Monday, November 30, 2009

Fantasy Football

My husband is really having a rough fantasy football week. He is playing me. I'm winning. He has two guys playing in tonight's Monday Night Football game. Walking into the game, he was down 44 points.

Every time one of his players scores, he updates me on exactly how many points he has until he catches up and surpasses me while reminding me that my team cannot score any more points this week.

We are halfway through the third quarter. He's down by 34. I think it is safe to say that I, Pug Central, will win this week and upset the #1 team, Bob Nokes, in our league.

Take that, Mr. Bean.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Things You Should Know...

...about decorating for Christmas with a toddler

  1. Verbal commands such as "stop" and "gentle" suddenly mean nothing when the glow of Christmas lights captures them.
  2. Expect shrieking, screaming, jumping up and down, and possibly temper tantrums from your husband (well, if a Bears game is on while you're decorating anyway).
  3. Empty boxes are fun to stack and knock down. Be sure the ones your toddler grabs are indeed empty.
  4. If you have a toy shopping cart at your house, it is amazing what chores associated with decorating you can get your child to do.
  5. If you have one of those ornaments that you touch to turn on and off the tree lights, be sure not to do so in the presence of your child. You will regret it the rest of the season.
  6. Animal ornaments are a crowd pleaser.
  7. When setting up the nativity scene, be sure to explain whose birthday it is. Inevitably your child will respond to the question, "Whose birthday is at Christmas?" with "Daddy!" *slaps self in forehead* We are working on correcting this although technically, she's right.
  8. When chopping down your Christmas tree, picking a field that is without mud is desirable.
  9. Mittens are also desirable.
  10. When your toddler experiences Christmas for the first time (in her memory anyway), the reactions are simply priceless. Have your camera ready (and battery charged)!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Happy (Day After) Thanksgiving!

Things I'm thankful for this year:
  • A husband who loves our family and sacrifices for us.
  • The daughter God has blessed us with.
  • The child God will be blessing us with in the near future.
  • A job that understands my priority of being a Mom first and is okay with that.
  • Cars that are paid for and (currently) work.
  • A home we can afford to live in.
  • The little things like my cupcake pans and trouser socks.
  • And many other things I couldn't begin to list!
Happy (day after) Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thankgiving Eve

'Tis the eve of Thanksgiving, so I suppose I should think of some things for which to be thankful. (like how I made sure not to end that sentence in a preposition? )

I'm thankful that I don't have to cook the turkey.
I'm thankful for my dear sweet Filbert.
I'm thankful for my delightful Walnut.
I'm thankful for my precious Peanut.
I'm thankful for my boundless Cashew.
I'm thankful for godly parents who love me.
I suppose I'm thankful for 3 older brothers. ;)
I'm thankful for loving in-laws who are not the stuff of nightmares.
I'm thankful for my dishwasher (even though Filbert does most of the dishes.)
I'm thankful that Filbert does most of the dishes.
I'm thankful for my house.
I'm thankful for my bed. (I really love my bed.)
I'm thankful that even though times are tight, my children have never gone hungry. (I mean actually hungry, not whiny privileged American hungry which just means I want a cookie.)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Christmas Shopping

Normally by this time of year I'm finished with shopping except a few odds and ends. I feel so behind right now. I have items picked out for a few people, but not purchased. I have exactly 2 gifts purchased, and I have about 13 more to go. Sigh.

Anyone want to go shopping for me? (Mr. Bean is soooo lucky. I do all his shopping for him!)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Why the Bears Stink this Year

I blame the speckles. Whose idea was this? The shirts are much worse:

Let's start by firing the apparel designer. Maybe morale would be higher and the team would play better.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Where's My Tail?

My sister-in-law purchased this as a gift for String Bean's birthday:

The Where's My Tail? puzzle is made by Infantino and can be found at a pretty reasonable price. (For some reason, Amazon is listing this at $45 right now. I think it really should be $15 or less. There must be a glitch.)

Just this evening, we put together this puzzle 5 times before I called it quits. I cannot believe how quickly my 2 year old is matching the parts together. It is really amazing!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Gift Shopping with String Bean

A friend from church is adopting a toddler from China. Tonight, String Bean and I went shopping for her "toddler shower." I figured that String Bean would know what to get being that she fits into the same age group.

As we roamed the aisles of the store, she squealed in delight at all sorts of things. First, she discovered there was a purple dress on the rack and that I was wearing a purple sweater and that pretty much blew her little mind. Next, she found a sippy cup that was exactly like hers and attempted to drink out of it without success.

