Bipedal child

It took 15 1/2 months but that day has come...sort of. Last week was huge for Archie. He stood up by himself for the first time, he took 2 wobbly steps and then he took 4 very confident steps all within in 5 days. He loves to stand on his own because Dave and I start throwing our hands in the air, clapping and cheering him on. What kid wouldn't love Mom & Dad acting riotously happy over something he thinks is fun anyway? Since Friday though he hasn't really shown any interest in walking. The same thing happened with crawling. He tried it, but he vastly preferred the butt scoot. Perhaps he vastly prefers crawling now to walking. He will soon learn what doors walking can open though, both literally and figuratively.

In other news, I am seriously trying to get Dave serious about some home improvement projects. We are holding out for another month or two until we hone in on the deck, fence and kitchen. In the interim I want to start on the study/guest room and Archie's new room. Dave moved the queen bed from one room to the other yesterday. We also got rid of three large items from the basement and moved the dresser and futon over to our future basement tv area. It's a pretty good start.

I am on week 2 of knitting and am getting a little more confident in my ability to manipulate my mistakes. Last week I just lost all confidence and would get really frustrated. This week I am trying my calm approach and it works surprisingly well go figure. I have learned how to both knit and purl and have worked in the Garter stitch, the Stockinette and the Reverse Stockinette stitch. Next week we are learning the Cable stitch, which I think will be really cool but has the potential to be very frustrating. After I finish the scarf I really want to learn how to make cute little hats for my 2 boys, but that requires using one of those fishing line looking circular needles. Those scare me!

My sisters are thinking about coming to visit in April which would be totally awesome if it pans out. They would be coming out right around when I hit my 37th week, which was when Archie was born. My Mom would be coming out shortly after they left so hopefully someone will be be here when I go into labor so Dave & I don't need to stress about who will watch Archer. Besides who better to take my mind off of the last few weeks of the 3rd trimester than my sisters?


Goals for the year.

I just recently started thinking of my goals for this year. I am very anti-New Year's resolutions b/c I think by making them you are just setting yourself up for failure and disappointment. Great way to start off the new year. Goals, however, seem more attainable to me. It's probably just all semantics, but whatever.

In no particular order, here I go.

- I want to be the best mother to my children that I can possibly be.

- I am currently learning to knit and I want to stick with it through this frustrating first part.

- I want to make my Baby F's baby food. I did not do this with Archer b/c I was intimidated.

- I want to make our kitchen as waste-less as possible. No more paper towels or paper napkins, compost more, recycle more, etc...

- I want to turn our basement into a family friendly play area. It is not too bad right now, but it could use a little brightening up, some decluttering and a lot of rug remnants.

- I want to keep up with Archer's baby book, Baby F's Belly Book and eventually Baby F's baby book. I have been really good about this and I want to keep it up.

- I want to continue playing around with my bread machine and make as much bread as I can at home.

- After Baby F is born I would like to start my weight loss/healthier eating habits earlier than when I had Archer. I used iPhone app called Lose It that really helped me get back to my prepregnancy weight.

- I want Dave and I to take a family vacation. Not one the involves weddings, visiting friends/family or prior obligations. Just a trip that we can plan and cater to our children and our lifestyle. Right now we are tossing around the idea of the Adirondacks and Vermont in July.

That's all I've got for now. I think these are all things that I can do and 12 months is a long time really. However, I say that now. The next thing I know it will be 2012.


Happy V-Day!

As in I've hit 24 weeks which means that according the hospital I have a viable baby in womb. I could have told them that though. Baby probably F is a kicker at all times of day and night! I still get so excited when I think about being a Mom to two boys. I know a lot of people who have 2 boys pretty close together in age and they all get along so well in their adult lives. Archer and Baby F will hopefully continue this trend and be best friends.

(exactly 24 weeks)

It is Sunday morning here at the R. household and Dave has Rancid playing on Pandora, Archie is talking to Dewey who is trying hard to ignore him, I've got Oatmeal Bread in the bread machine and a cup of Green Mountain Dark Magic decaf near at hand. Happy Sunday!

Yesterday I took my first of 3 Beginner's Knitting classes. There are three other women in the class and we had a great time chatting and being frustrated together. I have to go back today though because I have 2 mistakes in one of my rows and I have no clue how to fix them. The curse of not messing up during class is that I do not know how to fix my mistakes when they happen. I guess that is also the curse of being a Virgo/perfectionist. Fortunately, I only know one stitch and I caught my mistakes before I got too far.

