Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Bye Bye Boobies

As the title might suggest this post is about breastfeeding, specifically about saying goodbye to breastfeeding *crie sob*. Kidding, I've been pretty much ready to wean my Mad for a few months now but she has not been a willing participant in the weaning process. Right now we're at this strange point where she will try to nurse in the night or mornings when she is sleeping on top of me anyway and I quickly wake up and offer her water or a binky (what did I say we got rid of that? Not so much).

My ultimate breastfeeding goal was 2 years, or whenever Mad was ready to be done if it was before that. When I first started nursing her as a newborn it was so difficult. During all those times I shed tears, and for a lot of moments at about 9 months, I never imagined we'd hit two years if it was always going to be so frustrating. Obviously we did, and then some.

Since her birthday The Bear has been asking, politely, about when I might wean her. Although I was soooo ready Mad made it pretty clear to the whole world that she was not about to get on board with weaning just yet. When I cut out her bedtime nursing session she took to falling asleep with her hands shoved down my shirt; not exactly the most gracious of alternatives. The less she breastfed the more attached she got to being skin to skin with me.
My snuggle bug happy to be in my arms
These days I wrangle her to sleep around 7:30 and somewhere between midnight and 2AM she crawls in bed with The Bear and I. It begins with a little hand, soft and cold, placed on my chest. Slowly she fidgets her way down into my shirt and she scratches and abuses my skin as she tries to find a comfy place for her hand. If I move it away and tell her "no hands" (my polite way of saying please don't squeeze mama's boobs!) she cries at me and rolls her whole body sideways trying to get her arms down my shirt while securing a spot on my chest to rest her head. If enough skin isn't exposed to fit her whole head she'll pull my top down until she has a resting spot. Pretty much the rest of the night is her rolling around trying to get comfortable, which she never really does, and kicking Mr. Bear in the head with her freezing cold toes.
What she USED to look like while sleeping with us
The good news is that I am REALLY close to having her totally weaned and she asks only when she is extra sleepy in the early early mornings. The bad news is that we are now stuck trying to figure out the whole sleeping space situation. It's a mess. If my previous paragraph doesn't convey that accurately enough let me assure you that IT IS A MESS!!! I am not rested and my body is sore and exhausted from wrestling my "cuddly" baby all night. The Bear, who was enjoying having her in bed with us for a while, is getting tired of being kicked with ice cold toes and getting no snuggles to show for it. Mad has this idea that she owns our bed and my body, which was kind of the opposite effect I was hoping for after the weaning process was done. Her desire to be close to me is so strong that she can't even watch morning television without being wrapped around me.

So, I'm stuck. I love my girl so so much and I want to find a way to respect her need to be near me (I love it too, really) without feeling beat on after a night of hardly sleeping. Somehow my thought was that age 2 would bring all kinds of physical space and restful nights, boy was I wrong!
Took this picture with my phone as I was editing this post and HAD to add it. I don't usually allow the binky unless she's asleep but she was crabby and I suck at saying no, OBVIOUSLY!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Sargent Pepper - holiday drink recipe

While we were in New Orleans (how many posts will I write that start like that?) we found a number of delicious drinks that were all, inevitably, the most amazing we'd ever had. They are extremely creative with their drink recipes! Maybe it's just because we're from Utah or maybe we're just not drinking at the right places? Either way The Bear came home from that trip inspired to try something new and that is where this drink recipe came from. Technically this is not the drink he's my recipe that was inspired by his recipe that was inspired by New Orleans. But I let him name it (Sargent Pepper) as a nod to his creativity (aka he was extremely put off by my desire to claim this recipe as my own). The truth is I wouldn't be shocked if there is some official drink out there with similar ingredients but I've never seen a recipe so I'm claiming it as my own.

This drink calls for pepper infused vodka which, to my knowledge, you cannot just pick up at any ol' liquor store. It is REALLY simple to make, aside from the wait time. Which is kind of a bummer if you are reading this and want to drink it tonight. At the very least you have to wait 1 week, at the very most 3 weeks, but please hear me when I say it is SOOOO worth it. You can use it with a lot of drinks as a flavoring, a spicy Bloody Mary is my personal second favorite. Here is the recipe we used for the vodka but there are a lot of different recipes out there, perhaps one that doesn't require so much wait time? The instructions say 2-3 weeks but we felt like 1 week would have been enough if you're impatient. Also, use a mini food processor to grind the peppercorns (or a coffee bean grinder if you have one) to save yourself a lot of time.

