Sunday, May 31, 2009

Clean Up

Don't you love it when you clean up the living room and your kid wakes up, comes in, and completely trashes it?

We are teaching String Bean to clean up after herself, but tonight just was not the night to make it happen. I'm afraid I missed the window for putting her down, which translated in her not going to bed until 10 pm. Rather than force her to clean up her mess, I just put her down.

At what age did you start teaching your child to clean up after themselves? (I was going to add "At what age did they catch on and do it on their own?" and then I realized that was a silly question!)

Friday, May 29, 2009

4 Incidences in 3 days

I mentioned earlier that String Bean had a puking incident while we were on vacation. She had another one when we got home...at 2:30 am. Just what we want to do when we are half awake! She also peed out all sides of her diaper soaking her clothing on our drive home. And this morning Mr. Bean woke up to a very poopy mess in her diaper and pajamas.

This is the side of motherhood that you are not warned about. Ladies, be forewarned. Bodily functions go awry and that is the joy of being a mom.

Love it. Don't embrace it/him/her.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Finally a Winner!

I'm happy to report the last day of our vacation in Door County, Wisconsin went without incident with String Bean. Among the highlights were a ferry ride that she found quite thrilling and a visit to an ostrich farm that happened to have an up-close and personal view of a black bear!

Our next vacation? To Indianapolis in June!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Today was Not Better

Although String Bean got a great night of sleep, she did not have a better day today.

We visited the Cana Island Lighthouse. After hiking to the island (ok, that sounds more dramatic than it is), we went into the lighthouse. String Bean decided she should crawl up to the second floor of the "home" side of the lighthouse. Around the third step, she slipped and smacked her face on the step and she has a nice purple bruise to prove it!

After several tears were shed and String Bean had recovered from the incident, I carried her up the offending stairs. While there, she found some kid-sized chairs to sit in. She made the mistake of asking her father to come sit in the chair beside her. Instead of moving her fingers from between the chairs, she left them and Mr. Bean managed to pinch them tightly. Luckily (?), this was on the opposite hand than the one she got caught in the elevator door on Sunday.

So, today was not String Bean's day either. Maybe tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Not String Bean's Day

Despite the rain, we are having a good time on vacation. String Bean...has had some challenges.

It all started this morning when we took her swimming. There is a kid's pool here at the hotel! Perfect. We took her down and Mr. Bean got in the pool with her. She was standing up and the water came up to about her chest. I took her bouncy ball she'd been playing with all weekend and kicked it into the pool. I did not know she was going to dive head-first into the water to retrieve it. After a couple seconds fully emerged in the water, Mr. Bean picked her up and she coughed a couple times then signed "all done" repeatedly. For the rest of the 10 minute pool trip, she sat crying, clinging her ball, and signing "all done" whenever she felt like we might make her go in the water again. Sorry, kid. Just because you have a near-death experience does not mean you get out of swimming lessons later. Following the pool, she got a bath. It may as well have been just another pool. Same reaction.

This evening, we were in the hotel room. After a few coughing fits and several looks of "Mom I have something in my throat," I invited String Bean to come sit on my lap. As she was passed from dad to mom, she started dry heaving. Of course, Mr. Bean squealed like a girl and jumped in fear of puke getting on his fashionable clothing. Nothing came up on him.

While sitting on my lap, String Bean started puking up the contents of her stomach. Being the quick thinkers we are, my mother-in-law and I caught all the throw up in our hands. We went into the bathroom and cleaned up the rest. A little on the onesie and a drop on the hotel room carpet and the rest in the sink. Mr. Bean cleaned up the sink, I cleaned up the little bean and my mother-in-law cleaned up the solitary drop off the carpet.

An hour later, and String Bean is sleeping soundly in her room (Yes, it is a 2 bedroom condo we are staying in). It was definitely not her day. Hopefully tonight she does not wake up every 2 hours and hopefully tomorrow is better.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Door County, Wisconsin

Starting today we are on a mini-vacation! Mr. Bean's parents invited us to join them for a few days in Door County, Wisconsin. For all you stalkers out there, we're staying at this hotel in Sister Bay. We'll see you poolside.

