Monday, February 28, 2011

{an artistic approach?}

On Saturday we headed out to Washington on the Brazos for the celebration of Texas Independence. Matt has been so sweet to try and take more pictures of me with Little Miss. So when we were out there he took over the camera. We got home and took a look at what he captured of our family outing and we both got a good laugh.



I'm so very thankful for the tripod he gave me for my Birthday....just so thankful.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Birthday

Thank you
Thank you
Thank you
to all  that called, emailed, facebooked, sent text messages and mailed me sweet Birthday wishes. It truly was a special day. I loved every minute of it...and needed it. 

The night before my Birthday I shamelessly made myself  the Birthday cake I have had every year since I was a little girl. I realized sometimes you just gotta take matters into your own hands and I'm okay with that. I had a little helper for some of it but then she decided it was time to go to bed.



I woke up the next morning and had cake for breakfast. It's a rule. You have to have cake for breakfast on your Birthday and any day following that it's still around.

I watched Elmo's Birthday episode in bed with Little Miss. I wasn't planning on this however she didn't want me to miss a second of my special day and decided to wake up extra early.

I opened my present from Matt. Then I opened happy mail from my sister. Later that day when the mailman came he brought more happy mail.

I got my favorite salad for lunch.


We went to P.F. Changs for dinner followed by the Chris Tomlin concert. Both of these being a surprise we hadn't planned for but others gave to us.

I'm so thankful for my special day.

I feel very blessed, loved and adored.



'

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Poor Man's Turtles

 My friend Steph made these for Bible study once and I'm pretty sure they lasted .5 seconds. It was at that time I realized a melt in your mouth dessert doesn't necessarily mean a long grocery list and hours in the kitchen.
This is the perfect mix of salty and sweet and it's super dangerous because it's bite size. So make them and hurry up and take them to a gathering so you don't devour 35 treats on your own....not speaking from experience or anything I'm just sayin.'

Here's what you'll need:
Mini Pretzels or Square Pretzels
Rolo's
Pecan Halves




Step 1- This is by far the hardest part of the recipe....unwrapping the Rolo's without eating all of them in the process.


Step 2- Arrange the pretzels on a lined cookie sheet, place Rolo's directly on top and put in the oven @350 for about 10-12 minutes or until the chocolate starts to sink down. You don't want to get the candies too hot, just warm enough that it will smush easily.


Step 3- Once you take them out of the oven immediately place the pecan half on top of the Rolo and smush it down.

*I had a bit of extra chocolate that I melted and drizzled on top and added a pinch of sea salt. I would say this step is not necessary but I'm addicted to salt so it seemed like a good idea.



Step 4- Watch them disappear before your very eyes.


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

It happened

The very thing I knew would.....I  lost motivation/inspiration for this little boy nursery. I finished the bedding,curtains, and a few other things and now I feel like I don't know where to start again. I wish I could say that I'm in love with the bedding but I'm not. I guess the chevron pattern doesn't make my heart go pitter patter like ruffles do.
Once I put the bedding in there things felt to matchy matchy. I'll just give it some time and hopefully I will stumble across something that will get me going again.
I hate to hold out hope for Round Top Antique Week but I just might have to. 38 weeks pregnant walking the fields looking for nursery accessories might not be the most ideal situation but it looks as though it's coming to that.
If you all have any ideas please do share!

As I promised....here is the bedding. Keep in mind there is no mattress on the bed so it is what it is.



Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Sweet Surpirse

I guess my love for Nutella was exposed when I wrote this post. So much so that I got a fun surprise package in the mail this week...opened it up....and found this stuff

It's an organic take on Nutella. It's not sold locally at this time but you can order it here.

My friend Autumn just sent me this  recipe that I believe I will try with my new tub of Justin's.

What a great way to kick off my Birthday week! Justin's Hazelnut Butter and a new cookie recipe. Speaking of Birthday sweets....do you have a chocolate recipe that is to die for? I would love it if you shared it with me or really any recipe that's to die for. Yes, I said Birthday week.....I do believe it's important to celebrate all week, this week will be my Birthday week and then the next week will be the Hubby's Birthday week. I guess you could say we will be fat and happy these next two weeks.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Favorite Baby Items

 I'm often asked by a new mother what my favorite must have items are for a new baby so I thought I would compile a little list of what we found useful in our home. Keep in mind these are the items that worked well for us and might not be necessary in your home.


1. The itzbeen timer worked beautifully for me. It's basically 4 timers you can set and reset when you are nursing or feeding your child, change a diaper, give medicine, take medicine for yourself, sleep patterns and such. It has a slider to help you remember what side  you last nursed on. It has a nightlight at the top you can press when you need to check on baby or walk down the dark hall. All in all this was a handy little gadget.

