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Archive for February, 2010

Her very own comfy chair

Thoughtfully penned on February 25th, 2010 and generally concerning Reviews, S

Baby girl has a variety of places where she can sleep relax and enjoy the scenery – a swing, a baby papasan chair, a bouncy seat, a pack ‘n play, her carseat – and at different times in her short life has made use of each one. A couple of weeks ago we added another “special seat” to her bounty, and it has become her very own comfy chair.

This is the Fisher Price Rock ‘n Play Sleeper, a seat designed to go from day to night as a play seat, rocker, and sleeper (it meets all industry standards for bassinets). And we use it for all three. Baby girl’s chair travels with her wherever she is in the house – during the day it generally resides in the living room (where we spend most of our time) and travels to the kitchen or my bedroom as necessary, during the night it sits beside her crib and cradles her as she sleeps. We have pretty much put all of our other baby equipment away for now.

There are several things that I (and apparently baby girl) really like about this seat:
~ It is elevated which makes it much easier to get her in and out of and also limits how the older kids can get to her (I don’t have to worry about Boo climbing in on top of her). It is also the perfect height to rock from the couch or bed (although I haven’t used it as a bedside sleeper).
~ The design of the seat is inclined and kind of sling-like. It cradles her and keeps her from slumping like she does in the bouncy seat and swing, but the incline allows her to look around more than she can in the pack ‘n play. I think this seat would have been great for Boo, too, since he had to sleep at an incline to help with his reflux.
~ It doesn’t take batteries. This is one of those weird things, but I like that, one, we don’t have to worry about having a certain type of batteries on hand, and, two, that there isn’t an annoying hum or click coming through the monitor from her room all night long.
~ It is very portable. The swing and bouncy seat are bulky and clunky to move around while holding an infant in one arm. The Rock ‘n Play Sleeper is lightweight and easy to move around. It will slide along the carpet or is light enough to carry easily, and it is narrow enough to fit through doors with no problems. It also folds to make it suitable for travel.
~ It was easy to assemble. Assembly requires no tools, and I was able to put it together by myself in just a matter of minutes.

There are a couple of potential cons – If you have a baby who needs the vibrations in a bouncy seat or papasan chair to soothe them, this seat would not be a good choice since the manual rocking motion is the only motion it offers. Also, it is designed for newborns and infants up to 25 pounds or until the child is able to pull up or sit unassisted, so it doesn’t have quite as much age/weight range as some other baby products.

Matt and I were concerned initially about the stability of the sleeper since Boo has a tendency to hang on things and try to climb into seats with baby girl; however, we haven’t had any issues with tipping even when Boo has tried to get to baby. The biggest downside I’ve found is that it is light enough for Little and Boo to move it around; for the first few days I never knew where in the room baby girl would be if I left the room for a minute.

Overall, I think the Rock ‘n Play Sleeper is a really good product. I would not consider it a “necessity” for baby, but it is definitely a great seat to have around.

Thank you to MomSelect and Fisher Price for the chance to review this product.

Disclaimer: Fisher Price provided me one Rock ‘n Play Sleeper free of charge as part of a product review program through MomSelect. The opinions expressed in this post are purely my own.

Ten on Tuesday #2

Thoughtfully penned on February 23rd, 2010 and generally concerning childhood, Meme, Ten on Tuesday

There’s another fun set of questions at Roots and Rings for this week’s Ten on Tuesday. (Although there are 11 questions this week which kind of freaks the OCD in me out a bit)

1. What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?
I’m an ice cream kind of girl, so this list could go on (it’s hard to narrow to one favorite), but I’ll keep it semi-short: peanut butter and chocolate, moose tracks, cookies and cream (especially Blue Bell)

2. What is your earliest memory?
It would probably be of me flying to Houston with my Mema when I was probably 3 or 4 (right, Mom?). I remember us being on the plane together and it just being the two of us.

3. What is your earliest memory of a dessert?
This is an odd question. I can’t think of one from early in my life, but my first memory of cooking dessert would be in middle school when my best friend would come to the house and beg me to bake chocolate chip cookies for him.

4. Do you have any recurring dreams?
A few, but I haven’t had any of them recently. There was one (mainly as a child) where my house was on fire in a ring down the center of the house and I was on one side and my Dad was on the other and I couldn’t get to him. The primary one as an adult has been Matt and I (with some other people) running from a group of mercenary-type soldiers who are persecuting us. We hide out in this little room where we have to crawl through a hole and along a tunnel to reach it. I always wake up with my heart pounding. (could be related to the amount of reading I do about WWIII era Europe)

5. Have you ever dreamed about dessert?
Absolutely. Especially when I’m pregnant, but occasionally when I’m not.

6. What is one thing (aside from a cell phone or computer) that you cannot go the entire day without?
Talking to Matt.

7. What is one dessert you could go your entire life without ever having again?
I can’t think of any specific dessert (although I know there are some out there), but anything with raisins is high on my dislike list.

