December 19, 2011

If ya like it than ya shoulda put a PIN on it

Clever huh?

Have you seen the pin that said something about wishing there was a big red button to press that says "I actually did this" when you actually complete a pin that you pinned? (how's that for a opening sentence??) Ha!
I totally agree. There at least should be some kind of way to check things off without erasing them from your boards. I can't help it.. I'm a helpless list maker and the whole point of lists is to cross things off.

Good thing I'm a blogger. I can broadcast to whoever cares (let me believe you are all dying to know this, mkay?) that I do complete the things I pin. Or have intentions to. Okay.. really I'm just showing off. Humor me.

* None of the pictures below are my own. Had I known I was going to be showing off, I would have snapped pictures. In the future.. get ready for it. Correction. One will be my own. Oh, you'll know it.*

Parmesan Roasted Potatoes by These were just okay. Nothing special and I probably wouldn't take the time to make them again. It was probably umm.. me.. though.
 IHOP pancake recipe by These are delicious. I was serious when I got onto FB afterwards to declare that I'd never buy a box of Bisquick again. Yum and Easy Peasy.
Crock pot Orange Chicken by No. We did not like this at all. But I think it's just that we don't like Orange Chicken and I thought we did. I feel like it's a good recipe if you like that dish!

Crescent Breakfast Ring by Really good. Especially the first time I made it (Thanksgiving morning). The other two times have been a little off, but I have no clue why. Just hasn't been quite as good as that first time. Definitely worth it to make on your own!  - Mine for sure didn't look like that!

Delicious Apple Crisp by . Ohhhh yeahhhh!! Fabulous. Make it. The end.

Pioneer Woman's Mashed Potatoes. If you're looking for a low-fat side, don't even bother clicking. It sounds too good - and is even better than it sounds - so don't tempt yourself. We eat mashed potatoes so few times a year that it doesn't matter. Amazing! Creamy. Buttery potato goodness.

Chili's Skillet Queso by Tastes just like Chili's!
Chicken in a Blanket by We really liked this one! Good to eat during football. I'll definitely make it again.
Crock Pot Honey Chicken by So very good. It's a new favorite of ours! Need to make this again real soon!

Mexican Stuffed Shells by Another new favorite. Perfect substitution for a boring ol' Taco Night.

Ohhh my that took a long time! Clearly, my husband is thankful for Pinterest! Speaking of that man..

I've also started this idea taken from 101 sweet things to do for your husband. I'm not very good at expressing my feelings towards him and find myself all too often getting caught up in the business of life. I want to show him how much I appreciate him through simple acts of kindness. I've only done the first two.. I umm.. forgot. See. Life is busy. But I'll jump back on tomorrow!

I did this just this weekend with the plates of cookies I made for neighbors! Same ribbon I'm noticing now, in fact.
This is a good little workout. Kept me sore for days. Obviously, I need to do it more often!

Ohh my gosh.. just figured out I could embed the pic instead of saving the picture, copying and pasting all the sources.. blah blah blah. That could have saved me an hour. Anywho.. I did that ice cube thing above and Andrew loved it! Freeze the cubes with a bit of food coloring in it. Pop one in the tub with your kiddo and watch the crazy fun take place.

Fun with Scarves. So many neat ways to wear them.

The perfect website to help with any beginning "photographers" out there. Seriously, if I can even begin to understand about aperture and shutter speeds.. you can too!

Speaking of photographs. Look at this picture that I took.. in the dark.. of our Christmas Tree.. all because Pinterest taught me how.

Source: Me.
 And this one when I was just playing outside with my camera last night. Around 10pm. I know.. crazy life I lead :)

For the only lighting being that dear in the corner, I have to be pretty proud of myself on that one. That's taken in manual.. and it was definitely better than the one taken in auto. My little point and click was never  capable of taking pictures in the dark! So thank you Canon.. and thank you Pinterest for teaching me about photography!

And just because this has made me laugh more times than I'd care to admit.. I'll end on this note..

Source: via Jessica on Pinterest

December 16, 2011

Thoughts from the shower

I do my best thinking from the shower. I can't be the only one. I really think it's the only time of day that I am truly alone. All day. No toddler pulling me in one direction in the other. I don't hear kiddy sing along music or the sound of "ca's" driving around the house. No husband to interrupt my thoughts with a random conversation about work, football, or brilliant ideas that only he could think up. No phone ringing or beeping with text messages. Nothing. Just me, steam, and silence.

Most shower sessions are very random. For instance...