So, after that lengthy introduction (you had 3 weeks to read it while your vodka infused so what's the big deal?) here we go with the drink that you most definitely need at this point! What you need : Vodka, the regular kind (any brand will do but I highly recommend at least mid shelf as the vodka flavor is a big highlight to your drink), pepper infused vodka, 100% cranberry juice....NOT cran-apple, fresh limes, tonic water.

Drinks taste better if you make them with holiday decor as a backdrop
Fill your glass with ice and then add 2 shots/ounces of regular vodka, a generous splash of tonic water, and fill with cranberry juice leaving room for another ounce of liquid without spilling over.

Squeeze a generous wedge of fresh lime and throw the remaining lime in the glass.

Don't be like Mr. Bear and use bottled lime juice, don't do it!!!
 Add 1/2 ounce/shot glass of the pepper infused vodka....stir, taste, and add more if desired.

Don't let the muddy pepper vodka scare you....
2 oz. vodka
1/2 oz. pepper vodka (I use closer to 1 oz but start with 1/2 and work your way up)
cranberry juice
generous splash of tonic water
1 lime
Add ingredients to glass, stir, drink. Winning!

Please try this and when you do I'm totally fine with you silently thanking me in your mind. If you make some adjustments feel free to totally re-name the drink and post it as your own on your blog. The Bear would be offended but no one plans on telling him. Speaking of my Mr. is his version of the drink. I'm unsure on the quantity of each ingredient so I'll just list them all.
  • Cranberry juice (still no cran-apple please)
  • Tonic water
  • Lime juice from a bottle
  • Sweet and sour mixer
  • Pepper infused vodka
So, you are switching fresh lime for bottled lime juice and adding the sweet and sour mixer.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Admitting the Good

How do you feel about holidays? Me, well, I've always been a little been angsty and ornery about events where whole families are all supposed to gather in one house and then be happy about it. You can see my past sufferings of holidays here, here & here. Although the reasons have changed since finding Mr. Bear and birthing my sweet daughter I still don't especially love the idea of being sequestered in a house with too many people (too many is more than just The Bear The Baby & myself) for several hours but I always end up enjoying myself.

And the thing is? I have SO much to be grateful for. Why, right this very moment I'm feeling thankful for french press coffee & Winnie the Pooh on dvd. Other things I'm so very thankful for?

♥ Mr. Bear. He brings so much good to my life. He is my rock and my best friend and he always seems to know just the right things to say when I'm feeling down. Plus he cleans up the dead mice.
♥ Mad Maddie. Her love and near constant affection (seriously, she can't sleep unless her head is placed right next to mine and her arms are wrapped around me) make me feel like I've done something right in this life.
♥  My parents & Mr. Bear's parents. We are SO grateful to have our families near us and even more grateful that we love and enjoy their company.
♥ A warm comfortable home that I love. Many are lucky to have basic shelter and I never want to take for granted the amazing place I get to call home. If we lost everything and I still had my family it would be enough but the thought that people all over the country have lost their homes this year makes me even more grateful that I have mine right now. 

I could go on. But I won't. I know there was nothing overly deep or introspective but right now I'm just feeling so grateful for this life and all the people that come with it.

My mama with my Mad on her first Thanksgiving

Monday, November 21, 2011


♥ that my house will turn to shit 5 minutes after I clean it.....but I keep (sort of) doing it anyway.
♥that my kitties will want to snuggle for the first time all day when I finally decide I need to leave my comfy chair and get things done.
Begging for scratches just this morning
♥that as soon as laundry is all the way completed it will need to be done again.
♥that my baby will sneak into my bed around 1AM and I won't even notice because that's how it is.
♥that there will always be a dish waiting line to get in the dishwasher.
♥ that Mr. Bear will wake up and proclaim how tired he is even if he slept in later than me.
♥that I will think I'm too fat just one short day after feeling like I might be ok with the way I am.
♥that if I don't have a baby sleeping on me I have a cat sleeping, purrrrrring, and shedding on me and eventually deciding that my legs aren't good enough, a face is a much more comfy and attentive sleeping spot.
My other OTHER bed companion
♥that holidays will come, I will dread them, and then I will be happy and grateful to have them.

One of my two reasons every bah humbug holiday is happy
♥that family will make us laugh.......and cry.

p.s. Mad decided she could count to six today. It was so cute. I can't upload my funny video because I don't know how to move vid's from my phone to the computer. Dash it all to hell!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Wedding News Clip

After our ceremony in New Orleans a local news channel caught up with us for a little chat. Here's a link to the page featuring our video clip. It was soooo uncomfortable, I won't lie, but kind of fun to watch now that it's over with.

