separation anxiety. pubic bone pain. and other fun stuff.

A few times in the past weeks I’ve had a number of ideas swirling in my head and wanted to write here.  My days are lacking bigger blocks of time lately it seems.  So I haven’t followed through on these plans.  I hate letting too much time pass without a word here, though.  It seems far less like a journal when I do that.

So the furniture is delivered, and Norah’s room is painted.  Hopefully we can get the crib assembled this weekend, and then I’m going to measure and attempt to sew the curtains and crib skirt myself.  We’ll see how that goes.  Also on the pregnancy front, I have developed some SPD, and it hurts in a way that makes me nervous for the next 13 or more weeks.  I mean if I felt that pain when I was two weeks shy of my due date, I wouldn’t mind, but I just hope it doesn’t get much worse.  Getting out of the car or out of my bed makes me wince.  I found an awesome chiropractor who specializes in pregnancy though, so I’m really hoping it’s something she can help with. I’ve been really consistent with exercise this go-around, but I took a couple of days off this week because thirty minutes on the treadmill sounds like torture when I end up holding my crotch and hobbling every evening anyhow.  This might be my pay-back for a first pregnancy that included little to no discomfort at all.  But you know what?  If a totally different pregnancy means a totally different delivery, I am completely okay with it.

In addition to a shape that changes daily and various new wonders (ha) of pregnancy that show up as these weeks pass, I have a boy who reminds me on a daily basis how much he is growing and changing. We got rid of the beloved pacifier a few weeks ago.  A trip to Build-a-Bear so he could put the paci in a stuffed animal seemed like a good idea.

The first nap sans paci was rough, but he came around and loves on his bunny or special blanket when he’s sleepy now.  Or his mama, which is a whole other post in the realm of separation-anxiety-getting-out-of-control these days.  I’m hoping that this completely normal and expected phase will pass in the months ahead.

We also spent yesterday morning touring a little preschool he’s probably going to attend next year.  They have an “early threes” class that meets only two mornings a week and sounds perfect.  As much as I love learning with him here at home, I understand how different life will be come May.  No more mornings to focus only on Jude the way we are used to it now.

It was so sweet seeing their little backpacks lined up on named pegs and the tiny little classrooms where everything is toddler-height.  There was a music class going on when we were there, and the teacher asked if he’d like to join in.  He obliged her and found himself dancing and playing along with he others for a few minutes.  I felt simultaneously proud and sad watching him.  Ah, motherhood.  We are always being pulled in different directions, it seems.

His emerging independence and capabilities are cause for both joy and heartache.  But that’s the way it goes with most of the good stuff in life, I think.

Hope you are surviving the February doldrums with some fun things in store.  We made Valentine cookies this week, and I froze half the batch of dough.  I’m thinking I’ll probably save it for a dreary day in the coming weeks and we can make them for no reason at all.  After a busy week, my only plan tonight is a huge pot of soup.  Happy weekend!

Year Two: A Letter


Today marks another birthday for you, and it’s hard to believe we are turning the page on another chapter.  The weeks race by at a ridiculous speed these days, and you change constantly.  Knowing I can’t slow time, I feel I should at least reflect on who you are and what you do so that you and I both can know the moments that filled our days.  So here I am again writing you another letter as I did last year.  I hope you will cherish these one day and maybe keep some of your own scribbled notes as you travel through life.

If I had to summarize your year with one idea, it’s sure to be your newfound independence.  We have sailed away from the land of babyhood, Jude.  You run everywhere rather than toddle or crawl.  You enthusiastically communicate what you want.  You never slow from observing and discovering.  Your language changes everyday as you study the details of the world to put them together in a way that makes sense in your little mind.  It’s fascinating to watch, and it makes me see my own world a little brighter.  And for that I’m really grateful.  Watching you watching other things is my favorite thing to do.  I somehow always knew I’d be the mother of a boy, and you are “all boy” no doubt.  Cars and trucks and bugs and bumps and bruises and scrapes and falls.  I’m convinced you take some secret delight in frightening me every single day with your daredevil ways.  Well, it’s not-so-secret delight actually because your eyes give you away.  All mischief.

thehallfamily_color (3 of 120)

