Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Sweet Cream Cold Brew Fudgesicles

Sweet Cream Cold Brew Fudgesicles
I've created a cold brew addict.

Michael just started drinking coffee regularly a few years ago (I don't drink it, though) and when I first learned about cold brew I knew it was the thing for him. It's less acidic and harsh on the tummy and higher in caffeine and flavor. Pretty much exactly what he loves-and he's super apathetic about if it's hot or not so I started making homemade cold brew for him (I use this recipe, btw) and his life was changed.

And then I spotted the recipe for these fudgesicles and revolutionized everything.
Sweet Cream Cold Brew Fudgesicles
The only thing Michael likes better than coffee is CHOCOLATE and coffee, bonus points for refreshing. So hi yes these are fudgesicles made with cold brew and then oh yes also a sweet creamy layer.

He was very excited.
Sweet Cream Cold Brew Fudgesicles
You initially taste the sweet cream layer before that gives way to the chocolatey coffee fudgesicle and while both are delicious and interesting on their own, when you can taste both flavors at once it comes together and is just magic. Trust me-these got the full Michael seal of approval. They're epic and you need them. Make them while the weather's still warm! (Or make them when it's cold out, I'm a strong believer in eating what you want no matter what the weather is.)

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Something Saturdays (8/25/18)

Hihihiii! Ok so last weekend was pretty great-Saturday was crazy because the wedding I worked had some MoB dramaaa but Sunday was so nice! James got to play in his little blow up pool while Michael grilled us steaks (and potatoes and cauliflower that I dressed with tahini and chili powder) that we then all ate on the deck (ok...I didn't eat any cauliflower because ick but James liked it!) the rest of this week has pretty much been business as usual.

PS I've been loving these cookies since I was pregnant (I love oreos + pb and these are healthier and tastier!)

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

What Not to Buy for Babies

I feel like there are a ton of posts about what you SHOULD buy for babies (heck, I've written 2 so far) but the more time that passes, the more I think we should chat about the variety of things babies DON'T need. We've discovered that these things aren't necessary over the last few months and are hoping this helps you be able to avoid wasting money on this kind of stuff-whether you're buying for yourself or a loved one! Most of these things are 100% subjective and based upon my personal experience:
  • Baby blankets-fun fact, blankets are a SIDS risk for sleeping babies. So they can't sleep with them (use a sleepsack! I hiiighly recommend the Halo ones). Which means 90% of their function is gone. And baby blankets generally aren't terribly large, so you can't even use them much for play time on the floor (although when they're not at all mobile you could potentially use a large-ish one for tummy time). I have probably 20+ baby blankets, all gifted to us from people for showers or after James was born. I pretty much never use any of them. The only blankets I use are the aden + anais kind and I use them as burpcloths or a few other blankets that I have I use to put on a changing mat on the ground for diaper changes-but super soft fuzzy ones and crochet/knit ones don't work for those jobs so they just don't get used.
  • Too many toys-babies are pretty easily amused. And usually really only end up liking like 2 of the 20 things they're presented. So yeah...no need to overdo it when they're young. 
  • Stuffed animals-this is sort of like a combo of the previous 2. Stuffed animals are a kind of toy but they're also comfort objects that are a SIDS risk so babies can't sleep with them until they're at least 1. Like..having 1 or 2 stuffed animals is cool but everyone ends up giving them to you and then you have 15 stuffed animals with no purpose. 
  • Baby clothes that are difficult to get them into-I know. This seems random. BUT dressing babies is hard and there are some outfits we got that James wore a total of once because it was just never worth it to wear them again. For example-there were these SUPER cute and warm little like bear one piece outfits that were SO HARD to get him into-you had to wiggle his body all the way down into them from the bottom up. Just something to consider. James pretty much only wore sleepers for his first few months and primarily wears them still.
Exhibit A. He was not happy.
  • Disposable diapers/wipes (if you're using cloth): A bunch of people told me to have disposable diapers and wipes on hand (even though I use cloth)-just in case. After James' circumcision closed we have never once used disposable diapers except for when we went on vacation. Which means we have ended up with a bunch of outgrown unused diapers. Not a huge deal but the point is-we didn't need them. So why get them? And the wipes? We've only used them to clean up a mess he made at a cafe one time, never on him. 
  • Bath/swim toys: Can you say mold? An exception are things that can't get water in them, like those little plastic links like every baby has. 

