Up To (Great) Grandma’s House We Go

This past Friday we went on a short road trip up to my grandmothers home with Lily and my mother. We had four generations all together at once!

Lily was surprisingly good on the way up, she has been starting to cut a tooth so she has been fussy for a little while know but she ended up falling asleep before we were fully out of the city! She slept until the car stopped in my grandmothers driveway so I was able to sit down and just listen to some music on my mp3 player without distraction.

While we were there my grandmother actually brought out toys that I played with as a kid, and even a barbie doll that my aunts played with when they were children! Lily loved eating the barbies feet. Throughout the day we baby proofed in sections, Lily would find the photo frames on low bookshelf’s and we would take those, then candles, and little candy bowls, it was actually like a game, how quick could Lily find something she shouldn’t have?

Showing off her new hat!

Showing off her new hat!

We shortly decided to sit out on the front deck and layed out a quilt and some toys for Lily, we sat there for awhile and then moved to my Grandmothers front garden were Lily loved looking at the flowers and trying to eat the grass, and she loved the gnomes!

We then sat down to some amazing barbecued burgers and salad with radishes and apples in it and Lily sat eating her Gerber puffs and then “chewing” on a celery stick since she doesn’t have teeth fully yet.

It was nice to see my grandmother and Lily had so much fun playing with new toys and seeing her great grandmother. She tuckered herself out and slept most of the ride home.


London Baby Expo Day

Yesterday was finally the day I was able to visit the London Baby Expo. I have been looking forward to this day all month and could barely sleep the night before because I was that excited.

Finally The Baby Expo Is Open!

Finally The Baby Expo Is Open!

Lily,my mother, sister, my sisters husband and myself all went together to the expo. We were lucky to be one of the first 150 inside so we were able to get a freebie bag, which I loved! pamphlets, freebie pens, candy, even some coupons for some of the booths (like the photography booths as example.) We walked around for a few hours, Lily loved looking at all the colors of things, and smiled and “talked” to some of the exhibitors and just to herself. She did not stay in the stroller the whole time, Lily likes to be able to see everything, which she couldn’t look behind in the stroller so for the last part of the walk through she was held and she was quite happy to be out of the stroller! There was a petting zoo and at first Lily wasn’t very interested, but when we were walking away one of the people working with the petting zoo was carrying a baby kangaroo and Lily stared at it for awhile and smiled.

We picked up some clothes from the Mom to Mom sales (it’s like indoor garage sales but only for babies/children’s clothes and toys) and we found a few gently used toys that we picked up also. The last few times we have been we picked up spices from a stand called Epicure, this time we picked up Garlic aioli, and we picked up a mix for pumpkin cheesecake that I’m ecstatic to try.

When we were finished and we were heading back to the car we saw that another part of the fair district (where the expo was) had a Campuscrew liquidation sale! Amazing prizes! I mean $5 shirts, $17 sweaters, amazing sales, I ended up picking up a baggy tank top, a off the shoulder t-shirt, and finally found a tank top that is long enough to fit my long torso!

Baby's Sweet Potato Pie

Baby’s Sweet Potato Pie

We then stopped into Walmart to pick up Lily some more baby food (I really have to take out my baby bullet soon and begin to use it!) and while there we found a new food that I wanted to try for Lily, it’s Baby Gourmet brand and it’s one of those squeeze pouches, there was a few that I wanted to try but I gave the deciding vote to my mother and she chose the Baby’s Sweet Potato Pie. I picked up another t-shirt and short pajama’s for Lily since it is getting very hot here, and her nursery in our apartment is sweltering at nighttime.

Once we returned home Lily tried Cheerios for the first time and she loved them! It was so sweet to see Lily picking them up and eating them, she had a cute moment when she started babbling and a full cheerio was stuck to her bottom lip! Also when we returned home we tried the new food flavor…someone had two bites and then refused to eat it, she had a few more bites after we fed her some sweet potatoes though. We did not realize there was cinnamon in the puree (I know I should have looked) and I don’t think Lily likes to many odd flavors. She really only eats peas, sweet potatoes and squash right know and I was hoping to get different fruits and vegetables into her but the cinnamon hindered this I think.

