What is this Adventure?

Full-time Mama & Part-time school social worker in the throes of toddlerhood at its best and worst. In my short tenure as a member of the prestigious Mamahood club, I find the reality of it all to be amazing, exhausting, hilarious, challenging, a blessing, lonely at times, nostalgic, guilt-ridden, and the most wonderful thing that has ever happened to me...all at once. Sit back, read, laugh and cry with me on my adventure!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Damn it, Hazel!

I apologize for my lapse in writing - let it be a sign that I have been obsessed with something else on the computer - I've taken up the past time of:
Searching for a Nanny 101

Yeah.  You know what that means...Going back to work.  Ugh.  I'll be starting back at a school social work job in August 3 days a week.

As I read my friend's column of starting her new life as a stay at home mom (A Constructed Life), I must admit I am jealous.  Not that I don't recognize that staying at home is the hardest job around, it is.  But I AM bogged down by anxiety over this going back to work and finding child care...I know what you're thinking..."But Elizabeth, you went back to work two years ago, what's the fuss?"  Well, let's just say I did about 10 seconds of a child care search and gave in to having my mom and father-in-law watch my eldest.  I'm a wimp.  Yeah that's right...I made my mom drive 2 hours, spend the night, and watch my son for 2 days a week and my father in law came in every other week on Fridays.  I will owe them into eternity.  This time I'm being a big girl and finding my own childcare.  But that's not to say that Big Girls Don't Cry...or whine, is probably the more accurate description.

I've joined a website:  Care.com  It's helpful.  It allows you to search, chat with, do background checks, and all other sorts of things when looking for childcare.  I have a few possibilities.  We shall see if anyone is brave enough to take on my adorable, yet very willful children.

And that brings me to Damn it, Hazel....the new name for my dear Kieran.  Yes, I know....it's terribly funny and terrible at the same time.  My son has taken up the habit of swearing.  To the untrained ear, it may sound like mumble jumble....but listen closer...yup...he's swearing.  DAMN IT, DAMN IT, DAMN IT!  He yells persistently when mad.  Or whenever the feeling's right.  Here are a few examples:
"Damn it, Hazel, don't touch my ABCs!"
"Mama, we went to see the frog, and damn it, he didn't move!"
He must have heard that at day care.  Oh, damn it, I can't use that excuse yet!  hahaha.  No, seriously, we must end this habit.

And Hazel?  Sweet thang thinks she can stand up on those mini-feet.  She is active as ever, crawling ever where, kneeling up and trying desperately to stand.  Here's a few pics of the attempts:

Here's another cute pic of Hazel...oh what?  You noticed her new tat?  Yeah, she got a tramp stamp...I told her she may regret it when she's seven, but she really wanted it.

Now here's a rare occasion when they are both happy at the same time...bliss:

In other news...sad news...We had to put our loving dog Salsa to rest.  
It was an awful incident and the only way I can come to peace with it is knowing that she is in a better place now, resting eternally on the most comfortable couch hanging out with God and laughing at Kieran shouting Damn it to Hazel.

Rest in Peace, Salsa.  We love you.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Updates on the basics of life....fuel and fuel removal

Now wasn't that a nice way to say "eating" and "pooping"?
Ha ha ha...it's good to be able to make yourself chuckle on a Sunday night.

I wanted to update the cyber-world on my progress...Hazel's progress with eating, Kieran's progress with potty-training, and my progress on cooking yummy things.

Hazel really wants to eat the "good stuff"...she hates her rice cereal and constantly reaches for other yummier things.  One night, I decided I would give in to her whim and give her some ground-up cook carrots.

Here's a side note...I always like to give you side notes to let you know how to tell that Hazel is my second child...I would have NEVER just decided "on a whim" to give Kieran carrots one night, especially when rice cereal wasn't going so smoothly...but...hey...the girl WANTED them, so...

So yeah, she choked.  Big time.  And it scared me back into first-time-mamahood...and I didn't feed her solid food for a week!  But, then I realized that I couldn't hold back on her forever and started back with rice cereal.  Surprisingly, the second time around, she is doing much better!  She still has a significant tongue-thrust issue, but sometimes she manages to figure out how to get the food to slide down her throat.

