Monday, April 29, 2013

Mommy Monday

It is finally spring. And by finally, I mean, the weather has turned (for the most part) and it probably won't snow anymore.

This weekend we explored another playground because Lily loves playgrounds! We went to the tire park and Lily loved it! She climbed all over the tires, went on the tire swing, went down a huge (fast!) slide, and ran all around. I love watching her explore, and learn new things. I also love how she gains more and more confidence in herself as she conquers another slide or climbs steeper steps. She is always so excited to play with the other kids, and she makes friends so easily. She really amazes me in every way.

She also got new shoes. What was not so amazing? Her totally breakdown in the shore store when the nice sales lady asked her to take her shoes off. She kept crying SHOES! SHOES! We had to go to a specialty store because her right foot turns in, so the sales lady needed to see her walk and check out her foot. Yeah, Lily wasn't into that. She cried and wouldn't even look at anyone else in the store. Luckily, the lady had shoes in her size that should help with her foot. I think the lady felt badly that Lily freaked. The girl loves shoes; just not the shopping part. She will learn.

As for Jack? He is 2 months old and wore a 6 month sleeper to bed last night. My little infant...yeah...not so little!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Why I Cannot be a SAHM

Today, Kara and I decided that if we were stay at home moms we would go out to lunch and buy things all the time. Then we would go broke. Hence, we cannot be stay at home moms.

Carry on.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Thursday Favorite Things

Today, I decided to link up with Katherine's Corner for her Thursday Favorite Things. What are my favorite things on this Thursday? Right now, I am loving Campbell's Skillet Sauces. Delicious. I have only tried one, Creamy Chipotle, but it is so yummy. We make it with chicken and serve it over rice. Easy dinner for two. I love easy! The sauces come in other flavors like scampi, fire roasted tomato, and Thai green curry (to name a few). I highly recommend trying them!

I am also loving my Arm's Reach Co-Sleeper. When we had Lily, we used a bassinet that has been passed around the family. It worked wonderfully, but this time we wanted one that we could keep. I did so much research before deciding on the Arm's Reach Co-Sleeper. Many bassinet's reviewed were not stable, or not very big, or any host of other issues. The co-sleeper got consistently good reviews and was available in two different sizes. We settled on the mini because we don't have a ton of space in our room, plus, we will move Jack to a crib once he makes it through the night without needing to be fed. The nice thing about the co-sleeper is that is can be a bassinet, or you can lower the side, and make it a co-sleeper. It also has a lot of storage pockets and a big storage area under the bassinet. It gives Jack (who is a bigger baby) a good amount of space to move, though he likes to cuddle up to the side. It has made nighttime a lot easier; especially when Jack needs to eat in the middle of the night.

So those are my two favorite things this Thursday. What are yours? Link up!

Thursday Favorite Things
(Note: These are just my favorite things, I receive no compensation for writing about them!)

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

A Day in the Life

This day in the life will change in 3.5 short weeks, but right now this is what our days look like...

7:00am: Time to wake up! Jack is usually hungry and whining in the co-sleeper next to me, and Lily is babbling something in her room. Typically, it's "OH NO!" because she threw something onto the floor and immediately realizes she needs it now! My mom arrives to help (she is our daycare provider, so, even though I am on leave, she comes over to help and maintain Lily's routine).

Jack and Lily relaxing
7:15: Lily is eating breakfast...usually something like blueberry toast, a bagel with cream cheese, fruit, yogurt, or cereal. It depends on her mood and the day. She loves pears, blueberries, mango, peaches...basically any fruit you can name. I nurse Jack...then he usually goes back to sleep.

Good morning! And Go O's!
7:30: I pump (my favorite part of the morning...) and eat (yay hands free nursing bra!).

8:00-12:00pm: We get dressed. Lily and I brush our teeth together and I wash my face. I get the kids dressed and diapers changed (because both are in diapers, so it's super fun). Then, I try to throw in laundry (we wash the cloth diapers every other day) and we play. If it's nice out we take a walk or play on the swings. If it's not nice out, we color or play with blocks or watch a little tv. We try to mix it up because Lily has the shortest attention span on the planet and needs many different things to keep her occupied. Jack is easy...he nurses every 2-3 hours and is happy!

