Monthly Archives: May 2012

On 10-15 month olds

In a few days Sparrow will be 10 months old.

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In my experience, this is the most trying period of a baby’s life, right up until just after a year or so (Sprout was well after 2 years). At least for my babies. It’s usually about the time when all of those wake ups in the middle of the night start to catch up with me. It’s usually about the time I try the cry-it-out method unsuccessfully at least once. And then I remember that my kids are extremely strong willed and this is not a battle I will win. I remember I can’t handle the sound of a crying baby at all. I get grouchy. I am tired.

Mama cannot live by coffee alone.

I always thought with the other two that it was because we had started trying to night wean around this time (albeit a very gentle method in which rocking and soothing replace the all night milk bar). Though I suspected some developmental milestones and teething also played a role.

It seems that night weaning has nothing to do with it. I guess just because since I’ve been through this a couple times and know it doesn’t last forever that I decided not to go through with that whole night weaning business. I thought it would make things easier, even gentler, less sleepless. That I’d spend less of the hours I’m supposed to be sleeping pacing around our home trying to get a baby to sleep and more time sleeping with a few wake ups to nurse while co-sleeping.

Except Sparrow has other plans. So I not only lose sleep nursing for what sometimes seems like the whole night, but also when he decides he is not hungry anymore and just wants to practice standing and no, I better not go to sleep because he needs an audience! He also needs someone to blow raspberries on and laugh about it with!

Or when he is no longer hungry, but obviously tired and can’t go to sleep without an hour of pacing around the house or me bent over the Pack n’ Play rubbing and patting his back until he falls asleep.

Or the two hours after the other two have gone to sleep which used to be “my” time that now is spent in a complete darkness while we irritably switch off trying every method imaginable to get this kid to go to sleep.

Or when he wakes up at 5:30am and wants to play and me taking him to the living room and plopping him down in front of a pile of toys or in his exersaucer while I try to doze a bit on the couch is not good enough. No, no, no, I have to play with him!

Yawn.

I already told Stephen that for my birthday and our anniversary all I want is no kids and sleep. Even just for a day.

Perspective is everything this time though. It doesn’t last forever. And all the moms of 20-something-plus-year-olds have aching uteruses right now wishing they could play with a sweet squishy baby at 5:30am. I will get through it.

Please send coffee, prayers and encouragement in the meantime.

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Filed under Family, Parenting

An addendum to the best iced coffee

If you’re anything like me, the thought of drinking hot coffee when the forecast is anything above 85, sounds miserable. My head feels hot and sweaty just thinking about it.

So last summer, when just about everyone I know jumped on Pioneer Woman’s cold brew iced coffee bandwagon, I did too. It seriously is the best iced coffee ever. Ever.

This past winter when hot coffee returned to my life, I discovered caramel sauce in coffee and once again my coffee world got rocked by goodness. Once you start, you won’t go back.

Except for one problem, caramel plus cold doesn’t exactly go together. You wind up with a big lump of caramel in your coffee and it refuses to dissolve.

Hence this addendum.

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Follow the instructions by clicking through the link above to the perfect iced coffee.

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Then take a jar of this…

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…and put it in a small saucepan like this. Fill the saucepan the rest of the way with some of your cold brew.

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Turn the heat up to medium.

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Start whisking it together until the caramel sauce is all dissolved and smooth in the coffee. Turn the heat off.

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Return your mixture to the pitcher with the rest of your coffee.

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Put ice in your drinking cup, pour the mixture in and add half and half or milk to taste.

Return the pitcher with the remaining coffee to the fridge for further coffee drinking later in the day or tomorrow. Stephen, who only very recently became a coffee drinker, said, “How’d you do that? You made it taste just like a [copyrighted major coffee chain’s blended coffee drink]!” I don’t think it is quite that sweet, but it is definitely good.

Edit:

Some specifics…
-When I make the coffee, I grind up 4 cups of Trader Joe’s Smooth and Mellow Blend whole beans (as in there are 4 cups of beans prior to grinding) and place it in my largest bowl with cold water within 1/2″ of the top. I let it sit on my counter over night.
-I strain it into a 1 gallon pitcher and it usually comes within 2″ of the top of that, so not quite a gallon.
-The saucepan I use is a 1.5 qt and after filling it with the caramel, I fill it the rest if the way with coffee, within an inch of the top.

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Filed under Gourmet Lisa

On promotions, graduations and theme parks in May

A couple weeks ago, my baby sister announced on her Facebook page that she would be having a promotion ceremony the next day.

