Thursday, August 30, 2007

He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not

I know I'm not the only one who has moments when I think my kid must hate me, but this is not one of them. Max and I have had a fantastic week. So here it is:

How I Know Max Loves Me
By Kristin Ellis

Tonight after Max finished eating, he reached his spaghetti covered arms over to me in my seat and said "up." For some reason I resisted my initial urge to push him away and try to get a wet napkin before he attacked me anyway. It turns out I'm glad I did. He wrapped his body around me and let me rock him while he patted my back for a good 2 minutes. I wouldn't call him a cuddly kid, so moments like these really make my day. I love him so much.

Another cute thing he does is when I tell him to look at my tummy move, he always puts his chin on my stomach and stares for as long as his attention span will let him. This is particularly endearing since Abram HATES when I tell him to look at my tummy. He thinks it's boring to sit and wait for her to move again for some reason. Anyway, Max warms my heart when he does this.

On Sherry's advice we decided to keep Max up until 9 for a few weeks to see if we can permanently change his 5:30-6:30 wake up time. Surprisingly enough, he is so much fun at night. You'd think he would be exhausted and fussy (since he's still waking up at 6:30), but he is cuddly and giggly and so much fun. Last night he sat in one big chair in the living room and I sat in the other and we just talked and sang songs for about 20 minutes. When I say we talked, I mean he babbled incomprehensibly and chuckled at his jokes inbetween telling me what song he wanted next.

Anyway, I'm glad we're friends and that he loves me because I sure do love him.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Showered With Playgroup Love

Every Friday I go to play group at my friend Beth's house who lives across the pond. This past Friday they threw me the perfect baby shower. It was just the girls in my neighborhood and 2 other friends. Besides fabulous food including artichoke dip (my FAVORITE) and a homemade strawberry cheesecake, they gave me the best presents. First and foremost, cute clothes - my favorite thing about having a girl. But besides that, really thoughtful gifts. Marianne made a quilt for Aviva, Mary gave me a book that her mother used to read to her and her sister every year (which is out of print and she had to search down a copy she finally found from an elementary school library), Beth gave me a Robin Miller Quick Fix Meals cookbook, and Kristin along with other neighbors that live in my Court who weren't even invited to the shower gave me enough Babies-R-Us gift cards to get the double stroller I want! (not to mention my favorite Carters newborn gowns too) So I ask you, with all these favorites, how could it not be the best shower ever? Well, it was. so here's a shout out to all my girls - thanks for the good time!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Miss Teen America USA What Did She Say?

Oh, this is so painful, but I couldn't resist.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Let the Manipulation Begin

So after chase, Max's second favorite game is hide and seek. He loves loves loves it. He usually hides under a blanket and I say "Max, where are you?" over and over until he throws off his blanket and squeals with laughter. The other day I showed him how I could cover my eyes, count to ten and then look for him. He would run around looking for a hiding place, but whenever I got to 10, he would end up just standing next to me waiting to see what would happen. After a few times he finally got it right and hid in the furnace room. I said, "Max, where are you? Are you in the bathroom?" and I hear this little, "No." I tried not to laugh out loud, but he did the same thing when I asked about under the desk and behind the couch. Finally I started laughing and he busted out of the furnace room to join in the fun.

At the grocery store yesterday we were waiting in line when Max spied some matchbox cars. He didn't say a word. He just looked at me while he struggled to get it down. Once he got it, keeping his eyes on me the whole time (mind you, I'm staring right back at him) he slowly walks over to the check out lane and places the car on the counter, then waits to see what I'm going to do. I suppose I should have said no and put it back so I could set the standard, but he was so stinkin' cute I just laughed and asked if he wanted the car. He gave me an emphatic yes and probably thinks he is a master manipulator. But who's kidding who? He is a master manipulator.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Be Careful What You Wish For

***Warning*** This story is about potty training, if you prefer not to read about the disgusting details of parenthood, you should go ahead and skip this entry.

A few weeks ago I bought a potty for Max. He's been playing with it and really interested and a few days ago I took off his diaper and showed him how to use it. I told him that the next time he has to go poo to tell me and he could go in the potty.

