Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Sandbox Ladies Club :>

This was sent via the school's weekly Prezi (October 21-25). Nui Nui can identify and name each and every one of them :>

Where do YOU (or your kids :>) like to hang out with friends?

Share in the Comments below, we'd love to hear! :> xoxo

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Flu Shot 2013

It was a priority for Nui Nui to get her flu shot, especially since she's in school. We missed the first weekend when her doctor's office had an open walk-in on a Saturday, so I took her to get it during a lunch break before Mom went away on her trip.

Nui Nui is always a trooper. Her pain tolerance is pretty high and usually gets over shots pretty quickly...

...I think now, though, it might take her a few seconds (seconds!) longer just because she's more cognitively aware and able to consciously be upset for longer. By the time we walked out the building, she was fine :>

I'm trying to find time to get my flu shot. Did YOU get the flu shot this year?

Share in the Comments below, we'd love to hear! :> xoxo

The Best Part Of The Work Day

October 23, 2013

What's YOUR favorite part of the work day/week?

Share in the Comments below, we'd love to hear! :> xoxo

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Life: Two Years Ago Today

Nui Nui is 2 years, 1 month today!

I have still yet to do a 2 year update *sigh* but I was thinking last night I need to get back on the video bandwagon. The memories are fleeting!

Can you believe this is what life looked like just two measly years ago??

What were YOU up to two years ago?

Share in the Comments below and share your pics/vids on Instagram/Twitter, we'd love to see them! :> xoxo

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Vest Finally Fits After TWO Years! :>

The story behind this is photo shoot is that Nui Nui can finally wear this vest that Uncle Harry and Auntie Eva got her when she was born. That's two years we've been waiting. TWO YEARS! :> :>

It's perfect timing too. The weather is starting to get nippier.

Love this girl, love this face!!

What's going to be your favorite fall/winter fashion item?

Share in the Comments below, we'd love to hear! :>


Baked Chicken Drumsticks :>

Evidence I still know how to cook... :>

Since Mom's been away, I've actually cooked a little more than I thought I would. Honestly, I haven't cooked meat in a real long time. I only started eating it again when I got pregnant and before that I was vegetarian for nearly a decade. While I enjoy meat now, I realized why falling into vegetarianism was so easy.

In college, I was able to go the local market in NYC and buy a quarter pound chicken breast— it fresh for one sitting and I'd be done with it. Here, in the burbs, that is just not possible. I picked out the smallest package I could find but, still, it had 5 drumsticks. Between me and my daughter, we're not going to eat it all in one sitting and honestly, I'm not a huge fan of leftover chicken. I just don't think it keeps well. I'm sure there are a ton of crafty ways to deliciously reuse it but frankly, like in college, I want to eat it, cook it, and move on. Tomorrow is another day, full of potential, and the last thing I need is to have to deal with leftover chicken. Dramatic, I know, but really, vegetarianism is much easier when you're single (and lazy).

So, the recipe is simple.

Baked Chicken Drumsticks

Preheat the oven to 425degF.
Heat a pan with oil— medium-to-high heat.
Rinse and pat dry the chicken.
Carefully place in pan, covered or slightly covered.
Brown on all sides. My mom does 4 sides, I did 3-4.
Place on parchment-lined baking sheet after browned.
Sprinkle with some ground black pepper and the tiniest bit of salt.
Pop in oven and cook it until it reaches a safe-to-eat temperature (180degF).

Suggested accompaniments: buttered corn, corn bread, pan-roasted broccoli, bread and butter, caesar salad.

What would you eat with this chicken?

Share in the Comments below, we'd love to hear! :>

This is piecesofm's 500th post!! Thanks for reading! Please Subscribe and Share to help support another 500 more! :> xoxo

Monday, October 21, 2013

A Really Cute Sleeping Bag (Non-Compete)

Last Friday was Parents' Night Out at Nui Nui's school, which provides school babysitting for a discount price. So upon pickup that day, a whole bunch of sleeping bags were laid out for the kids in Nui Nui's classroom. I spotted this one amongst the bunch...

I got Nui Nui's sleeping bag at Sports Authority for $19.99, on sale, in the only color available (dark army green exterior with khaki interior) for the sale price. It's not all cotton nor is it organic. It does its job, she loves it, and so do I. Nonetheless, it was still hard not to have the passing thought, #cantcompete. Not that I should be trying to.

