Six On Sunday, Version 33

1. Baking.  This weekend, Emma and I attempted to make cupcakes for a girls birthday lunch I went to on Saturday. We grabbed our trusty box of Butter Recipe Mix and set to work.  This particular mix called for butter instead of oil, so the batter is always on the thick side. As I filled the cupcake liners, I thought to myself “Gosh, this is REALLY thick!”… well, it was really thick because we forgot to put any liquid in it! While cake mix is magical, and can overcome almost anything- overmixing, for example- it cannot overcome a total lack of moisture. The cake never rises in the middle- the cupcakes resembled sink holes. We attempted to fix them, but, sadly, they were un-fixable. RIP mini cupcakes!

2. Ladies Who Lunch. I recommend every girl get a set of friends to lunch with on the occasional Saturday afternoon. And by lunch I mean drink expensive Chardonnay at 2PM. It is a great way to spend an afternoon!

photo 39 700x522 Six On Sunday, Version 33

3. The cold. I grew up in the Midwest, and even lived in Chicago for a while.  I can do cold. Or, could do I should say. I cannot tolerate anything under forty degrees anymore. Last week, I was in Chicago where it was 14 BEFORE THE WIND! As a result, I did not go outside for three days.

4. Quiche. Is one of my ultimate comfort foods. You know that one food that takes you back to your childhood- suddenly, you are ten years old eating in your family’s breakfast room (or kitchen or dining room). My mom’s quiche is that food for me. This weekend, I made dinner for a sick girlfriend and her family. As I was making the quiche, Thomas informed me that he loves quiche. So, I made a second one which we had for dinner last night (and tonight. And possibly tomorrow.) With the first bite, I was transported back to 1989, having dinner with my sisters. It was wild! I will post the recipe under a separate post. You will want it, trust me.

quiche Six On Sunday, Version 33

5. Routine. It’s back! After a rough couple of weeks (surgery, work trips, and out of town visitors), we are back into our groove and it feels so so good!

6. Three year olds. I love LOVE my little girl. She’s the best. She is also rather spirited… Weekends are great because we get to spend so much time together. (Weekdays are also great because school is open!). In all seriousness, I would rather tame a tiger than try to paint stripes on one. These qualities, the very ones that drive me crazy now will serve her very well later in life… however…

lose her shit Six On Sunday, Version 33

 

Although Big, A Diaper Bag Isn’t A Cool Big Purse

I love purses, both big and small. Purses are like shoes- you always feel good buying them. Purses do not make one feel fat or thin, they just make one feel great!

After Emma was born, I “upgraded” to the obligatory diaper bag. Like a purse, this bag went everywhere with us. The diaper bag also made a statement- sadly, the statement was less “fabulous and prepared for anything” (big purse) and “sexy and carefree” (small purse).The statement was more “here I come with a screaming, needy infant”.

Emma screaming Although Big, A Diaper Bag Isnt A Cool Big Purse

No wonder no one wanted to sit next to us on airplanes…

No matter how well I thought I stocked that bag, I was always missing something. There were a few things I always had on hand, though- other than the diapers… the wine opener, and travel size bottles of vodka. In the three and a half years of carrying that diaper bag through airports, I have never ever been stopped for the adult items. Her bottles, sippy cups, and stuffed animals have been scanned, searched, and patted down to assure TSA that my child is not, in fact, a terrorist. The only reason I can come up with is that the TSA agents are parents as well, and they understand that air travel with a small child can bring out the terrorist in all of us, and they were actually preventing any incident by allowing me to self medicate (also, maybe they too are sick of the inflated airport prices for a drink).

For Christmas, my darling, wonderful husband gave me a new purse. (It’s amazing how good he is at picking out gifts clicking the link I emailed him!) This new purse is smaller, and a little sassy, if I do say so myself.

kate spade purse Although Big, A Diaper Bag Isnt A Cool Big Purse

Kate Spade Knightsbridge Elena
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The best and worst thing about this purse is its size. It accommodates all of my things easily; and it is easy to find things- no more black holes! It is not big enough for iPads and water bottles though… My chiropractor is thrilled- no more stabbing pains on the left side of my body! (I think he is also a little disappointed as I was a large revenue source!) I am going on a trip in the next couple of weeks, and as much as I love my new shiny purse, I don’t think it will make the trip. Too small.

