Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween

From our little dinosaur...
 So sometimes in motherhood I fail utterly. Take for example the time I didn't realize Margot would react to her vaccinations and Chris and I went on a date night and came home to a baby burning up with temperature.
 But sometimes I do rock the Mom thing. This Halloween...I rocked it by making Margot this awesome dinosaur costume. I mean how cool is this?! She's the cutest dinosaur I've ever seen. Best of all I only spent $12 making her costume (well $12 dollars and 4 hours). I also completely made it up. No pattern, no pintrest, just my imagination. And it was really easy.
 So here's how to make your kid a really cool dinosaur costume. Get fleece in three color's A half a yard in the primary color and 1/4 yard in the other two colors is more than enough. Get two large buttons (I pulled these out of my Mom's button box.
 Fold your green fleece in half. Then find a jumper one size bigger then baby's current size (I think for a boy overalls or shortalls would work in a pinch). For Margot I used a 18 month jumper she has. Lay the jumper on the fleece and cut around it making two matching pieces. Just make sure the "back" pieces has longer shoulder straps to button onto button holes. Take the back piece and cut it in half. Cut spikes out of your two contrasting colors. Then you will sew the spikes into the back of the jumper. I added a tail which also had spikes.
Once your spikes are sewn in you can sew the sides of your two pieces together. Sew buttons onto the front and cut button holes onto back. For the bottom measure out leg holes (I used a pair of Margot's leggings to as a rough guide). You are going to sew up the bottom leaving two leg holes. I tucked and pinned the fabric to hem it and then sewed it up. Lastly for a cap use a winter hat as a rough guide. Cut out two matching hat pieces and sew them together with spikes in the middle. Add some straps and you are done. Margot is wearing her costume over leggings and a long sleep tee she already had. If you wanted to give this costume a more finished look you could hem the arm holes, neck and hat or trim them with matching yarn. However given it's a Halloween costume it doesn't really need to be as finished as a traditional outfit. I had a blast making her costume and can't wait to do it again next year.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Tuesday Night Dinner

I still have a back log of recipes I made this summer and never shared. I made this recipe a while back when we had zucchini coming out of our ears. It was one of those great 20 minute dinners that we all love.
Pasta with Italian sausage and zucchini

2 small zucchini, sliced
1/2 of Italian sausage (sweet or hot)
handful of fresh basil
2 cloves garlic sliced
pinch of saffron
1/2 lb of thin spaghetti
olive oil
salt and pepper

cook pasta according to package directions. While pasta is cooking heat olive oil in skillet. once hot add garlic. cook garlic for a minute or so until it just starts to brown. Add zucchini and saffron, salt and pepper. Cook for 3-5 minutes stirring occasionally just until the zucchini starts to brown. Remove the zucchini onto a plate and set aside. Add sausage the pan and cook until done. Once sausage is cooked through add zucchini pack to pan. Add cooked spaghetti noodles directly to pan and stir to coat. Add fresh basil leaves and serve.

Friday, October 26, 2012

And the count down to one year begins

Oh my baby...You are 11 months old and hardly a baby anymore. You are so big and constantly on the move. I couldn't even get you to hold still to take your photo.

 You are crawling all over the house and constantly exploring your little world. You can pull yourself up, stand and cruise along all the furniture. You are frighteningly apt at getting yourself to where you want to be. One of your favorite recent activities is to "escape" when I'm trying to get you. This is especially fun post bath when I'm trying to diaper you. You squirm out of my reach and take off at the fastest crawl you can muster laughing and squealing as you go.

You often jabber, laugh, squeal and sing. You love to sing in the car along with Mommy. It's so funny. And you can say a few words, ma ma, da da, uh oh, and yee haw. You have other ways of communicating your wants. When you want me to pick you up you crawl over and pull yourself up on the back of my pant legs. You point to things you want. And when you want more food you open your mouth as wide as possible.

You have started to eat much larger volume of food this month. You can easily eat 1/3 to half the food on my plate. You mostly feed yourself but we also still feed you some. You love anything on Mommy or Daddy's plate. You are a very adventurous eater. In the last month you have eaten Chantalle mushrooms, beef stew, roasted squash risotto, artichoke hearts, pickles, and braised cabbage. You are very skilled at dropping your food on the floor and you have started to spit it back out when you are done. So much fun!!!

You love to play with your books and dolls. However, your favorite activity lately seems to be sorting anything. You love to take all of your toys out of one basket or bucket and move them to the other. This is also fun with Mommy's large jewelry, kitchen items, laundry and the kitchen drawers. Here you are sorting Grandma Jody's kitchen Tupperware.
This month we had two Portland trips and one included your first trip tot the Zoo. Here you are looking very intently at Monkey's. You loved the Monkey.
 You also traveled on the Max which you also loved. I think you share your Mother's love of public transit.
 And you went to the pumpkin patch!!! This was so much fun. Here you are standing next to a pumpkin. You are almost a toddler (tear).
Your funny little personality continues to emerge everyday. You are turning out to be quite a little ham. You love attention and want to be in the center of everything. You know what you want and are quite determined to get it. You are a stubborn strong willed little monkey. I predict a very eventful toddler hood for you! You love to see new places. The farmers market, grocery stores and restaurants are your favorites. You still love to cuddle and nurse and always prefer Mommy and Daddy's bed to your own.

You turn one in 21 days and we can hardly believe how fast this year has flown by. Love you to pieces. Mommy and Daddy

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Lately I'm Loving..