Sides! Sides! Sides! (Slides, Lily, Slides)
12:00pm: Lunch and Caillou. The girl loves her Caillou.

1:00pm: Lily goes down for her nap after reading 2 or 3 books. Then, I have time to eat. If Jack decides to sleep, too, I can catch up on blogs and blogging, read, work on never-ending thank-you notes, or other mommy things that are easier to do without kids.

3:00ish: Lily is awake! Time for a snack, a drink, and getting outside (if it's nice). We try to get out as much as possible because Lily loves to be outside (and it makes her a much happier kid).

5:00: Lily eats. Tom is coaching baseball right now, so he doesn't get home until 6:30 or 7:00. Lily needs to eat earlier or she turns into...well...a monster. It is a trait she gets me. Sadly. When he is finished with coaching we all eat together (cannot come soon enough...I am sure he would agree...).

Yum! A dessert treat!
6:00-7:00: Tom gets home. He bathes Lily and gets her ready for bed. Our girl is usually worn out by 7:00, so she generally has an early bedtime. We read a few books before bed, take vitamins, and brush teeth. She is very easy to put down, which is such a blessing.

Seriously, mom. Get out of here with the camera.
While Tom puts Lily to bed, I make our dinner. I have gotten super chef-y (yep, chef-y) with dinner while on maternity leave. We will see if this lasts when I go back to work.
7:00-? We eat dinner, talk about the day, and watch our shows. Sometimes it's Dancing With the Stars (go Jacoby!!), sometimes it's NCIS, typically it's Duck Dynasty (it makes us happy, happy, happy!). Jack stays with us until we go to bed, since he sleeps with us (well, in the co-sleeper next to us). Once he is bigger, we will put him in his room and he will be more on a schedule like Lily (hopefully). Jack's last feeding is usually between 9:30 and 10:00pm. After that, he sleeps for a good 5-6 hours before needing to be fed again.

Now, in 3.5 weeks this whole thing we change and we will re-adjust. Then, in June, school will end and so will our schedule. Sometimes, I feel like our life is a constantly changing schedule!

A Day in the Life {Growing Up Geeky}

Jack is 2 Months Old!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Inner Chef

So during this maternity leave I have liberated my inner chef made dinner more than twice a week. It's basically one of the biggest accomplishments of my leave, other than pushing out a 10+ pound baby. Tonight, I am attempting to make pineapple shrimp mock fried rice (go here for the recipe). I am kind of excited about it; my hopes are high, so let's hope it's good!

Another thing I have decided to do: break out the good ole Beaba Babycook food maker. Why? Because Infantino came out with this:
Lily is totally in love with pouches. Basically, pouches are baby food blends in squeeze bags. Really, they are for babies who eat baby food, but she can feed them to herself and, in a pinch, are a good snack (and a good way to get veggies into her sometimes stubborn toddler diet). We were spending a small fortune to stay stocked up, so when I saw this in the store I jumped on it. Now, I can make her blends (much cheaper with produce becoming fresh with the spring/summer/fall) and give her pouches from home. Yay! Plus, I can take the kids to the markets in Catonsville that run during the summer. Double yay! Buying 50 pouches costs way less than buying 50 pouches (even when the produce is factored in). Plus, I can use the thing when Jack starts solids.

Ok, time to go make dinner...I will let all 6 of you know how it is!

(To be clear...I received no compensation for the mention of the fabulous products/companies named in this post! I just like them.)

Saturday, April 20, 2013

In two months my baby girl will be 2...

At 22 Months Lily Loves...
1. ...slides! Anywhere, anytime.
2. ...chocolate, which she pronounces as "cocky". Yep.
3. ...taking long walks (really, any outdoor activity).
4. ...reading any and all books.
5. ...throwing tantrums (I wasn't sure about adding this, but I want her to read these when she is older and has kids and realizes that her kid throwing tantrums is directly related to karma).
6. ...blueberries. Still her favorite food.
7. ...cereal. For real. Especially mini-wheats and Raisin Bran. She is a 90 year old on the inside.
8. ...her new rocking chair from Aunt Marie and Uncle John. Rock, rock.
9. ...cheesing as hard as she can for the camera when you say, "smile!"
10. ...and, of course, mama and dada!
Not her best pic, but it cracks me up!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Motherhood is basically a club

I remember what I was going to post about! It only took 12 hours before it popped into my head. Maybe mommy brain is like your brain on delay. Or, like Ms. Wessels said to a classmate in my 7th grade social studies class, "Jesse, you are 3 seconds too slow." It's kind of like that.

