Monthly Archives: April 2012

Hi and Bye: AM’s current vocabulary

Tomorrow is my 5 year wedding anniversary. I feel like I should have this great post written about how wonderful these 5 years have been, how Jeremy is my best friend, how I didn’t think it was possible to love someone MORE but seeing him become a father was amazing… blah blah blah. But I’m just not that type of writer. Obviously I feel those things and I’ll usually express that I feel that way by farting on him and giggling like a 10 year old. So.

We don’t have any grand plans tomorrow. We’re running a 6k, as a family, on Sunday morning so that didn’t really leave much in terms of staying out late. Jeremy’s parents will be watching Annmarie during the day because we’ve learned that if we don’t put her to bed, she usually wakes up in the middle of the night (I suspect because she wants to make sure we’re there). We didn’t want to deal with a sleepless night so we have a lunch and movie date planned. Hunger Games, whoo hoo!

We are also not even exchanging gifts! We have a big trip planned next month so we’ve decided that the trip will represent our true celebration of our anniversary (and Jeremy’s completion of law school). I’m excited for the trip but also a little sick about it. I’ve never spent a night away from Annmarie. For this trip, I’ll be spending 5 nights away from her. I get a little weepy when I think about it.

Annmarie has started saying a word here or there and it seems that she understands the word. She still babbles a ton and refers to me, Jeremy and many others as “dada” or even “yaya“. She doesn’t say “ball” or “dog” or whatever else people seem to be telling me their tots say at this age.

The words she is consistently using are:

  • Yeah?” – she says this while pointing or motioning to something she wants
  • No” – She says this when you try to hand her something she doesn’t want or to the dogs when she wants them to get away from her.
  • Hi!” – she says this to people when they walk by. I can’t get her to say this on cue but she’ll usually say it to people that walk by our front door, in the grocery store to strangers or wherever else I’m not trying to coax her into saying it. I think by not saying it when I ask, she’s telling me that she’s not my performance monkey.
  • Bye!” – she is starting to get consistent with saying bye to people although it usually sounds more like “die!”.

I managed to capture her saying “Bye” to me this morning:

I think the “hi” and “bye” are complete influences from daycare. There is a little boy that is older than AM who always enthusiastically yells “Hi” and “bye” to me when I pick AM up in the evening.

And lastly – here are just some recent cute pics:

Fun at a birthday party
This was taken at my friend’s son’s first birthday party. I was worried AM was going to terrorize the other children but she was actually quite good. And she was having the time of her life. I am obsessed with this photo (taken by my friend, Geoff).

IMG_20120422_124953.jpg
We went to the mall on Sunday to purchase AM a pair of TOMS. This was probably one of the biggest clothing splurges I’ve made for AM because I am incredibly cheap about baby/toddler clothes. I want her to always look cute but I have a hard time spending lots of money on clothing when she will outgrow them somewhat quickly AND she stains the crap out of them. But I really couldn’t resist these shoes.

I keep trying to get a good picture of the shoes on her feet but it is incredibly difficult to get her to sit still. Just know that these shoes were worth every penny (they were only $30).

Any great plans for the weekend?

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Trying to Get Back to Reading

Since having Annmarie, I hadn’t read a single book until I served jury duty last month (I read Tina Fey’s “Bossypants”).  That was 13 months of only reading magazines and even those were only read while hiding in my bathroom.

I miss reading so I’m trying to get back into it.  During some spring cleaning, I uncovered 2 books that I haven’t read but want to.  But before I even started those… I totally got sucked into a pop culture phenomenon.

I am reading The Hunger Games.

As embarrassing as it is to admit that I’m reading a young adult novel as a not young adult, I have to admit that I am REALLY into it.  Like I can’t put it down.  I actually dreamt that I was participating in the damn Hunger Games last night.  I really like this book.

I tried reading Twilight and will forever stand by my opinion that it was one of the worst things I’ve ever read in my life.  AWFUL.  The movies are equally awful.

I have no desire to read the soft porn book “50 Shades of Grey“.

But The Hunger Games?  There was just so my hype around the movie that I really wanted to see what all the fuss was about.

My 5 year wedding anniversary is coming up and we don’t have anything spectacular planned on the actual date.  My in-laws will watch AM while we go do dinner and a movie.  And you better believe we are seeing The Hunger Games.

I realize I am several years late on this book phenomenon.  Maybe next year I’ll start reading Harry Potter.  Ha!
The next book I’ll be reading is Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point (it was one of the books discovered during spring cleaning).

