Apr 29, 2014

You're Killing Me Smalls

Ham Porter: Hey, Smalls, you wanna s'more?
Smalls: Some more of what?
Ham Porter: No, do you wanna s'more?
Smalls: I haven't had anything yet, so how can I have some more of nothing? 
Ham Porter: You're killing me Smalls!

You know what there's not enough of in 2014? The Sandlot references. But I'm here to correct that.

A few nights ago Cade was signing for "more" food but he hadn't had anything yet. Enter The Sandlot quote.

(I think in his baby mind the sign for "more" means something more general like "I want." Usually though it is pretty clear what he wants.)

The other and original inspiration for this blog post those was another food related item in which I'm the one saying "You're killing me Smalls" to my small person. Specifically Cade has not bought into the "variety is the spice of life" theory yet. He wants to eat the same fruits, carbs and dairy items all day every day.

Today I baked him these awesome delicious zucchini sticks/fries. Because a week or two ago, he liked zucchini. Nope, not today. Wouldn't let them anywhere near his mouth. All three that I gave him (before waving the white flag of surrender) ended up on the floor for Lexi. Ditto to the cherry tomatoes I sliced for him. And most of his mac-n-cheese. The cracker with peanut butter on it fared a little better. 1/4 of it made it into his mouth; the rest was smashed into crackery-peanut-butter dust and smeared all over his high chair tray and arms. But you know, 1/4 of 1 cracker was eaten so that's something. The toddler pasta stars and veggie meal had a similar fate. 4-5 spoonfuls in his mouth before he started swatting at the spoon and vetoing it. But then signing "more." No sweetie, you clearly don't want more of this. (As I said, I think the sign for "more" really just means "I want something" at this point.)

What happened in the end? The same thing that usually happens. I said "you're killing me Smalls!" which he did not get of course and then I gave him mandarin oranges and apple sauce. For the 1000th day in a row.* I did hold my ground firm though and not give him any teddy grahams. If you don't stand for something you'll fall for anything and all that.

*OK he isn't anywhere near a 1000 days old yet so this is probably an exaggeration.

Apr 26, 2014

Good Deal Scorecard

I love to shop (no surprise). And I also really really love to get a good deal. It's like a game. Can I save more than I actually spend? How good of a deal can I get? Can I get a really nice item for a Target or Walmart price?

This also lends itself really well to the classic "honey, look how much I saved us!" v "look how much I spent."

Ross and I had agreed on a rough budget for my shopping spree, one that I felt like I could enjoy and not have to be a penny pincher, so hypothetically I didn't have to be an aggressive sale hunter this weekend. And when I say weekend, I do mean weekend. In the end I shopped Thursday evening, Friday afternoon and again this afternoon (there were 3 stores I really wanted to go to at the outlets that went unshopped yesterday and I just couldn't have that).

On today's excursion I finally found a purse that I liked. Purses are hard for me, especially if and when I want a small one like I was looking for this time. The criteria was small but big enough for phone, keys and wallet; straps long enough to easily throw over my shoulder but short enough that the purse hangs at chest height; and not a logo print. Coach had lovely leather options but the straps were all wrong. Michael Kors had a good size and strap length option but only in a really over-the-top logo print. Nine West, Banana Republic, Guess and the other stores really didn't meet the size requirements, all too small or too big. Fossil ended up being just right. And though I am usually a Coach girl, I realize the past 3 bags I have picked out have been from Fossil (today's buy, my laptop bag and my diaper bag). Their designers and I are clearly on the same page.

Work blouse, tshirt dress and Banana Republic tshirt
But anyways like I said, I just really really love a steal of a good deal. Walking away from my birthday shopping spree with way more than I expected because of the sales made for that much sweeter of a birthday celebration.

