Marching for Tiny Ones

Something happened.

When Maddie died, things changed. People came together. Her passing brought many tears to my eyes, and the second I saw that there was a Pittsburgh team walking for Maddie and March of Dimes I had to join. Because when that beautiful little girl died, something happened. In all of us.

People who had never heard of Maddie were brought to tears by her death. People who have lost children of their own, people who have children that were born prematurely, people who have never once even babysat a child…all of us were affected.

So now, Pittsburgh is coming together. The Burgh Moms and Dads team has raised over $3,500 now, and I just know we can get to $4,000 by our walk on Saturday.

Can you spare one dollar? Two? Maybe even ten? I have done what I can, and I hope you will too.

Are you in Pittsburgh? Can you join Our Team?

Please, think about donating in this beautiful little girl’s name. Please click here to make a donation through my page, or click here to make a donation through the Pittsburgh Moms and Dads Team.

Think of her:

I’ll be thinking of my own son, who was in the NICU for four days after his birth. We were lucky, and he is perfectly healthy. I’ll be thinking of all of the babies who we have lost, all of the babies we have saved, and all of the babies that we will one day be able to save because of advances in medicine.

My baby? May not have made it if it weren’t for IV fluids and Bili Lights to help his severe jaundice. I’ll be thinking of that. What will you be thinking about this Saturday?

Think about donating. Every little bit helps.

The Adventures Begin

I have been a stay at home mom since Alex was born. From September through December after his birth, I was with him almost nonstop. I would get a break here and there from Zach, who was still a student at the time, and my mom would come over to let me nap or shower during the day.

For many months, he pretty much just slept. He slept most of the day, and when he wasn’t sleeping I was either busy nursing him or trying to get him to go to sleep. There were small periods of time where I would “play” with him: shake rattles, show him books, take him on walks, etc. Then he got older.

He’s much more demanding in some ways now that he is quickly becoming a toddler. Looking back on the baby days, I almost miss them. He would lay on the ground, batting at toys, or sit in his chair looking around. He was fascinated by everything and anything would entertain him.

These days? We are beginning to bore each other. We play the same games every day: chase, tackle, roll balls, stack things, put things in and out of other things, point to body parts… mostly, he just wants me to watch him play. He doesn’t really want to interact with me so much. He knows what I can do, how I can entertain him, but most of the time that is not enough for him. He wants new.

So, instead of him making a mess because he’s bored at home, and me being bored because he won’t really play with me, I’ve decided that we are going to find more things to do.

There are so many opportunities for kids and their parents, but unfortunately most of them cost money. So my choices are limited, but I’m finding that they are not nonexistent. And once the weather is better our options will expand drastically by the simple fact that he can run around a playground.

Yesterday, Alex and I went to the Pittsburgh Toy Lending Library. That place is absolutely wonderful! There is every toy you can imagine: slides, things to climb on, blocks upon blocks, balls and more balls, doll houses, large train sets, mini kitchens, and more. He loved it. He ran around playing with everything he could get his hands on. He even, dare I say it, interacted with me. And other kids! (If you asked Alex, every kid he was playing with was a “baby!”)

There are other activities that I have been meaning to try with Alex for a long time. Our local libraries offer story times for babies and toddlers, and as I recently learned on plurk our Children’s Museum has a lot to offer toddlers.

So, Alex and I are going to enjoy this time we have together before he eventually has to start daycare in six or seven months. We won’t be bored any longer. We will go on adventures.

Alex staring into space

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.

    The Plague

    It’s official. The plague has swept through our house.

    First, Alex was sick for about two weeks. The first few days of the illness included no sleep, constant nose drainage, lots of coughing, and perpetual clinginess. After that he was only mildly clingy and had a nose that wouldn’t stop running.

    Next, Zach got ill. He had a fever, a bad cough, and couldn’t breath because of all of the mucous. He was so bad he even had to stay home from work.

    Then it hit me. I woke up yesterday feeling like I had an antelope in my throat. The antelope was clearly angering the bird that had appeared the night before. Those bird feathers tickle like crazy, and the antelope just made the bird claustrophobic with his big antlers stabbing into my throat.

    Today is slightly better. I have cookies to make for the cookie swap on Saturday, so I must be better in order to do that. I will not miss out on the awesomeness that is the Burgh Moms and what I’m sure will be amazing cookies. Not. Gonna. Happen.

    Send angry notes to the antelope and bird, please. Scare them out of my throat.

    Overheard in Pittsburgh

    I was walking to class this morning directly behind two young women. They looked very young, so I’m guessing they were probably prospective students or freshman. One was wearing a mini skirt, tank top, and flip flops. The other had on a winter jacket.

    Girl #1: I was talking to Jared, and he says there is no way that is true.
    Girl #2: Jared doesn’t know everything, you know. Maybe he’s covering for her.
    Girl #1: I just don’t believe it. She wouldn’t do something like that!
    Girl #2: It’s totally true! She is such a slut.
    Girl #1: But she’s just so…nice!
    Girl #2: Nice people can be sluts too, you know.

    Words of wisdom.

    Movers Are Coming!

    Tomorrow morning the movers are coming. We are finishing up the packing, and enjoying our last night in this apartment building:

    Our (almost) Old Apartment

    It wasn’t the worst place to live, but the list of bad things certainly outweighs the list of good:

    • Random fire alarms
    • Random power outages
    • No water a few times
    • Brown water a few times
    • Horrible air conditioning that doesn’t work
    • Greenhouse effect because of the stupid not insulated glass windows
    • Elevators that broke all the time
    • Having to take an elevator
    • Having to hear said elevator every time it passes our floor through our walls
    • Dirty carpet
    • Electric stove (not a nice one, either)
    • Metal cabinets in the kitchen
    • Fluctuating water temperatures
    • Noisy neighbors
    • Crying Baby neighbor
    • Obnoxious person below us complained about us being noisy at 8 pm on a Friday night
    • Creepy old people
    • Creepy old person who tells me to get Alex away from her because she hasn’t taken her “pill”

    It wasn’t all bad, though:

    • There is an insane amount of closet space
    • It is a very spacious 2 bedroom apartment
    • Ummm…

    I can’t wait to move!