Saturday, October 31, 2009

Pumpkin Pancakes

This morning started with us making pumpkin pancakes in order to get into the spirit of Halloween! They were absolutely delicious; light & fluffy with a very moist texture.. the perfect Fall breakfast!

Happy Halloween!!

Spooktacular Carving Party!

Last night we all got together for some eve of Halloween fun by carving pumpkins together. We had some pumpkin beer, ordered some pizza, carved pumpkins & enjoyed each others company.

Lauren made some tasty bite-sized caramel apples! Yum!

Here's the finished products! Starting from the left, the first 2 are Josh's pumpkins, then Lauren's, mine, Matt & Kelly's one pumpkin & the last on the right was Mike's.

This is my little monster, Stanley!

And here's Mike's pumpkin scarecrow blowing in the wind!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Praying for Stellan

I've blogged about Stellan before, but I'm hoping you could please say a prayer for him as he is in the hospital again, battling with SVT. Today also happens to be his first birthday & my heart absolutely goes out to his family. We celebrated Cameron's first birthday just one month ago & I cannot fathom it being spent standing over his bed in the PICU. God, I pray that you give Stellan the strength to fight this battle as he has before & allow him to go home with his family to have a true birthday celebration. I pray that you also give his family the strength they need to get through this horrible time. Bless Stellan & allow him to have MANY birthday cakes ahead.

Quotes That Speak to Me

I recently saw this quote & immediately fell in love with it since I sometimes feel like I'm monitoring what I say to make others happy vs. being true to myself. Dr. Seuss is a flippin' genius!

"Be who you are & say what you feel because those who mind don't matter & those who matter don't mind."

Another great one that I love which would be perfect as a wonderful vacation is ending & you're heading back home to reality:

"Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened."

Monday, October 26, 2009

Pumpkins, Pumpkins & More Pumpkins!

We have discovered that Florida is not the best place to buy pumpkins as we went to the pumpkin patch this past Sunday. As we perused through the patch, it was quite clear that we wouldn't be leaving with a large pumpkin since each & every one was rotting in some way or another.

Since we didn't want to leave empty-handed, we bought a bunch of small pumpkins & gourdes which I used as centerpieces in our house.

I used a hurricane glass & filled it with mini pumpkins & put it on our bookcase.

This is a trifle dish that I filled with small pumpkins & gourdes. One of the gourdes looks like a monkey's butt & the other looks like a warlock's (male witch) ding-a-ling! Both items are very appealing & attractive as a center piece for our kitchen table, no?

And here is an array of rotting pumpkins, baking under the warm Florida sun! Happy Fall!

I thought this was the ugliest yet coolest pumpkin I've ever seen.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Oktober Fest

Yesterday we enjoyed a beautiful evening at an Oktober Fest party in Tampa. We met up with Matt, Kelly & Leah, listened to a German band, ate some sausages & drank plenty of German beer.

Beer in a boot!

The crazies rode the Crazy Bus & had such fun!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Off Balance

This week I am struggling to keep a positive attitude & maintain the balance in my life. I feel like I am given such little time to spend with Cam & that point was amplified last night & this morning. I picked Cam up from day care yesterday at about 5pm, after working a full day & flying around the grocery store to scramble up some ingredients for the dinner I still had to prepare. As we got home, I dragged the dogs outside with Cam in tow & then immediately started working on dinner so we could eat at a decent time. It's not easy to prepare dinner when you have a little one, not to mention a crabby, little one.

After trying to scarf down dinner as Cameron whined & tried to struggle to get out of his high chair, it was bath time & then bed. As Mike bathed Cam, I ran around the kitchen cleaning & then dragged all the garbage & recycling out to the curb. Whew. Two hours of not so quality time spent with your child does not make for a satisfied mom.

This morning Cameron woke up around 7:20; a whopping 15 minutes before I have to leave for work. As he drank his bottle, I changed his diaper & got him dressed for day care. By the time he was finishing his bottle, I was rushing out the door to work with only time to give him a hug and a quick kiss.

I know this is a very downer of a post, but I'm seriously needing to vent right now. I realize that I not only have to work for financial reasons but I also need to work to keep my sanity. I just wish I didn't have to work quite as much. I'd also love to go to the gym more often, but when I already get such little time with Cam, it makes me feel very torn. As I lounged on the couch last night, browsing various blogs, I couldn't help but feel a pang of jealousy as I read throught the other "mommy blogs" & realized just how many things I'm missing out on. And I will say it again, I know that I couldn't mentally handle being a full-time stay at home mom; it's a tough job & I say hats off to you moms who do it. But, I can only imagine how much closer of a bond I'd have with Cam if I were to be home with him a bit more often. He's just not a snuggly baby to begin with, so when I feel him clench up & pull away as I try to cuddle, it seriously breaks my heart & makes me feel like a terrible mom.

