Monthly Archives: November 2010

I’m a Copycat

About 50% of the time when I decide to try something new and/or fun, it’s because I’ve heard about it from someone else. 

Tonight, Aaron and I will be starting Jillian Michaels’ 30 Day Shred.  I first read about it on Sarah’s blog.  I decided to try it for several reasons.  I saw Alicia’s before and after pictures on her site, Alicica’s Homemaking.  That was pretty much reason enough, but in addition,  I’m a big fan of the Biggest Loser and I wanted a fairly short, every day workout I can do after Chloe goes to bed at night.

So we got the DVD from the library and we have our weights ready.  I’m hoping I can still walk by the end of the week…

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Our Little Road Warrior

Chloe is amazing.  I say this a lot, but she just doesn’t stop amazing me.  She did amazing on the drive out to Dayton, OH and back.

On our way out, we stopped at the University Place hotel at IUPUI in Indianapolis.  It’s a sort of sister property for Gateway Hotel where my mom and Aaron both work and we took a tour of the property on Wednesday morning.  When we arrived on Tuesday night, things were a little rough, because Chloe woke up and wasn’t feeling so hot.  We made it through the night with some extra snuggles and the remaining 2 hours of our drive was easy.

We were all sick for most of the trip (Chloe had a fever, congestion and a cough; mom had the congestion and cough; dad got away with just the congestion) but we still had a great time with family.  Chloe loved all the attention she got and had a blast playing with her cousins.

Even though the trip out went well,  we were still worried about the trip back.  We were doing it all in one day, Chloe had been away from home and out of her routine for 5 days and she was still sick.  This is the point where I will say again, she is A-MAZING!!  From door-to-door, it is a 623 mile trip.  With good weather, and all adults, the trip takes about 10 hours.  We made it in 10 hours, 15 minutes.  We only stopped twice – for lunch and an afternoon diaper change/leg stretching.

We stopped for lunch at a mall in Champaign, IL.  I would definitely do this again.  We got lunch from the food court, so we had options.  There was lots of room for Chloe to run around.  I should say, there was lots of room for her to run around without pants on.  The problem with waiting 3.5 hours before we stopped was that Chloe soaked through her diaper – oops!!  Her extra clothes were so far buried in the car, we couldn’t get to them.  So we dried off her onesie the best we could, dried her pants under the air dryer and let her run around in just her onesie to help her dry off some more.  I’m sure people in the mall thought we were bad parents, but I’ll never see them again 🙂

Our second stop was at a gas station near Davenport.  I hope we can remember exactly where this gas station was, so we never go there again!!  The bathrooms were disgusting and the goods were covered in dirt/dust.  It was gross.  For the record, Chloe was changed in the backseat of the car.

Then just a few hours later we were home.  Chloe Mae was so happy to be home, she actually let us unpack most of our stuff.  She even helped some – bringing trash into the kitchen to throw away and putting things away (or at least taking them out of the bag…)


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Chloe’s First Thanksgiving (in Ohio)

For as long as I can remember, I have made a bi-annual trek to Dayton, OH with my family to visit some of our wonderful extended family.  I have lots of great memories and was excited 4 years ago when Aaron got to join me for the first time.  This year is Chloe’s first chance to go, and although I am excited, we have to survive the drive first.

From door-to-door, the trip is 612 miles.  Six hundred and twelve miles with a cutie who has gotten restless as the weather has gotten colder and she’s been stuck inside more – but still able to run around.  Six hundred and twelve miles with an adorable little girl who sometimes gets tired of being in the car on a short trip across town or waiting for a train.  Six hundred and twelve miles….

On the drive out, we’re breaking it up into 2 days.  Tuesday afternoon/evening, we hope to make it to Indianapolis.  Assuming that Chloe falls asleep in the car for her regular afternoon nap and again around bedtime, she should sleep for a good portion of Tuesday’s drive.  We’ll finish with just a short drive to Dayton on Wednesday.  The trip home, however, we are doing all in 1 day.

I’ve already resigned myself to the fact that Chloe will probably spend most of the 1024 miles with some sort of snack in hand.  I’ve also accepted that we’ll be making even more stops than we did 2 years ago when we made the trip with 2 pregnant women with tiny bladders.  We’ve been clinging to Chloe’s two nap-a-day schedule, even though she’s been giving clues that she might be ready for just one, in hopes that she’ll sleep just a little more during our drive.  I have a few new toys for Chloe to play with and we’ve stocked up on DVD’s of her favorite show, The Backyardigans.  (It’s her favorite, because it’s one of the only shows she gets to watch, because it’s one of the only shows mom and dad don’t mind watching!!)  And Chloe will have mom, dad, Nanna and Dudad in the car to entertain her, aka – she’ll be in heaven.  It will be fine.  We will all survive.  I’m aware of this, but I wouldn’t really be me if I didn’t worry, right??

