Christmas 2014

December 27, 2013 at 4:27 PM | Posted in Baby Romaezi | Leave a comment

What a great Christmas we had!  This was the first year Kamran could communicate his understanding of Christmas with actual words.  Leading up to Christmas, little dude wanted zero to do with the Santa man.  We waited for a while before we decided to go for a visit to see him.  When we did visit Santa, it was a family photo.  Honestly, I’m glad he won’t just go sit on any lap…even if he gives away toys and dresses up like a character.

We have one standing holiday tradition on my side of the family.  That is Christmas Eve with my dad’s side of the family.  They are all local to one another (a small hike for us) and that makes it super convenient to see everyone for a nice meal and exchange gifts.  Kamran’s favorite gift that night was from my Aunt.  The boy was captivated with a Thomas book that has teeny trains and a play mat at the back.  He didn’t move and had no interest in the gifts everyone had for him.  There are 2 other littles his age right now as well which makes it all super fun.

Kamran is very interested in helping me take photos.  It was interesting to learn that the folks who hide from me will smile nicely when Kam is “helping.”  Noted.  (The snowman he took approximately 20 photos of all by himself.)

Christmas Day, I cooked breakfast/brunch and family came to visit us.  Let’s just say that little man is the only grandchild on both sides for now.  Someone received lots of big gifts.  He is LOVING all of them.  Most importantly, he received several learning toys which are great so that I can work with him now that we are home together.  My brother wins a big gold star.  He drove an hour to be here at 6am and watch Kamran wake up to see that Santa had come to visit.

All in all we had an amazing few days with family.  Who cares about the gifts, having everyone visit our home was the very best part.

Juice: Toddler Contraband

December 27, 2013 at 9:29 AM | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Christmas updates will come soon but first I had to share our laughter this morning.

One of my best buds has recently started juicing. Think juice machine, fresh fruits and veggies, and amazing for you. Not store bought concentrate. I’ve been juice curious myself and went for a visit yesterday with my refrigerator full of veggies in tow. Two jars of juice came home with me. So. Delicious. Seriously. I’m finishing off a beet and carrot juice as I write.

The very beet and carrot juice I had to run and hide to drink because my awesome food-loving toddler kept stealing it from me. You see, he only drinks water or milk and has only ever had apple juice twice in his life. He didn’t really like it much either. Beet juice is a totally different ball game. I went to a restaurant with him that served juice recently and he drank more of my juice than he did the “special treat” chocolate milk he and his friend were splitting. I had forgotten all about that until this morning. Out comes *my* beet juice and over runs my toddler, literally wagging his tongue to try it. He chugged and chugged and chugged the juice then smiled that cute bright fuchsia smile of his and asked for more. I shared but eventually had to run and hide since this is my breakfast today.

I’m so proud of this little dude’s food choices. Don’t get me wrong. Like any toddler, he asks for cookies if he sees them but apples are more frequently requested.

Check out these juice boy photos and giggle with us.

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Halloween 2013 | Easy Homemade Toddler Yoda Costume

October 31, 2013 at 10:46 PM | Posted in Baby Romaezi | Leave a comment
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So it seems I’ve been a very bad blogger lately!  I find myself wearing several hats (pun intended) lately and starting up my new little business has lots of my energy going away from this blog.  Sorry!  I’m still here!

So this Halloween was Kamran’s first true time trick or treating.  He had an absolute ball–so did my husband and I!  Little guy dressed up as Yoda in a costume made by yours truly.  He spent a good few days practicing his light saber sounds and breaking in his Yoda hat.

Homemade Toddler Yoda Halloween Costume

One thing little man said quite a lot tonight was “Hi Ms. Ya-yen!  Tank ew Ms. Ya-yen!”  As he helped himself to **more** candy from the neighbor’s dish.  (Don’t worry, the candy is for ME, not him–he gets raisins and organic lolipops.)  In addition to candy, he also took “Ms. Ya-yen’s” nose.  Don’t worry, he gave her his in return.  Two is honestly my favorite age so far.

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I have to share this costume and how I made it because it was probably one of the easiest things I’ve ever made.

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Necessary Skills:

To make this costume you need 3 real skills.  You *do* need to know how to crochet and make the hat.  (Or you could just order one from me www.facebook.com/loopsidaisy)  The other two skills are fairly easy–cutting and hot glue.

Materials:

Green yarn for the hat.

