For Christmas, I asked for money (I know, lame), but money to be used for an Ikea trip (not lame!).  A friend and I decided to hit the road bright and early one morning and head to Minneapolis for the day.  My main goal?  To get something to hold the toys in HJ’s play room.  The chaos of the room was starting to drive me crazy and something needed to be done.

My solution was found…

This is not the one I thought I was going to get, but after looking at all the choices and thinking about my son who likes to scale furniture like a monkey, it seemed like the safest option.

Don’t worry, I still came home with lots more stuff…

I picked up this cute rug for HJ’s room.  Here is a closer pic:

 It is fun to watch him navigate the roads with his toy cars.

And of course, I also picked up things for myself.  Like a couple of lamps for my nightstands…

And this cute bowl that is currently residing on the kitchen table…

I also picked up quite a few smaller things.  Like some vases, cutting boards, trivets, etc.  And a few things that haven’t even made it out of my friend’s car yet…whoops.

And of course, since we were in a city with shopping much unlike what I am accustomed to, we also stopped by H&M.  It wasn’t until the ride home that I realized there was no sales tax in Minnesota, nice.

The Ikea trip was a success, but I am already making another wish list.

I recently had my yearly appointment at the doctor and the subject of birth control came up.  I mentioned that I might be interested in starting the pill again.  Not because I think I will be sexually active anytime soon, but because I like knowing when my period is going to start.  The doctor followed up with, “and you never know, accidents happen”

I responded with, “uh-huh, okay, thank you.”

I wanted to respond with, “Accidents?  Do people trip and fall on top of penises a lot?”

I should have responded with, “I am not sure what you mean by accidents.  I am not a sexually active person, and if in the future, I do plan to become sexually active, I will know in advance.  It will not be an accident as you so-called it.”

Yesterday I had an awesome idea.  HJ looooves finger painting, but it is always such a hassle to make sure he doesn’t suddenly scatter through the house painting walls.  Solution?  I decided to put the paint in the tub.  That way he could make a mess, and I could just wash it off at the end.  Great idea, right?

Ha.

I was so proud of the idea, I even took pictures of the process so I could show off.

Here is HJ pointing out the paint…

Then, I stripped him down.

Side note: HJ recently learned how to put pants on.  Yesterday he put on his car pj pants and insisted on wearing them all day under his “normal” pants.

 Then, he tested out the paint:

I decided he was ready, and I plopped him in the tub.  Where he proceeded to paint his belly.

And disaster struck…

He went CRAZY.  He was like a trapped bird in a box.  Bouncing off the side of the tub, arching his back, getting paint all over the bathroom, me and somehow it even ended up in the hallway.  He must have felt claustrophobic.  He was not happy.  He wanted nothing to do with my awful idea.  I was running around trying to get wash cloths and start the tub and trying not to laugh.  But ohmygoodness, my poor baby had lost his marbles.

It took a good 15 minutes after I got him cleaned up and in cozy pajamas for him to finally calm down.  I think it is safe to say we will not being doing that again.

 

When is it appropriate to introduce a child to a boyfriend or girlfriend?  Since becoming a single parent, I have gone on a few dates and had one relationship.  When I started dating the guy I had the relationship with, I made it clear to him that I did not want him to meet HJ until I knew we were serious.  I don’t want HJ to be use to men coming in and out of his life.  And even though HJ is at an age where he will not remember my dating life, I still don’t feel comfortable bringing just anyone around.

I waited until B and I had been dating for close to four months before letting him and HJ meet.  This meant that B would come over and hang out for an hour or so after HJ went to bed.  Or we would go on a date and I wouldn’t let him come to the door.  I thought I was doing the right thing.  Then they meet.  I slowly started including B into our life.  Letting him come over before HJ was in bed, or coming over to play.  That is when I noticed that B was slowly fading from me.  It was obvious that my life was freaking him out.

For 4 months, he did not know me as a mom.  He didn’t know what my life was actually like.  He quickly realized that HJ was my number one, and he would never be.  We talked about it.  He apologized, I apologized.  I realized I should have brought HJ into the picture before I did, before hearts were broken.  That way he would have known what he was getting into right away.

So now what do I do with the next relationship?  Do I let him into our lives right away?  How long do I wait?  How can I avoid this cycle?

Single Parents, what have you done that you think works best?  Non-single parents, what would you prefer if you were in a relationship with a single parent?

My son swoons over girls already.  Due to his father’s “lady man” status, this has me more than a little freaked out.  This past summer at the pool, he would walk up to the lifeguard stand and stare.  He will turn around at restaurants to oogle blonde servers.  On Wednesday at Panera, he actually pushed me back in my seat because I was blocking his view of a blonde four-year old.  He sat there munching on hs grilled cheese just STARING.  There is a girl at the sorority I am the advisor for that he freaks out over.

It should have come as no shock to me when he told me about his love.  He walked up holding her picture with a sly smile and said “Jessie pretty”.  I said, “Oh yes, very.”  But what I was thinking was what a little tramp, he is way to good for her.  This was a few months ago.  He still loves Jessie.  He talks about her, wakes up in the AM asking about her.  He has drawn pictures of her and freaks out at the mention of her name.

Jessie is alright looking…I think when he said pretty she must have wooed him a bit.  She has red hair that is always in a braid and her clothing is a little weird in my opinion.  Plus, I think she has a thing for astronauts, not 2 year olds.  Here is a picture of her:

See?  He could do better.

