Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Moving On

We have gotten to the point in the move where we are eating off of paper plates and drinking out of red solo cups. We have started getting silly (er...continued being silly?!).

Amy: "UGH. Packing up kitchens is neverending. You think you are almost done and the bam. You discover a whole drawer of knives."

Nate: "Kitchens are like lentil soup in that way."

It was a much needed laugh. Backstory: When we were living in Atlanta, I made a whole pot of lentil soup. And every day, we swore it just kept multiplying. We were eating lentil soup FOREVER. To this day, when I say "lentil", Nate gives me a scared look.

So the end is upon us. Tonight is our last night sleeping in our house. The movers arrive tomorrow.

I was just paging through the 2007 posts. Hilarious. I can't even remember our house looking like that.

I am not going to lie - I have already shed a few tears over leaving this house. It is SUCH a great house and I loved every minute of living here. Onto the next chapter!

Speaking of the next chapter....

I have decided to continue blogging BUT I have started a new blog. I felt that since this blog was named (and started) to chronicle the adventures of fixing up our cape cod, that the blog should end with the move. I also wanted a fresh start since this blog sort of morphed into a chronicle of randomness that is not accurately reflected by the title. Also, our new house is a colonial so the name of this blog REALLY doesn't apply :)

Please MOVE with me to my new blog, Anthologie. The content that you are used to here on Cape Cod Makeover will be very much the same, but presented in a more organized fashion. It will also help (I think) strike a balances of posts about the personal side of my life (family updates, etc) as well as other things that I enjoy blogging about/am interested in.

Thanks for tuning in to Cape Cod Makeover for the past 4 years, 2 months and 3 weeks. See you over at Anthologie!

Monday, September 26, 2011


Yesterday, Maggie was ALL about walking...with assistance. Where previously she would just turn into a jellyfish if you tried to walk with her hands in your hands, she loved it yesterday. A few giggles even escaped while she was walking with either one of us. So I brought out the Radio Flyer push wagon and we spent all afternoon redirecting the wagon and she ran into boxes. We both predicted she would be walking in the new house.

Then, today I came home from work and she walked about 6 steps, unassisted, from my sister to me!!! She was giggling the whole time. She did it a few more times and then we waited for Nate to come home. Unfortunately, she was crabby and hungry by the time he got home so she turned into a jellyfish again. He has yet to see the unassisted steps.

Now the fun REALLY begins...so I'm told.

Fall TV: Sucked Right In

The current book I am reading has been taking me forever and not from lack of interest. I was wondering why I haven't finished it yet and I think it is because I have watched SO MUCH TV in the past week. I don't recall the whole Fall TV thing being such an issue in years past. Maybe this is another packing avoidant behavior? I feel like TV may finally be ramping up the sitcoms and dramas (my preference) rather than focusing on reality tv - am I making this up?? Anyways, these are the shows we tuned into:

Up All Night: Ah, yes. The show about becoming new parents. We thought the previews to this show looked hilarious, however, the show has only been ok. I think I am sticking with it for now, if only because the baby is named Amy. (ha ha ha)

Modern Family: Ok. Duh. This show won a ton of Emmys for a reason. It's hilarious. There is no way we were missing this one!

The New Girl: Zooey Deschanel's Emmy Dress aside, I like her and so I wanted to tune into this show. The first episode was cute and we'll probably come back.

Two and a Half Men: This is a show that we are always watching in syndication. Back when we had DVR, we DVRed it only to find that it is ALWAYS on some channel. Then there was that whole Charlie Sheen debacle. We tuned in only to see how they were going to replace Charlie with Ashton Kutcher. I don't know that we will religiously follow this one.

The Office: {tear} RIP Michael Scott. Part of me did not even want to watch this because Michael, in my opinion, made this show. However, curiousity killed the cat and so we tuned in. And then James Spader joined the cast. (My love for James Spader started with Pretty in Pink.) I was surprised at how much I still laughed - I mean, Dwight IS still there!

Whitney: This show benefitted from being on right after The Office. We thought it was funny enough that if we watch The Office, we will probably stick with it and watch this too.

Prime Suspect: This show benefitted from being on right after Whitney. (YES! NBC sucked us in for two whole hours last Thursday night!). I was still on a Maria Bello high after seeing her at The Emmys and I really liked this show. (Nate was a little annoyed at the hat that Maria Bello's character kept wearing.) This is a show that I will probably try not to miss (as oppossed to catching it if it's on).

The Good Wife: My new favorite show. A few weeks ago, Nate was at a Brewers game and there was nothing on TV so I tuned in to the On Demand shows and watched probably 4 episodes of this. And then I just kept watching them and tuned into the season premiere last night. I love this show and it probably will be the second show that I won't want to miss weekly!

The Amazing Race: Nate and I have been watching this show since the beginning - of our relationship that is. This and So You Think You Can Dance are the only reality tv show that I like. While sometimes it does get boring to me, I feel like it would be blasphemous not to watch it.

2 Broke Girls: I think this show was on and we were bored. I sort of forgot that we watched it until I was at the CBS website trying to find links for this post. I am now ashamed at how long this list is!

In other news, we are almost fully packed. I cannot even tell you how many times I have stubbed a toe on boxes. Nate actually forced me to sit down last night for fear he was going to have to take me to the emergency room. The movers are coming in 48 hours!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Official 4th Anniversary Celebration

Last night we celebrated our anniversary with a night out on the town. Maggie was on an overnight trip with Grandma & Grandpa (Nate's parents) and we had a hotel downtown Milwaukee for the night. Last May, we bought the Groupon for Aloft, which is basically a junior varsity W hotel. It was a great location - walking distance to lots of places and the room was very modern. Like the W, you get Bliss products. However, because the hotel is in an area with a lot of ongoing construction, it was pretty loud. Nate and I gave it 3-3.5 stars (out of 5).

After checking into the hotel, we headed to get a snack at AJ Bombers. AJ Bombers' Milwaukee Burger supposedly beat Sobelman's on Food Network's Food Wars. We split the burger and enjoyed some of Milwaukee's finest: I had a Schlitz tall boy and Nate had a PBR. The burger was good. We both thought Sobelman's was still better.

We got all gussied up (or at least I did) and made our way to Sanford. It was a nice night so we walked to the restaurant and on the way saw a fox! Crazy. We also discovered that we are a bit on trend with our anniversary celebrations - We celebrated our 1st and 3rd anniversary at Delafield Hotel (where our reception was) and our 2nd and 4th at Sanford. My recap of our first trip to Sanford is here if you want to read it. Our second trip was a bit more disappointing. The food was outsanding and kicked off with the amuse bouche- kolarabi puree with sliced grapes. Then, we ordered the cheese plate (of course). The cheese plate had some almond crisps on it and Nate mentioned to the waitress that I was allergic to almonds. We did not think this was a big deal, but she sort of flipped out and seemed irritated that we did not tell her this right away. I had the elk and Nate had the tenderloin. Last time, both of us were too chicken to get the elk, and I sort of regretted it so I went with it this time. It was amazing. We were VERY excited for the end of the meal because we remembered the yummy plate of cookies that we got last time. WELL, Nate got the cookies but I did not - the waitress said she was not allowed to serve me the cookies because of nut cross-contamination. I said I had no problem with that and that I was fine getting the cookies and she would not give me the cookies. Instead, I had two raspberries with brandy sauce. They were fine but they were not the cookies. Overall (excluding the cookie incident) we were not happy with our service this time. It sort of killed the meal for us.

