Listening for Steps

Scene from this evening. Luke had gone to bed and Mike had just gotten home. Sydney was in the basement, Mike came down to say hi.

SYDNEY: the air filter in Luke’s room was making a weird noise so I turned it off.
MIKE: I’m almost positive the solution is to turn it off and back on again.
SYDNEY: we can try it when Luke wakes up – he’s sound asleep, let’s stay out of his room. (Knowing full well that Mike cannot not fix the filter right then and there).

Mike goes upstairs to put his pajamas on… and sneak into Luke’s room to look at the air filter. As soon as he opens the door he hears whispered over the baby monitor “Mike, get out of Luke’s room”. Realizing he’s been caught he pauses for a minute or two before taking another step. He takes another seemingly silent step… “Mike, get out of Luke’s room”.

Luke doesn’t realize what he’s going to be up against when he’s a teenager, perhaps I’ll leave the two-way monitor hidden in his room for just such an occasion 😉

Side note, Mike was correct. Upon turning the air filter back on the noise was gone. For now.

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The Snack Cake That Wasn’t

There’s been a lot of talk on social media lately about false perfection and people only sharing the highlights of their day. I’d like to think that between my blog and Facebook statuses I keep it pretty real – take for example last week’s status update about how I cooked pork chops like steaks and they turned out overcooked – and tonight’s post that you’re about to read.

I was feeling uncharacteristically domestic this evening (after all, I’d just cleaned the bathroom AND heated up frozen risotto for dinner) when I spontaneously decided to whip up a snack cake for dessert. That’s actually what the recipe is called – and it’s delicious (Mike and I have made it before) – I’ll post it next time… when if it turns out right.

The snack cake is relatively simple to make from scratch, so I was flying through… I even caught myself almost adding a Tbsp of baking soda instead of a tsp. Phew, it was a close call, so close in fact that I didn’t realize that my new measuring spoons had a half Tbsp spoon next to the Tbsp. Which you can deduce meant that I added a half Tbsp into the bowl.

I remembered what I learned the last time that I over did it with the baking soda (banana carrot muffins anyone?) and decided to save the recipe by multiplying all of the ingredients by 1.5. After putting the cake into the oven (with a pan on the rack below in case it overflowed – trying to foresee any potential road blocks to my being able to enjoy that cake) I was feeling pretty good about myself.

That is until the timer went off… and this happened:
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As if that wasn’t devastating enough, Mike walks into the kitchen and the first words out of his mouth were “I’m not going to say that I told you that the baking time would be altered when you increased the recipe size.” Tired and feeling let down by my husband and the lack of eatible cake, there was nothing left to do but to shed a few tears in the other room (okay more than a few… this wasn’t ‘spilt milk’ after all).

Mike and I sat down to talk about why I was upset (aside from the obvious… the cake dripping into parts of my oven that I still have no clue how I’m going to clean – I unsuccessfully tried suggesting that a new oven might be the best way to ensure a proper clean). I was disappointed that he’d said I told you so to me. No matter how many times I’ve had the opportunity to say that to him – I never have. It’s unnecessary – I obviously knew by the liquid cake on the floor that he was right about the baking time. He understood, apologized and we agreed that going forward that phrase has no place in our relationship.

If only this post ended there with “and then we cuddled with Luke on the couch while catching up on last week’s episode of Last Man Standing.”

After accepting the lack of cake that my evening would hold, I went to move the laundry along when I noticed that the clothes in the washing machine were soaking wet/the drum didn’t drain all the way. I didn’t think anything of it and just left the few really wet pieces in the washer while I added the next load to it and pressed start. Suddenly I happened to glance over at the wash sink and noticed that it didn’t drain and was about to overflow! Thankfully I was able to stop the wash cycle before mopping became a part of my evening.

I blindly reached into the cloudy-with-lint water and pulled out what turned out to be a sponge that was covering the drain. That’s when I noticed that the lint trap was incredibly full. I discarded the old trap only to discover that we had no new traps to replace it with, just an empty lint trap container. I reluctantly sacrificed a pair of tights (that I liked – I don’t have any tights that I don’t like) to make a temporary lint trap. As I turned to go upstairs to put my pajamas on, I heard Mike say “hey, look what I found!” He’d been digging around a shelf with laundry stuff that the previous owner left behind and found a box of lint traps. My tights were cut up for nothing. My emotions were the cake all over again. To be fair, I’d been working on stamps and cleaning all day and my cake was just batter-covered paper towels in the trash can – the unnecessarily mangled tights were the icing on the nonexistent cake.

