Sunday, February 21, 2010

Jake & Mama's Day of Fun

Jake's daycare was closed last Monday for Presidents Day, so I took the day off from work...originally, I was thinking the day would just be spent with the two of us hanging out at home, relaxing and playing all day. Then, Snowpocolypse happened the week before and let me tell you, I was not about to spend another day cooped up inside.

So, we decided to head over to E2 Toys to Try (for Pittsburgh moms-it's in Greentree/Mt. Lebo); we had been there over the summer with some friends and Jake had a great time, so we figured we'd give it another try. I'll let the pictures speak for themselves, but let's just say that I think he had a good time and I'm basing this guess on the fact that I had to drag him out over 3 hours later....

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Book Review: "We're Just Like You, Only Prettier"

We're Just Like You, Only Prettier (Celia Rivenbark)

This is an awesome collection of sarcastic essays, written about everyday life...she covers everything from southern beauty pageant contestants, to giving birth, to reality television. Here are a few of the essay titles, just to give you an idea of the material:

*Sorry, I can't make it to the recital, I'm planning to poke myself in the eye with a sharp stick that night.

*Your kid's fever's so high, the others are standing around her with marshmallows on sticks.

*SUV's eat the ozone? Hey, we all gotta eat something and I got 27 cupholders.

The author had won me over when I realized that she & I had the same birth plan. She states in the book that her birth plan read as such: "Drugs. Lots of 'em and keep 'em coming".

A woman after my own heart.

Monday, February 15, 2010


The novelty of 26+ inches of snow wore off days ago & cabin fever was still lingering in our house, so we decided to check out the Carnegie Museum of Natural History on Saturday. I hadn't been in years, so I wasn't sure how much of it would be age-appropriate for Jake, but we were pleasantly surprised! He was actually into looking at just about everything, but there were a few things geared toward kids that he loved. Here he is checking out dinos and finding his inner paleontologist by "digging" for fossils.

They had a Discovery Room that was perfect for kids and could touch everything in the room and parents could take a breather for a little bit without having to worry about exhibits being knocked over.

We had a great time at the museum and will definitely go back again sometime. Kids under 3 get in for free and if you have an Entertainment Book, there's a coupon in there for buy one, get one free admission.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Super Jake!

A few posts ago, I promised a picture of Jake's new superhero cape made by Nana & our friend, Sharon...and here they are! I sent Nana this idea through another blog that I follow (thanks Cara!)

Love it!!!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

What's New at Age 2

I'm sitting here on my couch (still off from work due to the snowstorm) and kind of unsure what to do with myself right now. Jake is napping, the house is clean and tidy, laundry is caught up and I even cooked some meals for later in the week already. I'm looking out the window as more snow is falling and Gracie is keeping my feet warm, enjoying the quiet. (Ok, so The Real Housewives of Orange County is on, but I swear it's just for background noise...maybe.....whatever, keep your judgment to yourself, please.) I figured it might be a good time to do a catch up post on what Jake's been up to lately.

He can repeat anything you ask him to and is starting to string together 2 or 3 words at a time. He's still into Sesame Street, but will now let us mix up his morning TV watching with "Dinosaur Train" or "Mickey Mouse Clubhouse" (for moms who know what I'm talking about, he also walks around the house saying "Oh toodle!", asks us to sing the "hot dog song" and pretends that there are time tunnels in our house.) Here he is playing in the "time tunnel" Daddy built the other day:

He's transitioning to the next room at daycare, which I know he's ready for, but it also makes me means we're leaving behind some great teachers AND my little boy is growing up & moving on. But, some of his old friends (DOM THE BOMB! BIG REUNION!) are already in the new room, so I'm sure he'll feel right at home.

My parents got him a new step-stool for his birthday, so he's loving this new "big boy" way of brushing his teeth, complete with spitting.

My friend Cortney got him this bike for his birthday last year & he wasn't able to use it too much by himself this past summer, but on the few rare warm days we've had in the past few months, we've taken him down to the park & he's LOVING the bike (and the helmet-thanks Nana & PopPop!) He pedals all over the place and says "round and round and round and round....."

