At dinner tonight, Sophia held up her cheese, touched it to her chest and said, “Mine. Mine. Mine…. Mine… Mine…” over and over and over again.  Yes.  She has learned the word “mine.”  Last week she learned the word “no” and thoughtlessly answers “no” to everything.  If I had the patience to count how many times she said no in a day, I’d reach a number I haven’t personally counted to in a LOOOONG time!  Sophia is 18 months-old today.  I really wanted to celebrate today as a half birthday, but things didn’t go as planned.  It began with an early morning of crying and a swollen, achey mommy.  After a complete meltdown over a poopy diaper change, the day got off to a terribly start.  18-months old and I think I will say that the “terrible twos” have begun.  Her tantrum fits are taking on hitting and thrashing around, screaming and yelling “no,” running away, hiding and throwing herself on the floor.  Could we ask for a better time for this?  Really?  I actually wouldn’t be so upset about this stage happening now if it weren’t for the running away. She’s not listening to me when I ask her to do something, and on the way inside the house today she ran toward the street, laughing and thinking she was playing a game with me.  A car was coming but thankfully saw her and stopped.  She never made it off the curb, but I’ve never been more scared in my life.  I chased after her as quick as I could, snatched her up, and scolded her real good.  Something’s gotta change.  She can no longer be trusted to follow me indoors.  The hold my hand when we’re outside rule is officially in place.  Argh.  And, right before I have another one to hang on to…  Pray for me.

Parenting.  Yup.  We have definitely begun to discipline and punish.  I’m afraid I’m going to have a lot of adjusting to do as we really buckle down on Sophia’s behavior.  I want to discipline well, not out of anger and frustration but out of a heart that wants to guide her to good and safe behavior and her heart to one full of love.

heavy nesting

Well, we’re less than 4 weeks to the due date, and I’m nesting hard!  I hope I don’t go into labor anytime soon because I’ve got some projects in the works.  The upstairs bathroom needs all manner of storage solutions/decorating, and our bedroom (where the new baby will sleep for a time) needs to be rid of a hideous border, needs curtains, and needs a pretty major rearrange to accommodate a small nursery in the corner.  I just got the supplies to get started on these major projects.  I hope they don’t prove too big.  I finally have the energy and my foot has finally healed enough that I am rerring to go! Tomorrow we go in for the first “weekly” appointment where my cervix will be checked for dilation and ripening and what-not.  So, tomorrow we’ll know a little more if I am being a little too ambitious…. 😉

In other news Sophia has been hilarious lately!  I’ve really been realizing how much she’s growing up, too.  Her language skills are on the verge of blowing up.  She’s just started rote repeating us and her verbal comprehension is freaking unbelievable.  She doesn’t have all the sounds to work with, so repeating us is pretty funny.  A few minutes ago I was working on putting a shelf together for the bathroom and getting frustrated as one does with nothing to work with but an allen wrench and sweaty palms… when I exclaimed emphatically, “Oh crap!”  Sophia, only inches away from my side, says, “Oh sap!”  Wow!  That was a first!  Better watch your mouth, Mommy! Good thing she’s not around when Mommy and Daddy are playing video games… 😉

A few days ago, she first verbalized the word “no.”  She’s been shaking her head no for at least a year, but this is the first time the sound “no” or anything sounding like it came out of her mouth.  And, she said it for the first time yelling it 6 times in a row when she didn’t want to do something.  Woah!  She never does anything half-way, I’m realizing.  Since then, we have heard “no” at the door when Daddy goes to work, “no” when I take something away from her, and “no” when I’m putting her diaper on.  Argh!  I could’ve done without that word for a while.

We’ve also noticed that she understand so, so much.  When Will and I have been talking about something, she has understood just enough to go get something that one of us has mentioned and bring it to us.  Will and I are talking about going somewhere, out to eat or something, she goes to the door, picks up my purse or my shoes… Will and I were talking about Christmas gift ideas and I said, “I should get a pencil and paper and make a list.”  She immediately goes and finds paper for me to write on.  Mind you, we are not talking to her. We were talking to each other. She’s off playing by herself… or so we thought!

Moral of the story: your children are listening.

Chocolate Banana Bread

Yummo!  This is banana bread at it’s yummiest!  The bread isn’t too sweet and is just right as an evening treat with a cup of coffee.  Though, I’ve modified it a little, I got the recipe from here: http://www.joyofbaking.com/breakfast/ChocolateBananaBread.html#ixzz0W1XvtpEh Her recipe is slightly different.  She adds a 1/2 c of chocolate chips.  I thought that that might be overkill…  😉  I also tried putting the pecans as a crust over the top with the turbinado sugar.  It made a beautiful crust, though it browned a little too much.  Hope you try it!  By the way, what do you think about a chocolate pumpkin bread?  Exchange banana for pumpkin?  I may try it.

