Wednesday, February 27, 2008

A Good Resourse for Getting your Baby/Toddler to Sleep

I am still struggling with getting Little Bean to sleep through the night in her own bed. I don't mind co-sleeping... but lack of sleep is starting to take its toll on Bean, my husband and me. I read this in the Parenting magazine last year and tried it out. It was working for Bean, but unfortunately, traveling put us back at square one x2 (nice math equation). Recently, I decided I will try again... 3rd times a charm right? I couldn't find my magazine but was able to find the "Sleep Quiz" on their website. Take the quiz and it will describe the method that is best for you and your child.

I'll keep you posted on the method and how it works for Little Bean... that is, if it still works on a toddler.

If you have tried and/or trying any method, please comment and let me know how it is going and what you did.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Time for Some Cognitive Development!

(click here or the baby cartoon to watch)

One day, daughter #1 made the mistake of showing Little Bean the Jack-Jack short video. Big mistake. Jack-Jack has become her hero.

Don't put that in there!

"Little Bean!"
"...Ernie, Elmo, Vidya (giraffe), and all the rest of your dolls & toys do not belong in the potty!"

(photo is just for effect... I just washed her toys)

Later that evening Little Bean, after her bath, made a verbal list, "I took a bath... Mama took a bath, Papa took a bath., Didi took a bath... Elmo, Ernie, Vidya....etc"

Monday, February 25, 2008

Happy B-day DJ!

My nephew on his 1st Birthday
The cake must of been really good!
Happy Birthday!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Little Bean on Politics

Like everywhere else in the US, Obama and Clinton were in town recently . My husband and #1 daughter decided they were going to try to see both candidates before the caucus. One being for Clinton and the other for Obama. Myself, undecided. I told my family, I will go with the popular family vote, at the caucus. Little Bean was the deciding vote.

So, I asked her directly, "Who are you going to vote for?" without missing a beat, she said, "Burrr-ock Bama!".

Needless to say, we were all in shock that she answered. No coaching, no prompting no nothing.
I did notice, with the heavy ad campaign, Little Bean was practicing quietly to herself, saying the candidates names each time they were mentioned. I was still surprised that she answered correctly.

Now, if we ask her who she is voting for, she says, "Burrr-ock Bama and Illery Clinton".

Not a bad idea.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

A Family Product I Cannot Live Without, is…

For fun, I thought I would enter the "Does Mommy Love It? Group Writing Project" contest. If anyone interested, click on the banner or the link above. The contest ends this Sunday, February 24.

A family Product I cannot live without is....
Alrighty, this is tough to narrow down to just one thing. Personally, I can't live without a stash of chocolate, but that is not a family product... that's my chocolate. Or as Little Bean would say, "That's Mines!".
Today, I took a mental inventory of the things that we use, take for granted and cherish. We use too many paper towels, take for granted our washing machine (and the person who does the laundry!) and cherish the sweet sounds from the stereo. However, the one product that we can't live without is our cellphones.
We used to be anti-cellphones until the day I was driving in a snow storm 5 miles/hr for 3 hours heading to pick-up daughter #1. Her daycare was only 10 miles away from my work, but I did not reach her until 2 hours after her daycare closed at 8 pm. Driving on snow covered icy roads didn't worry me as much as not knowing if my daughter was safe. After that day, we didn't hesitate to purchase our 1st cellphone.
Now, we have 3 for a family of 4.
The cellphone has become our main resource for staying connected not only with ourselves but with our extended family. Those roll-over-minutes really do come in handy. Little Bean's first ride in a swing can be captured by the cellphone camera and sent quickly to her father in a meeting and her grandparents in their separate corners of the world.
Now if you ask my husband, he will say Comet and daughter #1 would say the Swifter sweeper/vac. Notice they both have to do with cleaning. Cleaning is a big issue in our home, especially with a messy toddler who throws food. However, I can live with a messy home that looks like a college dining hall after a food fight. The fact is, staying connected with our immediate family and extended family means the world to each of us and no cleaning product can replace that.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Just a few of Little Bean's Antics

