Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Back with Pics.

Just a peek into what we've been up to...

Banner Making...



                                                               And more blowing...


                                                                      Rainy day pasta playing...

                                                      And making large messes...
but having tons of fun. Be back soon.

Fickle Finicky Forecasts.

Just wanted to stop in and say hello. We're busy people these days, with the tissue pom-pom making, cake baking and decorating, errand running, banner making, flower planting, and the cleaning, cleaning, cleaning. I always think I can deep-clean my house on Saturdays and just "tidy up" over the next week. Inevitably, my house turns back into a disaster zone. So, today is a big cleaning day, and tomorrow, more cake baking and decorating, and Friday, the big grocery shopping day for the birthday party. We're up to our eyeballs in black and yellow decor, and this party planning is helping to take my mind off the fact that my sweet newborn is in actually a TODDLER, and will be a whole year old tomorrow!

I am in complete denial and so darn proud all at the same time. I've been rocking him to sleep many nap times these days, and taking deep breaths of his sweet head, trying to bottle it all up in my memory. Somehow I feel that something huge will happen to my baby when he turns one, but in reality, I know the day after will be pretty much the same as the day before. My baby is growing up, and it makes me proud, and happy, and breaks my heart all at the same time.

Please send out a little prayer for some nice weather this Saturday. This weather is finicky, and has poured down rain most days this week. The weather report used to say 73 and sunny. Yesterday it said 44 and snow showers. Today we're back to 55 and partly cloudy. I'm thinking 26 adults and 10 kids will do much better playing in our backyard in the warm sunshine than cooped up in our little house.

A post with no pictures? Not possible I know. I'll be back later with some pics, but wanted to say a quick hello while I had the time. Back to the sweepin', washin', moppin', and decoratin'.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Bathing, Eating, and Smocking

Good Thursday afternoon! The in-laws left this morning, and Eli and I may have shed a tear or two. :) It's so nice having help around during the day, and I can imagine I might just have to move back into our parents' house when I am a mama of more babies. This week has flown by, and Eli got spoiled rotten with attention. Today, he literally fussed and cried until I sat on the floor and played with him for awhile. He wanted all eyes on him it seemed.
 I didn't get too much done this week, but am planning on going full force this week tying up all these birthday loose ends. I'm glad Matthew and I have decided to not to "big" birthday parties every year. They require a lot of to-do lists, coffee, and running around town.
 Every baby needs some bath time pictures taken, but I'm pretty sure I haven't taken any since Eli had his "first bath" pics. For a while, I was always the one giving him the baths, and was too busy holding and scrubbing a naked baby. Now, bathtime is Daddy and Eli time. I'm quite convinced Eli likes these baths much more than when I gave them to him. The tubs get filled up until the water is at his shoulders, tons of bubbles are added, and toys surround him. They get in there together and sing songs and splash around, usually while I clean up dinner. So, maybe you can guess why I don't usually take my camera into the bathroom now. I braved some inappropriate pictures and took some of my fish faced boy. He loves doing this with his mouth...
 I made a soup the other day when it was chillier and rainy, and I must say, it's become one of my favorites. It's easy, and has kale, which makes you sound special and gourmet. Here are the ingredients:
 Plus...some italian sausage.
 Heat your chicken broth first, boil your diced potatoes in it, and then add your cooked sausage and kale. Simmer until the kale gets wilted and soft, and add cream to your liking. Red pepper flakes give it a little kick, but I don't add those to mine. Just Matthew does. 
While my soup was simmering, I was oohing and ahhing over this box on my doorstep. My mom used to smock when my brother and I were babies. She would sell these clothes to stores around town, and make some for us too, of course. I have a closet full of precious smocked dresses waiting on some little girl one day, if the Lord wills. When my mom married my dad, she taught his mom how to smock. Apparently, my grandmother was better than my mom at it because she took the time to make it perfect, and my mom never did. So, along comes my baby, and I want to make tiny smocked clothes instead of paying $70 all the time. My mom has taught be the basic stitches so far, and I have tried to practice on my own, but I discovered I need another tutorial before I'm left to my own devices.
 My dad went to visit my grandmother and showed up at my house with this box. She is extremely organized and has kept all her smocking things in a box for years. They are in perfect condition, and I was so excited to see all the pressed plates and goodies in this tissue-paper lined box.
Here's one nightgown she smocked but never finished sewing. I'm not so sure smocked long nightgowns for adults are in anymore, but it's definitely a treasure for me to have. This book came along in the box, and although some of the patterns are a little older, I could use them on something other than an adult nightgown.