But he can’t help himself.  We had rented Toy Story Two from the library, and I had to buy them a new cover.  He was trying to take her picture off of the front.  Anytime he sees a horse, he gets excited thinking she has got to be close by.  Nana and Papa have a Jessie doll at their house, it doesn’t leave his side.

I guess this is his frist celebrity crush and I need to prepare myself for my girl crazy boy.  I hope he doesn’t break too many hearts.

I have been cooking up a storm this past month (seriously!) and thought I would share my thoughts with you on the recipes.  I only do easy things…do moms really have another choice?  By the time I get HJ and myself home it is about 5:30, if dinner isn’t down by 6, I will hear about it.

First off…the fail:

                    The webpage for this one is no longer up, but here are the directions:

Hawaiian Crockpot Chicken: 4-6 chicken breasts, Hawaiian style BBQ sauce, and a can of crushed pineapple all throw in for 6 hours on low. Can’t get much easier or delicious than that!

I love pineapple, and thought this sounded great…and easy.  Only, something was off.  HJ looked at it and started playing with cars.  I tried it and decided to make mac and cheese.  I hate throwing out food, but this one went out ASAP.

Luckily, that was the only fail.

I had to make a sweet treat for work, and went with my standard, Better Than Sex Cake.  It is so simple and so frikken good.

The only thing I did different was to use caramel sauce instead of hot fudge.  YUM!

Next up, Christmas morning breakfast.  I had invited my parents and grandparents over to eat, but didn’t want to be stuck in the kitchen.  I pulled out the crockpot and made Crockpot Egg Bake:

It. was. good.  I think it would also be good by throwing in some more veggies.  I also made this for the side:

 I don’t know why, but apparently making bacon in the oven was shocking to the rest of my family, but everyone liked it.

I also tried out a Pizza Casserole.  It was good, but there was soooooo much of it.

I think I will make it again, but the next time, I will split it in half and freeze half while eating the rest.  HJ loved this one.  I will also throw in some more things next time, like an onion or green pepper.

Another one that HJ liked was the Broccoli Chicken Crescent Braid.

Last night was the most recent one we tried, Italian Crockpot Chicken.

It was really good, and super easy.  Will definitely be making this one again.

The most surprising one to me was a recipe for Chocolate Chip Cookies.  I love cookies.  Chocolate chip are one of my favs.  It made me a bit concerned to mess with a classic, but I thought I would give it a shot.

The secret ingredient?  A package of instant vanilla pudding.  I ate a lot of the dough to see if I could taste a difference, and I couldn’t.  Right out of the oven, still not much different than usual.  BUT, after 2 days, the cookies are still moist, fluffy and chewy.  FABULOUS.  SO GOOD.  HIGHLY RECOMMEND.

Anyone else have amazing recipes (that are easy) to share?

You know that moment where you type up a post three times to have it magically deleted…grr….

Better late than never, right?

HJ had a blast at Christmas this year.  He clearly “gets” the present thing and loved tearing into new toys and casting aside new clothes.  THis year, we spent Christmas Eve morning at my parents, followed by going to the grandparents house.  Christmas morning was spent at our very own house with nana, papa, great grandpa and grandma.  I was even in charge of Christmas morning breakfast, eeks (Thank God for pinterest!).

HJ was spoiled by all of our family (I could not imagine what it would be like if he had another set of grandparents) and just slightly spoiled by me (I surprised myself with my control).

I also was luckily enough to have a wonderful 12 days off of work that I got to spend bonding with my little man.  We played and played and played.  He loved seeing all of his friends and cousins.  I also got to spoil my niece a little.  She spent a few nights with us and I took her to get a feather put in her hair.  She is now one of the coolest 7 year olds you could ever know.  We also purchased some magnetic earrings and got to freak out some family members.  What are aunts for!

Cousins helping HJ.

 My lovely sis and her son.  I actually think we look-alike in this pic!

A two-year-old tantrum

 Santa came!

HJ kept saying “My choo-choo!”

I hope you all had a fabulous Holiday!  Looking forward to what 2012 has to bring us.

The other week, my knee suddenly exploded and swelled up to a scary size.  Like a golf ball was stuck under my skin.  While sitting in the ER, the doctor looked at me strange and asked what I am on my knees so much for.  Apparently, the cause of my swelling is common in carpet layers (that’s why they wear knee pads) and older women (gee, thanks).  Not 30-year-old women who sit at a desk.

My response?  “I am always on the floor with my son.  We play, cars, legos, tickle wars, etc.”

My main concern at the ER was that I had on two different socks.  And one had a hole in them.  And the fact that I had been baking Christmas goodies when this all went down.

The diagnosis?  Bursitis.  The sacks of fluid in my knee burst and caused it to swell up.  The doctor told me to ice it, take anti-inflammatories and sent me home.  Over the next few days it turned some strange shades of black, purples and blues.  It still looks like ball is stuck under the skin, but now it is not a golf ball, more like a marble.

Then one day last week, it turned black again and swelled up.  My knee wasn’t taking kindly to my two weeks off of work and playing with my son.  I went back to the doctor and was given a knee brace.

So for now, I can not bend my knee much.  It still hurts, but I *think* it is getting better.  I miss my work outs and crawling around on the ground.  Now that I am back at work, I am hoping that being more stationary during the day will help a lot.

Clearly I am not entering my 30’s gracefully.