Tuesday, September 28, 2010


Loves her nails painted
Sat perfectly still while Mommy gave her a perfect lil Hello Kitty manicure
...complete with little hot pink Hello Kitty bow stickers on each one, covered with a coat of sparkle polish. Mommy was so proud of this manicure...until 10 minutes later when she picked every last sticker off! LOL! Oh, well, it was still fun. I love my sassy, silly little miss! 

Friday, September 24, 2010

Good Messy Fun

Ruby ended up being home Wed & Thurs with a bad cold. By Thursday afternoon I was grasping at straws to find some indoor fun activity that we haven't already done a hundred times. So I googled messy indoor fun kids activities and low and behold I found one: Jello painting! Laid a tarp down and got 2 big white papers out for her. Got red, blue, & yellow Jello. Mixed 2 tablespoons of hot water in each color, let her mix them up and go to town! This was a big hit!
Art work actually turned out so cute! Want to frame it but afraid the ants might invade the wall, LOL.
She was a little concerned that her hands were so messy...
...until I reminded her she could also eat it. And she sure did eat it.
...and eat it
...and eat it. Yes I know. But just this once. Notice how quickly she got over how messy it was. LOL!
Finally, she went back to painting... for about 2 more minutes and then she was done.  All I heard was this: "WASH HANDS PLEASE!" LOL, I guess that's about as messy as we get around here. :-)

Friday Fashion

Green was the theme. The color she wanted to wear today and the color of the Tinkerbell doll I gave her for being such a big girl today! (I've kept a bunch of toys from her birthday stashed in the closet for just such an occasion!) Thanks to my friend Dawn in FL for the idea to hold the doll hostage (my words not hers) until she came back from school. It helped! I had it waiting in the car for her when I picked her up and heard that she only had about 5 minutes or less of crying today. Progress! We are making progress!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Happy Meals

No, not THOSE happy meals. Wouldn't touch those fast food places with a 10 foot pole! But I do like my little love's meals to be happy around here. Been using cookie cutters, raisins, and anything else I can think of to make meals fun, colorful, yummy, and yet healthy for her. Got the idea for this first pic from another blog. Wish I could tell you which one, but it was awhile ago and I have no idea. But she had this cute idea to put a variety of food choices in a muffin tin or mold and call it "Muffin Tin Monday". Love it! Don't remember every Monday but do pull it out for special lunches or dinners. In it are carrots, grapes, cheese cubes, grilled chicken bites, falafel balls, zuchini strips and a ranch dip in the center. My tin is much too big so I shared this with Ruby and ate whatever she couldn't, but she really was happy with this meal. Here are a few other fun meals...
Breakfasts are my favorite. Bought a big bin of cookies cutters last year loaded with holiday themes, farm and zoo animals. Lots of fun and turns eggs and toast into a fun plate.
Simple peanut butter toast on round healthy Arnold bread with raisins. Ruby loves her Peanut butter toast!
More fun with peanut butter, toast, and banannas.
Smiling blueberry pancakes. 
Yellow and green themed bfast... a yogurt bar.
A good idea in theory, but too many toppings. She ended up dumping them all in there and then wasn't too thrilled to eat it that way! So I think I'd lose at least 2 of the choices and put less in each cup.
The Bento Box. I love it.
Found all these great ideas online and came up with a few on my own. Was all excited to pack Ruby's lunches for school only to find out they don't do lunch early like in summer camp.  She is home for lunch and doesn't yet need all the lunch box, bentos, ice pack, and thermos I bought. Oh, well, we will have them for day trips. Plus Bentos are equally fun to use at home!

Speaking of happy meals...I've got a Norwegian apple tort in the oven and it's smelling good. Time to pop it out and see!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Apple Pickin'

Tuesdays are Ruby's day off from school. I had wanted her to do 3 half days a week, but they typically do 5 with Montessori, stating that it really is too long of a break with doing only 3 and not easy to keep them in their routine. They comprised and gave me 4 instead and I chose Tuesday to be home because they teach French. Thai and English are quite enough for now!

Went spent a nice morning with Miss Kyle, her excellent speech teacher who came to the house, had lunch, then headed out to Styer's Orchard. The place is pretty empty in the afternoon so I felt like we had it all to ourselves. Ruby LOVES anything where she can help out so I thought being able to pick her own apples would be fun. It was, but not for very long. 
The wagon was fun too - for a minute - and then she decided she'd rather seek out this adventure on foot.
She was all proud to carry the tomatoes but the place was loosing it's luster by this point.
And by this shot she looked perfectly bored. I said, "Aw, come on, Rubes! Where's the smile? Aren't you having fun?" Her reply..."No. HOME." Well, okay then. We gathered up our goods, paid a mere $3 and change for the whole bucket and headed home.

...besides, everyone knows shelling peanuts on the kitchen floor is FAR more interesting! LOL.
Gonna make something yummy tomorrow with the apples. I'll keep you posted!