This past week we finally went out and got Archie a real haircut. I have cut his hair twice and we went to Super Cuts once where the guy cutting his hair clearly did not feel like dealing with a child and did a terrible job. A place that specializes in cutting kids hair, Kiddie Kutters, just opened up near our house so we checked it out. Archie sat in a little Ford Mustang chair and the lady was totally awesome even as Archie was screaming and turning tomato red. Plus, the price for the cut was only $10.95. We gave her a big tip!

(sporting his new 'do)

I am starting to really get into decorating Archie's big boy room. We are going with a traditional transportation theme with lots of reds and blues. This is mostly because there is such a variety of transportation themed items for toddlers rooms that it will be easy and I can decorate it pretty inexpensively. On Amazon.com I found these wooden storage bins in blue for only $59. At Land of Nod they retail for $150. I ordered a 2 bin and 3 bin for his room. I cannot wait to get them! Did I mention that I got free shipping? Amazon rocks! The bedding that I think we are going to get is from Target. It is the Circo transportation collection, but I want the quilt not the blanket. I like the look of quilts on children's beds. Hopefully today we can get the guest bed moved into the study/new guest room and I can really start to visualize the space.

(playing at Gymboree)

Well, we should be getting on with our Sunday. There are actually things that I want to get done today. We'll see how well that goes.


Belly Book for Baby Boy #2

With Archie I filled out a pregnancy journal called the Belly Book. I decided that I would do the same with each subsequent child. It doesn't hurt that I am a scrapbooker and this is the sort of thing I love doing. I have actually been really good about filling out Archie's baby book and Baby F/S's Belly Book. About every other week I sit down and update them. I just finished their most recent updates and am shocked that next week is the last week of the 2nd trimester in the Belly Book. Where has this pregnancy gone??

(23 weeks pregnant)

Technically my 3rd trimester doesn't begin until the first week of February, but that is still right around the corner. My due date is May 7th, but I am anticipating an April baby. Archie was 3 weeks early and typically 2nd babies are earlier than the first. Also, high altitude babies tend to be born early if their mothers are not from high altitudes. Of course babies will come when they are good and ready.

This pregnancy has been a little harder than the first b/c I didn't have a toddler that I was chasing after before. On the flip side, it has been flying by because I haven't had time to sit around and dwell on being pregnant. I have been trying to indicate to Archie that his little brother is in my belly. Archie will kind of look at my belly and then just start crawling over me. Maybe he understands more than I give him credit for!!

In other news, Archer has had a big week. He is starting to stand unaided by me, Dave or any other object that can hold him up. He can only stand for about 30 seconds before sitting down again, but it is a good step towards walking. His balance is really good too. He doesn't sway and he can bend his knees a little then push himself back up to a stand. I also taught him how to "Give me 5" yesterday and he already a pro. He will crawl all the way across the room just to give you 5. Why can't my dogs learn that quickly and be that obedient?

I signed up for beginner's knitting class starting this weekend. I went to the store and bought my yarn for the scarf that I am going to make. The hat was totally uncool so opted for the scarf. A wise decision on my part. I am sincerely hoping that this is a hobby I can get into because I am desperate for an activity that is mobile and not terribly mind consuming. I'm keeping my fingers crossed!


Bread Machine Tangerine Jam

I invented a recipe! I bought a bunch of sunburst tangerines at Whole Foods yesterday with the intention of making jam. After I got home I searched and searched on-line and through my cookbooks to no avail. I found one recipe for bread machine orange marmalade that was super labor intensive and took 2 days. No thank you! So I created my own recipe as follows.


  • 2 cups of tangerine segments (pre-chopped)
  • 1 tangerine rind slivered and boiled for 5 minutes
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/8 cup of lemon juice
  • 1-2 tsps of almond extract (to taste)
  • 1/2 package of pectin (traditional packet size is 1.75 oz.)

  • Using a potato masher or pastry blender, roughly mash the tangerine segments. If you still have larger segments take some kitchen scissors and cut them up although larger chunks are okay.
  • Add all the above ingredients to the bread bowl of your bread machine in the order listed.
  • Place bowl in bread machine, close the lid and set the jam cycle.
  • When cycle is complete, transfer to jars and let cool for about 30 minutes to an hour before refrigerating. Jam will thicken overnight.
Makes about 2 cups

This jam is not overly sweet and quite delicious on toast with a little bit of fresh cinnamon. Enjoy!

