Monthly Archives: August 2011

She Says… Mamamamamamama

We have a new game. It’s called “I will say lots and lots of sounds and will try to repeat lots of words, but I will NOT say Mama”. Owen is particularly good at it.

I don’t find it terribly funny anymore.

Let’s back up. Owen has always been a babbler, but he didn’t say his first real word until a few weeks ago. He’s a man of few words, that beautiful boy. His vocabulary now includes “Dada/Daddy”, “Doggie” (which often sounds exactly like Daddy, but recently I’ve been noticing a subtle difference that makes “Doggie” sound more like “Dawttie” rather than “Dah-dee”), “Hi!” and “Uh oh!”. Trust me when I tell you that “Hi!” and “Uh oh!” are ALWAYS said with exclamation points. What Owen doesn’t have in words he makes up for in enthusiasm/emotion and arm waving. Maybe he’s Italian. Recently he’s been experimenting with inflection too and has figured out how to turn these four words into questions (for example: “DAH DEE?!??!” letting his voice swoop up at the end and raising his eyebrows expectantly while peeking around the corner for Benjamin). His teacher at daycare told me he even repeated his teacher’s name (“Katie”), but I’m going to file that under copying sounds instead of learning a new word.

There’s one word that is lacking in his vocabulary. A very important word, if I do say so myself. A word that I thought I would’ve heard by now. Ahem, a word I would really like to hear right now.


Mama. Mommy. Even Nan (a sound I’ve heard him try out a few times, and what my little sister called my mom for a long time). Ma. Mother would even be fine at this point.

Side note: Does this make anyone else think of this Family Guy clip?



Anyway, all I’m saying is that I’d like a little recognition! Benjamin has been traveling a lot recently and whenever he’s gone Owen wanders around the house yelling, “Dah DEE???”, pushing open our bedroom door and peeking around corners. When I say different words to him, and sometimes even prompt, “Can you say…”, no matter WHAT I say, he looks at me proudly and says, “Dada.”.

Even at night while I’m giving him his bottle and singing him lullabies he sometimes pats my cheek lovingly, then sits up and says, “Dada!”.


What do I have to do to get a little love around here? I am the one who wakes him up in the morning and puts him to bed at night. I am the one who cuddles him when he falls and holds his hand while he toddles and narrates our day so someday he can learn more than 4 words. I am the one who makes his food and picks up his toys at night and packs his daycare bag and reads him stories. Maybe he doesn’t say my name because I’m always around? And Benjamin leaves so Owen needs to verbalize that he recognizes he is gone? That’s one theory, but I think that’s a stretch.

Other mothers have told me, “Just wait. Once he learns it, he’ll never stop saying it! Enjoy it while you can.” I’m sure they have a point. But is it too much to ask for my darling son who I spend almost all of my time with to call me something?


Anything other than Daddy, of course.

Thankfully Owen communicates really well with sign language for other words like “More”, “All done”, “Milk” and “Sleep”. Maybe I should teach him the sign for Mama! Though I’m not sure that will fill this little hole in my heart. I want to hear that adorable little voice!

When did your baby first say Mama? Did you do sign language with your toddler and did it help you communicate before he/she learned those words?

She Says… Party Prep

I know, I know, Owen turned 1 way back on July 24th. That feels like forever ago. We had planned a party for him the weekend of his actual birthday, but it turned out that all of our friends and family were traveling that weekend. So we rescheduled. And I put all of my party planning on hold since September 10th seemed so far away.

Fast forward to today. The party is in 2 weeks and I am 1 week away from another crazy work week running a training for 50 new hires at my company. Which means that the 1 week leading up to the party — the one where I had planned to do all of the planning and prepping — is going to essentially be nonexistant. I’m going to be rushing to work super early in the mornings and staying late at dinners and events at night. I will miss bedtimes. And I will be working my butt off. Benjamin will be eating frozen food. It’s just the way it goes.

Why we decided to put the party the day after my longest week of the year, I’ll never know. Oh wait, yes I do… it was our only free weekend until the middle of October. Already. How does that happen so far in advance?!

Anyway, now I’m trying to get some of the planning done early so that I’m not stressed about the party after that long week of being stressed about work. The most important part of this process is letting go of my visions of perfection and handmade everything and just BUYING THINGS. Even if they are not perfect.