It was also picture day last week, which we did not participate. I don't regret it... yet, considering the number of photos I take, but should I? Would you?

Share your opinions in the Comments below, we'd love to hear! :> xoxo

Consecutive Great Days :>

Nui Nui had a great week in school last week. It's so funny. When she first started her new school, I was worried about all of her misbehaving (see September posts), now it's like, it sounds like, for the most part, she's leaving overall good impressions daily— it's one of those things where, as a parent, you realize, your kid can never win. Whatever they do— 'good' or 'bad', we're just not pleased :>

But, no, in seriousness, I'm glad she's been able to steer herself on a better course. She really seems to be thriving and really seems to be liking her school. I can't tell if it's because she's older or because this school/curriculum is more rigorous/fitting but she's, for the most part, happy to be there and excited about school and likes to talk about her teachers (and sometimes friends).

I know kids (or from what I've seen) sometimes grow exponentially, but this has been a more drastic, steep learning curve that it's hard for me to say her new school doesn't have anything to do with it. Anyway, all in all, I'm still very happy with her school move so far :>

The only feedback I have to date is that the daily boards of what they talked about/done have not been filled out consistently. Perhaps things are getting busier and/or they forgot? I'm always weird/cautious about these sorts of things. Should I ask? Would you?

Anyway, here's what they did on Thursday at least...

And here's a board that's been a work in progress. I'm liking it :>

Here's a cool set of drawers I spotted while passing through another classroom :>

Nui Nui had a productive week and so did I. How was yours?

Share in the Comments below, we'd love to hear! :> xoxo

Friday, October 18, 2013

Bags I've Been Eyeing :>

Can you tell my taste yet? :> The first is from Target, the second from Forever 21.

What fashion accessories have you been loving lately?

Share in the Comments below, we'd love to check them out! :> xoxo

Halloween At School! (2013)

In followup to my last post, to give you a peek at the decor in Nui Nui's school...

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Spidery Lady :>

One of the posts I've been promising and excited to share...

I'm in continued amazement by the creative ideas Nui Nui's new school comes up with for art projects for the kids. Class-specific community members (police officers, fire fighters, doctors, mailmen) aside, everything else is currently in preparation for Halloween and look what they made our kids into! :>

There's the World Wide Web and then there's the Class Wide Web! :>

And my Spidery Lady herself :>

(The picture must have been taken on the day before her birthday— when I brought in Cookie Monster cupcakes.)

What cool, creative Halloween things have you seen lately?

Share in the Comments below, we'd love to hear! :> xoxo

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Daily Genius - Speech & Photo Requirements Just Like Mom

I was trying to explain to Nui Nui that Mom has finally landed in HK. She can only understand airplane and flying in the sky, so still thinks that's where she is— Mom says the flight was long but I'm trying to explain to Nui Nui that it wasn't that long :> We need a map :>

Mom then sent us this pic from their hotel.

I showed it to Nui Nui and she asked,

Nui Nui: O, Pau Pau there?
Me: Yes, that's where Pau Pau is. In 香港.
Nui Nui: (pause) Where Pau Pau?... It's dark.

I told Mom to take another pic with herself in it and make sure it had better lighting :> #likemotherlikedaughter when it comes to photo requirements :>

And that is not the only way. Nui Nui is getting more and more genius daily.

At bedtime, tonight, she asked each of her animal friends (she has four) if they either needed to pee or have his diaper changed. None of them did.

Nui Nui: Charlie, need to pee? No? Ok good. Elmo, need change diaper? No, sleeping. George go potty? No. Winnie change your diaper? Winnie change diaper? No? That's fine.

She proceeded to mention each of them again, finally not asking but letting me know that they are all sleeping and she is(/should) too :>

The experience is enlightening when you can actually hear yourself when your child starts learning to talk :> Scary and fun! :>

Did you have or hear any fun conversations lately?

Share in the Comments below, we'd love to hear! :> xoxo

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Learning About Doctors :>

It's been a busy week and a half and I'm trying to catch up on Nui Nui's school posts. This month is all about people in the community. Like I mentioned in a previous post, Nui Nui learned about police officers, they did a segment on fire fighters but I think she missed that session, and then, last week, learned about doctors. As I type that, I realize, how fitting (her and me both :>) #likemotherlikedaughter

O, and look! Nui Nui changed seats with a new placard :> (Before, it was an apple :>)

Here are some of the pics her school took during school time— precious gems to get an inside look :>

I have at least one other thing to share but will in another post. xo

Share in the Comments below, what you or your child has been learning recently :> xoxo

Fleece-Lined Gold-Metallic Moccasins!

