Monday, December 10, 2012

Saturday mornings

We dance....

Weekend Review

How was your weekend?

These four words are often said on Monday mornings.  By coworkers.  In emails between friends.  On the telephone with our mothers.

I usually respond by listing off the things I did that weekend.  Grocery shopping.  Picking up the house.  Dinner with friends (on a good weekend).  Swinging at the park.  Reading books with Lukas.  And I always end the conversation the same way.  "This weekend was too short."

It is always too short.  Especially when you have a little one and you have to go back to work on Monday morning.  Actually, it was probably too short when it was just me and my husband.  Any time spent with my family is cherished time, but it is never quite enough.  Does anyone else feel this way?

Perhaps I'm approaching the question wrong.  Perhaps I need to reframe how I reiterate my weekends and share them with the world.  Rather than thinking that we didn't have enough time, what if we embraced the time we did spend together and spoke of the joy that was shared in those minutes and hours of the weekend.

This weekend was fantastic.

I started the weekend early and picked Lukas up from school well before the usual time.  I said YES when my son asked to listen to Bob the Builder on repeat for twenty minutes in the car, bringing him the type of joy that only a 2 year old can appreciate.  I smiled watching him sing, dance and kick his feet despite being restrained in his car seat.  I found myself singing along - "Can we fix it....YES WE CAN!"

We surprised daddy at work and broke him out early too.  Seeing this daddy show of his son to his colleagues made me love my husband even more.  He's so proud to simply be Lukas' dad.  It was worth the drive home in rush hour traffic where Lukas and I sang Christmas songs together and hunted for Christmas lights.  Our whole car ride was soundtracked by his voice yelling out "Lukas' side" or "mommy's side" as he pointed out the houses with Christmas lights along the different sides of the street.

That night we learned that Lukas loves white rice and will shove it in his mouth by the spoonful.  I am continuously surprised by what he will and will not eat.  The night ended with me and Mr. Cob reconnecting about our weeks while laying on the couch and Lukas asleep soundly in his crib.

I was lucky to spend all Saturday morning with my little man while my big man was out running errands.  We didn't leave the house all morning.  Instead we snuggled up watching TV, we read 3 different Dr. Seuss books on the couch, we played with dinosaurs and stuffed animals.  And we had bathtime in the middle of the day.  For an hour.  We were both soaking wet after it was all said and done.  I imagined that this is how my weekdays would feel if I was a SAHM and remembered that I probalby wouldn't find as much happiness in the simple parenting things if I was doing them every single day. 

After a nap my little family of three ventured out Christmas shopping.  We selected gifts for loved ones and even snuck in a few presents for Lukas without him noticing.  Mr. Cob and I were so excited that we almost gave him the gift as soon as we got home but decided it would be best to wait for Christmas morning, like responsible adults.  I ended that evening reading to Lukas, rocking him and laying down on the floor next time him at his request.  And once the little man was asleep, my husband and I had some time together as well.

On Sunday we went on a "grand adventure"!  (When's the last time you went on an adventure?  I suggest you try it soon.  Lukas' joy at going on an adventure overflowed into both Mr. Cob and me.)  Our adventure was to the playground at the Peachtree-Dekalb airport where were watched "jumbo jets" land and take off while swinging and going down the slide.  Lukas was thrilled.  We finished the day by wrapping Christmas gifts, going to the Farmer's Market, shopping at an antique store and Skyping (and laughing) with our family in California.   

Last night Lukas cried when I left his room.  So I returned and we rocked and cuddled.  I then laid down on the floor and tried to sneak out five minutes later.  He cried again.  Even though it was much past his bedtime, and he was exhausted from the adventuring, I think he just wasn't ready to separate from his momma.  And neither was I.  So I went back in for round 3 and we rocked and snuggled again.  I laid on the floor longer this time, simply listening to him breathe.  My heart filled with warmth remembering our weekend together. Eventually I tip-toed out of his room without waking him up.

We didn't see friends this weekend.  We didn't see family.  It was just my little Swan family.  And it may have gone by too fast, as the days seem to do these days.  There is still laundry to be done.  The are dishes in the sink and leaves in the yard.  But the weekend was wonderful.  It was filled with enough joy to sustain me for five days until we get to do it all over again.  And it may have been short, but it was full.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

An Oldie

I found this picture yesterday as I was going through an old online album.  It was from Lukas' 9 month checkup over a year ago.  This picture makes me smile.

I love this little boy more than words can describe.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Some Days This is Really Tough

It's hard to relate to a 2 year old.  I wish I knew what his cries always meant.  I wish I knew where his tantrums were coming from.  I wish I could convince myself that what happened this morning didn't really happen.  Because it's days like today where I am convinced I am doing it wrong.  That I should in fact be home with my little guy.

He woke up happy enough.  He jumped up in bed the second he heard me open his door.  He greeted me with "momma, I pooped."  Strangely enough, he did not, but I thanked him for letting me know.  He asked to see daddy, so we climbed the stairs and he ran to give daddy a hug.  Daddy told him to go back downstairs and let momma get him dressed for the day.  And this is when the morning went downhill.

Back in his room he unzipped his jammies and held on to me as he kicked his feet out.  And then he sort of lost it as I took his diaper off.  He rolled on the floor naked saying "no mommy" and kept picking up the new diaper and throwing it.  I tried to divert his attention by asking him if he wanted to throw the dirty diaper in the trash (something he usually loves to do).  He just kept saying no mommy.  And then he half heartedly hit me on the face.  Hitting = automatic 2 minute time out.  He marched his little naked tush and sat on the stairs.  Afterwards he said he was sorry, we gave hugs and kisses and said I love yous.  And then it went down hill again.

Back in his room he asked to throw away the dirty diaper.  The one I had already thrown away while he was in time out.  Screams.  Sobs.  Hot tears.  Somehow I was able to get a new diaper and clothes on him as he screamed and cried.  Daddy tried to reason with him, to no avail.  So I did the only thing I could think, I hugged him and we rocked for about 5 minutes.  I just kissed his head and hugged him tight.  Eventually he calmed down and let me hold him and snuggled in to momma.

It was time to leave for school, so I carried him to the kitchen and gave him some string cheese for the ride.  A few more tears where shed with the realization that we were out of waffles.  But daddy did his best to convince him to go.  Usually when my boys leave in the morning they both stop to hug and kiss me at the door, but Lukas didn't want mommy.  He cried harder when daddy told him to hug me.  I said it was OK.  That they should just go.

I stood at the door as they walked down the front path.  Lukas started sobbing again and mumbled something about mommy.  At first we both thought he was saying "no mommy".  But eventually we both realized he was yelling "I want to stay with mommy".

And this is when my heart broke a little.