Monday, September 20, 2010

A Better Afternoon

After the crying scene and clutching me for dear life that took place this morning, I wasn't holding out for a happy mood when I went to get her. But I got one anyway! When I pulled up and looked at the playground I didn't see her. The teachers aid saw me and came over to tell me she actually had a good day. Just then, she came around the corner with 2 new little friends holding her hands sweetly and leading her over to Mommy. She looked happy! She lit up when she saw me and yelled "DOOR! DOOR MOMMY! Come ON!" But it was not a desperate get-me-out-of-here plea. It was more just excitement. I got a chance to talk to the director while she was making her way around to the front door. Such a nice person. She stayed and waited till I got there so she could reassure me Ruby was doing okay. She said if Ruby was crying all day and seemed too young and not ready she would DEFINITELY let me know, but she felt after the initial crying in the morning she was actually doing well. Such a relief! The teachers all told me the same thing. Except for the accidents. We seem to be having a problem with that so I get a nice goody bag in her backpack to wash each day. Nice. But hey, at least she's out of diapers. :-) And the teachers have been very gentle and kind to her. I really like them.

 We got to the car and she just gave me a big old hug. She said the words I never get sick of hearing - "Mommy, Mommy, Mommy, MOMMY!" with a big smile on her face. I lifted her up and put her in her car seat and she just beamed. "Mommy, I glad!" I never heard her use that word b4. So cute it just made my day. I'm glad too, angel. Hopefully she'll be getting used to school in no time!

Wonderful Weekend

Silly girl all giddy to take her picture with the "gorilla"

Well, after last weeks tears, we really wanted to make a fun weekend for Ruby. Wish granted. Grammy and Pappy came down Saturday morning and instantly spoiled her with a little box of yummy treats. Ruby was thrilled to not have school, of course, and very happy to see her grandparents. We spent all day at home, cooking and playing and catching up. Very nice day. Larae & Woody made us a fab meal and I got another quiche in the oven. We enjoyed that Sunday morning b4 heading to the zoo. Spent all day there. Beautiful weather and so much fun. The grandparents treated her and I to a camel ride and some ice cream which were the highlights of her day. She was a happy little camper and so were we. No mention of school - just fun and play. Now this morning...well, THAT is another story. Walking in did not help. But, you know, tomorrow is another day. Let's hope for the best. :-)

I leave you with zoo shots...
She was such a little Daddy's girl this day. 
Love how she's holding his face.
Pappy, Pa, and Rubes checking out the animals.
Only Pa could hold her and pick her up for half the day. It was so sweet.
Adorable baby giraffe
Beautiful momma and baby
Gorgeous tiger. Ruby loves these and they were so active and playful today so it was something to see.
Mommy and Rubes in line for the camel.
Almost our turn!
And off we go! They are much faster than I thought. Of course, we also had like a minute ride after a half hour wait so maybe they just SEEMED fast, LOL.
Train ride is a must stop for each zoo visit.
Enjoying ice cream with Grammy
Yummy happy mouth!
Another must-do is a pic with this gorilla. This time Grammy got in on the action.
Our silly little monkey.
Sleepy girl holds her Pa after a good day.

Friday, September 17, 2010

For The Love of Quiche

Tonight I am tired. But it is a happy exhaustion. I got so much done today. Did a lot laundry, put away the 4 baskets full of clean clothes that have been upstairs for a week, cleaned the house, made 2 homemade quiche with 2 homemade crusts AND my kitchen is actually clean in the aftermath. Woo hoo!  But the most important thing is I spent an incredible few hours with Ruby outside today. She didn't want to go to the park after school. Just wanted to come home. I said, I guess home feels safe, huh? "Yesh", she said. "HOME". So home we went. Had her lunch all packed so I decided we would still have a picnic...in the backyard. Daddy saw us and came out for a 1/2 hour to join us. So nice. We ate and laughed and talked and after Daddy went back to work we laid down and snuggled and sang songs together. Moments like that you just want to bottle up forever! After a bit we were getting hot so I got us some cool drinks and suggested we sit in the shade. I asked her to pick 2 books and she brought out 5! Three were Dr. Suess. She just loves those. We read all 5 until she started yawning. She started to protest when I told her it was time for a nap, but when we got upstairs and snuggled she went right out. So happy! She really needed it. And I had some time to get cooking...

So about that quiche...I found 2 really great recipes and not being able to decide on one, I made TWO tonight! I'm so enjoying cooking again! The first recipe was from Emeril. I like him. Nice guy. I met him once at a food show in NY years b4 he became famous. Anyway, you can find his caramelized onion, mushroom, and bacon quiche here. Yes, it does have bacon in it. I used turkey bacon and yes I do know that is still a meat, but I used a small amount and ate only a small piece and I'm not ashamed to say it was REALLY good. Been doing well with my vegetarian plus fish diet, but I guess every once in awhile a tiny bit of turkey or chicken won't kill me. Just rarely. The dish tasted very meaty actually - due to the mushrooms. It is very hearty and good for dinner vs bfast or brunch.

As for 2nd one, the jury is still out. Gonna save that one for Jeff's parents. Found the recipe here and it's spinach with herbed feta cheese. Looks good too and aside from being a little brown around the edges, it looks like it turned out okay.
I leave you with a pic of the little miss. Happy at home and checking on Mommy in the kitchen.
Have a happy weekend!