I drove to work today with a very heavy heart & I knew if I didn't do a quick blog to get things off my chest, I'd end up having a very stressful day. I wish this could be more positive but my mind is just not there at the moment. I love Cam, I love my job & my life, but sometimes I feel like my life is very much off balance.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Keeping It All Together

It can be cramped when you live in a house that is no more than 1500 square feet. Throw in a husband, 2 dogs, 2 cats & a one-year old baby boy & things can get extremely hectic! It has taken me some thought & creativity in order to maximize the space that we have & to keep our house from looking like a day care center!

I want Cameron to have a place to keep his toys with room to play while also maintaining my sanity at the end of the day.

This is the "great room" of our house and what you see is what you get.

As you walk through the front door of our house, this is where you stand; other than the 3 bedrooms, this is it! Seeing as there are no far off, tucked away rooms in our house, it can be a challenge to keep the baby toys and gear in order. As much as I would absolutely adore more space to work with, that is not going to happen anytime soon so I must work with what I have! And I'm always up for a challenge!

We purchased 2 shelving units at IKEA which happens to be one of my favorite stores. IKEA is ideal for those who are working with tight quarters; they even have mock living situations set up to show you how VERY small spaces can actually work. I highly recommend ending the shopping trip with a plate full of fabulous Swedish meatballs! YUM.

The shelf on the left has 2 spots for the additional cube containers you can purchase for storage while the one on the right will hold up to eight. I plan on replacing the red storage cubes on the right with the wicker ones you see on the left since they match the room better. I'll just use the red cubes as storage boxes in Cam's closet.

I'm also loving this LED candle that I bought from Target in a set of three; it looks just like a real candle with its flickering glow & it's made of real wax so it smells good too.

I put one of the LED candles in this plastic pumpkin that Cam will use when trick-or-treating & it adds a very festive touch to the room when the lights are low.

As Cameron became mobile, I decided it would be best to ditch our large, standard coffee table & replace it with these versatile storage cubes. They can be ottomans or you can flip them over to the tray side for drinks. The cube itself acts as a storage container which is excellent. Getting rid of our old coffee table has given Cam so much more floor space to play.

Although I know that our house is far from perfect & could stand to be twice its size, it's our home, our sanctuary & we make it work!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Home with My Love

Cam has not been feeling well for close to a week & his cold kicked into full gear after his 12 month well visit five days ago after getting four shots, one being the flu shot. I know my little guy is sick when he actually lets me hold him, rock him & cuddle for more than an hour straight. Cam is not much of a snuggler; he is a full-fledged boy who loves to go, go, go during all of his waking moments.

Last night, as I rocked him and felt his slightly warm head, I decided that it would be a bad idea to send him to day care today. It worked out very well since I had a day off at some point during this week anyway since I unfortunately have to work this Saturday. After calling my boss & letting her know that today would be the day I took off, I felt relieved to know that I'd be able to nurse my baby back to good health.

It was such a wonderful feeling waking up today & knowing I would have a whole day to spend quality time with my Cam. Cam ended up sleeping until 9:30 this morning when I actually had to go in his room & wake him after Mike was worried that something might be wrong. He really just needed the sleep and after sleeping about 14 hours straight, I think he felt a bit better.

Having this day is sort of bittersweet since it makes me realize what I'm missing when I am at work Monday through Friday. If I had my way I would work four days per week & have that one day to get chores done around the house as Cam napped & have that extra time to spend with him. I know it would only be one day, but I think it would make a world of a difference to me. Oh well, maybe some day!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Columbia Restaurant's 1905 Salad

Although Columbia Restaurant was founded in Tampa's Ybor City in 1905, I first noticed it in Sarasota & have always wanted to eat there. With wanting to save money & rarely having a babysitter, we don't often get out these days so we decided to create their famous 1905 salad at home!

I'm not sure how it compared to the real deal since I haven't tried it, but I do know that it was absolutely delish! As we chopped & chatted, we listened to some Dean Martin, Harry Connick Jr. & sipped some champagne.

It was a wonderful way to spend a Saturday night!

Up, Mommy, up!

This is my point of view during my time spent with Cameron these days! He's at the stage where he wants to be held most of the time & see things from my level (which isn't very high!) Each day he's getting a little heavier & therefore harder to carry & as one would imagine, it's also challenging to do things with only one hand! But I know he'll only be this small for such a short time, so I'll ignore the nagging pain in my hip & continue to carry my little (or big) guy!

Friday, October 9, 2009

My New Do!

Here's a before picture of me 2 days before I chopped my hair at my sister's rehearsal dinner on Friday, October 2nd.

And here I am 7 inches lighter! I'm the type of person who always needs a change, so after about a year of growing my hair out, I was done with it. I'm loving the new look & it's very easy to style! I can also still pull it back into a ponytail which is perfect!