Last night, we spent most of the evening preparing for this trip. Kids need so much stuff when you go on vacation. I think Mr. Bean and I are taking up half a suitcase and String Bean takes up the other half plus a diaper bag, a books bag, a toy bucket, and food galore since she's so picky and we do want her to eat this week.

We'll be back in the Chicagoland area on Thursday just in time for our friend, McParkinson to visit!

Bon voyage!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

No Dinner

Our dinner last night didn't work out after all. Instead of putzing around and not doing anything, we went over to the in-laws' house.

My in-laws have been gracious in letting us store all of our overflow (read: things that were in String Bean's room when it was a guest room back in the day) in their attic while they've been in town this past year. The gravy train ends in August.

Last night we went over to start going through all of our storage things to get rid of some so we can (hopefully) store them back here once the in-laws move. I'm happy to say we filled Mr. Bean's trunk and more with all of our donations to Goodwill.

We only got through about 2/5 of the storage. So, we'll have to do it again, soon!

Saturday, May 23, 2009


Tonight the Beans are going to have dinner with our friends, the Newbyweds, in downtown Chicago! Besides a museum visit, String Bean hasn't seen much of the city. As for me, we'll be driving a couple blocks from my alma matter. This should be fun.

We're going to have to bring the bucket-o-fun for String Bean to keep her busy in the car and at the apartment!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

E is for Elephant

This is a proud mommy post, so if any of you are turned off by that, here's your chance to escape.

Last night as Filbert was reading to the little nuts, he started pointing to some letters for Peanut. Filbert pointed to a "d" and Peanut said "whoof, whoof" as in d is for dog! How much does that rock! That's pretty smart for a 3 year old, let alone a 3 year old whose parents were told he would be retarded! But, that is not all! Filbert pointed to the "e" and Peanut did his elephant sound and sign! His evaluations have always shown that he does not have any cognative delays, but it's nice to get a little extra confirmation every once in a while.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

American Idol

After successfully avoiding the entire show this season, I did sit through the season finale. I enjoyed some of the big names and they did put on a great show. LOVED the Queen appearance at the end with "We are the Champions." Good times.

Does Fox not realize this is a family show? Do they not know that early elementary kids watch this show week after week and would be tuning into the finale? I can't believe they did "If You Want my Body." Glad String Bean is too young to ask what that means.

It was fun to see Steve Martin up there with his banjo and I liked his song except for the lyric about "would you sleep with me if I bought you dinner" or whatever the exact words were.

What happened with the whole Black Eyed Peas/Fergie thing that they cut to a still shot with no sound in the middle of the song? I couldn't understand the lyrics at all (the beat was good!), so I can only assume that something did not go right and what we saw was the censorship of the broadcast.

Congratulations, Kris. I know several Facebook friends who are thrilled at the moment.

Fox: tsk, tsk, tsk. Shame on you.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Mishap at Home

String Bean was reading one of her board/foam-ish books that we checked out the library this morning when she decided to pull one of the pages out of the middle of the book. I found her holding it up in triumph and parading around the room screaming in delight as if she'd slayed a dragon.

I figured we better take it back to the library before further damage was done to String Bean's victim the book. Upon arrival in the Children's department, I told the librarian that we'd had a little mishap that morning at home and showed her the torn and tattered book. Jokingly, I added, "String Bean feels really bad about what she did, don't you?" When I looked at String Bean, her face was red, her eyes were droopy, and she had a pout on her face. Granted, I did rouse her as she was preparing for a snooze in the car seat, but I thought she was going to start crying at any moment. The poor librarian immediately tried to soothe String Bean, "It's okay honey, I am not going to yell at you. These things happen. Don't be sad." Wow. I was kidding when I said she was sorry.

We turned around to go to the elevator (String Bean's favorite) and I put String Bean down and said, "Let's go ride the elevator!" As if she knew her acting gig was over, she squealed in delight and ran for the elevator.

Where does she get this? Should I enroll her in acting classes and make an appointment for head shots? Could this be our ticket to a comfy retirement?