1) Why does it seem, that even though most everyone we all know are adults, that a lot of the times we can't talk to each other like adults. I find that often, when people are mad at each other/thinks someone's upset with them/ has their feelings hurt, that it's based off of assumptions. We assume tone through text or email and don't clarify. We hear something that someone said and let it fester forever. Someone unknowingly does something to hurt our feelings and we never clear the air. I think, as a general rule, most of us hate confrontation, even if it's done in a kind, gentle manner. We don't pick up the phone and ask our friend or family member what they meant by that text and make sure we weren't reading into it. We stick a tone into it and let ourselves get all worked up.. possibly over nothing. When rumors are started and we hear that so and so said this or that about you (or anything like that) we play into it instead of talking to said person and finding out what's really going on. When our feelings are hurt, we don't sit down with the person who did whatever it may be and let them know how it made you feel.
I'm not talking about myself at the moment or any certain situation (I don't want my friends reading this and racking their minds over whether or not they did something to hurt me.. ha!) I try to put my fear of confrontation to the side and talk things out with people. If our relationship is important enough to me, you'll know if something is wrong. I've just seen this happening a few times lately and it makes me sad. Important relationships that you may really benefit from aren't even given a chance because of assumptions.
If you feel like I'm talking to you right now, and again, I'm not speaking to anyone in particular, maybe you should think about this and work on fixing a relationship over the holiday. Tis the season, right? Yes, I do feel like every bit of a Hallmark commercial, but just go with me here. I felt the need to share, maybe someone needed to hear it!

2) Trey took on a temporary position (that he someday in the near future will actually hold) this month and let me tell you.. I almost forget what he looks like! He's working very long days and we hardly see him. I've been sick with strep and exhausted, but not really complaining (to him at least.. my poor girlfriends!), but the other night he came home and let me know just how badly he felt about it all. He was actually apologizing. It was a particular night that he wasn't home until after 8 and had been gone since 6:30. I let him know that, although it's been a little difficult and tiring, he had no reason to be feeling badly or apologizing. I know that if he could choose, he'd be right here with us. First of all, he's getting great experience and is actually enjoying himself. Secondly, I don't have to worry about whether or not he's hurt or alive at the moment. Too many of my friends' husbands are deployed and 4 guys from their unit have been killed in action over the past two weeks. Enough said. He's home. He's safe. You won't see me complaining.. too much.

3) I don't have any Christmas presents wrapped and it's the last thing I feel like doing. It's all big chunky toys. I don't know how to wrap things like that.

4) I thought I was dying last week. At the very least, I couldn't explain why I was so tired. I couldn't make it through the day without either napping when Drew did or crashing as soon as he went to bed. Turns out I had strep throat. A day and 1/2 on my antibiotics and I feel like a new woman! Such a relief!

That's all. My thoughts aren't always as involved. Sometimes they are ridiculous and wouldn't be deserving of a blog post. Like the last two points. But some need a way to get out!

December 13, 2011


December always seems to fly by faster than any other month doesn't it? Happily chaotic seems to be the right description of my life in December. Especially since we moved away. It's a month chock-full of giddiness, mushiness, and love. Lights and decorations everywhere. Cookie baking. Shopping. Gift exchanging. Cookie eating. Picture taking. Packing. Flying. Xanax. (What? It's nerve-wrecking flying with a toddler. Especially by yourself.) Visiting. Flying some more.

Chaotic, but I love it all. Well, most of it. I could really skip the whole flying part, but it's a necessary factor unfortunately. An unpleasant means to get to the desired end.

Trey and I are leaving soon since he has block leave. We'll be flying together to Alabama.(He hasn't been home since he joined the Army.. he's a little stoked).  After some time there he will fly home and I'll be driving to SC. He had a few more days of leave, but I didn't want to rush my time with my family. He wanted to get back early anyways, so our plan worked out.

I'm so excited to have that extra time to spend with them.. I haven't seen them since March.. but I have to admit to having mixed feelings about it.

Let's just say that after having 9 New Years together, the next two we'll be apart. This year is by our choice. Next year, not so much. I feel terrible for choosing to spend that time away from him when next year we won't have that option. Will I regret that? Not that I can do anything to change the situation now.. changing tickets is expensive. And I'm so much looking forward to spending time with my family, that I don't know that I would even if it were free. Which makes me feel even more terrible.

I know that I'll have a great time. I know that I want Andrew to get that time with his grandparents. It will all be fine and I'll be flying back here to the EP before we know it. I'm sure I'll have a bad moment or two on NYE where I'll be missing him to pieces and feeling bad that we're not together.
But I'll enjoy my family 100% while I'm able to be under the same roof as them. Then I'll come home and make the most out of the next year with my best friend. And hopefully my parents will visit us in 2012 :) *hint hint*

Waaaaa - my heart's a little torn!

December 7, 2011

Leotard Optional

No, this isn't an x-rated ballet class. That's the color of my nails. Booyah!

I hardly ever spend money on things that aren't a necessity. We're a one income family with a baby. I have to be a bit frugal, ya know? And I have a really hard time putting my wants.. or needs even.. above my boys'. Especially when one of those boys is a little debit card happy -ahem-

Enter in the control freak, budget-lover's dream. We started Dave Ramsey's envelope system a few weeks ago. I know almost everyone knows about this, but just in case you haven't, you need to know a bit about it. Look into a little further, but basically, you set your budget. Figure out what you pay for necessary bills and keep that in your account every check. Set an amount for other things, (groceries, gas, entertainment, etc.), make an envelope for each category, pull out the cash each payday and stuff your envelopes. Once it's gone, it's gone.

