Back to Normal?

My fingers are crossed that everything is getting back to normal around here.

Alex has slept through the night two nights in a row. After the time change, being sick, and teething, the last few weeks have been rough. I have no clue how I made it through eight months of him waking up multiple times during the night. No Clue. Not much is worse than having to get out of bed, walk around in the cold, and attempt to soothe a baby who doesn’t want to sleep for who-knows-what reason.

Now that I’m finally feeling slightly more rested than I have in a while, I also have the end of NaBloPoMo to bring things closer to normal. While I’m glad I was able to write a post every day for 30 days I don’t think I’ll be participating again. The challenge was enjoyable and it made me realize that if I really wanted to I could write more often, but the number of craptacular posts to get me to 30 posts in 30 days is totally not worth it.

Ah, normalcy.


Friday Five

  1. What’s a profession you believe to be overpaid? Professional athletes. Not necessarily all of them. I understand that it’s generally a dangerous profession, what with all of the injuries, and that sports bring money to communities. But the ones who are no longer performing well but are still under contract? Yeah, them.
  2. Who’s a musician you believe to be overrated? I can name a lot of modern “artists” that are overrated in many ways (Britney Spears and the like come to mind), but they aren’t musicians. When it comes to people who are actual musicians, as in play and write their own music? How about John Mayer? Phish? I don’t know, really. I’m not a musician, so who am I to judge? (And I like John Mayer and Phish.)
  3. What in your life could stand to be overhauled? My schedule. It needs some serious help. Between school and taking care of Alex my life is always a bit of a mess.
  4. What’s something interesting you recently overheard? I think that these two posts sum that up nicely.
  5. Who is the most overextended person you know?These days, who isn’t? I feel like everyone I know always has a million and one things going on. It’s hard to find time for, well, anything. I do know one woman, an old friend of the family, who does more than the average already overextended person. Not only does she have a more-than full time job, she is also on her neighborhood council, plans events for various companies, is throwing me a graduation party, and seems always to be doing something that I can never fully grasp.

What’s Been Missing

It’s been a hard six weeks. Not being able to load pictures onto my computer has been unfortunate because not only could I not share any pictures, but also I was not taking as many.

Here is a small sample of the past six weeks:

Alex discovered that pushing around real life objects is way more fun than pushing around his toys that are, you know, made for being pushed around.
Alex had a bruise on his nose and eye from a chair. It looked worse in person than I was able to capture on camera.
Alex learned that running while holding hands? Way better than trying to do it by yourself.
Alex learned one of life’s most important lessons: candy is one of the best things ever.
Alex learned how to “smile” for the camera. Such a ham, that kid.

Up, Up, and Away!

Alex’s new favorite word is “up” and he says it all. the. time. He wants someone to pick him up, he wants something that is too high up for him to reach, he wants you to look at something that is above his head. “Up. Up. Up!”

With the horrendous teething that is occurring right now, he isn’t sleeping well. Last night he woke up twice, and nothing would get him back to sleep except me holding him for about half an hour. When he would finally pass out, I would very, very, carefully place him in his crib. If I put him down too quickly, or when he wasn’t fast asleep, he stood right up, looked at me and said, “up!”

How do you ignore when someone so small and sweet looks at you and says, “Up! Mama! Mamaaaa! Uuuup!”

It’s hard. Especially knowing that he is in pain and is only being clingy because of that pain.

Mmm cheese

Mmm Cookies

The Burgh Mom cookie swap was a huge success. Not that I had any doubt in my mind. How bad could it possibly be? Amazing women and cookies. Oh, and a really cute baby. And a really cute little girl. And a really wonderful 13-year old (they exist! It’s a miracle!). And did I mention lots of cookies? ‘Nuff said.

I made two types of cookies: Peanut butter peanut butter cup cookies and cranberry white chocolate chip cookies. Both pack some serious yum into them. (Although, to be honest, I was disappointed with my peanut butter cookies. They were not their usual “oh-my-god-my-mouth-is-in-heaven” love bites. I blame my probably poor attempt at tripling the recipe.)

I still don’t have a working camera, so I can’t share pictures of the baking processes. Instead, I will simply share the recipes and the iPhone picture of the finished products.

Cranberry White Chocolate Chip Cookies:

  • 2.5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups white chocolate chips
  • 6 oz craisins (or other sweetened, dried, cranberries)

  • Directions

    1. Mix flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda. Set aside.
    2. Cream the butter and sugar together, beating well. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until well blended after each addition. Add vanilla.
    3. Add flour mixture to butter mixture gradually, beating well until blended.
    4. Add white chocolate chips and craisins until blended. (Hint: coat the white chocolate chips and craisins in flour before mixing into the batter so that they don’t all sink the bottom of the cookie.)
    5. Drop cookies onto lightly greased baking sheet.
    6. Bake at 350 for 12 minutes or until lightly browned on the bottom.
    7. Let cool on wire racks.
    8. Eat while warm for maximum enjoyment.

