Thursday, February 25, 2010

You Capture - Shapes

So this week's challenge was "shapes" I resisted the urge to take pictures of Abby's shape puzzle and all her baby toys...although that may have been pretty fun. Instead, I took a few mins after work and shot a few pics from inside the high school.

diamonds

circles

squares...and more squares

squares & triangles

a little bit of everything


To see how the rest of this week's entries shape up, go visit Beth's site. And if you have a camera and 10 spare seconds, you should join in too, it's fun!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

abby antics

I know I've said it a lot lately, but I feel more and more like a mom to a toddler than a baby. I think the biggest contributor to this fact is how much Abby's personality is emerging. She's started doing several things lately that I wanted to remember.

First, she's definitely at the age where she likes to put things in other things. I gave her some crayons the other day and she colored for a few mins but then spent about 20 mins (which is a freakishly long time) putting the crayons back in the box, dumping them out, and repeating. Its fun to watch because you can watch her learning and concentrating so hard.


Here she is dumping them out again - but I also wanted to note that she's wearing my work ID. This is something she does every day when I come home. I pick her up, get a kiss, and she takes of my ID. Yesterday, she was wearing it while walking around carrying my car keys and chatting on a pretend phone. Hilarious.

After Abby got tired of putting the crayons back in the box, she decided to find something else she could put them in. I noticed it had gotten quiet, and when I went to check on her, I caught her red handed throwing her crayons, one by one, in the trash.


Other things we've rescued from the trash this week include all of our drink mixes, a bag of marshmallows, several toys, one of my shoes, Abby's shoes, and the tv remote. I think it may time to find another lid.

I also caught her this morning about to drop a necklace that she plays with into the toilet. Luckily, she hasn't figured out that she can lift the toilet lid (yet), so as long as I can remember to keep it closed, we should be safe for now.

Abby is also quite impressed with magnets. I've been meaning to get her some toddler letter magnets for a long time, but never get around to it. So, she's had to settle for playing with Obama and some other magnets we've got. It's another good time waster though. The hook magnet in the picture is where she hangs her heart bracelets now.

And there are times that she just baffles me. The other day, I gave her a small bowl of kix to snack on while she played. It didn't take long before I heard, "uh-oh!" and this is what I found:



Ok, no big deal. So I go to get a broom, and stop to check my email on the way. When I get back (about 2 mins later) Abby is in another room playing and this is what I find:

I looked for the kix, the bowl, the lid...I looked everywhere. I finally had to concede that she must have stuffed her little chipmunk cheeks full of cereal and then hid the bowl. I later found the bowl and lid - in the trash.

Another new thing - climbing. She now uses the beanbag chair to climb on the couch. She thinks she's pretty much untouchable up there. Yesterday, she fell off, into her toybox. She just stayed very still while I made sure her neck wasn't broken or anything, and then shot up, and walked off to climb up on the couch again. Fearless.
She's really walking pretty well now. I'd say that she walks 60-70% of the time now. She's gotten a lot better about changing direction and turning around. She still falls down a lot, but you can tell, she prefers walking to crawling anytime. Maybe this will allow those crawling bruises on her shin and knees to heal.

She's been making this whirring sound a lot. I can't describe it exactly. But yesterday, I said "Abby, try this." And I proceeded to add a vowel and say "Wow!" She picked it up right away and now has been saying "wow!" and "woah!" back and forth all the time. It makes me laugh.

Here's a really short video of Abby walking. She doesn't walk that far in this one, but you get the idea. It also shows her practicing her new "wow/woah" phrases.
video

Monday, February 22, 2010

vacation

And just like that, February vacation is over. But, I must say, it was an excellent vacation. It was mostly excellent because I didn't plan to do anything. I was able to actually relax, and to do things on my own schedule. I got to spend lots of time with Abby, which was fantastic, because she is so so so much fun right now. The best part about being a parent may be how often you get to act like a kid. I spent many mornings in my pjs watching sesame street and sharing my oatmeal. good stuff.

