Sunday, June 29, 2008

Stupid Recall

Up until now, we've considered ourselves pretty lucky. We've dodged most of the "throw it away immediately or your child will die from Chinese lead poisoning" recalls that have dominated the headlines recently. Well - we didn't dodge the latest recall. As a matter of fact, it has turned our peaceful little existence completely upside-down. Ahhhh!

A few days ago, we saw on the news that Megan's crib was being recalled. (If you own a Jardine crib, please check their website at to see if your particular model is being recalled.) I contacted Jardine and they told me they would mail me a voucher to purchase a new crib. This voucher would arrive in 4-6 weeks, but I was instructed to stop using the crib immediately. OK, where does she sleep in the meantime?? They couldn't really help me with that. Huh?

Then I came up with a plan I was actually excited about.......I could buy a new crib for Baby #2 in a dark wood (I was secretly sick of the look of Megan's crib) AND get to shop for new bedding for Megan's new big girl bed. (Formerly known as our "guest bed"). There is something about a shopping trip that makes all reason go out the window! What in the world was I thinking???? I had at least another good year of "confinement" before Megan was too old for a crib. I gave up that sweet confinement for a trip to Pottery Barn Kids and some over-priced polka dotted sheets. The high I got from finding these sheets (which happen to be the cutest sheet in the whole wide world) quickly wore off as the reality of my new "post-confinement" existence set it.
Basically, Megan's old routine of quietly lulling herself to sleep is OVER. I thought she would fall asleep in her bed the same as she did in her crib . . . no whining, no fussing . . . just blissful sleep. Yeah right! I must have been in Pottery Barn Kids induced lah-lah land. She now stays in her bed for about 30 seconds.
Last night, every time she got out of bed I put her in time-out, then promptly returned her to her bed. I was doing this OVER and OVER (thinking she would eventually get the point) until John came out of his office, fresh with information from the internet. "Stop what you are doing!" he exclaimed. "The internet says you're going to make her afraid of her new bed. It says you should lay down with her until she gets used to her own bed." Well, if the internet says it, it must be true. ha, ha. Lacking any other plan that was working, I changed into my pjs and crawled into bed with Maggie Moo.
In the morning, I called John's mom for advice. She told me to quietly return Megan to her bed when she gets up, OVER and OVER, as often as needed as she would eventually get the picture. Minus the timeout, that was my original plan.
John and I decided we would do this in shifts . . . he would do the "returning" the first 30 minutes, I would take the second thirty minutes, etc. to prevent frustration. Well, I'd love to tell you it worked like a charm but IT DIDN'T. We weren't up to the challenge. John handled his time like a trooper, but five minutes into my shift I yelled, "John, check the internet and see what Super Nanny says to do!" I ended up rubbing Megan's arm, then sitting in her chair until she fell asleep. At least I wasn't in her bed......progress!
I've also decided she can keep her binky until she goes to college, for all I care. Once she is sleeping again, I'm not messing with the status quo EVER AGAIN!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Fairy Princess Tea Party

Happy Birthday, my sweet girl! Two years ago, you came into my world and brightened my life. I love you and thank God every day for the love and happiness you bring.

To celebrate the special day, we reserved the Fairy Princess Room at the Whitaker House in Powell. (The Fairy Princess Room is located in a gorgeous old Victorian mansion. It has dress-up clothes, including fairy wings and magic wands, for little girls.) We invited my friend Andrea and her daughter Anna to join us for some girly fun.

We sipped tea and enjoyed a fancy lunch in our enchanted surroundings. The girls loved dressing up. While sitting at the table, the two girls looked at each other and started giggling. They took turns laughing hysterically at absolutely nothing. It was heartwarming to see them so happy.

The two girls love spending time together. I'm so glad Megan has a little friend so close in age.
Is it just me or does this hat make me look like a farmer instead of a fairy princess??? ha, ha
After lunch, we went to the Pink Moon Cupcake Bakery for dessert. Both girls had the princess cupcake. Actually, we ORDERED the princess cupcake but Megan knocked it on the floor while I was busy trying to take pictures. I gave her my vanilla cupcake and she didn't seem to mind. What delicious cupcakes! If you happen to be in Powell, Ohio don't miss the Pink Moon. So yummy!

