Squishy Pants – new pics!

I came up with a new nickname for her today when she was being cranky… Squawkamole.  No, not like whack-a-mole.  Think guacamole instead.  I have new pics of her to share.  She’s getting SO big!  I’ll post more on her Shutterfly site here when I feel like it.  This snow has me feeling lazy 🙂

Update: Pics are up at http://malloryjaynerogers.shutterfly.com

I'm trouble. That's T-R-O-U-B-L-E.

Give me what I want or the frog gets it.

Mama's Eskimo Baby


Weekend Fun

Well, it seems like Mallory is over her little gastro virus so hallelujah for that.  She’s still snotty from the cold virus she had at the same time; we’ll be wiping her nose for the next few days, I’m sure.  There’s nothing like sprinting for a Kleenex every time she sneezes because of the twin fountains of slimy expectorant she brings up.  Yum!  Yesterday I saw the largest snot bubble I’ve ever seen in my life.  It was half the size of her head, I kid you not.

Today she was well enough to venture out to the library for a Valentine’s Day event that featured book reading, crafts, and rhymes/ songs.  We met up with my friend Claire, her daughter Emily, her friend Andrea, and her son Drew.  Mallory had a blast!  I don’t think she’s been around that many kids before 🙂  While she wasn’t able to really follow along, she was content to sit there in her mama’s lap and listen while playing with some stuff.  At least she wasn’t howling the whole time.

Afterwards, we hit up Max & Erma’s for lunch.  Our poor waiter…  having to deal with two 2 and a half year olds and a baby.  Mallory was just enamored with him.  She did fairly well sitting in the high chair until I let her play with one of the paper things that wrap the napkins and silverware.  She ended up getting a piece, it triggered her gag reflex, and I got to play clean-up.  Luckily, disaster averted and it was just a quick wipe up.  The whole thing got her tuckered out and she was fast asleep before I pulled into the driveway even though it’s less than a 5 minute drive home.  All in all, I’m glad we got out and hope Claire invites us to more Mommy stuff. I tell you, that girl knows everything mommy-related going on in town.

So she’s still sleeping and then we’re going to hit the grocery store.  I had to clean out a lot of the goodies in there yesterday because Ben got diagnosed with diabetes.  I figured the Ghiradelli Brownie Mix and Frosted Flakes were just too cruel to leave in the pantry.  Plus, I need to make room for all the healthy stuff we’re going to be putting in there… barley, brown rice, and quinoa.  High cholesterol and diabetes… ai yai yai.  As a  bonus, Mallory and I will be eating healthy as well.  I’m not about to cook two dinners, yanno.

I think it was the wake up call that he needed to get his life straight.  Hopefully, we’ll be able to get his major causes of heart disease under control.  Of the five risk factors, he has 4: smoking, high blood sugar (diabetes), high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.  Amazingly, all of them are controllable.  The doctor wants him to quit smoking right away and told him a minor weight gain (5-10lbs) would be acceptable by his next appointment in 12 weeks if he quit smoking immediately.  The major thing I see us having problems achieving is getting in 200 minutes of aerobic exercise a week.  Seriously, going from basically ZERO to 200 minutes / week is a big jump.  That’s 40 minutes five times a week or about half an hour every day.

I had him fill a prescription while I was there and then he looked at my chart and noticed that I hadn’t had a physical and bloodwork done EVER.  Needless to say, I have an appointment in 12 weeks to have mine done.  Doh!  I think it’s for the best though.  After we left Ben said that he got read the riot act even after he had lost 12 lbs… LOL.  Looks like we’ll both have to try harder.  Expect to see more posts in the future about our journey to get healthy.

Oh!  Just as a ‘shiny monkey moment’ – have you tried Recipezaar.com?  You can search for recipes based on ingredients.  I think I’m going to actually pay the $24.95/year fee and join because it’s a lot easier to manipulate stuff.  Plus, it allows me to have multiple cookbooks and I can take advantage of the menu planning / add to grocery list options.  I’ll share our cookbooks and meal planners when they’re active so you can see what we’re eating.  The most interesting recipe I’m trying this week is “Low carb shrimp with ‘grits.'”  Instead of grits, they make a neat concoction with cauliflower.  I figure we’ll have something New Orleans-ish for Fat Tuesday.

So how’s your weekend treating you so far?