Anyway, on Wednesday, I went to the mall with Kara. Who is Kara? Kara is a friend and co-worker. Like most of my friends, we met at work. She teaches in the science department with Tom. Her son, Ben, is 2 weeks older than Lily, and her son, Sam, is one week younger than Jack. We didn't plan it this way...we swear. Since we are on leave during the same time, we decided we should hang out with the littlest ones, and the mall is always a good idea.

For those of you who don't know, if you are a nursing mother, Nordstrom is a gift from the department store gods. For serious. First of all, it has a women's lounge. Second of all, it has a mother's room for nursing. Yes, you heard read right. At the end of our shopping/eating/talking fun, we went there to feed the littles. I ended up sitting next to another mom and we got to chatting.

Here is where what I was going to write about comes into play. I know you have been waiting.

A sample of the conversation--

Her: How old is your baby?

Me: 7 weeks

Her: Oh! 7 weeks? Mine, too! Wait, he is 7 weeks? He looks like he is one year old!

Me: Yeah, that's cause he was a giant at birth.

Other things I learned about this mom-- she has a daughter who is 4, where she lives, where she hopes to move, and other, what I would call "small talk" things. Then, it gets heavier. She starts asking about breastfeeding and how it's going. She reveals that this baby has been harder because he has reflux. How being a mom is easier the second time, but how she never anticipated the issues this new baby has.

Maybe it's because our boobs were hanging out. Maybe that makes you feel more vulnerable. Maybe it's because breastfeeding with a stranger is awkward unless you have a conversation. Maybe it's because I look like I am a wealth of knowledge about parenting (yeah, let's go with that last one). But, that day, I had a serious conversation about mommy fears, mommy worries, just being a mommy with a total stranger. I never even got her name.

That's why motherhood is basically a club. We all get it. We understand each other. That is why it's ok to open up to stranger about the problems you have been having with your newborn. Because, ultimately, we have all been there (or have a friend that has).

After this conversation, I found Kara breastfeeding Sam, talking to an older woman. Somehow, I don't think they were having the same conversation.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Tantrums? Tantrums!

I have been trying to start this post approximately 1,345,902 times (give or take). Sadly, I had a really awesome topic to write on...and then I forgot. This is what mommy brain does to you. They don't tell you that part (that ambiguous they...those people who should know). That not only do you donate your eye color, hair color, ability to roll your tongue to your children, but you also give them your brain. I swear, Lily has my memory now. I hope she enjoys it.

So today ended up being awesome. I say ended because it started as one big temper tantrum. It is said that I was a perfect child. It is also said that I cried for the first nine months of my life. But that is irrelevant to this post. I never threw tantrums. I am quoting my mom. She was there, she knows. I don't remember my brother throwing tantrums. Timothy barely made a peep for the first year of his life, so I don't think tantrums were anywhere on his radar. Somehow, Lily got a tantrum gene, and I am guessing it isn't from me (I am give you a serious side-eye my dear husband).

Let me explain: when Lily doesn't get her way, or has to do something she might not want to do (I say might because usually, she ends up not minding the task) she throws a tantrum. I am talking epic, body throwing, crying tantrums. Luckily, they only last a minute or so and then she moves on (easily her mother). This morning was one big tantrum. Lots of crying. Lots of body throwing. Not lots of fun.

Usually, to deal with the little monster we ignore her and it goes away. She stands up, and says hi to Fred or Jack or one of us and then plays. We also don't have too many public tantrums, thank goodness (although the law of parenting says that since I said that here, she will have one tomorrow).

My question to you all is: how do you deal with tantrums? How do you help your little monster stop throwing them? Is that possible? Help!

But I don't look like a monster, mommy.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Monsters under the bed

I don't think I could better articulate my feelings about yesterday's events in Boston than my friend (and Jack's godmomma), Sarah, did here on her blog.

