"The moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never. A mother is something absolutely new."

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Thursday, December 30, 2010

after the big show

the quiet is almost deafening. pure, utter, golden silence. the unlit tree stands in the corner, where a few short days ago it was glowing, all lit up.  the holiday colored wrapped gifts are no longer under that tree.  instead there's toys strewn about... thomas the tank engine & his tracks everywhere...  there's miscellaneous after Christmas clearance purchases, waiting to go into storage until next year.  there's trays of Christmas cookies in our kitchen, along with loaves of bread & Chex mix all over the place.

our house is a disaster.

but... we had our final Christmas last night & while it's all been enjoyed, it's now time to put it away.  the next project is putting the ornaments away & taking down the tree.

there's always a letdown when it's all said & done.  the anticipation, the countdown, the thrill of all of it- baking, wrapping (okay, maybe there's very little thrill in the actual wrapping), the giving, & the getting (it's true, i love me some Christmas presents).  it's all over.  and that's okay, because there's always next year.  and here's the best thing... when you have an almost two year old... the years just get better & better. from here on out, Christmas will mean more & more to B.  we had a blast this year & i know, next year will be so much better...

& for now, to help ease the 'pain' of after Christmas funk... we shall celebrate.  celebrate the birth of the most amazing little i've ever had the pleasure of spending time with... because come Sunday, he will be TWO years old.  & while I can't believe it's already been two years, i am thoroughly excited for the many years that stretch out in front of us...

Monday, December 20, 2010

so this is Christmas

there's four loaves of homemade Amish friendship bread cooling on my server...  there's a giant bowl filled to the brim with Chex mix... another loaf of homemade apple bread... & over 50 peanut butter balls in the fridge awaiting a dip of chocolate in the morning.

lists are piled up on the dining room table... with notes like 'grab pj pants for mom & stepdad ...' 'hot chocolate!' ... 'stickers!' ... & numerous other scribblings, all to be completed by week's end.

there's a pile of boxes in the corner of the dining room - out of B's reach... boxes dropped off by delivery men in the last week that i just can't find the motivation to wrap ... guess they'll be birthday presents now...

there's random gifts hidden throughout our house, because if the huz knew they existed, he'd have guessed what they are by now.

my all time favorite Christmas cd has been re-synced on to numerous iPhone/iPod devices & is played at least once a day.  shout out to Alabama Christmas... no joke. i've been listening to it since the 80's.  nothing says Christmas to me like "Candle in the Window".

there was a trek to the grocery store today, buried under another 1/2 foot or so of snow... shoppers were rushing about or not. filling their carts with snacks & drinks ... & baking ingredients, like me.

the plans are all made.  most of the gifts are all wrapped.  there's more baking to do's on yet another list.  a dinner to be dropped by the neighbors, in celebration of their brand new baby boy.

there's a cookie exchange tomorrow night with girlfriends (while the other halves play poker & eat that Chex mix), a bedtime drive to see synchronized Christmas lights on Wednesday, a dinner out on Thursday to celebrate a very special lady in our family who will be beginning her 79th year of life, a Christmas Eve dinner with family on Friday... all leading up to the 'grand finale' on Saturday.

B's excited for Santa - exclaiming "Ho Ho!" & "Oh Goodness!" (his favorite new saying... & mine too, because it is truly the most adorable thing you've ever heard in your life)...  He calls our lights 'prise!" & "aweshum" ... & he's constantly sneaking a present from under the tree, trying to open it before we catch him.  He's infatuated with my snow globes- saying "shake it!" & then watching in awe as the snow falls - in the globe & out our window...

it's Christmas here ... & we're taking in & loving every moment.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

who are you anyway?

i'm thinking about changing my blog name. we're not in the 'big city' anymore so i'm just not feeling it... B's not so much a baby anymore either.  different places, different stages baby.


i have no idea what i'll change it to. any thoughts?

for now, consider yourself warned... one of these days we may look different.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

(Not really a) Wordless Wednesday: Festival of Trees

We recently went to the Festival of Trees here in the Quad Cities... scoped out all of the trees, wreaths & more.  B's favorite part was this massive train display.

He looks cranky- this is only because we turned away from the trains to take the shot. 

He also wanted a 'coffee party' - seriously, he said coffee. We're definitely coffee people around here. 

Horse! Yay!

All in all, definitely worth it :)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Weapons of Mass Destruction

They're in the form of small baseball bats, emblazoned with the Chicago Cubs logo...  crayons slightly larger than average... even tubes of yogurt or apple chunks (as witnessed at lunch today by our dear friend Miss Ally).