On another proud topic, I am very pleased that my little princess recently found her voice of defense.  Hazel, prior to this week, would typically allow Kieran to roll right over her, get in her face, and try all sorts of other "affectionate rough-housing" with her and she wouldn't let out a PEEP!
Oh, the days of meek Hazel are OVER!
She has been learning self-defense tactics rather quickly lately (self-taught).  She first tactic she learned was that she could roll away from him.  Then, she learned that she could scoot her body back away from him.  Her third technique has proven most effective:  the scream-in-your-face technique works wonders!  Kieran immediately runs away and I run to the scene.  She typically is not hurt and looks up at me with a huge smile as if to say, "look Mama!  I CAN defend myself!"  I give her a proud Mama smile back as if to say, "keep up the good work, dear!"  This is a picture of her right after a huge YELP in Kieran's face.  Kieran is trying to "sweeten" up to her after the "roll over".

On to my toddler...my hilarious toddler...who has now dubbed himself "Jumper Boy" as he flies from one couch to the floor and jumps off every object worth climbing (read: everything).  He is doing pretty well with potty training.  I am exhausted...but we manage to go most days with only a few accidents.  I have to say, with a rather frustrated heart, that Kieran is still not too pleased about pooping in the toilet.  What is it going to take? WHAT?!?!  I'll leave it at that.

Now...on to my kitchen experiments...I made a really good meal tonight, if I do say so myself (insert pat on the back here)...I'll give you the low down:

I'll call this:  Orange Salmon with Mango-Black Bean Salsa over a bed of Quinoa and sauteed spinach....I know, it's a long name...I'm not too creative in this department.

1.  In a plastic bag, marinate 2 pieces of salmon with 2 T of sugar, 2 T of orange rind, salt and pepper to taste (and red pepper flakes if you so desire).  Marinate for at least 5 hours.

2.  In a large bowl, combine 2 mangos diced, 1 can of black beans, diced cilantro, 1/4 C orange juice, juice from 1 lime, diced red onion to taste, 1 T honey, 1 T diced up ginger root, and salt to taste.  Let this also marinate for a few hours.

3.  When about 20 minutes out from eating dinner, start the rest of the dinner:
     ~ 1 C quinoa in 2 C broth on the stove for 10-15 minutes
     ~ broil the salmon about 4 minutes per side or to taste
     ~ saute fresh spinach with a little bit of olive oil, garlic, and sesame seeds

4.  To serve:
     Put the quinoa down on the plate, cover with sauteed spinach, place salmon on top and then cover generously with the mango salsa.


Thursday, April 19, 2012

Udon Soup

Recently made a delicious Pork Udon Soup with a combination of different recipes and a bit of my own flair....it was tasty!

Saute thinly sliced carrots, chopped onion, and minced garlic with a tad of oil.  How much?  meh...I don't know.  How long?  About 3-4 minutes.  If you have bok choy, add that in too!

Then, thinly slice into bite size pieces 2 pork chops.  Add in bowl with salt, pepper, 1 1/2 T of cornstarch, and 2 tsp of minced ginger.

Bring 5 cups of water to a boil in your soup pot.

On the side, bring pot of water to boil and cook udon noodles per directions.

In your boiling water, add the carrot mixture.  Then add the pork mixture.  Cook for 3 minutes.  While cooking, add 1 1/2 T oyster sauce, 1 1/2 T soy sauce, and a slurry mixture of 1 1/2 T of cornstarch mixed with water.

Add udon noodles.  Stir for one more minute.

Turn off heat and add cut up spinach.

So yummy and easy!

Monday, April 16, 2012

On the Move!

I have a lot of catching up to do in my account of my main lil' woman Hazel.
She's rolling everywhere, jumping like a bean, and trying new foods...
I will simply show you in pictures and videos...so much more fun than my words!
Let's start with the food...let me just note...she's not a big fan...

 This is my super smiling easy going baby....just don't give her Rice Cereal...as Kieran says..."yyyyyyyyyyuck!"

Aaaand now, without further adieu... Heeeeeeeeere's Hazel!

Gotta love my lil' cutie! She's already texting!  OMG!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Bunnies, potties, and yumminess

If there was ever a very random posting, this is it. 
See if you can hang with this one...

We had a lovely Easter at the Krotser residence.  The kids got WAY too many presents, in the usual Krotser style, and Paul and I were overwhelmed by the sheer number of them.  Kieran ran around like a crazy toddler, loving every second of attention from Grandma, Papa, and Uncle.  Hazel had a number of outfit changes, just to make everyone happy that had "gifted" her things to wear for Easter.  Pictures below:

That covers it for bunnies...