Being a mother is such a fine balance of sanity. If I thought too much about the what ifs...what if she falls, what if it's too cold, what if the tree falls on the house...I would absolutely go insane. I truly would. Being a mother is the hardest job in the world not because of the sleeplessness, not because of the breastfeeding or pumping, not because of those responsibilities.

Being a mother is hard because suddenly the worry of keeping a child safe is yours. And that is the heaviest responsibility you will ever carry because sometimes, despite all efforts, you just cannot keep them safe. And it sucks.

Suddenly, in 21st century America, you worry about sending your kid to the movies or the mall or school. Sometimes, it seems like staying in my home with my kids safe and sound would be easier.

But I know we cannot live life like that.

So we move onward. As mothers we teach our children goodness. We help them to be safe and make them feel safe when the monsters from under the bed reveal themselves. MLK said,

"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. 
Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that."

So this is where we stand. We stand on the edge of darkness pushing light. We stand on the edge of hatred pushing love. As a mother, it is my greatest hope that my children become beacons of light and love in a world, an America, so desperately seeking both.

Maybe, then, sheltering my children, no matter how appealing it seems, is not the answer. How will they learn? How will they grow? That is the hardest part of motherhood: living knowing that you will have to let them go. Knowing the world isn't so safe. Knowing that there are bad things out there. Knowing that you cannot always give them the safety you wish you could.

So, while I can, I will hold my babies a little longer. I will keep them safe from monsters under the bed (or birds pecking on the back windows of the house). I will protect them. And love them. And show them goodness, so that they may be light and love.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Who Am I?

That title sounds deeper than this post is going to be. Just a fair warning.

Lately, a lot of blogs (and by a lot, I mean two here and here (this second link may not work)), have been dealing with parenting philosophies. Now, I don't know about you, but as a mom of two I am far too busy worrying about poopsplosions to bother with a philosophy on how to raise my kids.

Don't get me wrong, I am sure, positive in fact, that prior to having kids I side-eyed a few people for their parenting. People I didn't even know. Unsuspecting mothers in malls with screaming kids. Parents of children in my classroom (I may still do this...). I unfairly looked at them and thought, what the heck are you doing!?! I believe my years of babysitting experience fully qualified me to judge away.

I know, now, that it isn't that easy. Just yesterday I was one being side-eyed by the man who probably thought I was doing something horrible to my daughter, when, in reality, I just wanted her to sit in her stroller (and, really, I was trying to keep her safe...if not for that 5-point safety harness I am sure she would have jumped out of that seat). So, side-eye away people, judge if you must.

Now, the real reason I am telling you all about my philosophy, or lack thereof, is because I can barely recognize myself with this baby. With Lily, she kind of raised herself. Ok, not really, but I was blessed by the first child gods and got a baby who basically sleep trained herself (She was, and is, and awesome sleeper. There, I said it. Go on and hate me.). She never spit up (like ever). She took to a bottle fine. Took to solids fine. Took to daycare fine. I mean, seriously, she was amazing. She never slept in our bed. She didn't need to be in a carrier all day long. She just was independent from day 1.

I used disposable diapers with her. I kind of scoffed at people who used cloth diapers. Well, really, I scoffed at people who used cloth diapers because they wanted to save the environment, but also drove a big old, gas guzzling SUV. Kind of like a big mac and a diet Coke. Really? You want a diet Coke?

I digress.

The real reason I am making you hate me with stories about how wonderful Lily was, is because Jack is even better!

Haha, just kidding.

No, not really.

He is a great baby, but my parenting Jack is different that my parenting Lily.

Let me explain. With Lily, part of me was trying to figure out what the heck you do when the kid is your own. When you don't give the baby back when it's crying. When you are the one responsible for figuring that out. With Jack, I know the things (or most of the things) that I was new to with Lily.

But Jack is a different baby.

He is easy. Totally laid back and calm; however, he spits up. A lot. I never had to deal with that before. He also loves to be cuddled. Not that Lily didn't, but he seems to need it more. He is also the second baby, meaning I have to split my time, sometimes literally. I also need my hands free to make sure Lily isn't trying to sit on the dog (the dog weighs 12 pounds, Lily would win), or walk down the steps on her own, or pull the curtains down on herself (she actually did this).

