Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Pecan Muddy Buddies

Pecan Muddy Buddies
Muddy Buddies or Puppy Chow--whatever you call it, it's delicious (for those who don't know: it's chex cereal coated in a butter/chocolate/pb mixture and then tossed in powdered sugar). And I don't know why I had never even thought about using the same method to coat something other than chex. But when I saw this recipe using toasted pecans...oh my goodness I knew I had to make it happen. Plus...it's stupid easy. Which is necessary in the unpredictable life of being a new(ish) mama.
Pecan Muddy Buddies
I actually sort of am enjoying baking/making desserts with James now. I'll put him in a baby wrap and he likes to face outward and then chew on one of his baby spoons or something while I make stuff (and sometimes he tries to "help"). I think the kitchen and me making stuff in the kitchen is just super new and interesting for him and it's sort of adorable and warms my heart.

Plus it means I get to have treats. So it's a win all around.
Pecan Muddy Buddies
Speaking of wins, these pecan muddy buddies definitely are one. I think I still prefer classic puppy chow but I liked the nuttiness of these-and Michael was a BIG fan. He couldn't get enough. He may have even eaten more of them than me! Which is sort of a big deal.

Pecan Muddy Buddies


Pecan Muddy Buddies
Makes 3 cups.
Ingredients:
  • 3 cups pecan halves
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
Preparation:
  • To toast the pecans (optional if you like raw pecans, are using pre-toasted pecans, or to make this no bake)-Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Place pecans on a baking sheet and bake for a few minutes, stirring every minute, until lightly toasted-if you can smell them, they're done. Be vigilant to keep them from burning, it can happen fast! Immediately pour into large bowl to cool. 
  • Place chocolate chips, peanut butter, and butter in a microwave safe bowl and microwave on high, stirring after 30 second increments, until melted and smooth.
  • Pour chocolate mixture over toasted pecans.
  • Place 1 cup powdered sugar in a large bag. Pour in pecans and close up the top tightly before shaking to coat. Pour onto a parchment or wax paper lined baking sheet to cool.
  • Store in an airtight container or ziptop bag for up to 5 days.
Pecan Muddy Buddies
Seriously, if I can overcome separation anxiety and bad naps to pull this recipe together, you can totally make them too! 

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Something Saturdays (5/19/18)

How was your Mother's Day weekend guys?? I have to say mine was pretty perfect. Saturday we had a wedding for Michael's cousin (which luckily everything was like 5-10 minutes from our house) and James was flawless. He even fell asleep in my arms in church (which he hasn't just fallen asleep like that since he was like 2-3 months old--and it wasn't even naptime yet so he wasn't overtired!) He honestly dealt with everything so great. Then, my 1st Mother's Day, he could not have been happier to just be home with his mommy and daddy. He was so sweet and affectionate and happy all day. And he napped like a champ. It was awesome. And Michael was so sweet and vacuumed for me and brought me food and had James pick me a dandelion (they're flowers!) and he and James painted me a picture. Seriously...so much love for that husband and that baby of mine.

The rest of the week I did some cleaning and blogging and generally got things done. I had to work a little tomorrow and today I have a wedding! Which I always enjoy but I hate having to be away from James for so long (not to mention pumping is always annoying). But tomorrow I'll just be home with my boys so it's all good!

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

James-5 Months!


Date: May 10, 2018

Sleeping Pattern: We're consistently sleeping through the night-WOOOO!!! He takes 3 full naps and there's 1 optional little catnap before bedtime. Honestly, overall, he's a good little sleeper-even though naps can be hit or miss. He still wears his sleepsack for all naps and bedtime, just with his arms unswaddled, and I pretty much just sit with him, sing him 1-2 songs, then put him down and he falls asleep pretty quickly 90% of the time.

Eating Habits: During the day James eats ever 3-3.5 hours, generally, and I mean it goes pretty well. He usually spends about 20ish minutes eating-so long as he doesn't get too distracted haha. He's so cute when he's hungry, though, with his little gaping baby bird mouth.

Development: Little guy is getting mobile! He rolls from his back to front and front to back and also scoots himself a bit so he's able to kind of get places. It's so cool to see him go after toys and get them, though! He's also clearly working on sitting up-he's holding his head and shoulders up off the floor when you lay him down, he's frequently curling in on himself, etc. So I'm sure by next month he'll probably be doing it or close to it. James has also developed object permanence (AKA he knows people still exist even when he can't see them)-which has caused a small amount of separation anxiety sometimes (and results in the saddest sobbing cry everrr. Also he now raises his arms in the arm that he wants pick up--he does this 80% of the time when put down.)

Mischief: This is hilarious-so Michael likes to "attack" James' neck with "om nom nom nom" and now James does it too!  If he's laying on one of us in the vicinity of our faces/necks he will start attacking us and just giggles and giggles as he does it. It's so so funny and so so cute! And the harder you laugh, the harder he laughs, hehe. And his expression when he does it-it's this grin of pure mischief which is so Michael it's crazy. Also, when I'm changing his diaper and lay a wipe over him so he doesn't pee all over the place he frequently takes the wipe and grins like he knows he's not supposed to and it's amusing. Then I put another wipe on...and sometimes he takes that one too. One time he ended up holding 4 wipes.

