Thursday, April 25, 2013

April showers bring...

...something other than May flowers.

Early Saturday morning Parker woke up upset and was scared to go back to sleep in her room.  Not wanting to struggle with her at 3am, Kris retreated with her to the basement as she requested.  7am rolled around and Kris noticed was he thought were feet marks all over the slightly shaggy carpet.  Assuming that Sydney was outside in the rain and ventured to the basement, wet paws and all, he didn't think much of it.  Until he stood up. 

The carpet was drenched. Cue running to the storage room to check out the sump pump,  Some thingamado rusted through and boom, water everywhere.  So let this be a word of wisdom.  Even if your sump pump is in great condition and even if you have a back up sump pump, like we do,  check out all the thingamadoos on it--real specific, I know--and make sure everything little thing is in tip top shape.  Also, if you don't have sump pump insurance get it.  Thankfully we added that to our policy, free of charge, when the basement was finished.  Whew. 

It took all day Saturday for the water damage crew to finally come out.  We weren't the only ones blessed by mother nature so they were certainly busy bees that day.  They verified the carpet was trashed and quoted us an ungodly amount of $4500 to remove the carpet and fix any drywall damage.  And that price didn't include the new pad and carpet. Being the money saving lover I am, my eyes were crossing at the thought of dropping so much more money into a basement that was finished a mere 18 months ago.  Sure, a huge chunk is covered by insurance, but still...

So that wonderful husband of mind spent all Saturday night ripping up the carpet and loading it into the garage.  The day was spent moving 1300 square feet of toys, toys, and more toys into every nook and cranny of our house, sunroom, and garage.  Teagan napped, Parker was tossed in the Ergo, and we went to town moving, cleaning, and trying our best to appear on the latest season of Hoarders.  Mission accomplished on all fronts.

After much discussion over the Ergo not being just for a baby but for a big girl too, she hopped in.

Baseboard trim was pulled off and holes were drilled in the drywall behind it to air it out.   Our handy dandy moisture reading tool is showing that everything is drying up quite nicely.  The carpet guys came out to measure and we have an appointment on Saturday to pick up something new as well as get a quote for new kitchen counters.

See those kitty leopard boots? Always on her feet.

A mere fraction of the toy explosion,  We could give Toys r Us a run for their money with all our stuff.
It’s sad to see our basement in its current state.  But at the same time being back down there working together brought back good memories.  Kris and I spent endless hours working  to transform nothing into livable space and had a lot of fun in the process.  It was a great sense of accomplishment seeing our work pay off the first time around.  Now it’s just a slight set back and thankfully no memories or toys (other than a dumb book that we didn’t like anyways) were ruined.  Our insurance will cover it all and then some so a bad situation is really not that bad in the end. 

But geez, I’m hoping that this weekend will be a little bit more low key for us!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

2 1/2 Years

We've hit the 2 1/2 hump and are (hopefully) crawling at a snails pace to birthday #3.  Occassionally I ask Parker if she can promise me to stay little forever.  Giggles ensue as she shrieks yes, she will stay little forever.  Oh I wish that were true! Just this morning I asked her how old she was.  "Two!" she said, then she said "no mommy, I'm 14."

Parker's personality is loud and strong.  When she's mad, she's mad and the whole world will know it.  If (actually, not if...when) she gets her mind set on something she will follow through on it.  When she's happy, she's happy and will run around giggling, singing songs at the top of her lungs, throwing kisses and hugs all around.  She has a heart of gold.  Last week as she bid Teagan farewell for the day, she asked if Teagan was going to the doctor (baby girl was super sick). I said yes, and Parker replied that she would need to go too because Teagan would be scared and "I need to hold her hand, I make it all better."

On Parker's love list at 2 1/2 is:

-Sesame Street.  Rarely does she watch TV, maybe an hour each weekend and occasionally for like ten minutes after work to calm the before dinner tantrum, but when it's on she demands SS.  Sophia the 1st gave us a teeny SS break and one Bubble Guppies episode made the cut but Parker is well over those now.  SS is good seeing as how it's educational and all, but it wouldn't hurt for Big Bird to change his voice from annoying to, well, something not annoying.

-Food.  We had a real nice 6+ month stretch of not one single veggie getting into her mouth at home (she eats them at school...ahhh, the powers of peer pressure) but now that Teagan is eating veggies Parker demands them as well.  You little stinker, I knew you liked them! We were also on a really good streak of only eating foods from the toddler food chain (Annie's mac, yogurt, chicken nuggets) but slowly she's getting back to eating homecooked meals.  Slowly too she's learning to stop eating when she's fully.  Typically we have to cut her off because she eats SO MUCH. 

-Reading books from memory (Chicka Chicka Boom Boom and Brown Bear are her faves), gymnastics, singing all the songs she learns at school, playing show and tell, getting manicures (Oh no, mommy! My nails are broken! aka having no nail polish on), throwing epic tantrums (if you tell me age 3 tantrums are worse than those at age 2 I'm writing you off as a dirty liar), running errands (Target is her homeland as well as mine), helping me cook and bake (or rather, ask "I have a bite??" repeatedly), and giving Teagan toys to play with.

