Project Big Boy Room: “Look New Room”

March 19, 2013

After spending a few evenings in the green room starting to clean it out, my father-in-law was so kind as to come over and pick up a load of stuff to take to the dump for us, including a mattress and box spring. With those things gone and the bed frame broken down, the mess in that room was looking MUCH more manageable!

Since a ton of dust had been unearthed as we moved stuff out of there, I decided to leave the door open for a little while to air it out. Now, prior to this, the door to that room had been closed for at least 2 years. We’d open it once a week or so to put something in there, but the point is that despite the fact that this room is right next door to Caelan’s room, he didn’t even know it existed.

After his nap that day, we walked by the opened room and he did a double-take. Later, we stopped in to take a look at what I’m temporarily calling “the new room”. He seemed intrigued by this new space and kept asking to “look new room”.

I’m hoping we can keep up the novelty of this “new room” so that he’ll be excited to play in there when it’s ready for him, and even more excited to call the room his own and sleep in there when it’s time. Maybe it will shift the focus from the fact that his little brother or sister will be setting up camp in his old room. That’s the hope anyway 🙂

Banana Pudding Cake

March 8, 2013


I saw this banana poke cake on Pinterest and it looked delicious, so of course I pinned it and made it right away.

Um. Yeah that is not at all how it usually goes down with Pinterest stuff, but I really did want to try this so I was able to make it happen. It was ridiculously easy, in large part due to the fact that it uses all pre-packaged ingredients: boxed cake mix, pudding mix, Cool Whip, and Nilla wafers. I’m sure you could make a from-scratch version of this if you wanted to, but the point of this (for me) was to make a quick and easy dessert so the “easy” part really appealed to me. It took just minutes to put it all together. I spent more time washing the dishes afterwards.

Bill was excited about this cake and I assume he liked it since he ate a couple pieces. I also liked it. It’s kind of like a trifle, only neater.

But…I shared it with family and coworkers and at first it seemed that not very many other people even wanted to try it. Maybe it’s the bananas? Perhaps banana pudding isn’t that popular? But it turns out that my coworkers just weren’t paying attention! Once they discovered the cake, they ate it up.

This recipe can easily be changed up with other cake and pudding flavors. Maybe a chocolate one would be more universally crowd pleasing. But something about a light cake, Cool Whip, and a “fruit” pudding lets me trick myself into thinking that what I’m eating isn’t that bad for me 🙂

This is the first cake I’ve made “just because” in a long time. I need to bake more! I have plans for a St. Patrick’s Day cupcake in a week or so AND I actually took a cake order for the first week in April, so stay tuned for updates on those. I know this blog has been heavy on the baby stuff, light on cake lately 🙂

Reflections, Caelan – Months 18-21

March 4, 2013

As soon as I publish one of these reflections posts, I start writing the next one. Each one covers 3 months of Caelan’s life and I’d never be able to remember anything if I didn’t write it down at the time. So maybe these aren’t reflections, so much as just a recap of what Caelan’s been up to. I add the pictures at the very end and this time, I am sad to realize that I have far fewer pictures than I have had in the past. I’m going to make an effort to start taking more pictures again! (Now where’s the charger for my camera…)

So! Going back 3 months…

Caelan’s second Christmas was a lot of fun. We took him to meet Santa, which didn’t go too well, but wasn’t a disaster either. He loved our Christmas tree, the John Elway ornament, and all of the photo cards we received and put up on the wall. He didn’t get the whole “Santa brings us gifts” thing, nor did he really even get the “opening presents” thing either. He certainly did enjoy playing with his new toys though and he got to spend lots of time with his extended family between Christmas and New Years.


Boxes are as much fun as the actual gift!

We barely got any snow this winter, but Caelan is obsessed with his snow boots, so we had to let him out in this little inch of snow we got at the end of December. He seemed intrigued, but not sure how to use his hands in those snow mittens! I hear we’re supposed to get a stupid March snow storm this week, so maybe he’ll get another shot.

Oh and when I say he’s obsessed with the boots, I mean I had to hide them because he was driving me crazy putting them on and taking them off 10 times a day!

Playing in the 1/2 inch of snow

Playing in the 1/2 inch of snow. At least he loves those boots!

I have so much to say about how Caelan is speaking these days that I don’t even know where to start! He speaks in sentences, he repeats everything, and he knows more words than I could ever count. He started with the 2 word sentences around 18 months, and quickly moved to 3 and 4 word sentences. He is constantly narrating what’s going on around him. Here are some highlights and favorites:

  • We are now Mommy and Daddy instead of Mama and Dada. The switch was a little jarring at first.
  • For months he said “da” instead of “yes” but now he’s replaced that with “yeah”.
  • Our favorite words of Caelan’s are “a-pa-lumb” (elephant), “agee-gay-or” (alligator), “nommy” (lion), “leebola” (ladybug), and “ba dub-a” (milk).
  • Favorite/often-heard phrases: “[Where] are you, Mommy?”, “[Where did] Daddy go?”, “He go, Mommy” (Here you go, Mommy) , “Lilly Daddy” (Silly Daddy), “Lock the door”, “Nah a da-doom” (Not a vacuum – he identifies many objects by whether or not they are vacuums), “Blue car!”, “Right here/right there”, “En de box” (in the box), “(An)other” (this applies to anything there is more than one of)
  • Default word for things he can’t identify, or a question as to what something is: “Domina”.
  • First curse words repeated around 20 1/2 months. I’ll have to make a note of this “milestone” in his baby book. Mommy and Daddy need to watch their mouths from now on!