So this time around I wear him a lot more. In the Moby, in the Bjorn. I have to wear him to keep my hands free to help Lily. This time around he snuggles with me in bed after I feed him. This serves two purposes: 1. so he has time to digest and not spew everything he just ate, and 2. to satisfy his need to be close. He slept in a rock and play for the first month of his life, something I would never have done with Lily (She needs to sleep flat on her back! It is so much safer! Anything else is totally wrong!). I have learned that you do what you need to get sleep, to manage two children, to stay sane.

I am also using cloth diapers. Say what?!? Yep, I crossed over the dark side. I am doing it more to save money than the environment. I am basically using the cheapest way to cloth diaper and am loving it. The diapers are cute. I can also get a white cover easier than I can find plain white diapers. And, yeah, it's probably pretty ok for the environment; however, I am not proclaiming to save it. I drive an SUV (well, a crossover), so does Tom. Though, we do recycle. I guess we are environmental moderates.

So, long story short, I don't think I have one specific philosophy. I really don't know who I am as a parent. I am And isn't that the best person to be? I trust myself, my instincts, and my judgments. And I work really well with Tom. We work well as a team. That is key to raising these two little monsters. We do what we need to do to have two happy, healthy kids. End of story.

Even within my circle of mommy friends we have 5 different styles. We do what works. We do what is right for our children. The best thing about the mommy club (yep, we are a club, 5 of us go out once a month (kid free!) to chat and eat (and when we aren't pregnant- drink)) is that we all parent differently and no one judges anyone for it. There aren't any side-eyes or questions. We just support each other.

Anyway, parent away my parent friends. Do what you need to do to get sleep. Do what you need to do to raise happy, healthy kids.

Congratulations. You made it to the end. Have a drink or a piece of cake. Or just look at these beautiful babies:

Saturday, April 13, 2013


This morning I decided to take the kids + dog for a walk.

Ok, that's cool. Easy enough.


Let's recap:

Tom had baseball practice this morning. Based on today's events, it will be his last Saturday practice. Ever.

Well, maybe not...but I digress.

So, I get Lily dressed. I get Jack dressed. I get shoes on, jackets on, dog on leash, kids in stroller, and get out the door. Awesome start.

Start walking and everything is great. Weather is lovely, Lily is chatting about the cars or the airplanes or something. Jack is just chilling with his cute pilot hat on. Fred is even walking like a normal dog. Again, awesome.

Lily asks to walk. That's fine it will get her tired for her nap. I tell her she can when we get to a safer area to walk. She is cool with it.

We get to a safer place, she gets out and starts to walk. First problem: the yellow sign on the lawn that warns: if your child walks on, touches, consumes, or thinks about this grass he or she will explode. If your dog does any of the above his or her legs will fall off. Well, crap. Lily normally stays on the sidewalk, but Murphy's Law says if she cannot walk on the lawn, she will. So I pick her up, she starts to cry, and we get past demon lawn.

I put her down and the tears stop and everything is awesome again. Until she falls. A few more tears, but no profuse bleeding, so we are fine. Then, she falls again. More crying. Now, she wants to be carried.

Timeout. I can do many things. I am great at multitasking. But I cannot carry an almost two year old, push a double stroller, and walk a dog. I just cannot. So in the stroller she goes.

Or not.

She flails, screams, cries, throws herself.

The man leaving his house is looking at me wondering what I did to my child.

Then...the paci...falls out.


So I finally get her in her stroller. She is still crying. Jack is looking at me like " are nuts." I am thinking, yeah, I am nuts. Then, Lily asks for her "pash", which is dirty and I cannot give her (never taking a pash on a walk again).

So she cries all the way home. We get home. She gets juice. She won't let go of me. When I have to put her down she flings herself on the floor and hits her head on the table. Then, when she asks for "nanas" I got to get them and she cries and, while trying to crawl up the steps, slips down them. Cue more crying.

We finally get settled with Caillou.

Jack is still in the car seat. I got to get him. Lily throws herself on me. He needs to be nursed, she sits on the nursing pillow (which is on my lap).

I call my mom and ask her for reinforcements. Luckily, my mom is wonderful and comes.

This is why Tom can never have a Saturday practice again. I hope he understands.

Score at the end of the morning (keep in mind, it's only 10am by the time this comedy of errors is over): Lily 1,000,000, Mom -infinity

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Lions and tigers and bows, oh my!