Another reason that this week was so nice was that I got to spend some time focusing on me. I needed it. And I don't mean I went to the spa or anything, on the contrary, I went to the gym. I've worked out more this last week than I have in a long long time. And it feels great. It was a good time to jump start those habits, and I've really enjoyed the slight but constant ache in my muscles, because I know they're working.

I've been eating really well, and enjoyed how healthy this last week was (well, except for yesterday when we had KFC for lunch, but I went to TWO cardio classes to make up for it) I bought myself a new belt, it cost a whole $6.99, but it improved my quality of life a lot. My old one fit, but was literaly being held together by threads. What else? Oh, I didn't set an alarm all week. I still got up at 6:30, but I didn't set an alarm, and there's a big mental difference. Oh, I also made myself a dentist appointment. I wish I could tell you the last time I went to the dentist, but, well, I dunno. All I remember is that my dad drove me, so that should tell you something.

I know my teeth need help. I jokingly told Kyle that I should just tell the dentist, "Hi, my name is Laura, you can call me $chaching$" But, it's all good, I need this. And its just one more example of how I got some things done for me this last week.

Of course, not all of the week was about me. I was happy to spend most of my time with Abby. Here are a few random updates from her.

Abby has become quite the little helper. She spends a lot of time picking up her toys and putting them back in the toybox. She really likes to put things in boxes. Also, after we finish a meal, she now helps me wipe her tray clean. She's pretty good at it, and she thinks its fun.


During the week, I had to go to city hall to pick up a paper, which meant breaking out the big stroller. We haven't used this in several months now, but Abby had a great time. And, it was kinda fun to go into the city with her. She's a really good baby. She always gets attention on the train from other people and she loves that.

all ready to go

such a little person, here's Abby on the train, just chilling with her iphone animals.

I tried letting Abby have a whole apple this week. She did pretty well with it, actually. I was glad she didn't bite off more than she could, literaly, chew. She had a little trouble getting started, but I thought it was worth documenting. I can't wait till summer is here so we can get summer fruit all the time.

Another random tidbit. Abby loves our wii-fit board. She thinks its her own personal little platform and we'll often find her just sitting on it talking to her doll. The other day, she was standing on it and discovered the TV controls on the side of our TV. She was also pretty mesmerized by the lights. Anyway, random, yes, but this picture kind of makes me happy. She looks like such a baby, yet, so big.

Finally, yesterday was sunny, and the temps were almost in the 40s, so Kyle and I were all "whoo hoo! it's warm! let's go to the park!" You see, we're at the point where we're craving sunshine. We took Abby and we were like the only people there. Abby's fingers were about frozen and her nose was bright red, but she would not let us remove her from that swing.

check out those big girl shoes!

Abby walking uphill - this took a few tries.

still figuring out her landlegs

This picture isn't the best ever, but we wanted to also document Abby's first time down a slide solo. Sure, she fell backwards and hit her head as she slid down, but she had so much fun that she wanted to do it 5 more times. ;)

So, anyway. That was a bunch of random stuff that made up our weekend and my vacation week. I'm back at work now and trying to keep on top of things. I'm very thankful that I had such a nice break. Y'know, being the mom of an infant is wonderful, but being the mom of a toddler is FUN. I can't tell you how much I'm looking forward to our summer vacation now. It's going to be great. T minus 4 months.

Happy monday everyone.

Friday, February 19, 2010

spinach bites!

In an attempt to convince Abby that veggies are yummy again, I was looking up recipes online when I came across this one on this great site. So, I thought I'd give them a try. To make things more fun, I took pictures and am now here to share this easy peasy snack with you. ;)

Ingredients:
16oz of chopped spinach (I used frozen)
1.5 cups of shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup of breadcrumbs
3 eggs or 5 egg whites
(spices if desired)

First, preheat your oven to 375 and coat a cooking sheet with olive oil - set aside.

Next, cook the spinach. If you're using fresh spinach, you may want to chop it further. Once it's cooked, make sure you drain it well.


grate 1.5 cups of cheddar, add breadcrumbs

Then add the eggs

Add in the spinach and mix well

form into nuggets or shapes and bake for 15 mins at 375. Flip and bake for another 10 mins.

some of the shapes I tried.
serve warm and enjoy!