Monday, May 18, 2009

Free Stuff

If you're looking for a blog that points you to cheap baby stuff, I suggest you start reading BabyCheapskate. I've mentioned them before on this blog, but I can't say enough good things about this blog. This is definitely a place I look for info before purchasing things from diapers to cribs and everything in between.

Today's post on BabyCheapskate listed Huggies Enjoy the Ride Rewards codes. For your convenience, I've listed all 81 points here!


You can earn several more points by clicking around their website! Enjoy!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Two Cent Stamps

Allow me to save you a trip to the post office. Remember those vending machines in the lobby where you could purchase single stamps? That vending machine was a lifesaver when all you needed was say...a 2 cent stamp since postage went up and you didn't want to wait in that long line.

They no longer exist.

I found this out the hard way when I went to two different city post offices looking for 2 cent stamps on Saturday night at 8 pm. I'm a huge fan of the Automated Post Office thingy in the lobby, don't get me wrong, but you cannot purchase 2 cent stamps in bulk there. In fact, your first purchase from that machine has to be over $1.00 and you have to cheat to get your 2 cent stamps by pretending you have a letter on the scale that has partial postage on it, you have to type in the zip code (which I made up on the spot since it costs the same amount to mail a first class envelope anywhere in the United States), and you have to tell it that you don't want to put a letter-sized label on your little envelope. It took me 10 minutes to purchase 4 of the 32 stamps I needed and I had to purchase 3 regular (44 cent) stamps so as to not anger the machine.

Now I have to find time during regular business hours to purchase the remaining 28 stamps I need. You can't see me right now, but I'm shaking my head in disapproval. Yet another reason to continue with my online bill pay.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Grape Extravaganza

I typically cut up 30 or 40 grapes at a time and fill a small tupperware container with them so I don't have to cut the 3 or 4 that String Bean will eat at every meal and dirty up a knife and cutting board multiple times a week.

The ENTIRE tupperware container I cut up the other day has gone untouched until today. In the 15 minutes I've been sitting in my rocker checking my email and facebook, String Bean has eaten almost the entire thing!

This is truly amazing feat from a child who never eats more than she absolutely has to. It helps when you aren't in your high chair and you have a little chair just your size to sit in I suppose.

Now to look forward to some dirty diapers with lots of grape skins!

Oh, and congratulations to my friend Emily on the birth of her daughter, Rory!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Happy Birthday, Hazel!

Today is Amy's birthday! Join me in wishing her a great year ahead!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Spring Storms

I'm thankful that my daughter isn't old enough yet to be fearful of storms. We've got a major one coming through our area right now. We are even under a tornado watch until 11 pm!

String Bean did discover the joy of puddle jumping this afternoon. Perhaps if I keep the wonder and delight of puddle jumping at the front of her mind when storms come through the thunder and lightning won't be so scary.

What are your tips for kids who are scared of storms?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Trying to Conceive

A coworker asked me today if I had any resources for trying to conceive (TTC) as he and his wife have decided it is time to start a family. Rather than keep all these resources to myself, I thought I'd share them with you!

Two Week Wait is an excellent community for those looking for support while they start their family. The name comes from the 2 week time period between ovulation and the time a home pregnancy test could be positive. This community has a large amount of women who have fertility issues, but a fair amount who are just starting the process of starting a family and who want the support of others. As an added bonus, there is a pregnancy community for those who graduate from the TTC community.

Pregnology is a great site for helping you calculate when you'll be ovulating, when your next menstral cycle should be, when your due date might be, and a calculator to measure how far along in your pregnancy you are. I like this site because you can plug in your stats and bookmark the site to keep tabs on where you are in the process of TTC or pregnancy.

Fertility Friend is a site that allows you to chart your basal body temperature and symptoms of pregnancy while TTC. There is a free place to store data, but for the computer analysis portion of the site there is a fee.

Amazing Pregnancy
offers tons of articles on TTC and pregnancy.

I am of the opinion that you should not have to pay for information or support while trying to start a family which is why I used the sites I mentioned when TTC our daughter.

Are there free sites you recommend to my coworker's wife as she starts the journey?

Monday, May 11, 2009

One of those...Years?

