Tuesday, October 21, 2014

No Control = Cooking

The past couple of weeks have been a bit of a struggle for me.  Some stuff at work has been really making me feel deflated.  And we are nearing hopefully the end of grad school for Phil which adds more stress.  Throw in some toddler tantrums and basically I get slapped with the following realization every day...

I am in control of nothing.

Of course life situations don't really change this.  We are never really in control of anything.  But with everything that is going on, I am feeling really helpless.

I finally realized that the way I have been coping with this is Pinterest (like HERE).  I have been doing A LOT of cooking lately.  New recipes.  Meals from scratch.  Cakes.  

Two such cooking excursions happened this weekend.

First, Braxton and I make pumpkin patches based on THIS PIN.

{Henry did a great job watching}

{Henry liked it}

Then I decided to make THIS CAKE while Henry napped.  I took it to a family birthday party and got LOTS of compliments (which weren't warranted because it's a box cake mix, but whatever).

It was an adventure in food coloring.

I am feeling an really intense need to create and craft.  Maybe it's the fact that I am in control of the outcome and I get to see the fruits of my labor?  I don't know.

But if you are getting a Christmas gift from my family this year, you can probably expect it to be handmade.  Pinterest and I have some work to do.

Friday, October 17, 2014

5 Things Friday

1.  This week was long.  And for some reason, everyone in my house is really tired.  I don't know if it is the weather or what.  I guess it could be that we haven't gotten the temperature right in the house at night, so all three of us are waking up multiple times a night.  Either way, Phil fell asleep yesterday afternoon, Henry fell asleep on the way home last night, and I was in bed at 8.

2.  Joanna and I started trading baby-sitting every month so we each get an opportunity to go on a date with our husbands.  Last month, it was our turn for the date.  This month, it is Joanna's turn.  I am so excited because this means we get to hang out with Braxton!!  As an honorary "Auntie", I want some fun things to do with Braxton.  And maybe Henry will join in as well.  We will only have a couple of hours because we are going to go to church and then to our church's harvest festival.  But you know what looks like fun?  This:

{From HERE}

Or this:

{From HERE}

We might have to wait on the second one though.  I doubt I can keep Henry from putting his paint covered hands in his mouth.

3.  Last week there were 7 birth announcements on my Facebook page.  SEVEN!!  At least.  It might have been more.  When I pointed this out in a status update, someone commented saying "What was happening 9 months ago?  Must have been some good New Year's parties."  I thought that was kind of funny.

4.  Henry had his school pictures Tuesday which OF COURSE means he fell down and scraped his face on Monday.  So we had scraped forehead, wound above the eyebrow, and a scratch on the nose.  If nothing else, it will accurately represent how he looked as a toddler.  A clumsy toddler.

{Oddly enough, you can't see any of his owies in this picture.  
I doubt that will be the case for his school pictures.}

But my fingers are crossed that we can make it through the day without going to the ER or the doctor's office.  It would be the first Friday in 4 weeks.  Fingers crossed real hard.

5.  Here's a random fact about myself:  I kind of hate when things end.  Specifically TV shows and movies.  I LOVE Gilmore Girls.  Own every season.  I have NEVER seen the finale.  I listen to Hocus Pocus religiously in October (mostly while I am getting ready in the morning).  I don't usually listen to the last 15 minutes.  And that's true of most movies.  I have read the entire Harry Potter series at least a half dozen times, except for the final book.  That one I have read twice.  Just one more thing that makes me weird.  :)

Happy Friday!  Here's hoping Henry lets us sleep in tomorrow until 9 like he did last weekend (it was AMAZING).

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Guest Speaker and Some Facts

Like most bloggers, I write posts ahead of time.  This probably surprises no one.  But a post that goes up Thursday morning is usually written Wednesday night.

Last week, my Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday posts were all written Sunday night (since I knew night meetings would keep me from blog writing for the week).

So that means this post was written Wednesday night.