There are so many details I want to remember about who you are becoming in these months.  You’ve learned to identify your letters and sing a few little songs.  You’ve learned to imitate those around you and sort things.  You’ve learned to open the baby gate, which is quite inconvenient actually.  You are always learning and discovering.  Your favorite things to play with are rarely the toys that we purchase for you; you’d much prefer random, potentially dangerous objects.  Forts made of sheets, cords that have lost their home, mops that have lost their heads, tiny spots behind the sofa where you like to eat your snacks in peace.  Among your favorite things to do, your most loved these days seems to be cooking up some culinary masterpiece with an old bowl, a plastic spoon, some spices I manage to keep tightly closed, and any stray objects you could pass as pretend food. Your love of food, and the ridiculous amount you manage to consume each day, is a source of  fascination for all who know you.  You’ll try anything from malai kofta to a chopped up sushi roll, and bland food is your greatest disdain in life.  Well done, my boy.


Culinary pursuits aside, we had some fun adventures this year, Jude. You discovered Central America and Canada for the first time and made a visit back to the Pacific Northwest as well. I know there will come a day when you ache to see new things without me and discover the world for yourself, so for now, I’m drinking in every second of this time when you are happy to be my sidekick.  I love seeing new places through your little eyes.


chillin' in the park

I once read that the months between the ages of one and two were all about the child discovering that he is no longer an attached extension of his mother.  After living this year with you, Jude, I am convinced that is true.  You no longer stay right next to me when I walk from one place to another.  You no longer need my touch to fall asleep at night.  You no longer require my help on simple tasks like eating or figuring out most of your playthings.  And I can’t believe I am saying this, but it makes my heart a little heavy to see you growing beyond me.  One year ago, I simply craved a moment when I was free from your grasp so I could do something really fun, like pee alone or shower.  And now here we are with a very different dynamic.  But still, there are times when you’ve had a bad dream.  Or you fall and scrape your knee.  Or you’re feeling sleepy.  Or you wake up bleary-eyed from a long nap.  And you reach up to say, “Mama, hold,” and my heart throbs with a desire to slow time.  Sometimes I catch a little glimpse of your baby face or get a breeze of your post-bath baby scent, and we are back to those first months again when everything was scary and new.

And really it’s still scary and new, Jude.  It’s just a different stage and a different set of challenges.  I guess that’s what I signed up for with this parenting gig, though.   And I love it, even when it’s tough.  Looking back at the last letter I wrote to you, I think I learned so much and felt so full in my first year of being your mother that I didn’t realize that it just keeps getting better with the passage of time.  Like cheese and wine.  (And like your own mama, lest you ever think I’m growing uncool in my older days.)  Now I find myself wondering how things could get better, how my heart will stretch even more in the next year to make room for new love and new joy, but I know somehow it will.

365.??  Mother's Day

As much as you’ve grown and changed this year, Jude, you have inspired growth and change in me as well.

I’ve learned that, though we like to go and see and do and travel, the comforts of home are irreplaceable and it’s where real life happens.  Every morning as you rise about an hour earlier than civilized people prefer, I pick you up and bring you to the kitchen to start a new day, and I say a prayer of  gratitude.  You’re here and you’re healthy and you’re mine, and in my completely unbiased opinion, you’re the most perfect boy who ever existed.


I’ve also learned that there are miracles in the everyday.  To you, everything is full and perfect and new: a walk in the woods, a dripping ice cream cone, the shadows of leaves in the sunshine, the feel of cold rain on your hand. So many tiny details passed me by until I saw your love for them.  It’s a treasure to spend my days with someone who finds fascination and beauty in the world around us.

I love you for a million reasons.  Your smile, your infectious laugh, your unwarranted cuddles, your emerging sense of humor, your taste for adventure, but most significantly, I love you just because.  Because you are mine and you grew from a microscopic thumbprint in my belly, and here you are with your own tastes and opinions and your own little self.  You have some great things in store, Jude.  Years filled with more adventures and more love and more discovery and more of everything that makes life worth living.  Drink it in, baby.  That’s mama’s advice.  Happy Birthday!



my dirty south

I’ve lived in the south all my life.  And as much as I love going other places, I also love that I have somewhere to come home to.  And when I say “home,” I mean home of a long, long time. The vast majority of our family lives here in Georgia, and it seems those who scattered chose southern destinations as well.  Texas, Tennessee, The Carolinas, Alabama, Florida.  The last of which is sort of debatably southern to most of us, but there are pockets which would be characterized as such, I guess.

