O-Shun?

Last week, BabyCakes and I were fortunate enough to spend the entire week playing at the seashore.  Mr. C was there from time to time, but since we always have 5 different things going on at once in this house, he was traveling to and from the beach to attend his grad classes.  This left him driving 16 or so hours back and forth in one week, just to spend a few days with his family.  Isn’t he the best?

I’m sure Mr. C was glad that he could witness his now 17-month old’s first meaningful time playing at the beach.  Since he wasn’t there the first day, I had to snap a few shots of Baby Cakes’ reaction

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At times, he would scream with all he had in him, just to be heard above the crashing of the waves.  I fear that he would have run straight across the Atlantic if we let  him.  That being said, Baby C became obsessed with the ocean.  Once we were back at the house (which has an amazing view of the beach) every other word was “o-shun?”.  Sometimes, he would put more than one word together to get his point across to whoever’s leg he could tug on,  “O-shun? try?”  I guess we should start looking for some beach front property!

Here are some of our views from the week.  I had to practice my amateur photography!

O-Shun!

Morning walk on the beach

Mad Dash

Down, Ma!

I think that although Baby C has been to the beach 3 times previous to this trip, none was as exciting and new to him as this experience.  I will always remember snuggling with him that first Sunday morning that we woke up in our home upon returning.  He looked at me and said,

“more?”

                           “more what, bud?” I asked.

“o-shun?”

Yes, little man, I think we all need a little more “o-shun” in our lives.

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post-beach blues

 

The beach is one of the most majestic places on this earth.  I will never get over its beauty, and I will always come home with a post-beach depression.  It seems that for the past few years, our vacation has coincided with the end of summer.  I look forward so much to the trip and then, once we’re home, that anxious, sinking, pit-of-the-stomach feeling hits.  Time is running out!  Luckily, we have access to the beach during the off-season too.  It just isn’t the same though…

After a week of not worrying about anything except the safety of Baby Cakes as he bravely dashed into the ocean (more on this later!), I am back to meal planning, grocery shopping, and trying to figure out how to get us back on the healthy train after a week of bingeing.  I’m not sure those bike rides and runs helped, seeing as though they usually resulted in a trip to the market to get beer or donuts!

Healthy suggestions are welcome and very much appreciated as I spend the rest of the morning browsing my pinterest board…which is essentially full of delectable treats and not-so-much the healthy stuff.

 

Whirlwind Sunday Preview

I think I’ve gone crazy. Or at least attempting to be it all and do it all.

Tomorrow I’m hosting a shower for a dear friend and bride-to-be, Baby C’s Auntie A.  I’m her MOH, of course, and will happily be fulfilling that role 🙂

Tomorrow I’m going on a week-long family vacation to the beach.  When I say family vacation, I don’t just mean our quaint little three-some.  Both of my parents come from enormous families (which I love, by the way) and as such, one side of that enormous family will be joining us for the week.

How did these two events overlap? Well, let me remind you about that barely-above-water life that I was (am?) living when all of these arrangements were made.  Oops.  So, tomorrow I have the marathon day of playing hostess and then trucking it to the beach.  Let’s hope we all survive.  And by survive I mean, we get to the beach with all hair in tact (except is that really fair, seeing as I’m really the only member of our Cupcake fam with hair these days?).

The great news?  This stress has finally gotten Mr. C to put away our Christmas decorations, which have been sitting in our master walk-in closet for the better part of 4 months (before that? They were chilling in our hallway.  We had to class up Casa de Cupcake for BabyCakes’ 1st birthday.  C’mon, we’re not that bad…)

Mrs. Cupcake: Fraud

 

Today I was a fraud.  I stay at home (at least for a few more weeks)–my job should be to take care of Baby C, and all that it entails, plus show some sort of evidence that I touched a broom, vacuum, or the washing machine.  Like I said, today I was a fraud.  This morning, thanks to a contest I won (or, should I say my students won), some fabulous ladies came over and cleaned my house.  I can’t even remember the last time Casa de Cupcake felt so un-disgusting.  I guess this post is admitting that while I was suffering from some domestic dysfunction today, at least my house looks amazing.  You’d think that after not lifting one finger on housework, I’d have something delicious planned…oops. If only I didn’t already tell Mr. C about this…I could’ve passed it off as my own work!

