Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The Saga of Sleep & the Big Girl Bed

There comes a time in everyone's life when they must graduate from their crib to a Big Girl/Boy Bed. For some that comes earlier than others: My mom-in-law tells me my husband was one of these as he discovered he could launch himself out of his crib at the tender age of 1 1/2 years old. YIKES!

Anyway, once Kyra turned 2, we decided it was time for her to try a big girl bed. Although we had yet to find her with a leg draped over the side of the crib, or worse, heard the scary THUMP! and well, you know the rest..., she was quickly outgrowing her crib space, and seemed ready to make the move.

We shopped around the local furniture stores, and online to find just the perfect bed, and the day after Christmas went to Wickes to buy one very similar to the one shown in the picture. We were told they had them in stock, and we could pick one up, at their warehouse, in as little as 2 days. We were thrilled!

We arranged to go pick it up that Saturday, the 29th of December (which also happened to be Kyra's birthday). David borrowed my folks' truck, and made the drive downtown, only to be told, "We don't have any bed for you today. Your order is scheduled to arrive on January 12th." When he came home with no bed, I immediately got on the phone to their customer service department to express my dissatisfaction with the so-called mix-up. They apologized, and explained the delivery date we were quoted was actually an estimated date, not a guaranteed date. What?!?!? We were told it was in stock, and could be picked up in 2 days. Now we were going to have to wait an additional 2 weeks? Okay.

The 9th of January rolled around, and we received a phone call from Wickes, saying they were sorry, but the bed would not be there that Saturday the 12th. We thanked them for the call, and then asked when WOULD we see it? You'll never guess what they said. February 19th! A full 7 1/2 weeks later for a bed that was supposedly in stock. Needless to say, we were not thrilled, but what can you do? Demand your money back, and then have to go somewhere else, and possibly wait just as long or longer?

In the meantime, we knew we were running out of crib containment time, so we decided to move David's old twin bed from his growing up years, from our upstairs office area to her room. We also chose to leave her crib up in her room, as advised by our good friends, Katie & Luke, so if we needed a fall-back plan, it would still be available--very wise words!!!

The first week went great! She loved her big girl bed, and at night, she stayed there, all night long. Afternoon naps were another issue, as being able to see (and get up and play with) her toys proved to be just too much for her--Back to the baby bed.

Now to the past couple nights. I don't know if it's because she's currently getting her 2-yr molars, or she's going through a little separation anxiety, or it's the snow and Daddy being home more (Hee hee!!!), or a little bit of all those things, but WOW! Bedtime has really been a challenge! The only thing that's changed, as far as we know, in her nighttime routine, is her place to sleep. We've also told her if she's scared or feeling icky or has a messy diaper, she can call out to us, or come get us. Other than that, she needs to stay in her bed. No getting up to play toys, no coming out to the family room to see what we're doing, etc.

I guess we've been pretty lucky so far, as she's always gone to sleep with little or no problems. But now we're at a loss as to how to proceed. We don't want to keep putting her in her baby bed, as that feels like negative progress. And spanking her for something like this is not an option. Tonight it was 9:30 before she fell asleep, in her baby bed, after multiple times of walking her back into her room to her big girl bed, tucking her in yet again, and David even sitting in there with her for awhile.

So now we come to you, oh seasoned parents, in hopes of receiving some much-needed words of wisdom regarding a little girl and a big bed. By the way, my mom shared this comic strip with me today as a little encouragement--The storyline starts on Jan 22nd, so be sure to go back and get the whole thing :-)

Wishing for more snow,

Monday, January 21, 2008

Chicken Peanut Curry

I realize that I haven't posted any recipes for awhile, so for that I'm sorry. And I know it's not Thursday, but this recipe was so good, that I didn't want to wait to share it :-) And, yes Katie, we DID have this for dinner tonight, and the house still smells amazing!