There are southernisms I love that I will never outgrow, regardless of where my path takes me one day.  I like collard greens.  My kitchen usually smells like I’m making something good.  I often catch myself saying I am fixin‘ to do something instead of the far superior about to.  I hate the cold.  I smile at you warmly, even if I don’t really like you.  I love to host a good party.  I say y’all.  I find a strange comfort in rickety church pews and old hymns.  I always handwrite a good thank you note.  I don’t wear white after labor day or before Easter.  The Florida gulf is still my favorite sand in all the world.  We bought our house for the wrap-around porch, and tens of thousands of dollars of repairs and improvements later, I kind of wonder if that was a good decision. But I still burrow in a rocking chair with a drink after dinner sometimes and think it was money well-spent.

But there are other characteristics of my homeland I hate so much.  The lazy inactivity which matches the humid, scorching summers.  The racism that seeps so tangibly in the words of both my peers and my elders, not even shamefully hidden most of the time.  The closed-minded perceptions of so many people here.  The disinterest in education.  The classism that still exists in some old money circles and the resulting sense of entitlement.  I hate to think of my own son coming of age in a place where these are defining characteristics.  But I hate to think of him coming of age in a place of shallow roots instead of old ones, so I really don’t know which is best, and I’m leaving that big question to fate and where we land.

As I’ve thought about this question before in reference to my own home, I’ve always resorted to being happy I’m at least from a colorful place.  I believe it was Flannery O’Connor who once explained, “Whenever I’m asked why Southern writers particularly have a penchant for writing about freaks, I say it is because we are still able to recognize one.”  And with this entry, reader, I am letting my southern freak flag fly proudly.

My family is colorful.  We entertain children with thump bugs.  We turn naked kids loose in the back yard and let them play with a water hose.  My uncle is a beekeeper who swears they are miraculous and stings his own joints when they ache and sprinkles bee pollen on his cereal for daily consumption.  I have a relative who stands in his yard and stops cars if he deems them to be driving too fast on his shaded residential street.  I’m said to be related to the famous Miss Mary Bobo of Jack Daniels Distillery, but church-goin’ folks don’t look kindly on that, so we don’t advertise it much.  And in addition to all this, much to Jude’s delight, my grandparents live just a few minutes from us, and they house laying hens and two goats.  Not just any goats, mind you.  These are authentic Tennessee Fainting Goats.   They are of no use to anyone except that they are pets.  Pet goats who have grown fat and happy in all their peaceful years of strolling their large pen.

Fat and happy and peaceful until they met my Jude who thinks that anything with wheels or four legs is for riding.  Our chocolate lab?  Can I ride him, Mama?  The cows we pass on the side of the road?  Cow go moo, mama.  I wanna ride!  No joke that he once asked to ride the bird that flew overhead in a parking lot.  So it’s really no surprise that he made the logical connection to goat riding, and now it’s all he wants to do.  And being a practical mama who tends to explain these things (No, Jude, you cannot ride the birds.), I’d ignore his pleading attempts, but his Great-Grandaddy thinks it’s hilarious to indulge him, and they’re his goats anyway so who am I to intervene?  So we end up with a goat rodeo around here about once a week.


And taking photos of a goat rodeo is very difficult, but you can almost see him smiling from ear to ear.


Children have a way of humbling you, it seems.  I swear that every time I find myself thinking I’m reasonably intelligent or well-spoken, I end up fishing shit out of a bathtub or singing some obnoxious toddler song or catching myself giving Jude a cracker that has fallen on the kitchen floor at least three times.  This goat scenario is no exception.  Jude has a way of saying “I wanna riiiiiiiide da GOATS!” in a shrill command that can get anyone’s attention, and he usually saves that statement for when we are nowhere near goats.  Like to another kid at a playdate with someone we might not know very thoroughly.  Or to a random server at a restaurant.  Or to other patrons in the organic foods aisle who look far more hipster than I do to begin with.  If you combine this with his tendency to leave the last syllable off of “mama” these days and yell Maaaaaaaw, we are regular hillbillies.