Two steps forward… one step back

I decided to take a bath last night.  It had been a rough crappy day at work and I figured I deserved the nice quiet downtime that reading in the tub brings me.  After all, I had already taken care of all Mallory’s needs (she was sound asleep in her crib) and even got the dishes and bottles done.  A success, right?  Wellllllll, not so much.  I was so comfortable ensconced in the tub with my book that I soon lost track of time and it was 9:45.  Did I head downstairs to unload the dishwasher, get bottle stuff ready for the morning, and pick out my clothes for the next day?  Of course not!  I climbed into my jammies and crawled underneath the covers.  My inner procrastinator assured me that I had plenty of time and that I deserved a night off doing whatever I wanted.  As a result, this morning was more off-kilter than usual and I ran out the door frazzled and running behind.

I’m still trying to learn why my inner procrastinator keeps sabotaging me like that.  Even more importantly, why do I let her??  I feel like I’m Charlie Brown and she’s Lucy.  Every time I go to kick the damn ball she yanks it out and I fall flat on my face.  I know what the result will be, but I’m so lured in by the promise of not having to do it now.

My overall goal is to be able to get into enough of a routine (through manageable babysteps – no pun intended) so that I can get everything done that I need to and have enough time in my evening to devote 1/2 hour to working out with the Wii and quite possibly working on a piece of jewelry or two.  Yeah yeah yeah, I know, I’ve been saying that forever.

Anyways, here’s what we have planned for our exciting *rolls eyes* weekend.

  • Tonight: Home Depot to get a new garbage disposal.
  • Saturday: Dog food, hair cuts for me & Ben, date night!  We’re going to go see The Book of Eli and go out to dinner.  My sister has graciously offered to babysit.  She can’t wait; she even called me today to make sure we weren’t cancelling on her. 
  • Sunday:  Duh.  Divisional Championship games.  I might even let Ben make me breakfast. 

I’ll also squeeze in some laundry, bill paying, and basic cleaning / organizing in there.  Not to mention grocery planning, grocery shopping, and cooking.  Ugh.  I think I’m going to start relying on my slow cooker / crock pot more.  I’m gonna put that baby to work!

Have a great weekend!

My Horror Realm Experience…

Many of my friends and co-workers were surprised (and amused) when I told them where I spent last weekend – in Pittsburgh, PA attending a horror conference called Horror Realm.   Ben and left The Squish at home with a close family friend and spent three days at a hotel attending writers panels, networking events, and hanging out with some pretty cool people.

A lot of you know that Ben is writing short stories / novels of the zombie and post-apocalyptic genre.  His ultimate goal is to be able to quit his 9-5 job and support our family by writing full time.  I’ve been supporting him by serving as his first reader slash copy editor, support team, and motivational source.  We went to Horror Realm to meet people, try to get contacts in the industry, and get any tips on writing that we could.

Honestly, I headed into this endeavor with a sense of dread.  Seriously – a HORROR convention?  But it turned out to be not-so-bad and I ended up not hating it.  Got there on Friday, met some people from the Library of the Living Dead forums, and snagged some dinner.  Attended an awesome panel with Jonathan Maberry, James Melzer, and Rob Fox.  We skipped the movie panels but also attended the author panel containing David Dunwoody of Empire fame, Steven North of Dead Tide repute, and Kim Paffenroth, PhD who has a new novel coming out with Dante Aligheri as the main character.  Yes, he will run into the zombie horde. I hit the hay early and fell asleep watching Boise State dominate Fresno State.  Hooray for having ESPN at the hotel!

Saturday I skipped out on a lot of the festivities.  Ben and I took a detour to IKEA (did you think we wouldn’t sneak in at least one trip while we were there??) and then I dropped him off at the hotel so he could geek out.  I stole the car and tooled down the freeway to the (extremely rural) area where I used to live.   Stopped by my Grandma’s grave site; believe it or not but there were still flowers alive in her floral arrangements two weeks after her interment.  She always did have a green thumb.  Went past the old farm on the mountain (Mt. Joy) and wound my way through gravel covered dirt roads where I was chased by a pack of dogs – 2 German Shepherds, a cattle dog, and some mutt that could have had some beagle in it.  Drove past the old homestead and found that the trailer (with an addition) had been replaced by a more modern mobile home that was neatly anchored in place with a brick ‘foundation.’  I was shocked; I thought that our old place would stay the same forever.  I guess things change over 23 years, huh?

