Friday, January 28, 2011

Big Sister!

While we were at the hospital, Joey got to have a "Big Sister" celebration.  The nursing staff brought her cake, chocolate AND vanilla ice cream, and apple juice.   Talk about a sugar rush!  I'm glad that I was sleeping at the hospital and didn't have to deal with the aftermath!
She mostly just ate the icing.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Silhouettes II

Yesterday while Baby Charlotte was napping and Paul and Joey were out of the house, I snapped a picture of the baby's profile and created her silhouette in Photoshop.  I had begun this project with the rest of the family last week and I was really pleased with the results.  Click here for the original post.  Here's Baby Charlotte's silhouette:
and here's the rest of the family:
 We'll be printing and framing these in the near future.  I'll be sure to update!

January 27, 2009

Here are some pictures of 11-month-old Joey hamming it up for the camera.  Her hair was unusually curly, which contributes to the silliness.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Baby Name Hints Explained

Over the course of my pregnancy with Charlotte, I dropped baby name hints.  Here they are explained.

has a "boy" nickname.   
We might call her "Charley."  It's not definite, but we reserve the right.

has nine letters.   
That's pretty obvious.

was not in the top ten for 2009.
It was #68 in 2009 according to SSA, and #38 in 2010 according to BabyCenter.  We didn't realize how quickly the name was rising in popularity when we chose it, or we might have picked another name.  We certainly don't want her to be one of several Charlotte's in her class at school.

means "little woman."
That's according to the baby name books.

is of French origin.

is the feminine diminutive of one of the names of one of her grandfathers.
Paul's dad's middle name is Charles.

is also the name of a 19th century queen.
Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz (1744 - 1818) was the wife of King George III.

is also the name of a U.S. city.
Charlotte, NC

is also the name of a 19th century English novelist, poet, and governess.

I know you've been scratching your noodle trying to decipher my hints, so there you go.

When Joey Met Charley

This is Joey's first meeting with her baby sister.

When Joey met Charley from Paul Losavio on Vimeo.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


In the crafting and decor blogosphere, the rage these days seems to be cut-out silhouettes.  You know, the vintage-looking solid-color profiles.  I've seen fabric silhouettes appliqued on pillows, silhouette Christmas ornaments, colorful silhouettes, silhouettes painted on canvas, and basic black and white framed ones.  For several months now I've been dying to create custom silhouettes of my family.

But how?  I remember in grade school sitting in a dark classroom with a light to the side of me, projecting my shadow on the wall where my teacher traced my profile on black construction paper.  I'm not sure that any of us would sit still long enough for me to do that.  My answer was Photoshop:  Paul uses Photoshop all the time.  He could do it for me.  All that we needed to do, I told him, was to take profile pictures of all of us and he could then do his magic in Photoshop.  And then we could send them to somewhere to print.  I would do it, but I don't know how to use Photoshop.  These would make a great Christmas gift, I told him.  Hint, hint.  To my dismay, my husband never got around to doing this project for me.

A friend shared a link to a silhouette tutorial using Photoshop and I decided to give it a shot.  At least if I screwed up, Paul might be inspired to finish what I started.  That blog author traced her silhouettes in Photoshop, then printed, cut out, traced on black cardstock, and then cut the silhouette out of cardstock.  I decided to use technology to my advantage and cut out a few of those steps.  I took profile pictures of the entire family, including myself which was extremely tricky.  I then traced our profiles in Photoshop, created a white background, and then colored our silhouettes black.  Paul came in after me and modified the proportions and tweaked some other things so that all was consistent.

I'll need to wait until Baby Losavio arrives to complete this project, but here's what we've got so far.  I created the collage below in Picnik and I'm really not sure why the background is teal.  I plan to have the individual 8 x 10 silhouettes printed on photo paper at Wal-mart because their photo processing is very reasonable.  If I'm not satisfied with the results we may have these printed on textured paper at Kinko's.   
Now we just need to rearrange some wall space so that we can showcase our DIY art!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Compatibility and the Zodiac

In a previous post I wrote that it would be neat if Baby Losavio was born January 20 or later because that would make her Aquarius.  If she was an Aquarius, I wrote, she would be a water sign like the rest of the family.  Paul is Aquarius, Joey is Pisces, and I'm Cancer.  Well, it turns out that Aquarius is an air sign, not water.  The water signs are Pisces, Cancer, and Scorpio.  Considering that Aquarius means "water bearer," I assumed that it was a water sign.  Not to mention that it contains the root "aqua."  Silly me.  The worst thing is that for the entirety of my relationship with Paul, I just assumed that we were compatible.  It turns out that we're not.  Uh oh. 

