The Un-Built-ins

If you remember, a little while ago it was all up in the air as to whether we were staying here in the fall or taking off for somewhere else. We just recently got word that we're staying at the beehive! It's not official-official yet, but official enough that we've started planning new projects.

Our first to-do is to get more storage in the dining room. It's our main entry point from the kitchen side door and is a total dumping area for everything we bring in the house. I clean it daily, but S flips out if I move all his shoes to secret hiding spots. At least I haven't implemented the oft threatened "if you put it where it doesn't belong, it's going to Goodwill within 24 hours." Just wait, buddy, just wait.

This is the view from our side door. Just to the right in his photos are all of S's shoes. We have a two pairs of shoes rule. Guess how many pairs of shoes baby M and I each have there? Two for me, zero for him. Guess how many S has? Guess how many he wears daily? None of them. He wears uniform boots every day, not white canvas shoes, white leather shoes, light brown driving shoes, dark brown driving shoes, six pairs of flip flops or running shoes. But I digress. We need more storage.
I love to make an entryway with a big closet and a boot box, maybe with a screen porch and a powder room and a huge master bedroom to boot. Maybe in our next house. So the next best thing to all of those things is to have a whole bunch of built-ins right along that back wall of the dining room. But we know we're not going to be here forever, well, we think we won't be here forever, so spending money on built-ins that we won't be able to take with us if we move, just didn't feel like the smart thing to do. So we started shopping for china cabinet hutches. We fell in love with this one that I pinned on Pinterest:
It's freaking huge at 59" wide by 19" deep by 89" tall. Lots. Of. Storage. But two of these were a bit out of our budget. Like way out of our budget given the wee thing sleeping upstairs that has a wee college fund that needs more than a wee bit of attention over the next 18 years.

So on a whim we put a "gig offered" on Craigslist and to our surprised got quotes from a few really talented woodworkers. We poured over their websites and read their blogs and assessed their quotes. And then we decided on one guy, who had a gorgeous table he'd made on his website, who wrote very well (I know, not really a qualification to hire a woodworker) and plays corn hole in his free time. He's making us two cabinets, painted white, just a touch smaller than the inspiration ones so that they have just a bit of room on either side of them next to the window.
They should take about three weeks to make and we hope to have progress photos along the way to share. Seems like a great way to spend a bit of our tax return, no? Maybe they'll even be delivered on tax day. I can't wait to get baby M's car seat out of my office and into a cubby!

Anyone else investing in storage with this year's tax return? Ya know, if you gave the old government a fee loan this year that is.

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This Makes Having a Boy Super Cool

It's no secret that I wanted to have a baby girl. I wanted a baby first, but I wanted a baby girl so I could have what my mom and I have. I swear up until the last few days of my pregnancy I thought I was having a girl. The old wives tales told me I had a 80% chance of having a girl. When the whole debate in the delivery room went on where S couldn't really see what baby bee was and knew I'd kill him if he got it wrong and my midwife whispered, "it's a boy" and S said "it's a boy" aloud,  I knew it before anyone said anything.

I was a touch disappointed on day four-ish when we were home, I realized my baby was small and needed some newborn sized clothing (I had none) and I saw what gawd awful clothing was available for boys. I cried huge heaving sobs mourning the loss of being able to shop on the girl side of the store. I was totally hormonal. (Sorry male readers, it happens. If you haven't experienced it yet, and you're lucky enough to experience it someday, brace yourselves.) I cried again when I returned the baby girl clothes I'd bought just in case. And then I got over it.

Now I'm totally over it 'cause I just saw this:
Remote control wooden jeeps from Pottery Barn Kids. Are you kidding me? This is amazing!

Yes, I know these toys rock the party for girls too, but they're marketed to boys. I've got a boy. I love wooden toys. My boy MUST have a wooden remote control jeep.

I might just have to wait 'til he can use his hands for more than grabbing his noodle toy though. Soon, little buddy, soon.

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I Can Share...

When we first renovated our sun porch to a fully functional four-seasons room that I use as my office, S would come in and hang out with me after work. We separated the room to half office space and half sitting area. But it slowly became my room where I go for work and little else.

Lately I've been at my desk working before M wakes up in the morning and when he does get up, I've been nursing him at my desk. The arms of my office chair are the perfect height and I can continue to read while we snuggle. When he's done I often stick him next to me on his play mat for some tummy time before we go upstairs to get dressed for camp (camp sounds more fun than daycare, no?)