Parker's a whiz on the Kindle.  I make sure the games are educational by trial and error.  An error was a telly tubby looking guy and the sole point was poking his belly to make him laugh...yeah, that was deleted off real fast.  But the puzzles, matching, color and shape recognition apps are incredible.

She obsessed with her "brown blankie" and it goes where she goes.  She says funny things like "otherwise" and when you pour her a drink it must be "big milk/water/etc" meaning you have to pour it to the top. She screams bloody freaking murder every single time I do her hair.

Who? Me?
 No matter rain or shine she wants to wear her kitty rain boots. Still a daredevil, she likes to go down the slide on her belly, head first.  We're in the process of breaking her of this habit...Getting fancy for tea parties is  must. 

2 1/2 looks good on you, baby! Love you forever!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Recipe share--cupcake edition!

Sometimes I have a major sweet tooth.  Other times I could go days without even the slightest thought of chocolate and continue to exist. Right now? The sweet tooth is on thanks to a mix of Pinterest, too good to be true food bloggers, and the game I play with myself to see how many sweets I can consume and keep the number on the scale the same.  Thanks to nursing, I’m winning this game.

Kris’ family came to visit last weekend making it the perfect time to make these cupcakes.  The more the merrier when it comes to cupcakes.  That means that I won’t eat the entire batch in a single weekend and try to rationalize with myself why this was okay. 

As usual, Parker assisted in this baking endeavor.  The appeal has went from the love of scooping the flour into the bowl to the love of eating the batter. While the motivation has changed the ultimate goal—having fun while making something we can enjoy together—is still fully present. 

These are slightly time consuming but well worth it.  Next time (and there will be a next time) I'll increase the amount of milk in the frosting.  It was so thick that I could barely squeeze it out of the icing bag.  I didn't care much for the cookie dough center by itself but when mixed with the cupcake and frosting? It totally works. 

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes--The Girl Who Ate Everything

Yield: 24 cupcakes

    For the cupcakes:
  • 3 sticks unsalted butter (1 1/2 cups), at room temperature
  • 1½ cups light brown sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • For the filling and frosting:
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temp
  • 1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 cups mini chocolate chips (you may want more to put on top)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350° degrees. Line cupcake pan with 24 liners.
  2. For the cupcakes: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter and brown sugar. Beat together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Mix in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  3. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Stir together to blend. Add the dry ingredients to the mixer bowl on low speed, alternating with the milk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients, mixing each addition just until incorporated. Blend in the vanilla. Fold in the chocolate chips with a spatula.
  4. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cupcake liners. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  5. For the filling and frosting: With a mixer, cream together the butter and sugar at medium speed. Add the vanilla and beat well. Add the flour and salt and mix until combined. Add just a little milk until it's cookie dough consistency. Once it is, gently fold in chocolate chips. Then take half of the mixture out and chill it in the fridge. This will be the filling. For the frosting you'll want a little thinner consistency. Add more milk to the remaining mixture gradually until desired consistency is reached. This is your frosting.
  6. To fill the cupcakes, cut a cone-shaped portion out of the center of each cupcake. I found this a little tricky to get the hole out but then you get to eat what you take out! Fill each hole with a chunk of the chilled cookie dough mixture.
  7. Frost cooled cupcakes. Store in refrigerator.
Eat as many as you can before swimsuit season!

Friday, April 12, 2013


Four weeks.  Four weeks of teething.  Or rather, four weeks of projectile vomit (I’ve never jumped out of bed so fast in my life), late night wake ups ranging from 7 to 294 times per night (this is only a slight exaggeration), swaddle regret (our crutch is now a curse—girl NEEDS that thing to sleep), the worst diaper rash my eyes have ever seen, and exhaustion (need ALL the coffee). 
And poor Teagan.  This has to be taking a toll on her as well but she’s taking it like a champ.  Other than waking up a lot at night she’s still the happiest baby on the block but those sore puffy gums say otherwise. 
The blessing of the teeth did stop with Teagan.  Parker’s top two molars finally popped through last week and boy oh boy if you lived within a one mile radius of us you sure would have known it. Tantrum city in the S house it was. 
But it’s a new day.  Teagan had a six hour sleep stretch last night, Parker is in a great mood, no doubt making good all the not so good from last week, and it’s the weekend. All is well. 

And while it's weeks late and has absolutely nothing to do with this post, an Easter recap:

Parker was stoked for her bunny pancakes I made...

...but not that stoked for the actual bunny.

Teagan on the other hand was totally cool.

Off course we dyed eggs.  Every single night for an entire week.  "Easter Bunny will be so happy!" Mommy will be so happy too when all the food coloring wears off from your hands up to your armpits.

Rain foiled our outdoor Easter egg hunt plans so we hid the eggs around the basement.  We told Parker the Easter bunny came and hid eggs in the basement.  She refused to go downstairs for fear that the actual Easter bunny was still in our house.  And that my friends is how you know your child is scarred for life.

My little bunny is not impressed by the lack of Starburst jelly beans in her eggs.