8. If you could go on vacation tomorrow, where would you go? (Assume someone else is footing the bill, but within reason…so “the moon” won’t work)
The beach (Caribbean or gulf coast)! There are lots of places I would love to go, but right now I just want WARM.

9. If you could have any dessert tomorrow, what would you have (assume someone else is buying it for you. Within reason though, no “gold sprinkled ice cream cones.”)
Hmmm…strawberry cake with strawberry or cream cheese icing (or maybe chocolate mousse cheesecake)

10. What was your first impression of your significant other? If you’re single, what was your first impression of your best friend?
Matt – I thought he was cute and very quiet.

my best friend – that she seemed like a nice neighbor and it was nice of her to ask about our new baby (Little)

11. What is your first impression of dessert pizza? (Personally, I think it’s weird. I love dessert but I don’t want any on my pizza.)
Before I tried it I thought it sounded bizarre and gross. Once I tried some I found out I like some of it.

Menu Plan Monday – February 20-26

Thoughtfully penned on February 21st, 2010 and generally concerning In the kitchen, Menu Planning

It’s Monday again, and I’ve got a plan for our menu. Last week we had a few more leftovers than I anticipated, so there are a couple of carry overs on our menu this week.

The creamy mexican casserole that we tried last week was very good. I used a pound of ground beef instead of the chicken called for in the recipe and it worked out well (although it would probably be just as good with only a half pound of beef). If you like things spicy you probably want to add some ground cayenne pepper in with the spices; Matt and I added hot salsa to our servings so that the casserole wouldn’t be too spicy for the kids. This would make a great potluck or party dish, too, since it can be eaten with tortilla chips.

Anyway, here’s what’s on our menu this week.

Saturday: lunch: rolled tacos / dinner: meatball subs, fries
Sunday: lunch: leftovers / dinner: chicken nugget casserole, noodles, corn
Monday: enchilada casserole, chips & guacamole, salsa
Tuesday: leftovers
Wednesday: chicken & broccoli macaroni, salad
Thursday: leftovers
Friday: pizza

I’ve been craving buffalo chicken dip for a few weeks now, so I might make a dish this week and throw it in there somewhere. And, of course, I’ll be making several loaves of bread (thanks to my handy, dandy bread machine) including a couple of new recipes (hopefully).

That’s my plan for the week. For more meal and menu plan ideas hop over to Menu Plan Monday at orgjunkie.com and see what everyone else is eating this week.

Happy Monday!

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Overheard at our house

Thoughtfully penned on February 18th, 2010 and generally concerning E, J, Life with littles

Here are some recent conversational funnies from chez sidetrack’d…

Talking to Little:

Little: Question number one…Mommy. Who makes toes? (this is a little game she’s been playing lately. the answer is always Jesus.)
Me: Jesus
Little (deadpan): Jesus and God. There are a lot of toes.

Then there was this one:

Me (to Matt): Little told me today that I am a princess.
Little: I was just pretending!


And, filed under statements you never thought you would have to make:

“Boo, don’t put your bacon in your ear!”

which ranks right up there with the admonition we had to give Little when she was about 15 months old: “Don’t lick the toilet!”

Yep, never a dull moment around here. :-)

Ten on Tuesday

Thoughtfully penned on February 16th, 2010 and generally concerning Blogging News, Meme, Ten on Tuesday

For the last few weeks my BFF, Lindsey, and my wonderful SIL, Lu, have participated in Ten on Tuesday at Roots and Rings. It looks like fun, and I like this week’s questions, so I thought I would play along. (seeing as how I’m blogging semi-regularly again and all)

1. If you could open any type of store/place of business (money is no obstacle), what would you open?
A used bookstore would be an option since we don’t have a good one in our area, but the only real business idea I’ve had is for Lindsey and me to open a stroller and baby carrier “rental” company where new moms and moms-to-be could try out different kinds of carriers and strollers without having to make the financial investment that is generally involved in these purchases. We would also rent carriers and strollers for people who were traveling or only needed them for a short time for whatever reason. Our husbands laugh anytime we bring it up.

2. If all jobs paid equally, what occupation would you want? Why?
Right now I’m perfectly happy as a stay-at-home mom. At some point in the future, however, I would love to train as a lactation consultant or doula (or possibly both).

3. If you could be any animal in the world, what would you pick? Why?
I have no idea. Can’t say that I’ve ever really thought about it.

