Danielle, Author at A Crafty Spoonful - Page 90 of 94

It Aint Always Rosy {Being a Mom}

A friend of mine and I got to talking one day. About life. And kids. And how jealous we get of each other. Not necessarily jealous, no, that’s no the right word, but how inadequate we felt about ourselves as moms when we started to compare how we mother, how we live and how quickly (or slowly) our children accomplished milestones to how others are doing it. It got me thinking how many other friends feel this way. How many other girlfriends who don’t really see the “real” me.

You see… I’m far from a perfect mom (big surprise there). I do think that some of this mothering thing really did come naturally. I truly feel that some part of our ability to be a mom is innate. So I may make certain things look natural but what you don’t know is that I am really good at keeping things in. And failing to mention other things.

I get angry with my son. And sometimes even with my infant daughter who can’t even speak yet. I raise my voice. I tap little hands when they pinch or hit. And sometimes I yell and get mad when he sits in front of me and pees his pants on purpose even though every book I’ve read tells me it’s not the right thing to do. My son eats french fries when we go out for lunch or dinner. Sometimes he doesn’t get one vegetable in him. And sometimes I forget to give him breakfast (bad mom right there!).

My parenting style is not reflective of one book or one belief. It’s an accumulation of many different influences and what feels right. Sometimes it’s just what feels right at that moment. And sometimes what “feels right” is choosing the easiest choice for that time. Following the path of least resistance.

What’s funny is that all of mine and my husband’s major choices in parenting seem to make us (me) look pretty crunchy. I breastfeed, We co-sleep, I baby-wear, I make our children’s food (for the most part), I didn’t sleep train (might consider it with the second) and try not to let my child cry for long. But what these choices in parenting don’t show is why I do all of these things. And to tell you the truth the answer is that I do most of these things out of convenience.

So I’m going to break down the different aspects of my “parenting style” for you this week. Give you a little inside look to my choices and decisions as a parent. Feel free to ask questions, point out my flaws, share your parenting style and over all feel better about how you parent (or how you’re going to do everything better when you do parent) because you shouldn’t feel bad about how you’re doing it.

As long as your kids are happy, healthy and fed I’m sure you’re doing a great job!

Miss M’s Baptism

My beautiful baby girl was baptized this Saturday. With family surrounding us we welcomed her into our church. She was quite pleasant even though we didn’t get a chance to feed her before we left for the church and as soon as we got there we had no time to nurse. She smiled, she cooed, she made everyone love her even more πŸ™‚ But come on… how could you not love her?

I was going to have her wear my baptism outfit but it just didn’t look right and I didn’t get a chance to bleach it in the sun. So we used our back up outfit. I found this dress at Nordstrom’s Rack. It was an amazing find. The gown has what looks like a cross and a heart embroidered right on the front of the dress but the tags said nothing about it being a baptismal dress. It was long sleeved and came with matching white bloomers and it fit Molly perfectly.

Molly received a bracelet from her Godmother, Aunt Louise. and wore it with her dress. It was a beautiful addition to her outfit. She received this beautiful cloth box from her Great Grammy filled with two cute outfits. And it was too beautiful not to reuse for Molly. So I am going to store her baptism dress, bracelet and candle. I also hid away two pictures for Molly of her special day. I’ll post those when we get the pictures from the photographer.

Molly was all smiles in Daddy’s arms before the ceremony

And she gnawed on Sophie while she waited for her turn to get dunked

Cousin Aaron made silly faces while Father Michael spoke

And then we got on with the show…

Molly and her godparents, Uncle Jeremy and Aunt Louise

And the parents

Aunt Louise made cookies just like she did for E’s baptism. Everyone gobbled them up!

I made some monkey bread, two different types of egg cups and crock pot oatmeal. I also served some fruit and coffee, tea & juice. Everything was super yummy.

Grandma Ann kept the two boy cousins entertained with a great book. This one’s one of E’s favorites (Dinosaurs Love Underpants).