Heaven. For me, seeing the money makes it harder to spend. It's tangible. I can see it slipping away or adding up. It holds me accountable. We have envelopes for anything you could think of.. I think. We have quite a few. One of them just has my name it. I get a certain amount and spend it on whatever the heck I want. So yeah.. I basically have an allowance. At 28 years old. It's cool though.

So yesterday... I almost didn't allow myself that OPI nail polish at Sephora. I've never even walked in that place. In my defense, I had no clue what I was missing. $9.50 on a bottle of nail polish? Are you kidding me? My brain screamed at me, telling me how unacceptable and irresponsible that is. But y'all.. they had samples out. And it looked so so pretty on my fingernail. And it was called Leotard Optional. Cute, right?
My friend, JG, has an OPI obsession (come on.. you know it's true. She has so many that she's having a giveaway on her blog that ends Sunday I think. Go enter and tell her I sent you.)
Where was I.. oh yes.. JG.. she entered into my mind a lot. I kept thinking about how happy her OPI makes her and how fabulous her nails always look. I thought about my little envelope with my name on it. I don't have to justify whatever I buy to anyone. It's my envelope. And here I am justifying it to y'all.. but really.. we're just telling stories, right?
So not only did I get Leotard Optional..
I also got Chestnuts About You. Two. Yup! I did it. How could I resist Chestnuts About You? It's sparkles.
 I had no buyers remorse and now my nails look fantastic. I may even stop biting them again.

A little nail polish.. specifically OPI.. can do wonders for your soul. Trust me on this one!

As a side note, I know the whole kids' book swap thing has been going around, but if you haven't had the opportunity to sign up and want to.. please let me know! I've done my whole part and have started to even get books in for Andrew, but two of my girls aren't able to do it anymore so I need replacements. Let me know if you're up for it and only if you are serious about it. It's not fair to others if you don't follow through. You only mail out 1 book and get 6 other people to sign up, and you have potential to get 36 books in return. Easy Peasy! I need 2 people.

December 6, 2011

True Meaning of Christmas (the next Charlie Brown special)

I've had these jumbled up thoughts in my head for almost a week now and have been trying to get to the computer to sort them out (I've tried talking about it multiple times, but my mouth, unfortunately, doesn't have a backspace button), but I've been busier than normal. In a good way. I've allowed myself a little more freedom in my social life area and it's done my soul a ton of good. Most importantly, I helped friends get ready for Nancy's sweet baby shower that was held on Sunday. Nancy and I discovered we had locked up talent that was dying to be let out.

Not perfect, but keep in mind that this was the first time either of us had ever even touched fondant.
 And Ashley convinced me that I need a Cricut when we worked on this together.

I seriously want one so very badly. Good thing my birthday is in March because my Christmas present was used up with a camera. Which I love.
 Speaking of Christmas.. let's get down to the point.

Growing up, Santa was EXTREMELY good to us. The presents always extended far out, half way across the living room. It was SO MUCH fun. I'll always have warm, fond memories of waking up on Christmas morning and seeing the room dimly lit by the tree and other decorations, and feeling the magic of Santa Clause even as an adult. Having younger brothers helped too. I'll always remember both of their excitement.. coming to frantically wake me up so I could see what Santa brought. We'd all sit down in the living room, my mom with her coffee, camera, and a huge grin on her face. My dad with his OJ, trash bag, and sweat pants telling us all to "relax". Ha! He loved it all just as much.. I think we were all just a little too hyper for him.. and I'm not sure why the sweat pants stick out so much.. but they really do. We'd open a present one by one, each taking turns and would stop half way through to refill drinks and maybe get a little something to much on. This was like a two hour affair.. at least. I loved it. I have such great memories of Christmas with my family.

Which makes my conflicting ideals that much more difficult. I'm struck with my strong dislike of the commercial side of the holiday this year more than any others. The constant countdown reminders of how many days you have left to shop. How Black Friday might as well have started on Thanksgiving itself. I'm seeing people break the bank.. literally.. trying to get gifts for everyone they feel obligated to buy for.

We're choosing not to do that this year and it's a great feeling. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE to give. It's one of the best feelings. But it becomes such a hassle around Christmas. I hate that gift giving is EXPECTED.  I hope this isn't coming out wrong. I want to give.. within our means. And that's what we're doing this year. My side of the family usually gets a gift for everyone.. this year we're doing a $25 limit Chinese gift exchange. It's going to be a blast and we'll be able to just be. Together.

In our immediate family.. Trey, Drew and I.. I want to focus on the real meaning of Christmas in the years to come. I want to talk to our kids about Jesus' birth. To show them what it's really all about. To teach the importance of giving.. ironically. But giving to those that have less. We'll still have all of the fun decorations and Santa will be a part, but I don't know that we'll have presents filling up the living room on Christmas morning.

I saw this on Pinterest the other day.. which is what sparked all of this.