On to potties...
Have I mentioned that I would like to hire someone to potty train my kids?
If I can say one thing about potty training, it's this:
It is a character builder and sense of humor builder.

This week I think we've gone backwards...but I'm too stubborn to give up...we are pushing forward...

Here are some funny quotes from my potty-training toddler:

Me:  "Kieran, do you need to use the potty?"
K: "No, Mama, me ok.  It was just farted."

Me:  "Kieran, do you need to use the potty?"

K:  "Hahahahaha Mama!  Me pee on you pants!  See, Mama?!  Pee!"

Me:  "Kieran, next time, let's try to do your stinkies in the potty."
K:  "Nope.  Maybe pee."

Me:  "Kieran, you are such a big boy!  I'm so proud of you!"
K:  "Mama, you big gul too.  I proud too."

And lastly, I wanted to post this simple recipe for all those that have a pressure cooker.  If you don't have a pressure cooker and are a busy mom or just like quick meals, YOU NEED ONE!

I found this recipe on Fagoramerica.com
It was simply delish!  I LOVED IT!


Serves 4

3 thick whole boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1” chunks
1/4 Cup olive oil
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon grated ginger
1 1/2 cups orange juice
1 cup rice
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup orange marmalade
1/2 cup flaked coconut
Salt and pepper to taste*

  1. In saucepan, heat orange juice, raisins and marmalade and stir until marmalade melts. Remove from heat and set aside.
  2. Heat olive oil in pressure cooker and add chicken chunks. Lightly brown. Add the orange juice mixture plus the brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger and rice.
  3. Close lid and bring to high pressure, then lower heat and cook for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and release using the cold-water release. Open, stir, taste and add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. To serve, place chicken and rice on dish and sprinkle with flaked coconut.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Woot Woot! The Potty Train has left the Station!

...and left its trail of tears everywhere around the house...
Yes, potty training started yesterday, and wow...it's hard to imagine that mostly everyone on the planet has been potty trained...because boy...it's draining difficult stuff!

Since a picture is worth a thousand words, I shall give you a picture of the "night before potty-training pep talk"...
Yup, the underwear instantly became a hat...I think I've seen this very similar picture in the female version on a friend's blog... A Constructed Life
It must be a two year old thing...he thought is was hilarious!  I did too.

I geared up big time...reaching back into the realms of the "social work Elizabeth"...
I figured my years of training and work using cognitive-behavioral strategies with my school kiddos would come in use, so...

I bought stickers as my secondary reinforcement, and just in case stickers weren't motivating enough, I bought Trader Joe's Mini-Peanut-Butter-Cups...a perfect primary reinforcement for a boy who thinks that peanut butter cups are "happy birthday" treats (they look like cupcakes to him).  I even made a sticker chart to "count" the success.  (My son's alphabet obsession has grown into a number and alphabet obsession.)

Well, about a million "happy birthday" treats later and stickers everywhere I could imagine, we are on our way!

Day 1:

1st accident went unnoticed by Kieran, who happily played in his pee-soaked pants and underwear.
My thought:  "Um...I thought cloth diapers were supposed to make kids more sensitive to wet and therefore easier to potty train?....um...not so much."

2nd accident...5 minutes later...
Kieran:  "Mama, pants wet.  Look."
My thought: "What?  We JUST had an accident!  AND we just sat on the potty and went pee-pee!  How much pee does a 2 year old have stored up in that little bladder of his????!!!"
Second thought:  "Well, at least he noticed."

3rd accident...10 minutes later...
Kieran:  "Mama, I go pee-pee.  See?"
My thought:  "yup.  I see....but we are getting somewhere (other than a lot of laundry)...he actually sees that he is wet from his pee!  Sigh...progress!"

The day continued on with many many accidents.  Did I mention that he ran away, told me he was hiding from me, and refused to try the potty to poop?  Yes, that happened today too...twice.  Hopefully before he is 18, he will poop on the potty.

Day 2 was considerably better.  It went a bit like this:
Kieran:  "MAMA!!  I go pee-pee on the potty!"
Me:  "OK!  Let's go!  RUN RUN RUN!"
He had already started going by the time he would tell me...but we would make it to the potty in time for the majority to land in the potty....or around the potty.

Side note:  What the heck??  Boys pee goes EVERYWHERE!

Another side note:  Hazel must think I'm crazy.  I keep putting her down suddenly and running away.