I’ll be honest here, I don’t really “get” a lot of this military stuff. While there have been some extended members of our family that have served and my dad did attempt to join (couldn’t continue due to his asthma), we don’t really come from a long line of service in the armed forces. Then there’s my political views (which I honestly don’t think they are that different than the average American, but sometimes they come off more extreme than they actually are, anyway…)

But, you know what? That’s OK. None of that stuff matters when it comes to loving and supporting my sister. So I called her up and asked if it was something I could attend. We got all the details worked out and then I was off, by myself with the three kids so I could be there for her. Stephen and I had already planned to head down that weekend to see his cousin graduate and I just decided to extend the trip a bit. He’d join us after work that Friday.

I made great time so I had lunch with the kids (and sea lions) at the harbor before heading over. I felt pretty awkward the whole ceremony. Here I am with my three kids (one a fussy, teething baby that was having a hard time being quiet during important parts) and my sister’s husband standing off to the side in this equipment lot by ourselves with all these marines. Afterwards though, the officer that presided over the ceremony said he was really glad I was there and that they can’t do what they do without the support of family. So I relaxed.

Turns out this promotion was a pretty big deal. She was promoted meritoriously, which means she had to work really hard, pass tests, interviews, etc. in order to get this. During the ceremony the officer also said their unit has won the last few meritorious promotions, which is also a big deal.

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Walking up from the back of the formation.

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Reading the promotion.

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About to get pinned.

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Presentation of the newly minted Sgt. Tanner.

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Showing off the new pins on her collar.

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Us.

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Husband.

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Special coin things she got.

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With the Bean.

So then after that, I had two days by myself with the kids that I had to fill up with fun.

Now, this might sound crazy, but the next day I decided to take them to Disneyland. I knew they’d have fun. I knew I wouldn’t have to worry about them getting bored or getting into mischief at my aunt’s or climbing on something inappropriately or, well, I think you get the picture. Plus, bedtime has kind of been a nightmare around here with TWO parents and I knew they would be so dang tired that I could just transfer them to their beds from the van afterwards with no issues. And everything pretty much went as I expected. We had one tantrum/meltdown right as we were about to meet Pooh Bear & Co, but we got away from the line, calmed down and then went to eat dinner before settling down to watch the parade as our last activity.

Aside from the Pooh Bear incident, we really had a lot of luck meeting characters which is what I wanted to mainly do since I knew I wouldn’t be able to do many rides by myself (Small World was our only ride).

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As soon as we got in the park, Snow White and her evil step mother had started greeting guests by the wishing well. Bean loves the characters and talks to them non-stop. Sprout clings to my leg and watches them from afar. As we walked through the tunnel under the castle walls, Ariel appeared.

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We made our way over to Toon Town and the kids got to play in the playground area. Then we went through some character houses. As we got to the end of Mickey’s house, he had just arrived and was now doing pictures. We were second in line!

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We tried to go next door to Minnie afterwards, but the line was closed because she had “a lunch date to get to.” Side note: for the next few days Bean had an imaginary friend Minnie Mouse that she led around holding hands and kept saying stuff like, “Mama, I just can’t pick up those toys because I have a lunch date to get to with Minnie.”

We headed back to Goofy’s house and play area where we’d left our stroller and he was walking up to his front porch! Impeccable timing!

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Had lunch, got on the train for a round trip. Rode small world. Headed over to pirate’s island. Bean got freaked by the cave. Sprout loved it. The barrel bridge was nearly a disaster. Found the treasure pile.

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Pooh Bear meltdown. Dinner in New Orleans Square and then parade time.

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Bean was so excited!

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Rapunzel’s tower!

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Sparrow was SUPER happy and excited during the parade!

The next day I headed down to San Diego. We played at at park and then went to the model railroad museum at Balboa Park. I really, really love model trains. This one was really cool because they had a model of the Tehachapi loop, lots of information on the Kern rail system and its importance, and they were in the process of building key Bakersfield rail locations.

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The next day we had some time to kill before the graduation. We drove around trying to find grocery store discounts to Legoland or Sea World and then decided on the Scripps Aquarium.

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Then we found out my sister could buy tickets on base for cheap. So she got tickets for us to go to Sea World with my aunt (my aunt generously got all of our tickets, but my sis couldn’t come with).

We headed over to the graduation party for good food and a live feed of the Point Loma graduation ceremony online.

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The happy grad courtesy of (her dad), Uncle Randy.

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Party time!

We got back to my aunt’s late that night and then were off to Sea World the next day with my aunt. We had so much fun!

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My aunt dubbed these guys “The City Council.”

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“Bean, turn around and smile in front of the puffins.”
(And so the attitude begins)

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Unfortunately, the kids were much too squirrelly and distracted for a family picture with my aunt.

I had a bit of a harrowing drive home that night trying to stay awake, but we made it! I spent the entire next day in my PJs, so exhausted!

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Filed under Family, Ramblings