Being a working mom is awful some days.  Today would be one of those days.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Questionable Mothering Tactics

I feel like it's been a while since I've written a "keeping it real" post.  So let me enlighten everyone with the reality that I seriously question my parenting skills more often than I admit.

1.  My child dipped his macaroni and cheese in KETCHUP this week.  And I let it happen.  And kept adding more ketchup.  This is just gross.

2.  Lukas wears bright green sneakers every single day.  No matter what else he is wearing - khakis and a cute button down or sweat pants and a bright blue tee shirt - he has on neon green Saucony sneakers.  He refuses to wear anything else.

3.  I am manipulated every night at bedtime.  I always read one more book.  (The other night I counted a total of 9 books read.  Really, nine.)  I always let Lukas go "pee pee on the potty" again even if he just went and I KNOW he will not go again.  This involves a 5 minutes process of Lukas taking of his pajamas himself and putting them back on after he has sat on the potty and sung songs for a few minutes without any pee pee occurring.  Then,  I let him give daddy "one more kiss" and then 5 minutes later to go "hug daddy" and a few minutes later to "tell daddy night-night".  Then we rock and rock and rock some more.  Eventually he gets in his crib and then I follow his command of "mommy lay down right there".  Until I think it's safe to sneak out.  Bedtime has become an hour long ordeal.  Part of me loves it.  I know he won't want to spend this much time with me forever.  But I also realize I am being completely manipulated by a 2 year old.

4.  We're no longer anti-TV.  The little dude watches Little Einsteins, Bob the Builder, Thomas, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse or Sesame Street just about every Saturday morning.  Sometimes for at least an hour.  I'm usually checking email or otherwise playing on the ipad.  Occasionally I'll fold laundry or clean while he's zoned in to the boob tube, but typically I just zonk out myself.

5.  Lukas may have had a cupcake for breakfast last Saturday morning.  His auntie had just left and he was very upset that he wasn't getting ON the jumbo jet with her.  So we decided to treat ourselves to breakfast at the Highland Bakery since it was early and we were already out.  Lukas was still upset and the big display of cupcakes upon entering the bakery diverted his attention.  And then we just had to give him one.  Oops.  Oh, he also might have still been in his footy pajamas.  In public.  Double oops.

So what about you?  Do you have any stellar parenting skills to share?

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Words are Powerful

In college a "friend" once called me a "thunder-thighed lipstick lesbian" in a very mean email.  There was also an attachment to a picture of a purple ram-headed d*ldo (I still have no idea what the picture was supposed to stand for or mean.)  This was ten years ago.  You'd think I would have forgotten it by now, but the fact is I haven't.
If you knew me in college, you know that I was the farthest thing from a lesbian.  (Well, as long as we're not counting that one time.)  I was a bit boy crazy.  And I had a tendency to drink too much and hit on whatever boy happened to be standing next to me.  A lesbian I was not.  That part of the email I thought was just silly.  If anything I took it as a compliment because the "lipstick" part implied that I was pretty.
But the words before that hurt.  She called me thunder-thighed.  If you google the term it is defined as "A pejorative term for a person with large thighs, alluding to the sound of thighs hitting against each other."  Or "THUNDER THIGHS" are a fat girls thighs that are so humongous, big & fat that they clap together when they walk. This produces a loud noise which goes like "SLAP, SLAP, SLAP" , hence the "thunder" part of the word."
I maybe weighed 125 pounds in college.  I was a size 4.  I was a swimmer growing up and had an athletic build.  But I did not have huge legs.   True, I weighed more than the waif-thin girl who said these ugly words to me.  And I wish I could've let her comment role off my chest, but the truth is that ever since she said the words I've been very self-conscious of my legs.  Part of me thought she was right.  I don't like to wear too short of skirts because I think my thighs are big.  And I hate my knees.  The intention of this girl in saying these words to me was to hurt me.  And she did.  And now it's time to let it go.
I think it's funny that this girl has tried to friend me on facebook multiple times over the past few years. I always decline the request.  Perhaps she doesn't even recall saying these words to me.  But that's the thing about words.  Once you say them, you can't take them back.  They're out there.  And you may not think the words you say will have an impact on another person.  But they very well may.  So be careful with your words.  As my mom always told me growing up, if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all. 
But the wonderful thing about words is that they can be used to uplift us as well.  If you do have something nice to say, SAY IT.  A kind word or words of encouragement can strengthen someone who is struggling.  Your words can boost the confidence of someone who is doubting themselves.  They can put a smile on someone's face.  And you just never know when your words might impact someone so greatly that your words stay with them for years. 
Be careful with your words, but also be generous with the kind ones.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Month of Thanks

I know, I know, I've been MIA on the blog this past month.  I miss writing, I do.  It's just been a busy month and creating time to write has been difficult.  But it has been a great month despite the busy-ness. 
In a nutshell: I spent a weekend in Athens with my best gals from law school.  Lukas turned two. I worked.  A lot.  Mr. Cob's sister ("Auntie Al") came to town for Thanksgiving.  I ran a half marathon on Thanksgiving morning.  We hosted Thanksgiving dinner at our house.  I didn't cook a single dish.  We bought a Christmas tree and decorated it with obnoxious blinking colored lights (which I must admit Lukas loves). 
And in four days it will be December.  Seriously father time, SLOW DOWN!
With all that is going on in life I've enjoyed reading some friends' 30-days of gratitude on facebook.  It has caused me to step back and remember and honor all that I am thankful for.  Sometimes it is easy to get bogged down in the humdrum of every day life that I forget how truly blessed I am.  So as this month of Thanksgiving wraps up, I'd like to share some of the things I am most thankful for:
  • My health, because really, without your health, where are you?
  • A supportive husband who makes me laugh daily.  He lets me be me and never expects me to be anything else.
  • My mom.  She is a true role model for parenting and is the embodiment of selflessness.  She does so much for me and for those that she loves.  I wouldn't be the woman I am today or the mom that I am if it weren't for her support, love and guidance.
  • My daddy.  He's my #1 fan - always has been, always will be.  I love that he still waits outside waving at me every single time I pull out of his driveway, making sure I safely get on my way.
  • Lukas.  My son.  I am so thankful for this child and everything he has brought to my life.  His laugh may be the one thing I am most thankful for.  It is contagious and mood changing. His smile and hugs and kisses warm my heart.  I'm also thankful for the harder lessons he's helping me learn - patience, for one.  You cannot rush a grouchy toddler in the morning.
  • My brother.  He may live across the country and we may not talk every day or ever week, but I know he is always there for me.  I am thankful that he gave me the sweetest nephew in the world!
  • My girlfriends, both near and far.  They help me laugh when I am sad, they cheer me along in my successes, they listen when I need to talk, they understand when I don't, they love always.  And most of them know how to pick a good bottle of wine and always have time to share a glass.
  • My in-laws.  I am thankful for wonderful in-laws and a great sister-in-law and brother-in-law.  They are a blessing in my life and my son's life for sure!
  • My job.  I don't always love being a lawyer, but I am grateful to have a job in this economy and a new office that looks over the Atlanta skyline.
I could go on and on, as I truly am thankful for all the wonderful things in my life.  Thanks to all of you who make my life what it is. 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Lukas is TWO!

