Thursday, September 30, 2010

11 is the new 16.

So...let me start by saying that I'm pretty sure I need a drink.  I am not old enough to have to have The Conversation.  And since she still plays with Barbies and Polly Pockets and American Girl dolls, I'm pretty sure that Abby is not old enough to have The Conversation.  And by "The Conversation," I mean The Conversation.  I think you know what The Conversation is, so I won't detail what it involves..  Yo Abs is 10 (although she told me this week that she is almost 11, which I guess is the new 16).  So that begs the 11 the magic age to get a boyfriend?  And is a boyfriend at 11 still someone you sit next to at lunch or has it gotten to be more than that? 

And that begs the question...when do you start having The Conversation?

This week.  This week we had The Conversation.

It was and abbreviated Conversation; we talked about boyfriends (she can have one when she's 37) and going to school dances (she can go with a group of friends) and if there's a Sadie Hawkins Dance (girls ask the boys) we'll cross that bridge when we get there. I want her to feel like she's in charge and knowledgeable. Knowledge is power and I need to know that I'm giving her the tools to make good decisions and I really want her to be comfortable coming to me if she has questions or concerns.

In theory.

In reality, I would rather mix a cocktail and not have that conversationn, and send her over to Sars to have The Conversation. Sars is a nurse and that means she has the knoweldge to pass on in a No-Nonsense Conversation. Because, honest to God, it is not comfortable! But I sucked it up and took one for the team. I put on my own No-Nonsense face and attempted to put a "This is the most common thing in the world to be sitting on the couch having this conversation" spin on the "This is so uncomfortable and mildly weird to be having this conversation with a little girl" conversation.

I'm changing diapers and getting excited about sleeping through the night. I'm not ready for boys to pick her up at the door (and to bail Uriah out of jail because he's waiting at said door with a rifle pointed at the lad). I'm not ready to not go to sleep because I'm waiting for her to come home from a night out with friends. So, we'll have The Conversation again and again and again.

I will get her graduated from high school.

I will get her graduated from college.

And then I will breath a sigh of relief.  And have my cocktail.  Because I will have succeeded in the goals that we set for her when she came to live with is 2 years ago.

P.S. Pretty damn glad Finn is a boy. Uriah gets to have That Conversation with him!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010



sucks  (sʌks) [Click for IPA pronunciation guide]
1. an expression of disappointment
2. an exclamation of defiance or derision (esp in the phrase yah boo sucks to you )

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Lights out for safety.

Sleeping babies make my heart melt.  I have more sleeping baby pictures from the past two months than I care to admit to at the present time.  For weeks, getting Finn to sleep at night was such a struggle.  He would fight falling asleep every single night, and when I say fight, I mean he used his loudest, most angry voice, he arched his back, he refused to be comforted.  Poor baby was so tired but he just did not want to succumb to dream land.  Uriah and I tagged teamed holding him, rocking him, walking with him, driving him around...anything to get  him to stop crying and go to sleep.  So when he was finally relaxed and snoring, I wanted to capture the moment for posterity.  And to remind myself that sleeping Finn was a possibility. 

He's gotten much better at going to sleep at night.  We've got him on a prety regimented bedtime routine.  Bath, lotion, Jack LaLanne exercises, bottle, lights out for safety and sleep.  It's glorious news, compared to what it was a couple of weeks ago.  There was a time when I thought he would never sleep and I would have to walk the floors with him until he left for college.  I worried about my upper body strength.  It is nonexistant.
Here he is, not more than 2 weeks old spread out at my parents house. 
July in Minnesota is sultry and even his tiny baby body got hot. 
He looks so little here.  He is not this small anymore. 
But he still smells the baby sweat and lotion and love.

I took this picture shortly after we came home from the hospital. 
He is in the baby cradle that my Daddy made for me 30 years ago when I was born. 
He didn't sleep in it very long, we transitioned him to his crib pretty quickly,
but for a few weeks it was nice to have him within arms reach. 