When we finally made it to the toy section, there were books to be discovered, toys to ride, balls to throw and buttons to press. We finally settled on some kids' kitchen ware (spatulas, bowls, colanders and the like). The great thing about taking her to shop for someone else is that I have a great idea of what to add to her Christmas list!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Two Year Stats

String Bean had her 2 year well check today with none other than my cousin (by marriage), Cindy!

For those of you who do not know, we've battled a weight problem since shortly after birth with String Bean. So, we are always eager to see if she's improved. Today she tipped the scales at 21 1/2 pounds! This is in the 1.6% for her age which is an improvement over 6 months ago when she was in the 0.5% for weight.

While this is great news, we are still forced to keep her rear-facing in her car seat due to the weight requirement of her car seat which is 24 pounds. If she continues to gain 1/2 a pound each month as she did the last 6 months, we are looking at having the option of turning her around in April 2010. Of course, extended rear facing is safer, so we aren't complaining. The only time it bugs us is on long road trips. She doesn't know the difference!

Other stats:
Height- 32 inches (10%)
Head Circumference- 18 1/4 inches (21%)

Monday, November 16, 2009


String Bean got a giraffe puppet for her birthday. We took it to the library with us today. What a thrill to see a display case full of giraffes. Even the librarians got excited for us!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Operation Christmas Child

String Bean and I spent some time this afternoon getting her shoe box ready for Operation Christmas Child. I think this will become an annual tradition for our family.

We took a walk to Walgreens and grabbed a basket to put all our treasures in. Among our treasures were a tiara, necklace, toothpaste, 2 toothbrushes, a small Christmas tin with hair accessories, 2 tubes of "lipstick" (flavored chap stick), sunglasses, a small plush panda, a Christmas pencil with a large eraser, a bar of soap, and over a pound of starlight mints.

(I vetoed the WD-40 she insisted on putting in our basket!)

After packing our box, String Bean was playing and found some balls and little Christmas-y figurines that our friend Connie gave her at church today. She chose one of the balls and one of the figures to put in the box. She's already learning to share!

This is the final week for dropping off your shoe boxes! Be sure to check the site and see where your local drop off points are and ideas for what to include in your box.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

A Perfect Party

As you know, String Bean turned two this week. Today she had her birthday party. Had we invited all her friends and fans our house never would have held everyone, so we had to limit it to family and babysitters.

The morning started out with String Bean taking Pop (grandpa) to her favorite park. With the two distractions gone, Mr. Bean, my mom (Nana) and I were able to set up for the party and cook lunch for everyone. Mr. Bean assembled his famous homemade lasagna the evening before and prepared most of the green bean casserole. Mr. Bean also put together an awesome slide show of String Bean's Second Year. He got the garlic bread ready while my mom and I spot cleaned, moved furniture, set the table, laid out the buffet, and decorated with photos of String Bean.

String Bean and Pop arrived home from the park and while Pop took a bath, String Bean took a (very brief) nap. When she awoke, Nana gave her a bath while Mr. Bean and I took care of last minute details.

Auntie Carolyn showed up early to the party since today was String Bean's fitting for her flower girl dress for the wedding. My mom made the dress and had to do some last minute hemming, but wanted to be sure the length was correct first.

Guests began to arrive at 11:30 and lunch was served at noon. Just prior to eating and saying the blessing, String Bean lead the group in singing the "Choo-Choo Song" which introduces everyone in the room. String Bean was the perfect hostess.

Following lunch, we watched the slide show Mr. Bean had made. It was a hit. By demand of the cousins, presents were opened immediately following. Ama and Grandpa tuned in for the present opening via Skype and enjoyed seeing everyone and everything String Bean got. String Bean enjoyed opening the gifts and loved everything she got (which was evidenced by her playing with every toy this afternoon).

We ate ice cream and cupcakes while String Bean made a mess.

It was the perfect party and we are happy that String Bean is loved by so many!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Happy Birthday, String Bean!

Dear String Bean,

We have enjoyed being your parents these last 24 months. You've brought much laughter to our home and have enhanced our lives in ways we never could have imagined. We look forward to this coming year and seeing you grow into a big sister, learn to use the potty and expand your vocabulary more and more. We can't wait to hear all your thoughts and help you discover new things.

We love you more each day than the day before.

Love and Kisses,

Mommy and Daddy

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Remember Our Veterans!

I come from a rich heritage of veterans. My grandfather (Pop-Pop), my grandmother (Nonna), my dad, and my father-in-law all served our country.