Happy weekend all! We'll be bundled up--there's a chance of April...

Monday, April 8, 2013

Master bath remodel

I've said it a million times but I'll say it again.  Kris is handy.

It started at our first apartment together in Royal Oak.  I came home one day to find a drywall dust covered dog.  Big dog mentality got the best of little Syd and she tried to dig a hole out of her room.  The words "buh-bye security deposit" flashed through my mind.  But Kris patched and painted and it was good as new. Or as good as a 100% security deposit return.  I was impressed.

Months later we purchased our first home, complete with the 90s fluorescent light in the kitchen.  The plan was to replace it with recessed lighting and Kris took a day off work to start on the project.  I came home to new bright lights.  Hmmm....I was getting suspicious.

A couple months after that we decided to make use of the 1300ish square feet of unfinished basement.  Power tools were purchased, supplies were picked up at Lowes, and we got to work.  We had the city inspect the work every step of the way and everything passed with flying colors.  I was pretty confident by this point that Kris had handyman skills. 

The next logical step was to spruce up our master bath.  So many moons ago we (and by we I mainly mean Kris) ripped out the old and brought the new into our master bath.  We started with this nonsense:

Small white tiles, gross white molding, 90s cabinets, and a plain jane shower.

Laminate and cheapo faucets added to the need for an upgrade.

At one point we painted the walls. It didn't help much.  In fact, depending on who you ask (Kris) it looked more poop stained than the rich, warm mocha I was going for.

The day I went into labor we finalized the project. Miss Teagan came into the world two days early but she made sure that we got our bathroom done first. 

Ahhhhh, how I love this bathroom.

All girls need a wood bathtub board to hold wines and trashy magazines while unwinding after a long day. 

Lowes and Home Depot knew us well during this project. Rochester Hills Glass installed our custom shower. The paint is Sherwin Williams...misty something...and it really brings out the gray tones in the tile.  We salvaged the cabinets and with some primer, paint, and new hardware they were given a much needed facelift.  Pictures are lacking but the shower floor is complete with fun little tiles. We still have to frame out the mirrors, paint the molding, and add some shelving but my dream bath is here.

What next you ask? We may or may not have taken a nice stroll through the cabinet and counter top section at Lowes yesterday.  Kitchen, you are on my radar.  

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Happy 6 Months!

Halfway to one.  Say it ain't so! 

16lbs 14.5oz, 50th percentile
27.75 inches long, 95th percentile

Yep, still the happiest baby.  Unless there are teeth involved.  Then she's not so happy. 

But if Sydney is around then she's happy all over again. 

Or if pink leopard Sperry's (!!!) are involved then she's happy.

But back to the teeth.  Poor thing is just miserable.  From throwing up due to the mucus/extra saliva to waking every 45 minutes to 1 1/2 hours throughout the night from the pain Teagan is not the happiest of campers.  We're using the Borion Camilia drops and while that helps for a little bit it wears off. 
I'm truly hoping that a whole mouth full of teeth are about to pop on through because if it's all this hoopla for one measly tooth then we’re in for it. 

Teagan is sitting like a pro now.  I still plop pillows and/or the Boppy around her since I’m a worrywart like that but girlfriend has got it down.  Sitting opens up a whole new world of toys and a new way to play with Parker.  It’s adorable.  Some of my favorite moments are just sitting and watching Teagan and Parker interact.  

It is SO easy to get Teagan to laugh.  If you talk to her in a silly voice or squeak a toy or eat her belly she dissolves into a fit of baby giggles.  I would post a video but I sound like a maniac trying to get some squeals out of her.  Her hand-eye coordination is incredible.  There’s no hesitation in picking up a toy, transferring it from hand to hand, or putting it in her mouth. 

Bath time is really fun. It’s basically a splash park with all the kicking Teagan does in the tub. She’s still in the plastic infant tub but I feel like it’s time to bust out the inflatable one.  Then Parker and Teagan could bathe together and that could be so fun.  Or a disaster.  You never can tell. 

Teagan’s taking about three naps a day ranging anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours. Swaddle, paci, and crib.  At night she goes to sleep in our bed around 8pm and wakes around 7am.  Typically she has three wake ups to eat but that schedule has been thrown out the window due to teething. 

We're still able to rock her to sleep which melts my heart.  Parker was never a fan of the rocking chair so this is definitely a special treat for us. Cloth diapering is still happening though we've been doing disposables at night.  I haven't had to change her diaper at night in a long time.  Good for baby since she doesn't get jostled around and good for mama since I don't have to get out of bed!

Towards the end of the month we started Teagan on food.  We'll do BLW (Baby Led Weaning) again but since Teagan seems to have a little reflux we're mashing and letting her self feed from a spoon for now.


Avocado was up first and Teagan wasn't overly enthused. 

Since then we've tried bananas and sweet potato and I have a couple pears ready to be peeled and steamed up.  The puking has put a damper on things so we're slowly jumping into solids.  Most days Teagan will eat one small meal and we're planning on starting food at daycare in the next couple of weeks.  

Happy 6 months sweet babe! You bring us so much joy every single day.  Love you forever :)