Do you see his little frog feet? 
That is why I love this picture, for the frog feet.
I also love that he sleeps with his little arms spread over his head.

I probably took 57,000 pictures during this nap.
His little hands by his fatty cheeks...I can't get enough of his fatty cheeks.
And his little hands. 
And his fatty cheeks

I took this last week.  Apparently he will sleep anywhere.
And I will take his picture anywhere...becuase he has fatty cheeks,
but mostly because he is sleeping.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Bring on the season change!

My own perfection.
It just got cold here.  The leaves are still clinging desperately to the trees and they are as green as they were in May, but my toes were cold this morning when I got out of bed (I'm sure the wood floors have nothing to do with that!).  Finn needed a hoodie to go to daycare this morning and socks. No more cute sleeveless summer onesies with fish and crabs on them.  Oh, no...we have moved onto the polar bears and the fleece!

Abby tried to leave the house wearing a scarf and I had to remind her that it was going to get to 70 this afternoon (it was 48 degrees when she left the house).  She pouted and put it away.  I'm sure she smuggled mittens out in her backpack, though.  Sometimes she acts so much like me it's scary.  I have a new found respect for my Mom, and I curse Uriah openly when he laughs and tells me that I'm being punished for what I (allegedly) put my own mother through.  I'm sure she would disagree with him on every count and claim I am as perfect as I remember being!

Happy your mother and remind her of your prefection.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Lazy days and Sundays

Our day started rather early this morning.  To my surprise (and utter sleep-deprived delight), Finn slept until 4 am when he made it known that he was very uncomfortable in his pee-pants and he needed a snack.  Uriah and I shared baby duty.  I changed him while Uriah made him a bottle and then I got to go back to bed (yeah!) and Uriah fed him and put him back down to sleep.  Then around 7am, Finn was once again ready to wake up, although this time he did it a little bit more liesurely by talking to his mobile animals for 20 minutes.  That got old quickly, probably because the monkey doesn't talk back, and Finn decided that he, in fact, needed a snack.  I can't blame him, I like snacks, too, so  I got up and left Uriah in our very warm, very comfortable bed.  And, thus, Finn and I were up for the day.

This is how our lazy Sunday went:

Had breakfast.
Took a mid morning nap.
Played on the play mat.
Read a book with the Mama (Thomas's Snow Suit - excellent choice.)
Had lunch.

Had some tummy time.
Drooled a little.
Got bored on the tummy and demanded to be turned over.
Got bored again.
Demanded a snack.
Drooled a little more.
Took a late afternoon nap.

I love lazy days.  I love not getting out of my pajamas.  I love my boy.  I love Sunday.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

What? You say today is Saturday?

I forgot to wake up this morning. 

Or maybe I did wake up and I just chose to go back to sleep; at any rate, Uriah shook me at 7:15, reminded me that I had to be at work in about 13 seconds and then proceeded to shove my tired ass out of bed.  I took the fastest shower and opted for a "fresh-faced no make-up" look and proceeded to struggle through my morning aided liberally by coffee.  I came home and did some housework and prepared for the in-laws coming over (3 kiddos under 4, plus Abby makes for an interesting night, and one particularly inaginative 3 year-old gave me a good idea for a children's story).  Abby is showered, read, prayed and lights out for saftey and has finally stopped shifting on her bed.  I rocked my son to sleep (he eschewed a nap all afternoon and fell asleep pretty quickly).  I put together bottles for tonight.  Uriah is sleeping on the couch, having not even made it through the first 5 minutes of the news (I wonder who will be getting up with the baby tonight?).  The dishwasher is loaded.  The dryer is empty.  The toilet paper is replaced.

And now I'm wondering where my weekend went?  And how do I get it back? 