A big part of me wants to stick with this. The item they want and read can be from Santa. The other two can be from us. If we do this, we can take whatever money left of what we budget and sponsor a child that may not receive anything.
We, as a family, may not have excess.. we may not have the best of things.. we definitely don't keep up with The Joneses in other words.. but we have plenty. We have everything we need. We are warm, clothed (even if I do have to do laundry twice a week), and always have food on the table. Andrew is in no shortage of books or toys. We take all of this for granted and I want to teach him that others may not have ANY of this, and we can be in a position to help.. if we don't spend all of our money of gifts for him that he may WANT but not NEED.

I can't help but go back to my fond memories growing up though, and feel like he'd be missing out on that. It's a smaller part of me that thinks like this, but it's obviously enough to cause some conflict. When he's older.. but still young.. how would I deal with the whole, "but Johnny gets a ton of gifts from Santa.. am I not being a good enough boy?" type of thing.

I'm probably thinking way too much into this, but that's what I do. I have no idea how I'd answer that.

Anyways, that's where we are and we'll sort it all out. In the meantime, we are very much enjoying our lower-key Christmas this year. It's going to get busy soon with traveling and chaos, but right now, it's calm, beautiful, and peaceful. And Andrew almost has putting coins in the Salvation Army bucket down pat.

November 30, 2011

~ 15 Months ~

I feel like I just wrote the 14 month update the other day. Seriously. Either way, this month has been a blast! We are having SO. MUCH. FUN. with our little Andrew.

I know that he's understood what we've been saying for quite some time now, but because I knew that, and it didn't seem like he did understand, it was very frustrating. Now, it's a whole new ball game. So much so that we all of a sudden have to be very careful what we say. If you say, "ready to go bye-bye", you better be ready to head out that door because he's running to it. If you say, "get your socks and shoes", he does. He gets them, brings them to you, sits on his bottom for you to put them on and he's running for the door. "Let's get a diaper change", "bath time", or Let's go upstairs" and he's running to the stairs. "Pick out a book", and he does. Looks for whatever specific book he's wanting at the time, brings it to you and lifts his arms up to be picked up to the couch.

I know it sounds so simple, but it's amazing to us. Just watching him grow, comprehend, use toys the way their supposed to be used, stay on the sidewalk because he understands he can't go in the road... I love it all. I love being able to communicate with him. I feel like it's been one-sided conversation all this time and now it's finally paying off. He can "tell" me when he wants water by giving me his cup or going to the fridge and pointing to the water thing. He can show me when he wants a snack by going to the pantry and pointing to a certain thing. Or when he wants a banana by going to the area of the counter where they are kept. Too cool.

He is full of affection. I get so many hugs throughout the day. And now he pats or rubs my back along with the hug. Too sweet. And his little kisses.. be still my heart.

Who knows, really. I took him to the doc a few weeks ago for a lingering cough. He weighed 22 pounds and was 32 or 33 inches, I believe. Pretty sure 32.
He is wearing 24 month Pj's with a tad bit of room to grow. Mostly 18 month clothes, but some outfits are getting a bit snug. Still in size 5 diapers. Moving up to a 5 and 1/2 or 6 in shoes.

(old words)
- Car (ca)

- Dog (daw)
- Outside (ou-taaaa)
- Dada and sometimes daddddy
- Maaama

(new words)
- I really believe he is saying I love you. It sounds just like this, "ya ya ya". He'll repeat that every time I tell him I love him. See.. affectionate. Little squish face.
- Some kind of variation of What's That? Sounds like "ehh daaa". Says it every time he points to something in one of his books.

We're still going strong here. And not only is he NOT a picky eater (Dear Lord, please don't reverse this on me for bragging on my kid.) he is a much more healthy eater than most adults! His faves are grapes, bananas, green beans.. well any type of bean actually including things like lima beans.. seriously.. what kid likes lima beans? This one. Goldfish, Cheerios, and Animal Crackers. I've given up trying to give him things like chicken nuggets or fries. Which is totally fine. It's not like I wanted him to eat that stuff.. that was just reserved for my lazy days. He'll eat sweet potato fries that I bake, but not frozen regular fries. He'll eat my baked chicken nuggets made from a chicken breast, but not the Tyson stuff. I know how lucky we are and I pray pray pray this continues!! I'm not sure where all of the food he eats goes.. I swear he doesn't stop eating. Ever.

He still takes his morning nap without fail. Always at 9am and lasts either 2 or 2.5 hours. The afternoon nap is up in the air. I give him the opportunity to go down between 2 and 2:30. Whether he chooses to nap or play is up to him. I would say that 2 or 3 times a week he actually naps.. for another 2 hours. If not, he'll play for about 45 minutes in his crib.

We covered most of them, but let's see...
He knows where all facial features are and will point to them when you ask. He loves hair right now and wants to play with ours constantly. Which is pure heaven to me.
He's very aware of his own body parts (legs, arms, belly) and loves to point parts out while being changed. Loves to watch his hands pop out of his sleeve.. thinks that's the greatest thing ever.
Combined with the stuff up top of the post, I'd say we've had a big month!