Two

This time two years ago, our wedding ceremony had just finished up and we were in the midst of taking wedding photos. Today, in honor of our two year wedding anniversary, I thought it would be fitting to take the ol’ dress out of the closet (I decided not to have it preserved) and bring it back out in front of the camera… only with me behind the camera this time.

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Two good years down, hopefully way more than I can count left to enjoy 🙂

De-Christmasfying

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The Saturday after Thanksgiving is for decorating – it’s pretty much the kick-off to the Christmas season. With Christmas music setting the tone, the house is transformed from donning its metaphorical street clothing into its finest holiday dress. It’s something that Mike and I really look forward to (I’m not just lumping him into that statement, he is all about the Christmas decorating).

Two days before Luke was born, Mike and I decked the halls. While Mike put up the tree (which also entails covering it in as many lights as humanly possible), I went about decorating the living and dining rooms with nutcrackers, angels, stockings and other Christmasy do-dads. Later that evening (Mike was still working on the tree – 720 lights is a time commitment) my in-laws came over to keep us company. It was a festive evening of anticipation for both the upcoming season and Luke’s (at that point Hans’) big arrival. Little did we know, that would actually be less than 48 hours later.

From the moment that Luke came home, until yesterday afternoon, the Christmas tree was lit. Seriously, we never unplugged it. In addition to being the center of our Christmas decorations, the tree became a large night light while we were up with Luke in the dark and something to carry him over to, to look at and tell him about, during the day. Sometimes we’d set his bouncer next to the tree and he’d turn his head and just stare – at what probably looked to him like a bunch of blurry bright blobs.

For as long as I can remember, I always dreaded taking down the Christmas decorations (Mom, before you chime in, note that that sentence isn’t insinuating that I necessarily helped take down the Christmas decorations as a kid… merely that the fact that I didn’t look forward to when you did it). As an adult, I look even less forward to undecorating – since now not only is Christmas being packed up, but I have to be the one to do it (Mike helps).

When I woke up with Luke this morning around 6:30, it was a little strange not seeing the familiar multi-colored glow of the Christmas tree welcoming us into the living room. In its place, Mike had put a single night light. And yet, as the sun started to rise and the room came more into view it felt fresh, open and familiar. Almost like a visual to the end of an era (albeit a short era) – we used up the last of Luke’s newborn diapers last night, he’s out of his newborn clothing as well. Yesterday the holidays were officially over and today I have a 6 week old baby wearing size 1 diapers and his 3 month clothing and waking up from his nap as I type this… gotta go attend to Luke!

One Month

Today marks one month since the day that Luke was born. I cannot believe that December, the holidays and the first month of Luke’s life have come and gone. Looking back to our first week with Luke, we’ve come a long way. It used to take upwards of an hour to wake him up for a feeding, now he lets us know when he’s hungry. Gas used to have him in tears, now if it bugs him at all – he’s just a little fussy until it passes. A few minutes of awake time between feedings/naps has turned into an hour or more of awake time which gives both of us time to play and bond with Luke. Mike and I have made strides as well, we’ve got a nighttime routine that gives us both sleep, and the time it takes to get out of the house with Luke decreases with each outing.

Below are a couple of photos from the day after Luke was born (taken by Bella Baby Photography in the hospital) compared to what he looks like today:

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When Luke turned one week old I took a series of photos of him with some of Mike’s musical instruments to blow up poster size as Mike’s Christmas present. Today I decided that it would be fun to use one of Mike’s trumpets as a prop in a monthly photo of Luke to watch as he grows and to act as a gauge for size comparison. On the left is the photo taken at one week, and on the right (in the same outfit) is the photo taken today. Thankfully Luke was much more cooperative during our mini photo shoot today than he was during his one week photo shoot. At that point, he didn’t like being laid down unswaddled and the photo with the trumpet was the only one where he was photographed as such before I wrapped him up for the remaining photos. Today he was cool as a cucumber thanks to the time he spends unswaddled on his play mat and the occasional naps where he just wears his PJs.

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As much as I’m going to miss the sweet serenity of Luke’s early weeks, it’s been so fun to watch him experience new people and places, start to learn his likes/dislikes and to introduce him to new things like the swing, bouncer and play mat.