To further soothe my worries, I’ve convinced myself that the whole ride will go as well as the 20 minute ride to grandma and grandpa’s did on Sunday…

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Cranberry Pecan Pie

If you’re still looking for a pie recipe for Thanksgiving, look no further.  This cranberry pecan pie is amazing!!  A co-worker brought it in for her birthday a few weeks ago and I cautiously tried a slice.  There aren’t a lot of non-chocolate pies that I like 🙂  However, I loved it and immediately asked for the recipe.  We made it for a Thanksgiving potluck we hosted at our house this weekend and it was a hit.  Best of all, it’s really easy to make!!


  • 6 tablespoons shortening
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons hot water
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup corn syrup
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup chopped pecans


  • In a small bowl, cream shortening and buttermilk until smooth. Gradually add water, beating until light and fluffy. Beat in flour and salt. Wrap pastry in plastic wrap; refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.  We skipped the first step and used store bought pastry dough.  It was still wonderful.

  • Roll out pastry to fit a 9-in. pie plate. Trim pastry to 1/2 in. beyond edge of plate; flute edges.  
  • In a large bowl, combine the eggs, corn syrup, sugar, butter and vanilla until blended. Stir in cranberries and pecans. Pour into crust.
  • Bake at 425° for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350°; bake 35-40 minutes longer or until filling is almost set. Cool completely on a wire rack. Cover and refrigerate overnight before slicing. Yield: 6-8 servings.

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“You look like a movie star’s baby!!”

That’s what Aaron said when Chloe and I got home from my mom’s last night.  (This is funny to me, because anytime I get home from a haircut, Aaron says something like, “Oh my gosh! How did Angelina Jolie get into my house?!? You look like a movie star!!”  On with the story though…)  You guessed it, Chloe had her first haircut last night.

Things were starting to get a little out of control.  You can see what I mean below.

Before *

Luckily, we have a family friend who cuts my mom’s hair at her house, so we took Chloe over to have her hair cut at Nanna’s.  I think the combination of being in a familiar place and a sucker were a winning combination.

I didn’t know it was even possible, but I think Chloe Mae might have gotten even cuter after her haircut.

After *

*These are completely accurate representations of what her hair looked like before and after the haircut.  I would never think to use a picture of her with bedhead as the before picture and then give her a bath and blowdry her hair prior to the after picture.


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My Daughter is Teething…

And has been for a year now.  Well, that’s what it seems like some days.  Truthfully though, she’s been working on her canines (pointy teeth, vampire teeth – you know the ones…) for a couple months.  She will chew on pretty much anything these days…

Three of the four teeth have popped through and she’s working on the last one right now.  Any guesses on which one we’re still waiting on??

I’m being cautiously optimistic and hoping that after this final canine comes in, we’ll get a nice long break before her second set of molars comes in.  I’m not holding my breath though!!

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Top Ten Tuesday – Things I Love About My Daughter

While I love my daughter with all my heart, I can admit that there are times, seemingly lasting days on end sometimes, that she can be a bit difficult. (I have no idea where her she gets that from…)   It’s in those times that I force myself to focus on the things I love about her, big or small.  It’s great to just stop and think about how amazing she is – even in all her stubborn, independent, sometimes cranky glory.  Here are 10 things that I love about Chloe Mae.

1. She has a pointer finger and she knows how to use it!  Chloe probably spends half of her awake time pointing at anything and everything, saying what it is and moving on to the next thing.  Breakfast goes something like this:

Chloe: *points at plate*  “Toh!”
Me: “Yes, that’s your toast.”
Chloe: *points at plate*  “Baba!”
Me: “Yes, you have banana.”
Chloe: *points at cup*  “Mih!”
Me: “Yes, that’s your milk.”
Chloe: *points at Aaron*  “Dada!”
Me: “Yep. That’s Daddy!”
Chloe: *points at me*  “Mama!”
Me: “Yep. I’m mommy.  I love you Chloe Mae!”

Then if we’re lucky she’ll eat one bite or take a drink of her milk before we go through the rotation again.  I love every minute of it though, because she’s so happy with herself that she knows ‘words’ and that I know what she’s saying.  It’s amazing to watch her learn!!

2. She loves to help us.  I’m still learning to do things in a way that Chloe can help me, but she loves it!!  She puts away groceries, helps Aaron make smoothies in the morning, dusts shelves…she does whatever she can to help – whether we need it or not 🙂

3. She is great at reading books.  Most mornings we spend at least 20 minutes in her bedroom reading books.  We read a couple, she pulls a few more off the bookshelf and we read some more.  She also likes reading by herself.