  • Earl Gray tea with cream and honey, even better with biscotti
  • making Margot's Halloween costume
  • Presidential debates
  • This book
  • Zupan's, a gourmet market in Portland, AMAZING
  • Radishes with real imported French butter and French grey sea salt (thank you Zupans)
  • Delicata squash from the Farmers market
  • Simple fall outfits such as today's black turtleneck, denim pencil skirt, grey sweater tights, and black booties

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

warm socks and chicken soup

Well I survived Las Vegas and being away from my baby for 4 whole days. I landed in Eugene late Friday night and was greeted by fall! I was delighted to wake up to a steady drizzle and a hazy grey morning. We all bundled up and headed to the farmers market. The market was beautiful. Everywhere you looked there were signs of the changing season. Dried chilies, fresh mushrooms, pumpkins, squash, leeks, fennel, apples and pears. After filling our market basket we headed home and spent the rest of the weekend celebrating fall with roasted squash and chili risotto, braised chicken with leeks and tomatoes and the best beef stew I have ever had. Sadly the changing seasons, or perhaps the air plane, has left me sick sick sick. I have a horrid cough and head/chest cold.

When I am sick there are a few things that I MUST have or I will be a total baby. Homemade chicken soup, my hooded U of O sweater from college, and an endless supply of peppermint tea with honey. I have recently added to that list a warm sock treatment. Have you all heard of this? I learned about it last winter when I was sick. You get a pair of cotton socks wet with cold water and wring them out well. Then you soak your feet in hot water for five minutes. Dry them off and put the wet socks on. Then put a pair of 100% wool socks over the wet socks and get right in bed. Keep the socks on until morning or until both socks are completely dry. It's amazing. And it really helps you get better faster. Something about circulation. I usually don't like to wear socks and I NEVER sleep in socks but even I like this. It just makes me feel better and I think it helps you sleep better.

I stayed home sick today and thankfully my Mom came over and made me chicken soup. I made a lot of chicken soup and I like to think I'm pretty good at it. Yeah my Mom's chicken soup was so much better than mine. Usually when I make it I start by poaching a whole chicken to make broth and I use the meat from that chicken for the soup. My Mother brought homemade broth from her freezer then poached chicken breasts in the broth. The chicken soup is so good. It's all I've eaten today.

Well that's about all the thinking/typing my poor sick head can muster. I hope everyone else is enjoying the changing season sans colds. 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

9 to 5

All of you who read my blog know I work full time. You may have picked up that I work in politics. I try not to bring my job into this blog but.... Today, because it's my blog, I am going to brag just a bit.

I am a business lobbyist, or advocate as we like to say so that people don't think we are evil. I advocate for local business for the Chamber. This means I get to work on a great variety of issues that  help strengthen our community. But of all the issues I work on my favorite is transit. I love transit and have since the first time I stepped foot onto the Paris metro. This love was deepened when I lived in DC and took the metro everyday. The reason my Job has been so Crazy for the past several months is because I have been creating and implementing a campaign to support the expansion of our local transit system. The expansion of our system has been a highly controversial issue locally.  Two weeks ago the city council voted 7-1 to move the project forward. This was a huge win for the community and the local economy.

The most exciting part of this project was the coalition of community members that came together to support this project. I got to work with two amazing people that I hardly knew before this project who are now my friends. And 2 years from now I will take miss Margot to the library on our great transit system. And at the end of the day this is why my job is so great. I get to work everyday on issues that make our community stronger for my daughter who I hope will choose to live here.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Living it up

Here I am in Las Vegas. I am writing this at 6:15 am from my soft cushy king size bed. I am drinking my earl grey tea and eating chocolate biscotti. I am staying at the aria. It is nice. My husband once said that Las Vegas is Disneyland for grown ups. I thought of that this morning when I walked outside along a wall of falling water at 5:30am to get my tea. It was warm and balmy and there were lights off the strip and twinkle lights and I couldn't help but feel happy amongst this over the top manufactured beauty. Or perhaps it was simply the afterglow of a whole nights sleep after an afternoon reading chic lit by the pool while drinking a margarita:)

Long story short I am enjoying my bit of luxury. And as long as I stay in the resort avoiding the strip and walk outside to get my coffee I can almost forget that I am in Las Vegas.

I am really excited for the conference to begin today. A political conference 30 days before a tight presidential election in a swing state is bound to be good, especially for this political junkie!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

bye bye baby

This time next week I will be on a plane to Las Vegas. I am going to a national Public Affairs/lobbying conference for work. While I am ecstatic to go this conference and have some time away from home I am also dreading leaving my baby. I have never been away from Margot for more than 8-10 hours. And that is pretty rare, usually I see her at lunch making our time apart more like 4 hours. Needless to say 3 nights and 4 days is going to be a bit of a shock to all of our systems. I know I'll miss her like crazy. I'm sure Chris will really miss me like crazy. And a small part of me is worried that she will be completely traumatized by my absence and think I'm never coming back. I'm also super excited -NOT- for four days of pumping, storing and then transporting breast milk in an air plane. And truth be told Vegas is not exactly my favorite destination.

But putting all my worries aside for a moment lets me look at the positive side. So here's my list of things I'm looking forward to about my impending departure:

  • Time on an air plane to read a book--such luxury
  • almost a whole day in Vegas before the conference starts to hang out (hopefully by the pool)
  • 3 nights of sleep without anyone to wake me up
  • a luxury hotel
  • the jacuzzi bath tub in my luxury hotel room
  • fine Vegas dining
  • stimulating adult conversation about politics with cocktails
So while I'm sure I'll by missing my baby like crazy by the end I am going to try really hard to enjoy all this me time and luxury while I have it.