Thursday, December 16, 2010

Irony

I just posted about how happy I am staying at home with my baby. And I am! BUT, the day after I posted my feelings on staying home, I got a call from my old boss saying that someone in our department was going to be on a leave and he wondered if I could come in again at all. Well, here's the thing: we used up almost all of our savings when James was out of work for a little while this fall. So, we could really use the money. Hmmm...

I talked to James right away about it. He had the best advice. He said it was up to me, but that I needed to pray about it. I prayed that if I was supposed to go to work that I would be able to find someone I can trust to watch Lily and that I would feel good about it. If I was unable to find someone, I knew I wasn't supposed to do it.

At first I hit a few roadblocks. But then I called my WONDERFUL neighbor and friend. She felt like the opportunity to make a little money and watch my cute baby was just what her family needed right now!

So, I'm going back to work! It's only part-time and temporary. I'm a little worried because I very likely could miss some of Lily's "firsts," and it breaks my heart to think of not being with her all day, but I do feel like the security of replenishing our savings is worthwhile.

Have any of you gone back to work after staying home? How did you feel?

Rollin' rollin' rollin'

She's a solid front to back roller now! Ahhh! Time to start babyproofing!

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Monday, December 13, 2010

Dear Binky

Dear little pink binky,
On day 5 of Lily's life, I saw you and it was love at first sight. You could do things that I could not for my baby, like let her suck on you all night long. You conforted her when I could not. You gave her the sense of security that she craved. You let her chew on you when she started teething. You were even cute and pink.
Here's the thing, though, binky. You are also made of a super bouncy plastic that not only bounces under beds and dressers really well, but also rolls after the bounce. That's not so bad in and of itself. But now, you are also required for my baby to sleep. One little sound will wake up my child and she absolutely CANNOT go back to sleep without you. She truly love you. But it's getting to be sort of an unhealthy love. The crazed look in her eyes below says it all. She's become obsessed with you. What am I going to do with you? I pretty much don't have any choice at this point, so welcome to the family. For better or worse.

Stay at Home



The other day, my neighbor asked if I liked staying home and being a mom. I was surprised because it seems like the acceptable answer is yes, but she said she's known several women who would rather go back to work. When she said that, I really thought about it.

To be completely honest, when I first came home with Lily, I was terrified. I missed working because I knew how to work. I knew a lot about HR and employee benefit programs. I knew how to handle an angry person. I knew how to administer an FSA plan within the IRS guidelines. I liked my boss and my co-workers. I liked having some professionalism in my life. When I came from the hospital, I was thrown into a different world. At one point in my life, I had known a lot about babies and children, but then I went to college and it had been years since I'd been personally responsible for any. I wanted to just go back to work and resume what I'd done before baby Lily. Then, I felt guilty for feeling that way.

I'm extremely happy to report that the solution to that was looking at Lily as a person that I needed to get to know and not a task to complete. Being a mommy is a journey, not a project.

When my neighbor asked if I liked being a mom and staying home, I was glad that I could confidently say YES. I love spending the day being a home maker, and actually making my house a home. I love just staring at my baby's face and smiling at how she's the cutest baby in the entire world. Seeing her grow and learn something as simple as how to pull her feet up makes my whole day. Yesterday she noticed Jack near her and was so interested in the texture of his fur. I just watched in amazement. She brings me such joy.

This post would not be complete without thanking my sweet husband for going to work every day so that I can stay at home and care for our home and baby. James, I know you don't love your work, but I know you love us because you let us stay home to learn and grow. ILY!

Friday, December 10, 2010

2010 Wishlist - Malea

1. External Hard Drive. My laptop is bogged down with TONS of pictures and videos and it's silly at this point to leave them to slow me down when technology exists to save them elsewhere! 2. A cordless home phone, like this one, so I can stop using all my cell minutes every month.


3. A Nicole Miller purse, like this. I LOVE the one I have, but it's getting a little beat up.




4. A gift card for amazon.com. I've become a huge fan of amazon. They sell EVERYTHING, and oh do I love free 2-day shipping!
5. My vents cleaned out professionally. I hate that dust is perpetuated by running our heating and air. I bet it's never been done in 35 years of this house collecting dust.



6. A cute winter hat, like this one:

7. A membership to a gym, like Gold's or 24 Hour Fitness.

8. The Graco Pack 'N Play with Bassinet, here.

Wishlist - Lily

These are some items "Lily" would like or needs.

1. Baby cups or bowls with lids. Here we come solids! 2. A highchair or space saving high-chair for all those foods.


3. A diaper pail or trash can with a lid. Again, new foods!

4. Six to twelve month toys, especially teething toys like these.

5. Heavier, non-swaddling soft blankets.

6. Books, books, books! Board books or picture books. She LOVES vibrant pictures. We'd also love some bible story or LDS books.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

"Solid" Foods!

Yesterday was Lily's 5 month birthday and we decided to get started on baby cereal. Calling this solid food is a stretch. It's 5 parts liquid to 1 part cereal to start. This is her first taste.



Thanks for the bib, Jenn! It was a mess!







Lily loves this stuff! She couldn't get enough!


She's a good eater! Maybe now she'll gain some weight and sleep through the night!

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Carrot Cake

Due to the high demand for the recipe for the carrot cake I raved about, I thought I would post it!

Thanks, Alisa! (who doesn't read my blog...)



CARROT CAKE

3 cups flour
3 cups sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp baking soda
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 ½ cups corn oil
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 tbsp vanilla
1 ½ cups chopped walnuts
1 ½ cups shredded coconut
1 11/3 cups pureed cooked carrots (approx. 6 med. carrots – blender works fine)
¾ cups drained, crushed pineapple (1 20 oz. can)
1 ½ cups raisins coated in 1 tbsp flour

Preheat oven to 350. Grease 2, 10-inch layer cake pans lined with wax paper.

Sift dry ingredients into a bowl. Add oil, eggs and vanilla. Beat well. Fold in walnuts, coconut, carrots and pineapple. Fold in raisins.

Pour batter into pans. Set on middle rack and bake 40-50 minutes or until edges have pulled away from sides and a cake tester comes out clean.

Cool on rack for 3 hours (or overnight). Fill cake and frost sides with Cream Cheese Frosting.

CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

8 oz. cream cheese at room temp.
6 tbsp butter at room temp.
3 cups powdered sugar (I sometimes need a bit more)
1 tsp vanilla
juice of ½ lemon (approx. 1 tsp.)

Cream together cream cheese and butter.
Slowly sift in powdered sugar and continue beating until fully mixed. Mixture should be free of lumps. Stir in vanilla and lemon juice.