A Trip to the Salon (Mama’s New Getaway Scheme)

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Every time I take Roman to the pediatrician she asks if I get out for baby free time to myself on a regular basis… the answer is no, and I’m okay with that. Once in a while when our parents are visiting my husband and I go out for dinner and drinks, but besides that we go out and about as a family. We’ve had many conversations about how we’re going to start trading off a couple hours of personal time away on the weekends, but it never usually happens…. until last weekend. My roots were a few inches long and I finally made an appointment to correct them before our anniversary and Easter. It was a friday, Mike’s “flex day” off, so I took Roman out shopping for his Easter outfit in the morning, to give Mike a couple of hours to himself to get some things done, and then I ran off to a salon down the street. Conclusion: we need to do this every weekend, and also, a few hours at a salon can be such a treat! I never realized this until, well, now.

I’ve never been much of a loyalist when it comes to salons or hair stylists. With my hair, it never seemed to matter too much what people did to it, its always just a curly blob. I used to go with my mom to the house of a friend of hers for highlights, that was the most consistent I’ve ever been. I realized the other day that what I always looked forward to about that was the delicious coffee she always brewed for us… that was my favorite part! This salon down the street, Axis, always offers you something good to drink, and keeps it refilled. There’s always lots of gossip happening to eavesdrop on, and lots of new magazines to browse. The best part: the sinks. (I appreciated all of this much more after an emergency trip to another nearby salon one snow day when I finally had a chance to get my hair done and no one was open. They offered nothing to drink and having my hair washed was literally painful, all for about the same price.) Axis has the most comfortable chair sink situation for hair washing I have ever come across, and a wonderful lady who massages your scalp and neck as she rinses. And yes they did a great job with my color, and were the type of stylists that just go ahead and recommend what they think is right for you, which I love. Really though, it’s all those little things… they just make getting your hair done a little get away…. and to think I’ve been missing out on this little luxury all these years (maybe someday I’ll become the kind of lady who gets her nails done on the regular as well… wouldn’t want to push it for now.)

So for the first time in my life I plan on having a consistent hair regimen… just for the sake of a few hours to myself every once in a while, to drink iced tea and read magazines. 

Homemade Granola (Our New Recipe)

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So as I’ve mentioned before, we like to make our own granola. Mike kept mentioning that he wanted to try using brown sugar instead of honey for sweetener, so I found this recipe and gave it a try. I’ve adjusted it quite a bit (doubled the original, also it was a little salty and had a lot of excess sugar for our taste) and now we love it! For whatever reason it just feels so much easier to be able to throw all the ingredients in one bowl and mix it up, as opposed to the separate step of whisking the oil and honey together… silly I know.

So this is what we do now:

Set the oven to 250 degrees

In one big bowl, mix together:

4 cups of oats

3 cups sliced almonds

1 cup shredded coconut

1 cup brown sugar

4 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp salt

Then add 1/2 cup vegetable oil and coat evenly

We bake the granola in a roasting pan, for an hour and a half, mixing every 15 minutes (I think less frequent mixing would be just fine.)

Let it cool, then add:

1 cup dried cherries

1 cup chocolate chips or chunks

I like to add this when the granola is still a little warm, so it melts the chocolate a little and forms clusters around it… but that’s jut me. (Sometimes I even like to add it right away so it becomes chocolate coated granola!)

Jar it up and enjoy! (We will be gifting some again for Easter this year, it’s always a hit!)

1789 Restaurant, Anniversary Dinner in DC

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For Christmas my parents gave us a gift card (technically a gold coin, which I just realized I regret not photographing because it was the coolest “gift card” I’ve ever seen) to 1789 Restaurant  in Georgetown. We saved it for the very special occasion of our 3 year anniversary, last night. My mom came to DC to babysit, I bought a new dress (which really deserves its own post because I am so in love with it, a Nordstrom’s Rack find… you know when you have something specific in my mind… and then you actually find it, and its Diane von Furstenburg for $130 instead of its original $400….  best feeling shopping can give you) and my husband made me that sweet feminist card <3

There’s something about those upscale Georgetown restaurants that feels very DC and very grown up, which really feels appropriate for an anniversary dinner. Last year we went that route as well… but this year I could enjoy a cocktail and raw fish, and we had a baby to return home to… much more grown up really. Everything was delicious, the gnocchetti were perfect, and they started us off with a sampling of beef tar tar, as it was only the second time in my life I had the pleasure of trying that dish, it was quite a treat. The restaurant is very homey, with lots of different cozy rooms, furnished with candlesticks and paintings of colonial folks. Unfortunately we failed to ask any one to take our picture together this year, so we attempted one when we got home but it really wasn’t the same… with dear Mike looking half asleep by 10:15 (really, there were a few attempts and that was the best picture we could get) … ah yes, we’re all grown up.

We’re Going To Be Friends… (Licensed for Life… 3 Years of Marriage and Counting!)