2 medium sized mens t-shirts.  One brown and one tan.

3 glow sticks, preferably green–we didn’t have green.

Electric tape

Some sort of belt/rope/twine

Instructions:

I typically don’t use patterns for my crochet work.  I wanted to get this hat done quickly so I opted to use a pattern.  This pattern from Knot Your Nana’s Crochet.  It took me a day-ish of working on it as I had a minute.  I crochet rather fast, so perhaps give yourself and extra day if you think you need it.

For the robes.  The men’s brown shirt is the base.  Just put it on your child.  The tan shirt should be cut up the front and center so it opens like a robe.  I just eyeballed it.  You could hem this (sewing or adhesive, iron on hem tape) if you want, I just tucked the raw edges under once it was on my little guy.

I just happened to have the perfect belt for my little dude to borrow.  If you don’t have one, tan colored rope or twine would work just fine.  It wrapped around his waist twice and had plenty of room for the ends to hang once tied.

You see 2 light sabers in the photos above.  The big one is a geek-item belonging to my husband.  Little dude actually walked around the neighborhood with 3 glow sticks, hot glued together.  The handle is just black electric tape wrapped on itself.

Playing Tourist

August 8, 2013 at 11:43 PM | Posted in Baby Romaezi | Leave a comment
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Today was quite fun! A friend of ours has family visiting from Ireland and invited us along for their trip to DC for the day. It was so nice to spend time getting to know everyone in person, put names to faces and hear a little about my friend as a child–from her parents.

Kayvan and I have always lived in the DC suburbs. Close enough to visit the city but far enough for it to be a full day trip and a super fun treat. Kayvan was at work today though. I was sad about that, especially since we went for Kam’s first “train” (metro) ride. Kam boy is a very careful critic and gave the metro some serious looks. He was cranky at the beginning if the trip, too. New people and teeth. Totally justified. All in all, Kam loved riding the train (and eating his applesauce. Don’t let the dirty look in the photo fool you.

Today we visited a few memorials, the Lincoln–fit with scaffolding thanks to the person who doused it in green paint a few weeks ago–I actually didn’t take a photo of the paint damage. Kam was very busy at this point in the day so I ended up chasing him for a few laps around the perimeter as he shouted “Kam running, Kam running! Mommy chase me!” His little bud eventually joined the fun, too! Thank goodness Kam is super duper slow. His run is my walk. Kamran also decided that he NEEDED multiple photos taken, posing by every pillar and saying “cheeeeeese”. I instantly regretted not having my big camera with me. He was shockingly independent during the first part of the trip considering he was teething and is usually rather attached to me with new people around. He walked most of the way from the metro and up and down the steps of the Lincoln.

Next we admired the reflecting pool and the Washington monument…also fit with scaffolding as it is under repair for earthquake damage. We’re a mess in DC, aren’t we!?

We popped over to the Korean War and Vietnam War Memorials and then to the WWII Memorial. I’ll never forget the first time I saw the Korean War Memorial. It was foggy, night time and…kinda eerie. The Vietnam War Memorial just blows me away every time. The number of names on the wall…the number of lives lost. No words. The WWII–probably my favorite of the 3. All of the state names in one big, round circle, the beautiful fountain which you can dip your toes in and the view of the Washington Monument. There is also familial meaning. My great grandfather was a Prisoner of War who returned home.

Course, we couldn’t leave the city without a trip to the White House! There aren’t a lot of photos of my friends family here. I made sure to take lots of family photos as I could. I took them from their devices though.

Man, my feet are KILLING me as I sit in bed writing this. Worth it though, great day!

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We Love Eating Farm Fresh Food!

July 6, 2013 at 10:02 AM | Posted in CSA | 5 Comments
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This week marks week 5 of our first year using a CSA. I was worried at first because the first box was somewhat small. I loved it then though and am an even bigger fan now.

The way our CSA works is we have a box delivered to our door and each week we have bonuses we can go out to pick at the farm. Now that I am home, this is such a neat activity for me and the little guy to share.

I have a few friends who are also CSA members at our farm as well. It is nice to be able to join them for a day at the farm to pick and play.

Yesterday we went out with my bestie, Millie. This week we got to pick peas, black raspberries (I have never seen those in store!) and blueberries. We also had cucumbers, summer squash, garlic scrapes, peas, blueberries and beets delivered. We have SO MUCH fresh food in our house now!

