Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Weekly Menu.

Monday- rotissierie chicken, roasted red potatoes, and roasted veggies tossed in olive oil
Tuesday- fish tacos with lime cilantro crema, black beans
Wednesday- church
Thursday- crockpot bbq, broccoli slaw, baked beans
Friday- rotissierie chicken salad, french bread, homemade ranch dressing
Saturday- grilled homemade pizzas with veggies and italian sausage
Sunday- grilled carne asada, corn tortillas, spanish rice
Monday- fried fish, broccoli slaw, baked beans
Tuesday- leftovers
Wednesday- church
Thursday- grilled chicken breasts and french fries

With leftovers included, this should be about two weeks worth of  meals! I love not having to go to the store every week!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Digging in the Dirt.

What in the world happened to April? One minute, it was the 2nd, and I was throwing a birthday party, and the next it's Easter and the last week of the month! I think I was just comatosed the week after the birthday and we just hung around the house. One weekend was full of landscaping. Matthew went out of town for 5 days and my grandmother Jane came to visit. I wrote about her here before. I wish I had taken pictures from our visit together because it was wonderful, but I think being a single momma took all my energy. Eli somehow got sick during that time, and got two new teeth, so I held a fussy baby in my arms for five days. The next weekend we headed to Franklin for Easter with family, and so here we are! I have about 1000 pictures to show you all, but I need to edit them all first, and talk about them, and so on.

This is one of our landscaping projects. We did this one right before Eli's birthday. In the picture below, you can see our patio. The patio has two steps that lead into the yard. There wasn't anything separating the two, so Matthew and Luke built that pergola last Fall. Matthew has to finish a tiny section of staining it, and it will be officially complete. See that fallen over owl on top? That was to scare away the millions of squirrels that come and eat our grass and seed, and leave holes all over the place. It seems that squirrels are not very scared of plastic owls. Anyway, we bought about 20 boxwood shrubs and Matthew and Luke planted them all while Eli and I supervised.

 Eli is ALL about his daddy right now. Cries when he leaves, fusses if he goes anywhere without him, follows him all over the house, reaches for him to hold him, etc. Daddy = fun.
 I love some good strong daddy's hand holding my baby.

The camera focused on my baby's ear here instead of his face. I still love it. He's making his fish face and concentrating on watching Uncle Luke so intensely.

 Since I was on baby duty while the boys worked all day, a big ole' Starbucks was brought home from the shrub run. Vanilla non-fat latte please. Mmmmm.

 These little legs weren't quite full time walking yet, but he would pull himself up on the brick wall and stare right up at the guys working in front of him.

 I love some good forearms too. But only on my hubby. Working hard for our house, for his family, and for the Lord. Those are the best kind of forearms. :)

One day little boy, you can dig in the dirt with daddy too. I know you can't wait.

For now, you'll have to be content to play with rocks.

Friday, April 8, 2011

The Big Shin-dig.

Well, I survived planning my first birthday party. And I'd just like to say I'm glad we aren't celebrating birthdays to this magnitude every year. This year though, Matthew and I thought we kind of deserved a little celebrating with the birthday boy. We did it! We survived our first year of being parents. I'll never look at another mom or dad the same, knowing they have gone through and experienced all the highs, lows, frustrations, joys, etc. that comes with being a parent. On to the party details...

We decided to have a little bumblebee theme. We call Eli a busy bee all the time, yellow is spring-like, and a theme helps me plan better. We had about 30 adults and 10 kids coming, so we hoped and prayed it would be relatively nice that day. It turned out to be a little chilly, but in the sun, it felt pretty nice. We also planned it right after Eli's morning nap, hoping he would be in his best mood. I'll try to take a picture of the invitations we made, but they stated, "11:30 - naptime". And that's pretty much what happened. Towards the end, one by one, the bigger kids had to get home to their naps!
Here's the outside decor. We hung tissue pom-poms from our pergola, yellow and black balloons from our tiki torches, white tablecloths with flower centerpieces, and bumblebee cake pops in small baby food jars on the tables. We nailed the banner into the brick wall, and the beach balls had bumblebees drawn on them with each child's name. They all bounced the balls around the backyard and took them home as their favor.

flower centerpieces with bumblebee cake pops

The banner was pretty basic...and simple. I just cut out the white letters, put them on the yellow card stock, drew some bumblebees on there, and strung some polka dotted ribbon through them. "Happy Bee-day Eli!"

Each balloon had their name and a bee waiting them in our yard.

In our dining room, we had a wall of Eli. I blew up all his monthly pictures in black and white and taped them up! I could hardly bring myself to take them down. I think I'll save them and use them as scrapbook paper whenever I actually get around to scrapbooking.

 The food. We kept it very simple. I wanted to make lunch food I could prepare early and easily. We had "honey-roasted" turkey sandwiches, fruit, pasta salad, chips, and "p.bee.j's" for the kiddos. We didn't get any pictures of the 3 cakes I made, but you can kind of see them on the buffet.