Today is a very special day.  Our little guy Lukas is TWO years old today!!!  We started the day off with some singing, although I'm not sure you'd say it went very well.  What do you think?

And in keeping with the birthday tradition I started last year, here is my birthday letter to Lukas this year:

November 8, 2012

Lukas on his 2nd birthday!

Dear my sweet son Lukas,

Today you are TWO years old. Or as you say it, you’re “one, two”. In many ways it feels like just yesterday that I met you at the hospital the day you were born, but a lot has happened in two years. In fact, a lot has happened since you turned ONE last year! You haven’t been a baby for a while now. You’ve been this sweet, silly toddler. And then sometime over these past 12 months you turned into a little boy. You’re growing up too fast!

You’re still going to school at Primrose in Midtown and you love it! Just last week I dropped you off and you pushed me out the door – “bye bye mommy!” It warms my heart to know you like being with you friends and teachers at school! A year ago your teachers were Ms. Hope and Ms. Tyra. Then in January you moved from the infant 4 class to Toddler 1 with Ms. Peavey and Ms. Vaughn. Your buddies (the boys club) were all still together then. You, Nate, Rome, Sawyer and Bennett. They were your first friends. But over the past year they’ve moved on to different schools, states and classrooms. Rome moved to Texas in June and you’ve been “missing Rome” ever since. For months after he left I’d ask you who you played with at school that day and you’d always say Rome. Now when we talk about Rome you say “Rome’s gone.” I think you still miss your BFF. In August you moved into the Early Preschool Class with Mrs. Pitts and Mrs. McGregor and made new friends. Nate is next door so thankfully you see him often. You’re already learning how to pee pee on the potty at school and I’m told you are one of the happiest boys in the class.

You LOVE books more than just about anything. Every night before bed we read between 3 and 8 books. You simply cannot get enough. And you’re a smart little boy – you know all the words to many of the books we read. You can recite Just Like my Mum; Happy Hippo ,Angry Duck; Goodnight Moon and We’re going on a Bear Hunt. Your current favorite book is Happy Halloween, Biscuit that PopPop and Nana gave you for Halloween. You also love Winnie the Pooh: Colors. The first picture is of Pooh floating with a blue balloon. Mommy says “Pooh floats under a…” and you say “balloon”. Then when I ask you what color it is, you never say blue. You always say green or red or brown and then start laughing because you KNOW it is blue! When you see piglet you point to him and say “he’s like a pig” and Tigger is “like a tiger”.

Your favorite saying right now is “Lukas do it.” You do NOT want mommy and daddy to do anything for you. You want to put your PJs on, zip them up, put the waffle in the toaster, butter the waffle, flush the toilet, climb in the car, and the list goes on and on. You are becoming quite the independent boy! I’m having a hard time letting you do things on your own, but your strong will is quickly overpowering my desire to baby you. And you do ask for help when you need it!

Your second favorite thing to say right now is NO. Loudly. Repeatedly. You say no a lot if mommy has to wake you up in the morning. Let’s just say you’re not exactly a morning person if you don’t get to wake up on your own terms.

You love dinosaurs and we hunt for them in the car. The T-Rex is usually hiding in the park. The T-Rex is also scary! You also love construction machines – earth movers, bulldozers and dump trucks. We spend many car rides searching for bulldozers. You like to tell me that they move dirt.

You know your ABC’s (although you get a bit jumbled in the middle) and you can count to 11. You love to sing and many mornings I wake up to your sweet voice singing the Itsy Bitsy Spider or The Muffin Man or the Thomas and Friends Theme song. Speaking of Thomas, you love choo choo trains. You ask to do your Thomas puzzle every day and on the weekends you like to watch Thomas, Little Einsteins and Mickey Mouse clubhouse. You also love jumbo jets and if you ever see or hear one in the sky you get very excited and yell JUMBO JET! And the jumbo jet (according to you) is always going to either California or Chicago.

You also love sports on TV. You ask to watch football and baseball whenever you see the TV. And your daddy is teaching you to swing a bat, kick a soccer ball and “hike” the football and then run for a touchdown (which you do with one finger held very high in the air). You also love to dance whenever music is on, even if we’re in the car. You request certain songs from daddy (Electric Car, Dino, Speed & Velocity, Take a Walk and Teaspoon are the current favorites). You’re a very busy little boy!

Buddy I am so proud to be your momma (as you still often call me – sometimes it’s mommy). You truly bring so much light to me and your daddy’s lives and it’s honestly hard to remember what our life was like before you were part of it. I love being your mommy more than anything in the world. I will always be here for you. I will always be your home.

Happy 2nd birthday Lukas!



Monday, November 5, 2012

UGA Law 5 Year Reunion

This year marks 5 years since I graduated law school.  This means I've known the friends I've made in law school for 8 years.  Since I was 23 years old.  These "law school friends" are arguably some of the best I've made my entire life.  They've been with me through really hard times (the first year of law school comes to mind...finals...the bar name a few).  They've also been with me through some of the happiest times of my life (meeting my now husband...celebrating with us at our wedding...throwing me my baby shower...supporting me as a new mom....and this list could go on and on).

These women are my sisters.  I love them more than I could ever express.  And I am impressed and awed by them all.  I am lucky to have them as friends.

We all met in Athens this weekend to celebrate 5 years of lawyering 8 years of friendship.  What I recall of the weekend was fabulous.  We drank too much wine.  We laughed.  We reminisced.  A tear or two may have been shed.  We shopped.  We laughed some more. 

I'm always sad the day after spending a weekend with my ladies because I know it'll be months before we're all back together again. And while I may often regret having gone to law school, I'd do it all over again because I can't imagine not having you girls in my life!

Until next time....

Friday, November 2, 2012

Where's the Love?

Please check out my latest post on Dr. Z and Friends:  Trying to Do it All - Love

Here's a sneak peak....

So let’s talk about love. One of the hardest roles to juggle as a mom, in between work, friendships and parenting, is finding time for romance. In trying to do it all, I suspect I’m not alone in finding that my love life takes a back seat to, well, just about everything else.

Enjoy!  And leave a comment on Dr. Z!

Monday, October 29, 2012


For your Monday video enjoyment - my little man testing out his Halloween costume.  Have I mentioned lately how much I love this guy?

And one photo from his school Halloween parade.  I've titled it "I spy MOMMY!"

What is your kiddo dressing up as for Halloween this year? 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Anyone else?

I just saw this picture on Pinterest and had to laugh. So true some days...