Friday, September 24, 2010

Friday with Finn

This is what I woke up to this morning...
He is scrumptious and I want to nibble on his cheeks.  It's all I can think about during the day.
Do you see this face?  This is the face of a morning person.  I am not a morning person.  In fact, I typically hate the morning.  I enjoy sleeping in and waking at my leisure.  I have trained Abby not to talk to me in the morning.  She is a morning person and her mouth starts going the minute her eyes open.  All I have to do is look at her and say, "Abby, it's still morning." and she knows to be quiet and watch Good Morning America without her own running commentary on absolutely everything the George and Robin say.  Finn is too little to train to be quiet in the morning.  And, honestly, I like his smiles and his baby noises, they get me geared up for the day.  When he gets to the questioning stage of life, we may run into a problem and he'll have to take some lessons from his sister regarding Morning Dos and Don'ts.
Doesn't he look he's got something up his sleeve and he's going to spring it on me in about twelve seconds.  Or he just filled his pants....either way, he looks devious.  Soon he'll be taking lessons from his cousins and our morning, noon and night will get significantly louder. 

His daycare teacher told me today that he has been so much more chill in the (gulp) month he's been at daycare.  He can actually sit in his swing without demanding (in his very loudest voice) to be held...and, thankfully, I've noticed a difference at home, too.  We hang out together in the kitchen and I can get stuff done with two hands instead of one.  And the other night we read a whole book together.  I realize he has no idea what reading is and that he only likes the sound of my voice, but good habits start early.  It makes me a little bit sad, if he's gaining some more independence and he doesn't need me as much.  So, even though I might be spoiling him just a teensy bit, I do hold him a lot (read: pretty much all of the time).  I miss him during the day and we need to spend some quality time looking at each other when I get home.
I live for this face...I Speed-Racer home so that I can snack on this face. 

Right now I'm counting down the hours until my weekend starts to that I can spend it doing what I do best...cashing in on all of the snuggle bucks that I have accumulated during the week.  And cleaning.  And laundry.  And cooking.  And not sleeping in.  And loving my life.

Enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

"Brothers don't shake hands...Brothers gotta...hug"

Aaron and Finn
I love brothers.  Today, I especially love brothers.  Becasue life is short and fate is fickle and I think we all need to reflect on who we love most in the world and then tell them, out loud, that we are better because of them.

This is my big brother.  He did not let me follow him around when we were little.  I was not allowed to play with his He-Man figures and on the first day of kindergarten, he did not sit with me on the bus.  He called me Grape Legs when I wore my purple tights and gave me a black peppercorn, but told me it was a jawbreaker.  He was "cool" and knew how to expertly roll his pants.  I was a dork, and could never get mine tight enough; they always came unrolled halfway through the day and had to be rerolled.  Everyone knew him and everyone liked him.  He was like Ferris Bueller...and I was Ferris' sister.  Then we grew up.  Aaron graduated and becane a Marine and was gone for 4 years with only sporadic visits home. To my astonishment (and secret delight) he and his wife moved to Minnesota so that he could go to college.  The same college I was attending.  And suddenly we lived 5 minutes from each other.  We chatted between classes on campus and went out for happy hour on the weekends.  I read his papers and he sober-cabbed for his wife and me.  Old animosities were forgotten and I suddenly found myself friends with my own brother.  We still live close to each other and while we don't see each other as much as when we were in college and had zero other responsibilities, when we get together it's still as much fun.

Finn, meet Uncle Dan.

This is my baby brother.  He was my boy from the minute he was born.  I read to him and helped to take care of him.  It was like having a living, breathing doll.  He was my show-and-tell in kindergarten.  He let me dress him up in a dress complete with make-up.  He played Barbies (with his GI Joes).  He broke the arm off of my Ken doll and cried when he told me about it.  I drank beer with him in my dorm room.  He didn't go to college and he's probably one of the smartest guys I know.  He's mostly self-taught (a diploma by way of the History Channel and the Discovery Channel).  He's been a line-cook and a construction worker and he joined the National Guard, not for college money, but because  he's looking forward to being deployed, seeing something different and maybe even making a difference (although I doubt he'd admit that).  He smokes and he drinks and he curses like a sailor.   He wore a tux for our sister's wedding...the first time I've seen him in anything other than khaki pants and a blue dress shirt for any kind of "event."  He has a girlfriend who puts up with him for God knows what reason, but we (my sisters and I) thank the Lord for her pretty much on a daily basis.