After Sanford, we went to Blu, where my sister is a cocktail waitress and reserved us a corner table with a view. She was cute - she even brought us chocolate covered strawberries, which Nate enjoyed because I am allergic. After enjoying a cocktail, and watching the Brewers win the pennant on TV, we realized we were exhausted. It was 10:15! Mom & Dad gone wild! ha ha ha

We walked around the corner to get a cab back to the hotel when the Hotel Metro valet said he would take us in the cool old-school Hotel Metro car! We were so excited!

It was nice to sleep in this morning and lay around watching TV for a few hours. We checked out and headed to Sil's for the hot donuts. Why we have never been to Sil's before is beyond me. AMAZING donuts. AMAZING. We actually ordered a second bag because our first bag was inhaled so fast.

Overall, a great getaway, especially nice to have a break from packing. We both were really excited to pick up Mags too :) We thought it was also fun to have a Milwaukee staycation right before we head to the 'burbs.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Week's Worth of Emmy Fashion!

In case you missed it, you can check out our week's worth of Emmy recaps over on Owlet. It was fun co-posting this week - I am glad my friend, M, had the idea! We still have to figure out how we can get paid to watch red carpets and get paid to write about them!

Emmy Recap #1: Best/Worst

Emmy Recap #2: Boobs!

Emmy 2011 Recap #3: Fashion Politics

Emmy 2001 Recap 4: Back to Black

Emmy 2001 Recap 5: Trend Report

Emmy 2011 Recap 6: Surprises and Honorable Mentions

You can now spend that $3.95 that you would have spent on US Weekly on something else. You're welcome! (ha ha ha)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Eating Up Food

With a week to go, our food situation is getting to be...dire. I mentioned that I created a list of all possible recipes/food that we could make/eat so that we would use up as much food as possible in our fridge, freezer and pantry. This has led to a "culinary trip around the world", as I like to announce at the dinner table every night.

Two nights ago, I had planned on making Vietnamese Noodles. I had not ever made these before but they were going to use up carrots, rice noodles, fish sauce and peanuts. Bonus that Maggie went with Nate to work that day so I could just concentrate on having dinner ready by the time they got home and not make dinner with a child on my hip.

While making the sauce for the noodles, I realized it smelled...fishy. I have only ever made something with fish sauce one time before and I didn't recall this occurring. Oh well. Proceed.

The smell was so potent that I could not even think of eating these noodles. I checked the bottle. The fish sauce was expired. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! Why I didn't check this before the dish was made, I do not know.

So...consulting the master list, I decided to go with the "polenta bake". We had about a 1/4 bag of polenta left and on the bag it had a "easy recipe" to combine the polenta with tomato sauce and parmesan cheese and bake it. Well, quickly reading that, I dumped the uncooked polenta into a casserole dish, poured on the tomato sauce and then sprinkled the cheese. Phew! Dinner was going to be saved.

Nate and Mags arrived home and I said, "We are having quite a international dinner tonight! BUT...you may not want to eat half of it." I asked him to try the noodles. He thought they were good but had a "fishy aftertaste". Puke. I tried eating them. I did. But the "fishy aftertaste" was too much for me.

Back to the polenta. After about 20 minutes in the oven, I thought the polenta was probably done. I pulled it out of the oven and literally it was still dry polenta. with tomato sauce. We consulted the polenta bag again and decided that they probably meant to put COOKED polenta in the dish. So we just added water to the mess and put it back in the oven. It ended up being ok.

I had to laugh when Nate told Maggie, "Mags: Mom is usually a good cook. I am not sure what happened tonight but don't worry."

I redeemed myself last night when we made Jess's Couscous Salad (and used up dates! more carrots! couscous! pinenuts! a can of chickpeas!) with Falafel wraps (using tortillas instead of pitas and Trader Joe's frozen falafels).

Tonight - it's Pasta Potpourri!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

One week to go!

This week has been such a whirlwind. But we keep checking things off the list!

1) Basement: Packed! This was by far the biggest pit of the house. It is now cleaned out and packed up! The last Craigslist pick up was earlier this week.

2) Closings: Scheduled! We close on our current house at 9 AM one week from tomorrow and close on the new house at 11 AM the same day. The movers come one week from today and are scheduled to deliver the goods at 1 PM one week from tomorrow!

3) Refrigerator: Purchased! Our new kitchen has a custom cabinet for the refrigerator, but no refrigerator! the larger refrigerator. We bought a Maytag Monochromatic Stainless Steel:

It is getting delivered one week from tomorrow! We are gaining five cubic feet of refrigerator space!

4) One year photos: Taken! Originally these were scheduled for two weeks ago, but our photographer was ill. We wanted to get this taken care of before the move so we did it this evening. I am SO EXCITED to get the photos back - there were some great shots and Mags was much more cooperative than she was during her newborn photos with the same photographer.

5) Bills and Mail: FORWARDED! The cable and internet guy is scheduled to come next week to transfer service, the mail is forwarded, and gas/electric transferred!

6) Radon: Mitigated! They came today to install the system. We now are beginning another testing period. If we pass this test (aka our radon is below 4), we are good to go!

7) Carbon Monoxide Detectors: Purchased! Besides the radon, we were asked to install CO monitors on every floor of our house. Check!

8) # of Goodwill Drop Offs so far: 2. (We also had 2 Craigslist pickups).

One Week left!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Emmys Recap: GO!

Did you watch The Emmys? As I mentioned in the previous post, I did. I even managed to watch a lot of the red carpet in between sharing pancakes with Mags.

If you are sick of me talking about packing, head on over to Owlet this week to read fashion recaps from the Emmys. Our first post went live a few minutes ago! Agree? Disagree? Don't forget to comment!

And stay tuned to Owlet (as a matter of fact, just add it to your Reader)...there's more magic where that came from...

Emmy Recap Post #2

Emmy Recap Post #3: FASHION POLITICS!

Emmy Recap Post #4: Back to Black

The movers are coming, The movers are coming!

The movers are coming in 10 days.

Our house FINALLY looks like we are moving. Meaning, it is a huge mess.

Over the weekend, we took care of business. When we moved in, the previous owners had left us a lot of old furniture. Four and 1/4 years later, we finally did something about it. Some of it went on the "free" section of Craigslist and whatever didn't go for free on Craiglist was taken to Goodwill. Three-quarters of our basement (i.e. our storage facility) is now weeded through and packed up. I went through 10 shoe boxes of stuff that I had saved from high school. WOW was that hilarious. Most of it did not make the cut - I whittled it down to one box of stuff. Nate finally let me get rid of my grade school cheerleading plaque with the full-busted cheerleader on it. (Last week, he convinced me to keep it.) And all those Long Lake Midget Girls softball trophies are in the Goodwill box too.

I think we are on the downhill slope with packing. I still have my clothes and shoes to edit (of course I am saving that until ABSOLUTELY necessary) and we have our 'heavy-use' kitchen items to pack yet. In a state of delirium, I asked Nate if we should even hire movers. Literally five seconds later, I stubbed my toe trying to move a dresser. "THIS is why we are hiring movers honey", was his response to that.