4. She likes to give hugs and kisses.  I’d like to think I get hugs and kisses because Chloe loves me and appreciates everything I do for her.  However, she also likes to shower her rubber ducky with affection in the tub, gives kisses to people in books and gave a 4-year old at the park a big hug and was going in for a kiss before I pulled her away from the somewhat freaked out child.

5. She has mad puzzle skills.  This is another one of those, “She just amazes me” sort of deals.  She can do a puzzle the first time she sees it.  And she doesn’t just get the pieces near their spot, she actually fits them in just right.  And she gets sooooo excited when she sees her puzzles.  I can’t say this enough, I just love watching her little mind work.

6. She likes building towers almost as much as she likes knocking them over.  She has such great concentration and perseverance when she’s building a block tower.  Then she grins and knocks the tower down and giggles.

7. She loves to dance.  She’ll dance to the ABC’s, the horrible techno-like music on her sit-and-spin or the radio.  She doesn’t care, she just likes to dance.  It’s even better if she can see herself in a mirror.  Then she really breaks out the good moves!!

8. She remembers EVERYTHING.  Monday night Chloe saw her smoothie cup and the Magic Bullet.  She immediately started asking for a smoothie like a mad woman.  (She loves her smoothies!!)  We told her she could have a smoothie for breakfast on Tuesday morning.  Then we distracted her and moved on with our night.   Tuesday morning, with no prompting, she started asking for a smoothie and ran to the kitchen.  A-mazing!!

9. She knows what she wants and she knows how to get it.  Enough said.

10. She starts my day with a hug and snuggles.  When I walk into her room in the morning, usually half-asleep and wishing Chloe had slept just another 15 minutes, she wraps her chubby little arms around my neck and lays her head down on my shoulder.  Then we go snuggle on our bed.  There’s no better way to start my day.  Unless of course the snuggling could take place 15 minutes later…

Visit Oh Amanda for more Top Ten Tuesday.

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“Do you need a kiss??”

Last week, Chloe Mae smashed her fingers in one of the cupboards in our kitchen.  I asked if she needed me to kiss then to make them better.  With her bottom lip stuck out and tears in her eyes, she presented her tiny little fingers for kisses.  After she got her kisses, the whimpering stopped and her lip got tucked back in.  I dried her tears and we moved on with our day.

Ever since then, anytime Chloe gets an owie, she needs to get her fingers kissed.  Just to clarify – she doesn’t just need her fingers kissed when she hurts her fingers.  Tonight, she was flinging a toy around and hit herself in the head.  I asked if she needed a kiss to make it better, and she gave me her finger to kiss.

Such a freakin’ cutie!!

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Happy (Belated) Anniversary!!

This was meant to be a post last Thursday in honor of our anniversary for “Things I Love Thursday,” but Chloe got the stomach flu and suddenly all my plans for the day went out the window.  With a little modification in my head, it’s now a “Top Ten Tuesday” post.  So, in no particular order, here are 10 things I love about my husband…

1.  He’s an amazing dad.  I love to spy on Chloe Mae and her daddy playing together.  It always makes me smile.  And he doesn’t go anywhere when things get tough – he was holding the puke bucket last Thursday.

2.  He’s a great cook.  While it’s true that once I started eating his cooking, I also gained a few pounds, I’m forever grateful that he not only knows how to cook, but he enjoys cooking and is good at it!!

3.  He does the dishes too!  Aaron knows I hate doing dishes by hand, so whenever we need to wash some by hand, he does so without complaint.  This is true of so many things in our daily lives.

4.  He remembers the little things.  Aaron packs my lunch every day and leaves notes and surprises quite often.  Sometimes he surprises me with a card or present in my car at work.

5.  He makes me laugh every day, even when I’m trying to be upset with him 😉

6.  He doesn’t just put up with my family, he actually likes them.  At the very least, he does a darn good job of pretending he likes them.  I’m sure it’s not always easy to have my parents only 4 blocks away.

7.  He watches sappy movies and TV shows with me.  He even does his best to keep his snide remarks to himself.

8.  He pretends to enjoy watching sports with me, despite the fact that I pester him with annoying questions the whole time.

9.  He puts up with my neuroses and never-ending planning.  He says a lot of “yes dear” and “whatever you think dear” when I’m endlessly talking about my next idea or plan. 

10.  He’s a great snuggler 🙂  At the end of any day, there’s not much I’d rather do than snuggle up with my husband on the couch and relax.

Visit Oh Amanda for more Top Ten Tuesday.


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