I brought a few cupcakes home for dessert tonight. We'll eat dinner as a family and share our treats with Daddy. What a happy day!

The Pony Party

We gathered with family and friends on June 14 to celebrate Megan's 2nd birthday. To entertain the kids, I arranged for a pony to give rides at the party. It was so adorable to see the kids so excited. I thought Megan might be too afraid to ride but I was wrong. She took a turn and kept saying, "neigh, neigh" while she was riding.

After the pony rides we watched a slide show of Megan's second year, had a barbecue, and cake. (yes, I was able to cut the infamous cake) It was a beautiful day! It was so nice to be surrounded by people we love to celebrate!

(John thought the pony was a little much for a two year old's birthday party. Hasn't he figured out by now that I am the queen of "a little much?" ha! He said to me, "If this is what we are doing this year when she is only two, how in the world will we top it next year?" I mischievously replied, "Do you think a ferris wheel will fit in the backyard?" He only thinks I was kidding. ha, ha

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The 100 Hour, $500 Cake

Am I crazy? Perhaps I am. I have never been known to do something half way. If I'm going to bother to do something at all, I'm going to put everything I have into it. That's just the way I've always been. While I'm sure I could use some time in the chair of a good therapist to explore my perfectionistic/obsessive tendencies, I choose to look on the bright side. My "obsessions" can lead the the coolest results . . . Megan's 2nd birthday cake included. (EVERYTHING on this cake is edible, made from melted marshmallows and confectioner's sugar . . . and made by little old me!)

I really struggled with the theme for the party. While I would have hoped for a completely girly theme with princesses and lots of pink, my little girl has a thing for Elmo. Trust me, I tried to talk her out of it. We watched the Little Mermaid several times. I showed her Strawberry Shortcake and dreamed of a pink and green cake, adorned with polka dots and juicy berries. My efforts were fruitless . . . Megan remained steadfastly loyal to her little red friend. Yikes! How was I going to make an ugly little monster look cute? This was the best I could do with what I had to work with. I'm pretty pleased with the result. Getting there was another story altogether.

It all started 100 hours and 500 dollars ago . . .

The first step was baking the cakes. I was so rushed that I didn't properly grease my pans and disaster resulted.

All four cakes that I spent the entire morning baking broke coming out of the pan. Then, to make matters worse, I crashed into John's car in the driveway while backing out. That was a very costly mistake, indeed, since the insurance company says we have to pay BOTH deductibles to get the cars repaired. (John didn't say it but I know he thought it . . . "Wouldn't it be easier (and cheaper, ha!) to just buy a cake from the grocery store?") Thankfully, he knew how stressed I was and didn't give me a hard time about playing bumper cars in the driveway.

The next batch of cakes came out perfectly. Thank goodness because we were out of cars to crash!
Please forgive the state of my kitchen. I think it was about 1 am by the time I torted and layered the cakes. It was probably 1:30 am when I began icing them.

Next, it was time to cover the cakes with homemade fondant.

At about 2 am, I began drinking. So glad John took this picture because it just captures the whole experience . . . the kitchen a mess, my clothes a mess, ME a mess. Bottoms up! (I rarely drink but this seemed as good a time as any.) I think I'll leave this one out of the scrapbook though.

Actually, this is the kind of stress I thrive upon. I'm not good at relaxing and I get restless very easily. I used to ride around in a police car "fighting crime and suppressing evil" for my adrenaline fix. Now I'm making Sesame Street cakes with homemade fondant (half drunk, no less!) Isn't it funny how much one little kid can change your life!?!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Happy Birthday Fly-Guy!!!

I think that I must have been born to be a teacher. I guess that would explain how we went to the garden center for flowers and ended up coming home with a chrysalis.