He knows a lot of random things, like what comes next in some of his favorite books & will shout out the lines before I even turn the page. He also (don't tell Brian I'm sharing this fact) loves the Lady Gaga song "Bad Romance" and will find my iPod and say "Gaga? Gaga? Song, Gaga song!" He likes to count and even though he skips some numbers sometimes, he generally does a good job of getting to 8. After struggling with the letter "W" for months, he can finally say it and can I just tell you that his little voice saying "doub-o-doo" is one of the sweetest sounds??

He's finally facing forward in his carseat & very much enjoying the new view! I think he now feels like he's more a part of car trips, he talks to us all the time and I've caught him dancing back there on more than one occasion (especially when Lady Gaga comes on the radio!) :)

That's all I can remember for now, though I'm sure there are lots more. I can sum it up by saying that this is such a fun age, it seems like there's always something new. I'm going to peel myself off the couch now and try to find something productive to do, while hoping we don't really get another 8 inches, like they're calling for!

Recipe: Sausage & Fire Roasted Tomato Soup

Since we've been snowed in, I've been little Emmy Homemaker (what? stop laughing!) and have tried a few new recipes and even made a lasagna and some chili to freeze for later. Go me!

If you love a good soup, head over to my friend Marissa's blog, where she and her husband have "Souper Sundays" and post lots of yummy soup recipes. This recipe for Zuppa Tuscano is up next on my list of things to try!

*Disclaimer-not my recipe, I just can't remember who I got it from, but it was really good, so I wanted to pass it along. :) The page I printed out says that it was adapted from Cooking Light.

Sausage and Fire Roasted Tomato Soup

1/2 tsp olive oil
1 small onion
1 clove of garlic (I cheated & used the minced garlic in a jar)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
8 oz 50% less fat pork sausage
2.5 cups less-sodium chicken broth
1 can fire roasted diced tomatoes (I couldn't find fire roasted, so I just used regular diced)
3/4 cup uncooked small shell pasta
2 cups bagged baby spinach leaves
2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
2 tbsp basil

-Heat a large saucepan over medium heat; add 1/2 tsp of olive oil to pan
-Add onion to pan & cook until translucent
-Add sausage, garlic, pepper, salt & red pepper to pan; cook for 5 minutes until brown, stirring to crumble
-Add broth, tomatoes and pasta to pan and bring to a boil over high heat.
-Cover, reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes or until pasta is done.
-remove from heat, stir in spinach until wilted
-sprinkle each serving with parmesan cheese and basil.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Lessons Learned from Snowpocolypse 2010

1. Meteorologists don't always overestimate snow, as they're known to do...sometimes they actually underestimate.

2. Piggy-backing lesson #1, sometimes you should listen to the weather warnings and be prepared with things like um, milk. Oops. (hey, at least we had toilet paper)

3. When your husband finally digs the car out of the driveway and you can make it to walmart to get supplies, be prepared for the shelves to be practically empty.

4. Apparently, all parents would consider running out of chicken nuggets to be a state of emergency; this was one of the things that was totally wiped out at the store.

5. Look at the ground before stepping out of the car....slipping on an ice patch while all of your neighbors are out shoveling causes injuries to both knees and ego.

6. Even 2 year olds can get cabin fever.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Snowmageddon 2010

It snowed in Pittsburgh...have you heard? :) The last time I remember having this much snow was the "Blizzard of 93" (remember that? a glorious week of snow days!) Unfortunately, this storm hit during the weekend, instead of a weekday when it pretty much would have been a guaranteed day off of work. But, we made the most of it, bundled up & headed outside!

When we got this sled out, Jake thought it was a pool & asked to fill it with water:

After playing in the driveway for awhile, we moved to the backyard to measure the snow....using Jake as our measure of course :) (for the record, at 9:30am, we had about 20 inches of snow and it came down for another 3 hours after that, not sure what the total is out there now)

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