Thursday, May 28, 2009

More Parenting Advice Needed

As parents we constantly hear information about what foods we should and should not feed our kids.  There are the noes: honey, nuts, eggs, gluten, fish, etc.  And then there are the yesses: pretty much everything not on the no list.  It's a lot of information to ingest.

Now that Rhett is over a year old, I feel that we have much more latitude in his food.  But the nut thing kills me.  I want to feed him banana NUT bread, banana NUT waffles, carrot cake with NUTS on top, peaNUT butter, baked oatmeal with walNUTS, etc.  (Why?  Mostly because I want to share these things with my son and it kills me to make them without the nuts.)  My pediatrician has told me to wait until he's five to give him nuts.  That's right: five.

But the aversion to feeding our kids nuts at a young age, as well as the large number of kids with allergies to nuts has me thinking.  Are we causing this increase in food allergies by withholding the foods from the kids?  If Chuck and I have no family history of food allergies (which is true), would it be safe to give the baby nuts now, because by waiting to expose him, we've made him a sissy to nuts, in a weird way?

Part of me really wants to just do it.  We already know he's not crazy allergic to the point where just being a room with nut products makes him break out in hives.  But part of me has the mommy guilt that I shall not expose my child to things that might hurt him.

So how long did you wait to give your children nuts (or any other taboo item)?  Do you believe that withholding foods can cause the allergies?  (Note: This is definitely an unscientifically-supported hypothesis developed by yours truly.)  Do you take much of the food advice to heart and keep schedules and time lines as given to you by your pediatrician?

Monday, May 25, 2009

It's a Major Award!

I ran a four-mile race this morning.  While the important thing is not that I ran it in 35:36 (a minute slower than my time from two years ago but still okay given I haven't been running much due to the three-week sinus infection), nor that I ran it in 72 degree weather (with 88% humidity--no lie, I just checked), but that I won something.

No, I didn't win the entire race, or even my age group (something I don't plan on happening until I'm a golden-ager). BUT this race had a special something to it: along the route little American flags were placed in the ground. We were told to count said flags and the person with the closest count would win! Thanks to Price-is-Right rules, I won with a count of 50 (there were actually 51 and second place guessed 52).

I mean,
hello?! I'm a counter. I count everything. How could I not win this?  I had my choice between an apple lattice pie, a blueberry lemon coffee cake, or a plant of Gerber daisies.  I know, I know.  You're thinking, "uh, erin?  You turned down Gerber daisies?"  And I respond, "uh, did you not see the 4.5-pounder beauty I did choose?"  Either way, there'll be no remnants of my prize in about a week.  But I'll have much more fun destroying the pie. 

Saturday, May 23, 2009

What Does It All Mean?

Chuck and I watched this series premiere Wednesday night.  If you missed it, you must watch it.  It's really adorable and I am already excited for fall so I can see the rest.  But it got me scared...if I liked it as much as I did, does this mean that I might actually enjoy "High School Musical?"  Chuck has tried to reassure me that no, it doesn't, but still.  A part of me is really frightened.

Friday, May 22, 2009

He Was THIS Close

Last Saturday we went to Olney Days. While most of it would be appropriate for slightly older kids, it fulfilled what we wanted: get us out of the house. We did get to ride an old-fashioned fire truck, but Rhett was near tears the entire time. He continued to need to be held every time the truck circled near us, which was once every four minutes.

The best part of the night is when Chuck entered his first eating contest. It was two scoops of ziti pasta with marinara sauce. While he didn't win, he was only two tubes behind the winner. Needless to say, he was quite disappointed. I, on the other hand, was just grossed out.

UPDATE! My (ridiculously high) tax dollars went to work Wednesday morning. As Rhett and I were finishing our morning run, I noticed a work truck in front of the house across the street. Sure enough, the county was going to cut that lawn if no one else was! Hooray! When I asked about the house next door, they said there was paperwork holding it up. Oh well, one mown lawn, two more to go!

DOUBLE UPDATE!  On today's run I saw that the neighbor on the corner cut his/her lawn too!  Woo hoo!  Only one more forest to hew!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Habitat for Hubanity: New Kitchen

Well, here it is.  The whole process took two days.  Not that bad, but bad enough where I know I could never do a project that leaves me kitchen-less for much longer.  But we love it.  I love how bright and cheery it is.  It makes me happy to be in there.  And now that I've finally kicked this three-week illness, maybe I'll actually feel like cooking.  Lemon bars, anyone?  (You get three before pictures and four after.  Unfortunately I didn't have a before of the bathroom vanity, but believe me, it's an upgrade.)

Monday, May 18, 2009

Comparatively Speaking

I had to laugh at my friend Daniel.  I posted some pictures on Facebook and on this particular one, he commented, "I think that it's time for your neighbors to cut their grass!"

Oooh, Daniel, if you only knew. Let me show you the yards next door and across the street.

Can you now understand why we're grateful for the first neighbor's mow job?