We were so glad that all of our friends in Knoxville could come and celebrate with us. We are thankful knowing that if we live here in Knoxville forever, Eli will be surrounded by lots of good kids and great parents raising them to be sweet, God-loving babes. And they share. :) This handsome boy Carter is actually leaving us soon, and we're definitely sad about it.

Here's Aunt Leah and Eli in his bumblebee outfit making his new favorite face. My mom and I sewed that little jon-jon the night before, and she literally sewed the buttons on that morning. Thank goodness for her, because I still hadn't found him a birthday outfit I liked!

Collin and Carter playing a little football. Collin's mama took some great pictures of the party too, and I got to relish every second of watching my sweet boy! I was so glad I wasn't running around trying to take pictures, celebrate with Eli, and mingle with people.

Eli with Uncle Luke, who graciously took all of these pictures for me, so I could enjoy the party.

Here's little Ben in his awesome hat. We celebrated his birthday just a few months ago.

 And here's pretty Josie scowling at Luke.
My teacher friend Jess modeling one of my bumblebee cake pops. Believe it or not, those little treats took WAY too much time. Cute, but probably not going to be made again.

Everyone is singing to Eli in this picture. You can get a little glimpse of the smash cake I made, and the party hat I attempted to make. It turned out a little huge, and I forgot the pom-pom top, but it looks cute on my baby!

We blew out his candle together, and he tentatively went for the bumblebee first...

 But quickly put that aside and just went for the whole cake instead. I had to give him a little finger lick of the frosting first, and he had no trouble after that.
Clearly, he's a boy after his daddy's heart. He LOVES cake.

I know this is ridiculous, but I really wish we had moved his chair to the shade, so all the pictures weren't him squinting into the sun.

Most of the adult party crowd cheering him on.

After cake, we opened presents, and everyone was truly too good to Eli. He has gifts for months, which we quickly decided to pick out a few he can play with now, and put the rest away for awhile. We can rotate them in and out and they'll all seem like new!

After presents, just like the invite said, it become clear that it was naptime for the kiddos, and everyone slowly cleared out. Our families stayed and visited outside in the warm sun, and enjoyed the company. We watched Eli play with his new toys, and he showed off his full-time walking skills while we all clapped. Before his afternoon nap, we took one last picture of our family of three.

Eli went for a ride around the yard in his gift that we got him. He loves his new radio flyer wagon and we've enjoyed many walks around the neighborhood already. The party was a success in our books, and we so enjoyed celebrating with our friends here in Knoxville. The only thing that would have made it better is if our friends from Franklin could have been with us too. Hope you like all 100 of these pictures. :)

Monday, April 4, 2011

The Real First Birthday Celebration.

It's Official. I am the mama of a one year old. I meant to do a post on his actual birthday last Thursday, but the day flew by with my mom in town, and before I knew it, here we are at Monday. Having this party for him was lots of fun, and I think it kept my mind pretty occupied, so I didn't sit down and bawl that my baby is now a toddler.

For his actual birthday on Thursday, I sang to him while he danced in is crib bright and early. We then quickly went to wake up daddy in bed, so he could sing to him too. :) We played all day, and had his favorite for dinner...pizza. He loves his pizza, just like Matthew does.

Pizza is the best dinner for babies...mushable, cheesy, and so healthy when you order veggie. :)

After dinner, we lit one little candle and sang again to our little man. He just sat in his highchair grinning from ear to ear. We placed the cupcake in front of him, helped him blow out his candle, and gave him is first taste. He LOVED his cupcake. Ate the entire thing. He wanted more when he was done, and found a crumb or two later on the base of his highchair to munch on. :) He was a huge mess afterwards, and we loved every second of watching our son delight in something so new and sweet.

He loved the singing and the flame on the candle.

This is for me??!!

Licking his lips with his belly stuck out.

A quick drink break.

Everyone clapped together when he was done. Yay for cake!
While still on his sugar overload, Matthew took him to play in the tub while my mom and I cleaned up the aftermath. After he was squeaky clean and in his jammies, we gave him a few of the gifts my mom brought. Every time she left my house to run an quick errand somewhere, she found something there that was "too cute" and bought it for him. Surprisingly, he really loved all the toys he opened, and wasn't just interested in the paper this time.

Hugging his bumblebee pillow pet.

It was so worth it to wait and give him his first bites of cake on his birthday. The next morning, when I offered him his usual organic, sugar-free yogurt, he looked at me like, "Are you kidding, mama? I'm only eating sugar every day for the rest of my life."

The budding photog in me wishes I had taken him outside at dusk to get these pictures, because the lighting would have been one million times better and not blurry. Thus, I didn't even bother editing these. I am very thankful for the memories though, blurry and bad lighting and all. :)

I really should've dried my hair and put on some make-up for this memory. :)

Bumblebee Birthday Bash post coming soon...