These little tiny hands grab hold of objects like these & you had better watch out.  He's kind of a maniac, really.  What is it about little boys?  When is it that they decide that that candle sitting on the end table is actually a missile that should be chucked across the room, aimed at the dog?  Why does a wooden baby Jesus (it is Christmas in our house, afterall) become an object to be thrown at the tv?  And those Christmas ornaments? What better use than to hit them all, while still on the tree, in one fell swoop? What's a baseball when you have approximately 25 glass balls in a variety of red, green, gold & silver?

And how do you respond when he laughs, hits & says 'time out!' as though it's all just a game & we're the pawns?

Oh little boy, if only you weren't so cute...

Saturday, December 4, 2010

one day we'll catch up

i know i've been an awful blogger as of late, but i promise there are lots of posts in my head. one of these days i'll get them out :)

just wanted to let you know i was thinking of you all, lovely readers. today was the first day we really played in the snow & b loved it. pictures to come.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Happy Holiday (cards!)

As I'm sure you've been reading (if you keep up with mommy blogs) Shutterfly is a fabulous website for your photo needs.  I've been using Shutterfly for years now- for saving & printing pictures, and since B was born- for photobooks, invitations & announcements. Shutterfly offers very affordable & high quality products.

At the moment I'm working on a photobook of the Huz & my engagement pictures, our holiday cards, B's birthday invitations & a photo mousepad for my mom's Christmas gift.

Here's one of the cards I'm leaning toward...

but I do love this one too...

And here's a possibility for B's birthday invitations...

I know that I can always count on Shutterfly to be convenient, user friendly & great quality!  I also love that Shutterfly always has great promotions & discounts on their photos & photo projects.  If you're a blogger you are eligible to receive 50 free holiday cards- check out the info here!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

John Deere Green

And the real thing...

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

November Already!?!

Well, well, well... it sure has been awhile, hasn't it? I guess I got swept up in Autumn even more than I'd realized.  What have we been up to?  Lots of stuff, really.  Mostly it can be summed up by saying we've been spending time with the people we love... The Huz has been around a lot, which is great for all of us; we live near friends now, so we've been out & about quite a bit for the first time in about 22 months; there's all sorts of new places to explore.  We've been having fun.

So in honor of that fun, here's a random selection of highlights (in no particular order).

Halloween was spent dressed as a monkey. A monkey who became a little obsessed with candy.  Considering he didn't know what candy was until that day, that's not cool.  Luckily, his parents ate all his candy before he could get to it :)

B's favorite book is currently "Goodnight Chicago" ... He says 'Cago!' & tells us he misses it. However, we haven't actually lived in Chicago since September 09, so I don't believe him.  Plus we visit frequently. As in, we were there two weeks ago. Regardless, he requests the book to sleep with him at night, which is pretty cute.

He's obsessed with tractors (another post about that soon) & choo-choos.  He can wake up from a dead sleep & yell 'CHOO CHOO!' if he hears one.

The Huz has a new car. Brand new. Which is pretty sweet.  But that resulted in me getting a new-to-me, but really just the 'old' Jeep that is full of Tucker's hair, Starbucks coffee stains & old fast food stink (M has basically lived in the Jeep for the past two years).  I've done my own detail job & it's suitable for now.  So long, my first baby-mobile (a lovely Chevy Equinox- no minivan for me!).

Today we went & looked at 'potties'. Now, I tend to dislike that word, but toddler toilet does sound kind of weird.  And B picked up the word potty somewhere... must be that Grandma of his. Anyway, we put one in the cart & B literally sat on it for about 15 minutes.  He later said he didn't want it, so I put it back, but we will be owning one very soon.  I'm not in a hurry to be done with diapers, but I'm not going to hold him back if he is.

I'm trying out Hot Yoga tomorrow night, which I'm psyched for.  I'll let you all know how it goes. Could be pretty scary as I've been slacking off in the past year at my yogi-ness.

We think we're going to St. Louis in a couple weeks. It'll be B's first trip there. Two baby baptisms in one day.

...I promise to be back soon!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


B loves to spend time with his daddy...

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Baking with B

In our first adventure into the kitchen, B helped me make M's birthday cake.  I decided it was time... he's capable of helping :) The Huz has a special cake, orange cake, & it's delicious (incredibly fattening & sugary, but delicious nonetheless).

We tied on an apron ...

grabbed a spoon...

Hy-Vee store brand? Yep, we roll that way... especially since HyVee doesn't pack their cake full of hydrogenated oils & high fructose corn syrup - that makes it a winner for us!

adding the jello & using a whisk...

helping pour... we made two (one for me to take to M & one for B to share at the grandparent's house)

we now have a scrunchy face & he loves to make it when I whip out a camera

last minute touches before it bakes...

And unfortunately, I didn't take a picture of the end product- dang! 