Truthfully, I need to be working.  I have a stormwater report that needs to be done TOMORROW.  I spent 4 hours today visiting a high school for career day, talking about civil engineering to sophomores.  I did this last year at a local middle school.  I am good to talk to students because I am a young woman.  It's good to show that engineers aren't always about old, white men.

I like to start off explaining Civil Engineering with a few examples of what civil engineering is because, let's face it, most people don't really know.  A good number of adults ask me what I do, so I wasn't surprised when adolescents don't know.

Here are a couple of engineering facts for you:

-  The Leaning Tower of Pisa is built in the shape of a banana.  As construction began, they noticed that it was sinking on one side because the soil was too weak to support the building.  So they began compensating by building that side up.  The more weight they added, the more the tower sank.  And it ended up being shaped like a banana.  They have since reinforced the soil for the building.

I was going to include a picture of the Tower of Pisa, but when I googled it, there were too many pictures of people acting like they were holding it up.

-  Why do the British drive on the left side of the road? When I studied traffic engineering in England,  a professor told me that it was linked back to medieval times, when everyone was right-handed.  Knights would joust, holding their joust in their right hand and standing on the left hand side.  A quick google search mentioned that you walked on the left hand side because everyone was right-handed and held their swords in their right hands, standing on the left.  Same basic idea.  Little known fact.

I also like to share a piece of information the head of the department of civil engineering shared at our departmental graduation.  He said, "Doctors kill people one at a time.  Engineers kill them by the dozens."  That usually gets an interesting reaction.  It certainly scared the youknowwhat out of me when he said it.

With that being said, I'd better get back to work.  I just wanted to clarify that I wasn't writing this at work.  :)

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Date, Dr, Milkshake, and Apples

I was doing so well at blogging every day.  Until last Thursday.  Killed me streak I had going, which is lame.  I love building the momentum.

Although I did have quite the busy week last week.  I had two night meetings in a row (Monday and Tuesday) where I really didn't get to see Henry at all.  Then Wednesday night, I had to take some work home and work on that for over an hour.  It was time to turn away from work and focus a little on my family.  So that's what I did.

Here's what I have been doing for the last 5 (ish) days:

Thursday night, Phil and I went on our first real date since February.  That's way too long to go between dates, we know that.  But I deal with a fair bit of guilt in regards to asking people to babysit/leaving Henry anymore than I have to.  However, I know that putting energy into our marriage will pay off so much more in the long run.  I'm working on it.  Thursday was a great reminder.

Here's to hoping it doesn't take 8 months for another date.

Friday morning we noticed that Henry's stitches still hadn't fallen out, even though they should have. In addition, his eye brow was starting to look a little swollen.  That meant we were back to the doctor's office to get his stitches taken out.  While holding him down while they did that was awful, so was trying to entertain a toddler while also trying to keep him from touching anything.  Thankfully, Phil was with me to help.

{Thankfully the doctor didn't walk in while we were doing this}

We topped off an excellent appointment by getting Henry his first of 2 flu shots.  When he saw the needle, he started crying.  I would feel bad, except that he would be so much worse if he actually got sick.  About 5 seconds after the shot, he was fine.

When I was little and had to go to the doctor to get something unpleasant done (shots, tests, blood draw), my mom would always bribe me by saying, "If you are a brave girl, we will stop and get a happy meal on the way home."  To my knowledge, it worked every time.  In fact, to this day I reward myself if I am a brave girl at the doctor's office (this became quite tricky during all the cancer appointments.  I got a LOT of rewards).  However, getting unpleasant things done at the doctor's office really doesn't bother me.  Therefore, I plan to use the same bribery on my children.

So Henry got his first milkshake!

We stopped by the office (because I had to go back to work) and Henry decided to share his milkshake with Papa.  I'm sure Papa loved the backwash.

Thanks to some great planning, we got to spend the whole weekend together.  We decided to take advantage of the great weather we were having and went apple picking again.  Henry was much more interested this time.  He kept trying to pick up the apples off the ground and put those in our bucket.

