Wednesday, November 30, 2011

I should be writing a paper about mortgage backed securities and financial collapse following subprime mortgage lending, but I just need to gush about my little guy for a minute.

Today we put together his "big boy bed". And by put together, I mean we took the crib out, and put a box-spring and mattress on a frame for him. Thanks to poor planning on my part, his headboard/footboard (from his convertible crib) don't fit in his tiny bedroom. You see, when we first found out we were pregnant, we designated the smaller of the two extra bedrooms as the "nursery", fully intending to move our little bundle into the larger room when the transition to bed happened. Well, the bigger room isn't ready for him. It get too cold in there, and we aren't in a position to really fix it up the right way right now. Not to mention, he really loves his bedroom. It's his and he knows it.

So, poor Lucas has a bed with no headboard and footboard. But guess what? He doesn't care! It looks just like Mommy & Daddy's - we have no headboard/footboard. It has his special Pottery Barn Kids Cat in the Hat bed set from Auntie Karla. He loves it.

We put it together about an hour before nap time today, and when nap-time rolled around I braced myself for a battle. I thought I'd have to put him back in his bed a million times. Nope. We read storied, tucked him in with the same routine we used for his crib, and walked out. He cried, like he always does, for a few minutes and then fell asleep. Never got out of bed. I had to wake him up after a 2 hour nap, to ensure he'd be tired for bedtime.

I thought for sure bedtime was going to be dreadful, but no. It was exactly the same. I even got to sneak a peak of him alseep in his bed. You see, once Lucas is down, we don't EVER open the door. I swear he hears every creak it makes. But somehow the cat got in his room tonight, and was scratching to get out, so I had to open the door. And of course I had to sneak a peak... tiptoe over to see his precious little face. My baby is not a baby any more. He's a kid. A kid who sleeps in his own full size bed.

I pushed and pushed for this big milestone, and who's having the most trouble with it? Me. Of course.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Things I learned on date night...

Saturday night was my husband's 10 year high school reunion. I spent months worrying about it, and then on Monday night he decided he didn't want to go. I was both disappointed and relieved. But most of all, I was concerned about what the hell we were going to do. We'd already booked a babysitter, my younger cousin, who we plan to ask to be a regular sitter once a month so we can go out. Cancelling was not an option. It was the first time we asked her, and I didn't want to go changing things on her.

So we decided to "wing" it. This is not a concept that I'm comfortable with, but I decided to just stop being a whiny baby. Here's what I learned:

  • I love small intimate Italian restaurants, except when a friend is having a date 3 feet away from us. Then I feel like I'm spying. 
  • I dress too conservatively for dance clubs, apparently. 
  • Clubs I used to frequent have changed quite a bit.
  • Dubstep is not for me, but I really am glad I experienced it. 
  • Jersey Shore style clubs are not my style either, but holy moly are they entertaining.
  • Researching a night out is not always the best way.
  • My husband is, and always will be, my favorite dance partner. 
  • Hanging out with people that are 5 years younger than you really makes you feel your age.
  • I saw more vaginae last night than I ever have in my life.
  • Apparently the plural for of vagina is vaginae. (pronounce vuh-ji-NEE) You're welcome. 
  • I don't need a drink in hand, or to be drunk, to dance anymore. I'm over the insecurity hump. 
  • Driving home with a bunch of drunk friends in the minivan (we had a designated driver, always!) is often more fun then the actual outing.
Tonight is all about snuggling a little boy that missed me last night. I missed him too, but I really needed a good night out dancing the night away with his Daddy. 

Friday, November 18, 2011

I'm alive

I kind of fell out of my blogging habits this past week. I had a couple big tests, a sick toddler, 3 photo shoots, and a lot of planning to do. I'll give a quick synopsis of the going on around here.

This week, I had an accounting test. I am not doing as well in intermediate accounting as I did in the first two levels. My average is a very weak B right now, but I managed an 85% on my last test, and he's dropping the lowest test score, so I"m pretty confident that I can pull off a solid B. It will hurt my GPA, but I'm doing my best, so I need to just let it be.

We had a large family photo shoot on Sunday with John's side. It was stressful, but we got some cute photos out of the deal. One of the 3 photos of my Christmas card was taken that day. On Wednesday I had another photo shoot, this time a local Target, for my sister's two kids & Lucas to have some holiday shots done. We always give our very large family photos of the kids each holiday (which can get mighty expensive). I ended up with a great solo shot of Lucas that was totally unplanned, but I bought a bunch of copies. Then today John & I had a small shoot on our stairs, with Lucas, for our Christmas photo & for a large print to be hung in our living room. We got a few great shots. Over all, I'm very happy.