And then there is the food...
Last weekend, to avoid packing (I could give you a whole LIST of avoidant behaviors I have been participating in the last weeks), I put a lot of energy into going through what food we had left in our pantry and freezer and then finding recipes to use it all up. The master list is posted on the fridge and we cross things off as we make them. I was amazed at how many recipes we could make with having "no food" in the house. I am excited to whittle this down and start fresh in the new house. Although, I am sure it won't be long until we are in the same mode we were in, having a freezer and pantry stash of random bits.

We were not cooped up the whole weekend - we made it out Saturday night to join my in-laws in watching my BIL perform in "Bits of Broadway" musical dinner theater (an annual tradition) and yesterday afternoon to see our friends who currently temporarily live in Singapore and were back for a visit.

And then...The EMMYS! I don't care how much I have to do, I never miss a good red carpet. This week, I will be guest blogging on my friend's blog, Owlet, recapping Emmy fashion. We always do this via email after a red carpet event and now we are taking it to the world wide web. Fun!

Friday, September 16, 2011


Recently, Nate and I each had our "scariest moment in parenting".

Mine occurred on Labor Day weekend when I put Maggie down for a nap in her pack and play at Nate's family's lake house. The pack and play was right next to a dresser and while I had removed items from the top of the dresser for her previous naps that weekend, I did not do it this one time. Luckily, a couple minutes later I attempted to sneak back into the room to get a change of clothes when I saw Maggie, sitting up in her pack and play, with everything that was on the dresser in her pack and play. She was just sitting there playing with a fake flower decoration. As I looked in the pack and play, I saw pills scatterred everywhere. Nate's grandpa's pillbox happened to be on the dresser that day. PANIC. We could not be sure she ate any of the pills, but on that same token, we could not be sure she did NOT eat any pills. We got the list of medications from Nate's grandpa and I called poison control and totally broke down crying. Mother of the Year for sure. Luckily, IF Maggie had eaten any of the pills, she could be monitored at home. We did not need to take her to the Emergency Department. We were instructed to keep her awake (no afternoon nap that day), feed her a snack and make sure she had plenty of fluids. We saw no strange behavior that they told us to look for so we assume that she never consumed any of the pills. I still want to throw up whenever I think of that day.

Last night, Nate had his scariest moment. It was his turn to put Maggie to bed, so after I kissed her goodnight the requisite 100 times, I went off for a run. I had a great run - I was all over the cool crisp fall air and the six (6!) deer I saw on my route. I got back in the house and my runner's high was about to get squashed. I saw Nate and Maggie, cuddled under a quilt, watching Mickey Mouse Club. Nate saw me and said, "Um, we just had a bit of a scary moment." Apparently shortly after Nate put Maggie in her crib, he heard a weird noise. He went upstairs to check on her and she was sitting in a bunch of vomit and crying so hard she wasn't even making noise - looking like she was choking. It took a LONG time to get her calmed down after that, but we changed all of the linens, put her in clean pajamas and rocked her until she fell back asleep. Nate was so scared that she could have been choking on vomit that he googled it. Apparently it is very unlikely that babies can choke to death on their vomit. (If this is untrue, please keep it to yourself. He does not need to know otherwise right now!) This morning she was bouncing all around so what happened? We have no idea. We do know that she will need another bath tonight!

So I guess we are "real" parents now that we both have had the sh** scared out of us!


Whenever I get a little sad about moving out of our current house, Nate reminds me of things that I will be able to do in our new house that we can't in our current house. Last night, he said, "Oh it's too bad we aren't in our new house yet - it's a perfect night to build a fire." This made me very happy that we are moving into a fireplace house in fall - we can use it right away!

One of the other things that I am excited about is furniture. I would love to get more into re-upholstering cool old furniture that I find at Goodwill, rummage sales, my in-laws basement (!), etc but we do not currently have any space for these types of things. My exclamations of "Isn't that a cool chair?!" used to be met with, "Yes, but where are we going to put it?" Now, I will have a space to name!

By far my #1 furniture item on the dream list is a fainting couch/chaise lounge.
SWOON! Always ALWAYS wanted one of these. Remember when Betty Draper impulsively bought one for her living room so she could think naughty thoughts of Henry?
Here is an apartment therapy round up of chaise lounges and here is a design sponge roundup.

Here are some pics I pulled from Pinterest:

Personally, I would love a tufted one. I love the look of them! I can't decide if I would want the fainting couch variety (with the asymmtrical look) or the type that is more of a backless bench. I will be on the hunt soon!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

12 Month Checkup and Weaning

Maggie had her 12 month well child visit this morning. Everything looks great.

Weight: 23.5 lbs - 87th percentile (This is a jump - she used to be around 75th)
Height: 31.25" - 97th percentile

She had to get 3 shots - they moved to her arm this time. She was NOT happy. Then, after the shots, we got to visit the lab where they did a blood draw for lead testing. DOUBLE FUN!

I was a little sad because we are going to switch clinics when we move, which means a new doctor. Thankfully, Maggie's current doctor had a recommendation in our new clinic.

In other news, we are well on our way to weaning. The last seven nights involved no nursing and two of those nights I gave the sippy cup. (Previously, if I was even in the room, there would be none of the sippy cup!). So now, Nate and I are alternating who does the bed time routine each night.

AND, the past two mornings involved no nursing!

Weaning has not been too difficult. We have employed several techniques. First, we gradually cut out nursings to get to where we were - nursing at night and at morning only. When I went to Atlanta, it became apparent that these remaining sessions were not really being used as a food source, but more for comfort. At night, I did not go in her room at all for about 4 nights when Nate put her down. I would kiss her good night downstairs and he would take her upstairs, change her into pajamas, read to her and offer the sippy cup. She doesn't really drink much of the sippy cup. Then he put her in bed. Over the weekend, he went to a Brewers game and I was going to do the first night routine and try the sippy. It was a smooth transition - she did not even bat an eye or tug at my shirt.

For the morning, we have done a couple things. Usually, we bring her into bed with us. I started using the "don't offer, don't refuse" approach (not to be confused with don't ask, don't tell). Basically, you do not outright offer the goods to the baby but if it is obvious that they want to nurse, you do not refuse either. However, I was getting to work about 45 minutes late every morning because Maggie started waking up closer to 7 AM (when I was supposed to be at the office). So, I was not about to wake her up earlier to nurse so this week I started getting up early, showering and getting ready and then when she naturally would wake up, I would change her right away and play a bit. We also started feeding her breakfast right away. This transition has been seamless so far.

I think a big part of this seamless transition has been the fact that Maggie eats a lot of food - she hasn't really relied on nursing as a food source for a long time. This also has made weaning a piece of cake for me - no engorgement, soreness, etc. Weaning can be emotional - but I feel at this point I am ready for it. When I first read about weaning a few months ago, I burst into tears. Obviously, not ready at that point! But I am looking forward to having Nate share responsibility in the morning and evening routines. He obviously was very helpful with everything else besides the nursing aspect.

I realize every child is different, but I really liked the process we used for nursing with Maggie. I never really felt bothered by the nursing and really enjoyed the experience with the exception of pumping - I hated pumping with a passion.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Goal #1: Accomplished

Wowsa! I logged into Goodreads today and discovered I have met my goal for number of books read in 2011! Guess I set the bar a little too low on that one.

