Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Bubba has started crawling forward... Look out kitties!

I have been speculating for a while now that when Bubba finally figured out how to crawl forward, it would be because he was trying to catch one of our cats.

He is infatuated with them.

The cats are not really fans. They love all of Bubba's things, his blankies, stuffed animals and other toys, but they could do with out the sticky fingers always after their tails, and of course the random shrieks and crazy baby noises he makes every time he spots one of them.

One of our cats sits a little too close to him while he plays on the floor and gets grabbed on occasion, she still has not learned. Today she was his main motivation for finally crawling forward for the first time.

He is growing up so fast! He'll be graduating before I know it.

Here is Bubba with his "motivational kitty"

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Play Dates

Back in September I started taking Bubba for walks in the afternoons. This is how I met my new mommy friend.

I was walking through our condo's parking lot with the stroller when a blue SUV stopped next to us, the window unrolled, and she yelled out "Hey! I didn't know you had a baby!"

I thought to myself who is this woman? I was caught a little off guard, besides that I had been stuck in the house with Bubba for the past two months and had not socialized in a while.

So I replied, "Um, yup I did."  She told me to stop by anytime and I said "Sure, I will" not really sure if she meant it.

I may seem pretty outgoing, having a blog and all, telling strangers about my life, but as I get older I am getting more shy and nervous about just jumping out there and meeting new people.

Bubba and I continued our walk and along the way he fell asleep. As I got back home I had the urge to find out if she meant it, "Did she really want me to stop by sometime or was she just being neighborly?" I said to myself "I think I will stop by, right now..."

I knocked on the sliding glass door like she said, and out she came. We sat and talked on her porch while Bubba napped. She was funny and we got along well, and she had a son only two months older than Bubba. We exchanged numbers and said goodbye. I was so glad to have made a new friend.

Later that evening I texted her with an invite to a festival we were going to with some other friends. I waited anxiously for a response. She was busy but said we would try again soon to meet up. Was I too eager?  I thought to myself. Did I contact her too soon? Surely the rules of dating did not apply to making mommy friends, although I was not good at following the wait to call rule when dating either. I called my husband on the way home from the bar the same night I got his number.

She called!

I was invited on a girls night  to see a movie at a local theater. Night Shift was playing and Henry Winkler was hosting it. We got to meet him! I got the Bubba an autographed copy of his book Hank Zipzer. Did you know that Fonzy wrote children's books? I did, but only because when I talked to my mom earlier in the day and told her that I was going to meet Henry Winkler she mentioned it. Moms always know interesting stuff like that. Note to self: I have to remember interesting fun facts like that for Bubba.

Henry Winkler was so nice! He posed for a picture with me and asked me about my son who he was autographing the book for. And the movie was not bad either.

It was a great first mommy play date.

I try to use this unexpected meeting to remind myself that you never know what the day is going to bring you, so get out there and don't be afraid.

♪ These daaays are aaaall happy and free. ♫ Those happy days...

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Turn an outgrown onesie and a washcloth into a bib!

Have you ever had a onesie that was so cute that you did not want to pack it up?  Now you don't have to. I had an epiphany sitting on the floor in Bubba's room today at bedtime.  I thought up a way to make a onesie and a washcloth into a bib. I used one of the onesies I found at the thrift store for 55 cents (which no longer fit him anyway), and the washcloth was part of a four pack at the dollar store, so only 25 cents.  It was less than a buck to make this bib!

First you will need a onesie (I used a collared one instead of the standard envelope sleeve kind), a washcloth, and a bib to use as a template.

Next turn the onesie inside out and cut along the side seams.

Then cut out the collar.

Cut off the sleeves.

Split the back off the collar.

Use your template bib to cut out the shape.

Cut out the onesie snaps.

Cut out the washcloth for the back. This one isn't quite big enough to cover the whole back so I made patches.

Cut and sew patches from the washcloth. Make sure to measure the bib on your baby, and shorten it if necessary. When I checked this one on Bubba it was longer than I expected, and it hung way down on his chest like a necklace.

Pin the washcloth and onesie inside out, and sew.

Turn right side out and hand sew snaps.

Turn in the edges of the collar and hand sew.

All finished!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Awesome Finds at the Thrift Store

A friend of ours who had a baby a few years before Bubba was born suggested we buy baby clothes at the thrift stores since they grew out of them so fast. While this idea made perfect sense to me, at the same time I said to myself, "What! Thrift store clothes for my little angel? No way. They will be old and beat up...".

Now that I have been to the store  a couple times I am a complete convert!  There are some of the cutest most original onesies and shirts that I have found there. I can't tell you how many Facebook posts from groups with babies the same age as Bubba that have the same outfits as his fancy brand new ones.

