Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Rescued Signage

See the sign on top of my hutch?

It was lying sadly on the side of a road near us, peeking out from freshly melted snow. Someone must have lost it before the snow came! Thank goodness I was there to rescue it, so it can live happily in my home displaying it's message of the importance of locally grown produce.

Did you believe me?

Cause I'm fibbing. I made it. With the intention of having it look like I rescued it from a lovely farmer's market somewhere. Did it work? Did my handwriting give it away? Or rather...paint-writing? Isn't it funny that when I paint, my handwriting is the same as if I wrote it? Sometimes I think that's weird.

On another note...I can also reproduce any fonts when I'm painting. I don't know how or why really, but I can. But my point in telling you this is, if you want me to paint you a sign, it doesn't have to be in my 'handwriting'. It could be anything!

I described this piece of wood to my Hubby, and he created it for me. It's many piece of wood put together, painted white, and sanded for weathering. I love it. He created exactly what was in my mind. He know exactly what I'm thinking a lot, and when this happens, we high five. He got a high five for this one.

On a separate note, this is in the corner of my Easter hutch. It's my favorite thing ever to live on our hutch. Hubby made the birdhouse, with Spanish moss inside to looks like nest. I painted the eggs, which were plain wooden ones from Mike's. The "nest" is actually 2 little tiny twig wreaths, that are also from Mike's. And the bird is a bottle opener (see it's tail?!) that I got for my bridal shower (from Pottery Barn) and is just one of those random items that end up being perfectly adorable in your home.

My favorite thing = making decorations from nothing, or very little.

What decorations are you loving lately?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

What We're Eating Lately

Mealtimes are getting increasingly fun for us! Reilly is eating lots of finger foods now, and is getting in her two front teeth! She's so good at chewing now, which makes me feel so much better about giving her new finger foods to try. Hubby and I are nuts about choking, so it's a relief for us that she's getting better at these foods. But still, I am not a "give her a chunk of banana and she'll suck on it" person. Everything she eats is in little bite-size pieces. It's so cute to watch her eat!

In these pictures, she's having bananas and watermelon, which was her first watermelon experience! She loved it. We usually have fruit and baby oatmeal cereal for breakfast. A new favorite fruit is peeled, diced grapes. Yum!

For lunch she always has a YoBaby yogurt, and then all different things lately. She's had vegetables that hubby and I had the night before (peas are a great fast finger food while I'm preparing everything else). I also buy the frozen diced veggies, and steam them up, and give her everything except the corn. Just because there is a lot of corn in the mix, and I think it's not at nutritious as the peas, carrots, and beans.

Speaking of beans! I love making pureed soups, and freezing them in ice cube trays for her. I made a 12 bean soup (the kind with raw beans that come in the bag), and threw in billions of veggies and some lentils. Then, I blended it up, Hubby and I added sour cream and loved it, and Reilly had it for lunch for days!

I also made this carrot soup for us and her. Except I added lentils for extra protein and goodness, and also left out the cream for hers. The soup is stored and travels so easily in the ice cubes!
Another way I like her to get meats in through homemade beef stew, and chicken soup. I make my mama's chicken soup recipe and load it up with veggies. Then using a slotted spoon, strain off the chicken and veggies, leaving most of the broth behind when I blend it up. I obviously save the broth for other recipes, I mean let's be real people. No wasting!

For her beef stew, I made this amazing recipe that I found, which Hubby and I are obsessed with as well. Except I substituted regular potatoes, for sweet potatoes. And I added peas. Just a bag of frozen ones. For dinner, we might defrost a few ice cubes of the stew, and throw in ice cubes of other purees veggies that are in the freezer. Funny thing that you might notice about the stew - there is wine and beer in it! Which makes is insanely amazing. But don't worry about giving it to the babe - it simmers and cooks off for hours, leaving only the flavor and none of the alcohol.

My main goal is that she is eating a wide variety, nice and healthy, and lots of flavors that Hubby and I love to eat. She's had garlic, onions, and olive oil already in many foods. I'm not one that's going to accept that she "only eats this or that". Not liking certain things are okay at times, but picky eaters are not welcome in our cooking home! I want our kids to enjoy cooking, preparing, flavors, seasoning, and healthy eating. Right now, here's to hoping that's what happens! But we're doing the best we can to make sure it does.