My initial goal was 18 books. Check it off the list:

1. Crow Lake by Mary Lawson
2. Mockingjay (Hunger Games #3) by Suzanne Collins
3. Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese
4. March by Geraldine Brooks
5. Crossing to Safety by Wallace Stegner
6. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer
7. A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick
8. Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother by Amy Chua
9. Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
10. A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan
11. The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
12. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
13. Bossypants by Tina Fey
14. Stranger Things Happen by Kelly Link
15. The Other Side of the Bridge by Mary Lawson
16. The Weight of Silence by Heather Gudenkauf
17. Before I Go to Sleep by S.J. Watson
18. Flux: Women on Sex, Work, Love, Kids and Life in a Half Changed World by Peggy Orenstein

I am therefore revising my goal to 25 books in 2011.

The magic number 5

I am happy to post that I have been regularly running at least 3 days a week for almost 6 weeks. This has been a long time coming - and certainly took longer to get into a regularly routine post-baby than I had anticipated. I had several motivating factors to finally get me off the couch:

1)Runners World. While visiting my BIL in early July, he asked how running was coming along. Thumbs down was my report. I asked him how he was liking the Runner's World subscription we got for him and we got to talking about how the magazine gets to be cyclical, but that it is always good for motivation. He gave me a few old issues to take home and one of the articles I read was getting back into running after injury. NOW, I am not saying that having a baby = injury (although there are some injured parts in the process!), but the idea was the same: It can be hard getting back into it after taking a long break. One of the things the article mentioned is that you have to let go of your past accomplishments. This sounds very "duh" but after reading that, I started NOT keeping track of how far I had run. I deliberately avoided routes where I knew the mileage. I tried to run 30 minutes each time I went out and that was it. It was a good strategy for me - It made me less competitive with myself.

2) Ironman P. A former colleague of mine requested a lunch date over the summer. We met for lunch and I was eager to find out how her training for the Ironman Triathlon was going. After she finished explaining her training routine to me, she asked how running was going for me. "Ughhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. It's not." However, after talking shop with her and then watching her finish an IRONMAN, I was motivated to get back out there on a regular basis. (Not that I am doing an Ironman...ever.)

3) As mentioned in (1), just reading about running is very motivating to me. I already mentioned my reaction to reading a post by imrunnerchica. I also enjoy reading a vignette out of Mile Markers every so often.

4) New gear! New clothes are always a motivator! I bought two new sports bras and a pair of socks at the Lululemon outlet in Orlando and won a High Miles Running technical shirt.

That was the motivation I used to get out there on a regular basis starting in July. Of course, as any runner will tell you, once you start getting into a groove and getting your legs back, you start to crave running and it becomes motivation in and of itself. Last night, I finally broke the 5 mile mark.

Five miles is a big deal in my mind, starting from way back when I got into running freshman year of high school. Throughout my high school cross country career, we never ran more than 5 miles, and when we did run 5 miles, it was a big deal, often rewarded with Gillys custard. For the longest time, 5 miles was my "long run". It wasn't until I took the Marathon/Distance Training 231 class in college that I ran past 5 miles. I've since run many runs over 5 miles, but starting back up again post-baby, the 5 mile mark seemed very out of reach...until last night. I was running for a while and was pretty excited thinking that I maybe hit the 5 mile mark. I got home and gmapped it and the route ended up being 5.02 miles. YES!

Then I started with the big talk and told Nate I was running the NY Marathon in 2012. (We had been watching 9/11 documentaries on and off throughout the day). Oh boy. 26.2 is a long way from 5, but it's all downhill from here!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Packing Packing Packing

We spent some time this weekend packing.

Maggie lasted like this for 20 minutes.

She might be too long for the Moby Wrap.

I went through some of the hand-me-downs from the neighbor girls and had to try the poncho on:

"Mom...I don't have any pants on!"

We were supossed to have Maggie's one-year photos this evening, but we received a call from the photographer this afternoon canceling. So, we returned to packing.

Friday, September 9, 2011

12 Months: Looks Like We Made IT!

Maggie is now a year old!

Anyone who works with mortality data can tell you that the mortality curve for kids goes way down after one year. SUCCESS!

Since Maggie has been eating table food for a while now, there is nothing too new to report here. She is a very good eater, which I am thankful for. We have given her peanut butter a couple times, although we are being cautious with that since we have noticed a minor rash develop twice. It's a good thing she likes Sunflower Butter so much!

We have hit the one year mark, which is the recommended guideline for kids receiving breastmilk by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Most of Maggie's breastmilk is consumed via sippy cup from my frozen freezer stash, which we have been relying on solely since mid-July. We still have A LOT left so we will continue to give her this until it is out and then make the switch to whole milk.

Maggie still nurses right before bed and right away in the morning, although we have been working on weaning, starting with the right before bed. I would estimate that 50-75% of the time, she is fine getting some milk in a sippy cup right before bed. Since she has been off bottles for several months now, we didn't really want to reintroduce bottles so we are trying the sippy cup. We saved the morning weaning for the last since that is the one we feel she is most tied to. She did do well when I was away for two nights on a work trip - though she seems to do better if she knows that I am not in the house. My friend BLK and I were joking that babies have a homing device for boobs. ha ha ha

Although our breastfeeding experience had a rough start, after those first four days it was smooth sailing. I am very grateful that it worked out so well for us!

Mags goes to the doctor for her one year well child visit next week. We weighed her on the Wii last week and she was 22.5 lbs. I just found this picture of one of our first Wii Weigh-ins:

She is almost completely in 18 month sized clothes - definitely in pants which we need all the length we can get! We still have a few size 3 disposable diapers left and then it is on to size 4s. In her Bum Genius cloth diapers, she is still in the mid-size range. We have tried unsnapping them to the biggest size but we had a few leaks so still staying in the medium size (middle-snap).

We took her shoe shopping to the Stride Rite outlet - she is currently a 4 1/2 W. Girl needs that wide width! Now that the weather is getting a bit cooler (and we are close to walking!), she probably will be wearing shoes more often.

She talks in her own language still, although she can understand a lot. We think she
tries to say "duck" when picking up one of her various duck toys. It really is amazing to watch this develop because it seems she understands new words each day. We routinely ask her where certain toys are and she will go get them! She will always say "da" when you ask "who is that" and point to Nate. But she will also day "da" when you ask "who is that" and point to me. "Mama" only seems to come in times of high stress!

She gets more and more brave with unassisted standing but still uses furniture to pull up and walk around rooms. She will also not go up stairs anymore. It is almost like she forgot how. Crawling has moved to turbo boost speed.

Maggie looks like she is well on her way to becoming a book nerd like her mom (aka my evil plan is working!). She knows which direction to turn pages in books and recently she is more interested in turning the pages herself than listening to stories. She really likes this Soft Shape book. I was excited to see that there are many different books in the "soft shape" series so we bought her an animal one for her birthday. The shapes come out of the book like puzzle pieces.

Speaking of puzzles, we recently gave her a few puzzles and she really likes them. More for carrying the pieces around than for putting them together, ha ha ha.

She is really attached to her two lovies - duck and owl. (They are the angel dear ones). And her blanket. It is not a specific blanket - just any blanket that she sleeps with. In the morning, we lift her out of the crib and she will try to dive from our arms to pick up duck (or owl) and the blanket.

Although we try not to expose her to too much TV, we have let her watch the hot dog song from Mickey Mouse Club while we trim her nails because it will put her in a trance so she does not pay attention to the nail trimming. We will also You Tube the video so she can listen to the song. She really loves anything to do with music, which has always been the case, but has been very noticeable in the past month.