So here's my Good Deal Scorecard if you will. Keep in mind I did all my shopping at the outlets (or DSW) so everything was already lower than the regular store price.
  • Tshirt dress: 80% off (clearance)
  • Calvin Klein tshirt: 75% off (strangely the blue shirt was on a much bigger sale than the other colors; it is a lovely sapphire so I don't know why)
  • Heels: 62% off (DSW + clearance + $5 birthday coupon)
  • Jeans: 60% off (I wasn't shopping for jeans at all actually. I just put these on so I could see how the tops I was trying on looked with jeans. They fit great and the sale was so good I figured you can't have too many jeans, especially not in Texas. Also I always buy cheap jeans so there was something irrationally "grown up" feeling about buying higher end jeans.)
  • Banana Republic tshirt: 50% off 
  • Tank top: 50% off
  • Polo for Ross: 50% off
  • Purse: 40% off
  • Dress for wedding: 30% off
  • Work blouse: 20% off
  • Cardigan: 0% off but only $8 anyways (I have no idea how The Gap is selling cardigans for $8 even at the outlet but I'm not asking questions. Even if it only lasts a season, who cares.)
  • Work out tanks: 0% off (but the Old Navy price is 2 for $15; also not an outlet but Old Navy is easy peasy anyways)

Swimmin' swimmin' in the swimmin' pool

swim class_zoom
Swimmin' swimmin' in the swimmin' pool,
When days are hot
When days are cold
In the swimmin' pool
Breaststroke, sidestroke
Fancy diving too
Now dontcha wish that you had nothing else to do but...

Meg and Nancy joined us for swim class today. Yay! Cade definitely turned on the charm and was hamming it up for them. But I mean what else can you do when people clap every time you splash? Smile and splash more obviously!

It was also nice to have them there because now we actually have a picture of us together in swim class. ...And then I went a little crazy with the effects in Photoshop. But whatever. I can't do this kinda of silly stuff professionally so its fun to do here on the mommy blog.

Apr 25, 2014

The Last 20

Here it is, my last birthday as a 20-something. Or, more accurately, my first 29th birthday.

Today I celebrated with a slew of simple, yet good in life, activities.

Playing with my little boy, the gym and walking Lexi in the morning. Then Ross and I had an early lunch together outside at a Japanese steakhouse and sushi place (they have a really tasty cooked roll called the Round Rock Roll that I was craving). We spent lunch talking about our perfect child, our awesome Europe trip two years ago and daydreaming about future vacations. I told him again that I'd like to go back to Europe for our 10th wedding anniversary and he told me (again) that yes, that sounds like a good idea. The debate is now do we go to Germany/Switzerland or Spain/Portugal. I vote for the latter but we have 5 more years to decide so no worries.

UntitledThen it was on to a fancy schmancy spa pedicure. The day spa I went to served wine and had a crystal chandelier. FANCY. It was a lovely long pedicure and a great birthday treat.

While enjoying my pedi and wine, the weekly newsletter from Cade's school arrived in my email. Per the usual it was very cute. However this week it had an extra special inclusion. It said "After our viewing of the chrysalises [caterpillar cocoons], our youngest Sweet Pea [Cade] quickly moved to our library and chose The Very Hungry Caterpillar and began to look at it. What a remarkable cognitive connection!" Not that there was any doubt before, but clearly my child is a genius. Seriously though, I was so proud of him I almost injured myself grinning. I forwarded the newsletter to Ross, grandparents and Auntie Meg immediately. All agreed that he is an incredibly gifted and intelligent child.

After my pedi (and the most awesome preschool newsletter of all time) I headed up to the Round Rock outlets for some focused shopping time. I had five items I really wanted to buy during my birthday shopping spree: small-ish purse, nude shoes, black blazer, white button-down and a dress for Margeaux and Ryan's wedding. My shopping trip resulted in 2/5 and a slew of other items. At one point I was in Banana Republic and had to finally ask for a dressing room because I could not humanly carry any more clothes.

At the end of my shopping adventure I took home 2 dresses (including 1 for the wedding), a t-shirt, 3 tank tops (2 for working out), jeans (from Banana Republic that fit like a charm and were 60% off!), a cardigan, nude heels (actually purchased yesterday), a work blouse, pants for Cade (for Margeaux and Ryan's wedding) and a polo for Ross. It was a good shopping trip by all accounts. The highlight was probably the dress for the wedding which I sent a picture of to Nichole and she congratulated me on my purchase. That's right, my friend with a fashion degree congratulated me on a trendy purchase. She and I were both very proud.

Then I met Brittany for happy hour at a local wine bar. Mmmm, it was divine. Wine and delicious happy hour appetizers. Tasty!

I made it home just in time to snuggle Cade and put him to bed (Ross definitely had it covered but kept Cade up 5 minutes late so I could see him and say good night).

