Wednesday, November 30, 2011


1.  I have never left my child with a babysitter.

Now hear me out.  I have left her before.  Matt puts her to bed when I have a meeting, she's stayed with my in laws for almost an entire day, she goes to the nursery at the gym almost every day.  It's not like girl is attached to my hip.  Well, she kind of is.  I mean, she has to be if I want to take her anywhere, right?

But this month I have been invited to several holiday celebrations.  And my dear, sweet husband is in trial out of town and will be gone practically all month.  Not to mention the fact that we have no family within 350 miles of us. 

It was time.

I hit up my favorite mommy friends and got some recommendations.  I have an official babysitter scheduled for Thursday evening and I'm throwing her in head first by having her put Natalie to bed.  Ha!  Should be interesting considering I'm still nursing and girl thrives on her nighttime routine.  But I've got to start somewhere. 

2.  I have no idea what to get my father for Christmas.  Really, I never do.  He's so not the typical dad.  You know the kind that golfs, grills, or needs office supplies?  Nope.  Not Pops.  He more sits, drinks beer, and watches sports.  And I have gotten him enough sports memorabilia that is collecting dust.  Ideas?

3.   My Christmas tree is still sitting in the middle of my family room with no lights or ornaments on it.  It's in this weird, leaning position and I have not been able to fix it myself so I am waiting until Matt has 0.2 seconds so he can help.  I will have the lights up this week.  I WILL!

4.  I'm not a fan of bath time.  There.  I said it.  It's completely out of pure laziness as Natalie really likes the bath and is no trouble at all.  But if it was socially acceptable to bathe your child once I week, I'd be all over that.  For now, I'll stick with every other day. 

5.  I tried a new recipe for cookies yesterday to send for a cookie exchange.  I'm pretty sure I messed up measuring how much flour I was supposed to use because the cookies spread like WHOA.  I mean, like WHOA.  But they still tasted good so I sent them anyway.  There was no way I was going to go out to the store to get more ingredients to make something else.  And like I said, they still tasted good.  Karma's probably going to screw me and I'll receive some gross thumbprint cookies with fruit in the middle.  Ick.  Give me chocolate.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Monday friends!  Matt's has been working weekends for the last two weeks so my days are all messed up.  Besides the fact that Natalie and I spent the majority of our day yesterday in pajamas which is more common on the weekends, I thought it was Monday all day.  I feel a little off.  It could also be all of the Thanksgiving food I stuffed myself with all weekend.  I'm in need of a food intervention.

We headed down to Indianapolis Wednesday evening and spent all day Thursday at my parents' house celebrating with my in laws and my family.  We had so much fun and so much food...and it was a super fun day filled with lots of love.  


I made this Pumpkin Spiced Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting and it was so yummy!  I ate the leftovers for breakfast for two days.  Yep.  That was only the beginning of my sweet issues.  I think I may need to give up sugar.  After Christmas of course.

To say that my mama loves her granddaughter is the biggest understatement of the century.  They had such a great time together spreading the love.

Until Natalie got a hold of my brother, her bestie.  These are probably my favorite pictures ever. 

After dinner we played some games, drank some wine, and played Just Dance.  In that order.  Which explains why my moves on Just Dance were less than stellar.  Or perhaps it's just that I can't dance.  Either way...complete and utter suckage on my part.  

We headed back to Cleveland on Friday and stopped to get our Christmas tree on the way home.  It's Natalie's first Christmas this year so we're soaking in all of the experiences together as a family.  Can you believe how nice the weather was?  I mean, last year it was so cold and raining.  This year girl didn't even need a coat!

Saturday I hosted my very first Thanksgiving for a group of our friends and their kiddos.  We had an absolute blast.  I forgot to take any pictures because I was rushing around all day prepping the food and such but I did manage to snap a blurry phone pic of the cupcakes I made.  Happy Turkey Day!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Change. The Good and the Bad.

I'm not a person who likes change.  That control freak inside of me (okay, it's not really inside of out there for everyone to see) likes to know what's going to happen before it actually happens.  And when things change, I'm caught off guard, I'm not prepared.  And a Jenny unprepared is one of the worst things in my mind.  In fact I'm getting anxious right now thinking about it.

This is a particularly sensitive area for me during the holiday season.  I wistfully dream of the good old days where I woke up at 6 a.m. with my brother and sister, we all sat in our particular spots on the couch, and we opened presents.  Then Mom would make us an awesome breakfast and we'd all nap on the couch because why the heck did we get up so early?  Or Thanksgiving where we'd go to my Grandma and Grandpa's and sit at the kids table telling jokes or spying on our parents. 

Things have changed so much.  We've added husbands and lost grandparents.  We have so many other people to take into account, our little bubble has been disrupted.  A part of me mourns the loss of my holidays as a kid and the fact that they'll never be the same.