This is at the end of breakfast. Reilly will always let you know when she's tired, by rubbing her eyes with the back of her hand vigorously and continuously. It is utterly adorable and I just squeeze her when she does it. I'm not sure if this is typical of babies when they are tired? Since she is the only baby I have ever had. It is just so funny and adult-like to me. This is exactly what I do in the morning/evening, so maybe she learned it from her mama. :)

Enjoy the sun today! Happy, healthy eating!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Our Jellybean

A few little stories about our Jellybean. The funny bunny that she is.

Our jellybean is a funny one. Like, really funny. She imitates hilarious things, and dances like crazy to anything mildly resembling music. She could be in a whining mood, and then Ke$ha's "We Are Who We Are" comes on, and a smile comes across her face immediately. It's her favorite song - maybe because Mama dances like a fool to it and makes her laugh.

She will also imitate me coughing or clearing my throat. She thinks it's a game. If anyone coughs, she looks at them, smirks, and gives them back a very fake and exaggerated cough. It's hilarious the things that she thinks are a game.

But I used this to my advantage! She is getting over a little cold, and she had some mucus that we heard rattling in her throat. I know, it's so pretty right? But I said, "I wish she could just cough...". And then suddenly, I thought of her coughing game that she invented! And I looked at her and said, "Rei Rei look at Mama!" and then coughed really loud. She immediately smiled, and coughed. A few minutes of this game later, and her cough was real and the rattling was gone. I felt good to put her down to sleep! Who says you need books on parenting? Our jellybean and our heart teaches us lots of what we need to know. And the internet.

This is Reilly watching the water run next to our dirt road. It's trickling and so pretty to listen to and watch. She giggles watching it, which is so cute that she realizes that it's a soothing and enjoyable sound. When we got to the big stream, which was roaring due to the melted snow, she started jumping in my arms and squealing. She'll be like her mama and daddy, frolicking through the streams.

True Story: I want a pillow the same print of babygirl's spring jacket. Such a fashionista.

We went to a show last night, and girlfriend was jumping and dancing with more energy than I every saw before. It was pretty hilarious. We were there for close to three hours, and she never tired of the people and the entertainment. It was so fun to watch her so happy, and making everyone around her laugh. She's kind of addicting, with her pretty chubby cheeky charm, and her wide-eyed innocent sparkle.

True Story: There was a woman who came up and seemed truly captivated by her as Hubby was holding her - and as I approached to put her hat on her before we left, I smiled as she cooed over our girl. Then I heard what she was saying with earnest: "I SWEAR, THIS IS THE CUTEST BOY I HAVE EVER SEEN IN MY LIFE!!" Then she said, "What's his name? Ryan?" And Hubby said, "Her name is Reilly!". And she continued gushing about our boy. I laughed and walked away before she saw her pink floral dress or striped socks and it got awkward. She seemed so adamant about her boyhood cuteness. I guess cute is cute, huh?

Speaking of cute - is there anything cuter than that Daddy right there taking his girl for a stroll?

Sorry, I couldn't resist.

Ahem. This happened against my will, and clearly against Reilly's.

"Daddy, get-this-off-my-head! First of all, it doesn't match my outfit. Second of all, Mama and I wear pinstwipes! Right, Mama?"

You tell him, babygirl! Get ready for your first full Yankee season!

Friday, March 25, 2011


Yesterday's picture made me want to flashback to this little tiny banana from last summer. I love her more every single day.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

OH, Snow.

Daddy took this picture of babygirl and I less than a week ago. See all the beautiful non-snow? I waited and waited for the day the non-snow came. Also known as, the day all the snow melted. We went for a nice walk and look at the waterfalls. Baby giggles at the waterfalls.

Aaaaaand now we are covered. COVERED. In snow. I think it's still snowing, but I stopped checking. We are playing Wii and drinking margaritas, because that's what snow days are all about.