Andrew, we love you to the moon and back!

Anndddd... Is this how our monthly pics are going to go from now on? This is the best one I could get..

The rest all look a little something like this...

I'm not giving up.

What we've been up to

First off, we had a great Thanksgiving. It was truly wonderful and I enjoyed it thoroughly. I cooked my first REAL meal. In years past I've admittedly served my little family of two - cringes - a turkey roll. My mother has always been appalled, and yes, she is right. She raised me better than that. I knew I had to woman up and start making a real Tday meal soon, add in two extra soldiers who were away from loved ones, and it was settled. I was going big.

I was mostly scared to clean the bird out, I'll admit it.

But, our good friends, The Galas's, came over to drop over some spices that I found myself without and ended up staying for hours. Nancy gave me some added confidence and in the end, the turkey was actually extremely perfect.
Everything else was homemade except the cranberry sauce. Sue me, nothing beats that canned jelly goodness. The gravy would have been disastrous if it weren't for Mel's husband, Al. God bless him. We all enjoyed the meal, some more than others, and I can't lie.. it's made me feel all kinds of good inside to hear my husband brag on me endlessly for the past week. Love that man.

We did a lot of playing outside on Thanksgiving in between cooking.

Yes, I realize this face is a bit of foreshadowing to the trouble this kid is going to be in the future. I'm totally aware and preparing myself.

 The next day, we put up our Christmas decorations. I couldn't wait a second longer and I'm so glad we did. I love that I can get that calming glow from the tree starting at 4:30 in the afternoon and get to enjoy it all night. Andrew is pretty infatuated which thrills me even more.
He had the whole "be gentle" thing down on the first two days, but he is getting braver and thus, less gentler by the day.. Bless his heart... or mine.

We've been playing with Jingle Bells.

And venturing into the world of Sensory Bins. I'm getting all kinds of ideas. Getting our materials gathered and organized. Oh yeahhh.. we're gonna have a blast. I started with water yesterday. Which was easy and I knew he'd have a blast.. but oh-so-messy. Totally worth it.

And finally, busy turning 15 months old. Yes, mum, there's a post to come!

November 21, 2011

A Little Reminder...

... definitely for me. Maybe for you too.

There are many different ways to parent. There is no right or wrong way. Well, I totally take that back. There are lots of wrong ways. But I'm not talking in the extreme sense here. Once you have the basics down.. you know.. making sure they're fed, clothed, and have a warm place to lay their precious little heads.. the other stuff is a personal choice you make. One you make based upon what works with your family. We know all of this. So, my point?

Sometimes I forget this little fact. Sometimes, I see what's working so well for others and think, "ohhh that's what I'm doing wrong. I'll do exactly what she's doing. That'll fix everything." Basically, I can be my own worst critic at times. My mind can be tricked into doing something I'm not comfortable doing, just because someone else is doing it and doing it well.

My SIL has been my parenting guide since day ONE. Her baby is 7 months older than Andrew, so she's been through everything and it's still fresh in her mind. Plus, she has set a high standard. She's an amazing mother! For the most part, our parenting beliefs have matched up exactly, so it's been real easy for me. Let her go through all of the trial and error and then have her walk me through it.. ha! And for the first year of Andrew's life, it's worked out perfectly. Everything she was advising me on, I 100% agreed with and wanted to do with Andrew.

Enter in our visit together. Andrew starts acting up and being extremely clingy to me. It looked like we were starting the next bout of separation anxiety and I'm thinking.. perfect! Mel is here! She can help me fix this. Because at that point, in my mind, I have been horrible with discipline. I felt like I wasn't disciplining at all. I knew that she has been implementing time-outs for quite a while, so I turned to her. I wanted her to guide me through this time-out thing. I wasn't planning to start them quite yet, but I just had had it up to here with my son and didn't know what else to do. Combine that with the fact that Addyson was getting time-outs and it was correcting her behavior... I was on board.

So, that afternoon, when I was getting lunch ready in the kitchen and he wouldn't let me do a thing.. crying and clinging to my leg, Mel walked me through time-out. Because that's what she would have done with Addy.

It broke my heart. I hated every single second of it. My stomach had that awful, gut-wrenching feeling because he was crying more. Now to the point of hysterics and I just wanted to hold him. "What is wrong with me??", I was thinking. I'm going to be a total sap. My son is going to walk all over me and he'll never have boundaries. I was completely beating myself up and now even more confused than ever. And, surprisingly, it took a few days of that, until I got to the point where I had to excuse myself to fall into a pit of tears in my room, until I realized that... when it comes to discipline.. for the moment... Mel and I aren't quite in sync in our methods anymore. And that's okay.

It totally works for her. Just because I won't do it quite like she does, doesn't mean that I think she's wrong. She's obviously doing a lot right. Her daughter is so very well behaved and such a sweet girl. And Mel is fierce, but at the same time completely loving and interactive. Like I said above, she's an incredible mom, we are just different at the moment.