And so completes my birthday celebration. A great day indeed with lots of relaxation and some very much enjoyed indulgences.

Apr 23, 2014

Things are looking pretty stellar

Yes, indeed things here are looking pretty stellar if I do say so myself!

Tomorrow Ross and I are taking my former coworker out for BBQ at the Salt Lick. The lovely Margeaux and her sidekick Ryan are going to babysit Cade since it collides with his bedtime (and nobody wants a fussy baby at a restaurant). I'm looking forward to everything about this!

Then of course on Friday I turn the big 2-9 (for the first time). Ross and I have a lunch date, then I have a fancy pedicure and then probably some shopping.

Because a baby pic is
always a good idea
Sunday Erin, Jon and Rowan are coming over to celebrate birthdays and Jon's business ownership. Hurray happy hour!

In mid-May I am attending a marketing conference downtown. I haven't been to a conference that I wasn't "working" in ages. I am SO excited! Double excitement because Nichole is coming to town for the conference too!

There are probably more exciting things happening in May but the next thing I can think of right now is the Delta trip in June! One date night in Philly with the hubs and then two nights on the lake with all the girls (and their respective boys). WOOHOO!

And the newest addition to the super stellar list is a trip to Boston! Cade and I are going up there for five whole nights in September. We're flying with Nancy and Jack who are attending Jack's son's wedding on the Vineyard. We were all invited of course but with Ross' work schedule he can't make it. It works out though because Cade and I can go to Boston and Nancy and Jack can be my extra sets of hands for the flying part. I am really really really excited for Cade to meet his Boston family, Deltas and Delta children included.

Apr 19, 2014

Pictures and Parties

UntitledWe had quite the eventful Saturday morning. First, our family of three went downtown to the Capitol to take family pictures.

We'll have them back from the photographer in about two weeks but here's one I took with my phone before she arrived. She told me I was the only mom who ever greeted her with "my boys are reading a book," not "my boys are playing in the mud" or "my boys are wrestling." Apparently one of the "boys" being the husband doesn't typically alter this statement either.

Cade has really been into the 1, 2, 3 Texas book so in addition to this picture, I think it is in at least half of the ones the photographer took too.

Post-pictures, Cade and I went to Kenneth's second birthday party. And it had the best thing ever: a ball pit. It was Cade's first ball pit experience and he loved it. I know in this picture with Kenneth, their grimaces would make you think they are doing homework, not playing at a birthday party but they really did have fun.


And this afternoon post-party Ross took Cade for his first ride in his bike buggy. We realized we forgot to purchase a helmet (oops) so it wasn't quite as ambitious a ride as originally planned. But a helmet will be arriving Tuesday via Amazon and then the great bike buggy adventures can begin!

Finally in the spirit of full disclosure and not putting overly rose-colored glasses on my blog, in addition to "picture and party day" Cade also decided it was No Nap Saturday. Which I decided meant it was also Early Bedtime Saturday. I ran to the store after Cade went to bed and Ross tells me that's when some debate over my decision erupted but thankfully it is parent-ocracy in our home so Cade was vetoed and Early Bedtime Saturday prevailed.

Tomorrow is Easter Sunday (like really, not just a silly made up day like No Nap Saturday) and Cade and I are going to Houston! This will be his first holiday in H-Town and we are very much looking forward to seeing our family. Yay!

Apr 18, 2014

6 Year Engage-iversary

Six years ago today my honey asked me to marry him. 

I'd say it's working out pretty well. Happy engage-iversary hubs!

Genius. Clearly.

We knew Cade was a baby genius but now we have proof.

He can use sign language to ask for more food!

And yes, it is no surprise that the first bit of sign language my kid mastered is for more food. Since he has not one but two hollow legs. Please enjoy the baby sign language video but ignore the mildly distressed face. I had to pause the applesauce feeding in order to make the video.

In other Cade related milestones, he has become a champion hug-giver. Sometimes when I drop him off at school I get five hugs before I leave. (Last week these hugs were accompanied by tears twice but his teacher said the tears lasted literally 90 seconds. Like finished before I even made it to my car. Thank God.) He gives us hugs all the time all day long. It is pretty wonderful. The funniest hugs I've seen him give though were to his classmate Natalie. She had a toy Cade wanted to play with. After being told no, that's Natalie's toy right now, he gave her a hug and then sat and waited for her to share the toy. No dice. Ever the persistent young lad, he did it twice more. Natalie is a smart girl though and wasn't swayed by cute boy hugs. Good girl Natalie, that self-confidence will serve you well in life.