"The Business of Being Born"

So I finally got around to watching "The Business of Being Born" and I knew it would bring out these emotions in me, but I did it anyway. It really makes me angry. I think midwives are great. I think people choosing home births are amazing. I think women having choices and feeling comfortable with those choices during labor is so important. However, I hate the us vs. them attitude that this documentary portrays. Why can women not support each other and their choices as opposed to creating a hostile environment around one of the most important events that a women can experience?

I totally agree that I c-sections are overused in this country. I believe that many women feel pressured into birthing choices b/c of society, medical professionals, family, history, etc... I also believe that women should be advocating for themselves more when it comes to the childbirth process. However, I do not think that a woman who chooses to give birth in a hospital is automatically in for a bad childbirth experience. One midwife in the documentary says that women who birth at home are more in tune with their labor and have a better experience. Unless she has been inside of the minds of every woman who ever gave birth then how could she possible know that?

My other big problem with this documentary is how it portrays hospital births as the big, bad in this country but gives absolutely no factual reasons as to why. They do not take into account the horrendous health care system we have set up in this country, the amount of people without insurance, the prenatal care that infants receive before birth, and the percentage of people who have hospital births that they are completely satisfied with their experience.

I guess I usually dislike documentaries in the first place b/c they are usually from one POV and they have an agenda. I probably shouldn't have watched this during the angry stage of my hormonal pregnancy either. Oh well. I was happy with my childbirth experience. My medical staff respected me and my decisions. I am prepared to do it all over again with my next son, at the same hospital and I happy about this decision.


Bread Machine

I finally got a bread machine yesterday! The one I really want is a Zojirushi BB-CEC20, but with a hefty price tag I decided to get one that was a little less expensive...for the time being. Another reason we chose to get a different one is that I have read that baking bread in bread machines at high altitude involve a lot of trial and error. When we move to a lower elevation I will get the bread machine of my dreams that I won't have to worry about adjusting yeast, sugar, water, or salt levels.

Anyway, we ended up getting a Cuisinart BMKR-200PC from Costco. After doing some research of the machine and how to use it at high altitude, I jumped in and made my first loaf. I started with a 1 lb. Sun Dried Tomato and Mozzarella loaf. I added an extra 1/8 tsp. of salt, an extra 1 tsp. of water after the first mixing and 2 tsps. of vital wheat gluten to the bread flour. The loaf smelled delicious and came out looking great. It did deflate a little after sitting on the counter for about 20 minutes though. I read that either be caused my too much yeast or too much flour. In this case I think it was the yeast b/c of the altitude. Fortunately, it tasted absolutely wonderful!

My next loaf is going to be an Oatmeal Bread. Before I make that, however, I am going to use the jam function and make some marmalade like jam. How cool is it that my bread maker will make jam for me? The one big pain about jam making is constantly having to stir and watch the temperature. Not anymore! I will let you know how my Sunburst Tangerine Jam turns out.

Until then I will continue with my adventures in bread and jam making. I also got a laminating machine, but that's a whole different craft altogether.


Archie goes to the aquarium

This past Monday Dave had off of work for the New Year. Instead of sitting at home thinking we should be cleaning, we decided to head up to Denver for the day. I found a nice place to eat near the Capitol building so I plugged the address in our GPS and we were off. We found it easily (duh), but they were closed Monday only! So we pulled out our various electronic devices and looked for another place. I found one called Mona's near the Denver Aquarium so we chose the convenience of the location. Am I glad we did. The food was amazing and it was kid friendly. What more could I ask for? Orange Brioche French Toast perhaps? Done! It didn't even need the maple syrup it was so delicious.

After lunch it was off to the aquarium, a whole 1/2 mile away. The parking lot was nearly empty and we were so excited. The last time we went to the aquarium it was so crowded that we had to wait in line to see all the different exhibits. We also brought in the stroller and I hate bringing a stroller into a crowded area. At first Archie was a little nervous at the different sights and sounds, but he soon was trying to stick his hand in the water and was scooting from exhibit to exhibit. I love that he is old enough now to start enjoying places like children's museums, aquariums, parks, etc...

We only stayed about an hour and a half because a 15 month olds attention span doesn't really last that long. It was a nice way to spend the day though and I am looking forward to more family outings in the future.