What are you reading?

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How Do I Step Up Dinner?

One of my favorite things to eat for dinner is cereal.  A nice bowl of one of my hippy dippy cereals (currently I am loving Barbara’s Puffins) makes me happy.  That doesn’t mean that I don’t enjoy going out to eat but when I’m home, I’m happy with cereal.

But now we have a kid.  And Jeremy has visions of all of us eating dinner together as a family (because he grew up doing this whereas I did not so it seems strange to me).  Since AM is impressionable, it seems that now is the opportunity to instill good habits and routines.

I’ve read a few things on the web about parents trying their darndest to not become their kids’ personal chef.  They try to enforce the “everyone is eating the same meal” thing.  And I realized we totally don’t do this.

So now is the time to step up our dinner game.  Currently, I feed AM dinner right when we get home (because she starts FLIPPING OUT for some food as soon as we walk in the door).  Her dinner is usually pasta (with tofu and cheese).  I try to vary this but have only had success giving her the sweet potato/cannelini bean burgers.  She seems to hate every other dinner option I’ve tried.

I don’t want to become her “personal chef” and I’d like to give her more variety.  But this means that I should probably start eating a more substantial dinner.

So is this the norm?  Do most people cook dinner on most nights and eat together (as a couple or family)?  This seems so foreign to me.  My family only ate together on occasions (like holidays).  Otherwise, I’d usually eat something that my mom prepared for me while she watched me eat (she usually grazed all day on Korean food so she never really ate dinner).  Sometimes my dad ate with me.

The idea of cooking dinner nearly every night sounds exhausting!  How do you do this?  How do you make this work and not end up with a boat load of leftovers OR without spending a ton of money on food?  We already spend an obscene amount of money at the grocery store.

HELP ME!  I won’t be turning to Pinterest for this because I know I’ll just get lost in the world of recipes and then feel so overwhelmed and then so poor after I purchase everything to make these amazing meals.

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Baby Picture Post

Isn’t this ridiculously warm and sunny weather glorious? And isn’t this ridiculous pollen awful? I washed my car on Friday (and if you know me, you know that I never wash my car) because I couldn’t stand the pollen and weird tree sap that was all over my car. 3 days later and my car is covered in pollen again. And this is why I never bother washing my car. What’s the point?

As I struggle to keep my eyes open (allergies = incredibly dry eyes), I’m just going to make this an Annmarie-centric post. Sorry to people that don’t care. But to my friends, at least I’m not one of those parents from STFU, parents that posts 100 status updates all about my baby. Or at least I’m trying not to be. I think that is my goal – never to be like one of the parents featured on STFU, parents (unless I’m getting a gold star for being awesome).

Anywho.

I bring you cell phone pictures! I really feel like parent of year. We used to be super into taking photos but I just don’t have it in me sometimes to pull out the DSLR then upload, edit, and organize pictures.

Playing with the zhu zhu pet
AM goes back and forth with being afraid of or into this zhu zhu pet. I think she’s afraid of it because it moves independently on its own (so I guess maybe she thinks it is real?). I try to hold and and the zhu zhu pet to show her that it is harmless. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t.

Waiting on dad
AM enjoys standing by the front door and watching all of the action outside. We do this around the time Jeremy gets home.

Piling toys by the front door
She decided that she was bored just waiting so she went back and forth to her toy box to bring toys into the doorway.

Trying to escape the stroller
And like so many people, we tried to enjoy the great outdoors this weekend. We stopped into Children’s Place on Sunday so I could exchange something. Jeremy put these sunglasses on AM’s face and she kept them on for a long time in the store. This was kind of shocking since she hates wearing things on her face and head. I, of course, had to buy these sunglasses.

And of course, she wouldn’t keep these on her face at the park. She also went back and forth with wanting to stay in the stroller.

And lastly, it seems AM gets the concept of eating with utensils. She certainly did not learn how to use a fork from me. I just handed it to her so she could play with it. I was shocked when she actually started to use it properly. I guess daycare has been teaching her? Or AM’s a genius. Either or.

Confession: Sometimes I feel like a bad parent. Here are some shining examples:

Example 1: My daughter bites and hits other kids. I feel like it is somehow my fault. Someone had asked me if I thought it was because she was in daycare. I wasn’t sure how to answer that. I certainly don’t encourage her to bite and hit. I don’t bite or hit Jeremy. And since that comment, I have found myself overly apologetic every time she hits someone.