I went out last night with Heather, Kate & Nikki to go see the latest in the Twilight Saga. There were some parts that absolutely made me cringe, but overall the movie was ok. It was nice to get out, if nothing else. The wedding scenes were great. All the scenes with Charlie at the wedding had me all choked up, it reminded me of my Dad at my wedding.

Now to the fun stuff. For those that know me, you already know that I am a bargain shopper. I hate paying full price for anything, especially during the holiday season. Christmas card bargain shopping has always been a favorite sport of mine. I tend to split my order among 3-4 companies to get the best bargains. My goal is always to spend under $50 on all my Christmas cards, because postage always costs me around $45, and my overall budget is $100 on Christmas cards. This year, and last year, I have cheated. I don't buy traditional Christmas cards. I don't even buy the "cheap" flat photo cards that are ever so popular this time of year. I go even cheaper. I buy custom printed post cards. I design a template in Photoshop (which I'm not very good at), and upload it to the site and I'm all done.

Last year, I spent $33 on 100 post cards, 100 envelopes and a set of 140 return address labels, and then paid about $10 for shipping. I came in under budget. This year, I amazed myself. I got 100 postcards, 100 envelopes, 2 kinds of return address labels (140 of each design) and 140 custom gift tags for $21. Shipped. That's right. I spent less than half as much money and got more products.

I love buying products that are designed for a different function, and making them fit my needs. Like the gift tags, are actually return address labels that I rearranged, and re purposed. Sure, I spent a couple hours playing with Photoshop, and trying to make everything look OK for the Christmas cards, but I saved tons of money. If I had bought those flat photo cards, even on sale, for $.30 each, I would have spent $30 alone on the cards. Then there's the envelopes, the shipping, etc... It just gets too costly.

What are some ways you save?

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Thursday Treats & Yums 11/3/11

This recipe is not my own, but man oh man is it delicious.

Rolo Cake Mix Cookies is a borrowed recipe, that I found on .

Simple cookies to make. Simpler to eat.
This is not a vegan recipe, clearly. But it would work well to adapt to a vegan recipe. Use a vegan chocolate cookie recipe (such as this one from but without chocolate chips) and put Choices Vegan Caramel Chocolates in the center.

My only advice when making this recipe is to be careful. The dough is SUPER sticky. I put mine in the refrigerator to chill for a half hour before rolling into balls, and coated my hands with Crisco so they wouldn't stick. It worked great, and didn't compromise the flavor of the cookie.

Rolo Cake Mix Cookies 

You'll need:
  • 1 box devils food cake mix
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • Rolo candies (have fun unwrapping!)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 ° F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment.
  2. Mix together the first three ingredients. Grab a small piece of dough (about half the size of a golf ball) and roll it into a ball. Smoosh a Rolo in the center, and then close the dough around the Rolo. Repeat until all of the dough is used. I left them in a ball shape, the original recipe calls for them to be flat.
  3. Bake for about 9-12 minutes. 

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Wordy Wednesday 11/2/11

This weeks favorites:
It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown By: Charles M. Schultz
Do I really need to review this? Love this story, though Lucas lost interest quickly. He loves to tell me the names of the characters. He chose it every night this week!

Elmo in Dreamland By: DiCicco Studios
Honestly, I don't like this one. Lucas presses the button, the music starts and I have to sing the lyrics printed in the book. Cute songs, quick & easy. I am just not a huge fan. Lucas loves it though, and that's what bedtime stories are all about it.

Mama's book:
I'm still reading "The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest" by Stieg Larsson. I don't think I even read 20 pages this week. It's been a busy week around her. I'm hoping to curl up with it tonight for an hour or so.

Photo Challenge Week of 11/1/11

I know that this is not a great photo, but... Halloween was cancelled in our neck of the woods. Thanks to an untimely Nor'easter, the area was full of downed power lines, power outages and other trick-or-treating hazards. We'll be heading out to trick-or-treat on Friday night, but here's a cute photo of Lucas in his Dino costume from Monday. 
PS, please don't give me any seatbelt shit. I know that the clip goes on his chest, parallel to his armpits. I adjusted it after the photo. My parenting skills have kept him alive this long. Thanks

The Paper Mama
Linking up with The Paper Mama Photo Challenge