Friday, April 30, 2010

Spoiled by Spring

I love spring.
(Not including the wicked allergy attacks that we fall victim to each year.)
Spring typcially lasts for about 15 minutes around here before the blazing heat of Hades summer sits upon us for the next six months.
Somehow, this year, we managed to get a little bit of an extension on this special season.
I don't know how or why....
but frankly, it's not important.
It's been delightful to have been
spoiled by spring for so long.

I feel like I should brew some sweet tea and bake some cookies in hopes of tempting Her to stay longer.
I'll let you know how that works out. :)

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Name Change

No. Not her name ~ her name for ME.
At first, she refused to say my name.
It took 15 months to finally end the stalemate.

Momma evolved into Mommy - which happnes to be my preference.

And it seems my sweet little Butter Bean has been having a little fun with language - and with me.
A few weeks ago, she started calling me Momma.
That, in itself, is not a problem.
The issue for me, was that her version of Momma sounded a whole lot like
"Maw Maw" ~ which, in the South, is another name for Grandma.

I really am okay with my age and it's no secret I'm a much older more 'seasonsed' mother than many moms of 21 month olds.
I know the days are coming when I'll be mistaken for Gianna's grandmother.
However, I sure don't need my daughter giving people reason to think such things so early on in the game.

Every time she called me 'Momma' I'm sure my face registered surprise/frustration and I would correct her, "You mean, Mommy."  BIG MISTAKE.   Aah...the girl likes a game.
The more I'd react, the more opportunities she'd find to push my button.

One day, I cupped that her little chubby face in my hand and sternly said,
"My name is not Maw Maw! My name is ................."
and she grinned and emphatically said,


So, it was then I stopped correcting and just rode the wave until she found a new button to push.
About a week after that, I heard her call me when she woke up from her nap.
I cracked up.
She sounded like a 12 year old.
The latest name change is I think my favorite.
It sounds like this:
I'd like to think it's the shortened version of
Mama Mia.

Frankly, any version of Mom is just fine with me.  
I waited a long time for that title and I know it's an honor and privilege ~
 no matter what form it takes.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Chica Bonita!

I'm sure I've mentioned it before, but if I haven't ~
Iain and his family are from Nicaragua. 
 He lived there until he was almost eight years old.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 
Recently his dad went back for a visit and brought Gianna back this sweet little folk dress.
It's still a little big, but she sure looks cute.  Just like an authentic Nicaraguan village girl. ;)
Okay, so maybe a Swedish village girl with a Nicaraguan folk dress.
I promised my in-laws pictures, so here you go, Abuelito y Abuelita.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Festival International de Louisianne

A few years ago, Iain and I drove to Lafayette to enjoy an amazing Multi-Cultural Music, Arts and Food fest called the Festival International de Louisianne.
The festival showcases musicians, dancers, artisans and foods from around the globe and is quite an amazing experience.  We promised ourselves that we would make it a point to bring our kids each year to expose them to such a wonderful potpouri of culture.
We had a conflect last year, so this is the first year we brought Gianna.
She was in sensory overload.
We happened upon an amazing musical group from Canada called Quebec.  The music certainly had a familiar vibe to us Louisianians...and their performance was stellar.
Gianna watched with fascination.
...and then she could no longer contain herself.
She danced until the cows came home.
...and even begged Mommy to dance "Cheek to Cheek"
She danced cheek to cheek with our friend, Jessie, too.
And she made new friends...who doted on her and shared their beads.
Gianna & Hannah
And Hannah's cousin, Avery.
Their dancing caught the attention of many entertained onlookers.
Dancing Queen, I tell you.
And our little monkey...
...sported her little monkey.
It looks like a backpack, but it's really a leash walking harness that we tentatively tried out to give her a reprieve from her stroller every now and then.

Oh, and the VERY best part of her day.....
...was the bus ride we took to shuttle us back to the coleseum where our car was parked.
Any guess what song she sang the whole way there?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Mini Mommy Melt-down

I called Iain at 3:30pm

Me: "I need to know the EXACT time you're going to pull up into the driveway."
Him:  "Uh-oh.  Right at 4:30pm."
Me: "Oh gosh. No way.  I'll coming to meet you in the parking lot."
Him: "Is she being a pickle?"
Me: "I'm losing my marbles."

I changed her diaper, buckled her into her carseat, and started the 20 minute drive.

Her: "Hi Mommy!..... Hi Mommy!....... Mommy?"
Me: "Hi Gianna."
Her: "Mommy?........Mad."
Me:  "Yes Gianna, Mommy was mad."
(I didn't lose my cool, but I did keep telling her, "Mommy's mad, Gianna.")

Iain calls to have me meet him at the gas station.  We were both low on fuel.
I arrived and began pumping gas.
He arrived just behind me, filling his tank. 
We met in between the two cars.
Eye contact was brief.
I think he kissed me.
All I remember saying is, "I'm outta here."
We switched cars.
I didn't even tell Gianna goodbye.

It was a difficult day.
Not horrible. 
Moderately challenging.
The afternoon became increasingly frustrating.
For some reason or another, I wasn't coping well.

I guess I just needed a little breathing time.... a time out.