Always listen to your gut. A few days after Andrew started being extremely clingy, whiny, and just all around constantly needy like that.. he got a slight fever and started the whole runny nose, cough escapade. And then broke 2 teeth in the back. There was a reason he was acting like that. And instead of giving him the comfort that he needed, I isolated him in a separate room and used my "firm" voice. Remember that you know your child better than anyone else. I think I was feeling pressure and totally lost sight of that. If I had been more focused on the way Andrew and I handle things, and less concerned on being just like Mel and Addy.. (Ha! I have to laugh at myself)... I would have known that.

Also, I realized, once I took a step back, that I do discipline. I just do it differently. I pick my battles and the battles I pick may not be the same as hers.
1. There is no throwing. Of toys or food. He gets one firm warning (No Throwing) and I show him the appropriate ways to use said toy/food, and if he does it again, the object gets taken away. If it's a car, the car is gone. If it's food, he's done with his meal. That works for us at the moment. (I'm finding a lot of the times with food, he's telling me he's done and doesn't now how to tell me otherwise. So he's learned that if he throws his food, I put him down, and he's done. So, clearly we need to work on that :)
2. Absolutely no hitting. This he will get a time out for. Like above, he gets one warning. If it happens again, time-out. And honestly, I've only had to do the time-out two or three times. The warning is enough now and the behavior happens less and less. I'll get to the point where there aren't any warnings with this, but for now, this is working.

There are other little things, but we don't need to get into it all. You get the general idea. I'm just not as big of a time-out fan as others are. Yet. When he's older, that's totally the route we'll go. If it works for him... that's my plan anyways. I definitely won't use it ever again for when he just needs some mama comfort. Yes, sometimes it's an inconvenience, but this won't last forever. He won't need me forever, sadly. I've found that giving him something to do in the kitchen works wonders. And at times, if it doesn't, and he just wants me.. dinner can wait.

November 20, 2011

Merry Christmas

No, I haven't gotten sucked into the Christmas before Thanksgiving hype. Just because I'm itching to put the tree up and it's hard to walk by the closet that holds our decorations... I've still held out. Okay.. maybe I'm listening to Christmas music in the car. Sue me. I have to start early so Andrew can learn all the songs.

Santa did, however, visit our house early. Well, for me at least.
I had already put the bug in his ear that I wanted.. no.. really needed.. a new camera this year. My old, slow reacting one just wasn't cutting it in this fast-paced toddler-run world. 
THEN.. then.. my camera disappeared, which I believe I've mentioned. Ummm.. I absolutely cannot let a month go by without taking pictures. Not possible.
So now, thanks to Santa Clause himself, I'm the proud owner of one of these babies -
A Canon PowerShot SX40! While it's not as high tech as it would have been (ya know.. since we didn't have another month to save) I think this one is perfect! It's a step up from the point and click that I had, but not so much to overwhelm me... I think.. ha! Plus, it came with a bag, a little tripod, and an extra memory card. Hopefully I'll have lots of fun pictures to share :)

Anyone have any experience with this camera, by any chance?

Oh, and remember this post from Friday? You know.. about this smoothies. Way to leave a sister hanging! You mean to tell me that none of y'all have any smoothie concoctions to share? Except my dear friend Kristy? Y'all are in trouble!!

November 18, 2011

Foodie Friday

Second day in a row with a post! I'm on a roll!

Although I have no pictures (because my camera has mysteriously disappeared of the face of this earth. For real. It's nowhere) this is still a great recipe that can be made quickly and enjoyed any time of the day...  as a meal replacement or a snack. I mostly will make this for my breakfast, but it's great if you just have a hankering for something sweet and don't want to use 300 calories.

I just put stuff together, so it doesn't have an official name, but here is how you make my Chocolate-PB-Banana Smoothie:

You'll need:
1C fat-free milk (Smart Source is a great option)
2 spoonfuls of light vanilla yogurt
2T Nesquick dry chocolate mix (or whatever you use.. carnation is even better to use, actually. You know.. vitamins and all)
2T reduced-fat PB (preferably the creamy variety)
A banana
As much crushed ice as you'd like

Blend all of this together. I use my Ninja and it takes like 25 seconds, but anything will work. And viola.. a delicious smoothie.

You'll become obsessed and drink one every day for about 3 months. Don't worry, it may taper down to one every other day after that.

We're hard core into smoothies right now, but this seems to be the only consistent concoction so far. Do you do smoothies? Have any winning combinations you can share? Please?

November 17, 2011


I know.. I know.. not the most creative title ever. But you'll have to cut me some slack as I try and transition into regular posting again. The creativity isn't flowing by any means.

Our life is attempting to slow back down after our month of visitors. Good luck with that around the holidays, right?! In other words, it's just the three of us in the casa for a while. And while Andrew loved having his Mimi and cousin here with him for two weeks, I think us mamas learned a valuable lesson. Two weeks is too long of a visit for toddlers. The one visiting wants their own toys. Own bed. Own house. The one having the visitor doesn't want to share their toys or their mama anymore. Wants their space back. And they get cranky. Andrew is coming along, adjusting back to normal life, and seems to like other kids again. Yes, for a while there he was pretty ugly to other children. It wasn't a proud period. All of that being said...