4. If offered one “service” free of charge, which would you choose? (chauffeur, maid, personal shopper, chef, etc.)
Absolutely, positively, no doubt about it, it would be a maid! I’m good with cooking, laundry, shopping, etc, but I cannot stay on top of cleaning these days (could, just possibly, have something to do with having a newborn, but still) and it’s not something I enjoy most any time.

5. What is one habit, no matter how hard you try, you just can’t seem to break?
I actually have 2: popping my knuckles and biting my lips. I’ve tried repeatedly and unsuccessfully to stop doing both

6. What is one thing that no matter how many you own, you still love to buy all the time?
If I had the money, this would definitely be baby carriers, as it stands right now, I’ve gotta say cloth diapers.

7. Out of all the game shows (past and present), which would you want to be a participant on and play?
I would love to be smart enough to be on Jeopardy.

8. If you could play the lead role in any movie that’s already been made, which movie would you pick?
ooo…I don’t know. Probably either Jo in Little Women or Elizabeth Bennett in the BBC Pride & Prejudice. I think I’m enough like both of those characters to pull it off (if I could act).

9. Name 5 things on your bucket list (things you want to do before you die).
I’ve never made a bucket list, but I would like to buy a house 100% cash down (which would only happen if we were totally debt free), see my children find their God-given purpose in life, travel Europe with Matt, move back to East TN or western NC, and drive an Audi TT turbo (6 speed manual transmission and convertible would be nice). Wow, that was much harder than I thought it would be.

10. Which one of your birthdays was the best? What did you do that day?
I can’t remember very many of my individual birthdays, but my 19th birthday is definitely pretty high on the list. That year my Mom, brother, sister-in-law, and oldest nephew (who was 9 months old at the time) came to Montgomery (where I was in college) to celebrate with me. It was the first time my family met Matt.

Menu Plan Monday – February 13-19

Thoughtfully penned on February 15th, 2010 and generally concerning In the kitchen, Menu Planning

I’m running a little behind here, but better late than never. Right?

Here’s what we’re eating this week…

Saturday: lunch: fend / dinner: broccoli cheese soup, homemade bread

Sunday: lunch: rolled tacos / dinner: roast, potatoes, carrots

Monday: leftover roast

Tuesday: creamy mexican casserole (I’m using ground beef instead of chicken)

Wednesday: chicken & broccoli macaroni (carry over from last week)

Thursday: chicken nugget casserole, spaghetti noodles, corn on the cob

Friday: pizza

I have several new recipes on the menu this week, so hopefully it will be a tasty week around here. I did make the broccoli cheese soup Saturday night, and, although things got a bit stressful at the end when the soup was thickening and the baby was hungry, it was very tasty. The onion was a bit strong for my taste, so next time we’ll cut it drastically or leave it out all together.

For meal and menu plan inspiration visit Menu Plan Monday at orgjunkie.com.

Happy Monday!

13 Days of Peace and Love

Thoughtfully penned on February 11th, 2010 and generally concerning Blogging News, Family, Grandparents, Legacy, S

On Sunday morning, January 10, as we prepared to leave for church, my Mom called to let me know that my grandmother, Mema, had been hospitalized due to heart attack. At that point no one really had much information except that she was stable and being admitted to the cardiac care unit for tests and observation.

On Monday morning, January 11, I was awakened about 5 a.m. by contractions that steadily grew stronger and closer together. I was 40 weeks 3 days pregnant, so we were anxiously awaiting the arrival of our newest baby girl…

To read more, click here and check out my entry in PAXbaby.com’s 13 Days of Peace and Love.

What I love: two very special ladies

Thoughtfully penned on February 11th, 2010 and generally concerning Family, Grandparents, S

On Sunday morning, January 10, as we prepared to leave for church, my Mom called to let me know that my grandmother, Mema, had been hospitalized due to heart attack. At that point no one really had much information except that she was stable and being admitted to the cardiac care unit for tests and observation.

On Monday morning, January 11, I was awakened about 5 a.m. by contractions that steadily grew stronger and closer together. I was 40 weeks 3 days pregnant, so we were anxiously awaiting the arrival of our newest baby girl.

Our precious baby girl was born that afternoon and immediately stole our hearts, just as her older sister (3 1/2 years old) and brother (21 months old) had upon their births. My parents made the three hour trip from Nashville to be with our older children while I was in the hospital. The news they brought of Mema seemed to be good; everyone thought she was improving and that with time and a change in medication she would be able to go home.