I find that the food delivered each week shapes our menu. It actually makes meal planning easier for me. We are also discovering new staple recipes for our home…like Swiss Chard Lasagna.

Here are some photos for you.  Breakfast, ingredients for our pot luck pasta salad and despite the fact that I’m not feeling well and look less than my best, photos of our farm day!

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Check out breakfast from this morning. Blueberry pancakes with blackberries on the side. All of the berries were freshly picked yesterday and pesticide free.

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We are headed to a neighborhood cookout today with pasta salad in tow. Everything you see here, with the exception of the tomatoes, came from the farm. Of course, I still need to add pasta, a few fresh herbs and dressing for it to be complete.

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Family photo on the tractor to pick peas. Cool dude wouldn’t smile in his orange sunglasses.

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Me and Millie. I love that she always comes to hang out with our family.

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Kam pretty much insists on being worn at the fam. Blueberry picking in the Tula.

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Love these two! He adores “Aunt Meee.”

 

Strawberry Picking – Local CSA | Eating Seasonally

May 29, 2013 at 3:21 PM | Posted in CSA | Leave a comment
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We recently joined a local farm CSA and I’m so excited the growing season is finally here! Our farm provides us with a weekly box of fresh, local fruits and vegetables. I think part of my excitement is the challenge of being creative with what we get. It’s a cooking challenge. A big one because while I like making toddler meals for our son, I wouldn’t label my cooking repertoire as broad.

Now that strawberries are in season our farm offers a “U Pick” bonus to CSA members. This week we got to pick a quart of strawberries as part of our share. Of course, we can also buy more! (I so did.) All weekend I had strawberry dreams rattling around in my head as I brainstormed what to make.

My Strawberry To-do list:
Strawberry Yogurt
Freeze for Later (smoothies!)
Strawberry Vanilla Bean Jam
Strawberry Tartlet
Strawberry Mojitos
Strawberry Pie (Kayvan’s request)
Strawberry Lemonade–I’ll make something up
Strawberry Sorbet

These aren’t exactly out of the box, unique recipes. Some of these may never happen but I’m at least going to try. The yogurt is cooking as I type! Tomorrow I’ll conquer the tart.

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Yoga Pant Mondays

May 6, 2013 at 8:29 AM | Posted in Our Home | Leave a comment
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When I worked on the office setting, Fridays were casual Fridays. You could wear jeans provided you still appeared to have still made an effort to dress professionally. Dress flats were encouraged instead of sneakers and no old T-shirts. You get the drill.

Now that I’m a work at home mom and my own boss, I think I may just institutionalize yoga pant Monday. I make every effort to get dressed in decent clothes now that I’m home. Mondays still are no fun though. We usually have no plans on Monday as well. So it’s fitting I think.

I wonder if it matters that Tuesday’s are swim lessons at the gym and Wednesday I occasionally catch a class at the gym. So I’m in yoga pants then too…

I never really understood the stay at home mom yoga pant stereotype when I worked in the office. Now that I work at home…I’m beginning to understand!

Toddler Fun: Baking Soda, Vinegar and Colors

April 22, 2013 at 1:01 PM | Posted in Baby Romaezi | Leave a comment
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So this was a blast for both myself and Kam. I got the idea from Pinterest. Basically, you cover the bottom of a baking pan with baking soda and add food coloring to a few tablespoons of vinegar. Cheap and I already had everything on hand.

I love this activity because I could explain that adding vinegar to baking soda makes it fizz. He IS two though so all he really responded to was “BUBBLES BUBBLES BUBBLES!!!”

I also found this to be a great way to talk about colors. I let my son pick the color he wanted next and I would draw the color up for him to squirt in the pan and we would talk about it. At one point he asked for purple so I explained that red and blue make purple, drew it up and let him drop it in. We also talked about how red and yellow make orange. If we had a dropper with a bulb on it he probably could have done this himself.

All in all, a great learning activity I recommend. Here are some photos!

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New Life Directions

April 22, 2013 at 9:16 AM | Posted in Jamie Romaezi Photography | Leave a comment
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If you are a Facebook friend reading this, you already know some of my update. In short, I recently resigned from my 6 year career to start my own photography business. You can find my work at http://www.jamieromaezi.com or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/jamieromaeziphotography

I get a lot of questions as to why. That answer is LONG.