Emma’s Old Faithful

Everyone has a “Linus Moment” in their childhood.  I, like Linus, had a blankie. My blankie was named Old Faithful, and she was the best. My daughter does not have an Old Faithful. My daughter HAD Puppy.

Our world began and ended with Puppy. In the history of the Emma-verse, Emma only spent one night away from Puppy. It was a long night in the trenches, but, ultimately, we prevailed and were triumphant in the return of Puppy. We may or may not have had a ticker-tape parade. Or, at least a glass of wine.

As she got a little older, Emma’s attachment to Puppy remained very important, but she was able to function without her for short periods of time. (It also helped that school requires the kids to leave their special ‘lovey’ in their cubby. Nothing like a RULE to change behavior, right?)

emma puppy 1 Emmas Old Faithful

Cheesy School Picture!

While this newly found independence was good in theory, it made my life more difficult. (And clearly, it’s all about me. When Thomas and I were dating, he would routinely tell me this. Being the young, impressionable woman I was, I believed him. After we were married, we had an argument that culminated with Thomas proclaiming that it was NOT, in fact, all about me. I was SHOCKED, and actually speechless, which is shocking in and of itself. Thomas seized the moment of silence, and informed me that it was too late now, I was in too deep!)

While it was a refreshing change to have Emma without a death grip on Puppy, it was a double edged sword as she sucked at ,was not very good at keeping a handle on Puppy’s whereabouts. Sadly, she was lost for good a few months ago.  In more bad news, Puppy was a gift that was bought on a whim by one of my best friends as a Valentine’s Day gift for Emma when she was a baby. None of us ever dreamt that Puppy would become the sun we would orbit around, so we did not think to purchase back up Puppies. Trust me when I tell you that Puppy is one of a kind; that not everything can be purchased on eBay (or Buford Highway), and it does not matter how much cash one is willing to drop to get another one…

explore buford highway 200X200 Emmas Old Faithful

Buford Highway… if it’s not on Buford Highway, it’s not for sale!’
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Bubble Baths Aren’t The Same With A Toddler

When I think of relaxing, I think of things like soft, soothing music, muted lighting, light classical music, and bubble baths, and bubble baths (especially when paired with the aforementioned things) are wonderful. Since I had Emma three years ago, they have become even more wonderful- and, even rarer. These days, if I eke out time to take a bath, I find it hard to relax with the constant commentary Emma provides.  I am sure you are thinking to yourself: ‘this chick is crazy and creating her own problem. She should simply shut the door and ignore the protesting toddler. Surely, the child will get tired after a few minutes and find some other activity’.

So. Many. Problems. With. That. Statement.  (I wish I was still twenty two years old and knew everything about parenting.)

As those of us who currently reside in Toddlerville know, there is nothing as stubborn (or as verbal in their unhappiness) as a toddler. I understand that you might consider yourself strong willed- when people call me things like obstinate, inflexible, and immovable I take it as a compliment.  Toddlers are unbreakable. Toddlers should be used in government sponsored disciplinary activities. Toddlers basically win every time.

emma ice cream Bubble Baths Arent The Same With A Toddler

Sure, she looks sweet and innocent. Trust me, she has the stamina of Goliath.
www.karenlawsonphotography.com

 When Emma is home, I have approximately five seconds of peace during my “relaxing” bubble bath. Five seconds because that is as long as it takes for her to hear the door close (man do those toddlers have incredible hearing!) and the bath start to run. After she bangs and kicks the door until I open it (there was a time when I was in there alone, I’m almost positive. I don’t really remember it…), the questions start. I shan’t bore you with the exhaustive list of them; just know they are plentiful, oft repeated, and unending.