Friday, November 18, 2011

11-11-11 An Event

I really really love Mr. Bear. We have a beautiful daughter and have built a wonderful life together. So this happened.......
Terrible self portrait our first night in New Orleans

Jackson Square
Our hotel room before the ceremony. OUR ceremony. I'm stressing big time
Beautiful last minute floral arrangement

Handsome last minute fly in guest/witness, my BIL
I couldn't have imagined a more perfect day for Mr. Bear and I. We've waited a long time to do this so it could be easy to sneak away from our Baby Bear for a while and not feel too guilty. I did anyway. Especially after the trip had an accidental surprise miscalculation of dates and I was a wreck for several hours. But this day, it was absolutely perfect.

Some people like big weddings. I had a beautiful big wedding the first time around, as did Mr. Bear. Unfortunately the ending to that wasn't quite as beautiful. So we opted for a somewhat spontaneous elopement ceremony in New Orleans. About a month before we arranged plane tickets, hotel rooms, minister, photographer, and bought a dress and suit. Ok, the clothing ended up being really last minute but worked out perfectly despite my stress. The afternoon before the ceremony I called up a local floral shop, Nola-Flora, and ordered a small arrangement put together from some of the extra flowers they had from other weddings. The Bear's brother flew in last minute to be there with us, our only guest aside from strangers walking down the street. We met the photographer and minister in Pirates Alley on the afternoon of 11-11-11 and in 5 minutes we were married. The only thing I would have loved is to have my Mad there with us but we couldn't take her along and have a romantic trip alone at the same time. I missed her but this was exactly what we needed.

In a few weeks I'll have pictures from the photographer, these are just uploaded from my phone......I couldn't wait to share.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Gift Guide Introduction

Now the Halloween is over and we are pretending that Christmas is the next big holiday (J/K guys, not at my house, I just put up the 3 Autumn decorations I had in storage and, not to toot my own horn but I really made those things stretch with my new Autumn friendly paint job. Even if The Bear doesn't consider yarn balls to be legit decor....) I've been thinking about gifts for the loves in my life. Obviously the kitties will be getting treats galore, or lumps o' coal if they have any accidents in the house while I'm MIA in New Orleans this month....more on that later.......and anything infused with cat nip, crazy cats, but I really want to make my dollars count for Mad this year and of course the most difficult person to shop for....Mr. AngryBear himself.

I'd been searching for ideas online and then, after Mr. Bear started talking about finding time to go to the gym without missing out on family time or sleep, I suggested we put our couples Christmas money towards some primo exercise equipment instead. We've been wanting to do this for a long time, but it's a big investment just any old time of the year. So, although I insist we still need a Christmas outfit and a stocking, he and I will be getting in shape for each other this year (I have a head start on him, another post for another day, hey oh!). Luckily for me the easiest stuff to buy for men fits in a stocking! Kind of like my "Melissa's Must Have's - Summer Edition" I'm going to throw some posts together throughout this month based on gift giving. Hopefully I'll have at least one for each of the following, men, women, toddlers, babies (just for fun, cause baby stuff is so extra cute), and female family (cause women who aren't me might like something other than what I put in my women section....mostly thinking mother's and younger sister siblings).

I haven't really had time to pull together all of my Men's Items just yet but I wanted to leave you with this little guy.....

{Fishscape Fish Bowl via The Conran Shop}
I love this fish bowl! Fish have that relaxing effect on people who aren't creeped out by them (ME!) and don't underestimate the power of a little fish when it comes to company at a lonely desk. If you don't have children yet this is a great way to introduce responsibility without having a dog to care for when he stops doing it a few weeks after Christmas....

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Happy Halloween!!!

Today we woke up to snow. Thanks November 1st for being the exact opposite of the month of October from the very start. It makes me appreciate how perfect October was, more than I already did.

Now for my Halloween photo dump. It was a perfect night in Utah for Trick or Treating. There were loads of kids and we got rid of almost all of our candy. I wish every year was like this. So. Much. Fun.

Last year as Tinkerbell. OMG she was so teeny tiny!!!

Snow White was actually a blonde

"Mo Canny!!!"

Escape from the mama

Scary daddy, impatient Maddie

A little nervous going to the first house

Tired eyes on my sweet girl


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