And now that we have a little girl of our own, I want us to make our own holiday traditions for her.  In her own home.  But how do you wake up in your own house on Christmas morning when the rest of your family lives 5 hours south? 

These are all areas we'll eventually have to work out.  Starting with this year's Thanksgiving.  We usually head down to Indianapolis as both my parents and Matt's parents live there.  My sister comes in from Chicago with her husband and we all of Thanksgiving dinner at my parents' house.  We're out at 3 a.m. with the crazies for Black Friday and then we celebrate another Thanksgiving with Matt's side of the family is they decide to grace us with their presence. 

This year, work is getting in the way.  Matt has a trial coming up in December and it's serious crunch time.  Before I married an attorney, I thought all lawyers went to court all the time like on T.V.  Well, obviously this isn't true.  Things rarely go to trial so this is a huge, crazy big deal.  And he's swamped.  So this year we're only going to be traveling from late Wednesday to early Friday.  No Black Friday, just a quick dinner and we're outta there.

It makes my heart hurt that things have to change when you get older.  That everything doesn't always go as planned.  But I'm trying to look on the bright side.  I decided since we were going to be home for the weekend...that we could get out Christmas tree!  So I'm all pumped up to decorate for the season.  And seeing as I'm always piling on way too much, I invited several of our friends over on Saturday for another Thanksgiving meal.  Yes.  I'm hosting my first Thanksgiving, making my first turkey...on one week's notice.  When I get home from traveling one day before.

I'm insane.

But I'm also excited to spread the season with our friends who we've come to love.  Who we are so thankful to have surrounding us in this city we never thought we'd stay in more than a year or two.  We're dug in people.  Growing roots, you might say.  And I don't want to leave.

Monday, November 21, 2011

10 Months!

Sweet girl, how in the world are you 10 months old?  I mean, in two months you will be a whole year!  I cannot believe you have been with us longer than you were in my belly.  You have changed our lives drastically for sure but have brought so much love into our world.  Your daddy and I are thankful for you every single day.


You spent a lot of this month fighting a runny nose.  It seemed as soon as we got it under control...back it came.  Although you've come to really hate Boogie Wipes, you really do handle the congestion like a champ.  We had a few rough nights but who can really blame you when you can't catch a breath?  Plus, more snuggles for me!

We took our very first lunch date together at Panera!  I'm not sure why we haven't done this before but we were out and about and I was hungry so I decided it was time.  It made me so happy to be out with you and think about how many more lunches we'll share as you get older.  Me and my daughter.  Insert heart swell. 

You made up a new game where you hold your little hands on your forehead and pretend I can't see you.  It's our own version of peek-a-boo.  I act like I can't find you anywhere and when you finally bring your hands down I say, "There she is!" and you get so excited.  We do this in your high chair all the time.  Speaking of your high chair, you're a good little eater but you're easily distracted.  With this game as well as trying to get the shadows on your tray from the spoon or your hands.  But you're eating three great meals a day including veggies, fruit, chicken, cheese, eggs, yogurt, and yummy muffins.  You're perhaps also tasted McDonald's french fries.  And a nugget.

You've learned how to get from sitting to crawling!  It took a little coaxing by your Grandad but once you figured out how to do it you wasted no time mastering it.  Now you're completely mobile.  I can't trust you anywhere!  And the hardwood doesn't even contain your crazy anymore as you are no longer staying on just the carpet.  Floor food is becoming an issue.  Do I really have to sweep every day?  Because that is jut not going to happen.

Your favorite place to be in the world is upside-down.  A smile is plastered on your face whenever you do it.  And once we start, you don't want to stop.  You fling yourself backwards and we really have to watch because it's pretty dangerous the way you fall backwards. 

A couple big events this month...your very first Halloween!  You were a ballerina and had several opportunities to wear your costume your Grandmer made you.  We went trick-or-treating with your besties and you did a good job of getting some candy for Mommy and Daddy.  We've also transitioned from using a bottle to a sippy cup.  You still haven't quite mastered tipping your head back to get at the milk, but you're drinking much better out of this than out of the bottle.  We replaced an afternoon nursing session with the sippy for a while but Mommy quickly realized her milk stash was going to run out so you're back on the boob for now.  But the sippy's there when we need it.

Although you can't yet pull up on things, when I stand you up on the furniture you are walking all over the place.  You get a lot of practice with your Leap Frog table as it moves on the carpet.  I'm so impressed at how well you are able to maneuver around the room.  I just know you'll be taking steps soon.  You're so brave!

You've pretty much given up going back to sleep after your morning nursing session which has actually turned into a good thing.  Your usual 30-45 minute morning nap is now a fairly consistent hour and a half.  Mommy thanks you!