This week looks like it will be a little less hectic (no night meetings for me).  I am looking forward to maybe starting some crafts, after I tackle this:

When faced with the choice of folding laundry or spending time with my guys, it was a pretty easy decision.  Hence the gigantic pile of laundry.  I'm sure I will be done folding it right about it is time to do laundry again.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Toddlers are hard

Raising a toddler is HARD.

My mom says between 1-3 is the hardest age (teenage years aside).  You can't really reason with them.  They don't understand consequences all that well.  And you can't really bribe them either (there's no "take two more bites and you can have dessert").

I don't know what Henry's deal is right now.  He swings between being super happy and throwing feet-stomping tantrums.  It's awesome.

My mom keeps mentioning that perhaps this is just his personality (and it drives me nuts when she says this), but I refuse to accept that.  He eats whatever I put in front of him one week and then won't eat hardly anything the next.  He is super sweet and kind and then the next week his keeps biting me.

Yesterday at daycare, he was upset when I put him down so I knelt down and was giving him hugs.  He then proceeded to walk 5 feet away from me to push another baby.  Grumps galore.

{This is what it looks like close to nap time}

Dinner time is especially challenging for me.  I waffle between wanting to get him to eat anything and feeling like I am negotiation with the enemy.  If I give in and make him something different until he'll eat, am I teaching him that he will always get his way?  Or is he too young for that?  I don't know.

Is it teeth?  Is he growing?  Does he have a cold?  All of the above?

His hands are constantly in his mouth.  He has a rash on his cheeks.  18 months clothing doesn't fit anymore.  And his nose is a faucet.

So it is probably all three.

But I want my happy, sweet boy back.  Maybe after cold and flu season is over, I guess.

Until then, we will trying our best to not pull our hair out (especially at dinner time).

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Henry's favorite band

A couple of months ago, daycare asked us to bring Henry's favorite CD to class.  Every other parent brought CD's filled with children's songs and nursery rhymes.

We brought Carbon Leaf.

In case you were wondering, they are Henry's favorite band.

Can a baby have a favorite band?  I am going to say yes because he does.

Ever since his birth basically it is the one thing that is sure to calm Henry down.  He would be screaming in the car, the second he hears Barry's voice (the lead singer), he would instantly calm down.

Middle of the night scream fest... Carbon Leaf.

You might think I am exaggerating.  I'm not.  Here's proof:


And some more proof:

Youngest fan?  Maybe.

Just to be clear, Phil took this video while I drove.  Safety first.

I could have WAY more evidence since he gets upset almost daily in the car (he's not a morning baby) and I use Carbon Leaf DAILY to keep my sanity.

We have seen Carbon Leaf in concert almost every time they have been in Portland and we are very excited that we get to go see them again this week on THURSDAY!  We would take Henry but the concert is in a bar.  I'm pretty sure that is frowned upon.

We just aren't going to tell him.

So in case Carbon Leaf happens to be reading this... THANK YOU for being the only thing that soothes my son in the car.  I'm grateful beyond words.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Pinterest: You win some, you lose some

Online tutorials/recipes... they can go either way sometimes.

When it comes to recipes, I prefer using allrecipes.com.  The recipes are rated and people can post their own tricks and tweaks.  But I took a chance when I saw this pin:

{Recipe found HERE}

I followed the directions, including the hints...

They looked good.  And smelled great.

They weren't crispy.

I may try to make them again, using another hit listed in the recipe of using 1/8 cup of pumpkin.  I think before then I will have to make regular krispie treats for Phil.  They are his favorite (along with brownies, in case you wanted to know).

We will put these in the Pinterest FAIL column until further notice.

But more often than not, Pinterest doesn't let you down.  And that was certainly the case for this:

{I have no idea why this picture is so crooked}

I used THIS tutorial and it worked great.  It took 20 yards of 4" burlap ribbon on a 18" wreath frame. I am so excited about this because I really like wreaths (which is random when I say that out loud) but I HATE the idea of paying a ton of money for something that you change so much.  So this one, I can just switch the embellishments on it to move it from season to season.

Pinterest WIN.

Still to be tested this week:

Honey Barbecue Chicken Meatballs from HERE.  They look promising.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...