What a difference a day makes

First off, thanks so much for all of the encouraging comments in the post below. You ladies are so sweet. :)

What a difference a day makes! We slept in on Friday (which was glorious in and of itself), then the TV was on significantly less throughout the day. Ava watched Laurie Berkner in the morning and “The Snowman” in the afternoon and that was it. Yay!

And this is what 5 p.m. looked like at our house:

Both kids were napping at the same time! This never happens because it’s a cold day in hell when Ava takes a nap anymore. (She stopped napping months ago. Waaaaah. :( ) So while the napping was going on, I had some time to do this:

No, I didn’t take a shower, do my hair or put on make-up, but I did make dinner without interruptions! :) Woohoo!

Just for kicks, here’s another shot of the kids. :)

Feeling guilty

I’m feeling guilty about the way I parented (or rather, didn’t) today.

Julian was being particularly needy (I say “needy” in the most loving way – I mean the kid is only 7 weeks old, of course he’s needy) and maybe going through a growth spurt (Is that possible?? He weighed in at 13 lbs., 14 oz. on Tuesday.) because he was nursing a LOT and just needing a lot of mommy time today. And because I didn’t have my hands free and was pretty much tied to the Boppy or the bouncy exercise ball (which he loves to bounce on), I let Ava watch a crapload quite a bit of TV. And then when I told her she’d watched enough and we needed to find something else to do, she turned it back on and said she “needed” to watch something else. Ugh.

I don’t mind her watching some TV, but since Julian was born, she’s watching more than I would really like. Pre-Julian she’d watch Sesame Street on some mornings and that was usually it. That was cool with me because she was learning things and it was only an hour of TV time. Now she watches Sesame Street as well as Teletubbies and Barney, which is two-hours’ worth total, and that’s pretty much every week day. Some days she also watches a 30-minute DVD (Laurie Berkner or LeapFrog Letter Factory) too. *gulp*

I don’t want her to turn into a TV junkie and her turning the TV back on today and saying she “needed” to watch something else scared me a bit. Maybe things will get better once Julian is a bit older and doesn’t command so much of my time or once the weather warms up and she can play outside again. But it certainly is easy to flip the tube on, knowing she’ll be occupied for the next 30 minutes or whatever, while I tend to Julian, throw in a load of laundry, wash some dishes, make lunch, or whatever.

And that’s another thing, if I don’t have time to spend with Ava, I really don’t have time to take care of all the necessary household chores. Making dinner is a colossal effort most evenings. Tonight I had every intention of making a decent dinner, but then Julian couldn’t be set down and wasn’t happy in the Moby (*gasp*), so I had to wait until Jody got home and could hold him, and then Ava just wanted Mommy time so I had to hold her for a while. At 7 o’clock I finally made banana pancakes for dinner (with Miss Ava’s help). Oy.

I should add we did have a couple nice outings this week. One day we went to the library (my first time taking both kids out by myself) and yesterday, since the weather was warmer, we went for a walk and then Ava played out in the snow in the backyard. It was good, for all of us I think, to get out of the house. :)

I need to wrap this up now because I have things I need to get to before bed. Just wanted to vent a bit. Tomorrow is another day. I can only strive to do better.

Say cheese ;)

Julian flashed us his first smirk on Christmas day and has been smiling a bit more from each day forward. He’s now (at 6 weeks) pretty much a pro at it and we get to see his smile and adorable dimple on a regular basis. This past week I was finally able to catch a few smiles with my camera.
He is a happy baby for the most part, as well as a great nurser and good sleeper (whatever that means).
I have my 6-week postpartum appointment with my midwife this week. Traditionally, she would weigh him, but since he’s over 13 lbs. (which is all her scale goes up to), we can’t get an accurate measurement. So I may swing by a maternity/breastfeeding boutique that has an infant scale so I can weigh the chubby bunny because I’m curious how much he’s up to. When I held him with me on our scale a week or so ago, he was at least 13 lbs.
Life with two kids is interesting and challenging, yet also fun and rewarding. This past week was the first time I had to take care of both kids together by myself for the whole day. (I’m so thankful I had help from Jody and my parents for basically the first month plus of Julian’s life.) It went pretty well, but it takes a lot of energy. I’m sure it will continue to get easier as we all adjust. (Right??) I do love watching Ava interact with Julian (when she’s not smothering him with hugs) and, now that he’s a bit older, watching him flash smiles back at her. They are pretty darn sweet and special little people. :)

She’s crafty

After Ava has expressed an interest in art and, thus, received a bunch of art supplies for Christmas, I’ve been inspired to start doing more crafty-type projects with her. It gives me a chance to spend some good quality time with her while Julian sleeps in the Moby Wrap. (Have I mentioned how much I LOVE that thing?? I’ll have to devote another post to the Moby. hehe) It’s also been handy to have several indoor things to do since we’ve been having soooo much snow this winter. We got another 7 inches last night!

Here are some of the things we’ve been up to lately (after getting suggestions from a friend, reading ideas online and thinking some of them up myself). :)

Playing in cornmeal. It’s cheap, easy to sweep or vacuum up and provides a good deal of entertainment. :)

Ava with the indoor snowman we made:

Getting messy with her fingerpaints:

Stringing together pasta (which we painted) to make a necklace:

A paper plate snowman that Ava glued together. Do you sense a theme here?:

A drawing of our family. I drew the circles (though she does nice circles herself) and Ava did all the rest, including making eyes, noses, mouths, ears, hair and chins on some. I was really impressed!:

And when she’s not doing crafts with mommy, she’s coming up with her own art projects. Ah, the joys of having a 2 1/2 year old! ;)
She was pretending to sleep with a bunch of her dolls (one of which also got pen tattoos):

Yep, even in her belly button. The ink was literally everywhere. And I mean EVERYWHERE.

Yummy appetizers

I made a couple of appetizers – broccoli tarts and artichoke spinach dip – to go along with the California Pizza Kitchen pizza and mini veggie eggrolls (both of the frozen variety) we had for New Year’s Eve. Since it’s been a long time since I shared any recipes and/or food pics, here ya go. :) Both things were delicious and I’d certainly make them again.

Broccoli Tarts
1 C. cooked broccoli
1/4 lb. Swiss cheese, shredded
3 green onions, minced
1 C. light cream
3 eggs, beaten
1 tsp. salt
1 stick soft butter
3 oz. soft cream cheese
1 C. flour

Chop broccoli. Mix the next 5 ingredients, then add broccoli.
Blend together the butter and cream cheese. Add flour and mix well.
Roll into balls the size of walnuts. Press into very lightly greased mini muffin tins to form shells. (I used regular sized muffin tins.) Fill shells to the top with broccoli mixture.
Bake at 400 degrees about 20 minutes until golden. Cool about 10 minutes, then turn out.
Serve hot.
Makes 2 1/2 dozen mini muffins or 1 dozen regular sized muffins.

Artichoke Spinach Dip
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, partially thawed
1/2 (14 ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 (16 ounce) container sour cream
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
1 can water chestnuts (optional – I added them to the recipe because I wanted something crunchy in the dip)
garlic salt/powder to taste

Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the spinach and artichoke hearts. Cook until tender, about 5 minutes.
Mix cream cheese and sour cream into the spinach mixture. Stir in Parmesan cheese and garlic salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, 10 to 15 minutes. Serve warm.
We had ours with cucumbers, baby carrots and Triscuits.

And, just for kicks, I thought I’d also share a pic of our backyard after we got those additional 5 or so inches of snow on 12/28. The trees were beautiful with all of that snow on them. Now that it’s melted a bit on the trees and is only snowy in patches, it looks like they are growing cotton.