They have the same hair.
Finn has that to look forward to!

My brothers have fed my son and rocked him to sleep.  They have changed his pee-pants and snuggled with him.  They have taken a genuine interest in Abby and attended her First Communion and birthday parties and they make a point to talk to her and find out what's going on in her life.  And then they listen to what she has to say.  They let a little girl who has no blood tie to them call them Uncle Aaron and Uncle Dan. 

So, this is for my brothers who have grown up to be good men. 
I love you both.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Because it's Wednesday...

...and because it's dreary outside
...and because I was up really early with my pal
....and because I then fell back asleep for just enough time to have a really strange dream (in which I was late for work because I was in Minnesota and I was panicking because I had to be to work in 2 hours and I had an 9 hour drive ahead of me and it was snowing and I couldn't get a hold of anyone at work to tell them I was going to be about 7 hours was a really weird dream.)
...and because my husband didn't take the trash out and I had to haul it to the curb. In a dress.
...and because Caramel Apple Sticky Buns make me never want to go on another diet again
...and because I promised yesterday to share pictures, here you go:

Going into the oven...
Coming out of the oven, ready to be inverted...
And flippedAnd flipping delicious.

And also, just in case you needed to know how really hard my day is today, this is what I dropped off at daycare this morning:

His shot spots are huring and his nose is stuffy which makes him sound like a pug when he breathes and he really just wanted to snuggle with me today.  And I feel as though I let him down.

It's Wednesday, I've accomplished a lot this morning, but nothing important because my heart part hurts...

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Shots, Sushi and Caramel Apple Sticky Buns

I feel as though this has been a very productive day considering that it's my day off and I showered and put on make-up this morning.  It is public knowledge that on my day off I do not find it necessary to shower.  Hell, some Tuesday's I don't even get out of my jammies and neither does Finn.  And I most certianly do not find it necessary to put on make up.  Who are we kidding, some work days I do not find it necessary to put on makeup.  I'd like to pretend that I'm trying to maintain my baby-smooth skin and it's a form of anti-wrinkle control, but I'm really just lazy.  However, today we had to take Finn for his two month shots and I figured I should look half-way presentable in public.  Plus, Uriah took the day off to be my support staff and I was hoping that we'd be able to squeeze in a lunch date, so my normal Yoga-Pant Uniform was not going to cut it.

Look at those fatty thighs!  
He weighed in at 12 lbs, 3 oz. today!

Now let's talk about these shots.  Vaccinating children is important.  I don't want my kid to get polio or anything, but you'd think that they could come up with a less painful way of doing it.  The nurse that gave Finn his shots was very quick and efficent and had it over and done with before his little body could fully tense up, but I am telling you, that was the longest minute of my life!  Good thing I had on the water-proof mascara because I misted up a bit!  His little thighs hurt and he wore himself out crying, so he cashed in some of his snuggle bucks this afternoon and we took a nap together.  After lunch.

That's right, we went out for lunch after his shots.  Is that wrong?  I didn't think so.  Uriah and I hardly ever have an afternoon together and Alone Time does not happen very often because I can't seem to find the strength to leave Finn more than I have to (read: work).  Finn napped the whole time we were out, so I guess he wasn't too traumatized from the shots; or he was just tired from crying.  Either way, he zonked out in his car seat about 17 seconds after we got into the restaurant.  Oh, the restaurant...there is a new Sushi/Chinese Buffet in Blue Springs that we decided to try for lunch. 

And gone to heaven.

I'm going there next week, too. 