Orange Cake
1 box of yellow cake
1 packet of orange jello
3/4 cup oil
3/4 cup water
4 eggs 

2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup orange juice

Mix the above ingredients in a bowl. Pour into a greased cake pan. Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes.  Poke holes (with a fork) in the very warm cake & cover with glaze. 

Enjoy! And be happy that I didn't tell you the calorie content :)

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Autumn only comes around once a year

It's officially Autumn in our household... 

Pumpkin Spice burning on the counter, 

a few Halloween decorations strategically placed throughout the inside (& outside) house, 

scarves hanging around in my closet - ready to tie on at a moment's notice, 

white summer handbags being exchanged for darker, fall prints on the shelf...

Here are some goals I have for these upcoming chillier months: 

Learn to bake bread.  A dear friend gave me her bread machine, as she claimed to never use it, & I am ready to learn now.  I want to smell the fresh bread & see it on my counter... I want to offer up the delicious taste of real, freshly baked bread. (Anyone out there want to argue that bread machine bread isn't freshly baked? Go for it... I'll give you that, but I'm still excited)

Following in that pattern, I want to cook more.  I do this every time the weather turns cold... there's something about the crisp air & the falling leaves that makes me ready to cook.  When the heat comes back & summer rolls around, I forego much of the kitchen for the ease (& responsibility placed on the Huz) of the grill & steamed veggies.  But now... now it's time for the crock pots to come out from their basement hiding place, for the dinners to get slightly more intricate & detailed & for leftovers to be abundant.  Happily, over the weekend at one of my best friend's wedding, I was let in on the secret of her sister's blog - an amazing piece of food literacy that I can't wait to tackle.

Learn to make a roaring fire... With the Huz traveling so often for work & my house staying at a chilly 65 degrees this week, I'm inclined to start a fire. However, because this house came with a wood burning fireplace, rather than a flip switch gas one, I think I need a lesson first, so the house won't go down in flames.

Give my dog a new attitude & a little less weight.  Yes, I realize this sounds a bit harsh, but the time has come.  We went to our new vet last week & he let me in on a few secrets.  For one, he's a tad overweight.  Someone (I won't mention who, as I love my in-laws dearly) said to feed the Tuckster raw eggs to cut down on shedding.  Well fast forward 2 months & 9 pounds later, he needs to cut weight.  Also, we need to work on his attitude.  The dog barks all the time now (thanks former neighbor dog who was overly aggressive & barked constantly) & he is a little more obnoxious than I like, so some retraining must be done. 

Oh Autumn, you're my favorite...
football parties, going late into the evening, while each of us whoops & hollers for our own team (Da Bears... duh ...Iowa State, of course & Iowa too, as long as they don't play each other ;) )...
careful consideration for which Halloween costume will be chosen this year & exactly what kind of candy B will be allowed to consume
crunchy leaves as the neighborhood bus pulls up & lets off the kids... rushing to meet their moms & siblings...
the promise of apple orchards & pumpkin farms full of warm cider & jack o'lanterns

Oh Autumn, I love you so...

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Mother-Ease Winner!

We have a winner! It's always weird to me when random.org picks the first or last entry, but I'm sure it's not weird for Amy, since she was #1 & the winner!  

Congratulations Amy! I'll be sending you a message & you have 24 hours to respond :)

True Random Number Generator  1

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Happiness is...

completing a 21.5 mile bike ride that commences in pouring rain, has massive, treacherous hills to climb with approximately 30 other adults.

learning to watch grown up tv, while being able to enjoy the humor.  thanks jon stewart. i appreciate education & humor entwined.

getting hit on at a stoplight. although a gentleman in a dirty truck that has balls hanging from it who yells "do you have facebook" is questionable... as is that pick up line. no sir, i do not have facebook... at least not for you!

fall premiere week. both our dvr's will be full by week's end :)

great couple friends.

good music. always makes me smile.

bargain shopping. got 14 pieces at Old Navy for B & me the other day, in total $100.00. wa-hoo, fall newbies for me & B! plus a sweet coupon for a Halloween costume!

Monday, September 13, 2010

good days ahead

today is a good day.  unfortunately, mike will be gone for 3 days... but... it's still a good day. things are happening, we're having a good time & i'm excited for what's next.

...of course, that crispy fall weather is helping in the morning! by mid-afternoon it's still in the 80's, but 55 degree mornings & cups of coffee go well together.

we have a bike ride in wisconsin this weekend & i'm packing the week full beforehand.  today it's the dog park, story time & a few errands...

tomorrow it's the family museum & the farmer's market.

more dog park, bike ride shopping, cookie baking, book reading, shoe shopping, new recipes (butternut squash risotto - thanks grandma, for the squash!) laundry & cleaning thrown in there... 8th grade football games & more.

