows. It was perfect, we were there for about three hours, it was nice and cool, the sun was going down. I think that's our plan for future trips, either get there first thing when the park opens and leave about 1 or wait until about 6pm to go.

    Anyways, take your toddlers to Sea World, they enjoy it and they are still to young to beg you to buy them stuff!

    Thursday, April 12, 2012

    Sadie vs The Milestones

    When it comes to babies, milestone can rule a parents life, if you let them. I thankfully have never been too worried about milestones or percentiles or anything like that. Heck, half the time I would leave the doctors office after a check-up having no clue if Sadie was in the 25 or 75 percentile. I would make mental notes in my head when I would get the weekly baby emails saying "in the next few weeks baby might start doing so-and-so" so that I could kind of be on the look out for clues that Sadie was getting there and to help encourage her along the way. But I've never compared my child to another and wondered "well, why isn't Sadie doing that yet?" or "why isn't little Johnny doing that yet? Sadie was doing that weeks ago?"

    I don't have an exact date for when Sadie smiled for the first time, or laughed, or rolled over, or sat up on her own. I'm sure I mentioned in my monthly recaps when she conquered one of those tasks, but I surely don't have a list on my fridge that I check off as we go.

    I bet you're wondering where the heck I am going with this?

    Here's the thing... Sadie isn't walking or talking yet. Now, before anyone starts thinking I have a mute baby lump that just sits on the floor, let me state that Sadie is 100% happy, mobile and can babble and screech with the best of them.

    Let's talking about the walking first. When Sadie started crawling shortly after 6 months, I had a nagging feeling that she was going to be a late walker. From talking to people, reading on birth boards, etc, I started to see a a trend of early crawlers = late walkers and late crawlers = skip right into walking. Over the next 6 months Sadie becomes an expert crawler and furniture cruiser, she even started pushing the occasional laundry basket or chair around the house. But when Robert or I would try and hold her hands and walk she would take a few steps and then collapse to her knees and be on her merry-crawling-way.

    Shortly after her first birthday she moved up to the next class at daycare. Those first few days were rough for her to say the least. Every single other kid her in class was walking, heck some were even running, all over Sadie. When I picked her up the second day they told me anytime they would sit her on the ground she would start crying because all the other kids would tower over her and if she started crawling one of her little hands would inevitably get tripped over. As terrible as this sounds, I was hoping this would be the little jump start she would need to get walking. And it was. Kind of. She started walking on her knees. She had done this a few times before, but nothing really consistent. Now, walking on her knees is her main mode of transportation. Crawling is still faster for her, so if there is something she wants she will still drop to all fours and gun it. I know the ladies at daycare walk with her all day and Robert and I walk with her all the time at home, we've gotten it down to where she holds on to one finger and she could walk for hours it seems. So, there is nothing wrong with her legs or anything like that, she can walk, she just needs some assistance.

    Now, I am sure you're thinking, ok, big deal, my niece didn't walk until she was 16 months old. Sure, that might be the case, but I would hazard to guess your niece could talk a little or at least say "mama", "dada", "ball" etc. Again, from all my reading, googling and talking to it seems that kids tend to focus on either their fine motor skills (talking) or gross motor skills (walking). Remember from above, Sadie isn't doing either of those.

    Well, shit.

    Sadie has about 3 "sounds like words" she'll sometimes, every once in a while say, "dadadadadadada", "bababa" and "puh". I like to tell Robert she's asking for him whenever she goes on a "dadadada" kick, but that's generally because I'll be changing a nasty diaper when she starts it! Neither one of us really think she has made the connection between Robert and dada. "Bababa" is only when she gets really mad that I took her cup away, baba = cup = bottle, I'll give her this one. "Puh" is sometimes for puppy, sometimes while we're standing at the back door calling for the dogs to come in she'll say "puh puh" very softly. I always ask her "where are the puppies, Sadie?" Again, I'll give her "puh". "Mama"? No way, hasn't said it. I long for the say to hear her sweet little voice say "mama" it will be the best day ever, and we'll get there. At the same time Sadie is a babbler, she will sit there and have little conversations with herself and she has recently started waving her finger around directing Robert and I to do who knows what, but it's hilarious when we just sit there and she gets mad and loud!

    The speech thing, I feel like might be a lot of my fault. I am a pretty quite person, so when Sadie was smaller and all the books were saying to talk though everything you are doing, I honestly felt kind of stupid doing it. I know I tried and I know I did talk to her a lot more than I normally would, so I try not to blame myself. But it's hard, I think as a mom you tend to take on a lot of self-imposed blame. At Sadie's last doctors appointment our doctor specifically said to repeat everything thing three time, "This is your cup. Do you want your cup? Here is your cup." and so on, so Robert and I have both been working on that a lot more. So, far I haven't seen much improvement but it hasn't been that long and I am sure her little brain wheels are turning as fast as they can!

    Let me connect this post and my previous post together:
    congestion = fluid in the ears = balance issues = walking independently issues
    congestion = fluid in the ears = hearing issues = speech delays

    Apparently all that congestion might be having more on an effect on Sadie than just making her a snot faucet.

    At Sadie's last doctors appointment I borough all these issues up and asked if it could all tie back to the congestion and she agreed that there was a very strong possibility it could. We are in a wait and see mode now, to see if the new medicine kicks in and knocks the congestion out, or if we will be looking at tubes. Whatever happens, hopefully once the congestion is gone these will be two milestones I can quickly check off my list, you know the one I don't have on my fridge!

    I did ask my doctor at what point do we start to worry about the not walking and not talking and she told me we would reassess everything at 18 months and if there was no progress then we would talk about a pedi-physical therapist, if she tried to send Sadie to one now, we would be laughed at. She didn't really say anything specific about the speech, so I assume 18 months too.

    Y'all, 18 months is 4 months away. That's a long time! For now we are going to just keep trucking along, making Sadie walk as much as possible, talking more and naming everything more. And do our damn best to get this allergy issue under control. Allergies, I can handle all the snot you spew at me, but when you start messing with the way my baby develops that's when I get mean and will do whatever I can to get rid of the congestion you bring along with you.

    (Next week I should have a post about one of the other things we are trying to get rid of the fluid and congestion while waiting to see if the new medicine kicks in!)