My baths are few and far between, which makes them even more special. A couple of weeks ago, the stars aligned and I was able to take a bath! However, it was not as relaxing as I had hoped…

vintage bubble bath beauty Bubble Baths Arent The Same With A Toddler

So wonderfully relaxing…
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Six On Sunday, Version 26

1. The Flu. We had The Flu at our house. Thankfully, I had gotten my flu shot and I wasn’t down for EIGHT DAYS like my husband. When I asked him why he hadn’t gotten his yet, he said “because you didn’t tell me to yet”. So, everyone listen up: GET YOUR FLU SHOT.

2. Freakishly Warm Weather. I hate cold weather. Hate it. However, I hate bugs way more. We have not had a ‘hard freeze’ in Atlanta in over a year and the bug situation is out of control. I could not even talk to my neighbors in the yard today because the gnats were dive bombing my face, specifically my mouth. I am trying to up my protein intake, but I am not convinced that eating bugs is the way to go. Also, it is hard to get in the Christmas spirit in shorts.

3. Christmas Cookies. Every year, we have our world famous Cookie Party. This year, the stand out cookies were the Cookies & Cream… they were amazing. Life changing, maybe.  Also good were the caramel apple cookies! All of the cookies were amazing, and we hope our guests had half as much fun as we did!

cookies n cream1 Six On Sunday, Version 26

Cookies & Cream

2 1/4 cups all purpose flour 
1 teaspoon baking soda 
1 cup butter, softened 
1/2 cup packed brown sugar 
1/2 cup white sugar 
1 (4.2 ounce) Cookies ‘n Creme pudding dry mix 
2 eggs 
1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
2 cups white chocolate chips 
15 Oreo cookies, very coarsly chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter and sugars, add pudding mix until blended. Stir in the eggs and vanilla. In a separate bowl, combine the flour and baking soda with a whisk then add it to the butter mixture. Stir in the chocolate chips and Oreo cookies. Drop cookies by rounded spoonfuls onto greased cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes in preheated oven until cookies tops barely have a touch of brown. Makes 3 dozen cookies.

4. Sugar HIGH.  Emma consumed her body weight in sugar at the party yesterday. Just kidding (hopefully). I always set up a cookie decorating table for kids, so Emma and her friends had unfettered access to sugar cookies, icing, M&Ms, and sprinkles in her playroom. The dining room held the various trays of cookies, and there were cheese and crackers scattered around the house. The cookie party is the Best Day Of Her Life every year, and this year did not disappoint.

5. Glitter. It’s everywhere. On everything. I think we are even eating copious amounts of glitter. (Glitter is extra fiber, right?!) Gotta love the holiday season!

6. Christmas Shopping. I haven’t even started thinking about it. For me or for anyone else… why is it that on almost any day of the year, I can give you a list of twenty-five things I am dying to have, and as soon as someone actually WANTS that list I have no idea what to ask for? So Annoying.

Six On Sunday, Another Monday Verison

1. Pinterest.  I am proud to report that I am not a full fledged addict and that I am using Pinterest responsibly.  Also, how freaking cute is this?! Thanks, Pinterest!

 

baby pics Six On Sunday, Another Monday Verison

still on family room floor but you get the idea

 

2. Pumpkin Pie. I love love love pumpkin pie.  Pumpkin pie and Chardonnay is my second favorite meal (as loyal readers know, my first favorite is champagne and petit fours). Every year, I have the same conversation with myself:

  •  I won’t make pumpkin pie this year. I just end up eating half of a pie in a day and then I’m mad.
  • I will make pumpkin pie and have just a taste. Or a really small piece.
  • I will go the gym extra tomorrow to make up for the amazing goodness that is pumpkin pie!!

 

3. Hungry Girl.  For those who don’t know, Hungry Girl is a gal named Lisa who has all kind of recipe swaps to make foods healthier. This Thanksgiving, we tried the Save-The-Day-Stuffing and the Too-Good-To-Deny-Pumpkin-Pie. (The pie was an attempt to trick myself. It didn’t work. I totally ate the real one AND the healthy one.) The stuffing was great. The pie probably would have been great, but it was served next to the real pumpkin pie and therefore at an unfair disadvantage.

