Saturday, March 31, 2012

Letters to Rini: 19 Months (written 3/13/12)

Occasionally I will post letters that I have written to my daughter Rini. Usually they are a summary of the current things she is saying and doing and my thoughts about that particular stage of her development.


19 months is officially the age of the cranky toddler. Most days find us in a battle of wills. You want what you want and you want it NOW. To say that my patience is tested on an hourly basis is a severe understatement.

Today the wrong sippy cup was the cause of much angst and woe. The new Tommee Tippee cup we bought (you know the one the one that DOESN'T spew milk everywhere?) was apparently inhabited by goblins or some such beasts because you didn't want anything to do with it. One 10 minute meltdown later and Mama finally gave in and got you the Nuby cup that leaves a path of liquid in it's wake. Sometimes you just have to choose your battles.

When you aren't being a short tempered little terrorist you are actually really fun to be around. Your newest obsessions are Elmo and planes. Anytime Elmo comes on Sesame Street or we see Elmo in the store you start yelling "Em-mo, Em-mo, Em-mo!" You have the furry red monster fever bad. Same thing anytime you hear a plane fly over our house (which is quite often since we live in a flight path). You ask me "Pane?" and run to the window to try and look.

Another new trick you've mastered in the last few days is doing a headstand. You will bend over and put your head on the ground between your legs and have a big grin on your face. It's super cute especially since you are so proud of yourself when doing it.

While the past few weeks have been difficult I know they are just normal growing pains in every toddler/mom relationship. I'm trying to enjoy every moment even when it isn't easy.

I love you Catarina Maeve, to the moon and back



Saturday, March 24, 2012

Chewy Chocolate Chip Granola Bars

My husband LOVES granola bars. If I buy a box of them they rarely last more than a day. I've been trying to cut out processed foods so I decided to make a homemade version of his favorite snack. These are super simple to make and are even better than the original.

Chewy Chocolate Chip Granola Bars
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup all natural peanut butter or almond butter (I like to use chunky)
  • 2 cups quick oats
  • 1 cup rice cereal such as Rice Krispies
  • 1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
1. In a bowl combine the oats, rice cereal and shredded coconut. Set aside.
2. In a large sauce pan combine the butter, brown sugar, honey and peanut butter. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat and then turn heat down to low and simmer until sugar dissolves (about 2 minutes.) Remove pan from heat.
3. Mix dry ingredients into butter mixture, stirring until everything is evenly coated.
4. Transfer the granola mixture to an ungreased 9x13 pan and press firmly into pan. Press the chocolate chips on top of granola.
5. Refrigerate for 20 minutes and then cut into bars. Store bars in a ziploc bag in the fridge.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Letters to Rini: 15 Months (written 11/11/11)

Occasionally I will post letters that I have written to my daughter Rini. Usually they are a summary of the current things she is saying and doing and my thoughts about that particular stage of her development.

Dear Rini,

You are 15 months old and growing smarter everyday. You are proving to be quite the strong headed little girl. You know what you want and when you want it. Life with you right now is funny, entertaining, awe inspiring and joyous. It is also frustrating and extremely tiring. You are beginning to talk, but can't always express yourself clearly which in turn makes you very frustrated. I know that once you are better able to communicate with mommy you will be back to your eternally happy self.

As of this moment your favorite word is "sit" which comes out sounding like an unmentionable 4 letter word. In some small way I think you know you are swearing because you will say "sit" over and over again all day long.

Your favorite foods right now are pasta and rice. And as always you are obsessed with milk. You can drink a whole half gallon of soy milk in less than 2 days!

You are growing more and more interested in books and you will bring me different books throughout the day so we can "read". You like to feel the books that have different textures. Another favorite activity of yours is music. You love any toy that plays a song and you like to have dance parties with mommy while listening to slacker radio. Some other favorite toys are your baby "Peggy Sue", Violet, building blocks and of course your puppies Tigre and Sirius.

At 15 months you can say:

Hi (while waving)
Bye (again, while waving)
Diaper (Didy)

You can:

Give High Five
Do "Touch-Down"
Give kisses
Give Hugs

Catarina Maeve I am so proud to call myself your mom. You are truly the light inside my heart. Everyday with you is a blessing and a gift. Even though there are days I am frustrated beyond belief, your smile and laugh are enough to turn my whole mood around. I love you to the moon and back.



Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Pinterest Inspiration: Nightstand Play Kitchen

I have an unhealthy obsession with Pinterest. It is a great source of inspiration and ideas but also a GIANT time suck. For Christmas Charlie and I decided to make a homemade play kitchen for Rini using ideas I found on Pinterest. It was a relatively easy project just time consuming.

This is the nightstand we used, a $4 Goodwill special that had definitely seen better days. I used a lot of supplies I already had to keep costs low. The paint was leftover from painting the living room in our apartment. The burner covers are old CDs. The hinges for the oven are the original door hinges just reattached on the bottom. The fabric is from an old curtain. I cut it to size and stapled it to the underside of the nightstand.

The items I bought for this project were:

  • A wooden letter J ($2) - I painted it with silver metallic paint and attached it upside down to look like a faucet
  • A metal mixing bowl for the sink ($3)
  • Wooden knobs ($3 for a package of various sizes) - I painted them silver to look like cooktop and faucet knobs
  • A nickel cabinet pull for the stove handle ($6)
  • Ribbed non adhesive shelf liner ($5 for the roll) - stapled into the cut out on the door to look like the viewing window on a stove

I'm in love with the finished product (and Rini thinks it's pretty cool too!)