I found myself to the point of dreading work every single day. I started looking for open project manager positions and that’s when it clicked. Yes, I’m good at woking with people, keeping them on task and getting projects delivered on time as requested. That wasn’t enough for me though. I simply missed being creative for a living. I need and thrive on having a daily creative outlet. When I went from the television side to advertising, I knew I was risking not fulfilling that need. I just didn’t realize I would be spending all of my free time outside of work dedicated to my need to create.

I can’t possibly cover all reasons for our change on here but i willcover the big ones. I mostly missed my son every single day. I needed him more than an hour in the morning and 2 at night. He also needed me! We spent SO many hours that first year as a preemie in and out if doctors and specialists. I had a tough time balancing. Of course I did exactly what my child needed but I felt so guilty for taking time away from work. Guilt stinks. As a working mom, it stinks worse. You feel guilty if you send your kid to daycare with a runny nose. You feel guilty if your husband stays home instead of you but also, you feel guilty when you stay home because of your obligations to work. I was spinning and felt like I couldn’t win the battle with myself. Every. Single. Day. As he got older and needed fewer specialists that helped a little as I thought it would. It didn’t help completely. I also wanted more quality time with my husband. We do get time after Kam goes to bed but the family time together was always a struggle.

I didn’t want to be at work anymore. I realized that, but I also need TO WORK. I have a mind that just never rests. I know being a stay at home mom is a ton of work. I know myself though and I need something of my own to give me purpose. Daily goals with tangible, measurable, visible outcomes. (Here is yet another way I’m a project manager, huh?) I also want to continue contributing to our household income–need to as well.

I knew I needed to make a change and it was certainly a LONG decision process that took nearly 2 years to make. I mentioned to my husband that in college I told myself that once I was married and could use my spouse’s health insurance benefits I would freelance. Getting out of the TV biz sorta blocked that path for me right now though. I had continued on with photography in the absence of video production and editing.

That is where the photography business discussion started. We talked about it. A LOT. Ultimately we decided to just take a big LEAP! It was tough. I adored supervisor and have known my colleagues and work friends for 6 years. I had worked in 3 different departments at our company and know people who work not only at headquarters but around the country. I met some of my most loyal and best friends at work and work with some very admirable folks with lots of talent. It was hard to leave, Honestly, without a super shove from my sweet, caring encouraging husband who believes in my skill more than I do myself…I would still be doing the daily grind right now. So far, my only regret is not doing this sooner!

I have some work to do to build my client base but I know that will come. I’m thrilled to be home with Kamran every day. I take photos mostly on weekends and some weekdays. I edit at night or nap time when Kam is sleeping and the balance is perfect so far. I can also manage to clean our home and go grocery shopping during the week (heaven). In also still making my hats even though it slows down outside of winter. There are some tough parts like the fact that I’m very critical of myself and my work and feeling the constant need to justify my skill. I’m happy though Kam seems happy. We noticed instantly that he started talking more the week I started staying home. Kayvan is also happy. Especially so since he doesn’t have to go grocery shopping in weekends and gets to sleep in a tad later during the work week.

Blowing His Nose = All Grown Up

March 6, 2013 at 7:58 AM | Posted in Baby Romaezi | Leave a comment
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Today is a snow day and working from home means no commute and extra time under the covers. Parenthood means the exact opposite, of course.

Kamran was exploring this morning but let us stay in bed for an extra few minutes. SO NICE! Our boy is growing up.

This morning Kamran found tissues–a toddler’s favorite mess to make. He said, “nose?!” Meaning he wants to blow his nose. I asked my husband to help him because unassisted nose blowing means a mess. Before he could get to the tissue-laden toddler, he was done blowing his nose and saying “trash” headed to the trash can. Guess he doesn’t need us anymore!

He also found his snow boots in our closet and insisted they go on his feet. I guess he does fully comprehend what snow means!

I haven’t updated in a few weeks so…Kam is a total blabber mouth and it’s super fun. He is king of repeating the same word 5 times before you have a moment to respond. Lots of his words sound like bad words but aren’t.

B**** = Fish
Ass = off or wash
Douche = shoes

We had Kamran’s final NICU follow along 2 weeks ago, the speech pathologist said he is right on track for a 2 year old on speech development. Same goes for other development areas as well. We are so lucky and happy about that! He should start stringing more words together soon. Oh, and no more adjusted age!

Have a fun snowquester/snowquestration today everyone!

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