Little Bean regarding:
  • Hunger
    • Most mornings (sometimes as early as 3am), she wakes up and declares she want to go downstairs to eat breakfast. And Lists off foods she wants to eat "...peaches, cheese, blueberries, yogurt, cereal, pizza, toast, bagels, cream cheese, ice cream...."
    • Nibbling is good, even if it means pulling all the blueberries out of muffins and yogurt.
  • Independence
    • Independence is important to her and very tiring for me. Much patience is needed for me to watch her climb down a few steps only to climb back up to check to see if her sister is coming downstairs and down and up again to check if her papa is coming.... a few more times for books, paper and clothes...etc.
  • Name calling
    • Mama is my usual maternal name, but lately Bean has developed a variety of names to call me depending the situation
    • Mom - When she is serious and wants something done fast like. "Play CD Mom... put in Noodlebug Cd Mom"
    • Mommy - When she is clingy or in a cuddly mood. "Maaameee" usually says this with a big smile and a high pitched voice.
    • Jenny-Honey (Who calls me Jenny?) - When she is being just plan devious!
Note: She also does this with her Papa-Father-Dad-Honey and Sister-Didi-Honey
  • Interior decorating (!)
    • Color scheme - She has decided orange crayon would be better for an accent wall and multi colors for our couch. I guess she didn't like beige.
    • Centerpiece - She thinks the flowers are out of date and she should be the centerpiece on our dining room table. How she got up there? I don't know... you just can't blink with this child.
    • Other Decor arrangement - This mean arranging her dolls and stuff animals on the multicolored couch.
  • Social behaviors
    • Greets everyone... which is pretty typical for a lot of children. However, sometimes she says "Hello Moto"!
    • When music is playing, insist everyone dances or sings, depending on the beat.
  • Intellectually
    • Enjoys reading most books but specifically enjoys the ones with a little spunk.
    • Skippyjon Jones by Judy Schachner (Thanks Amelia at Mommycrowd for the recommendation... I mean it.... really) Bean aspires to be like the frisky kitty by jumping on her bed and coloring walls, calendars and potty chairs. Skippyjon is her inspiration for interior decorating.
    • Fancy Nancy by Jane O'Connor. - The prestiges Bean can't resist wearing sunglasses (even smugged and at night) and fancy accessories. This is the time when Jenny-honey is heard the most.
In general Little Bean is happy and lets me know, "Mama, [I am] happy" (she also lets me know when she is mad, crying and being funny).

By mid-day she reflects on her morning activities before taking a nap. Well I like to think shes reflecting... but most likely shes planning her afternoon.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Bonus Days!

Daughter #1 has spring vacation this week... no school.... no getting up early to drop her off! What does that mean besides having more time with her? More things can get done around the house! Plus, Little Bean has 2 people to keep her busy or should I say out of trouble.

Today, we went to the craft store, taking the craft idea from Work at Home Mom Revolution who got it from Not Martha, (who in turn posted all her resources) with a beautiful step-by-step on how to make marble magnets. It was quite fun. I made a little charm bracelet for Little Bean using a similar technique. Bean choose all the designs (sorry about the lighting in the photo).

Also, today I hemmed daughter #1's jeans and started crocheting a hat for the fifth time. This one seems like a keeper. The other hats looked good, but didn't fit anyones head, including Little Bean's dolls. So, I pulled the yarn out and started over. Again and again.

...the jeans. Daughter #1 is good at finding bargains with her gift cards. She takes her time and usually comes home with really good deals. Sometimes the deals are pants made for tall people. Not a problem with me ... only takes about 15-30 minutes to hem. I know some family members and friends are moaning right now, remembering their painful shopping experiences with Daughter #1, but I have to say, she is improving. Shopping with her...thats another blog. Even more painful, shopping with her, her grandma and her papa while the innocent bystanders, Little Bean and I soak in the dynamics.

Alright, back to Bonus Days! Tomorrow, I am hoping to get some much needed cleaning done.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

What is in a Name?

When I first thought of a name for my blog, I Googled it. I am the Googling Queen. I think Google should keep track of who Googles the most and hand out a prize. Like a million dollars or some chocolate. Either one would be great.

...anyway, when I googled "Living on a Whim", I only came up with another blog that was pretty much discontinued (can't find it now). At that time, I contemplated changing the name to "Life on a Whim" like the website address, but never got around to it.

The other day my husband discovered a few more sites after his daily google to find my blog. So, I decided to do another Google search myself. This is what we found:

1) - This guy's blog has been around before mine... I think. -- he could have changed the name after he opened his store front, knows.
Looks like an interesting blog. Some good pictures as well.

2) - not to be confused with this one, mine ( - She's a photographer and just started her blog last month.

3) - Living, on a Whim. Oh I see, the comma makes all the difference. Thats why I didn't find your blog Maxine! Living, on a Whim has been around awhile, dates back to December 2004. Oops! Anyway, Maxine has a nice fashion, celebrity blog. A place to get the latest scoop.

There are more with similar names, but not as close as the one listed above. So, what now? Should I change my blog name? ...I don't want to.

I think I will just continue "Living on a Whim" and enjoy the company.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Brown Bananas

I hate wasting bananas. They are my favorite fruit.