 

The “Su-shine” of my life

When BabyCakes was 6 months old, I swore that was the best age ever. Then he hit 9 months, and I was blown away by the huge personality that was making its presence known more and more. Now that he is almost 17 months, I can honestly say that this toddler stage is amazing. He is still my cuddly baby boy, but the pace at which he is learning language and motor skills blows me away.  Mr. Cupcake comes home each afternoon and is shocked to hear the new words and phrases that Baby C can say.  This past week alone, it was “tache you” (thank you), share?, and try? among others.  Needless to say, communication in our house is getting easier by the day.

Today, however, the best word that comes out of that little mouth is “su-shine”.  Maybe it’s the way that his voice quiets when he speaks it, maybe it’s the meaning behind it, or maybe it’s because we always have to use yellow chalk to draw the “su-shine” on our sidewalks. Whatever the reason, it’s my favorite and I will always cherish the way that he “sings along” to our song, You are my Su-shine, of course!   

Terrible Transitions

Recently, I posted a little blurb about not doing well with change.  That’s not really accurate.  I do like change…the excitement that comes with new events like getting married, owning your first home, and starting a family.  What I’m not that great at dealing with are the transition phases that come with each change.   As the summer winds down, and my “stay at home mom” stint comes to an end, I’m actually getting those same, horribly anxious feelings about going through a transition.again.  This time, it will be hard on two of us.

It’s not always about leaving Baby Cakes all day.  When he was first born, I wasn’t ready.  In my grand plan, I was going to work until the Friday before I was due and I would get to have a little down time/ date time with Mr. C before our family of two became three.  Baby Cakes had other plans, and decided to break into the world on Thursday, leaving me “running out of my classroom screaming” (so the rumor mill said) and to the hospital (yes, I was that girl who had to leave work to have a baby!).   After all was settled and we were home, those horribly anxious feelings settled in.  This time, I was sad about rushing out on “my kids”, when in fact, I was home with the most important kid of all.

It took me some time to settle into the stay at home routine, but I really took to it.  This summer, with Baby Cakes being another year older, our routines are set, and our activities are so much fun.  I’m having a good time planning out our weeks’ events and meals.  Although I’m still learning to be that bargain grocery shopper/meal planner/ chef, I’m starting to get the hang of it.  Now with about 4 weeks to go, I’m starting to get those transitioning blues that always creep up.   It’s going to be a challenge, but I hope that I can somewhat keep up this momentum as a working mom and just know that if I can keep my head a few more inches above water than it was last year, my family will be happier.

Toddler Tasties

 

I have been attempting to meal plan each week and in this plan, I try to include something that I can make in bulk that not only we can eat for dinner, but that I can have on hand for Baby Cakes to eat whether he’s with me or off to his nanny.   The old Mrs. C would have baked up some bland chicken breasts or broken into the frozen stash of emergency (why-did-I-even-buy-these) chicken nuggets.

Two recent hits were these turkey pesto meatballs (recipe calls for chicken, but I had ground turkey and it was delish!) and homemade chicken nuggets from Skinny taste.  Like most toddlers, Baby Cakes is Mr. Independent and wants to hold and bite his own food, so both of these options are perfect for his little hands!

Skinny Taste nuggets, perfect for toddler hands

Enjoying the pesto meatballs

“Oooohhhhhh” “mmmmmmm!”

Baby Cakes is a very expressive eater (like his daddy) so we always know when he is enjoying something.  These recipes will definitely be repeats!  If you have any other faves that you make for your toddler, send them my way, thanks!

 

Happy Cupcakeiversary!

Today is our 3rd wedding anniversary, so, to commemorate this, I decided it was a great reason to try one of those crafts just sitting around in my “to create” pinterest folder.  Mr. C and I both enjoy the song, Home by Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros and I thought the song lyric, “Home is Wherever I’m with You” would make a great sign for our entryway (remember that foyer that i’m trying to decorate?).

To give it more meaning, I am a local girl who hates change and married to an adventurer who has dreams to go to far away places and do big things.  We’ve had a multitude of discussions about this and I am usually scared or anxious by the end of it.  I thought this would be a nice peace offering that yes, I am willing to try out one of his adventures one of these days.  As long as we’re together as a family, I’ll be okay.  

So here you have my newest creation:

I started with this 12 x 12 blank piece of wood that was purchased at Michael’s (teacher discount!)

The back was already built for hanging, which was perfect for my first attempt at sign making.