BONUS-if you're pregnant and you've heard of "padsicles" (maxi pads frozen with aloe and witch hazel)--SUPER don't need them. They just made my whole area feel cold (which was not so pleasant), didn't help with anything lol.

Disclaimer-this is all, obviously, in my opinion.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Something Saturdays (8/18/18)

Last weekend we had a bit of excitement by going out to brunch with James after church-it went pretty well until we were done eating, it then took us 30-45 minutes to get our check and desserts and actually be able to leave (there was only 1 other table in the entire diner and the dessert was just a slice of cheesecake...so weird) so poor James went down for his nap super late. But, it all worked out ok. This week was fairly chill-James got his 3rd tooth so that was exciting but also made him cranky for a couple days. But yeah, more boring-ness around here. But the good kind :) I work a wedding today and then tomorrow is family time!

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

James-8 Months!


Date: August 10, 2018

Sleeping Pattern: So this has changed a lot in the last couple weeks. Over this entire month we've sort of started a transition to a new schedule for him. We are now down to 2 naps during the day that usually last 1-2 hours apiece and then he still has his last nursing session at 7:30pm and then sleeps all night. We're in a super good spot right now, generally, sleep-wise! (We had one week in there where he kept crying at random times throughout the night from either nightmares or teething or a combination, it was so sad-and exhausting.)

Eating Habits: Eating is still a pretty lively situation with lots of position changes and baby moving around and grabbing various things but it's gotten a little better now that he's only nursing four times a day (so he's a bit hungrier for his feedings). He now eats solids about two times a day (usually after his 2nd milk feeding of the day and then again at dinner-time) and he's doing SOOO well! He's eaten well over 50 different foods and does pretty great with all of them. He sits in his high chair and we just put whatever he's eating on his tray and we eat together. It's really nice and we're loving baby led weaning.

Development & Firsts: James went on his first vacation to Lake Conneaut in PA and he did really well! He certainly loved all the attention he got from all the family. Unfortunately he also picked up his 1st cold while there, but he was a tough little guy and got through it. While we were there he went to his first "beach" and put his feet in the lake for the first time. He also ate in his first cafe (he had some very yummy yogurt that they were nice enough to give us for him.) He's taken to using rolling (and scooting) as a very efficient means of travel (seriously need to keep an eye on him now! He moves fast), but he's also sort of working on crawling? It's a process lol. He also loves to stand (with help, of course). And he had his first bath in his bath tub-not in the little infant tub! We sit him in a little laundry basket to help keep him from slipping around and he loves it.

Mischief: He's just so ferocious! He's so playful but like screams at you and pulls your hair and attacks your face...it's adorable but also somewhat terrifying, lol. We've had some struggles with biting but I think he's starting to figure out "Oops, I have teeth, need to be careful about those." He also loves to roll toward whatever thing he shouldn't be getting into (as babies do). He'll still give me an impish smile when I try to say no (like when he tries to grab his *ahem* area when I'm changing his diaper or removes the wipe covering it just in time to pee on me). One adorable "mischievous" thing he likes to do is "hide" under a blanket and giggle uncontrollably while you pretend you can't find him, then he'll pop his head out and everyone loves it. He also shakes his head "no" A TON but the vast majority of the time I think it's actually him dancing (I've noticed when I dance I tend to shake my head so...ya.)

Cuteness:  James is just maximum cute (his fuzzy hair, his long eyelashes, his big eyes that are grey and brown somehow, his chubby cheeks, his pretty little lips, all his funny faces and yeah everything.). He still is so affectionate and gives kisses (sometimes sweet and gentle, other times super intense and almost violent) and will lay his head on your shoulder for cuddles. His eyes light up when he sees people he loves and he gets this slow smile that will steal across his face and steal your freaking heart. All his talking is so funny and his giggles are THE BEST. He laughs at us for making silly noises, he laughs when we spin with him, he laughs when I dance with him, he laughs when we come home from being away and he sees us, he laughs just because he's looking at us sometimes. Now that he's taking baths like a big boy he gets so excited and splashes around and squeals and smiles. He's obsessed with his daddy's guitar, he loves "playing" it and if Michael starts playing and singing he'll sort of "sing" too (making little "ooooh" sounds). He takes everything in with big eyes and studies everything. He shakes his head when he's happy, or done eating, or telling you "no". The way he studies and tests out some foods and others he just GOES TO TOWN on is adorable. Lately he's been really into this large picture of the Batman symbol hanging in our loft, he stares at it and smiles at it, and tries to crane around and hang backwards to look at it while Michael is reading him his nightly superhero rules. It's so funny. He claps his feet together in the most adorable way. Honestly...so many things. This section always kills me because HE'S SO CUTE ALL THE TIME HOW CAN I SUM IT UP?