Just look at some of my most recent steals. All under $1 a piece and in practically brand new condition! I can go in with $20 and come out with  more clothes than Bubba can spit up on in a week!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

My baby needs a crash helmet!

 I remember when I was pregnant I got a copy of a One Step Ahead catalog and saw this baby crash helmet:

I thought, "How ridiculous! A crash helmet for babies".

Now that Bubba is learning to crawl and pull himself up on the furniture I can see the appeal.  He pulled himself up on the coffee table the other day and then conked his forehead on it.  My heart stopped.  I was right there, but not quick enough to stop him. I grabbed him and hugged him.  He recovered quicker than I did and was squirming to get away in a minute. I reluctantly let him go and made a pillow barricade just in time for his second attempt at scaling the table. He is a suicide machine!

As Bubba gets more independent it becomes clear that we I need to learn to let go in more ways than one.

A short while ago one of my best friends was over visiting for the afternoon and volunteered to stay with Bubba so my husband and I could go out.  At first I thought, "Really? I am actually going to leave him?"

It isn't that I don't trust her. I totally do. She is very capable, and has a wonderful 15 year old daughter who is proof of that.  Bubba and I just haven't been apart that much. I am attached to him, and he is to me.

Like I said, I need to learn to let go.

Before I could over think her offer, I accepted. And we left Bubba with his Auntie T and had a date night.  We went for sushi then wandered around for a half hour in the dollar store next door to the restaurant. We are party animals, I know.  Hey it's been over 7 months, we are not used to the freedom yet.  We were gone for less than two hours altogether. I held my breath as we walked into our building and approached our front door. It was quiet.

We open the door and Bubba was happily playing with his Auntie. I internally let out a sigh of relief. It was like we never left. He was completely unfazed. I don't know what I was so afraid of all this time.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Spinach, mushroom and red bell pepper crustless quiche

Bubba was napping during this cooking adventure.  Good thing, too, because he hates the Cuisinart mini chopper. It makes a high pitched whirring noise sort of like a drill.  Not quite as high as a dentist's drill, but close. Regardless, I have to use it. It is a huge time saver with all of the veggie chopping!

The dreaded mini chopper!
The recipe makes one 8x8 size quiche and 9 mini quiches in a standard size muffin tin, I usually make a bunch of mini quiches to freeze for Bubba when we are eating contraband for dinner.

This quiche is a variation of my mom's quiche which has never had crust for as long as I can remember. It is healthier that way.  If I really feel like crusts I will mix up a butter (or margarine) and Bisquick simple pie crust. About 1 1/4 cups Bisquick and 1/4 cup butter. (This will make enough crust for the 8x8 pan, but not the muffin tin.)

Here's what you'll need:

3-4 cloves of garlic
1/3 yellow onion
1 red bell pepper
1 yellow bell pepper
10 white mushrooms
3 cups spinach (while frozen)
3 tablespoons butter or margarine
3/8 cup flour
1 1/2 cups milk
6 eggs
2 cups grated cheddar cheese

First, defrost the spinach and squeeze the water out of it. You have to really squeeze the bejesus out of it (as my mom would say). Otherwise all of that water will make your quiche soggy. I squeeze them into patties and then dry them with a paper towel to make sure they are really dry.

Then chop all of the veggies and combine them in a large bowl

Melt the butter in a sauce pan on medium heat.

Add the flour and stir with a whisk.

Add the milk a little at a time while stirring to avoid clumps.

Stir constantly till mixture thickens.

Take off the heat and add the cheese.

Stir until mixed through then add the eggs one at a time, stirring in between each one.

Combine mixture with the chopped veggies and stir until evenly mixed

Pour into pan sprayed with cooking spray. I use cupcake liners sprayed with cooking spray as well in the muffin pan, so they pop out easier.

Put in oven preheated to 350. The mini quiches take about 40 to 45 minutes. And the 8x8 pan takes about 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes. They should be lightly browned at the edges and a tooth pick inserted into the center should come out clean.


Bubba approves!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Mother's Curse

Bubba runs his hand back and forth along the bars of his crib. "Attica! Attica!" I chant in my head.

Sometimes it is hard not to laugh at the funny things I imagine him saying.
It isn't too late, only 9:30 pm, but it is way past bedtime so  I cannot show him I am even mildly entertained by his antics, or this could go on all night.  I lay him back down for the tenth time and take my position at the side of his crib holding hands through the bars and let my mind wander.

I come up with a great invention. Baby pajamas with industrial strength velcro on the butt and a corresponding fuzzy mattress cover.  Nah.  Too much work, besides it would probably make a loud ripping  noise if he moved and startle him awake once he finally falls asleep.