I'm SO SO thankful, like deep down in my heart thankful, that they got that time together. It wasn't an easy trip for them to make, nor was it cheap. But they did it and I loved it.

Growing up in Massachusetts (for the first 12 years of my life), I was extremely close to my extended family (proximity and relationship-wise). And there was a lot of them.. see..

Circa summer '09 - Can you spot me?
 We were/are so close. Getting together for holidays, birthdays, cookouts, just because. And while we're still close in our relationships, life has gotten in the way. Some of us have moved. Almost all of us have our own families now. While we used to all be in the same state, just a short drive away, now we're spread across the county. Massachusetts, South Carolina, Texas, California and Oregon. And this is just my mom's side. Factor in my dad's side and we add in Maryland and Ohio. And we've never lived near each other, which makes things even more difficult.

So, after we moved away from everyone and started our life in South Carolina, I just knew my future family and I would NEVER move away. My children would see my parents all the time, not just for special occasions. We'd go over and hang out just because we felt like it. My kids would go to school with my brother's kids. They'd be best friends.
Ha! Best made plans, right? While I know that I'm living out God's plan for my life and not my own, this whole ideal was something I haven't quite been able to let go of. While my convictions that I'm doing God's will are getting stronger, and in turn, I'm coming to terms with it all, it's still something that's caused me heartache.

So when Melissa and Addy came to visit and our kids started playing together immediately.. when they laughed together.. when they walked around the house together.. heck even with they "fought" (you know.. the best way toddlers know how to fight) with each other. It did good things for my heart. To see this..

I know the distance will change things. But, as parents, we can make sure our kids are still close. Technology is wonderful for that these days. I can make sure we talk about his Grandparents, Uncles, Aunts, and cousins a lot. Look at pictures. Make an effort to Skype frequently. And make the visits as much as we can. And I'm sure they will do the same.

It is what we make of it! I plan to do as much as we can!

November 9, 2011

Back to life - Back to reality

Our visitors are gone and it's back to real life! We dropped Melissa and Addyson off at the airport this morning, said our tearful see-you-laters (only minimal tears because they were sort of in a rush and we'll see them in two months anyways), and made the ... ummm.. very quiet 2 minute ride back home. Andrew was looking for Addy in the car seat next to him and it made my heart hurt a little. While they were definitely sick of each other for the past few days, I know he still got used to and enjoyed her being there. But back to their own life they must go! I'm pretty positive that Mel has a sinus infection and she's not doing very well flying, so if you happen to read this in the next few hours.. send up some quick prayers for them if you will!

I won't lie, the quiet is really nice right now. I miss them dearly, but I value my alone time as well, so I'm okay with it. Plus, I really missed blogging :)

Andrew is down for a nap and the house has been cleaned and thoroughly disinfected. Not because I wanted to scrub any remnants of them away or I think they're gross.. we've all been so sick. No fun! I think Andrew and I are turning the corner though, while unfortunately, Mel was getting worse and I really needed to get these germs out of my house. No one wants to be sick during a 4-day!

So, we had a great time over the past two weeks. We didn't get to do all that much, but we spent plenty of time just being together. Isn't that what it's really all about anyways? I think so. I spent some much needed face time with my SIL. Since we chat.. on average.. two or three times a day, it was nice not to have the phone glued to my ear! She got to hang out with her brother. Trey and I got to really know our niece. Andrew got to familiarize himself with them.
Our kids played at the park together. We scrap booked together. We laughed. We coughed. We ran errands. We vegged out on the couch. We took walks. We got our kids dressed up and trick-or-treated. We watched lots of hours of Nick Jr. and Cars (and Dexter!!). We built towers with blocks and sang lots of ABCs and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. We fought off sleep deprivation with coffee together. We Pinterested together. We Neti Potted together (gross?). We made tunnels out of boxes. We colored. We just did life, really.

Lots of good memories were made!

November 8, 2011

Hmm.. 14 Months!

My company (SIL and Niece) are still here, but since we are all sickies and all in bed except Trey and I, I wanted to write a little blurb. Mostly because I need to do Andrew's 14 month update. I knew I skipped his picture, but I completely passed over his monthly blog shot-out. And since I've started his first years' scrapbook... I realized how important that is..shewww that's come in handy!

This is what my little man is looking like nowadays -
I know.. I know.. I don't know how I stand all of that cuteness either.

He's a full blown walker.
A touchdown signer (you know.. throwing his hands up to make the touchdown sign)
An open mouth kisser and a hugger that pats your back.
A non-hand-holder.
An almost runner.
A food lover.
Still a car, rock and dirt lover.
A very talented colorer and a sidewalk chalk enthusiast.
A skillful dancer who jams out to Fresh Beat Band.
His favorite song is Friend Like You by above mentioned show.
A great sleeper.. still.
A mommy obsessor lover... still.
And the cutest, sweetest little boy that ever existed.