Example 2: I just happened to notice some new teeth in AM (upper molar and upper canine). She had been waking up at off times and acting a little clingy. I feel bad that I didn’t realize that she was in pain/discomfort.

Example 3: One of the daycare moms was very proud of the fact that she got the provider to keep the TV turned off. I never thought it was that big of a deal (especially since every time I picked up AM, they were all playing outside). But the fact that I wasn’t vigilant about it (or concerned about it) makes me feel bad. Although Jeremy said (and I couldn’t agree more) that all he really cared about was that she was in a place where she was being loved and cared for.

Example 4: I never finished AM’s “1st year” baby book. I can’t even remember the developmental milestone dates anymore.

Example 5: We’ve been trying to keep up “monthly” pictures (similar to our weekly pictures) but keep missing the boat on taking them. her 13 month pic was more like a “13 1/2 month pic”.

Example 6: For those of you wondering if we’ll ever let AM try meat? She ate some dog food over the weekend. No, we didn’t feed it to her. She’s incredibly fast and our dogs are now incredibly slow at eating their food. We usually try to keep AM out of the kitchen when the dogs are eating (because she usually terrorizes them) but didn’t at this particular time. She then picked up a piece of mushy dog food and put it in her mouth. She’s had meat. She didn’t like it. And while I feel a little bad about her eating a piece of dog food, I was more amused by it than anything. So yes, we are parents of the year.

Got any confessions or examples of bad parenting you want to share?

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Pinteractive: Shirred Summer Dress

I sewed my first article of clothing!

Inspired by this pin (25 tutorials for baby summer dresses), I decided to try my hand at the Sweet Shirred Summer Dress (featured on Prudent Baby… I love that site!).

I didn’t take any photos of the process.  Sorry about that.  But if you click the tutorial that I linked above, they did a really good job of outlining the steps (and including photos!).

I was actually setting out to make a maxi skirt for myself when I decided to tackle a sewing project.  The maxi skirt tutorial called for elastic thread.  I was a little nervous about using elastic thread but Prudent Baby made a great suggestion.  So in case you’re curious, because I have a sewing machine with a “drop-in bobbin” (and I have no idea what that really means… I looked up the specs on my sewing machine to confirm that it was a “drop-in”) – I couldn’t hand wind the bobbin like most of the tutorials suggested.  Prudent Baby said to machine wind the bobbin but set the stitch length to 3.5.  That was PERFECT.

Anyways.

I made a little skirt for AM with some jersey knit fabric that I had intended for me (but I didn’t buy enough).  But I totally f’ed up the skirt.  However, it gave me confidence to work with elastic thread.  But I still didn’t want to tackle my maxi skirt.  I bought new fabric for the maxi skirt but let me tell you… jersey fabric is not easy to sew.
Shirred Toddler Dress

The fabric I used was an old crib sheet.  We were gifted this crib sheet and I accidently ripped it trying to put it on the mattress.  But in my crazy “I hate waste” mind, I couldn’t bring myself to throw away the sheet.  I knew I’d find a way to repurpose it and I’m so happy that I did.

Shirred Toddler Dress

I ran into some difficulty sizing this dress.  Shirring fabric entails bunching fabric together.  The pattern recommended cutting the fabric to be 1.5 to 2 times the width of the actual size we wanted the dress.  And I did that.  But it was huge.  I had to cut this dress down twice and even so, I feel that the top is a little too wide.

Inside of elastic thread
This is what the inside of the fabric looked like with the elastic thread.

Oh – and this was the first time I tried to sew with bias tape (double fold).  I definitely winged it and while one side looks pretty good, the other side is pretty bad.  I read some tutorials on sewing on bias tape (after I had completed this dress) and realized I did it all wrong.  Oh well!

And here’s the lovely model…
Modeling new dress

She loves playing with the remote controls.

Model pose

A little over the shoulder glance?  She’s a natural model!

Modeling new dress

I realize it is probably weird that I’m snapping photos of her in the bathroom.  I probably should’ve chosen a more appropriate location.

Hiding

Playing peekaboo.  Hiding…
Boo!

Boo!

I’m probably going to make another one of these dresses in different fabric and I’m hoping that it won’t take me several hours/days to complete.

Nannersp

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On Wanting a Big Family

I hung out with one of my childhood friends yesterday. I hadn’t seen her in years (because she doesn’t live in the area anymore) so when she called to say she was in the area visiting her parents, I didn’t hesitate to take a half day at work.