Owen will not ever know the difference.

Benjamin is out of town again this week (sigh), so my plan is to make these:

and this:

And figure out a menu. The “theme”, if you can call it that, is Happy Hour. Remember our invitation?

Bottles + Snacks = Happy Hour. So my idea is to have everything labeled as either bottles or snacks, and have appropriate things for the adults and the kids.

And rainbow cake. Lots of rainbow cake.

More inspiration on my Pinterest page.

What’s the best theme party you’ve ever been to? Any great “do ahead” ideas to make my party go smoothly after a long, hard week?

She Says… We Survived!

Well, Owen and Schnitzel survived their first hurricane.

Our neighbors tree and our fence didn’t fare quite as well.

Although everyone kept commenting about how Ol’ Irene had weakened quite a bit and wasn’t nearly as bad as she was predicted to be, it was still a helluva storm! Prior to the hurricane warnings, Benjamin had planned to be hanging out on a houseboat in the Boston harbor Saturday night for a friend’s bachelor party. Thankfully that plan got nixed (but not until the guys were sure they could get their money back, which wasn’t until late on Friday night — good planning, boys!) and they settled for hotel rooms in Boston to drink ride out the storm. Either way, I was left holding down the fort for the majority of this stormy weekend.

Between the torrential downpours and crazy wind, we were all feeling a bit stir crazy by Sunday evening. Thankfully Benjamin arrived home before the eye of the storm hit and the wacky weather passed in time for us to take a [precarious] family walk Sunday evening to survey the damage the storm had done. Holy down tree limbs and scary dangling power cords! I don’t know how, but we only lost power for about 1 minute, and then it came right back on. We are LUCKY.

Oh, and in other news, I got my hair chopped and it’s WAY shorter than I anticipated and I think it looks dorky/awkward. I’m hoping I’ll like it in a few weeks. I should be used to this game by now; I ALWAYS do this. I let my hair grow “long” (for me, at least), I chop it off with a dramatic ‘do, I don’t love how short it is at first, and then I end up loving it. So right now I’m in the ugh-I-hate-this-why-did-I-cut-it-at-all stage. Pictures to come when I’m feeling better about it. The good news? It will all grow back!

Did you get hit by Irene? How bad was it?

Do you fall into the “always wanting to cut your hair and then hating it” trap like me?


What We’re Eating: Some dinners to catch you up on. The pictures are less than appetizing because usually they are snapped in a dimly lit kitchen by a hungry photographer who really just wants to go sit on the couch and catch up on Project Runway and Modern Family. This is why I’m not a food blogger!

Friday: Pan Seared Lemon Pepper Tilapia with Kale Chips and Multigrain Bread with Goat Cheese. Yum. Finally figured out the secret to making actually crispy kale chips — cook ‘em low and slow! 275 degrees for 20 minutes, if I remember correctly. Also? Normally there would be about 10 times that much ketchup on the plate to eat with the kale chips. But those were the last, gross little squirts in the bottle. Sadness. Gotta put that on the grocery list.

We saved Owen some tilapia and he gobbled it for the next 2 days, straight from the ‘fridge. I thought it would be too peppery, but yet again the kid reminded me that he loves flayvah! Offered him some leftover kale chips as well. Those did not go over quite as well — he put them to his lips and felt the texture and got the full-body shivers and delicately dropped it off his tray for Schnitzel.

Saturday: Chicken, Apricot & Goat Cheese Quesadillas with Roasted Cauliflower and Pan Fried Greens. This just may be one of my best flavor combinations yet. I could have sworn I stole this idea from someone else, but I Googled to try to find it and came up with nothing. So I’m taking credit for it. Spread goat cheese and apricot jam on a tortilla, add in pre-cooked chicken (I chopped it up into little cubes and cooked it that night, though leftover grilled chicken or rotisserie chicken probably would have been even better), a sprinkle of shredded mozzarella (to make it stick together) and pan fry in a dry pan. Yum.

Owen can’t have wheat tortillas, so he got leftover chicken and roasted cauliflower.

Sunday: Vegetable Potstickers and Steamed Zucchini & Summer Squash. Totally not in the mood to create anything fabulous, I cooked up some frozen potstickers (these were my grocery store brand, but they were not nearly as good as the Trader Joe’s version — those are awesome!) and steamed some zucchini in the microwave.