If you are like me, it is always hard to gage how many bananas to buy for the week. So, when we don't eat them all before they are brown, I throw them in the freezer. It is too bad my Aunt, who loves brown bananas, doesn't live near by.

Anyway, its time to make banana bread. Here's my favorite recipe:

2 1/2 cups Whole-wheat flour
2 tsp Baking soda
1tsp Salt
1 cup Butter, soft at room temperature
1 1/2 cups Sugar
4 large/ripe Mashed Bananas (ok to use yellow bananas, just add more sugar)
4 Eggs
OR 4 tsp of Flax seed and 1/2 cup of water
1 cup Pecans or Walnuts

Preheat over to 350
Grease and flour 2 medium loaf pans
In a medium bowl stir together flour, baking soda, and salt
In a large bowl, beat (or hand mixer) together butter, sugar; gradually mashed bananas; then eggs or flaxseed/water and beat until completely mixed (mixture will look a little curdled). Add nuts. Then add the combined dry ingredients and mix until blended.

Pour evenly and equally into 2 prepared pans. Bake for 55-60 minutes until tooth pick comes out clean. (You may have to add 5-10 if using Flaxseed).
Let cool before serving.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Move on back!

Do you know the song, "The Wheels on the Bus"? Little Bean loves that song and all the actions that go with it. If you don't know it, click here and listen. One of her favorite verses in that song is ...The driver on the bus says "Move on back" . When you sing this verse you motion with your fingers in a fist and your thumb sticking up, swinging it back toward your shoulder. Indicating the passengers should move on back.

With that in mind....

We traveled a little bit this past summer and one of the airlines we took was Southwest. If you are not familiar with Southwest, they don't assign seats. In a way it is nice, since they let all the small children and their families on first. In most cases the families tend to sit in the same area. So, when Little Bean kicks the back of a seat, she is only bothering the toddler in front of her.

While everyone was looking for seating, one flight attendants made an announcement. "Folks, there are plenty of seats in the back, so move toward the back.....move on back..." As she repeated "move on back" several more times, Little Bean could not resist to assist. She stood up in her seat looked sternly at each passenger as they approached and motioned for them to move on back.

Clever girl.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Wood working class: Desk to Desk Organizer

Just completed my second week of beginning woodworking class. It went as smooth as a sanded board. However, I have to admit the first week didn't go so well.

Last week, I got dinner on the table early and rushing out the door, to go sign-up for the wood working class. After signing up I had to drive to the other side of the building and check-in with the teacher. I arrived exactly on time. No one was there yet. After 5-10 minutes about 3 other men trickled in and an hour into the class a woman showed up as well. I quickly learned, I was truly the only novel woodworker. On the most part, people take the class each year, so they have access to the woodworking shop. Teaching is mainly experiential and informal.

Since, I spent most of my time trying to convince my husband that this woodworking class was just a whim and I won't buy any major equipment like table saws and planers . I wasn't prepared. All I had was a picture of a desk I wanted. I cut it out a few months ago from a designer magazine in hopes of finding a less expensive version. When asked by my classmates, "what are you planning to make?", I would pull out the picture. No one really said anything until I showed it to an older gentleman. First he laughed, then he told me I was a very ambitious. "B.... can tell you a little about being ambitious , can't you?" he said as he touched her shoulder, the only other woman in the room. At this point I was ready to walk out of the class. Actually, I tried by saying, "well since I don't have anything to work on, I'll just come back next week". That didn't work. I should of just ran for it. The teacher said I should stay, learn the machines and work out the dimensions of my project. So I did.

Over the weekend my husband and I looked at various desk woodworking plans. In the end we decided it might be better if I worked on a desk organizer. I bought 2 planks of pine wood and returned to class the following week with my project plan. Above is a picture of my wood all cut-up. I just have to do a few more groves, then I start to put it together next week. The teacher was a big help! Thank goodness, I am the only newbie to woodworking, in the class!
...stay tuned

Monday, February 4, 2008

Organic Bugs in our Canned Organic Chic Peas...YUM!

I am not really good about buying everything organic and environmental safe, but I try. I just have to say, looking at these bugs don't make it easy.

...I think I'll go back to soaking dry beans.

(previous post erased... didn't want to display too much ignorance about organic food)

Sunday, February 3, 2008

I want to be kind....

I want this badge.

....However, I know I have a lot of work to do to earn it.
Thats means no snide, cheeky, teasing remarks about anyone, including my mother and husband.

...hmmm, then again, thats no fun.

Maybe I can find an "Almost Kind Blog" badge.

For those who qualify for this badge, here is the website: