Archive | August, 2008

Potpourri for $400, Alex…

31 Aug

Several things:

1. Restaurant review: Amigo’s Cantina, Kirkwood, MO

Salsa: 3 out of 5 chili peppers (They did not have “queso dip” to review…they did have a sausage queso dip that we didn’t try)

Entree: 2.5 out of 5 chili peppers (I had a chicken burrito)

Atmosphere: 4 out of 5 chili peppers

Overall: 3 out of 5 chili peppers

The food was a little bland in my opinion.  I did ask for no peppers, but other than rather bland chicken, there was little else in my burrito.  Cheese sauce on top was tasty.  Beans & rice were okay, very different from other mexican restaurants.  I’d go back, but probably only if someone else was paying.  I’d like to try their “tortas” (sandwiches) to see if they live up to their own hype.

2. Scary situation:

On Wednesday Ella was toddling around the house and got a little too close to some stools in our kitchen.  They fell over on her.  Very scary, but she is okay. 

3. Scarier situation:

On Thursday Ella was toddling around the house.  I went downstairs to let the dog out and Dave was upstairs putting groceries away.  Ella decided to try to come downstairs with me.  She cannot walk down the stairs yet.  I heard her little feet touch the first couple of stairs, I screamed at the top of my lungs and ran over to the stairs.  Just in time to see my perfect baby tumble down a few stairs and then fall off of them, head first, and land on the coffee table.  On her head.  Then she fell to the floor.  Cue Mommy FREAK OUT.  Dave ran downstairs to help (and keep the calm).  I ran up to get ice, because, obviously, she would be hurt and have something wrong.  I was shaking and crying and I wanted to call 911.  Turns out, Ella was absolutely fine.  No injuries or even bruises.  Nothing broken, no bumps on the head.  As soon as she calmed down (way before I did) she was toddling around the house smiling, laughing and getting into things again.  Please do not antagonize me about this yet, I already feel like a terrible parent.  Yes, we are super vigilant about keeping the gate up now.  Toddlerhood = no fear.  I’m glad my baby is okay.

4. Funny.

Friday night was bath night.  Dave and I almost always work together to give Ella a bath, and on this night, Dave was getting Ella ready to get in.  He had her stripped down and was bringing her into the bathroom.  I guess Ella wasn’t quite ready to be de-diapered, because she peed right on Daddy!  Hehehehe.  She’s never done this before, so it was quite amusing.  Very funny little girl.

Must See TV…

26 Aug

I have a short list of TV shows that you absolutely must watch at some point.  Necessity.  They are reminders that there is still good writing out there and actors that have the ability to portray these interesting, usually realistic (not always) characters.  

1. Six Feet Under.  You should get the DVDs, all 5 seasons, and watch them. Right now.  Beginning to end.  It will change the way you feel about other television shows you thought you liked before. 

2. House. I know the newest season hasn’t started, but catch yourself up.  Funny and thought-provoking, even in it’s most “haven’t we already seen this plotline” moments.  I promise you won’t regret it.

3. Friends.  I don’t know anyone who hasn’t at least seen one episode of this show, but it is still one of my favorites.  Funny without being stupid (usually…you have to cut everyone a break sometimes) and from season 1 to season 10, you feel attached to the characters.  Who wasn’t pulling for Ross & Rachel to end up together from the time they REALLY broke up?  I thought so.

4. Amazing Race & Project Runway.  These 2 reality shows make the list because they make sense.  The people on the show are actually doing things, not just on TV to “see what happens”.  I may be biased because I want to be on AR, but you should still watch.  It’s a good cultural lesson if nothing else.  And PR is an hour of drama & hilarity.  I can’t sew, which makes it more amazing, but I like to watch people who have talent use it and see how far they can push themselves.  

If you have any suggestions for me, please let me know.  I do watch other shows, but these are the ones I love the most!  Can you believe it’s almost September?  Me either.

Help! You know I need somebody…

23 Aug

I admit:  I am not good at asking for help.  I feel guilty for making people go out of their way to do something for me that I can probably do myself, but am either failing at or haven’t had time for.  I feel a bit embarrassed to ask for help, as if I’m not capable.  I’m certain this goes back to school, too.  Maybe I’d be better at math if I’d have asked for more help.  (But probably not).  I think most of the time I don’t even realize that I should ask for help because I’m so used to just trying to do everything myself. 

Luckily, I have wonderful people in my life who recognize when I’m struggling and just step in without being asked.  The past couple of weeks, these people have helped to keep me sane and in touch with reality.  They’ve helped me realize that I will make it through Ella’s struggles and that I’m doing a good job.  I want to thank these people right now.

My lovely husband.  Even though I know you get frustrated when Ella wakes up in the middle of the night, I appreciate you trying to comfort her and taking her when I am exhausted.  I love that she will snuggle with you and that her favorite place to sleep is on your chest.  Thank you for being there when she got sick because of the eggs and for cleaning up and helping me not freak out too much.  I am glad you are strong and such a great Daddy.  

Momma.  I can’t begin to imagine how hard it must have been to have three little kids, especially if they weren’t sleeping, and working so hard.  I admire you so much for all that you have done for me, and I appreciate your love for Ella.  I am so grateful that you are near.  I don’t know how we’d make it without you sometimes.  Thank you for picking up Benadryl for my sick baby and for bringing her some bedtime snuggle toys.  I hope they help her sleep, but even if they don’t, it means so much to me that you went out of your way to help us like that.  I love you, and so does Ella Kate.

Dad.  Thank you for listening to me.  I appreciate your ears and your patience for my frustrations and anxiety about my baby.  It’s hard to listen to your child scream (I know you know this) but having someone to remind you that it will be okay and that you’re doing the right thing is very reassuring.  Thank you for playing with Ella, too.  She loves all of your silly noises and faces, and she loves to play your piano.  

Just for the record, sometimes being a parent SUCKS.  Being up from 10 pm-1 am with an inconsolable child is not fun or rewarding.  Thankfully, there are people in my life who have helped me through some of these sucky times.  And, for all of the sucky times, there are thousands of amazing ones.  

Thank you for helping me, even when I don’t ask.  

Long Black Veil…

20 Aug

Today I am sadly mourning the loss of LeRoi Moore, one of the founding members of the Dave Matthews Band.  What an amazing musician who brought inspiration into my life and I’m sure many others.  I don’t know what the band will sound like without him; certainly, he can never really be replaced.  I feel honored and happy that I got to hear him play at Busch Stadium this summer, one last time.  

Celebrate we will, ’cause life is short but sweet for certain

Rest safely, LeRoi.

So NOT crazy…

19 Aug

After dealing with 2+ weeks of Ella not eating or sleeping well and having a runny nose, I decided to take her to the doctor yesterday.  I had been trying to convince myself that taking her was the right thing to do, that there had to be something wrong with my sweet little girl.  She’s usually so happy and playful and silly, and for the past couple of weeks, she has just been fussy and irritable and exhausting.  But I felt like I had no way to prove it.  No real fever, no terrible coughing or drop in dirty diapers.  She just hasn’t been herself.  

Luckily, they will still schedule an appointment with the doctor for you, even if they are thinking to themselves that you are a nut.  I have a very supportive husband who agreed that Ella has been not herself, so to the doctor we went.  And…I’m not crazy.  My lovely girl has a double ear infection!  Also, almost immediately, the pediatrician said that she could tell she wasn’t herself.  Whew.  Mommy instincts win!  Dr. B said that it’s good to see if the ear infections will clear themselves up (so kids aren’t on antibiotics constantly) but since Ella’s had symptoms for over 2 weeks, we should give her something.  Amoxicillin it is.  Hopefully soon our little Ellie Bean will be back to normal and so will our life!

We also discussed Ella’s horrible reaction to eggs.  So from now until age 3 (at least) she is on strict avoidance…no eggs or egg products, nothing with eggs in or near it.  Poor baby…no cookies, brownies, ice cream, mayo.  And no flu shot.  Since we are still nursing, I’m also on a no egg diet.  But I can still have cookies and pancakes and stuff.  Just not eggs straight up .  Which isn’t too big a deal since I don’t like them too much anyway.  We also got a pack of epipens because her reaction was so severe.  A bit scary, but better to be safe!

We are starting to implement Ella’s new schedule this week.  I’m hoping this will help to get a consistent nap routine going so that we can have a sane bedtime.  I’ll let you know how it goes! 

I guess I’ve learned from this that Mommy instincts are real and should given attention.  Even though I am sad my baby is sick, I’m glad that I knew something was wrong.  Mommy-1, Crazy-0.  

Baby food & toddlers…

15 Aug

Dave has been wanting me to write a post about how I made Ella’s baby food, and since I’m short on good stories this week, here it is!

I decided to make Ella’s baby food instead of buying it for several reasons, but the main reason is cost.  It is much, much cheaper to make pureed foods than to buy 14-21 (or more) jars of baby food per week.  After consulting with a few friends and a great website, I had a pretty good idea of how to make pureed foods and the best foods to choose for which stages of Ella’s development.  Let me note that Ella started solids at a little over 6 months old and she did not like rice cereal, which is what many babies start with, and usually at 4 months.  

Ella’s first few meals with solid foods included avocado, squash, and sweet potato.  We did wait in between feeding her new foods to see if there was any reaction.  We never had any issues until the eggs this past weekend.  I should also say that I was pretty picky about feeding Ella organic fruits and vegetables (and still am) because it is so much better for little bodies to process un-pesticized foods.  Yes, it was a bit more expensive to buy her food at Whole Foods, but when you are buying $15 worth of produce for 2 or more weeks of baby food, it is still much cheaper than pre-made.

As Ella started eating solid foods more frequently (dinner first, then we added lunch, then breakfast), I would make a couple different fruits and vegetables, sometimes combos, in the food processor once every couple of weeks and then freeze the puree in ice cube trays.  These little chunks are easily defrosted in the microwave. 

Some of Ella’s favorite dishes were:

- Apples with blueberries

- Sweet potatoes

- Blueberry pears

- Mango

- Carrots with peas

- Eggplant

- Squash

Any questions about this topic…please ask!

Funny Ella Kate story of the week:  She thinks she is entering a strongman competition soon.  She carries around the heaviest and largest things she can.  Also, she now has 4 teeth and she uses them to let us know when she is p-o’ed.  And she loves her new rocking chair from Great Grandma!  I just hope she doesn’t fall off anymore and get more bumps on her head.  Oh, toddler-hood, how you have arrived!

Who needs sleep?

12 Aug

After the wonder of the Olympics began, so began the Morley’s weekend of no sleep.  

For the past couple of weeks, Ella has been teething.  She has gotten 2 teeth in the past week, and one more is about to break through.  This has lead to her having a more difficult time going to bed and waking up much earlier than need be.  Like, 4 am.  Yeah.  She also hasn’t been napping very well, probably for the same reason.  

Also, on Saturday morning, we found out that Ella is probably allergic to eggs.  We gave her some scrambled eggs for breakfast, I guess her first time eating them.  Almost immediately she started gagging, then vomiting, then breaking out with rashy hives on her face & shoulders.  We called the pediatrician’s office and their recommendation was Children’s Benadryl (with a specific dosage for her weight).  If she had been having difficulty breathing, of course we would have gone straight to 911 or the ER.  But the Benadryl the rest of the day seemed to be a great help.  And she did nap this day!  

Sunday night Ella decided to wake up at 10 & midnight.  Her nose has been running some from the teething, so when she couldn’t/wouldn’t sleep, both Dave & I tried to calm her down.  Finally after some coughing and gagging, we realized she probably just couldn’t breathe very well.  More Benadryl & rocking and she finally fell asleep.  Only to wake up at 4 am.  

She still didn’t really nap yesterday, though she was pretty cranky in the morning.  We went to the park, but she didn’t want to get down & play.  She had a great afternoon, only to fall asleep at about 5 pm.  We woke her up to eat dinner, get a bath, and then she went back to sleep and bed about 7:30.  And, hooray, finally she slept until 5 or 5:15!  Then she slept in bed with me until 7:30!  

I can’t wait for this other tooth to come in so we can get back to some semblance of normalcy.  Either that, or I’m investing in some Starbucks because I don’t do so well on 4ish hours of sleep.

This is the baby that I know & love!

Amazing…

9 Aug

You have to give credit when credit is due, and in China’s case, it is!  The opening ceremonies for the Olympics were spectacular!  15,000 performers in some of the most incredible acts of music, art, dance & history that I have ever seen.  It was captivating to watch and a great accomplishment for the Chinese people.  Congratulations to them!

I’m pretty pumped about the Olympics; I always seem to get excited about them.  I feel more closely connected to the world during those few weeks.  I have definitely gotten a pretty good Chinese education in the weeks leading up to this Olympic games.  I have my favorite sports to watch (sprinting, gymnastics, swimming & diving, beach volleyball, soccer) but I am always amazed at all of the athletes and their abilities.  Though I love America and usually cheer for the US to win events, I also love the underdog stories.  (Have you seen “Cool Runnings“?)  I love it when tiny little countries with maybe 5 athletes competing in the whole games win something.  It’s a feel-good story if ever there was one!  I am excited to have Ella watch the Olympics with us.  I hope it creates a sense of national pride and worldly excitement for her.  I have a hope that we will be able to go to London in 4 years to see the next summer Olympics.  (I also can’t believe that I will be 30 then!)

Enjoy the next few weeks watching sport at its finest!  Good luck to all of the athletes and thank you to China for a beautiful display!

Just for fun…

5 Aug

It has been so hot lately, I thought I should post something funny and interactive!  So I’m going to share my celeb crushes!  You should, too.

1. Taye Diggs. 

2. John Mayer.  His personality is awesome…have you seen his pranks at his own concerts?  Funny.

3. Brad Pitt.  Despite leaving Jen and having 600 kids, he’s still cute.  And from Missouri.

4. Dave Matthews.  If you know me, then you probably already knew this.

Who are your celebrity crushes??

Also, here are a few fun things Ella has recently learned to do!

- Give Eskimo kisses…mostly with Daddy!  She rubs noses and it is TOO CUTE!!

- Wave & say “Bye bye” when we are leaving

- Dance a lot.  She dances to pretty much all music.  Also very cute.