Again, Owen can’t eat the potstickers because of wheat in the dough, so he got leftover zucchini and a frozen quinoa/sweet potato/black bean burger I made awhile ago, along with lots of other food like bread with hummus, cheese, yogurt, eggs, etc.

What did you eat this weekend?

She Says… Thar She Blows

If you haven’t heard, there’s a hurricane a’comin’.

I am one of those invincible types who has rolled my eyes at all of the apocolyptic hurricane warnings. Generally the media and the general public TOTALLY freak out for no reason (hello, snowstorms), and I prefer to laugh at them than get caught up in the hullabaloo. Boston is not New Orleans, people.

Until I saw this map:

“Extreme” Threat Level. Major flooding expected. State of Emergency already declared. Evacuation routes planned. Shelters stocked. In my town.

That sounds serious.

Generally I love storms. I love to see the sheets of rain and hear the cracks of thunder so loud they stop your heart for a second. I am amazed by the flashes of lightning across the sky and get a little bit of a rush from the wind whipping around the house. You know, when I can snuggle in my couch under a blanket and watch movies… probably not so much if I am fearing for my safety and wondering if I should grab Owen out of his bed and run to the basement to take cover.

Now I feel like I should at least get a little bit prepared, in case even some of these predictions are true. Thankfully our new house is in a walkable area where we could most likely get “stuff” if we were desperate, it’s not in a particularly low area and there aren’t any huge trees close to the house. We have a finished basement we can hide in that has a history of staying totally dry (I think we might be putting that to the test!). We’re practically walking distance from our town’s emergency shelter (ummm, not that I Googled that or anything).

I was at the grocery store last night and I came home and said to Benjamin, “Man, Friday must be the day that they restock the shelves at that store, because many of them were BARE!”. Uh, duh. More like crazy smart prepared people had already gone and gotten their water and milk and bread and canned foods and ramen. And here I was buying more produce than my ‘fridge can hold, totally not thinking about the fact that I may not have power next week. My laid back attitude has me a little worried now.

No matter how serious this turns out to be, we should probably take some precautions like getting an emergency kit prepared. And have some water on hand. We’ll be filling up jugs and empty milk cartons and bathtubs on Saturday, since you and I both know that the grocery stores have already been picked clean. We should probably find our flashlights and could probably use some more batteries, but for once I am thankful that Benjamin needs so many batteries for his video work because we have an overabundance of “half-used” ones sitting in ziplocs in our closet. We do NOT have a phone that is not cordless. But I’m also not going to run out and buy a rotary phone. We have diapers, but if the power goes out and we can’t open the ‘fridge, Owen is not going to be able to drink his milk. Which could be a problem. So probably I should stop somewhere and pick up some formula.

It feels a little bit more important to be prepared when there’s a tiny person in the house who can’t prepare for himself.

This website advises that you stock up on ramen and beer. Now that’s a hurricane diet I could get behind. What are you stocking up on for the storm? Do you think it will actually be a big deal by the time it gets to New York/Boston?

Stay safe, my friends!

She Says… Shortcut

Remember these bookshelves that Benjamin and I made in our old house for Owen’s nursery?

It was a relatively quick and easy DIY project, but we still had to cut each piece of wood specifically for the weird wall nook we were trying to retrofit. And attach the pieces together. And paint them. And figure out a way to get them on the wall that didn’t show ugly screw heads.

As we were running out of Ikea a few weeks ago (yes, literally running… Owen was hungry and tired and Benjamin was hungry and tired and I was, well, hungry and tired, and we had a 1st birthday party to get to) I spotted something that stopped me in my tracks.

A picture ledge. EXACTLY like the one that we had built.


For $9.99.

So I snagged a few and kept right on running. Look at how perfectly they work as baby bookshelves!

Apparently they come in multiple lengths, so I didn’t need to get three and make Benjamin all frustrated by asking him to hang them perfectly straight so the edges matched up (which, as you can see, never really worked out right so we ended up spacing them out across the wall so you can’t see the imperfect edges). But what can I say? We were in a rush. I grabbed what I grabbed.