I am praying rain will come tomorrow and make everything brown again and then green and then sunny!! March? Spring? Come back to us!

Thank you kindly.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Kitchen Makeover

I recently decided to do something about my cabinets. I never liked the color of the wood, it's just not natural to me. Too orangey. But it always seemed like too big of a task, and then I would decide that I didn't mind it that much.

Until now. Last month, I said, "Hubby, I'm going to paint the cabinets this Spring or Summer!" He said, "Okay, cool honey!"

Then I changed my mind. I said, "Hubby, I'm going to paint the cabinets before March is over." He said, "Okay, cool honey!" Mind you, this was halfway through March that I made this statement. A few days later I went out and got primer, paint, paintbrushes, and spray paint for the hinges (more on that in a minute). The day after that, we painted all our cabinets. All in one day. We woke up at 7, and went to town. I'm not sure he knew that he was such an integral part of the painting process, otherwise he wouldn't have been so, "Okay cool honey" about things. But nonetheless, I could not have done it without my Hubby.

And we had our friends and their babies over that same day for dinner at 4pm. Why did we organize ourselves in such a stellar way, you ask? Cause that's how we roll.

And all day, I kept asking, "HONEY, ARE WE GOING TO FINISH IN TIME?"
And he would say, "Yes, absolutely."
And I would say, "Really?! Yay! I love your confidence!!"

Literally this conversation happened like 6 times throughout the day.

And keep in mind...we have a crawler. And of course, the day before we painted was beautiful, and the day we painted was 40 degrees. So we couldn't do it outside. So there were cabinets and paint all over our kitchen floor. Again, I will remind you of the crawler. We worked at warp speed during her nap, I tell ya.

And all day, we would say things like this:
"Would you rather change and bathe the baby, or keep painting?"
"Would you rather feed her lunch, or keep painting?"
"Would you rather do the dishes, or keep painting?"

All day we took turns painting, and in the meantime doing chores and playing with baby and getting the house ready for our guests.

Okay, I'll get to before and after photos! I really really love how it come out.

Here is our kitchen before, complete with a sink full of dirty dishes. Hubby chose to do the dishes while I painted. I hate dishes.

And here is our kitchen now!

I love how bright and clean it looks. We used a gray tinted primer called "Gripper" which adheres to smooth surfaces which mean - NO SANDING! It was great. Saved us a step, and time, which helps when your like us and you plan home improvement projects spontaneously.
Then we did 2 coats of Martha Stewart's "Cement Gray". I tried to look for a prettier sounding color, but I really loved this one best.

And then we spray painted our hinges using "Brushed Nickel" metallic spray paint. Here were our hinges before, they were really old and rusty, as you can see.

And here they are after!

So easy! Well, I wouldn't really know, Hubby kept running outside and spray painting them. But it seemed really easy.

Hubby was screwing the last cabinet in as our guests pulled in the driveway. I'm really not kidding. And in case you are painting cabinets, I will give you a tip. It says that the paint take "45 minutes to dry, 3 hours to re-coat". I panicked. We did not have 3 hours between coats! So I googled a little, and decided that if it was dry to the touch, we were re-coating. And it worked perfectly. So in conclusion, Martha Stewart lied. Not necessary to wait 3 hours if you impatient, or have dinner guests on the way.

As soon as our guests left, we high fived. We were proud of our team work. We home-improved, cooked, cleaned, prepared, dined with friends, and had a happy sleepy baby by the end of one day. There's something about accomplishing something great with your partner in crime. And now we have a pretty new kitchen to remind us of our crazy, fun, painting adventures. Emphasis on crazy.

And there's more upcoming changes, which I am very excited for! Pictures will follow!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Baby Loves Pasta

This weekend, we had our monthly Baby get together with Reilly's friends. It was so much fun. They are all moving around, interacting with each other, and really playing. It's hilarious to watch them!

Here is Greg playing peek-a-boo with Reilly!
She evidently lost interest...

Then Adeena came over for the fun!

And we had Italian for dinner! It was Reilly's first time feeding herself pasta with Mama's homemade sauce!

She was such a lady about it.