For the second batch I made, I added garlic, pepper, and oregano and they came out delicious! This recipe yielded about 32 nuggets, but it will somewhat depend on how big you make them. Also, I've heard that these freeze well and make for a great snack. Veggies, protein, and dairy all in one. :)

Thursday, February 18, 2010

You Capture - Kisses

I hate it when I forget to post my You Capture stuff earlier in the day. I was kinda excited because I actually had several kiss pictures from this week that weren't planned for you capture - it just so happened that way.

And happy one year anniversary to You Capture! Make sure you go over to Beth's page to see what kind of wonderful pictures everyone else shot this week.

Here are this week's captures:

snow kisses

baby kisses!

ponytail kisses

and I'm adding this one just because it makes we want to give kisses!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Lent

I've always liked the beginning of Lent. I always enjoyed the Ash Wednesday services and getting the ashes marked on my forehead. It made me feel special - and there's something very comforting and intimate in that symbolic gesture.

I was in Jr. High when I first learned that not everyone observed Lent. I remember sitting in civics class and asking a friend what they were going to give up for Lent. They responded with some version of "whatchyou talkin about willis?" I had always been surrounded by people from the Methodist church who observed Lent, I don't think I ever knew any Catholic families. Most of the people I knew were either Baptist or Jewish. I remember, after being a little shocked that not everyone knew what it was, feeling kinda special. Like I was in this secret club who knew about this secret season. :)

Converting to Catholicism was an easy transition. And now, living in Boston, almost everyone I know observes lent - and if they don't - they at least know what it is.

I think it is important to remember that Lent is not just about giving something up. It does your spiritual life little good if you just give up chocolate for 40 days and replace it with grumbles and complaints. Giving up a vice does two things, in my opinion. It gives you an opportunity for self improvement and it, for lack of better word, forces you to rely on God more than perhaps you're used to.

One of the first bible verses I remember learning was in vacation bible school as a kid - and, to this day, I cannot recall the verse without saying it in the same VBS rhythm.
"I can do all things - through Christ who strengthens me - Phillipans 4 (clap clap) 13"

This is my second favorite Bible verse. (the first being "pray without ceasing") and it becomes my mantra every Lenten season. No matter what you give up - you will always want it at some point. And when that craving hits, and your hand is on the refrigerator door, I'll remember the verse, and it reminds me that there are things more important in life than egg shaped reeses peanut butter cups.

I'm looking forward to this Lenten season. I always do. It's the middle of Lent that is always the problem. ;) I think I will keep things relatively simple this year. In addition to the no meat on Fridays rule, I'm going to give up sweets and soda. I'm replacing the bad habits with working out and I'm hoping to start up a bible study at our church. The timing is a little tricky with Abby's schedule, but I think at least one of us (me or Kyle ) will be able to attend weekly. And I'm pretty excited about the chance to participate in it. Giving up something for lent, to me, is more of an opportunity than a sacrifice. At least, that's the way I'm going to try to frame it. I'm giving myself the opportunity to grow, spiritually.

I've also been thinking alot about teaching Abby these lessons as she gets older. I wonder how she'll one day participate in Lent. I hope she grows up with a strong relationship in the church. I'm sure she will. I don't remember the first time I gave up something for Lent, I was probably in at least middle school. One year, in high school, I gave up talking back or procrastinating when my parents asked me to do something. Of course, I didn't tell them what I was giving up until after Lent was over ;) One year I gave up salt, and if you know me, that was hard. But you always feel so good when Easter comes - that you made it - that you stuck with your commitment. It's like a New Year's resolution, except you're accountable to God, so there's a little more motivation to do well (at least for me).

So, I hope everyone who chooses to observe this somber church season does so with sincerity and resolve and finds themselves in a renewed and strengthen relationship with the big guy upstairs. What a fantastic opportunity we have.

Happy Ash Wednesday!

here are few pictures I found that I thought were nice. Enjoy.