They are perfect in Owen’s playroom. All of his books are off the floor (the ones we like to read at naptimes are in a shelf in his nursery; these are the “playtime” books), and, as a bonus, the shelves match our picture frames in that room perfectly because they are also “Ribba” from Ikea.

So now I don’t have to write a post about how to build those bookshelves from Owen’s old nursery. Because the answer is, “Get your butt to Ikea and buy some for under $10″. Easy.


What We’re Eating: Not much inspiration today, sorry folks. Last night’s dinner was embarrassing. I stood in front of the ‘fridge and picked out what I could. Slim pickin’s, though, since it’s been awhile since we went to the store and Benjamin was still out of town. I think I had a leftover sausage or two, some bread with leftover white bean spread made from baby food, leftover asparagus and some cucumber spears. Lame. Since there were no good dinner leftovers, Owen ate a sunflower seed butter sandwich (his FAVE), broccoli “trees” and cucumber bites (sans skin, because it’s still a bit hard for him to chew… I find the rinds tucked in his cheeks while I’m brushing his teeth!), and strawberries for lunch. I’m defrosting a frozen hamburger I made a week or two ago and roasting up a sweet potato to have with a Dr. Praeger’s spinach pancake for his dinner tonight.

Apparently I need to go to the store tonight because Daddy’s coming home and Owen needs food for tomorrow.

She Says… Eating Baby Food

Owen started eating solid food quite early (the day he turned four months old, if I remember correctly). It was a combination of him being a tiny little dude, his own interest in food and eating and his breastfeeding/nursing/reflux issues, plus the pediatrician’s recommendation and my own excitement about sharing my love of food with him. It all started with some avocado mixed with breastmilk. Soon I was pureeing and freezing all kinds of fruits and veggies. Then proteins too. And now we’re long past the point of pureeing and I’m cutting my own food up into bites for him to feed himself. My how time flies!

To this day, he has never refused a food. The kid will taste anything! Certainly as he’s gotten older and started feeding himself he has a lot more choice over what he eats (and what he throws on the floor). Some days he eats everything I put in front of him; some days he eats a few bites and waves his hands in the air doing his version of the “all done” sign. Some days he adores broccoli, some days it goes on the floor after 1 bite. Some days he gobbles down sausages or roast chicken, and other days he leaves that alone and chomps on strawberries and green beans, clapping his hands along the way (his version of the “more” sign). He loves spice and strong flavors, which I attribute to starting him on early (I used to flavor his purees with garlic, cumin, cinnamon, etc.). And bacon. What can I say? The kid loves meat.

I try not to get worried or frustrated when he refuses something and just offer it to him again the next day or in a few days. I love that he is beginning to show me his personality and his likes and dislikes, even if it means some food on the floor or, his latest trick, pushing chewed up food out of his mouth with his tongue while laughing hysterically while it dribbles down his bib. Or his shirt, since he already took off his bib. Sigh.

Anyway, Owen has been eating only “bites” for several months now. All of sudden around 10 or 11 months, I think, he stopped eating purees. He would not let me feed him. Pureed food, yogurt, hot cereal, applesauce… anything too mushy to pick up was NOT making the cut. He also isn’t digging slimy things that slip out of his hands (like pasta with any kind of sauce). He wants to pick it up and put a BIG piece in his mouth. The bigger the better. At the time I thought we had a few more months of purees left; or at least that I could do one bowl of puree a day in addition to bites to clean out my freezer stash of homemade purees. No such luck,

So here we are now, with 1/3 of our freezer being taken up by frozen purees. Instead of just throwing them out (they are lovely, organic veggies prepared with love!), I’m trying to be creative with how I use them.

- The other night we had some new neighbors over for apps and drinks. They are vegetarian/vegan, so I wanted to make a quick, easy appetizer they could eat without going to the store (yep, I’m lazy). I had a flash of brilliance when I saw the baby food. I defrosted 2 big ziplocs of pureed white beans, roasted a whole head of garlic in the oven, mixed them together in my food processor and added olive oil and rosemary. Instant white bean dip to have on pita chips and veggies!

- I defrosted some frozen sweet potatoes, black beans and peas and mixed them with cooked quinoa and some spices and gluten-free baking mix to make little veggie burgers. They are a bit crumbly, but they hold together enough to break into bites for Owen, and he loves them. I’ve even had a few for lunches on salads or in a sandwich.