Over the holiday weekend, we went to a cookout at a friend's house. Their baby had a pacifier and Maggie would crawl up to him and yank out the pacifier every single time. She did not try to eat it, but just did not want the baby to have it. Nate said that another baby at her daycare also has a pacifier and she does the same thing. I find this funny since she never was really too into pacifiers when she was younger.

We had some teething action in the past month. She has her middle two bottom teeth, the middle two top teeth and the i-teeth seem to be showing just a bit. It is hard to monitor the teeth situation since she is not a fan of anyone looking in her mouth.
She does like brushing her teeth. We still do not use toothpaste - just give her a wet toothbrush.

She goes to bed around 7 PM and is up anywhere between 6 and 7 in the morning, which is now tending towards the 7 AM end of that time range! YAHOO! (Last month it was closer to the 6 side of that range). We have been experimenting with the nap situation lately and it seems that a short (20-30 minute) nap in the morning and a longer nap (1-2 hours) right after lunch produce the happiest baby. For a while we were just trying to hold out on no morning nap, but it was not working too well.

Her love affair with animals continues. I have taken her to Pet Smart on more than one occasion to look at animals. I am sure they have caught on to the fact that I am using their store for a free zoo for my child.

And that about sums up the last month!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Fantastic 4

Today was also our anniversary. We decided that our gift this year was going to be new appliances for the house (a refrigerator at least). Normally I would be very anti-this idea, but the modern gift for #4 is appliances so that is ok. We gave each other cards. Later this month, my in-laws are taking Mags and we are staying at the new hotel downtown, Aloft, (thank you Groupon) and going to Sanford (unfortunately I do not think Sanford participates in Groupon) for dinner.

I could not resist playing a little joke on Nate, with the assistance of my Father-in-law. My FIL's jewelry store regularly collects "old gold" from people. Going through the old gold is very fun - you never know what you will come across and when it will come in handy.

Like this Gold "#1 HUSBAND" charm.

HA HA HA HA. My FIL even polished it all up for me. I gave nate the small wrapped box - the box that my wedding necklace came in so it looked legit - and he was feeling SO BAD. "I thought we weren't getting each other gifts".

BOOYAH!! Number 1 Husband:

BAHH HA HA HA HA. He says he is going to wear it at least once. I CANNOT WAIT.

And that folks, is how you keep the romance alive at Year 4. HA HA HA

A 1-derful Birthday

Maggie woke up on the early side today and we brought her into our bed to snuggle. We exclaimed "Happy Birthday" and then realized that she technically had not been born yet. Nate asked, "I wonder if Saved By the Bell is On?" which made me laugh because I watched about four episodes of Saved By The Bell in a row while under the magical powers of my epidural and then had a full-on 90s fashion discussion with my L&D nurse afterwards. But I digress....

I made Maggie blueberry pancakes so that she could start the day with cake. :) She was very excited:

(I noticed today that she has started smiling for the camera! I guess the thousands of pictures that we have taken of her taught her something!)

We then took the Mickey picture. This is Maggie's new thing when you ask her where something is - she holds out her hands like "Where is it?" It is pretty cute.

We then put the birthday girl shirt on. I got this shirt on a clearance rack at Target. Of course the 1 year old birthday shirts only come in a 12 month size. So it was a little small. It says "I'm the Birthday Girl".

It was then ball popper and boombox time. I think I have mentioned how obsessed Maggie is with the ball popper before. Recently, she is also obsessed with this Munchkin Music Cube that my in-laws got her for Christmas. I am not sure what made her discover it but we call it her boombox because it always has to be going. I even make up Irish dances to go with the song. I think they are pretty fun, but she is not amused.

It was a beautiful day so I loaded her up in the Baby Jogger and went for a run. She fell asleep and woke up just as I was pushing her up the driveway.

The next hours were spent with me holding her because if I got more than two feet away from her, she wailed. Our in-home childcare person said she was pretty clingy yesterday too. It seems Mags is not immune to separation anxiety - a common trait of this age group (according to Baby Center, anyways). I took her to Barnes and Noble to get her free Kids Club cupcake and to buy her birthday presents. (How many more birthdays can I get away with buying the present right in front of the child?! ha ha) She took terrible naps but did get a good lunch in. I made her favorite butternut squash raviolis.

The afternoon was spent reading a lot of books and watching some music videos on You Tube. Her favorite song is this Hot Dog song from the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. She also is a fan of some of these vintage Sesame Street songs from a CD AH made for her.

When Nate got home, we opened the presents that people sent in the mail. She needed a lot of help and was pretty disinterested except for when we actually revelaed the presents. We bought her two books, The H crew sent a pink car, some books, and a children's CD, the D clan sent a cool puzzle and some crayons and my nana sent her shoes. We also received lots of emails, Facebook messages, text messages, phone calls and a Skype call throughout the day.

Then it was time for dinner. We took her to Il Mito in Wauwatosa for some yummy Italian. Il Mito is very kid friendly, but still nice. It also helps that we were there before 6 PM. She LOVED IT. We could not believe how much food she ate. We started with rosemary foccacia dipped in garlic olive oil (yes, she gobbled this up) and rissotto cakes. I had pumpkin ravioli in a creamy sage sauce - most of it ended up in Maggie's tummy. Nate had a fire roasted tomato and chicken rissotto. Everything was delish!

We came home for the piece de resistance - the cupcake! She ate quite a bit of it - shoving huge chunks in her mouth. We were surprised at how cleanly she ate it! After the cupcake it was time for bed. Nate included "On the Day You Were Born" in the book repertoire tonight.

My Baby is 1!

Sept 8 = A BIG DAY!

My poor dad. September 8 used to be remembered as his day - his birthday that is.

Then, 4 years ago, Nate & I decided to get married on that day.
Here is my dad spending his birthday walking me down the aisle:

Nate and I as newlyweds:

Then last year, Maggie decided to make her arrival on that day.
Here is my dad sharing his birthday last year with Mags:

And some other photos from that day last year:

Happy Birthday Dad! Happy Anniversary Nate! Happy Birthday Mags!!

Our last family photos - from June 2011:

The Birthday Girl!!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

House Update: Failures

I do not like to fail. However, our house failed the radon test. While we haven't received official paperwork from the buyer, it is highly likely that she will request the installation of a radon mitigation system (which I fully support and wished we would have done!). I sort of freaked out considering the fact that we potentially have lived with high levels of radon for the past 4 years but am thankful to our state region's radon information guru for talking me off the ledge. What's done is done.

However, consider this a CCM-endorsed message to you to get your home tested for radon! I am thankful that the new house already has a radon mitigation system in place.

On a more uplifting note, our current house is scheduled to be appraised next week and our lender is in process of scheduling an appraisal of the new house. I just spoke with the woman from the title company who requested our SSN for the new house title so things are moving forward!!!

22 days until closing...

Packing & Purging

I broke down and started packing last night. Our (98% mine) books are packed and the DVD and Wii games are packed. I was not anxious about packing until I started doing it and realized how long it really is going to take! I am excited to do some purging with packing. (Is that an eating disorder?) I have two big bags of books to donate to the library already and have some DVDs as well.

