Saturday, July 14, 2018

Something Saturdays (7/14/18)

Ok first of all-we're leaving for vacation tomorrow for almost a week in PA with Michael's family. I'm excited but super nervous because it's a tiny cottage that we're sharing with Michael's dad, stepmom, and brother and sister-in-law and James hasn't shared a room with us since before he started sleeping through the night so yeah...I'm nervous haha. There's like no internet there so I'll be MIA (with some social media exceptions) until next week!

Last weekend we had so much fun getting James' photos taken-he of course wasn't 100% cooperative but he was still SO MUCH fun and so funny and Amanda (the most amazing photographer ever) was amazing. She's sent us a few sneak peeks but I can't wait to see the rest!

Ok's a sneak peek of our sneak peeks for you:
Amanda Ellis Photography

ANYWAY on Sunday Michael's mom, sister, and a couple of his cousins came over and we played Dungeons and Dragons...and shut up it was super fun lol. The rest of the week I spent time with my little baby love and tried to get some things done. Wednesday my mom came with me and James to the grocery store and then later Michael's mom came over and watched James last minute while I went to the doctor and then Thursday and Friday she also watched him while I worked. Today I have a wedding and tomorrow we leave for vacation! AH

Posts from this week 

Movies/TV Talk (assume there'll be spoilers)
The Originals-Awww Josh :(

Instagram Lately (a few highlights from this week on Instagram)

Thursday, July 12, 2018

James-7 Months!

Date: July 10, 2018

Sleeping Pattern: We've been doing pretty darn well lately! James takes a nice sized nap in the morning that usually lasts around 1.5-2 hours, then he has another decent sized nap (about 1-1.5 hours usually) in the afternoon, then one short 30 minute nap in the later afternoon/early evening. Bedtime is 7:30 (prior to that we change him, do a story, Michael does a cute little bedtime routine, then brings him upstairs to me) and then I feed him and put him down for the night. We've pretty much entirely phased out the pacifier (he rarely used it anyway) so putting him to sleep usually just consists of me putting him in his sleep-sack, singing to him for like a minute, then putting him in his crib to sleep.

Eating Habits: This baby gets SO distracted. Eating is a much more lively affair these days-he's always moving around and looking around and grabbing his feet and my hair and popping off because he wants the other side then going back's an adventure. But he's still eating 5 times over the course of the day. We've also introduced solids but he usually just has them once a day, generally at dinner time-about 30 minutes to an hour after he's finished nursing. We do baby led weaning so we give him table food, usually whatever we're having, and just put it on his tray and let him have at it.

Development & Firsts: On June 14th he started sitting up on his own (and is super good at it now! Although we usually still surround him with pillows in case he topples over). He also got his 1st tooth (bottom front right) and then his 2nd tooth (bottom front left). They are sharp lol. James also started eating this month!! He's actually doing pretty amazing-we're doing baby led weaning so we give him table foods and it was a little nerve wracking at first but watching how good he is getting is awesome. He's LOVING it-every time he goes into the high chair he immediately starts reaching for whatever is on it for him to eat and starts going at it. His favorites so far are pizza, chicken, zucchini, and yogurt.

Mischief: SO MISCHIEVOUS. He still "attacks" us (much more terrifying now that he has teeth, however). Anytime I try to tell James no (usually when he's grabbing himself while I'm trying to change his diaper-an especially terrible idea if it's poopy) he smiles or full on laughs at me. And he will say no and has just started shaking his head at us too. He's just insane and fun and silly.

Cuteness:  Yeah yeah yeah he's the cutest lol. He smiles so much and is oh so cuddly and gives lots of kisses and giggles. He'll reach for mine or Michael's face and just stare at us with adoration. He gets stoked as heck to see his grandparents and Aunt Shannan. He's SO ticklish (one of Michael's favorite things to do is tickle the crap out of him). He just makes the most hilarious expressions and sounds (he's always squealing or "talking" he also went through a phase where he kept blowing raspberries or sticking his tongue out). He'll do an indignant cough that's pretty humorous.