Lily's First Bites Of Cheerios!

Lily’s First Bites Of Cheerios!

Yesterday was an amazing day and I’m very proud of my daughter and how good she was today, and how much she babbled, and how little she squawked today!

Little Hands Grasp Dandelions

A dandelion, when we are all children we believe they are beautiful flowers, you know the one’s that adults don’t get angry about us picking. But once you get older you realize there just weeds, there much hated by many gardeners, and home owners, and means hours of picking out these weeds, or just letting them overtake your lawn.

Yesterday though I saw dandelions through my daughters eyes. Lily, Myself, grandma and grampa, and aunt Sarah all gathered together outside watching Lily play in the grass and dandelions for the first time.

Lily checking out the dandelions.

Lily checking out the dandelions.

She loved it, she was excited from the beginning and loved ripping out the dandelions, she only tried eating a few of them, which is to be expected from a baby.

I loved watching my daughter become just so fascinated, my daughter is one that loves the camera, that crawls towards it and gives big smiles, but yesterday she only did that for a few photos, she was so curious and so amused by the dandelions. I was captivated by her, she had her serious thinking expression on, and she wasn’t just all excited about the grass and dandelions she wanted to feel them and understand them it seemed like.

She didn’t do much crawling, she didn’t like the feel of it on her knees, and because the grass hadn’t been mowed in a little while the grass kept hitting her in the face which she did not like.

It is a great experience to see my daughter outside though, I love watching her interact with nature and seeing all these new, beautiful things and I love being able to watch her as she tries to figure things out and lets her curiosity out.

My First Mothers Day

It was the first Mothers day that I woke up, and I was actually being celebrated, I was along with all the other mothers around the world were being praised for all they do their daily lives to remind there children they are loved, safe, and cared for. It is the greatest experience and a rite of passage for a new mother.

It’s not the gifts or the praise, of course Lily is to small to understand what the day is for, or make any noise that could even be mistaken for “Thank you” but it was an amazing day all the same. I spent the day with my daughter imagining all the years to come, the pasta artwork, the finger paintings, the flowers picked from a garden that one was not suppose to pick. I can not wait for the long cuddles and the proud look upon her face when she hands me something homemade to say happy mothers day.

On mothers day I spent most of the day at our apartment with Lily, after Michael gave me his gift for me, a bouquet of roses. I spent the day playing with Lily, reading books, and having her play and be amazed by the light from her kid flashlight. Someone spent the day a little cranky though since she chose not to have a morning or early afternoon nap, so that was a little bump in the road.

Later that evening around supper time my father picked us up and we went back to my parents home, where we were surprised that my sister and her husband were visiting, they loving playing with Lily on the ground and she loves her aunt and uncle so that was sweet to watch, we had a great dinner then we all opened presents. My sister as of yet is not a mother (cross my fingers) but I gave her a card to let her know that when she is she will be the greatest mother in the world, she also was given an “auntie” coffee mug. My mother was given her flowers, chocolate bar and other gifts also.

My mothers flowers and favorite chocolate bar gift.

My mothers flowers and favorite chocolate bar gift.

I was amazed though at all the gifts that were given to me. I was not expecting much at all a nice gift, more flowers maybe, but I was pleasantly surprised. I was given gifts from my sister, also , “gifts from Lily” my mother says, and a gift from my parents.

My gifts for Mothers Day excluding my roses.

My gifts for Mothers Day excluding my roses.

From my sister I was given a book to read to my daughter (The Love In My Heart) and barbecue sauce which I fell in love with when we had it at her Easter Sunday supper. Gifts my mother says “Lily whispered into my ear to get these for you” where another book to read to Lily (I Love You Mommy), my first mom tea/coffee mug (and yes there is coffee in it during this photo) and the picture frame and ink to take Lily’s foot or hand prints (we did her footprint last night) and then from my mother and father I was given a new Chicken Soup For The Soul book, which I love there books so I can not wait to start reading it.

I know mothers day is not about the gifts, it’s about loving your children and spending time with your family, and it’s about realizing yourself how much you really do for your family and letting others maybe take over a few things that day and giving yourself some relaxation, even if it’s only a few minutes. I do appreciate the gifts though, I have not bought myself anything unless it’s much needed since months before Lily was born and it was nice to get things that I didn’t fully need, but wanted.