Monday, October 22, 2012

Mini Moustache

A little humor for your Monday morning.  Enjoy!

(make sure your volume is turned gets silly around the 55 second mark!)

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Mommy Pressure

I used to like Halloween.  I mean, who doesn't like dressing up like a slut fool.  There was the year I was a beer wench (strangely I can't find those pictures....probably a good thing.)

 The year(s) I was a naughty nurse.  I even won the costume contest.  Thank you wonderbras (yes, there were two). 

The year I was Velma.

The year I was Little Red Riding Hood...

The year I was white trashy pregnant (baby bump courtesy of yours truly). 

I could go on and on.

But this year, I'm not liking Halloween.  The pressure is on and I'm feeling like a big mommy fail is about to happen.  The little dude has a Halloween PARADE at school.  In exactly one week.  And I have NO idea what he will be.  And worse, I feel like I need to be all crafty and make him something.  Because, you know, good moms sew and glitter and glue gun.  And Hell if I'm not a good mom.

So I need to get crafty.  Quickly. 

But we're talking about the little man.  And the little man is not a fan of all clothes.  He rarely likes hats.  I can't just put him in anything.  So where does that leave us?  What do I make?

We could go the Thomas the Train route.  He could be Sir Topham Hatt (i.e. the Fat Controller).  But that requires a top hat, which Luke would probably hate.  (And where does one buy a toddler sized top hat anyway?)  Maybe I could somehow turn him into a blue human-faced train.  Cardboard box style. The thought alone is laughable.

Maybe we'll channel Disney and go for Mickey Mouse.  Black turtleneck, red shorts over black pants. Black crocs on the feet.   A little face paint.  Topped with the ears.  Shit. The ears would be the downfall and you can't be Mickey Mouse without the signature ears.  I mean really.

Ok, the kid loves dinos.  Riiight.....let me just stitch up a little dinosaur costume on my non-existent sewing machine.  Moving on.

I do have an Oriental toddler outfit already on hand (don't ask), but Mr. Cob thinks this is in poor taste.  I hate admitting when he's right.  Any ideas on how to turn this into a politically correct costume????

Maybe I'll just dress him as a toddler fashion model.  I could handle that.  Corduroys.  Collared shirt.  Vest.  Million dollar smile.  Done.  If only I could get him to put on the cute loafers he has probably outgrown without ever wearing.

On second thought, I think I'll just go to Costco and pick up an outfit.  I probably already lost the mom-of-the-year contest with the bed jumping fail.  Why start pretending now? 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


76.  75. (I started this yesterday) That's the number of days left in this year.  How crazy is that? 

I have a big well written blog post brewing in my head, but not the time right now to put it into words.  But it's been two weeks since I've said hello and I don't want you folks to start thinking there is some news on the Swan front that I'm hiding from telling you.  There is not.  Sorry to disappoint.

Life has been busy.  Mr. Cob and I went on vacation.  Alone. For a week.  With no cell service. It was amazing.  I missed my little dude, but not nearly as much as I thought I would (just being honest).  My days were spent sleeping in, reading trashy books and some novels, running, yoga-ing, spa-ing, red wine drinking and kissing on my man.  (Again, just being honest).  It was also nice to throw Haiti, Jamaica and Cozumel, Mexico in the mix.  And some new friends on the cruise ship.  And did I mention the spa?  It's possible I went more than once.  Or twice.  It was time well spent away from "life".  My batteries recharged.  My mom-atude was rebooted.  My work self was re-energized.  Mr. Cob and I reconnected.  All in all the trip was spectacular.  If you have a little one at home and are nervous to take a trip without him or her, DO IT.  And while Mr. Cob will cringe when I type this, sometimes it's good to remember that you were his wife before you were your baby's mom.

While we were away Lukas spent half the week with Mr. Cob's parents (Nana and PopPop) and the second half with my parents (SipSip and Up).  The grandparents all told us that we gave THEM a true gift by giving them this time with their grandson.  So it was a win-win all around.  And Lukas apparently wasn't bothered that we weren't around.  Daddy was on a cruise ship and mommy was working until the end of the week when Lukas decided that mommy was on the cruise ship with daddy.  Thanks buddy.  I swear he grew an inch while we were away and started talking even more.  I will say that I was ready to see him and hug on him when we got home Sunday morning.  It's nice to get away, but it's even nicer to come home.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012


Oh there is so much I have been meaning to write about but haven't made the time.  Life is busy.  Life with an almost 2 year old (OhmyGodhowdidhegetsoold?) is hectic.

Lukas recovered from his bed flipping incident.  I recovered as well.  However, there has been no bed jumping in the past week.

My office is moving to a new building this Friday, so work has been crazy.  I'm currently sitting in an empty office because all my "stuff" is in crates ready to be moved.  I'm really excited for our new space.  I'm viewing it as a big change without actually changing anything.  Does that make sense?  My view will no longer look south of the city.  Instead, my office (on the 27th floor) will overlook Peachtree Street going north into Midtown.  It'll be like I'm looking towards my little man and husband all day. 

Mr. Cob and I are leaving this weekend ALONE for 7 days to go on vacation WITHOUT the little dude.  I'm starting to get nervous about this decision.  I know Lukas will be in good hands with his grandparents, but will I be ok?  Will missing him overshadow the vacationing?  Should we have brought him with us?  Is it totally selfish to spend one whole week away from him?  Let's just say we ordered the wine package on the cruise so that should help ease my worries and my missing him.  I've also downloaded about 10 books to my Kindle (which I finally found after a year the glovebox of my car!).  I've booked a massage for the 2nd day.  I'm excited to sleep in and spend time with Mr. Cob.  I'm very excited for a week away from work!

The little dude is hilarious these days.  He sat down for a chat with me a few nights ago.  He's such a silly guy - make sure you have your volume turned on!

And I'll leave you with this picture of Lukas with his girlfriend, "Lisey".  He is so in love!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

TTT: Listen to the Voice

Yesterday began as a normal day.  It ended with me crying on and off for almost three hours convinced I was a horrible mother. 

I picked Lukas up from school as normal.  We sang songs and hunted for fire trucks on the ride home.  Daddy was still working when we arrived home, but Wrigley and Bailey were waiting for us.  We went inside and mommy needed to change clothes, so Lukas climbed the stairs to the second floor and raced into my bedroom.  I changed while he ran around singing and taunting the cat.

At some point when I was in my closet changing I heard Lukas ask to "jump bed".  I told him to wait for mommy.  He listened.  He waited.  He played with my dresser draws and shut his middle finger in the door.  He cried loudly.  Big tears welled in his eyes and he held his finger out to me.  I kissed his finger and asked if he still wanted to jump on the bed.  The crying stopped.

"Yes, jump momma." 

"Ok, buddy, you can jump for a bit."