Nicknames: James-y, Littlest Bob, Nugget (or Nug or Nuggy), Cutie McCuterson, Cuddle Bug, Snuggle Bunny, Hedgehog, Mister, Sir, Bud/Buddy, Friend, Sweet Boy, Baby, Love (My love, little love, sweet love), Cutie patootie/pie, My Sweetie/Sweetie-pie, Little/Sweet/Baby Boy (or any combo with any of the other nicknames listed)

Talking: So much talking. He's been making a lot of "mama" babbles-some sounding more intentional than others. Usually it's when he's sad/mad. The other day he was angry at me for not paying attention to him and when I went back to him he wailed, "mommyyy..." And, as previously mentioned, "no" has been getting said a bit. Also usually when mad/sad lol.

Favorites: Me and Michael. His grandparents and Aunt Shannan. Dancing/singing (I think he's starting to join in sometimes lol). Being held. KISSES.  Being tickled. His toys (his hedgehog is his clear favorite). Being smiled at and talked to and played with. I mean...yeah it's pretty much all the same stuff. Oh! But also-FOOD! And water (weird but he seems to like it, I love water so he comes by it honestly). He seems to especially love meat-but pizza and yogurt have also been a big hit.

Dislikes: Not having attention/doing the same thing and being in the same spot for too long. Mommy and daddy being gone. Teething. Being tired. Noisiness when he's trying to sleep. The car.

Concerns: Nothing much! Just hoping he's eating enough (milk, not worried about solids at this age) and gaining and growing ok.

A Day in the Life: James wakes up around 7AM and I get him and feed him. Then we play and visit with daddy before work and he goes down for his nap around 8:45. Lately he's been sleeping until about 10:30-11 (which is awesome). Then I feed him and we play. Back down to nap around 12:30-1ish. He naps until about 2 then eats, plays, then back to nap around 4:15-4:30. Then he naps until 5, eats, and we play/I finish up dinner. Michael usually comes home around then and we all have dinner together. Then around 7:15 we start getting him ready for bed (we change him, read a book, then I go put him in his sleepsack, and put lotion on his hands). Then I feed him (around 7:30) in the rocker in his room and afterwards put him right down in his crib where he still sleeps all night (although he moves all around and wakes up in a very different position and spot in the crib than where he was put down.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

{Lower Sugar} Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

{Lower Sugar} Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
These chocolate chip cookies are SO SO GOOD.

Like super delicious. Even though they're lower in sugar. But I swear you don't notice. Michael still raved about them and he's always quick to tell you when your healthier treats don't stack up to the regular ones lol.
{Lower Sugar} Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
In all fairness, though, Michael has lofty opinions of my cookies. He says even my worst cookies are better than almost anyone else's best ones. He's a keeper, that boy.

As is this recipe. I loved them. I miss them. I want them.

I'd feel slightly less bad giving these to James. Someday. Not now lol.
{Lower Sugar} Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
Seriously-these cookies are perfectly chewy, have just the right amount of chocolate chips, and they taste AMAZING. I used coconut sugar and it adds this amazing depth of flavor and softness to the cookies, you really don't feel like you're missing anything! Because you're not! Yay!

{Lower Sugar} Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

From Sally's Baking Addiction

{Lower Sugar} Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes approx. 20 cookies.
  • 10 tbsp. (or 5 oz.) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 and 1/4 cups coconut sugar
  • 1 egg + 1 egg yolk, room temperature
  • 1 tbsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 and 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 5 oz. dark or semisweet chocolate chips or chunks
  • Optional-sea salt, for sprinkling
  • In a large bowl, using a hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on high speed until completely smooth, about 2 minutes. 
  • Add the coconut sugar and beat on medium high speed for 3 full minutes. Stop and scrape down the sides as needed. 
  • Beat in the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla extract on high speed. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
  • With the mixer turned off, add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Start to combine it a bit using a spatula or spoon and then mix on low speed until just combined.
  • Fold in the chocolate chips/chunks.
  • Cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour or up to 3 days.
  • If the dough chills longer than 3-4 hours, let it sit at room temperature for 20 minutes when ready to bake.
  • Preheat oven to 350F degrees and line large baking sheet(s) with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
  • Measure out 2 tbsp. sized balls of dough and space at least 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheet(s). If desired, sprinkle with sea salt.
  • Bake 11-14 minutes, until very lightly browned around the edges but still soft in the centers. Let cool on sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 3 months (you can also store unbaked cookie dough balls for up to 3 months, just bake them for an extra minute).
{Lower Sugar} Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
Chewy, gooey, goodness!
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