Chocolate Banana Bread Recipe:


1/2 c toasted walnuts or pecans coarsely chopped (optional)

1 3/4 c all-purpose flour (I mixed with half whole-wheat)

1/4 c Dutch-processed cocoa powder

1 c granulated white sugar

1 t baking powder

1/4 t baking soda

1/4 t salt

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

1/2 c unsalted butter, melted and cooled

3 ripe bananas (approximately 1 pound or 454 grams), mashed well (about 1-1/2 c)

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and place oven rack to middle position. Butter and flour (or spray with a non stick vegetable/flour spray) the bottom and sides of a 9 x 5 x 3 inch (23 x 13 x 8 cm) loaf pan. Set aside.

Chicken Cider Stew

Currently in the crock pot is my favorite fall stew.  It’s a “stoup,” really, colored with the palate of autumn and the hearty aroma of chicken soup and savory cider.  It’s sweet, savory and hearty at it’s best.  I recommend it for a brisk, fall day.  It will make you smile.

Chicken Cider Stew


2 c. apple cider

3 T catsup

2 slices bacon (or a few oz. of hearty sausage)

1 1/2 t salt

1/4 t dried savory, crushed

1/8 t pepper

2 lbs. chicken breasts, cut up

couple bouillon cubes (optional, to taste)

4 carrots, thinly sliced

2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed

1 onion, finely chopped

3 celery sticks, chopped

1 apple, peeled, cored, and chopped


Throw it all together in a large pot.  Bring to a boil.  Cover and simmer about an hour or until vegetables are done.  Note: If you think more liquid is needed, you can either add more cider, water or chicken broth.  The vegetables and apples, especially, will give some extra liquid.  The apple will fall apart and the sweet potato is likely to, as well.  I’m trying it in a crock pot today.  Of course, it’s going to take much longer, but it looks pretty much the same.

5 weeks left

We just got back from a 5-weeks left OB appointment.  I can’t believe how fast it’s gone.  Baby’s doing great.  Momma’s doing great.  To catch up to my weight gain in the last pregnancy, I still have 25 pounds left to gain!  HA!  That shows just how swollen with water I was last time.  My feet still look relatively normal, as does the rest of me.  I’ve experienced a few random times recently when my hands and feet puffed up, but I think I’ve narrowed it down to a certain kind of sitting for a certain amount of time.  Church last Sunday was the most recent scare.  Every time it happens I think, “This is it.  Here’s comes 20 pounds of water weight!” Thankfully, it goes away with some lying down.

I’m starting to get some of that end of pregnancy energy–nesting energy?  My foot’s doing a lot better, and I’m just excited to be up doing stuff.  Sophia’s not as excited as I am.  She cut a new molar last night, and either she’s having residual pain today or we may see a match on the other side in a few days.  Bless her heart.  I’ve been cooking up a storm today (more on that later) and she hasn’t appreciated the lack of attention.  I tried to let her help me wash dishes and chop vegetables, but everything seemed to end up in her mouth.  The new tooth explains recent biting, screaming and putting dirt and sand in her mouth.  Bless her heart.  I can tell she’s in pain.  She’s chewing her finger raw.

I found out some really disappointing news at the doctor today.  Because of the flu season and the extra swine flu scare this year, they are changing the labor and delivery hospital visitation rules for the next couple months.  For the duration of the labor and recovery, i.e. for the duration of Mom and Baby’s stay at the hospital, Momma and Baby are allowed ONE “designated support person” in the Birth and Women’s Center.  That’s right, ONE visitor.  ONE.  No other adults are allowed.  So, Daddy, in our case, right?  And, that’s it.  No grandparents, no siblings, no friends.  And, no children are allowed, period.  That’s right.  Sophia won’t even be able to visit us!  I’m freaking out a little.  I want the transition to be as least difficult as possible, and if Sophia is not even allowed to come visit us, see where we are, and get used to what’s going on, isn’t it going to be weird when we pop home from our two day vacation with a BRAND NEW BABY that she’s never seen!  She can visit us in the lobby, but that’s it.  I don’t think we can bring a nursery baby out to the lobby…  Hopefully, I’ll feel like stepping out there in my beautiful hospital gown to say Hi…  Oh…  But, what can we do?  It’s for our protection…