This is normal in our house.  We're all for jumping on the bed.  We're for playing and laughing.

But we must take off our shoes and socks before we jump.  So Lukas sat on the floor and I removed his new green shoes and his Thomas the Train socks.  And I put him in the middle of my bed to jump.

He reached out for my hands, grabbed hold, jumped once and then fell back on his tush.  And then he laughed loudly, happily, wildly.  He loves to jump.  His laughter filled the room.  He jumped more.  Then I flipped him.  He laughed even louder than before.  He jumped again.  I flipped him again.

And then I heard the voice.  You know the one.  The one inside you warning you.  This is so dangerous.  You should stop flipping him this instant.  Why are you doing this?  Stupid.  Bad idea.  But he kept laughing and was so happy.  I ignored the voice.  I suppressed the bad feeling in my gut.

And I flipped him again.  Only this time he didn't laugh.  He looked up at me scared and stunned.  He had landed funny.  He didn't cry. He didn't scream.  He didn't say a word.  He just stared at me frightened.  In that instant I thought he'd broken his neck or somehow hurt himself very badly.  No, I thought I'd done something that hurt him badly.  I thought I'd hurt my precious boy.

He wasn't talking.  He wasn't crying.  In that moment I completely lost it.  Visions of him never walking again floated through my head.  At one point I had the thought, I will surely kill myself if I have hurt him.  I have never been so scared in my life.  My world is this little boy. 

I scooped him up and ran downstairs calling Mr. Cob on the way.  As I ran outside the front door (I think I was going to the neighbors' house to call 911), Mr. Cob pulled up. Through sobs I tried to explain what happened.  I was holding Lukas tight the whole time.  Mr. Cob asked to hold him and Lukas started crying and yelling for momma.  He flailed his arms and started moving normally again.  I tried to put him on the ground to see if he could walk but he would only stand on his tippy toes and cried for me the whole 3 seconds I let him go.  I held him tight again and continued to cry myself.  At least he was talking and moving his arms and legs.  But I was still sure something was very wrong.

We decided we would go to the ER to have him checked.  I didn't have shoes on so I handed Lukas over to Mr. Cob while I ran inside and gathered our things.  Our next door neighbors are both doctors and luckily one of them happened to be walking home from the park with their sons while Mr. Cob was outside waiting for me.  He took a look at Lukas, tried to calm me down and convinced me that Lukas seemed fine.  His husband, the pediatrician, would be home any minute and would come over to really examine Lukas and decide if a hospital visit was warranted.  He stayed with us and tried to distract me.

At some point Lukas asked Mr. Cob to see his dinos.  So we brought him inside and sat him on the couch to play with the dinos.  He quickly bored of the dinos and wanted to play with his baseball bat.  Just like that he hopped off the couch and raced to his room.  He ran back with his bat and was jumping all around, pretending to be a baseball player.  He was perfectly fine.  He was not hurt.  I cried harder.  Uncontrollably.

Our pediatrician neighbor came over and did a full examination of Luke and determined he was fine.  He tried to calm me down.  I continued to cry.  Lukas was not hurt, but the damage had been done to me.

I can honestly say I've never been more scared in my life.  And mad at myself.  Why didn't I listen to the voice telling me to stop?  How could I be so stupid?  I thank God Lukas is OK and I'll never flip him on the bed again.  And from now on I will always, always listen to the voice.

Mother's intuition is real.  You just have to listen to it.  Next time I will be all ears. 

Monday, September 24, 2012

Lukas' Life via Instagram

I love food.  And making a mess.  And mommy likes capturing it on tape.  Also, look at all my teeth!

Chocolate Chip pancakes make me happy.

Mommy bought me these NEW SHOES!  Fruncle Ronnie bought me Thomas socks.  I think they want me to be a fashion faux pas.  Mommy says I'm stylish.  I'm starting to think mommy lies.

I visited daddy at work.  Found his secret stash of crackers.  Ate them all.  Sorry daddy.

Mommy and Daddy took me to lunch!  I should have been napping, but they decided grandma would have much more fun with me being sleep deprived.

Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night.  I cry loudly so mommy thinks I'm scared.  Then I refuse to go back to bed unless I'm in their big bed.  Works like a charm.  Every. single. time.

No, mommy and daddy did not get me my own car.  But I do have a birthday coming up, so a kid can hope!  Toy Park in Decatur is pretty cool though!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Mad Moves

The video speaks for itself.  The boy loves to dance.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Why I Turned to Clean Eating

The back story:

I grew up in a "healthy" house.  My mother put time and effort in to cooking healthy meals for our family and she was probably ahead of her time on the health front.  I remember eating artichokes as a snack when I was a child and dinner was always a family affair.  Candy and sodas were a treat, not the norm.

I swam competitively until my senior year in high school so I didn't have to worry about my weight for the first 17 years of my life.  I ate anything I wanted and never put on weight (swimming 2-4 hours a day will do this).  I grazed (a word I still hate to this day).  I nibbled and snacked often.  My body needed the fuel to push me through intense workouts. 

Then I went off to college and ate dining hall food, followed by sorority house food and then began cooking for myself at 20.  I worked out in college but don't remember having many body issues. (Then again, I drank a lot of wine, so maybe I just don't remember.  I also smoked cigarettes - a lot - more than I care to admit, but I mention that here to emphasize that "health" was not at the forefront of my mind during this time.) It wasn't until law school that I really recall feeling like I could not lose weight.  I remember telling my girlfriends that no matter what I did I simply could not get under 130 pounds.  So I began running and doing yoga.  But I continued to eat the same - often eating out in downtown Athens, picking up fast food and eating a lot of Chex-mix from the law school's vending machine.  Running helped my mood and mental state during law school, but the weight didn't budge.

I began working as a lawyer in the fall of 2007 and the weight started creeping up.  No longer was 130 the number I couldn't get under.  I was now struggling to get under 140.  (I should note that I'm 5'4.)  My clothes were no longer fitting the same.  I felt less than sexy and found myself constantly worrying about how I looked and felt.  My first step was to hire a personal trainer at my gym, but instead of losing weight he just bulked me up and we didn't even talk about nutrition.  He and I quickly parted ways.

Then I signed up for Boot Camp at my gym.  I also became engaged to my now husband and was trying to lose weight for our upcoming wedding.  So I worked out at least an hour a day and was very conscious of my food intake (from a caloric standpoint, not a health standpoint).  The exercise, strict 1200 calorie diet, stress of planning a wedding and working as a lawyer did cause me to lose weight and I was at my lowest weight in a long time when I got married.  But I stopped working out on our honeymoon and indulged in decadent food and drink.  I didn't return to boot camp when we got home and a 1200 calories/day diet is not sustainable in the long run. The pounds crept back on quickly.   