Full Sobs

Well, my optimism yesterday was premature. She's not been sleeping well the last few days which is probably making her a bit more emotional about an already hard transition. Last night we actually went up very early. She was out by 7:30. However, she woke up with a night terror an hour later. She slept a good long time then, but woke up at 6am crying also so I laid with her for an hour. This is hitting her hard. We talk about it positively and gently with her (showing no emotion) and she still cried off and on all morning. This morning's hand off was even worse than yesterday and when I called the school 20 minutes later she was still crying. Feeling so bad for her! I know it's supposed to be an adjustment and that kids often cry. People tell me this is all normal and she'll get used to it. So why do I feel like the worst mom ever for making her do it? Is it too soon? She's only 3-1/2. I am also regretting not walking her in. I knew it in my gut but went with the school's system of having them take her out of the car instead. I talked to them today and told them I wanted to walk her in next week and spend a couple minutes like I did with summer camp. Just for a few days or so till she is used to it. I know my child and she responds to gentle transitions. I explained that the taking her out of the car bit and away from her mother may be very scary to her. They were super understanding about it. Thank God they were so nice and are willing to let me do that. If only I stuck to my guns and did it this week maybe she would have had a better time. *Sigh* I need to get moving! Gonna do some grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning so I don't sit here coulda-shoulda-woulda-ing myself to death! Making a quiche and crust from scratch so I figure that will be good to keep me focused on something else! I'm also going to make it a real special afternoon for her today. Packing a picnic lunch complete with cookies, sidewalk chalk, her bike and some bubbles and taking her to the park. I'm so glad it's the weekend and my little girl will feel happy and secure again! And one good thing, we sure know this child is attached!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

2nd Day: Worse and then Better

The morning started out okay. She was groggy, but still in a good mood. She was very happy to be wearing her black boots. :-) We talked about school, about Mommy dropping her off and coming back later, and about how much fun she would have today. She seemed to get it. So pulling up to the school I was not expecting what followed. I pulled up and said hello to Miss Stacy and Miss Deb. She was still fine. But as soon as the teachers aid went for the latch to her seat belt she let out a cry and wail like she was being taken from me forever. So darn heartbreaking. I told her I love her and I was coming back soon and left as I was instructed to do. Went home and waited a whole hour till I couldn't take it anymore and called the school. She was fine! They said she stopped crying by the time she hit the bottom step! But it was so cute. She made a drawing for me. A butterfly that she said was for Mommy. God bless her she's so sweet! 
When I went to pick her up today the kids were all out at the playground again. I scanned the area and found her over by the wall. At first I thought maybe she looked sad and was standing by herself. She was near but not interacting with 2 other kids. I looked again and there she was curiously moving towards and interacting with one of the girls. I spotted the teachers aid and asked if she was interacting at all and she said, "oh yes! A lot today!" So glad.  Then Rubes and her new bionic ears heard me and rushed the gate. So darn cute is this child. She knew it was locked and I had to go to the main door so she said "Mommy! Door! Over there! This! This!" pointing me in the right direction. She then proceeded to grab Miss Deb by the hand and drag her around excitedly saying "Hurry! Come on!" LOL. She was so happy and chatty when we met at the door and very proud and excited to show me her painting and colored butterfly. Miss Deb gave me a quick run down and we were headed to the car. On the way we passed the playground. She said "Look!" pointing to the kids, "My friends." Oh, are those your new friends? I said. "MY friends" she said with a sense of protective ownership. Yes, honey, they are YOUR friends...so nice!

 I think she's gonna be okay. We may still have some speed bumps and tears, but she's gonna be okay. This mom is relieved and  swelling...with love and pride.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

First Day of School

Ruby was fine. I am not. Why is this so hard? Bawled like a baby as soon as I pulled away. I already broke the ice (for both of us) by taking her to summer camp one half day a week. Now she will be going to the same place 4 half days. 3 little hours in the morning. I should be fine, right? But I am very sappy instead. They have this system at her school where 2 teachers aids stand outside and greet the students. Parents just pull around and unlock the door. They take them out of the car seat and wisk them indoors before they know what hit them. A great system for the kids. But not for mom who was desperately longing for a big hug and kiss goodbye and a chance to say I love you and I'm proud of you for the 100th time. *Sigh*

I went to pick her up and I saw the kids outside. Scanned the playground but didn't see Ruby...and then I did. The director was holding her and she looked so sad. I called to her and she ran over to the chain link fence as if she thought I was never coming back. Poor, sweet baby! They said she actually did well and was fine all day until 20 minutes b4 I got there. Another girl asked about her mom coming to pick her up and it sent Ruby into sobs. When the teachers aid said "see you tomorrow" she said NO. She was still sad in the car while I tried to tell her over and over that it was okay and Mommy would always be there for her and I'd be coming back. I think she'll be okay. It's just an adjustment. Once she was home like 30 minutes or so she bounced back and was her happy go lucky little self again. Here's to a better day tomorrow!