    Peanut Butter Peanut Butter Cup Cookies:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup butter (or butter flavored crisco; horribly bad for you, but deliciously delicious)
  • 3/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Reese’s cups, unwrapped

  • Directions

    1. Mix flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
    2. Cream the butter and both sugars together. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until well blended after each addition. Add vanilla.
    3. Add flour mixture to butter mixture gradually, beating well until blended.
    4. Drop cookies onto lightly greased baking sheet.
    5. Bake at 325 for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned on the bottom.
    6. Push unwrapped reese’s cups into cookie immediately upon removal from oven.
    7. Let cool on wire racks.
    8. Eat while warm for maximum enjoyment.

    I Bring You “D”

    I have never been more impressed with bloggers who post every day regularly.

    It’s not that I necessarily don’t have a lot that I want to write about, it’s that I want to mostly focus my blog on my family and occasional odd situations I encounter. It would probably make sense for me to find another outlet for my more politically minded posts, but they are pretty sporadic and often are in some way connected to Alex. Everything is connected to him these days. The life of a mom, I guess.

    So today, I am thanking the wonderful ClumberKim for passing on the letter “D” to me. Here’s how it works (thanks, Uncle Crappy!): You leave a comment on this post, and I’ll assign you a letter. You write about ten things you love that begin with your assigned letter, and post it at your place. When people comment on your list, you give them a letter, and the chain continues on and on.

    I bring you: The Letter D!

    I grew up dancing. As a young child, I was a gymnast. I rolled and tumbled with the best of them, but quit when it became too competitive. Moving on to dance, I fell in love. I took ballet, jazz, modern and tap, but my passion was definitely in tap. I continued to dance throughout young adolescence, but gave it up in the middle of high school. I still love dance. Not only is it great exercise, it is fun

    Desperate Housewives I can’t help it. I have loved that show since I first sat down with Season 1 on DVD and watched it from beginning to end during Finals period my second year at Smith. I love the ridiculousness of it all.

    Denver What’s not to love? The weather is beautiful. It’s a fun city. My Great Aunt (Grandmother’s sister) lives there.

    Donnie Darko: I am in love with this movie. The music is fantastic, the acting is great, and I love movies that force you to think.

    Dessert: Sweets are my weakness. I love brownies, cookies, cakes, pies, you name it. I probably enjoy making them as much as I enjoy eating them.

    Dalai Lama: It’s kind of cheesy to say that I like him, but I do. He came to speak at Smith before I left, and it was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. Listening to his words and watching him interact with people was moving. Seeing him and the other monks walk around campus was a surreal experience, and it was even more surreal to see all of the pictures posted online after his visit.

    Dad: Not my dad, but Zach. I love him, think he is an amazing father, and know he is going to continue to be SuperDad.

    Dogs: Yes, I love dogs. I grew up with a Basset Hound and Cocker Spaniel, Phoebe and Sebastian, and was profoundly depressed after each one died. I’ve always had an odd fascination with tiny dogs that yap, but mostly I would love to own a Labrador Retriever, probably a black one. My Uncle has always had Labs, and each one that he has had through the years I have fallen in love with. His current Lab is actually a mutt named Lola. Lola is well behaved, smart, sweet, and was scared of Alex, which continually cracked me up. My mom currently has an adorable Pembroke Welsh Corgi named Jackson, who is wild and crazy but oh-so-sweet.

    Drinking: I love wine. I love beer. ‘Nuff said.

    Diving: During the olympics, Diving was one of my favorite things to watch. This is kind of a stretch (honestly, I was having trouble thinking of a tenth “D” that I loved), but it really is an amazing sport.

    Want a letter? Let me know!

    Cookies Cookies Cookies Cookies

    I just finished baking the last batch of cookies for the Burgh Mom Cookie Swap. There are about 180 cookies in all. Do you know how long it takes to bake 180 cookies? A long time, let me tell you. And it was a long time having to smell deliciousness emanating from the kitchen without eating all of the gooey, chocolaty, sweetness.

    Peanut Butter Peanut Butter Cup Cookies. Cranberry White Chocolate Chip Cookies. Yum.

    Recipes for both are forthcoming. At least, to the best of my ability. I screw with recipes a lot, but I will attempt to remember what I do every time I make these cookies. I don’t really use measuring cups or spoons, except for the simple fact that they fit perfectly into small boxes of baking powder and baking soda; I just go by my memory of what the measured amounts are supposed to be and then what those measured amounts look like. At the end of the mixing I go by consistency. Too sticky? Add more flour!