There was one area of campus that really caught his attention, a little rock garden that was between a few of the buildings. I had been trying to coerce him on but eventually just sat down and let him play. He was so happy to just pick up the rocks one at a time and throw them and he completely lost interest in exploring the campus any further.
We stayed in the rock garden for about 10 minutes or so, but there were lots of families walking by who seemed to be kind of annoyed by us being there, so I eventually picked Jayce up and moved on. No one was being outwardly rude to us, but there was a lack of the usual friendliness and smiles that come from strangers when you're out with your cute little kid. Instead they were giving us kind of cold looks, which I didn't really think we deserved. I mean, he was concentrating so hard on picking out just the right rock to throw and they were only landing about a foot away from him at the most. Plus he was wearing a little red hat that said "Rookie" on it. That's worth a little smile at least!
This is the most common way to find Jayce in the living room these days. With a multitude of toys that both can and do roll under the furniture, he keeps very busy. Sometimes he actually does reach an object, but he always is reaching for something or another. As soon as he does retrieve a ball or block from under the couch, he immediately throws it back on the hard floor where it bounces and rolls to a new destination.
I used to use Shutterfly a lot when we were in Scotland to share pictures with our family, but haven't been keeping up with it since we started the blog. I just periodically use it when I get deals like this. I have already done Jayce's first year scrapbook, so I used this offer to make a book of his first birthday. I'm still working on the finishing touches but it has been pretty easy to use so far-I've gotten most of it finished in a single nap time!
Anyway the offer is for a 20 page book, so there is plenty of space for whatever you would like to do. Good luck!
After all of the clothes were piled up in the basket, he pulled out Chris' swim trunks and decided to drag them around the house by the string. For about 15 minutes, Jayce did nothing but walk circles around the house, dragging the shorts behind him. He was so fully engrossed in this, that I unloaded the dishwasher, sorted and put a few loads of laundry in, fixed myself something to eat and of course snuck a few pictures. I hope that you can appreciate just how long 15 minutes is for a 1 year old to do just one thing. You would have thought that dragging those shorts around was the most important job in the world-he never wavered when he walked by any of his toys and he wouldn't even look at me.
All in a day's work.
This morning I decided to see how well Jayce could feed himself with a spoon when given the opportunity. He really surprised me by doing great! I imagine that we should have tried this a while ago, but since he hasn't been able to keep anything solid on the spoon before, I think I assumed that the same would happen with yogurt. But he did great at keeping the food on the spoon and bringing it to his mouth. I need to give this kid more credit, I guess!
This is probably not an exciting video for anyone other than the grandparents, but I was excited this morning!
Also, he is already figuring out ways to do what we ask without actually doing what we ask. We have been working on sign language with him for months and he just keeps refusing. We have been working on "please" the most, and he is utterly resistant, scrunching up his face and turning his head whenever we ask him to say please.
Being one of those people that neither enjoys cooking nor is incredibly good at it, I typically do only as much cooking as absolutely necessary, and no more. Meaning, we enjoy a lot of pizza at our house. However, there are a few dishes that get me by, and a few others that never disappoint when cooking for others.
A Few Good Recipes: I Call Dibs on These for the Potluck
1.) Scotcheroos. These are my go-to dessert, the first thing that I bring to any get together where I have the option, and are often requested by friends who have had them before. Kids love them because basically they are rice crispie treats with chocolate on top, and adults love them because basically they are rice crispie treats with chocolate on top. It is a perfect chocolatey peanut buttery combination, and never disappoints!
Ingredients: 1 cup sugar, 1 cup corn syrup, 1 cup peanut butter, 6 cups rice crispies, half bag semi-sweet chocolate morsels, half bag butterscotch morsels
Heat sugar and corn syrup on medium heat until sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat and stir in peanut butter, followed by rice crispies. Press into greased pan. Melt chocolate and butterscotch morsels and spread on top. Cut into squares and prepare to be blown away.
2.) Green Bean Bundles. These make a great presentation, both fancy and delicious-looking. I mean, green beans wrapped in bacon?! Could they be any better? The sauce that you drizzle over them is sweet and buttery, and combined with the bacon it makes for the perfect sweet and salty combination. Plus it's a serving of vegetables!
Ingredients: 2 cans whole green beans, 1/2 lb bacon, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/2 stick butter, 1 tsp garlic salt, syrup
Melt butter, stir in sugar and garlic salt to make sauce. Use 6-8 beans to make a bundle. Wrap the bundle with 1/2 slice of bacon and secure with a toothpick. Place bundles in baking pan, drizzle with sauce, and cover with foil. Bake 25 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove cover, drizzle lightly with syrup and bake uncovered for 15 minutes until bacon is cooked through. Remove toothpicks before serving.