AND... here's something cool if you're in the quad-cities... the qc times has deals (just like groupon, for those who are familiar) & this week's is a sweet gift card to the best mexican restaurant in the country (i feel qualified to make this statement, as we've searched high & low through seattle, chicago, peoria, & all of iowa & have never found a restauarant up to par with azteca).  i'm picking up $100 worth of gift cards today! want in on it? here's the link: http://upickem.net/84sQzUlQZ1Z

Friday, September 10, 2010

The Greatest Show on Earth

please excuse the awful picture quality - we forgot our camera & these were all taken from my iphone (3G)

 Last weekend we took B to the Circus.  It.Was.Amazing! I'd actually never been to a circus before (I grew up in a tiny little town... there were no circus' coming through there!).  They packed so much into those two hours, they aren't kidding when they say
"It's the greatest show on Earth!"

B started out a little skeptical... like he couldn't quite figure out why there were all these people hanging from fabric ... and the clowns! They were actually pretty cool looking & not creepy at all.  Then the dogs came out.  A whole bunch of dogs, all different sizes, walking on their hind feet, jumping over all kinds of hurdles... one in a dress, dancing.  B immediately started jumping up & down, dancing along to the music & clapping.  He LOVED the dogs.  Personally, I loved the elephants.  They were so well trained & they had tricks like you wouldn't believe.  Seriously, awesome. 

At one point there were 6 horses that ran around in a circle (forgive me, KC, if you're reading this, I'm sure there's more technical terms for it!) & the horse in the back kept nudging the others.  I leaned over & asked Mike why he thought that one was slacking off, head-butting his friends.  Mike replied that he was actually supposed to do that, to keep them in their circle.  Oh, that makes sense!  Then my mom commented that they looked sad, which I agreed with... which then had me asking about the treatment of the animals in the circus.  Do you think they like it? Or are they miserable? Does anyone know? (Kace, I'm looking at you!)

The tigers were gorgeous, as they jumped & growled & showed off their tricks.  The acrobats were awesome, as they wrapped themselves up in their threads (again, technical terms in a circus for $400, Alex?), the clowns were hilarious, & even the villian, Mr. Gravity, was pretty funny! The magic tricks were pretty tricky - we adults couldn't quite figure out a couple of them, the dancers were graceful & the animals rocked.

Will we go again? Definitely! 

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

CSN Stores... upcoming!

Since we moved from a two bedroom town home to a 4 bedroom house, with a finished basement, we're missing a lot of things... or just lacking in a lot of things.  Luckily, CSN Stores has offered me a $35 gift certificate for a review item!  I'm trying to decide what I'd like & I'm looking at things like Corelle (since I'm missing some of mine that we got for our wedding!), some baby products (of course), something to hold all of my jewelry (cause I have a ton of Cookie Lee bling for my own collection!), or furniture.

Of course, shopping with CSN Stores is super easy, because they have over 200 online stores with anything you could ever want or need! I can't wait to share with you what I get & how it complements our new house :)

Thanks CSN Stores!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Abby Evans Photography Session - discount available!

"I love to watch people interact and I love to capture relationships with photography." 
---abby evans

If you're my friend on facebook, you've probably seen my newest album.  We finally got professional pictures of B taken ... at 19 months! We had newborn shots taken when B was about a week & a half old & really didn't like the experience... we then tried 3 month shots & really hated that experience.  That's when Mike bought me a Canon Rebel XS & told me to get to work, because we weren't putting B through this anymore.  What changed his mind?

Perhaps you remember when I introduced my dear friend, Abby, who is starting a photography business?  Well, she recently relocated from Phoenix, where she started her business & she now lives in Chicago! Yay for us, right?  So we ventured out a couple weeks ago & she got to work.  B was comfortable with her, of course, but even if he hadn't known her, I know it would've gone just as well.

Abby was fantastic with him, chasing him around & just letting him do his own thing, while snapping shots. (In the past, each photographer just sat there waiting for B to do something picture worthy & then tried to set up the shot. Ummm.... not happening people - you've gotta be ready or you'll never get that picture worthy pose!)

These pictures definitely capture the little boy that is my B. 

Take a minute & check out Abby's website & her blog, where she writes about everything from photography to wine to family.  Are you in the Chicago area & you want to book her for your next photo shoot? Mention you read about her on Big City! Baby & she'll give you a discounted rate of $50.00 a session.  This includes 5 fully retouched photos AND full rights to print them or use them however they want (this is super important to me!).   Not in Chicago, but still pretty local (Illinois, Iowa, Omaha area)? Shoot her an email & chat with her about traveling - abby@abbyevansphotography.com

I can't wait to have these photos hanging in my house! 

Aren't they fantastic?