Got back to the hotel, changed into my bathing suit, and prepared to hit the pool because it was a 80+ degree day.  Uhhhh, the pool was empty.  A bit misleading to have a POOL PARTY on the schedule later that night, eh?  I ended up sitting at a table by the empty pool soaking up some sun.  Forgot my sunscreen so I got a little extra crispy.

Met back up with Ben and found out we had plans for the night – dinner and then a brief excursion to the cemetery where they filmed scenes from Night of the Living Dead.  No biggie.  Michelle, a friend of Ben’s from the LOTLD forums, doesn’t have Bob Evans down in Louisiana where she lives so we stopped there and then headed up to the Evans City cemetery.  At this point my internal “WTF’ radar starting going off because it was <i> getting dark </i>.  I don’t *do* dark, especially in creepy areas like cemeteries.  It took us about 1/2 hour to get there and we pulled the car up, killed the lights, and hopped out.  Creepy Central.  Found some tombstones from the movie, took some pictures, and then helped Mike (Michelle’s husband) look for a geocache spot.  Didn’t find the first one even after searching in the bushes so we headed down to the second one near the entrance to the cemetery.  It looked like it was in the woods close to the gravel road so we let him search while we took pictures of the sign and poked around.  All of a sudden, Ben saw something moving on the hill making the dry leaves on the ground rustle and we all started running like the devil was behind us.  I banged my finger off the trunk of their rental car and stowed it.  We hopped in the car and took off; we started laughing once we hit the main road again.  We’re idiots.

Got back to the hotel just in time for the deceptively named Pool Party to start.  Hung out for a bit, got pissed at cigar smokers, and went back to the room to watch more football, this time it was Texas and Texas Tech.   Hey, I had to take advantage of having ESPN, right?  Ben hung out down there for a while longer and then came to bed.  Slept in the next morning (hallelujah!) and got the car all packed for the trip back home.  Hit two more author panels with Rhiannon Frater of As the World Dies fame, Eric S. Brown, and Kody Boye.  Kody’s short story ‘Jade’ was pretty awesome.  If you want to read the best opening to a novel, check out Chapter One of Rhiannon’s ATWD’s  ‘Tiny Fingers.”  Eric Brown gave Ben lots of writing advice, encouragement, and told me to get him to finish his stuff.  He and Stephen North (they co-wrote a book together) were Ben’s biggest supporters. 

Sunday brought  more writerly panels.  My favorite reading of the weekend was Scott A. Johnson’s “Epiphony.”  That guy is crazy, but awesome.  Imagine that know-it-all teenager that has everything figured out in the event of the zombie apocalypse actually confronting it with his own family.  Classic.  I think he was my favorite author of the whole weekend, followed closely by Kim Paffenroth.

Headed home, reunited with The Squish, and unpacked a whole lotta laundry.  Caught the first quarter of the Giants / Cowboys game and shuffled off to bed to start the workweek over.  All in all, the weekend wasn’t too bad with the exception of being separated from Squishy.  I might take her next year en route to the beach for a vacation with my family.  Spend the weekend at Horror Realm (a treat for Ben) and then the following week at the ocean (a reward for me for being such an awesome wife / mom / all around good person).

Weekend Wrap Up – Growth Spurt Edition

This weekend went by so quickly.  I thought I had plenty of time and before I knew it, it was Sunday night and time for bed.

Friday was an interesting adventure because Ben and I went to a No-So-Surprise Congratulations Party (accidentally ruined by Yours Truly) for a co-worker while my sister watched Mallory.  I jokingly told Mallory to go ahead and be ‘Evil Baby’ for Aunt Jamie, never imagining it would come true.  Apparently she ate one 4oz bottle, screamed like a banshee, and then plowed through 1/2 the second bottle.  At the time we thought it was an isolated incident, but now realize that it was the beginning of the dreaded growth spurt.

Mallory’s growth spurts are tough on us because she wants to eat every hour and a half to two hours.  Typically you can squeeze two to two and a half hours out of her between feedings and she just gets a little irritable.  During growth spurt season she’s just irrational and screaming.  During a typical day she will eat between 28 and 32 oz.  Yesterday she ate close to 40.  Yes, 40.