Paul is Aquarius.  Aquarius are generally considered to be compatible with the other air signs, Gemini and Libra, and the fire signs, Aries, Leo and Sagittarius.  Aquarius are also semi-compatible with Taurus and Scorpio.  Unfortunately Paul is not compatible with me or Joey, and won't be compatible with Baby Losavio unless she is born after January 20 and therefore, a fellow Aquarius.

 I am Cancer.  Cancers are generally considered to be compatible with the other water signs, Scorpio and Pisces, and the the earth signs, Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn.  Cancers are semi-compatible with Aries and Libra.  This means that Joey and I are compatible, and if Baby Losavio is born by January 19, we'll be compatible as well since she'll be a Capricorn.  If she's born January 20 or later, we won't be compatible as she'll be an Aquarius.  Oops.  At least she and Paul will get along.

Joey is Pisces.  Pisces is considered a mutable sign, which means that it is constantly trying to adapt itself to its ever-changing feelings and to the moods and whims of others.  Pisces are generally considered to be compatible with the other water signs, Cancer and Scorpio, and the earth signs, Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn.  Pisces are semi-compatible with Gemini and Sagittarius. 
Baby Losavio could possibly be a Capricorn.  Capricorns are generally considered to be compatible with the other earth signs, Taurus and Virgo, and the water signs, Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces.  Capricorns are semi-compatible with Aries and Libra.
Our signs are according to the tropical Zodiac.  Recently in the news, there has been some fuss about sidereal astrology and the 13th sign Ophiuchus.  According to that, Baby Losavio will definitely be Capricorn, as is Paul.  Joey is Aquarius, and I am Gemini.  That's just too much information for me to process...

Baby Losavio: 39 Weeks

...and we're still waiting.

Our house is clean, the car seat is installed, and the hospital bag is packed.  I've been called "fat" so it's time to start dieting.  We are ready for Baby Losavio.  But we'll just have to wait for her to decide that she's ready...or when she gets her eviction notice.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Little Swinger

Joey has her own particular way of swinging.

The Many Faces of Josephine

Fat? Really?

Last night someone called me "fat."

This is where you say, "But Lauren, you're not fat, you're pregnant."

To which my response should be, "I know that I'm not fat.  I'm about to deliver a baby.  Pregnant women are beautiful, blah, blah, blah."

Truth is, I'm still seething over the following exchange.  Perhaps later I'll have simmered down to "livid."  Perhaps.

The conversation went something like this:

telephone: ring, ring
Jerk:  "Hello my little fat girl."
Me:  "Um, what did you call me?"
Jerk:  "Oh, I'm sorry.  I thought you were my (insert relationship here)."
Me:  "This is your (insert relationship here).  What did you call me?"
Jerk:  "I called you 'my little fat girl.''

This is where the details get hazy.  I might have told this jerk that he was being inappropriate, which is my blanket response when Joey is calling something "poopy."  I might have blacked out and called the offender every name in the book.  Or I might have just hung up the phone.  I did, however, send a concise, polite email to say that commenting on a woman's weight is never appropriate.

But, seriously, on what friggin' planet is it okay to say that to a person?  One where it's okay to be verbally abusive?  One where eating disorders are the norm?  I am just flabbergasted by the insensitivity of some people.  Pregnant or not, it's not polite to comment on a person's weight. 

At 39 weeks pregnant, believe me, I'm ready to lose the baby weight and get into my old clothes.  Although the elastic-waist pants make frequent trips to the bathroom less of a hassle, I'm looking forward to pants with buttons and zippers.  I've been wearing the same four articles of clothing for the past two months and I am so sick of these things that I have already half-way packed my maternity clothes away.  I don't even want to do any post-pregnancy shopping for anything new (gasp!), I just want to be able to wear my old stuff.  I don't care if my "old" clothes are totally outdated by now;  unfortunately the boyfriend jean trend didn't seem to last very long, and I've heard that skinny jeans are making way for the comeback of flares.  Regardless, I'm ready to fit into those things again.

To be clear, my sweet husband is not the offender.  He's nice to me.  He rubs my feet. 

Saturday, January 15, 2011

How I Keep My Man Interested

This morning I woke up with the urge to make beignets, even though I had just cleaned my stove and frying anything will get messy.  I didn't have any beignet mix on hand, so I turned to the Internet for a recipe.  But it turns out that making beignets from scratch is seriously complicated stuff.  Recipes I found called for yeast, evaporated milk, or even cooking the dough on the stove top before frying it.  No, thank you.  A $3.99 box of Cafe Du Monde Beignet mix is totally worth it.  I bundled myself up, looking like a bag lady I might add, and drove the mile to Publix for the mix.  Two cups of beignet mix, 7 fl. oz. of water, a little flour, some oil, and a lot of powdered sugar are how I keep my man interested.
Joey approved of the beignets, aka "Princess Tiana doughnuts."