I want to say thank you to my own mother for making my first Mothers day amazing, I want to thank my sister and father and brother in law also, and Michael and I would like to thank all the other mothers out there, and I hope you also had an amazing Mothers Day.

My Writing Story

When I was younger, before I could even write coherently I had this magic journal, I would scribble down a story while telling it to someone, a friend, a cousin or my parents and magically the next time I went to read the scribbles it would be transformed into a new, completely different tale. Of course it wasn’t a magical notebook, just me with a large imagination that could string together a new story on the spot. This is why I mostly call myself a lifelong storyteller versus a writer. A writer is someone that puts pen, pencil, to paper, or fingers to a keyboard and writes a tale, where as I was unable to even write but was still telling stories, and making up new far off places.

Storytelling has been a constant in my childhood memories. I remember this large chalkboard we had in our kitchen when I was in elementary school and I remember being so proud when I filled the chalkboard with my own story. Memories of turning over a large cardboard box and making it into a fort, crawling under with just a notebook, pencil and a flashlight and spending hours attempting to write by flashlight fill my mind. Memories of me as a young child acting out my fantasies of a story and then returning to write on my nice new white desk from Ikea that I received as a Christmas gift from my parents.

I’m not sure when my writing became more mature, if I think back the most notable moment would most likely be when I was in treatment for my mental health issues as a young teenage, where in my anxiety group I had to write a short story of me facing my fear that every time my parents or sister left the house they would not return safely, or at all…of course I was unable to face this fear so I had to face it in writing. That night of my group I remember reading out my story (facing yet another fear of public speaking) and when I finished the whole group, even the leaders were quite for a few moments later. My mother read the story of the car ride home and I felt horrible that I was the cause, my writing was the cause. I later found out it was because how realistic I made the story she said, all the details made it seem like it actually happened and I was just re counting it in writing.

My first manuscript, my diaries, and my poetry anthology about my mental health journey.

My first manuscript, my diaries, and my poetry anthology about my mental health journey.

That story was when my father told me about Stephen King, how he became famous for writing about his fears…I became obsessed with reading and learning all that I could about Stephen King and became ecstatic that someone else out there was being honest and writing the same way I was, all about there fears and there troubles, and since he was a bestselling author there was proof that it worked, and that people enjoyed that genre of writing. After finding out about Stephen King I stopped forcing myself to write happy, positive poetry and stories, at the time that was not what I was capable or was good at writing, my niche was darker and anxiety provoking work, and allowing myself to write these works helped me become better at the craft.

I began attempting to publish my work after I finished my Writers Craft course in high school. I remember writing a poetry anthology as my master work, it was filled with poetry about my depression, my self injury, and my past abusive relationship. All of these things I had mostly stable but my teacher became worried the day after I handed in my work, she felt so much pain she said and it was as if it was happening to her she said that she felt the need to call the school counselor, at first I was angry, I had been through enough psychologists I did not need to see a counselor again, but then my friend explained to me how flattering I could see it as, my poetry was so good that my teacher thought that all that pain was happening still, that she even felt the pain from the words that I must be a good writer.

When I was nineteen one of my short poems was accepted for a poetry anthology, I was ecstatic, my first published work! But just a month after the acceptance letter I was admitted to the adult psychiatric ward and behind those walls I was unable to finish the paperwork allowing the publishing company to publish my poem. The anthology was printed and sold without my poetry inside it, but I still have that acceptance letter hung on my wall. Reminding me that only after a year of trying to get published someone did think my work was right for there publication.

I’m currently still trying to get published, my biggest dream is to be published in a Chicken Soup for the Soul anthology and am returning constantly to there site to see what they are looking for as submissions. I’m also trying to write more uplifting piece’s of work, which has become slightly easier since the birth of my daughter.

Trying New Recipes

I’ve been in a food slump since Lily was born (Okay, a month or two before Lily was born I began a food slump) I haven’t tried any new recipes for quite a few months, and have not really looked at cooking as an enjoyable experience, when it use to be my favorite part of the day. With taking care of Lily I’ve been rushing through prep and cooking dinner, and lunches or at times just waiting until she’s in bed at nighttime to cook dinner and then I’m too exhausted to enjoy cooking.