Six months after our wedding I joined a nutrition program (Venice Nutrition) and met with a nutritionist once a week.  The program was centered on increasing your protein intake.  I was eating more protein bars than you could imagine.  I lost maybe 2 pounds in a couple of weeks.  It was discouraging.  And costly. So we parted ways.

Eventually I just went back to running and training for another half marathon.  Running kept me fit but didn't give me the slim thighs body I was hoping for.  But I was feeling good and was content for the time being.  I was under 140 pounds again and more or less happy with how I looked.

Then in the winter of 2010 I became pregnant.  I was overjoyed.  I could stop worrying about losing weight.  But I wanted to be healthy for the baby so I began reading as many books about prenatal health that I could get my hands on.  I must have about 20 books on being pregnant.  Seriously.  I committed to eating healthy and working out during my pregnancy. 

But I failed to carry out my good intentions.  Most days I was too exhausted after work to exercise, though I did try to walk a few days a week.  I was constantly hungry while pregnant and didn't plan accordingly, so I wound up getting a snack many days from the food court below my office building.  The week before Lukas was born I weighed 202 pounds.  So yes, that means we're talking over 60 pounds gained in less than 9 months.  (I do think part of my weight gain was genetics - my mom gained over 50 pounds with each of her pregnancies and I put on weight each week even if I walked 5 miles every day and only ate very healthy.  But I'll admit that there were many choices I could have made differently that would probably have had an effect on my weight gain.)

I loved being a mom more than anything I'd ever experienced.  But I hated the way I looked and felt after my son was born.  I remember going to Target when he was maybe 3 weeks old because I needed some pants to wear around the house.  I cried in the dressing room when the LARGE black sweat pants were too tight.  Way too tight.  But I had to wear something, so I purchased the Extra Large sweat pants.  And then I signed up for Weight Watchers.

I didn't start seriously following WW until Lukas was about four months old.  And I didn't work out regularly.  But I was nursing and the weight slowly started coming off.  When Lukas was 9 months old, I had lost almost all of the baby weight.  I do think Weight Watchers helped because I was writing down everything I put into my mouth, so it made me aware of what I was eating.  But then I stalled around 142.  No matter what I did, I seemed to hang around this number.  I started working out again.  No change.  I strictly followed weight watchers.  No change.  It seemed that I was bound to stay somewhat flabby and less than enthused about my post-baby body.

But then I started really looking at what I was (and wasn't eating) and the exercise I was getting (or not getting).  Most days I ate only 2-3 fruits and vegetables.  I was consuming a lot of sugar.  We were eating out many meals a week.  And I wasn't working out regularly.  Something finally clicked and I realized that I was in control of my body and what I put into it and what I did with it.  I wasn't destined to feel frumpy.  I was destined to feel however good I chose to feel.  It was on me.  No more excuses.  If I wanted to change, then I had to change what I was doing.  I also made the decision to be HEALTHY.  I was less worried about the number on the scale and more concerned with leading a healthy life for myself and my family.

Running had never given me the body I wanted.  So I realized that signing up for another half marathon might get me in shape, but it wouldn't give me the end result I was looking for.  I needed to switch up my workout routine.  On a whim I decided to try Insanity.  And it has been amazing.  I feel powerful and energetic.

But I think the reason I've managed to lose over 8 pounds in less than 2 months is because of the change in my diet.  I didn't set out with the intention of "clean eating" but as I've gone along these past few months, I've done a lot of research and reading and realized that eating clean is something I can sustain and do without feeling like I am sacrificing anything.  It is not a diet.  It is a way of eating and living. 

I started by making simple changes.  I eliminated sugar from my coffee.  I read EVERY food label and ingredient before I buy a food.  If there is an ingredient I can't pronounce, I don't buy the food.  I buy mostly unprocessed food and shop on the perimeter of the grocery store.  But the perhaps the biggest change is that I PLAN AHEAD.  I go to the grocery store with a list.  On Sunday I plan out what we're eating every night for dinner AND what I will bring to work for lunch every day.  Each morning I spend the extra ten minutes to pack lunch AND snacks for my day at the office so that I am never unprepared at work when hunger strikes.  And I eat breakfast every single day.

In the next post I'll talk more about my strategies for clean eating, but I hope this post gives you some insight into why I finally decided to make a change. 

Have you struggled with losing weight?  What has worked for you?

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

CE Recipe - Breakfast To Go

(I really could use some lessons on photographing pictures never make the food look as appetizing as it really is!)

Breakfast Wrap

1 Ezekiel Sprouted Grain Tortilla
1-2 Tbsp of almond butter
1/2-1 banana sliced thin (and maybe some strawberries if you have some, which I didn't)
1/2ish cup of quinoa mixed with cinnamon & 1 tsp agave (on Sunday I made a big pot of quinoa to keep in the fridge for the week)

Heat tortilla in microwave for 30-40 seconds.  Heat quinoa mixed with cinnamon and 1 tsp agave in microwave for 30ish seconds.  Spread almond butter on tortilla, top with banana and quinoa mixture.  Wrap like a burrito.  Eat or wrap in aluminum foil to eat later.

This breakfast was MUCH tastier than I anticipated.  I was worried it would be rather dry, but it was actually tasty and delicious! 

Monday, September 17, 2012

22 Months + 9 days

It's time for a little man update. 

I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around the fact that Lukas will be TWO in less than two months.  I don't know how this happened.  It seems like yesterday that he was unable to do more than lay still and stare at me.  Now he is a non-stop ball of energy that I am so totally in love with. 

So what's he up to at 22 months and 9 days?

Teeth: All of them but his two year molars.  (Momma's not real excited for those to make an appearance.)

Hair: Blond with a touch of curl.  Like his daddy.

Eyes: Grayish green.  They look more like his daddy's eyes than his momma's.

Weight: I'd guess 27ish pounds.  We'll find out at his 2 year doctor appointment in November.

Diapers: Size 4

Clothes: All over the board.  He can still fit in some 12 month pants/shorts!  He's mostly in size 18-24 month shirts and PJs though.  He's tall but skinny!  He wears a size 5.5 shoe, but I think they're too small already!

Eating:  Most anything.  He loves waffles in the morning and asks for goldfish and cookies for snacks. He drinks a lot of (whole) milk and water but refuses to drink any sort of juice, which I suppose is not a bad thing.  He loves cheese and tomatoes.  All bread products.  Most berries.  Sausage, bacon and chicken.  Occasionally pork or fish.  Our new trick is to all act like dinosaurs at the dinner table - it makes for a very interesting dinner, but Lukas ends up eating his whole plate of food!  (So if you come to eat with us soon, be prepared to act like a T-Rex!)

Sleeping: 11-12 hours every night!  1.5-3 hour nap (1.5 hours at school and over 3 on the weekends!).  We try to put Lukas to bed around 7:30 every night and bedtime takes about 30 minutes.  Many mornings we have to wake him up for school - the kid loves his sleep!  He is still sleeping in his crib with bunny and his blanket.