Big Boy Room Completed

We’ve finally completed the big boy room. This past week we picked up an awesome Pottery Barn Kids bedspread from craigslist because we knew our big boy would love it. And he does! Now we just have to get a few more prints we bought for the walls framed and the room will look awesome. Animals and Dinosaurs may not be the best combo but it’s what our son loves πŸ™‚ What do you think?

Saying Goodbye

Jetta {February 2011}

Sadly, yesterday, we had to say goodbye to our dear dog, Jetta. She just turned 12 in November and has been slowly declining in health over the past year. About a year ago we noticed a growth on her leg. We took her to the vet. They wanted to test the growth to see if it was malignant or not. They also found another growth near her back leg that they believed was a uterine tumor.

The vet did some tests and the tests determined that Jetta’s tumor was malignant. So we got a run down from them on how much it would cost to surgically remove (or attempt to remove) the tumors. And when push came to shove we just couldn’t afford the surgery.

With the cost plus the risk of Jetta dying on the operating table and the fact that she might live maybe a year or two more even with the surgery we left everything as is. We knew we’d just have to keep her as comfortable as possible for as long as possible. Without the surgery, the vet gave her 6 months.

She didn’t seem affected by her age or the tumors for a long time. And then a few months ago she started to have problems with traction. She couldn’t quite get traction on our laminate and tile floors (in the kitchen and living room). But she made due and we made sure to lay blankets down for her to lay on when she came in to sleep.

And then on Wednesday Joseph woke up in the early morning to find her on the kitchen floor unable to get up. And she had an accident. He was able to help her up and she walked out to do her business. She was able to get around a bit but I noticed that day that she refused to eat anything. The day before she had taken a few bites of food.

Then the next day she didn’t eat either. And she was having more trouble getting around. She was still drinking water so I knew she was close to the end but not quite ready. I called my dad to make sure he came by to say goodbye (Jetta was given to my brother, sister, and me as a Christmas gift when I was 15, I then “adopted” her after my dad moved into a townhome that had no room for a husky). He came by on Friday and on Friday night I called the vet to see how we were to go about letting her go. The receptionist said that we could call in the morning when we were ready and they’d fit us in.

We called that next morning and the receptionist that day (different from Friday night) said that they were completely booked with appointments until the end of the day at 5pm. I couldn’t make her wait till 5pm. She was pleading at me with her eyes. So I called up Joseph’s aunt. She works at an animal hospital and had let us know they are available 24/7 for these types of situations.

So we trekked on over. As soon as they found out what we were there for we were taken care of right away. I was taken back to a special room that had a door to the parking lot (so we could go to our car without passing by the lobby again). After the paperwork and whatnot the vet came in. She was very kind and explained the whole procedure to us. She waited after every step and asked if we were ready. I just kept petting her head as she slowly drifted off to sleep. We left shortly after she was wheeled away.

It was very hard but we knew it was right and it was time… she will be missed.

My Babywearing Journey – The Road to the Perfect Carrier

Ergo Carrier with Molly at Disneyland - first visit

I knew when I first started reading about babywearing that it would be something that I’d want to try out. I stocked up on 2 Hotslings before E was born (one was given to me as a gift and the other I purchased) and was able to borrow a Snugli from a friend who received two at her shower.

Then I had E. And it got a little difficult after 3 months to get comfortable (and get him comfortable) with the sling. He also didn’t seem to be too comfortable in the Snugli. He was a chunker.

So I started researching other methods of babywearing. And the one that seemed the mostΒ  feasable was buying a wrap. I didn’t get a Moby Wrap but I got something similar made by a WAH mom. It was basically 6 yards of jersey knit cotton cut in 1/2 lengthwise and serged on the edges. A DIY moby wrap. But so much easier to have someone else DIY it πŸ™‚

And this worked amazingly well for a few months. I felt comfortable, E felt secure and all was right with the world. Until it got super hot. So we stopped babywearing as much and got some good use out of our stroller. Then the day came when the Ergo went on sale on BabySteals.com… again.

Ergo Carrier back carry with Ethan Mammoth

See, I missed it the first time because I was too slow to order. Then I saw it again and didn’t think Joseph would go for paying $70 for a baby carrier. I waited till they were still in stock the next day on the website before even bringing it up with Joseph. And he said if it’s easier on you, go for it! So I did! And my Ergo was delivered about 3 weeks after I ordered it (maybe a bit longer due to the large demand and mass quantities being shipped).