Tuesday, February 16, 2010

snow day

Oh and here we are again. The end of another fun filled day at the Shachmut house. I actually was going to write about Lent tonight, but I'm feeling a bit drained at the moment, so perhaps I'll save those thoughts for another time.


Today was good. It snowed, which I hadn't planned on. It's been snowing all day, I'm not sure how much we got, I'd guess around 6 or 7 inches, maybe a few more by morning. We ventured out and took Kyle to work and then came home so I could watch baby Reese for a little while while her mom went to a doctor's appointment. Well, I couldn't pass up the chance for more pictures - so I had fun snapping a few shots of Abby and her best buddy.




So, another thing. Abby has not been eating her veggies as well as she used to. I'm pretty sure this is just another one of those phases, but I've been trying to think of new ways to get her to eat her daily greens. So, today's attempt was this:

broccoli, carrots, & cream cheese

I actually thought it was pretty tasty. Abby ate one. Then she was done. I can usually get her to eat a little bit through hiding the veggies in other things, but I'm kinda sad she won't just eat plain broccoli anymore. Y'know? Hopefully she'll get over it, I'm not letting up.

So, back to our day. As I mentioned, it snowed, so I got Abby all dressed up and we spent a little bit outside in the snow. She appeased me by standing for pictures for a few seconds. She still had no interest in touching the snow. She spent most of her time looking at it with a kind of awestruck expression on her face.


When we got back inside, Abby wasted no time letting me know she wanted out of her snowsuit. Coat, pants, boots - take it off mom! So then Abby just got to crawl around in her onsie - which of course inspired these shots:

laughing at youtube


Soon it was time for us to go pick up Kyle. The roads were mostly fine as long as you drove with a head on your shoulders. The snow was pretty - big fluffy wet snow that sticks to everything. Here are a few pictures I snapped from the car while waiting on Kyle to get done.

Boston College


Kyle's laptop died today - suddenly it just wouldn't start. This was pretty high on Kyle's "things that will make me panic" list. So he booked an appointment with our local genius bar and we headed out to get the machine fixed. Well, Abby was in a good mood and very patient while we waited in the store, but soon she wanted out of her stroller. Of course - she still had on her mac baby onsie and so she instantly got lots of attention from people. Abby spent the better part of 20 mins or so walking around the store. I tried to keep her corralled in one section, but she was just wandering where she wanted. She'd walk for a bit and fall down and then instantly shoot both arms in the air as her way of saying "pick me up, I wanna do it again!"

She was really cute - laughing and giggling and so proud of her walking skills. It didn't take long before she had half a dozen employees playing with her. Then this lady comes in with a little brown curly haired puppy and the apple store nearly exploded from cuteness. The puppy ran right to Abby and she looked right at it and said "Dog!" It was fun.

Kyle's computer was fixed and we decided to go out for dinner due to time constraints. Because of the snow - there were no crowds. We headed down to the 50's joint not far from our house and enjoyed a meal together. When I left to pick up Kyle, I didn't plan on being gone long, so I didn't bring a diaper bag or sippy cup or anything, so we gave Abby a cup with a straw and hoped she would get it. We tried a few days ago, and she couldn't/wouldn't do it. But, tonight she did and was pleased with herself.

Here's the thing about straws. I bite my straw - I can't help it, it's a habit I never notice or think about until Kyle tries to take a sip of my drink and says "Ack! you bite your staw!" Because, you see, he doesn't.

Well, I'm proud to announce that Abby is my daughter after all.


So, after a nice dinner together, we headed home and I quickly changed clothes to go to the gym. I was running short on time, but decided to try to make it to a class I wanted to attend. Long story short: they shut down the parking lots when it snows and my options were to pay for parking in the garage or head home, and I had missed my class starting. I was bummed and started to head home.

But, about halfway home, I changed my mind. I mean, I'm not going to get any slimmer or stronger by just going home, so I coughed up the 6 bucks to park and went to a later class. It's a good class. I'd say that my arms feel like jello, but jello would be too solid of a material.

And here I am. Trying to stay awake for a little while longer to give Kyle some company while he whittles away homework assignments. Just another day in our life.

Happy Fat Tuesday people. I hope it was filling.

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