 I love how she tied every plate and bonnet up so neatly with thread, and I love these tiny little pelican scissors. My hope is that I can learn to smock and use the same patterns and instruments my grandmother and mom used to make their babies' and grandbabies' clothing. I'm not quite sure there is much better than handmade children's clothing, in my opinion.

Man, I'm wordy. Matthew just got home and asked what I was writing about. Baths, soup, and smocking I told him. He went outside to shoo squirrels off our lawn. They must be more interesting. :) Back to cake pops, tissue pom-poms, and bumblebees.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Trouble, In-laws, and Painting.




Life is moving along over here folks, and this ole' blog has been a little neglected. If you notice in the pictures above, Eli is quite the helper these days. I left the room and came back to him trying to climb into the dishwasher, the tube of chapstick in his mouth, while he played with a dirty ladle. Gracious.

Matthew and I have been staying up way too late at night for my own good. We have decided to pick out paint colors for every room in the house that we will live with for however long we stay in this house. Do you know how much pressure that is? We have stared at paint swatches and samples on our wall for about two months now, and let me tell you, paint never seems to look the same on your walls as it does when the swatch is on your walls. Tricky tricky. Once we settled on some paint colors, we got our behinds into gear. Every night this past week, we've painted. We painted during nap times, and after Eli went to bed. We crashed into our beds around 1:30 every morning, and did it all over again the next day. We still have more to go, but are taking a little break before our feet fall off. I'm officially feel old.

I took some pics, and will show them to you all, but that's for another post. Today, my in-laws are coming to town for a few days, and I am going to run around like a nut trying to take care of birthday stuff, doctor appts., shoe shopping for our little frankenstein walker, etc. while they're here. So, I just wanted to stop in while the wild man was napping, and before they  got here, and now I hear some babbling and we're off to the grocery!

By the way, 78 degrees today? Yes, please!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Nothing Better.

I have dreamed of days when I would have my own little family and live in a house filled with infectious laughter from the mouths of sweet babies. These days my heart is full.

Psalm 127:3 Behold, children are a gift of the LORD; The fruit of the womb is a reward.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Dinners on the Fly.

We like to eat around here. We try to eat generally healthy. I believe in eating lots of fresh local food whenever possible, which is definitely harder in the winter. On most days, if you looked in my pantry, you would think we were always out of food. We're definitely not. I plan all my meals, try to shop on the perimeter of the grocery store, and we eat meals until they are all gone. Somehow this week, I planned two whole meals and spent 100 dollars. How in the world did that happen? I did have to buy lots of extra things this time, and we had friends over for dinner, but I was pretty disappointed when I saw how much I spent for two whole meals. So, we are eating out of our pantry this week. Whatever we have, I am coming up with meals for those items. Here's the plan:

Tonight: Making a big salad with a choice of leftovers- enchiladas, chicken tortilla soup, or baked chicken spaghetti

Sunday: Chicken pine nut fettucine (a family favorite-the one meal I did plan and shop for)

Monday: ham and red potato casserole (frozen ham from Thanksgiving and potatos needing to be eaten)

Tuesday: chicken and dumplings (leftover frozen chicken, homemade frozen broth, and flour)

Wednesday: breakfast (waffles, eggs, and bacon)

Thursday: venison chili (yes, deer meat. we have a ton that we need to eat, cans of beans and tomatoes, and spices)

I love cooking, but I don't love coming up with a meal plan. After searching my pantry and freezer, I feel better that I can plan almost a week of meals after spending so much money on nothing at the store! Hopefully, we'll have some leftovers from these meals we can also eat for a  few days after that!