I’ve fallen into the pre-made, frozen food rut, Swanson skillet frozen dinner packages, frozen pizza’s, Chicken wings, frozen fish. The only thing in a few months I have made from scratch has been only one recipe that I’ve cooked only two or three times these past few months, everything else is mostly just thrown together quickly.

I’m hoping with this past week of trying a couple of new recipes, this rut might be over. I’ve realized if I wait to give Lily a Farley biscuit when I’m trying to make dinner it gives me about 30 minutes or so to prep and cook something with a few breaks to give her a new piece of biscuit. I’m hoping this tactic can stay in tact and I can start cooking more enjoyable and fresher dinners.

This past week while at my parents I tried a recipe that I’ve been unable to cook at home due to Michael’s rice allergy, It was a recipe I found in a cooking magazine, but was actually an add for Campbell’s cream of chicken soup. I was so excited to try this recipe, and I was so happy how amazing it tasted, I will gladly make this dinner again when I can.

Also this week I was able to make Brownies with cream cheese that tasted just like a delicious cheesecake, and I tried a new recipe for chocolate chip cookies which had pretzels in them, which was a delicious mix of sweet and salty. I am also happy to have finally tried cooking salmon. I’ve tried salmon before as a frozen food and swore off the fish because I thought it was always dry and never tasted good, but this past Christmas I was at a buffet restaurant and the salmon looked to good not to try, so I put it on my plate and picked at it until I ate it all and realized the flavors were amazing, and even went back for a few extra pieces. I’ve read plenty about the amazing health benefits of Salmon and am happy that my palate know enjoys the taste.

I’m hoping I can keep up with this tactic of letting Lily have her Farley biscuit while I create dinner and maybe actually try some new recipes along the way. If I’m really lucky even creating another recipe of my own. I’m looking forward to trying some recipes I’ve found in the cooking magazines at my mother homes, such as peach bars, maple bacon muffins, peaches and cream muffins and a few recipes made with tea.

Have you fallen into the frozen food rut? What have you done to get out of it, or to keep yourself out of it?

She’s Growing Older! 6 Months Old!

Six months ago exactly to the day my daughter, my little miracle was born. I can still remember the birth like it was just yesterday, and somehow it’s already been six months. Since becoming a mother I have realized how slow the moments feel like there going by, but in the long run it seems like the days and weeks are going by quicker then they ever have.

I’m so beyond proud of my daughter with these past six months, she’s accomplished so much and made her mother so proud. I’ve loved watching her try to turn over, again and again and then finally getting the hang of it while on the diaper changing table (we use our kitchen table as a diaper changing station) while trying to put her pajama’s on after her nightly bath. I’ve loved watching her go quite and shriek with glee when a musical toy is held up in front of her. I love watching her munch on a wooden baking spoon and become so happy with her “new toy” that shes enthralled in the spoon for hours.

Helping In The Kitchen!

Helping In The Kitchen!

This past week has shown me how much and how fast she has grown up. Finding not one but two teeth about to pop out of her gums, watching her be so close to crawling (she has the position and moving her knees down pat, she’s not sure what to do with her arms, and when she does think to move her arms sadly falls over due to her balance) I’m proud to have been able to watch as she feeds herself her Farley biscuit, or when she leans in for the spoon filled with her rice cereal.

I also am able to notice personality traits in my daughter, and see some things of myself in her, one thing i’m noticing that when she laughs she snorts, which I will be honest I also tend to do sometimes when I really get into laughing. We notice how inquisitive and curious my daughter is, she won’t sit still she must look and discover everything around her. My daughter also seems to be a daredevil, she loves to be thrown into the air, she loves us pretend “dropping” her (we keep our arms around her but quickly move our upper body forward until shes close to the ground) she squeals and gets the biggest widest smile on her face.

These six months have gone by quicker then I could ever have imagined. I’m amazed that in six months by beautiful baby will be a one year old. My miracle has helped me grow these past months just as much as she has grown these past few months. I’m proud of everything my daughter has been able to accomplish these past few months.