The next twelve days were pretty much a blur of newborn care, mom recovery, tending to the older children, and attempting to get as much sleep as possible. And then, on Saturday, January 23, my whole world shifted as I learned that my Mema had left this earth and gone to be with Jesus. As I spoke with my Mom on the phone that morning, I struggled with many things: holding back the tears well enough to carry on a conversation, guilt at not having been able to visit Mema in the last few months, and a profound sadness that my tiny baby had not been able to meet her great-grandmother.

I immediately made the decision that I had to be at the funeral; there was just no way that I could miss it. Even though that meant loading up all the little people, making the three hour trip, and exposing my two week old baby to all of the people who would be coming and going during the visitation and funeral. For me, this was really a no brainer, the choice between the temporary hardships of a 24 hour trip to Nashville or a lifetime of regret for not being there.

Mema was a very special lady. She poured her love into my life from my very earliest moments. She set an amazing example of what a wife should be as she cared for my grandfather during his years of battling muscular dystrophy. She demonstrated the love of a grandmother in every way. She influenced my life in many ways. Her death is felt by many and by me every day.

Our baby girl is a very special little lady. Right now because she is ours and, hopefully, in years to come because she grows and matures into the very special lady God has created her to be. I feel blessed to be her mother and pray that she is as good a woman as my Mema was.

I did get to introduce these two ladies who mean so much to me, although not in the way I had hoped. Instead of a cheerful welcome into the arms of her great-grandmother it was a tearful, one-sided conversation.

And now it is my privilege and obligation to make sure that this tiny girl knows how much her Mema loved her even though she never met her. It is my privilege and obligation to make sure she knows that in her final days Mema was very concerned about the well being of this tiny girl. It is my privilege and obligation to make sure that I pass along the legacy that Mema left.

Mema, you are loved and missed, but a part of you lives on in each of your daughters, granddaughters, and great-granddaughters. Including this tiny bundle of baby girl that I hold in my arms.

Also published at PAXbaby

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1 month old

Thoughtfully penned on February 11th, 2010 and generally concerning Life with littles, S

I’m one month old now, and…

…I nurse like a champ.
…sometimes I go four hours between feedings & sometimes just an hour & a half.
…I alternate between good and bad nights (good night/bad night, rinse, repeat).
…mommy and daddy wish I’d get a little more consistent at night.
…I like to hang out in the swing and my new Rock ‘n Play Sleeper.
…my big sister and big brother love me very much.
…sometimes my brother loves me a little too much…and a little too aggressively.
…I love being worn – in either the ring sling or wrap.
…I’m very alert when I’m awake and usually pretty content (if I’m being held).
…my mommy and daddy love me very, very much!

Snow! Take 1

Thoughtfully penned on February 10th, 2010 and generally concerning E, J, Life with littles, Of games and good things, S, Winter

I know there are a few of you anxiously (or not) awaiting an update post on baby girl. Sorry, but you’re going to have to wait a bit longer for a couple of reasons: 1) I want to post this first, and 2) we have to take some pictures of the baby. Poor thing is seriously going to have third child syndrome; she’ll be a month old tomorrow and the only pictures we have of her are the ones we took in the hospital. Yes, I do feel Mommy guilt, so let’s move on.

Little is all about snow this winter. She talks about snow, asks when it is going to snow, and plots the things she will do when she finally gets to play in the snow.

Imagine her disappointment when our first snow of the winter left us with barley a 1/2 inch dusting (in fact, I think the layer of dust in my house is deeper than the snow was on the ground). When she looked out and saw the “snow” the following conversation ensued:

Little: Mom, can I play in the snow?
Me: Little, there really isn’t enough snow to play in.
Little: Can I make a snowman?
Me: No, baby, there isn’t enough snow.
Little: Can I make a snow angel?
Me: Sorry, sweetheart, there isn’t enough snow.
Little: Well, can I at least make a footprint?

Fortunately, there was enough snow for her to make some footprints.

So, that was our first encounter with snow this year. Then, a couple of weeks ago, the weather people started forecasting a big snow headed our way. We were supposed to get 6-8 inches, and everyone was very excited (and very anxious to get to the grocery for bread and milk). This is the South, people!

There was enough for the little people to go out and play, which they loved.

check out the tiny snowman; that’s all the snowman they could build

And the next day the ice made it perfect for sledding. They loved this too!

Little was much more impressed with this snow, but since it was mostly ice it posed challenges of its own.

She couldn’t make a snow angel because she couldn’t push her arms down hard enough to break through the ice crust.

And poor Boo had trouble walking in it. Just about every time he took a step he lost his balance as his foot broke through the ice crust and fell on his bucket. I so wish I had been filming him when he first went out; he stepped over the transition point between our concrete patio and the grass, lost his balance, and went sprawling face forward into the snow. It was hilarious!

That was the first of our two snows in a week and a half span. I’ll post about this week’s snow soon.