Today felt like both Monday and Friday. Either way, I was really missing my kid. Do you know when you miss your kid and you then want to start buying things for them? Yeah, well, that happens to me and retail scored today :>

These moccasins didn't have 1/2 sizes. The 7 looked like it would just fit and therefore wouldn't last long but the size 8 looked like I was nuts buying my 2yo that sized pair. I went with the 8 because my kid deserves nothing less than 2 sizes up (:> inside joke) and thinking I could put socks on her if they were too big...

Size 8! Size 8?! I can't believe they fit! smh. Nui Nui did seem very long, though, when I was changing her this morning on the table... So Too big so too fast...

Funny how her interest in the shoes lasted a split second (she was willing to put them on) but Legos take up more real estate :> #notcomplaining :>

What do you do when you're apart and missing the love of your life?

Share in the Comments below, we'd love to hear! :>

Check out more of our pics and videos on Instagram (@mdesenna) too! :> xoxo

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Pumpkin Patch And Beach Adventure! :>

We went to a pumpkin patch with our favorite cousins! (last week :>) We even went to a local beach, which I realized, when we unexpectedly arrived, that Nui Nui and I had yet to have gone to one since we moved out west. Funny... yet understandable— I don't think I'm a huge beach person so I'm totally to blame (but the west coast sun where we live is blazing and my face and aging body has started to fear sunspots and burning #lameexcuse #diva #hashtag #yes #thisishowitalk :>).

Joshua and Micah are Nui Nui's favorite cousins (they're the only local ones and only ones she's met :>). This pumpkin patch was different from the last one we visited and Nui Nui had a blast. She got to climb a really tall haystack (#fearless #strength), sit atop a huge Kevin-Bacon-Footloose-sized tractor, play in a hut made of corn husk, ride in a wagon, pick out pumpkins of her very own (#firsts), sip on highly-acclaimed-on-Yelp clam chowder, play at the beach and wade in the ocean for the very first time, draw in the sand, and frolick with and after the boys :>

I am clearly and unabashedly amazed by my daughter's courage and strength. As you can see from the series of pictures below, the haystack was high— over 6-7' tall— and yet the girl kept climbing and climbing and stood at the apex when she reached it. Glory. Useful perspective.

It's one of those times, as a parent, that you (or I anyway) debate the extent to which to let them go or hold them near. Personally, I don't think I would have ever done that — climb so high— at least not as far as I can remember back (which may or probably isn't that far back :>). She's fearless, though. And, in many ways, my goal is to raise her to be as unlike a person as myself as I can in regards to the qualities that I find shortcoming (and there are many).

To the top (and down), she safely went and came back from :>

Applauding herself and the view :>

The corn-husk hut and infectious smiling face :> :>

Playing Kevin Bacon :>

By the slice of her face, you can still see her smile :> (#socool #seatwithaview)

Some of the available pumpkins...

More available pumpkins, of which Nui Nui picked one from :>

The story behind this photo is funny. I chose the red-orange one behind her arm. It was deep in color, smooth, and very symmetrical but Nui Nui wanted the 'bumpy' yellow one with a less attractive shape and scar on its side. In fact, she insisted on it despite my multiple attempts to sway her for the more traditionally 'beautiful' one.

We ended up getting the bumpy pumpkin :> I heart the fact that children don't conform to society's norms and will do as much as I can for her to stay true to herself. Shame on me in trying to sway her! Lesson learned. :>

Family :>

The kids :>

Onto the beach... I took a picture of this and deem it a collaborative piece of art made with Joshua :> (#artwork)

Beach babe :>

My favorite picture of the day :>

Trying to play like the big boys. (Here, unlike the haystack, I actually pulled her away from climbing these :>).

Micah demonstrating what it means to share :>

Us :>

The car ride home :>

How pretty much every playdate ends :>

Check out the full slideshow (as if you haven't seen enough pics yet :>)

How far do you let yourself or your child go?

Share in the Comments below, we'd love to hear! :>

And share your pumpkin patch pics, we'd love to see them! :> xoxo

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