I keep his playmat right next to my desk on the desk side of my office, but it doesn't leave much room for Feeney, who in this arrangement was taking up half of Maddox's mat. It hardly left room enough to practice rolling.

Today S suggested we move a little furniture and open up the room a little bit. And even though I love, love, love having my own private office, I decided I could share with the perfect office mate. I could think of worse things than an office with a little playroom in the corner. So as soon as Maddox goes to bed I'll be in my office figuring out how to make this whole playroom/office thing work.

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I Got It!

I captured a smile :o)
I love this boy!
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I Love it When

I love it when I find a baby made into my bed:

He's quite good at fluffing pillows with his run, run, run rabbit legs!

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Top of the Morning to You

We braved the crowds of green late yesterday afternoon and M and I met S for a pint.

Mmmmmmmmmm, as tasty as my milk:

We rolled home in time for bath, taking St.Patrick's day very seriously dressed in green garb, wearing a green diap and cruising in his green stroller.

And like the rest of the St.Paddy's day crowds, the boy slept late this Sunday morning too. Top of the morning to you!

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C is for Cookie. C is for Cup

D is for delicious. E is for eat this delicious treat! I've been reading a lot of children's books to my sleeping audience....

This is a quick one 'cause my sleeping audience is about to wake up. I was surfing around the interwebs the other night on my phone when I stumbled on a recipe for a cookie in a cup. As in, an instant treat. And even though we almost always have cookie dough in the freezer, and even though it was 10pm and OMG the baby has been asleep for an hour and a half, girl get yourself to bed so you can get your 8 hours, I had to try it out.
Verdict is yummy. Try it out if you need a little sweet and are a little short on time. Like at 10pm tonight.

Chocolate Chip Cookie in a Cup
one cookie 

1 T. butter, melted
1 T. sugar
1 T. brown sugar
1 egg yolk (save the white for breakfast!)
1/8 t. vanilla
pinch of salt
scant 1/4 c. white whole wheat flour
2 - 3 T. mini chocolate chips

1. In a microwave safe mug combine butter and sugar, mixing until well combined

2. Add egg and vanilla until incorporated

3. Mix in flour

4. Add chocolate chips until desired chippiness is met

5. Microwave on high for 30-60 seconds, checking after 30 seconds and adding additional time in 10 second increments, if needed. Mine was done in 30 seconds

serve warm and enjoy!

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Whew, We Survived

Maddox and I both survived our first week back at work. Apparently he's Mr. Perfect 'cause he didn't cry at all on Wednesday or Thursday and only fussed for a few minutes today just before I picked him up because he was hungry. The little kids loved him and he was happy. I couldn't ask for more.

I only cried a little bit on Wednesday in the car after we dropped M off, but then I sat down at my computer and everything felt normal, like baby M was napping upstairs. When 10:30 rolled around each morning and I had to pump I had a few "this totally sucks" moments. Sorry if that's TMI, but there's nothing snuggly about a pump.

On Thursday I felt like super mom when I managed to get showered and dressed, put makeup on, packed baby M's bag, packed my pump and got us out the door before 8 all by myself. Of course then I got lost on the way to a conference because of road closures and didn't get there as early as I'd hoped. Whatever.

This morning we took our time getting ready. Baby M and I played on his mat, did some tummy time and snuggled before I dropped him off at daycare. When I picked him up today he smelled like the most delicious curry, I just wanted to nibble on his ears, nose and toes. Mmmmmmm yummy baby.
I think we're surviving this change just fine :o)

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Grown on Lobsters

This boy was grown on lobsters and lobster rolls last summer, so it's no surprise that he loves his lobster towel. So soft and fluffy.
It's made by A Mom Who Knows, and isn't one of the gazillion things I made before baby M was born. I love that its polka dots match my mom's cute Harrod's apron. We left his lobster towel in Maine last week, and we're hoping it's not too small when we're back this summer!

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Things Change

We dropped Maddox off at daycare for the first time this morning. It sucked. Not quite as much as I thought it would suck, but it definitely sucked. S went to work late today so we could go together, which helped quite a bit. Thanks, S.

As we strapped Maddox into his car seat (after he fell asleep in my arms while S walked Feeney), we had what I imagine is the same conversation most parents have when they drop their baby off at daycare for the first time. Where I said things like: "This is stupid." "Why are we doing this?" "Do we really need to do this?" And S said things like, "yes it's stupid." "A long time ago you said you couldn't be a stay at home mom, that you want to continue your career." And "give it a try, maybe we don't, we can look at the finances."