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

Talking: He says mama and dada and "heyyy" (or more rarely "hiii"). He babbles and "talks" a ton and sometimes we could swear he says other words or responds to us. It's crazy awesome. He also screams and squeals and yells at you, which is loud but still pretty awesome. He also like gargles when he's cooing and talking sometimes which is just too funny.

Favorites: Me and Michael. His grandparents and Aunt Shannan (and Uncle Kevin and Aunt Emily-they live out of town but he had so much fun being with them when we were on vacation). Dancing/singing. Daddy's guitar. Being held. KISSES.  Spinning. Being tickled. Silly sounds. Hair (he has always been weirdly into hair, he thinks it's so fun and hilarious...??!) His toys and books. Hearing people he loves on the phone. Attention, in general. Baths. Food (yogurt and cheese and toast and chicken...etc.)

Dislikes: Same as last month: 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. Oh! And radishes (he made a gagging face from tasting it lol).

Concerns: Not much actually! Just hoping I'm keeping him mentally stimulated enough and that he's happy and healthy and such. 

A Day in the Life: (This is our current schedule that we just recently transitioned to.) Little guy wakes up around 7am and typically just sort of coos and plays in his crib until I get him. I feed him and then we play, spend a little time with daddy before he goes to work, and chill until I put him down for his nap around 9:30am. He then usually sleeps until about 11am. Then I nurse him and pretty much immediately after we have a sort of brunch/snack situation. Then we play! I'll oftentimes also try to let him play by himself a little bit while I get some things done. He goes back down for a nap around 2pm and then wakes up somewhere around 3:30 to 4pm-ish. We play for a little bit and wait for Michael to come home and then we pretty much immediately have dinner. We play a little bit more and then get him ready for bed starting a little bit after 7pm and then I nurse him at 7:30pm and put him in his crib when he's done (sometimes he's asleep already and sometimes he's not).

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Something Saturdays (8/11/18)

Last weekend was great! I worked a beautiful wedding on Saturday but was home in time for dinner with my boys! Sunday, Michael and I went to our favorite local breakfast place (Twisted Citrus) for the 1st time in nearly a year and had SUCH a yummy meal while Michael's dad watched James. Then we came home and just had some family time. This week I've just been working on more stuff and also working on transitioning James' schedule (it's a process). Thursday and yesterday I worked, and I work a little bit today too. Sooo yeah, exciting in a totally non-exciting way. 

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Soft Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Soft Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies
I love being a mom. Seriously, it's the best. The ONLY thing that I don't love is the fact that I don't have nearly as much time to bake.

It's super sad. I love baking! It's fun! And the results are sooo yummy.

Which is why it's an extra special treat when I actually am able to do it. Especially cookies. They're a fave around here in case you didn't know.
Soft Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies
This recipe is one of my all time (if not my absolute all time) favorite peanut butter cookie recipes. They're soft, they're chewy, they're peanut butter, and there's chocolate. I love love love them. Michael love love loved them. Heck even my family love love loved them when I brought some to my grandma's pool. 

(And someday when I let James find out what a real cookie tastes like, he'll love love love these too. And so will you.)

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Something Saturdays (8/4/18)

Well Michael and James weren't quite over their colds last weekend so I just went to my family reunion alone-which was a bummer but it was nice to see everyone. Other than that, this week has been all about my attempts to get things done (fun fact: I'm terrible at getting things done with a baby). Yesterday I worked. Today I have a wedding. Nothing terribly exciting!

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

James' Sitter Session

James wasn't sitting up well at 6 months so we got his sitter session done at 7 months and even though he hadn't napped well (he had a teeth cut through the next day) Amanda Ellis Photography did an AMAZING job capturing our sweet, silly, weird little boy!! I love love love every single picture, so I thought I'd share with you some of my favorites.



























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