All in all, I see vast improvement in these two days.  Kieran actually made it from 2 pm until 6 pm without having a single accident!  I was amazed....and sooooo thankful because I was dangerously close to running out of underwear (the morning was a doozy).

This potty training thing is simply exhausting.
Did I mention that Kieran skipped his nap today AND is cutting his 2 year molars as we speak?
Good grief!

It's a wonder why someone hasn't created a "consultant company" who would come out to your house for a week, live with you, and potty train your kid.  While we are seriously strapped for cash right now...I just MIGHT consider it....

All you entrepreneurs out there willing to deal with a little pee and poop....here's your grand opportunity to cash in...

All Aboard the Potty Train Express!

Friday, March 16, 2012

It's been a hard days night, I should be sleeping like a log

Thank you, Beatles song.
I've been quite absent in the blogger world...I've been working on a few photo albums, reading the "Dragon Tattoo" series, and wallowing in self-pity on various occasions.
Being a stay at home mom is hard.
Today, by 7:15 in the morning, my terrific-two year old child had brought my 4 month old to tears on three occasions, landing him in the time-out chair three times.
Have I ever mentioned to you that my two year old WILL be the child in school that gets in trouble for laughing when the class is in trouble?  Kieran, bless his little heart, laughs and giggles whenever he is in trouble.  The question then surfaces:  Do I warn his future teachers?
Here's a recent picture of Kieran getting ready to squish his sister...
And here is how Hazel always rebounds:
Lovingly worshipping the brother who squished her.

I must say, my stress level is a bit high lately and my kids are feeling it...
But next time I write, I hope to tell you about potty training (which has quasi-started) and how much Hazel has grown (she's gigantic now, weighing over 19 pounds and rolling over like a pro every second)...

I'll write more soon.
Until then, here's some cute pictures of my kids making letters with their bodies...
Story behind it?
For about a week Kieran had been laying perpendicular to Hazel's body and saying, "look Mama!  a "T"...and then he laughs and makes the sound of a t letter... "t, t, t"
I decided to make some other letters to his delight...and Hazel's...see if you can guess the letters:

Good night!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Keeping up with New Year's Resolutions...

It's fairly well-known that most people break their New Year's resolutions by the end of January, so I thought I would check in and see how I'm doing with mine...

Here are the goals I wrote down for the New Year, Let's check in and see where I'm at with each one:

1.  Lose weight before the two weddings (May and August).
1.  Joined Weight Watchers Online.  Lost 8.8 pounds so far, and will weigh in tomorrow to see how my loss is going...so far, so good.

2.  Go on at least one date every two months with Paul, no kids.  For some of you romantic people this may seem like not a lot, but this would be a huge step up for me...it's a big goal!
2.  Date?  Check!  Went on Friday to a Hibachi restaurant with Paul...it was the first time we had been out just the two of us since Hazel was born and it was truly nice to spend time together.  We're covered for January and February now (although I wont' complain if we go out again!)  

3.  Make a friend here in Dundee.
3.  I joined a Meet Up Mom n Tot group where I met a few moms and invited them over last week...would I call them friends?  Not quite.  But friend-in-progress?  Perhaps.  (although one of the moms told me that I reminded her of "the sister-in-law that she used to be close with and now is not"...hm....some kind of back-handed compliment or was I misunderstanding something?)

4.  Make a few friends for Kieran here in Dundee.
4.  See comment #3.

5.  Kieran potty trained.
5.  No way.  Check in with me in May or June...

6.  Kieran in big boy bed sleeping through night without waking up screaming.
6.  Kieran has been in his big-boy bed for 2 weeks now and is doing great!  He sleeps there during the night, although not for nap time quite yet.  By the way, this morning, when he got up, he actually played quietly by himself for a bit!  It was a new and wonderful thing that will hopefully form into a habit!  After about 20 minutes, he shouted, "Mama!  Mama get up now!"  I figured I would respond since the 20 minutes had been such a treat!

7.  Hazel sleeping through the night, period.
7.  Nope...but she's doing pretty great most nights, waking up around 1 am and 5 am, and for this I am eternally grateful to her.  At this age, Kieran was still waking every 2 hours to snack.

8.  Hazel sitting up, crawling, and probably walking by Dec 2012.
8.  Give it time...but she does a hell of a job lifting up her head during tummy time!

9.  Possible:  Find a part-time gig in school district close by for 2012-2013 school year.
9.  I've been checking job postings but haven't found anything yet.  The search continues.  If you have any leads, let me know!