I think everyone of you should do a weekly meal plan too, so I can then steal some dinner ideas from you! :)

here's my little man trying and hating rice cereal for the first time at 4 months.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Embracing my 28th.

On February 14th, the day of love, my husband was out of town for work. Luckily, he was only gone for one day, so I hung out with my littlest Valentine all day and we decorated the house. We got a few surprises along the way. First, flowers were delivered to the house, The note told me to look on our bookcase. There, I found a love letter and a prayer Matthew had written for our family. That letter also told me to check out the tv stand for my third surprise. There I found a little bag filled with a certificate for an hour massage, manicure, and pedicure. Needless to say, because we never do flowers or spa days, I felt very spoiled. Eli and I didn't do anything as extravagant, but we decorated the house with homemade hearts and made dinner and cards for when he got home.
The next day was my 28th birthday. I get spoiled for two days in a row every's quite nice. Eli and I happened to be pretty ill, so we didn't go enjoy the spa day or out to eat like we had planned.. Instead, Matthew cooked noodle soup, brought me spoonfuls of nyquil, and then we devoured these...

Gourmet cupcakes from a local bakery in town. I'm not a big cake fan, but I had told matthew I wanted to try these for weeks. I couldn't taste them that night, but a few days later, I finished them off and they were pretty good...for cake.
Last, we opened gifts. I got a new lens for my camera, which is amazing. It's the 50mm 1.4, and it pretty much makes everything really blurry in the background. I love it.

My in laws were in town that weekend, and my MIL was pretty much in hiding all weekend. She kept sneaking off to my sister-in-laws, the mall, running errands, and all the while making up not very good excuses for these outings. I knew she was working on a birthday gift, but didn't really know what. Turns out, she was scrapbooking her heart out. I got this album of my husband, from birth through middle school...she says she'll have to finish it someday.
Around midnight, I got to open my gift and saw this senior picture stud in front of me.
Me with the in-laws admiring that eighteen year old. Ignore my p.j.'s.
Me with the stud, ten years later.

Close up of that baby bullfrog. He had the biggest eyes and mouth I've ever seen. My baby definitely got his mouth from his daddy.

It was such a thoughtful gift, and I loved looking back at all his baby pictures to see any resemblances in my own baby. She even brought this baby calendar she had with all his important milestones and weights marked in it. It's fun to compare with Eli to see how that match up. Especially since my milestones are all based on my mom's memories, which are vague. :) So, this is my embracing the camera for today. Me in my pajamas at midnight turning the old age of 28.

For more info on embracing the camera, visit

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

10 and 11 Months.

Good Morning! The sun is shining, the weather has warmed up even more since yesterday, and Eli and I are going shopping with Aunt Leah today...but before we do, I realized I forgot to do Eli's 10 month post, so we're rolling them into one. It is getting harder and harder to take any good photos of him since he wants to crawl away from me all the time! At 10 and 11 months, my busy bee...
is so much fun! He's generally in a good mood, and we have so much fun playing with him right now. He loves it if he thinks you are chasing him, and Matth and I spend a lot of our night crawling around on our knees pretending to be bears or some other animal. Makes us wish we really had some carpet in our house.
He loves to clap if he's excited or proud of himself. If he's holding onto something with one hand, he'll pat himself on the belly with the other hand to clap. He can wave hi to us now, and sometimes gets the clapping and waving confused. :)
He loves walking with someone's help, and will take about ten steps on his own, but is still crawling for the most part.