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Because I'm a Proud Mama, That's Why

It's my blog and if I want to post a lot of pictures of my beautiful, perfect child, then that's exactly what I'm going to do. And you're gonna like it!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Patchwork Dress

In college I had this baby-doll dress that I loved. It was made from patchwork squares and made me feel slightly hippie-ish. I wore it often. Too often apparently. Years later I found out that some of my friends hated that dress. They were so excited when it was gone and could finally tell me. It hurt my feelings a little bit, but I got over it. However, I'm not sure that I would have continued to wear it had I known how much it was hated.

Jump ahead ten years and I have this hat. I love this hat. I love the fun floral, the way it fits, almost everything about it. But no one else loves this hat. It's the patchwork dress all over again. Thankfully, I'm a little more self-assured and feel comfortable wearing it, even if everyone around me is wondering when I'm going to take off that dumb hat.

Do you have a "patchwork" dress, past or present? Are you brave enough to share it with everyone?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Return to Home Organization Tips

Anyone remember when I gave some household tips on the old blog? I'm currently testing a pantry inventory list, but until then you'll have to make do with this: how to handle a husband who finds it impossible to put away pajamas every morning.

I finally gave up trying to persuade him to put his pajamas in his dresser. I could see it wasn't happening. We then came up with this gem: just put them in bed and I'll make the bed on top of the clothes. The pajamas must be laid fairly flat, but otherwise, no one can tell that there's a deflated, pajama-clad man in there!

When Chuck is ready for bed at night he knows exactly where to find his clothes. It's a win-win for sure.

(Obviously this works if you have a wife who refuses to put away pajamas, or maybe you hate doing it yourself.  It's fairly adaptable to every household situation.)

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Just a Peek

We finished the painting last night but I can't let you see the rest until the cabinets are done.  This wall, however, is sans cabinets so it can be revealed.  (Notice Bruno's awesome tongue? And anyone catch Rhett leaving the playroom?)

We're really pleased.  Yes, it's bright and bold, but we like it that way.  We also like the white contrast, which is great because the cabinets will be that color.

Friday, May 8, 2009

If I Could Have Three (non-materialistic) Wishes Right Now...

Well maybe more than three.

Some time ago, my friend
Angie said something about how we should live next to each other.  I've thought about this a lot and I really like the idea.  I would love to live in a cul-de-sac with Angie, emily, Rach, and anyone else who wants to come join us. It'd be like this little enclave of super cool girls (kind of like the mythical enclave of midgets in Salt Lake, but ours would be real and only half-full of midgets).

Why? Well, think about it. We would have built in babysitters. I could still work (remember, this is pseudo-reality so of course wherever we live will need a part-time statistician) but I could drop off my kids with one of the other ladies.  And on their work days, well, come on over Isaac (and all the rest)!

We could share meal planning.  Emily and I enjoy very similar foods.  Instead of making one batch of, say, enchiladas, I'd make four and deliver the other three to my lovely neighbors.  We'd pass each other on the sidewalk as we're delivering our yummy dishes.  I'd only have to cook every four days!

We all have different talents and differently-talented husbands.  Between the eight of us, I don't think there's anything we couldn't do.  Once a month we could pick a different home improvement project at one person's house and we could all work on that.  It'd kind of be like being Amish, but with electricity and less-modest (but not too less!) clothes.

Besides, these girls are just fun.  We could have scrapbooking nights (but we'd banish Rach because she's just be too overwhelmed with scrap-glee).  We could sew together.  We could run together.  We could just hang out at the park together.  We could give each other breaks when we need them.

The best part about it is that we'd all be involved in each others' a good way.  All of the other kids would know me and wouldn't scream if left alone with me, and Rhett would know and love all of them.  I'd be in family pictures with them, sharing special events with them, watching them all grow up.  Sniff.  Tear.

I'm finding out that it's not necessarily being a mom that's been hard for me.  It's being a lonely mom.  I don't mind sitting and watching Rhett play with the same dumb toy for the 50th time when I'm sitting and watching this with someone else.

I know this set-up sounds a bit creepy, but I don't care.  It sounds lovely.  At least to me.  I haven't talked to the others about it.  But if they don't want to, does anyone want to come live with me in such a utopia?

(Ooooh, emily I just realized that you'd be the only one with a last name not starting with an "H."  Maybe you can't come live with us...)

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

If I Could Have Three (very materialistic) Wishes Right Now...

I wish

1.  To have enough money to afford to buy everything on this site.  I mean it: everything.

2.  To have a body on which these outfits would look great.

3.  To have a lifestyle that matches these clothes.  I'd look pretty silly wearing a swimsuit coverup while walking in downtown DC.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Seeking Advice for the Habitat

Chuck and I are having our cabinets refaced soon.  (Hey, someone has to stimulate the economy.)  We'd like to paint the walls to contrast with the new white cabinets and have picked out a yellow.  We like the yellow in this room (Bicycle Yellow), but I'm concerned that it might be too much.

I like the color but think maybe we should go a shade lighter, like Pale Daffodil. What do you think?

And as a follow-up to Gretchen's comment, there are not that many big walls. The biggest is approximately 10 feet by 3 feet. Everything else is areas between cabinets and small spaces.