Pop-Pop and Nonna both served in World War II in the Army and Army Nurse's Corps, respectively. They did not meet until after the war, but that common background is what started a conversation that has resulted in 4 children, 10 grandchildren, and 9 great-grandchildren.

My father-in-law served the US Navy for a few years which helped him get through college through the GI Bill.

My dad served the Marine Corps for 20 years before retiring and now works as a contractor for the Army.

Remember today on this Veteran's Day to thank a veteran for their service to our country. After all, freedom isn't free!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Leaf Raking

Our church does an annual community service day. For the last few years, they added helping out at the neighborhood elementary school as an option. Since Mr. Bean attended that school, he can point out such historic locations as the door which he cried at every day for a week when kindergarten started and the place he got beat up in first grade.

We went to the school to do some yard work. Because of the economy, there isn't much room in the budget for anything beyond mowing the grass and removing the snow.

When we arrived, since String Bean was with us, we requested a work assignment without a playground view. We were given rakes and paper bags to fill in the side yard of the school. String Bean was given her own rake which was the perfect size.

For the first hour of the event, String Bean did a great job "helping" us clean up the side yard. Then, she hit herself in the head with the handle of the rake one too many times. Luckily, our friend Fred was in charge of collecting the full bags of leaves and depositing them at the garbage site. He had a wagon to assist him which made the perfect perch for String Bean as she then assisted Fred with his assignment.

Mr. Bean and I both walked out of there with a few blisters. I think String Bean managed to not have a bump on her head, and we all enjoyed spending a few hours out in the sunshine!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

PSA from Cashew

Cashew would like everyone to know that sucking on a baby wipe is a *bad* idea. And if one should happen to suck on a baby wipe, they definitely should not stick their entire hand into their mouth to try to wipe off the taste. It will make you puke.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Two Years Ago Today

This day two years ago both my parents and my in-laws were waiting as my due date for String Bean came and went. I remember going to the OB that day and being told that I was not in the least dilated, the baby had not dropped, and they didn't suspect I'd be going into labor any time soon.

6 days later, I was induced since there was still no sign of an impending arrival and String Bean had gotten too cramped to do much moving anymore.

After 26 hours on pitocin and zero contractions (and saying farewell to my father-in-law who had to get back to work), I was wheeled into the operating room and we welcomed String Bean into the world. She was worth the wait!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


Scene: 7 pm in the living room. String Bean is playing with our Goodwill find-Duplo Legos.

Me: I am so glad we don't have a son right now. Can you imagine how many Legos would be all over our living room?

Mr. Bean: It isn't too late. We could be having a son!

Me: Yeah, but now that I've realized this, I have years to mentally prepare for it.

Mr. Bean: True, and we have months to teach String Bean to clean up after her brother.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Another Crock Pot Creation

Mr. Bean asked me today why I have been doing so much cooking lately. I think the answer lies within the magic of the crock pot. I just love it.

Tonight I made chicken in the pot which is the first time I've ever tried chicken. Here is my recipe:

Chicken Stew-like Yummy Food
Chicken Breasts
Family size cream of chicken condensed soup
1/2 onion (or more)

Defrost chicken. Combine cream of chicken soup and 1/2 of its can full of milk in the crock pot. Add garlic, salt and pepper to your liking and stir. Coarsely chop celery (I used 3 stalks) and add to pot. Finely chop onion and add to pot. Add chicken last and be sure it is smothered in mixture.

Leave in fridge overnight, or begin cooking. Set on low for 6 to 8 hours. Once chicken is cooked, shred it by using a wooden spoon. It should fall apart pretty easily.

Serve over rice, biscuits, toast, or potatoes....or...or even plain! (To borrow a line from Holiday Inn.)

Monday, November 2, 2009

New Parking Lot

At work, they put in a new parking lot to accommodate the new science building they are putting in. I have been among the first to be asked to park in it.

There isn't anything like being one of the first cars to pull into a freshly bricked and painted lot. The lines are visible; the potholes do not exist.

It is the simple joys.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Sniffles and Coughs

I have officially infected my entire family. String Bean is sniffling and snotting everywhere she goes. I just love the entire face rub that puts snot everywhere. That stuff is tough to get out of eyebrows and eyelashes.

Mr. Bean took his temperature this evening and discovered it a one tenth of a degree above normal. Sound the alarms! He's starting to get the snot String Bean and I have been sharing.

We LOVE cold and flu season!