He loves to be outside, and if he's having a fussy moment, I usuallly take him outside now that the weather has been warmer and we play on a blanket in the backyard. He could play out there for hours. I showed him how to blow a grass whistle the other day and he hated it. Started bawling right away. Guess it was a little too loud for him. :)
He's very curious right now about everything. He loves to pull things down or apart, study each piece, then drop it on the floor and pull down the next piece. This also means that at naptime, I walk around the house picking up all sorts of odds and ends that he has dropped, like books, cards, magazines, tupperware, etc.
He is still throwing mini-tantrums if he doesn't get his way. He clenches his little fists, shakes them in the air, his face gets bright red and he screams at us. Right now we just tell him no and usually end up laughing at his antics. I'm sure soon we'll have to get a little more serious with our "no's".
He loves to rough house. He loves it when we are tossing him in the air, turning him upside down, throwing him over our shoulders, etc. And nothing makes him laugh more right now than when Matthew grabs him and attacks him with whisker kisses all over his neck.
Right now he hates having his diaper or clothes changed. It's a battle (literally) every time we try. Usually I have to hold him down with one elbow while I wrestle his diaper on him with my hands. He is screaming and crying and trying with all his might to flip over and fling himself off the dresser. As soon as we pick him up, the tears stop and he'll grin at us. Stinker!
He has six teeth right now. They seemed to all come in pretty close to one another around months 7-8, but we haven't seen any signs of any new ones yet. We are brushing his teeth at night, and he doesn't seem to know what to think of it, but he does like to suck the water out of the toothbrush.
His hair is still blond as can be, and his eyes are almost the exact same color as mine. His hair is growing over his ears, and Matthew keeps telling me to cut it, but I'm not ready yet. I love when he wakes up from his naps, and his hair is all over the place. Wish I looked that cute with a messy bed head!

What else...
-he's wearing 12 month clothes for length, but probably 9 month for waist size. Skinny boy!
-He's eating about 24 oz. of formula a day, and three meals when he feels like it. Besides yogurt, he is on all table food, and loves to feed himself. He has refused pureed foods from us for a few months now. His favorites right now seem to be whole grain toast with hummus, kiwi, broccoli, cauliflower, and banana yogurt. We try many different foods a day, and he kindly says "no thank you" by throwing them on the floor until we find something he likes to eat. :)
-We don't go to the doctor again until he's one, so I'm not sure on his weight and height, but I'm guessing 19 pounds, and maybe 29 1/2 inches or so.
-can say dada, mama, and baba...but I don't think he really associates them with us.
-sleeps 12 hours a night, usually from 8:30-8:30
-takes two naps a day, usually 1-2 hours each

This month I've been rocking him to sleep more, especially now that his first birthday is just a few weeks away. I stand and bounce him until he lays his sweet head  down and then I can cradle him and stare at his face. I just want to hold him a little longer each day. He is such a gift, and Matthew and I are so very blessed to call him ours for now. We thank God every day for gifting us with Eli for the time being, and we know he is ultimately His, and we pray we can raise Eli to be Christ-like. It's an overwhelming responsibilty, but luckily, we aren't doing it alone. He is our comfort, our shield, and provider. In some ways, I want to freeze this last month and never have my baby turn one, but in so many other ways, I want him to grow up so he can serve God and work for his Kingdom.

Psalm 3:3 But You, O LORD, are a shield about me, My glory, and the One who lifts my head.
Hebrews 2:13 And again, "I will put my trust in Him." And again, "Behold, I and the children whom God has given me."

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Embrace the Camera.

A sweet friend of Matthew's mom made this outfit for Eli before he was born. It's been hanging in his closet just waiting for Eli to grow into it. I love outfits like these, and think babies just look so darn sweet in them. I have been on the lookout for some cute boy shoes now that Eli's walking, but can't seem to find what I want. We took these pics after church the other day so we could send them to Amy and thank her for her sweet outfit.
 I think maybe he looks like me just a little. :)

Right after this picture, he shook free from his daddy and walked on over to me. He's not all the way there yet, but close!

Get in the picture with your family!