The first thing I did was soak a steel wool pad in apple cider vinegar overnight.  I then rubbed it all over the sign and allowed it to dry (not pictured). The next day, I sanded some rough spots and began working on the lettering, which was a lot of trial and error.  At first, I was convinced I could type words and flip them backwards in Word or Powerpoint.  That’s not the case.  Once I found the right font and size, I copied and pasted it into Paint (that simple program that comes on almost all computers!)  This allowed me to flip the word so that it could print the mirror image.

Once I was happy with the lettering, I put the paper face down on the sign and went over it (LIGHTLY) with water.  You want to be careful not to soak the paper, or else it will just fall apart (yes, I learned this the hard way).  Once I could see the word, I then used a marker’s dull, rounded end to score each letter.  I did this multiple times to ensure the ink was transferring.

lettering transferred completely

Now, I did like the black, but the wood is actually darker than it looks here and the letters were more difficult to read.  Also, our printer is basically out of ink!  I think that next time, I’ll replace the ink and try on lighter wood, as to not have to do this next step:

Final

with white paint over the letters

I do like the white though, and it brightens up our entryway!  I plan to mix it in with some black and white family photos, which I hope will look classy.  There are some quirks from my hand painting , but what’s a homemade project without some quirkiness?

Happy 3 years, Mr. C!

The Cheese Chef

There are a few obsessions in the Cupcake household these days, especially by the littlest member.  When a toddler is infatuated with something, you listen, or pay the price.  One huge obsession: cheese.  As soon as that refrigerator door opens, and you hear that sweet pitter patter LOUD thump, thump, thump, you should be prepared to give into the pleas of “CHEEEESE!” or else…

Baby Cakes is also very interested in cooking, or rather, interested in mommy when she’s cooking.  In the past, this has been my excuse not to cook anything complicated, but remember that new leaf i’m trying to turn?  Last night, I had an AHA moment, as my cling-on was getting dangerously close to the stove and oven.  Combining two things that this little man loves: cheese and cooking (or watching his mama cook), I put him to work and gave him a little snack while I was at it.

 

I know, this is probably not rocket science, but finding ways to entertain a toddler so that you can actually complete simple tasks, can make you feel like a genius.  If anyone has other suggestions to keep a highly energetic, mobile, lightening fast, 16 month old occupied, let me know!

A Seuss-ish Sort of Post

Cover of "Green Eggs and Ham (I Can Read ...

Cover via Amazon

Before I tell you about the project that I completed today and you are super impressed, you need to know that I actually started it when I had a day off due to a snow day…when I was 7 1/2 months pregnant.  Yes, that was January 2011 and yes Baby Cakes is now 16 months old.  You don’t need to do any more math than you already did, thanks!

Baby Cakes was due in early March.  Like any good elementary school teacher, I know that early March means Read Across America Day, also known as the time we celebrate the great Dr. Seuss.  I just knew that my little man was going to be a book lover like his mama, thus, the Dr. Seuss nursery was born.  I, however, am not a lover of “themey” rooms.  I was not envisioning themed sheets/blankets/ catinthehateverything.  I had great plans for a cute room, but underplayed the Dr. Seussishness just a little too much.  As of yesterday, these two items, from Etsy sellers It is Written in Vinyl and The Funky Monkey  were the only theme-related decor in Baby Cakes’ nursery.

It is Written in Vinyl

The Funky Monkey

I decided to change that. I had a project just waiting  calling out to me to finish.   Back when we were decorating, we had already spent so much money getting ready for Baby Cakes’ arrival, so I was looking for something very inexpensive.  I found $5 Dr. Seuss books at my local HomeGoods store.  I bought two copies of Green Eggs and Ham (in case I needed both sides of a page).  I also purchased a dark wood collage frame for  $7.99.  I spent the afternoon ripping out pages, cutting out phrases, and making my own Green Eggs and Ham collage.  I thought it was perfect, until I realized the color of the frame looked horrible in the  nursery.   To the garage it went, only to be saved today.  I don’t know why I didn’t do this sooner, and I’m not going to make excuses, but 16 months flew by.  All this little picture needed was some fresh white paint and voila! It works perfectly.  I used white acrylic craft paint and a sponge brush. Easy and cheap!  Baby Cakes loves it too.  Ever since I read it to him, he’s been pointing to it saying “Hhhom”.  Now to get it hung on the wall…

Reading, of course.

Finished product

In the nursery

Easy enough, right?  Now that the nursery is almost done, maybe I should finish his baby book?