Itzbeen timer
2. I know I said this is a list of items that worked best in our home but I'm gonna be honest with this one...I believe this is the ONLY swaddle blanket that works miracles. There's just something about it. I can almost promise you that your little ninja infant cannot break out of this swaddle if done correctly.

The Miracle Blanket

3. We started off with a travel system and found that we were very limited with the terrain it could cover with ease. I also used a jogger when I ran at the park and found that having two strollers in tow was a bit much. We felt like we were limited by both until we found the Bob Revolution. The front wheel swivels, which is helpful when just walking around, you can then lock the wheel in place for running. It also has an Infant car seat adapter attachment so you can use it as a travel system as well as a jogger. It's extremely light weight and pushes with ease,as in one finger can control it. They have a remarkable warranty and they stand behind their product and the materials used.
It's a bit pricey but if your active and plan on having a few babies I would say it's worth the investment. When we bought it we decided to go ahead and buy the double stroller ....good thing :)

Bob Revolution




4. We did a lot of research and found that Britax consistently held first place in safety standards. We chose this seat that can be installed rear facing as well as forward facing. It's definitely on the bulky side and I'd be hesitant to say this is the best model for a sedan but it works in our mid-size SUV.
When we purchase again I know we will go with Britax but we might buy one without the side-impact protection for space reasons.
Oh...btw...when Little Miss falls asleep her head has never slumped forward in this seat.

Britax car seat

5. This was a miracle worker. It swings side to side or back and forth. Little Miss couldn't keep her eyes open longer than 5 seconds when we placed her in this swing. Many meals were made in the early days while she took a little nap in this swing. When she got bigger she loved to watch a Baby Einstein video while swinging.
Craddle Swing

6. This rice bag was a charmer as well. When Little Miss got cranky in the evenings due to gas this warm bag of rice seemed to soothe her little ache.

Belly Bag

7. Rice bag + Gripe Water = Happy Baby

Gripe Water
8. This cd is very soothing to the ears of a baby. We still have it in our cd player in the car and it instantly calms her down when she is tired and we are traveling. Matt and I found ourselves playing it even when we didn't have a baby in the car.

Praise Baby Collection


 9. We appreciated the peace of mind a video monitor provides. We loved being able to check on her from our bed. We live in an old house with creaky floors and loud doors so we are very likely to wake a sleeping baby when we check on them often. I also enjoyed being able to be outside working in the flower beds and being able to check on her.
Our camera went out about a year after we had it, I called the company and they sent me a brand new one...no questions asked.
*Piece of advice- keep the box to everything! Like with this monitor, I no longer had the receipt but I had the box stored in the closet and that's what helped me to get a new one. It seems as though many products break before they should and if you keep the box you are much more likely to get a replacement than without. 

Video Monitor


10. We didn't have a  Moby wrap but I'm feeling like I need one. Any Moby wrap users have an opinion you would like to share?
Moby Wrap



I would love it if you would share your favorite must have baby item.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Gotta Love em'

Men are sometimes clueless when it comes to compliments. I mean..they mean well but it doesn't always come out the right way. Take for instance this past summer I had been working in the kitchen for hours making homemade strawberry jelly and when we opened the first jar to taste it my husbands compliment was, " wow, this taste just as good as Smuckers!" Really? I was going for this taste nothing like something you would buy in the store. The funny thinng is that I knew he meant it tasted like something people would buy but it just didn't come out that way.

I told my friend Rachel about this "compliment" and she said she expereinced the same thing when she had slaved in the kitchen over a homemade pasta dish and when they sat down to eat it her husbands compliment was, "this is kinda like the new Pizza Hut pasta."

Oh boys...silly boys!

So I found that this starts very young in a man and they are completely unaware. Enter...my most recent "compliment." My husband is a Teacher/Coach at the High School and last night we had some of his boys over for dinner. I had been preparing the BBQ all day long, made a homemade BBQ sauce....all the works. We sit down at the table to enjoy my laborious meal and one of the boys looks up and says, "this is such a good sloppy joe!"
My response, "thank you," my husband chuckled under his breath knowing that young man had just done the typical male compliment. You just gotta laugh at the differences between a man and a women.

As we went to bed last night we laughed about this trait in a man. If you have experienced one of these "compliments" I would love it if you posted it in the comment section.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

I'm sorry

I just can't help but post more pictures of this big girl. I love the peacefulness of a sleeping baby.





While she's napping I'm going to be playing with my new box of happiness.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentines Date

This weekend we ventured out of the house for our annual Valentines date to the Galleria and Build a Bear. Last year we did this with Arabelle and had such a great time we decided to make it a tradition. In case you didn't know, that's what Aggies do. We do something once, like it, decide to do it again....now it's a tradition. In my opinion a tradition is a good thing to establish on holidays like Valentines Day, it takes out any unnecessary disappointment and expectations. 