But these quirks are becoming deep-seated memories for Jude, and I love that.  I have my own images filed in the back of my mind from so many years spent here: Barefoot and eating slices of watermelon with my slew of cousins, all aged like stair steps one after another.  The whirl of an electric fan plugged in the corner of my grandmother’s home as July stretched in to August.  Fireflies in mason jars.  Beach trips to the gulf.  College memories thick with porch sittin’ and rocking chair gossip and arbitrary rules about what a girl should and shouldn’t do.

And roam where I might, this thick file of memories remains always in the same place in my imagination.  And it’s culture.  It’s flavor and foundation and family and all the things that somehow combined to give me the me I eventually became.  I forget that sometimes.  “Culture” has more than one definition.  Yes, in ways it is a result of a cultivated mind that sees and experiences new things and finds its way out of ignorance.  But the other kind of culture seems just as important to me.  Goat riding won’t give my boy a repertoire of big thick classics, a palette for caviar, or wide cluster of pins on a travel map.  But it gives him those glowing memories seared in the back of his own mind, and for a moment, my barefoot runnin’, watermelon eatin’, porch sittin’ childhood and his are the same. And that brings a happiness all its own.

in a funk

It’s been eight days since I posted anything here, and my usual schedule of writing a few times a week and taking a few daily snapshots hasn’t held up lately.  I’m a morning person, and I set my alarm for 6:30 everyday, but I usually climb out of bed earlier.  The rhythm I was accustomed to gave me an hour or even two hours in a quiet house with coffee and a solo shower.  It was my time to write or to plan my day or my week.  I loved my time.  I say loved past tense because we’ve had a disruption in our usual rhythm.

We moved Jude out of the crib.

Jude's new bed

Last Friday, I heard him wake up from his nap and talk happily to himself as he usually does, and as I opened the door to get him, I found him hanging his entire torso over the edge of his crib, and he dove headfirst (if that’s what you call it when you don’t even put your arms out) to what my paranoid self would assume is a sudden death or at least paralysis.  I caught him as he grazed the carpet.  As he stood upright, he looked back at the crib and then at me and then grinned.  He figured out how to work a doorknob that afternoon, and we dismantled the crib and got a toddler rail the very next day.

I am pretty certain that I would have kept him in the crib for at least another ten years if given the chance, but if my options are toddler bed or terrible injury, I choose the former.  It’s no secret that Jude took quite a while to get the hang of sleeping through the night, but the past four months have been blissful.  Like 13 solid hours of sleep every single night without a fight or a peep kind of blissful.  And here we are with a new set of problems now.  The staying asleep thing he was never great about hasn’t regressed too much, but he doesn’t particularly want to go to sleep in the first place when he can easily get out of bed and play with the toys in his room.  Or as he was demonstrating today – run around his room and scream “night night!” while laughing hysterically instead of napping like he has every single day of his little life.  His old schedule had him sleeping until 8:00am or so, but now he also opens his eyes at something like 6:45 every morning and silently grabs his favorite blanket, opens his door, and steps into the hallway.  And when I say silently, I mean you seriously have no idea how quiet he is. A kid who can’t be quiet in a restaurant or a library or a moment when mama wants to hear what’s on NPR somehow acquires the stealth, sly nature of a Navy SEAL when he wants to arise from nap or nighttime.  I walked out of the bathroom in my robe yesterday morning at 6:25  to see him just staring silently at me.  It’s unsettling really.

So I’ve spent the past four evenings camping outside of his room Supernanny-style and silently plopping him back in his bed every single time he gets up and walks out.  All 127 times.  Every night.  And every naptime.  And I haven’t had my alone time and coffee solitude since last week.  And family business is somewhat improved but still weighing heavily on me.  And I’ve been helping my sister with childcare for part of this week and spending all day alone with a seven-year-old, a three-year-old, and my nineteen-month-old who all together aren’t as terrible as it probably sounds, but I am outnumbered three to one nevertheless.  And my husband is gone for work for part of this week.

Help. Me.