I went in to work today and turned on my computer only to find it wouldn't turn on. I'm now on computer #4 in my last 19 months of employment. I believe the first one broke around this time last year, so I've managed to break 3 in a year. I must have radioactive fingers or something.

On the bright side, I've now got a sexy new laptop just in time for me to quit working for the summer!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day

Mother's Day for me means Mr. Bean going to work early in the morning (it typically is graduation Sunday) and me going to church and caring for String Bean all of her waking hours.

I do enjoy that he takes a couple hours off mid-morning between graduation day events and gets me flowers, a card "from" String Bean, and sometimes a gift. This year my special gift was new potholders (by request).

String Bean has celebrated this day by dressing herself, feeding herself, cleaning up after herself, and changing her own diapers...I can always pretend.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Fecal Fascination

Why are toddlers fascinated with fecal matter? I hope we don't find any more lying around at our house!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Who Are the People in Your Neighborhood?

An elderly lady in our building gave String Bean a radio, wind-up Sesame Street toy a few months ago. She absolutely loves it. The toy was this lady's granddaughters when she was a toddler. That granddaughter is in college now.

We've wound up that toy a million times in the last couple months and yesterday after a few weeks of being touchy about whether working or not, it finally broke. Mr. Bean asked me to look on Ebay
to see if they happened to had any. Being that the toy is 20ish years old, I seriously doubted I'd find it. Boy was I shocked when I found this! (Of course, this link will expire after awhile.)

For $10 (including shipping) we are all set for round 2 of the toy. We kept the old one so we can use it for parts should the need arise. Mr. Bean is sentimental about this toy since he grew up watching Sesame Street back in the early 80s. It plays the song "Who Are the People in Your Neighborhood?" which is fitting since it came from a neighbor!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

The End of an Era

The college where Mr. Bean and I work have their graduation ceremonies this weekend. I just got home from the ROTC Commissioning rehearsal. It was sad to see 14 of the people I've worked with over the last 19 months preparing for their last exercise as cadets with our Battalion. It is funny to know that 2 of them will be in the office on Monday with us as college graduates and officers in the US Army!

We have several friends graduating from high school, college, and graduate school (including Mr. Bean's dad). Congratulations to all on your hard work and the beginning of a new chapter of your lives!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The Greatest Gift

Mr. Bean took String Bean out today to purchase my Mother's Day gift. I asked for new potholders. I'm keeping my fingers crossed I'll get them!

While I sit here and wait for them to come home, I started thinking about the greatest gift I've ever received. One that ranked pretty high on the list was the experience of swimming with the dolphins Mr. Bean gave me several Christmases ago. It was amazing!

If I had to pin down the greatest gift I ever got, I would have to chose the time someone died for me to save me. Who does that?! I was well on my way to a collision with death, and he stepped in and took my place. That was the greatest gift ever.

You can read all about it right here!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Hazel's Craft Corner

I may have mentioned that I'm not really crafty, but I'm trying to change that. I started making jewelry last year and it's a lot of fun. I thought I would show you some of the more recent stuff I've made.




Since I'm having so much fun with the jewelry making, I decided to branch out in crafting. For my birthday, which is still a week and a half away, I got a sewing machine. Today, I finally had a chance to put it through its paces and try to recall from the depths of my memory anything that I learned in my high school Home Ec. classes. When that failed, I made a bag. I didn't use a pattern, because I didn't have one and since I don't usually use recipes when I cook, I figured I could wing sewing, too. I mean, Filbert almost always eats the stuff I cook, even when the kids and I can't choke it down. I've completely lost the thread of this post, now. Oh, hey, I made a bad pun. I'm talking about sewing and lost the thread. When you have to explain a joke, it kind of loses it's effectiveness. So anyway, I made a bag and here, in all of it's glory, it is.Photobucket

And here it is again, filled with stuff.Photobucket

Next I'm going to make a pillowcase dress for Cashew and I bought some fabric remnants to make into pants for her, also. I'll let you all know how it goes!