His onesie says it all...
And finally, the cummulaiton to our day...Caramel Apple Sticky Buns.  After our nap this afternoon (yes, we both took a nap; Finn because he had vaccines running through his system and me because I had wasabi running through mine), Finn helped me make Caramel Apple Sticky Buns for work tomorrow.  Finn actually just hung out in his bouncy seat and talked to me and smiled and sneezed, but we were together so we'll call it helping.  All I can say is this: I am a genius.  I realize that this is a bold statement and that I have never had one cooking lesson (except at the apron strings of my mother and Shirley Buchannan, my 7th grade Home Economics teacher) and I also realize that I am married to a chef (schooled and degreed and everything) and he really is a culinary genius, but damn, people!  These are quite possibly going to be the most wonderful and delicous thing I've ever created.  I'll share a picture tomorrow after I take them out of the oven and you can be the judge, but if you come over to my house (Mama) I will make them for you and we will be best friends forever.  But give me some notice so that I can shower and put on make-up first!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Tween Talk with Abby

This is a conversation that I had with Abby over the weekend.  I couldn't make up half of what shey says if I tried!  Life is about to get really interesting...

Abby: "Heather, when will I be old enough to comb my eyebrows?"

Me: "I"m sorry...what?"

Abby: "My eyebrows won't lay flat on my face. When will I be old enough to comb them?"

Me: "I guess you can comb them right now if you want to."

Abby: "Oh, I do want to comb them."

Rummages around in her room a bit.

Abby: "Heather, I don't have a comb small enough."

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Two months and counting...

Finneaus Uriah Hefter  9.19.10
Finn was two months old last week and it slipped by with but barely a nod on my part.  Probably because I was sidetracked with the goings-on in Minnesota, but I really didn't want to let this momentus occasion slip by. 

In two months Finn:
  1. Was born.  Came home. Went back to the hospital. Came home for good,
  2. Had an IV in his little foot and cried; made The Mama cry more.
  3. Changed bottles 3 times.  Finally settled on one that didn't make his belly hurt.
  4. Learned to smile.
  5. Had his first cold.
  6. Has been to Minnesota twice.
  7. Went for his first (of many) boat rides with Grandpa.
  8. Learned to sleep for 6 hours at a time (most nights).
  9. Has gone to daycare.
  10. Learned to hold his head up a little bit more.
  11. Learned to like tummy time a little bit more.
  12. Has gone on multiple walks.
  13. Stayed away from The Mama and The Daddy for 3 hours with a baby-sitter (the best babysitter) and only cried for 89% of it.
  14. Learned he has the coolest parents in the Galaxy.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

"Can I get a doctorate in acting?"

This kiddo was bitten by the acting bug this summer and she has been scratching that itch ever since.

Even though it was stage make-up and over done for a reason,
she's still just a little girl to me. I made her wash it off right after.

Abby was part of a 2 week acting camp over the summer. We had two options for her camp: either the two weeks before Emily and Jerad's wedding (with the performance on the night of their rehearsal dinner) or the two weeks around the time the baby was due. I wanted to call and request they schedule a camp in August, but that might have been a little forward of me since they probably didn't really know what a big deal I am. The first session was obviously out as I was not about to miss a minute of Emily's wedding. Uriah and I debated the logic of scheduling the second session, knowing that we would probably be having a baby sometime during that two week time frame, but in the end we forked over the cash and crossed our fingers that we would be able to make it work if and when the baby came during the week.
And besides, Abby deserved acting camp. After all, we'd moved to a new neighborhood, she was going to have to start a new school in the fall and there was going to be a new sibling in the house - it was no longer going to be All About Abby in the Hefter house, and that was a bitter pill to swallow. Her doctor had just told us that she's got a slight spine curve that we need to watch (read: scoliosis possibility) and she needed to start using a prescription acne medicine. Then her dentist told us to start saving for braces next year. Talk about being smacked from all sides when you're 10 years old!