So today I was trying to get Jude down for a nap and we were on something like minute thirty-eight of the Supernanny routine, and I totally lost my cool.  I yelled and I couldn’t take it anymore, and I totally exploded. Poor Jude was confused at my response since nap time normally isn’t a punishment of any kind.  And the fighting over staying in the bed didn’t really get any better by the yelling because we were still arguing about it twenty minutes later.  He finally gave up and I came downstairs to regain lost sanity by browsing eye candy on Pinterest and listening to my usual Joni Mitchell Pandora mix.  And it hit me how ridiculous it all was that I was feeling so overwhelmed and full of self-pity when here I am in my air-conditioned home with my healthy child and healthy spouse and the time and money for occasional hobbies.  I feel so stupid for complaining when there are families with far greater problems than my current stresses.  There are women around the world for whom the idea of an uniterrupted hour of solace and fresh-ground coffee is absurd rather than expected.

But still.  I feel overwhelmed, stressed, and in need of some inspiration just the same.  It’s hard sometimes to find a balance between understanding that there are far worse things in the world, but still recognizing your own life and your own issues as valid and real, you know?

I don’t really know where I am going with all of this except to say that I am a lucky girl and I love my life, but there are still long days sometimes.  I’ve been in a bit of a funk lately, and I decided to take some photos of Jude in his new bed tonight.  The result is not what I was going for but hilarious indeed.  I took him upstairs in just a diaper since we were headed for the bath, and I tried to get a few shots in the bed, but he decided to show you that he can jump headfirst out of his crib, he can work a doorknob, and he can also remove his own diaper.


removing the diaper

And he’d like to demonstrate that he can even climb out while naked.

demonstrating how he gets down

And while we are at it, let’s run around the room naked and point to our business in case you didn’t see it.

Crazy Man

So I’m a little blah lately.  I’m a little stressed.  I’m running on fumes with some really frazzled nerves, and I need some inspiration.  But despite all of this, life keeps me laughing.

An [almost] Wordless Wednesday

It’s been a long week around here, and it’s only Wednesday, so I’m distracting myself by catching up online for a minute and looking at some photos of our weekend.  I planted my herbs for the summer season.  Basil, parsley, mint, sage, and thyme this year.

Mother’s Day was really laid back which was perfect for what I wanted.  Scott and Jude got me a tortilla press, so I’m officially in the business of making our own tortillas with fresh-ground flour!  They also got me an awesome Jane Austen card (kinda hilarious, no?) and the new Billy Collins poetry volume.

Then we spent the afternoon at the park, and Scott took some pictures of Jude and me.

Sometimes I think it feels a little surreal that he’s looking like such a big boy now.  At times, I almost want another one, but then my brain goes to two in diapers and the inevitable chaos, and it seems a little scary.  Maybe that feeling never leaves, and no matter what it’s chaos.  Who knows?  Nevertheless, he seems so old these days.

The times they are a changin’ for sure.  I hope all of you had a lovely weekend and are enjoying some spring weather.  Long week or not, I have fun things to look forward to like Indian food with friends on Friday night and a Fleet Foxes concert on Saturday.  I’ve been doing lots of freezer cooking lately, so I hope to drop back in later this week with some recipes.

Easter Recap

I hope you had a lovely Easter weekend.  We’re pretty tired from the egg hunting around here, but it’s been so much fun.  I can’t believe last year, I had one of these.

Easter2010 007

And this year, everything was so different.  I love that spring is about new life and growth, and I crave those things always but especially this time of year.  What’s even better is that I get to watch one sweet little life discovering so many new things.

examining the goods

Easter 2011

Easter 2011

Easter 2011

found one!

trying to open it


Shakespeare says, “April hath put a spirit of youth in everything.”  But I’d argue that motherhood does that even better.  And April + motherhood?  It’s almost too much.  Happy spring, reader.

Non sequiter

Sitting down today, I am not quite sure what I intend to write except to say that once again, I am noticing little moments that make me smile and thinking, oh I should record that one before it slips away. So no easy flow here.  No graceful transitions this morning.

Legos are very serious business around here. He’ll heave and ho as he moves the box from the corner of the room, rip off the lid with some major gusto, and then dump them all out as noisily as possible.  Next comes the process of meticulously studying them to decide which ones to pick up.  He is beginning to get there on the fine motor skills, but more often than not, it becomes a game of “mom-puts-them-together-and-I-rip-them-apart.” They hurt like hell when you step on one, but I still love finding them all over my house.  It feels like a kinship with every other mother of a boy.  Like worms or frogs, cars or trucks.