During some morning hugging and playing before school today, Cade started growling. It was hilarious. The best was when he growled and hugged me. Clearly this is the epitome of a bear hug. We deemed it such.

"Recess" with Mom & Dad at a
new (to us) park after school
He's also starting to pick up his toys. Not all the time of course. There are still many evenings when he pulls his books off the shelf as quickly as I put them there. (I can't even get mad or frustrated though because hello, they are books. My kid loves books and wants to stay up late to read. Awesome! Usually this earns him a few more minutes of awake time so we can read one more book...or the same book again.) But if I am cleaning up, hand him a toy and ask him to put it away, he'll enthusiastically toss it in its cubby. So that's a good start.

Finally on a similar note, he now chunks his paci into his crib in the morning. Because as we all know "your paci lives in the crib for sleep time." Monkey also lives in the crib for sleep time but is returned to the crib much more gently than the paci.

Unrelated to development milestones, we have family pictures in the morning! In all my mom wisdom, I did not think to see if Cade's clothes, upon which all three of our outfits have been planned, fit until today. So we did a little test run before bed and - whew- they fit! There would have been some serious evening closet raiding and shopping tonight had that not gone so well. Now just cross your fingers and pray to the Clean Toddler Gods that Cade, Ross and I can stay relatively clean until 9:30a tomorrow. 

Apr 14, 2014

Slow Spring

This month is a bit slow for me with work. I started the year with four clients but two were temporary projects and as of March, both were finished. Together that's about 35-40% of the work I started with this year.

Now I don't say this as a bad thing. Yes, at some point I may need to do a little business development (do you need a marketing consultant?) but right now I am actually enjoying having a little less work on my plate.

I've been able to take care of a lot of personal errands and obligations. The eye doctor (still have both eyes), the dentist (still have all my teeth), hair cut, cleaning out closets, catching up on my accounting (gulp, which I hadn't done other than invoice related items since December).

My favorite thing though that I probably wouldn't be able to do otherwise is helping a friend market his new business. It feels great to have a tiny role in the success I am confident he will have. It's like my version of helping someone move or paint their house. I'm enjoying the hell out of it.

Apr 13, 2014

Happy Birthday Hunky Husband

UntitledToday the best lookin' guy I know turns 33 years young! Woohoo!

We celebrated his birthday this weekend with baby swim class yesterday, dinner date out and then an evening with friends at the West Side Alehouse. Today we had a lazy morning and then had Easter/birthday dinner at his parents' house.

His birthday gift haul included boots, a lawnmower, restaurant gift cards, a board game and a big plastic Bears cup (he loves these huge plastic cups that I think are hideous but he loves them so whatever).

Happy Birthday Hunky Husband! I love you and all your 33 years!

Apr 10, 2014

Today's School Report

So as you may remember from previous posts, every day we receive a report on Cade's school day. Most of it is basic "he napped from X to X" and "had dirty diapers at X and X." Not exciting but good to know as the parent.

However my favorite part is the "What I enjoyed at school today" section. And here's what he did today

Cade was interested in the art project today; he came over and watched then sat in a chair and waited patiently for his turn. :) When it was his turn he put the glue on the cat shape with a brush and felt it with his hands. When yarn was presented he grabbed it and plopped it on the cat then patted it on his own just as he saw his friends do!

Such a polite little artist!

Apr 6, 2014

No Fake-Booking

On Friday I picked up an unread four month old copy of Real Simple. It had an article that encouraged women to take a week back in January and do some real honest social media sharing. Less "my family is perfect!" and more "here we are, warts and all."

I'm on board with the sentiment but of course there is a fine line between being honest and airing your dirty laundry. Nobody likes the latter.

But this isn't soapbox post about laundry, dirty or otherwise. It is a "no Fake-book" style blog post where I tell you that though life is pretty freakin' awesome, I am really really tired.

Not like "I chased a toddler around all day, had 6 clients meetings and have applesauce in my hair" tired. Because thankfully Cade spent the day with his Nana and it was no-work Sunday (I might have applesauce in my hair though; I haven't looked in the mirror since dinnertime). But legit "I have insomnia" tired. So there you have it. A working mother with insomnia. I am sure all the parents who are reading find that to be shocking... as in not at all shocking.