Last night Marianne and Noah came over for dinner. Max kept trying to get down and then started harassing me saying "poo-poo, poo-poo." I assumed he was just trying to get down but I wanted to enjoy my meal so I said "fine." I took off his diaper, stuck him in the bathroom, closed the door and went back to eat. I figured maybe he would pee all over the floor, but at least it's tile and I could finish my meal in peace.

He stayed in there for a good 5 minutes and then threw the door open, came running around the corner, jump stopped in front of us and gave a us a huge smile and ran away giggling. I grabbed him and went into the bathroom to see what damage had been done. To my surprise, the floor was clean, and the potty was closed. I opened it up, and there it was. Max had gone poo-poo in the potty. My jaw dropped. I was not prepared. I'm still not prepared. I have no strategy in place, so I just did what I've heard friends talk about. I yelled, made a big deal about it, and gave him a fruit snack (which he loves). I have to say, I was really really proud of him and it was so cute how pleased with himself he was that I was so pleased with him.

I had him practice saying "poo-poo in the potty" so we could call Abram and Mary and tell them, and then we went straight over to Aida's (his inspiration - she always calls him to the bathroom when she has to go so he can see how the pros do it) and told them. They all helped make a party out of it.

So here's the problem: It was disgusting. Once he went, I had to take the little bowl, put water in it, flush it down the toilet and then finish rinsing it out. Sick. I didn't realize that in an effort to not have to change his nasty diaper, I would have to do even nastier things. And we haven't even reached the not quite making it to the bathroom episodes, or the trying to do this whole thing in public stage. Yuck.

This morning at breakfast he told me again that he had to go. When I brought him to the bathroom and took off his diaper, he wouldn't let me in (and really, who can blame him?). So I let him do his business, but I was really nervous everything was going to go terribly awry. Luckily Abram went in when he did because this time Max picked up the bowl and was trying to put it in the toilet himself.

So here I am and I'll take any advice anyone wants to share. Oh yeah, I'm also worried because Aviva's coming and I'm not sure I want to move this along before he adjusts to her arrival. Help please!

Sunday, August 19, 2007


Some recent photosMax's first attempt at dressing himself
Playing at Gymboree
playing at Gymboree
Max at the park. No I don't take my kid to the park with no shirt on, he puked all over himself right as we got there.
Baltimore Inner Harbor

Yesterday we took Max to the Baltimore aquarium with Claire and Walt (Mimi and Grandpa). It was WAY better than last week's attempt. He finally got to see some sharks, but every time Abram got within a foot of the glass Max would hold on for dear life and whisper "no, no." He loved all the fish though and Grandpa Walt made it especially exciting, oooing and awing at everything with Max. The aquarium is right in the inner harbor and Max was in heaven seeing all the huge ships. We didn't have time but we really want to take him out for a boat ride when we get a chance.

Max's favorite game is to play chase. He will run in circles around the house for hours if there is someone running with him. And it doesn't matter if he's being chased or doing the chasing because eventually he just thinks he's being chased and is way ahead of you - sucka. Anyway, he has recently added a dramatic twist to chase. When he stops to take a break, he runs to the couch, wall or chair, (he doesn't slow down, mind you, he just slams his body full speed into the object until he stops). Then he wipes his arm across his forehead and sighs, "Phew!" like he is exhausted from all that running. Of course he immediately starts running again right after, but he likes the dramatic effect.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

And the Winner is...

Hurray for Sabra! I couldn't be happier for her. And what a great show tonight. It completely made up for last night. I'm just so happy right now.