Not a bad start, if I do say so myself.
Let's hope I can keep it up in February!

In the meantime, after a realization that I am not in many of my family photos, I am attempting to re-appear in photos with my kids so that when they're older, I can prove that I was around, perhaps just hiding from the camera at times.

Friday, January 20, 2012

So THAT'S what a Band Aid is for!

I'm not really sure why I didn't realize this before.
It seems quite simple really.
I knew the opposite was true, and I don't know why I didn't assume that the truths were reversible.
You see, just today I figured out that something doesn't hurt if you can not see it.  And so the BandAid becomes a much more useful object than one once may have imagined pre-kiddos.

Here are a few pictures of Kieran retelling what happened today:

You couldn't follow that?

Ok, I'll "use my words" as I tell my own toddler about 389 times per day.
It was a simple play activity - we were drawing at the kitchen table.
When suddenly (cue the evil-doer music), the paper sliced Kieran's thumb, leaving a subtle but devastating paper cut.
Cue whining.
Cue Mama thinking it was marker on his hand and stating, "oh Kieran, we'll wash it off when we are all done coloring.  It's not a boo-boo."
Thanks, ever-sympathetic Mama.
Closer look....oops...ok, yes, that IS a boo-boo, everyone stay calm.
I squeezed his finger for a few seconds, wiped off the tiniest bit of blood that one could barely see but seemed like an ocean to him, and gave the thumb my best kisses to make it all better.
Kieran seemed to be pacified.  He was back to a smile...until...
"MAMA!  BOO BOO!  BOO BOO!" Commence crying again.
You see, he could see the line of red where the paper had cut him.  It was torturing him.  He continued to try to "wipe it off" on my pants to no avail.  It was beginning to spin into major melt down when I remembered that I had a Band Aid in the other room.
"Wait!" I said dramatically, "I can fix this!" and I ran into the other room and quickly wrapped the dry non-bleeding boo-boo with the new found Band Aid.
Aaaaah.  Much better.  Everything was fine....
Until the Band Aid fell off a few hours later.  Crying, retelling, "I sad" ensued.
New Band Aid.
Phew.  All clear.
I had no idea the power of Band Aids.

I have, since then, been thinking of a few "Band Aids" I would like to put over my life...
If only I could cover these problems up, perhaps I would forget they existed and not be bothered in the least...

1.  Let's Band Aid my entire condo that is for short-sale and not going anywhere.
2.  While we are at it, can we Band Aid the bank phone calls and such.
3.  I'm putting a big-ol-Band Aid on tantrums.  We had a 90 minute tantrum the other day....if I had a Band Aid around, I wouldn't have even NOTICED!
4.  hm...I'm sure I can think of more I'm just tired right now....can I Band Aid that??????

Oh yes, by the way, my cutie keeps getting cuter...here's evidence in a picture:

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Mama Bear almost claws 3 to 4 children at "Monkey Joe's"

Well, I have to say I'm a bit embarrassed by this but also find it rather hilarious.

Today we had a lovely outing to a play place called "Monkey Joe's".
It's basically a big room full of inflatable equipment for kids 12 and under to play in- slides, climbing walls, jumping areas, etc.

Let me set the scene for you:
The play places are packed with children everywhere.  Kids are running around like wolves just released into the wild.  Parents stand on the outside, like bored patrons at a petting zoo.  Kieran, much younger than most of the children there, stares in awe and nervous excitement at the possibilities of play.  He starts to climb up into an inflatable tent when he looks back as says, "Mama come too?"  Of course Mama come too when seeing her child a bit nervous about all the big kids.  Mama is nervous too!

Mama and Kieran step into the play area and Mama tries to stay back out of the way.  She wants her son to spread his wings and fly up the ladder to the inflatable slide.  Of course, when the big kids roughly push him out of the way and step on his hand when he is too slow at climbing, Mama doesn't have the patience to let him spread any wings, her claws come out instead.

Now, another side note....working in a school for years sometimes instills a desire to disciplining ALL children, where ever you may be.

Back to Mama bear and cute cub Kieran.  Well, once all the kids trample my poor baby, I decide that I need to help by standing behind him while he climbs.  I want to afford him independence, but I'm certainly not going to sit back and let him get hurt.  Big boy A comes flying around the corner about to be a repeat offender in the smush-a-thon...but not this time, not with Mama bear there.  In a few more words, I tell him that not only did I see him trample my son, but that now he can wait and be more careful please.  He promptly apologizes and I immediately feel a bit guilty for coming down hard on him.  I probably scared him to death...in the end, Kieran made it up the stairs, down the slide, and on to the next adventure.