@ Primrose: He is still "missing Rome" everyday when you ask who he played with at school.  And he misses Nate but gets excited whenever we see him (They are in a class next to each other now).  He talks about Owen and Vera the most, so I suppose those are his two current buddies in EPS2. (And Owen still bites according to Lukas....)
- He is in love with Elise (our friends Lauren & Eugene's little girl) - we see her often and Lukas just follows her around.  She tells him what to do and bless his little heart, he does it!  He calls her "Lisey".
- He talks about "Baby Oliver" often, even if it's been a few days since we've seen Chris, Emily & Oliver, so I think he likes him and is excited to have a guy friend to play with one day on the weekends!

Favorite Books:  (there's a few...)
- The Little Engine that Could (I'm really ready for that phase to end.  Luckily, he is more interested in finding the farmer and his sheep than actually reading the book.  Last night he had to kiss the farmer good night!)
- Goodnight Moon (Every. Single. Night. Multiple. Times. Sigh.)
- "Wocket Pocket" (i.e. There's a Wocket in My Pocket) or "Cat Hat" (i.e. The Cat in the Hat) - he really likes Dr. Seuss right now
- Just Like My Mum (It's a really cute book if you've never read it or are looking for a baby shower gift! And Lukas knows most of the story so he "reads" along with me.)

Favorite songs:
- The Thomas and Friends theme song - he tries his best to sing along and gets SO EXCITED when he hears it.  My favorite part is when he sings about Thomas as the "cheeky one"...I'll try to get a video soon!
- The Mickey Mouse Club house song & Hot Dog song - perhaps he's been watching a little M-I-C-K-E-Y m-o-u-s-e....
- Electric Car by They Might be Giants - Lukas knows all the words.  And loves "leclec car". (The CD is another great kid gift!)

Favorite toys:
- Dinosaur flash cards and his dinosaur figurines.
- Toy kitchen
- Thomas the Train & Thomas puzzle

Lukas is a really happy, sweet boy.  He gives hugs and kisses and likes to snuggle.  But he also likes to be independent.  He doesn't walk, he RUNS everywhere.  He loves to dance and sing and play.  The only time we have real tears is at bedtime.  Lukas would rather stay up and play or read books than go to bed, but once he goes down, he's out for the night.  Mr. Cob has a better handle on the bedtime routine than me...perhaps because I give in to Lukas' "requests" even though I know he is simply stalling.

I love this age.  He can more or less always tell us what he wants or what is bothering him.  And he is just so fun to be around.  He reminds me to smile and have fun with life!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Clean Insanity

So my last health update was about my mental health.  I am happy to report that things are continuing to look up in that arena.  I stopped taking the antidepressant (with my therapist's approval and advice) a few weeks ago. I was nervous that the depressed feelings would swoop down on me again, but so far they have not. I do think the depression was largely hormonal and now that I'm about 4 months post-weaning the hormones seem to have leveled out. The therapist also helped me get a grip on the non-hormonal aspects of the depression. I probably would've stayed on the pills longer, but to be honest, thanks to therapy I realized I really do want another baby soon-ish and I didn't want to take anything while pregnant. (I'm not pregnant though, for anyone wondering.) I just want to have some time where my body is hormone and drug free before getting all hormonal again.

I also wanted some time to get my body in shape and healthy.  I lost all the baby weight within a year of having Lukas, but I never got into a solid workout routine.  I never regained all the lost muscle or definition and I haven't felt "good" about how I look in a long time.  I felt OK, but not good.  So before going and getting all baby-big again I decided I wanted to slim down and get healthy first.  It may seem backwards, but I have the goal of losing about 13 pounds before getting pregnant and gaining them all back.  I figured that if I could get in a good workout routine NOW and eat healthy NOW, then I'd have a better shot of only gaining the 25-35 recommended pounds the next time around.

So, I've been hitting this from two sides wholeheartedly: workout and eat clean.  And I couldn't be happier with the results!

I'm am currently in week 7 of a 9 week program called Insanity. I love it. I work out 6 days a week for between 30 to 60 minutes per day. (I wake up early or fit my workout in after dinner.  This is a big time  commitment, but it is me time that I need and that is important!)  The program is seriously insane.  I still cannot get through an entire DVD without having to stop and rest at some point.  It is hardcore.  And I LOVE IT!  If you're looking for a new workout program, this is worth every penny!  I took pictures at the half way point and can't wait to compare them to my after pictures in two more weeks.  I am gaining muscle, toning my body, shrinking my stomach and feeling all around amazing.  I honestly haven't felt this good about the way I look in at least two to three years.  Maybe longer.

The other part of my little health revolution has been clean eating.  I touched on clean eating a couple weeks back when I first started.  I'm now 5 weeks in and feel great.  My trusty old blender turned out to be not so trusty, so I'm now the proud owner of a Vitamix and LOVE IT!  This morning I drank a kale, spinach, swiss chard, celery, cucumber, pineapple, mango, banana smoothie for breakfast.  Delicious.  Mr. Cob and Lukas have also been clean eating and they both are actually eating the food...because the food TASTES GOOD! It's simply real, minimally processed foods.  I've been cooking recipes from the Clean Eating Magazine nightly and most everything has been great.  Clean eating does require forethought and planning, but it is completely do-able.  If I can do it, you can do it!  I plan to write a detailed post soon simply about clean eating and some "how tos" for the busy mom.  But for now the simplest tip is this: Don't buy/eat any food that has an ingredient that you cannot pronounce or do not know!

All around I feel good.  I'm happy.  And the scale is moving.  I'm down almost 8 pounds in 5 weeks.  This may not seem like much, but on my 5'4 frame, it is to me.

Mr. Cob and I are going on vacation in October and I'm actually looking forward to going bathing suit shopping in a few weeks.  I'm excited to continue on this health journey and make it a part of my entire family's life.  It's not a diet.  It is a lifestyle.  (Luckily, I've deemed red wine to be a "clean food".  I mean, wine is made from grapes.  Grapes = clean.  Logical, right?)

So that's what's been going on in my world.  Healthy, clean and insane!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Giveaway winner!

The lucky winner of the frog backpack, as selected be, is #2 - Katie!! Congratulations!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Nest Changes

There have been a lot of changes going on at Casa de Swan lately.  Here's a sneak peak...I hope to take some "real pictures" (with my camera instead of my phone) once we're finished, but I thought I'd show some "in-progress" pictures for now!

Thanks to Pinterest for the inspiration and Mr. Cob for the handiwork

Where do you think this guy will show up?
Refinished floors!

Laundry room - new paint and floor

Who doesn't want a hanging ironing board?  Don't mind the ugly blue ironing board...