Online Guilty Pleasures
1.) Prime Time in No Time. This is a 5 minute video series that Chris introduced me to, and is updated every Monday-Friday morning. It's a bit like the show The Soup, except only deals with last night's tv shows, and as I said, is only 5-ish minutes long. Basically it is like listening to the funniest person you know recap the best of last night's tv shows, with clips of the best parts. It is particularly entertaining in the fall when the good shows are on, and a quick way to see what crazy thing happened last night on So You Think You Can Dance, The Bachelor, American Idol, etc. without actually watching them. http://primetime.tv.yahoo.com/
2.) GOOP. A website started and written/facilitated by Gwyneth Paltrow. This perhaps should have been stated last, if you, like me, aren't necessarily a huge fan, and are wondering why she should have her own website. But if you think about it, she's a rich and famous actress, who is married to a rich and famous musician, so it makes perfect sense that she would have access to rich and famous stylists, chefs, writers, musicians, etc. who can share their tips on her website. And they do. The sections are poetically named Make, Go, Get, Do, Be and See instead of Food, Travel, Shopping, etc. but try not to let the hippy-ish vibe scare you away if that's not your thing. It is surprisingly interesting, charming, funny, and a bit intriguing. There is no reason why I should have spent 7 minutes watching a YouTube video of Gwyneth making chicken in her kitchen, or discussing why she uses maple syrup in her salad dressing, but I did. http://www.goop.com/
I'll stop there. I have 3 others that I'm debating about for 3rd place, but I don't want to choose between them and I don't have time to make a 5 point list today. I will leave you with an honorable mention though.
Honorable Mention.) If you can laugh at yourself, Stuff Christians Like. It is a blog that, thus far, appears to be steadily well-written, often satirical, with occasional outright thoughtfulness. If you have spent any amount of time in the Christian Culture, then you will probably see yourself in some of these posts. I would recommend checking out Being A Christian Culture Snob for a taste. If you find it more amusing than offensive, read on. I have only been introduced to this website this week, so I am a bit hesitant to throw my full support behind it, thus the honorable mention. http://www.stuffchristianslike.net/
Anyway, I was reading an article on the elliptical the other day (more on that in a minute), and afterwards decided that I'm going to write my own list of things, and post a different one for each day of the week. I have a few ideas but I'm not sure if I have 7 days worth, so I reserve the right to redefine the terms of week to let myself off the hook, such as the work week, or the calendar week, etc.
Back to the elliptical, I was reading an article that recommended some things that can help a mom on the go to look her best. There was nothing earth-shattering there, multi-purpose products like moisturizer/foundation, quality concealer, etc. One item that did catch my eye, however, was a dry shampoo. Apparently, dry shampoo gives you the opportunity to "de-grease your do" without washing it. You simply shake some of the powder formula into your greasy roots, allow it to soak up the grease, rake your fingers through and voila! You have just extended the life of your previous shampoo!
Is it just me, or does idea seem vaguely familiar? Like, perhaps, that powder that janitors use in grade school to clean puke up from the floor? They simply shake it over the mess on the hallway floor, sweep it up with a broom and dustpan, and voila! No more puke!
I haven't used this product so I can't really speak about how I like it, but I do think that if my hair is dirty and greasy, then a good option is to wash it. With actual shampoo, not dry shampoo. I also think that if it's greasy enough to contemplate putting absorbant powder in it, than perhaps the "life of my previous shampoo" is already over.
Anyway, reading this ridiculous suggestion made me think about how I do use a few shortcuts now that my personal time is more limited, and I wish the article would have interviewed some women on this topic as opposed to simply endorsing various products. That said, here are a few of my own shortcuts. Take them or leave them, but maybe one will be more help to you than dry shampoo.
Shortcuts for Presentable Hair: No Dry Shampoo Necessary
1.) My best shortcut thus far, which more than halves my time with the flat iron in the morning, is the night shower. I shower and blow dry my hair before bed, pin up my bangs, and sleep on it. It flattens out the sides well enough that I only need to straighten the ends in the morning, and removes the need to section hair and straighten each section to get that flat-ish look. I still have some fullness at the top since it's been clipped up, and just straighten out the bobby pins marks or reshape it and keep it pinned up.
2.) The headband. Most people already know about this, but I have only discovered it post-pregnancy. It's classic, not too fancy, and a thick band or cute pattern can cover a multitude of evils.
3.) The messy ponytail. I almost didn't list this because 1.)it has been a fave since high school (I know!), 2.)I am afraid people don't actually wear their hair like this anymore and 3.)I have fallen into a category of people who won't give up their high school do, alongside mullet-ers and bang teasers. Oh well. I still think a messy ponytail beats a regular ponytail, especially if you pull out some bangs, and when paired with a night shower and headband, can actually pass for having taken the time to do your hair. Or so my 18 year old self thinks.