Let me start from the beginning. Last weekend, John, Megan, and I went to buy just a few more plants for the backyard. There was a "butterfly lady" there giving lessons to the kids. Megan was enamoured by the little flying creatures! It turned into quite a learning experience. Awesome! I love learning experiences!
We learned that butterflies "taste" with their front feet and really like Gatorade.

Lucky us! We were able to feed the butterflies with a Q-tip.

We observed them in a semi-natural environment.

And bought a chrysalis to take home with us! Megan and I checked it every day after breakfast. I started getting worried it wasn't going to "eclose" because it was taking a little longer than it should.
Today Megan and I went into the laundry room to check the chrysalis (you should hear her pronounce cute) and WE HAD A BEAUTIFUL BUTTERFLY. Megan immediately yelled, "Yea!! You did it!" I asked Megan what we should name him. Her reply was "Fly." I added the "Guy" to the end of it. Happy Birthday Fly-Guy!

Then the comedy really began. I had to go to the store to get him some Gatorade. Since it was 96 degrees and I was feeling lazy, I drove across town to the drive-thru to avoid unbuckling the carseat only to have to buckle her back in a few minutes later. Ridiculous, I know but it was really, really HOT outside. Imagine my surprise when the drive-thru didn't accept my credit card! Can you believe I didn't even have $1.99 in my purse? I have everything else in there!

So........I ended up having to take Megan in with me to buy Fly-Guy some gatorade at a gas station. Megan tried to twist off the cap and drink it right there in the store. The sales clerk looked at me funny when I said, "No Megan. It is for the butterfly." ha, ha. When we got home, I opened up Fly-Guy's little enclosure and tried to give him the Gatorade. He flew right out and crashed into Megan's chest. She was so startled she screamed and started crying. (Nice! Now I have a toddler crying and a butterfly loose in my house.) Lucky for us, he couldn't fly very well and was on the kitchen floor. I ran upstairs to get a Q-Tip (since you shouldn't touch the butterfly). While upstairs, it dawned on me that the dog might try to eat Fly-Guy. I sprinted back downstairs with the Q-tip, wondering how in the world my friends could ever think the life of a stay at home mom is "boring." ha! I was able to calm Megan and rescue Fly-Guy before the dog ate him for lunch.

Tomorrow we will set Fly-Guy free. I hope he doesn't fly TOO far away. I've really grown quite attached to him.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Little Gym Graduation

Megan graduated from gymnastics class! I was really surprised she walked up in front of her classmates and their families to receive her medal but SHE DID!! Not only that, she took a few moments to "ham it up" and wave as people clapped. It was so stinkin' cute.........

Class photo.....Megan began feeling less than cooperative and started crying. I guess all the excitement just caught up with her. Check out her little friend Anna next to her. She was looking at Megan like, "What in the world is your problem?"

Megan giving a final little hug to her teacher "Miss Megan." Miss Megan gave out stamps at the end of every class by the door. Our little Megan had to get one on each hand and one on each foot. Several weeks ago, Miss Megan was giving out star stamps. John said to her, "Oh, Megan was really looking forward to a monkey stamp." ha, ha......seriously. Miss Megan had to get up off the floor and go get Maggie Moo the monkey stamp. She was probably thinking, "Man, are you crazy? They are paying me about 7 bucks an hour here. Buy your own monkey stamp."
After the ceremony, which Nana attended, we all went out to grab some dinner. Megan proudly wore her medal.
Am I terrible because I am jumping for joy that gymnastics is finally over?

The Zoo Has Rides!

Last weekend we took a little trip to the newly remodeled zoo. They added a whole new amusement section that was really cool. Megan was too short to go on most of the rides without an adult. . . we were happy to oblige.
On the little train ride!

Megan and I flying around on the elephants. The spinning made me a little motion sick! Hey, it moved a lot faster than it looked!

We only rode two rides because John was in a hurry to see the animals. Go to the zoo to see animals???? Why would you bother when you can ride a plastic elephant? ha, ha