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Blog Giveway: La-La-La Leash

It's time for a BLOG GIVEAWAY!!!!  Get excited.

So if you're friends with me on facebook, you know that I ended up with two backpack harnesses last week after leaving Lukas' black backpack at my parent's house and fearing a trip to the airport with Lukas without it.  Mr. Cob sprung to action to buy me a replacement, but our only option was the Eddie Bauer Frog Backpack Harness.

Ain't he cute?!?

Well, Lukas wasn't a fan of Mr. Frog and refused to wear him.  So froggie enjoyed the scenic view to Boston and back on my arm instead of Lukas' back and I carried Lukas in my other arm.  It was a great arm workout.

So here's where you come in: we do not need to own TWO backpack harnesses.  I mean, really.  So I'm giving the frog backpack away to one lucky winner!

To enter, simply leave a comment!  Added bonus if you tell me where you'd like to travel with your kiddo and the froggie harness!  The giveaway will end at midnight on Friday, September 7, EST, so be sure to enter before then, at which point I'll select a winner at random!

Note for all you leash hating parents: the backpack can be used sans leash as just a cute backpack!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

My Solemn Vow: 4 Years Later

Mr. Cob and I celebrated our 4 year wedding anniversary this past week.  It is possible that I deserted him on our actual day while in Boston visiting an old friend.  The day came and went with little fanfare this year - we didn't even exchange cards. Mr. Cob wished me happy anniversary over my voicemail.  Our gift to each other is a week long vacation sans the kiddo in October.

Even though we weren't physically together on our anniversary this year, my heart still smiled. I love August 31st each year because it's the date I committed myself to another person. Four years ago on August 31 Mr. Cob and I looked in each other's eyes and said "lets do this!"  And each August 31st is a reminder to me of those vows I took and a time to recommit myself to our life together.  We're in this for the long haul.  There is no out.  We're clear on that point.

But it's not always easy, this marriage thing.  There are moments we don't like each other.  There have been whole days we don't want to talk to one another.  There are weeks we are tense around the house.  And I'm sure in the future there will be rough months and perhaps even years.  Sometimes we need a reminder that we love each other.  We need to remember what it was that made us fall in love with one another.  We need to recall those feelings we had when our love was still fresh and new.

Which is why I love August 31st.  It brings me back to Pine Mountain, Georgia where I cried and stuttered my way through vows that I wrote myself.  It reminds me that I promised to cherish this man.  I promised to love him.  I promised to support him.  I promised to listen to him.  For all the days of my life.

And he promised to make me laugh.  He promised a whole bunch of other things too, but this promise is the one that I cling to.  The one that ensures me that we can get through any rough patch.  The promise that will be there once beauty and youth fades. 

He has held tight to this promise and he has delivered.  I am a lucky woman to be married to this man who makes me laugh.  I am a lucky woman to be married to this man who approaches fatherhood with laughter (and the joy that cannot help but accompany laughter).  I am a lucky woman who laughs often.  I am a lucky woman.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

#Recipes - Meatballs

I admit that even Instagram couldn't make these meatballs look very good.  But it's not about the look.  It's about the taste.  And I thought these were pretty tastey, though I'd add garlic next time.

Sunday night I was planning on making whole wheat pasta with meatballs.  My plan was to pick some frozen turkey meatballs up at the grocery store, but clean eating and frozen meatballs do not mix, as I learned reading all the ingredients in the frozen meatballs.  So I decided to make my own.  They tasted better on day 2 and 3.

1 lb organic ground beef
1 cup or so carrots
4-5 stalks of celery
1/2 onion
1 tbs ground flaxseed mixed with 3 tbs water (OR 1 egg - I bet you didn't know flaxseed was an egg substitute now did you?)
Spices - I used 1-2 tbs each parsley, Italian and Basil and some salt & pepper
2 Ezekiel sprouted grain tortillas (my secret ingredient instead of breadcrumbs)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  In a food processor mix together carrots, celery, onion, and tortillas until crumbly.  Mix in spices and flaxseed/water mixture.  Add ground beef and mix until, well, mixed.  Form into balls (I made bigger balls so I only got 16 out of the mixture).  Put meatballs on cookie sheet (I lined mine with tin foil for easy clean up) and cook in oven for about 25 minutes.  Enjoy!

TTT: Toddler Hair Cutting

Yesterday the little man's hair looked like this:


He was in serious need of a haircut.  As in, his last  (and only) hair cut was on April 28.  APRIL people.  If my math skills are correct, that is four months ago!

So yes, he was overdue.  But we've been busyMommy's been crazy.  Haircuts were not top on our priority list.  (Here is where I will not actually admit that I haven't had my hair cut since March 23.  Oh wait....)  But Lukas and I are off to visit a good friend of mine who I haven't seen in a long time.  The last time we were together was for my wedding. Four years ago this week.  FOUR years!  Which is actually longer than the amount of time I lived in Massachusetts where I met her. There are now three little boys between us.  I was not going to allow my little man's first impression to be one of wild unkemptness.  (I figure I can keep up that charade for the 2.5 days we're in Bean Town.)

So last night I decided to take things in my own hands and play the role of hairdresser.  Mr. Cob thought I was crazy but he reluctantly allowed me to go for it.  We saved $17 and a whole bunch of tears (the last haircutting experience didn't go over so well from the little man's viewpoint if you'll remember...

I don't think Lukas missed the space ship seat or the whole "salon experience."

So if you want to play hairdresser too, here's what you need to do:

1.  Check out this blog post over at Young House Love and watch the video of Sherry cutting her husband's hair.  I watched it in May when she first posted it and should've watched again last night for a refresher before embarking on my own DIY haircut but I'm not practical like that. 
2. Get your supplies ready.  A decent pair of hair cutting scissors.  Snacks.  Multiple drink choices (for your kiddo - save the wine until after the cut! Safety first folks, safety first). Toys.  Your computer/Ipad with kid-friendly shows or songs ready to PLAY.

3.  Go outside and plop your kiddo on a stool.  It helps to have another person with you to entertain the kiddo or steady them on the stool or keep their hands at their sides.

4.  Use Sherry's technique (I would describe it here, but she really does a great job in her video!) and don't be scared about messing up or going to short.  I started cutting wrong (i.e. vertically) in the back, but quickly realized my mistake before we had a full on hair disaster. Just remember: cut the hair dry, pull hair through fingers, and snip.  Keep it longer on top.  It worked!

5.  Hope for the best!  And reward yourself with a big glass of wine after.  (My current favorite is Apothic Red - a lovely California red blend!)


Side by side comparison:


I don't think it turned out too shabby!  I could use some help around the ears and in the back, but for a first try I'll take it!  Maybe I'll eventually get some clippers for the finishing touch.  Maybe not.

So the next time your little guy or gal needs a haircut, save your cash and give him or her a new do yourself!