SIDE NOTE: I was supposed to post this on Friday when Caelan actually turned 21 months, but I am 3 days late. And I am amazed at the things Caelan has learned in just those 3 days. He added at least half a dozen new words and phrases to his vocab, he started using the word “want” when asking for things, and he said his longest sentence to date: “Cow in the kitchen says moo.” I cannot keep up with this kid!!

Out of the blue one day, Caelan started counting – but only to 2. By the end of the next day, he was counting to at least 5. He mixes up the numbers between 5 and 10 and skips some, but it’s so much fun to listen to! He particularly likes to count stars and his feet. Most of the time, his counts aren’t very accurate (Daddy has 9 eyebrows and Mommy has 4, apparently.) He doesn’t yet know the alphabet, but he has learned some letters. I assumed that when kids first learned letters they’d start with the basics – ABC…but I was wrong apparently. Caelan first learned the letter O, followed by M, then J, L and B. One of his favorite things to say is “[Where did the] letter O go?” while looking for the piece to his alphabet puzzle. He also points out the letter O anytime he sees it. He’s also getting pretty good with identifying colors. His favorites are yellow and blue, but he also knows green, purple, white and black. For Christmas we got him 3 puzzles: an alphabet one, a numbers one, and a colors one. He has learned SO much from those puzzles!

Learning his colors

Learning his colors

Caelan has a neat freak streak in him and we are not quite sure who he gets that from! He will say “uh oh!!” with such concern anytime anything gets dropped (or thrown) on the floor. He will also spot some tiny little spec of anything on the floor, pick it up between 2 fingers, and bring it to us. (Fine motor skills!!) But half the time it’s a piece of lint, or a string of carpet, or nothing at all. And vacuuming doesn’t help – he’ll still find something! Not sure how we’re raising a neat freak, but maybe he’ll enjoy some cleaning chores in a couple years??


Sweeping the kitchen

We retired Caelan’s highchair around 19 months and switched him to a booster seat at the table. He’s done pretty well with it, though “No feet on the table!” is a regular mealtime exclamation these days. His favorite foods lately are rice, strawberries, breakfast bars, pouches, apple sauce, macaroni & cheese, and ham. Old favorites like peas and blueberries now get chewed and spit out :/ We also got Caelan his own potty. We don’t intend to really start potty training for awhile, but we thought it couldn’t hurt to have the potty around. He mostly just likes to play with it but he did pee on the potty for the first time around 20 months old.


Booster seat!

We finally got naps back under control sometime around 18 1/2 months. When I say “we” got them under control, I really mean Caelan just decided to start napping again. We have no power here – he has always been completely immune to our efforts to control his nap habits (despite how very successful we have been with nighttime sleeping), so we just have to take what he gives us (which, at the time, was a 1-2 hour nap). Around 19 1/2 months, naps fell apart again and it’s hit or miss now. We can’t win this one. 😦



Around 19 months, Caelan gave us the first real deal, full blown, completely out of no where, epic over-reaction of a tantrum. There was foot stomping, there was prancing, there was spinning and arm waving, and there was crying. Oh, and there were 2 parents in absolute hysterics, trying to hide their laughter behind their hands. Yep, we’re the best parents ever. It’s just the level of DRAMA…wow. There’ve been many more timeouts, abrupt ends to dinner, and punishments for standing on furniture. We are definitely going through a rough patch with his behavior. But…all of our days are filled with some frustration, some laughter, and some gushing over Caelan’s cuteness, so it all does even out in the end.

Tantrum. We probably refused one of his many demands to go into the kitchen.

Tantrum. We probably refused one of his many demands to go into the kitchen.

In addition to the tantrums, for a few weeks there, Caelan would have these…fits…for lack of a better word. They were normally right after he woke up from a nap and he’d just scream and cry and be completely inconsolable. We were at a loss for what to do or what the problem was. Nothing seemed to calm him down. He’d point vaguely across the room and we’d make a hundred guesses as to what he was pointing at and we were wrong every time. Maybe he didn’t know what he wanted either, or maybe he just didn’t know how to tell us. It’s been about a month and a half since that’s happened, so maybe it’s behind us.

This stage of Caelan’s life has been particularly…pride inducing…for me. It’s been frustration inducing too, don’t worry, but there are a lot of good moments. I LOVE watching him learn how to speak and communicate. Every day he says something that blows me away and I am just fascinated. I also feel a sense of contentment with how things are right now. I’m comfortable with my routine and I feel reasonably confident in my role as a mother at the moment. Maybe toddlers are “easy” in their own way because they’re at least somewhat independent. I will try to enjoy this while it lasts 🙂

Friends, usually

Friends, usually

It seems like this year is going by faster than Caelan’s first year. Somehow, we are going to have a 2 year old in just 3 short months. Luckily (?), Caelan has been practicing his 2 year old behavior for quite awhile now, so we’ll see what happens when he becomes and actual 2 year old! We have a busy year ahead of us and I am excited to see how Caelan handles it all 🙂

He's loves making faces, especially for the camera!

He’s loves making faces, especially for the camera!