Wednesday, February 23, 2011


OMG!  You guys MUST check out this shopping site -

It's basically a "shoe club", if you will - for $40/month, you sign up and fill out a profile that indicates your style and fashion sense. Each month, you'll receive a showroom of shoes, based upon your profile (mine is romantic/ poetic/ eclectic), and you can choose one for yourself.  (I checked it out, though, and you can skip months so that you don't have to pay $40 that month - it's not one of those automatic things that turn into a nightmare.) They also have handbags, jewelry, and some home goods, all chosen by famous Hollywood stylists.  How fun is that?!

Maybe you have more style than I do (you probably do!), but I'm constantly seeing women in cute things and think... "Where on earth did they find that?  I want it and have NO idea where to look!"  Well, I think this might help me with that problem.

Sheridan, close your eyes and pretend you didn't read this.  This blog entry does not exist - please disregard.  :)

GIRLS - go forth and shop!!!!

Love, Mer

Friday, February 18, 2011

Back to Work!

Wow, so it seems that maternity leave is now over.  It's been 12 glamorous weeks of PJs, spit up, trying to figure out and implement a routine (#epicfail, by the way), and conducting my days in a fog after long nights with the lovemuffin.  It's been hard and absolutely wonderful at the same time.  I am so grateful for the opportunity to spend this time with my incredible, amazing, sweet, beautiful daughter!

Katie is the sweetest little girl we could have ever imagined.  Little girls are just so DIFFERENT than baby boys - she coos and smiles so much, is extremely alert and focused and just loves, loves, loves to be cuddled and kissed.  Patrick has always just wanted to play, play, play - that's his MO.  Doesn't care too much for Mommy unless we're wrestling, running, and playing... he was even like that as a baby, to an extent.  It doesn't mean I love him less - I certainly do not! - but it's just less of a lovey dovey interaction that we have.  I'm glad that I now have one of each, so I can have the best of both worlds!

Speaking of the best of both worlds, I feel blessed to be a working mother.  For me, I love having a beautiful, fun, crazy family AND a great job that challenges me to the max and gives me the opportunity to help people, socialize with super intelligent people, and use my talents on a daily basis.  I mean, really...  how lucky am I?!  Being a working mom is super hard work - there are no breaks... you work hard all day and then come home to make dinner, eat, clean, bathe, soothe babies/ coerce to bed, and then prepare for the next (and maybe work a little bit to catch up from a crazy day of 100+ emails)...  but again, when I'm complaining about how crazy things are, and how tired I am, can someone please remind me that I'm *incredibly blessed*?

Monday is likely to be the hardest day in my life - first day back to work at 12 weeks post Katiebug, and Katie's first day at "school".  I feel a warm swelling in my belly (like I'm going to cry) just thinking about it.  With Patrick, I had gotten laid off while pregnant and didn't go back to work until he was 6 months old; and even then, I went back to an easy job that I conducted from home.  This time, I'm returning at 3 months to a job that, from what I hear, is going to be absolute chaos when I return (Dell had a record year in 2010, so we're hiring like crazy!) - gulp.  But again, I am blessed... just need to keeeeep reminding myself.  And Katie will hopefully love being surrounded by all the sweet kids at school who will absolutely love her.  I've taken her in a few times to pick up Patrick and all the kiddos rushed to come see her - it was really sweet!

Anyway, today I plan to spend contemplating the new normal for our family.  How is this all going to work, where can I squeeze time in to work out and take care of myself too, what are some meals that I can prepare ahead of time and throw in the oven when I get home, how on earth is this pumping at work and sending bottles to school thing going to work, etc. etc. etc.  I need to label all of Katie's blankets, bottles, etc. and think about the logistics of getting the kids to school and picking them up...  This is all going to be very interesting... I know people all over the world do this every day, but it's first time I'm going to be doing it with 2 very tiny children, so it seems like a big deal!  LOL

OK, time to get to work.  Have a great day and weekend, kids!  I'll post an update soon.

Love, Mer

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Patrick Likes Pudding

He's digging for every last bite! :)

Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, February 09, 2011


Testing the new BlogPress application from my iPhone...

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Location:The couch

Smiley Girl

Too bad these are blurry, but Miss Katie kept moving around, so I couldn't get a clear shot!  But you get the gist... I have a smiley girl on my hands today!

Friday, February 04, 2011

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Asparagus and Sun Dried Tomato Risotto

Since I've been breastfeeding, I've been OBSESSED with food!!  I spend all day thinking about what I'm going to make that night, gathering all the ingredients, then figuring out how I'm going to time to nurse the baby, squeeze in a nap, pick up Patrick from school, and try to have dinner ready before Patrick's bathtime.  It's an all-day thing for me - thinking about and preparing dinner.  When I return to work (in 2 weeks), I probably won't be cooking a lot - until I figure out the "new normal" - so hopefully Patrick and Sheridan enjoy my culinary obsession while they can!  :)

Here is one of my favorites that I am in the mood to make tonight or tomorrow night... I hope you try it and enjoy it too.

And by the way, this picture is from when I lived in sunny, warm San Diego when I had the ability to hang out by the pool and go on fun vacations.  Today I'm in freezing cold Austin, very pale-skinned, and still in my pajamas because I'm on maternity leave.  You people don't need to see a picture of that...

Love, Mer

Asparagus and Sun Dried Tomato Risotto


4 cups simmering veggie stock
1 T olive oil
3 T butter
1 small onion, finely chopped
6 sun dried tomatoes, thinly sliced
1 3/8 cups risotto (arborio rice)
2/3 cup dry white wine
(1 or 2 glasses of wine for the chef, naturally)
8 oz fresh asparagus spears, cooked
3/4 cup grated parmesan or pecorino cheese
Lemon rind to garnish


Most importantly, pour yourself a lovely glass of wine. Now you're ready to cook!  Start by heating oil with 2 T butter in deep pan over medium heat until the butter is melted. Stir in onion and tomatoes and cook for about 5 minutes until the onion is soft and turning golden - don't brown.

Reduce heat and add rice; mix to coat in oil and butter. Cook, stirring constantly for 2-3 minutes or until the grains are translucent. Add wine and cook, stirring constantly until it's reduced. 

Gradually add the hot stock, one ladleful at a time. Stir constantly and add more liquid as the rice absorbs each addition. Increase heat to medium so that the liquid bubbles.  Cook for 20 minutes until all the liquid is absorbed and rice is creamy. 

I'm sure you're ready for another glass of wine.  Go ahead... pour yourself a glass.  Cheers!

White risotto is cooking, cut most of the asparagus into 1 inch pieces.  Carefully fold the cut pieces into the risotto for the last 5 minutes of cooking time.  

Remove the risotto from heat and add remaining cutter.  Mix well, then add parmesan until it melts.  

Serve in pasta bowls and garnish with lemon rind - it's beautiful, delicious, and vegetarian goodness.  Mmmmmmmmm!