 

4. Sleeping in. Emma decided to sleep in until eight every morning! Yay Emma! She gets a pony for Christmas! Except for Sunday, when she was awake at 6:38. It was a Long Day.

 

5. Sick Toddlers.  Sunday was also the third day of Emma’s cold. She was feeling miserable, and as a parent it was so hard to watch her suffer. She even told us her nose was “cranky”! However, by Sunday, pitiful had changed to whining/crying/demanding/moping/howling. It took a lot of Mommy Reserves to remember to be patient and that she didn’t feel well and therefore wasn’t being a pill on purpose. A lot of Mommy Reserves.

 

6. Uniforms. Emma has moved up to the preschool class at school, which means that she will now wear a uniform. I wore a uniform every day of my life until I went to college, so to say I am a big fan is an understatement.  (I did have a crisis when I got to college because I had no idea how to dress casually. When I wasn’t wearing my uniform, I was in comfy clothes- yoga pants and tee shirts- or ‘go out clothes’- cute jeans and uncomfortable shoes, so getting dressed for class was a nightmare. I didn’t even have casual clothes- I remember part of my college shopping included items like long sleeved shirts and casual sweaters!) Uniforms made getting for school so easy and so quick…. thanks to the rules. When Emma started school, I think the front office thought I was crazy for asking about things like uniform shoes, socks, and hairbows. Emma is “asserting her independence” these days, and getting dressed is a huge production, even if we lay out her clothes the night before. This morning, she happily got dressed in her uniform and practically skipped down the hall to breakfast. 

Facebook: Believe None of What You See

facebook heart 1 Facebook: Believe None of What You See

I love you!

Facebook should really be called “Smugbook”.  I have had a love/hate relationship with Facebook. In the beginning, I didn’t really get it. It was one of the first times I felt “old”. Here was some new technology that I didn’t get AND I didn’t really care IF I ever got it.  I had a MySpace account (whenever I think I’m having a bad day, I think of the guys that founded MySpace and then my day doesn’t seem so bad!) and it wore me out because it seemed so pointless… all that time wasted on making your page look cool on the off chance that people would find it and friend you? No thanks. 

i hate facebook Facebook: Believe None of What You See

I hate you!

One thing that MySpace was great for was stalking.  Everyone has at least one ex-boyfriend (or girlfriend) that they still wonder about, and with MySpace (and Facebook before they changed all the privacy settings), you did not have to wonder anymore!

1316619519067 4706826 Facebook: Believe None of What You See

 I had a Facebook account because my sister, who was in college at the time, had one and she was posting pictures on her “wall”, whatever that was. I was peer pressured in to actually using my account, and, once I figured it out, I was hooked. I connected with so many people from back home that it actually made me sad.  My time in St. Louis is very limited, only about ten days a year, and there are so many people I would love to see, to grab a drink and just catch up with, but I don’t have the time. Facebook creates that artificial world- a world where I almost feel connected- it feels like I know what’s going on in someone’s life, but in reality, I only know what they chose to share… and frankly, I call BS.

If I am to believe everything I read, then something in my life is amiss. I do not go on fabulous vacations all the time, I don’t always look perfect, and my three year old just might kill me.

If I believe the hype, then every mom other than me has a perfectly behaved toddler who will eat anything and everything and loves to go to bed each and every night.  Where do they sell these kids and is an upgrade package available?! I’m kidding. Most of the time.

My daughter Emma is so darling, even she knows it. She will look in the mirror and remark on how pretty she is.  We encourage a healthy self esteem, but as we want it to be based on more than just looks, we remind her of how smart she is. Her response: “No Mommy I not smart. I PRETTY.” 

ry400 Facebook: Believe None of What You See

Super. I guess we should start therapy sooner rather than later. I wonder if we would get a purchasing-in-bulk discount?!