This camp was probably the best thing for her. She had to learn songs and dances and she had to work in a group. Abby's not so good at working in a group. She tends to get a little bossy. Okay, she tends to get a lot bossy! She likes things to go her way and sometimes has a hard time going along with other people's ideas. It's a struggle she's been working on for the past decade. She had to audition for a part in the play. She had to audition for a spot in the talent show. Both of these auditions meant that not only did she have to come up with a talent, she also had to practice singing and dancing for both auditions. Every. Single. Day. I relegated her to the basement because I couldn't listen to The Little Mermaid soundtrack one more time and remain sane. While she did not get the part that she wanted in the performance, she got a small speaking role, so she was still excited. She did not get a spot in the talent show, but she had friends that did and she cheered them on.
Her performance - her grand stage debut - was the night we brought Finn home from the hospital. I missed her performance because not only was it too hot to take Finn out, but we also had to keep him attached to a portable UV lamp to combat the jaundice.We are very lucky, though, because everyone - and I mean, literally, every important person in her life! - showed up to support her! She loved the attention! She loved the applause! And she has wanted nothing more than to audition ever since. She searches the internet for plays and movies and commercials to audition for. She wants head-shots for her birthday and I had to tell her that we would not be flying to Los Angeles so that she can audition for Disney.

This year she has a college prep class once a week where they talk about colleges and majors. Their first assignment was to figure out what they want to be when they grow up. I guess these are decisions best made in 6th grade. If that were the case, I'd be a cardiologist right now. Abby told her teacher that she is going to be an actress and she has been searching diligently. She has found schools that offer acting programs and the other night she asked Uriah and me if she could get a doctorate in acting.

After I laughed and sputtered something about acting not paying the bills and to find a real job like becoming a lawyer or an accountant, I realized that I should really just be glad that she wants to go to college at all and hasn't mentioned a plan to fly off to LA the millisecond she turns 18 to find her fame and fortune the hard way - without an education to fall back on. But really, if anyone has the guts and the determination to become an actress, it's Abby Hefter. I just hope she remembers me when she wins her Oscar.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Friday with Finn

"Is this your baby, Heather? Is this your baby?"
"Yes, Dane. This is my baby."

"Are those his pajamas, Heather?"
"Yes, Dane. Those are his pajamas."
"I'm going to wear those frog pajamas when I get small, Heather."

"He's a sweethearts, Heather."
"Yes, Dane, he is a sweethearts, isn't he?"
"Yes, Heather."

Thursday, September 16, 2010

There's no place like home.

We are back in the South.

As much as I would have enjoyed an additional billion days at home with my Mama and my Dad, Finn and I slipped quietly and easily back into our world last night. I unpacked all of our stuff - and babies travel with quite a bit of stuff, I might add - while Finn and Uriah reacquainted themselves with each other again. For one brief moment, I think that Finn may have forgotten who his Daddy was because he took one look at Uriah and let out the loudest cry. Uriah had such a look of horror on his face, it actually took my breath away. I quickly took Finn back and snuggled him for a few minutes and calmed him down and assured him that he knew who his Daddy was, and then I assured Uriah that Finn had not forgotten him. I gave the baby back and they have been inseparable since.

Uriah fed him and talked to him and soothed him and rocked him to sleep and got up with him both times last night. He fed him this morning and took him to daycare. I know that he is counting the hours until his day is done so he can come home and snuggle with the baby some more. I can't blame him. I really debated whether or not a long car ride would be in Finn's best interest when we were figuring out weekend plans, but I was loath to leave him behind. My arms would not allow it. And while I felt bad taking Finn so far away without his Dad, I tried to keep Uriah updated with text pictures. I even tried the video setting on my phone so that he could hear Finn making noises, but it makes for a pretty blurry picture. I'm sure it will happen again that Finn and I (and maybe even Abby, too) have time to take a trip up North and Uriah can't be with us. I'm a little more confident in my single-parenting skills now!

There might even be a time that I take a trip without Finn. You know, like when he goes to college or on his honeymoon...

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Send Clothes...

...I don't wanna go home!

Don't get me wrong I love my husband and I miss my bed, but I love Minnesota, too (and when I say "Minnesota," I mostly mean my Mama and Daddy). It has been so nice to be here with my Mama. I wish the circumstances had lent for better times and less stress, but I know that being near my family makes the tough times a little less crummy.