He’s started to do this thing wherein he pretends to read by studiously flipping the pages and mumbling emphatically – with or without the pacifier in the way. It’s hilarious to watch as he totally gets the intonation of the book we’ve read a million times, and you can tell he really thinks he’s actually reading. My boy loves books so much.  And [duh] I love that.

Animal noises are a favorite. We’ve got dog, elephant, fish, monkey, lion, sheep, pig, and this week we added owl.  It’s an exaggerated hoooooooooo face where not much noise actually comes out.  Quite hilarious to be honest.

Yes, there are boxes in my living room that have been stacked in that corner for almost two weeks.  Maybe I should have taken them out, but combined with pillows, they make something pretty fun.  I’m not sure what it all adds up to, but the pillows serve as a trampoline of sorts as he falls in to them and then throws everything around.  Top it all off with an owl sound, and you have a perfectly enjoyable Tuesday morning.



And while we are being random……

  • Today is exactly a month till I turn 30. I’m considering making a little list of anything I want to do in the next few weeks, but everything feels lame since the big things are already accomplished.  Eat more cookies or something maybe; I don’t know.
  • Pioneer Woman’s Sesame Noodles make a perfect single girl supper when Scott is gone and a bonus of delicious lunch leftovers.
  • Jude’s hugging is out of control.  It’s super cute until he hugs a kid we don’t even know, and this has happened three times in the past week – playgroup, library, Gymboree class.  He’ll just walk up to some stranger his size and HUG like there’s no tomorrow.  A little embarrassing.
  • Look at my bag comin’ along!  I’ve still got a ways to go, but I’m liking it.

Happy Hump Day.  Hope you’re staying warm and finding some randomness to keep you happy as well.

Random babbling. And a toddler recipe at the end if you actually read that far.

I’m warning you that there is no cohesion to this post at all.

Randomness #1: Christmas is ten days away, y’all. Countdown is on and we are busy busy around here.  Presents are purchased, but I’ve got A LOT of wrapping to do, and the cards remain un-mailed. For some weird reason, Jude is just as fascinated with the reflection of our tree as he is with our actual tree.  Weird kid, that one.

Randomness #2: I made red velvet cookies this weekend. They are very good.  I have 2 left in my fridge.  I will eat one tonight with a glass of chardonnay and NO APOLOGIES.  I got hungry while writing and already ate one.

Randomness #3: We are coloring here sometimes. We try to color everyday, and sometimes he really gets into it and feels all proud when I ohhh and ahhhh over his lines and shapes.  But mostly he just likes to carry the crayons around the house.  Not doing anything with them at all, just carrying them.

Or other times, he tries to eat them.  Purple and yellow are his favorite colors in case you wanted to know.

Randomness #4: Today he put the right pieces in the right place on his little farmyard puzzle, and I freaked out in classic over-reacting, stage mom style. JUDE!!  OH MY GOSH!!  YOU ARE THE SMARTEST BOY EVER!  YAY YAY YAY!  YAY! JUDE! I heard myself and am fully aware of how ridiculous it sounded, but I don’t care.  There are moments that feel pretty phenomenal, even if every other mom has that same moment.

Randomness #5: Why does my kid try to eat everything?  [He is fourteen months old today, and I swear he’s been doing this since month four.]

I mean everything.  (Yep, that’s a Christmas ornament.)  And then when I give him a little kid’s toothbrush to chew on, he looks puzzled and offers it back to me or carries it around the house but doesn’t dare put it past his lips?

Randomness #6: I’ve been wearing the same perfume for 10 years, and I want something new. Any suggestions?  I hate florals.

Randomness #7: I love how bath time is like a reset button for the day.  No matter how cranky or tired or cooped up and stir-crazy we feel, bath time is always pleasant.

It is a little weird that he likes to chew on a washcloth though.  I have to bring 2 cloths in the bathroom – one to wash with and one to give him to chew on while I’m cleaning him.

Randomness #8: We had a little playdate last Sunday afternoon, and I was overwhelmed with the cuteness.  Watching two kids interact can be so funny sometimes.

These two are less that three weeks apart in age, and we mamas already betrothed them long before they were born, but I need to work on little man’s chivalry.  Jude came on a little strong.

Randomness #10: That same mama sent me a great recipe a while ago that I have used and frozen again and again.  So when she told me that she’d been experimenting with different ingredients, I couldn’t help but try to mix it up a little.  The result was a parmesan-veggie-nugget-type-of-thing that Jude is loving.