Stats: If I had to guess, I would say 22.5 to 23 pounds. But I'm not positive. He's wearing 24 month PJs with room to grow, 18 month pants and shirts and size 5 shoes.

(same as last month)
- Car (ca)

- Dog (daw)
- Outside (ou-taaaa)
- Dada and sometimes daddddy
- Maaama
-yeah yeah yeah yeah (in a sing song voice... repeating me)
He also point to everything and says Da.. kind of like he's asking me what it is maybe? So we talk about lots of random objects during the day. His favorite thing to point out right now is the moon, cow, balloon, and rabbit from Goodnight Moon. So precious.
He babbles in full sentences, but I have no earthly idea what he's saying.

Food: Still everything. Even pasta now. He wouldn't eat that last month, but he thoroughly enjoyed it tonight. I know I need to get him to start practicing with his own spoon.. like.. yesterday, but I'm telling you.. I'm just not ready. I'll be sucking it up real soon though! Lord, give me patience.

Naps: Great napper. Back to his two naps a day, usually, so it looks like we don't have to give up that 2nd nap just yet! First one from 9 to 10:30-11 and the second one from 2-3:30. Talks to himself to put himself to sleep while listening to Scout play his bedtime music and usually does the same when he wakes up.. unless he's hungry, then I'm sure the neighborhood hears his screams.

That whole touchdown thing. It's gotten to the point that he throws his arms up if he even sees football on TV. Yes, we're proud.
Walking :)
Figuring out his little shape toy (He always puts the circles in the right spot and has just recently gotten the star)
First long vacation with his Mimi and Cousin Addy.
He dances and gets really excited when his Daddy does the B-A-M-A chant. (Trey really wants to make sure we remember that ) :)

He's going through another bout of separation anxiety. And apparently that's normal at around 15 months. Back to the basics of always telling him where I'm going and talking to him.. lots! Hopefully that will work again.. and at least this time he can walk to where I am instead of being stuck in one place.
More teething.
Getting him to understand that he cannot go outside first thing in the morning (it's freezing) or right before bed and us trying to figure out the best way to handle those tantrums that follow. .
We're also trying to sort out what behavior we want to correct or accept. And come to an agreement on how we are going to handle the correction.

Dear, dear Andrew,
We have more and more fun with you by the day! You are such a joy to be around with your coy smirks and contagious laughs. You are really growing up and you continue to amaze us by the minute! I'm so grateful that God thought we were worthy of being your parents. I only hope that we do better than good enough with you!
I can't believe you are walking (and almost running) through our home, discovering new things everyday. I love how curious, yet still cautious you are. I'm really loving this stage and not rushing it one tiny little bit, but I know the next few months are going to be a lot of fun.
We love you to the moon and back!
xoxo, Mama and Daddy

If you've gotten this far.. ughh.. you're awesome! My life will be getting back to normal soon and I'm looking forward to blogging more regularly. I have a few things to write about already planned, just have to find the time :)
BTW.. I have almost 200 followers now. It's crazy to me that you all take the time to read about my thoughts and our life. It's pretty flattering. But I want to know who you are and get the chance to get to know you. Introduce yourself with a quick hi if you'd like!

October 28, 2011

Foodie Friday

I miss blogging so much! I realize it even more so when I sit down and actually start typing. I just haven't been able to fit it in, I'll get there though!

I definitely wanted to share a new recipe we tried this week though! I could go into a thousand fun adjectives to explain how delish it was, but let's just say when hubby took his first bite, all I heard was a big heart, "Ohhh my God!!". Yup. It was that good. And I found it on Pinterest, so see, all of that time wasted can't be a bad thing!

It's called Honey Sauced Chicken and I found it here!
But I also had fun with it so I could show you my attempt :)

Honey Sauced Chicken

Here's what you'll need:

A few chicken breasts (we used two, but there was plenty sauce left over if you need to use more)
1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/8 cup chopped onion (or 1/16 cup onion flakes)
1/8 cup ketchup
1 Tbs. vegetable oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes

Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper and throw those in the crock pot.

Mix together honey, soy sauce, onion, ketchup, oil, garlic and pepper flakes.

And pour it over the chicken.

Afterwards, cut your chicken up into bite-sized pieces and return to crock pot to mix with your sauce. (or if you're like me and only use 2 chickens, just spoon some of the sauce on top of the bites because that will be too much sauce.)

You can serve it however you'd like. I got a box of Rice a Roni's Fried Rice and put the chicken on top of that. I think next time it would be great to add in some veggies to the rice!
My end product looked like this..

In the original recipe, her sauce looked all thick and coated on the chicken and I'm not sure how she accomplished that. Unless she added in some flour?? or something and didn't say? But basically, if yours doesn't come out like that don't freak.. it's still scrumptious.

Try this! Your family will thank you. If you have any other ideas on how to serve it, please share :) Happy eating!