Another aspect of purging that DOES have to do with eating is with our food. We are trying NOT to buy groceries (except for the basics) and concentrate on eating up as much food in our pantry/freezer that we can. I am excited about this mainly because I feel like we easily let our freezer and pantry get out of control. (e.g. Yesterday I found butterscotch chips in there where the use by date was in 2009!) Last night we ate the last bag of Jamie Oliver's Spaghetti Sauce from the freezer, along with some toddler meatballs and two differenct kinds of pasta (penne & rotini) from half-full boxes and some frozen rolls from trader joes. What are toddler meatballs you ask? Some recipe I ripped out of a parents magazine. They were not that great (our almost-toddler didn't like them, and her parents ate them solely to not waste food) and did not hold their "ball" shape. I think I'll stick to my aunt's meatball recipe in the future.

I think I am going to use the allrecipes.com App on my Ipad to figure out what to do with the remaining random ingredients. You can type in whatever ingredients you have and the search results will give you recipes to try. Otherwise, it looks like we mainly will be eating artichokes, chicken breasts and sweet potato fries for the next month!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Still waiting...

I noticed that I never put the half bathroom on the main floor of my faux-floorplan so I corrected that:

Our current house underwent a house inspection yesterday morning. We received the report about an hour ago, however, the we are still waiting for the radon test to be complete. (The radon test takes 48 hours). After the radon test is complete, we will find out if the buyer wants us to address anything they found in the report. We were not happy with the inspector who basically did not put anything that he took apart back together. Provided the buyer has no issues and that the radon test comes back ok, we are still on track for the 9/29 closing.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

September Craft of the Month

You may recall the skirt kits I made for 3 friends with summer birthdays. I finished one of the skirts today. The fabric is from Jo-Ann fabrics and I used the same fabric to make the interior of the birdie sling I made in August for Slunz's Mom. Voila:

The recipient of this skirt is much shorter than I - thus the length will not be as scandalous on her! I was a little nervous about keeping everything lined up, but am happy with how it turned out! I hope JN likes it!

Friday, September 2, 2011

New House Floorplan

Here is my feeble attempt (via Microsoft Publisher) to give you an idea of the floor plan of the new house. The solid lines are walls.

Main Floor


Thursday, September 1, 2011

Home Inspection

The offer on our current house and the offer on our future house both contained crazy amounts of contingencies. I'm not sure I fully even understand all of the contingencies, or days we have to fulfill the contingencies, but that is why we have a realtor - to keep track of all of this.

The buyer of our current home gave us 10 days to figure out everything with our future home. Since the bank that currently owns our future home took their sweet time responding to our offers, that left us 3 days to get a home inspection done. Thankfully, we were able to schedule the home inspection for yesterday afternoon. We first had to contact the bank to get a plumber in the house since they had shut off all water in the foreclosure process.

Did I mention that we were buying a foreclosure? I can't remember. When we initially looked at the house, some people warned us that foreclosures are a pain. There were some slight headaches, but I have to say, I think our process went fairly smooth.

In response to some of the comments, yes, we are gaining space...a lot of it. It is sort of weird thinking about the future in purchasing a house. When we bought our current house, we thought of it as "our first house", and always knew we would be moving someday. Neither of us feel that way about this house (meaning we feel like we will die in this house), which is a little scary! I'm not sure we were really in the market for this house, but we seized an opportunity to get our "dream house" a little sooner than we expected. It's not often you find your dream house in your price range!

I'm not sure if this is normal (I like to think it probably is), but we always concocted these lists of "our next home has to have this" or "ok, we can't have it in this home, but put it on the list for house #2)". Here is some of our list:

1. Yard.
By far the biggest drawback of our current house. We have a front yard and a side yard but no back yard. Our back yard is our neighbor's driveway. There is really no place for kids to play. And since we went ahead and got ourselves one of those (i.e.kids), we decided that we probably will have more of them in the future. However, we do not want an enormous yard because then we (ok, who am I kidding - NATE) would have to spend more time mowing it. The next house does not have an enormous yard, but we do have a nice backyard with a deck:

2. Attached garage.
This is something from Nate's wishlist. I really didn't care - I moved to our house from Chicago where I parked my car on the street. ANY garage was an upgrade. However, when we had Maggie, I began to see what he was talking about. It would be nice to have the garage attached to the house so I'm not carrying bags of groceries, Maggie and an umbrella. And when it snows?! It would be nice not to have to trudge through all the snow to get to my car. Next house has an attached garage, with room for the grill, bikes, lawn mower, shovels, etc so that we don't have to take the cars out of the garage to get all of that stuff out.

3. More living space.
Currently we spend 95% of our awake time in the living room/kitchen/dining room part of our house. This is maybe 1/3 of our current house and not very large or open. Throw an almost-toddler in there with all of her toys, and it REALLY gets a little tight. We have enormous bedrooms though! We have figured out that we would take smaller bedrooms for more family space. Also, our current house has 2 BR upstairs and 2 BR downstairs. We RARELY use the 2 BR downstairs and when we eventually have another baby, I would rather have everyone upstairs on the same level. The next house has 4 BR but they are all upstairs. We also gain a few rooms of living space - the main level of the house has a large open kitchen, with an island and space for a small dining table that opens into a nice-sized living room and a sunroom.

5. Fireplace!
This is so silly but we both really wanted a fireplace. Score x 2. We have a brick fireplace in our living room in the next house AND a fireplace in our bedroom. WHAT?! I know. It seems ridiculous to me too....and fun. Here is the living room shot (taken from standing in the kitchen):

6. Reduced commute for Nate.
Currently, I have a 7-10 minute commute (2.5 miles) depending on traffic and stoplights. Nate's commute out of the city is 30 minutes in the morning but at least 45 minutes coming home due to traffic. One of our goals for moving was to cut down on his commute but still live close to the city. The house is a great location - easy freeway access - but will make his commute a predictable 20 minutes each way and he will never run into traffic. This means that during the hardest hour of my day 5-6PM, he will be home closer to the 5 side of that rather than the 6 side of that. WOO-HOO. My commute, as I timed yesterday, will be 15 minutes.

7. Laundry on main floor:
This was never on my wish list but I am looking forward to having the laundry on the main floor (off the kitchen in the mudroom area that connects to the garage). Currently our laundry is in the basement. Not a huge deal - Maggie gets lots of "rides" in laundry baskets as we move from level to level.

These are things that I filed under my never in a million years wishful thinking category but amazingly the house has!
1) Butler pantry. The next house has one en route from the kitchen to the formal dining room. Now I have a place for all of the dishes I have collected over the years!

2) Powder room. We gain a half-bathroom on the main level in the next house. My mom took my sister and I to California in 2005 and one of her friends had this amazing crazy powder room. I thought, "I have to have one of these someday." Someday has arrived!

3)Wood shank roof. I was proud of my BIL for noticing one of my favorite features of the next house - the roof. I have long wanted a house with a roof like this so that I am one step closer to becoming Barefoot Contessa. ha ha ha

4)Twin Beds One Room. Now here comes the silly part. In home decor magazines/blogs, I always love when they put two (or more) twin beds in a room. This led to the creation of one of my more popular Pinterest boards "Twin Beds. One Room." My friend MS actually asked me when she found out we were potentially buying a new house, "Does it have a twin beds one room?" YESSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! One of the bedrooms is rather large with two dormers. The minute I walked in it the first time, I thought "twin beds one room"! For now it will likely be a toy/craft room.
Here is an example of twin beds one room:

Several people also have asked us if there are projects like our first house. The answer is YES although definitely not as many. We likely will not tackle any of the projects right away, with the exception of purchasing a refrigerator, the only appliance we do not have. The first priority in terms of redecorating is paint. We only like about 10% of the current paint job.