I was so disappointed with last night's finale I don't even want to talk about it. But I will. Last years show was fantastic so I was expecting more of the same (especially since the dancers this year are supposed to be more professional than last year) and I didn't get it. Mostly I blame it on the choreography. So here's what I think:
  • Sabra and Neil's hip hop: Terrible. I could hardly watch it. In fact I think I covered my eyes a few times with the pillow so I didn't have to watch Neil's faces. He did make me laugh with his comment about Shane telling him he had to be sexy and Neil responding, that's like telling Nigel to be British.
  • Lacey and Danny's waltz: I thought it was great. Beautiful
  • Lacey and Sabra's jazz: Lacey did all right. I thought Sabra did a fantastic job. At this point I was really sad though because I really don't think Sabra's going to win even though she's been so consistent throughout the season.
  • Danny and Neil's contemporary: It was good. That's it. It definitely did not deserve all of the praise the judges gave it. And as for choreography, it wasn't even close to the park bench dance last year.
  • Neil and Lacey's Lindy Hop: Horrible. I understand it's a hard dance, but it just looked terrible. It's too bad because it could have been a hit for Neil, but Lacey looked way too awkward with her lifts.
  • Danny and Sabra's Cha-Cha: Best dance of the night. Loved it. Loved it. Loved it.
As for the solos, Lacey's was great and the other's were okay. I certainly didn't think Danny's deserved a standing ovation from the judges. So as you can see, I don't think any of the dancer's really stood out last night except maybe Danny since he was in both of the dances I liked. I will be perfectly happy with whoever wins. Except maybe Neil. I like him, but I just don't think he's as good as the others. If I were to call and vote, which I have never actually done, I think for the first time this season, I would actually vote for Danny even though I've been a Sabra fan the whole time.

Well, it feels good to get that out there. Did I mention I am supremely disappointed and dissatisfied with last night's show? Thank goodness for blogs so I can rant and rave to my heart's content.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Peach Pound Cake

I've decided to write weekly about food so that I don't litter every entry with little food bits and it won't seem like that's all I think about (even if it is). One of the reasons I fell in love with Abram is because he cooked for me. Mmm. Good memories. I say memories because understandably there isn't a lot of time for him to cook anymore and it makes me very sad. Sunday, however, my man made a mean peach pound cake. Every Saturday we go to the farmer's market and get peaches because they are my favorite fruit in the world and the ones we get in old town are DE-LICIOUS. The funny thing is he only used one peach in the cake because I wasn't home to ask and he was afraid I might be angry if I came home and found less peaches than I was expecting. I know that's not surprising to those of you who have felt my wrath when I suffer from a disappointing food experience, but for those of you who haven't, just know that his actions were understandable if sad. So back to the peach pound cake, Shauri taught us that the only way to eat it is warm with butterscotch sauce,vanilla ice cream and whipped cream. Mmmmm! Delicioso! So here's the recipe of the week:

Peach Pound Cake
1 cup plus 2 Tb butter
2 1/4 c sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
3 c flour, divided
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 cups chopped fresh peaches

Grease a tube pan with the 2 Tb of butter. sprinkle pan with 1/4 c sugar. Cream remaining butter; gradually add remaining sugar, beating well. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla and mix well. combine 2 3/4 c flour, baking powder, and salt gradually add to creamed mixture, beating until well-blended. Dredge peaches with remaining 1/4 c flour. Fold peaches into batter. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake at 325 for 1 hour and 10 minutes. I used 2 loaf pans. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream and warm Sanders butterscotch/caramel sauce.

While I'm doing recipes, I'll throw in one last panini. It's called:
Grilled Vegetable Panini with Herbed Feta Spread
8 slices crusty ciabatta bread
4 pieces red leaf lettuce
1/2 c herbed feta spread

Herbed Feta Spread:
mash following ingredients together:
1/4 c cream cheese
1/4 c sour cream
4 ounces fet cheese,
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
6 leaves fresh basil, minced
1 TB chopped fresh chives
1/4 tsp. dried oregano

Grill the following 5 vegetables:
1 eggplant
1 small zucchini
1 roasted red pepper
1 red onion
2 portobello mushroom caps, stems trimmed

Lay out bread, spread bottom with herbed feta spread, and layer with eggplant, lettuce, zucchini, onion, mushroom and red pepper. Spread second bread slice with feta spread and place on top of sandwich, feta side down. Brush both sides of sandwich evenly and generously with olive oil, and grill, about 10 minutes.

Mr. Sparkle Pants

My favorite line from tonight's show? Pasha (with his Russian accent): "My code name is Mr. Sparkle Pants." I am sad to see him go, but I will admit that maybe I was a bit hasty about my judgment on Neil. I am really happy with who's left for the finale. So that means I had to redo the poll, though I will say I was really happy that Sabra kicked everyone else's butts. We'll see what happens now that I put Neil up there too though. I can't WAIT for the finale!


Max recently watched Finding Nemo with his grandparents and he came back obsessed with sharks. We'll be sitting somewhere and he'll gasp, jump up, and point to the closet or some other dark corner and whisper/yell: "SHARKS!" Then he jumps in my arms so I will protect him, which of course I love so I haven't really discouraged the drama. I call it an obsession instead of a phobia because while he acts scared of them he's really interested in them too. So we heard that The National Aquarium was having a special shark day on Saturday and decided to bring him there. Well, turns out our nation doesn't have much to be proud of in terms of their aquarium. There was one shark about 2 feet long and then a bunch of stations where kids could learn about sharks, make puppets, etc. Lame. But Max didn't know any better so he thought it was great. Basically, it was the basement of a federal building with a bunch of fish tanks. He ran from tank to tank yelling, "Nemo! Nemo!" So we'll have to make the trek up to Baltimore soon and go to a real aquarium.

Friday, August 10, 2007

This Week in Max News

All right folks, here are your Max stories for the week. Some are cute, some are not so cute. In fact, he's going through this screaming stage that makes me want to tear my hair out. Any time I say no to what he wants he starts screaming. I've just been ignoring it and making sure I don't give him what he wants, but to no avail. I've put him in time out a few times for it, but that hasn't done the trick either. So any suggestions are welcome. Okay, here we go...

I need to get it on video, but sometimes when Max is done with one thing and looking around for the next activity, he does what I call his George Jefferson walk. He holds his arms slightly behind him and swings them side to side instead of front to back and then he bobs his head back and forth. The other day Aida (our 2 year old neighbor he plays with every day) saw this and started calling him bobble head Max. So now they'll be walking along and she will nonchalantly say, "Come on bobble head Max." I think it's a pretty appropriate nickname.

We were at a play place this week and Max was in time out for hitting me. When his time was up I went over to remind him why he was there and that he owed me an apology. I squatted down next him and said "Max," before I could finish my sentence, he slumps his shoulders, rolls his eyes to the top of his head, and lets out the biggest sigh he can muster. I mean, am I dealing with a 2 year old boy or a teenage girl? It took everything I had to get the rest of my sentence out without laughing.

My friend Kristen posted a really cute story about her baby son on her blog and how she was reading the Ensign to him. He was all squirmy until she got choked up at a specific part. She said something to the effect of him being like his dad, he stopped what he was doing and just looked up at her, appreciating the moment. It was really sweet, but I had to laugh when I thought about how Max screams and pushes the Book of Mormon closed every morning when Abram tries to read a chapter to the family. So I told her that Jackson is like his dad, and Max is like his :).

And just to scare all of you, Max almost died on Wednesday. He did a great job in the pool and was going underwater and trying to swim his way back to the top. All kinds of crazy daring things. Then, right as we were leaving he walks over to the side of the pool and jumps right in. Heart attack. I ran over, jumped in, and pulled him up all before the lazy lifeguard even got her butt out of the chair. I mean, what's she there for? It was so scary, but all is well and we may even venture back next week.

Have a good weekend everyone!

Friday, August 3, 2007

6 weeks and counting...

Well, here's the belly. 6 weeks and counting... I went out and bought a bunch of stuff to get ready for Aviva yesterday so I'm not feeling quite as anxious has I have been. I just can't believe we're doing this all over again.
Here's a picture of Max doing what I call the "tough guy." And a picture of when we busted out the Kareoke machine a couple months ago. Let's just say he's well on his way to making a fool of himself in public.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Home Sweet Home

I know I promised most of you pictures of the house months ago and I never quite got around to it. Well, in honor of my new commitment to the blog, I actually cleaned up a little and snapped some shots so I'd have something to write about today. I could make a list longer than any of you want to read about what I want to change, but all in all, we are THRILLED with what we got. We love it. However, when my 4 year old niece Katie first came to visit (she had recently had a pirate birthday party), on the way home she told her mom, "I just LOVE Aunt Kristin's new house." When her mother asked why, she said, "There's so much GOLD!" Yup, that's right folks, lots and lots of gleaming gold. We're not talking just door handles and light fixtures, every light switch, and every outlet has a gold covering. It's spectacular - for a pirate. Anyway, I'm off to Home Depot right after this to finally go buy new fixtures - HURRAY!

The aforementioned light switches
We are this end unit
Living Room
Dining Room
Family Room

Guest Room
Max's Room
Max's bathroom
Master Bedroom
Master Bedroom
Master Bath
Master Bath