 Next I remember a conversation my husband and I had before Bubba was born regarding baby temperament. We had hoped for a happy baby that wasn't too fussy and pretty easy going.

"The odds of that happening are unlikely," I told him, "because I have The Mother's Curse".

"The what?" he asked.

"The Mothers Curse is given to you by your own mother and can be given at any time when you are misbehaving. She tells you, 'When you grow up I hope you have a child just like you!'  And then you are cursed." I explained.

He still had not heard of it, apparently he was some angel baby who didn't even cry when he was born. They patted him on the butt and he let out one whine. That was it. He likes to tell this story to remind me of where Bubba got his temperament from. They may look alike, but Bubba is stubborn like me and can be a little monster when he wants.

Like Bubba I had my own bedtime demands as a baby. My parents rocked me to sleep 'til one night...
I continued to pop back up when they would lay me down in the crib (why does that sound so familiar?), then I pointed at the rocking chair in the corner of the room. Sneaky huh. They realized I was playing with them. So my dad tossed the chair out of the room and said, "Rocking chair go bye bye!"  I looked at him for a minute then grabbed my teddy bear lay down and went to sleep. This is what I will be dealing with soon. You can already see the wheels turning...

I have not given Bubba The Mother's Curse, not yet. But every now and then when he is stalling at bedtime I make idle threats.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Feeling crafty

A while ago I got on Pinterest and along with many recipes to feed my recipe collecting addiction, I discovered many crafts as well. My first inspiration was a stuffed whale made from blue jeans than was on a blog written in Finnish. It had a lot of really good pictures so I was able to follow along with out being able to read the instructions. The jeans I chose to use were an old pair of maternity jeans that I had just packed up, since I lost some baby weight and was able to put on my pre-baby jeans again.  In celebration I decided to make Bubba some toys out of them. Here is my whale. Not bad, huh?

Since this whale used up less than one pants leg of my maternity jeans, I began to search for a pattern of something else to make with all the left over material. Then I found it. A cute elephant pattern.

This was more challenging than the whale, but still came out really good. So good, I used the last of the material to make his evil twin.

The pattern cut out

The first elephant

Evil twin or Anti-elephant

The Bubba loved his whale and elephants. Good thing, too, because it took me more time to make just one elephant than I was in labor with Bubba.

Here's the funny part. I was so excited with my crafty successes I posted pics of them on Facebook. The response from my mom and my mother-in-law was the same:
"They are cute, but you cut up your maternity jeans... does this mean... gasp.... no more grandchildren?!"

Relax guys. He is only 7 months old, and I only cut up one pair of jeans ;)

There were many sleepless nights in the beginning at 4am when we swore that Bubba would be an only child, but that has passed and he sleeps well most nights so he may get a sibling after all.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Bubba's in the Kitchen: And we are making Curry Roasted Chickpeas-- contraband

I love Bubba's KidCo Go Pod from One Step Ahead. He got it from Grandma and Grandpa at Christmas. It folds up like one of those camping chairs, and takes up almost no room in the house rather than one of those big jumper toys. Bubba loves it cause he can hang with me in the kitchen practicing standing, while I cook, and even though this time I am cooking contraband, he is excited to watch. 

My husband loves crunch snacks. In an effort for us to lose the baby weight we have gained, we stopped buying chips. I have found several pretty good crunchy substitutions that make us miss chips less.

This recipe is adapted from Alton Brown's Roasted Chickpeas which were very good, but needed more of a kick.  The kick I decided to experiment with this time was curry powder.

Here's what you'll need:
1 lb dried chick peas (I'm told you can use the canned kind, too but dried are cheaper and not sitting in brine so you can control the amount of salt)
  2  tablespoons Olive oil
1/2 tablespoon Curry Powder
1/4 teaspoon Cumin
1/4 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1/4 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper

First put the dried chickpeas in a bowl and fill with water to the level of the chickpeas and soak overnight.


After soaking

The next day drain out any excess water from chickpeas.
Add the olive oil and the spice into a large bowl and mixed it around.

Add in chickpeas and toss them till evenly coated. I added a sprinkle or two more of all of the spices to the chickpeas since a little bit of the "sauce" sticks to the sides of the bowl.

Dump them out onto baking sheets, and spread out evenly.

Cook in a preheated oven at 375. Every 15 minutes pull them out and shake the pans up a bit so they brown evenly. Takes about an hour or so to get to nicely golden brown.

Salt to taste. Cool and store in an air tight container.  I would imagine they can be stored this way for a week or two but I have never been able to find out since they never have been around for more than a week in our house.