WARNING! If you love those huge flower/bow headbands that you put on your newborn the minute she excited the womb...the post is not for you. Proceed with extreme caution.

I am not entirely sure why I decided to write a whole post dedicated to baby hair accessories. No, wait, I do know why. It's because my daughter has decided that NOTHING can touch her hair. No clip, no matter how stealthy I try to be in putting it in, stands a chance. Is it so wrong to want your daughter to wear a little bow? I think not.

This is not what I want to write about, though. I want to write about this:


Yes, I want to write about how ridiculous I think bows that are bigger than a baby's head are. I know, I know a whole blog post dedicated to ginormous bows is silly, but this is my blog, so get over it. These bows really bother me. They get under my skin. I want to look at the parents of this child and say, "really? would YOU wear that?" Probably not. I mean, first of all, that flower. It's huge. It is actually taking over the baby's cuteness. I can't even look at the chubby baby. All I see is that damn flower sticking out there like a sore thumb. Second, does this baby even have hair? I mean, I thought headbands were supposed to keep hair out of your face. No hair, no need for huge, head eating headband.

I blame this phenomenon (or, phenomenot (too much?)) on the Duggars. Yes, the Duggars. Have you seen pictures of Josie (the youngest member of the clan)? She always has a bow on her head!

Please, people. Not necessary. Double whammy- bow plus bling.

Even when she was in the hospital-- bow! At home-- bow!

Step away from the bow.
Sometimes, they even put fake hair on her to make her look more...girly?

What is even going on here?
Really, people? REALLY? Fake hair? Let your baby be a baby. My daughter was mistaken for a boy for months (despite her all pink ensembles), but I didn't mind because, frankly, if you strip babies down to nakedness (well, with diapers on, you can tell gender pretty easily if they are donning a birthday suit) you can't tell the boys from the girls. Unless the girls are sporting fake hair.

Bad decision Brit.

I am sure there are moms out there who are furiously mad at me right now. How dare you blast my daughter and her huge flowers and bows?!? Pretty easily, actually. These moms did it, too: go here. In all honesty, stick with the little cute flowers and bows. Ones that allow me to look at your cute baby, and not the monstrosity on her head. I want to see the chub beneath it, not the super-fake flower on top.

Yep, that's Lily. Cute bow and all. Take that sucker off and BAM! she could have been a boy. Sorry, Lily, it's true. You had no hair until after you reached the age of 1.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Friday, April 5, 2013

Feeling so domestic

For the past two nights I have made great dinners. I am aware there are people who do this every night, but I don't, so this is a big deal. Ok, I sound like I never cook, I do cook, but it's usually the quick, easy meals...tacos, pasta, etc...

Last night I made steak medallions marinated in brown-sugar bourbon sauce with spinach salad, and baked sweet potatoes. For the salad, I made a balsamic vinaigrette (5 T Olive Oil, 3 T Balsamic Vinegar, 1 T Dijon Mustard). It is way yum.

Tonight, I made turkey burgers (4 cloves minced garlic, 1 t. paprika, 1/4 t. chili powder, 2 T olive oil, 2 T Worcestershire sauce, 1 pound of ground turkey). I topped them with sautéed onions and cheese. We had roasted asparagus with Parmesan cheese and cooked carrots. It was all so good. 

The perks problems of having a small kitchen.
Speaking of food-- for Easter I had to make salads. My new spinach, craisins, toasted walnuts, goat cheese, and the dressing mentioned above. I also made a warm bacon dressing salad. Tom really liked that one.

I attribute my mad cooking skills this week to my husband having spring break. It is easier to cook when Lily is being occupied with playing with daddy. Today, she played outside with Abby and Charlie, our little neighbors. I looked out the window and all three kids were on the swing set. The next time I looked out, Abby was digging in the dirt and Lily was sweeping the sidewalk. Lily LOVES playing with other kids, so it is very nice to have kids next door who are around her age. It is fun to watch her interact with other kids. I am so looking forward to the summer when she can get out and play with her friends.

Edited: I started writing this last night; however, my usually calm, happy baby decided to scream his head off. Finally, I decided to try the Moby, and wonder of wonders, he fell asleep immediately! It was great. He was all wrapped up and warm and quiet. Phew!