Once Upon a Time a cute boy posted this on my Facebook wall (I had a habit of passing out on his couch, it seemed appropriate) … we’d sort of just met, 6 months later we were engaged, married 9 months after that. It’s been 3 years (today!), we’ve shared 4 different homes, in 3 different states (well D.C isn’t a state per se…), driven across the country together 3 times, and made another human being. He is the best man, husband, father a person could ask to share their life with (in my personal opinion) and I couldn’t be more grateful to be able to call him my best friend. (This song is covered on my favorite kiddie soundtrack, so I’ve been hearing it a lot again lately <3 )

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Happy 3 year wedding anniversary partner (i.e. anniversary of the most fun night of my life).

Also, 3 is a good number, the number of months we’d been a couple before becoming engaged to spend the rest of our lives together, for one thing…

So 3 Cheers for Love!

The Art of Diaper Changing My Pre-Tot

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So somewhere in his 8th month of life Roman become IMPOSSIBLE to change. His diapering station was moved from the changing table on top of the dresser to a corner of his play mat (next to a diaper and wipe stacked cubby in his shelving unit) as a safety necessity. Most of the time, however, we change him while he’s standing up reaching for things, or crawling around on the floor. If we do manage to get him on the changing pad, we will most likely be changing him on his tummy as he squirms and turns playing with nearby toys. There were a few instances before this became routine, where I changed his diaper while he was standing or kneeling, and everyone said oh what a clever mama, and I felt pretty proud of myself. Then one day it was like, oh, this is just what we’re doing now… every, single, time. I like to think I’ve become something of a creative diaper changing expert. How did I not know this was coming? Added to my list of ridiculous motherhood fantasies (like a solid 6 hours of sleep, being able to just lay him down at nap or bedtime and have him fall asleep without having to pace around the apartment, and hearing the sound “mama”) is that at some point pre-potty training he becomes aware enough to calm down for those few moments to have his behind cleaned.

Tales From the Tub: An Update

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After our first three terrible bath time attempts with the new Munchkin Duck Tub, we decided to try a little experiment before completely giving up. As you can see, we brought the tub, water free, into the living room for Roman to play with… and he loved it! After he got good and acquainted with his new giant toy friend we brought them both into the bathroom, filled it up with water in front of Roman and put him in it. He was a little wary at first, resistant to sitting down… but once he did he was fine, for about 5 minutes… long enough to wash him up before a total melt down ensued.  We had a few theories about what the problem might be… the sound of the water hitting the tub maybe, a nightmare about bath time that left him in fear, or maybe we just keep attempting to bathe him when he’s too tired or hungry.

Whatever it is I hope it corrects itself soon… I miss bath time fun!

Roman: The 9 Month Update

Roman is 9 months old today! Here’s a glimpse of our “pre-tot”… 

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Roman has become quite the little explorer. After conquering crawling and pulling himself up on things there was a brief period of confidence building before he realized he could now get himself wherever he wants, and get into whatever he wants. He has become something of a menace… an adorable, always excited, menace.

He has discovered his index finger. He spends a lot of time now twiddling his fingers… and he has isolated his pointer finger, which he uses to flip switches, point at pictures in books, poke my mouth, point into the air, and touch any piece of food or toy we try to hand to him. It is my new favorite thing. (Think E.T.)

He LOVES BOOKS! They never go in his mouth anymore. He sits and focuses and claps and smiles and points! When he is cranky, Brown Bear Brown Bear cheers him right up! I never expected books to be on the list of instant cures for his cranks, and I cannot overstate my excitement about this! Interactive books with colorful pictures and simple stories are his favorite right now.

He loves when we sing to him, especially “If you’re happy and you know it” and “patty cake” or something we make up with his name in it. He’ll clap along with a big ole smile on his face!

He loves to clap in general. He claps when he gets excited about something (which lately is every 5 minutes), and he claps things together to play. He pretty much turns everything into a musical instrument of sorts. If he is upset about something and we just start clapping he’ll start smiling and forget all his little troubles!

He thinks human adults  are his personal jungle gyms. It has become physically challenging for me to hold him in my arms, unless he’s sleepy, he literally climbs up me, my stomach and chest are to him merely stepping stones. (Once upon a time I thought hair pulling and chin chewing were the worst the physical abuse could be… )

He is SO STRONG! I really can’t get over it.

He is becoming quite the little social butterfly, flashing his big bright smile at everyone he comes across.  He loves when strangers chat him up, and he LOVES being around other babies and toddlers, mostly toddlers really. Watching him in little social situations is my other new favorite thing.

Random objects bring him much joy, new objects in particular. Some things he finds particularly fascinating lately: our wireless computer mouse, a little thing of floss, restaurant menus, the straws in his kiddie cups, light switches, and glass bottles (still), the planets in his solar system mobile, and everything on the inside of the refrigerator (he is obsessed).

He loves pictures of babies, in books and on tv, and he really loves his own reflection. These pictures and our mirrors are frequently blessed with his kisses.

He is an excellent eater. He now has two little bottom teeth (and some very strong gums) and he can pretty much handle little pieces of anything we’re eating. I make him fresh apple sauce or some sort of banana smoothie for breakfast, and then he gets finger foods for lunch and dinner. Bread products prove the most successful.

 I could go on and on… the older he gets the more there is to say. He is so much fun right now. Our happy little explorer, with the bluest eyes, the biggest smile and the strongest grip!