Finn was such a good boy this week. He was calm through the service for Grandman today and he allowed himself to be passed from one Auntie to the next and one Great Auntie to the next and even spent some quality Uncle Dan time. He traveled up from Missouri and back and forth to St. Cloud twice and back and forth from the Cities. He slept nicely during the car rides and was content to watch the world go by during the burial. I thanked the good Lord that he was on his best behavior. It makes my limited parenting skills look stellar.

And then we got back to Mama's this evening and he broke. He didn't want to be held and he didn't want to be rocked and Auntie Emily tried, Auntie Sars tried and Aunt Angie tried. Hell, even Grandpa and Uncle Aaron tried. Nothing. That kid would not be consoled. I finally had to put him in his baby sling and walk him around the block until he fell asleep. He misses his Daddy and I'm pretty sure I was a very poor substitute tonight. And for that reason alone I have to go South tomorrow. Finn needs his Daddy and who am I to deny him?

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Minnesota smells like fall.

This is how tiny babies sleep in Minnesota in the fall...
all bundled up in the same crib that I slept in when I was a baby.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Northward Bound

My grandma passed away this morning, so Finn and I are going on an adventure tomorrow, just the two of us, to Minnesota to help my Mama with whatever she needs. By "just the two of us," I mean we are leaving Abby and Uriah at home. Abby would be missing two days of school (maybe even three) and Uriah and I decided that was probably not in her best interest, so he's staying home with her and Finn and I are heading North.

We're taking Emily along, (or rather, she's taking us along since she's driving) so I guess it won't be just the two of us. I'm actaully pretty glad that
the 3 of us can drive together, it'll make 8+ hours in the car a little bit eaiser to handle and I love to have that semi-uninterrupted time with my sister; it seems we haven't had . And sometimes an extra set of hands with Finn is necessary. Last time we went to Minnesota he was 2 weeks old and he pretty much slept the whole trip. I'm not counting on that happening, but hopefully we leave early enough that he takes along morning nap for a good chunk of the trip.

I'm going to miss my sweet grandma, but I'm comforted in the fact that she had nearly 91 years on this earth and she lived a good life - 5 kids, 9 grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren is something to be proud of! I'm also thankful that she got to meet Finn and was able to see me married and with a family of my own, something she always told me I should have!

I should be off to bed now...Finn will be awake and hungry in about 3 hours and Emily will be her early!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Friday with Finn

Dear Mr. Favre,

My first season of football was going to be a great one because my most favorite team in the whole wide world, the Vikings, were going to be playing the first game. I was so excited that I put on my favorite Vikings onesie for the occassion. I even put on Dad's Helga Hat, but it's too big for me; I guess I need to grow a bigger head.

Anyway, Mr. Favre, you were playing a pretty good game...the best game I've ever seen, although technically, it's also the first game I've ever seen, but let's not cloud the issue with facts. I thought my Vikings onesie was going to be your good luck charm and I had plans to wear it every game you play for the rest of the season. Maybe even every day for the rest of the season if my Mama will let me.

Numbered List

Then I threw up on it. And you lost. I guess I laid on the bottle a little too hard during the first half.

I'll try better next time.

Love, your biggest (littlest?) fan,

Finn Hefter

Thursday, September 9, 2010

City Market

I am an attention-whore. At least that's what Uriah called me when I dressed Finn up in his little zebra outfit to go to City Market on Saturday.

I wish you could see the tail on the back of this.

In my defense, we took him to the doctor first because he had a bit of a stuffy nose. I fully admit to being over-protective and wanting a medical professional to tell me that my kid had not picked up the Swine Flu during his first week at daycare. It cost me $20, but peace of mind is priceless. It was a little windy on Saturday so I wanted to keep his ears covered and, well, in all honesty, the zebra suit was calling my name. And really, is it my fault that he's just so damn cute and people oohed and ahhed and exclaimed to each other in reverent voices, "Look at that cute baby!" In fact, it can probably be considered a public service. Think of all the smiles that Finn created; the world was a better place on Saturday because of his zebra suit.

Yes, she is wearing a Justin Bieber shirt.
She has the Bieber-Fever.