After that incident, I decided I needed to be close by at all times.  We went into the next play area.  There were obstacles and children jumping and running everywhere.  May I add that one of the rules is no running?!  Four children around age 8 coming running around a corner, knock into Kieran and fall on top of him.  I can't scoop him up fast enough as I see his face full of shock and fear.  "Please watch where you are going and slow down!" I stated in a stern teacher voice, "you just trampled my two year old!"  I picked Kieran up, left the play area, and quickly told my husband that he needed to take over.  I was afraid of what Mama bear could do next.

Paul gladly took the reigns and went around to the different play places with Kieran.  Hazel and I watched safely from a distance.  "Hazel," I said to my sweet 2 month old, "we are going to wait a long time before you play at Monkey Joe's," and then I continued, "and Mama and Kieran will teach you some self-defense before we enter the jungle."

In the end, we actually had a lovely time.  Kieran loved every minute, even in spite of getting trampled and bonking heads with another little girl.  Will we go again?  Sure.  But I don't trust myself to go alone.  Who's telling what Mama bear could do next?

 Here's a short video of the event:
p.s.  It's true, that little ticket machine was only for the "birthday boys and girls"...we were asked if Kieran was having a birthday party here, and after answering no, the worker promptly removed Kieran from the ticket booth.  Oops.  At least I didn't trample anyone.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Mama brainwashing pays off...

After two months of brainwashing my toddler son to believe that his baby sister is the best thing that ever happened to him, I think he may just finally be starting to believe it...
Phrases like the following were a regular occurrence around my house:
"You LOVE your little sister!"
"Hazel is your BEST friend!"
"Oh, Kieran, you LOVE Hazel SOOOOO much!"

By common occurrence, I mean that I was saying these things about every 3 minutes, in between the times that he would hit her and tell me to put her down and that she should be sleeping.

Magically, albeit slowly, Kieran has begun to love his baby sister Hazel.
And Hazel, for the most part, adores him and watches his every move (except when he is smothering her, and then she looks at me with eyes as if to say, "HELP!").

I will continue to work on my mama-brainwashing techniques...
Here are some ideas I have for the future:

"You LOVE school!"
"You DON'T LIKE video games!"
"You LOVE being healthy and would never want to hurt yourself with drugs/alcohol!"
"You LOVE getting a higher education and a good job!"
"You LOVE calling your mother at least once a day to check in!"

I'll think of more to cover all age spans...don't worry!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Goodbye 2011, Hello sitting, crawling, walking, big boy bed, & potty training!

2011 was filled with many blessings.

Kieran grew up from a baby to a full-blown toddler.
His favorite sayings as of late are:
"Sorry, Mama"
"I sad, Mama"
"Peace" as he shakes your hand, as if in church.
and "Hi honey" (in a high-pitched squeal to Hazel)
He slept in his big boy bed for the first time last night.  He was SO excited.  Then woke up about 10 times throughout the night crying for Mama and Dada.  This may be a tough transition.
Nonetheless, he is the light of our life, and we find him quite adorable:

2011 brought us our beautiful baby Hazel, who is now literally OFF the growth charts in both weight and length.  Yup, the two month doc appointment proved that baby Hazel is above the 95 % percentile...if she were a THREE month old...and being that she is only two months old, her little dots are no where near the actual pretty little curve of a growth chart, they are far above it.  She continues to delight us with the wonder and awe of a newborn.  Here's a recent pic of sweet Hazel:

Goals for 2012?  Many!
1.  For Kieran to sleep through the night in his big boy bed happily.
2.  For Hazel to sleep through the night, period.
3.  Potty training!  Ahhh!
4.  To go out on a date with my husband at least once every two months.
5.  To find myself a friend in West Dundee.
6.  To find friends for Kieran in West Dundee.
7.  To "release" some serious weight by May and then some more by August.  Both dates are when I have TWO, count them, TWO exciting weddings to attend of my siblings!  YEA!!
8.  To find a part-time job for myself for the 2012-2013 academic school year

Well, that about wraps it up as far as goals go.  I'm sure I can think of plenty more, but for now, that's a good start for me.

Here's to a blogtastic 2012~ Happy New Year!