And clearly, she had the time of her life.

Reilly + pasta + CHEESE = tons of fun!

I think she's going to be a messy eater like her Mama. Messy...but happy! I'll take it.

I love that little cheese face!

Thursday, March 17, 2011


When I say "Cheese", this is what the little peanut does.

And sometimes, she does this.

I am so blessed to look at this face every day. :)

If you'll excuse, I'm going to go eat her up.

Love & Smiles,

Dirt Road Mama

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


It has been 10 months since our babygirl came into our lives. And they have been the most wonderful ten months of our lives. She is just as sweet as her little rosy cheeks make her look. It makes me sad when you see a cute child and compliment them, and the mom says, "Ugh, you can have her!" That's just kind of depressing. And even on those days when there is teething whining and no naps, my days are still joyfully sweet with my little Rei Rei. We thank God for her, the little angel that she is.

Notice, she has her hairbrush in her hand. One of latest "forbidden item" addictions. Much like the remote and telephones and my water bottle. Except sometimes I let her hold the hairbrush and it makes her excited. Unlike the other items, which are strictly off limits.

You will see that I only got one photo of her with the actual "10 months" sign being visible. It's becoming a strategic game that I must find the solution to. Reilly is sporting her best Irish gear this month, seeing as she is about 25% Irish, and her name is about 100% Irish.

Here are some of our latest developments:

1. CRAWLING! She can crawl anywhere and everywhere she would like. And when she is crawling toward something particularly exciting, she crawl/hop/jumps while hysterically laughing.

2. Imitating. She is SO FAST at imitating pretty much any sound or motion. She is quicker at sounds, though she can do motions just as well. For example, we were food shopping yesterday and a man sneezed a low, manly sneeze. Reilly looked at him and imitated the sound perfectly in a low growl. She apparently thinks everyone who sneezes is playing a game with her like her Mama.

3. Finger food eating. She is a pro at it now! She picks up tiny pieces of food with her little fingers. It's hilarious to watch. Right now we mainly eat Puffs, Cheerios, sweet potato, and avocado.

Okay, this picture. She was swinging around the shamrock I made, and the stem would tickle her in the face. And then she did this, for like 5 straight seconds. And I am SO GLAD I got it on camera. She. Is. Hilarious.

4. Kneeling. She can pull herself up to kneeling using a chair, ottoman, crib, etc.

5. Waving! She can wave Hello and Bye Bye! And she can do both waves, whichever one I am doing. You know, the hand flap, or the whole arm wave. Now is that ain't talent, I don't know what is.

6. Speaking. She will make all different sounds, and sing-song them together like she is trying to speak sentences and words.

7. SHARING! Daddy taught her this one. When she has something, if you say "Share," she will give it to you! Unless she picked up a piece of dust off the floor and Mama says share, then she puts it in her mouth. It's awesome. Let's hope this one sticks.

8. Strangers. She really loves peoples, anyone and everyone, especially if they are strangers. She will stare at them and smile at them, as her NY-bred mama is trying to ignore them and give them the cold shoulder and walk briskly away. Now I'm not talking old-lady-grocery-shopping strangers. Although Reilly loves them too. I'm talking about weird Walmart strangers, rest-stop bathroom strangers, really anyone. Even when we were at the doctor, and he was examining her, she was giggling. He said he has never seen a baby so joyful as he was so close to her face and poking and prodding. I'm still on the fence if this is a good thing or not. Right now, I say good, because I have the most content and friendly baby ever. I just have to put the fear of strangers in her and read her the scary Bernstein Bear Stranger Danger book. Then we'll be good.

I found a way to get the sign in the picture! I held it in front of her and had her crawl to it. SCORE. Except, she is in fact 10 months old, and not 0 months. For the record.

I can't wait to see what this month brings!!

Love & 10,
dr Mama

Monday, March 14, 2011

Under the Family Table

They say that the best moments happen around the family table. Well, Reilly disagrees.

See, she can form opinions now due to her new-found movement. And she can go places. Places that SHE wants to go. Places that, usually, Mama would rather she not go. Places painting table. There is just nothing good that can come from a baby near a painting table. Or the front doormat. Also known as, the dirtiest place in the house. People feet are wiped there on the daily, for goodness sakes. And yet, something pulls her there.