Back to City Market...we went on a mission to get tomatoes so that I could make my Mama's Tomato Soup recipe. It is the most delicious goodness in the world and pretty much the only tomato soup I drink. But it takes a lot of tomatoes. And a juicer, but I don't have one of those (another story for another time). And, being Labor Day weekend, it was busy! We maneuvered the stroller through the crowds and somehow ended up with tomatoes, corn on the cob, some hot peppers that Uriah plans stuff with cheese and chicken later this week and then grill (I may have to have a beer with this little treat!). And purple peppers.

Purple peppers, you might ask? What does one do with a purple pepper? Good question. I asked Uriah and Abby the same thing. They had no idea. I'm pretty sure Uriah only bought them because Abby thought they looked pretty. So I did a little research. Purple peppers get their color from anthocyanin, which is the same antioxidant found in blueberries. Purple peppers are apparently not as sweet as red, orange or yellow peppers, but they stay crunchy after cooking better than the other pepper colors. The purple color will also leak out of the pepper when it is immersed in water, so it won't always look as bright and pretty after it's cooked. For this reason, I want to try a recipe that doesn't require cooking them in water or steaming them (such as a stuffed pepper would). I found an English Pea Salad that doesn't cook the pepper at all and a Multi-Pepper Salad that roasts the pepper. If I have enough of the purples, I might just try them both. And if you're going to be at Aaron and Angie's this weekend you'll get a taste!

We're going back to City Market in a couple of weeks to see what new fall produce is available. I'm looking forward to squashes and pumpkins. Maybe some apples to make apple sauce with. And crisp weather and jeans and sweaters and hats and crunchy leaves and seeing my breath. Reality check: this is Missouri, so I'll have to wait for November for any of that! But I can still make an apple pie and pretend it's fall...and Finn has an owl hat to sport.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Write what you know.

Once upon a time (or about a year ago), I thought that blogging would be a good idea. Since I was about to get married, I decided I would wax poetic about all the things going on in my life. I had grandiose ideas to write about planning, being a step-mom and being a newly wed. I could write about living away from my family and my not-so-exciting-but-it-pays-the-bills job. I spent more time daydreaming about what I could write about than I actually spent writing. Oh, I tried to pick it up every now and again. I’d write an entry here and there, but it was nothing consistent.

I got married and it was beautiful and hectic and stressful and one of the happiest days of my life. And I didn’t write about it. Abby pulled some very interesting antics in the fifth grade that included passing notes and naughty words. I talked about it, but I didn’t write about it. Then I got pregnant and life got in the way. There was always and excuse not to write. It was snowing. I didn’t feel good. There was laundry to do. We were moving. I was getting stuff ready for the baby. And then the baby came and with him came some of the most beautiful and hectic and stressful moments…that I didn’t write about.

Since my Mama and my Dad live far away (580 miles, 9 hours and 3 states – but who’s getting technical?) I started sending them “Finn Updates” via email after Finn was born. I’d include pictures and little notes about what he’s doing and how he’s growing and then I’d add on what Abby’s doing and how her school is going and sometimes I’d even add in what Uriah and I were up to. And since I was sending the email to my Mama and my Dad, it was easy to include other family and friends in those updates, too.

Last week I got an email from my good friend Bees in response to the latest Finn update and she asked if I’d ever considered blogging? The idea was sparked again…but I took a couple of days to think about it. Could I do it? Could I make the commitment to write even once a week? After all, I was going back to work and Abby was back in school and my time was about to get stretched again. The more I thought about it, though, the more I realized that, technically, I’m already writing once a week in an email, and blogging is just a prettier way of sending it. Besides, my Mama always told me to write what I know, and what do I know better than my own little piece of the world?

And so, here it is…my commitment to myself to write at least once a week until the New Year. In January I will revisit this whole blogging thing and decide if I will keep going (provided I can keep writing). Until then, I’ve written it down for the Universe to see, so I feel as though I am accountable to myself to uphold my once-a-week posting. Feel free to hold me accountable, as well.