My friend has 5 kids. They are 8, 7, 6, 2 and 18 months old. The first 3 were born 14 months apart.

When I hear “5 kids”, I just think, “that is crazy!“, “how exhausting!“, “I couldn’t do that.

But let me tell you… my friend’s kids were SO sweet. They were rambunctious and fun. They all got along great. They all looked out for each other. They were SO sweet with Annmarie (despite Annmarie sometimes swatting at them).

Guys. It made me want a big family.

Annmarie was really beating up on the 2 year old but due to having lots of siblings (and apparently getting into many fights with his 18 month old sister), he was TOTALLY fine with Annmarie. It probably helped that he was a big kid (he wears size 5T clothing).

I asked my friend how she felt about having 5 kids and having some be so close in age. She said it was tough for a bit but that she loves how close they all are now. My friend is such a laid back mom too. She and I definitely seem to share similar parenting styles (and seeing how sweet and well adjusted her older kids are, I feel good about my parenting style).

I really wished my friend lived closer so Annmarie could have some more friends (especially more friends that looked like her… my friend’s children are also mixed Asian/white kids).

I mentioned that I’ve hit a new slew of preggo people in my life. And I’ve also mentioned that I’ve been itching for another baby for quite some time now. (I’m not pregnant, btw) But I’m currently trying to run through a list of justifications on why I shouldn’t want to be pregnant right now.

  • We need to move but we don’t know where since we need to see where Jeremy lands a sweet attorney gig.
  • I don’t want another winter baby. Being on maternity leave during the cold season sucks. I had massive cabin fever but it was too cold to go anywhere.
  • I don’t want another baby near large gift giving holidays. Even though AM’s birthday is in February, we were STILL going through her Christmas gifts. Have I mentioned we live in a tiny home? Plus, as a person with a summer birthday, I always enjoyed the nice mid year celebration with gifts.
  • I want a baby that has a birthday during the warm season so they can enjoy having birthday parties outdoors and so we can both enjoy maternity leave (by spending more time outdoors!).
  • Daycare!  While we don’t pay a ton now, doubling that is still quite a bit of money.

I know that none of you care about my list but these are things I have to keep telling myself when I get the weepies over wanting another baby RIGHTTHISSECOND.

On that note, I’ll end this post with pictures of Annmarie.

whooo!
We scoped out the neighborhood park on Sunday. Normally it is littered with the neighborhood riff raff so I avoid it at all costs. But on Sunday it was empty. It was surprisingly clean (something that my neighborhood never is).

Swinging at the park
Look at those choppers!

AM Bathroom rearranging
Annmarie LOVES going through the bathroom drawers. Despite having childproof latches on them, she can still pull things out. This mess, however, was her digging through the bottom drawer that she can never open. Jeremy thinks he must have left it slightly ajar and she was able to pull the whole thing open.

AM Bathroom rearranging
I swear Annmarie has real toys but here is another day of her playing in the bathroom. This time she decided she wanted to do some light reading of Glamour, People and Men’s Health.

And this is where my friend and I share similar parenting styles. I’m big on letting Annmarie explore things and roam about the house (obviously with me still in the room or her within my line of vision). I’ve replaced all accessible drawers with non life threatening items (no knives, medication, etc.). We replaced our shoe storage just to keep it out of sight (since she always wanted to play with shoes and I didn’t like the idea of her touching the bottoms of the shoes since they’ve traversed all over the city).

I don’t want to spend her entire childhood grabbing her hands and yelling, “noooo!” I like her curiosity. I like her toddler bravery. I feel like constantly pulling her away from things and yelling, “no” will only lead to her being a nervous and skittish child. And seeing that my friend’s 5 kids are all alive and thriving, I’m confident that I’m doing the right thing for me (I know not everyone agrees).

So anywho. (stepping down from soapbox)

P.S.

You may have noticed I didn’t get Pinteractive this week.  I started to (with some sewing projects) but haven’t completed anything.  Well, I completed a baby skirt out of black jersey fabric (since I bought a lot but apparently not enough to make an adult sized maxi skirt).  I followed the maxi skirt instructions loosely but made the skirt knee length on Annmarie.  But I totally f’ed up the waistband and sewed it on upside down/inside out.  So I didn’t take a picture because it looks dumb.

However, I have almost completed a toddler dress (that involved SHIRRING fabric.  I am the shirring master!).  I’m pretty excited about it because I was able to recycle a torn crib sheet into an adorable dress.  I’ll post a pic soon.

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