And ever since I opened that package and tried it out I’ve been in love. The ease and use of the Ergo is just fabulous. It’s light, sturdy and keeps me and my babies cool or warm depending on the weather. I could wear E in front or on my back depending on where we were and, during my pregnancy, how big I had gotten. I think I carried him on my back up until I was 30 weeks pregnant. And I only stopped because he preferred his stroller or walking to being worn.

With having a newborn again I didn’t know what I would prefer. Or what she would prefer. E was awesome and never minded being carried but I had heard stories from friends about their efforts to wear their babies with no luck. The babies just weren’t having it. So I asked for an Ergo Infant Insert for Christmas (and received two!) and hoped for the best.

Ergo Carrier with Molly Hiking

When we went on our first few outings with Miss M I chose to use the same sling I used with E. And she didn’t complain one bit. Then I tried out the Ergo with the infant insert. It was pretty nice. But I didn’t quite like the insert. So when Miss M started showing signs of having good control of her head and neck I tried the Ergo without the insert (I think it was around 8-10 weeks?). She did great!

And I haven’t used my slings (or the Snugli) since. It’s been Ergo all the way!

Daddy’s Birthday – A Night of Entertainment {Restaurant Review}

It was Joseph’s birthday yesterday and we wanted to celebrate! Joseph decided he wanted to try out Benihana for dinner. I knew from a friend that if you signed up for their birthday club you got a free meal. I signed up for my birthday but forgot and we didn’t end up going. After our fun night last night I’ll definitely be using it next year!

After we were done ordering our food E got festive and turned his menu into a hat with Daddy’s help. He wanted to be just like the little boy who was also sitting at our table.

This is E’s “mmmm” face. He was eating my soup and saying “mmmmm” as he slurped it down. I find it hilarious that he closes his eyes to enjoy his food when he likes it.

See what I told you? Closed eyes as he’s sipping the soup. Such a funny boy! But he ate 1/2 of mine and 1/2 of Daddy’s so we weren’t going to say anything.

We had fun watching the chef make our meal. I think E liked watching him crack eggs the best. He loves cracking eggs and “helping” when we cook or bake.

Do you see what he formed the veggies and rice into? It’s Pacman! I wasn’t fast enough with the camera but the chef formed the rice into a Pacman and made it look like he was eating the vegetables just like the game.

And his second creation with the rice was non other than Mickey himself. He even made Mickey talk to us. Talk about creativity with food!

We just ordered the chicken fried rice for E because we knew he wouldn’t finish a whole plate of anything. He loved it and ate a big portion of it. Daddy and I, of course, split the rest to indulge a little since we stuck with the steamed rice (it’s lower in points!).

As he was eating his rice he was continuously saying “yumyumyumyum…mmmmm”. He definitely let us know he was enjoying his dinner.

Our food being cooked up. Chicken for me, fillet for Joseph and veggies for both of us.

Now normally you start with shrimp as an appetizer but one person from the other family sitting with us was allergic so the chef waited till the end to prepare the shrimp. After he cut the tails off he flipped them into his coat pocket with his spatula. It was pretty fun to watch. He even got one into his hat.

Miss M was jealous of all of our yummy food and decided to start noming on Daddy’s plate. She seriously had her mouth on the rim and was happy as a clam. Daddy didn’t even notice at first.

After we were done with dinner they cleaned up. I was definitely impressed with the stacking skills of this server! Look at all of those dishes and how well he balanced everything.

We of course sang Happy Birthday and Daddy got a yummy sundae. By this time in our dinner E only wanted to cuddle with me and was on my lap. However as soon as I mentioned sharing Daddy’s ice cream he was off my lap and back in his high chair! Tired, nope, not too tired for ice cream.