You took one trip this month to Indiana for a wedding.  It was a quick trip...good thing because you were not such a fan of the hotel sleeping.  I'm sure our neighbors were not thrilled.  Weird how daddy's can sleep through it though, huh?

You had two friends come over this month to play whilst Mommy watched all of you.  Lucky for your Daddy, this bought him at least another year before a sibling will even be talked about.  You're enough work for now sweet cheeks.

I love you sweet girl.  I love your sweet little feet even though they smell like feet.  I love the fact that you are so happy in the mornings.  I love your happy kicky dance you do when you see me.  I love the smile you get on your face when Daddy comes home.  I love when I tell you no and you smile and do it anyways.  I just love you.  Love you to the moon and back my love.  

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Poinsettia Say What?

Y'all.  Last week was the craziest, busiest week ever.  Do I say that all the time?  No?  Okay good.  Because it really was.

After I made the 100th anniversary cake for our Junior League, they asked me to make cookies for our annual fundraiser, Poinsettia Place.  Because I'm all awesome and stuff.  So of course I said yes.

And every week the number of cookies they needed kept growing and growing.  

First, 200-225.  Then 250.  Then all of a sudden it was upwards of 300.  Whoa people.  The most cookies I have ever made in my life was maybe 40.  But I was up for the challenge.  I mean, how hard can it really be to bake and decorate 300 cookies?

Well, let me tell you.


Obviously, I had the added bonus of taking care of a 10 month old at the same time.  Talk about a juggling act.  Okay.  Let's get serious.  She was neglected.  Not like leave your child on the changing table neglected.  More like let her play with the CDs and bang them on the TV neglected.  It's amazing how much you can miss a child who is right there with you all day when you have no time to play with her.  This is a huge reason I could not do this full time.  My eyes have been opened.

Needless to say, it was a lot more work than I realized.  I spent one entire day baking.

 No YOU baked 300+ cookies yesterday. on Twitpic

The next day was spent outlining the cookies.

. These cookies will surely be the death of me...  on Twitpic

Next up, flooding and decorating.  Upon doing this, I quickly realized that I should've split this up into two days.  Decorating cookies with three different colors means that you have to do something to 300 cookies 3 times.  So you know what I did?  Put my husband to work!  Those green leaves and yellow centers, all him. 

Until 11 p.m. when the loser decided to go to bed, leaving me to fend for myself.  

The last day I spent individually packaging each one and tying them with ribbon.  Let's just say it will be quite a while before I take on a task such as this again.  I'm looking forward to a few day of soaking in my child and sitting on my butt.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

9 Month Photo Shoot of the Cutest Baby Alive

We recently had Natalie's 9 month pictures taken at a local pumpkin patch.  I used a new photographer, Denise from Zoobee Photography, and I am beyond impressed by the pictures she took.  Here are just a few, okay a lot, of  my favorites.  

My sweet, big girl.  I just cannot believe she is taking pictures standing up.  I can't even imagine what her 12 month pictures are going to look like.  So thankful for these little moments captured.

Monday, November 7, 2011

2 Cakes and a Wedding

Y'all.  Last week was insane.  I had two cakes due.  Two.  Throw in an infant and you have a very full week.  Did I mention we were also going out of town for a wedding over the weekend?  Yeah.  Insert major stress.

But it's over!  Wait.  I have to make 300+ cookies for an event this Friday you say?  Oh yeah.

Let's skip that right now, okay?  

The first cake I made was for a former co-worker of mine.  Her son was having his first birthday over the weekend and they were doing a New York themed party.  Her husband works in New York during the week and then comes home on weekends so they are in the city quite a bit visiting.  Here's what we came up with.


My next cake was a groom's cake for one of my roomies from college.  It was a surprise for her husband so I was determined to rock it out on this one.  She didn't want it too big as her wedding cake was enormous so we decided on a tool box for her handy man.

This was the set up at the wedding.  If you can't tell, the cake board for her wedding cake is a log.  Isn't that the coolest touch ever?  They had the reception in some middle of nowhere town surrounded by cornfields and it was so gorgeous and so her.  

Forgive me for not getting many pictures.  Someone was being little miss fussy pants as it was way past Natalie's bed time.  But I did get a few of her and her pops at the wedding.

So excited to be there....

After we ate and raided the candy buffet at the reception we were outta there.  Funny how weddings with a baby are so different.  No drinking, no dancing, just surviving.  Good thing she's cute, huh?  

We did get a change to snuggle 3 month old twins of a friend during dinner which was uber fun and totally gave me the baby fever.  But then Natalie started fussing and the thought of having to deal with two on my own closed my uterus back up in a jiffy.