- I’ve used frozen pureed spinach cubes in stir fry and other dishes to go over rice.

- I’ve made little egg puffs for Owen to take for breakfast at daycare (frozen pureed asparagus, fresh eggs, whole milk, shredded cheese and soy crumbles poured into a muffin tin and baked until set to make individual muffin-sized omelettes/souffles).

So our puree stash is dwindling. Finally. I still have frozen pureed edamame, broccoli, chick peas (easy hummus!), asparagus and lentils (maybe an easy lentil soup for Benjamin and I?). Any ideas for things to make with these?

Have you ever used baby food as an ingredient in your own cooking? When do kids learn how to use a spoon to feed themselves liquidy things? I would love for him to eat yogurt or hot cereal again for breakfast.


What We’re Eating: This week was a weird week to start sharing our dinners. Benjamin is out of town, so I’m not really cooking a whole lot in the evenings. Last night I grilled up some spinach and feta chicken sausages and asparagus and ate them with a side of applesauce for me, and that’s what Owen is having for dinner tonight as well. The best part? No dishes since everything was on the grill!

She Says… Thanks, Sorry and Dinner


Thank you all so much for your thoughtful responses to yesterday’s post about postpartum birth control. You gave me some great things to think about.

For those who are interested, I am still on the fence about an IUD because of the things I listed (many of which were confirmed by commenters!). I’m still totally against the pill because of hormones and messing with my body’s natural cycles. It seems like I would be a perfect match for FAM (I’ve read TCOYF twice and temped for several cycles while I was working with a fertility specialist to get pregnant with Owen), except that while that may keep me from actually getting pregnant, it won’t keep me from worrying that I am pregnant because I would constantly be wondering if I messed up. Having unprotected sex for most of the month (the unfertile days) makes sense in theory, but accidents happen. Also, I have a 1 year old who gets me up at odd hours of the night sometimes, and I like to have a few drinks. Both of which messes up the tracking. Also, I don’t necessarily trust my body yet to be reliable enough for this method. So… that leaves me with condoms or a diaphragm. Or abstinence.

The most important lesson I learned from hearing all of your stories is that no matter WHAT option I choose, there is going to be a chance that I get pregnant anyway. Case in point: someone whose husband even got a vasectomy was worried she was pregnant! No method is 100% reliable except abstinence (this message brought to you by my 7th grade health class). But we’re not going there. So one way or another, we’re going to have to roll the dice.

That said, I have reached the point that I actually think about having and WANTING another baby. I think we want 3 years between Owen and his future brother or sister (and maybe other brothers/sisters beyond that), so we’re not quite there yet. But I have started to imagine what life will be like with two little munchkins, and I kind of like what I’m seeing. When Owen was first born I remember wondering if I would ever have room in my heart for another baby. If I could ever get to the point where I was ready to share him, and myself, with someone else in that way. Little by little, that answer is becoming yes.

Don’t get too excited. Not QUITE yet.


Sorry for not putting a disclaimer on yesterday’s post like “If you don’t want to read about my sex life, STOP READING NOW.” Apparently there are some people (ahem, Owen’s grandparents) who come here to read about what cute thing Owen is doing these days, and yesterday they got slammed with some info they probably wish they’d never read. Ooops. Disclaimer next time. Promise.


You can tell a lot about someone by the blogs they read. My first foray into blog reading was with healthy living blogs. I was working on getting into the best shape of my life, knowing that I was going to try to get pregnant, and I was looking for some inspiration for healthy recipes, workout ideas, etc. When I was trying to conceive (TTC), my blogroll was filled with others trying to conceive. Slowly some of the TTC blogs turned to Mom Blogs, and the demographics of my Google Reader changed again. I expanded into nursery design blogs to get ideas for Owen’s room. Since we bought the house I’ve added even more design blogs. And now I feel like I’ve come full circle and I’ve started adding food blogs back into my repertoire.

I love the inspiration. I see something on a food blog, and whether I save the exact recipe or not, the ideas, the flavors, the pictures are etched into my brain. When I’m at the grocery store I dig into the recesses of my memory. Someone posted a quinoa salad. What did it have in it? What about if I went with beans… I think I’ve seen one with black beans and peppers and mmmm cilantro and maybe some fresh lime juice, yes, I can just wing it from here… And then all of a sudden I have dinner.