As you can tell from the pictures we really loved our night at Benihana and will definitely go again. The birthday club discount was definitely worth it! Maybe we’ll try lunch next time…

Birthday Celebration – Hob Nob Hill {Breakfast Review}

We just went to Hob Nob Hill for breakfast this morning in celebration of my birthday and I was definitely over impressed with the service we received. We used a voucher we bought off of Sign On San Diego’s daily deal website ($15 for $30 worth of food) to try it out but will definitely be back for more.

Our waitress, Stacy, was quick to bring our drinks and take our order. She even brought some complimentary apple muffins to the table since she knew from her experience (and from being a mom herself) that children get a bit restless if they aren’t fed right away). Shortly after that our food arrived. We were pleased with the speedy service and the quality of the food.

My one problem was with the special I got for breakfast – a Belgian waffle with fresh strawberries and side of sausage. I assumed that fresh strawberries meant plain cut up strawberries on top of the waffle. But my strawberries had a sugary glaze on them. Being on WW I was already splurging as it was on the waffle… I didn’t need extra glaze to add to the calorie content of my breakfast! But it was amazingly good. The waffle light and fluffy and the strawberries were fresh. Joseph enjoyed his waffle special with eggs and bacon (well… he didn’t make a peep the whole time he was eating and continued to polish off his plate so I’m assuming all was good).

E enjoyed his breakfast as well. Kids get their choice of eggs, pancakes, or french toast and the meals come with a side of applesauce or potatoes, toast or muffin, and bacon or sausage. We also got a nice side of fruit for him. And being a picky two year old we assumed he’d hardly touch his food. We were wrong. He ate at least 1/2 of everything on the plate!

And on top of the great service throughout our meal, at the end of the meal we asked what the cost of a cookie was since our son saw the cookies on display when we first arrived. Her response was that they were free for adorable little kids and she grabbed one right away for my son. We left a large tip to let her know we appreciated her going above and beyond our expectations.

Can’t wait to try out lunch and dinner!

Review on Yelp!

Adventures in Potty Training {Day 3}

2 accidents in the morning, 2 poops 1/2 way in the potty (started off the potty but ended on the potty) and 4 successes in the afternoon!! Now I’m off to wake him up to try and go in an attempt to wake up completely dry tomorrow πŸ™‚ He only went once before bed and the method we’re trying says to have them void twice before bed for better chances of staying dry all night… I’ll have a nice overview of the whole process this weekend! Plus we have E’s 2 year appointment tomorrow morning so we’ll see how that goes as well.

Adventures in Potty Training {Day 2}

3 accidents & 3 successes
Dry after 1.5 hour nap
not much time for writing…

Adventures in Potty Training {Day 1 Recap & Sneek Peak at Day 2}

So we’ve completed Day 1. The end results: Successes = 6 Accidents =5
I was so proud of my big boy. He was very verbal about needing to go about 1/2 the time but I think he’s more aware of having to go poo than pee. He expressed his need to go poo about 1 hour before it actually happened and that lead me to believe that it’s going to be a lot easier to get him to express his need to go poo on the potty than it is pee. And this second day is proving this as well. One of those successes I mentioned was a poo!
At naptime I forgot to get him to try and go potty beforehand and we had a wet bed when he woke up (2 hours later) but he went pee in the potty after he woke up so he knows to hold it in a bit. And he didn’t complain at all about changing his underwear or asking for diapers. That’s what I’m so surprised about after that first day. No asking for diapers. He just knew we weren’t going back. Today I even packed up all the larger diapers into a bin and told him we were going to put them in the garage for Molly. He was totally ok with that. So awesome.Β 
The rest of the afternoon was accident, success, accident, success up until bed time. We made sure he voided twice before bed (one accident, one success) and than let him know that it was okay to get up and go potty in the middle of the night. But guess what?!? He slept through the night!!! Yup! 9pm to 6am. And I was the one who woke him up at 6am to see if he had to go pee. He did go a little in bed but not enough to get his sheets very wet at all. I only felt wetness on his underwear.Β 
And he went pee on the potty twice before 8am on Day 2! His first pair of underwear stayed dry until 9am this morning when he had his first accident. So far we’re 3 for 2 today and I have a feeling he’s going to do great when he wakes up from his nap πŸ™‚

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