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Baby Losavio: 38 Weeks (Update)

Baby Losavio is happy where she is for the moment.  I don't blame's cold outside.  I'm still only dilated 2 cm and I haven't even had any contractions lately, not even Braxton Hicks.  She'll be here soon enough, though.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Skip Hop

If DHR saw my filthy kitchen they would snatch my babies away...

So I exaggerate.  A little.

My stove had gotten to be disgusting, but I have been avoiding cleaning it because it gets dirty again so fast.  And it's a monster to clean; it's not one of those that can just be wiped down.  It's a thirty-minute commitment, easily.  Today I decided to tackle that monster, even though I plan on cooking Pepperoni Stuffed Chicken tonight, which will surely create a big mess.  Well, once the stove was sparkling, I had to wipe the spatter from the cabinets.  From that angle I could see that the baseboards needed attention.  And while I was crouched on the floor giving those baseboards all I've got, I could tell that the undersides of the cabinets needed a good scrubbing.  Had I had an old toothbrush I would be scrubbing the crevices of the dishwasher, but Paul and I replaced our toothbrushes just last week.  Cleaning "the stove" turned into a half-day ordeal.

I hope that Baby Losavio can appreciate a clean kitchen.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

DIY Chocolate Pudding

Last night I was craving something sweet.  Chocolate pudding to be more specific.  And I didn't even have any on hand, as it's not one of our staples.  Due to Winter Storm 2011, I wasn't planning to drive on icy roads to get to a grocery store that may or may not be open for a box of instant pudding.  So I looked online and found a recipe for chocolate pudding from scratch, which was surprisingly easy.  It was a microwave recipe, no less, so the mess was minimal.

Unfortunately, homemade pudding takes a little time to cool and set.  The recipe didn't indicate exactly how long, but I think that it would take about four hours.  Seeing as I didn't even start this recipe until 6:30 p.m., I was sound asleep by the time it was ready to be eaten.

The consistency was a little thinner than the instant pudding that I'm used to, but it could be due to several factors:  an ingredient substitution, using low-fat milk, or even not cooking it for long enough.  Or maybe homemade pudding is just a little thinner than instant.  However, the flavor is excellent and I would definitely attempt homemade pudding again.

1/2 cup white sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3 tbsp cornstarch (I didn't have any, so I substituted 6 tbsp flour)
2 cups milk
2 tsp vanilla
  1. In a microwave-safe bowl, whisk together the sugar, cocoa, and cornstarch/flour.  Gradually add the milk while whisking so the mixture doesn't have any lumps.
  2. Microwave for 3 minutes on high.  Stir, then cook at 1 minute intervals, stirring for 2 - 4 minutes between cooking times, until shiny and thick.  Stir in vanilla.
  3. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pudding to prevent a skin from forming, and then chill in the refrigerator.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Winter Storm 2011

On January 9, 2011, the South was hit by a winter storm.  In Tuscaloosa, precipitation alternated between snow and freezing rain, and we woke up to a lovely blanket of ice on Monday morning.  Schools were closed as well as many local businesses.  We didn't get much in terms of accumulation of snow, but the icy roads made travel dangerous.  And you've got to keep in mind that in this part of the country, we don't have the resources to clear the roads of snow and ice.  They use sand, not salt, for crying out loud.

Here are some pictures of our back yard and deck this morning:

Winter Storm Cinnamon Rolls

Whenever we visit Baton Rouge, we can usually look forward to homemade cinnamon rolls made by my father-in-law.  This morning when we woke up to snow ice on the ground, I had a hankering for those cinnamon rolls.  My father-in-law uses Bisquick, which is banned in my house, so I found a similar non-Bisquick no-yeast recipe online.

2 cups flour
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp + 1 tsp baking powder 
1 tsp salt
3 tsp butter, softened
3/4 cup milk

4 tbsp butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
3 tsp cinnamon

1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup confectioners sugar

Preheat oven to 400. 

In a large bowl, stir flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.  Cut in softened butter, then stir in milk to form a soft dough.  On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a rectangle about 1/4 inch thick.

Mix the filling ingredients (butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon).  Spread about 1/4 to 1/2 on the bottom of a greased 9 x 9 pan.  Spread the rest on the dough.