Chicken Peanut Curry
from Simply Recipes
Serves 6-8


3 lbs boneless, skinless chicken pieces (or you can use bone-in for added flavor), cut into 1 1/2 inch wide chunks or strips
1/2 cup flour
4 Tbsp curry powder
2 teaspoons Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup olive oil
2 Tbsp fresh ginger, minced (or 1/2 Tbsp dried ground ginger)
2 Tbsp garlic, minced
2 serrano chili peppers, seeded, de-veined, minced (can add or reduce amount based on heat preference)
4 cups chicken broth, divided
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 teaspoon ground coriander seeds
8 green onions, chopped, greens included (can substitute 1 tsp granulated onion)
1/3 cup each finely chopped mint and cilantro (optional)
2 limes cut into wedges (optional)
Cooked rice

Rinse chicken & pat dry. In a Ziploc bag, combine the flour, curry powder, salt and pepper. Shake well. Add the chicken pieces and shake to coat well.

Heat oil in a large saucepan on medium high heat. Add chicken pieces. Cook 5-10 minutes (depending on size of chicken pieces), tossing occasionally to cook chicken evenly. Combine the ginger, garlic, chili pepper & 1/2 cup of chicken broth and stir to mix. Add to saucepan, and cook for 3 minutes, scraping the pan with a spatula and stirring to combine everything well.

Add the peanut butter, stirring quickly to incorporate it with the chicken. Add the remaining 3 1/2 cups of broth slowly, stirring continuously to maintain an even texture. Let simmer for 10 minutes. Right before serving, add the coriander & green onions (or granulated onion). Salt to taste.

Serve with rice. Top each serving with cilantro & mint and a little lime juice (if using). ENJOY!

A little funny note to go with this: I was in the process of making this dish tonight, and all of a sudden David calls me to come back to Kyra's room, where they'd been playing, and he sounds pretty upset. So I drop my spoon by the stove, and go rushing back there, thinking she had fallen or something. I come into her room, and he says, "You're in big trouble!" I said, "What for?" He says, "Come over here, and put your face down by the heat register." I said, "What?" He says, "Do you smell that?" I said, "Yes, it smells the same in the kitchen." He smiles and says, "You're just mean to taunt us with making it smell so good." But lucky for me, dinner was soon on the table, and all was forgiven :-)

Mourning the Packers' loss,

Friday, January 11, 2008

Friends. Family. Business partners???

I'm curious about something. Am I the only one that gets just a little nervous using the professional services of a family member, friend or even an acquaintance?

Say for example, you're wanting to landscape your yard. Your brother-in-law is a landscape architect by trade. Do you automatically go with him over someone else because you know him and/or trust his work? And to go one step further, do you pay him the same rate as someone else? Or do you use someone else in order to avoid the "oh, if something goes wrong, holidays could be very awkward going forward"?

Another scenario: You have a friend who is an amazing musician. You have heard them play or sing on many occasions, and they always do a phenomenal job. Now you're looking for someone to do the music at your wedding. Assuming their type & style of music fits what you're looking for, do you ask them to be a part of your special day? And here's the real kicker: Do you pay them?

And finally, if you DON'T ask someone (to take on a job, etc.), are you risking their feelings being hurt or the relationship being damaged, because you know that's what they do for a living, and you chose to use someone else?

By the way, the situations above should be considered as hypothetical/for discussion only, and certainly do not refer to any particular person or relationship :-) Just wanted to know what you think...

Happy Friday, friends, and Go Packers!

Monday, January 7, 2008

Hair Apparent

One of the joys of being a parent is being responsible, at least for now, for the care of someone else's hair--My friend Stephanie has also recently blogged about this same topic. Check it out here :-)

Our daughter, Kyra, was born with a full head of hair, and thankfully kept most of it. And unlike some children who don't visit the hairstylist until they're getting ready for kindergarten, she had her bangs trimmed at just 16 months old by our dear hairstylist/friend, Carol. She (Carol) did admit afterwards, though, that she wasn't very comfortable cutting children's hair because little ones don't always sit still, and scissors are scissors.