This year was a lot different than last year. Arabelle enjoyed walking around the mall, picking out her monkey and sitting next to the fountain to watch the train pass by. We had a fabulous time, came home and went to bed by 9:30. I guess when you don't leave the house in over a week a big Houston outing can really wipe you out.









To go down memory lane.....here are last years pictures.



Friday, February 11, 2011

Ending one chapter...onto another

Last week I finished little boy blue's bedding and I wanted to see what it would look like with the bumper inserts in it. This was a problem because Arabelle still very much loves to cuddle with her bumpers. I just didn't have the heart to take them away from her...that is until.....she started using them to stand on and reach the window shade and wave at the neighbors during nap time. So, I took her inserts out, washed, folded and packed up her bumper covers and now she is sleeping with a big girl pillow and blanket. I have to admit it's bittersweet to watch her turn into such a big girl. When I went into check on her yesterday, there she was with her head on the pillow, cubby bear by her side and a blanket perfectly in place, she just looks so big to me now. When I put things up like this it makes me wonder if we will get it out again one day for another little baby girl or will it be put away until she is grown and having a baby girl of her own. Don't worry, I'm fully aware styles will change and she wont want this bedding for her own baby but I will want her to have it..cause I'm all mushy gushy  like that. Or a hoarder...whatever!


Bye bye baby bed. 





 FYI- Little Miss is feeling much better but now Mommy, Daddy and apparently the baby doll are still on the mend.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Be Still

Arabelle has been sick the last few days and I in turn have caught a little something as well. I took her to the doctor on Monday morning when I could see that things weren't getting better on their own. My little girl just wasn't herself. When we were at the doctors office there was a slue of people in the waiting room and I just knew it was going to be awhile before we got to see him. I remember last time we were there for a routine checkup and she was exploring all over the place, she was of course not sick at that time. So I sat down in the waiting room wondering how this was going to play out and my little girl just laid on me and waited patiently until they called us back. Once they called us into our own room they checked her temperature and it was at 104 so they immediately brought in Motrin to bring it down. She fought the nurse, screamed and cried. The nurse left the room and I began to sing songs through my cracked voice to try and soothe my sick little girl. I looked down and there she was asleep in my arms. This is rare, as in hasn't happened since the newborn stage. She just isn't one of those sleep anywhere kinda babies. As much as I hated that she was sick, I savored every moment of her sleeping in my arms.

When I told Matt I sang to her as softly as I could but it sounded horrible because my voice kept cracking he said, "it doesn't matter to her what you sound like, your her mom, it's as simple as that."

The rest of the week has been a lot of holding, rocking, singing, soothing and just loving on her. Again, I don't get to do these things often, she is always on the go...because that's what kids do at her age. This has given me time to pray over her and sing over her and think about something we discussed in bible study this week. When it comes to our prayer life, how often do we just come before the Father and just be still? I honestly don't know how to do this. I always feel like I need to speak to him about what I want/need/am thankful for. All these things are a part of a prayer life but so is just being before the Lord.

As a parent this is hitting home with me this week. So often Arabelle is requesting things from me and rarely does she just sit with me. I love taking care of her needs and playing with her but more than anything I adore her just simply saying "mama" and wanting me to hold her. Just hold her, love on her, and allow her to be still with me. As much as it breaks my heart to see her not feel well...it fills my soul to just be with her.

I'm continually amazed at what the Lord teaches me through children. I get it now. I understand another part the Lord is calling me to surrender. I know I won't always get it right but I will continue to look to my child to be reminded that I too am a child, a child of our heavenly Father and he want's me in these same ways. Like Matt reminded me about my signing, you can come to the father with no words or even with a cracking voice and he adores it because your his child. It really is that simple.

“I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters,says the Lord Almighty.” 
2 Corinthians 6:18



Saturday, February 5, 2011

National Nutella Day

When it comes to food there's a long list of things that I like and Matt doesn't.This can be frustrating when I try to convince him to try my favorites and he never really takes to it.

Then there are some things I have kept a secret.....like this AMAZING stuff.


For many years he has seen this empty jar in the pantry or on the counter next to the pretzels and has never thought twice to try it. That is until this week. We were low on sweets and he gave Nutella a try. He spread a little on a ritz cracker and that boy was in heaven and now I've been found out.

The other problem with this situation is that like any smart Mother, I eat this snack when the babe is asleep so I don't have to share..Matt on the other hand hasn't learned this lesson and therefore shared it with Little Miss. Big mistake....big...huge.

I guess this love affair could only last so long.

Being that it's National Nutella Day I found it fitting to share the recent events that went down.

We got a bit of snow.
We went outside to play in the snow.
We came inside before Little Miss wanted to.
Dad recovered with a snack.
Little Miss was in heaven.
Mom no longer has a container of Nutella.
The End.









Happy Nutella Day! Just in case your wondering..it's next to the peanut butter at your grocery store.