Saturday had Ben’s parents and sister who lives  out-of-town coming over for dinner and hanging out.  We grilled a piece of beef that wasn’t too great (noto to self: no more meat from Meijer’s meat dept).  The highlight of the meal was grilled pineapple slices with Homemade brand  Vanilla Bean ice cream drizzled with caramel syrup.  Num!  I ended up finishing David Dunwoody’s Empire too.  Getting ready to start the book for next week’s Book Club – Mistress of the Art of Death.

Sunday was one of those days where it starts out being 7:30AM and the next time I looked at the clock, it was after 8PM.  Made a neat pork loin for dinner in the crock pot.  Canned peaches + raisins + brown sugar + vinegar + onion + blender = pure pork happiness.   I used a 4lb loin so we have PLENTY of pork leftover for lunches this week.  I love those meals that you make once and just walk away from.  I uh, need to learn the definition of the cooking term ‘chutney.’  Apparently, it is NOT synonymous with ‘puree.’  Ben came tearing up the stairs when he heard the blender going full blast instead of pulsing – At least it gave him a laugh 🙂  Also, found out that the bottom of our blender pitcher is broken, which explained why all the liquid was on the counter.  That made Ben laugh, too.  My sister was at our house when I was prepping this and we must have looked like the Keystone Cops. 

Ben worked on his header for his new cooking blog and I had him make the header for my new blog (to be unveiled either later this week or early next week).  We caved and Ben bought an antenna to boost the signal for our digital tuner.  We now have NBC, CBS, FOX, and ABC along with PBS, the God channel, and the CW.  I will now be able to watch football – yay!  I was getting a little concerned with how far we were going to take this whole ‘no cable tv’ thing.  Mallory gave us a scare with a screaming fit – we rushed her upstairs, stripped her naked to make sure that nothing was hurting / poking / pinching her, and then decided to try a bottle.  Wouldn’t you know, she was starving. 

Rest of the night was uneventful – prepared for the week to come.  Never did  get a chance to sit down and work on that piece of jewelry *sigh.*  Maybe next weekend?

How was YOUR weekend?

Little Miss Squishypants Update

I can’t believe she’s going to be three months old on Friday.  Wow – that can’t be right, can it??


That picture was taken on Saturday at my parents’ property where we were put to work clearing trees so that my parents can break ground on their new house in August. 

A few things to mention about that photo:

  • No, it wasn’t PhotoShopped. 
  • No, she’s not sitting up on her own.  My sister’s hiding behind the stump propping her up.
  • No, she’s NOT that close to the fire!  She’s over 15 feet away from it; the height of the stump plays an optical illusion that she’s closer than she is.  The stump is about 4 feet off the ground at its base.
  • Yes, I really did dress her in a cardigan sweater.  It was barely 70 degrees on Saturday!
  • Yes, that’s still the hair she was born with.  She’s lost a lot of the hair on the sides but still has her cowlick.
  • No, she doesn’t have shoes on.  Those are socks imprinted with Mary Janes.  My good friend Allison made sure she was styling with those – we have them in every color!
  • Yes, she *is* that cute all the time, even when she’s screaming.
  • Yes, everyone thinks she looks like Ben *sigh*

She’s now almost 13 pounds, close to two feet tall (oh my!), and loves to kick the crap out of the animals on her bouncy seat.  She’s starting to make the motions that she’s ready to roll over – rocking to one side, moving her legs, and scooting herself around in her crib.  Last night Ben put her to sleep in one position and when I got her out of bed she was rotated 90 degrees.  It’s only a matter of time (a few weeks?) before she makes that huge developmental breakthrough. 

She also loves to sit up – assisted, of course.  Don’t try holding her over your shoulder or cradled like a baby.  She wants to be sitting upright and facing forward so she can see all the action.  You would have thought she would be upset by the sound of chain saws and heavy machinery (a backhoe and front loader), but the only time she got squawky was when those noises stopped and it was quiet.  I have a wonderful well-adjusted child 🙂

P.S.  I just had the funniest thought for a caption for this picture.  I gotta have Ben make it happen.  Future Liberal Tree Hugger – FAIL!  Have a better caption?  Let me know!  Send it to your friends, make it a contest.  We’re short on cash so the winner gets a free dirty diaper!  I’ll even have Mal personalize it. 🙂