So I have an idea. I’m thinking of posting my dinner ideas for those who need a little inspiration. I can’t promise new, original recipes or fancy dancy pictures (because, let’s be honest, I’m doing about the most I can do just to get a single blog post out every day!). But maybe at the end of each post, I can write what we had for dinner last night or something. I’ll link to recipes if I used one.

Would you be into that? Or should I leave the food blogging to the food bloggers?

She Says… Decisions, Decisions

At my 6 week checkup with my OB after Owen was born, I remember her asking me what kind of birth control we were planning on using. Ha! Birth control! I thought at the time. How ironic. I couldn’t even GET pregnant without the help of two doctors, several cycles of monitoring, lots of needle sticks and ultrasounds and drugs, so I wasn’t really worried about an “oops baby”, thankyouverymuch. And shouldn’t someone who struggled with infertility be overjoyed with a freebie, after all of that work?

Besides. I was NOT one of those women chomping at the bit to, uhh, how shall I put this delicately… get back on that horse right away.

So we I put off the decision entirely.

As you know, it took another 10 months for my period to even come back, and in that time we were using the dreaded condom method. You know, umm, most of the time. Bottom line? We were being REALLY stupid since we were/are not ready to have a sibling for Owen yet. But can you blame us? Condoms are a real buzzkill!

But something scary happened at the end of last week. After three relatively normal cycles, I was late. I hadn’t been writing any dates down because I’m trying to be totally laid back and let my body do its thing for now… but I knew I was late. The first day I chalked it up to not counting correctly. The second day I blamed it on stress. The third day my stomach was upset all day thinking about the possibility. I finally mentioned it to Benjamin because I couldn’t think about anything else. Then HE was stressed too. The fourth day we started to have some very serious conversations about the future of our family — and then stopped, because really, that was a bit premature. I did everything I could to “bring on” my period. I wore white pants. I left the house without a tampon. I told myself I would take a pregnancy test on Saturday morning. Then finally, thankfully as soon as I got to work on Friday, it came. Almost a full week late. Hence no blog post on Friday. Too many thoughts to make sense of.

I learned a few very important lessons:
1. We need to figure out a better form of birth control. I can’t take that kind of stress!
2. I have kind of long cycles, so I shouldn’t be counting 28 days like a normal human being. I should start writing this stuff down.
3. It’s ok to not be ready for another baby yet, even if it was excruciatingly hard to conceive Owen.

I am pretty much convinced at this point that my infertility was caused by using birth control pills. I essentially stopped my body from ovulating for a decade, and then expected it to start right back up again as soon as I stopped taking those little pills. Obviously that didn’t go so well. As a result, I’m 100% unwilling to put hormones back into my body again. I refuse to change what is happening naturally. I am so, so thankful that things appear to be in working order again and I will do just about anything to keep them that way. Hence the condom method. But that severely limits the birth control options available to me!

The other option I’m considering is ParaGard (copper IUD that doesn’t contain hormones). Reasons I’m scared about this method?
1. I know someone who has gotten pregnant on an IUD. It’s super unlikely, but scary nonetheless.
2. Insertion can hurt. The pamphlets say that after you’ve had a vaginal delivery, insertion shouldn’t hurt at all, but I’ve heard testimony otherwise.
3. Complications like the device perforating my uterus and requiring a hysterectomy.
4. Feeling it poking me during sex. Or Benjamin feeling it poking HIM during sex. Eww.

It’s time for a little field research. What birth control method did you choose post-partum? How do you feel about that decision?

She Says… This, But Not That

I was so proud of myself. Last weekend I upholstered some barstools in a cute fabric to go around our kitchen island. I was proud because, not only does the upholstery job look great, but I remembered to take pictures of the whole process for the blog!

We have been living here for 2 months without barstools because I was obsessed with finding this chair that was in my head but apparently not in any stores or online. FINALLY I found something that I liked, but the upholstery on the seat was a boring dark brown pleather. After a little investigating to make sure I could handle the project, I decided to upholster them myself in a cute fabric to bring some color into our kitchen. The project was even easier than I expected, which is good, because I can guarantee that as Owen’s dirty little fingers touch them and drop food on them over and over again, we may need to re-upholster them pretty regularly.