One place she is allowed to hang out though, is under the kitchen table. She loves it there. She crawls under there, bring her toys, spins around, investigates. It's glorious.

This is Reilly enjoying her favorite spot on a gloomy day.

We wear sweats when it's rainy.

She took a well needed break from crawling to chill out on this chair.

Off she goes! Like a little turtle. She really crawls EXACTLY like a turtle walks. Very slowly, very deliberately. It's hysterical.

Love & lots of sweeping,

dirt road Mama

Friday, March 11, 2011

Sneezing Babygirl

Here is a video of my hilarious laughing girl.

After having little colds for a week or so, babygirl starting imitating me when I was sneezing. So I started recording her and fake sneezing. And then she decided that I was really hilarious with my fake sneezing. And her hysterical laughing ensued. Of course, this took place during her happiest time, our daily YoBaby lunch.

As a disclaimer, my hair does not always look that sopping. I had just gotten out of the shower, and was feeding her with my hair soaking wet. Figures, she never does funny things when mama looks awesome. Oh well, at least she's a cutie.

Watch this video when you are sad, I bet you will smile!

Love & giggles,

DR Mama

Thursday, March 10, 2011


It is official - as of yesterday - our little baby is a crawler!

Yesterday Reilly and I got together with some friends, one of which is almost 2. He is talking up a storm, running around everywhere, and SO interesting to Reilly. He showed her all of her toys, and talked non-stop to her, and she was utterly mesmerized by him. And his mobility. While we were there, she took for "steps" crawling across the room. (What is that called? Four "crawls"? It's such a difficult thing to describe.) It was her longest stretch, but seemed a bit like a fluke because she didn't continue.

We made joke about her chasing after her friend, and how he taught her to crawl in a few hours. And then I said, "Can you show Reilly how to crawl?" And he crawled around and said, "C'mon Reilly!" But still - all jokes.

Until that night. At around 4pm. When she crawled clear across the living room to reach my whisk. That I may have strategically placed across the room, knowing it would entice her. Strange forbidden kitchen utensil always get her. And it worked!!

And then, she crawled back across the living room going for the computer. It was amazing. Now she is slowed crawling around her toys, like a little baby turtle, just learning he has legs. Or a little baby bird, slowly fluttering two inches from the ground.

Or a little baby girl. Just learning to crawl.

She is amazing, and it is so amazing to watch her.

Love in Motion,

Dirt Road Mama

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Blackberry Memories

So you all may remember my sister and her Blackberry, from previous posts. Or should I say, disasters. Good times. Well, this is an entirely different Blackberry from the one pictured there. I believe that was actually 2 Blackberries ago. First off, she got a new one when her plan was up. But she also dropped/destroyed it somewhere in there too, warranting a replacement Berry. I can't keep up with all the Berries, I just know it's never far from her hand.

Anyway, I got these pictures via email from my sissy. The email stated that she had "like a hundred" recent pictures of Reilly, and she decided to send her favorite ones. I thanked her for not emailing a hundred photos, and for taking such adorable pictures of her niece. She loves her girl, and loves photographing her via the Berry.

And Rei Rei loves her Auntie so much!

Reilly stole my lip gloss.

Then she stole my magazine and tore it up. HA.

Then she ate spinach and decided to casually remind everyone how big she was.

Then she got dressed up all pretty for an outing with Mima. Now you know where she gets her mysteriously blue and mysteriously giant eyes.

Then she got all tuckered out in the car. And made her adorable sleeping face, of which I am so obsessed with that sometimes I want to wake her up. But I don't. But I think about it.

The End.

Thank you Aunt Mimi for being addicted to Blackberry!
Thank you Blackberry, for taking pretty pictures!
Thank you Aunt Mimi, for just being pretty!

Love & Berries,

Dirt road Mama

Monday, March 7, 2011

Ready for Spring!

I am ready for spring! Are you ready, Mima & Poppy?

I wuv you!


Rei Bee