Cuteness:  I mean I still think like everything James does is cute. The little sounds he makes at the end of a yawn, all of his little talking sounds (and the loud ones, too).  It's so funny what a duality he has--when he's comfortable and familiar (so, especially when he's at home with us) he is so expressive and dramatic and loud and wiggly and silly. But when we're somewhere new or with new people he just sits quietly and studies everything with that furrowed brow of his and wide eyes(and people tell me how laid back he is and I laugh at them). He'll grab my face and give me big kisses, especially if I was gone and am now back. It's SO SWEET. He loves to grab onto his feet and play with them-and he likes it even better when you tickle them (and his butt...his butt is ticklish. It's hilarious.) When you tickle him or he gets excited in general he will give this HUGE open mouthed grin (which sometimes turns into a laugh). That whole attacking thing I told you about in the mischief section is adorable. Sometimes he'll just put his hands on your face and stare into your eyes, and usually smile, and it melts your freaking heart. His giggle is so amazing and probably the best sound on planet Earth (and SO MANY things make him laugh now!) He almost always has a sweet smile to greet people he loves with. Pretty much all the cuteness he did last month he still does. His love of dancing is going strong (he hears music and sees you start to dance and the biggest smile steals across his face)-it's actually really funny because now he'll sort of dance with me. Like if I'm dancing in front of him he'll start grinning and wiggling and kicking around (he still likes it best when you help him dance, though, haha). Sometimes he'll talk to himself in his crib before or during a nap which is freaking cuteness personified. I die over his gaping baby bird mouth when he's ready to eat. And just his little cheeks and drooly mouth that loves to give and receive kisses and his big sweet eyes and his little hands always reaching for you and trying to hold onto you. He adores Michael and I SO much and it's amazing and sweet and adorable. I love him. He's the best thing ever.

Nicknames: James-y, Littlest Bob, Nugget (or Nug or Nuggy), Cutie McCuterson, Drooly, Wiggle Worm/Wiggles, Baby Dinosaur, Tea Kettle (the last 2 are due to the sounds/squeals he makes), Hedgehog (he frequently curls into a hedgehog-like ball), Honey Bunny, Mr. Blue Jeans, Mister, Sir, Bud/Buddy, Friend, Sweet Boy, Baby, Love (My love, little love, sweet love), Little little, Cutie patootie/pie, My Sweetie/Sweetie-pie, Little/Sweet/Baby Boy (or any combo with any of the other nicknames listed)

Talking: Ohhh when he gets going he is SO talkative! It's so fun and adorable to watch how he experiments with making different sounds-he screams and squeals and does this dinosaur-sounding inhale, and he makes little coo-ing sounds, and then he sometimes makes what sound like actual words (and he said "ada/dada" for the first time...then he said it like 100 more times lol). It's so fun. (Except for when he's angry and just straight up screams at you...that made Michael break out his dad voice and tell him, "No, James.") I've also caught him talking in his sleep a couple times (he was straight up asleep but talking, so cute) which is extra funny because Michael and I both talk in our sleep so it's like "Ah, our child."

Favorites: Me and Michael. Also his grandparents and Aunt Shannan and cousin Bri. Dancing/music in general. Being sang to (or whistled to). Baths (even more so now-he actually smiles and plays in there). His hedgehog toy. Being smiled at and talked to. People making funny sounds to him. Being tickled. Kisses. His feet. Laughing with mommy and daddy and playing with people in general.

Dislikes: Being put down (sometimes)/walked away from or when he's been on his own too long and decides he's done and wants held NOW. When his teeth are bothering him. Staying up too long. Nap time. Being too hot.

Firsts: So many this month! James said his first word (dada--or, more accurately, "ada"). He also started rolling from his back to his front. He started being about to reach for and move around to grab toys he wants. He started actively giving me and Michael kisses (he grabs my face and brings it to his for a kiss). He "discovered" his feet. Went on his first walk in the stroller (he likes it)! Technically these things happened after his 5 month "birthday"--but just by a couple days. He went to his 1st wedding (and did SO DANGED WELL! He actually fell asleep during mass and really stuck to his schedule really well and still was fine for bedtime) and we had our 1st Mother's Day (where he gave me the best gift ever by being REALLY happy and loving all day and sleeping super super well for his naps and such.)

Concerns: I feel like he's such a skinny little guy I sometimes worry about it a bit but everyone agrees he looks healthy so it's just me being a worrier, I think. Otherwise nothing really, just making sure he gets enough sleep every day!

A Day in the Life: James wakes up around 7AM and usually just lays there and and chews on his fist or talks quietly until I go get him. Then he eats and we play (and visit with daddy before he goes to work) and I put him down for his nap around 8:45ish. Then he's up again and around 10:30. We play (usually we just chat and I also like to let him play on his activity gym and/or roll around on a blanket on the floor with his toys) and then back down to nap around 12:15-12:30ish. Naps until about 2-eats, play, then back to nap around 3:45-4. Then he naps until 5, eats, and we have a nice long play time (Michael usually comes home sometime around now)-if we go on a walk it's usually during this period. He may or may not take a short little nap around 6:30, waking up by 7 though. Then at 7:30 we start getting him ready for bed (we change him, read him a book, then I go put him in his sleepsack, and put lotion on his hands). Then I feed him (around 8) in the rocker in his room and afterwards put him right down in his crib where he sleeps all night. Life's pretty great, honestly.
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