But now for the “this, but not that” part.

I can tell you about the project, but I can’t show you. Do you know why? A certain someone who shall remain nameless deleted the pictures from our memory card before they could be uploaded.


Here is the “after” picture. Just imagine the chairs with a shiny, brown seat the color of horse manure. They look better now, I promise.

As payback for deleting my blog post pictures, I will let you, my lovely readers, in on an embarrassing little secret about Benjamin. He has become a total “Dad”. Does anyone watch Modern Family? We just started watching the episodes from the beginning on Netflix (because we finished watching the entire collection of Mad Men, which we ADORED, but needed something a bit lighter!). Phil makes me just about die laughing with his “Dad jokes” because they are SO things that would come out of Benjamin’s mouth. While we watch the show and I die laughing, Benjamin is sitting on the couch straight-faced saying, “That is NOT me!”. Sure honey, sure.

Today we were eating smoothies and I said, “We need to get those long, sundae spoons to get to the bottom of the glass.” “But honey”, he said. “It’s Thursday.”

Bah dum ching!

He’s become the kind of guy that when you say, “You got a haircut!”, he replies, “I got all of them cut!”.

Bah dum ching!

He’s here all week, ladies and gents.

And I bet he’ll never delete my photos again.

She Says… THE Watch

Recently I’ve gotten a lot of comments on a certain accessory I wear every day.

There’s a funny story about this watch, actually.

Way back when we were trying really, really hard to get pregnant, and this blog was still in the “I’m going to Google the shit out of my situation to try to figure out what’s going on inside my body” phase, I made some really incredible blogfriends. These women helped me realize, through telling their own stories about struggling with infertility, that not only was I not alone in my frustration and sadness, but I was in GREAT company.

One of those amazingly awesome bloggers is Such a Good Egg. I had to go to Chicago for work in January of 2010 (3 months pregnant with little Owen) and Benjamin tagged along so we could make it a little mini-vacay. It was an extra special trip because Egg lives in Chicago and we got together over drinks. She was even more fabulous in person than she is on her blog. Seriously. At the time she was still struggling to get pregnant, but I’m happy to report that now she has two beautiful, healthy and happy twin babies at home!

Anyway, back to the watch. So while we were there I was in that “fat but not yet pregnant” stage (if I remember correctly), and in walks Egg, in all her thin, blond gorgeousness. And wearing this utterly cool white watch.

After we hung out and Benjamin and I headed back to our hotel room, I mentioned casually, “I loved her white watch!”. In typical male fashion, I think he said something like, “What watch? Oh. Yeah. I liked it too.”. I kept thinking about that watch after we returned from our trip and knew I really wanted to find it for myself… but alas, work got busy and I eventually forgot.

Imagine my surprise when I opened a box on my birthday in February to find a white watch very similar to Egg’s! Benjamin had remembered. And not only that, but he found Egg’s Twitter name and messaged her to find out who made her watch so he could get it for me. As it turned out, hers was a Michael Kors, but since Benjamin couldn’t find the exact same one (and they got a bit expensive), he opted for a cheaper (and less diamondy) version by Fossil for me. It was PERFECT. I have gotten countless compliments on it since. And the best part is that every time I look at it, I am flooded with memories about trying for a baby, making that baby, meeting Egg and my other wonderful blogfriends, and all that has happened since I first put that watch on my wrist.

Since I’ve gotten so many questions about it, I’ve searched online for the exact one that I have, but I can’t find it. However, I’ve put the closest approximation on my This Place is Now a Home Amazon Store. I must say, it has maintained stylishness from January 2010 to now, and I don’t see it stopping anytime soon. Jump on the white watch bandwagon and make me Egg a trendsetter.

Oh, you didn’t know I had an Amazon store? I know, I know, it’s about time I got the link to it on my site somewhere! I’m working on it. I’ve been keeping a running list of all of my favorite products since Owen was born — toys, breastfeeding supplies, food, books, etc. If you’re on the market for any of these items (or, you know, a white watch like mine), I would love it if you would order through my store! I get a small percentage of the sales, and you can bet that money will go straight to buying more diapers :)

Happy shopping.

What are your favorite baby products that you are using right now? Things you couldn’t have lived without when your baby was tiny? Help me grow my store with tried-and-true products.