Yes I have student loan debt up the wazoo and yes I like my job, have coworkers who feel like family, and I love my work arrangement. But like everything else in life things change and it makes you question your priorities. A couple years ago I went from being on the fence as to whether I wanted a child at all to desperately wanting a baby and not being able to stay pregnant. Now I just want to watch a video monitor and wait til my baby wakes up so I can snuggle him and breastfeed him. Five years ago this week my mom started cancer treatments and she went from my mom who I loved very much and talked to on the phone daily, to my mom for whom I had every single finger and toe crossed for months, and who I now can't stand to be away from. Things change.

So my baby who has had all his meals and snacks at his momma's breast will be sitting on a stranger's lap today when he drinks my milk. When he wakes up 45 minutes into his morning nap a stranger will decide whether to let him talk to the ceiling in a strange room until he falls back to sleep or to pick him up and endure the sleepy cries twenty minutes later. He's going to smell like someone else's house when I pick him up.

But this time last year when the magnolia tree across the street was in bloom, things changed too. Our baby bee stayed put and kept growing. And even though I can still remember life before baby M, (I'm working my way down to those jeans, but they still sit there on the shelf in my closet mocking me) we love the change he brought to our lives.

Here's baby M hanging out while I got dressed this morning:
This kid loves ceiling fans

I think we'll be able to handle this change. We've made it through all the changes before.

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Tuesday Treats: Candy Stuffed Chocolate Cookies

We've been eating super protein cookies around here for a while now, but recently I decided to switch things up a bit. We had some leftover Valentine's Day candy in the pantry (and by leftover I mean it was  leftover at Target the day after Valentine's Day so I bought it) just waiting to be made into sweet treats so I'd stop sneaking a piece every time I walked by the kitchen.

S is usually either all "what the heck are you wasting money on candy for?" or "clearance candy, let's get some for my cookies!" It's a total toss-up, tough to tell. So I decided to hide the candy in his cookies. He'd bite into them, get a special surprise, and I don't mean The Help kind of surprise, and would totally forget that I may have spent an extra $2 on candy. And so I give you the stuffed chocolate cookie!
I stuffed some of these with mini peanut butter cups and others with mini mint Hershey's bars; they'd be delicious with Rolos or mini Snickers, or whatever chocolate candy you happen to find in the clearance candy aisle.

Candy Stuffed Chocolate Cookies
makes 14-16 cookies

1 1/2 c. sugar
1 c. butter, softened
2 eggs
1/4 t. vanilla
2 c. flour
3/4 c. cocoa powder
1 t. baking soda
1/8 t. salt
2 t. cream of tartar
1 c. chocolate chips
1/2 c. chopped pecans, optional
14-16 pieces of mini chocolate candies

preheat oven to 350 degrees
1. In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment (or in a large mixing bowl), combine butter and sugar and beat well. Add eggs and beat until pale and fluffy

2. Add flour, cocoa, soda, salt and tartar slowly until well combined

3. Mix in chocolate chips and chopped nuts (optional)

4. Scoop out a heaping tablespoon of dough and press a piece of candy into the center. Cover with dough, burying the candy inside

5. Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet for 8-10 minutes until cookies are just set, don't overcook.


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Baby Bee's Birth Announcement

We finally sent out baby bee's birth announcements with photos from the photo shoot with Ali Caudill when he was 5 days old. I found a design that I liked on a site that lets you build your own card, but their template didn't let me put a photo design on the back. So I went to etsy with a sketch of what I'd like and had Pinwheel Press create the birth announcement. They're the same designers who made our business cards, I love their designs and they're one of my favorite etsy sellers.
The basket in the photo was a gift basket full of sweet treats from my office. We dumped the goodies on the kitchen counter during the photo shoot in a mad rush to find a basket to stick the baby in. Maybe we should do a now and then comparison photo of baby M in the basket; He could probably sit with his little legs scrunched up now. It's kind of crazy how little he was no too long ago. Little guy is growing like a weed!

And of course the oh-so-important back of the card featured our favorite furry guy.
Such good buddies! Or at least such a patient dog ;)

Matchy matchy to the back of this year's Christmas card (made by Nicole Page Designs).
Speaking of little buddies, it's time to go, baby M is up and ready to face the day!

don't forget to enter to win a $100 gift card from BlogHer, above!

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