  • vegetables (use anything, but I used yellow squash and zucchini with some leftover potatoes.)
  • about one cup of breadcrumbs (I used Italian.)
  • 2 eggs
  • about one cup of shredded cheese

It’s easy!

  • Grate one green zucchini and one yellow squash.  Place grated vegetable in a colander because it’s watery and needs to drain for about 30 minutes.  Squeeze out remaining water
  • Melt a little butter in a pan, saute the vegetable for a few minutes to flavor and soften it.  (At this point, I added a small serving of leftover mashed potatoes from dinner the night before, just to use them.  Totally optional, but a great way to use leftovers.)
  • Toss vegetables in a bowl with grated cheese, breadcrumbs, and 2 beaten eggs.
  • Stir and mix it all together until it’s combined.
  • Make small ball and squish it flat so it has more of a cookie shape.
  • Sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
  • Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes.

These freeze pretty well and are really versatile.  (Hence my loosey-goosey recipe.)  Use any vegetable you want. The main idea is that cheese, breadcrumbs, and egg will make anything stick.  I did mine somewhat large, by the way, so he could eat one as a snack or side to lunch or dinner.  You could do them a lot smaller though – like traditional chicken nuggets, for instance.

Thanks, Samira, for the original recipe and inspiration!

Randomness # whatever we are on, I’ve lost count:  It’s freezing in Atlanta and across much of the country, from what I see. A heavy fuzzy blanket, house slippers, and un-addressed Christmas cards are calling my name. Stay warm!






It’s been pretty cold lately, for Atlanta standards anyway.  And early this week was pretty rainy as well, so our usual routine around here has been a little thrown off. We normally enjoy walks around the neighborhood or some time on the playground since afternoons are almost always warm enough for that.

As I type this, it’s in the 30’s though, and I know some of you reading this from somewhere else might laugh as I say that because we southerners are definitely wimps when it comes to getting out in the chilly air.  My wimpy-ness aside, spending less time outside can leave mom and baby feeling pretty crazy sometimes. He’s getting to the age where he’s learning the meaning of the word boredom, and sometimes I am not quite sure what to do to quell the restlessness.


We still abide by the no television rule around here, and I’m not going to lie that it gets harder these days as he gets more active and as the weather is less friendly for backyard entertainment.  It’s not that I’m pretentious or all I-am-a-better-parent-than-you about it, it’s just that I’ve probably read too many things about the negative effects of television on little ones his age, and we’ve survived this long without it being a part of our routine, so we’re going to keep truckin’ with that standard for as long as we can.

So what’s a mom to do? Spend $1.70 at Target and try our hand at play dough.  He did try to eat it at the beginning, but once he understood the tactile fun and squishiness of it, he realized it’s more fun to play with than to eat.


So that’s how my week was saved with under two dollars. If only all problems were that simple.


I know this isn’t a novel idea or anything, but to me, it is.  I forget that he is getting old enough for these things, and my baby is more little boy everyday.  I’m thinking I might start mixing my own dough soon since there are quite a few recipes out there, and that’s probably even cheaper than the store-bought route.  I’ve also seen other examples of sensory play and crafts I might want to tackle next.

So something simple saved the day here.  What saves your sanity at your house? Blocks, coloring books, stickers?  Relatives are asking for Christmas requests and I’d love to know what to tell them.

one of many reasons my son will need therapy one day

I’ve been posting a lot lately gabbing on and on about the things I love about fall.  And this might be the very best part about cooler temperatures these days.

How sweet are these?  Baby legwarmers.

I used them all the time last year during Jude’s tiny baby days, and I thought I would give them up this year since they are, ahem, a little feminine.  But really?  Girls wear camo and people think it’s cute, so I’ll ride this current as long as I can – that is to say until he is old enough to tell me mama, take these off.  I look ridiculous.

The charm of overflowing leg chub is undeniable but it’s not just that.  They are really convenient, too.  Diaper changes are essentially wrestling matches these days, and no pants to remove is one less step. Which of course means he can get back to fun stuff.  Like chasing the dogs.  Or finding and eating week-old cheerios on the floor.  Or getting stuck between pieces of furniture.



This post is linked to Things I Love Thursdays over at The Diaper Diaries. Go see what everyone else is loving this week!