Roll the doughy rectangle into a log, and then slice rolls about 1 - 1.5 inches thick.  Place in the prepared pan and bake 20 - 25 minutes.

Combine the milk and confectioners sugar to make the glaze.  Drizzle on the finished cinnamon rolls.

The consensus:
We prefer my father-in-law's glaze, which (we think) consists of confectioners sugar and butter, but adding the cinnamon filling to the bottom of the pan makes these cinnamon rolls extra delicious.  Joey gives her "thumbs up:"  she ate three.

Baby Losavio: 38 Weeks

...and still in my belly.  Baby Losavio is fully developed and is basically just gaining weight at this point.  She's packing on about an ounce a day.  I'll have another prenatal appointment later this week, and hopefully I will have made a little more progress by then.

I had a really nasty stomach bug at the end of last week.  That was fun.  The weird thing is that I recall having a bug towards the end of my pregnancy with Joey, and my mom says that she recalls having a bug at the end of pregnancy also.  Coincidence?  I really enjoy being a stay-at-home mom, but feeling sick presents a challenge because there's no daycare to keep Joey.  So Paul had to take the day off of work so that he could entertain Joey.  He also had some help from my mom and Jim.  (Thanks!)

For more than a week, our dog Macy has been having "issues" and has been employing attention-getting tactics.  This began when we assembled the baby's bassinet.  We have been mindful of the fact that bringing a new baby into our home will change our family dynamic and that there will be a period of adjustment for Joey.  We didn't even consider that Macy would be affected by the new addition.  Mind you, Macy has never been an "only child," but I think that the thought of another tail-puller makes her nervous.  She should be happy that there will be another food-dropper to follow around.

Here's Baby Losavio's 37 week 4D ultrasound picture again, just because I like looking at it:

Friday, January 7, 2011

Crash Test

Joey and her cousin discovered the fun game of flinging their bodies into an ottoman.  Thank goodness it's padded.

The video quality is dark, but you get the idea.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Silly? Me? Nah...

The Bearded Kid

Baby Losavio: 37 Weeks (Update)

We had our 37 week prenatal appointment and everything is looking good!  Baby Losavio is head-down and weighs about 6 lbs. 7 oz. and is gaining about an ounce per day.  She should be about 7.5 lbs. or so at birth, which is just fine with me!  As for her birthday: I am dilated about 1.5 to 2 cm and 25% effaced, so take your guess! 

Here's her picture:

I can't wait to meet her!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Baby Losavio: 37 Weeks

At 37 weeks Baby Losavio is full-term!  Hooray!  She is about 6 1/3 pounds and more than 19 inches long.  I can't believe that we'll be meeting our daughter so soon!

Last week Paul took some time off work so we took the opportunity to prepare for the baby's arrival.  I planned to clean out Joey's -- er, the kids' -- closet and drawers to make room for the baby's clothes, do mountains of laundry, pack the hospital bag, and assemble the bassinet.  We accomplished a lot but we still have some work to do.  I also began to purge the house like a mad woman.  We are getting rid of broken toys, yucky stained baby clothes, and luggage that we never use, but for now those things are cluttering our hallway.  Paul repaired our vacuum cleaner, which is amazing.  It turns out that you really should clean those things.  Otherwise they will blow up. 

Pregnancy and keeping up with a 35-pound toddler has taken a toll on my back.  It's killing me.  My mother-in-law sent us home from Baton Rouge with her massage stick, which is amazing for relieving tight muscles.  Amazing.  Pregnant friends:  you need this.  Need.  I'm serious.  Come over and I'll get Joey to give you a demonstration.

We have the first of our weekly OB visits this week, and we're having an ultrasound to check the baby's size and position.  I'll post pictures if we get any good ones. My doctor will also check to see if I'm dilating and effacing, which doesn't mean a whole lot, but I hope that my body is starting to make an effort to get this baby out.

Does anyone have a prediction for Baby Losavio's arrival date?  Her due date is January 24, but we're hoping for January 11, because then her birthday would be 1/11/11 and that would just be cool.  But if she comes January 20 or later, she will be an Aquarius, which will be cool too.  If she's an Aquarius, our entire family will be water signs; Paul's Aquarius, I'm Cancer, and Joey is Pisces.  If she comes earlier she'll be Capricorn and the black sheep of the family.* 

According to BabyCenter, we should figure out how to install our car seat this week.  We already know how to do that, but we might install it anyway.  For kicks.  And because it's cluttering my hallway and making me crazy.

*I really don't care what Baby Losavio's Zodiac sign is, of course.


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