Monday, May 4, 2009


When I was in 2nd grade, we had a class hamster that my friend Elizabeth (who was always super-intelligent) named Ollie after Oliver North who shredded documents in the 80s. I guess she figured the hamster would be chewing up stuff like Oliver.

Today I've spent the majority of the day sorting through old paperwork and shredding it just like Ollie. Of course the shredder has jammed on me twice so I've had to spend time pulling the paper out of every nook and cranny of it. Every time the basket would fill up, I'd have to empty it which would mean little papers everywhere. Since String Bean is Mommy's little helper and picks up everything. So, out came the vacuum cleaner to clean up the little bits.

Vacuum cleaners and shredders make terrifying noises to toddlers, so all this was done during naps today. Now that String Bean is down for the night, it is time to shred more!


Sunday, May 3, 2009

Growing Up!

Now that Cashew has turned 2, she no longer is in the church nursery with String Bean. When I went to pick up String Bean this morning, she was fast asleep in one of the nursery worker's arms. The worker said, "She was the only one over here this morning and I guess it got boring!" There are a few other kids who should be in the nursery with String Bean, but they were absent this morning. Come mid-June, they will have all graduated to the 2s class and String Bean and her friend Jenna will be all alone until they get to graduate in November.

Our little babies are growing up. Before we know it, we'll be shelling out all our life savings to send them off to college. Stanford, Yale or Harvard of course.

Saturday, May 2, 2009


It is spring which means it is time for Spring Cleaning. Here are some tips to get your house a little less cluttered as you head into the warmer months:

Go through your closets. Put away all the winter clothes to make room for the cute stuff you need. If you clean your closet, you'll see what you need and not overspend getting stuff you don't need. Make a pile of things you (or your kids) have outgrown to give away.

Go through the toys. Put away what younger siblings will use, but get rid of what your kids have outgrown. Your friends with younger children will be thrilled to get free stuff, your bank account will love a garage sale, or your local charity would love a donation. Don't do this when your kids are in the room or nothing will disappear!

Get rid of school-year papers. Obviously there are some papers you will want to keep that show off your kid's mad math skills or highlight some areas of concern to work on over the summer. But no one will care if you get rid of the numerous spelling tests, coloring worksheets and parent newsletters. If you're overwhelmed with art projects, pick out the best ones and send the rest to grandma (she'll love it!), aunts and uncles, or family friends who love your kids like you do.

Clear out junk drawers. Do as I say, not as I do. Just go through the drawer and get rid of the old batteries, expired coupons, parts that don't go to anything and the pens that don't work. You'll make room for all sorts of new junk to breed over the coming months and it will be like you never missed it.

Shred old files. I really need to do this. My files are jam-packed with ridiculous files that I kept because....I thought I was supposed to. Who cares if I have my electric bill from 2004?

What other things should we all add to our Spring Cleaning list?

Friday, May 1, 2009

Happy Birthday, Cashew!

As soon as I knew I was pregnant with each of my kids, I knew something about them. With Walnut, I knew as soon as I saw the pink lines, that he would weigh over nine pounds. I don't know how I knew it, but I was without a doubt that this baby I was carrying would be huge and he was, 9 lbs, 4 oz. With Peanut, I knew he would be born early. Mind you, I was thinking 2 or 3 weeks, not 7. Filbert's parents planned a long vacation, for the entire month before his due date. Their plan was to be back 3 days before my due date, and I assured them that they were going to miss the birth. As it turns out, they missed their whole trip, as Peanut arrived before they even left, and they couldn't bear to leave with him in the NICU.

Five and a half months after Peanut's birth, I knew I wanted another child someday, but not quite yet, and I didn't know what Filbert wanted. So it was with great trepidation that I took a pregnancy test. I cried when I got a positive and showed it to Filbert. He got that funny look on his face that a man gets when he knows he is "da man" and then I was relieved and started to be a little bit happy. I knew that this was the daughter I had always longed for and even more, I knew that she was going to be fine.

My darling Cashew, I wish you that happiest of birthdays and many more to come. You overwhelm me with your life-force and I hope you always will. I pray the Lord will guide me in the way to mold you into the woman you are meant to be, for you are a force to be reckoned with. You are so much more than fine, but words fail me.