The ladies study circle meets on Tuesdays, thank heavens, but that was 3 hours away.  What to do?
I just drove.
I went into town.
First I went here:
I picked up a new welcome mat and a few other piddly things.

Then I had a lovely, peaceful, quiet dinner here:

...and had the grilled chicken salad.
It was really good and I enjoyed eating in the car listening to music. 
Not children's music ~ 80's music.
Aaah.  That's more like it.

Then I headed here:

...I'm rarely disappointed there.

And finally at 7pm I made it to study circle to discuss a couple of chapters in this book:

Had a lovely visit with some of the ladies afterward.

I got home and Tivo'd my way through tonight's
which only took about 15 minutes, because I fast forward the the commercials, poor performances and much of the ridiculous drival by the judges.
Crystal Bowersox was AMAZING.

Hubby was asleep before I came home.  I missed him, but I'm feeling refreshed and much better.

So much better.

It's amazing what a little Time Out for Mommy can do.

In the words of my darling daughter,
"Aw Beddah!"
(Translation:  "All Better!")

Monday, April 19, 2010

Twinkle Toes

Gianna in her "Toot-Toot" as she calls it. :)
I made it for her last year when she just started walking...
I have no idea what her talents will be, but we're getting the biggest kick out of her enjoyment of music and dance.  Lately she's been cracking herself up (and us too) during her little dance outbreaks.
Even though I'm completely enjoying these days (challenging as they may be), I can't help but look ahead with great anticipation at future dance lessons and recitals, or maybe it will be t-ball or soccer games, or even chess club or girl scouts.  Those will be busy hectic times, I know, so for now - I'll savor my own little private dance recitals and concerts. :)

Saturday, April 17, 2010

"Sank Su, Jolie"

Max is our dog.  Jolie is Max's best friend.
Jolie came for a visit last week and is really good at playing with Gianna.  There was a little game of fetch that Iain caught on video.  She kept thanking Jolie for fetching the ball. So cute.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Quickie Quiche

I don't usually post recipes, but this is SUCH an great go-to meal that is super easy and yummy. You don't even have to make a crust!
 Little ones tend to like it, it's healthy and it's good for several meals.
2 cups milk  (I use canned fat free evaporated milk)
4 eggs
3/4 cup biscuit baking mix (I use low fat Bisquick)
1/4 cup butter, softened (you can use margerine)
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 (10 ounce) package chopped frozen broccoli, thawed and drained (I've used other lefteover veggies too)
1 cup cubed cooked ham (I buy the ham already cubed - but have also used leftover chicken and turkey)
8 ounces shredded Cheddar cheese (I've used other cheeses I had on hand)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly grease a 10 inch quiche dish (I use a regular casserole dish).

In a large bowl, beat together milk, eggs, baking mix, butter and parmesan cheese. Batter will be lumpy. Stir in broccoli, ham and Cheddar cheese.  (You really don't need to add seasoning..the ham and parmasean salts the dish really well.) Pour into prepared dish.

Bake in preheated oven for 50 minutes, until eggs are set and top is golden brown.  Might have to adjust the time, depending on size dish you use. My casserole dish takes less time.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Easter 2010

Easter was really enjoyable this year with our enthusiastic, verbal toddler.  EVERYTHING is so exciting for her.  Whenever I think of her first visit to Disneyworld (no trip planned yet) I just imagine her passing out from awe and excitement.  I love that her happy spirit is amped up that high every day.

 Gianna and her bunnies - which, in the words of Jessie, our babysitter "are as prolific as the real ones."
And for the record, we did not buy ANY of these stuffed animals.  All were gifts spanning several years (many are from when we had Maddie and Collin.) 
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Every time we'd get in the car to go somewhere, I'd tell her where we were going and then I'd ask her,
"Who do think we're going to see?"
She's always ends her guess with, "Eee BUNNY?" She apparently keeps remembering Iain's company Easter Party.
I'd tell her, "No, Gianna.  The Easter Bunny is not going to be there."
Then she'd thinks and responds, "Working?"
"Yes, Gianna. I'm sure the Easter Bunny is working."
(These days, anyone we can't see must be "working." So cute.)
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
This was Gianna last year with her bunny friends. Man, it goes fast.
This is what she woke up to Easter morning.
Ridiculous, I know. She even got an full Easter basket from my parents neighbors. Apparently she's the neighborhood mascot. :)
* * * * * * * * * * * *
And this was what she got from the Lewis Land Easter Bunny.
It's the basket I wove the year before she was born. It's not Pottery Barn, but I still love it.
 * * * * * * * * * * *
Even with all the Easter extras to overwhelm her, I am happy to note that her very favorite prize was this book about the true Easter Story.
Every time we get to the part where the people were mean to Jesus and they took him away she shakes her head and says, "Oh Jesus."  It makes me misty and so very pleased that her little heart is already filled with compassion.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Do you notice the little swan in the background? It was the Easter basket from my parents. Clever and inventive (it's to be used as a planter), but I'm not exactly sure of the swan's connection to Easter...
...apparently, I'm not the only one who's puzzled:
Easter Frock
Simple:  we used the dress she wore for her adoption with a little sweater and Maddie's hat and purse.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * *
With Daddy and Mommy:
Swinging with Pepaw
And at this is usually what we see five minutes after we leave my parents house on a holiday....
sleepy feet.

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