So when it was time to cut the bangs again, I decided to take Kyra to someone else and preserve Carol's friendship :-) There is a Great Clips not far from us in the Bethany shopping mall, so I decided to try them out. If you've ever been to a Great Clips type of salon, you know that unless you want to wait for a particular stylist, you just get whoever is free. Unfortunately for us, our particular stylist was smack-dab in the middle of having a royal "Alexander" day ("no good, very bad, I'm going to Australia" day). Not only did she act like we were completely wasting her time, but she did a really poor job at trimming Kyra's bangs. Needless to say, we were not going to go back there any time soon.

Fast forward to last week. Kyra's bangs once again needed trimming--she was even complaining that her hair was in her eyes. While Christmas shopping at Streets of Tanasbourne, we'd noticed a new exclusive hair salon just for kids called Pigtails & Crewcuts. Just peeking in the windows was exciting! All the stations had cool chairs like fire engines & cars for the kids to sit in while getting their hair cut, and you could see they went out of their way to make the experience fun. But I thought, "I bet a haircut costs an arm & a leg!" I went home & looked them up on the web--What's this? Only $5 for a bang cut? That's exactly what Great Clips charges, and you know this place will cater to kids :-)

However, when we walked in on a Thursday morning, we were told there were 4 clients ahead of us, at 15 minutes each. For all you non-math types, that's an HOUR wait!!! When I told the receptionist thanks but no thanks, she had the audacity to look at me like I was crazy. What would have been crazy would be to wait there for an hour, with a 2 yr old, even with all their cool stuff.

By this time, I was pretty frustrated, as we had endured the pouring down rain, and still no haircut. As a last resort, I decided to try the Great Clips over by the Walker/158th Fred Meyer. I told myself if there was any kind of wait, we'd just go home, and try again another day.

We walked in, and were immediately cheerfully greeted by one of their stylists. When I asked the wait time, I was told, "Less than 5 minutes." Yee Haw! And let me tell you, our stylist, Angela, was just that, an angel with shears. She gave Kyra her squirt bottle to play with, actually laughed when Kyra accidentally sprayed her full in the face with water, and she gave her an absolutely adorable cut. And all for $5!

Maybe we'll try Pigtails & Crewcuts again sometime, simply to say we did it. But with a $3 off coupon for our next visit to Great Clips, and knowing what we know about them, it's really hard to pass that up.

Happy Monday, friends!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Look who's 2...

What is it about this time of year that makes you just want to burrow down in your nice warm bed and hibernate until spring? I truly think bears have the right idea :-)

Speaking of bears, there is one in particular that always seems to brighten up my day and bring a smile to my face: His name is Winnie the Pooh. And ever since Kyra was really little, she's loved Winnie the Pooh & all his friends in the Hundred Acre Woods. So when it came time to pick a birthday theme for this year's "turning 2" party, it was pretty much a no-brainer.

Although I don't claim to be a master baker in any sense of the word, I felt I could pull off a Winnie the Pooh cake, since Michaels had a nice cake pan in the shape of Winnie the Pooh and "it can't be that hard, right?" Imagine my horror when I looked closer at the directions for decorating said cake--from the baking & decorating Instructions for the Winnie the Pooh Cake pan:

4. Pipe-in eyes and outline and pipe-in nose with tip 3 in Black (smooth with finger dipped in cornstarch).
5. Cover Pooh's body, arms, legs and head with tip 16 stars in Pooh Gold.

You get the idea.

For anyone who witnessed last year's homegrown Ladybug cake, you know I'll never have a future in professional cake decorating. So when I saw all these instructions--a full page in this tiny little writing, I thought, "I'm kidding myself if I think I can do this!" And it was back to the web to find a cake that wouldn't cost me a small fortune--At this point I was only out the cost of the cake pan & the Pooh Icing Set.

Now enter the eternal optimist, my dear husband. He takes a look at the instructions, says, "We can do this", and the rest, as they say, is history.

Below are some pictures from the day she turned 2, as well as the momentous Winnie the Pooh cake, which turned out pretty darn cute, if I say so myself :-)

The birthday girl--
setting a new fashion trend
(make sure to click on the picture to get the full effect)

So blessed!
(and a little overwhelmed)

The Cake

I also realized I haven't posted about our Christmas, but that can be saved for another time.

Many Blessings to you & your family in the New year!