My 2013 in review, or why I sucked at blogging this year

Here is my 2013 annual report for this blog.

Oh WordPressLand, I HAVE missed you. And I apologize for my absence. For some reason I have been running out of blogging time. I’ve been spending my free moments cooking, squeezing in a little exercise and sleeping. I’m not sure how or why I’ve felt busier this year… Maybe my 60-90 minute commute has been getting to me. In any event… I just want to let you know I’m still here and I have still been reading the blogs I subscribe to… But maybe not commenting as much. Perhaps I need to re-evaluate my blogging values for 2014!

Happy New Year to All!

Click here to see the complete report.

My 2-year-Bloggerversary

Two years ago yesterday, I wrote and posted my first entry on CN&E.

That went pretty fast.

In a blink of an eye my 20-month old daughter went from sitting in a high chair to being 3 1/2.


While ruminating on this whole time/space continuum thingy I started thinking about what Chloe’s milestones/abilities/size were at 20 months compared today.

I’ll have to look to see if I have any specific notes about these things two years ago. 😃

I know she had just moved to her new daycare in August 2011. We were still adjusting a bit, but for the most part, after two months, everything was going really well. I’m happy to report we are at the same daycare center and everything is going swimmingly.

I am not sure when we’d started to show Chloe educational videos on You Tube (I think that was something my husband started), so I’m not sure exactly when her fascination with phonics started… But it was definitely happening at 20 months.

If you Google “kidstv123 phonics” you will see screen caps of two of the videos she used to watch daily AND repeatedly (see below).


There are extra “enrichment” classes offered at her daycare, and phonics was one of them. I think we signed her up at 2 (??) for them. I was told by her teachers that she really loved the classes and she seemed to start to understand the alphabet and the sounds of letters.

In two weeks C will have her last phonics class. She’s mastered her alphabet, is starting to read and spell simple words and is beginning to learn more complex letter combinations and blends. For Christmas last year my MIL gave C a LeapPad 2. BEST present ever. Phonics and writing games, an alphabet video, art games… And on. She loves it and I think has really learned a lot from it. We recently just got her two other cartridge games for this… A Leap Frog “letter factory” game and a Dora game. I love that she can get really involved in these educational toys. They hold her attention.

Physically… My girl has grown so much! It’s really amazing to have kids and watch them grow and develop into little PEOPLE. When I think of how much bigger she is height-wise my head spins. At 42 months (ok, 3 1/2!) she is 42″ tall, wearing 5T or 6x tops and 5T pants (5T leggings fit perfectly… Pants are a tiny bit long) and a size 10 1/2 shoe.

At 20 months she was wearing some 2T but mostly 3T pants/shirts.

At 3 1/2 she is talking more and also being more responsive to our questions… She’s learning to swim… She fully potty trained and even wearing undies to bed at night (though she occasionally plays the “I don’t want to poop” game… Which sucks but I’m hoping /praying it’s just a phase).

I could probably write a ton more but I’ll stop it there… Because it’s way past my bedtime.

Thank you readers! And if anyone has any advice on the poop thing let me know. 😀❤️💩

4:30 a.m.

C’s sleep has been a little irregular of late. Some nights she’s fine — she’ll sleep straight through without wake ups. Others — like, ahem, Monday morning at 4:30 — she shows me her new trick: showing up at my bedside. This alarms me because C’s bedroom is on the second floor of our house and ours is on the first.

We have nightlights all over, and we’ve been so careful about teaching how to go down stairs (S-L-O-W-L-Y, hold on to the railing, watch where you are going, don’t bring all 58 of your stuffed animals with you). But I still worry that she’ll fall or need me and I won’t hear her.

But whether or not she’s coming down the stairs by herself… the thing is… she’s still waking up. If she needs to use the facilities, that’s one thing: she’s been a champ about getting up instead of going in her pull up. I of course don’t mind about that. (Last night was actually the first night I didn’t put a pull up on her, and she was fine.)

It’s just the awake-ness for no reason that gets me. Like that morning? At 4:30? After we used the bathroom she wanted to come into our bed. Fine, I said, as long as you go to sleep.

But there were no Zzzzs, for either of us. She was calm and quiet… but still awake enough to be twirling her stuffed dog around, or nudging me with her knee, or telling me every so often that it was, indeed, NOT dark outside.

I know. It’s really OK. I whined a little that I was tired that day… but I smile when I remember her asking me for a cuddle, snuggling in my arms, and stroking her hair while she looks up at me.

That feels better than any amount of sleep.

Note: You can tell I’m an amateur blogger because I do not have a cute picture of my daughter’s shenanigans at 4:30 am. So here are two cute ones of her:

leaving a birthday party July 6

leaving a birthday party July 6 around 7:45 pm


arriving home from said birthday party =) There had been no nap that day, and this was around 8:15 pm. She slept until 5:30 the next morning…. That was nice.