So I am drinking peppermint tea instead of my preferred chardonnay right now. And I am about to take a bubble bath, not because I'm a bubble-bath-aholic like my husband but because it was one of the more feasible items on the "100 ways to cure insomnia and if you have time for any of these you probably are not an insomniac" list.

Note: love and console your teething toddler, be successfully self-employed, snuggle with your dog in bed and enjoy late night snacks with your husband were not on the list. See, this list is overwhelmingly not feasible and not enjoyable. Except the promised sleep part. That sounds pretty freakin enjoyable if you ask me.

And I think that's about it. But I should really get off my computer now because # 34 on the list was not to sit in front of a screen after like 4p (or some other not-feasible early hour) and it is closing in on 8p. Night night (I hope)!

Apr 4, 2014

Montessori Week One

Dear Montessori, enjoy day 2 of the plaid shorts fashion show.
Many, many more to come.
Cade's first week at Montessori is officially in the books! Overall, it went very well.

Thankfully he's pretty OK (knock on wood) with being dropped off. I think this in large part has to do with the afternoons he spent at Erin's for the past 9 months. Mommy leaving and him playing with another grown up and babies is old hat at this point.

Moving to one nap has been a little bit more of a challenge but still, not terrible. He's napped 1-1.5 hours at school each day. Ideally he'd nap for more like 2 hours. However, until that gets sorted out, "short nap" just translates into "early bedtime."

We also suspect he might be getting his top teeth so the shorter-than-ideal naps may have less to do with school and more to do with that. Who knows. Every time he is cranky and not napping/sleeping well, I think it has to be teeth. So far I've only been right once.

Of the many things I like about his Montessori school so far, the weekly class update is high on the list. We received it as an email this afternoon highlighting three things the kids have been working on. And Cade was even featured* in a picture! Obviously this was immediately forwarded to grandparents and his Dad.

And in non-Cade news (who even knew there was such a thing), there's some serious spring cleaning happening around this house. For the past year, deep cleaning has not been a priority; feeding, clothing, bathing and loving our kiddo has been. But we're taking advantage of these first few weeks of our new schedule to whip this place into shape. Between the two of us today we got new tires for the truck, mulched the trees out back, pulled weeds, folded 3 loads of laundry, vacuumed and cleaned out the (huge under-the-stairs) coat closet. I'm sure these levels of productivity won't last for long but we better make the most of them while we can.

*The class only has 6 kiddos so I think every kid was in at least 1 picture.

Apr 1, 2014

Cade's First Day of Montessori School!

That's right! Today Cade had his first day of Montessori school.

He's a little guy still so it is kinda pre-pre-school. His class at Sunrise Montessori, called the Sweet Peas, is 12-20 month olds and lucky us, there are only 6 kiddos in the class with 2 teachers. Talk about a great ratio!

Ross and I took him to school at 8:30a this morning and walked him into his classroom. We unloaded all his stuff (diapers, wipes, lunch, blanket, etc) into his cubby and chatted with his teacher Miss Lori. Slightly unusual for Cade was that he did not want me to put his puppy lovey into his cubby. He wanted to hold it. And could not have been more clear. So though toys from home aren't the norm, his teacher said it might be a good first day crutch so we went with it. That made him much happier.

And then he was off. As in walking/crawling straight to the toys, see-ya-later-Mom-and-Dad style. I took a few pictures and then, well, he was ready to play without us. So we hugged him goodbye and left. No tears from anyone.

The teachers and school directors said we could call as many times as we wanted to check on him. We restrained ourselves to just one call around 10a. He was doing great. A little bit of sadness when he had to put away the classroom toys to go to recess but I figure if that is your biggest problem in life, you are doing A-OK.

We picked him up from school at 2:30, right after nap time. We were given a glowing first day report. He ate his snack and his lunch, took an hour nap, only used his paci at nap time and really enjoyed the music and movement part of class. In fact to quote the take-home report:

Cade had an awesome first day! He was busy exploring all parts of the room. He enjoyed playing the musical instruments during music & movement. He especially liked the jingle bells.

If that isn't a successful first day of school report, I don't know what is.

Yay new school!