Other people have asked about the blog. This made me laugh. I am not sure what to do about the blog as the name "Cape Cod Makeover" will no longer apply. Also, this blog did start as a chronicle of taking our home from 1964 to present but once that was done, sort of morphed into a chronicle of...what, i'm not exactly sure. I will likely still have a blog but not sure if I will start a new one or just rename this one.

Oh! I don't think I said - our home inspection on the new house PASSED! Of course they don't really "pass" or "fail" you but there were no huge concerns found. Phew! Now our current house just has to pass inspection for the new buyer and we are ready to pack our bags...quickly!

Zucchini Pancakes

I made these (sans walnuts) for dinner last night as a side dish. They were delish, even to Maggie, who was covered from head to toe in little bits of them by dinner's end.

Turkish Zucchini Pancakes with Sour Cream
Source: Bon Appetit, January 1996 via Keri's Kitchen
1 pound zucchini, trimmed, coarsely grated

2 cups chopped green onions

4 eggs, beated to blend

½ cup all purpose flour

1/3 cup chopped fresh dill or 1 ½ tablespoons dried dill

1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley

2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon or 2 teaspoons dried

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon ground pepper

½ cup crumbled feta cheese (about 3 ounces)

2/3 cup chopped walnuts (about 3 ounces) (optional)

Olive oil

1.Place zucchini in colander. Sprinkle with salt and let stand 30 minutes to drain. Squeeze zucchini between hands to remove liquid, then squeeze dry in several layers of paper towels.
2.Combine zucchini, chopped green onions, 4 eggs, flour, chopped dill, parsley, tarragon, ½ teaspoon salt and pepper in medium bowl. Mix well. Fold in crumbled feta cheese. (Zucchini mixture can be prepared 3 hours ahead. Cover tightly and refrigerate. Stir to blend before continuing.) Fold chopped walnuts into zucchini mixture.
3.Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Place a baking sheet in the oven. Cover bottom of large nonstick skillet with olive oil. Heat skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, drop zucchini mixture into skillet by heaping tablespoonfuls. Fry until pancakes are golden brown and cooked through, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer each batch of pancakes to baking sheet in oven to keep warm. Serve pancakes hot with sour cream.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

House Update

Quite the turn of events since my last blog post.

My work trip to Atlanta went well. I was hanging out at the airport last night waiting for boarding time on my flight home. My phone was about to die so I plugged it into a nearby wall. My flight was starting to board so I went to collect my phone and noticed that I had about five missed calls from Nate.

Now, every SINGLE time he has called me in the last week, I have immediately thought about the house. But after MANY false alarms, I did not think "house" when I saw him calling. Last night, I thought something had happened to Maggie.

I called him back as I was boarding the flight.


I was shocked.

Our gut instinct was to take it but we decided to talk about it when I got home.

We discussed, called our realtor and he came over late last night to do the paperwork.


We now are trying to schedule a home inspection. Basically we will have a home inspection on the home we purchased and then the buyer of our current home wants one as well. We have a SHORT time frame to get these done - by 9/6 - as stipulated on the offer on our current house.

Provided all goes well with the inspections, we close on the morning of 9/29 on our current house and then immediately close on our next house.


Here is a sneak peak of our almost-new home:

September promises to be a crazy month for us!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Live fom the ATL

We do not have any house updates, unfortunately.

Friday, the last day our offer was good for, came and went without so much as a word from the bank. Apparently the foreclosure department was relocating last week. Grrrr. We filed another offer to be submitted first thing tomorrow morning since our first offer technically expired. The waiting continues....We have until Saturday to figure something out as that is the end of the 10-day period that the offer on OUR house is good for. So many pieces to this puzzle. I could never be a realtor without being on anxiety medication!

Meanwhile, I am posting this from Atlanta, GA where I arrived a few hours ago for a reverse site visit at CDC for work. It is my first overnight trip away from Maggie. I am doing okay. During my run earlier today, I felt like it was a good time to go. While i certainly would miss her, I also was not riddled with anxiety about leaving her, or dreading the trip. I cried a little when They dropped me off at the airport and that was it. I read a chunk of my book, enjoyed an in-flight beer, ordered room service and will definitely enjoy having a king-sized bed all to myself for 2 nights! The morning will be the hardest as that is my favorite time of the day with her. Nate is under strict orders to give her a few extra mooches for me! I am looking forward to meeting up with my friends AH, CD, and MAM tomorrow night for dinner!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Boots No. 7 in Cherry

Last week (or was it the week before), I posted about my red lipstick trials. I fully meant to put pictures of each color in the post but I had opted to do a bunch of posts and scheduled them to post and forgot to update the post before it was scheduled.

So here is the winning red lipstick.

I played with some of the editing features on the camera so hence the weird effects. And because Nate had to be the cameraman, Mags had to be in the picture so we could keep an eye on her. She is QUITE a fast crawler.

This is also one of my favorite outfits of late because it is comfy and easy. The pants have been a longtime favorite. $2.97 off a Gap clearance rack 3-4 years ago. The only issue they have is that the snap will sometimes just unsnap randomly throughout the day. I thought at first I had a defective pair but BCK has the same pair and the same thing happens. Wear a long enough shirt, you're fine. The shirt also has a great neckline to show off my new necklace ;).

I still don't know what I think about the quality of Boots No. 7 in Cherry. It is very easy on - and likely you have to do this with all red lipstick - but you have to be VERY careful when applying lest it gets all over your face. I think it has quite the staying power though b/c shortly after these photos were taken, I put Mags to bed, changed and went for a 31:52 run (every second counts!). I came back in and the red lips were still large and in charge. Yep - I was that woman running with full makeup on.

The Red Shirt

It's back to school time and the 4th annual Red Shirt was released from our alma mater - The University of Wisconsin.

I love it! Bonus: Proceeds go to The Great Scholarship Fund. As someone who applied for (and luckily received) MANY scholarships back in the day, I always like to support scholarship efforts.

Fashion meets Philanthropy. WIN and WIN.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Yes. This is another house update.

Well, things are moving quite quickly. And to think this whole thing started as a "Well, we might as well try it". I never in a million years thought things would snowball like this!

The woman who made an offer on our house last night accepted our counteroffer that we submitted this morning. Basically, we got our listing price. I still don't know if the showing scheduled for tonight is still happening.

Step 1 in this crazy process is done.

We now are waiting to hear back on our initial offer for our "family stone" house. We originally gave them until Friday - our realtor is calling them (did call them?) this afternoon to notify them of our accepted offer and that we would also want to move our closing date from end of October to end of September. Two very nice enticing things that beef up our offer.

So we are back to waiting.


Working on a Dream

Yesterday was one of those surreal days when I thought I should keep pinching myself to see if I wasn't living in a dream world.

We had two showings yesterday. My sister was at our house with Mags and one of the showings was going to be while she was there. We had asked her if she would be okay with vacating the premesis and she was fine with it. We left a list of things to make sure were done before she left for the hour.

ALL day yesterday I was thinking about the showings. I was trying very hard not to get my hopes up because I knew that it was unlikely we would get an offer and that we might be doing MANY more showings.

I had to rush home, grab some food for Maggie and head out right away as the second showing was early in the evening. I was praising God that the rain held off because we went to a nearby park, did some laps around the pond to watch dogs in action, did some swinging and then ate dinner outside. I came back to the house, which my sis had in FANTASTIC order, dumped Maggie in the tub and got her to bed.