Eight Random Facts: June 28

1. If I started my blog today I would call it “Organic Strawberries and The Little Mermaid”.

2. So in the past two weeks we’ve watched the aforementioned mermaid quite a bit… and each time I cry at the end when Ariel says goodbye to her father after her wedding. I miss my Dad =(

3. No matter how much sleep I get, I always want more. And no matter how tired I am at night, I usually can’t just climb into bed and go to sleep. I have to fiddle with my phone for a bit. Usually Scrabble and Spider Solitaire.

4. I have started to wear reading glasses. I guess that’s not that bad, since I am 42. And while I really don’t care that I now need them occasionally…. it does make me a wee bit sad.

5. Little miss got her first “salon” trip for a haircut. We left it longish, but she did need a trim. She loved the whole experience. Many thanks to the Bubble Guppies episode “Good Hair Day.”


6. I made stuffed shells this week for I think, the first time. I made half with a mixture of ricotta cheese/egg/parm cheese and half with a mixture of spinach/silken tofu/a tiny bit of ricotta … and I liked the spinach ones so much more. My husband declined to try them because of the tofu thing.

7. We are still trying for baby #2.

8. This was week 3 of this year’s CSA. Holy lettuce!!! I’m looking forward to fulfilling my work requirement this weekend — I’m going to the farm on Sunday to help harvest peas. My home garden is coming along swimmingly. I’m happy I have so far kept it alive (knock wood).



Currently: June 5

— I started to write this post twice before but didn’t have time to finish it. Yes, seriously, it’s been like 2.5 months since I’ve written anything here or on Clean. Green. Eat. Repeat. Oh well.

— My husband has been working Saturday thru Wednesday for the last 8 weeks or so… so weekends have been busy busy busy… and we’ve started to not nap regularly on the weekends… which kind of sucks. I miss my naps.

Not such a regular occurrence anymore. Sad face.

Not such a regular occurrence anymore. Sad face.

— The Jersey Shore is coming back from Hurricane Sandy … we’ve taken a few trips down to Jenkensen’s in Point Pleasant and to Seven President’s park in Long Branch. I can’t wait to take a “beach day” with my girlfriends this summer…




— The garden is in! This year I ordered non-GMO seeds online (I’ve been such a freak about GMOs in the last few months)… and I planted: kale, green/red peppers, beefsteak tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce and basil. I also bought 6 Ramapo tomato plants and 6 strawberry plants. So far so good on everything, though I totally might regret not putting up the whole fence thing I constructed last year. With my hubs working on the weekends I barely had the time to get the seedlings in the ground… so, we’ll see. I might have to put something up if I get garden thieves.




Basil and lettuces!


The whole she-bang! From left to right: cucumbers, beefsteak tomatoes, peppers, Ramapo tomatoes

— The CSA is starting on June 13. I’m really excited for this to start again! For our 2nd year I’m splitting the share with my friend Jessica and her family.

— Other than that… I’m working my full-time job, doing laundry, trying new smoothie and vegan/vegetarian recipes. I have a to do list that’s pretty long. But nothing ever gets completely finished, does it? I read this today and it made me feel better about what I’m able to do. Thank you {So Wonderful, So Marvelous} for reminding me I don’t have to be perfect, or do everything, to be happy. I kind of know this but it’s easy to get overwhelmed when there’s still clean laundry that needs puttin away and dinner to be made.

Hopefully I won’t take such a long break before I see you again!

Some thoughts on this first day of Spring…

1. It’s the first day of Spring? Where did March go? And uh, btw, we’ve been having snow and sleet and freezing temperatures. WTF?!

2. Everyday life has been a huge time suck away from blogging. My apologies for not paying attention to you =)

It's cos I'm paying attention to Miss Pigtails.

It’s cos I’m paying attention to Miss Pigtails.

3. Just saw this on The Best Toys of the Year. That marble run thing does look cool…

4. Green smoothies for breakfast sound gross but they are good. Promise.


5. Potty training: uh, we’ve had a few rough spots over the last few weeks… but she’s been doing really well, at home and at school. Thank you Miralax.

6. Tomorrow is C’s first dentist appointment. I hope she’s agreeable. I know the dentist will say we have to work on getting rid of the binky, which she only uses at home, at night, or on weekends for naps (cos we are suckers, no pun intended). So that is our next big thing….

7. We’re going to try a little more regularly for baby #2. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

8. When I find time I need to plant the seeds for my garden indoors. Where ARE you, Time?????

9. I can’t wait to plant flowers again outside.

10. I’ve lost 11 pounds in the last 6 weeks or so…hopefully I can keep this up….

11. Speaking of pounds, I don’t think I reported that C had her 3 year old check up a few weeks back. She’s 39 inches tall and 36 pounds… wearing size 4T and 5T clothes.

Talk to you soon! Hope you are well!