PHEW. IT had been a long day.

I checked our realtor site to see if any of the showings had left any feedback. None.

So I settled in to read my book.

Nate walked in the door, on the phone. He hung up and said, "Honey, we got an offer!"


We called our realtor back and he said he was on his way over in a bit.

Meanwhile, Nate started telling me about his golf outing. I was only quasi paying attention to him, thinking that I really wanted to get back to my book. (Evil, I know....especially when you hear what happened next.)

After his LOOOOOONG story about the raffle, he announced that he was the grand prize winner. I was excited for him and wondered what he won. "...And the prize had your name on it!"

I suddenly became VERY interested in the rafffle.

He went out into the kitchen and brought in a gold bag, which I IMMEDIATELY recognized as one from my FIL's jewelry store.

I started squealing.

Then I opened the box:

Woohoo!! A diamond necklace.

Then our realtor came over with the offer. We counteroffered and it was submitted this morning. We have not heard anything about the offer on the house that WE made. So now we are just in the waiting game. I am not good at waiting.

I was so excited/overwhelmed that I could NOT sleep. So I read my book for awhile. Finished it. Updated Goodreads. Updated a few Words With Friends games. I think I probably went to bed at 3 AM. YIKES!

The title of this post comes from a, you guessed it, Bruce Springsteen song.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

For Sale

The Beatles did it...and now we're attempting it. House For Sale.


Yes. We are attempting to sell our house. Totally crazy.

We had been casually looking for houses to get a sense of areas to eventually move to/what we want, etc and then we found it. An AMAZING house. With a back yard. (Currently we have no back yard). And while we don't NEED to move anytime soon, eventually we plan on outgrowing our current house.

Things went into fast forward quite quickly.

So, we put in an offer - contingent upon selling our house - and the for sale sign went up yesterday. If we get "the house", then we have to sell our house by October. If we don't get "the house", our house is off the market and we stay put in our great house. All in all, a win-win situation.

We cleaned frantically last night because we have two showings already today! As always, we'll keep you "posted" (pun intended).

And now I have "I'll Follow the Sun" (my favorite song off the album Beatles for Sale) in my head.

P.S. No I am not pregnant again. Not even close.

Monday, August 22, 2011

What a weekend!

This weekend was luxurious - we had absolutely nothing planned. Because this does not happen very often, I soaked it in.

We started watching the show Burn Notice upon the recommendation of a friend. I'm not that into it. I have nothing against formulaic shows (I do love Law & Order and The Closer after all) but this is just not grabbing me. I like it enough to watch it if I happened upon it on tv and nothing else was on, but not enough to dedicate time to watching all of Season 1 on DVD.

We also watched the movie Cedar Rapids. Because Redbox had nothing else. It procured a few laughs (mainly the jokes about The Wire, one of our faves) but (and I think you know this) I would not recommend it. I do not understand why movies set in Wisconsin always seem to make it like this hokiest place in America to live. It is not like that!

We had some great meals out of the house - we went to Le Reve for lunch on Saturday and Nate ordered the cheese tray!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love cheese trays - we rarely order them. So when he suggested it, I wanted to give him a huge kiss in the middle of the restaurant. Sunday we went deli style and hit up Ninos. Such.An.Amazing.Italian.Sub. Our meals this weekend in the house were only ok. I tried a bunch of new recipes - none were keepers.

Other than that, we spent a lot of time outside soaking up the beautiful weather. We went to an outdoor Art Fair, a park, neighborhood walks, and of course, the swing in our yard. Mags also accompanied me on a run. I had been running sans Mags for a few weeks now and I think she doubled in size in those few weeks. We still finished a four mile hilly course in 30 minutes. I think the running legs might be back!!! Or maybe it was just my amazing Lululemon sports bra from the outlet in Orlando.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Stolen Dinner: A Love Story

Stolen Dinner
Several of my family and friends own the America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook. I would say if you are looking to buy a cookbook for someone, buy them this one - it is definitely a classic. It would make a great college/new home/wedding gift. Everything I have made out of this cookbook has been good, and often those of us with it will email back and forth - "We tried this and it was great". I received one of those emails this week from BLK, who recommended the Asian Marinade (page 418) on Chicken and the following simple sesame noodles. This looked like an easy dinner, so I quickly followed suit. She was right.

I marinated the chicken and skewered chunks with red pepper and pineapple for a kabob grillout! How very retro of us, I know. Mags was a big fan of the kabobs - even the red pepper!

Simple Sesame Noodles
Source: The Pioneer Woman
Noodles - I used thin spaghetti because that was what we had on hand.
1/4 cup soy sauce
3-4 cloves garlic
3 TB sugar
2 TB rice vinegar
2-3 TB sesame oil
4-5 TB canola oil
1/2 tsp asian hot chili oil (I omitted this because I didn't have it)
1-2 TB hot water

Mix all above. Chop up a green onion or two and throw it on top.

I made this with a (I'm Guessing) 23-lb baby on my hip in the Moby Wrap. For whatever reason, she wanted to be held - probably to be closer to the action. Thank goodness for that Moby wrap.

We gave Maggie a few of these noodles, expecting her to not like them - they were a little zippy with all of the garlic. She inadvertently sucked the first noodle up and decided she loved it. We spent the dinner laughing at her sucking up spaghetti noodles.

Dinner: A Love Story
If you are looking for a cooking blog to add to your Google Reader, I highly recommend Dinner: A Love Story. I get giddy when a new post pops up! I first heard about DALS from A Cup of Jo's My Balance Motherhood posts. Pop on over and give it a try!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Cheesy Beef-Stuffed Zucchini

I am providing the full recipe for this, however, we did not make the tomato sauce to serve with these because I didn't read that step until the zucchini were almost done. They were very good sans tomato sauce, but I could see how the tomato sauce option would also be good.

Cheesy Beef-Stuffed Zucchini
Source: America's Test Kitchen 30 Minute Suppers Summer 2011 Issue

4 medium zucchini (6-8 inches each), stem ends removed
Salt & Pepper
4 TB olive oil
1 onion, chopped fine
3/4 pound 85% lean ground beef
4 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 cup panko (Japanese style bread crumbs)
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1 cup shredded provolone
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 (28-oz) can diced tomatoes

1. Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position, heat oven to 425 degrees and place rimmed baking sheet on rack. Halve zucchini lengthwise. With small spoon, scoop out seeds and most of the flesh so walls of zucchini are 1/4 in thick. Season cut side of zucchini with salt and pepper and brush with 2 TB olive oil. Set zucchini halves cut side down on hot baking sheet and roast until slightly softened and edges are beginning to brown, about 8 minutes. Transfer zucchini, cut side up, to a 9x13 inch baking dish.

2. Heat additional TB oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until just shimmering. Add onion and cook until softened, about 3minutes. Add beef and cook until no longer pink, about 4 minutes. Add 3 cloves garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Off heat, stri in 1/2 cup bread crumbs, 2 TB basil, and provolone. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Stuff zucchini halves with beef mixture. Toss remaining bread crumbs with Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle bread-crumb mixture on top. Bake zucchini until topping is golden, about 8 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, heat remaining oil in empty skillet until shimmering. Add remaining garlic and cook until fragrant. Add tomatoes and cook until thickened, about 8 minutes. Stir in remaining basil and season with salt and pepper. Serve with zucchini.